Jun 28, 2012

What do you like?

Some days when I have a bit of extra time, I like to go blog hopping.  I'll read a favorite blog and then check out blogs they may have linked to.  When I first started reading blogs, this was the way I found most of my favorites. 

What do you like in a blog post?  I know what I like and most of my "likes" have to do with formatting.  

For me, the font must be readable.  There's a reason most blog templates use old standbys like Arial, Courier, Georgia, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, or Verdana.  These are all very readable fonts that are easy on the eyes.  Some of the fancier blog templates use fancy fonts - you know, the ones that look like calligraphy or a kid's writing.  These are very hard to read in paragraph form.  If a blog has a hard-to-read fancy font, it won't make my blog list no matter how interesting it is.

Another thing I look for is justification.  Is the blog text aligned to the left (which is normal)?  If the blog writer centers his/her text, it makes it very hard to read as the eye has to find the beginning of each line.  It also takes more time to read.  So if the blog's text is centered, that blog won't make my blog reading list either.
Then there's the color of the blog.  Recently, I came across a blog whose primary  background color was black with a bright purple colored fancy font.  ACK!  I couldn't find the back button fast enough!  Reading white on black is hard on the eyes. 
And last, but not least, is music.  Just because you like to listen to Metallica doesn't mean that I like it.  As my internet connection is slower, sometimes the music doesn't start until I'm halfway down the blog post and it startles me.  Being startled does not endear the blog writer to me so the blog won't make my blog list.

Jun 25, 2012

It's bigger now

DH got installed the new window in our utility room this weekend.  The room had only one window in one wall, so we added another on another wall to give the room a lot of natural light.  And boy! I can't believe how much bigger the room looks now!  It's amazing what a little light will do!  The window is on the wall beside my stacked-for-now washer and dryer.  Now I don't have to turn on the overhead light to see to load the laundry soap dispenser.  (That little "window" by the floor is actually Emma's dog door.)

Getting ready to frame in.
Framed, ready to cut the hole.
Hole cut!

Finished, ready for trim molding.
We had our first triple-digit heat days this weekend.  Summer is here for sure.

On the stitching front, I seem to be making poor choices.  I started stitching a JBW design on some raw linen stitchband with DMC Variations floss.  The floss faded into the linen; the colors weren't popping off the fabric.  Exasperated, I frogged it all and went in search of another color of stitchband in my stash.  Alas! I don't have anything wide enough.  So I rummaged around in my stash and came up with "Summer" by Redbird Designs which I'll stitch on light blue Jubilee.  

Emma spent the morning barking at deer around our house.  Some of them will wander right up to our fenced-in yard and simply stand there watching her bark her head off.  Silly dog.


Jun 24, 2012

Possessed mower

DH had to mow this weekend.  As usual, the riding mower needed maintenance.  When we bought this durn mower it was on the advice of several friends who had a Cub Cadet mower and loved it.  Consumer ratings were high on it.  Apparently, we have a lemon.

This mower has been a pain since we bought it.  Constantly deflating tires, the belt slips off, battery always dying - it's not reliable.  At any rate, DH had to work on it and Emma helped.


Jun 18, 2012

Windows and poison ivy

This past week, DH took Monday and Tuesday off.  He was planning to work more on the utility room, but instead had a much-needed mowing frenzy with the tractor.  He also cleared out some brushy areas with the chainsaw.  And got into poison ivy.

So he had to go to the doctor and was given cortisone to take for six days.  Cortisone keeps DH awake at night and makes him feel antsy.  He doesn't like taking it but likes itching madly even less.  Me?  I'd just take care to stay out of poison ivy.   ;-)

So on Saturday, DH replaced the old window in the utility room with a new one.  We moved it over six inches, so he had to do a bit of patching.  On Sunday afternoon, he was going to install another new one in another wall (so we'll have two windows in the utility room for some great natural light!), but the lack of sleep from the cortisone finally had him napping the afternoon away.  This suited Emma just fine; she likes to nap with or on her humans.

Removing the old window: Emma supervises.
Old window removed with patching finished.
New window installed with new framing.   
Sealing the new window with barrier tape.
Finished but needing trim boards.

I've been in a bit of a stitching slump.  I've totally lost interest in finishing the birdies.  This happens to me on occasion.  Not often, thankfully.  I've learned to just go with it.  So for now, "Birds of a Feather" is a UFO, tucked away in a deep drawer.  

I picked up a piece I've wanted to stitch as a bell pull for the kitchen for some time now.  On natural linen banding I'm stitching "Pear" by JBW Designs.  I'll add "Apple" and "Pumpkin" to the banding and each will be stitched with one of the DMC Variations floss in the appropriate fruit color. 

The weather here in my part of Texas is summery.  It gets up to the mid to low 90s during the day, and stays in the low 70s at night.  This means we can sleep without running the air conditioner at night, the doors/windows can be open during the morning, and the AC only runs part of the day.  Great weather!  I love it!



Jun 11, 2012

Finally floored

DH was busy this weekend tearing up the old (what was left of it) flooring in the utility room all the way down to the piers and beams and replacing it.

First he moved everything out of there including my washer and dryer.  He dragged them into the den.  Notice the freezer in the corner.  Yeah, it's been there awhile.  What - you don't have a freezer in your den?  I'll be so glad to get it back in the utility room where it belongs when everything's all finished.

Then he tore up the rest of the old floor.

Then he replaced the primary sub floor with 2" x 10" planks.

Then he rolled out tar paper over the planks and then laid the secondary sub floor.  Once we get the walls finished, we'll put down either vinyl tiles or vinyl sheet flooring.

Emma inspected all the resulting holes and supervised.


I've finished my birdies except for the backstitching.  As the backstitching is "UK" style, I get cross-eyed after a while and have to stop.  I hope to get it finished within the next couple of days.


Jun 6, 2012

Crabby June

Here is the finished June square from "Crabby All Year."  I stitched a few things different than the pattern and stitched the spider instead of using a button.  It made it less scary to do it that way.  (Spiders - *shudder*)  The ladybug and worm buttons are just sitting on the fabric; I'll stitch them on after the whole thing is finished.

Here is the entire piece up to this point.  I'm half-way done!


Jun 5, 2012

Dirt works

When DH started working on the plumbing in the utility room, one of the things he had to do was unearth the pipes in the ground under the floor.  (Digging with a shovel, his "favorite" thing to do!)  Not wanting to toss the dirt in the corner on the floor in the utility room - he thought I might object to this - he stored it in a couple of empty trash cans in the corner of the utility room.

As he is finished with the under-floor plumbing, it was time to rebury the pipes.  So he tackled that one afternoon this weekend with Emma's supervision.


I started the June square of "Crabby All Year" this weekend and am nearly finished with it.  I just have a spider (full body shudder!) and a bunch of orphan stitches that are supposed to represent gnats or no-see-ums left to stitch.  I'll post a picture soon.