Saturday, September 30, 2006

I've been studying a little about quilts today.

Seems I'll want a low-loft polyester batting, since quilting this piece will entail only "ditch-quilting" the appliques. That means following the seam lines. Miss Diane might have an opinion there.

I'd welcome one on the advisability of using monofilament thread for the quilting. Monofilament is colorless, so there wouldn't be problems where two colors lie together. I've read where machine quilters use it when they have problems with matching, but I haven't read anything about hand-sewing with it. Also, how do competent quilters handle end knots?

I've learned about securing the backing down while stacking the other layers. I think I'll use painters' tape on the floor.

Then there's basting the three layers together before beginning the quilt-stitching proper. Is there any particular thread or technique that eases that process along? I've read that using a small, curved upholstery needle helps. For the quilting itself, I'll be using an old-fashioned wooden oval lap-type frame. Binding should be fairly easy for me, but I'll take some time remembering how to do a mitred corner. I should be done by the end of the decade. Maybe.

Otherwise, work-wise, I've been stuck waiting for the carpenter to install the closet doors. He has cut the old doors down, and will be adding support wood and cabinet-style closures to the door frames so these doors will open from the center, rather than ride along a track. Once those doors are painted, I'll be re-organizing closets and chests, making another run through my clothing, shoes and bags.

All of my things will be located in that room, along with suitcases, cleaning machines, etc.

Then there's the coat closet in the foyer. It's stacked with all kinds of junk. Cheap styro life-saver, anyone?

I've been sitting on my hands for the past two weeks. Sure, there are plenty of other things I could do (like washing windows), but I'm geared to this project now. I don't multi-task as well as I used to.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quilt top

I could finish this quilt top that I started in 1997 for that room.

UPDATE: This project has been delayed for lots of reasons, but not least because I allowed Lyman to have a say. That stops today. He wanted a snake in the garden.

UPDATE II: I'm figuring out how to work Lucy and Charlie into this motif. With Lucy's coloring, she'll fit fine on that naked curved branch on the right. But Charlie is a problem. I've decided to use the purple instead of grey for his coat, but his white mask brings a level of detail not in keeping with the rest of the piece. I suppose I could show him from the back hanging upside-down somewhere. That would be in character. Hmmmm.
I like these tables, and this table.

The tea tables are not the right size, but I like the simplicity and styling of the legs.

The Madera table is just the size I need for an accent table, maybe an inch high, but that can be tolerated.

I'd prefer both of them without the beveled edge on top.
All greys do not have Southern accents.

Thank you, Mango.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

For the oldest son of the oldest son.

I packed up my father's high school ring to send to my nephew.

It's from the class of '29, Donaldson or Donaldston High School.

His initials are engraved in the band.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I so like this this song.

I heard it on the car radio today.
Today we are trying our hands at Natchitoches Meat Pies.

Chef Tony, or one of you other good cooks, how would you go about freezing these pies?

Next week we plan to try Crabmeat and Cornbread Stuffed Catfish. This one might be a prospect for our Christmas luncheon in December.

UPDATE: Four of us agree that this meat pie recipe makes the best we've had.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lucy and the "Big Ole Hunky Boy" together.

UPDATE: Lucy is ticked about this tape. It doesn't show her to advantage. She was too busy watching Lyman's son rambling through the house to pay attention to the filming action.
Oh, me?

Shopping online.

We have decided to employ our woodworker friend to build the headboard, bedside tables, and an accent table. I'll finish them. Should have used him for the chest, too, but that's a done deal. Maybe later.

I have been looking at lamps. There are thousands of lamp designs out there, kids, and from curiosity I have looked at most of them. I'll have to say the variety is a lot better than it was 30 years ago. With a move toward "retro" design, you can find lamps suitable for Rob and Laura's (Dick Van Dyke) living room or Shaft's bedroom. The new Asian-derived looks are rife. There are plenty of traditional and formal designs out there, too.

Of course, I was looking for one that has apparently been discontinued.

I bought two of these for the living room from Spiegel about 6 years ago. About a year after that, I started seeing a design that I liked as well or better. It, too, was of wrought iron, and featured small birds sitting on branches just below the linen shade. One of those, either floor or table, would do nicely in the back room. And neither is to be found anywhere.

I'm in no hurry, and the Christmas catalogs will start arriving by the armloads soon. Maybe it will show up there.

In the meantime, I'm amassing a catalog of new possibilities, and I've looked at a lot of interesting things.

Sites I've looked at include, but are not limited to:

Lamps Plus

Shop Table Lamps

Lighting Universe

Lamps USA


So that's where I've been.

UPDATE: Not that I'll ever have a use for it, but I think this one is cool in red.

UPDATE: That link dissolves. The "Galileo" series at Bellacor is the target.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I've been asked to remove this expired Bassett Furniture link by a representative of the company. Must be screwing up their Google results. It's cool.

There you go, Ashley .

Monday, September 18, 2006

I do not like showroom furniture.

Down here, so much of it is huge and ugly.

I saw bedsteads today that wouldn't come through my double front door without scratching the walls. These are not expensive places.

I can't find a thing except sleigh beds and four posters.

On the other hand, Pottery Barn and that crowd make too small. I don't live in a 750 square foot apartment. My guests don't need to wrestle themselves up or down from a bed after a night here. I'll be 50 my next birthday, and my overnight friends are older than that.
We found this chest locally, and bought it.

It's a little lighter than I would have liked, but I think it's a good backbone for the room I'm looking for.

UPDATE: The chest I really want is my mother's, the one I cleaned with Comet when I was four or so. But my niece has that one.
The painting is finished except for the four closet doors.

Those are waiting until the carpenter comes to visit us and sees if we can, without a tremendous lot of difficulty, change away from these bypass rolling doors. They were in the first house I grew up in and I hated them then. Youngsters cannot keep them on track and the ones here were no exception.

If a change will make too much of a mess, we'll change out the tracks and the rollers and keep them. We are all older now. Unless or until grandchildren come along.

I've abandoned the idea of setting up any kind of sewing space in that room. It's just too small.

However, with some rearrangement, I could make a space on the enclosed porch, which has better light anyway. What do I want to sew? And how often? No more than I've done in the past 20 years, the floor should be fine.

I'm using Benjamin Moore Regal Semi-Gloss for this paint work. The stuff goes on like a dream and dries quickly.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

LSU 3, Auburn 7

Delete that expletive.
Floor looks great. If you check here, though, you'll see a problem. That baseboard trim color is not the same as the windows or the door frames, or the doors for that matter.

Which means that I either paint all of those to match, or invest in more paint to cover those baseboards. And since those baseboards look so bright and new, I guess my work is cut out for me.

(Delete that expletive.)

Going that far, I'm arguing for new wall paint, too.

UPDATE 9/17: It's been some years since I've painted window frames. I've forgotten where to begin. I'd suspect that for the cleanest meeting of frame and sill, I should start at the top and work down.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lucy laid the second egg of this clutch at about 7:30 p.m. today.

And my lapse of consciousness at the library the other day cost $608.38 in repairs to the Honda CRV, paid at 10:30 a.m. today. I should be thankful it wasn't an Infiniti.


I've never had my own loofah gourd before.

My friend grew some this year.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Laying the floor slowed down working on the cuts around the angled door frame and the closets. We finally finished with the floor itself yesterday evening.

Today we'll cut and nail quarter-round. We borrowed our carpenter friend's compressor and nail gun, so that should go pretty quickly.

Taping and painting trim will be my job after. The walls are in good shape.

Then we'll be looking for a queen-sized bedstead, two small bedside tables, and a tall chest of drawers. I don't care if they're new. As I've said before, we haven't been watching HGTV for nothing.

A clue?
Lucy laid an egg on the evening of September 11.

Charlie proves that what you say will come back to haunt you. He is both a chunky and handsome thing, so when I have picked him up I have sometimes called him a "hunky boy."

He is now saying, "Charlie a big ole hunky boy."

That's not obscene, but it ain't elegant, either.

Lyman doesn't like it at all. "I wish you hadn't taught him that."

Monday, September 11, 2006

SK Bubba, or since he was outed, Randy Neal, always commemorates this anniversary well. He doesn't fail this year.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lyman is whistling Steppenwolf.

What does that mean?

Friday, September 08, 2006

white closet

Now, that's better.



I know that these closets haven't been painted in 13 years.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Today's craft project is installing a Shaw glueless Versalock floor.

We were fair stymied until we decided to lock the long edge, then tamp with a scrap block from the end. The video instructed otherwise.

It's coming along now. We should be finished with the floor proper sometime Saturday, then there is the 1/4-round to finish. No call to hurry. This room has had more traffic in the past two weeks than in the past ten years.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It's not a very happy day.

A friend called yesterday to tell us that another friend, 74, died Monday night. One of a couple, married 46 years.

He had his first heart attack at just about the time I arrived in town, so I didn't have the pleasure of his company as often as I would have liked. He was interesting-looking, smart, curious and funny.

His widow has lonely days ahead.

We attended his memorial service today.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I would think Kitchen Hand is shaking his head in wonder at how a recipe for Brussels sprouts could turn into an argument about the sugar content of cornbread.

Far as I can tell, sir, it's just the Southern way.

For the record, I love Brussels sprouts, even if we don't find them in the stores here often. I caught some funny looks many years ago riding the train from Long Island to New York City one morning with a stalk cradled in my arms.

They also make charming little pig heads.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Here's a natural fruit fly trap.

Yes, I have the funnels in jars with cider vinegar already set up.

More advice.

Another trap.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

sticky paper

Today's craft project is homemade, pesticide-free flypaper.

In the pot at the top of the photo is a thickened syrup made of equal parts sugar, water, and corn syrup (or in this case Log Cabin, since we seem to have no Karo) boiled until it creates a tacky surface on paper.

I am spreading that on brown paper, then will hang the strips to attract our little fruit fly buggers.

Recipe from Carolyn Swicegood at Land of Vos.

UPDATE: That doesn't appear to be working. Into the trash before the sugar ants come along.


Look at what I found in the yard.

That shoe is a size 9. (I never said I had tiny little feet.)


This page needs some visual relief. These are garlic chive blossoms.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fruit flies!

We have never had fruit flies before, but we got 'em now!