Sunday, July 31, 2011


I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. i have spent the last 4 days mostly on my back....on the couch or in the bed. something in my back/hip area knotted up and made walking, sitting and generally doing anything impossible.

I've been through aspirin, ibuprophen, aleve, tylenol, icy hot, heating pad, and as a last husband's muscle relaxer medication from a few years ago.  yeah.....i know....don't take others medication......but trust me....that was my last resort. but i think that may have done the trick. i took 3 of them throughout the day yesterday and woke up this morning pain free. i have been walking around gingerly.....waiting for the pain to come back. but so good.

I went over to the studio this morning for about 3 hours and loaded a quilt top and quilted just a little. once my back felt tired i quit and went back home. i just got up from a 3 hour nap. it's hard to believe i can nap for that long since basically all i've done for 4 days is and on.

But i'm still feeling, i hope i am back to normal ...... or whatever is 'normal' for me. LOL   i'll still be taking it easy for a few days......but cross your fingers that all is well.

While taking it easy i managed to finish the Dear Jane blocks for row D and 6 blocks in row E. and 2 more border triangles.

Am now waiting to hear from Judy Laquidara as to the color for August's monochromatic challenge quilt. it will either be green or pink. my pink top is what i put on the frame this morning and started quilting. and the green top is on my piecing table....waiting for me to piece more blocks. so either way....i am ready. LOL

Gonna go work on a couple green blocks.
Stay cool

Thursday, July 28, 2011

3 rows done....10 to go

I've been trying to take it easy lately and rest a sore have been working on my Dear Jane blocks a bit.

I now have 3 rows completed and put together.

I am really liking this quilt. some of these blocks are rather challenging....trying to figure out how best to make them.

My sister is on the 4th row and i'm trying to keep up.

I have some of the 4th row blocks finished.

This one is going on my bed. i have no illusions of having it done for this winter....perhaps next year.

But it is coming along well and i am happy with it.  so far, C12 has the most pieces....49. a couple of the blocks turned out just a bit differently....either through my error in piecing or i couldn't figure out how exactly to duplicate it. but who will know.

You won't tell on me....will you?  LOL

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Alphabet choices for the Princess Quilts

Here are alphabet choices that i think will work for the Princess Quilts. the pictures are strange, kind of, because i was taking a pic of the screen on my embroidery machine.

1.  Funky alphabet....comes 2 inches or 3.5 inches letters only. will have to squish them a bit for the longer name. but i like them because of the different things in the letters. can do them in the shades of pinks or purples or whatever.

2.  Fun applique alphabet...comes 2.5 inches or 4 inches tall.  capital letters only.  applique can match, colorwise, or be scrappy. probably won't fit larger name.

3.  Heartstrings alphabet. comes 2 inches tall. have capital and small letters. small letters do not have the hearts and stars.   i like these, too.

4.  Kids applique alphabet...comes 3 inches tall. capital and small letters. can be appliqued any fabrics. won't work well for longer name.

5.  Patchwork applique alphabet.  comes 4" letters only. won't work for larger name. can be various scrappy pieces.

6.  And, CurlyQ alphabet....comes about 3 1/4 inches tall. capital letters only.

Or, i could just use a plain alphabet that is in the machine.

Which, if you like and want me to use.


I am home once again...trying for a bit of rest and relaxation from a few weeks of manual labor.

Josh spent 8 days at the farm.....doing odd jobs for us.....i took him back home on Friday and spent a couple days at the Duck. got the grass cut. josh pulled the wiring out of the house and took the furnace and water heater out of the basement. it took a couple of truck loads to get rid of all that stuff. he will sell all the scrap metal for a few bucks. i'm just glad it is all out of the house. I have a stack in the back alley of old plywood and boards and bags of trash from the basement. he says he will get rid of all that for me before i get back. i hope he does.

I am getting closer to the 'fixing it back up' stage. I have ordered 4 outside main doors and 6 windows. so, in about 2 weeks they should be here and i'll go back down and have them installed. it will be nice to have a window that opens all the way and actually stays open without putting a stick in there to hold it up. then i'll have 17 more windows to get. the plan for this year still is to get the wiring done and see if i can get the rest of the windows in.

Next year will be insulation.

I actually got out the shop vac and sucked up all the plaster dust and dirt all over everywhere. and i mopped the floors....all but the kitchen. it didn't make anything any prettier but i just got sick of looking at all the dust all over the floors.

In trying to help pick up stuff and load the truck i somehow caused a muscle to kink or something in my back/hip. so i am hobbling around a bit. yesterday when i got home about 2:30 i just took a shower and did a load of laundry and then parked myself in my recliner for the rest of the evening. watched a couple movies on tv and read for a while. hopefully today i can get something going at the studio.

I didn't take any pics at the Duck this time. i meant to get one of the empty basement but forgot. it was very hot the last couple of days and we only worked about 4 hours in the mornings. i'll be happy to see cooler weather come in.

We also got breakfast served again on Sunday morning. Josh's sister is my neighbor and she has invited us over twice now for a nice breakfast. this time we had French toast, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy. I have lovely neighbors.

Got to start movin' around and get things done.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Week in the Life of Josh

You'll remember i told you that i brought Josh back to the farm with me from the Duck last week. he worked so hard on demolition it was time to see what he could do with construction. there were several year old jobs on jim's to-do list that i really wanted to see get done.

The first 2 1/2 days were spent on installing the kitchen ceiling.

Considering there were 2 males working on went remarkably well.....a few curse words thrown around.....but it got done.

I figured it was time for new lights, too. so, after looking at insulation for a few years, finally the ceiling is up. i just need to finish caulking and paint it. hopefully, that won't take several years, too. LOL

The next big project was filling in an open spot in the garage wall with concrete blocks. i have no idea why it was left open like that......the previous owners apparently had a plan that i wasn't privy to.

It would take 14 concrete blocks to fill the gap. of course, some of them had to be cut down to fit in the space.

They even got me involved. my job was to hold the hose and put the water in the wheelbarrow while the mortar was mixed. easy enough.

Supervisor Suzy was on the job, too.

It turned out well....i like it.

Josh is not one to sit around.....he likes to be busy. so in between all these construction jobs......he was out on the tractor mowing. there were probably 20 acres that was grown tall that had to be mowed. that man loves to mow.

Another little project was the bathroom floor of my studio.....i had put down some tiles.....oh, about 3 years or so ago. never got around to cutting the edge pieces and grouting it though, so, now, that project is finished, too.

Josh was giving me grief for using brown grout......but it is what i sense in buying more. the tiles are gray and 2 shades of white. it worked ok for me. after it was all done....even Josh had to admit 'it didn't look too bad'.

Of course, Jim was coming around....checking out progress. then he got the idea that Josh could also put the tile up in our shower.....another years old project that was never finished. but it only required cutting about 11 tiles.....a short project completed in a couple hours. it turned out great, too. we used different colored tiles to match the tiles in the floor.

Let's see...what else did we accomplish.  he mowed all the grass at the farm and at the studio. and spent some time most days on the tractor out in the pastures.

There's our fishing pond down at the bottom of the hill. Josh did some fishing, too and caught about 7 catfish....that are in the cooler for him to take home to enjoy.

I was thinking of what else he could do that i didn't want to do. so decided to have him paint the ceiling and floor in the plant porch. a couple of days got that project done, too.

Ceiling has a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint....thanks Josh.

Floor has a coat of primer and 1 coat of paint...i'll finish it next week when i get back home.

Here's my favorite picture of the week.

And the pastures look all pretty.

Today i am taking Josh back home......and i can catch up on my naps. LOL

I'm gonna miss that man.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is this Heaven or Hell?

I'm not sure i'm in heaven or in hell...LOL

I told you about my worker at the Duck that is helping me with demolition. Josh is a worker.....i mean a 10 hour day.....balls to the wall.....worker. he gets it done!  well, i brought him home with me to help jim take care of his to-do list. and he's been working like a house afire since Thursday.

So far they have
...put the ceiling in the kitchen and put up new lights. my job is still to caulk and paint it.
...he has cut and glued down the tile in my studio bathroom floor. still have grout to do.
...they have built a concrete block wall in the garage and did an awesome job.
...he has mowed all the grass at the property and is currently out in the pastures on the tractor.
...he has put primer on the ceiling of the plant porch at the house...paint to come next.

I am not gettng my daily naps...LOL   i have lost 11 pounds since last week friday....sweat is a great weight loss plan. josh has gained about 5 pounds....hahahahahaha   that man can eat.      and there's another thing....since jim is working with him......i am stuck cooking.  and my work at the studio is falling behind. but i am not complaining. there are so many projects getting done around here that it is amazing.

I've got him here for about 3 more we will see what else can get accomplished. we are already starting a new list of things he can do in the fall and i can bring him back for a few days in November.

Gotta love young men with muscles.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blueberries and Cream

Judy Laquidara's monochromatic color challenge for the month of July was Blue.  i decided to use her pattern called Peaches and Cream.....only mine will be blueberries and cream. LOL

This is a fast, easy pattern. i love it.

I used mostly my hand dyed fabrics.

It used up quite a bit of fabric.

The piece i used on the back had fish and octopus on it.....a cute under the sea scene. i put a piece of pale blue down the middle to make it wide enough and used up almost all of the fish fabric, too.

A quick scribble meander over it and it was done in a few hours.

Glad i got that one finished on i will go load the other challenge quilt for the month and get it quilted.

Are you having fun with Judy?   i hope so

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Bathroom at the Beast

Since my sis has practically abandoned her blog on the Beast....i figure it is my duty to let you know how things are progressing. the last couple of months she has been working on her upstairs bathroom. it is coming along famously.....almost all the floor and wall tiles are done. and she made herself a cabinet for the sink.

Those little bitty tiles came from my bathroom floor at the Duck.

She will have water soon.....ahhhhh, showers......i remember those. LOL

Great use of little bitty tiles.

I love the chocolate brown walls....and the teensy tiny tiles around the mirror.  still a bit of trimming to do on the paint.

But her bathroom will be finished way before mine will. and when we get running water there.....and can quit hauling dozens of gallons of water every will be heaven.  even if we only have cold water.

Then after water...perhaps heat.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Major Progress at the Duck!

5 days at the Duck and things were happening....

I got into town on Friday with my sister....called my friend that is helping me with demolition....and he unloaded the truck for us and got my sister's mattress, springs and bed frame upstairs at the Beast. and carried up some other furniture that we couldn't get up there. God bless men with muscles.

Then i got my barn wood unloaded from my truck and got my grass cut at the Duck. .... same men with muscles. Just a couple hours work....but so needed.

Saturday we headed to Greenville, Illinois, for a book sale. both my sis and I came away with more books. i don't know when i shall have time to read all that i have now.

Saturday they delivered my hot pink dumpster.

16 feet long....8 feet wide.....6 feet tall.  and we filled every square inch of it.

Sunday morning at 6am it looked like this:

And then 4 hours later at looked like this.

And this is the man responsible for that.

I just cannot say enough good things about Josh. he brought a buddy and his stepson and got the wheelbarrow brigade rolling and the dumpster was filled in no time flat. He is the hardest working individual i have ever met. Give him a couple cigarette breaks and keep him supplied with Mountain Dew and he works like a demon. I'm not giving him to keep the 'to-do' list growing.

These are horrid pictures that were taken practically in the dark.....but the garage is empty of the mountain of plaster and the mountain of trash......Yay!!

Just a bit of plywood against the wall that Josh will take home and use.

The doghouse is gone from the corner. i tried and tried to move it and thought it must be made of really heavy was nailed to the fence. sheesh!!    went into the dumpster.

Monday and Tuesday were very hot....100 degrees or better. All slats are now cleared out of the house....baseboards are all pulled floor (with 4 layers of linoleum and a plywood base) is gone....pantry walls and ceiling are removed. ... tile floor in laundry area is removed.   we worked like crazy.

That kitchen floor was a pure bitch the first day....just kept tearing into small pieces. but after learning of a trick to use a pitchfork to pull it up....the second half went very quickly. i'm going to have to replace that floor, i can put down some ceramic tiles.

I got electric turned on in the garage finally and discovered that the a/c unit in the window of the office works. so we pulled some lumber out of there and made ourselves a break room. LOL   can hardly beat sitting in an air conditioned room for your cigarette break rather than on the back steps. throw in a cold bottle of water and it's almost heaven.

I got an estimate from the insulation people to install the blown in closed cell wet foam insulation and it wasn't as high as i thought it would be. for some reason the ceilings cost much more than the walls. so i have a little while to decide how i want to go with the insulation. i believe i will leave the insulation that i currently have in the seems to be adequate....and just blow in the exterior walls.

I did get 4 doors and 6 windows ordered. i need a carpenter to do a bit of repair on doorways and window casings but in a couple weeks i will have a new front door, back door, garage walk-in door, and door from the garage to the house. ..... and windows in 4 rooms. ....  all at a very reasonable price. i am pretty excited about that.

And i talked Josh into coming home with me to help hubby with his 'to-do' list of things that hadn't move OFF the list in a couple years.

All in all....a VERY productive few days. now i feel a nap coming on.


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