Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIP-it Wednesday, studio style...'s a peek at the current chaos in state of the studio. There are boxes and tools everywhere! Only a few things are actually in their final destination.

New track lighting, with one goose-neck fixture that will point toward the future quilt wall:

Track light

 The alcove acting as temporary storage for some of my supplies and resource materials, plus the TV, cable box, etc. Eventually, I will clear the bottom (solid) shelf and use it as a work area.(Yes, it's a mess right now!)

Studio alcove

My Quilter's Dream sewing table and an armoire sit in one corner:

Armoire and sewing table

These storage cube units from Micheal's are probably in their final location:

Craft supply storage

In only WIP news, I worked on my needlepoint project last night for the first time in a couple of weeks. After working on it for a bit, I decided that it's going on a time-out again. I got to the specialty threads section of the design. OMG...I forgot how much I hate the Rachel threads (tubular nylon thread, prone to raveling)! I decided to skip that section for now and move on to the next one. Well, the next thread in line is Neon Rays (narrow, slippery ribbon), another PITA to stitch. Arg! I can move onto the middle of the design, but there are metallics in that section, I guess I just don't have the patience right now for stitching...back to knitting!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

another random Tuesday...

...because my life is rather random right now. Fortunately, work is not random and I'm busy with that.
  1. Spin-In: I missed it this month. My out-of-town friend was busy in Saturday, so it looked like I might be able to go. However, the Husband and I were working on the studio, moving in some furniture (yes!) and other odds and ends. Rather than stop progress, I decided to stay and continue to work on things at home.
  2. Crafts: I haven't worked on anything in days...
  3. Yoga class: It was another great class. I feel a bit sore today, but that's just the core work she included. It's kind of cool when you take a step back and look at your kid the way others must see her. She is a wonderful instructor, a very calm and reassuring in a class situation.
  4. Meeting my friend: K and I finally connected Sunday night. I took some projects with me for Show-and-Tell. She showed some pictures of her latest projects. We had a great dinner and really enjoyed catching up! She plans to be back in the area during the summer and we'll get together again. Maybe my studio will be done by then!
  5. Studio:  We had a set-back with the floor. The adhesive recommended by the manufacturer is just not doing the job. Many of the corners are popping up. The alternate adhesive recommended by my contractor brother-in-law isn't doing much better. The Husband is now doing the painstaking job of caulking the tiles that are popping up and placing heavy weights on them for 24 hours. He can only do 9 or 10 at a time, so it's a slow process. I know he's frustrated and is so ready for this floor to be complete!

    What that means to me is that other than the armoire and my Quilter's Dream sewing table, I can't move in any of the furniture. I was able to move in the containers with my cross stitch supplies because they fit in the alcove on the wire shelves. However, all the books, yarn, spinning fiber, and soap supplies (not to mention the fabric) are still in various stacks and boxes around the house.

    On the good news front, we did get a new track light to replace the broken one that is in the center of the room. We decided to connect an 8-ft track and a 4-ft track so I can point some lights towards my quilt wall. The track lights run along the beams so I must be careful to pick fixtures that a tall person won't run into...being 5'3", I don't have that problem!
  6. The purging continues:
    • I went through all of my quilting, knitting, and stitching books, most of which are hard-bound books. I'm getting rid of about a third of them. I'll cycle some through my knitting and quilting friends before donating them to the library. 
    • I also went through my knitting magazines. I have several years worth of Vogue Knitting that I never look at so they need to go, too.
    • I reformatted about 100 floppy and zip disks that I couldn't erase. I have a few more zip disks to go and then I can make a recycle run. I have about 15 music CDs I need to load on my computer and then they can go to the donation stack.
    • I went through the linen closet and purged there, too! We have a lot of extra towels, random bed sheets and pillowcases, and lots of cloth table napkins and tablecloths from when we used to entertain the entire family during the holidays--I think Goodwill is getting something like 30 table napkins.

      I refolded everything. Things are a lot neater now!
 It feels good to do all this purging and reorganization, but right now it seems like it's a bottomless pit! It doesn't look like I've made any progress because I can't move things into the studio (see item #5 above).

Patience is a virtue, right?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eye Candy Friday for the 3-day weekend...

...and boy do I need the extra day!

We've been enjoying snow peas for the last few days:

Snowpea tendril

and the berries are ripening:


This morning I discovered that we had 5 cherries on the tree. That's more than we had last year! There may be hope for this tree yet!

We have cherries!

Not shown are the fava beans we had for dinner last night, The Husband prepped the beans (a PITA task if there ever was one). He then combined the cooked beans with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and crumbled bacon. He tossed this mixture with bow-tie pasta and served it with shaved Parmesan cheese. It was incredibly good! I doubt that there will be any leftover when I get home tonight!

Up this weekend: A stitching friend (K) from my Cross Stitch Festival days is in town for the weekend. We are going to try to meet up sometime between her activities and mine. There is a Spin-In tomorrow, which I might have to miss if that's the only time she can meet. I haven't seen K in years and would love to reconnect.

I'm going to the Daughter's yoga class on Sunday morning. I also hope to take an early morning walk with my camera on Monday.

Beyond that, we have no specific plans. Most of our time will be spent working on the studio in one form or another. In the cleaning up, I found a USB zip drive and a USB floppy drive. And they both work! In my copious spare time, I've been transferring files off of the 50-million floppies and zip disks that we had tucked away in that room. Somewhere in the mess of floppies, I have all of my and alt.gourmand files. I really would like to find those!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quick look at the new studio sconces...

...I finally got the pictures uploaded!

This is the view from the atrium door—that's the longest side of the room. When this was a garage, it was the back wall.

Studio wall sconces

This is a closer view of the end of that same wall. There is a drop down for the canister lights on the back wall.

Studio wall sconce

A third scone is installed on the left wall. You can see the trim that the Husband and I installed in these pictures, too.

We emptied one of the alcoves last night and found an enormous number of floppy disks. I hope to get a picture of that end of the room soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Random Tuesday...

...I'm starting this post at 11:13am, as I wait for various builds and conversions to run on another PC. Maybe I'll get it done by the end of the day. Multitask Tuesday might be a better title...
  1. CNCH was fun!  Loretta and I took BART from Fremont, which was a nice way to travel on a Sunday. Our goals were to look at looms and other weaving implements and not to spend a lot of money.

    We both loved the Saori loom demonstration and the Gilmore temple clips. She fell in love with the Ashford table loom in the Village Spinning and Weaving booth. I like the table loom, too. However, I think a folding floor loom like the Baby Wolf or the Saori loom would work better for me.

    I bought some batts from Shooting Yarn plus some hemp fiber and a merino-silk bump from Opulent Fibers.  Loretta bought a kit for a crocheted cowl (from ?) and a pretty little boat shuttle from Carolina Homespun. We had a yummy lunch at the Pacific Coast Brewing Company before we headed home. It was a great day!

  2. Studio progress!
    Last night, after a very long day at work, the Husband wanted to show me something. I was tired, cranky, and hungry, but that all disappeared when he showed me the new wall sconces...installed and working! Yay! We have light!  There are still new track lights to get and a couple of existing lights need an electrician, but this great progress!

    On Saturday, I helped the Husband reinstall most of the ceiling trim. Each of the 5 beams has trim on each side. There is an overhang at one end of the room that is completely trimmed out. It took a good portion of the day to do it and we still didn't finish because a few pieces needed to be stained.

    While I was at CNCH, the Husband finished installing the baseboard and cleaned up the courtyard. Sunday evening, we started moving boxes and bookcases out of the studio and into the courtyard in preparation for moving in my sewing cabinet and other furniture.
  3. The purging continues...
    We still have a lot to go through. I made a small dent in the craft room by going through all of my old zip drives and archiving them on a flash drive. Next are the floppies...I found our external floppy reader so I can take a look at them and see if there is anything worth saving.

    Now that the studio floor is done, we can empty out the two alcoves and get rid of/recycle what we don't need, like the 10-year-old humidifier tucked in the corner! There's a wet bar in one of those alcoves, somewhere...
  4. Crafting has been at a stand-still for the most part. I did manage to knit a few rows during our ride on BART, but I had a very short attention span that day.
  5. Work...I have lots of that right now. My brain is pretty fried by the time I get home

That's all I've got today...and it's 4:30pm. On to the next work project!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Eye Candy, look at the time!

...yes, it's been another busy week at work. But busy is better than no work, right?

We have a few orange poppies blooming in the back yard:

Orange poppy, close up

Orange poppy

And these roses are interesting. They start off orange and then fade to a pale orange-pink.


The studio is coming along.

Studio ceiling and wall

The floor is nearly there and the Husband is getting ready to put the baseboard and trim back up.

Studio floor

We have this little problem known as a reed (or pump) organ that my mother gave to me; she got it from one of my father's employers eons ago. It's probably 100 years old, but the company that made it prided itself on making an organ every 10 minutes...not exactly a rare item! The organ will take up too much room in my soon-to-be studio. I'm ready to let it go, but I'm not sure what my mother will think about that!

Up this weekend: Continue doing the purge of unnecessary items. The Methodist Church took 6 boxes and 3 bags of books from us, so that was good. We still have far too many books, but I think we need to get rid of some other stuff first.

One Sunday, I'm going to CNCH with my friend from the gym. We both want to see what they have to offer, but we're resolved not to spend too much money. We'll see how long that lasts!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WIP-it Wednesday...

...where the main WIP is my studio. Before I get into that, here's a picture of dessert from the fabulous Mother's Day dinner that The Daughter made:

Mother's Day desserts

There's a Key Lime tart, two heart-shaped cheesecakes, a vanilla whoopie pie, and a chocolate whoopie pie. All were yummy!

On to the studio...

The Husband is doing all of the the hard work:  painting and laying the new floor. He's 90% done with the floor and it's looking good! He's staining the wood trim for the ceiling. We decided that the baseboards will be white.

I'm still going through all the stuff we've accumulated. Over the weekend, I went through all of the CDs. I found a bunch of cases with no CDs in them. I'm hoping that they will surface as I continue to sort through everything.

I bought the new wall lights (sconces) for the studio on Saturday. I didn't buy the ones I wanted because they didn't give out enough light. I bought 3 of my second choice, which use 100 watt bulbs and seemed bright enough. I still need to get the track lighting for the room, but the wall lights were the most important.

Today I dropped off the fabric and one box of cookbooks to the Los Altos Methodist Church for their big rummage sale this weekend. I asked if they could handle the rest of the cookbooks and they said yes! I'll drop off the rest of them tonight or tomorrow.

My task in progress is going through about 40 zip drives and backing up  the important stuff to a flash drive. Zip drives used to be the way I backed up my home computer and project files for work. I have a lot of really old files on these! Thank goodness my iomega drive has a USB connector. My Mac Mini is happy with it and I've been copying files for a couple of days now.

Um, crafts? Not so much this month. I did a little spinning on Sunday between yoga class in the morning and dinner at the Daughter's. Other than that, I haven't had the energy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Eye Candy Friday...

...and the chaos continues!  First, let's do the pretties.

A Mother's Day tulip bouquet from the Daughter:

Mother's Day bouquet of tulips

An orange tulip...

Orange tulip

A white tulip...

White tulip

A purple tulip...

Purple tulip in the sun

And Nigella hispanica from the garden.

Nigella Hispanica flowers 2

On the chaos front, the Husband is pulling up the last few vinyl tiles in the room and is scraping up the remaining adhesive. His goal is to start laying the new floor sometime this weekend. We'll see...scraping up the old adhesive is quite labor-intensive. He might not have enough time do do that and start the new floor.

Up this weekend for me: I have yoga class on Sunday and the Daughter is cooking dinner for us. I'm looking forward to that!

I want to go through the final stack of cookbooks to decide what to keep and what to donate.  I found several places I can donate books as I don't think any one location can handle the number of books that I'm purging. The books are all in pretty good shape, but I'll give the best ones to the Sunnyvale and Mountain View libraries and the rest will go to my friend's church for their rummage sale.

I've already gone through all of our record albums and whittled those down to the essentials. The next items to go through are the music CDs. Many of them are already on our iPods or in the computer, so we really don't need to keep the physical CDs. Because we both love music, we have a lot!

My goal is to rid the house of the donations (at least what we've identified so far) by mid-week. Then maybe it will be safe to walk in the living room. The last thing I want is a box of heavy cookbooks falling over and landing on my foot!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

April 2012 recap...



  • 4/22 Avila Beach handspun  [Ravelry]
    Merino-Bamboo top by Wolf Creek Wools;
    275.4 yds 2-ply, WPI TBD 
  • Books:
    1. Murder Spins a Tail, Veryl Ann Grace
    2. Damian's Immortal, Lizzy Ford
    3. Katie's Hellion, Lizzy Ford
    4. Katie's Hope, Lizzy Ford
    5. Rhyn's  Redemption, Lizzy Ford
    6. Summer Desserts, Nora Roberts
    7. Lessons Learned, Nora Roberts
    8. Twilight, Stephanie Meyer
  • 4/21 The Great Fabric Refolding Project

Worked on:
  • Carousel Socks  (knitting) [Ravelry]

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • Cazadero Mist handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]
  • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry
  • Jungle Songs quilt
  • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry]
  • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry

  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  3. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

living in chaos right now...

...we have stuff everywhere. The Husband has moved the majority of the items out of my soon-to-be studio and into the courtyard, the house, and the backyard. He has scraped the old vinyl tiles in the resulting open area. He's been cleaning (and cleaning) old adhesive off of the cement in preparation for the new tiles.

One task last weekend was to buy the floor tiles. He discovered that the vinyl tiles we wanted are being discontinued and the two local Lowe's stores did not have enough stock to cover our floors. Rats! He found enough at the San Bruno store (40 minutes away), so we made a quick trip to buy them. We bought a few extra just in case!

He did another coat of paint on the walls and they look great! Here is a first look at the colors (the stuff you see through the window will eventually get put away...somewhere.

Studio color

You can also see a a few floor tiles that we were using to determine where we wanted the partial tiles to occur.

My job for the next few days (weeks?) is to go through the items that we took out of the room and figure out what's going to Goodwill or some other charity, what can be recycled, and what is just trash. I've already gone through the video tapes and they have been placed on Freecycle. We toyed with the idea of a garage sale, but neither one of us wants the hassle of running one. We had too many years of running the High School Flea Market—the thought of setting up a garage sale makes me shudder.

I finally finished the Great Fabric Refolding project. Final tally on the comic book boards used: all 400. (And I could have used a few more!) I have a garbage bag full of fabric to least 50 yards, many in 3 to 4 yard pieces. A friend suggested donating it to her church, which runs a huge rummage sale. What the church doesn't sell is donated elsewhere. I can also give them any cookbooks that I want to purge. That works for me!

Now that I'm done with the fabric, I need to go through the cookbooks and my craft books. I have a lot of quilting books that I will never use. I'll offer those to my quilting friends first. Whatever is left over will go to my friend's church.

This is a huge job, but in the end we'll have a real guest room, the Husband will have an office, and we will have a lot less clutter. And I will have a wonderful studio!

Friday, May 04, 2012

ending a long week with an Eye Candy Friday... was a very busy work week!  Some long days at work, but I get to take this afternoon off. Yay! So let's do the eye candy first.

A chive flower

Chive Flower

Sage flowers

Sage flowers



Phacelia grandiflora

Phacelia grandiflora

And a blue flower, type unknown.

Blue flower

Up this weekend: I want to start the cookbook and video tapes purge. Currently, they are taking a a lot of space in my soon-to-be studio. And I can finish the fabric folding project now that I have more comic book boards.

The Husband has made great progress on ripping out the old floor. In addition, he has put two coats of primer and one coat of white paint on the ceiling. The ceiling is a series of beams with paneling in between. He is painting on the paneling and leaving the beams as stained wood.  Even with one coat of primer, it was amazing how much lighter the room looked!

Today he plans on getting the wall paint. I picked a green called Zen Garden (Valspar paint from Lowe's). I think it might be a bit dark; he thinks it's too light. Given that the furniture in the room will be white and beech, I think it will be fine. The white ceiling will offset any darkness.

I've had two long-standing dreams about our house. One is to have a better kitchen, which won't happen for a while because it just costs too much right now. The other is to have all of my craft stuff in one studio.

Things are coming together. It's so cool!

Eye Candy Friday...

...and I'm looking forward to the weekend! This week we harvested plums from one of our trees: Corncockles have sprouted up all o...