Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Gracie on March 10, 2011

I know this is a terrible picture; but, I had to share. It was taken with my camera phone and she was on my lap. It is difficult to hold that phone at arm's length and keeping it still while snapping a picture.

At this time, I was very sick with headaches/migraines. I had situated myself on the couch with lap desk and laptop before Dan left for work. I would play on the computer, watch TV, and snooze.

Sometime that morning, Gracie quietly squirmed her way onto my lap. Just before I snapped this picture, she stretched herself out a little and her hind feet ended up on the lap desk. (You can see that in the picture above). She was happy and didn't care. But, it made things difficult for me with the laptop. I am always the ever indulgent cat lover - I worked around her.

Not long after I snapped this picture, she went into deep sleep and started dreaming and twitching violently. Now, that is hard won over trust. I was pleased that she reached that point with me. She is still a little skittish with Dan; but, is getting better over time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Layer Cake Quilt Along: Block 10

I printed off the instructions for Block 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the Layer Cake Quilt Along over a week ago. Yes, I am way behind.

Block 10

I grabbed a set of instructions out of the pile and made a block. It turned out that it is for Block 10. This means I am going out of order! Oh well. It will all get done no matter what order I go in, correct?

For this block, I dipped into the second layer cake (package of 10" squares of fabric) that I bought for backup. I wanted my background fabric to be all one fabric. I am really glad I made this choice. Also, I used leftover scraps for the dark brown (ampersands) square.

You will have to use your imagination. It is suppose to be a flower. This was difficult for me considering my color palate is limited. The original instructions called for yellow, pink, red, and green fabrics. My fabrics are blues and browns.

I had a personal goal to get at least Block 8, 9, and 10 done by yesterday. Ha! Ultimate Fail! I will endeavor to get another block done today. We will see. I am also hoping to get the rest of the blocks done by next Tuesday before block 12 is released. By the way, there are a total of twelve blocks for this quilt along.

The Flickr group is still going strong; although, activity seemed to have slowed down some. I am assuming that I am not the only one to be lagging behind in this quilt along.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pictorial Monday: Jake

Foreword: Jake is my brother's dog, a Springer Spaniel. He is approximately eight years old and very happy hyper dog. He is very difficult to shoot because he cannot seem to stay still. Every time I visit my brother, I attempt to take pictures of Jake for practice.

He received a football last Christmas. He can barely fetch and carry it. I thought he was too cute.

I was able to capture one decent shot of Jake out of approximately twenty. I still have a long way to go in capturing a perfect shot of a moving object. But, I am quite pleased with this one.

Jake, March 6, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dear Sellers (A Vent)

Dear Sellers,

We thought we were being more than fair to offer 98% of the list price plus closing costs considering the following:

  1. The huge crack running across the entire foundation of the secondary building

  2. The state of the flooring throughout the house

    • Duck taped carpeting and tile between dining room and entry way
    • Poor tiling (vinyl) in the hallway to laundry room
    • Little wrinkles in carpeting throughout the house

  3. The tile in the guest bathroom will need to be cleaned up a little and re-grouted near the tub

  4. The top oven door doesn’t close tightly not to mention that BOTH need thorough cleaning

  5. The built-in “appliance” on the kitchen island most likely is not working and is definitely worthless. So the entire countertop will need replacing.

  6. Childish writing in a permanent marker all over bedroom walls

  7. The house is stuck in the 70s and needs to be brought to more modern times
If that house was in move-in ready condition with no problems, then we may have gone for the full list price. However, the comps in the surrounding areas and the state (descriptions) of those houses indicate that you’re trying to get more money that that house is worth. We know we’re being saps and offering way more than the house is really worth. We may be saps; but, we’re not idiots. Good luck in finding a buyer for your home. We’re going to continue looking elsewhere.


Willing buyers

Friday, March 25, 2011

Link Roundup

So dream a better dream; then work to make it real.
Max in Sharkboy and Lavagirl

  • DIY: Baking Cup Holders – Made out of Pringles Can

    Very clever! And, a neat way to recycle.

  • The Good, The Bad, and Your Lawn Gardening, Lawn Care

    This article lists seven reasons why lawns are good. Actually, the first three are really only the good reasons. The others are just side benefits for humans. I included this article because I thought it was a good informational read. However, it does not convince me that maintaining a lawn is a good thing; especially, for this drought prone environment we live in. It costs money to water the lawn to keep it in green condition and you may get penalized during drought times. No thank you. Yes, I’m a cheapskate. I can’t help it. And besides, it just doesn’t make sense to spend time, effort and money just to maintain a healthy lawn especially in the drought prone environment we live in.

  • Don’t be Cheated by Escheatment Finances

  • Pincushion Sites Sewing; Free Patterns

    A blogger composed a list of sites with free patterns & tutorials. She did a lot of work for me! Hurray!

  • The Presence of Greatness Inspirational; Christian
    What the world calls damaged, deficient, broken, Jesus names beloved, beautiful, redeemed. What the world would throw away as useless, He honors and exalts, making the least into teachers of compassion, possessors of radiant faith, living parables of His truth. What the world considers great, isn’t. Not in the eternal scheme of things.
  • 12 Stunning Silhouette Shots Photography

  • Interchangeable Faucet Words DIY; Craft

    A wonderful idea for the cheap faucets made by Moen. It would probably work for similar types of faucets (if there are any out there).

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans for hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Trash Art: The Letter Q

Dan and I were shopping at a little strip center nearby where we live. For some odd reason, trash was scattered about along a little section of sidewalk and pavement of the strip. I glanced down and spied the above piece of trash art on the pavement.

It is a quilt composed of hexies (hexagons) and it appealed to the wannabe quilter in me. One of the most famous quilt pattern composed of hexies is the Grandmother's Flower Garden. I have been wanting to make a quilt composed of hexies. However, I do not know if I will ever make one.

This piece of paper also made me feel sad - a child's piece of art was thrown away. However, it is understandable because these childish works of art can pile up and create clutter.

I felt compelled to take a picture of it; so, I took one with my phone camera. And now, I am sharing it with you all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pictorial Monday

I first mentioned the Clear Creek Nature Center on this post. Here are some more random pictures I took at the Center on that day (March 1, 2011):

Ducks in shallow water. This was shot from a bird blind - I needed a longer lens. These ducks were actually standing in the water and feeding off the bottom.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Link Roundup

Winning Love

  • Homemade Soap

    I’ve always been interested in making my own soap. I just don’t want to deal with the lye part. So, instead of making it myself, I rather support those who do by purchasing handmade soap from their businesses. But first, I want to try one out and thanks to this lady, I get my chance to do so!

    You can see how soap is made via Making Soap: Part 1

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On House Hunting

Dan and I have been house hunting since early spring of last year. We found a house early last fall we really liked and even put down earnest money on it. It was an excellent buy and definitely move-in ready. We were both so excited.

However, after some money crunching, we realized that the property taxes were going to be a deal breaker for us. We could have done it; but, we would have been ‘house poor’. In other words, we would have been strapped for money and unable to do proper maintenance and/or upgrade such as adding a covered patio. So, we decided to let it go.

I was so badly disappointed that I just couldn’t bring myself to do more house hunting. The holidays were upon us; so, we decided to take a break and renew the search after the New Year.

When the New Year came upon us, I became sick with combination of cedar fever and a cold. I was sick for about two weeks before I started to feel better. Dan caught the cold from me and he was slightly sick for approximately a week.

Once we were both starting to feel a little better, we resumed searching for a house online. Our criteria changed a little after our brief visit up north. Dan saw the potential of what I wanted and decided that he wanted what I wanted too. So, we broadened our search and let our real estate agent know so that he could update his search criteria for us.

A house popped up in our radar about a week ago. From what we could see of the specs and of the pictures provided, it really appealed to the both of us. The one thing we were not sure of was the inside of the house since pictures of the inside were not provided. I suspected that it would be in poor condition and/or the homeowner’s stuff would get in the way of visualizing the inside. I hoped that my suspicions would be wrong; but, it turns out that they were correct.

We went over to see the house last Monday night with our agent. The homeowners were still in the house and it felt strange. But, the old man wasn’t able to get out much. So, that was understandable.

From what we could see, it is mostly neglect. And, those people are borderline hoarders. I’m not the one to talk; but, it was a mess – especially inside the three car garage which was piled up with crap. Tires were scattered about the property with an unusable shed sitting on the corner of the lot. I totally understand now why there weren’t any pictures of the inside of the house.

We looked the house over very closely and determined that a lot of work needs to be done. I’m not talking about cosmetic or remodeling work. I’m talking about fixing it up so that it is safe and habitable. The patio balcony needs to be rebuilt. The built-in oven looked like it probably did not work and it wasn’t stable inside its place. The guest bathroom was in horrid condition with obvious water damage as the floor depressed easily. And, some of the floors were in absolutely horrid condition.

In spite of all the problems we saw, we both could see a lot of potential in the house and the land. And, we both know that a lot of hard labor will go into the house and fixing up the property. But, we’re both excited about the possibilities of doing restoration to a house.

However, we are not willing to pay the price that is listed. From what we could see, the price is at the top range of the market. Both of us know that it’s going to cost a small fortune just to fix up the house alone. I personally feel that it is almost in a ‘flip’ condition. And, on top of the fixes that need to be made, there are things we both would like to do to the house such completely replace all the floors and gut the kitchen to turn it into a nice functional cozy spot in the home.

Our agent is going to talk with the seller’s agent and look at the comps of the surrounding area. And, we’re going to continue the search for a house because both of us have a hard time believing the owners will come down in price to the tune of twenty grand. (Yes, that is how much all three of us – the agent, Dan, and I – estimated it would cost to fix up the house). This house will most likely be in the back of our minds while we continue the search for a new home. We hold onto a slim hope because we are willing to pursue this avenue if our agent comes back with favorable remarks.

So, we wait. And, continue the hunt.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

I sneaked a picture of Mother with her Maxine quilt:

March 1, 2011

It is not a good picture considering
  1. I took it with my phone and
  2. light above her shined into the camera
But hey, I got a picture of her with her quilt for posterity sake and that is all that matters to me. It does my heart good to see that she uses it. Of course, she would be mad at me if she ever finds out I took a picture of her AND posted it on my blog. Oh well. I will live. Ha!

If you're new here, you can see the matching pillowcase here. There is a link within that post that will lead you to pictures of the Maxine quilt I made her if you're interested.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Crafty Tuesday

I have not done much sewing of late since I have been focusing on being a housewife and dealing with headaches/migraines. I am planning to do more sewing this week. In the meantime, here is a picture of a pillowcase I made for my Mother, which was completed on February 25, 2011.

It coordinates with her Maxine Quilt. I took my time using different instructions from the one I made for myself. I liked the first instructions better - the finish/seams is so much cleaner.

I also sewed on the quilt label onto Mother's Maxine quilt while I was with her several weeks ago.

Note: This picture was taken with my phone. So, the quality is not all that great.

The hand sewing is not the greatest work as I have not done much of it in my life. But, I can now say the quilt is officially completed - one more project marked off the list of things to do. It feels so good to have a project all finished up nicely.

Fresh Poppy Design Today's Creative Blog
Creations by Kara

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pictorial Monday

Metallic Fly on Yellow Wildflower

Shot at Clear Creek Nature Center

March 1, 2011

With Canon Rebel using a Macro Lens

The last picture would have been perfect if he had not taken off just as I snapped it. As a result, he's a little blurred. Oh well. It is still a pretty good picture in my book. :-)

I almost didn't explore the park because of this sign:

Snakes! Yikes!

FYI: I'm profoundly deaf. So, even with my aid, I do not think I would have been able to hear a Rattler (or any other warning noises). And yes, I did have my aid on this day.

In spite of being alone, I decided to be brave and go exploring. I am so glad I did. I was hyper alert and careful while walking along the trails. I never spied a snake; however, I did see my first Robin of the year.

I did take more pictures than the ones above; but, I have not looked at them yet. I'm still making life a priority over sewing, blogging, and general playing. I'm so much happier for deciding to go this direction. I am a little behind due to headaches/migraines last week; but, it should not be hard to catch up and start sewing and playing again.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Link Roundup

This Weekend!

I do not much for you this week. I suffered from headaches which turned into a horrible migraine Wednesday, which put me out of commission until this morning. So, I didn't read or save as many links I usually do. But, here is what I did save:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 {KJV}

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

If you roll over the image, you'll see her "Acckkk, she found me" look. ha!

She sneaked into the sewing room and relaxed after awhile watching critters in the bushes just outside the window.

Monday, March 7, 2011

An Oldie! (San Antonio Car Show 2010)

Here is another oldie! I absolutely love old vehicles. I processed this one this morning in a hurry as I had nothing to post. Ha! I did take a few pictures while I was away; but, I do not know how they turned out.

Note: Even though I'm back home, it is going to take time for me to get back into the flow of things. I have to unpack and do the normal housewifey stuff before I can play, which includes sewing and blogging. Yeah, yeah. I know, 'housewifey' isn't a word; but, it should be! Ha!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Link Roundup

Oops! - Wrong graphic. I'll keep searching for the right one to use. Ha! But, I got to say that I did love the early Link video games.

Moving on.