Tag Archives: house

Shop Small This Weekend

Hello everybody. If you’re in the USA I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. My husband and I got to host this year. We worked together to clean the house and cook turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, carrots, corn, potato casserole, and pumpkin pies. His mom brought some homemade bread which rounded out our nice spread. Yum! Here’s a picture of my brother-in-law loading his plate.

joethanks15

Now that everybody’s onto eating pie for breakfast and looking up recipes for leftover turkey it’s time to turn our attention to holiday shopping. I’d like to encourage you to shop small businesses this year. I’ll be featuring some of my favorite small businesses today through Cyber Monday on the quiltartbymegan Facebook Page. “Like” and follow me over there to learn about great entrepreneurs and to shop their deals.

Of course, there are some great deals in my etsy shop too. Everything in there is now 30% off. You don’t need a coupon code as I’ve adjusted each price individually to reflect the sale. Easy peasy!

shopsmall

Kitchen, Kitties, and Some Quilting

My husband and I are working hard to renovate this house. The newest finish is a big scratching post tree for our cats. It’s made out of pantry shelves covered in leftover carpet with 24’s, rope, and staples. Sweet, huh?! I love it when projects reuse things that were headed to the trash. Our kitties seem to like it even though most of them won’t cooperate for photographs.

newscratchingpostapproved

Here’s the kitchen those pantry shelves came from. Some of the top cabinets we removed will be mounted in the garage for storage. The refrigerator’s been moved to the other side of the room and we’re leaving the stove, sink, and dishwasher hooked up as long as we can. New cabinets arrive on Tuesday! We’ll install the top ones, demo the rest of the kitchen, put flooring tiles in, install the bottom cabinets, then start tiling the countertop. We might be washing dishes in the bathtub for a while. Throw back to our motel-living days! So grateful to be here. kitchendemojuly16When I’m not in DIY home renovations mode I’m working on this sweet baby quilt. The done so I’m quilting it all together from the back. This is an eye-spy quilt where each novelty print fabric (ladders, owls, pumpkins, etc) is used in two different blocks. So it’s great for a baby quilt and as the child grows becomes a look-and-find game to match the fabrics up. This one is big enough to snuggle under on the couch too.

cityblocksquilttop  quiltingfromtheback

With my new computer I’m now on Instagram. Are you? Let’s follow each other! I’m quiltartbymegan on there.

Just Add Support

Our brand new bathroom counter cracked. I heard it from the kitchen and came running. My husband was leaning against the side of the counter while installing the hand-towel holder and it gave out.
new sink cracked

How did this happen? Can you see the gap between the counter and the wooden cabinet? That’s the problem right there. There’s no support. The store exchanged the broken bits for a whole and we started over. This time my husband cut some wood and glued/nailed it to the inside of the vanity.  It was a design flaw. The sink needed more support.
sink design flawWe all need extra support sometimes. My quilting buddies are helping me with these place mats. They’re cool, huh? The conversation’s ranged from confidence to marketing with many ideas that are new to me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

set of 6 bright crumbs placemats
Our bathroom looks much better now. The counter cracking was a bummer but I’m glad it happened when it did. We got it exchanged and added supports and can be confident it’s sturdy as well as pretty. bathroom before after
It’s kitty approved. 🙂

Velcro on sink

 

 

Window to my Art

Soon I’ll have an art studio! Hubby and I installed a new window today. Yup, all by ourselves. 🙂

Milo hides

Our cat Milo didn’t approve. His hiding spot is under the covers. (I see you!) He’s not going to be happy tomorrow when we replace the bedroom window. The kitties will be locked out of the bedroom while there’s a gigantic hole in the wall.

Milo hears a noise

My husband started the job by unscrewing the window and removing the frame and track. We set those aside to deal with after the installation.

Out with the old windowWe discovered that he’s much better with the caulking gun than I am. So my job was to squish the silicone into the holes and smooth it out.Caulking to seal
The window easily slid into its space. I pushed from the outside and Jeff screwed the frame into the wall from inside. It’s a nice tight fit. The window on the left in the photo below is the old style. How much nicer does this one look?! All of the windows in the house will be replaced. First one’s done!
new window vs old
Clean-up was fun. It’s not everyday you get to smash a window! We hammered the glass out, swept it up, and put it in the bin for recycling. The metal track and frames were sawed smaller and recycled too.
smashing old window

 

I’m excited to see things progressing! The studio will be ready for me soon. We’re going to put bamboo flooring in. The closet doors need to be put back up (we took ’em down to paint) and then… and then… and then… well, I guess there’s nothing left to do but move in!

 

 

Linking up with Thankful Thursday.

Tiny Roller to the Rescue

Paint’s drying in my new studio as I speak. I used a brush and the tiny roller in this photo on the door jam. The ceiling, walls, trim and closet doors (on the floor) were all sprayed. The room’s so shiny and white now!
tiny roller painting

Next up is removing the tiles and installing the ceiling fan. We’ll also put the covers back on the outlets and replace the doorknob. Hardwood flooring and a window are on order and should be here in the next week or two. It’ll be move-in day before you know it!

Our other big project this week was making and canning soup. Two large pots of turkey, vegetables, spices and pasta made for fifteen quarts of soup. All of the lids popped so they’re sealed for the pantry. I loooove my husband’s soup recipe. Now it’s easy to open a jar and have some anytime I want.turkey noodle soups 15

Canning soup is cheap too. The lids and ingredients for this amount comes out to around $28. I’m not including the cost of the jars and bands because they’re an initial expense but will last forever. We get about 3 servings out of each quart. Price per serving is $0.62…. and this tastes much better than any canned soup at the store. Win!

What projects are you working on?

 

 

Linking up to Thankful Thursday and Let’s Bee Social and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Artist. Not just a quilt artist.

I remember my purple bedroom with the hollowed-out-closet turned art studio. It was AWESOME! At five, this was waaaay better than a trip to Disney. I sat in there for hours at my little desk coloring, drawing, stamping, creating. I had to get permission for messy stuff like glue, paint, and clay but my parents made sure that I got to use them sometimes too.

My husband and I are getting an art studio ready for me in this house. It’s a bedroom that was a storage room. The things that were in there have sorted, organized, and put in their proper places so now it’s empty and ready for sprucing up. Yes, the row of shelving stays. I get to fill it up with fabric!

studio before 1We got rid of the smelly carpet, threadbare curtains, and popcorn ceiling treatment. The weird shape on the window is from the brown packaging tape holding it together. It’ll need to be replaced. We got rid of the 7The first things accomplished getting rid of the carpet, tossing the curtains, and scraping the popcorn treatment off the ceiling.

my studio minus carpet curtains and popcorn ceilingI had a circus party in the closet studio house. The invitations were tickets I made. I painted our windows (half dish soap, and half paint) with balloons, clowns, and animals. We made a train down to the basement playroom. Hands on the shoulders of the kid in front of you. No pushing! There was a face-painting station and a cake with a train on it. Such fun!

At 31, I can still taste being five years old. So I’ve decided to play! I’m joining a meet-up for art journalling in my area. My first meeting is this Friday morning. I’m hoping to make friends and to play. Not to make anything specific or become a world-famous collage maker or painter, but to play with other artists.

cupcakes and lollipops journal pageHere’s the first page of my art journal. I stamped the background with bubble wrap, painted with cherry syrup, glued ribbon, brushed glitter nail polish on, and added the lettering. Who says you can’t create without art supplies? I knew what I wanted to say and made do with what I had. 🙂 I will be picking up a tray of kids’ watercolors from the dollar store before my meeting though. 🙂

 

Linking up to Val’s sewing room link party. Check it out if you want some ideas for your studio.

 

Disapproving Owl Judges You

I saw a meme on Pinterest last night that said, “I used to be a people person until people ruined it for me.” It’s snarky but a bit of a downer. As a born introvert I actually feel the opposite way. I can totally be a people person… depending on which people you’re talking about.

Take these owls, for example. The first is dubbed “Disapproving Owl.” Surely, you can see why. This ceramic ornament was in the window next to our front door when we moved in to the new place. It felt like he was saying, “do what you want, but you’ll never be welcome here.” As soon as we could, he was removed from the house.

Disapproving Owl

Actually, my husband finds it hilarious that I think this owl is so creepy… so he’s hidden Disapproving Owl somewhere in the garage. That way he can make random reappearances and wig me out. Thanks honey.

The second owl is one we bought while running errands yesterday. He was on display in hardware store. “Mo” thinks you’re curious. You may be strange but if wide-eyed Mo watches long enough you’ll no doubt do something interesting. Maybe even something spectacular! Mo is mo’ like the people who I choose to be around… who’ve helped me become a mo’ of a people person. (See what I did there?! Mo thinks it was clever.)

Whowhooo

I don’t think I’ll ever really grow out of being an introvert. I value my alone time and feel overwhelmed when there’s lots of activity around me. So I’ll sit quietly in my room and Mo will look at me with encouragement and I’ll remember that I’ve chosen the right people to be around… and they’re nothing like that @#(* Disapproving Owl.

Somebunny Hid the Cottons!

I’m working my way through Tula Pink’s newest book City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks with some quilty friends of mine. One of the cool things about this book is that the author encourages you to name your own blocks, providing numbers to reference them by.

Here’s my version of #87. I call it “Hide the Cottons!” It reminds me of a map of a fabric store. Not a quilt shop, mind you, but a JoAnns-ish fabric store. Where are buttons? All over the store. Where’s the fabric? Easily accessible and plain to see. How about the quilting cottons? Well… those are hidden in the dark recesses of this itty-bitty corner where the dust bunnies breed. Ugh!

#87 Hide the Cottons!

 

Speaking of bunnies, I had the chance to meet one that wasn’t made of dust (or cat hair) this weekend! Our neighbor’s cat chased him into the garage, where we had to move a bunch of boxes and poke him with a 2×4 before he was caught. We decided to put him in a cat-carrier cage until the neighbor’s cat had been let in for the night, hoping to save little cotton tail from becoming dinner. I even offered him some carrots but he was busy being scared out of his mind. Here’s the little guy in the carrier.

caged bunny

When it was time to let him go, my husband picked him up with welding gloves on. Wild animals are known to bite, right? Safety first!

he has ears

I gave him some pets before he hopped home. He calmed right down and squinted his eyes when I stroked the top of his head and the base of his ears. Hubby said his heart-rate slowed way down, too, from what he could tell through the gloves. Somebunny likes pets

So cute.

Funny Fixed Fence

It’s October in Southern California, which means it’s time for some strong winds. (Also, you might need a sweater after dark.) Anyway, we have an old rotten fence that partially blew down today, taking out a window. So I taped that up while my husband hatched a plan for putting the fence back up in a way that it would stay up through the next few weeks of windy days. It was a single-pane glass window in a room we haven’t gotten to sorting through yet. Faces the side yard, so we don’t have to replace it immediately. 

broken window

Anyway, I told you the fence is all rotted-out, right? So my husband screws it back together best he can, and uses brackets, and the fence is pretty much together… except that I can knock it down just by leaning on it with my body weight. Here’s the new solution: there’s a stump close to the back of the fence and we have a 2×4 left over from another project. Let’s prop the fence up! Start by screwing the lumber to the stump. 
screwed stump

Then screw it to the top of the fence, and voila! Now it’s wind-proof. We hope. And it looks so so silly that I just had to blog about it to share with everybody. These photos are all taken from the backyard. It doesn’t look as ridiculous from the front. 

fixed fence

 

Alright, back to my quilting. I’m sending off a box of blocks and fabric markers to my childhood overnight camp tomorrow. There’s an alumni weekend coming up and participants will decorate the blocks and get them back to me. We’re making a signature quilt for the Turkey Clan’s room in the lodge! Fun, fun. Photos soon. 

Where’ve You Been?

I’ve been neglecting to write for a few weeks now. What have I been up to? Well, aside from spending a lot of time getting un-sick (yuck) and with my kiddos at work (so cute) I’ve been working on the house. Here are a few new skills I’ve learned.

1) Replacing window screens. When I expressed amazement that my husband could do it, he showed me how. Now I’ve volunteered to do the rest of the screens in the house, starting with the back screen door, which has been attacked by vines.

2) Mudding drywall. Filling in holes, covering low spots, etc before we paint.

3) Using a paint sprayer. I’m pretty handy with a brush and roller, but the spraying bit was new to me. We’re rolling colors, but it’s very handy for white ceilings and hard-to-reach areas  like under the water heater in the garage.

4) Cutting and installing carpet. Okay, so we didn’t completely install it with tacks on the side, but throw-rug-style is just fine for the master bedroom for now.

5) Scraping popcorn ceilings down. It’s easy! Just wet it down and scrape. It flops right off and you sweep the gunk off the floor.

bedroom4

Oh, and I’m excellent at sorting through items. Initially, they’re in three categories: save, sell, and donate. Goodwill’s having a good donation year in my town.

I have not been quilting, but am excited to do some paper-piecing with friends tomorrow. I’ll post s’more about that soon. Promise.