Thursday, June 30, 2011

maybe it's finally time to replace the carpeting...

When we originally picked out the flooring for the house, we decided on the "standard choice" for the family room -- basic carpeting.  We have whittled this down...replacing part of it so that the high traffic area(s) function better.  Now, after 4 years, 2 kids, and 2 dogs -- I think it is time for the remainder of the "standard choice" of carpeting to go bye bye...

What do you think?



and, more importantly...


What does he think?  :-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

weekend project...

Here is the last of my day lily plants.  This one is called "little business".  We planted this about this time last year and it was not a repeat bloomer at that time.  It's lovely just the same and adds a bit of color to the pool area.  


Oh, the weekend project is shown towards the back of the photo.  It is the mulch and rock area where Ozzy does his "little business".  Rick has been working on this, because during a heavy rain storm, the water from our neighbor's gutters washes into the area and all the mulch is pushed down onto the patio area.  It looks so nice and neat right now -- hope it works!

Friday, June 24, 2011

some summer crafting...

This week, Miss Sofia is keeping herself extremely busy with her crafts.  While she is making her crafts she is so quiet that you could hear a pin drop...  This is the ONLY time she is quiet.  All of her energy goes into making the craft item as quickly and expertly as possible.  Here she is to explain the details of the woman's wallet that she made from plain old silver/gray duct tape.  In person, it is sleek, modern, functional, and, totally usable.   
video

outside


inside

As we were doing the video and taking the still photos, she commented on the "improvements" that she would be making.  She "apologized" for the "flaws" that she was pointing out -- and reminded me that this is the first time she had made the woman's wallet.  She has been working on the men's billfold style wallet and other assorted items -- continually improving those as she goes along.  She ran out of her colorful "designer" duct tape -- but she wanted to work on this wallet.  She found this roll of "Daddy's duct tape" in the basement and asked me if she could use have it.  In the absence of color and pattern of her chosen medium, I believe she excelled in the functional aspect of the item.  I am impressed by her dedication to her crafting technique.  Good job, Sofia!  :-) 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I made it through cutting the blocks for the first row!  Hooray!  One of the blocks in the #2 pile has a flaw -- I cut one of the blocks short -- so I had to piece it.  I don't think anyone will notice after the quilting is done.  While I was taking the photo, I noticed that two of the blocks in the #6 pile are too wide.  Other than that, I'm ready to sew the first row.  I plan on doing this before cutting the blocks for the second row -- just so I won't start feeling overwhelmed by piles of blocks all over the place.


I'm off to Thursday!  :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

never assume...

Fat quarter = 18"L x 22"W piece of fabric
Charm square = 5" x 5" piece of fabric

Sofia wanted to begin cutting the fabric for our quilt, but she did not want to "cut down" the fat quarters to make it easier to cut the 6.5" x 9.5" rectangle pieces.  I assumed that the fat quarters were blocked properly (since the charm squares that I have used are blocked properly).  I figured out that if I cut 3" off of the width, and, 5" off of the length, I could give Sofia a 13"L x 19"W piece of fabric and then she could cut that into four equal rectangles.  I cut the first piece and gave it to Sofia.  I told her to fold the piece in half and crease it, and then use the crease as a guide for the cutting line.  She followed my instructions exactly and cut the rectangles.  Then she measured them (because she is a perfectionist) and they were oddly sized.  She was very disappointed.  I measured them also and couldn't understand how she could have cut one piece at 6.5" inches and the companion piece measured 6.25".  That equals 12.75" in width.  What happened to the other .25"?  I just shook my head and told her to put the oddly sized block aside and we would cut another.  I continued "cutting down" the fat quarters until the light bulb in my head went on and I realized it wasn't Sofia's "fault" for cutting improperly -- it was my fault for assuming the fat quarters were blocked properly!  Long sigh...  At least it was only four fat quarters from my "precious" first fat quarter bundle.  But how could I salvage this fabric?  Time to put down the rotary cutter and go upstairs and measure the size of the current comforter on my bed.  The finished size is 82"L x 85"W.  Soooo...if I cut the rectangles 6"L x 9"W then the finished size would be 5.5"L x 8.5"W.  These measurements actually work better for the quilt I am making!  Hooray!


And yes, I will be cutting down those other fat quarters a bit differently! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

this way...


Sofia's layout of fabric prints


this way...

my layout


or, this way... :-)

Milton (the cat) layout

We are doing a simple brick pattern for the quilt top.  Sofia was very quick with her fabric layout.  She also numbered the fabrics.  I needed to play a bit more -- and Sofia told me that I am "overthinking" it.  I thought it best to leave it to rest overnight and then look at it again in the morning.  Apparently, Milton has his own idea -- since he pretty much sleeps on a corner of my bed all day -- except -- whenever -- I am laying fabric on the floor to cut it, take a photo, iron it...  It never fails, and, it amazes me.  Do you think I send out a vibe when I am doing this?  :-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

summer vacation begins...

...and our first project is...




...a quilt made with the fabric that I won from Fat Quarter Shop...  We are using a super easy pattern, so hopefully it will go quickly and we won't lose interest before it's done!

Happy Monday!  :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy father's day...

...to my "cool" dad!


And, to all the other "cool" dad's too!  :-)  Have a great day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

more random...


Now, how come I don't remember planting this day lily?  Is it possible they change after blooming the first year?  I am not an expert (yet), so come back and ask me that question in a couple of years...


Today is Sofia's first day of summer vacation.  She had a pizza party yesterday to end the school year.  Today  is Nicholas' last day of school.  He is having three tests to end the school year.  That's no fun!  I'm sure he'll be over it by the time he walks in the door, but, he has to go back next week to take three more tests.  Why?  He missed school yesterday because of a miserable sore throat.  We went to the doctor.  He "prescribed" Chloraseptic throat spray.  Anyone ever use this stuff?   I know someone who did -- way back when...  I bought the "cherry" flavor.  What's up with that?  It is red and smells/tastes the same as the original -- like fluid you would put in your car engine  -- ICK!  Nicholas --aka Mr. Gag Reflex -- says he can't taste it -- so he is using it -- and feeling better.

Summer vacation -- I am sooo ready for you!  :-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

random...

Here are a few photos of more lilies in my garden.  I love the white lilies -- they are the kind that only bloom once.


I also have the yellow variegated -- these are also the single bloomers.




And, I found a pinkish/peach day lily.  I LOVE these.  The petals have a "fuzzy" feel.


Wow, I cannot believe how gorgeous the weather has been -- both yesterday and this morning.  I mentioned to Sofia that this must be the weather that the angels have in heaven.  :-)

Hope you have a beautiful day...

Monday, June 13, 2011

happy monday...

Look what the UPS man brought on Friday afternoon!  :-)  This is the fabric that I won -- way back when...


I started out on Friday not feeling too great -- but the weather cleared up and so did my cloudy head.  By the time the kids got home from school I felt better -- and then this little package arrived and made my day!  Thanks again to Kimberly Walus -- go check out her blog for some fun patterns and great inspiration!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

happy saturday...

There are a few things that I could post today.  I "spun the wheel" and this is where it stopped.  Enjoy!

video

Today was viewing day at gymnastics.  Sofia attends a Saturday morning class -- so Rick takes her and then runs his errands.  I have not been there for quite some time -- but, if you have been following my blog you can see that Sofia practices at home -- alot!  Even though I have seen her do this routine at home, somehow, there's nothing like "the sound of  feet hitting the wood balance beam and sticking the landing".

video

She has a bit of work to do on her uneven bars -- but I think the slow progress here is due to the fact that we don't have this apparatus for her to practice on at home.

video

This is the flip that she will eventually do on the uneven bars.  For now, she is safer doing this over the pit of styrofoam blocks.


video


And, of course, what good would gymnastics be if you could not jump as high as possible!


Good job, Sofia! :-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

ready for battle...

 

I think my brain is melted from all the heat -- everytime I see a weed now, I'm sure it is poison ivy.  Good thing I have this little guy to help me out! :-)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

bake at...

not ready yet...
6:00 p.m.
 ~*~
 not ready yet...
6:02 p.m.
~*~

110 degrees Farenheit -- until done...

6:16 p.m.
~*~

Yes, that is the temperature (in the sun) at 6:16 p.m. yesterday.  No, my little actress is not suffering from heat exhaustion -- she had just finished swimming in the pool!  And, the pool is totally in the shade at this time of the day.  I think she should win an award...


meet phil and fern...

...little phil, little fern...

April 2008

...Big phil, Big fern...

June 2011

These are the plants that reside in my sewing room from October until April each year.  For the other months, they sit happily on the front porch and watch the world go by...  "Phil" is now too big to sit in that corner --  his original location.  I just put him there for the June photo...  I purchased him at my local ShopRite -- and the 2008 photo shows him after I repotted him for the first time so he had grown a bit before I took that photo.  The pot that he lives in now is the third time I have repotted him.  The roots are growing up and out of this pot -- so if I repotted him again, he would probably get so big that I wouldn't be able to move him.  Does anyone out there have experience with philodendron?  I was thinking about dividing him, but then I would have a monster size Phil 1 and Phil 2 , plus, an extra large Fern to fight with in my sewing room during the winter months.  Oh, why do I put them in my sewing room?  Because, I can keep the door to that room closed so the kitties don't munch on them!

Any suggestions or comments about the care of Phil?  I just want to make sure I am taking proper care of him....    

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

start with a plan...

 This is the landscaping we started with in April 2007...


This is what I thought our landscaping should be (photo taken in 2007 of a house I admired in Long Island, NY)...


This is the photo in my June 2011 background.  It's only been 4 years. 


Good things take time... :-)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

leaves of three...

...let it be!


Yikes!  I found this in my flower bed yesterday afternoon.  You can't see in the photo -- but it is a viney type plant and there are two more of the 3 leaf stems.  I was keeping my eyes open because my next door neighbor had a nasty run in with poison ivy in his own yard.  I kept asking Rick what it looked like and he really wasn't sure -- just that it has 3 leaves.

When I saw it, I stopped my weeding and ran into the house to get a tissue and a plastic bag.  I already had gloves on, so I took the tissue and pulled out the entire small plant -- root and all.  Then I dropped it on the ground so I could open the plastic bag as wide as possible.  I then took my snipping shears and gently picked up the plant at the area surrounded by the tissue -- put it in the bag -- and zip locked it shut.  So that is what you are seeing in the photo.

Rick is going to find some spray -- I read that Roundup works -- so I can defend myself next time this monster pops up unexpectedly in my garden.

Here is a good website with information on poison ivy:  Poison Ivy Tutorial  and Poison Ivy Identification

According to both of these sites, the best way to prevent a poison ivy rash is to be aware of what the poison ivy plant looks like.  Reading the information at these sites is well worth the time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

happy monday...

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend!  We spent ours running back and forth to the garden center -- this is the result of poor planning and a new area in the garden that I don't have firmly "planted" in my head yet!  Anyhoo... we finally added the rock to this area (see photo), so it is complete (for now).  The daylilies are blooming -- not just here -- we've seen the plain yellow ones in abundance everywhere.  I love that plant -- it is so low maintenance and reblooms all summer long...  I have some other different varieties (because when I find a plant I love I get a little greedy with it :-)  -- this one in the photo is a black eye stella with long flower stems.  It is touching the branches of the weeping cherry and is about 2 1/2 feet in height.


If you look at my background photo you will see another variety.  It is a plum color with larger flowers.  Right now it does not have any open blooms -- it takes its time -- and in past years has only bloomed for me until the end of June.  The first year I didn't even get a bloom, and now the plant is huge.

This is a new variety that we just picked up this weekend.  Rick picked it out -- it adds a pop of color to the area with the rose bush (planted last year) while it is regrouping to rebloom...


And I almost forgot about this variety -- it has lovely ruffled petals and is a lemony color...


And, of course, lots of these...!


I have at least 3 more varieties -- but they are not blooming yet -- and I'm not sure if they are rebloomers.  I post some photos of them when they unveil themselves... 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

patience, ma...


Well, Miss Sofia was so thrilled with the outcome of her little project, and she has been asking me to buy more juice pouches so that she can make another one.  I am fine with that.  She also asked me if she could put out a bin in school so that she can collect the used juice pouches from her classmates.  I am not fine with that.

Even so, this is what she brought home yesterday -- her class had a party and she grabbed all the empty juice pouches.  She was so giddy and her eyes were twinkling when she showed them to me -- so how could I not let her have them.  And, you want to hear the best part?  They are drying so neatly -- on the floor in the hallway leading to my bedroom.  What a treat! (not...)

Friday, June 3, 2011

field trip...

On Wednesday, Sofia's class travelled to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City -- and she took Rick along with her as a class chaperone.  Here is my little daredevil walking a skyscraper -- I know somebody out there who could totally appreciate this!  :-)   The beams that she is walking on are 15 feet in the air.  Pretty confident little girl!

video

Here are a few other photos that Sofia took using the camera on Daddy's phone...




I think I see some budding photography skills too!