Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Something Old, Something New for the New Year! Hill Country House Update for December!

Something new:
We have a floor! I love it! It is a "distressed" wood that will work really well with the "hill country" style.

The kitchen island is not finished but the appliances are in the garage waiting for installation and the gas line and water lines have been run as of Tuesday. The cedar island countertop is just sitting there and the baseboards are not installed, as you can see, but we are getting close enough that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Speaking of baseboards, I spent some time caulking and painting baseboards after the floor was installed. 
I'm pretty handy with most tools, but I found that I was extremely clumsy with the caulk gun! I had an entire main floor to caulk, so I knew I had to come up with a solution! I just couldn't imagine trying to run a fine line of caulk around the shoe molding (or is it toe molding? I know it has something to do with a foot!) when I was ending up with more on my hands than in the cracks!
I decided to draw on previous experience that gave me much more control!
I used the caulk gun to squirt all of the caulk into a quart sized Zip Loc freezer bag. Then I snipped off a tiny bit of one corner.

 (I have used this method to decorate cakes. I knew I could make it work although my sweet husband was pretty skeptical!) 

I was able to control the fine line of caulk easily! I also filled in nail holes and then smoothed the line out with a soft rag. (Sometimes I used my fingers, I must admit!)
All finished! (This is the same area in the photos above.) I know that those of you who are professionals at caulking are shaking your heads, but it worked and looks pretty good!

Now for something old:
My sons gave Doug these two stretched canvases for Father's Day. They will be hung in the entryway. The one on the right is a photo of his great grandaddy, known as Little Buckshot. The one on the left was his sidekick. Little Buckshot, Conrad Wentworth, was a colorful figure who scouted for wagon trains and actually taught Buffalo Bill how to shoot! (They were in the Pony Express together. Buffalo Bill was a young teenager.) Do you see the buckskin jacket he is wearing? He loaned it to B. Bill to use in his sideshow and it is now in the Cody Museum. The Cody family gave it back after Buffalo Bill's death and I have actually seen it in person before Doug's family donated it to the museum. It is much more colorful in person than it looks in the picture. There is a pass in Montana named after Little Buckshot. It is so much fun to have the photo. There is quite a bit of family resemblence to my husband and sons!   His daughter Harriet, known as Hallie, was my husband's grandmother. 

Another old item:
I have removed the slate centers from the old Craigslist coffee table and side table. I plan on making a shallow shadow box center where interesting photos and mementoes can be displayed.
Hopefully soon, I can show you a finished kitchen! Things are looking better now!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Hill Country House Update - Kitchen

The kitchen is coming along! The stone has been installed and we are waiting on the flooring to go in. We still have crown molding to put on the cabinets and top of the vent surround. Some cabinets need paint and the vent surround needs plastering. After this photo was taken, the electrical outlets were finished and those blue boxes you see on the penninsula are now nice ivory covers.

Here is a photo from the other side of the columns. The red cedar island top you see is not installed yet and is only set down there to see how it will look. There is still a plastic cover on the countertops. The stone masons actually left it in place and it is mortared in where the stone comes down to the countertops! We will have to figure out a way to remove it without scratching our counters! The cabinet to the right of the vent does not have it's shelves and door yet and the cabinets connected to it has not been painted. We still have a lot to do, but now I can see my vision coming to life! 

This is panning to the left of the island. You can see the cabinets still need crown molding. (There is some old molding still attached to some of them.) I will also have to choose lights for over the island and the window sink.
The pot filler is due to be delivered today!

My kids were all here for Thanksgiving and we went up to the hill country house for a day. My grandson doesn't have many chances to climb trees and that was very much on his "want list"! He went from tree to tree having a great time! 

I hope you have the chance to do something you love today!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hill Country House Update and a Babysitting Adventure!

Things are moving SLOWLY in the hill country! We did finally get the countertops installed after 9 weeks of problems that delayed everything else! Once they were in, the Vent-a-Hood was installed and then the vent surround went up. We had a local craftsman make the surround. We will be plastering the top, curved part of it.

The walls with no dry wall will have limestone rock installed.
It was supposed to go up a week ago, but surprise, surprise - all they have done is chip a few rocks for the column three days after they were scheduled to start and we haven't seen them since! 
The floor was supposed to be started this week, but they are waiting on the stone to go up. We have also had to postpone delivery of the appliances because the floor needs to be down first.
We did get the cabinet installed for the back entrance.

I also got all the painting done and "spruced up" the bedroom a little before my kids see it. (I will decide later how to decorate it, but it looks clean and neat for now.)

(See the little wicker chair to the right of the bed? I found it a few weeks ago at a thrift shop - $13!)
While all the work at the hill country house WAS NOT getting done, I was a thousand miles away with my grandkids. I asked the youngest what he wanted to do while I was there. He said, BAKE!
I gave him a Christmas cookie magazine that I had picked up in the airport and had him mark every recipe he wanted to make. Then we spent two days that weekend baking. 

We started with hand washing! (Do you see the little mosaic trivet in the picture? His daddy made that when he was 9 years old!)

He was very proud of what he accomplished!

He made 6 batches (all different recipes) of cookies (all safely stored away in the freezer for the holidays). He even woke me up at 6:00 in the morning on a Saturday because we had dough chilling overnight and he was ready to bake!

I also taught him how to make chicken tamales. He did everything himself during all the baking and cooking!

There are now 4 dozen tamales in the freezer.
Although I didn't get a good picture of it, my granddaughter wanted to learn to make fudge. She made two batches - one chocolate and one Dreamsicle (creamy orange like the ice cream bars we used to get as kids!). She is already an accomplished cook. Her time these last few weeks have been taken up by soccer and softball.

I bought a few dollar store village pieces and let her paint them each with glossy white paint. Her brother helped her glitter each roof and tree with sparkly snow. This is only a temperary set up for a picture. They will arrange them nicely closer to Christmas.

After all the fun with grandkids, I came home this past weekend to find that it is fall in the hill country!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week (if you're in the states!). If not, just have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Being a Nana!

I'm away for a little while being a Nana to my only two grandchildren! ( My son had surgery and my daughter in law was sent away for a few weeks with the military.) I have been unable to download photos to my blog and I am trying to post on a Kindle. Not easy for older eyes!! I did find this 7 year old photo in my Picassa files. This four year old (seen here in a butterfly house in North Carolina) is now taller than I am and has a little brother!
While I'm gone, my husband is "holding down th he fort" at home and great things are happening at the hill country house kitchen reno! 
I'll be back soon! 
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Black Cat Crossing - My Day!

Trick or Treat
Smell my feet, 
Give me something good to eat!

I have certainly heard that line at least a thousand times through the years from little"trick or treaters" at my door! My version is:

Trick or Treat, 
Take a seat,
My Halloween project is now complete!

Maywood Studios came out with this great fabric called Black Cat Crossing. I ordered a fat quarter bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop and made this large wall hanging and the clothing for a doll. 

I used a few scraps along with the feature fabric.  The cat, birds, and spider (did you see him down there in the lower right hand corner?) are wool applique. 

Catrina is my Halloween witch with clothing made from the same line. She's there to keep peace among the cats and birds and to keep those pesky pumpkin smashers away! 
Here's wishing you a safe holiday! 

Be sure to visit my fellow bloggers today and go to Sew We Quilt to see the top picks. Thank you to Mdm. Samm and to Wendy, at Why Knot Kwilt. They are our wickedly wonderful cheerleaders and are not really wicked at all!

Friday, October 24
Buzzing and Bumbling  (that's me!)

(YIKES! I am on a day with some pretty tough competition!!! Be sure to check them out! I don't think you'll be disappointed!)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Progress at the Hill Country House!

I've been working on some dolls for a big sale the first weekend in December. They've been a nice diversion from working at the house! 
I've also been busy on my projects for Black Cat Crossing coming near the end of the month. It starts on the 20th! My day is the 24th, so be sure and join us to see what we've come up with!
Now for the Hill Country House! We are making progress. 

 1.I got a floor laid (yes, I did it myself!) in the new laundry room just in time for the washer and dryer to be delivered! The grout needed time to cure, so I was sweating getting it finished in time!
2. The washer and dryer were delivered. 
3. We signed up with an internet provider and now have internet! 
4.  I painted the large open area that contains the living room, dining room, entry, and sitting area except for the walls near the fireplace where I need a scaffolding. (Ignore the cardboard on the floor! Remember there is hardwood going down when all this is finished!) Because the entry had new dry wall, I need a second coat on this wall.

5. I painted the pantry and small back entry.
6. I painted the kitchen island cabinets. 
7. I met with the countertop installers to discuss problems with the installation.  That is holding up all the other work that was scheduled to be done. They have already come out once to "fix" it, but it is not right yet. (I have left the protective plastic on until they have finished their work. Remember that stone will go on the walls including the half wall under the penninsula.)

8.The flooring has been delivered.

9.The Vent-a-Hood has been delivered and should be installed this weekend. 
10.We have someone lined up to make the vent surround. After this the limestone can be put up and then the floor can go down!
11. We had a level concrete "pad" poured so we can have a propane tank! (No city gas lines up on this hill!) Can you see that at one end the slab is about 3' thick?

This weekend I have an office, bathroom, and bedroom to paint along with a second coat in the entryway and climbing a scaffolding so I can paint in the high areas. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rush Hour Blog Hop - My Day!

It's poor Rushing Rosie.
Her deadline is near
and rush Hour is coming too soon
she does fear!
Her stockings are snagged
and her hair is a mess!
She needs a good shower 
and she slept in her dress!
But here she is now
all finished. Work's done!
It's time to relax 
and to have some good fun!
by Linda Winters

(My little doll was truly a rush hour project! I wanted to add something to what I did below, but I've been gone so much lately I wasn't finding time. Then I decided on Rosie! Do you sometimes feel like she looks? I know I do!)

Rush Hour! What do you think of? Honking, swerving, speeding cars? Bumper to bumper? Nerves frazzled? Maybe it's finishing a sewing project before a deadline like Rosie above? 
I invite you to think of a slower, simpler time. A time when taking a nap was a dreaded event in the day! (Can you imagine that?) A time when rush hour was finishing your dinner so you could have dessert! (And you stayed skinny!)
I was unable to buy the wonderful Rush Hour fabric by Studio E, so I enlisted the help of my niece and nephew to create some of our own! 
I gave them a Sharpie and a rectangle of fabric and asked them to draw a picture of something they liked to do. 

Tristan drew his family playing with the family dog, Bear.

Emilee drew her family playing with a doll. 
(Rush hour is trying to get an unblurred photo of these twins posing! You have to be FAST!)
Each child chose a border fabric and backing fabric, keeping with the red, black, and white theme of the hop.  I let them sit on my lap and guide the fabric while I controlled the machine. 
We sewed our borders on, pressed the top, and cut the back to fit. 


I showed them how to pin the layers together.... 

...and we sewed each picture into a naptime pillow. Here is Emilee sitting in my lap and sewing. 

Tristan had his turn, too! 

I gave them the stuffing and let them "have at it!"

"Add a little more, Emilee, so it feels good when you use it!"

"Woo-hoo! Time for a nap!"

Rush Hour? Not for these two!

Be sure to check out my fellow "hoppers" today! 

Wednesday, September 24

Buzzing and Bumbling - you're here!

Our thanks to Mdm. Samm of Sew We Quilt and Carol of Just Let Me Quilt who have brought us this hop! 

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