Friday, September 04, 2015

A Sewing Plan

Yesterday was a cool one. It got to 18.8C or 66F. There was a cold rain from the north at about 5 p.m. The weather website says it got to 1.5C or 34.7F for a low yesterday and that is incorrect in our books. This morning it is 7.7C or 46F. Cool but it is the start of fall.


I went down stair to scrub the kitchen floor. It was dirty from the minute I started it until I finished it. I knew that but when done it looked amazing ~ a full two shades lighter in colour. There was less paint all over the floor, more around the perimeter. I scrubbed it all off. That job is done!!

While I was scrubbing the floor, the Spousal Unit seeded the back lawn. He predicts hot weather when he seeds. Usually he is right and he lives outside watering the ground so the seeds will sprout and the fragile plants won’t die.

In the afternoon, I did some genealogy on the Spousal Unit’s family. Ancestry has free access to immigration records this weekend. We learned a lot of amazing things. Some things were confirmed, others brand new. When reading the arrival information, we learned interesting things and put together lots of information. Quite exciting. It is all documented now.

The fellow arrived with the missing part for the upstairs fireplace only to find out they have the wrong part for the front of the upstairs fireplace. They will try again today unless it has to be ordered.

I am still being very careful with what I am eating. The glucose readings are low at 5 p.m. which means I am doing a great job of burning up the carbs/sugars in my system. The numbers mean hungry at meal time though yesterday the 5 p.m. was nearing the “you gotta eat something” number.


With fall arriving, I think more of sewing. When I look in the room that will be my sewing room, I get discouraged. But I put that aside and did some thinking yesterday. I have decided to use up the fabric in my stash to make muslins as I work on TNT patterns and pattern drafting. As the clothing becomes too big, I will discard them and make more. I think I have a year of sewing in the stash. Once gone, I will buy more. It all coordinates thank goodness.


The second mitten got cast on and 13 of the 20 rounds knit for the cuff. Once this mitten is done, I will try another pattern. I am looking forward to actually knitting mittens for our grandson.

Today, one of two things will happen. We will start installing kitchen cupboards or the downstairs bathroom will get scrubbed. Either way, I will be in the basement working. In the afternoon, we may head out to get a few groceries.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Elliott Approved

Yesterday was lovely and sunny though a bit cool. We are still having wind blow though not as strong as we had it on the weekend. Yesterday’s high got to 22.4C or 72F and this morning is a cool 8.8C or 48F. As our friend said yesterday, you can smell fall in the air.


I hit the deck running and started painting the second coat in the kitchen early. I was done in 90 minutes. That included tipping my bucket of water over, turning my ankle stepping on the vacuum cleaner hose, and knocking a small paint pot over. Though I mopped up the water quickly, I was mad at myself. More mad when I wrenched my ankle. The paint pot did not do any damage except to my pride. I had no more accidents thank goodness.

Once done that, I cleaned the bathroom and folded laundry. A productive morning. After lunch our friend came to see the house and visit with us for a half an hour. She loves our place and can hardly wait to see how we will put our stamp on it. She is hoping to bring the boys in on a Saturday for a visit. We do miss those guys in our lives.

The fireplaces were installed and it went quite well. The young fellow who installed them was awesome. This is the second time we have had this make of fireplace installed.


The downstairs fireplace is very simple and looks great. The combination of the colours used is a great fit.


The upstairs fireplace looks out of place. The colours don’t work together well and the missing part leaves an totally unfinished look. We will put a rock facing on the fireplace, paint the mantle black and the walls a light taupe/grey. It will give us the look we want. We are hoping to hang the TV above the fireplace though there will be some cords showing. We will have to talk to the electrician about that one.

After all was quiet, Elliott came out to have a look at the upstairs' fireplace to make sure he will enjoy it this winter.


Where are the flames?


Not here.


Or here.

But I do approve. Bring on fireplace season!!

The Spousal Unit got the back lawn area all cultivated, raked, and watered. He will be seeding it today. That means, in his books, the weather will turn hot. The rock isn’t gone but we will deal with that later.

I continue to monitor my blood glucose three times a day and watch what I eat. Last night the dinner reading was 4.6 which means I am hungry. This morning it was 5.7. That is good. I am not snacking between meals and eating slightly under the required grams of carbohydrates a day. I am feeling better and am realizing the sweating and weak feeling may be caused by the stress of trying to get the downstairs apartment done. I will continue to monitor three times a day for now. Once things are established, I will go back to one reading a day.

On another good note, my weight has dropped. I do have a goal in mind and am hoping that I will meet it this time next year. So Mr. Thyroid, you can’t crash and burn on me like you love to do.


I got the mitten finished last night. It was an easy finish and too small for our grandson.


I will make the second one and try another pattern for the next pair.


Maybe if the hand part was longer it would have worked. I will be armed with two patterns when I go to visit.

Today, the goal is to scrub the basement kitchen floor and prime the two pieces of baseboard. That will take me a long time as this floor is extremely dirty. Once the floors are clean, we can install the upper cabinets. I am hoping that I will get the second mitten cast on and started.

Until tomorrow……………………….

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Fireplace Installation Day

Yesterday’s weather was a combination of sunshine and clouds. The wind also blew. The high got to 21.4C or 70.5F. This morning is cool again at 12.5C or 55F. The a/c hasn’t run for two days in a row. The cloudy weather is suppose to leave us after tomorrow which will be nice. Mid 20C or mid 70F temps but I can handle that.


The kitchen got the first coat of paint by lunch time. I do know I have to do a second coat as my first coat is usually thin. It seems to be the way I roll on the paint.


When I was just over half done painting the kitchen, the furnace people arrived early to calibrate our new furnace. That meant I had to stop painting as the kitchen was going to get hot and I would get sick. They did the job in about an hour so we are set to use the furnace when it gets cooler outside. That may be in October.

In the afternoon, we measured for the tile backsplash and bought the tiles at our favourite store. It was 10% off for seniors today. We chose our first tile and when I put the counter laminate sample on it, it was all wrong. The tiles were 1” square with white, tan, and a brown in them. The brown and tan were too yellow. We put them back and bought these. A bit more rustic but the counter top looks great with them. The subway tile are a warm beige in colour of which we had to buy 3 more boxes. Thank goodness we can return what we don’t need.


We also bought a stainless steel range hood for the upstairs kitchen. It gets installed the same day as the downstairs hood gets done. And said hood is stored in the sewing room.

I have decided that I need to watch what I am eating during the day. I want to loose weight and start working out again when the basement is done. I skimped on the carbs yesterday morning and the glucose reading at noon was 6.6. A bit high for someone who was sweating like crazy and feeling weak. Was that a stress reading from trying to complete the painting in the kitchen before lunch? Or am I running a bit high and need to be more careful?

I ate a proper lunch and then took my glucose reading again at 5 p.m. and it was at 5.6. Much better though a bit high as I didn’t have a snack mid afternoon. I will be monitoring what I eat, portion control, and glucose readings every day to see what is happening.

I have finished two months of the Bullet Journal and set up September yesterday. We both love this journal as I have it for us. If we want to know something, I can look it up in the journal right down to the date it happened. Time spent per day on it ~ 5 to 10 minutes.


I spent the evening knitting on the mitten. It is ready for me to set up the thumb.


It may be too small for our grandson but it is a prototype. I will finish the pair and donate them to charity. Then I will knit the next size bigger. Hopefully I will have a size ready to knit when I head over at the end of the month.

Today, the second coat of paint needs to be put on the downstairs kitchen. The two fireplaces will be installed and a friend is coming for a very short visit. It will be so nice to see her again. Maybe, I will get the thumb onto the needles so I can finish the first mitten.

Until tomorrow………………………..

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Pushing Forward

Yesterday was cool; the temperatures were below the average. The high got to 21C or 70F. The wind blew most of the day also. When I went outside, I sat where it didn’t blow as I hate the wind. This morning is a cool 11.5C or 53F and it is suppose to get to a high of 18C or 64F. 


Yesterday morning I headed to the basement and painted the ceiling in the kitchen. I pushed myself to get it done. I sweat like crazy and was tired by the time I had finished. The long handle for the roller busted and I had to climb up and down the ladder to do the job. No screaming knees or hips. I did head down later in the afternoon to fix up any missed spots. There were four small ones.

The Spousal Unit was outside hand tilling the back lawn. He finished the tilling and is ready to rake and seed the lawn. He decided to do this by hand as it is a small area that the previous owner let his dogs destroy while they had the property listed for sale. What was lovely turfed lawn was a total mess. The message we got was they wouldn’t be willing to negotiate on any issues we had with house and yard.

We were both tired in the afternoon. We alternated between doing a few things that needed doing and resting. For me, it could have been the wind. It sucks the energy right out of me. Or it could have been that I haven’t been sleeping well. I have been awake a lot during the night lately going over what we need to do to finish up the basement apartment. Too active a brain.


While resting in the afternoon and between doing things we needed to get done, I read a blog written by a lady who alters wedding dresses. Her writing style gave me a lot of good laughs. I understand how she feels when she has to alter wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses that are poorly/cheaply made. Or how people send in their measurements and get dresses that are either too big or too small. Or they purposely buy too big or too small for reasons known only to themselves. I admire her for what she does in the world of bridal alterations. Not for me, thank you very much.

I do have to say that the one wedding I sewed for was a delight and am glad I never did another one. The bride and bridesmaids were wonderful to work with. Everything went smoothly and when I said I couldn’t do something, they didn’t pressure me to try and do it. I think the reason it went smoothly was I sewed each dress from start to finish with lots of fittings.


I did hem a dress for a bridesmaid and it was an interesting job. I did get it done and the girl was happy. Along the way I learned how to say NO as I had several inquiries which included changing the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses that came from China. All I could see with that was limp rags.

When rodeo sewing, I only had one customer with one dress that drove me batty. I spent many, many hours embroidering the dress and putting on the crystals.

I sent it off to her and a few months later it was returned stuffed in a box saying it was too big. Hmmmmm……….too big when the seams were pulled saying it was too small on her. She had lost weight and wanted it taken in two sizes. For free. Wow!!!!! I did the best I could with that dress. I had two more to make for her and stated I would make them but wouldn’t do any alterations for free if she lost more weight. She got the message. I have to say that the remaining clients were great. One had to have a dress taken in after she lost weight and they got someone local to do it for them.

I have to say that I am happy that I am no longer doing this type of sewing.

Today, I am painting the kitchen walls. First coat which will look ugly when dried. The furnace guys are coming after lunch to run the furnace in preparation for fall. I am sure they will try to roast me out so I plan on being prepared to sit outside for a while. Laundry and housework will fill in the gaps. A fairly busy day.

Until tomorrow………………………….

Monday, August 31, 2015

Mitten Thumb Gusset Done

Yesterday was windy. Quite windy but not as windy as the coast had it. For me it was annoying as I hate the wind. Have hated it all my life. The high temperature was 24.5C or 76F. This morning is warm at 17C or 62F as it was cloudy during the night. Though we are moving towards fall, we will continue to see lots of nice weather here.


I primed the kitchen walls for the second time. The can of paint was okay as I seemed to have, luckily, skimmed the layer off in one piece. The second coat certainly kills any green undertones from the lime green paint.


While I was priming, the Spousal Unit put the baseboards back on the other areas in the suite. He also put the trim around the fireplace. I got to help him as I finished up before he did. And, I remembered to put the lid on the paint can.


The cove trim on the sides of the fireplace hardly show at all. They blend into the wall so nicely. The cove around the hearth adds a frame which we both like.


Though I need to do a bit of caulking, this fireplace is ready for the gas insert on Wednesday.


We won’t talk about the one upstairs. I want to put a stone face on it and will be talking to the installers about that.

We headed out to shop after that job was done. We got more painting supplies and bark mulch for the yard. Not a lot of excitement but we were gone for a good 3 hours. One thing we did do was look for glass tiles for the back splash in the kitchen in the basement. I wanted a bit of something on the wall like we had in our last house. Finding it may be the bane of our lives though I did find a pretty mono toned one.


I did get a couple of hours of knitting in yesterday. The ribbing was done and then the gusset was set up and finished.


 I can see why she did the knit 3 in the ribbing as it makes the gusset start from the cast on - a designing element. I got the gusset stitches onto waste yarn, the three stitches cast on and several rows knit before I called it an evening.


I needed to put everything away as I had my phone, iPad, and remote on top of Elliott who chose to sleep between us. Once we covered him up with the blanket, he said leave him alone, and he slept the evening away.

Today, I have to paint the kitchen ceiling. Then I will do a bit of work upstairs and start scrubbing the downstairs bathroom. It is hard to believe the basement is almost painted. I will be happy when that job is done. But the list to finish up is quite long ranging from installing a kitchen to putting in fans, to lights, to ………………… But we are nearing the end which is fabulous. Next, my sewing room.

Until tomorrow…………………………

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Knit Then Unknit

Yesterday was an day of unusual weather. We had some wind with very fast upper winds which caused the clouds to go by quickly. We had a few showers in the morning which gave us very little rainfall but you could feel the dampness on your skin. The smoke was quite thick when we woke up but it was gone by noon but back again in the afternoon.


The first job of the morning was to prime the green walls in the kitchen. They were done by 11:00 and the room looks so much brighter. The first coat of primer is the hardest to put on when covering a bright colour.


The white primer made the room bright when it was dark and dull outside. I cleaned up and, to my horror this morning, I found I hadn’t put the lid on the primer can. I had run out to put the second coat of paint on the trim and forgot that one step. Too much on my mind and talking to the Spousal Unit.

Part of the afternoon was spent cleaning the kitchen. Though not really dirty, I wanted to wipe down the cupboards and appliances and do a general tidy up. It felt good to have it done.

Spoilt pampered Elliott was in a miserable mood last night. He sat on the end table touching the Spousal Unit’s arm with his paw wanting more food in his dish. No response. He finally bit the Spousal Unit. I fed him. Then he laid between us with a full belly and he bit me twice for petting him. Unfortunately for him, he got disciplined for that. He is sort of avoiding me at the moment.


I cast on the first mitten just before lunch. I followed the directions carefully as I want to understand the pattern in general. I am also making notes as what to do differently for our grandson’s mittens.


The first change I plan on making is in the ribbing. When you cast on your stitches and join to the round, you purl the first stitch, then knit 3 stitches, purl 1 stitch and continue 1 x 1 ribbing to the end of the round. You repeat that for the number of rows for the cuff. That little knit 3 at the beginning is for the gusset. My question was why in the ribbing? 

The second change I will make is the length of the cuff. I hate short cuffs on mittens. I would say the cuff for the child’s mitten is about 2” or less and I like 3” or a bit more. That will be done on this version as the only change to the pattern.

I knit on the mitten in my spare time. The gusset for the thumb was put on waste yarn and I cast on the three stitches to replace the three you started out with for the gusset. I knit four more rows and admired my work. No laddering at the end of the needles as I walk the stitches around the needles. Wait! What is that “laddering” by the gusset but down many rows? Drat, it was a dropped stitch. This was my knitting at 7 p.m.


I sat for 15 to 20 minutes thinking about the mittens. I dug out larger needles. I went from a 4.0 mm to a 4.5mm as I thought the tension was a bit tight. I cast on again and started the ribbing.


I kept the 3 knit stitches in the ribbing to see what it looks like in the end. I won’t be doing the pattern on the hand of the mitten. It will be a plain knit mitten. The purls and ribbing in the hand is nice but this is a prototype.

Today I have to put the second coat of primer on the kitchen walls even if I have to strain the primer. We have to go grocery shopping and get more painting supplies. I hope to knit on the mitten also.

Until tomorrow…………………….

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mittens Are Done

Yesterday was cloudy, warm, humid, and yucky. You moved, you sweat. The a/c was slow at coming on as the outside temperature was at that magic number for quite a few hours. We suffered through it. This morning is cooler with lots of smoke and a light rain shower west of us. Not liking the looks of the smoke out there as it is getting thicker and thicker.


In the morning, I did the touch up painting around the doors with a small paint brush. Then I scrubbed the floor space. It was a tiny area with a good volume of dirt and paint on it. In an hour I was done. I was suppose to paint some trim in Grumpy’s Garage and totally forgot to do it. It wasn’t going anywhere so it is still waiting for me.


After lunch, we headed out to do a bit of grocery shopping and gas the Explorer. When we got home, I decided to relax. And to have some fun with Elliott. I accidently got him yawning but it looks like he is giving someone a lecture.


He decided he wanted to taste the chip dip so I put a bit on my finger.



After that was done, he decided it was nap time. Selfies are very tiring you know.


He actually hogged half of the loveseat when he went to sleep.


As the weather is a bit more like fall, I am getting the urge to sew. Even something simple and fun. Like a new purse, wallet and bag. My old purse is old, worn, and needs to be replaced. It has led me on a Google search. If I can get what I want, I will be making The Candace Purse and taking Zip It Up of which are by the same person. Ideas are floating in my head as I can get the pattern just over 2 hours from here. With this, I want to try Aurfil thread for sewing.


I spent a couple of hours knitting. It was fun to do work on it knowing that I didn’t have to rush downstairs to work in the suite. I had finished up the hand of the second mitten over the course of a couple of evenings. I just had to thread the yarn into the last stitches and weave in the loose end. I was ready to start the thumb.

When I did the thumb on the first mitten I gnashed my teeth as I put the stitches on the needles. They stretched out of shape a bit. This time, I put the stitches on using the smaller needles. I knit the next round using the larger needles. Worked very well. The picture was taken when I had the larger needles in but after the first row of knitting.


 I knit away until they were done.


Though I like the pattern, I do not like the after thought thumbs. I did the pattern to learn about mittens and I did learn a lot. So, I did an internet search and found a mitten pattern that has a thumb gusset. Tin Can Knits seems to fit the bill. The author of the blog lives about 3 hours from us near where I grew up as a child.

The mittens she shows has quite a bit of purling in them but I am game. Maybe I can  figure out how to have more knits than purls when I make our grandson’s mitts.

Today, I am priming two walls in the kitchen. When that is done, I am going to do a bit of housework upstairs. The dust is starting to show up on the furniture again. I also hope to cast on the first mitten to try out the new pattern.

Until tomorrow…………………………….