Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lutheran World Relief Quilts + Sewing Lessons

We've lived here for about 8 months now and have yet to have people occupy the house to the west of us. The couple who owned it when we moved to the area were the original owners and were now in their 90s. Because of the stairs and the maintenance needed on the house, they moved to a senior living development.

I happened to be out walking around with Ms. Gail when their estate sale was going on in March. Another of my neighbors happen to be doing the same thing so we met by chance not knowing if either of us were residents of the area or sale go-ers. One thing led to another and we were talking about how excited Ms. Gail was to start preschool school this fall but I hadn't decided where I would take her. She referred me to her church just at the bottom of hill, which was a Lutheran church similar to the preschool she and the boys attended in Missoula.

Fast forward several months and Ms. Gail is now attending (and loving!) preschool there. I dropped her off last Friday and was telling her teacher how much fun she had on her first day when she mentioned the old ladies next door just loved listening to the little kids as they quilted. Of course my ears perked up, quilting? Tell me more!

Every Wednesday ladies from the church meet just down the hall (and share a partitioned wall with the preschool room) to create quilts to donate to those in need. My heart was way excited to hear this because I've been wanting to get back to sewing/quilting again but have become so frustrated with my children at home not leaving my sewing stuff alone that it's not worth the fight right now to work on anything. Wednesday's aren't the ideal day for me to hang around after dropping Ms. Gail off at school due to my work schedule but I've decided I'm going to do my best to make it work - even if I am a zombie.

This past week I dropped Ms. Gail off and wandered down the hall to see what "Old Lady Quilting" is all about. Take a stab at the first three people I met. Linda, Betty, and Doris - my mom's name, mother-in-law's name, and then my grandma's name - ironic? I was low key hoping there was a Carol to be met as that would have been my other grandma's name. Linda toured me around and showed off the storage room filled with the blankets they made as well as the ones in progress, along with all the fabric, sheets, and batting which had been donated.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone had their own job. There is a lady who comes in specifically to cut up fabric that is donated. There was a lady hand sewing scraps of batting together, another set of ladies sorting through and arranging fabric scraps to make quilt tops. (Most of the ladies sew the tops together at home and then bring them in for the rest of the process.) One larger group of ladies worked on tying the quilts together and then the quilts were brought over to my table where I worked with my neighbor (who I met in the spring and then forgot about and re-met) pinning the binding on so Doris could sew it all together. Doris is the oldest one in the group, coming in at about 92 years old and is the only one who sews there at the church.
Currently they have about 70 quilts ready to be shipped out in October. Coming up in the next couple weeks, they will take all the quilts they have completed and put them on the backs of the pews for the entire congregation to see and then box them up and ship them out the following week. They send out shipments twice a year, each time sending between 60-70 quilts.
 All the little old ladies were more than welcoming. It'll take me some time to recall all their names though. By the end of the three hours, I decided it was every thing I expected it to be, not knowing what exactly I expected it to be. Honestly I really enjoyed all the chitter-chatter amongst them. "Oh I just love your jean top! Did you do the embroidery on it?" "Oh thank you! Sharon did this for me a while ago. Isn't it lovely?!" "Oh yes! It's just beautiful!" And you better believe there was a coffee break complete with pound cake right at 10:30a. Not a minute before. It was the best!

I told Ms. Gail about my little adventure next door to her classroom and she was SO SURPRISED when I told her I never went home and that I was listening to them the whole time. For whatever reason, I decided that now would be a good time to start teaching her how to sew as well.

Lesson one did not disappoint! All I had her do was "sew" on the blue line. "Oh mom! Were you saving this machine just for me? I mean I saw you sewing on your machine once and thought that was just great, but now we can have mom and daughter sewing dates!!" She was probably more excited about sewing than she was about getting a cat, which says a lot considering her love of cats.

I'm pretty sure I found myself a new babysitter! Hahaha! Wiggle-wobble wiggle-wobble... She's hooked!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

House Updates: Fire Place is Done!

Remember when I blogged all the time? That was so long ago but now that I have several more projects done around the house, I have a *little* more free time for some leisurely typing. Honestly though, most of my free time is spent cat-napping. I am almost done with my fire place project and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out!
One of the selling points for this house was the fire place. Both Perry and I really wanted a fire place in our new home (as well as a master bathroom!) but it was considered an extra perk if we found one we liked with one. We scored on this place because it not only has a fire place in the living room, but also has one in the basement (and we scored a sweet master bathroom too!) and we used it to the max this past winter and spring. 

I put off painting the fire place for so long because I had no idea what color to paint it. I love all the grey shades but wasn't sure what shade to paint the fire place since I managed to pick out colors for the living room and hallways that are actually more in the brown scheme of greys. Greige I guess? And then the carpet is more of a grey-grey so I was stumped. I finally opted for the same white as the ceiling, knowing I'd have to touch it up every so often.
 My first project for the fire place was painting the front of it. I don't know why I dislike gold so much. Maybe it just clashed so much with the off white color of the fire place. All I knew was that it needed to go. I wasn't sure what kind of paint to use, so I ended up using a high temperature paint from Home Depot. If I recall correctly the only color choice was black. Luckily that's what I was after.
  Just painting that part black made the dirty off-white color of the stones more bearable. I love how it turned out. If I didn't spend so much time taping off the brick, the rest of the fire place would have been painted a lot sooner. Instead I waited several months to tackle the rest of it.
 I didn't realize how dirty looking the fire place was until I painted it white. It's not a white-white, but has the littlest hint of grey in it. Spun Wool. I'm trying to simplify the color scheme in our house so using the left over paint from the ceiling not only prevented an extra trip to the store for a ton more paint samples and agony over the color again, but it also made painting the ceiling border a breeze.
Before decorating the mantle again, I painted it black to match the front piece. I also spent an extra few minutes spray painting the log holder knowing full well it would get nice and scratched up come fall season when it's constantly being restocked with logs. Overall I'm really liking how clean and fresh it looks now that the majority of the painting is done. I still have a little trim work to do but I happy to be able to cross this project off my list. I kind of want to repaint the downstairs one now but I also kind of need to work on our master bathroom first. It's in the "I hate wallpaper removal stage" and looks terrible with half the wall paper off.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cannon Beach + Haystack Rock

Hey you guuuyysss!
The last couple weeks have been a little chaotic around my house as we adjust to having a new roommate as well as school starting back up again. I'm still trying to figure out a good sleeping plan that works with the family but also allows me get enough sleep. I've been a little on edge trying to balance working at night four nights a weeks while still being present with the family. Such a juggling act!

I've been working now for about a month and it's going as good as the night shift can. It goes without say that I was relieved and excited to hear Perry had Labor Day off work because typically that would mean more sleep for me! Instead of sleeping the day away though, I brought up the idea to him about potentially spending the day at the beach. I later asked HD what he wanted to do on his day off school and he thought going to the ocean would be fun. Just like that a trip to the beach was planned for day when temperatures were supposed to reach 100* at home and a pleasant 80* on the beach.

On our first to the coast we went to Astoria and then wandered south a little to Fort Stevens State Park. Loved it! So peaceful! This time we drove southwest to Cannon Beach. Such a cute little town! I wish I had the whole day to wander the town and peek into all the little shops. In case you didn't know though, Cannon Beach is known for its landmark, Haystack Rock. Who recognizes Haystack Rock from one of my favorite movies, "The Goonies"? Hey you guuuyyyysss!
*These pictures were take by HD. He missed the entire back drop in the first set he took. In the second set, he really got into his photographer roll by waving his hand in the direction he wanted us to move. Go this way! No no too far, go back this way! Come closer! *thumbs up* It was really hard to keep my composure while watching his adorableness.*
We strolled the beach for a while and enjoyed watching the kids chase the waves. I imagine the beach is usually pretty busy in the summer, but extra busy this time with it being Labor Day. It was almost high tide when we left beach in search of food. Turns out we had strolled nearly a mile...
After much wandering, we stumbled upon a quaint little cafe to stuff our faces called the Season Cafe. They mostly served cold deli sandwiches and hot panini sandwiches but we all left full. I even stepped out of my normal "Ham + Cheese Sandwich" routine and opted for a BLT instead, since I hadn't had one in so so long. Yumm!
Immmediately when we finished up, we raced over to Bruce's Candy Kitchen to pick up some taffy before heading home. While we were there we were able to watch them spin the taffy on their machine. Fresh taffy is my favorite! I may have picked up a large bag of taffy to bring home... The boys also picked out a bag of PopRocks to eat.
I had napped for about half an hour or so on the way to the coast so by the time we were ready to leave around 2pm, I was exhausted. I stayed awake as long as possible but inevitably fell in and out of sleep on the trip home. You know how restful sleeping in a car is...

Aside from my exhaustion, it was nice to be able to get away for an afternoon and just enjoy ourselves. I do have to admit I was slightly irritated that I thought I left my phone at home. I brought my Canon Rebel but some things are easier to do with my phone, like take a video. Luckily I had something to capture our day. HD found my phone as we piled out of the car when we got home. Go figure. It probably fell of my lap during my morning snooze.