Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thrifty Doings in the Hill Country!

We were in the Hill Country last weekend and I made my usual stop by the thrift shops! I found this fairly large (about 18" x 22") framed needlepoint. I am thinking I will remove the piece from the frame and make a throw pillow from it. Someone put a LOT of work into this!
We also started moving cabinets into the pantry. It will be a "prep kitchen", "dirty kitchen", "butler's kitchen", "working kitchen". We've heard it called so many things! We are going to call it a prep kitchen. It will have a sink and dishwasher, the coffee pot, crock pot, mixer, etc. This is where the dirty work will happen and the "mess" can be hidden during parties. Our kitchen/living room/dining room is so open, we decided this was a good idea.
I also worked on my glass cabinet doors. The glass in the cabinets can not be easily changed. The trim that has to be removed to get to it is on the front and the top is curved! I wanted to put antique glass in the fronts, but decided that was too complicated for me. Instead, I used Gallery Glass and "textured" the inside of the glass. If I ever decide to change it, I can peel it off. 
First, I bought Crystal Clear Gallery Glass. I bought 6 small jars, but only used 2! I spent about $5 and less than an hour to do all my cabinet glass (6 panels)!
I left the cabinet doors in place and cleaned them really well with Windex! Then I squirted the medium onto the glass, working just half the glass at a time to keep it from drying before I could finish.
I chose to smear it to cover the area I was working, then pat it out with my fingertip. You could try other ways to texture it.
Here you see it drying. Only one glass has been done. It was fully dry within the hour, but that would depend on the temperature and air circulation.
Here I have shot the picture through the door toward the kitchen window so you can see the texture. I am really pleased with how it turned out!
I did not put it on the outside of the glass because I wasn't sure how it would hold up to regular, grease splatters, dust, etc. It might have been fine, but the inside of the door is more protected.
Be sure to join us for the We Support You blog hop, starting on Thursday! I will post on the 11th! In the meantime, I'm working on my project for that!
See you then!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tammy 4 All Seasons - My Day!

By now you've seen so many pretty Tammy bags adorned with the wonderful cross stitch patterns from Brooke Nolan! The idea was to go VINTAGE! So I thought of long ago days spent at my family's lake house, getting sunburns and hoping our swim caps didn't leak. (We hated sitting under that old bonnet hair dryer, hooked up to a cap and hose!) So...I chose Summer!

I did my cross stitch twice, the first time I had to relearn everything I barely knew 34 years ago! I made quite a few mistakes and ended up with my purse panel not quite exactly right. I think it looks pretty regardless! I tried it again on larger Aida cloth just to be sure I could do it. I purchased a Q-Snap frame this time. It was much easier the second time! I made a large pin cushion from that. I also found that good readers and a good light made all the difference! My readers are from and I chose the Clover in orange! Great choices for great glasses! Give them a try!   
And, although I don't have one, a Beam N Read light would have helped immensely!!! I need to get one soon!
My "pinny" (I wasn't familiar with that term. It's like a needle case that holds thread, needles, and can even hold small scissors.) was designed by Cori Blunt and is also the Summer design. It was designed to be made in applique, but I wanted it to match my cross stitch, so I traced it off on the canvas and just cross stitched it. (Remember, I had done TWO already, so I was a master at it now! - I wish!) Anyway, my little pinny has a magnet so it snaps on the back of the little bag.

On the back of the pinny is my little pocket and needle holder.

My "Stick With Me" magnet held my pattern in place so I could more easily follow along! You can find them here! Believe me, this is a STRONG magnet! The back actually jumped out of one hand into the other (where the other side was held). It will hold your pattern pages securely!

When I think "vintage" I get all nostalgic! The pictures above are some of the only ones we have now of my husband's family. The little boy is him! He's still cute, I think! 
So are you ready to add cross stitch to your skill set? Or how about a cute little pinny to give as a Valentine gift? You can purchase these patterns too! 

My thanks to Mdm. Samm and Mary Winegar  for all their hard work on this hop!

Don't stop here though! Check out the other blogs posting today, the last day of the hop! You won't be disappointed!
January 20, 2015

Buzzing and Bumbling - You are here!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Update on the Hill Country House - Appliances in!

My appliances are in!!! I really almost hate showing my kitchen still unfinished, but this is it so far. My cabinets still need crown molding. The island countertop (the red cedar one) is not installed yet either. The wood supports you see poking out will be cut back and hidden by a "skirt" when finished. 
The pot filler above the range is not installed and the vent surround still needs primer and plastering.
For some reason, the plumber didn't hook up the water to this faucet and to the dishwasher line, so although the dishwasher is installed, it isn't functioning yet. These are actually dishwasher drawers. They came free if you bought a range and refrigerator. 
The refrigerator still needs door panels to match the cabinets. It is a 48" refrigerator built in to the wall. Those blue things taped to the front are trim pieces for the sides.
Here is a view from the other side. You can see that we had to remove the wall board from the inside of the wall. It turned out that the space was about 1/2" too narrow! (We paid to have the wall built to the refrigerator specs and we paid to have it dry walled and plastered! It hurt to have to tear some of it down!)
My dual fuel range is in! (We still need to plaster the vent surround and the pot filler has not been installed yet.) It is a 48" DCS (made by Fisher-Paykel). The ovens are electric but the burners are gas.
We haven't even started on the pantry, so that is still looming ahead. We have the cabinets for it sitting by just waiting!
We went "high end" for re-sale value. We are following the realtor's advice on that for homes in this area. 
I can't believe I'm going to have these great appliances! I can't wait to bake bread again!
Mountain Cedar (actually a type of juniper) has started speading it's pollen all over the hill country. I am miserable with sneezing and itching eyes if I go outside even long enough to get in the car. (Despite Nasocort and Zyrtec!) I am trying the old German settler's folk remedy of swallowing juniper berries for two weeks, starting with one the first day, two the next.....up to seven, and then counting down. I probably started too late in the season.)
Sew we quilt
Be sure to join me on January 20th when I show my Tammy 4 All Seasons as part of a blog hop by that name. I have managed to get a little stitching done between trips to the hill country!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Little More Progress on the Hill Country House! (and Watch for another blog hop!)

We chose a light to hang over our island. You will notice the Texas stars! (How perfect for a Texas Hill Country house!) 
We also found a bathroom vanity light that has been discontinued. (That means we got it for $20! instead of $90!)
One light shade doesn't match, so we will be replacing either that one or all three, depending on what we find. There is a star in the center of the bar above the lights. Do you see it?
I'm anxious to post pictures of my appliances installed, but we're waiting on the installer to do that! Waiting seems to be a recurring theme!
In the meantime, I have been stitching up a storm for the Tammy 4 All Seasons blog hop, which starts January 9th. You can find details here!  will post on the 20th.  Be sure you join us for the "party"! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Something Old, Something New for the New Year! Hill Country House Update for December!

Something new:
We have a floor! I love it! It is a "distressed" wood that will work really well with the "hill country" style.

The kitchen island is not finished but the appliances are in the garage waiting for installation and the gas line and water lines have been run as of Tuesday. The cedar island countertop is just sitting there and the baseboards are not installed, as you can see, but we are getting close enough that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Speaking of baseboards, I spent some time caulking and painting baseboards after the floor was installed. 
I'm pretty handy with most tools, but I found that I was extremely clumsy with the caulk gun! I had an entire main floor to caulk, so I knew I had to come up with a solution! I just couldn't imagine trying to run a fine line of caulk around the shoe molding (or is it toe molding? I know it has something to do with a foot!) when I was ending up with more on my hands than in the cracks!
I decided to draw on previous experience that gave me much more control!
I used the caulk gun to squirt all of the caulk into a quart sized Zip Loc freezer bag. Then I snipped off a tiny bit of one corner.

 (I have used this method to decorate cakes. I knew I could make it work although my sweet husband was pretty skeptical!) 

I was able to control the fine line of caulk easily! I also filled in nail holes and then smoothed the line out with a soft rag. (Sometimes I used my fingers, I must admit!)
All finished! (This is the same area in the photos above.) I know that those of you who are professionals at caulking are shaking your heads, but it worked and looks pretty good!

Now for something old:
My sons gave Doug these two stretched canvases for Father's Day. They will be hung in the entryway. The one on the right is a photo of his great grandaddy, known as Little Buckshot. The one on the left was his sidekick. Little Buckshot, Conrad Wentworth, was a colorful figure who scouted for wagon trains and actually taught Buffalo Bill how to shoot! (They were in the Pony Express together. Buffalo Bill was a young teenager.) Do you see the buckskin jacket he is wearing? He loaned it to B. Bill to use in his sideshow and it is now in the Cody Museum. The Cody family gave it back after Buffalo Bill's death and I have actually seen it in person before Doug's family donated it to the museum. It is much more colorful in person than it looks in the picture. There is a pass in Montana named after Little Buckshot. It is so much fun to have the photo. There is quite a bit of family resemblence to my husband and sons!   His daughter Harriet, known as Hallie, was my husband's grandmother. 

Another old item:
I have removed the slate centers from the old Craigslist coffee table and side table. I plan on making a shallow shadow box center where interesting photos and mementoes can be displayed.
Hopefully soon, I can show you a finished kitchen! Things are looking better now!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Hill Country House Update - Kitchen

The kitchen is coming along! The stone has been installed and we are waiting on the flooring to go in. We still have crown molding to put on the cabinets and top of the vent surround. Some cabinets need paint and the vent surround needs plastering. After this photo was taken, the electrical outlets were finished and those blue boxes you see on the penninsula are now nice ivory covers.

Here is a photo from the other side of the columns. The red cedar island top you see is not installed yet and is only set down there to see how it will look. There is still a plastic cover on the countertops. The stone masons actually left it in place and it is mortared in where the stone comes down to the countertops! We will have to figure out a way to remove it without scratching our counters! The cabinet to the right of the vent does not have it's shelves and door yet and the cabinets connected to it has not been painted. We still have a lot to do, but now I can see my vision coming to life! 

This is panning to the left of the island. You can see the cabinets still need crown molding. (There is some old molding still attached to some of them.) I will also have to choose lights for over the island and the window sink.
The pot filler is due to be delivered today!

My kids were all here for Thanksgiving and we went up to the hill country house for a day. My grandson doesn't have many chances to climb trees and that was very much on his "want list"! He went from tree to tree having a great time! 

I hope you have the chance to do something you love today!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hill Country House Update and a Babysitting Adventure!

Things are moving SLOWLY in the hill country! We did finally get the countertops installed after 9 weeks of problems that delayed everything else! Once they were in, the Vent-a-Hood was installed and then the vent surround went up. We had a local craftsman make the surround. We will be plastering the top, curved part of it.

The walls with no dry wall will have limestone rock installed.
It was supposed to go up a week ago, but surprise, surprise - all they have done is chip a few rocks for the column three days after they were scheduled to start and we haven't seen them since! 
The floor was supposed to be started this week, but they are waiting on the stone to go up. We have also had to postpone delivery of the appliances because the floor needs to be down first.
We did get the cabinet installed for the back entrance.

I also got all the painting done and "spruced up" the bedroom a little before my kids see it. (I will decide later how to decorate it, but it looks clean and neat for now.)

(See the little wicker chair to the right of the bed? I found it a few weeks ago at a thrift shop - $13!)
While all the work at the hill country house WAS NOT getting done, I was a thousand miles away with my grandkids. I asked the youngest what he wanted to do while I was there. He said, BAKE!
I gave him a Christmas cookie magazine that I had picked up in the airport and had him mark every recipe he wanted to make. Then we spent two days that weekend baking. 

We started with hand washing! (Do you see the little mosaic trivet in the picture? His daddy made that when he was 9 years old!)

He was very proud of what he accomplished!

He made 6 batches (all different recipes) of cookies (all safely stored away in the freezer for the holidays). He even woke me up at 6:00 in the morning on a Saturday because we had dough chilling overnight and he was ready to bake!

I also taught him how to make chicken tamales. He did everything himself during all the baking and cooking!

There are now 4 dozen tamales in the freezer.
Although I didn't get a good picture of it, my granddaughter wanted to learn to make fudge. She made two batches - one chocolate and one Dreamsicle (creamy orange like the ice cream bars we used to get as kids!). She is already an accomplished cook. Her time these last few weeks have been taken up by soccer and softball.

I bought a few dollar store village pieces and let her paint them each with glossy white paint. Her brother helped her glitter each roof and tree with sparkly snow. This is only a temperary set up for a picture. They will arrange them nicely closer to Christmas.

After all the fun with grandkids, I came home this past weekend to find that it is fall in the hill country!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week (if you're in the states!). If not, just have a wonderful week!
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