Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Bathroom....Days 4-8

So. I pull in to the driveway from Quilt Market on Monday evening and my husband says: "Go check out the bathroom!". I go into the house and there's 2 or 3 guys laying tile on the bathroom floor. Can I reiterate that this is a SMALL room? I can't see much of anything, but I can tell that there's tile. We go out to eat and then I rush off to Audrey's orchestra performance.

Tuesday, they grouted all the tile and it looks fabulous! Here's Audrey checking out the shower for size.



Here's a shot of both types of tile used....and yes! The walls are going to be red!


On another note, Quilt Market was good! I think attendance was down, but there was some great stuff there. The highlight for me was spending some time chatting with Jay McCarroll of Project Runway fame. Jay has designed fabric for FreeSpirit and it is too cute! A little bit weird, but cute, all the same.

Jay was very down-to-earth and we had a nice conversation. I asked him if it was a stretch to go from fashion design to fabric design. He said that he has always wanted to do fabric and was thrilled to be given this chance. The fabric line is still in the final stages of production and I think it will be available in early '09. It's quirky and fun and I just have to have some! My rep came to see me today and she doesn't even have sales samples yet, but will call me the minute she gets them.

Till tomorrow,
S.






Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 3

Progress Day 3. As you can see, the shower has been all framed out as well as the storage shelves. The tile guys are supposed to come tomorrow to put in and tile the shower pan.

Okay. You're probably wondering what the plan is. We took out the tub, and obviously we're replacing it with a stand-up shower. Since there was absolutely no storage in this room, we decided to go with the shower plus cabinet. The shower will be white subway tile with a black accent and the floor tile will be black and white. There will be a white pedestal sink and a white toilet. The walls will have white beadboard wainscot and the upper walls will be RED! It's going to be SOOOOOOOO much better and I can't wait for it to be done!

Oh, by the way, did I mention that I am leaving tomorrow morning for FIVE DAYS for Quilt Market? Should I be scared?

Updates to continue next Tuesday.

Layers

Here's the bathroom progress on Day 2. The plumber came and replaced all the cast iron pipe under the house and re-piped the shower, toilet and sink. Brad put in the subfloor in preparation for tile.

Since I now have flooring, I got up closer to my "archeological" wall for inspection. My assumptions yesterday were all wrong! The oldest layer is a masonite-type board that looks like tile. My guess is early 1900's. At some point it was painted teal green.


I discovered the next layer when I pulled off some of the flowery wallpaper. There's only a strip about 3" high about 4' off the floor. It's water lillies with bubbles. I photoshopped 2 sections together to give you an idea of the overall pattern. My guess, from looking at books on bungalow bathrooms, is this paper dates sometime in the 20's or 30's - when the Art Deco/Craftsman craze happened.

The brittle paper with the starburst flowers on it also has small metallic dots on it. They didn't photograph well - they are just pinpoints of metallic. My guess (based on the metallic aspect as well as the overall design) is 1950's. This was a cheesecloth-backed paper.


Then, behind the sink and the toilet, is this awful paper. The color here is not right - it's an icky shade of mauve. Of course, I'm a bit biased becasue mauve is my least favorite color in the spectrum. Based on color and scale, I'm guessing 70's or 80's. Oh yeah, this paper is attached to sheetrock, which was added at that time. The walls themselves are shiplap, or solid wood.


Then, sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, the mauve ditsy wallpaper was painted over in a light moss green. We bought the house in late 1994.

You probably don't find all of this as fascinating as I do, but it's been kind of fun to see how the house has changed over the years.

Stay tuned for Day 3!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bathroom Re-Do......Day 1

On top of running a quilt shop, driving Miss A. all around town, and various other commitments and activities, we are remodeling a bathroom. Not just a bathroom....the only bathroom downstairs!

A little backstory. Our house was built in 1900. I'm sure it's been "updated" by various owners throughout the years. But, the last "update" was probably a little bit tackier than all the rest. Here's a "before" picture.

It's hard to get perspective because this is a pass-through bathroom. It's very small and there are doors to the left and the right of where I was standing to take this photo. The tub and the sink are cast iron, and are probably fairly close to original. The toilet was "new" (as in , piece of crap) and the linoleum on the floor was just horrible. Due to rust-out leaks, the sink and tub have had the water cut off to them for quite some time. It's really been no big deal for Miss A. to shower upstairs. But when the running toilet couldn't be repaired, we became desperate! We have not had a working toilet downstairs for over a month now.

Luckily, a friend of ours at church remodels homes and specializes in those in the historic district where we live. We talked to Brad and he could fit us in within 2 weeks! The excavation began yesterday.

First, he removed all the fixtures. The sink and toilet are now in my backyard and the tub made it as far as my laundry room. I can't get to my washer and dryer. I am amazed that one man got that monstrosity as far as he did by himself. But it's got to go outside! I have clothes to wash!

Then he ripped out all of the old flooring. We knew that we had a leak around the toilet, and we suspected that this was not the first one. We were right. I asked Brad what he found under the lino and he found particle board over the original tongue-and-groove flooring. Of course, since the original was never repaired properly, it could not be saved. Most of yesterday was spent replacing rotted joists.

This is the wall where the tub was. I find the layers on the wall fascinating! I can see some sort of wallboard or paper that simulates tile closest to the floor. I couldn't get close enough to it to inspect properly...seeing how there was no floor to walk on. Above that is a green something. And above that is what I think was the original layer - it's a wall paper with cheesecloth/fabric backing. Here's the closeup...thank you, zoom lens. I'm no expert, but to me, this looks a few decades more modern than 1900. More like 1920's. I guess it's possible that the bathroom was added later, but by the structure of the house, I don't really think so. But I think it's kind of cool, anyway. If you look on the right side of the photo below, you can see the mauve calico wallpaper that had been painted over. They didn't even try to paint behind the toilet and the sink.


Of course, Inspector Merle had to check it all out. We've pulled off the skirting to the house so that the plumber can access the pipes under the house. They are the original cast iron and need to be replaced. It probably didn't take long for this smart cat to figure out that he could get back outside by dropping down to the ground and strolling out from under the house. The dumb one, (that would be Sophie), I'm not so sure she would make that connection.

We made it through the night with a couple of 1x12's as the walkway from the hall to the bedrooms. Nobody fell off. And, thankfully, the weather is still warm.

Wonder what I'll find when I get home this afternoon? I'll let you know...

Friday, September 19, 2008

No More Grillin'

Nope. We're not talking food here. We're talking orthodontia.

We visited the orthodontist this week - with the fervent hope that Audrey would be getting her braces off. Of course, Mom wanted to take a few photos.

Me: "Hey, Audrey! Let me take your picture!"
Her: "No! Talk to the hand!"
Me: "You're being a punk!"
Her: "Yeah....so?"
The techs were all laughing at this exchange and they basically shamed her into actually smiling for a photo.


Before

Dr. Crise did her check and declared her "done" and approved the removal of the braces. Although this was the plan for the day, I kept saying that it might not happen if everything wasn't all lined up properly.

The tech got her clippers and snip! Snip! Snip! Seconds later she was pulling out arch wires and all.

Everything came out in tact!

Now back in the day when I wore braces, each individual tooth was banded. It took HOURS to get everything pried off. I know you may find this photo a little bit gross, but I was fascinated by the advancement in technology!

After grinding all the glue off, we have a bright smile!

After

After looking at braces for 2 years, I still catch myself doing a double-take when she smiles. Isn't she pretty?

*Sorry for the squints and glares. The chairs face plate glass windows and the sun was shining bright!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What I Was Trying to Do

Sarah N. asked what I was trying to make before I was a doofus and cut off the zipper head. Well, last week I made this bag for the Roadshow - Farmer's Market Tote" from Let's Do Lunch by Terri Atkinson. Fabric line is "Farmer's Market" by Sandi Henderson....how appropriate, huh?
Inside the bag is a zippered pocket and a key hook.


I was trying to make the demonstration step-out, all the while thinking, "I need to make sure to tell them to be careful not to cut off the zipper head." Seriously, that's EXACTLY what I was thinking as I cut the darn thing off!


Here's a laundry bag sample I sewed together last weekend. It's Fig Tree Quilts "Easiest Accessory Bags Ever" and made from "Garden Party" by Anna Maria Horner. This photo shows that each side features a different fabric with a common bottom. Can you tell I'm obsessed with this fabric line?
I must now return my attention to So You Think You Can Dance. Go Joshua! 4 Real.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Whoops!

What's wrong with this picture?



I think I'll go to bed now.....


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Battle of the Bag

So, I'm still working on samples for the Minnesota Roadshow. One of the items is "Lynne's Tote" by Terri Atkinson from her book "Let's Do Lunch". The first steps are to piece the bag and then quilt it along with a strip for handles and a square for the pocket. Since there were multiple pieces, I thought it would be easier to quilt on my sewing machine. I haven't quilted on my Pfaff in ages and this project demanded free-motion quilting.

One of my friends was teaching a class today at the shop so I decided to run up there early to use the big ironing board to fuse-baste the project. I chit-chatted with Sarah and her students for a while (completely stalling from the task at hand) and returned home to begin.

I stitched the edges of everything down and then ironed on a couple of scrap pieces to warm up. Moved on to the handle rectangle. UGH! This is HARD and it's ugly! Thank goodness the handle pieces are cut down to 1-1/4" strips. The hardest part for me is I don't know where to put my hands. Everything feels awkward and jerky.


So I decided to go back to the shop and look at the machine quilting books. The girls were surprised to see me again. I browsed through the books and NONE of them talk about hand position except Diane Gaudynski's. And she talks about manipulating BIG quilts. Perhaps some machine quilting gloves will help.

I came back home and just started on the body of the bag, stopping more often to try to re-position my hands. The gloves DID help. Problem is I think the bed of my machine is too high and I kept getting cramps in between my shoulders. What would have taken me 15 minutes to quilt on the longarm took about 3 hours. But I did it - and I finished the bag. Nothing like taking all day to do it!

The fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner's "Garden Party" line. Aren't they luscious?