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The kids will play!

Meet Cynthia & Rauel.

This year’s Jack O’Lanterns.
Today, while I was out working on some long range planning goals for WASART, my husband and daughter were at home gutting and carving pumpkins. I miss all of the fun stuff!

I did get to help with the naming of the pumpkins though. The Little Miss was horribly sad that she couldn’t find the right name for her pumpkin. We ran through a very long and engaging list including Humphrey, Herbert, Sally, Myrtle, and quite a few others. Cynthia was the only one that she liked. I think that Cynthia is a rather happy pumpkin, even if she is missing a tooth. I had to hear ALL about that. Nice job Daddy!  According to my husband, the other pumpkin is Rauel. I don’t even want to ask.

I am off to play with gathering & stitching down three separate layers of tulle underskirt followed by a satin over skirt and the installation of a 14″ zipper in the afore-mentioned satin outfit. Then I can call the costume “complete” and finally get some sleep.

Happy Halloween! May you have many more treats than tricks in your goodie bag!


We had a fun experience yesterday. Somewhere along the highway a logging truck took out a power pole that held two major feeder lines. This cut off our power at about 4PM. It is getting darker a lot earlier these days.

Now normally, when we loose power, we loose water. Thankfully the Little Miss, who came home from school not smelling so sweet, had already had a shower and was soaking in the tub. Once I realized the power was out, I rushed outside to fill the water tanks and any other bucket I could find before the system de-pressurized. We were without power for nearly two weeks a few winters ago, and the urge to hoard water dies hard when you have to drive 30 minutes to get it. I know we have the rain barrels, but I am not sure I want to drink out of them.

This was a great test run for our expected power outages this winter. We always get at least one. We are expecting our first big storm of the fall/winter to come in on Sunday. Our plans for Saturday were to get all of our gear we use for power outages up to snuff. So we were caught out on that one. We weren’t in horrible shape, but the little things like making sure the glass chimneys on the oil lamps were clean, all of the candle lanterns were clean & had fresh candles in them, and we had dinner fixings that could be made in one pot on the grill or camp stove. I usually have a pouch or two of soups, stews, or chili that are just hanging out in the freezer for quick fixes like that. If we are going to be out more than a few hours, we will fire up the generator to keep the freezer & fridge cold. Of course, general maintenance on that was scheduled for Saturday. Thankfully we were only out about three and a half hours.

It did bring one other thing to light. At four, my daughter does not understand that nearly everything is powered by electricity. Our house was pretty much “broken” yesterday evening. I am now creating a box with things in it that can be enjoyed without the benefit of electricity, especially once it gets dark. Taped inside the lid will be a list of “everyday” things we can also use. Michael’s craft store has tubes of 15 glow-in-the-dark bracelets for $1. They will make great roads, airport landing strips, and fences for her other toys to play with.

Hopefully by the time the next power outage hits we won’t be wondering if we have what we need, and “Where in the heck did I put that?”

I have two more blocks merrily on their way, with a third waiting in the wings.

Andrea asked for some applique and something with either poinsettias or Christmas roses. I had just found a book with a poinsettia pattern, so I went with it. I left off the veining in the leaves. If I put them on then where will she quilt? I also thought that it would help give it some dimension if they were added during quilting. I hope she likes it.

This one is for Carrie. She has 8 inch blocks and asked for trees with a touch of whimsy. I am not sure how whimsical it is, but I loved this green fabric. Again, she can embellish the tree how ever she sees fit during the quilting process.

I am now working on Caroll’s block. It has a design I am trying to translate into fabric. Wish me luck with that one. I do have a fall back block if I can’t make it work out like I want it to.

I also have a Halloween costume on the cutting table. We are attempting to make a water fairy costume in the vein of Tinkerbelle & her fairy friends. Yeah, I am nuts.

Over the course of two weeks with the help of my sister and eventually my sweet husband, I emptied out, painted, rearranged, and organized this little area. I can hardly wait to start sewing!

OK, I am really embarrassed to show the before photos, but you need to see how far this little room has come. It’s kind of like gawking at a car accident. You don’t really want to look, but you are fascinated at the same time.

Looking in from the “door” A front view of chaos From the floor The fabric storage corner Sewing machine space More stuff stuffed under here.

This was a general dumping area for unattached stuff when we first moved in. It then was shaped into an office and sewing space. There were no shelves, so most everything was stacked on the floor. I eventually found the wire bins at IKEA. They have been great, and I hope to get my entire stash down to being housed in them alone one day.

There are no overhead lighting options in this room. One wall socket is controlled by a light switch. If I wanted to do anything other than sew in here after dark it was pretty dim. I bought a set of lights from IKEA about three years ago, but had not gotten them put up.

No lights @ mid-day.

Ta-Da! This is the after. I had two bags of paper to recycle and two bags of junk to throw out. One was nearly full from life under the cutting table before I started though. This little task has taken me a bit longer than I planned. I have been meticulous about going through each box/bin/bag and putting the items away in their proper home or chucking them if they don’t work for me.

I have become one with the label maker. I don’t have to wonder where I actually stuck something. I still need some more work done in here. I have a couple of pieces of preformed formica counter top that will go under the shelves. The computer will be shifted to a corner of our bedroom once I figure out the wireless thing. That will free up that corner for the cutting table.

I can get to the bins on the bottom!

I used ID badge holders tied to the wire bins to hold tags with what is in the bin. I will need to spend some time sorting the fabrics into better groupings, but I can at least get to them now.

How tidy!

I had the fat quarters in these bins before, and they are just perfect. Do you think I can find the same size again? NO. Thankfully I bought nine of them at the time. That should be more than plenty, since I am supposed to be cutting down on fabric instead of adding it. They just fit so perfectly on that shelf though.

I still have the sewing machines on the little tables, but I do have the counter tops ready for installation once the desk is set up in the bedroom. I have big plans to get that stained and waxed this weekend.

I did get the crap stuffed under the cutting table reduced to two major bins. They have my materials for making goat coats in them. Since I haven’t been doing too much goat showing in the last few years, they are pretty much on the bottom of the priority list. Once I have them made, they can be stored in the same bins – out in the barn! I am keeping an eye out for a discount cupboard for under the counter once it is installed. Then I can safely store my cross-stitch and extra thread out of the sunlight.

I am so happy with the improvements in here! I still have some things to get done before I can completely check this off as a finished project, but it is so much closer than two weeks ago. My guess is that with all of my bargain hunting, I was able to get this room looking like this for under $150 over the course of 3 years. It took that long to slowly acquire the pieces on a budget that included buying fabric, and I did haunt the HomeDepot Oops Paint & Cull Lumber section for shelving and paint.

I hear quilt blocks calling & then I am off to organize the cupboard with the cookbooks in it now that my quilting books are out of there!

Hmmmm. I wonder if I can build a built in bookcase down the hall by myself. My poor husband, he’ll never go away on a long weekend with the guys again!

I did get the huckleberry juice all jellied up and the apples made into sauce & apple butter. The apple butter took FOREVER, but it is so tasty I almost don’t care that it took all day to cook down.

Last weekend the guys headed out for the annual camping & bike trip. In my world this means house project and usually involves painting some walls. My darling husband paints for a living and so it frustrates the crap out of him to watch me paint. I have picked up some handy hints from him over the years, but I still drive him nuts when I paint. So, to keep the peace, I wait until he is going to be out for a few days and then go for it.

This time it was the sewing space. Yeah, you really don’t want the husbands in there rooting through all of your fabric. With the help of my sister, I did manage to get the space emptied out and painted on Saturday. By Monday I had all of the fabric dealt with, but a lot of the office type stuff is still on the dining table. UGH! So today I ran into town and picked up a few more shelf brackets and another piece of shelving. I now have two nice shelves to put my books and small supplies on. Whoo Hoo! Once I finish I’ll try to get some pictures to show you all. I have a few of the horrible ones from the “before” stage for you to compare.