Friday, January 31, 2014

The Garage Conversion IV

It is about time I did an update, correct?

You can find the previous post here.

Started Building the Closet on 11/10/2013

Putting up the drywall on 11/16/2013

Door frame is put up on 11/17/2013.

As you can see, the drywall on closet has already been taped and mudded. It took several weeks of deciding on what to do about applying texture. A contractor cancelled the job and then Dan decided to do it himself. We rented a machine and the job turned into a major event; but, he persevered and got it figured out. I am really proud of him.

Priming all walls started on 12/21/2013

As you can see, Dan used a spray painter to cut the corners. I tried using it and let me tell you, it takes a lot of effort to use the toy as it is heavy! By the way, priming the walls took a lot of effort, paint and time as the new walls just sucked up the primer. We vastly underestimated the amount of primer we needed due to this fact. But, we eventually got it done.

Painting all walls on 12/28/2013.

We also used the spray painter to cut the corners in this step. I went with a color called Soft Candlelight (Glidden; GLY16).

From here, we were very disorganized. We could not decide what step to take next. We eventually decided to order the flooring and that was on back order. Dan realized that the A/C and Heating can be installed now that the room is essentially complete. So, he called them to come give us a quote. We decided to go with the quote...

A/C and Heat was installed 1/11/2014.

The lighting was horrid on this day. So, the picture is awful. This is what it looks like looking out into the room from the kitchen. The A/C and Heat unit was bigger than what we wanted; but, the unit quoted was not in stock; so, they gave us an upgrade for free. We will not argue with that. I can always bling it up if I want to in the future as it is ugly. But, it is functional. The guys did an excellent job of installing the unit for us.

We picked up the flooring on 1/19/2014 and started putting that down on 1/25/2014. That will be in another blog post.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winning Love

I am mortified! I received a prize yesterday in the mail and completely forgot about mentioning winning this particular giveaway in my recent Winning Love post. As a result of neglecting to mention this, I am making up for it by creating a new post. Please forgive me; but, stuff like this is very important to me. I do hope I am not remiss in posting about any winnings in the future.
  • On January 17, 2014, I was notified that I won a gorgeous pattern called "Gypsy Wife" by Jen Kingwell. Prize (giveaway) can be found at Factotum of Arts. I love this quilt so much that I most likely will join the Quilt Along when my room is completed and all my stuff is set up.

Wordy Wednesday {Early Signs of Spring}

This was taken on January 21, 2014 before our recent freeze. I do not know if any survived. We have had more rain than usual this winter and these bluebonnet plants started sprouting everywhere on our land recently. It is our hope that the plants are hardy and it continues to rain here and there giving us a beautiful spring. We shall see. By the way, I have what I think is a cool macro shot that I will post on Monday.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

The ice in the shade barely melted on the first day and it refroze again in the night. These were taken on the second day of our freeze -- January 25, 2014.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Shot with my macro lens.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Shot with my wide angle lens. Do you think my Rosemary plants will survive? I am thinking not. I had hoped that both my Lavender and Rosemary plants would survive and thrive. I will most likely have to purchase new plants this spring.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Macro Monday {Frozen}

When I got up on Friday, January 24, 2014, I was feeling miserable and very sick with a sinus infection (allergies finally got the best of me). When I walked into the kitchen, I suddenly noticed the world was icy. There were rivers of frozen rain upon the windows.

In spite of feeling awful, I threw on my coat, grabbed my camera, went outside and everything crunched. For some odd reason, I thought of my sister-in-law and warned myself to be extremely careful. (My sister-in-law who lives much further north slipped on ice/snow several weeks ago and broke her arm). I took a brief look at the land and I feared for all the bluebonnet plants. Let us hope they survived. Anyway, I took a few pictures of our farmhouse table which was loaded with frozen rain before I had to call it quits.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Shot with my macro lens

Those are actually raindrops frozen in their tracks.

I went inside to change lens and then back outside.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Shot with my wide angle lens.

By the way, I went back outside around 10:30am and the world was still frozen. I checked the temperature and it said 28 degrees (Fahrenheit). It did eventually get above freezing; but, it only reached 37 degrees before it started to get colder. Yes, it went below freezing again overnight. This is extremely unusual for us to see ice or snow down this far south in Texas. The last time we saw snow or ice hereabouts was back in 2011.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winning Love

It has been a long time since I posted any winning love. Winnings were scarce and last year was rough for me both physically and mentally. But, I am determine to begin this anew.

  • On December 4th, 2013, I was notified that I won a bundle of Christmas Fabrics. Prize can be found at Quilting Lodge. I have received the fabrics and they are much prettier than the picture indicated!
  • On January 20, 2014, I was notified that I am a winner of a $50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop. {Prize was sponsored at}. I still have not received the prize; but, I trust that I will receive it sooner or later. Fat Quarter Shop always comes through.

Friday, January 24, 2014

DIY: Altered Composition Books {Journals}

I have one journal (design / quilting) for some time now and it is a composition book. I hate the look; but, they are cheap and it works. I also wanted a special one for this year – not just a plain old ugly one I tend to use because they are cheap. I came across a blog where a blogger altered a composition book for a journal and loved the idea. I just did not like the method that was used. So, I went a hunting and found so many ideas including on YouTube!

There are plenty of sources where one can get information and / or inspiration on altering a composition book. Pinterest is one such site – just search for "composition book". Since there are so many sources, I will not go into the details on how I altered these journals. I did use Scotch's tape glider and tape (acid free), Aleene's tacky glue (acid free version), scrapbook papers, washi tapes, X-acto knife, paper punch and a rotary cutter and mat. I also used 50% sales (Hobby Lobby scrapbook papers) and coupons to keep costs down. Patience almost always wins out. However, I needed a few things like NOW and splurged here and there.

Anyway, These are my creations. Note: I will not be making the pen holders on any altered composition book in the future. I like the idea; but, for some odd reason, I rarely keep the writing instruments with the journal.

{To view a larger image, go here.}

This is the first one I altered. It is the old quilting journal. So, if I messed the book up, I did not care. I had ripped out a few pages from previous writings and started using this for designing stuff years ago especially the backings of quilts using leftover fabrics. By the way, the first page you see is the alternate block I drew up for Block 3 of the Layer Cake quilt along which was documented here. Why? I do not like baskets. Never did and most likely never will. I know. I am weird.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

This is the second composition book I altered. I decided to just cut the paper around the book instead of wrapping paper over the edges into the insides. I think I like this better. It is certainly easier! I am lazy like that. I used cutouts from magazines to create the title. By the way, there was nothing too personal on the first page; so, I did not mind sharing that with the world. I do not know if you can see it; but, I used a summation formula for the savings description to keep it short. Ha!


I altered a couple mini composition books to coordinate with the journals to take along in travels for my notes (and ideas). It is nothing fancy – just matching paper on the outsides.

I got to confess that these make me happy. So much better than the ugly version!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: A Score!

I had to go into town with Dan last Thursday. I decided to do some shopping. (I had some of my own money to spend if I chose to do so.) I went by Hobby Lobby and got a few things I needed on sale and with their regular 40% off coupon. When I swung by Michaels, I did not think I would find much of anything I could live without. Boy, was I wrong!

They had a major clearance on some paper punches. Now, you scrapbookers know these things can be very expensive. And, some of you know that I am a cheapskate. I just cannot see spending that much money on a paper punch. I would make do without.

  • The Recollections punches (white) cost $3.99 each regular price. I got them for $1.00 each.
  • The EK punch (cupcakes) is 18.78 regular price. I got it for $4.99.
  • The Fiskars punches are $11.89 each. I got them for $4.99 each.

All of these would have cost $102.17 (before taxes). I got them all for $35.94 (before taxes) I am absolutely thrilled with my loot!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Macro Monday {Knotty Pine}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

A beautiful knot on our farmhouse table.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Unphotographable Memories #6 and #7

Why Unphotographable? As explained years ago, I took it one step further and included moments in time remembered with such clarity and refuse to be forgotten. I thought it would be a excellent way to practice and stretch my writing abilities.

This is a picture I did not take of a half-grown gray cat flattening herself as flat as she can be on the dead brown ground while intensely watching a huge raptor sailing low through the air towards her.

{Witnessed and written on January 4, 2014)

By the way, this made me hit the pure panic button. I went running yelling and the stupid bird banked up immediately. I will never forget it because that was the closest encounter I have ever had with one of these birds and let me tell you, they are beautiful soaring through the air.

This is a picture I did not take of an adolescent kitten getting in the way of an elderly Maine Coon (huge cat) standing up with raised paws with an attitude of “hahahaha you can’t get past me”.

{Witnessed December 2013 and written in January 2014}

Note: This was very similar to the viral video except Chessie did not attack Abby – she just quickly pinned her down with a paw and walked over her leaving Abby in a state of shock.


Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY: Farmhouse Table Finale!

This project was finished and set in its place this past Saturday (1/4/2014). I am real pleased with it and I believe Dan is too. I am champing at the bit to make the benches to go with the table. However, we have to wait until the no spend month period is over because it is not a necessity according to Dan. In the meantime, I am focusing and gardening efforts (building beds, screening and more).

These pictures were taken as the sun was setting. I should have waited until the sun was behind the hangar, errr, detached garage; but, I was so tired from a variety of things that occurred on this day that I decided to just be done with it – I am pleasantly surprised at how well these pictures came out.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wordy Wednesday {Abby Jumps}

We had a few A/C guys going in and out of the house through the kitchen this past Saturday. Gracie and Abby were keenly interested in what was happening and they both wanted to dash outside. So, we put up this sheet of plywood that was almost 5 feet tall between the kitchen and the rest of the house. Gracie just sat on the other side crying and eventually gave up. However, this temporary wall did not work with Abby as you will soon see. Please ignore the sound (of my voice)! Keep in mind that Abby is just over 8 months old. Dan does some awesome editing (merged two clips)! Enjoy!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A {Long} Week in Review:

  • Savings

    This actually started December 30th, which is the week January 1st landed on. It is never too early to start a challenge and / or saving money, correct?

    Previous Balance 0.00
    Week 1
    Week 2

  • Books

    I am actually reading two books and a yearly (365 days) devotional that was given to me. One is a fantasy book which does not have a great start; but, it is beginning to get interesting. The other book is a Christology and Biography. I am about halfway through book. The devotional is rather good. So, that "book" will be finished December 31st and counted as one of 52 books. Ha!

    It has been lovely reading here and there; but, I still feel guilty. This is hard to overcome but I am hoping it becomes easier over time.

  • Projects

    I decided to do some cyber organization for my first week. The tags on my blog posts were chaotic and disorganized and it was driving me crazy. So, I decided to go through them all and managed to get rid of many tags. I think it is much more organized now.

    I then moved onto my bookmarks, especially the recipes, because they were driving me crazy. I needed to break them up even further into different categories. So, I made that attempt. I am a little happier and will resume at a later date.

  • Other

    There were a couple of days during this time frame where I was not feeling well with headache and migraine. So, I took it easy (and limited time on computer). I clipped words and phrases from magazines to save for use later. I also worked on my altered composition books which I will share at a later date.

    During this time, I managed to sliced a few layers of skin off my right index finger while cutting paper using a rotary cutter using an old blade. It scared me to death considering how quickly it happened. You do not know what you have done until it is too late. The injury did not bleed; but, it did ooze a tad. Just because it is scrapbook paper, it does not mean that I do not have to take the same precautions I do with fabric. Sheesh. This is my first injury since I have started using the notion in 1994.

    Actually, this my first injury while slicing something with the cutter. I have nicked my face because I reached up to scratch my nose. This taught me to put the cutter down before doing anything else. I have also cut my stomach in the early days before I learned how to slice fabrics properly -- always slice away from you (not towards you). And, even though this isn’t an injury, I have sliced my hair! I now have my hair up in a ponytail whenever using the rotary cutter.

Friday, January 10, 2014

DIY: Farmhouse Table

I had posted this DIY sneak peek back in December. Well, now I am going to showcase what I have done. Dan was sick with allergies and I wanted him to take a break from doing work on my room. I was raring to do something I had wanted to do for a long time all on my own – a major woodworking project.

I began this project on November 31, 2013 by first going shopping and buying all the necessary supplies. Speaking of that trip, I was mostly in charge with Dan tagging along. It became hilarious when an employee asked me what I was looking for and I told him. He then proceeded to ask me what length I wanted and I looked at my list and exclaimed “shit”. The man immediately replied with “we don’t have that size” making Dan and I laugh. I apologize for my language and checked the plans again online using my phone. Dan explained to me that it is often assumed that if the length is not mentioned, then it is usually 8 feet. So, I then repeated what I was looking for in 8 feet lengths to the very patient and amused employee who then directed us where we should go.

Once we returned home with the supplies, I immediately started cutting the wood with Dan’s guidance and power tools. He had no clue to what I was doing and started reviewing the printout of the plans while I measured wood so that he would be better informed. By the way, I did all the measuring and the cutting. I honestly wanted to do it all by myself. When I finished the first cut, He mentioned creating a jig and I was like “What?!?” He explained what a jig was and I was like “oh, a template”! Ha! Quilters have their own terms for similar woodworking things. Anyway, once he showed me how to do that, the process went a lot faster because I did not have to measure all the wood – just the first one of many of the cuts of the same size. I was thrilled!

The next day, December 1st, was the start of building the actual project. But, I hit a stumbling block – my own strength. I could predrill holes; but, I could not get the screws in. It took me forever to get the first one put in. I even put my whole body on to the screwdriver and it still wasn’t enough. I wanted to do at least one to say that I have done it. After that, I “hired” Dan to do that work. Even with his strength, it was hard work for him. I felt bad because he was still sick with allergies. But, I think he felt good doing something. I still put things together and told him here and here and here (where to put the screws). He changed a few things with my approval simply because it seemed the better way to go.

By the end of the day, the project started to take shape and I was thrilled. We finished making the top the following day and then we had to take a break and return to doing indoor project due to the weather (it was extremely cold baby!) and the fact Dan was feeling better. I think from here on, I will let the pictures tell the story.


Table top done! I believe this was after we had it prepped and ready for staining.


The bottom part gets stained (morning)


Table top gets stained (afternoon)


Table legs get primed

Table legs painted (same color as the casings in our house)

First coat of Poly (and it is still wet in this picture)


I will take a picture after the second coat of Poly goes on and the table is in its place (better lighting in that location). This could take place this weekend. And, someday in the near future, I will make two matching benches to go with this Farmhouse table.

Note: You can find the plans for the Farmhouse table here. And, on that site, there is plans for matching benches. Let me warn you in advance, the table weighs a ton! Once it is in its place, it is not going to be moved again! Ha!