Saturday, July 11, 2015

New Porch

Surprise!!! No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I just have been tired. I work, then come home at night and sit. I have been going through medication adjustments, and my ‘get up and go’ has gone AWOL. Hopefully that will all be fixed soon…..or maybe it’s just laziness. Who knows? I mostly have been posting on FB. It’s quick, and addictive.

Anyway, we did an upgrade to our porch! I am so excited, and loving it!! We did this last weekend. So glad we did, because today was rainy and tomorrow is supposed to be too.


Years ago, (and this is even after an upgrade from the brown siding and green astro turf, I painted the brick on the planter to blend in with the new siding. Here is what it looked like before. I wish I could find my photo album of the house when we first bought it so I could show you what it looked like back then.


The carpet was wearing out, and we never were happy with the ‘platform’ we built to step up into the house.  Before we moved in, people just had to take a HUGE step up into the house from the porch . People have tripped or fallen off the platform, and we have contemplated for years what we could do differently than carpet that would be safe. This year, the idea came into my head to build a ‘deck’ over the original porch floor and raise it up so when we stepped out onto the porch floor it was be just about the same level as the floors in the house, and the porch floor would be all one level, then build a step the width of the porch.

There are a lot of photos, and here is the transformation. Enjoy the process. Louie and my brother Jack did this all in about 6 hours.

The materials arrived from Lowe’s on Tuesday June 30th.


Because we were going to be raising the porch floor about 8 inches, we bought 12” pavers and stacked them on top of the brick planter, which would eventually become more of a bench.


Years ago, we piled a lot of rock on top of the dirt, so Louie removed a 5 gallon bucket of river rock and put some smaller pavers in there for a base for the pavers he would stack on top.

20150703_201515 Louie used liquid nails to secure them so they wouldn’t move around.



On July 4th, the project began by building the framework for the ‘deck’.


It took Louie, Jack, my sisterinlove Polly and I to set it in place on the porch. With the new frame, we actually made the porch floor longer front to back than it originally was. They brought it out to the edge of the brick planter.




Looking out from inside the house.


Building the step.




Finishing up the floor.



This is how the porch looked this week, until Wednesday night.


On Wednesday night, our friend Jeff picked up our custom cut 2’ x 8’ x 2” piece of Indiana limestone on his way home from work. It took 6 men to lift it out of the truck and place it on top of the pavers.


After they left, I got out my can of paint and painted the pavers and the lower piece of limestone.


I can’t begin to tell you how much I love my porch going from this……

barn quilt 010[3]

To this. #onehappygirl!!!!


Update July 30: We added handrails tonight. Smile



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother’s Day

My ‘sissypoo’ Nancy Jo, who is 8 years younger than me, came up to see us last night. She has to work this weekend, and wanted to bring me a ‘Mother’s Day’ gift. No, I said she was my sister, but she says I am the best mother she has ever had, and although I keep arguing with her, I can’t change her mind. She always honors me on Mother’s day, but she outdid herself this year. There is also a bag of turtles candy, but I am going to pass that along, since I have worked hard all week to try to lose weight. I love the gesture though. The roses are beautiful, the little ‘Isabel Bloom’ angel is called ‘Forget Me Not’, and she has an apron full of flowers, and the card she picked out is beautiful. I love her.


I finished the cross quilt last weekend at quilting, and when I sewed this together, it was meant for Nancy. She loved the Park View quilts, so I made one in her favorite color, purple. I tried to deliver this to her last Sunday when were out on a motorcycle ride, but she wasn’t home, so I gave it to her last night. She loved it. She said she wants to hang it on the wall. We’ll see. She’ll have to find a wall big enough first!



It looks like it’s going to be a nice day today, but not supposed to be overly warm, so probably no motorcycle today. Guess we’ll just have to go junkin’!….or as my friend Kim calls it, ‘pickin’!

Have a great Mother’s Day weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Quilting~Gingham

Yesterday was the last quilting session until September. We didn’t work on a service project, so we started to prepare for a group project we are going to work on, starting in September, and possibly for the next ‘season’. The pattern is called ‘Crazies’ by Buggy Barn. This same pattern was the first project we worked on in our very first session, which was (I believe), in August of the year 2000. Christie thought it would be fun for us to all make the same pattern again to celebrate our 15 years together quilting.

Some of us were new ‘sewists’, and the first time we got together, one of the gals was throwing threads on the floor, and having trouble with the machine that she brought. The bobbin tension was loose, and with threads being thrown around, it was then that I named us, ‘Loose Tensions’. I also thought it was appropriate because when we all got together, we could reduce some of the stress we hang onto in our every day lives by laughing, sharing, and just having a good time. Although I was not blogging at that time, nor did I have a good system for saving photos, this is my very first quilt made from that pattern. I made several more, but this one will always be the most special. It hangs in my ‘north-south’ hallway.


Christie, who was the one responsible for getting us all together and getting us excited about quilting, had taken a class using the Buggy Barn pattern, and she wanted to share it with us. That quilting day was never intended as an ongoing event, but we all had such a good time, that we decided that day to keep going. We quilted year round, once a month for several years, but then we decided to take the summers off, since there always seemed to be conflicts where one or more could not come, and for me, staying home and quilting on a day when my husband was taking off on our motorcycle made me sad, so we decided to break from June through August. It gives us all a break and makes us all happy to see each other again in September.

So back to yesterday, although I did not take any photos, we all visited and worked on our own things. I finished hand stitching the binding down on my ‘Cross’ quilt. The entire quilt (except the batting and the purple) is made from recycled sheets I picked up from thrift stores. The purple was actually a round tablecloth, and is a heavier fabric, but it worked. The backing was also a lavender sheet, although next to the brighter purple, appears more gray to me.


Kate finished the quilt top she started last month for the Park View Quilting Ministry.


May also marks Leslie’s birthday, so there were gifts given, and she brought cupcakes. Sadly, by the time I took photos, this was the only one left.


Christie chose Gingham for her fabric choice. Yummmmmm!!!!


The girls tore down, cleaned up and were gone just before 2pm. Louie had been out golfing and was napping in his chair when they left, so we both decided to take naps. We woke up a few hours later and turned into couch potatoes, not going anywhere or doing anything. Today, we MUST do something. I thought it was going to be nice enough for a motorcycle ride, but it is raining and I don’t see it clearing. 

Oh well, we still have the car!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bernina 1530 Inspiration~Spa Treatment

Remember when Louie and I found a Bernina 1530 at the thrift store in February? Well, on March 15, I decided to sew a quilt top I had previously cut and kitted up, and watch movies.


I set up a table in my living room in front of the big screen, and watched Netflix while I sewed a quilt top with my ‘new to me’ Bernina. Just when I was finishing it up, ‘reverse’ started acting up and the needle and feed dogs would stop dead in their tracks whenever I would push in the button, then the needle would start jumping to the right. I shut the machine off, and turned it back on, and the needle did quite a dance routine before it stilled again. I turned the machine off and back on, and it repeated the performance. I thought for sure it was a goner. This machine is from the 90’s and not all parts are available anymore, but I did read that circuit boards can be rebuilt by Bernina, so I contacted the Bernina Dealer to get an opinion. I didn’t know if I would fix it or not, but I needed to know what they thought. I also couldn’t stand the thought of this machine ‘not living’ anymore. Crying face

I passed the machine onto my brother, who asked my sisterinlove to take it to the dealer for me the next time she was going to town, and after a few weeks, I heard back. Little miss ‘Bernie’ decided that she wasn’t going to repeat that performance for the ones who repair. I talked to a couple different techs there and we decided to give it a good service and going over and they would see if they could get it to misbehave. ….but ‘Bernie’ behaved. She got a new spool pin and a spa treatment, and we picked her up today.




I’m glad she wasn’t as ‘critical’ as I thought she may be.

I’m also very pleased with the service I received at ‘Inspired to Sew At Pine Needles’ in Cedar Rapids.


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