Colour me scrappy

At the beginning of October, I have a dentist appointment. It’s in the area we used to live – finding new doctors and dentists is on the to-do list.. it’s just not very high on the to-do list yet.

But instead of getting up super early, and driving two hours the morning of, I’m going to head to Mom’s and stay there for the weekend preceding. Then I can just get up that morning, head to the dentist, get my face drilled off, and then head home, easy peasy.

And of course, while I’m at Mom’s, I can do some quilting!!! I’ve already got two tops there, ready to quilt, but my pinwheel top was so close to being finished, I thought why not get it out of the way too. Especially as I really have to get moving on my Christmas sewing!

So… I got to it.

As I mentioned several posts back, I didn’t quite have room for a design wall, so I’m still using my design bed.

Apparently Burton was using it too, but I managed to work around him and get it done.

These blocks were an exercise in combining colours for me, and I think it went very well. I was a little stumped on what to use for the sashing, but in the end, the green was really the only thing in the stash that I had enough of, that wasn’t too busy for the blocks (it’s hard to see here, but it has a nice simple cross-hatched print). As soon as I got it on, I knew I wanted something simple, with a white background for the final border.

This big polka dot print was leftover from the back of the parrot quilt, and it couldn’t be more perfect if I tried!

The top finished up at about 60″ square, and I’m hoping I have enough of this fun floral print for the back.

I think it’s going to be close but I’m going to give it a try. And I’ll be using more of that green for the binding. It will be few more weeks until you see this finished, but rest assured, as soon as I get to Mom’s I’m going to be a quilting fiend!

Wind in the willows

The other day, Dave was off visiting his Grandma (she’s back home from the hospital now), so I went on a little adventure of my own.

As usual… it was Facebook’s fault. It wasn’t Marketplace this time, but a sponsored ad. A lady in a town about 30 minutes north of us has a little backyard plant nursery. This particular ad mentioned pussywillows. You might remember my weeping pussywillow. I had it for a couple of years, but sadly, it died one winter (I kept it in a pot, hoping to one day move with it)

I’d honestly forgotten all about it, until I saw her ad. So I emailed her to see if she had any pussywillows in stock, and perchance a weeping pussywillow.

She emailed back – she didn’t have any weeping ones, but she had one white one left… as well as a few black or pink pussywillows. Black or pink??? I didn’t even know there was such a thing!!!

I told her I would love one of each, and would be there the day after payday.

Three happy healthy willows for just $20? Can you believe it? I seemed to have moved to a gardeners heaven. Come spring, we should see something like these…

I’m so excited. I’m going to have my own little pussy willow grove!

After picking them up, I went on a little side quest. Back when Dave and I were picking up that mitre saw, we came across a house with a table out front selling the cutest little wooden bird houses for just $5. I really wanted one. But it was self-serve (no people with change) and neither of us had $5 in cash. I told Dave the next time we were headed out that way, I was going to make sure I had $5 on me.

Well, when I looked up where the nursery was, I realized it was no more than a 10-minute drive from that birdhouse table. I raided Dave’s change jar before I left, and made sure I had enough coin on me.

I got my birdhouse! It looks like the man who makes them is using up scrap/recycled material. The roof is made from vinyl plank flooring! I plan to either paint or stain it to make it a little more weather-proof.

I really love living here – there’s so much to discover!

Puppy love

I know… I know… you’re dying to see more of these guys!!!

I’m afraid our time with the is almost up. On the 15th, they go for their shots. After that they will start going to their individual homes. Can you believe it?

They are all getting so big. They’ve just about doubled in size since the girls sent me pictures from their visit.

Mom sent me this chart – she’s been keeping track of their progress. Yes, they all have names already, and the colours on the chart match up with their collars…because face it, with few exceptions, they are pretty hard to tell apart. Obviously, they are even bigger than this because now we are two weeks on from those numbers.

They are inside the house at night, but during the day, they are out in the garage in their “playpen”

And of course, they get plenty of supervised time in the yard with the big dogs.

It’s probably a good thing I’m living so far away. If I’d spent more time with them, I don’t think I’d be able to say goodbye!

All caught up

Because the weather has been so nice, a lot of our knitting time has moved to the fresh air.

Whether on the porch out right out in the catio, we’ve been getting our stitches in!

I caught up on the two missing logs AND completed all eight logs for this week. I’m back on track and feeling good! And with the evenings cooling off, this is a nice bit of wool to have in the lap.

Mellow yellow

While my garden plants are starting to come back, I am definitely missing my roses. You might not think it, but September is generally a great time for roses. After the heat and the humidity of the summer, they love the warm days, but cool nights of early fall, and they always put on a good show.

But not this year of course. While they all have new leaves, I really don’t expect to see blooms on them this season. Which makes me very sad.

So I might have been especially vulnerable when I went grocery shopping and they had a display of mini-roses out front.

I’ve never actually had much luck with mini-roses, to be honest. But when I was a teen, the grandmother of my boyfriend at the time had a garden full of them. She told me never leave them in the pot, they do much better planted in the ground. So I’m giving it a try.

As you can see, I chose a nice pale yellow. I adore yellow roses. If this one winters well, there will be more next spring.

I can’t quite explain what made me add this big yellow mum to the cart though…

Other than its absolutely fabulous, and obviously, I LOVE yellow. Like the other mums I bought, these have been planted in the ground.

This is not where they will stay, but its good enough for now. The bushes of green on either side of the gate are also mums – my pair from the townhouse – one white, one burgundy. They are covered in buds and should start opening soon. It’s going to be quite the show then!

A room with a view

When Dave and I started seriously looking at houses, we made up a list of must-haves. It must have a garage, it must have at least three bedrooms (so we could each have an office/studio space), it must have a bathtub (not shower only, I need to soak!). It wasn’t really a big list, actually.

So we made a list of nice-to-haves too; things we wanted, but wouldn’t make us walk away from a house if it didn’t have it.

On my list was a window over the kitchen sink. It’s a silly little thing, but I’ve always loved the idea of a window over the kitchen sink. I don’t know why… I have a dishwasher. Even when I do wash dishes by hand (rare, because Dave usually does the few things we have to do), it doesn’t take very long – certainly not long enough to NEED a window for entertainment!

Still. I was thrilled when I saw that this house did indeed have a window over the kitchen sink (In fact, every house we bid on did!)

I even had a little lace curtain (previously on my powder room window) that fit perfectly on it!

Now one of Dave’s “nice-to-haves” was no neighbours. After living in townhouses for the last 15 years, he REALLY didn’t want to live near anyone else. We both wanted a house in the country. Obviously, that didn’t happen, though there is a full-driveway-width between us and the neighbours on each side so we aren’t right on top of each other . Still, he wasn’t exactly thrilled that this window looks out right over our neighbour’s back porch. He really didn’t like the fact that could see the neighbours while he washed up the occasional pot or two. He did not appreciate my pretty little lace curtains.

Since I believe, if a man is willing to do dishes in the first place, it’s best to keep him happy doing them. So I went stash diving.

I’ve mentioned before that, when we finally get to renovating the kitchen it will be a nice, warm yellow. With that in mind, I thought this cute little pale yellow chicken print would do just nicely.!

It was a clearance bin find, and I had more than enough to make a couple panels for the little window. Like my sewing studio curtains, I kept it simple.

Though the lace bin did yield up enough trim to add a little bit of whimsy.

There was enough to trim the edges, and make tie backs. And yes… I did use thumbtacks to hold these ones back too…

But they are yellow thumb tacks at least! And now, whenever Dave is doing dishes, he can easily close the curtains and looks at hens and chicks instead of neighbours!

Itty bitty blooms

Now that we’ve got some more tolerable weather, I’ve been able to pay more attention to my yard. I still haven’t done too much beyond keeping it tidy, but I did go out and clean up all the dead stuff off the ones I transplanted from the townhouse.

As a reward, some of them are giving me new blooms!

Tickseed, Fancy Black-Eyed Susans, and Bellflower.

They aren’t many, but I’ll take all I can get!

The neighbours morning glory that is spilling over the fence is still going gangbusters. For some reason, the dark purple ones look like they have a portal to another dimension at their centre.

Floored

After Mom and the girls left last Saturday (we had a lovely visit, though much too short – they still had a three hour drive home), Dave and I got started on the floor in his studio.

Of all the people who’ve been working on this home (namely, Dad, Mom, Dave and I). I am the youngest (at a positively youthful 41 going on 42), and most spry. I’m also the one with the best knees. So that meant I would be the one actually laying it.

Those knee pads didn’t stay on long… I hate having sweaty knees

Not long after we took possession of the house, Dave found an amazing deal on Kijiji. Nine hundred sq. ft of laminate flooring for just $200. There was a catch… it was used, but we decided to take a look and see if it was worth it. It was. Apparently it was only about a year old. The guy we were buying from had just bought the house a few months earlier, and his wife didn’t like the floor, so they took it out and put in something she did like. And he did an excellent job of removing it. We could see very little damage on it (and for that price, if we had to throw away a third of it, we’d still be ahead).

We loaded up Dory (well overloaded her actually. FYI – laminate flooring is very heavy. Don’t put more than one room’s worth in your old, beat-up SUV… I got a good scolding from Dad when he saw the pictures) and were on our way. We stuffed it in the garage and there it has sat, just waiting for us.

Since the flooring was used, we had to be a little more strategic, and use already cut pieces wherever we could. Since Dave couldn’t help me down on the floor (even if he was physically able to, that part is a one-man job), he cleaned and sorted the boards so they were ready for me to install. He also cut boards when the needed cutting, which is not something I’d be able to do – he bought this neat little cutter that works somewhat like a guillotine, though you need more muscle than I have to get all the way through the planks.

We ended up with a pretty efficient system. We don’t normally work well on projects together, but other than a little sniping back and forth at the start, we made a pretty good team.

About halfway through, the snoopervisor took up his position to make sure my seams were nice and tight. Unlike the other two cats, he wasn’t particularly disturbed by the mallet I used to tap the boards in. He also spent some time making sure Dave was getting the boards cleaned, and that his cuts were nice and straight.

And speaking of cuts… you might notice a certain ruler in the picture above. I started out with a tape measure, until I had an epiphany.

My big quilting ruler (6″ x24″) was just perfect for measuring the size needed to fill in the ends. Not only could I see through it, but I could use the full end to draw my line (instead of having to line up ticks), and I could use the other lines on it to make sure my line was square and not angled slightly! I feel like a genius!

It took pretty much all day, but the floor got done!

I’ll be honest, it’s darker than I wanted, but again that price was too good to pass up. Dave loves dark floors (he would have gone even darker if he could) so he’s quite pleased with it. I’m really just happy to see a floor in there. We still need baseboards, crown trim, a new sliding glass door and window, and trim for both of those… and they won’t come for a while due to budget restraints… but still, putting in the floor really makes it feel like a usable room!

Now that its done. my attention goes back to drywall – we have all the materials to finished the living room drywall, so I’ll work on that while we save up some more money to finish this room.