Season’s Greetings 2016

Christmas Eve and all’s quiet here. No cooking or baking left to be done, no last minute present wrapping, none of the rush that most folks deal with on the night before Christmas. I thought this would be a good time to take a moment to send my best wishes for a relaxed and pleasant holiday season and all the best for a happy and healthy new year.

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Driftwood Sculpture Draped with Christmas Lights

This ‘n That…

I’ve been working away at stuff – got another pair of socks finished:

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My sister Barb was visiting from Toronto on Sunday and she went home with one of the pairs of socks in my stash. This pair will take their place. The others will be Christmas gifts, quite likely.


Yesterday, the zipper on my small “wallet” separated at the back end. It’s a small zippered pouch I made maybe four-five years ago – small enough to fit in a jacket pocket but large enough (with enough zippered pockets) to hold just about everything I want to carry with me: a few credit cards, a couple of loyalty cards, a bit of cash, some change, and a spare key (along with a pocket screwdriver). Here’s a second one I made at that time – discovered when I’d finished sewing that it was for a left-handed person!

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The zippers open the wrong way and if you hold the pouch to open them with your right hand, then all the pockets are upside down! I use it to hold my driver licence and car permit in the large compartment but not much else. I needed a pouch that was right-handed.

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The one I made today is a tiny bit wider and longer but the zippers open on the right side and the pockets are right way up when you open them.

I used some royal blue rip-stop scraps I had kicking around from my days of kite making. I had a some turquoise/lime green grosgrain tape, and some lime green zipper tape (without pulls) left over from a roll of make-a-zipper tape I’d bought from Nancy’s Notions years ago:

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I’d used all the pulls that come with the tape – so I removed the pulls from the zippers on the original pouch – with some tugging, managed to install them on the green tape (which is why one pull is pink!).

Project took a couple of hours – the rip-stop is slippery and I had to pin as I went along to be sure the sections of the pouch would be aligned – slowed the sewing process down. I should actually make a pattern for this project – I’m sure other people would be interested.


This morning a jar of Rustins Leather Re-Colouring Balm arrived in the mail from England. I’ve had a dark brown leather chair for over 40 years. About 20 years ago I had the cushions restuffed but I was never able to find a product to refinish the leather itself. With this move I decided to see if I could find something to renew the leather on the cushions. I came across this Rustins Recolouring Leather Balm:

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I ordered a jar in dark brown. I’ve just used it and it’s wonderful! I thought to myself as I started applying it to the chair cushions I should take a “before” picture – I didn’t. But here’s an “after”:

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All the white wear marks are gone. The balm soaked in quickly – there wasn’t much excess to wipe off. The best part is it’s not going to come off on clothing when someone sits in the chair! It didn’t take long to apply, wait for 5 minutes, then wipe off (the wipe off cloth didn’t pick up much colour at all). I’ll apply a second coat tomorrow just to catch the few uncoloured spots that I’m noticing now. I can’t believe how much better this chair looks.

So now to get organized to quilt that latest quilt. The sandwich is pinned together. I’ve set up an embroidery design to quilt it edge-to-edge. Gotta try out the embroidery on some scrap fabric to make sure of the dimensions so my edge-to-edge quilting will align properly.

 

 

Pillow Remakes


I don’t have “before” photos but here are the remakes. I did the needlework about 40 years ago. I was going to toss them out and look for new ones, but when I took a closer look I thought the needlework had held up well even if the velvet backing fabric was definitely showing its age. 

So I very carefully unpicked the seams, discarded the old backing fabric. This time I installed zippers, new backing fabric (on two of the pillows I used some of the leftover upholstery fabric from the sofa), and the pillows look like new – definitely refreshed.

What I find so interesting is that the colours I used 40 years ago are still the colours that draw me today! The pillows go fine with the new sofa and daybed fabrics. Didn’t take long to do, either.

New Sewing Table

The third sewing table arrived Friday morning and it fits the space perfectly! It’s the right height, and the piece on the left is moveable – when I’m quilting, I can position it further to the right so it will take the weight of the quilt I’m working on. The depth of the main span is also greater (2′ 8″) than on either of the other two tables so there’s more push-back space to work with. I know I’m going to be happy with it.

I intend staining and oiling the surface so it blends better with the other furniture in the space, the majority of which is actually my old teak furniture. I’ll stop off at Lee Valley to ask their advice about how best to do that tomorrow.

So now the space is just about complete. Time to get back to sewing – I have a wall hanging piece I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while – I’m aiming for larger than any I’ve done so far. I’ll start by enlarging the photo on which it will be based so I can look at the elements and think about the fabrics I’ll need.

Here’s the sign outside of the Art Lab in Parrsboro – it was lovely approaching the building Friday evening and seeing it there:


The gathering Friday night was small but definitely enthusiastic.

And as I sit writing on my iPad at the kitchen island counter, I’m also watching the Tennis final in Cincinnati on my iPhone. Cilic has taken the first set, although Murray is pushing him hard in the second…. I was disappointed Raonic didn’t win yesterday. On to the US Open coming week. This streaming thing means I can be sewing and keeping an eye on the tennis at the same time. I love this multitasking….

New Digs II

I moved in August 3 and have worked steadily unpacking and putting away and shopping and arranging stuff. It’s just about done. I’m sitting waiting for the delivery of the third sewing table this morning. There’s still a small dining room table and 4 leather chairs to arrive and I’ve expressed interest in a large painting that I’ll get to audition in my space after Labour Day. But for the most part, this is now home.

Front Door

Apartment from front door

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Sewing Studio

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Kitchen

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Recovered Sofa

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Sideboard

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Wall shelves with storage

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Sewing station – Quilting machine

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Repurposed dining room table with storage beneath

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Sewing station – Serger

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Balcony

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Bedroom

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Organized closet

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Sitting room with recovered day bed

New Digs

Wednesday – moving-in day – YEAH! I’m tired of being a vagabond. I’m ready to have my life settled again and a routine in place. Every day I was in Newfoundland felt like Saturday.

I got the apartment keys past Saturday and moved in the stuff I kept with me – some clothing and bathroom items. I’ll be taking in more clothing today.

I thought I should take pictures before the boxes and furniture arrive Wednesday to have a record of the bare apartment.

A galley kitchen with island – the kitchen end of this open space is 15′ x 10′ (back wall to back of island). The front door is to the right of the kitchen. There’s a “den” (read that as an 8 x 11 room without a window which I’m going to use for storage) which you can’t see beside the kitchen.


The other end of this large open area looks smallish from this viewpoint at the island, but it’s a 15′ x 31′ space from windows to back of island. You can see the doorways to the bedrooms, one on each side. There’s a reasonable sized balcony beyond the sliding patio doors. 


This space will house my sewing studio. Tables for each sewing machine, a centre cutting table, a spot for my ironing board, furniture with drawers to store fabric and notions. 

The large bedroom:

The smaller bedroom which I’m intending to use as a sitting room:

The apartment has two large bathrooms and each bedroom has its own walk-in closet.

And an in-apartment laundry utility room:

So lots of space. 

I already know I will have to discard more pieces of furniture because they won’t quite work in the layout I see in my head. Anybody need a solid birch 4-drawer desk? I’ve had this desk since I was eight years old. It has been a part of my computer desk for years but just won’t work here. There will also be a couple of chairs and some end tables to go, but I won’t know for sure until the boxes are gone and the furniture is in place.
Stay tuned.