Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How about a little peek?

The sewing room makeover continues.  After I emptied eh-va-ree-thing out of the room (which means it's all over the rest of the house, eeps!), my friend Jennilyn started popping in while I was at work and playing with her paints. 

When I say playing, I mean it.  She loves to try different techniques and paint combos.  I wish I had pictures of the progression but the battery in my camera died, literally.  It wouldn't charge.  $52.00 later, I have a new one.  I could practically get a new camera for that.  Ok ok, enough kvetching (is that spelled right?).  Back to the paint.  Every day I came home, it looked different. Until......... this bright and cheerful room! 

I have to admit that the first day I came home from work, I liked the color but I was a little nervous.  The walls were ombre, light at the top then darker then darker.  It seemed a little dark for me and I found my eyes constantly looking for the changes in the colors.  Jennilyn said, "Trust me.  Wait for the total package." 

Ok.  I can do that.  The next day, the walls were many other colors and streaks.  And I believe they were also even darker than before.  I quietly closed the door and reminded myself that I know I can trust my friend.   And I was right.  The next day brought a layer of white with some cross-hatching technique as well as a bit of rick-rack to give some height to the room.
The floor is a creamy white, kinda like butter.  Mmmmmmm.
This room has nice light and the view is my favorite.  I will definitely share some photos of the view soon.  Hopefully I won't spend too much time staring out the windows, I would like to start using up some of the marvelous fabrics I have in my stash. 

You won't believe what happened next!!!!

We had talked about a checkerboard floor and I thought the surprise was going to be the colors.  Oh my my my!!  I got dots!  Woot woot, I love dots!

It reminds me of this book.  One of my favorites when I was young and when my kids were little.  Lots and lots and lots of dots!!  They are a nice size too,  see my feet?  Even with all the furniture back in the room, there will still be lots of dots showing, yay.


Every nook and cranny.

The floor needs to be sealed so it will be tough and put up with my sewing chair rolling around. 
I plan to give it time to set up nice and hard then I'll get busy with the real work of organizing. 
I am going on my guild's spring retreat this weekend (I'm leaving after I get a root canal on Thursday morning, waaaah).  I haven't sewn a stitch since the last retreat weekend so I am looking forward to getting some stitchy things done.
Have a great week and I'll keep you posted on my wild room makeover.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nerves of steel!

I've got  'em.  I have been working hard on the sewing room 'makeover/switcheroo'.  The furniture is out of the room (and in the dining room waiting for my cousin to come get it,  Hurry Tarry!).  Today I am going to move everything out of the closet and take the posters off the ceiling (yup, you read that right. posters on the ceiling).  
 Anyway, back to my nerves.  Last night my good friend, Jennilyn, came over and we talked about painting.  Bless her heart, painting is Jennilyn's business and passion.  We talked colors and ideas for the floor and walls.  And then I said,  "Surprise me!"    Yessiree, I trust her and she knows what I like, so what the heck.   She is starting this wednesday which is why I am clearing the room like mad. 
I have been thinking and dreaming of a big makeover like this for several years and I think the only reason that I'm finally doing something about it is
The above picture is only half of the new John Hopkins Hospital building.  As I have said before, my job is going to get purty darn busy soon and will probably stay that way for the summer.  So I think I need to get my sewing situation all organized.  That way when I have a little free time this summer, I will have a nice, inviting, and organized space to work in. 

Here is the other half of the new building.  Once again I'm sorry that the doggone picture isn't rotated.  Ack!  This is the new children's hospital and it is connected and to the right of the first structure.  I just love all the colored glass panels.  And the inside is so beautifully decorated.  The theme throughout the building is 'children's literature'.  There are original works of art all over with little placques about the children's book that inspired each piece.  And there are going to be some huge, fun, colorful sculptures out front and in the lobby.  It feels like a beautiful art museum.  When I get some photos, I'll show them.
I know I sort of, almost, maybe, thought about the possibility of getting a Handiquilter if I totally organized some stuff around here.  It is still an idea in my head, however that's a decision for much later.  I have a space planned for one if it makes it's way to me, but first I intend to assess the functionality of my space and design. 
Stay tuned friends.  Change.................. she is a'coming!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Design wall Monday.


This looks the same as it did a week ago when I got back from retreat. 
Have I been working on something else?     Yes.
Have I been sewing?    No.
I am covered with dust and full of memories and chuckles from sorting and packing in my daughter  Olivia's room.  She came by last night and helped me decide what should be packed away, what should be thrown away, and what she wanted to take with her.  We had fun looking at pictures and had a good laugh at a teeny tiny notebook that she had drawn family portraits in. 
This plan of mine to move the sewing room in there is really taking off.  I should have everything packed up and stored away by the weekend and my cousin is going to take the bedroom set for her youngest daughter, yay!  I took the closet doors off and I need to figure out if I think I can put sliding doors on myself or go whining to my older brother.  There's a flimsy wooden divider that I need to get out.  It's flimsy but I couldn't pull it out last night, Olivia took a video of me shaking it like mad.  She knows she better not post that video anywhere, I look like a lunatic and it has nothing to do with the glass of wine I had.  I have a great friend, Jennilyn, who LOVES to paint.  I don't know why.  If I haven't said it before, I would rather give birth than paint.  So my wonderful talented friend will be a major player in this makeover.  I plan to give her creative freedom.  Maybe I should check out Pinterest for some ideas. 
See ya later!
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Team Mondo!!

If you don't watch Project Runway,  well............... um................ sigh.  I'll just say it outright, I don't know what's wrong with you.  Really, I mean it.  If you like to create in any way, then you would enjoy seeing what these clothing designers can do with fabric and a challenge.  Did you notice I said FABRIC ?   That's right, if you love fabric ( and I know you do) you may find yourself glued to the screen every week.  Anyway, I am currently watching Project Runway Allstars and I'm tickled pink that a previous favorite of mine, Mondo Guerra, is back.  I love love love Mondo's designs, what he can do with different patterns and colors is a quilter's dream.  And I adore Mondo himself.  I want to adopt him and give him a hug every day!!  If you are a Project Runway or Mondo fan, please let me know and we can enjoy the final runway shows together.  It's down to 3 designers now and of course My Mondo is one of them.  Pinch me!
        I never showed you what I did a few weekends ago when my pals and I got together and 'etched glass'.  My daughter came along too and that was especially fun for me.  I discovered that it is very hard to take photos of etched glass.  This first picture is a couple of serving dishes.  I put hearts on the side of one and flowers on the other.  We were using a Cricut cutter and making stencils out of contact paper.  That was the challenge, finding designs that the contact paper would tolerate.  Complex designs didn't work well.  The actual etching is easy peasy and very quick.

We had good success with letters so i put 'yum' on the side of the bottom dish.  The original idea was to begin working on xmas gifts, to alleviate the stress next fall.  Some of my friends knew who they wanted to give casserole dishes to and put their names on the sides of the dishes.  We have a few patterns for casserole carriers to make.  I had no idea who my gifts are for so no names for me.
I also grabbed a few of my inexpensive wine glasses to play with.  My daughter, Olivia, tackled the bee on the far right.  It was a challenge but worked out well.  There is also a dragonfly and a palm tree.  The glass on the left says 'wine' on the front and 'not' on the back.  That was Liv's idea, lol.

I could see having fun playing with sets of wine glasses for friends and family. 

I tried and tried but couldn't get a decent picture of the sugar container I etched for my son.  He likes sugar in his coffee and ALWAYS leaves the big 'ol grubby looking yellow plastic Domino's tub out on the counter.  So I got a glass container with a tight lid and then I etched  'Shug'r'  on it.  Olivia and I thought it was so funny but I don't think my girlfriends got it. 
You probably won't believe me and I don't blame you one bit, but I really think I'm serious this time about fixing my sewing space.  I can't even bring myself to say studio anymore.  I am all talk talk talk about it, right?  Well, I finally have myself convinced to move the whole shebang into my daughter's room (cuz she don't live there no more!).  You won't believe how I am enticing myself to really get this done.  There is a GIGANTIC carrot dangling in front of my nose.  First,  I must clean out and organize the guest room (because that's the room where I open the door, shove stuff in, and shut the door),  clear out my daughter's old room, and sort through, root through, clean out, and organize the sewing 'stuff'.  My final plan is to have the sewing room in Olivia's room, have a real guest room, and have the craft stuff organized in the laundry room which is now the sewing room.  I started with the guest room when I got back from retreat and I am also sketching and measuring in my future space.  I know you want to know about the carrot and I'll get there but first I want you to know that I am seriously working on this.  I am going to 'use what I have' as much as possible.  I want to empty Olivia's room which is 13 by 13 and a half feet.  Then it needs to be painted.  I am not sure yet of the wall color but I am thinging about painting the hardwood floor in a checkerboard pattern.  Maybe even a red and white checkerboard.  Am I crazy?  The hardwood needs to be refinished and i just don't feel like doing that.  After the painting, I think I am going to replace the big closet doors with sliding doors so I can put the design wall on them.  I think I'll bring our L-shaped Ikea computer table in there as a work surface to put with my sewing table.  My hope is to have 2 sewing machines set up all the time.  Carrot?  Did I say carrot?  Well, beginning next month, I will be working exorbitant amounts of overtime for a while and I believe I may end up feeling a little sorry for my self.  Remember I'm a nurse?  And I work at Johns Hopkins?  Well, the end of April we will be moving into our new hospital building.  It's very exciting, the new building is huge and beautiful.  We have honestly been waiting 20 years for this.  So anyway, the whole move is going to be a lot of work, I'm going to make a lot of extra $$,  and I might need a reward.  Like maybe a Handiquilter, hee hee.  I got to play with one at a quilt shop on the way to retreat in Pawpaw, and it was awesome.  I struggle so much with quilting the larger quilts and I really like to be able to say that I did it myself.  So I am thinking about this.  But first, I must clean up my mess.  And work that overtime of course.
So I'd like to ask you all a favor.  Could you please leave a comment and give your opinion?  This is what I want to know:
- what do you think about the checkerboard floor?  red & white? black & white? teal and white? yellow & white?
  - what do you think about a Handiquilter? anybody have one? have a friend who has one?  tried one?
  - do you ever get panicky and feel guilty or 'fiscally foolish' when you think about a big purchase?  I do and it's always possible that I'll change my mind.  Until then,  I think I'll clean house.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ms. 9patchnurse had a GREAT weekend!

I had a great weekend!  One of the best.  Really!  No fooling.  I'm not sure I've ever felt so doggone pampered.  Not even on the cruise ship. The Wild Threads went on retreat, from Thursday to Sunday.  And look who came along, the Purple Couch Gang.  They were allowed along as long as they kept quiet and didn't make a mess.              

Look at this awesome industrial Singer sewing machine.  So cool.  Colleen, the retreat owner used to design and sew drapes and she still uses this machine.   Do you see the cool blocks on the wall?   I'll show some more later in this post so stay tuned.

 How gorgeous is this dining area?  I am completely in love with that light fixture!  Three times a day we gathered here to eat the most awesome food.  Good conversation, lots of teasing, occasional bursts of song, and yes, many calories.

My weekend was filled with little details like this knife.  A colorful little frog on a  butter knife.

 Look at the little mouse under this bench.  Omg, all over this  retreat center, the Double O,  Colleen Tavener has little surprises and details for the observant retreater.

And beautiful artwork pops up in every nook and cranny. 

After years of quilt retreats in alcohol-free centers, what a treat it was to have a little nip at night (and sometimes in the afternoon, lol).  Bellinis, mmmmmm.  Want some Bailey's in your coffee after dinner, how about a beer or a glass of wine?  Yes please. 

Oy, the food was  deelish!  Colleen cooked and stirred and baked and served.  I am a little worried that when I go back to work this week I'll have to go up a size in my scrubs. 


Yeah, yeah, yeah  we did some sewing.  Actually, we got quite a bit done.  My friend, Annette, made some progress on her Tokyo Subway quilt.  Isn't this gorgeous?  I really need to make one.

Shirley was the first to get a finished top.  My picture doesn't do it justice, the fabrics are beautiful.

I made a total of twelve of these octagonal orb blocks.  I found the tutorial here and I'm so glad I decided to make these.  I love them!
My friends in the Wild Threads were nervous to have me blog about our fantastic weekend.  They made me promise to wait until we booked our next retreat.  The Double O Retreat in Paw Paw, West Virginia is a jewel!  Did I mention that Colleen had a massage therapist come in for us?  I had my first massage and it won't be my last.  It was heaven.  We are planning to go back in warmer weather so some of us can go kayaking on the Potomac and there was talk of a bonfire and sleeping outside if we want. 
Janet, for making our arrangements and getting us all there.
Colleen for dreaming big and building such a beautiful place for us to unwind and have fun.