Saturday, March 23, 2019

Cross Body Bag with Cat Appliques

I am so behind in posting that I forgot to post this one. I was commissioned to make a bag with cats and this is what I came up with. I love these applique cats. I quilted the bag rather heavily. I used the Convertible Tote pattern by Sew Can She, but of course I made several changes. I love these colors together: purple and turquoise.

I added 2 cats on the front of the bag. 

I made strap tabs for the side and added 4 rivets. I like how the 4 rivets look.

Stacked buttons for the cat eyes.

This cat has blue eyes.

The back of the bag I added a zippered pocket.

Inside I added a slip pocket divided with a pen pocket and I added a cat applique on the pocket too. I made the pockets large,  but  I forgot about boxing the corners so the pockets are a bit in the corner. 

Meow! I love this fat cat, so cute.

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Chevron Knit Scarf

I knit this scarf in a Chevron stitch using a variegated wool blend yarn in browns with a touch of blue. I love knitting the Chevron pattern because it's easy, but it looks great! These photos were taken indoors a few months ago because it was too cold to go outside and dragging Fanny around is not so easy to do. So the photos are not the best indoors.

Fanny is modeling the scarf. She is also wearing a knit beret I made over 35 years ago! The beret is a mohair/silk blend and so soft.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Multi-Colored Knit Scarf

I knit this scarf using a multi-colored yarn. I think it is an acrylic yarn. I love the colors of this yarn! I have been wearing this scarf every morning that I walk in the cold weather. I knit this and took photos before I had my model, Fanny.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Batik Yarn Bag

I made this yarn bag using strips of batiks. The pattern is a tutorial from Lorelai Jayne. It is the kind of bag you are supposed to wear on your forearm and if you want to you can walk and knit (or crochet) as it's on your arm. The top handle part of the bag is a bit too wide though if you prefer to grab and carry in your hand. This bag is a bit smaller than the other 2 yarn bags I made recently (the Llama print and the Selvage yarn bags). I used a different pattern for those other yarn bags and I like the other size and handle better. Still this yarn bag is nice and great looking in batik fabric, of course!

I added a front pocket to the bag. 

I also added a pocket to the back of the back as well as the front. I quilted the bag in wavy lines.

Bottom of bag.

Inside is a slip pocket on one side.

Across from the slip pocket, I also added a zippered pocket. 

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Herald Knit Shawl

I knit this shawl/scarf a few months ago. I purchased the pattern on Ravelry during a Black Friday sale. It is called Herald Knit Shawl, designed by Janino Kallio. It was easy to knit and I enjoyed knitting this while watching movies or shows on the telly. I used some Merino wool sock weight yarn that I had hand dyed several years ago. I knit until I ran out of yarn, so my shawl might be a bit shorter than the pattern. Merino is a soft wool and the only wool I can wear against my skin and not itch. Most wool I itch from, but Merino is the only exception I have found that I can wear.

Fanny here is modeling the many ways to wear this shawl~

Worn like a scarf here.

With a shawl pin.

Bandanna style.

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Saturday, March 9, 2019

A Llama Yarn Bag & a Selvage Yarn Bag for Knitting

I made a couple of yarn bags. One is made using selvages from the edges of fabrics that I sewed to create this bag. I ended up sewing a white binding around the edges of this bag because I liked it better than the blanket stitching I did here, but I forgot to photograph the new edging.

This is back of the bag with the zipper. 

I also added a grommet to each side for yarn to come through. But again, I forgot to take a photo after I inserted the grommet.

Bag front.

Inside the bag is a couple of divided slip pockets.

Next is a llama print yarn bag. I added a divided slip pocket on the outside front of this bag.
I also inserted some grommets later on this bag, but didn't take a photo of them, so here the yarn is shown out the top of the bag.

Inside the bag has more divided slips pockets and it's roomy inside as you can see when I place this skein of yarn in it to show the scale.

I added a zippered pocket to te back of the bag.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Kitchen Remodel Done!

I have lived in a lot of homes in my life, but I have lived in this house the longest I have lived anywhere. We have been in this house for 17 years this year. Since birth I had moved on average every 3 years. A few places we lived in for 5 years, a few only a year. I always felt like a gypsy, never settled. After I married we moved several times, even within the same city. We talked about moving from this house we live in now, but the question was "Where will we go and what would make moving any better than here"? We could find a larger home (our home here is 1300 square feet), but would that really be better? More space equals more stuff. Sure a larger home would give me more space to move around in and maybe I could  have one large sewing space instead of 2 smaller ones like now. Maybe I would have more wall space to hang all the quilts I make, but those are not reasons to move and disrupt our lives. Plus by having my ironing and cutting space in one room and my sewing machines in the other room, it make me get up and walk and stand more, which is good. After having 6 months of painful sciatica a couple of years ago, I never want to experience that again and this way I am forced to move more when I am creating. A larger house = more to clean and organize too.

I love it here because it's in a safe and quiet neighborhood and let's face it one day one of us most likely will be living here alone and this is the kind of house and neighborhood either one of us would feel safe and happy living in. Our yard is xeriscaped and so not much to do but pull a few weeds and trim a few plants once in a while. That is also something that is nice not to have to deal with a large yard or one that needs too much maintenance.

Late last year we had talked about doing a remodel on the kitchen, since we had decided to remain in this house. We had moved so many times in the past that we never needed to remodel anything before because the homes we lived in were new or nearly new. Then one day, Mr. P decided to take out a cabinet and just rearrange a few things in the kitchen. Well in the process of removing one cabinet, he broke it and that made up our minds to gut the kitchen and remodel it completely. Off to Lowe's we went to see what they had in cabinetry, counters and sink as well as paint for the walls. We gave our old cabinets to someone we knew who wanted them for his mother's home, so that was nice that they could be put to good use.

I had wanted maple cabinets (loved them after them in the last house we lived in WA) and I also have wanted a seamless sink for 40 years, so we got a solid surface counter and sink (same thing as Corian, but a different brand). I chose the Shaker style maple cabinets in a shade darker than natural from Shenandoah Cabinetry (made in Arizona, USA). We got the cupboards that go all the way to the ceiling, so no more dust sitting on top of the cupboard like the last ones we had. We called the local company (Carpet Source) who did our living and bedroom flooring in a wood vinyl plank a few years ago and asked to see some tile samples. Carpet Source comes to your home. We wanted a gray hexagon tile and Don brought in a sample that we immediately said yes that is the one. It was a large hexagon in graphite color. All we saw was this one tile and we had assumed that all the tiles would look the same. The sample was dark gray with some mottling. When the tile came in we were (pleasantly) surprised to see that there were tiles in lighter gray and some tan colored ones too. They were all mottled too and it looked great! But if  we had only wanted that darker gray tile, we might have been disappointed. Luckily we like this tile even better. I chose a gray grout too. The tile is porcelain and isn't shiny like some floor tiles are. It has that outdoor feeling, which we love.

Before the tile was laid, I had chosen a paint that is white with a drop of gray in it. Most people cannot tell there is gray in it unless you place the paint chip against other paint chips and then you (or at least I) can see the gray more. The kitchen was painted a soldier blue color before changing it to the white. We painted the kitchen first, then had the tile flooring installed.

Next came the cabinets and I bought the door and drawer handles that I wanted from Lowes too. I wanted something simple that looked good and without any grooves or other ornate designs that can get food and gunk stuck in, making more cleaning work.

The solid surface counter and sink came last. There is 3 choices for the sink: white, black or almond. I chose white because the counter I chose was a white with light gray and tiny spots of tan in it. I love that the sink and counter become one and there is no rim to collect gunk. The only thing about solid surface counters and sink is you cannot place a hot pot or pan directly into the sink as it must be cooled off first and you cannot pour boiling hot water into the sink. You must turn on the cold water as you pour boiling water or let the water cool off first. Also, no hot pots or pans on the counter. But I have those trivets that I made fabric covers for that are great to use for placing anything hot on top of. Those were not deal killers to me at all. Because the material is bonded together where seams are joined it is virtually seamless and not place for bacteria to collect. "Hospitals, in particular, employ large amounts of solid surface for sinks, showers, nursing stations and wall cladding, because its seamless properties eliminate gaps and crevices that harbor harmful bacteria". (Quote from Wikipedia)

The counters were installed last Tuesday and we love, love, love our new kitchen! It took a couple of months to complete it all, but everything we did we are so pleased with.

I forgot to take the before photos of what our kitchen looked like and cannot find any photos. I know I must have taken some photos, but I didn't have a digital camera back then. I might need to go rummaging through my paper photos to find one. We had oak cabinetry with cupboards that were not to the ceiling, a stainless steel sink (never liked stainless steel sinks), and when our home was new we had laminate counters then Mr. P. put in some tile counters and some butcher block wood counters a few years ago. We also had large tile back splash on the wall. The first sink we had was one deep porcelain white sink, which Mr. P later changed to stainless steel after he changed the counters. I loved that single deep sink and our new one is single and deep too. 

I did find one photo of our before kitchen that was taken almost exactly 17 years ago! In fact, the kitchen was still not completed then. But at least you can see what it looked like from the beginning, even though we did make a few changes years later.
This is the only before photo I could find and I scanned it from a paper photo. This photo was 17 years ago when the house was still being built. The oak cupboards didn't go to the ceiling. The large tile was on the walls. We had laminate counters and a porcelain sink. That big pantry on the right blocked the kitchen from the great room and that is something Mr. P. wanted removed. This photo makes the kitchen look smaller too. The remodel sure opened everything up. The walls were a white back then with a bit of yellow in the paint. Everything was a bit too orange looking with the oak and the floors. Boy do I love my new kitchen and wished we would have done it this way back then! Live and learn.
And now for the remodel photos~
The cabinetry all removed and the painting over the soldier blue colored  paint has begun. The walls were patched with new sheet rock after the tile on the wall was removed. (Forgot to photograph the full before kitchen).  You can see the old tile flooring here.

Painting over at the window area. Mr. P. rigged up this temporary sink so we could continue to have water and do dishes for a while before having to do them in the bathroom sink. He moved this temp sink out of the way for the painting and then moved it back under the window. 
Our old tile floors in the kitchen. To the left is the white tile floors in the entry are. Both tile floors were replaced with the new tile flooring.

Kitchen painted and old tile removed.

Entry area tiled removed. The linen cabinet back there is the same oak cabinets that were in the kitchen to give you an idea of what we had before. We have the same oak in both bathrooms too. But no we won't be remodeling the bathrooms as they are functional the way they are and we don't care enough to change those. 

Entry area tile removed.

Tile being laid starting in the entry area. Those little plastic things sticking up are the spacers that Jorge placed in between the tile and when the adhesive stuff dries those spacers will be removed and then later the grout gets added into those spaces.

Moving into the kitchen with the tile.

Tile all laid and ready to grout in the morning.

In the foreground where the tile from the day before was laid is dry and the spacers were removed. The rest of the kitchen the tile had just been completed, so the spacers are left in until the next day. 

Spacers all removed and ready to grout.

Grout is in. A medium gray shade.

Not grouted yet here.

Gray grout in and it's looking good!!!

My new Shaker style maple cupboards, cabinets and drawers are in! The counter and sink soon will be installed.

The handle pulls on and it really adds a finished look to the drawers, cabinets and cupboards.

Counter and sink in and kitchen is complete! Yay!

The pantry and upper cupboard is gone from the original kitchen and opens up that area.

Close up of the counter.

The corner cupboard and cabinet have Lazy Susan's without a pole in the center, which is great!  They spin on ball bearings. We also put slide out drawers in the cabinets too. We wanted to add things to make our lives easier as we age and pull out drawers in the low cabinets are so helpful. I had those in WA too and loved them. 

The doors all have a soft close hinge so that you give it a gentle push and it closes by itself and so quietly too. Our old oak cabinets banged closed even with those little stoppers on them. I love my new kitchen!

The sink is a single deep sink which I love. The faucet is great too! 

Tons of drawers that Mr. P. chose to have. I got to choose the cabinetry, handles, sink and cabinetry style and color and he got the drawers and faucet and the layout that he wanted. We both chose the flooring. I chose the paint color when he said white, because I knew I wanted a drop of gray in the paint and I am the one who is good with color. We both wanted cupboards to the ceiling. We made a good duo of designing the kitchen and we love it! 

 So now our lives are back to normal again after more than 2 months of our kitchen in various stages. We love it and I will say everything worked out great. Mr. P contracted it all himself and it all was timed perfectly so that each person had plenty of time to complete their job before the next guy came in to do their part of the remodel. We saved a lot of money doing the contracting ourselves too. We had never done any remodel before and everything came together great without a problem. I had heard of others having horrible experiences with remodels and I am so glad we didn't experience any of that. I don't want to do any more remodeling though because it does disrupt your life for a while and I think our home is going to last us fine and be functional for the rest of our lives.
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