Monday, November 30, 2015

Jewelry Play Day

 After washing the floors and getting my house back to normal, my sister Brooke came over for a jewelry play day. She is the expert, as seen here and volunteered to get me hooked on making 'nicer' necklaces.
 Her necklace, made from a silver 'coral' branch, with hanging chalcedony beads and a fresh water pearl. So pretty.
 I got to use some of her wonderful beads and findings and combined them with my abalone shells. She made the Sterling curly bar that they all dangle from. I have to make a sea-green batik shirt to wear with this. Maybe today.

 Green was my theme for the day I guess and we found this pendant in my stuff and she supplied the ring neck piece and now I can wear it. Perfect.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

C'est Fini

 Tony the pug couldn't be happier to have a big soft grassy yard to run about in. Ditto that for me and Dave. What a huge change.
I'll report that I was a lot more help on day two than I was on day one, and now have called a moratorium on manual labor. Officially too old for this stuff.

We speculated that we would not have enough sod to cover the area, or way too much, but it turned out that we had EXACTLY the right amount. Neither of us are math wizards, so our calculations were suspect. Miracle of miracles.
And now to vacuum and wash the floors. Yay!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Great Sodding Thanksgiving

 The yard was skillfully prepared by Dave, by dragging a 'found' pallet across the surface. The dogs love the dirt and my house proves that. So without further mess and delay, we ordered three pallets of sod and coincidentally our next door neighbor had also ordered hers at the same time.
 Dave confers with the driver, and convinces him to go around the corner to get to the back of our house, right next to our fence, for the drop off.
 Is this too much sod or not enough. We did the math, so we'll have to wait and see.
This is how much we got done yesterday, and when I saw 'we' I mean that lightly. I helped for about a half hour.
 So far we have used one pallet of sod.  The dogs have already christened the new lawn several times, which is OK with me. I'll be so happy to see the end of the dirty footprints. The weather is going to be glorious for the next three days, and then three days of blessed rain.
We are so blessed and thankful, and even tho our Thanksgiving dinner will be postponed til this job is done, we are wishing you all a marvelous love filled day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015



The new shirts that I have been making, with black on black or white on white designs, need a bit of decoration to really look good. I have been looking at Pinterest for ideas, especially here,  and figured I could/should try to make something myself. My first idea is above, with bits of ribbon and silk and is OK, but not really jewelry looking. 
The idea of making paper beads looked like fun, and I already have tons of painted papers which could be the start of something, but so fiddly, and I just feel I have to make something instantly and nicer. 

I have lots of wonderful jewelry bits, broken necklaces, dichroic glass beads, abalone shells, and mother of pearl earrings that I never wear.  

 And then there's the tarnished Sterling Silver from my wonderful sister, which needs to be cleaned up and used.  I found some wonderful leather string, and faux turquoise at the jewel dept. and I already have a choker that has the same kind of bead, so I am half way there.
And some gorgeous sari strings borrowed from my pal Mary...very edgy.

 But here's what I ended up making. Very fast, lots of dingle-dangle and shiny real silver. That'll work!

Monday, November 23, 2015

You Won't Believe This

Some time ago, maybe last Spring, Dave had another minor car accident, and had to go to court. The judge asked him to come back with his wife. In the interim Dave decided to relinquish his driver's license and be done with it. Yay!!!!!
Although he no longer drives, he can ride his bike to the golf club or the guitar shop, but here in Hixson, there are very few safe roads to ride along. He was satisfied with getting about on the bike for a few months, and having me taxi him elsewhere.
One day in September, out of the blue, he asked me:
"Are you thinking about moving?"
"...Wha?" I said, startled. I certainly was not thinking about moving, but he made a case for moving to downtown Chattanooga, where there is plenty of free public transportation, lots of bike lanes marked brightly on the roads and so much for him to do and see. OK!
So we went online and looked at what is available downtown and took a ride to look for ourselves. Within one day we found a spot that we both loved and a builder who was putting up homes quite close to my friend Mary, and within walking/riding distance of all the good stuff. We decided this time to really downsize and go from 2500 sq.ft. to 1600 sq.ft. and one story.
 This is similar to the cottage we are getting. Ours will be aqua, not gray. They have not broken ground yet, but I have been busy choosing all the cabinets, lighting,  plumbing, colors, tile, and making changes to the layout.
The size seems perfect for us, and I will still have a large studio space. The floor plan has undergone several changes since this initial version, and the garage is now attached and we'll have a small side yard.
The expected completion date is next April. We'll be getting this house back to 'normal' in the meantime.

 We emptied the garden troughs of all the plants and Dave spread out the good black soil to ready it for sod. The back yard will return to a 'normal' suburban yard by Spring. Our friend Carl from up on the mountain came and hauled away all the troughs and will make them his new garden.
I'm really happy and Dave is even happier. This is what I wanted to do when we moved to Tennessee in 2007, and now it is happening. Because we currently live in a subdivision that has homes in progress all over the place, we often discussed what we might have done if we chose to have one built for us. Now we are putting those ideas into action. No more beige.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Garden Clean-up

 The new house next door is going up so fast, and construction is so noisy that we caught the fever and decided now is the time to restructure the back garden bed, and transplant the six red bud trees into it. That means adding a tier of bricks to the existing 96. That may be the reason the blog has been ignored all week. 
We had to pull our flowers out and get them in the dumpster across the street. They were pretty spent, so it wasn't heartbreaking at all. We've had a long flower season and lots of veggies too. We still have a table full of peppers ready to cook, freeze or make into salsa.
 We had the concrete blocks already and the necessary soil, but of course it meant emptying the troughs to get at the blocks. Does this seem nutty? Yes. But you know how we love rearranging. The two tiers of soil filled blocks will make the trees feel right at home
It's hard to see the spindly red bud trees, but they are in there, really and truly. We woke up to our first frost of the year turning all that black soil crispy and white.

 Those white buckets held the trees which are now planted in the new big bed. Lots of soil got spilled/spread over the wood chips and we decided that we might seed or sod the yard next.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bright White

 Now that I have decided to make my wardrobe mostly black and white, like this neat closet that I found on Pinterest, I had to find white fabrics that would make interesting shirts. No problem, white on white quilting prints are just the thing.Use it or lose it. | 15 Minimalist Hacks To Maximize Your Life Give your wardrobe a minimal overhaul and discover less stress getting dressed and lots of time saved on laundry.:

 For color I added a fabric necklace made from rayon tapes and yarns, with silk 'flags'. This time I added split cuffs to the sleeves, a breast pocket and my usual patch and knot.
I've been thinking about what makes it pleasurable to sew clothes for myself.
1. My studio is arranged to make it simple to cut and press and sew, with open spaces and plenty of light.
2. Using the same pattern over and over again eliminates the worry about fit. Of course I did make a muslin first to insure that it would work on my figure.
3. Having patience, which one learns from past mistakes, and quitting before I get too tired.
4. Making incremental changes or improvements as one makes the next garment.
5. The serger angels have been on my side through all this sewing. A miracle for which I am eternally thankful.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kathleen's Jacket

The latest jacket is now finished. This one is for Kathleen P. and is a mix of Plymouth Kudo, : 55% cotton, 40% rayon, 5% silk  and Cascade Avalon, 50% Cotton, 50% Acrylic . The mannequin makes it so easy to see the knit without the usual distracting model, me.