Friday, February 29, 2008

Two Finishes

My wonderful hubby bought me a cordless mini optical mouse when we were out on Tuesday, so I can once again use the laptop with ease. Touch pads just do not work for me!

Here is Garden Pleasures, finally completed. I have not yet decided on a finish finish, but I'm leaning toward a frame. What do you think?

I thought I'd do a quick, weekend stitch, but as Murphy would have it, I kept making mistakes, and a two to three day stitch took five days. But here it is, Herbs, by Elizabeth's Designs. I made a couple of changes: I couldn't find the correct purple floss for the rosemary flowers in my floss box, so I chose one that seemed similar. I also decided to do french knots, instead of tiny x's for those flowers.
I'm thinking this would make a good first pinkeep.

Tonight was our weekly stitching night. I had gone through my charts earlier in the week and pulled out the ones I had most of the floss for; then I went to A. C. Moore and got a bunch of DMC floss (it was 4/$1, so with tax I spent $3.24, well within my budget.) This afternoon, I cut fabrics for about eight projects, serged the edges, then put each chart and fabric in a bag. I took the whole pile to our friend's house, spread them out on the floor, and after a bit of deliberation, I chose

I hope this will indeed be a quick stitch. After putting it on my mini scroll frame, I realized I had to take it off in order to find the center of the fabric. Silly me. I did manage to get the word "long" stitched in spite of talking more than we do sometimes. We will see how I progress.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Progress Report

I am pleased to say that I finished Garden Pleasures on Thursday evening. I have a picture, but since the mouse I use with the laptop, on which I write my blog posts, is suffering from a nearly severed wire, making it difficult to use, I will have to upload the picture using my desktop computer. Soon?

The powder room project is coming along slowly. I confess that the wallpapering job is probably the worst I have ever done; the paper didn't seem to have a lot of paste on it, making it very difficult to work with. One spot will require actual wallpaper paste since it didn't stick. I did get the border up underneath the paper, and we put up one piece of chair rail. We decided to limit the border to the walls with paper, although we will continue the chair rail on the other walls. I decided to paint the other walls, and found nearly a gallon of a light pink paint and a quart of a darker pink in our stash, so I combined them to get a nice shade. It wasn't my first choice, but we really didn't have $25 for a gallon of paint, so we did the frugal thing. I hope we can get the rest of the chair rail up today, then I can do some touch up painting, wash the floor, and clean the sink and vanity. We finally got the door back on the room, so no more running upstairs every time someone needs to use the toilet!

I will be glad to have this project behind me. The next one will be painting the upstairs hallway. Nothing fancy. It sounds, well, refreshing!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Murphy's Law of Wallpapering

Expecting a project to go as planned is, well, simply expecting too much. I got ready to begin hanging the wallpaper, and something told me that I should make sure I had enough. Murphy's Law (according to Ginny) dictates that when you are using wallpaper you already have it definitely won't be enough. And it wasn't. The original plan was to paper the entire length of the wall. So I remeasure, allowing for the chair rail and border. Guess what? Yup, still not enough. So I call my hubby. And we talk about every possibility, finally deciding on one. Here's the step by step, beginning with the bare walls:
The first strips go up. Cutting around that window sill was tough!

As you can see, we decided to have the paper go to the bottom of the window, which will put the chair rail, which will be underneath the border, at around 36".

Here's a shot of the completed walls, same angle.

And the sink area:
Finally, some accessories put back into the room, albeit temporarily.
We still have to decide what to do with the bottom of the wall (under the chair rail), the wall to the right of the sink (not shown), and the wall above the laundry area (which you can barely see in some of the pictures with the window.) We are thinking paint, perhaps a pink or purple, or another wallpaper that looks like a faux paint finish.

And in case you're wondering, the stenciled "fence" and border were always intended to be temporary. I am thinking about doing the same treatment in the master bath once I get around to painting in there. I'd use white for the fence parts, and do the border in blue, since our shower curtain is in shades of blue. We'll see!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Decorating Project

Today was the day to begin the decorating project in the powder room. I had planned to do some painting - the window and door frames, but decided upon closer inspection that the baseboards needed to be done, too. The off-white paint that the builder used in our house is awful, and I have to say that the painter didn't do the best job. I managed to do two coats of paint (the same nearly-white color I used for the upper portion of our entry way) and remove the painter's tape, then I rolled on the wall size. I love doing the wall size, as I can be as sloppy as I want! To our chagrin, the builder glued the mirrors on the bathroom walls, or perhaps put them up while the paint was wet. In any case, the large mirror over the vanity is solidly on the wall, and unless I want to try prying it off and then dealing with the mess it'll make of the wall, I just have to work around it. I'm thinking of using stock molding to make a frame around the mirror. I like the idea below of using the rosette blocks in the corners; they eliminate the need to do miter cuts.

The wallpaper and border I am using was originally purchased for our previous home, but I never got around to putting it up. They are Donna Dewberry prints. This is the wallpaper:

And here is the border:
We purchased a nice stock molding to do a chair rail around the room, which the border will go on top of. I think the room will be nice when it is completed, well worth the pain that I will be in from my fibromyalgia for using my arms so much. I will try to get the camera from DD Sarah and take some pictures of my progress.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Under Consruction

DD Sarah is helping me redesign my blog. She's the best! If things look a bit strange, just bear with me while I try to get everything the way I want it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Stitching Progress

Although I found several mistakes I had to rip out, I made good progress on LHN's Garden Pleasures during my weekly stitching session with my friend on Thursday night. I'm growing anxious to finish this project, but I'll have to stitch a lot more (or faster) to do so in a reasonable amount of time.

Our storm earlier this week left snow and ice on the trees, which is very pretty. I took the screen out of our bathroom window to snap some pictures. It was snowing when I took them, hence the white "dots" in the picture.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Candle Craft

I've been meaning to do this for several years, and finally got to it while waiting for dinner. A friend gave me the cute blue plate many years ago. She had put some mini pinecones and other
items in the empty spaces; these disappeared over the years, along with the original candles. The off-white candle split when I dropped it, and it looked terrible, but I couldn't see throwing it out, so when I saw this idea in a magazine, I knew it was a perfect solution. I cut the two papers about 3/4" longer than I needed, glued them together, then put them around the candle, securing the ends with adhesive. I attached the sheer, gold-edged with a couple of straight pins. I also secured the blue decorative thread with one pin in the center back.

If the candles were unused, the arrangement would look much nicer, but for now, this works. Oh, and it probably goes without saying that the decoration should be removed if the candle is to be lit.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Feature: Around My House (#1)

I thought it would be interesting to share photos of the various craft projects around my home. First up is one of the largest cross stitch projects I've ever completed; it hangs in my craft room. It is The Virtuous Woman by Leisure Arts (chart available here.) The friend Sarah and I get together on Thursdays to stitch with is also working on this chart. Enjoy!