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Painting done; carpet partially done

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The painters finished up in the kitchen on Tuesday. The new carpet install was scheduled (re-scheduled, actually) for today but the carpet still has not arrived from the mill. I apparently mis-heard the message on the machine regarding re-scheduling. I thought we were looking at possibly pushing things off until August but if we’re lucky, the new carpet will be in next week.

In the meantime, I called someone else out to at least get the carpet in the sewing room re-stretched. This fellow has done the same thing for us before, with all the foundation work that’s gone on, and he was able to get out yesterday afternoon to get the work done. I’ll be working today on starting to shift things back around/into the sewing room!

Getting closer

Friday, July 5th, 2013

The plan when I left to visit Mom last week was the new carpet would be going in while we were gone, which would mean that I could be putting the sewing and dining rooms back together this week. (And that would allow the kids to reclaim their toy room, where all the boxes are currently being stored.)

Instead, the carpet place called to say that our order still hasn’t arrived from the mill. Our new install date is this coming Thursday. We’ll see if that actually works out or not.

In the meantime, the kitchen crew showed up this week and started on that. The wallpaper has been stripped off, some drywall repair has been completed, and texturing has been added. Tuesday is the expected date for the actual painting of the room.

Current expectations are that the kitchen, sewing room, and dining room will all be complete by end of the week, which means I can start shifting furniture, etc., around. We’re replacing the overhead light in the kitchen, so I’m hoping to do some windowshopping for ideas. We also need to replace the lights in the bathrooms, so I’ll be looking for that as well.

It’s still now coming along as quickly as I would have hoped, but progress is definitely being made.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Monday, June 24th, 2013

After over two years of foundation work and the resulting home repairs, I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the interior repairs. The foundation work was 2 1/2 years ago, along with a new exterior courtesy of the bee infestation the foundation crew found, and the new roof courtesy of the spring hail storm.

The kids’ end of the house was redone the following fall/winter. The boys had managed to flood the upstairs bathroom, resulting in the need for completely new flooring. While we were at it, we had the bathroom and both bedrooms on that end of the house repainted.

The new downstairs floor tile went in last summer, and the downstairs bath was completed last fall, once we gave up on waiting for our first shower tile choice and came up with a different design.

At that point, we discovered that a family of skunks had taken up residence under the house. (The city has been doing some work on the property at the end of the block and a lot of animals have been displaced.) Six skunks later, we were ready to have some mudjacking done to finish filling in any loose/open areas under the house left from the foundation work. Of course, that was going to mean drilling holes through the slab again. There was no way we were going to bust up our new tile so that meant the sewing room and dining room (aka the only two appropriate areas with carpet, aka my two work areas) were once again going to be completely emptied.

Once the mudjacking was done, we decided to go ahead and replace the carpet in the dining room. It had been the recepient of the overflowing water from the upstairs bathroom flood earlier, so we decided it was time. Par for the course in our case, we managed to select a carpet that was not only out of stock at the warehouse but out of stock at the mill as well. We’re having to wait for the next production run, but the anticipated installation date is next week.

The following week, the crew is scheduled to come out and repaint the kitchen. At that point, the only planned interior work left will be the master bath.

All of which means that, if all goes according to plan (although I’m not holding my breath on that point), I should be able to actually start putting the sewing room and dining room back together into a workable format in about two-three weeks. I still have boxes of stuff from Jean’s to deal with, but we’ve been slowing moving furniture out in preparation for some other stuff from Jean’s house to go in. Ultimately there should be more space in the sewing room than there was before. Once the furniture is in place, some of the stuff in boxes can actually come out and be put away.

Bigger Mess than Usual…I didn’t even think it was possible

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Due to the sudden and fairly unexpected death of my aunt, I am now in possession of even more craft items. The sewing room, which was overflowing to begin with, now is bulging under the addition of an entire van’s worth of yarn, thread, fabric, needlework supplies, etc. I’m the niece who’s been most interested in handwork so all of it came home with me. I’m in the process of inventorying everything to see if other family members want any of the items that came home with me. So far, I’ve managed to send off an entire skein of yarn.

I’ll be looking for a home for the majority of this once I confirm that no one else in the family wants it. I just don’t have the space, especially since we’re about to start the next round of home renovations in a couple of weeks.

Progress…and not so much progress

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The prep work for the church’s first ever craft show is going well. We are basically at our pre-set limit of 50 booths, give or take a couple. It was interesting to see what sorts of vendors we did/didn’t actually have apply to the show.

In the meantime, the work on the boys’ bathroom is essentially complete. The one item that’s left is replacing the light fixtures in the bath, but we’re doing it ourselves so there’s a little less pressure timewise on that aspect. We’re still attempting to find the fixtures we want. In the meantime, the work grew from just replacing the bathroom floor to replacing the floor, removing all the wallpaper, retexturing the walls, painting the bathroom, two bedrooms, and down the hallway upstairs.

All of that additional work required pulling all the toys/clothes/stuff off the furniture and either jamming it in the closets or stuffing it in boxes. The boxes are currently residing on the floor in the living room downstairs, in our bedroom, and out in the garage. The extra furniture is still sitting in the walk up portion of the attic upstairs.

I’m personally counting it as a victory that the nine foot long pinewood derby track case was finally removed from the floor in the dining room where it’s been sitting for the past three years. The track is is its new slightly shorter, slightly lighter (but still heavy) eight foot long case, which was taken to the Cub Scout Pack storage unit after the district pinewood derby last weekend.

Next on the agenda(s) are making and painting plywood signs for the craft show to put in people’s yards for advertising, moving the furniture back out of the attic, unpacking all the boxes of boys toys and books, and making paint/floor/tile selections for the downstairs bathroom, which is currently next on the repair list.

Slow but steady progress here

Friday, January 13th, 2012

The lace portion of the new sweater has been finished. Now it’s on to the stockinette stitch section, which truthfully is the largest piece. At least I can do that without referring to the pattern every row.

In the meantime, I’m slowly but steadily ironing my way through the monster size bundle of team fabrics that’s been sitting on the floor in the dining room for the past couple of years. I purchased three medium flat-rate boxes of NFL team fabric scraps from someone else, only to discover that I’d overlooked the fact it was coming from a home with someone who smokes. To say that the fabric reeked would not be an understatement. I washed it a couple of different times, wound up stuffing it all back into large black plastic garbage bags, and just let it sit with the hope that the odor would finally dissipate. Last fall I took a more proactive stance once again…washed it all once more, and draped it outside for a day or two (took a week or more to air all the pieces). There’s still something residual there, but Dave and I can’t quite decide if it’s still cigarette smoke or a result of sitting in the plastic all this time at this point. We’re trying to get things picked up and put away so I’m going through, organizing, ironing and storing all the pieces now. By the time all was said and done, I came away with at least a little bit of fabric for all but two of the NFL teams. I started ironing with the teams that only had a small amount of fabric on hand, and quickly went through the majority of the teams. What’s left are the five or six teams that have a fairly large amount of fabric each.

In other news, our church is planning to host a craft show this spring. We have a date on the calendar, and hopefully as of Sunday we’ll have more than two people willing to help put it together. (Guess who is one of the two current people!) More info (or not, depending on time) as this develops.

Also in other news, one of the two speech paths is likely to start maternity leave as of next week. No official word yet on when/what extra work I may be doing for the district. At least the other one isn’t due for another month. I initially thought the babies were due within a couple of weeks of each other.

New Year

Friday, January 6th, 2012

I hadn’t intended to stop posting after August….

Once we were back from Mom’s house last August, school started up again. My caseload is slightly larger this year…number-wise it’s not that much bigger but time-wise those few extra kids are really making a difference in the time I had available for other responsibilities at work.

I trimmed some shows from the fall schedule, but also managed to add a few more. I worked steadily on getting those placemat sets that were quilted in August finished up. I managed to do a few each week, just enough to keep my head above water. I also made the conscious decision not to sweat replacing specific items as they sold out this year. In other words, if I sold out of bowls in a particular fabric, then I was simply out for the fall. Anyone who really wanted one ordered it at that point.

Christmas plans changed and we were up in Colorado for Christmas instead of having everyone here. That was nice because I didn’t have to worry about people tripping over the still-to-be-repaired spots on the floor where the tile came out for the foundation work.

Once back in Texas, the gutter company was back out to fix the one last bit of work, we also had them install leaf screens. We finally reached the construction company to discover that they were still waiting on some information from us before ordering the replacement exterior shutters. Those went on yesterday.

The next round of repairs/home improvements is about to start. That’s going to be the floor in the boys’ bathroom. We’re selecting flooring now and potentially they’re starting work next week. The true extent of the work will be determined once they start ripping up the floor. Insurance estimated that we wouldn’t need to replace the subfloor under the cabinets. The contractor is less certain of that aspect.

In other news, I discovered that the paints I bought (many) years ago for the as-yet-unfinished nativity set are apparently salvagable. Since that particular company is no longer in business, this is great news. I hope to get started on that shortly.

And I’m working on a sweater for me that sat from sometime in August until Christmas break, when Cat and I took a close look at it.

All in all, lots of plans for things to complete this spring. The truth, I suspect, is that perhaps half of them will get done, and that will be the repair work that I’m not actually tackling myself. We have a couple of speech paths going out on maternity leave within the next few weeks and my “personal project” time is probably going to disappear when that happens. On the other hand, if I must be on hand for repair appointments, I just might get some things done around here.

Home again, home again

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

We just arrived back from a 2 1/2 week trip to Louisiana. That was probably a bit longer than we should have been out, but the boys went to Vacation Bible School the first week and the end of the second week involved not one, but two, family reunions and there just didn’t seem to be a point in making the 6 hour drive home and then back again a couple of days later.

As usual, I packed up a good bit of sewing to bring with me, and given the time frame I was going to be there, I packed considerably more than I typically do. I spent a good bit of time debating exactly how much to bring, and in trying to determine a) what could I reasonably expect to get done in a day, and b) how many days I could realistically expect to work since we were making some side trips as well, and c) how much extra was I going to bring just in case I finished sooner than expected?

I packed so much that I anticipated that I would perhaps barely get it all done but I didn’t really expect to achieve that goal. Then three unexpected factors came into play:
1) Dave wasn’t able to come over for the weekend after all, which meant I suddenly had an additional 3 days to work that I hadn’t factored into my work schedule.
2) Mom set up her sewing machine and started helping out on some of the projects as well. Her machine doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles as mine, so there were some aspects that she simply couldn’t do, but her help made things move along more quickly.
3) Instead of using my older machine that’s been over at Mom’s, I brought my current machine. I knew it seemed to sew a bit faster than the older one, but had never done anything to really compare the two. I’ve previously considered it a very productive day if I managed to finish quilting four sets of placemats in a day. Initially this trip I was completing six sets of placemats in a day. This rate of production went on for the first few days but I had to cut back because I actually was having repetitive stress issues with my pedal foot. Not only was the leg sore, but my entire ankle started swelling. Cutting down on the number of placemat sets I was stitching each day saw an improvement.

I made so much progress that I actually completed everything sewing-related I’d brought with me in nine days. I did a small bit of knitting after that, but the knitting project I really wanted to work on had been left at home because I was certain I’d never manage to finish everything and get to it.

The final tally:
42 pillowcases finished
88 catnip puffs finished
42 placemat sets are quilted. Quilting is the first step in the placemat construction so there’s still plenty to do there, but this is a great start for the fall season.

Rebuilding Update

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

The replacement of the exterior has been completed. Work on the new shingles is scheduled to start next week. After that, we can focus on replacing the floor in the boys’ bathroom upstairs.

In the meantime, the boys and I packed up and headed over to Mom’s house. I managed to get an incredible amount of work done, and discovered that it’s apparently possible to have a repetitive stress injury from sewing. My entire ankle puffed up after sewing so much each day. I actually brought what I thought would be too much to accomplish during the trip but managed to finish up earlier. There were several factors in that, including the fact that Dave stayed in Dallas, which gave me an additional 3 workdays that I hadn’t planned on, as well as the fact that my newer sewing machine apparently sews faster than my older one. The older one has been sitting over here and I had just been using it when I came over, but I managed to accomplish 50% more on a daily basis with the newer machine so obviously I have to re-think the issue of which machine to use.

The sweater blocking is done and the fronts, backs, and sleeves have been put together. Next on the list is a consultation with my aunt about the crochet accents.


Sunday, June 26th, 2011

We’ve been undergoing massive house repairs for the past nearly two months, with more still to come. At the moment, the first round of interior work is done, and the next round (probably next month) will be exterior. The next round of interior work will probably be based mostly upstairs and I don’t expect that to start until the end of summer at best.

In the meantime, the first round of foundation work and subsequent plumbing repairs involved jackhammering holes in both of my main work areas….sewing room and dining room, which is where my cutting table is set up. A hole in the sewing room, one in the hallway directly in front of the sewing room, the front foyer, two in the dining room, and one in the aisle separating the kitchen and family eating area. Initially the foundation company said they were going through the hallway rather than the rooms so we shouldn’t have to worry about moving things out of the way. Of course, the morning they were supposed to start going through the slab they decided they’d be going through the rooms after all, which left Dave to try to get all the china out of the china cabinet with 30 minutes notice, and I shoved everything slightly portable out of the sewing room once I got back home later that morning. Sewing stuff is currently stacked in the living room and garage, while the yarn went upstairs in the boys’ toyroom. We were finally able to get the carpet back down about a week ago, and managed to get the furniture shifted in the sewing room Thursday morning (because we had company sleeping there Thursday night.)

I’m planning to take slight advantage of the fact that I don’t have stuff piled everywhere in the sewing room (yet) to get a couple of projects finished. I need to block a sweater before I can seam it together, and I actually have space on the bed at this point to do it. I hope to get to that one morning this week while the boys are at flag football camp.

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