A Million Different Directions

We are trying to tie up lose ends on our projects both in the house and in the Cottage but new items keep cropping up.

Before sewing the rugs together I cut off the fringe.
Before sewing the rugs together I cut off the fringe.

I started working on the stair runner two weeks ago.  I finished about half of it before the sewing machine started giving me problems.

We'll be staying in a historic hotel.
We’ll be staying in a historic hotel.

Also we’re heading to New York City soon so I’m trying to make plans for the trip.  Thus far I have reduced our hotel bill $155 by going back to the website and calling for a better deal.  Unfortunately $155 won’t pay our parking for the weekend but it will certainly help.

I have always enjoyed a late-night cabaret.
I have always enjoyed a late-night cabaret.

I have made a short list of Broadway, off-Broadway, and cabaret shows as well as must-see restaurants for the first-time visitor. We’ll be staying near the Waldorf.  Any suggestions?

The Cottage windows are charming but drafty.
The Cottage windows are charming but drafty.

Our Cottage tenant has decided to have all the windows replaced with more efficient ones as well as a new front door and storm door.  Those items along with some interior trim should keep the Cottage “under construction” for a few weeks.

The conservatory sink will get a backsplash that matches the shower tile.
The conservatory sink will get a backsplash that matches the shower tile.

And Charlie and I are getting additional tile installation quotes since the first one was much more than we expected.

Soup is on the menu.
Soup is on the menu.

Then, when we get back from New York I’ll have to begin cooking and decorating for the “surprise party”.  I think I have worked out how it will go but I still need to contact a few bunch of friends.

I'm planning a South of the Border theme.
I’m planning a South of the Border theme.

I’m already planning a bridal shower for May which I hope my choir will actually sponsor since one of our own is getting married in June.

I'm starting in the living room.
I’m starting in the living room.

First thing on the agenda: clean the house!!!

Do you plan ahead and then realize you’re all booked up?

Today I Will . . .

Get papers in order (#96 on my 101 in 1001) and

I started the stair runner back in 2014.
I started the stair runner back in 2014.

work on the stair runner (#5 on my 101 in 101).

I tried hand-powered staples and carpet tacks.
I tried hand-powered staples and carpet tacks.

The runner would look great but I never finished it and over the last 2 years it has not worn well.

I'll try to sew these together then pneumatically tack them to the stairs.
I’ll try to sew these together then pneumatically tack them to the stairs.

My first plan to use individual rugs was not successful.

It will take all my concentration to keep the stripes lined up.
It will take all my concentration to keep the stripes lined up.

Instead I’ve decided to sew the rugs together end on end using a flat-felled seam.

This machine is very precise and will accommodate a thick wad of material or a very fine gauze.
This machine is very precise and will accommodate a thick wad of material or a very fine gauze.

This is just the kind of project for which I’ve been saving my grandmother’s sewing machine circa 1953. It sews bulky fabric together with no problem.

I'm going to start all over again.
I’m going to start all over again.

Sewing together a long enough runner for the steps is my project for today.

This year I'm going to get rid of decades old tax returns.
This year I’m going to get rid of decades old tax returns.

I have also begun separating papers for our tax accountant.

I also have decades of old back statements. Bye-bye.
I also have decades of old back statements. Bye-bye.

But I have piles from previous years that either need a permanent home or need to be shredded.

Three years of bank statements ready to be filed.
Three years of bank statements ready to be filed.

I’m on that, too.

How is your paper clutter contained?

January’s the Time to . . .

.  .  .  do things that need getting done.

Taking down the Christmas decorations is a priority early in January.
Taking down the Christmas decorations is a priority early in January.

This year I had no real plan for January — no to-do list yet we accomplished quite a bit.

Charlie's 6' by 6' greenhouse.
Charlie’s 6′ by 6′ greenhouse.

Charlie received a greenhouse kit for Christmas which took us about the entire month to put together. (Greenhouse 1, Greenhouse 2, Greenhouse 3, Greenhouse Final.)

Before: Offsite Project
Before: Offsite Project
After: Offsite Project
After: Offsite Project

In our defense we took two weeks out to brighten a friend’s pad. (Offsite 2, Offsite 3, 4, 5, Offsite 6 and Finale.)

New curtains in the living room.
New curtains in the living room.

I found some items I’ve been searching for including a new mirror, new curtains, and a new duvet cover.

I'm still looking for a vanity stool for my dressing table.
I’m still looking for a vanity stool for my dressing table.

In addition to hanging the mirror I also put up some art in the master suite.

We had the meeting now we need a contract.
Marble 2″ by 4″ tile in the master bathroom.

I contacted our tile setter to get a price and time for installing backsplashes.  Charlie lugged out leftover tile up from the basement to make sure we would have enough for the project.

The Glade consists of a house and a cottage.
The Glade consists of a house and a cottage (left).

So even without a formal, blog-driven task list we, the merry threesome who live at The Glade, got a fair bit accomplished.

Last February we were having 2 tea parties.
Last February we were having 2 tea parties.

As for February we already have some ideas in the works. Big ideas!

What’s on your list?

A Door for the Laundry Room

Our laundry room is on the second floor of the house with a southern and western exposure.

The window above the porch roof on the side of the house and the proximate one on the front are in the laundry room.
The window above the porch roof on the side of the house and the proximate one on the front are in the laundry room. (The dryer vent is also visible on the front wall.)

In summer it’s hot due to its position .  .  .

The dryer on top of the washer is vented outside and allows cold drafts to come in when the dryer door is open.
The dryer on top of the washer is vented outside and allows cold drafts to come in when the dryer door is open.

the dryer .  .  .

Corner of laundry leading to the attic.
Corner of laundry leading to the attic.

and the door to the attic.

This window overlooks the front yard.
This window overlooks the front yard.

In winter it’s drafty for exactly the same reasons.

This solid wood door with 4 lights might fit the opening in the laundry room perfectly.
This solid wood door with 4 lights might fit the opening in the laundry room perfectly.

I think the door that used to go out to our back porch before we built the conservatory might fit the opening perfectly.

The doorway from inside the laundry room.
The doorway from inside the laundry room.

The main problem I can foresee is that the light switch will be behind the door when it’s open.

The door will block this view.
The door will block this view.

The benefit is that the second floor will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer and laundry clutter will be hidden behind the solid bottom part of the door.

Have you ever tried hanging a door? Tips?

 

Digging for a View

Quite awhile ago we took on a huge pile of wood chips from dead oak tree removal.

Chips from our trees.
Chips from our trees.

They were dumped in the driveway in front of the Cottage.

Chips are an easy and economical way to neaten up the garden and discourage weed growth.
Chips are an easy and economical way to neaten up the garden and discourage weed growth.

Charlie loves having chips available to groom paths in the garden and yard.

The chip pile was directly outside the Cottage door and most of the view from the window.
The chip pile was directly outside the Cottage door and most of the view from the window.

However we have not used all the chips yet and they do obscure the sylvan view from the Cottage.

The pile of chips also took up about 2 parking spaces.
The pile of chips also took up about 2 parking spaces.

Our tenant decided she would like to move the pile out of her line of sight which was fine with Charlie and me.

Only a pile of crushed stone remains which is slated to be spread on the driveway.
Only a pile of crushed stone remains which is slated to be spread on the driveway.

In 2 days she shoveled the pile down to nothing and moved it by wheelbarrow to a discreet place in the back yard.

Can you picture it yet?
Can you picture it yet?

No doubt when the greenhouse is set in place we’ll use some of the chips to landscape around the tiny building.

Are you working or playing outside on pleasant winter days?

Clearing a Little More Clutter

I’ve been diligently trying to get rid of clutter.

This vintage corner cabinet has been sold.
This vintage corner cabinet has been sold for $10.

The latest items include the corner cabinet from our old kitchen.

The cabinet on the left has been sold so the wall space is now free to accommodate another cabinet.
The cabinet on the left has been sold so the wall space is now free to accommodate another cabinet.

Our tenant has been using it and it does hold a ton of stuff but I intend to replace the cabinet with another wall-hung unit.

This headboard sold for $60.
This headboard sold for $60.

Our tenant also had a double/queen-sized headboard which she was going to cut up and throw into a dumpster.  Instead I listed it on Craigslist.  It sold in a couple weeks.

When Charlie brought home this pile of windows I was miffed.
When Charlie brought home this pile of windows I was miffed.

Charlie had “collected” some vintage sash windows with old-fashioned wavy glass.  I listed them for $30 and a lovely young lady came over to pick up the entire load to make projects and gifts.

The little ladder only useful for decoration was sold for $10.
The little ladder only useful for decoration was sold for $10.

We liked this little ladder but it was not reliable as a ladder so I listed is as a décor item only.

The base of a tall brass lamp.
The base of a tall brass lamp.
The lamp is against the wall.
The lamp is against the wall.

I also sold a brass lamp.

Slowly but surely easing up on the clutter while making a few $$.

What’s your biggest clutter challenge?

Party with a Purpose: Cutting Shoes

Charlie, my friend from the Cottage, and I hosted a party with a goal to cut out 25 pairs of denim shoes and donate them and other supplies to “Sole Hope“, which removes parasitic jiggers from children’s feet and provides shoes and paid work for adults in Uganda.

The shoes are appropriate for boys or girls. We'll be making size "Toddler 10" shoes.
The shoes are appropriate for boys or girls. We’ll be making size “Toddler 10” shoes.

I ordered a kit from “Sole Hope” which includes a DVD about cutting the shoes, an instruction booklet, a paper pattern for one size of shoe, book marks, and a few other items.

I cut out multiple copies of patterns in plastic and cardboard to make tracing them easier.
I cut out multiple copies of patterns in plastic and cardboard to make tracing them easier.

I made stiff templates for the paper pattern pieces in advance.  My friend and I also cut out a few pairs of shoes before the party to see how the process would go so we could be helpful to people attending the party. My friend cut stiff plastic heel pieces from old milk jugs to save cutting time and confusion at the party.

The invitation has information front, back, and inside of ways to support the project.
The invitation has information front, back, and inside of ways to support the project.

Everyone was sent an invitation which listed ways to get involved with Sole Hope so in addition to shoe cutters some folks who could not attend sent other supplies on the list and donated money. This is a good party invitation to send to ALL your friends — different people help in different ways.

I set up extra tables for tracing and cutting the shoes.
I set up extra tables for tracing and cutting the shoes.

As the party got underway we watched the instructional video then people started tracing pattern pieces on the jeans they brought.

Good scissors are essential when cutting heavy denim.
Good scissors are essential when cutting heavy denim.

When the tracing and cutting started the house became very quiet. Ultimately though there was a lot of chit chat and some sing-alongs while Charlie played the piano. The hosts helped answer questions and made sure each pair of shoes was top quality.

It was a treat to have a snack and stand and stretch for a few minutes in the kitchen.
It was a treat to have a snack and stand and stretch for a few minutes in the kitchen.

Charlie served beverages and, after cutting a pair of shoes, the cobblers were invited to have something to eat.

Diligent workers not only cut the shoes but prayed they would meet the needs of the children receiving them.
Diligent workers not only cut the shoes but prayed they would meet the needs of the children receiving them.

Then we sent them right back to work.

Ten pairs of shoes per gallon bag -- we filled 4 bags, 40 pairs of shoes!
Ten pairs of shoes per gallon bag — we filled 4 bags, 40 pairs of shoes!

Our goal was 25 pairs and our actual production was 40 pairs.

The wooden toys made from wood scraps were party favors for each guest to select.
The wooden toys made from wood scraps were party favors for each guest to select.

Added bonus: one of the party goers plans to have another party in the spring with an entirely different constituency. Woo hoo!

What project are you excited to get going with?