31 August 2008

Curtains or Shades?

I had a nice fabric roller shade (from JCPenney, of course) on the old front door. It matches all the other roller shades in the living room, entry, and up the staircase. But I'm not sure I want to install the roller shade on the new window. See, I do need something up there, I just feel too exposed with nothing on this giant window, but I love the extra light it is letting in.

I've been thinking about new curtains for this area for nearly a year now. I did have golden colored sheers up, but they made everything too yellow. I'd like to get the Stripped Semi-Sheer Tailored Curtains from Country Curtains. In the natural color. And, I ordered one panel of these for the upstairs bathroom window, in white, and I really like the fabric. It is simple, but the stripe gives it a little texture.

I guess I really do know what I want, the question is just this: should I buy them all now, just order the door panel now, or put the old roller shade up and wait to order all the curtains at once?

Keep in mind, there are 7 windows, 2 sidelights, and 1 door panel to re-dress in this area, so it is going to cost me almost $300.

30 August 2008

Birthday Present

Lewis got me this fabulous new iPod dock from Bose for my birthday, and I'm just loving it!

29 August 2008

Special Screen Door Hardware

I ordered special spring hinges and a screen door latch from VanDyke's for my new screen door. Gotta love that VanDyke's.

I'm really enamored with the spring hinges because the tension is adjustable, which I never even thought about. They were pricey at $39.99 for a pair (and I needed three hinges, so I had to order two sets, and now I have one hinge left over). But I think they were money well spent.
The hinges were a bit wide where they mount to the door frame, so Bill had to remove a strip of trim. Check out all those giant nails they used to attach that tiny piece of finish trim!But, Jack was able to blend the bare wood very nicely. I know what it looked like, but you have to look very closely, and know what you are looking for to see it now. Great job, Jack!The latch is okay. It has a black powder coat finish, which has already flaked away in one small, unnoticeable spot. I'm sure nobody else would even notice, but I know it is there. So, I'm not exactly thrilled with that. I do love that it locks.

Also, mom got a nasty little metal splinter from the tightening screw, just under the knob. I borrowed a fine metal file from my dad, and was able to make that spot smooth, but now the brassy finish shows through there. Luckily, it is on the underside, so no one should notice that, either.

28 August 2008

Problems With The Locks

When my grandparents used this door, the hardware was quite different. This didn't suit my house, but my friend Josh was quite happy to have the old lockset.

The new knob and deadbolt set I'm using needs completely different holes, so I needed the old holes to be filled in. I did ask Jack to do that, but I guess he forgot, so Bill took care of it. He's such a good sport.Unfortunately, after Bill filled in the spaces, the door looked funny, with its splotches and patches. That's where Jack works his magic.Jack came last Wednesday to do all the touch-ups to the front door, including trying to disguise the patch job. It actually is less noticeable in person than in these photos. Jack did a pretty good job. I was debating the need for a back plate, but now I'm thinking that would just draw more attention to the problem area. I think we'll just leave it as is for now.

21 August 2008

Pretty Blue Cornflower Pyramids

This is the third set of pillowcases I've embroidered for Christmas gifts.
They are the Blue Cornflower Pillowcases from Dimensions.

As usual, I did not follow the recommended colors, instead I used:
DMC blue 793
DMC yellow 676
DMC green... um, oops, I forgot to write that one down...

19 August 2008

Too Short By An Inch

Bill quickly discovered that the new doors were a bit too short for the doorway.
That made for a nice big gap.
So, Bill found a scrap of chestnut from the wood pile in the basement, and he filled in the gap at the top. Now, that piece, along with some other spots, will need to be cleaned, very lightly sanded, stained, and given a tough finish coat.

Even though the new door has much more glass than the old door, I can already tell that it blocks much more sound, because it fits the space better. I expect it will do the same at blocking air-flow. Bye-bye cold drafts this winter. Well, from that spot, anyway.

18 August 2008

Cleaning Day or The Arrival of Sherri

Today we need to whip this house into shape. There's a party this weekend, and this little bungalow needs to sparkle.

Mom's friend Sherri, who is a champion cleaner (she does it for a living), has agreed to help us out this week. Sherri is great. She has almost as much energy as Oliver, she just gets right in there, and a few hours later, your place looks great. It is such a relief to know that all I have to do is pick up stuff and put things away. Sherri will do all the cleaning. And much faster than I ever could. Take the bathroom, for instance. Sherri will have it clean from top to bottom in an hour. It would take me all day. Not that I even would do the whole bathroom at once, I usually do one piece one day, another piece later. It is nice to have it all done at once. Then I can concentrate on preparing food.

Gratuitous Oliver picture, because, hey, what's a blog post without a photo, right? Besides, he's a major contributor to the dirt in this house!

17 August 2008

Creature Of Habit

Oli hasn't quite gotten used to the new, big window. He still goes to the small sidelight to look out! Silly puppy.

16 August 2008

New Front Doors Installed!

It has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. Bill was able to come up yesterday to install the new front door and the screen/storm door. It wasn't all easy going, we ran into a couple of problems, but Bill was able to make everything work. Now we just have to do some touch-ups, and it will be perfect.
Also, some cleaning. Bill made lots of sawdust, and the glass needs a serious cleaning. It still has lots of sticky residue from the stripper, the stain, and the finish.
Oh, and Oliver is enjoying the breeze coming in through the screen door.

11 August 2008

Velvet Queen

I think this variety of sunflower got its name of Velvet Queen because the petals are so velvety soft. Isn't it nice that sunflowers come in such a variety of sizes and colors?

10 August 2008

Hydrangeas in Antique Colors

This is the second set of pillowcases I've embroidered. Hydrangeas, by Dimensions. Of course, I couldn't use the colors recomended on the package, no siree. I had to choose my own, you know. Actually, now that they are done, I'm not sure hydrangea flowers really come in these colors, but they have that nice, soft, old fashioned feel that I wasn't getting from the more, shall we say, vibrant colors on the package.

I used:
DMC pink 223
DMC purple 3740
DMC green 3364
DMC yellow 437

And, since there is a matching dresser scarf, you know I had to buy that for a future project. I guess I'd better keep a close eye on who selects which set of pillowcases from my basket this Christmas, so I know who to give the matching pieces to next year.

08 August 2008

Oliver and the Cherry Tomato

Oli, can you catch?

Oh, no! Where'd it go? It bounced off your big chompers. Do you see it? Your tomato is on the glider, hiding under the edge of the pillow.
Don't worry, sweet puppy, mommy'll get it for you.

07 August 2008

Collecting Cosmos Seeds

As far as I can tell, this is one single cosmos plant. It will bloom continuously all summer, and into early autumn. And what pretty blooms they are.
I have mostly orange ones, but cosmos comes in all kinds of colors: red, orange, yellow, white, pink, purple...

Most of the orange cosmos I have in the yard this year are from seeds that I collected from last year, or ones that have self-seeded the last two years. I only ever bought one packet of all orange cosmos, three years ago. The seeds are so easy to harvest that I don't see myself ever buying cosmos seeds again. Unless I want a color other than orange.

I did still have one packet in my seed box, that was left over from 2005, of a cosmos mix. It is Burpee's Cosmos Bright Lights Mix. Since it has reds, oranges and yellows, I'm going to try to collect seeds mostly from the patch where I planted these. That way, I'll have more of a variety next year.

05 August 2008

Cucumbers Are Taking Over

There are two cucumber plants at the front, going like they are on sterorids, and one at the back, growing on the trellis at a normal pace. They are climbing all over the tomato cages, smothering out everything in its way, creeping out onto the sidewalk.
Between these three cucumber plants, I've gotten more cucs than I know what to do with. Every day I'm picking 4 to 6 cucumbers. Every. Day.

So cucumbers straight up, with dip, in salad. Cucumber salad. What else?

04 August 2008

Waiting for the [Tomato] Storm

With these 27 cherry tomato plants that came up on their own, plus the 1 that I bought, I figured I'd be crazy with an over-abundance of the sweet like candy tomatoes by now. I've only gotten a couple a day so far. In fact, I'm picking more cucumbers than cherry tomatoes these days.
But all the plants are just laden with little green tomatoes like these. It'll be worth the wait.

03 August 2008

Baby Watermelons

Mmm, I can hardly wait until these are ready to pick. I'm not sure what this variety, the Jenny Lind, is supposed to be like, but it looks like this one plant is going to produce many watermelons all summer long. It already has these two melons, and I think there is another one hiding under the leaves somewhere.

02 August 2008

How To Make Cherry Tomatoes Disappear

I started out with six cherry tomatoes....

...but Oli only left me with two. How could I resist those eyes? And he has so much fun playing with them before he eats them. He bats them around like a kitten until he has punctured the tomato, then, he gobbles it right up.

01 August 2008

Hearts and Flowers

I think I showed you this before, when it was still in progress. I'm so pleased with the way this design turned out. Now, I'm not usually a hearts and flowers kind of gal, but these are so pretty, I want to keep them for myself. For now, they will go into the stack for Christmas presents, but if I get enough other sets done, I have every intention of keeping this pair. Kit: Rose Hearts pillowcases from Dimensions.
Thread used: DMC variegated pink 99 and DMC variegated green 92.

Because the pillowcases turned out so well, I bought the Rose Hearts quilt blocks for a way in the future project.