Friday, July 31, 2015


Yesterday was the big day. The stagers came to rearrange our house to make it more beautiful for potential buyers. 
When they first got here I hovered, trying to help clean and heft things, but soon I realized that I was interrupting their efficiency, so we took a field trip to our favorite small town, Red Wing. 

 It was a gorgeous day. We ate chocolates, visited a charming bookshop, and had a delicious dinner.

When we got home this is what we saw.

The best part of their visit is that they used, with the exception of a few table lamps and a rug that really tied the room together, all our own furniture so when we move we can replicate exactly these set-ups.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Carried Away

The stagers come tomorrow and then it's time for photos and then on Monday we list our house.
We have been busy little bees.
So much painting, so much packing...
As a super fun diversion tonight we decided to build a little vignette on the craft table.
I grabbed a pile of fabric and got to work.
The Hubby painted the floor, we set up some extra furniture and I put together a little quilt top for visual interest.

The center square is from an adorable embroidered towel I got at a rummage sale about 8 years ago and hadn't had the guts to cut into it.

Since the little sleepy elephant has polka dotted pajamas I thought a small squares border would look fun and polka dotty.
To echo that, and to break up the monotony of the big white wall I hung up some embroidery hoops with fabric.

I may have gone a little overboard, but it was such a breath of fresh air to do something neither paint or floor-scrubbing related I just couldn't stop myself.
After the stagers came they made a few minor tweaks, and it all came together so nicely.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kid's Camp Time

Another Kid's Camp week is over, and I couldn't be prouder of my talented students.

Nice job, ladies! 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Paint it Out, vol. 3

When we moved in to this house the kitchen had a horrible white vinyl floor. We lived with it for six years, or so, but one day realized that it wouldn't take that much to rip it out and so we did.
Underneath we found a sturdy maple floor that needed a little lovin'.
Over the past five years I've lackadaisically paid attention to it, it does get a good scrub now and then, hands and knees style.
But it was still pretty grubby. 
So yesterday I hunkered down and did something about it.

I'm pretty pleased with it. The Hubby is reserving judgement until the topcoat of polyurethane goes down.
The kids have been camping with their grandparents all weekend, so we have been painting fiends. Both of their bedrooms and the downstairs bathroom have a fresh new look.
Now to touch up a few ceilings and paint the stairs to the porch, and I think we can call it a day.

Friday, July 17, 2015

An Die Musik

An die Musik
(to music)
I strum, I pluck, I drum, I ping,
I draw my bow across the string, 
I leap, I glide, I hum, I sing
I rest

Monday, July 13, 2015

Staging Obsession

In between lots and lots of painting and cleaning and packing to get ready for the move, I have been obsessing about certain corners of the house. 
I've been documenting as I go, since I'll have to take these rooms apart to refinish the floors. 

I'm finding it very relaxing to shift around the knick knacks and books until it feels balanced in weight and color. 
With the living room we moved out our dining room table and shifted around the furniture to showcase the open floor plan.
Then I moved the guitar out from the gap between the piano and the wall and put it on a stand. Also. The piano was overly cluttered, so I pared that down too.
Hmmm, don't like the strap hanging out, and not in love with the color on the ottoman.
Now, I need to get fluffier pillow inserts for the couch cushions, and recover the ottoman again. The white was a huge mistake it was filthy inside one day. I do love the large pattern on the fabric, I may see how the fabric fares in the washing machine. If it comes out looking okay I'll be sure to scotch guard it before I put it out again.
What's on your to-do list today? 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Great Stash Elimination Project

Over the course of 13 plus years working in fiber retail I have accumulated quite the library of books related therein.
In my defense, I purchased the vast majority of them with a shop discount, and many others were free. That said, this is a giant pile (or five giant piles) so I went through and did a brutal culling.
If there was only one thing I would make in a book or magazine it went on the discard pile. If there were similar sweaters in more than one book one went on the pile.
I probably won't start heavy duty quilting, so those books go on the pile. Duplicate books (!?!) went on the pile.
There are some beautiful things in there, and I think I'll try to sell some. If you're local and have an interest in knitting, sewing clothes or quilting drop me a line.
There are some beauties in here, a lovely stack of Interweave Knits and knitscene magazines from the past 10 years or so. A couple of Alice Starmore books 
A handful of Rowan magazines

The prospect of packing up and moving all of this is not appealing to me, so that made the winnowing much easier.
All in all, there hasn't been too much time to actually use these books of late, but hopefully we'll get back to our normal rhythms once the paint-a-thon is completed.

Paint it Out, vol. 2

When we moved in and saw the state of these stairs, we said we'd live with the scuffs, and old carpet adhesive for a little while, but eventually we would have to do something.
It's been over eleven years, and in that time I did manage to remove the carpet staples, but the stairs were just as shabby looking. 
So, I took a two-step approach to this one, and stained the treads.
Which made them look pretty nice, and then, with the help of another superstar friend, I sanded and painted the risers.
Which, in my opinion, looks dynamite.
Yet another project which took 3 days, and eleven years.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Crafting On, Home Improvement Edition. Otherwise Entitled - When in Doubt, Paint it Out

It's been a couple of weeks of solid home improvement over here. As I said yesterday, there has been a lot of focus on the front porch. But we have also been painting the kitchen and stairs, which are both lengthy processes, and I couldn't help doing a couple of smaller, more instantly gratifying projects. 
Our kitchen table had seen better days. It was a dingy brown, and the top was scratched, so I took a leap and painted it aqua to match our toaster. 
I love it, but the hubby isn't quite convinced. 
Also, we had a grungy old ottoman that puffed out dusty padding every time we put up our feet, so I gave The Younger a hammer and let him break it up for the garbage folks. Then I got some spray paint and a piece of fabric and remodeled our lego table.
You may have noticed the artistic framing of my photos here, the mess is pretty fantastic in the old homestead, but slowly I'm getting things into boxes.
Joining Nicole this morning.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Step One

So, as I said yesterday, we are working on our house to make it more appealing to a potential buyer. The first room that is feeling complete is the front porch/playroom.
In April, I went through and organized the space. I was pretty pleased with it at the time, but we had a couple of things to finish up. 
The biggest problem was that we had far too many toys. After 11 1/2 years of birthdays and Christmases we had myriad little people, animals, blocks, stuffed animals and 5 dollhouses. 
When a dear friend offered me a new dollhouse I couldn't say no, but what I could do was get rid of the other ones.
Our realtor suggested that we repaint in subtler colors than the green and yellow (which turned out looking more like Packers colors than we intended) and we  went with a color scheme that matches the exterior of the house.
So, for the last week we have been culling toys, moving things to the garage and basement, and painting like crazy. 
The floor still needs a fresh coat, but I'm very pleased with the results of our hard work.
The new dollhouse/tree house has been a big hit with all three kids, my Elder who is the same age as the original owner couldn't believe that he didn't want it anymore. 
Now it's time to paint every other surface in our house. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

First Week of Real Summer Vacation

The first two weeks after school ended I taught kids camps. First sewing, then vacation bible camp. But this last week was all about getting out and doing summertime things.

From the Science Museum to berry picking to a visit to the sandstone bluffs at the junction of Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River, it was a great week with great friends. 
On top of the fun stuff, we have decided to try to sell our house, this home of ours for the past eleven and a half years.
Our lovely realtor advised us de-clutter and to paint anything paintable and we should be good to go. 
So this week has seen a major toy cull, and we painted the majority of the front porch and about half of the kitchen cabinets.
All of that painting has left little time for knitting, but someday soon I can jump back into that.
I'll do a proper house post tomorrow, the light has gone tonight.
Wishing a peaceful night to you and yours,

Thursday, July 2, 2015


The cake is baked, the kids are watching Bullwinkle, and soon we'll be off to pick strawberries. 
Not a bad birthday.