Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Picture to Ponder...


Since there isn't a sign with office hours listed... I'm guessing he's available all the time.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Roses and Hydrangeas

Aren't these roses and hydrangeas pretty?

They belong in this lovely bowl I found yesterday whilst poking around an antique shop. It looks well used and I like that about it. I can envision this bowl being passed around the family dinner table filled with mashed potatoes or green beans.

My sister and I were on our way back home from picking up some fabric at Hayloft Fabrics out in Morgantown, PA. I've tried to stay away from there because the Quilt Shop is above Martins Country Market... and Martins is the place that I got these terrible wicked things that are Mmmm, Mmmmmm Yummy! The Engineer and I should have them polished off pretty quick - good thing there's only 6 in a package!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny Family

I was quite surprised this morning as I was preparing breakfast for The Engineer and I. Since he's a 'virtual employee' he's home EVERY morning for breakfast. So I can make a weekend breakfast when ever I want... and today was one of those days - (well I actually had some left over Italian bread I wanted to use up).

As I started cooking up french toast with the left overs... look what I saw!

Do those look like what I think they look like?

Do those look like Bunny's to you?
I have a whole family of Easter Bunny's!

If we hadn't been so hungry... I could have made a MILLION on eBay!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mmmmm - the smell of Bacon!

Isn't it wonderful - first thing in the morning... that wonderful 'flavor smell' of bacon cooking wafting around. I say 'flavor smell' because it's one of those smells you can actually almost taste...

Too bad it comes from the lady next door... she loves bacon. I know this because she cooks it a couple times a week. And each and every day I look at my pitiful bowl of cereal... and it seems just a little lacking. Oh well...

Busy day today... we need to meet with the realtor and go over the home inspection details - pretty good overall but some safety issues that do need to be addressed. We need to have further inspections to fish out cost details of electrical and plumbing work as well as have a slate roofer come out to estimate a little bit of work that needs to be done. So over all the house is in great shape - she just need a bit of updating. Hopefully we can come to an agreement after we get all the cost details figured up.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Oh did you see my calendar over in my side bar? I made that in EQ6... Not perfect but I think it came out OK. I'm gonna try and make one for each month to plop over there. I have used a calendar from Piecepatcher on my computer desktop for years. But I've always wanted to try one for myself... so here it is - a little plain and simple but it's a place to start. Make sure you go over and check out the archives at Piecepatcher - she's got some lovely, lovely calendars to inspire you.

How about you - do you EQ?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Would you like to win a QUILT?

Dana over at Old Red Barn Co. is giving away a quilt... a very yummy, a very cute, a very cozy looking quilt!

Today (Wednesday by 7:00 PM Eastern time) is the last day so go and leave a comment to enter the giveaway. Oh and there are consolation prizes you'll want to check out too. I may have to do some shopping there too!

So hurry... go see!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

On being a little more Green...

A while back a quilty friend Tami mentioned on her blog about her efforts at being a little more Green - more energy efficient - less wasteful - a little easier on the earth. She pictured a basket in that post with her cloth napkins.

That picture made me go up and unpack my cloth napkins. On a shopping trip a week or two later I picked up a woven napkin holder for myself. It's actually a napkin holder made for paper napkins... (we won't even go into how lame and useless paper napkins have become) but the all cotton napkins I made several years ago fit pretty well thank you. These are the ones hanging out in there right now... all made probably 6 or 8 years ago, they've seen hundreds of slices of pizza, many pans of nachos, countless bowls of soup, a fair number of burgers and hot dogs as well as any number of other everyday meals. They have been washed over and over again. Nothing special to it - just throw them in with all the other towels getting washed.
So in the interest of being a little more Green: Here is a quick primer on making your own Everyday Napkins. Trust me - once you start using these napkins you'll never like using paper napkins again. The more you wash these cotton napkins the softer they get - if you are having a special event feel free to iron them to spiff them up a bit - otherwise enjoy the cozy softness of them as they are. Oh and as it is with towels... don't use fabric softener in the washer or dryer - it will make them less absorbent over time. Oh and don't be tempted to get any poly/cotton fabric... it always feels rough and isn't as absorbent as 100% cotton.

Here is how I'd get 9 napkins out of 1.25 yards of cotton fabric.

Several years ago when I made my napkins I used my serger to finish the edges. Since I was going to be trimming as I added my woolly nylon rolled edge I would tear my fabric into 13.5" squares. If you prefer to cut - go right ahead. Tearing at 13.5" gave me a little to trim off all around.

If you are turning under your edge and making a regular stitched down hem (double fold) - you might plan to cut at 14 inches to allow a little more for the hem.

I went up and whacked the edges off an old napkin I have that has a rip in it... so here's a quick primer on turning under an edge - it isn't perfect but hey it's my first whack at doing it this way.

I started my stitching in the middle of an edge - this way when I get all the way around all the corners will be finished off nicely. Just turn it under about a quarter of an inch and fold it again. I wouldn't bother trying to iron it because you'll just burn your fingers and it won't be any fun.
Stitch the edge down right off the end... well OK I did miss on those last couple stitches but I'm turning those under anyway... so pretend you don't see those - OK?Pull it out from under the needle and fold the next edged down - OK yeah I need a manicure but who has time or money for that? LOL - what I need to do is go back to using my lotion more often. Don't be distracted by my dry hands and ragged cuticles...
I usually put the needle down so that I'm starting to sew about 1/8 of an inch down and I BACK STITCH to the top edge and then go forward - this helps to lock in the stitches. I also learned something here I want to pass along to you. It ain't easy stitching this folded corner... and after fussing with it a couple times - I stuck a piece of paper under the edge and the machine then had a bit more to grab hold of and I had something to hold onto as well to help guide it.
Then you just pull the paper off. Cool huh?

Ta Da! OK - my corners aren't perfect - but ya know what - the more that I would do like this the better I'd get at doing them. This is my very first folded hem napkin... so I'm thinking you can do it too. I'll bet you could have a cornucopia of napkins if you went through your bin for any 14 inch leftovers from quilting projects. Yeah wouldn't those be fun to use.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shhh! Don't tell...

The new house is a mere 2.6 miles from the closest QUILT SHOP! I checked it out today - just to be sure.

I could walk if push came to shove...

Those brights - they are going to be some lunch sacks/gift bags.

That other hunk of fabric is one of those 'just because fabrics' - you know - 'just because I want it'! It's mustard and green and pink! Who would have ever thought those colors would look so neat together?

Now I wouldn't want y'all thinking I keep things from The Engineer... I don't! I told him today after I got back home from my errands of shopping for radon & termite inspectors; driving around the new neighborhood towns; enjoying lunch out; and... ummm a little fabric shopping.

But only after he told me he had made a commitment with the bank for the mortgage...

I haven't mapped out the other shops... yet...
Shhh... he doesn't know what it means for a quilter to live in Lancaster County.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Home Sweet Home...

This will be our new Home Sweet Home!

Our offer was accepted and we've set a closing date for mid June. They have kids in school and our rent here is through the end of June - so that works out right for everyone!

I'm excited - but also extremely tired! The past 24 hours waiting to see if our offer was accepted was very stressful...

I decided that buying a house is far harder than selling one. And you know I don't say that easily after the summer I spent clearing out, cleaning up, fixing and painting our last house.

Now to schedule all the inspections... what fun!

Resistance is not futile...

All of you who may be fans of several of the various Star Trek shows know that "Resistance is Futile" is the pat response from any Borg within conversation distance.

But this post is not about them...

It is about this...

You see those grey platinum blond hairs there at my temple? They also have quite a few friends...

I'm guessing they didn't read the instruction sheet that told me to add 10 minutes to my beauty treatment to help them blend in and 'assimilate with the collective' which is my hair.

I'm not all that twirly about the grey platinum blond hairs that have sprouted on my noggin. I only use one of those 'washes out in 28 shampoos' kinda color treatments and do those very haphazardly. I bought one last summer and another one this past month and only recently used the one from last summer.

I haven't yet looked for someone I trust I'll let to cut my hair. So it's growing out and looks scraggly and desperately needs to be cut. So I thought the color would help a little...

I asked my husband today what he thought of my hair - thinking maybe he'd noticed the color. "You need a hair cut" he says with one of those 'gee I hate to give you bad news' kinda faces.

I guess I'll start shopping for a stylist someone to cut my hair...

I'm sure the grey platinum blond hairs are sprouting big time while we wait to hear about the house...

Monday, March 10, 2008

How Many?

I wonder... How many people have walked through this doorway, looked out these windows?
Let me be a little more specific... In the 152 years this house has stood - how many people have walked through this doorway?
I wonder about those kinda things when pondering vintage items. This is the front entry of a lovely Sandstone house we are looking at for our next home...
I can't help but wonder... and ponder about their lives...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Geese fly at 2 in the morning... and other things.

Did you know that Geese fly at 2 AM? Indeed they do... I found out last night as I lay there - waiting for sleep to gather me up and snuggle me off. Nope -there was no gathering or snuggling - or sleeping to be had until well after 2 AM. Just the soft and gentle honking overhead off in the distance.

The Engineer and I had headed off to bed just after 10... watched a little TV... and I really thought I was just on the edge. He fell asleep... but me - no. I laid there and thought. Mostly about the houses we had driven past earlier in the day. If I thought I could have gotten up and claimed my computer from the living room without waking the dogs... I could have caught up on computer stuff.

The house hunt is moving along. Yesterday I discovered that the house we were comparing everything else to has been sold. We called it the Dr.'s house as that was how it was described in the ad - apparently used as his office. We both loved the features in the house but it needed some major work. Overall it was in good shape - really good shape - but needed some slate roof work, asbestos insulation removal, had some plumbing issues that needed fixing, and the work that had been started in the bathroom... well - we would have gutted it and started over. Otherwise it needed painting and the floors done. The most important feature was the 20 x 30 addition which gave 2 levels of open floor space. Basement level for The Engineer and upper level for me... probably way more room in a house than we needed. But it would have been nice.

Anyhoo... we still have two properties on our list of possibilities that we have visited. One we call the Amish house as an Amish family had lived there. The other we call Disney Land as it has the garage I described in my previous post. Funny thing was that after my comments on wanting a kitchen a bit bigger than I had in my last home... the kitchen in Disney Land was about 2/3's the size. No place for a full size refrigerator without knocking out a wall. If it weren't for the fact that the house is small - this place would be a quick buy. I had really thought The Engineer would have signed papers before we left - the garage was that nice. But we left to ponder it. And you know what his comment was the next day? He said that because it was small and the area I would use for my quilting studio was on the upper floor, had a sloping roof and tiny windows - he didn't think I would be happy up there for very long because it's very dark with the tiny windows. How nice is that... he'd give up Disney Land because I wouldn't get what I needed there. He knows I love daylight! What a guy! It's not completely out of the mix... it has a nice price and with some updating it could be a nice resale in a couple of years.

There are 5 places we want to look at this weekend... a couple houses I call a Joined Twin. A twin is like what I've always known as a duplex - anyway some of these have been joined to make one larger house. One is listed as built in 1890's - I suspect they both are of that era. There are two new houses (yeah built in the past year) - one freestanding on a corner lot and the other in a new development but it's a modern twin. The last house - the one we are very excited about seeing is an old large Colonial Sandstone - 1856! I think this one may be the one to beat! LOL

I've got to catch up on house cleaning today as I've done nothing this week except look at houses on the computer - I think I can safely say I've seen EVERYTHING AVAILABLE in the areas we are looking for in our price range. Although I did find a nice home with an indoor heated pool... for only 750 thousand... LOL - just a tad outta our reach! But it was pretty!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Who knew this would be so hard?

We have started the house hunting! Although the internet makes this process easy - it is harder now than it was when we had little kids around.

The first house purchase was driven by things like school district, enough bedrooms, yard to play in and a nice neighborhood. How easy was that!! The second house was right across the street from the first... a bigger house, a bigger yard... Easy Breezy - I didn't even have to get rid of stuff - just cart it across the street (and get rid of it 16 years later - LOL).

We are looking for a house that has a large workshop space for my husbands woodworking machines and tools. That requires a tall basement with outside access... or a large garage that can be converted... or enough land to build... and the what if's and maybe's continue around that subject.

We both like older homes... I know that seems silly after I spent my summer painting woodwork (and complaining). Older homes just have more character - to us anyway. We walked though a model home in a new construction neighborhood a couple weekends ago... blah, blah, blah. The older the better - which brings it's own set of challenges.

We have been aiming for 3 bedrooms - a room for us, a guest room (for family and quilty friends) and a room for a sewing studio. Yep, The Engineer does recognize my needs as a quilter.

A reasonably sized kitchen.
Here are a couple pictures of the small kitchen I had in MA.

This first picture is taken from the doorway leading into the kitchen... you see on the left the dishwasher and the back door to the basement and outside. Then there is the little alcove that the frige calls home.
The next picture is taken while standing in front of the frige looking over at the kitchen work area - not a kitchen for several people to work in.

I'd rather re-do a kitchen myself than have someone thow in a black granite counter top and stainless appliances... a look that probably won't work with an old kitchen.

We want wood floors... but it seems that all the old homes that had wood floors originally have covered them with carpet. After living with carpets for a couple months... I know that I want my wood floors back - I don't like carpet. That's just me... I know lots of folks love carpet - I like wood - real wood.

So we've been looking online and have made a few trips out to look at houses with a realtor. It's amazing how much nicer some of these places look in their pictures than they do in person. And after spending all the time getting my house in MA ready to sell... I'm surprised at the condition of some of the houses we have visited. I guess they haven't been watching HGTV like I did.

This online looking has been made easier. The realty company we are using has a cool online web site. Once you register you have a 'virtual dayplanner' that saves your search criteria and houses you want to save to have a look at. You can search through houses from a list or from a map view. The map view is interesting because you can even get a closer view with the satellite images. You can see what your neighbors yards are like or if there is a yard with a scrap heap in back! You can then plan your trip by selecting what houses you want to visit and they map it out. I still use my GPS for actual driving directions - but it's a cool tool.

After looking and looking my eyes hurt and my brain is turning to jelly. But we do have a few contenders.

There is the Dr's House - a large 3 story brick with an even larger addition (both basement and main level) it needs a fair amount of work; the Amish House - a brick ranch with a big tall walk out basement and a barn - some work needed but in a nice country setting; the Plumbers house with a heated 2 car garage, a large basement (but not tall) in nice condition but right next to the highway.

There is another one we want to look at tomorrow. A Cape with 2 garages. Here is some of the description from the listing: "First garage would serve well as mechanical garage with 9 x 9 overhead door, half bath, plenty of room for tool benches. Second garage is a dream - measuring 28 x 30 , 12 x 12 overhead door, includes a separate heating system and electrical panel. Workbenches already in place, a full wall of closet storage and plenty of natural sunlight!" LOL Kinda sounded like a trip to Disney Land to The Engineer... more room for woodworking machines than he could have dreamed of! We are anxious to see the rest of the house - it may need some work but that would be OK. Heck we could live in the garages until the house was ready... don't ya think?

So... the process goes on... hopefully not forever.