My Updated Kitchen

My kitchen has been way overdue for a fresh coat of paint. I had great plans of re-painting for at least the last 7 years. Yes 7 years. First I struggled with paint color, then I had spine issues to deal with that stopped me in my tracks. Once I started having back issues I hired someone to paint for me who I trusted and adored. Then he passed away. He was in his early 30's. The devastation of that alone kept me from getting it done.

Last fall I finally took the plunge and not only picked out a paint color, I purchased the paint! It was progress. And now here we are in August and I am looking forward to another fall where I still have not painted the darn kitchen. I was determined to get it done no matter how daunting. I started with some de-greaser that is supposed to be diluted with water before use. I used it with little water added to make it really strong. I took an old sponge and some rubber gloves and just lathered it onto the cabinets. The greasy residue from years of cooking just melted away. This process alone took me an entire day.

The next day I gave the cabinets an extra rinse and proceeded to remove all the art and decorations, curtain rods and blinds off the walls. I filled in the holes with epoxy - or whatever the stiff is called that is used to fill in nail holes. I knew my husband would protest, so before he got home from work, I threw the patio blinds into the garbage. Surprisingly, when he got home he did not balk too much - just a little mention about how expensive they were. But once he saw all the dirt on them that was impossible to remove, he just let it go. I covered the tops of the cabinets with drop cloths.

The following day I started to paint the ceiling. The kitchen is very large so I had to break it up into multiple days. I painted half the ceiling one day then finished the rest the next day. Once I got into a flow it got a little easier. Getting around all those cabinets took a very long time, but 3 days later, I had all the walls painted as well. So all-in-all it took me 7 days to paint my kitchen! I neglected to mention how many painkillers I had to take but all I can say is that I am done. Finally. After all those years and I am so very happy.

So now the fun part starts. We went shopping for new light fixtures. We both agreed on a new one for the cooking area and one for over the sink and my husband happily installed them.  I think he was finally seeing why I wanted to paint. The new color is such a wonderful upgrade. And the new fixtures are brushed nickel which matches the stainless steel appliances perfectly. The paint color compliments the beautiful wood tones in the cabinets and it feels so fresh and clean now.

The only problem left in regards to light fixtures is the one over the kitchen table. The problem is that I really like that fixture. Although I do not care for the ceiling fan part, my husband insists that we have one for energy efficiency. Sometimes you have to pick your battles so I will let him win this one. So we go shopping for a new ceiling fan/light fixture. I don't like any. He doesn't like the prices. So I decided to spray paint the old fixture. After all, what do I have to lose? If it doesn't turn out we will keep shopping and if it does, we just re-purposed another item in our house. It's a win-win!


My New Bike

Before I had two major spine surgeries, I used to run. I ran a lot. And I biked. I had a triathlon bike that was a beautiful piece of equipment that suited my athletic lifestyle. I bought that bike thinking it would be the last bike I ever purchased. After all, it was very expensive and the investment had to last me a lifetime.

Little did I know at that time that everything would change so drastically. No more running and biking with my triathlon bike was impossible. Even though getting on a bike would be good exercise, the triathlon bike had clips instead of pedals that my shoes would snap into. When I tried to use them, I fell off the bike because I can't feel my feet. It's difficult to un-clip shoes from the pedals when you can't feel your feet. I also can't bend at the waist or lean over without lots of discomfort.

So I finally came to terms with the idea that I had to lose the triathlon bike and get something designed for my tattered body. And here is my newly acquired urban old-lady bike. I traded in my triathlon bike and got this little beauty. It allows me to sit upright and it even has a shock-absorber under the seat! I decided to make the best of it and I had a bike rack and basket put on the back. At least I can ride to the grocery store to pick up a few things so I will get some extra exercise in when I need to do errands.

She is a beauty, but I am still having a hard time coming to terms with all that I have lost.
Basil Basket


Floral 9-Patch Quilt - Completed

 I had so much leftover fabric in third quilt I made using these florals.

I simply sewed together the scraps making 9-patch blocks then put sashing between all the blocks.

I free-motioned the quilt and used the same backing and binding I used on my floral pinwheel quilt.

Both the quilts are have a pretty, soft look and I think they have great feminine appeal.


My Vegetable Garden

 My vegetable garden is in full swing these days. The hot weather over the past week has made everything just grow at a rapid pace.

I've been picking green beans every day and the peppers were so large, the plant was tipping on its side like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. And the cucumbers are so large already that I've picked 7 from one plant already.

It's been too hot to spend a lot of time outside, but my garden is benefiting greatly.


Floral Pinwheel Quilt - Completed

I finished my floral pinwheel quilt today. I free-motion quilted the layers of the quilt and added a nice floral binding to mimic all the colors of the blocks in the quilt.

It's been close to 90 degrees these days and since I am stuck in the air conditioning instead of getting to be outside, it seems like a great time to get a little quilting done.

I don't plan on spending a lot of summertime in my sewing room but sometimes the opportunity is right.


Pretty Little Party Dress

I finished my pretty little party dress project and since I had cut off the skirt part of the original dress, I thought I would make it into a cute little purse to match the dress.

The dress is now a party dress ready for a fancy event. I sure hope the recipient likes it. The photo does not clearly show the sparkle in the tulle or reflect how soft the cute little dress is.


Independence Day

We spend the 4th of July at the local legion post. We start the day enjoying the parade followed by kid's games at the post. Once the kids have exhausted the face painting, balloon animal making and all the other fun things to do, we head home for picnic then come back for the fireworks.

This year's events were held under perfect weather conditions. No rain, not too hot or not too cold. It was absolutely perfect.


What's on the design board?

Here we are in the midst of summer, and I have to admit, I have not spent much time in my sewing room. I have an organic garden to maintain and I recently had a landscaping project in the works. I really love spending time outdoors in the summer so I never feel any angst about not sewing.

I have been working on a special project over the past few weeks. It's a cute little tea dress that has some paint stains on the front that won't come out. So I am modifying the dress into a pretty party dress. The colors of the dress are quite unique. The dress is not quite red and not quite pink or peach. It falls in-between the standard color wheel in such pretty tones that they are not easy to match. So instead of looking for a specific type of fabric I let chose what was available in the shades that matched the dress. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

The colors are soft and muted just like the stripe in the original dress. And since it will be a party dress, I found a nice shade of tulle to go over the top of the skirt. So so pretty. I love the drapey feel of the fabric. It has a nice soft feel to it as well. That will definitely help keep the scratchy tulle layer away from a little girl's skin.

For the entire month of July I don't expect to have anything on the design board, there's just too much to do outdoors. However, I can't wait to put this little dress all together.