Monday, January 5, 2015

First Major Project of 2015

It has been snowing like crazy for the past few days. Everything is a fluffy white and the roads are slippery treacherous. I'm thankful to have an all wheel drive vehicle in times like this, especially as I live on a hill. Yesterday, I went down to Benjamin Moore three times. It was definitely not good redecorating weather only my first major project of 2015 was to redo my last major project of 2014. Let's view that as a positive step forward... even if it doesn't seem like it.

The paint on the tiles and countertop wasn't sticking... which made me wonder if I'd used the wrong primer... since it sticks for my friend... and when I went downstairs and pulled out the can, it was full... which means I used the wrong primer.

In-between, I'd figured out that I don't do well with shiny black countertops. You can see absolutely every crumb and water drip and that can drive a girl crazy so if I decided that if I had to redo them, I'd do them different. And to do that, I had to strip off the paint which did that paint thing where it peels off in some places and sticks for eternity in others. It was QUITE a job. And then I re-primed the tiles and then I...

... spray painted them with a steel grey metallic because a busier counter-top means a quieter back-splash. And I wanted some contrast with the cabinets but not a dark hole. And I wanted a light reflecting material. And all that wanting meant metallic. This area behind the sink is the darkest in the kitchen and the colour is still pretty good. The area brightens up somewhat when the sink is in place since it's also reflective.

Originally, I was going to faux paint a granite finish and after I watched the video, painted the black primer, and started with the pearl mica chips, I changed my mind. WAY too much stress. Instead...

... I opted for sponging on layers of different colors. So far, there's the matte black primer, the metallic silver, the metallic blue, and...

... the metallic green. This morning, it looks like I'll want to add more blue. If I do, that's next. If not, it's a metallic black and then a glossy top coat over the whole thing and then another and then hopefully some time tomorrow we can drop the sink back in and at least have water in the kitchen. The top coat that I'm using this time is polyurethane which smells worse than a water based product but dries faster and harder. I'm all for that because if this doesn't work, next time I'll have to call the kitchen people and I wasn't planning on that expense.

Holidays are over and I'm thankful to be getting back to the regular schedule today and - to be completely honest - further away from that Happy New Year phrase. I'm just not feeling it this year. I don't know how to respond so I tend to ignore it and say something generic. Dealing with the ramifications and what ifs and fears around Howard's diagnosis turned me into a grumpy grey cloud for a few weeks. I need to get my act together and I especially need to get back to some kind of productive work flow in the studio. I've sewn about two hours since getting back from Oregon and that's a lot less than usual. A return to the regular routine should help, maybe with some adjustments.

Last Tuesday, I went to knit night for the first time in a really long time. One of the women asked if I was still sewing clothes and I said I was frustrated with my weight and how it fluctuates so wildly. She said with all the stress that's going on in your life, I don't think you should be worried about your weight. That struck me as true. It might be a lot better to focus on sewing for the body I have. And if the body I have changes, I can change my sewing. And this would be good since the body I have could really use some clothes.

My first 2015 event is Sew Expo in Seattle at the end of February. I'm knitting a starting garment to build an outfit around. More about that tomorrow.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a return to the regular routine

Of course there is uncertainty in the future. Guess what? We're all uncertain about the future.
The future is not waiting for you; it's waiting within you. 

- Erwin Raphael McManus


  1. What a job dealing with that paint! Considering all that is going on, removing challenging paint and painting challenging paint is an intense chore. Good for you. (PS I stand with your friend. For me worrying about/obsessing about my weight is a direct non-stop flight to Crazy Land! Exchange that ticket for something else!)

    1. It is challenging and it also gives you something else to think about and that part is probably good.The counters look FABULOUS tonight. I'll post a picture tomorrow. Just two top coats to go.

      Exchange ticket... hmm... I had a coaching session with Diane today and we discussed if not light, tight. Being fit and flexible and healthy seems like a better objective but the whole body thing is a roller-coaster. One day I'm okay with ignoring the numbers and the next day they're driving me crazy. And that's life. Something to accept. I just wonder what it would be like to live in a body that doesn't fluctuate so much. A stable weight - even on the high side - seems enviable.

  2. It may have been a real PITB, however your kitchen is looking phenomenal!!! Just gorgeous - i'm sending you smooth sailing thoughts ;)

    re: weight, yeah. i would say eating healthy and exercising healthy will help you feel better, but worrying about weight per se - yep, more important things. There are ways to sew clothes that can accommodate bigger swings in weight, so you don't have to have completely new wardrobes all the time - i don't think most of the strategies go along with your preferred style but you might be able to work some in so you like things and have less stress/hassle in that area. I will gather some examples, though it may take a couple of days.

    "exchange that ticket!" haha! Claire you are always so darn funny and wise too! and i still can't get over how pretty that kitchen counter....happy day all!! steph

    1. THANKS for the smooth sailing thoughts Steph. The counter colours went really well today and I'm pleased with how they've turned out. I hope the top coats go as easily.

      We've discussed weight friendly clothes before and yes, I prefer a closer fight but perhaps i need to learn how to be a little looser. LOL - a loose woman. As I said to Claire, it's the weight fluctuations that drive me crazy. Just focus on being healthy is a good goal but not always an easy one. I'm giving it a try. Ms. Chloe and I waded through the snow drifts on a walk today. No other prints on the path. We were the only brave ones. The snow is DEEP.

  3. I am eager to see what your new improved counters look like, it had never occurred to me that painting countertops and splashbacks was even possible! You are always surprising me with how you are creative not only in your sewing but in your entire environment. Do you find that having Ms Chloe is an encouragement to walk more? Being healthy is for me the true goal, but I get caught up in watching the numbers on my scale, which has been a very discouraging practice for me, so much so that when I looked at my personal sewing, I realised that I have sewn almost nothing for myself in the last year! (To be fair, I have been making a lot of things for others and focusing on decluttering and repairing the house) Still, I am going to take your words to heart about "It might be a lot better to focus on sewing for the body I have. And if the body I have changes, I can change my sewing. And this would be good since the body I have could really use some clothes."... Somehow, when I visit your blog, you always have words of wisdom that are exactly what I need to hear at exactly the right time

    1. The counters look fabulous. I can put the second top coat on soon. I just painted the narrow tiles the same metallic blue as used in the counters and still have to tone the backsplash down and blend it together with white grout. You can paint just about anything. It's all about using the right primer and being patient to wait out the drying times.

      Ms. Chloe has been a HUGE encouragement to walk. We go for an hour most days. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to focus on healthy but being side tracked by the numbers. It is discouraging. Like you, I sewed less clothes last year - not consciously but subconsciously I think I was waiting for the weight and that's never a good thing. Plus, it's not an understatement to say I really need some clothes. It's good to declutter. I believe that opens up flow and creativity in our lives. And it's good to make things for others if that's what you like to do and not if it drags down your enthusiasm for your own creativity. Definitely sewing for the body we have is a good choice - for both of us. Pretty new things can really perk us up and help with the healthy goal. Good luck. Let me know if I get side-tracked. Hopefully I can correct quickly.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.