Jun 29, 2010

A BAPless weekend

I spent the weekend at a stitching retreat in New Braunfels, Texas.  It was a very nice weekend.  The food was good.  My room was nice and the bed was comfortable.  And it was great stitching and fellowshipping with old friends and meeting new ones.  

I managed to find a small pile of stuff on the orphan pattern table to take home with me.  I also went over to the dark side and purchased a fat 1/8th of 36 count linen and a fat 1/8th of 40 count linen to try from the store at the retreat. 

And I bought a Texas sampler pattern, "Deep in the Heart of Texas," to add to my Texas pattern collection.  The pattern is by Nouveau Encore and was designed exclusively for our retreat.  For one year, it is available only at Stitches From the Heart, and then it will be available elsewhere at other shops.

I stitched on a Margaret Sherry cat from the 2004 Calendar from the UK CrossStitcher magazine.  I got it on eBay from the UK last year.  I got all the stitching done, but need to finish the backstitching.  This will be a Christmas ornament.

DH finished his workshop benchtop while I was gone.  I started brushing on coats of polyurethane on it yesterday.  The benchtop is of birch and the polyurethane brings out the woodgrain beautifully.  It's a pity it's a workshop benchtop instead of a piece of furniture!


Jun 23, 2010

Shop cabinet progress

DH continues to make progress on his shop cabinets.  He got the dividers and the face frames all finished.  Here are pictures of the cabinets with the dividers (and Emma) done and then the cabinets with the face frames completed:

Next, DH will install the bench top.  He waffled back and forth over using a pre-made kitchen countertop as a bench top or making his own bench top out of plywood.  Plywood won out.  After he gets the bench top installed, I will polyurethane it and will paint the face frames along with the one shop wall that still needs it.  Then the cabinets will "rest" for awhile before getting doors and drawers as DH will go back to working on the bathroom cabinet and doors.

I am counting the days/hours until I leave for a stitching retreat this weekend.  I am also battling with the BAP.  I am so sick of it that I may shove it back in a cabinet for a while and work on some fun stuff.  We'll see I how feel about it after the stitching retreat as I'm not taking it with me to the retreat; I'm planning to stitch on something totally non-BAPish.


Jun 20, 2010

How was your week and weekend?

I've been having problems with Blogger and my internet connection for the last couple of days and haven't been able to post.  But all is fine today!

I spent last week painting two walls in DH's shop.  I rolled on two coats of primer and the one coat of paint.  Actually, on Thursday, I was 2/3s through with the final coat of paint before I realized I was so brain-dead that I was still using primer.  So 2/3s of the shop has three coats of primer on it under the paint.  DOH!  I have one wall left to paint, but will have to wait on that until DH is able to move the stuff from in front of it and quits making clouds of sawdust.  

DH is taking a long weekend to once again work on his shop.  He is constructing the work bench with cabinets underneath that goes along one long wall (20 feet) of his shop.  Here he is building the base frame.

Here is Emma "helping."  She hates the pneumatic nail gun and nibbles at it and paws at it every time DH fires it off.  Then she nibbles DH's hand and growls at the nail gun in her squeaky little growl.

And here she is investigating the deer antlers that DH plans to mount over the door someday (the door of his shop, not our house).

 And here is the work bench with the floor of the cabinets attached.  Next, the cabinet dividers and face frames will be fabricated.  DH hopes to get that done this afternoon.

As I have downloaded several free and cheap ebooks this week, I've been reading like a fiend - no stitching at all.  I'm kind of weary of all the confetti stitches on the BAP anyway.


Jun 15, 2010

A long and septic weekend

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth.  These last few days have been "fascinating" to quote Mr. Spock.  

Last Tuesday, when I last posted, we were having torrential rain - four inches worth!  Our septic system was doing an admirable job in keeping up with all the water.  Due to the type of soil we have here, we have to use an aerobic septic system with pumps and an aerator that uses electricity and requires maintenance and TLC instead of the more "normal" anaerobic system which works by itself and rarely needs maintenance or tending.  Anyway, Tuesday evening, right before we started to go to bed, we noticed that the septic system wasn't working due to the fact that our only toilet wouldn't flush.  

We ended up spending the night in a motel (one that we will never recommend to anyone unless we really dislike them).  I spent most of Thursday waiting for the septic repairman to arrive.  He arrived late in the day and installed a temporary pump until he could get back to properly repair it on another day; evidently, the heavy rain had resulted in many emergency septic system failures.

Friday, DH took the day off to work on his shop.  He spent the weekend on it.  He finished all the electrical, insulating, and hanging of the plywood walls and began trying to clean and organize it.  We can actually see the floor now.  We haven't been able to see the floor since I painted it back in the summer of '08.  I will be painting the walls this week, and DH will be starting to build the main workbench that will go all along the southern 20' wall.  Here is the shop all messy but with finished walls (except for painting).
Thankfully, the septic repairman was out on Saturday to make a full repair.  There was a bad connection to the final pump that he repaired.  But Sunday evening, we noticed again that the septic system was not working, this time because the pump alarm was going off.  The system wasn't completely out, but it was close.  DH called the repairman and he promised to be out first thing Monday morning, which he was, and the system is fixed again.

Emma spent the weekend trying to stay cool, laying belly up where the AC could blow on her.  Ladylike, isn't she?

And in my spare time, I've been reading instead of stitching.


Jun 9, 2010

Rain! Bah!

Clouds.  Rain.  Yuck.  Bah!  Pretty much all week.  Makes for a grumpy blogger. 

Saturday last I went to Austin for the monthly I35 Stitchtogether.  We had a lot of fun.  We were missing a few folks, but summer does that to you.  I won the door prize again.  I think I've won it three times in the last six month.  What was really bad was that Mary wrote everyone's names down and mixed them up and had me draw a name; I drew my own!  My door prize bag contained a cool craft bag, some DMC Variations floss, some of those little finger stick-on thimbles (will come in real handy for pushing pins in when I frame!), scissors, a little frog kit, and a little frog figurine.  Of course, the frog kit immediately found a home with Jennifer, our frog fanatic, but the rest of the stuff went home with me.  The frog figurine is on my stitching table.

I left DH home working on his shop.  He is making progress on getting it all insulated, wired, and walled in, but it's going to take awhile.  In retrospect, I should have insisted he finish making the bathroom sink cabinet and doors before he started on this as now the bathroom finish is delayed AGAIN, but I understand how sometimes you just HAVE to get organized.  It was so hot and humid this weekend that DH went through about five gallons of Gatorade.  And Emma helped a little, too.

And I've been distracted this week by the Barnes & Noble "Nook" e-reader that we ended up buying.  They were having a special (they still are) where you get a $50.00 B&N Gift Card with the purchase of a Nook.  As the Nook is the same price as the Amazon Kindle, the free gift card appealed to my tightwad heart.  There are a lot of free or cheap e-books out there and I downloaded some and have been reading a lot.  DH and I were fighting over the Nook a bit as we were both reading different books on it.   I'm investigating and learning about the different e-book formats and where you can buy/borrow e-books.  I'll still probably buy real books, but for a series of books that I may read again but don't want cluttering up my already overcrowded and groaning bookshelves, e-books make sense.

I have been stitching a bit on the BAP, but not much as books have been calling me.  


Jun 3, 2010

Is it Friday yet?

Yesterday I spent the morning mowing with the push and riding mowers.  The push mower performed flawlessly.  The riding mower did fine for awhile.  I was nearly done and was mowing the last little patch when the belt popped off.  Yeah, that belt - the belt that drives the blades.  Mower demons - gah!  DH was going to fix it last night when it starting raining fit to flood so he had to abandon his repair attempt until drier weather is here.  

Today is rainy and cloudy.  Bah!  But it is supposed to clear off tomorrow and be sunny for many days.  It ain't summer unless the sun is shining.

I spent yesterday afternoon in town running errands.  I stopped off at Barnes & Noble to drool over books.  The only thing that seriously tests my tightwaddery is books.  I love books!  The store had a nice display for their new "Nook" e-reader; you could stand there and play with one as long as you wanted.  I think I now have a serious case of Nook "needing."  After I got home, I researched both the Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook on the internet; they are pretty comparable to each other.  I think if DH and I ever succumbed to the temptation, we'd have one of each to take advantage of free books offered and selection of books sold by each vendor.

I have a stitching retreat in New Braunfels coming up in three weeks.  I'm trying to decide whether to take the BAP and stitch on the never-ending border, or to take a biscornu pattern and stitch it.  I think the biscornu will win.  I've been wanting to stitch and assemble one of these little darlings for quite awhile now.  I found a blog - Basket of Biscornu- with links to a lot of free patterns and I found a few I liked and printed them out.  Then I found an online store - The Floss Box - that has a lot of cute biscornu patterns for sale for download and I bought a couple.  Now all I have to do is figure out which one I want to do and kit it up.

I'm stitching on the BAP still.  I wonder how many future blog posts will have those words?