Saturday, January 31, 2009

A new machine; an old machine

The week has passed . . . where did it go? Even more mind boggling is that today is January 31st! My goodness! Between working, trying to do a few things around here and Clutter Busting my friend's sewing and craft room, time just got away from me. 

But I did get FABRIC! I also bought a new sewing machine.

BOY! My old Singer machine could do two things; sew straight and zig-zag. It was 28 years old and it was time to move on. A friend of mine had recommended a little sewing shop in Alta Loma and after debating back and forth and taking a info-class on 2 different types of machines, I settled for the "little one". (And even this machine is intimidating. There are so many choices!) They said I can always trade it in and buy a different machine later. Quilting is my goal and the newer machines are just fabulous. But I haven't sewn for probably 30 years, other than a straight stitch for a Halloween costume or two. I did piece a Christmas Tree skirt about 15 years ago, and 1/2 a quilt top. But between PTA President for 2 years (and God only knows how many other Board positions before that!) taking care of my Mom through Ovarian cancer for 5 years, and following both of my son's hockey teams for sooooooo many years, I just never had the urge to pull the machine out and sew something. 

Well, the bug bit me! I am ready to begin again. I'm almost looking forward to MLB starting up again so I can have the game on and sew and scrapbook to my heart's content! (I am such an Angels fan.)  

Here's my new machine. Isn't it pretty? Pretty simple, but it'll sure get the job done! Sorry about the picture being dark, I'm having some problems with the flash on my camera.

 I will learn how to use all of the stitches it can do. I am determined to take classes. But I feel kind of silly being 50 years old and not knowing how to sew anymore. Where's my Home Ec teacher when I need her?!!!

And here is some of the fabric and trim I've chosen for part of the table skirts, valance and pillows in my happy room.

PINK! Don't ya love it? After everything boys for the past 24 years, I just can't get enough.

While looking through my linen closet for fun things to display in my happy room, I came across my Mom's old typewriter. "Why don't I have this out where I can enjoy it?" Out it came. Straight into my little office space! I learned to type on this baby. I could whip too!!! 

I also came across some sentimental gifts my Mother-in-Law gave me years ago. The boy in each picture looks so much like my oldest son, and we had a Cocker Spaniel "Chloe". I am going to find a special spot in my room for these too.

So go dig around your closets and drag out something you haven't seen in a while and find a new home for it out where you can see it. Life's too short to have all these things put away out of sight because "they don't go" with your decor. Who cares? It's your home! Enjoy!

I will keep you posted on my sewing ventures. God grant me patience! I am so going to need it!

Have a great weekend! And go AZ in the Superbowl!!! I cannot cheer for PA, cause they beat our Chargers, and that was a very bad thing. Have fun! 

p.s. I've heard there is a huge "noreaster" headed for the east coast. My prayers will be with all of you as you endure yet another storm. Be safe!

Monday, January 26, 2009

a couple of "good" things!

Happy Monday! What a gorgeous day in So Cal!!! Thunderstorm during the night and it was AWESOME!

It dawned on me this morning, that maybe other people have the same dilemma I do. I had sent an Email out a few months ago to all my friends, asking what everyone else did to solve this problem. Now I'm asking you.

As  you can see - I love cookbooks! I love to cook, and worse yet, I love to eat. But! My problem has been trying a recipe out of a cookbook, everyone loves it and I go to make it again and can't remember which book it was in.  Duh!

Here's my solution. About a year ago, I started writing the name of the dish, the book it is in and the page it is on, on a 4 x 6 recipe card and putting it in my recipe box. Now when I need to find it fast, I am able to. 

Just thought I'd share this thought. A lot of people have computers in their kitchen, but mine is all the way upstairs and not convenient to store my recipes on.

What's your idea? Please share!

A really good thing happened to me yesterday. A friend of mine called and asked if she could practice a painting technique in my kitchen. (Hmmmmm. What if she messes it up?) I said sure and she came over and proceeded to paint the five electrical outlets on my backsplash to match my granite.  It took her about 1 1/2 hours by the time the paints dried and she could put a clear coat on. And let me tell you - it looks 100% better in person than it does in this picture. She did a great job! I love it! 

There are two in this shot. Didn't she do good? Good job Janece!!!

Well here are a few more shots of my happy room. I'm so organized, I just love it! I still have lots to do with sewing the valance and the tables skirts, but I'll get it done. 

Remember I mentioned finding legs to put on my old coffee table to bring it up to counter height? There it is under the window! (that window is 5' wide.) Mark installed them for me, but I still have to paint them. I was just kind of anxious... 

On the white wall I want to hang a huge bulletin board for inspiration and ideas. 

I have lots of empty space on my bookshelves to add new treasures to. I love the hunt!!!

My computer isn't quite capturing the color correctly. It's an apple green.

I'll end my day by sharing something kind of embarrassing. I learned a valuable lesson yesterday while installing the handles on the cabinet doors. 
"Never touch the drill bit when you just used it to drill a hole." It's HOT!!!!! 
My husband started laughing and then just says "Well, you'll never do that one again!" 

Thanks for visiting. Have a great day! 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sneak peek . . .

Good morning! It is one of those priceless days in So Cal. Huge fluffy black and white clouds, intermittent rain and everything is clean and green after a few days of showers. Yay!

Well, I really didn't want to post anything about my new room until it was finished, but considering I have several woodworking, painting and sewing projects in front of me before it's done, I just have to show you a little bit now.   ;)

I love how it turned out. It will tone down a little more once I get everything on the walls, I need to put the hardware on the cabinets .  . . you know, just doing stuff!  But I am sooo happy. It is such a happy room now. My son Justin came over last night for a minute and just grinned. That was what I wanted. So I'm good with it! And I still get to go SHOPPING to find fun little things to place. 

So .. . here it is. My happy room. In progress.

It's now looking a little better. I could not have done it without my husband. He sure is a handy guy to have around! He switched the ceiling fan, mounted all the shelving, hung my other shelves and cabinets. And he said the best words! "I like it Honey".  Yay!!

So I got a few things put up on the shelves . . .

 I love my little Angel!
But I don't like the shelves themselves, I think they are too thin, so I'm going to put a little trim around them and kick it up a notch. 

And I found some tall table legs that I think will work, so I can save my favorite coffee table from the Goodwill pile and reuse it as my counter height work table. Right in front of the window. Yay! It's a BIG table, and I'll get lots of work room Now I need to decide whether or not I should paint it; shabby-chic it up a little. It's such a pretty table . . . oh well. I can decide that later. 

Well, my house is a disaster, and I am itching to get back in to my room and work on it.

First, I need to go find fabric.

So that's it!! Let me know what you think.
Have a great day! Karen 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Someone invent BlogAroma

I'm bribing my painters. And it's killing me!
Yup! When was the last time you baked these just for the pure pleasure of it? Just to swirl those balls around in that yummy cinnamon sugar, then plunk them on a cookie sheet. 
The aroma Ladies! My house smells so yummy! Someone invent blog aroma.
So, whip out your old Betty Crocker Cookbook and bake some! You'll be glad you did!
Here ya go! I'm sharing with all of you too! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Faith has been refreshed!

Ok, I need to share something that happened to me today.
Took my puppies to the groomer at 7:30 (about 20 mins away);  hadn't showered, no make-up, yesterday's jeans and a sweatshirt, looked awful.  Planned on getting home and jumping in the shower and getting ready for my day before my painters got there. Get off the freeway - road construction and it was a mess. Sign ahead says "right lane closed ahead." I'm in the left lane, no problem, people will be merging, no problem . . . easy, right? Big van in front of me, and I'm in my cute little red sports car, kinda low, and all of a sudden he merges right, and there are cones that are closing the left lane.  Criminey! Now I have to get over, I hate butting in front of people, but I had no choice. Get up to the stop sign, there's all this construction traffic . . . yada yada.  I finally am able to make my left turn. I SAW the motorcycle cop down the road. I saw him. But I wasn't doing anything wrong. (In fact, I had thought about pulling over and telling the construction crew they had the wrong sign posted! But ya know . . . it was the dirty hair, no make-up thing . . . just couldn't do it. At least I had my contacts in!) I had no more made my turn and the cop pulls me over. I did not for the life of me have a clue what I had done. He informs me I had made an illegal left turn.  


No sign was posted, yada yada, I was very polite and tried explaining what had happened with the whole wrong sign thing. I got out of the car to plead my case (remember what I LOOK like!) and we chatted and WATCHED about 12 other cars do what I had just done. I told him I'd never had a ticket before. (big joke with my kids, I am such a rule follower)  he says i can go to traffic school and it'll never show. He didn't get it. I've never had a ticket before! 
"Sign on the line please Maam" (Geez I hate the word Maam!) and off he went to get all those other guys making left turns too.
I was disheartened. I had no camera (forgot about my phone) plus I was mortified that I had been pulled over in front of all the construction crew - good grief! I knew I had to get home. 
Got home, showered, let the painters in, let the roofer in (that's another story from the girl whining about 80 degree weather!) Grab my camera and head back down there to take pictures. But of course, now it's all different. The sign now says left lane instead of right and there is a big "no left turn" sign on a cone in the crosswalk. Good grief how could I have missed it?
Pouting, I go about my day. Called my friend to moan and groan and then tried to get back into a positive mood. "When life gives you lemons . . . " right? Come home, go out to the mailbox and notice a business card on the front door mat. From the police dept! Note on the back. "Please contact me about citation issued this morning". I called and he told me that he had gone back to the intersection and upon further review of the incident, the construction posting was all incorrect and to bring my copy of the ticket down and he would delete the citation.
YAY! (BIG sigh)
He could've blown me off. I had absolutely no proof.  But I knew in my heart I had done nothing wrong. But he went the extra step to make it all right. What a guy!!
So I am happy! Went and got my clean puppies, hubby taking me out to dinner. 
It was a good day. 
And guess what?!!!!!
There is a rainbow out the kitchen window!!! WHOO HOOO!
The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Sometimes he knows it's just a little itty bitty thing that'll make you smile. 
Hope everyone has a wonderful evening!! Hugs to all. Karen

Monday, January 19, 2009

getting excited!

Ok, tomorrow the painters begin! YAY! I can hardly wait! My boring little bonus room, is going to turn into my little haven for scrapbooking, sewing and crafts. 

This is sort of what it looked like last week. Waaaayyyy too much furniture and needs COLOR!

then I cleared it out . . . 

good thing Brandon doesn't need his room because everything went in there temporarily!

Gosh! The funny thing is, I needed a paintbrush, and climbed right to it. I still know where everything is, even though it is a disaster.  lol
(Good thing my Clutter Buster customers won't see these pictures.)
ahhhh Clutter Busters. That's another story.

I'm painting the cabinets white, but the wall color will be a surprise!!!

Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment and stay tuned . . . 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dick and Jane, and seasons

The weather here is so warm. It's been 80 degrees for about the last 10 days. The leaves that should've fallen off the trees last November are now falling and it is a mess. It doesn't feel like January at all.  It was nice to get the rain in December, but since Christmas Day, not a drop has fallen. 

You know it's funny. I'm 50 years old now. When I was in elementary school, they gave us the good old "Dick and Jane" books to learn to read. I loved those books. But even back then I was in awe of this place where you raked all the leaves into a big pile in the yard, jumped in them and when you were done playing, burned them. Where the trees turned beautiful colors in the Fall. Where "April showers bring May flowers". To experience the whole "over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go. . ." deal. White Christmas. Sleigh bells. Cutting down your own Christmas Tree. Snow days!! Such a place didn't really exist did it? It was only in books.

How silly of a woman to have one of her life's goals to be living where there are seasons. To crave cold, crisp winter days. To ache to live where it snows. To desire a lifestyle I've never known, have only dreamt about, ever since I can remember dreaming. 

So many people say that I'd "change my tune" after living in it for not even one full season. But I don't think so. This past October we made our annual RV trip up to the Sierras. We always stay in the Silver Lake campground, in the June Lake Loop, about 30 miles north of Mammoth. And every year we get a little snow. It falls, never accumulating on the ground. I get soooooo excited and rush out to stand in it. This year was different. This year - it snowed! We got 6" to 8" just the first day. I was in Heaven. And while I sit here with shorts on in January, with all the windows in the house open, praying for rain, I thought I'd treat myself to looking back at a few of my snow pictures. I'll share my favorites with you. I know there are a lot of people out there who will think I'm out of my mind, but . . . this trip made me so happy. So happy. I guess it's the little things in life . . .

Quick Honey! Take my picture before it stops!

Wow! This is the most we've ever had!

OK, it's really coming down out there! Now even the road is gone!

This is so awesome! It was 22 degrees out. And the snow fell for almost 6 hours. 
I was in Heaven. Pure Heaven.

We drove into the little town of June Lake for dinner, because it was obvious we weren't going to be BBQing our dinner that night. (We also needed a few more clothes, mainly boots!) We grabbed a window seat in the local pub, ordered a glass of wine and continued to watch the snow fall. It was one of the best days of my life. 

The next day I made this little guy on our picnic table. He made me happy.
Needless to say - next year's trip is going to have a lot to live up to!!!

Thanks for sharing in my snow adventure. I had a great time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's a girl to do?

What's a girl to do when she is a country girl at heart and lives in a not-so-country home?

(We found this flag in the wine country of Temecula when we were there to ring in the New Year. It sometimes just describes my mood perfectly!)

My family and guests have always described our home as comfortable. Which I appreciate. I have a great time puttering around, changing things here and there, trying something new. I used to drive my Mom nuts when I was a kid because when we "deep cleaned" our bedrooms every Saturday morning (remember that? change the sheets, vacuum, dust, clean mirrors) I would always change my furniture around. But she used to change the furniture in the house around too, so I know I learned it from her. I couldn't wait to get my own place so I could use all my treasures from my hope chest and decorate to my hearts content. After the birth of our 2nd son I was fortunate enough to be able to quit working and stay at home with the boys. My husband quickly learned that you just never knew what you were going to come home to. 

As time goes by, tastes change, finances change, location changes. We learn to be flexible. We lived in a cute little ranch house for 16 years before moving into this house over 5 years ago. Would I go back? Not in a million years . . . I like having more than 4 1/2 feet of my own closet space! Is this our forever home? Nope. It's very fun living here. If we were staying forever, there are several things I would change. But for now, we've done all we're going to and we'll enjoy our time here.

I thought I would share a few photos of our home. So grab a glass a wine and join me!

Come on in!

Standing at the front door looking in

The living room is on your left ... 

The room is large and 2 1/2 stories tall. I inherited the paint and faux painting over the lower windows from the previous owner. We are "storing" this furniture for our youngest son until he moves out of his "frat house" and into his own apartment.  Until then... I'm dealing with it. HA! My mind is already thinking what I could do with this room . . . hard wood floors, new paint, new drapes, shutters, furniture . . . 

On to the dining room. Can't quite get it all in one shot. I love my furniture! We can all sit down and eat together, that is, until we start having grandchildren. (But no problem - I'll adapt when the time comes!) I do love this room since we added the french doors out to the backyard.

We had 2 built-in china cabinets installed into 2 niches on the other end of the room that you can't see. But when I took everything out of them after Christmas to clean and redo, I came up with another"project" so you'll see that later.

back to the entry and turn right . . .

down the hall into my husband's office and left of that is kitchen and family room.

I know everyone feels like their home is looking rather sparse after the Holidays. But that's a good thing. Use it as a time to really clean up and start anew. Get organized for the New Year! Plan your next project(s). Paint a room! It'll make you feel good! 

So that's it for today. I hope to get a little tour of the upstairs uploaded next.  

starting over!

Well phooey! 
Back to square one. Hopefully this one will work.
Once again - HELLO! I have ventured into blogland. I have found so much inspiration from other blogs that I visit, that I hope to inspire someone too.
More posts to come. Thanks for your patience. I will repost the last few days with the pictures asap. Am running out of time today.
Have a great day!! Karen