Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CQ ATC Swap Challenge...


I haven't been very creative of late.  The season changing and days getting darker earlier and cooler temperatures all have me feeling like I should be preparing for hibernation.  Summer really is my favorite time of year and now it is over.  So...I decided to take on a challenge!  Pam of Kitty and Me Designs is offering a CQ (Crazy Quilt) ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap.  Well I adore ATCs so that is a non decision.  And I did take an online CQ course from Kathy Shaw of Shawkl.com to learn the basics of CQ.  I also follow Renee and her CQ treasures.  Renee is offering how to's on her blog here.
And I also follow Mary Anne of Magpies Mumblings who does amazing CQ.  So I begin...



With most of my sewing supplies either packed and put away or donated away I gathered some fabrics my daughter recently mailed to me.  I have no idea where she acquired them because she doesn't sew.  And I did find a few very small scraps in another bin of mine.  Well, I never said I am organized...completely.  LOL


Thank you Renee for your wonderful tutorials on how to piece such a small venue.  ATCs are only 2.5" x 3.5" when finished.

 
 
Here I am beginning my sewing.  Thank you Mr. C for unpacking my machine and cabinet.
 

I must admit without Renee's tutorial and my trusty iPad set up I would still be trying to manage with my fabrics and piecing them.  I am feeling "challenged" already!


I made three different foundations just to be certain I have one that will work.  I admit I made a miscalculation and have no way to hoop these.  Well I suppose I could sew them to a larger muslin.
Maybe that is what I should do so I have a tight tension on my seams when I embellish them.


Now I must find my muslin to sew a larger fabric that will fit my hoop.  I have one more foundation but Mr. C's laptop I must use to blog with photos somehow ate that photo.  See...I am already challenged and I have barely begun my CQ ATC journey.
As I have mentioned our weather is chilly.  I am already cold and we are not even close to freezing which comes with Winter. Brrr...
We met with our Broker and had an interesting conversation.  The Real Estate market here continues to be depressed and there are no buyers for our home.  Yes, we could still get lucky however that is a very long shot.  So we remain listed and hopeful.  Mr. C is absolutely gutted.  His dream is to move.
I am truly enjoying seeing your wonderfully creative projects and Fall decorating.  Our home remains devoid of any decorations so as not to offend anyone who "might" come to view our property.
Falling into Autumn (Spring down under) and Creative Bliss sweet friends...<3

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Creative Snippets Happening...


In all my downsizing and sorting and purging and rearranging I am finding clever uses for some of my things. I had this wonderful canvas tote sitting in a cupboard filled with stuff.  I donated most of that stuff and repurposed this fabulous tote.  I emptied a desk drawer that was overflowing with all my Random Acts of Mail cards, stickers etcetera and my Love Notes postcards etcetera.  I also now have easy access to my mailing supplies and fun pens and markers.  I can now carry this upstairs or downstairs or in fact to a class if I were taking one.  This is so much nicer than digging through an overstuffed drawer.


Another day recently I decided to get ahead on some little gifts I like to give.  Now even though my bead drawers are packed away and my bead podium is gone I still have access to my beads.  Not too easy but doable.  I decided to concentrate only on Millifiore glass heart beads.  I made lots of earrings and charms for my gift cupboard.


Here they all are ready for gifting. I use simple place cards for keeping them ready to personalize and gift to someone. I was feeling quite accomplished.  Just a small "mess" on my large table and one that I could quickly hide away if need be.
 

Next up were some very easy ribbon bookmarks I created.  I was invited to join a group of very talented and creative ladies and I was not going empty handed.  Shopping from my supplies I came up with fun buttons and stitched them onto some fun grosgrain ribbon and the plaid ribbon.  The ladies were thrilled (my word not theirs) and I must say bats were way more popular than the spiders.  This button on ribbon bookmark is an easy and quick gift anytime of year or occasion. The buttons vary so much and so does ribbon.  Have fun with making these.  If you don't hand sew you can always glue the button to the ribbon.
Mr. C and I finished the garage and it looks amazing.  He painted the entire ceiling and it took two gallons of high gloss white.  I tried but my arms just weren't strong enough so I was the ultimate Schlepper!  Bring on our "one" special buyer...Please!  Due to the economy here in small town America Mr. C and I are preparing to hunker in for yet another Winter.
Prayers and continued Healing Energy for everyone affected by storms...Fire or Water!  Mother Nature is NOT happy with us at all and we need to do something to get her happy once again.
Creative Bliss my friends...<3

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

We Labored Weekend...


America just finished Labor Day Weekend.  So Mr. C and I decided to LABOR!!!  We emptied most everything out of the double car garage. This garage is large and completely drywalled.


Mr. C had to do some prep work and that was two days.  This large wall had a boo-boo from the time I drove in and was trying to park my truck.  Oops...I hit a wooden shelving unit that sat against the wall and had lots of wood mouldings and pieces on it.  Well, the shelving unit got stuck into the drywall and made a long hole.  As you can see here Mr. C worked his magic and now the wall is good as brand new.  This is only the primer spread on.  Thank you Mr. C for fixing my boo-boo.


We worked all four days of the holiday weekend and it was HOT!  Not only HOT but not a spec of breeze and at times very smokey from the fires in CA and humid from Storm Lydia coming up from Baja.  I think Mr. C lost a few pounds and that is a good thing.


He stayed well hydrated with water and Peach Snapple he likes.  Wine had to wait for the evenings.  Did I mention this garage is large? Very large.  Two gallons of paint just for the side walls and the garage door wall. We will need another two gallons of paint to finish the back wall and the ceiling.  No we didn't finish the garage and hope to do so this weekend coming up. 


We are painting gloss white and it has totally brightened up the garage.  Of course it is fresh and clean also.  None of the Real Estate people we interviewed ever said a word about this garage but we believe it is going to help with a sale.  When Mr. C and I are out searching for our next home, the garages are a top priority and we want large and finished and clean.  After all Mr. C and I both love cars and vehicles and take pride in what we own and drive.  Mr. C's garages are very important!!
Enough about this.
September is rushing along just as quickly as the previous months of this year.  I might even try to make a list of what I need to accomplish this month.  I am not very good at list making however I feel it might help me "discover" (my 2017 word) the priorities of what I want to actually get done.
I missed getting my new box of Crayola crayons or anything else related to Back to School.  I seem to do less shopping and hoarding since the reality of downsizing and purging entered into my routine.
I believe you all are busy creating and decorating for Fall and Halloween.  I love seeing what y'all are making and decorating. 
Prayers for all of Hurricane Harvey victims and now for Irma that is happening.  <3 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Summer is Waning...


 
I am shocked at myself for letting this month pass by without my attention to posting more regularly on this blog.  I LOVE blogging and do not want to lose you my faithful followers and friends.  Why is every day so busy and hectic?  This world is turning too fast for me.  In my ongoing efforts to downsize I realized I had an entire very full file cabinet drawer of papers.  If Mr. C had seen that drawer I would have a lot of explaining to do.  So I emptied it all onto my studio table.


I admit I have been hoarding my Jenny of elefantz Stitchery Club designs.  For more information just click the links for each.  I had to make a decision and this was what I did.  I sorted through all of the papers and kept the most critical pieces like photos and actual design drawings.  The rest I had to dispose of.  As this photo shows, my save pile is the same size as my throw pile.  YAY!!!  Mr. C should be much happier.  In fact I decided not to use the filing drawer any longer.  I put them in plastic sleeves but they are too many for a large three-ring binder and my shelf space is very limited.  Think Sherry Think!



I had an empty container that fits perfectly on my shelves.  Aha!  Now I am happy with my resolve to downsize and eliminate such a stack of paper.  For Mr. C is happy because it weighs a lot and when you move weight is what costs the big bucks!


Here is my container on the shelf and all I need to do is label it.  I now know exactly where my elefantz designs are...just in case I get the opportunity to stitch. 
An update on the house is that we did have two showings.  No offers!  One person wanted the pond closer to the house.  I asked Mr. C if he could move it.  LOL  Just cannot please everyone!!!
Summer is waning.  August is coming to a quick close,  We were having wonderful weather and Fall was in the air. Now we are back in triple digits for at least a week.  Looks like I will be doing a lot of extra watering.  I like to let the trees and plants and flowers and lawn know they can get through the heat with some extra TLC. 
Thank you all for the Happy Birthday wishes for both my daughter and myself.  We each survived our days.  I will continue to celebrate just because I feel like it.  After all...at my age I can celebrate as much as I want!  Summer Sunshine Smiles...
Prayers for all affected by Harvey and the horrific flooding. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Creating Cards & Mailing...


I have been using my random supplies to create some cards, envelopes and postcards.  I mail so many each week and my stock was running low.  I like to have a variety to choose from when I am doing my Random Acts of Kindness and other weekly mailings.  You never know who or what or why about the person until you receive their information and I like to select something appropriate for each.  My Grandmother always said I choose the best cards.  That was long ago when I bought cards and Grandma wasn't able to get to the store and she would have me select cards for her friends.


Fortunately I had everything I needed in my supplies.  You all know I am trying...really trying to downsize.  So, after donating tons of my supplies, I realized I still had lots to work with.  I had so much fun pulling out a baggie of letters and then forming them into fun cards.  I had to get creative so when I had no L, I used the exclamation and as you can see above I think it looks fun.


I have already mailed several out to people.  And...if I happen to use all of these cards...Well I do have more supplies!  Shocking what an amount of supplies one person can hoard! Yes, that is what I do.  I gather and I save.  Hoard is such a harsh word.  I might be a Boarder Hoarder...just on the line of enough vs. too much.  I do hope you are laughing or at least smiling.  With all my downsizing I am definitely not hoarding stuff.  I am sentimental and have some things I can't let go of...yet, but I am working on myself.  Mr. C is quite the opposite and can throw everything away...in the trash.  I truly must guard my stuff! 
August is here and going quickly.  Too quickly for my likes.  This week we are having some wonderful mid-80's temperatures.  Not as triple digit hot as it had been for over a month.  I have been getting up very early and going outside to hand water and keep those weeds tidy and picked up. 
On the home front, I am very grateful for all of your encouragement. In the meantime while NO one is looking or offering to purchase our home, I remain positive and patient.  I am enjoying my home and property and will continue to do so as long as I am able to do so.  Having to live like no one lives here is exhausting but I am able to make cards, envelopes and postcards on my wonderful studio table and then clean it all up.  I won't be doing any long term messy projects or sewing because it is all packed up but at least I can enjoy something creative and useful.  Now I better get back to purging stuff and downsizing other supplies.
Summer Sunshine Smiles (Winter to my friends down under) and always Do What You enJOY...<3

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July Goal Met...


Every year I have the same challenge.  To trim my Whooley Thyme at the pond where we have a flagstone patio for sitting and sipping.  Every year I let my Whooley Thyme grow and then blossom and the bees and moths have a feast.  By the time I need to trim I honestly cannot see the flagstones.  I forgot to take a before photo of the solid Whooley Thyme covering the flagstones


I have discovered by trial and error that my orange handled Fiskar scissors work the very best for me.  I wonder if anyone has ever made a small Dremel type edge trimmer?  I honestly need to begin cutting and then find the edges of the flagstone.  This takes me so many hours I have truly lost count.
When I began a few weeks ago, I made it my goal to complete this task by the end of July.  Ahh...with only one more day to fine tune some more areas I have completed my overwhelming task!
My hands and knees get lots of wear and tear...along with my back.


This area is underneath our chairs.  We used to have nice teak benches but they wore out in the many seasons and elements we have here.  I opted to get some very inexpensive chairs that are lightweight and easy to move and wash off.  They are surprisingly comfortable. 


This is the completed area that is at the pond.  I had a brief thought of letting the Whooley Thyme just go and cover everything but I just love this trim and neat look so I had to do my trimming.


This is my view when sitting in my chair.  I love to sit here and reflect on life and whatever else pops into my head.  I also love to turn on the water spray over the pond and watch the amazing Dragonfly parade.  Red, Blue, Gold, and Black and Yellow striped versions appear from seemingly nowhere.
Sitting here in the evening with a glass of wine is the perfect way to unwind from the day.  Our pond was built by Mr. C after he went to pond college and it is the most wonderful thing ever!!!  Thank you sweet Mr. C for your amazing engineering and building skills.


On the home front we have now gotten help with our lawn and we are bringing it up to snuff for the overall Home and Property offering.  An update for you my friends...No one, Nobody, Nada, Zero showings even after all our upgrades and new agent listing.  I feel we are being punished for living here in small town USA where there is next to no economic viability.  We need someone like us twenty years ago to bring their bank accounts and live the dream of Peace and Calm in Beauty of this Great Land. 
It is so hard to believe July 2017 is coming to an end.  I welcome August as it is my very most favorite month.  Heat and all!  We are in for at least another week of triple digit heat.  Happy Birthday to my Wonderful Daughter who has grown into an Amazing Woman. I am truly Blessed.
Summer Sunshine Smiles and Creative Bliss to each and every one of you my friends...<3

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GGLC 2nd Annual BBQ...


 
 
This past weekend our local Sacramento chapter of the Golden Gate Lotus Club (GGLC) and our parent chapter from San Francisco Bay area met in Woodland at Van and Catherine's Historic 1868 Home and 80 acres of farm land in Woodland CA.  We spent the day enjoying a BBQ with lots of delicious foods.   Guests came and went depending on time allowances...after all it is busy Summer.
 


Home tours of this historic mansion were enjoyed by both men and women.  No photos of the inside out of respect for the privacy of the homeowners. Trust me it is amazing.


Indoor parking for four Lotus Esprits in the Barn.  Van actually owns five and there are two more parked in a double garage on the property.  The black Lotus is Wayne's and is being offered to a new owner if you are interested.


Here we have Wayne (aka Mr. C) getting ready to lead the club drive around the Country Roads.  I offered my seat to Joe who gladly jumped in for the ride. It is like an "E" ticket ride if any of you remember Disneyland in the early days. 


Here the cars are lined up ready to VROOM.  Yes, we allow daily drivers to also enjoy the run and scenery.  Not everyone has a Lotus that can make the trip or is street legal.


Our turn out wasn't huge but a nice number of people came and enjoyed.  After all it was about 101F. Thankfully we had a giant shade tree for very pleasant chatting and story telling.


Bubba Wayne (aka Mr. C) also did a Hay ride through the Sunflower and Tomato fields.  It was such fun and our youngest guest, 8 year old Sebastion, really enjoyed learning about farming. 

Afterwards Sebastion got to actually drive the tractor (with his dad helping).  I wish I had a better photo of Sebastion's huge smile.  I know he will remember this day for a very long time.  He will also become a Lotus owner and expert because his dad has a specialty shop and rentable Lotus track cars.
We are very grateful to our hosts Van and Catherine for this lovely day of fun and comaraderie.
Until next year...Keep the Shiny Side Up!!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

New Listing...Hooray!


https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/fsba,fsbo,fore_lt/house_type/19449809_zpid/2-_beds/2-_baths/500000-800000_price/1865-2984_mp/2400-2800_size/2000-_built/globalrelevanceex_sort/39.296313,-120.938788,39.190356,-121.066161_rect/12_zm/?view=public


Well here it is July 2017 already. Mr. C and I have been tirelessly working non-stop to once again prep our home and property for sale.  Our new listing Broker has given us guidance and we have followed it.  The house and outbuildings all got repainted and there is no more blue.  We brightened the inside also.  Still editing and purging "stuff". Mr. C and I have lived here nineteen (19) years now.  Today is also our 19th wedding anniversary.  We are do-overs and even though we are complete opposites our togetherness works. 
We are ready for our final chapter and whatever it may offer us.
Please bring on the buyers now. 
May you each have a very Happy and Safe Fourth of July!  Time with family and friends is Priceless...<3

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/fsba,fsbo,fore_lt/house_type/19449809_zpid/2-_beds/2-_baths/500000-800000_price/1865-2984_mp/2400-2800_size/2000-_built/globalrelevanceex_sort/39.296313,-120.938788,39.190356,-121.066161_rect/12_zm/?view=public

Friday, June 23, 2017

Phase 3 Complete...


 In just one very short and hectic month we have interviewed new Brokers, selected the one for us and worked his suggestions.  This is the new look.  No more blue!  We now have a very elegant and stately home that we will be relisting beginning July.  What is your first impression?  The real estate market here in rural small town Northern California is done mostly on the internet and we understand we have a mere 20-30 seconds to attract and keep a potential buyer interested enough to continue to view our photos and then come here to see in person what an excellent value this is.
 

This is the before.  Now there is no more blue.  This photo was one of the listing "professional" images.  More on this story later.  All the other photos in this post are my simple Canon Powershot SD880 IS digital Elph that I have had for many years now and still love.  I am not a professional photographer nor do I study photography like Mr. C does.  It is all too technical for me.  But I digress...


Here we are testing white and we know it will take some serious primer and two coats of paint to cover my beloved blue.  Mr. C hired a "colorist" and she helped us select the proper shades of colors.


She also helped us with where to end the white and begin the darker grey.  We always buy Benjamin Moore paint in the highest quality of product.  We selected Cloud White #OC-130 for the house trim.  Our house body is Cobblestone Path #1606.  The new decks and railings color is Englewood Cliffs #1607.  I love the new colors. No more blue and when I was whining to my daughter that I will never live down the blue and what we must spend to cover it up, she merely said, "Mother you still have the sky!".  Bless you my child! 


We are on such a short timeline and just a few days into painting our painter got sick.  Very sick with the Norovirus that is going around in the schools mostly.  Six days and I was worried our home would have this split personality...half blue and half white.  Thankfully Mr. Painter and his helpers were able to complete the job in record time.


No more blue...not even on outbuildings.  Make them all the body color to in essence disappear.


Even my bell tower got painted grey.


So this is once again the finished view.  We love the changes...yes even I love the new look.  After all I still have my blue sky!  New professional photography is next in order to re-list with our new Broker.  I'll share those with you as well.
We have been in triple digit heat for 8 days now and I can honestly say it is hot.  Mr. C and I had to work in the yards yesterday and it was miserable.  We both drank gallons of liquids and still had no relief.  Today we are doing indoor chores with the AC set at 80 and it never shuts off.
I do love Summer and hope to enjoy it once this home and property are once again offered to the perfect buyer we believe is out there.  Bring on the offers...
May you each be safe and doing what you love.  <3

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dark to Light Transformation...


Nineteen years ago we purchased this house with this blue Axminster carpet throughout the living areas.  I personally really liked it.  Because it was/is extremely expensive well made carpet it was still like brand new. The only issue we had was in the hallway where the pad did not last and it became more of a washboard look. We had experts come look to see if there was a remedy but because of all the curves it could not be stretched or relaid with new pad. We were advised to merely give a carpet allowance.  Story condensed, we are listening to our new broker.  Lots of time and money later we have this...

 


A very pretty neutral beige/grey cashmere carpet.  We decided to do the entire upstairs living quarters.  Approximately 160 square yards.  Two installers for two ten hour days and that took care of all the flat surfaces.


The old hall carpet.  Bye-bye.


The master bedroom was a pinkish beige when we bought and along the way we upgraded to this soft green when we remodeled the master bath with Travertine and Verdi Gris Granite. Of course we also carpeted the master closets...his and hers.


Huge improvement with the new cashmere soft neutral carpet.  It runs from room to room and the separate master closets.  I love the continuity now.  Mr. C and I have selected what potential buyers will hopefully like but more importantly we went with a very good quality so we will enjoy it if we must stay here.


Ahhh...the gorgeous curved stairs in our entry way.  Now we have a third installer who is an expert in stairs and wood floors.  He spent another day and a half just doing fifteen stairs.  The previous carpet was not installed correctly and it caused a lot of issues. 


Mr. C and I did discuss just leaving the Oak stairs bare but that would have involved a lot more work to fill and refinish them.  Then we would have noisy wood to clomp on and the better chance of slipping and falling.  Carpet it is!


From the entry door going up.  So soft and cushy and beautiful.  Bright and fresh and clean looking!


From the downstairs going up to the foyer and front door.   Of course we also had to make certain we selected carpet that went well with our new downstairs Porcelain tile we remodeled a year ago.  Win-Win!
We are so happy with the new changes and the brightened home we now live in.  While sitting and admiring all our new d├ęcor, we ask ourselves "Why did we wait so long to treat ourselves?!" 
Bring on the buyers!!!  Just a few more upgrades to share with you soon.  Hopefully we will be re-listing early July.  Whew!  We are exhausted and beyond tired.
We have had Winter again with very cold temps and some rain and a huge hail storm.  It snowed about 6 inches over Donner Summit and at several ski resorts.  Now it is to warm up and be Summer once again.  Crazy weather for sure.
Busy editing and purging more stuff.  Last weekend I delivered hundreds of books to our local Friends of the Library monthly sale.  Now I must re-visit my fabrics and trims again and edit those even further.  Not knowing what the future truly holds makes it all the more difficult for me.  I just have to keep in mind I have more stuff than I will ever be able to use up. I am blessed. 
Happy Summer and enJOYing everything you love...<3