April 30, 2014

My Fabric Tower...

I've been talking about getting my fabric tower installed since last weekend.
Yesterday, we finally got the shelf units stacked and anchored. I spent the 
day filling them with the piles of fabric that have been on our dining room 
table all this time. It was good to see the top of our beautiful teak table again!

I took my time, making sure that all the like colors were in the right piles.
When the kids were little, we used to call it "same to same". So, I went through
all the fabric, moving some from one pile to another. I also decided to make a
separate stack just for batiks and ended up with two piles. They're in the center
 two compartments right above the pinks and below the greens. So pretty.
These are the two shelf units that I will look at while I'm sewing. I like being 
organized again, and I'm really glad that this part of the job is finished now.

Handsome walked in just as I was completing this job and he smiled and said,
"You're a spoiled brat." I told him I planned to tell you that I've always referred to
 him as my personal "Patron of the Arts" (and this proves it). He said, "Well, you
 tell them that I refer to you as my 'Spoiled Brat'." I just did. (I've kept my word.)
This is where we decided to place my old needlework shop sign. Thanks to the
cleats that are anchoring the other bolt shelves to the back wall, I lost the space I 
needed above the shelves to put my sign there. I think I like this location better.
I placed my frame with my show ribbons above the door to the hallway. This way I can
see all the fabrics on my shelves. Now the ribbons are where I can see them, but not in 
 a place where it looks like I'm bragging (too much) by having them front and center.
Now it's time to find places for the rest of my...stuff. Some of it may or may not
make the final cut into the studio. Nothing quite like a move to make you review
what you have - and the value in keeping or letting go of it. It's a good exercise.

The dining room has been reclaimed as of yesterday, and today, I'm working to 
reclaim our second guest room. Computer and printer will come into the studio,
which will free up that closet space for more of my studio overflow other things.

I'm serious about having this project finished by the weekend. 
I'd better get back to it if I'm going to keep to my schedule.
Happy May Day, my friends!

April 29, 2014


I've spent nearly every day since April 17th swapping the studio and our
main guest room. To say "I'm tired" would be a colossal understatement.

Handsome has been a huge help, but there is so much that I have to do
myself - like rearranging all the fabric and furniture in the new space.
(It's a good thing most of the furniture pieces are on wheels.)

This is what I (we) have accomplished so far in the new studio.
• Paint
• Flooring and molding
• Clean Window
• Shelves installed
• Furniture installed
• Restocking bolt shelves
• Refilling pattern cabinet
 But I was too tired to do anything in here yesterday. I went to Sarasota
for a hair appointment, and was happy to spend the morning relaxing
in a chair and being pampered. When I got back home, I took Tag out
onto the pool deck and we took a much needed (and appreciated) nap
in the sun. It was just what the doctor ordered. I feel energized today!

Handsome and I are going to assemble the "tower" of shelves for my
folded fabric and then I'll spend however long it takes to restock them.
I'm getting closer every day! We're (Handsome, Tag and I) hoping that
this project is finished by the weekend and our home is back to normal.

Wish me luck!
P.S. - I went to Panera's last night to visit with the girls. Four of us were the last to leave, and as we crossed the parking lot, dear Adele's ailing knee gave out and she fell down before I could catch her. She hurt her hand, hit her head on the pavement,  and cut her face in the process of breaking her glasses. Of course, she also hurt her knee further. She was bleeding and unable to get up so we called an ambulance for her. They cleared her to go home, but we called her son to come and get her rather than let her drive. She's going to be sore today, for sure. Adele is in her 80's (she'd kill me for telling you that), so falling is always a big deal. I tell you all this to ask you to say a healing prayer for her. Thank you.

April 28, 2014

Tuesdays With Tag - One Is Not Amused...

Hi, Everybody!

You may recognize this picture from a former post, 'cuz there are no new
pics of me this week! Mom's been too darn busy and I've been neglected!  

I'm lucky she's been rememberin' to feed me. (Of course, the fact that 
I  always fetch my own food dish so she can fill it helps remind her!) 
She does remember to stop and snuggle me, but that's girly stuff. Yuck!

She's still up to her elbows in movin' stuff around (and she growls - but not at
me). I figure it's smart to just stay out of her way. As long as she feeds me and
let's me outside when I have to go, I can put up with a few more days of this.
web image
  I'm gonna start lobbyin' to do somethin' fun just as soon as this junk
 project is done. She better be thinkin' about it while she's luggin' stuff.

I'm not gonna stay here and whine (not my style, you know), so I think
I'll leave you with a deep thought for today. You don't think I really just
 lie around all day, do you? I think about really important stuff, too. 
Here goes:

"When you're not sure what to do with yourself, just roll
over on your back and look cute. Someone will surely walk
 past, rub your belly and make you feel loved and needed."

There, I feel better already. I'll see you next week. 'til then,
"Wag Like Ya Mean It!"

April 27, 2014

An Accomplished Weekend...

I shared my progress on Facebook over the weekend, but I'm so excited to show
you my finished studio floor and all I've accomplished since I last posted here.
What do you think? Do you like the way the floor looks? Can you even believe
that it's vinyl planking and not wood? I like the way feels to walk on barefoot, too.
I moved my computer and serger tables in on Friday, and then we placed the
first shelf unit for the "tower of fabric" on the wall to get an idea of placement.
(Please still ignore that ugly lamp. Really. It's not going to stay in the studio.)
I'm checking my floorplan drawing and making final furniture decisions. 
One of the funny things was that by the time I got to the closet, I was getting
really good at cutting and piecing the flooring. The project was coming to an
end by then. My hands, knees and back were really glad, but my mind wanted
  to start all over so I could do a better job on the main floor. She's bonkers, eh?
The closet doors are already back on their hardware in this picture, but trust
me, the fit of the floor around that hardware was meticulous and perrrr-fect!
 I rolled my storage drawers from the studio (bath) closet right into the new space.
All my wools, ribbons, special fabrics, jewelry charms and findings in one place.
...and my perfect new floor was covered up in no time flat. (lol)
The last place I worked (with Handsome's invaluable help) was this wall.
Introducing the shelves that started this entire, wonderful, exhausting process.
Saturday was installation day. We added a narrow shelf to each of the four main
units, added the stability cleats to the top, anchors in the (newly painted) wall
and everything was in. Did you really think I'd go to bed without moving my
bolts of fabric in? I didn't stop until I was too tired to carry another single thing.

I'd like to say at this point that those are not full bolts of fabric. Kathy and Nora
saved empty bolts for me when I asked. If I have two or more yards, I put it on a
bolt to avoid folds. Many of those bolts are only a few yards, but you can see
 that I also have full bolts of fabrics that I can use for sashing, borders or backing.

I had to parade every single bolt past Handsome to get them into the studio. He'd
 look over the top of his glasses at me, smile and shake his head. More than once,
 I purposely held the bolts high enough so he couldn't see my face as I walked past.
This single unit holds novelty and children's fabrics. There are animals, and many
 other patterns that will be just right for kids' quilts, napkins and runners. The bottom
 shelf holds my fusible batting and other stabilizers. One step closer to a finished studio.

I hit a snag with my cutting table. We must have twisted it in the move because my
drawers refused to align properly. That was a frustration and disappointment I hadn't
expected, so I went on break yesterday. I went to Handsome's final band concert of the
season and forgot about the studio for a while. It was a welcome, musical diversion.

I'll be tightening all the components today, hoping that it will fix the problem or that
I can figure out what's wrong with it. Then, there will be more stacking and stocking 
before I'm ready to show you my final space. Tag will be back tomorrow and I hope
that I can show you a finished studio on Wednesday. Cross your fingers for me, ok?

April 25, 2014

One More Coffee Club Date and Studio Progress...

Empty Shelves and Good Friends. (l-r: Brenda, me, Kathy, Fay, Nora and Joni)
I have more photos of the progress in the studio below, but first I want
to mention that today is our last Coffee Club Saturday for the foreseeable
future. Today the shop will close its doors for good and Kathy and Nora
are going "on break". They've devoted a lot of time and energy into their
quilt shop venture and they're ready to spend some time doing fun things
with their families. We'll still see each other at guild, but no more Saturdays.
All of us in 2012. (l-r: Flo, Joni, Nora, Fay, Kathy, me and Brenda)
When I think about all the fun we've had together on these mornings,
I know it's going to feel weird not getting up on Saturday to go down
to the shop. We got to know each other better and we shared a lot of
laughs and more than a few tears. We mourned the loss of loved ones
and we've celebrated life. Now it's time to start a new chapter.
I know we'll all keep in touch. Our visits will just be at different 
times and in different places. Change is inevitable. We'll embrace it.
We're all wishing Kathy and Nora wonderful new adventures.
No "goodbyes".  Just good wishes.
 I know you're all waiting for a studio update, too, so here you go...
 We finished the floor before 5 o'clock yesterday. Trim pieces were installed 
behind these Koala furniture pieces, but not where shelves will be installed. I 
don't want to remove the baseboard from those areas, so we left them all in place. 

This picture is from the doorway into the room. My computer will be in the 
corner straight ahead and my serger table is right next to it. (Pardon the lamp. It's 
temporary and ugly. I just needed it for light until I decide how to light the space.)
 This is taken from the opposite corner from the door. Shelves will be installed on
 the wall behind me. The shelves with the partitions are part of my "tower of fabric"
 from the old studio. I placed it here for a preview. They'll be stacked and secured
 to the wall before I put all the folded fabric back. I can't wait to see it all in place!
 This door goes to the shared bathroom between the studio and the other
guest room. I'll be placing the cutting table under the window on the left.
 Shelves here for bolts of fabric. There will be a total of 129" of shelves on
this wall and the section of wall to the left of the window. There's one more
26" shelf unit that will be next to the bathroom door for a few more bolts.
I'm envisioning a riot of color on those walls, which is why I chose the soft
color for the wall itself. Which leaves only one more area to reveal to you.
The studio closet! I'm really proud of the way this entire floor turned out, but I  think
 the way I (perfectly) pieced the boards around the door hardware and into  the closet
 is my favorite part. I got better as I went along and was almost a pro by the  time I came
to the part that would be behind doors. It's a shame it will be hidden more often than not.
 Before I quit for the day, I moved all my drawer units into place, along with 
the large rolls of specialty fabric I have. Some of it is decorator fabric I have for
projects I've been thinking about, and then there are a few vintage bridal laces
I purchased for future garments. Now, they're in a place where I don't have
to worry about them falling on me like they did whenever I turned on a light
in the old studio. Clean, dry storage for my finer fabrics. I'm happier already.
 There are also drawers containing my wools, bindings, adhesives, ribbons, charm
packs, fabric set aside to finish more napkins or table runners and a lot of other good
 stuff. I also have my specialty papers (printables, etc.), rubber stamps and jewelry
  findings in the other drawers. There's a lot more here than meets the eye, but I know
 what is where and am happy to have it in the studio rather than in closets in other
 rooms or otherwise scattered around the house. Handsome is happy about this, too.

There's still a shelf above all these drawer units that I'll use for my baskets of batting.
 That should just about complete the available closet space until I sort and purge further.

I'm off to Coffee Club and then back home to get those shelves ready to install.
I know one thing is for sure...I'm finished working on my knees for the rest of
this project! My hands and knees are officially on break. Now it's only fun stuff.

Tomorrow is a new Sunday Scripture and I'll be back with lots of pictures Monday.
 Tag and Handsome can't wait until this is all done, so I better get back to it.

April 24, 2014


 A closet (and a little trim where the wall will be exposed) and I'm done!
Today is the day I finish this aspect of the remodel. I. can't. wait!!!
My fashion statement these days...knee pads with gel inserts. Even so, my knees
look rug-burned (not my idea of the most fun way to get a rug burn, mind you!)
and my hands are swollen. I removed all my jewelry - except my wedding ring
(which never comes off) - prior to starting this project so they wouldn't get damaged.
 I found out yesterday, when dressing to go to my class, that my hands are too
swollen to put on any of my other rings. No jewelry until I'm completely done now.
In spite of careful planning, there is a gap that will require "fussy cutting" for the 
final row of planks. I walked away at this point to consider my strategy. I've worked
it all out now and am ready to tackle this issue and the closet now that I've rested.
  Handsome headed out for a few pieces of base molding. I don't want this narrow
section of plank to pop up (and I have tables going on this wall), so I've decided
to go with the trim just in this area. My plan is to be finished by noon. I need to
finish this by noon. My sore knees and hands require that I finish this by noon.

Then a short break before I begin the next step. Handsome and I will add one 
extra shelf to each of my incoming shelf units from Sandy's Quilt Shop. If we
accomplish this in good order, We might be able to move them into the studio
today! Even so, we'll only anchor them to the walls and then I'll start stocking
them after our final Coffee Club at the shop on Saturday. It's time to take back
the house. It's going to be a busy weekend, but I can see the proverbial "light".

Even though I'm feeling extremely accomplished after this week, it's not quite 
time to "spike the ball" yet. No rest yet, either. So, my friends, as you go about
your Friday evening, if the opportunity presents itself, tip one for me, ok?

Have a great weekend!

April 23, 2014

Still Flooring...

We spent the whole morning over at Lowe's yesterday. We went in search
of the elusive "transition" to bridge the difference in height between the
vinyl floor and ceramic tile in the adjoining rooms. Perhaps it was because
 I was in a hurry to get back to work, but we had trouble finding someone
 to help us in the flooring department...not usual Lowe's  customer service.

We purchased pine boards to add extra shelves to the units we'll be installing.
I also had fun choosing accessories for the Dremel tool Handsome got me 
for Christmas a few years ago. (What a great toy!) We always have fun in
the tool section, but before we knew it, the morning was completely gone!

I managed to finish over half of the floor in spite of my late start. I really
like the way it's looking, and I think the studio will be much more efficient
with the not so hard floor. The wood color is just what I was looking for, too.
 After all that waiting and choosing, I'm really proud that we got a nice
install for the door sills between rooms. We still have one more sill to
do, but that will happen later today or first thing tomorrow. (I'll be at
Crazy Quilters for a class today, so I won't be doing flooring 'til later.)
Usually, we would also have to install  molding along the baseboards, but
because we're putting in all the wall shelves, we've decided to omit that
feature for now. I'm trying to think of where a person might notice it, but aside
 from behind the door into the room, I can't think of another place. It definitely
 isn't going to keep me from starting to move back in. I can do that part later.

In the meantime, if you squint your eyes and make believe this is the whole
room, you can imagine what it's going to look like when all the floor is in. 

One last thing. If you have to do a project like this, buy the good knee pads
at the start. I got the cheap ones first, and got the comfy gel ones today. My
knees feel better, but not before they felt like they'd been rug-burned. Ouch!

April 22, 2014

Progress Report - Full Disclosure...

 When last we met, I was preparing the old guest room for a coat
of paint. This is the way it looked after the holes were repaired. Yes.
There were actually two different colored paints on the walls in here. 

The dark color on the window wall was used to cover HUGE colored flowers
that graced the wall when we first bought our home. Lucky for the little girl
who lived here before us, but not so lucky for the grandparents who moved
in and had to cover them. (Of course, that would have been the two of us!)
 This is how the room looked after the first coat of paint. I used Behr 
"Waterfall Mist" (Code #W-D 510). It looks silvery blue, but is a little
more blue-ish in the middle part of the day. I purchased color/primer
all-in-one, hoping that it would cover completely with one coat.
 Same room, opposite wall.
 I really like this image with the "artsy" ladder shadow play. It's not the
 shadow of the step stool you can see. Rather, the larger one out of frame.
 Tag kinda let the "cat" out of the bag about how chaotic the house
is these days. I can't believe ALL this stuff was in the studio...
 and that it's camping out all over the house now. This is the reason I'm
working so hard to get this project accomplished ASAP. What a mess!
 This is actually our second guest room. The futon Tag was complaining about is
under all that fabric and supplies. (See arrow?) Definitely no naps here these days!
 This is the other side of the same room. Oh, dear. I have so much to do!
 Handsome has been so patient. He just walks through the house,
shakes his head back and forth, says, "Donna Carole" and sighs.
I do believe he's a saint and I'm not ashamed to tell the world so.
 Turns out the room did need a second coat of paint, so I did that yesterday
 morning while Handsome drove to Sandy's Quilt Shop to pick up the five
  shelf units that started all this remodeling. You might notice that I've
 reinstalled the cleaned window blinds on the likewise, newly clean window.

I left the curtain rod in place so that I could hang all my beautiful acorn
ornaments on it. Many of these were gifts from blog friends, so they are
important to me. I'll show you more pictures of them after the room is finished.
 The second coat of paint dried by mid-day, so Handsome and I pulled out the
carpeting, padding and those pesky tack rails. (Those were a bear to remove!)

I managed to install five rows of the vinyl plank flooring before I had to quit for
 the day. (My knees were starting to protest, so I decided to listen.) I also found
 that this floor height doesn't match up to the height of the tile in the adjacent
 room and hallway, so I have to go choose a transition piece before I can proceed.
 I need to find out how that transition piece has to be installed before I do more.
 I'd like to crow about this flooring a bit, too. I'm really happy with the way
 it looks. There will be no apparent seams when it's all down, so I won't
have to worry about losing dropped pins or needles in any flooring cracks. 
That's critical for any craft studio. It's going to help keep my space clean, too.
The planks are so pliable, they bend when you take them out of the package.
Each piece is cut to size with a utility knife and the floor snaps together at joints.
There's no adhesive either, so it's easier to install than rolled flooring.
Finally, I think it looks pretty darn realistic, with a slight sheen. It will
be easy to clean and last a long, long time. The plan is to get the rest of
it installed today so I can start putting my new studio together - and then
 reclaim the rest of our home by the weekend. What's today? Oh, yeah. 
"Julie, Julie, Julie!"
Should be downhill from here, right?