Monday, July 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday and Giveaway!

It's coming together, or at least, it's being arranged!  110 leaf blocks are (nearly all) up on the design wall today.  
I've been calling this my autumn leaves quilt.  But I have to come up with a sensational name for this quilt!  Any suggestions?  How about some incentive?  If I select the name you suggest (with assistance from Mr. Happiness), you'll receive the book "Maple Leaf Quilts" by Ilene Bartos, That Patchwork Place.  

Be sure to go see all the other design wall beauties at!

Stay cool all y'all,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Whoop! Whoop! 7/27/12

Not a finish, but it's getting closer!  I calculated that I'd need 110 of these blocks, but I didn't keep a count when I was cutting the pieces.  I finished up the center blocks with the fabric I had cut, and wound up with 105 -- pretty close!  
I know I have plenty of the sashing pieces cut -- in fact, probably way too many, and they may go into the outer border.  So I have just  five more blocks to make.  This is really an easy pattern that I got from (free download) a couple of years ago.  I have two flimsies that need to be quilted this month, so when I get these blocks put together, I'll have time to quilt and finish it in time for autumn -- YAY!  (Oh dear, did I just make a plan?  Oh, oh.)

Stay cool, out there, all y'all!  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

$2000 Bathroom Faucet!

Just imagine!  Here's what happened.  Mr. Happiness and I were at Lowe's a couple of years ago, looking for a bathroom faucet to replace the old one in the master bathroom.  (This house has all the cheapest builders-grade crap materials, the kitchen cabinets are exactly the same ones we put in a house we built in 1979!)  Anyways...  As we were looking at faucets, a Lowe's emplyee came by, adding new stuff and shuffling faucets around.  She asked if we were looking for a kitchen faucet, because she had this one that was being clearance priced to something ridiculously low -- I don't recall exactly, but it was less than $20!
Of course, it was such a deal, Mr. Happiness snatched it up, saying we could set it aside since we knew the existing faucet would give up sooner or later.  

And here's the new bathroom faucet that started it all.

Then a couple of years pass....  drip, drip, drip.  Of course, the kitchen faucet became unfixable, the sprayer hose was always a battle to use, so it was time to dig out the kitchen faucet we'd bought.  It was so pretty! Shiny!  Fancy!  Spiffy!  Modern!  And the countertops we had were awful.  Scratched up.  Stained.  Old-fashioned.  Since I had saved up some dinero since I bought my Avante, I asked Mr. Happiness what he thought about getting new countertops.  He agreed, so I hustled over to Lowe's and began shopping!

Now I'm going to show you a "before" picture of the kitchen -- but you have to promise not to look at the people in the picture, just behind us at the kitchen.  Promise?  Cross your heart?  OK.
Just wanted you to see the wallpaper border, and the color of the walls (which really were darker and kinda dirty looking in real life).  I knew you could resist looking at the folks in the picture (no one I know, never saw them before, they just showed up in my kitchen).  You're such well-behaved peoples :-D
The countertops were installed, and I am so loving it!  They're HiMacs, with gorgeous built-in sinks, and the new faucet!  Of course, that gave me good reason to re-paint the kitchen.  I got samples and painted stripes on the walls.  I tried greens, blues, off-whites, taupe, but my kitchen insisted on remaining yellow!  It's a lighter, brighter version of the old, and it looks so... well, sunny!  And naturally, I had to paint the window trim again.  So while it's so good to have everything bright and fresh, my poor ole bod is really, really, mad at me!   

See the little circle on the floor beside the rug?  A little sunflower?  Cute, eh?  I've been using a small dishrag as a floor mopper -- when I drip, I can just move it around with my foot.  Not terribly attractive, but it kept me from having to bend over.  Of course, everyone who came over would pick it up, thinking I'd dropped it.  When I explained this to a friend o'mine, she knitted up a little sunflower to use specifically for that purpose!  Clever girl!!  

The windows in the eating area face north, west, and south.  Always lovely light.  But the windows still needed a little something besides the blinds.  I took two of the old plaid curtains, cut them into thirds, and remade them into valances.  They turned out to be just long enough to keep that intense afternoon sun from blasting too much into the room.  I'll probably do something different later, but it works for now.  

So in the couple of years, I have new countertops, new floors, new dishwasher, new range, new disposal, new kitchen faucet.  I am soooo happy!  The fridge is about 20 years old, but it keeps on chugging along, so it will stay with us awhile -- I hope!  And I can ignore the old cabinets.  They were abused by the former owners, who put their coffee-maker underneath, where they steamed the finish right off.  Anyone know a way to (painlessly, please!) re-finish the cabinets?  

Life is good.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday 7/9/2012

I'm so thrilled that we have some rain in the forecast, and, best of all, a couple of days with high temps in the 70s!!!  YAY!!!  In this hot weather, I've been indoors and stitching.  
I made more 6" leaf blocks, and have only 7 more to do.  Then I'll be adding the sashing strips (like in the top right corner).  There are lots of little pieces in 110 leaf blocks!  I have been tempted by other projects that I've run across in magazines, books and, most especially, online.  But I'm trying so hard to be strong and get this finished for autumn.  Thankfully, each block is totally different, so it's interesting to see how they'll look, and it will be exciting to add the sashing.  

I also got some quilting done during this hot spell.  

The first one is made by my stitching buddy, MA.  She just cut a layer cake into 5" squares, sashed them, and had a wonderful quilt to show!  The third one is hers, too -- her first jelly roll races!  The all neutral jelly roll she chose seemed too boring, so she added the turquoise bits in between, and for the border, and it really sparkles.  Unfortunately, the photo just doesn't do it justice.  

The second quilt is a girly twirly Lil Twister, made for my great-grand niece.  I hope the parents like it, but since I haven't hear anything from them, maybe they're being polite by not saying anything (yeah, right).  The last one is a baby quilt made by another quilty pal, Val.  Loops and hearts all over!

It really feels good to see some accomplishment lately :-)  Hope you've been able to do some good stuff, whatever has made you smile!

Go see Judy at to see what others have been working on lately.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Much happiness and joy and blessings to all y'all on this 4th of July, and thank you to all of you who work in small ways to keep this fabulous country free.  My parents came here from Finland, via Canada, in the early 40s, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  I love the United States of America with all my heart.  Celebrate!
"Happiness is Lady Liberty Dressed Up in Her Best Red, White and Blue"

Monday, July 2, 2012

Design Wall Monday 7/2/12

Was I hallucinating?  Have I been in a dream for the past 8 1/2 years?  If yes, why did I wake up now?  I think the highest temp we've experienced since we left Texas at the end of 2002 was around 93.  This week, however, it's been nearly 100 for a few days, and even 103, and it sure does feel like Texas here!  I realize I shouldn't complain -- we have a good air conditioner and electricity to run it, and there are those who don't.  But I was so happy in the night when I heard thunder and even a few raindrops on the window -- a sure sign the high pressure system has moved away-- woohoo!  Years ago while in TX, during a particularly lengthy dry and hot summer, we had a sudden rainshower in the night that caused much whooping and hollering.  My friend told me later that she and her husband were so thrilled, they pulled off their clothes and danced naked in the rain :-D 

But I digress.  

The autumn leaves have been calling me, and I've managed to make several more! And just for fun, on a few of the leaf blocks I added the sashing that will finish all the blocks just to see how it looks.  Oooooh, lovely, if I do say so myself!  And I made another little pile of leaves to add to the show.  Just thinking of crunchy colorful leaves underfoot and the little bit of rain last night gives me a sense of a change in the weather, and I'm looking forward to that!  Mr. Happiness and I will be flying more often, enjoying the amazing beauty of our part of the world when the leaves are showing off.  

Go check out more design wall projects at Judy's site: -- she doesn't have anything posted yet this morning, but she will, I'm sure!

Stay cool, all y'all!  (See what happens when I think about being back in Texas!)