Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow is a Four Letter Word

I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but seriously, we got another 2" yesterday.
 I can't look out the window any more. 
This time of year I find myself craving flowers.  Victoria knows this about me and last week she picked up a few bunches of pink spray roses. Luscious.  I was a little disappointed when they started to die without opening up ( my Kroger is a bit neglectful in the floral dept. and sometimes it shows in my flowers dying an untimely death), I was disappointed until I saw how perfectly they were drying on the stem and keeping their gorgeous color!  I snipped the little darlings off the stem and have some pretty plans for them:>)
Only 51 days until Spring. Yes, I'm counting.
 I love these pink and white phlox.
And sunshiny daffodils? Sign me up.
I'm ready for masses of summer blooms in blue Ball jars 
I spent a few minutes putting together some dryer sachets for my lovely daughter in New Jersey. She loves lavender and I happened to have a jar that I had harvested from the garden and hadn't used.  I whipped up these little hearts in no time, filled with the dried buds and a little lavender essential oil for a bit more oomph.  I hope these will make her sheets smell like Spring:>)
How are you holding up? Are you counting the days until Spring?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Down the Primrose Path

Whew! Just in time, my yearly primrose fix at Home Depot.  Just when it seemed the Polar Vortex might suck me in to it's diabolical, sub-zero plan, these little flowers say, "it's alright, spring is coming! And until it's here we will keep you company."
Such sweet little flowers :>)
 I love these little guys. And even though it is a pitiful 8 degrees outside, the sun is shining brightly and my primroses are here.
 Of course, when they are a measly $1.19 each you have to get more than one.
It's the law.
And then you have to waste most of the morning photographing them in all their sweet glory.
I'm not sure I have enough.
The kitchen project is gathering steam. I currently have three large slabs of Ikea butcher block sitting on the dining room table.  The new dishwasher gets delivered Thursday.  We are picking out lighting, or trying to. The amazing number of choices that are available boggle my mind.
They make my head tired. I'm pretty sure I will just end up choosing something, anything, that is acceptable and that will be that.  I love to freshen up my home, but some things just aren't up my alley, and lighting is one of them.
So this is just the beginning. I feel confident that there won't be a reveal next week, or the week after that, (or the week after that...)but it can't take too long because I won't get my dining room back until it's done, and unlike many of you who have eat in kitchens, we use the dining room every day. 
One last question, if any of you have used waterlox for a wood countertop how bad is the smell? We will be fabricating and finishing the counter in the dining room, and with the polar vortex lurking outside we won't be able to open the windows. Any suggestions?

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Winter Cottage Pillow cover

Whew! Is it really Friday already? I'm very happy about how quickly January is flying by. It helps that I am throwing myself into some sewing and cleaning projects that make the most of the days trapped inside.  I still haven't quite purged the house of Christmas d├ęcor, and I will leave some of the snowman items out a little longer. I got these cuties (salt and pepper shakers) at Homegoods.
 Ignore the dirty window please, there is little I can do about it when the temps are in the 20's and 30's.  The amaryllis is on it's fifth beautiful bloom and it makes for a happy corner of the kitchen :>)
Something about January spurs me on to a cleaning frenzy. I spent 5 hours scrubbing the kitchen top to bottom yesterday. Inside cabinets, walls, woodwork, and scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees. Copious amounts of bleach, Murphy's oil soap, and glass cleaner later, it looks and smells so clean and fresh! We are still working out particulars for the remodeling re-do that we hope to start this month in the kitchen. We have an Ikea date planned for tomorrow. What can I say, the month is half over and we have not made much progress, but Rome wasn't built in day and it would have taken even longer if we were in charge.
 I spent a cold blustery day this week baking some goodies to send to our son-in-law who is deployed overseas. I hope he enjoys the treats (and shares the 3 dozen cookies!)
 I have also been working to get some new items in the etsy shop. I listed this Wintery cottage cover this morning because, lets face it, we still have a bit of winter to get through. We might as well remind ourselves what makes winter fun!
Are you working on any January projects?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And The Countdown Begins...

70 days until Spring. I can't wait, as I am sure the rest of you who have been trapped in sub zero temps and piles of snow agree. We are looking forward to balmy 40 degrees this weekend. In the meantime, I just keep plugging away at the quilt. The top is about half finished and I think I (mostly) fixed my wonky corners not meeting problem. Seems I was a bit aggressive in my ironing technique, things are meeting much better now thank you.
Victoria came home with these roses yesterday to show her appreciation.
Thank God for roses in January, and daughters who buy them for mom just because:>)
Stay warm!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Great Snow of 2014 and A Neutral Quilt

Just like a lot of the Midwest, we are snowed in. I took this photo last night through the dining room window because I was not stepping outside. I think the snow had taken a momentary break when I took this photo,  but then it got back to work and quite frankly it. is. still. snowing.  We were supposed to have our last family Christmas party yesterday and had to cancel due to the terrible roads. At this point Christmas in July is sounding pretty darn good.
I think we have about 14" so far and who knows when it will end?
These are the times that I am grateful for a full freezer, a well stocked pantry and getting the grocery shopping finished before the storm.
 Since I'm trapped inside I decided it was time to stir my bones from the post Christmas stupor and get busy. I have had a quilt for Victoria cut out and ready to go on my design board for about 4 months.  She chose the colors and fabrics and I really think it's going to be pretty when it's done. Believe it or not, I think one of the things that had me stalled was the color palate. Neutrals. Who am I? How many neutrals do you see on this blog? As I said, I think it's going to be lovely when it's done, but the colors kind of stalled me. The squares are also supposed to be on the diagonal in the finished quilt and even after consulting a quilting friend it seemed overly complicated to do it that way. I consulted with Victoria who assured me that it mattered not a bit to her if they were laid out that way and I breathed a sigh of relief and began.
I just got the first block of squares put together and I'm giving you a good close up. I am admitting here and now that I realize that the little black squares do not line up perfectly.  But I have to admit I'm still fairly new at this quilting thing and if perfection is required I won't do it at all.  Once quilted the imperfections seem to be less noticeable and I'm ok with that.  Imperfections and all, I'm thrilled to get this first block together and get back to the sewing machine and creating something.
I plan to finish taking care of the Christmas decor this week, I'm organizing and purging as I go, and get back to some design work and filling the etsy shop.  
What are you doing to fill January?