Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mostly Finished

I slipped away from my schoolwork today to finish up this skirt. Though, now that it's assembled, I've realized it's a bit short. I usually go for 20" square dance skirts and this one is 19". Oh well. I may look through my lace and see if I have something appropriate to add at the hemline, but I probably will just leave it as is.My favorite panel: Dragon!Now I just need to make Jeff ties for both skirts so we can wear them. I dug around and found the extra fabric, so I just need to do it. Most of the time tends to be re-threading my serger repeatedly with different colors and numbers of needles. It would have been much smarter to sew the ties together when I assembled the skirts, then it would not have added any additional re-threading time.

I hope to get them done this weekend, if I can get through my heavy load of school work. (Midterms start next week and the teachers are piling it on.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Building Envelope Assessment

Today while I was off at school, Jeff got to watch our weatherization & insulation subcontractor do an energy audit; one of the steps in finalizing our remodel plan. The goal is to really pinpoint what areas in the house are leaking heat, prioritize them and then deal with as many of them as we can afford.

One thing we learned today is our fireplace has no damper. We'll definitely have to fix that during the remodel.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Day of Sewing

For a nice change, I actually managed to get caught up in my classes by yesterday evening, so I got to spend today doing non-school activities. Woo hoo! And for a rare change, I didn't just fritter away the day watching Netflix or goofing off in Facebook applications.

Maybe I should have spent the day sorting and packing and cleaning, but I instead spent the day finishing an old sewing project. Since my sewing room is likely to get packed up and put into storage during the remodel, I'd like to finish at least some of the projects I have in the works.

With February 14 quickly approaching, I figured I'd better get this square dance skirt done. Last spring, after I finished this square dance skirt the first time, I didn't like how gathered the pieced panels looked because the hearts were lost in the gathers, so I actually disassembled the skirt and removed three gores. Now I could have just cut out the gores—ruffle and all—but I didn't think the top ruffle was full enough, so I took it off first. I carefully removed it to reuse it because I didn't have more fabric. And then I hand-gathered the ruffle this time, rather than using the sewing machine ruffler, and sewed it back on.

So, my pieced heart square dance skirt is finished just in time for Valentine's Day. I'm still not entirely pleased with it, but I think it is good enough. I do still need to make a matching tie for Jeff. I'm hoping I can find some of that fabric leftover, but it wasn't packed up with the skirt.And since I was on a roll, I also pulled out the funky dragon skirt I started last spring. I finished sewing it together and put the rolled edge on the hemline, but I didn't quite get this one done. It still needs a waistband, but I ran out of gas before I finished. Since it will probably only take me about an hour, I'm hoping I'll talk myself into finishing it later this week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Convergence of Contractors

Yesterday afternoon was a stark reminder of the value of hiring a general contractor to do a remodel, rather than trying to deal with all these contractors ourselves. Our design-build firm scheduled a walk-through yesterday afternoon with their subcontractors at 3:30PM. And not only were they on time—most of them were early! It's quite a contrast to getting quotes and hiring contractors directly. I really wish I thought to take a picture—I have never seen so many contractors in one place at one time. (There were more than a dozen.)

The purpose of yesterday afternoon's appointment was to invite their subs to give quotes on our remodel job. So in a couple of weeks, we should be able to figure out just how much of the job we can afford! =)

So, I guess we could be starting this project within a couple of months. After we sign the contract with Craftsman Design, we still have to make it through the City of Portland permitting process. Hopefully that won't hold it up too much.

Anticipating a not-too-distant start date, I started packing the dining room a couple days ago. I managed to pack up all the china and now we just need to deal with some of the loose stuff. I still haven't decided exactly how we're going to deal with stuff during the remodel. I'm not sure whether we're going to try to pack stuff in as tightly as possible in the remaining areas, or if we're going to just effectively move most stuff out into storage. Not really looking forward to that part, honestly.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bought a New Toy

While we were in California, we went and visited my brother David and he had a new toy for Xmas. And it was so fun to play, we decided to get one for ourselves. We used to have a Nintendo 64, but that got downsized a couple years ago and we decided this one was appealing enough to tempt us.

We ended up buying an Xbox 360 with a Kinect controller. It's very neat; you play the games using your body, rather than a hand-held controller. Obviously, it's hard to play for too many hours, as you get pretty tired after a while.
I'm hoping this is going to kick-start our trek back to health. I played it this morning and I can sure feel it this evening.