Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Studio Week

There wasn't much point posting last week. About the only thing I had to say was I'm painting. As much as I'd have loved to report something progressive on the sewing department, it just hasn't happened yet although this is studio week. On Monday, I painted the ceiling and yesterday, I started on the walls.

My husband, a good friend, my two sons, and my honorary son moved my furniture and studio supplies on September 20th. Basically, they dumped anything for the studio in the middle of the room with no rhyme or reason.

In order to work, I moved most of the boxes into another room and then pushed the furniture together in the middle.

And naturally, that's when I decided the carpet was too dirty to leave and started cutting it up and rolling it in smaller amounts that were easier to carry. Luckily, it wasn't glued down and came up easy. I stacked the rolls in the suite until...

... my honorary son Josh arrived for two days of "hard labour". He did a lot of heavy lifting type jobs that would have taken me a whole lot longer. I know. It took me 8 1/2 hours to scrape the glued down, rubber back, underlay off the master bedroom floor and it took him half that time to get it off the second bedroom which is similar in size. He did the third bedroom as well and then took down the mirrors that were glued to the bathroom walls and above the stairwell and hauled a lot of garbage around to the carport so I can hire someone to haul it away. After then he helped me start painting the grout between the bricks. He's gone back to work now. I really appreciated the help and was sorry to see him go. He's hoping to transfer here and rent the basement suite at a lower rate plus shoveling and lawn mowing. That would be perfect.

The studio is quite large. It's the downstairs recroom and has one long window with a peek-a-boo glimpse of the greenery outside. It's a mish mash of "seconds" with half the ceiling drywalled and half of it dropped, two kinds of wainscoting one of which is mounted sideways, zigzagging foundation walls, some crown molding, some baseboards, some empty spaces, and way too much brick. I decided to paint it all white to pull the textures together and create a bright and open space. I'll add colorful accents. I painted both doors my favourite lime and since I've been wanting to paint my sewing desks for a while, this just might be the time. Hopefully next week I'll be able to post finished, set up, and sewing photos. YES YES - what fun that would be.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - Josh's help

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Layers Of Living

This morning, I was supposed to head back to the "new" house and finish a load of painting before the furniture arrives on Sunday only I came out of the doctor's office yesterday to a dead car. The fuel pump. I haven't liked this car since we bought it and if it didn't start out life as a lemon, the lack of proper maintenance over the years seems to have turned it into one. It's been one thing after another and that was my last straw.

It's not good driving a car you don't trust around town but it's especially not good when you're going back and forth on the highway and your mechanic - also my husband - lives an hour away. Howard is tired and busy and the last thing he needs is a car to work on every weekend. I want him to be able to rest when he comes so we are in the process of trading "the lemon" for a 2011 Matrix which is very similar to my previous  - crunched - car. If we can settle on a price and sign the papers, the sale should be settled tonight and I'll head out in the morning. I've been driving it around today and I like it MUCH BETTER.

On Monday, I painted the first coat in the bedroom, pantry, and hall closets and on the ceiling in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. What I love about older houses is seeing all the layers of living. At one time the master bedroom was dark blue, the kitchen red, and the living room hunter green with the crown moldings painted the same color. Some but not all of them were later covered with a cream, high gloss, paint and the ceiling is yellow with nicotine which makes the first coat extremely satisfying. Progress. One of my favourite tools is...

... the Mouse. It's an iron shaped sander that I used it to level out some of the less than best joints in the molding, to rough up the walls, and to sand after filling holes. With a rougher sand paper, it also takes off some of the drips of old paint and levels out imperfections and it'll be perfect on the kitchen cupboards before painting. And it's fast. And easy.

I was expecting to leave this morning so everything here is packed and there's not much to do. I'd already moved my e-book and yarn stash so when I finished the scarf I was working on, I bought another ball of yarn to knit more leaves for the tree display. I think I've knit about a hundred leaves so far so I've definitely contributed to the group project. I am SO LOOKING FORWARD to working with fabric again... next week... YES YES.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - for the mouse

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ready To Paint

We got back from Calgary last Sunday afternoon and I've mostly been sleeping in, journal writing, walking the dog, and sitting on the couch like a lump for the last week. I haven't sewn since mid June and that's the absolute longest time without since I first learned to sew when I was twelve. I miss how energizing it is and I'm REALLY looking forward to getting back into the studio and recharging. Meanwhile...

... as you know... I've been doing a lot of shawl knitting as well as some knitting research. I'm about ready to advance from basic garter and seed stitch into some colour explorations like the scarf above. I watched Stephen West's Shawlscapes on-line and it's a fabulous workshop that encouraged me in that direction. He makes it look so easy but... as we all know... simple is rarely easy although it's almost always fun. A friend went to one of Stephen's lectures last week and said she thought of me and how much I would have enjoyed it. What fun that would have been but...

... the only place I'm going right now is to the new house. We get the keys this morning and while I'm in town for knitting, I'll drop off a load of cleaning and kitchen supplies. I've decided to drive back and forth for this first week until the furniture arrives so I'll come home after knitting and then head back Saturday morning all ready to paint. I always start with the inside of cupboards and closets so I can put our things away right away with less clutter. Yesterday, I pulled out all the partially finished cans of paint from storage and I'll use them first to freshen things up and add some colour to "insides". YES YES... this is good... because right now, it's rather beige.

Howard is exceptionally busy with work right now so it was wonderful that he could fly to Calgary and drive home with me and get a chance to snuggle our grandsons. Both adorable. Of course. Daimon loved playing tools with Grandpa.

On the drive home, the temperature dipped close to freezing and there was snow on the mountains near Banff. Neither the cold nor the snow was thrilling. I've had such a busy few months that it feels like I missed summer. Luckily, this weekend is going to be much warmer and hopefully the rest of September will be as well so I can sit on our new back deck and watch the pond at least a few mornings before fall sets in.

Daimon is enjoying his new baby brother. He had one rough day but otherwise has adjusted well. It's quite quiet here at home and I've missed being with them and that's the way it goes. It was wonderful to spend time with my daughter and her family and now it's time for new adventures.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - finally possession day

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What's One More Box?

After a week with both a new baby and a new job, I was pretty sure that my son-in-law needed some move slow and be quiet time and - of course - the family needed some bonding time SO...

... I magnanimously went fabric shopping with Mary. I know! Wasn't that just amazing of me? This is Mary and I's third or fourth time shopping together - plus - lunch and we always have fun. We went to two Fabriclands as well as Out Of Hand and came home with some goodies.

At left is a grey and black striped tube knit. I'm debating turning part of it into yarn to co-ordinate but we'll see what actually happens. In the middle is a mere meter of a wonderful floral. I have no idea what the fabric content is as the bolt was missing and this was all that was left. The fabric at right is a purple-ish taupe denim. I bought five meters as a contender for the coat challenge I'm sewing with my friend Claire.

Here I have five meters of a heavier weight, textured cotton and five meters of a black striped, wool suiting - also contenders for the coat challenge.

Out Of Hand had a fabulous collection of buttons. I could have bought LOTS and LOTS but settled on these two with seven of each. There were some black rectangular and circular buttons that would have been perfect for a coat but it seemed a good idea to know which fabric I'm working with first. Mary said that she'd be perfectly happy to go back and get them if/when I decide. VBG - I may need to help her, just to be sure I get the right ones.

On Saturday, I put these two fabrics back and on Sunday, I went and bought them. The turquoise cotton was tickling in my brain and it was sitting exactly where I'd left it on the floor beside the cutting table... with the black/grey/white floral... which I've bought before... and sewed something I didn't like... and so... sigh... it came home too. What's one more box of fabric to move? My daughter asked if I'd bought "the pink" and when I said no, she said I HAD TO go back and get it. Hmm... my very own enabler.

Here's Grandma and her grand-boys. We're having such fun together. It's hard to believe that Keith is only a week old. It'll be tough to leave on the weekend although - LOL - my car may not make it as loaded down as it's become with visits to fabric stores and Ikea. I've picked up just a "few" things for the new house and I may need to make one more trip for a storage unit AND perhaps  a pair of grey linen curtains that keep calling to me, and are priced really reasonable, with more than enough fabric for something... perhaps a coat. I'm attempting to resist. I could lose this battle.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - friends, family, fabric