Thursday, June 16, 2011

WOOTS! New Kitchen is Fab!

The kitchen makeover is done!

We have had approximately 5 weeks of dust and upheaval, but the kitchen makeover is done and we are VERY happy with it.  Thank you to Lisa (kitchen planner), Scott, Mike and Barry (construction crew).

Let me warn you, a kitchen makeover is not for the faint of heart.  Be prepared to:
  • Have dust on every little bit of space in your entire house, even with the doors closed.
  • Wash your dishes in a bathroom sink or tub when your sink goes away.
  • Get inventive with your cooking skills...owning a gas grill with a side burner made us feel very, very smart.  
  • Budget some take out meals.
  • Stock up on lots of paper products...and...plasticware...AND.. be sure you THROW the plasticware away because that is the POINT of plasticware.  (Insert eyeroll here.)
  • Roll out of bed EARLY to let the contractors in and be awake enough to know that they indeed are your contractors.  You all know I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.  This however, was good training to try to make me one.   I'm not there patient.  My vampire-like lifestyle has been with me a long time.  "I love the nightlife" is still my fav disco era song.
  • Hold your breath and count to 10 when something is accidentally damaged or broken, as there are always casualties when undergoing construction. I learned this about 4 construction jobs ago.  I am able to let it some therapy.
  • Designate some kind of old plastic container as your "catch all" for "do-dads" and give it to your contractor to use to avoid curtain rod pieces, nails and picture hooks and other do-dads that will be around on counters, stands, windowsills, etc.  I realized this from other construction jobs in the past so this worked really well for us.  When McStevie went to put the kitchen curtain back up he found all the curtain do-dads in said container....but one.  Lucky for him  me, he has a do-dad drawer at his workbench in the garage and lo and behold he found an exact copy of the missing do-dad.  I dunno, but he may have his baby teeth tucked away out there.  :)
  • Keep your sense of humor.  Some things can be very funny.  Scott and Mike (contractors) are much younger than me and are very attached to their radio station and tunes when they work.  I got a kick out of the times I heard them singing to the old Rolling Stones tunes that I grew up with....getting the words right was optional...LOL.
It is all worth it in the end, don't you agree?  (click on the pics to enlarge and to see the detail in the new kitchen....the new backsplash has some lovely glass tile accents)

(LUV LUV LUV the new island space)

Oh, and we received a surprise thank you gift box in the mail from the Cambria (quartz) countertop people; a cheese cutting board in our countertop pattern.   Really unexpected because when the contractors came with our countertops they left us an oval cutting board in a different material as a gift.  How awesome!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Where does the time go...the Making of a T-shirt Quilt

OMG…..where does the time go? It has been sew long since my last post. I have been busy with life… and….sewing custom orders…and…sewing gifts, and…oh yeah the kitchen makeover. Let's save the kitchen makeover for another post, shall we?

Where does the time go has a double meaning here. One of the projects that I worked on since my last post was a gift for our Godchild, Rachel. Our Godchild is getting married! Holy crap, when did she get old enough to get married? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were all in Vermont and she was being carried in a backpack? OMG…talk about time flying.

McStevie and I met Wayne and Carolyn when we moved into our first house - it was instant bonding. Carolyn was pregnant for her first child, Jordan and we enjoyed being rowdy next door neighbors for about 5 years. Then they moved…and we moved right behind them…only…in different directions. Rachel and her family live in Connecticut now…almost 7 hours away from us. Needless to say we don’t see that much of each other and there was a bit of a gap for several years. No drama, no big fights, just life taking its course in both families. Funny how life is like that, you kinda lose track without wanting or meaning to…it’s just one of those things that happens to many of us at one time or another with friendships.

We got reconnected in 2003 when Rachel and her Mom came to visit us in the summer a few years ago and we did some touristy things like visiting nearby Bolt Castle on the St. Lawrence River. (sidenote: The creation of Bolt Castle is an interesting but tragic love story, you can read about it here.) It was a fun weekend.
Rachel, Carolyn, daughter Mandy and Me "stormin" the castle!
Fast forward a few years and McStevie and I are visiting Rachel and family in Connecticut in July 2009 to celebrate the birthdays of Rachel’s Mom, Carolyn and her brother, Jordan.  Very convenient that their birthdays are only one day apart…and yes he’s the one that was in the oven at the beginning of this story…and yes...that makes me feel old…pffft. Oh, and, BONUS, we get to meet Ed, Rachel’s fiancĂ©, a sweetie, good going Rachel!  During this visit Rachel tells me she has always wanted a T-shirt quilt and has been saving her t-shirts.  She would pay me to make her one. No rush…no pressure. We sort out all the t-shirts and I bring them home in a huge bag and look in the sewing cave for storage for them…until it’s time..say a couple a months from now. Right. From then on at least every other time I entered my sewing “woman cave” I would have the following thoughts:

~No rush, no rush, no pressure.

~You really need to pull out those t-shirts and have a look. Not now…you crazy woman…you are making (insert any pregnant woman’s name here) baby quilt. I believe I made   6-8 baby quilts in that span of time.
~No rush, no rush, no pressure.

~I’m gonna see how many t-shirts I have and get a plan together. No you are not…you ARE gonna get that custom order out for (insert any name here) because you need the money for (insert any fun fabric or quilt tool here).

And so it goes, the guilt mounting with every month that went by.

Several months ago an announcement arrives for Rachel’s bridal shower. I sheepishly walk over to the huge storage container of t-shirts and take off the top, and promptly put it back on again. Yeah, this is a bad idea…for right now. A month passes. I’m in the middle of 5 things and I go to the container and begin to separate the t-shirts and I start to get a plan…a vision. Do I have enough time now? My guilt instincts kick in and I’m off to the races. Cutting and planning, happily seeing an end to a means.

And then it happens.

Somewhere between writhing from the pain of cutting into Rachel’s brownie uniform to searching for her name on her high school senior t-shirt….it hits me.  It's like I am “with her” as she is in grade school, high school and college thru these t-shirts. I get a sense of nostalgia mixed with a big heap of love, that somehow I WAS there…sort of…indirectly….call it KARMA or whatever you want…but it sure felt right…and the timing was right…and it all just fell together…just right.  I was all warm and squishy.

Then…it became a race to try to get it finished so I could send it as her shower gift….a gift from Aunt Cindy to my little...getting married now...Godchild...Rachel. And…I…almost…made it. So close. One day late…or was it two? No matter…she was HAPPY to get it  and told me she was curling up in it when we spoke. (I heart texting and facebook.) Mission accomplished…and again...warm and squishy.
So, in a month she will be a Mrs. and I am very proud of the wonderful woman she has become.  I love you Rachel and I am honored to be your Godmother. We wish you all the happiness in the world.    Can't wait to party!  Smooches.

Click on the pics for a close-up.

T-shirt cuttings
Quilt Front
Quilt Back w/more T-shirts