Thursday, August 27, 2015

THAT Estate Sale

It was a year ago this week that we closed on our house.  We had a month long window to work on it before we had to move out of our old house so technically, we've only been living here eleven months. 

You may remember (because I don't shut up about it!) that we found the house thanks to my estate sale problem.  I recently came across the initial photos we snapped when we first started talking about buying it.  The estate sale was still in progress and during several of our tours, people were actively in there shopping!  It was a strange and interesting experience, for sure.  I'm pretty amazed that we were able to look beyond allllllll of the (really cool) stuff and truly see what the house had to offer.  There was one point I mentioned offering to buy the house with the remaining stuff left in it but it never went any further than that.  In hindsight, I'm sure glad we didn't but it sure sounded fun at the time! :)



Estate sales are an interesting thing to be involved in.  Yes, I like to frequent them but I've also been on the other side of them a few times.  The general thought is that someone has died and the family doesn't want what was left.  While that may be true in a few cases, that's usually not the norm.  What I have found is that often a family member has decided to downsize, move into assisted living, or something of the sort.  Other family members have taken what possessions they want and the rest they sell which is where estate sale companies come into play.  Oftentimes family members will actually be in attendance at an estate sale so I think it's always important to be respectful with your words and actions while at a sale.  You never know who is standing next to you and you are technically in someone's house!




At this particular estate sale, the son was present for the entire sale (and was who orchestrated the sale of the house) as were many neighbors.  I believe I ran into at least five people I knew while I was there so it was a heavily populated sale!  It sometimes blows me away to think about how many people walked through the house that week. 


So did I buy anything besides the house at this estate sale?  Yes, three articles of clothing - a black bolero jacket, a Hawaiian house dress, and a (my now favorite) green flannel shirt.  That's it. 
We still have SO much more to do but when I look through these pictures, I realize how much we've already done and that's wonderfully affirming.  Now onto house project number 500....

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Mother Earth Quilt

One more quilt in the books!  A nature-inspired one, at that! 

As many of you know, I  acquired a large amount of vintage fabric over the past year, mainly thanks to one person.  That gal has refused to accept anything in trade for the fabric so I decided that I would pay her in a baby blanket for their son who will be making his appearance mighty soon!  I had finally found a payment that she would accept!  :)
So, these fine folks are in tune with nature.  Some of the things mentioned were bright colors, nature theme, trees, mountains, oceans, vintage, and forest friends.  When I started designing, I knew that I wanted to include a triangle of some sort so that's where I started.  I had come across these a-mazing vintage sheets sometime last year and immediately fell in love with them!  In fact, we almost made curtains out of them for my workroom!  This quilt was the perfect time to use those sheets.  I love the way it turned out.
Since the main fabric has so much going on, I wanted to keep the design simple.  I had originally planned on having three triangles (one to represent each family member and to resemble a mountain range) but once one was made, I knew that was all that I needed.  I offset the focal point and added the stripe and called it done! 

I also kept the quilting simple and in a triangle shape.  I spaced the quilting lines a little further apart than I have been recently and used a different batting that I received at Sew-OK so it has a nice, soft feel to the whole thing; perfect for a bebe!
The backing?  Just a full cloth vintage sheet.  I do enjoy making pieced backings but I didn't feel like this one needed any more jazzing up.  That backing sheet is another one that I'm enamored with.  Surprise, surprise! 
I'm happy to report that they love it!  And I do, too!  One more to tackle and then I'm caught up on quilts!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Laundry Bath Before & After

It's pretty hard to believe but it's been one whole year since we bought a house from an estate sale!  There are days I look around and get flustered at how many things we still have to update/fix/address and I forget about how much we've already accomplished.  We've really done quite a bit in a year!  We're not near finished but we'll get there.  I think it's important to celebrate the small accomplishments so I'm going to share the smallest room in the house - the laundry bathroom!
When we toured through the house for the first time (while the estate sale was in progress!) we were thrilled to find out there were three full baths!  In the seventies, the original homeowners completed an addition of two pantries, a formal dining room, a laundry room/office, and a full bathroom.  And they painted every single surface in the addition a jarring shade of yellow.  Even the flooring and window treatments were yellow.  Now, I do love me some yellow but just not on everything and perhaps more subtle shades of yellow!  Since I actively work from our home office and work room (the formal dining room), we set out to tackle these areas as soon as possible so work wouldn't be disrupted for too long.  
So this bathroom.  It was disgusting.  The house sat vacant for two years before we moved in and I have a sneaking suspicion that it hadn't been cleaned for a few years before that even.  Couple that with all of that yellowness and I didn't even want to step in there.  The first step was super, mega, crazy cleaning.  The second step was painting which doesn't sound like that big of a deal but since it was such a small room, it wasn't the easiest task!  The toilet came out for a while (that was a learning experience!) so we had easier access to the walls.  We kept things simple.  We used the same shade of light blue-grey that we used in Rio's room and the cream color that we decided to use for all of the trim in the house.  The paint change made a HUGE difference!
Next was the flooring.  I didn't hate the original flooring but it had some spots that were in bad shape.  We decided to leave the flooring down and just lay peel & stick tile over the top of it in case we ever decided to try and restore it in the future.  The tiles were bought at Home Depot and were super simple to install and work with.  We had a friend who was once an apartment maintenance man who gave us all sorts of tricks and pointers that helped tremendously.  I LOVE the way the floor turned out in there!  Couple that with the new paint and we had a bathroom with a completely different feel!
 
Believe it or not, we've actually never used that shower in there!  It's obviously seen better days and I imagine that some day we'll replace it but that's waaaaaay down on the priority list.  For now, I plan on covering the upper cabinet doors with some wallpaper scraps my Mimi passed along to me and trying out the shower before another year passes!  ;)  The odd tiny cabinets to the right of the shower are just that - odd and tiny!
Now that we have this small room freshened up, I love it!  It feels like such a different space and we use it all of the time!  In fact, this is our most commonly used guest bathroom as well.  The walls are decorated with random art I've accumulated over the years and the floor showcases one of my favorite flea market finds ever - the dinosaur trash can!  Have I told you all that I'm a little obsessed with hunting for cool, clean trash cans?  True story!  I'm amassing quite the collection!  Ha!
 
Hope you've enjoyed our tiny tour!  Perhaps I'll share the adjoining laundry room next...once I get caught up on laundry and get things dusted!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One Day At A Time

The past few weeks have been all over the place, much like this post will be.  
A close family member of ours had to have a major medical procedure last week so there has been lots of family time and healing energy floating about.  Things are going well so we're incredibly thankful for that.  One day at a time!

In other vague news, I've been examining my work situation(s) to the nth degree.  Opportunities have made themselves known so there's the possibility that things may change.  It's a bit stressful but exciting at the same time.  While that's been going on, I've also been reevaluating my creative business and how I want it to evolve.  I created a survey to get input from my market (YOU!) and really appreciate any feedback you can share.  I have restocked the shop and have reduced prices on loads of more vintage fabrics.  Take a gander!
In really exciting news, I got a new car!  Not only have I never had a new car, but I've never even had a say in any car that I've ever driven!  Before we unexpectedly moved last year, we were planning on replacing one of our cars but we all know how that story ended.  Fast forward a year and we were in a place where we really had no choice.  It was time to buy a new car.  I did my homework (and then some) and after several months, I finally landed in a Volkswagen Golf SportWagen and I freaking love it.  It's such a comfort feeling safe and confident in a vehicle!  Now to get used to car payments again...
I took a self defense class last weekend.  I had taken a course in college but that was a few years ago so the refresher was welcomed.  I hope these are skills I'll never ever ever have to use but it's better to be safe than sorry.  Plus, beating up a punching bag is pretty cathartic.  :)
My Papa turned 80 today and one of his sisters turned 70.  Yup, he has a sister that was born on the same day as him, just ten years later.  How's that for crazy? 

Now to end the random post with a random (and rare) napping photo.  Fingers crossed we see more of these again soon. 
Cheers!

Friday, July 31, 2015

ZB Unleashed

Six months with this guy.  Where do I start?  This cat is the CRAZIEST feline I've ever encountered.  Absolutely no surface is out of his reach and he'll play with (and eat) anything and everything.  His leaps are epic, his antics are jaw-dropping, and his energy barely rivals that of our toddler inhabitant.  Luckily, his nutso escapades are balanced out by his lovey-dovey nature and his companionship to Rio - they are quiet the pair.  Hard to believe this is the same guy.
What I didn't expect was how healing his presence would be for me.  Just a few months before ZB came into our world, we had lost our senior Sammie and our kitten Opal.  After Opal passed, I beat myself up about what we could have done differently but now I fully realize that she was never a healthy kitten and that we likely extended her life considerably.  I'm not sure I would have found peace with that without ZB.
He's tops.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Work of Art

Rio is an artist.  The youngest one I know.  My mom, a prolific painter herself, deserves the credit for getting a paintbrush comfortably in the kid's hands.  They sit listening to music and let the brushes do the talking.  Some days, she'll come to me and ask to paint without her Granny around.  She loves it.  I love it.  In the past eight months that she's been painting more frequently, you can see an evolution in her styles just as you can with her language skills.  It's amazing, really.
I realized the other day just how many paintings she's amassed and decided to photograph them together.  There are others that we've hung in her room and there are some floating around at my parents' house.  I've had fabric made out of one so far, with more to come. 
Color Paint me impressed.  And proud.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sew OK 2.0

This past weekend I journeyed across the state to attend my second Sew OK.  I loaded up entirely too many projects and hit the road after waiting for the torrential rains to pass in a Goodwill which was a treat upon itself.  The event was again held at the regal, and oh-so-haunted, Skirvin.  I packed in the majority of my meals to save a dime or two and left all of my work business at home.  I was set.
I roomed with the always lovely Mary and kept fine company with the gals of Owl & Drum.  Gold, those ladies are!  Just like last year, I was unexpectedly floored by the wonderful folks that I met and those that I got to know better.  Every time I participate in something like this, I'm learning more and more what a fabulous and endearing community the sewing world is made up of.  (And that they aren't afraid to let loose and have a few drinks!)
Lizzy House was our teacher for the weekend, guiding us through her Meadow Quilt.  I knew nothing of her before the event but quickly learned that she's a master for designing stellar fabrics and quite the seamstress.  I made just one Meadow block before moving onto other projects.  I couldn't find the motivation to continue on the Meadow at the retreat but I would like to revisit it one of these days.

Last year I worked almost exclusively on the largest quilt I've ever made but this year, I didn't bring any in-progress projects with me!  Hence why I brought 500 possible projects along.  I had no game plan!  So what did I end up making?  I'm glad you asked!  Two Itty Bitty Baby Dresses (one was gifted to another attendee at the event) two Wiksten dresses for myself (no photos of those yet!), half of a Whiskers block (worked more on that last night finally), four pillow cases for my mom made with fabric featuring her paintings, and of course my one completed Meadow block.
I was a little blindsided that weekend by some work stuff that I HAD to take care of before Monday so I actually opted to head home Saturday evening.  Wasn't the original plan but it was what I had to do.  I know, much vagueness.  :) 


I still had one more thing to tend to before I left town though - a vintage fabric run!  Remember the great fabric haul of 2014?  That HUGE fabric warehouse that I got to pick through?  Well, the orchestrator of that grand moment in history had decided to clean out her picks and passed them all along to me.  I know, right?!  Our washer and dryer have been quite busy since I returned while I clean and prepare the fabric to be used and sold.  Exciting stuff!  To me, at least.
So thanks, Sew OK for being awesome yet again and for giving me an excuse to take a solo road trip!  Now back to unpacking...
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