Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blue Inspiration

Here is Oregon people talk a lot about it being so green. I on the other hand feel like Oregon is truly land of Blues. Especially, West of the Cascades. In the summer the sky is blue and vast. In the winter, it is the fog and rain that makes the mountains blue. I personally love blue and find myself wearing blue, or some shade of blue almost everyday.
I wear jeans everyday to work. I adore my chambray shirt with Navy Cords.  I recall always loving blue, even as a young girl, where the norm was pink and purple.

I participated in Small Business Saturday, by doing a bit of shopping in Portland after taking the In Laws to the airport. In a cute shop, this denim chair was in the fitting room.  I just about lost it, I would have stolen it if fit in my purse! 

This gorgeous hat was out of my price range, but was such a lovely shade of turquoise.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

This Elf is Tired

Hosting Thanksgiving for 6 seems like a cake walk when I think of the size of other families. My In Laws and Grandmother and sister In Law is coming.  All I want to do always sneaks up on me the weekend before. I think Iam prepared and then, it hits me. I painted the chairs, set a table, hauled out all the serving dishes. Of course having the In Laws for Thanksgiving makes me feel like I need to do deep cleaning.  

Then I wanted to get my Christmas cards done.  Christmas shopping needed to be done, which usually includes me making gifts.  

Then there is all the baking that must be done.  
Now I understand why my grandma was so grumpy during the holidays.  I hope Iam not grumpy, I sure do know that this elf is tired!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Love Love

I have been wanting to make a decorative pillow for my mom to go with the quilt I made for her Big Birthday. 
I knew I wanted it to be " LOVE LOVE"
This is what my Mama and Sister say to each other,  now my husband says it and I am pretty sure a few friends have picked up on it. Because in my family it's not just Love, it's Love Love.

I started by looking for a certain size for a pillow insert. I went for 14 x14. I cut out the muslin 15 x15 , so that I can quilt the piece.

I folded the piece of muslin in half so I knew how big one word needed to be. 
I used scrap pieces left over from her Kaffe fabric quilt. I started with the dark colors, by laying them out on the half of muslin.
I tried to keep my strips 2-3 inches wide considering 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Then I cut and filled in with the light colored fabric.

I am a very messy cutter. I also have lots of Kaffe fabric and intend to make quite a few more quilts from the scraps. I try to keep the lights and darks sorted nicely, or not so nicely.
Here are some border pieces. I found that taking a few were not only helpful for my blog but, also to get it back together after sewing and pressing.
I ended up cutting my "E" strips too thin and it came out rather tiny. I actually had to remake the "E".

Here is one finished " LOVE".

The final Block, LOVE, LOVE.

I cut the batting 14 1/2 and sandwiched it with the muslin and sewed all sides down with 1/4 seam allowance.
I am planning on doing some simple quilting to get the letters to pop a bit more.
I hope my Mama will LOVE, LOVE it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Prep Work Makes All the Difference

These are the two chairs we picked up on our recycling adventure at bring the other day. I chose the red color because it was what was in the garage from when the house and deck (pictured) we painted back in September. The rusty red is a super thick tough paint that will work well in my living room. I already have some rusty red upholstered club chairs, I think these will coordinate well once finished. I chose this color over the two carolina blue's and I am very pleased with my choice.
I started prepping these chairs yesterday with a really good sanding. I used three grades of grit. I highly recommend this especially if you are painting over old paint or stain. I have no idea what lied beneath the poorly painted tan. I quickly discovered it was only one layer of paint on top of bare wood. The tan paint came off really well in some areas and in others it was more stubborn. I wasn't really trying to strip or totally remove the paint but, I wanted to start with at smooth surface. One coat of red paint clearly wasn't going to cut it. I was hoping to get away with two coats.

I am not terribly satisfied with the coverage of two coats. I have decided to do a third coat tomorrow baring any crazy weather. It is very nice to have a covered deck area to paint on. Even though it gets wet when it rains. I do feel they are protected from the elements in order to dry. 
I have thought of adding some gold embellishments like gold stripes or gold tipped legs.

Today, I also finished up this little guy. I started them awhile back and debated over the type of nose and hat to use to make the snowman look finished. I determined buttons down the body as well for eyes would be lovely. I couldn't see a embroidered nose or mouth on these guys. I flipped out in the button isle in Jo-Ann's when I found the carrot buttons, clearly these are made for projects just like these. I have decided to make four of these guys and give them to my family for gifts.  I adore these cuties.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Recycling Awesomeness

Part of my job at the bakery is donating bread to those in need on a regular basis. One of our recipients is this awesome recycling center called Bring. They employ very few and use volunteers and court appointed work release to get it all done.  A few weeks ago they sent a stack of coupons to our staff, which is was a great reason to come out and check see what they offer.
I was so in awe of how it is all set up, and very well organized. There are a few very large metal roofed areas to protect items from the rain, but majority of the space is open to the elements. They used some great times to keep it all sorted, like this train car. The majority of what they offer is home building materials, tools, large cabinets, metal, tiles.  The fans along the roof line collect rain water.
This is a fabulous place for artist too. There are so many materials I can see to use when creating an artful garden, unique home spaces, a lot of decorative items as well. I really appreciate the creative  use of recycled materials in the yards I see in Eugene and around Cascadia.   You will see metal pipes for planting. Many raised gardens are made from scrap wood and mini greenhouses are made from used windows. Often you will find metal piping rain collection and irrigation. Yard art is abound here, most are created using recycled materials. These yards are so different from what I saw in the manicured lawns of the Raleigh and around the South.

Along the garden side there was this awesome structure that was created by an Architecture class from U of O using only materials from Bring. The back wall was a beautiful welded fence and masonry. I love the lines in the concrete pad. They were giving a tour when I was there, and it seems that in the summer months they host a few events in this space.

Part of this chain link fence was filled in with PVC plumbing and bike spokes. They also carry new rain barrels, natural paints, and some plants in the summer. We bought some awesome oak chairs that had been poorly painted.
Most of the items for sale were donated. I wish I had discovered this spot sooner. I will be back. Trash is beautiful to me!