Quilt Show

i’ve had a few ‘firsts’ this weekend.

one was attending my first-ever quilt show! it was supposed to be just me going, but then our almost-2-year-old daughter wouldn’t let me get dropped off alone so it was a family outing. we saw some fabulous quilts (if i can manage to get the pics off my phone, i’ll post them on here) and bought a little kit to make a toy from foam blocks. not sure yet if that’ll be a toy for our own Little One or if it’ll be gifted, so details to come.

the other ‘first’ was first time in a long time that i’ve gotten a quilt to progress as quickly as i did this weekend. i’m working on a quilt for a dear friend who’s expecting her first child, a girl. it’s not a big quilt, which helped it come together fast, but it’s also a great one (if i do say so myself). can’t wait to finish it off and then send it away so i can share the goods with you (the few of you who actually read this anymore).

so, plus side: yay quilt show and quilt progress! down side: nothing to share with you fine people… yet.

what teaser posts have you been drafting lately?

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

we’ve finally (after about 9 weeks, which is actually not bad) finished our master bathroom renovations. well, all except for 2 minor but important things. i’ll go into that.

in the past 9 weeks we’ve done all of this demo/prep work:

  • torn out: cabinetry, cheap countertops, all the faucets and drains (sinks and tub), heavy cast-iron sinks, horribly oversized mirrors, the not-white toilet, all baseboards in the room, tiles surrounding the garden-style tub, and floor tiles
  • fixed things the builder didn’t care enough to do right the first time
  • moved the plumbing for both sinks to accomodate the new vanities

and then we started putting things back together, but BETTER! (we can rebuild it; we HAVE the technology!) so we’ve been busy with:

  • re-drywalling, puttying, sanding, and painting the walls that needed it
  • re-tiling, grouting and sealing the tub-surround, the walls behind the vanities, and the floor
  • re-installing baseboards on non-tiled walls
  • re-installing faucets in the tub and into the new vanity sinks
  • re-caulking everything that needed it
  • installing the new vanities
  • hanging new mirrors

whew! wanna take a look?

[picture gallery to come when i get home from work find the camera]

the best part: having a fully funcitonal bathroom again.

the worst part: it’s still not technically 100% complete (we have yet to choose a color for the mirror frames and the floor grout lines aren’t completely sealed) but already Hubs has got it in his brain that we need to redo the flooring in the master bedroom.

the “honey-do” list of a homeowner just never ends… what’s on your honey-do list?

Looming Beasts

remember when i mentioned how an idea of ours turned from a little goal to a great big beast of a project?

i have a feeling there will be a few more projects like that in my near future.

project 1: landscaping

originally, we just wanted to plant something in an empty plantable area inside of our screen in the backyard. (we have a screen surrounding our pool and patio area, A.K.A. the pool cage – as if the pool were going to escape without it.) we cleared out the space, talked to a neighbor about acquiring extra ground-cover plant of his that grows well but isn’t too much like a weed, and were ready to get planting once we had a nice free weekend lined up.

Screened Patio AKA the Pool Cage

now Hubby’s got it in his head that we should re-do all the landscaping inside our screened-in pool area.  not only should we move all the rocks (previous owners used rock instead of mulch for ground cover) from inside the screen to the side of the house (to add to our boat-parking area), but we should also remove 2 palm trees (1 inside the screen and 1 outside), move 3 bushes from inside the screen to just outside the screen, remove a bush that’s outside the screen, and remove more than a dozen iterations of some weird grassy-bushy-ground cover.  oh, and then we need to fill in all that cleared-out space with NEW plants and NEW ground cover. yeah.

i don’t disagree on any given point. i actually like the idea of a low-maintenance landscape that’s also easy on the eye.  but that just sounds like a LOT of work. and we’re only 2 people, 1 of which has to watch the LO at all times… that’s a lot to take on, ya know?

and if that wasn’t enough, there’s also:

project 2: the master bath

we’ve already tackled a couple of big projects in the master bath (the leaky shower and moving the towel bars), but those only served to make us want more.  i’d be happy with re-doing the flooring, figuring out what to do with the weird vanity space next to my sink, and maybe doing something about the GIANT mirrors that are so typical of builder homes.

My Side of the Master Bathroom

but Hubby has his own ideas about what could happen in there. he wants to take out all the cabinetry (and repurpose them into a base for an improved work bench in the garage) and the cheap-o laminate counters and replace them with a cabinet layout that makes more sense and counters that aren’t crazy cheap and ugly. he wants to rip out the tile surrounding the tub (which we almost never use) and re-do it with tile that matches what we put in the shower.  and all of this requires removing the giant mirrors, removing my medicine cabinet, swapping out the light fixture over my sink, and let’s not forget about re-doing the floors.

don’t get me wrong, i dont’ oppose any of his plans. i think they each have potential. but i feel like he’s ready to rip things out before we know what we’ll replace them with and i just don’t want another 9 month renovation on my hands (at least, i think that’s how long it took for us to finish the master shower; i don’t remember now).

and project 3: the front door

our front door has many issues. we never changed the locks after buying the house (bad idea since we had neighbors and random cleaning ladies dropping by with spare keys for a month or so after moving in) and the weather stripping lets in (and out) all sorts of weather and creatures including spiders, bugs, and even lizards.

but instead of just switching out the locks and re-doing the weather-stripping, we’re worried that we’ll just end up doing it all again.  a french door style entry door (2 doors wide) is notoriously bad when it comes to weather stripping.

so now the little door hardware and weather-stripping project we originally envisioned is becoming a much bigger project.  the new door we’d like to get is a single door with 2 ‘sidelites’ which would require making the opening a bit narrower.  we can’t quite decide on a style of door or window glass that we both love yet. and  then there’s the problem of getting the entire door-replacement done in 1 day (so we don’t compromise our home’s security).   *sigh*

what big projects are looming over you?

Beyond Cloth Diapering

we are a cloth diapering household.  but it’s evolved into way more than just diapering for us.

when we first got started, we learned a huge chunk of what we now know from a good friend: the Cloth Diaper Guru.  i shared with the Guru’s readers a bit about how i got started with cloth diapering through a guest post on her blog.

unfortunately, due to FL law, our daycare provider cannot cloth diaper our Little One. we use cloth at home and when we’re running errands around town after work and on weekends, etc.  but the goodness that comes from cloth diapering (goodness for the planet, for our wallets, for our daughter) leaks into many other areas of the household (couldn’t help the pun!) and not in a gross or inconvenient way. quite the opposite, actually.

because of cloth diapering, and just having a daughter to care for in general, we’ve changed these things (among others) about how we run our home:

  • we use all natural, cloth diaper-friendly diaper rash treatment (we use CJ’s BUTTer, but here’s a list of other cloth diaper friendly and not-so-friendly diaper rash options)
  • we make a larger effort in our recycling collections each week
  • we pay more attention to the amount of usage, size, and ease of storage of everything we buy (but especially baby toys!)
  • we pay more attention to the quality of what we buy, where it’s made, what it’s made from, etc
  • we pay more attention to what’s in our food and our daughter’s food such as where it’s grown, what’s in it, and whether it’s organic or natural or just plain chemicals

but there are still more things we could do (and more things i want to do in the future) like:

  • replace our paper towels with reusable cloth ones like these on etsy
  • replace our disposable baby wipes used for diaper changes with reusable cloth moistened with a home-made solution
    • there’s a whole slew of solution recipes online, though i’ve yet to try any
  • look into replacing my monthly feminine products with reusable cloth liners
    • found this retailer, Talulah Bean, through the Great Cloth Diaper Hunt which is still going through the end of May!
  • make more of our own wardrobe (i feel comfortable altering clothing, but making from scratch is a bit intimidating yet)
  • pare down every closet in the house to get rid of unnecessary items that are just taking up space
    • this will be very difficult for me since i tend to save fabric and boxes that i think i may use again

have you made a life change that spilled over into other areas without even intending to? 

Dreaming

i must be dreaming thinking i’ll be able to convince the Hubs that i should start another quilt.

i KNOW i’m dreaming!

but if i could somehow manage it, i’d love to use those newfound curve piecing tutorials i’ve mentioned to make a Fibonacci quilt.  it’d be the perfect combination of my long time love affair with mathematics and my newfound love of quilting!

Fibonacci Spiral care of Wikipedia

Fibonacci Spiral - pic from Wikipedia

plus the fibonacci sequence is found in so many beautiful things in nature; and that’s another of my loves! (don’t tell my Hubby about all the competition he’s got! he’s got nothing to worry about anyways!)

Nautilus Shell Spiral @ Wikipedia

Nautilus Shell Spiral - pic from Wikipedia

i’m not sure yet if i’d do the larger segments of the sequence as large curved pieces or put them together from a bunch of smaller ones.

who knows if i’ll even ever get going on this idea though. it would be totally cool and definitely a challenge!

Into the Great Wide Open

i thoroughly enjoy Tom Petty.  the album “into the great wide open” is a must-have for road trips; it’s always the first CD in the line-up!

we’ve been hearing songs from that album randomly at restaurants and shops lately which has been giving Hubs and i the itch to hit the road.  with the Little One so new still, that won’t be happening any time soon (at least not for trips longer than it takes to get to Oma and Opa’s house 3hrs away).  but we’ve already got our first “big” road trip destination in mind:

Washington DC @ Lonely Planet

Washington DC @ Lonely Planet

Washington DC! where friends and monuments, museums and scenery will all be on the to-do list!

we’ve got a ton of friends there, both from high school and college.  i’ve only ever spent a quick weekend there (of which only about half a day was spent checking out DC’s tourist destinations); and though Hubby had a summer internship there once, he never really spent time doing the tourist thing.

plus, on the way are some other destinations we’ve been meaning to check out, like:

Savannah @ Let's Plan Our Holiday: a travel blog

Savannah @ Let's Plan Our Holiday: a travel blog

Savannah, GA! where we want to check out the historic buildings, beautiful trees, and maybe eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant.

and there’s a handful of other destinations i’d like to hit while we’re up that way, such as:

Philadelphia @ Lonely Planet

Philadelphia @ Lonely Planet

Philadelphia, PA! where we’d like to experience the various historical landmarks that are important to our country’s history, such as the liberty bell and independence hall, etc.

and we’re going to camp as much as we can during this trip! we’ve already got a handful of state parks we want to check out near savannah.  i’ve still got some research to do along the rest of the route though.

do you have any suggestions for food/attractions/lodging/state parks at any of those hot-spots?

(krissy, i’m looking at you!)

A Comforting Project

since finishing the piecing for NaBaQuiPro, i’ve been itching to start another quilt.  i’ve got two projects coming up that’ll help me get my fix.  here’s the one i mentioned last post:

a twin-size quilt/comforter for the Little One’s future big-girl bed!

YES, i realize it’ll be a while before our darling girl gets her very own big-girl bed, especially since her crib transforms into a toddler bed. but with the amount of sewing i’ve gotten done since her birth (none), it might take that long just to finish this new quilt!!

there is some additional rationale behind making another quilt for the Little One as well: (1) the NaBaQuiPro quilt is only big enough to be a toddler bed blanket, (2) it was really meant as more of a play mat since it’s a scene and not just a block design, (3) it’s not very “girlie” (not that that’s a problem), and (4) this fabric (below) was on sale and too cute to pass up, especially since the colors go so well with the nursery!!

here’s a picture of the first fabric selected for the project (copied from last post):

Fresh From the Garden by M'Liss

it’s a very cute and not overly flamboyant yellow color overall with garden related words in written in white all over. then there’s this pretty pink, green, and brown border near the selvage (the white area where the design & designer’s names are; i didn’t realize that area had a name until last year’s dress-from-a-pattern project).

the plan is to use the border as a border along the bottom (or top, i haven’t decided yet) of the quilt, and use the yellow wordy parts within the rest of the design.

since i won’t need ALL the yellow wordy area for the quilt, i wasn’t sure if Hubby would let me get very much of it. but it was on sale and i think he was in a good mood (hence the carrot ribbon thrown into the purchase as well)!

i’m not sure what i want the rest of the design to be.  i’ve also got to flesh out the other fabric selections.  there were a couple other fabrics from the same design collection in the sale pile.  i may have to make another trip to the fabric store to nab some while there’s still some left on the bolts!