Sunday, October 30, 2016

giving rusty chairs new life

I've started a project that is kind of exciting and out of my regular wheelhouse. Kind of.  It involves rusty chairs and spray paint.

It all started really by buying this house.  That has a dining room.  And space. And I have friends. That I like. That may want to come over sometime.  It's kind of around that time when you invite peeps over that you realize you need chairs for said peeps to sit on.  While I do have a good amount of chairs (6), what if friends bring friends?  What then?!  You need more chairs, temporary chairs.

So, I found some old rusty fold up chairs that are actually really sturdy.  I thought maybe I can give them new life?  Pretty paint, perhaps.  Yes!
Here we are at the beginning after a bath, drying in the sun that lasted a couple hours this morning.  One is very, very rusty and the other is on it's way to very, very rusty.
I sprayed the chairs with a rust primer by Rustoleum.  One can covered both chairs!  They already look so much better!
After the primer dried I sprayed two coats of color.  I picked two really bright, fun colors that I like.  That way if I find more grody chairs I can just pick a bright color and they will match without having to be exactly the same.  Now I'm waiting for the paint to dry and catching up on podcasts.  I figured I'd cover the top with the most paint then flip them and spray the bottom a bit.
Here are the dry chairs:
So, now that I have them inside the house with good lighting I can tell that I missed spots on the pink chair.  Does it bother me enough to buy another can of spray paint??? Not sure yet. I also need to find rubber feet for the ends of the chair legs as a few legs are missing them.  But!  Don't these look better than the rusty grody chairs at the beginning?  I would actually feel comfortable sitting on one of these, which was the point.

What I learned: 
* When the can says don't spray on a windy day, it means it.
* Good lighting is key to full coverage
* pick colors that are fun!
* Patience, patience, patience. Waiting for the paint to dry is key before touching!
* Don't give up on grody rusty chairs, paint can do wonders




Thursday, October 27, 2016

all the sparkle

Good morning! I'm just popping on here this morning to say hello and share my sock progress.  It's a rainy morning so light is not great....but you can see all the SPARKLE! This yarn is so fun, each color is super vibrant and the glitter thread in it stands out so well!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

lots of little things, a catch up

I didn't mean to take a long break from blogging, but it sort of happened.  I've noticed that when I have a lot on my mind that it's hard for me to keep it light here on the blog. So what I thought I'd do to kind of ease back into the routine is show a few pictures from the last week.

Last weekend I drove down and visited my Mom for the weekend.  Every year about this time I really love to go to a pumpkin patch.  I love to go with my Mom because she is not daunted one bit by my excitement, she mostly eggs me on! ha!  There's a fruit stand outside Red Bluff that does a pumpkin patch and then sets them out for you to pick from.  There is one in Chico that people were raving about last year but it was a huge disappointment so we went back to the tried and true fruit stand that we love.  
I got a bunch of tiny fun pumpkins that I took to the office to share and then kept these large ones for my house.  Mom had given me this step-stool, and as I was taking it out of the car to put in the house I thought the pumpkins would look fun on it! 

I took my little mouse along to show Mom and also finish knitting up the dress.  Mom decided her name is Hortence!  ha!  Here she is amongst some Fall decorations in my house.  Isn't she cute?

Awhile ago I planted some Red Hot Poker plants, but since it was the end of the season I fully did not expect any blooms.  I was walking through the back yard yesterday and what did I find?  A little bloom!!!!  Oh how my heart leapt. Just love this. 


Oh man, this cross stitch frame is a long time coming!  Oy vey.  You may not remember that I have been working on the Storytime Sampler by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, because it's been a million years since I've worked on it.  Yikes.  The thing is, I was hoping that Harry Potter would be one of the frames.  I was waiting each month, hoping he would be the next story.  Since I've been so slow at stitching this I've been able to see the work others have done on Instagram.  I had made up my mind to just stitch the pattern the way it was written, just go with it.  But, I kept thinking of Harry.  There was one lady who replaced another frame with Harry and I thought, I should do that.  But, then I felt conflicted about copying her.  I started the September frame which was Black Beauty.  Then was distracted a couple months.  When I picked it up again I realized that the train already in that pattern could be the Hogwarts train!  As I started to think more about it, I realized I could pick parts from other patterns and frames and mix them together to make Harry.  I used one of the empty frames in the pattern and played around with colored pencils until I came up with this:

It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it because it represents one of my most favorite book series.  I'm glad that I deviated from the pattern :)

This next picture is a two-fold project picture.  Since I finished Hortence the mouse I allowed myself to cast on some socks!  Yes!  I don't even know why I am so strict with myself project-wise because I've been longing to knit socks for weeks.  So, I took yarn with me to Mom's house and the second I finished the dress for Hortence I cast on these socks.  I wanted to add a little texture and luckily remembered the Hermione's Everyday Sock pattern stitch so that's what I've been working on knitwise.  I bought this fabric at the quilt fabric store in Chico and this morning made it into a needle cozy.  I had been wanting to make one using these poppers as closures.  I also added a bit of batting and quilted straight lines.  Sorry it's sideways, not sure how to fix that.  I just love this fabric, it will be fun to use it every day on with these socks.


In other news, I think I may be out of the non reading brain fog caused by grief.  Before my husband passed 3.5 years ago I was a bookworm.  After, I could still read but my attention span and retention was just not there.  It's slowly been coming back, thankfully!  I read an entire book in one night last Friday at Mom's house!  Crazy.  I had been wanting to see the movie The Girl on the Train and Mom gave me the book to read before seeing the movie.  I read the whole thing, that night.  It's funny, now that I've read it I'm not sure I want to see the movie - ha!  

Sorry this was so long to catch up, and such a long post.  Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

off to a good start

I have a couple of finishes to share with you this week.  Lately, I've been in a stitching mood, like cross stitch.  Mostly because I want the finished product, ha!  I really love the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery patterns and follow them on Instagram.  Right now one of their new patterns is Trick or Treat Costume Club.  I dig it, but know for myself I need a quicker project.  I saw that there was a smaller pattern similar to the bigger one in the Halloween special issue of Just CrossStitch magazine.    
It turned out so cute!!!  I was going to just clip it on this little pedestal I have on my entryway table.  But, then I remembered seeing some people make little cushions with little patterns.  I did add rick rack around the edges and a ribbon loop.  So, the magazine pattern had a light grey fabric but I could not find any grey cross stitch fabric locally and was too impatient to order any! ha! Due to using black I had to rethink the black bits in the pattern.  So the girl's costume I did a light grey and then the bats I decided lime would be fun.


 So this next project I finished yesterday.  It's funny, while I was knitting socks I was trying to hurry up and finish so I could start a little animal.  The last week I've been hurrying to finish this little mouse so I can start socks! ha
I've made this pattern before basically.  It's the Mrs. Bakery Bear pattern by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears podcast.  In the previous incarnation I altered the bear pattern to a kitten.  I thought I'd be making another kitten when I started this pattern.

I think I've said before that I feel like a pattern "speaks" to me while I'm making it.  I know that makes me sound crazy.  But, while I'm knitting, crocheting or sewing a doll or animal I start to think of it's story.  Which then influences how the stuffie is made.  This one did not really have a story, which is why it took me until I had finished all the pieces except the nose and ears.  She also does not have a name yet which is also unusual for me.

I'm really pleased with her nose.  I followed the pattern for the bear and thought I'd see if I could make it pointy like a snout.  I did a couple extra decrease rows and that worked!  Then, I stitched the light pink across the point several times to fill it in and then went round to shape it.  The little smile is really what made her personable!  


And the ears.  How sweet are they?  The modification I made on these were stitching them in stockinette instead of garter.  I knew I was going to line them so I wanted the outer part of the ear to be more like the rest of the body, which is stockinette.  I thought about lining them with felt but then changed my tune to fabric.  This has the tiniest rosettes.  I sewed some half circles into the middle of the ear and then pulled the edges towards the center to kind of gather the ear, then sewed them to the head.  I think it worked well.  I'll update once I get the dress finished.

So, I know it's Fall but today really feels like Winter already!  We've had rain, hail and currently it is 40 degrees out!  Brrrrrrr.  I did catch this rainbow in my back yard!  It was a full rainbow but since I was pretty close could only get a portion.  So pretty!



Sunday, September 18, 2016

cool pen and yarn dyeing

I am blaming this post on Walmart!!!  baha.  I am still feeling very puny and sick.  I went in for juice, soup and cold medication (and maybe a vacuum). I came out with a lot more than that!  Truthfully, it was my own fault for going in without a firm list.  
This first item, not on the list, is actually really, really cool.  It may be old news to other quilters out there but it was new to me.  A friend of mine had given me a sewing box that had been her grandmother's after she passed away.  Her grandma was a quilter and in the mixture there was a bright pink pen.  The ink disappears when you iron over it!  I used it completely up!  I have looked at Joann's, Michael's and a quilt store and did not find another like it.  So.  Today in Walmart I was walking by the office supplies and thought "I wonder?" Sure enough!
This second blank picture is after ironing over the spot I had written in the red ink. Love. It.  

Right. Here's where things get a little dicey.  Somehow I ended up in the yarn section.  I think I was walking by and a bright white skein caught my eye.  Like bare yarn.  I thought that was interesting, I entered the aisle....and that led to me deciding I should learn to dye my own yarn!!!!  You see how these things can just "happen", right?

There were only a few colors so I went a couple aisles over and found the tie dye colors.  Much better selection.  I don't know if it will actually work.  But thought I'd give it a go.  The yarn is a cotton lace weight 50g hank.  They also had a chunkier cotton.
I put the yarn in this plastic lid. 
The dye was already in these little bottles, just added water.  Easy peasy.

The yarn did not initially accept the dye.  Once it was wet though it did.  It may be a good idea to start with wet yarn next time.  The dye was super saturated.  I put on the light pink, then squished in the darker.  Then the purple which initially was like black.  Then, I took the black and spattered it over everything.  At that point the yarn was wet with the other colors so the spatter stuck well.  
I did not follow the instructions on the box.  After the dye was placed you were supposed to wrap it in plastic for 6-8 hours.  But, I decided to rinse it in cold water and woolite.  That lightened the color considerably to what you see above.  

I have it drying outside.  I can't wait to see what it will be!!!  50g could maybe be a short pair of socks???  For socks I usually start with 100g and I have a ton left over.  Anyway it was mostly just for fun, an experiment.

I did also come home with a hard floor vacuum.  I love it!  Even though Rocky is a short hair and doesn't shed horribly there still ends up being a ton of hair!  Sweeping was just getting old.  It's small, easy to put together and inexpensive.  So there's that.

Ok. For reals I am doing nothing for the rest of the day! I hope you all have a great week.






Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fall finishes and award winning socks

I have a lot to catch up on!  Yikes.  
 This year I decided to enter some hand knits into the fair.  I entered my Duchess of Devonshire shawl, which won an "honorable mention"!  I already knew I had won on this because of friend of mine had sent me a picture while she was at the fair letting me know!  Last Friday night I made it out to the fair to check everything out.  I found my shawl first, as it was in the aisle on this mannequin figure.
Next I had entered these socks.  I thought they were fun with the contrasting colors and silver stellina.  I had written little note cards on each item telling the yarn, the pattern, when I started and ended each project.  I thought the judges might like to know?  These socks didn't win anything but it was still fun to find them in the showcase!
And here's the big surprise!!!  I got a first place prize ribbon for my eyelet socks!  Wooo hooo!  I truly did not expect to win, at all.  One of the doctors at the clinic I work at had entered a pair of socks that were cables cuff to toe and I thought for sure those would win! She did win 3rd place.  My first place was a shock!  I didn't realize it at the time but I also won $10 :)  I thought the prize was the ribbon - even bigger surprise!  Now every time I wear these socks I will remember they are prize winners. ha!

Last weekend I finished up these Halloween quilted items.  There's a couple pillow cases, a table runner (in front, folded) and a table topper.  I'm giving the table topper to a friend.  I bound them all with a thin black and white striped fabric, so fun!

The other quilted item I worked on last weekend and finished the binding today was this mini quilt.  When I bought this house with the fireplace, I knew that the open space above the mantle would be perfect for mini quilts!!!  

Honestly I think I could go a bit bigger but I like it.


The pattern did not have the little borders in between the o's.  I sort of wish I hadn't done those now, but meh.  I sort of like it.  Sort of don't.  But, it's not like I hate it and it's ok.  I really love the fabrics I used, they are sort of Fall but I think can also be used at other times too, you know?  I didn't use anything that screams, this is only Fall!  

Since I had finished that up I started putting out decorations.  I wasn't going to because my energy is super low.  I've had a cold all week and it has just drained my mojo.  boo.  But!  This week it is officially Fall so I just took my time.

It was fun because I had put things on the mantle, then take a step back and was like, nope.  Still needs something or don't like that.....it's now pretty close to really great!  ha.  Also!  I almost, almost forgot this little turkey pillow!  I did forget it last year.  

It's so fun having this new house, a new layout of furniture and surfaces to decorate.  That was one thing I *loved* doing at our old house when my husband was alive.  Every season I would take everything down, unpack the new season and enjoy all the things I've collected and love.  It's been 3.5 years since he died and I'm just now starting to want to do that again and get a bit of joy from it.

In knitting news I am almost finished with all the parts for a little animal.  There's nothing to really show since nothing is sewn together yet.  It's been nice since my energy has been like nothing to have just little pieces to knit and finish.  I'm really missing having a sock on the go though!  Oh! I found a new podcast (to me) that I really like!  It's called Bookend Knits, you can find it on youtube here.  It is seriously cracking me up.  It's two ladies who are identical twins, they chat about knitting, books, yarn, nerdy stuff....and they are quirky.  I love quirky!  So, I have been binge watching them, I'm on episode 4.

I just have to say that I'm so glad I found podcasts.  Mostly knitting podcasts.  In my real, regular life I know a few knitters but that's just about all we have in common.  The podcasts I really like also read, do other crafts, they have a sense of humor.  It's nice to "chat" with them!  If you don't watch podcasts I know that may sound funny but most podcasters also have some type of forum where you can interact, ask questions and such.  Anyway, I just wanted to say it's been nice to have that connection.





Sunday, August 28, 2016

not getting sick

I'm having that feeling like my body is right on the cusp of getting sick.  Like a tingle in my nose, low energy, a little rasp in the throat.  But, I am not getting sick!  I am telling my immune system it is so strong, there is no virus that can compare!  Oh and lots of  Airborne and water.  So I've been laying low this weekend.  I still got some crafty progress made but not as much as I had planned.

Late this week, maybe Thursday?  I finished my socks!  Yeah :)
So glad to finish these.  I really liked the pattern, which was the Blueberry Waffles pattern, which is free on Ravelry.  The yarn was a Crazy Zauberball, which was really fun to knit with.  Since the yarn was pretty thin I just went with my regular cast on which is 64 stitches.  The pattern calls for 52 stitches on DK weight with 3.75 mm needles.  Sock yarn is quite a bit smaller and I also use US size 1 needles (2.25mm).  It worked out quite nicely, as you can see they fit really well.

 For the last couple of weeks I've really been wanting to be knitting a little animal! But I made myself finish my socks first, I didn't want them languishing.  So last night I cast on what I think will be a little kitten.  I'm using the Mrs. Bakery Bear pattern by Kay Jones and I'll just change the face and ears.  I've done that before, I really like her pattern and it's easy enough to alter.  The yarn is just acrylic, it's very soft and has a bit of a halo.
This morning after knitting a bit I moved into the sewing room.  And so did George.  Here she is taking over the cutting side of my sewing table!  She was quite determined to stay right there.


Eventually she did move and I got some cutting done.  The top row you've seen before but now it's sewn into squares.  The rest of the squares I've been playing with.  On the left, second row, was my first attempt to figure out the  Thimble Blossoms Cheerio pattern. I could tell it was a variation of the "road to Tennessee" classic block but with the little squares and a widened center.  I finally gave in and bought the pattern (!) which usually I'm too cheap to do.  I'm blaming feeling under the weather.  I just didn't have the brain power to keep up the math guessing game!  


I was really really close though on the math!!  Oh well.  So, the circlet with the white center is the official Cheerio pattern.  For me, it's all about those little squares!!!  I just love them.  So, I am debating if that will become a pillow top or maybe a runner with some other fun Fall fabrics?  My first attempt is going to be a Halloween pillow.  It kind of looks like one of those floaty rings on boats!  

Welp, that's about all the happenings here.  Hope the end of your Summer is going well - Labor day next weekend!  For me, that's like the end of Summer....except when I lived in Chico and it would still be like super hot into October.  Fall is right around the corner!  Pumpkin everything here we come :)