The Stair Runner is a Doner

The stairs from our first floor to the second floor are very narrow.

Our narrow stairs.
Our narrow stairs.

I couldn’t find a long runner narrow enough to use on the steps so I bought 10 small rugs from Ikea. I’ve been working on this project for about 2 years.

The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.
The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.

I cut the fringe off by cutting at right angles to the stripes.  Look ahead of the scissors’ blades and make long cuts.

Then I sewed them together with a flat-felled seam. My plan was to use my grandmother’s sewing machine but ended up using my own.  I couldn’t adjust the tension correctly on the older machine.

Traditional 5/8" seam to start.
Traditional 5/8″ seam to start.

To flat-fell a seam you sew a traditional seam right side together.

Cut away one seam allowance.
Cut away one seam allowance.

Then trim the one of the seam allowances to about 1/4 inch.

The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so think.
The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so think.

Pull the seam flat and topstitch catching the short allowance inside the longer one. If you choose, you can topstitch again about 1/4-inch from the first topstitching.

The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.
The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.

Finally, with my new pneumatic stapler I started at top of the steps and just put staples in the middle all the way down the staircase.

The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.
The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.

After I was sure one of the seams didn’t land in the middle of a tread I added more staples on all the steps in the black area of the runner.

Tacked all the way up.
Tacked all the way up.

I’m hoping this wears well.

Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.
Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.

I might have to add a few more staples from time to time.

Check off #5 of my 101 in 1001.

Have you sewn something together recently?

A Warm Day in February

We’re having an unseasonably warm day today.

The Cottage dweller is planning to spend some time in the yard on the John Deere.
The Cottage dweller is planning to spend some time in the yard on the John Deere.

Everybody’s excited to get outside and do something.

The back stairs to the conservatory.
The back stairs to the conservatory.

I have a small project for Charlie on this 67+ degree day:  Powerwash the back of the conservatory.

The stairs are dirty.
The stairs are dirty.
The porch deck especially has a combination of moss and grime.
The porch deck especially has a combination of moss and grime.

We get green scum gunk on the north side of the house that accumulates from time to time.

The window ledges are also mossy.
The window ledges are also mossy.

When spring comes there are so many other things to do we often don’t get to the small but necessary tasks.

I'm ready to put the olive trees outside.
I’m ready to put the olive trees outside.

I want to put the olive trees outside since the weather is forecast to be above freezing until next winter.

Are you making any upgrades or changes that are simply cosmetic?

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?

Winter Cheer in the Living Room

I’ve been busy with a number of projects so housekeeping has taken second place to other things.

8 roses for $4.99.
8 roses for $4.99.

I bought an 8-flower bouquet of roses at Trader Joe’s in a very interesting color: something like mercurochrome.

The quince is trying to bloom during the few warm days in the middle of winter in Maryland.
The quince is trying to bloom during the few warm days in the middle of winter in Maryland.

The roses reminded me that our quince bush has been trying to bloom in the yard with very similar-colored buds.

In a few days we should have blooming quince in the house.
In a few days we should have blooming quince in the house.

I cut a few long switches and vased them onto the mantel.

Time to put some of the winter décor away.
Time to put some of the winter décor away.

One room at a time.

LivingRoomRoses

How do you brighten up a room?

A Pink Tile Bathroom

Ugh, you say.

Our tiny original bathroom has pink and white wallpaper above the pink tile.
Our tiny original bathroom has pink and white wallpaper above the pink tile.

Our pink tile bathroom is tiny and original to the house.

This crack hasn't always been in the pink bathroom.
This crack hasn’t always been in the pink bathroom.

Unfortunately when we had the additions put on something must have put pressure on this bathroom because a couple of tiles cracked. Naturally they’re in a conspicuous spot.

Vanity lights are reflected in the pink tiles.
Vanity lights are reflected in the pink tiles.

In our boxes of tile I found vintage pink tiles: one designated on the back as “new” and 2 more as “old”.

The old tile matches perfectly -- now I need to find more.
The old tile matches perfectly — now I need to find more.

My plan is to try to find additional vintage pink tiles because I need a bullnose tile.

The tiles under the glass shelf should be bullnosed.
The tiles under the glass shelf should be bullnosed.

As a matter of fact if I can find a half dozen pink bullnose tiles it would be even better since the tiles under the shelf under the mirror should be bullnose but are not. Two have even been carved out to accommodate a former medicine cabinet.

Hoping there's some vintage pink tile in the stock at a local salvage store.
Hoping there’s some vintage pink tile in the stock at a local salvage store.

I’m searching locally first where I hope to be successful.

Where do you find vintage salvage?

I Bought Seeds

Now that the greenhouse has been erected and bolted down it’s time to begin using it.

We eliminated four 4'by4' squares to accommodate the 6' by 6' greenhouse.
We eliminated four 4’by4′ squares to accommodate the 6′ by 6′ greenhouse.

We did our research on early spring crops and came up with the following:

The garden in July, 2016.
The garden in July, 2016.

Radishes and peas — sow directly outdoors.

We've had great success in the past with radishes but not so much with peas.
We’ve had great success in the past with radishes but not so much with peas.

The peas will have their own square but I suggested to Charlie that the radishes be planted around exterior of the greenhouse since they grown quickly and look attractive.

We haven't grown Swiss chard for a few years. It's the red plant in the garden of 2010.
We haven’t grown Swiss chard for a few years. It’s the red plant in the garden of 2010.

Lettuce, Swiss chard — start indoors.

Both lettuce and Swiss chard are planted 4 per square foot so one 4′ by 4′ square would accommodate 64 plants. That’s a lot of seed starting.

Here is the garden plan viewed from a similar angle as the photo above.
Here is the garden plan viewed from a similar angle as the first photo above.

We number the garden squares from the driveway side since that is the actual entrance.  Now that 4 squares have been removed we might have to come up with another numbering scheme.

Looking forward to a fence of sunflowers.
Looking forward to a fence of sunflowers.

I bought myself some Lemon Queen sunflower seeds which I personally am going to plant earlier this year than I did last year. I may even start them inside.

Hoping to plant in the near future.

What’s your favorite crop?

Triptych in the Master Bathroom

By definition a triptych is a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.

Notre Dame print and map of France clock.
Notre Dame print and map of France clock.

To finish up the space over the toilet in the master bathroom where I hung a print of Paris and a clock with a map of France I felt there needed to be one more item. I had a piece of shelf glass that would fit well.

Home Depot has a large selection of glass shelf brackets in the storage aisle.
Home Depot has a large selection of glass shelf brackets in the storage aisle.

I wanted to hang it with the least conspicuous hardware which I found at Home Depot. (Naturally the first HD I stopped at did not have it but the one heading in the other direction had a variety of styles on hand.)

The long screws must be tightened before the glass slips into the bracket.
The long screws must be tightened before the glass slips into the bracket.

Using a level and long dry wall anchors that came with the shelf brackets I managed to secure the shelf to the wall allowing enough space for the top of the toilet tank to be removed without taking the shelf down.

The glass shelf is inconspicuous.
The glass shelf is inconspicuous.

The brackets I chose are rated for no deeper than a 6″ glass shelf;  my shelf is closer to 8 inches so I might have to make an adjustment.

The repetition of the color green is working for me.
The repetition of the color green is working for me.

I’m looking for my colorful paper fish to display on the shelf but for now I have a small Limoges box, an enamel lidded box, and a small pitcher.

Shelf décor.
Shelf décor.

Bringing a little more of France into the master suite.

Do you have trouble hanging things level?