Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finally Sewing

I finally got my sewing room packed and cleared enough that I have room to sew in there! =)

I got started on the black-out Roman shades for the Master bedroom today. I would be really pleased with them, if only I hadn't already goofed up. They are supposed to be 27" wide and the finished width on this one is 26¾ inches. Dang.

I goofed up by forgetting just how much fabric the serger trims off in a seam. I've been doing mostly quilting lately and you only have to add half-an-inch to allow for quilt seams. With the serger, you need to add more than an inch! Especially if you use 4-thread seams. Oh well, I've already gotten all three cut out. They're just going to be a little narrow.

I've decided I'm going to let it go, because these are only temporary until I get my sewing room set up in Oregon and I can get going on the stained glass shades I have my heart set on.

I'm sort of winging it on the construction of these as I'm not following any particular set of instructions. I'm sort of combining the techniques I used on my recent sets of shades and trying to do these a little different.

Well, I guess I'd better go do some packing now. I'll see if I can get shade #2 started tomorrow.

Plus, I also have to do school work for my PCC class that's due on Thursday. Too many things going on right now to do a good job. Oh well.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tonight's Progress

We got another POD today.

We loaded all the boxes from five hours of packing yesterday and another batch packed tonight. We have not even managed to fill 3 feet of the 16 feet. This is going to take a while at this rate. We do have a bunch of furniture to put in, but we still have to wrap it all up which is fairly slow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Hobby to Learn

In one of our used bookstore forays in the last couple of years, I purchased a lovely little book, Stenciling the Arts & Crafts Home. It showed some really beautiful designs and I got hooked.

According to Amy Miller, stencilling was pretty common during the Arts & Crafts period (1900-1925). During the period, thanks to The Craftsman and other women's magazines, women were encouraged to take part in the decorative arts. Mail-order kits for stencils and linens offering the stylized Arts and Crafts designs appeared everywhere. Walls were just the beginning...a single motif like a leaf or architectural element could be carried throughout the room with a stencil. "Table linens, pillows and curtains were excellent areas to continue a theme by creating a simple unity, allowing self-expression in the chosen design and in the personalized color scheme as well."

I've decided I have to give stenciling a try. A couple weeks ago I ordered a number of stencils and some paints. I actually received them while I was Oregon, but I didn't bring them back down to California with me.

The author's website where she sells supplies is at Trimbelle River, but her prices are very spendy. I did buy one stencil from their site. I also found some better prices at Bungalow Borders and purchased about five of their stencils. And I found a number of great deals at Stencilease. Most of their stencils are too modern, but they had some real nice ones.

This is the stencil I'm hoping to use in the living room, once we've got the woodwork all scraped and the walls painted in "Hubbard Squash" by Sherwin Williams.

The book recommended the Paintstiks® brand of paint. I found a discount source for the paint too, at Hofcraft. I'll probably be using a lot of burgundies, greens and purples. I'm hoping I'll love stenciling.

All Fixed Now...

...at least we hope. I had a quickie outpatient procedure done at Kaiser this morning to have permanent birth control installed. I hope it works. It takes at least three months before we'll figure it out. I decided to do this because of our upcoming medical coverage situation. I'm hoping we'll be able to find a job with full benefits, but we wanted to be prepared if we could not, especially since paying full price for birth control is not a feature.

I've had a pretty productive week. I've managed to catch up with the piles of paperwork we had slowly accumulating throughout the house. I've gotten Quicken updated, for the most part. And I sifted, sorted and filed all the paperwork into the filing cabinet and file boxes in preparation for packing. We actually managed to unbury some of the flat surfaces throughout the house.

I'm having a hard time focusing on my Job Finding Skills class. I'm pretty distracted with moving and finding a job isn't what I want to be worried about right now. Oh well, I'll muddle on through for the remaining four weeks. Luckily, I've already got a fairly current resume and can use it as a starting point. Hopefully, the teacher will be able to offer some good advice for how I might improve it for future opportunities.

The craigslist ads aren't going real well, though I'm not surprised. It's pretty hard to sell furniture in this market, plus there's already so much listed. I'm going to start lowering prices every time I re-list them. I'm pretty sure we'll just go ahead and donate what's left at the end.

Our second POD arrives on Monday, and we're trying to prep the library bedroom for the final pack. We'll probably also spend as much energy as we can spare packing up the garage, as I suspect it's only going to get hotter out there as the summer goes on. I've been trying to organize in my mind the ordering of packing the furniture that we're moving. It's much more complicated moving in PODS like this; you need to decide what you need first and what you need last.

Our bird, Mia, has relocated over to my mother's house until after Jeff and I move. I think we'll actually be bringing Mia up to Oregon later this fall. Probably in September when I come back down for my Kaiser follow-up exam for today's procedure.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lovely Father's Day BBQ

We had quite the social weekend this weekend. Yesterday evening we went to my Aunt Sarah's house to celebrate with my Cousin Danna who just graduated from vet school! Yeah Danna!!

Today, we went off to my brother David's house to help celebrate Father's Day. It was an absolutely beautiful day! The weather was perfect for this time of year.

This weekend was probably not so good for my weight. So much good food!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Long Drive Today

I drove back to California today with the dog child. Since Jeff flew home earlier in the week, I had to drive the whole way. I'm tired. At least the weather was beautiful and the scenery was nice. Mt. Shasta was even out from behind the clouds for a change, at least for part of the trip.

When I was passing through Albany, I stopped and looked at an entertainment cabinet. It's another Bentwood Furniture piece. I can't seem to help myself... =) This one is selling for something like ⅓ of the original price. It's very tempting. I'll have to see if I can sell our entertainment cabinet here in California; then we wouldn't have to move it all the way to Portland.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Window Coverings

I've been poking around my bungalow books to figure out what kind of window coverings people commonly used on craftsman homes in period (1910-20ish). In general, they seem to be pretty plain, simple casing curtains that hang inside of the window frame. I have found a few period pictures of print fabric, but they're not usually opened up so you can see the fabric.

I think I'm going to compromise by using print fabrics upstairs in the bedrooms and bathroom, and use plain stenciled or period-appropriate prints (like William Morris) downstairs. On modern bungalows, those published in the bungalow style books, you also see quite a few Roman shades. That makes me feel better about my choices for the upstairs windows.

I'm trying to take careful measurements for my sewing projects next week as this is my last day up here in Oregon until our next visit. I've got a fairly long list of sewing projects I'd like to accomplish next week in California:
  • Sew three Roman shades for the windows in the master bedroom. Though, since these are going to be fairly plain (not pieced or appliqued on this set) it will hopefully go quickly. I can at least do the machine sewing in California and then finish sewing on the rings during the next drive up.

  • Sew a shower curtain and two simple curtains for the master bathroom. The flowered fabric I actually bought for Redwood City but it matches this house very well. I bought the plain green fabric for the curtains as there wasn't enough of the flowered fabric to make the shower curtain and the window curtains. The curtains that the seller left are bright yellow with pastel polka dots; not so nice.

  • Sew two curtains, or maybe Roman shades, for the sewing room. I'd like to make simple curtains, but I don't think I have enough of the fabric I want to use. I was going to set up the sewing room in the other bedroom, which only had one window and there was enough. But when I rearranged the floor plan, the windows doubled. =) So, now I'm trying to figure out a plan that uses the peach and purple as borders so I can have enough fabric to make a curtain. Otherwise, I'll just make Roman shades, but they definitely take more time. While this set of window coverings is not emergency, I would like to get the windows covered so my cherry sewing room furniture won't get faded while I work on unpacking.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Basement Progress

They've made a couple more days of progress on the basement. The walls are now dry enough to begin painting. Gee, if I had realized they'd be painting this week, I probably would have signed up to do it myself. Though, in reality, I didn't really expect to be done with my ToDo list by now. We're painting the walls with a waterproofing paint called "Barely Peach." Now I'm wishing I picked something darker. Oh well, I'm sure the light walls will be nice in this dark basement.

They've jacked up the front part of the parlor and now the room upstairs is nearly level. =)
Troy has nearly completed replacing the perimeter boards and is now pouring new footings for new support beams he's putting in soon. I, of course, had to memorialize the occasion by carving in the damp concrete.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Basement Progress

This is how the basement looked when we left for California last week. They had started taking off the exterior coating and were removing whatever built-ins were down there. The concrete walls were very sandy and apparently the prior owner had caused further damage by digging out channels for pipes and such. Our contractor pulled those and repaired the foundation walls with hydraulic cement.

As I understand the job, once the coating was removed, they brushed on a plastic bonding agent that penetrated the cement and helps prevent further deterioration. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see this part of the process because we were in California. All of the interior basement walls had been recoated with a smooth finish by the time we returned to Oregon.

It looks like they washed down the floor today in preparation for painting in a couple of weeks. They also started on the pest damage repair on the front portion of the basement.

I've got a couple of estimates scheduled for tomorrow to get the masonry on the front of the house repaired. That's our next project.

Much Accomplished Today

I forget how much I can get done on days when I really apply myself to working! I got quite a lot of work done today and mostly managed to avoid goofing off with my computer.

Today I dropped Jeff off at the airport at 6AM for his 7AM flight. Since I was already up, I headed out to Home Depot to buy basement paint. Then I went off to Toyota to get the Highlander's oil changed. I was actually back to the house by 8:30AM.

The contractors started work on demo of the pest damage this morning and since it was so loud downstairs where I usually hang out, I figured it was a good time to find some sort of activity upstairs. I washed down the new-to-us furniture with murphy's wood soap as well as mopped the hardwood floors upstairs. Then I went through and touched up any nicks and scratches with the stain pen I picked up at the Bentwood Furniture Outlet. The results were wonderful! I was thinking this dresser was looking a little beat up, but now it looks quite like new.

I also unpacked whatever clothes we brought in this trip's luggage plus a couple of tubs/boxes of SCA clothes we brought over from Wendy and Ross' this weekend. (It was actually fun to unpack all those old costumes, because I was reminded about all those years earlier when we wore those old clothes.)

I bought a couple of cheapo end tables off of craigslist this afternoon to finish off our living room suite. These were in pretty trashed condition, but the style and price were right and they were just a few miles away.

This afternoon I received my latest fabric binge order. This is my fabric for the Roman shades for the master bedroom I'm hoping to get built next week when I return to California. I'm also hoping to built a shower curtain and curtains for the master bathroom. And, if I have time, a shade for the sewing room (I probably won't have time, but I can hope).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Busy Week Ahead

It's hard to believe it's already Sunday afternoon! This weekend has literally flown by! I barely remember what happened to Saturday; I seem to have managed to shop most of the day away. It all started when I ran across a rug at the Overstock.com website that was the same pattern as one I've been watching on much-higher-cost Craftsman furnishing websites, like PersianCarpet.com and Jax Rugs.

I've been admiring this pattern called Donegal/Fintona, for a while. I've just found that this pattern is documented to 1905-1910 and is on display at the Stickley Museum. Our new house was built in 1912, so this pattern is quite appropriate for our living areas. Here is the pattern from the Persian Carpet website. I'd love to buy this rug, but it's $3,780 for a 9x12 and I need two in that size plus a couple smaller ones.

Yesterday, I happened across a rug in the same pattern at the Overstock.com website. And while I'd be the first to admit that the colors are not nearly as nice, the price tag is awesome, ringing in at $533 for a 9x12!

Spending the last couple of days here with the dog and bare hardwood floors has convinced me we need to get rugs down on these floors as soon as possible! There are already a couple of obvious scratches from Shasta playing in the house, so I just went and ordered 3 large rugs and a number of smaller rugs for the doorways and hallways. I hope the colors are OK. Though, if they aren't, we'll still live with them! =)

Jeff flies back to California tomorrow morning early. =(
During the rest of the week I am trying to schedule a couple of estimates from contractors for work later in the summer and also visiting DEQ with the two vehicles we have here in preparation for getting them registered up in Oregon. I'm also trying to get some more of the myriad other tasks that are important, like calling around for quotes for insurance, buying paint, etc.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Back in Portland, OR

I am feeling much better this morning, after getting a chance to catch up on some sleep. We spent our first night in the new house last night and it was nice to wake up in our own bed. Here is our new bed, as always with Shasta in the photo. (She loves getting her picture taken!)

We had a very long day yesterday! We actually left California on Thursday evening at around 5:15PM. We stayed with my stepmother's parents in Redding, CA for the night. And while the traffic was absolutely horrendous getting out of the bay area at commute time, it was a huge relief to get 250 miles out of the way.

Yesterday morning Jeff woke up at 4:30AM and we decided to go ahead and slip out before our hosts woke up. (I hope that wasn't too rude; I left a note thanking them. I need to send them a thank you card.) Anyway, we got to Oregon a few minutes after 7AM!! Woo hoo!

I had one expedition I wanted to do yesterday morning, in Grants Pass; I wanted to visit the Bentwood Furniture Outlet Center while we were driving through town. Unfortunately, they didn't open until 9AM and we got to Grants Pass at 8:20! So, we went out and had a leisurely breakfast at a local cafe and took a bit of time to walk the dog, and we arrived at the outlet center a few minutes after 9.

Anyway, we wandered around their showroom and found some really beautiful pieces. I learned they have the best sales in mid-November when they conclude their season of road shows and they sell all those display pieces! I also learned they hold road shows at Costco and I got upcoming dates through the rest of the season. I'm definitely going to have to check out one of those shows! While I didn't buy any actual furniture pieces yesterday, I did buy a stain touch up pen to touch up these furniture pieces we've been buying used. And I've now got my eye on a set of tables for the living room and a curio for my dragon collection!

We finally arrived in Portland at around 3:00PM. We hired one of our basement repair guys to help us unload the furniture, so all the furniture is already in the house. He also helped us switch out the mattress from the mattress showroom, so we could actually sleep on the good mattress last night (we had a loaner mattress from the store).

Unfortunately, while I was running water to clean a sponge I was using to wipe down the dining room table, I discovered water pouring out of the sink cabinet! OMG, the drain pipe had broken into two pieces. Ugh. I had a huge mess and had to go dig through our luggage to find towels. Now, many of our towels are soggy and I don't have laundry machines yet. I'm going to have to go hunt down a place to do a load of towels. (I'll probably go visit Wendy and Ross and pick up stuff we've had shipped to their house.)

Also, as we set up our bed, we discovered we had forgotten to load the slats! Luckily, the bed rails have a ridge down their length, so we went off to Home Depot and bought cheap pine 1x4s and had them cut them to length. We'll use them until we bring our next load.

Since starting this post, our basement contractor sent over his fix-it guy and he is repairing our broken kitchen sink. So, by this evening all should be well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Loading Up For Another Trip

Last night Jeff and I went off to the east bay and bought the 8-drawer chest and rocking chair. We paid $650 for a great quality, solid oak, slight nicked-up oak dresser. That piece of furniture alone was almost $1800 when it was new, according to the seller, and likely even more now. And it looks like the rocking chair has the same fabric on the seats as we have on our dining room chairs! =) We're pretty excited about the quality we've been able to obtain for used furniture prices! We weren't able to connect up with the guy with the armoire; oh well, no time now.

Today I started packing up suitcases for our next visit. And, I did more online shopping, though not any buying. I was trying to plot out our storage rack purchases for the basement once it's finally finished at the end of June.

Tomorrow morning I'm off to UHaul to pick up a one-way trailer for the trip up. It's smaller than we would have liked, but the price was right. It's a 5x8 and I spent an hour or so graphing out the load plan and we should be able to get the bed frame, the chest and the dining room set into this load (and also our still-in-progress heraldic stained glass is going to get transported flat on top of the table). The rest of the pieces will have to wait until the next trip.

I've hired a couple of movers (friends of my brother) to help for an hour or two to load up the very-heavy oak furniture into the trailer tomorrow while Jeff is at work. They're only charging me $25/hour (for both of them!) so I imagine they'll be getting lots of work from us during this move!!

I was able to score us some crash space at my step-mother's parent's house in Redding tomorrow night (about 4 hours away from here), so we're planning to head out as soon as possible after Jeff gets home from work. That will really help our Friday schedule. Since we're driving up with a trailer, the trip is more like 14 hours and that's just too long for one day if we can avoid it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Craigslist Rocks!!

I'm pretty excited because after quite a bit of effort trying a wide variety of search terms and studying pictures in listings, I think I managed to find a couple more pieces from Bentwood Furniture on our local craigslist! (I can't imagine living without craigslist anymore!)

The furniture I bought last week just had a queen-size bed frame. I thought the guy selling the furniture would break down and sell me his 10-drawer chest, but I guess he just liked it too well and couldn't part with it.

Anyway, on craigslist, I think I found a matching 8-Drawer Chest and an armoire (from different sellers). Though the armoire is currently used as an entertainment center, it sounds like it's pretty easy to convert it to a small closet which would be perfect for the basement bedroom. I also found a rocking chair (from a third seller)!

Unfortunately, all three of these items are in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Ugh, that's about an hour of driving each way. And though any one piece would fit in our SUV, it's not worth making three trips! So, back to dragging a trailer we go! I'm so grateful we managed to get that trailer hitch put on the Toyota last week.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Furniture Retrieved

Thanks to my hubby Jeff and my brother Jeff, the furniture has been retrieved from San Francisco. It's all wrapped up and deposited in the garage ready for the trip to Oregon.

Thanks to the hour and a half wait at UHaul this afternoon to pick up the trailer, this little errand turned into a long day. Poor Jeff missed his nap; we'll have to get him to bed earlier tonight.

This morning I sold our amish cherry china cabinet that we'll no longer need. It's a little sad to sell it, because I really like it, but the new house has a built-in china cabinet in the dining room and a serious lack of available wall space. I was thinking about moving it and displaying dragons in it, but I'm not sure where I would put it.

I am feeling pleased with myself over the price, however; I bought it three years ago for $950 (I got a really good deal in the crashing economy) and I just sold it this morning for $1000! Rent-free use. =) Since we had the UHaul trailer today, we offered to deliver it for an extra $20. They asked if they could pick it up next week and I'm eager to get the space in the kitchen back, so we said we'd bring it over.

I've spent a couple hours packing books today and we still don't have them all packed. Despite our recent purgings, we still have a lot of books. I left one bookshelf filled with books that we'd likely want to look at over the next two months, i.e. books about gardening or bungalows.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Latest Crazy Project

We need window coverings for the master bedroom! The room has three exterior windows and one window into the not-yet-remodeled sleeping porch. That room is very light and with it getting dark after 10PM, getting those windows covered is a priority. (Unfortunately, we don't have a good picture of the room. I guess we just thought it looked like another bedroom!)

After I spent the morning making appts and getting other moving tasks out of the way, I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to come up with a design for Roman shades for these windows. I drew out a couple different designs on graph paper but really wasn't happy with any of them! Then, Jeff came home and suggested I make "stained glass" pieced panels and I had the AHA moment; what an awesome idea! So, that's what I'm hoping to do.

The project may be a little advanced for me as I've never made one before, but that's never really stopped me from trying. =) Here are the patterns I want to make, taken from actual period stained glass windows.

Here is the original series of windows:

Now I just need to gather the proper materials, in particular I need to either make or buy lots and lots of ¼" black bias tape. This, and the difficulty of the project, will set back my schedule. I was hoping to have these shades finished by the time we return next time (on the 11th), but that won't happen now!

For others who may be interested in undertaking a stained glass quilt, I found these excellent instructions online from Bearpaw Productions.