Monday, May 31, 2010

Too Much HGTV?

Is there such a thing? Too much HGTV? DIY shows and websites? Too much surfing of creative blogs? If there is, I'm definitely guilty.  

I started out last weekend by getting my vegetable garden in - tomatoes, cilantro and peppers for salsa, and some basil (my favorite!) and onions and green beans. Hubby got a garden of potatoes, zucchini and pumpkins started. Now to keep the deer and rabbits away. The "Garden" part of HGTV.

Then I started testing out some ideas for camera strap covers and photo album slipcovers for my friend Joy Orcutt. Just designing and experimenting with fabric I have on hand to show her some possibilities for her photography business. (I lost the pictures of the bright, summery camera straps - not sure where they went.  Oops.)  She wishes she could sew, and I wish I could take photos like hers.  Now I think I should make a camera strap and an album slipcover for me . . . 

Then I got sidetracked with a little painting project.  While the English Major is gallavanting around the Dominican Republic, I emptied a bedroom that I've been wanting to paint and got started with that.  When we moved into this house a few years ago, this room had been a little girl's room. I've always hated the color combination,and my girls were not little - so I've been wanting to get to this for awhile.  This is the lovely purple and teal-ish room that I started with (never mind the zebra blankets):

Yuck. I've hated this room since we moved in.  But, it was lower on the totem pole of projects to do before now.

Off-white seemed my only choice for paint color with this carpeting.  (What would HGTV do?)  I'm sure my Uptown Girl will accessorize with colors of her own choosing.  I knew the 101 Dalmation and Little Mermaid kiddie sheets would come in handy again someday!

 Finally, purple no more . . .

Voila!  Transformed into a room that a young adult can tolerate.  We now call it "The Marilyn Room".  Uptown Girl LOVES Marilyn Monroe.  (There's the "Home" part of HGTV!)

When the painting project was done, I remembered that I've been wanting to re-cover my old sewing chair:

This is an old chair I got from an estate that apparently hadn't been used for many years, because after just a couple of months of use, the vinyl split open. A little scratchy on the bare legs now that it's warm enough to wear shorts. I received a box of fabric from a friend that was making purses awhile back, and much of it is upholstery-type fabric. I've seen how easy it is to do reupholstering on HGTV. (Right.) So, I spent $9 for some new foam padding, and took the chair apart. (The DIY part.)

Who wouldn't love a new sewing chair for 9 bucks?

I wouldn't normally have chosen this fabric, but being cheap frugal me, I wanted to use up some that I already had.  OK, so it wasn't quite as quick or as neat as they do on HGTV.  Not bad for a first try though!  Much nicer on my bare legs.  White legs that need to get outside and enjoy some more of this beautiful weather while the bluebirds are feeding their babies, and my irises are blooming.  Now maybe that's the Home and Garden part of HGTV?  Nah. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Adjusting My Sails

I'm still jumping from patterns to internet to books. Should I sew? Crochet? Tat? Paint a room? Build a table? Plant the garden? Read a book? More choices than time, as usual.

I think the unsettled-ness I'm feeling is just the uncertainty of our future with hubby still in need of a job. We've never been in this situation before (in 27 years!) so it's odd for us to question our future. Thus, inspiration strikes at the most unusual times for the most unusual reasons.

A quote that I added to my office wall at work today is:
You can't change the direction of the wind. You can, however, adjust your sails.
This is a great reminder for me! We can't get so comfortable that we forget how to adjust and adapt to each new situation that life brings. I'm adapting and adjusting and remaining optimistic, but I do have to keep myself busy to stay sane.

One project I completed is this crochet clutch from Moda Bakeshop - just because I liked the idea of sewing on some clear vinyl. I've probably said it before, but it seems like projects that are fairly quick and easy satisfy my need to accomplish something.

And I'm working on some tatting/jewelry bags, just because I feel like sewing lately. Nothing fancy, just playing. Not sure if I should sell them or pack them away to use for gifts.

Hubby and I are also considering building a table like this, with plans from Knock-Off Wood. I have been surfing various plans here A LOT lately and re-designing my sewing/craft room. In my head. (For, you know, when I have some spare time.)

This next weekend I'll be planting my vegetable garden. And then what? I'm never sure until something hits me. I seem to be getting pretty good at planning and research - it's the implementation that loses me sometimes!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rolling (literally) Along

OK, so Ted has lost 12 lbs. since his surgery.  Hhhmpph. He's doing very well (thanks for the well-wishes!).  He's eating 3 meals a day and ice cream every night.  And STILL has lost weight.  Why can men do this?  It would take me 3 months of daily cardio and a diet of celery sticks and water to lose 12 lbs. 

I suppose the homemade eggrolls don't help much.  Uptown Girl and I learned to make them a week ago from her wonderful Asian coworkers who were willing to share their personal recipes and tips.  We attended an "eggroll party" and about 20 of us made somewhere between 200 and 300 eggrolls.  So, over the weekend, Uptown Girl and I thought we'd try it on our own and made another 35 of them.  Yum!  (They are gone now.)  The fresh guacamole and chips probably didn't help my hips either.  Well, the guacamole is all fresh and healthy, but portion control continues to be a . . . well . . . problem.  Jamie Oliver would not be impressed with the weekend diet at our house!  And yesterday - I made a banana blueberry cake to bring to work.  Just because the recipe sounded different, and I wanted to try it.  I left just a few pieces of that at home since I was getting questioned as to whether or not I was bringing the WHOLE thing to work to share.  (The office is a great testing ground!)

Now that I got a little kitchen dabbling out of my system, I can get back to finishing the doilies I have started.  This one is the Gerbera Doily I started back in January - and really need to finish.  I have used white size 20 thread, and Jellybean and Spring Green Lizbeth.  As you can see, I started out gung-ho but haven't added much.  All that's left is the final round consisting of the center flower repeated around the edge.  I won't count this as one of my 25-Motif Challenge pieces until it's done.  (How's that for self-motivation?)

I will also finish this one that I started in Yarnplayer's Summer Trail HDT:

This is the Starlight Doily from the book The Tatters Treasure Chest. Only 2 more rounds on this one to finish and accentuate those points.  It's really a beautiful pattern, and one that I've been looking at for quite a few years but never thought I could do it.  So I'm trying to take my time and not hate it by the time it's done.  Again I won't count it until it's finished.  More motivation!

So, tatting, reading, kitchen experiments, garden prep, and helping the English Major get ready for her trip to the Dominican Republic are filling my days. (See the blog she has started to keep us updated on her trip here.)  Not to mention the daily weekly housework drudgery and the job.  Actually I'm counting my blessings.  Life is good!

And, by the way, I see my labeling is horrible.  I really must add cleaning that up to my list of things to do.