Saturday, March 26, 2016

Give a Girl a Can of Spray Paint...


Because we have an OLD house that is difficult to heat and cool, we have ceiling fans in every room...except the bathrooms.  Yes, I know all about people not liking ceiling fans these days, blah, blah, blah...   But until one of those ceiling-fan-haters offers to pay my heating and cooling bills, we will continue to use them in our house.

We installed the ceiling fan in the dining room 17 years ago when we moved in.  Towards the end of last summer, it started to make a humming noise that was ANNOYING!  You could hear it really badly in the bedroom right above it...our bedroom!  :(  This year the noise was even worse so I went shopping for a new ceiling fan this week.  WOW, the prices sure have gone up since the last time we bought fans in 2009!!  Since the light worked just fine, I decided to go with just a fan that was light-compatible to save some money.

The new fan was oil-rubbed bronze, but the old fan and light were antique brass.  So...once again...my trusty can of Krylon Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint to the rescue!!!  

I took plastic grocery bags and wrapped them around the light sockets to protect them...



Not pictured, but I also took some brown packing paper and stuffed it in the electrical part where the fan and light meet and connect to protect it, too.

The weather was BEAUTIFUL today, so the paint dried quickly.  TADA...perfect shade of oil-rubbed bronze...



You can see how it matches perfectly to the new fan...



LOVE IT!!!  And the new fan is sooooooooooooooo quiet!!!  BTW, this new fan is the Home Depot store brand, but the guy that worked in the department told me that they are made by Hampton Bay.  (I prefer Hunter brand, but just didn't have the finances for it this time around.)  I'm very happy with the way this turned out!

Loretta

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sewing Room Update...



I enlisted Andy's help this past weekend to install some upgrades in my sewing room and I have spent the last 2 days rearranging some things.

The first thing we did was install a new LED light bar ($19.97 from HomeDepot) above this window to illuminate the far end of my sewing table where I use my Singer featherweight, my embroidery machine, and my serger.  You can hang it by the included chains or you can clip it directly to the wall/ceiling using the enclosed clips, which is what we decided to do.  (I was able to eliminate the pole lamp and table lamp that you can see in the foreground of this picture after the new light was installed!)


You can see how dark this end of the table is without it...


...and how much brighter it is with the light on now.  No more shadows!!!


It's official...the astronauts can now see my sewing room from space!  LOL


The other change we made was to add wire shelving above the cutting table to create more storage.  

Before...


It has always bugged me that the wall space above the table was not being utilized, but I wasn't exactly sure how to solve that problem.  I had actually thought of buying upper kitchen cabinets and putting them up there, but wasn't sure about how that would work with the track lights.  A few years ago a friend gave me some ClosetMaid wire shelving and some of the hardware, but I had never put it to use.  I got it out of the basement, cleaned it up, and then went to HomeDepot to get what we needed to add to it to install it.

After...


I had 2 large totes of fabric stored under my sewing tables and I had originally I thought I'd put them in bins up on these shelves.  After contemplating the set-up, though, I decided to move my UFO's to the shelves, thus freeing up 3 shelves in one of my cabinets...and store my fabric on those 3 shelves, instead, keeping the fabric low and within easy reach!  


Those two totes under the cutting table are full of batting pieces in various sizes that I have either joined together to be used, or are still waiting to be joined together to be used.


I specifically put that bottom shelf on the left down low for a reason...
When I am cutting fabric for a quilt, I use the back 1/3 of the table to hold everything that I am using.  The table becomes very cluttered and reduces my usable area until the quilt is finished and all leftovers are cut up and put in the scrap bins.  This way I can use that shelf for temporary storage of what I am currently working on, thus freeing up the ENTIRE table for cutting use!  (I had actually seen a picture online of a person's sewing table and she had a shelf just a few inches above the back of her sewing table to cut down on the clutter that tends to collect there!  Brilliant!)

I buy clean pizza boxes from the local pizzeria and use them for UFO block storage...all labeled with what is inside.  The white plastic containers came from my previous workplace...a piece of equipment came in them and they get thrown away.  They hold UFO's that have smaller blocks.


All of these things were stored on the three middle shelves of this cabinet before...


It now looks like this...


No more large totes under my sewing tables!!!  And ALL of my fabric is easy to find now!  


Loretta

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Sister is "Crafty"...

Quote for the Day:
"The advantage of growing up with siblings 
is that you become very good at fractions."
 ~ Robert Brault


While in Florida, my sister Bev STARTED AND COMPLETED a craft project!!  (I am a good "starter"...but not so good at "finishing"...)

She has been collecting vintage embroidered linens that she finds at thrift stores and antique stores...table cloths, pillow cases, and table runners... and she turned them into this valance for her Florida-home lanai.  It turned out so beautiful, I just HAD to share these pictures with you...




She "lined" them with some tone-on-tone white fabric.  

I LOVE this!!  I think they turned out gorgeous!  Now I want to make some...maybe for  my kitchen windows?  Hmmmm...

Loretta

Last of the Vacation Photos...

Quote for the Day:
"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, 
we see the past, present, and future."
~Gail Lumet Buckley

In February, after we got off of the cruise ship in Florida, we drove up to Georgia where our son and daughter-in-law live and stayed with them for the weekend.  It's always nice to get in an extra family visit throughout the year when we can!

It was a relaxed visit...no schedule...just spending time together enjoying Trinity's great cooking, playing games, having fun with the grandkids...just "visiting"!

Paul and Alex.....


Alex thought it was great fun when Paul shuffled the cards...

video

Trinity is a GREAT cook...and looky there on the counter was her new black KitchenAid mixer!!!  She had wanted one for a while now and had just gotten it a couple of days before we were there.


 Alex and Grandpa...


All of the grandkids always think Grandpa is the neatest thing because he rough-houses with them!

And my Little Andrew...always loves to go without as many clothes as he can get away with!  LOL


These extra little family visits are so nice because they are relaxed...no plans...just whatever we feel like doing!  I wish we lived closer and could do them more often.  


Loretta

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

More Vacation Pictures...

Quote for the Day:
"Isn't it amazing how much stuff we get done the day before vacation?"
~ Zig Ziglar


We timed our February trip to Florida to coincide with Andy's birthday.  His wish was to take the month off...which he did...and to take a cruise while off...which we did!

After several days visiting with my sisters in Florida, we drove over to Cape Canaveral and took a cruise to the Bahamas!  


We took this selfie as we were getting ready to pull out of port!  (We're old, so it took both of us to take the selfie...me to hold the camera and Andy to tap the "shutter" button!  LOL)

The cruise was 5 days/4 nights in all.  We left on Monday afternoon...

This was the Coast Guard boat that escorted us out of the port...
it looked like rubber bath toy compared to our ship!


Leaving the inlet and entering the Atlantic Ocean...

  
Monday night the water was really rough and I ended up getting sick after dinner.  :(  But from talking with other passengers over the next few days, I was not alone.  Many said they got sea-sick Monday night.

Tuesday was "at sea" all day, but thankfully the water was calmer and it was smooth sailing.  We liked going up on deck and seeing the other ships in the shipping lanes.  

Wednesday was our first port of call...Nassau, Bahamas!  The weather was overcast at first but the clouds burned off about noon.  I had researched the excursions and the ones in Nassau didn't get as good of reviews as the ones on Cococay (scheduled for Thursday), so instead we caught a taxi and went to Cabbage Beach, a public beach on Nassau...


You can see how pristine blue the water was...GORGEOUS!  


I had taken my bathing suit and cover-up with me thinking I'd just change at the beach.  
Unfortunately, at the public beach there was no place to change, 
so I just rolled up my capris and waded in knee-deep!  




Both of us with our feet in the tide...




Parasailers off in the distance...

  
Such a beautiful place to relax...


Our ship in the Nassau dock...ours is the one in the middle...
that is the BACK of the ship...the captain backed it in instead of pulling in...


My kids will get a kick out of this picture...
"T'ings"...it's a family quote from a movie we watched when they were young...


Returning to the ship after a day at the beach...


Returning to our room after dinner we found this towel creation on our bed...


On Thursday, our port-of-call was Cococay, Bahamas.  However, as we were getting ready to head to breakfast they announced that the winds were too strong and the waves too high for us to be tendered in to the island.  Major bummer!!!  We had planned to "swim with the stingrays" and enjoy the beach on Cococay.  We were very disappointed but had heard horror stories from other passengers about issues and difficulties they had experienced when they had been tendered in during bad weather.  We heard stories of it taking two hours to get the gangway in place from ship to boat, etc., so we were glad that our safety was being watched out for.  But we were still bummed.

They turned the boat around and headed back very slowly to Port Canaveral and we bided our time playing shuffleboard on deck, reading, playing cribbage, and donating to the casino.

That evening when we got back to our stateroom from dinner, this towel sculpture was on our bed...


When we got off the ship on Friday morning we drove up to our son and daughter-in-law's place in south Georgia and spent the weekend with them....but I'll cover that in my next post...

Loretta




February in Florida...



In February Andy & I went on a vacation to Florida...and Georgia...and the Bahamas...and he even got a trip to Tennessee in there before I joined up with him...

Andy ended up taking the whole month of February off, but I could only get 2 weeks off from my job.  He left here on January 29 and drove to our daughter & son-in-law's place in Tennessee where he stayed for a few days before driving on to our son & daughter-in-law's place in Georgia.   After a few days there...and helping them install a new dishwasher (YAY!!), he drove to Florida where I have 2 sisters with winter homes.  I then joined him on February 10th to start our joint vacation!

I had to drive through snow to get to the airport to leave, so when I arrived in Florida and it was mid-60 degree weather, I thought I was in heaven!  My sister, though, thought it was a bit chilly...thus the neck scarf in this photo!   Here we were waiting to be seated for our lunch at Sage Biscuit in Bradenton.  I definitely recommend the crab omelette!!!  :D


The temperatures quickly warmed up while we were in Florida, so most of the time we were tootliing around in this...


...my sister's VW EOS convertible!!!  



It is a hard-top convertible, so she simply pushes a button and the trunk opens...


...the rear window and hard-top automatically get stowed in the trunk...and then the trunk lowers to close itself!  Pretty neat to watch!  (Of course, I'm easily entertained, too!  LOL)


On day we were headed out to lunch at a restaurant in Cortez...it is one we've eaten at several times before.  However, when we got to it, there was no parking and the line was around the building, so we got back in our car (actually Bev's crew-cab truck...there were 5 of us adults) and headed back towards Bradenton since the line of traffic headed to Anna Marie Island was HORRIBLY long and slow-moving.  As we got back on Cortez Blvd., we saw a restaurant directly to our right and decided to pull in and try it.  We were a little concerned because there were only 1-2 cars in the parking lot, but we were hungry and decided to give it a go.  (While we were there the customers started pouring in.  Evidently, we had arrived just minutes before the lunchtime rush started!) The name was "O'Shucks" and turned out to be FANTASTIC food with a great waitress.  We sat outside and enjoyed the 75-80 degree weather! 

When I went inside to use the restroom, I passed this guy...well...actually a dummy... that was modeling an apron that they sell as a souvenir...


Like I said earlier, I have two sisters with retirement homes in FL...so while in Florida I was able to gift a quilt to my sister and brother-in-law, Bev and Denny.  They are the ones that live in Illinois and hosted us when we went out there last May for their grandson's graduation.

The quilt is called "Cottage Blossoms" and was my choice for Bev because she loves to grow flowers and she likes quilts with a mostly-white background...


(Denny is hiding behind the quilt on the left)

Here the quilt is on their guest bed...(the bed I intended it for!)...




And though they are "free-handed"...( used a stencil to draw them)...it was my first time doing feathers!!!  



The quilt was free-motion quilted on my Juki TL2000Qi ...and let me just say that this is NOT supposed to happen...I accidentally sewed my quilting glove to the quilt!!!  Thank goodness the needle only got my glove and not my thumb, too!!!


More vacation photos to come in the next post!!!  

Loretta