Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Themed Before and After

We got some of our re-upholstery back this week. I was very glad to get at least the cushions and ottoman for my chair so I could have it for the weekend! Monday they will be picking up the chair and sofa to do the upholstery on the underside, but I'll have something to sit in this weekend - thank goodness!

I promised you I would show a before and after. I made this fun collage using Picnik - my favorite photo enhancing program! I've mentioned this program before - and each time I use it I find they've added fun new features! So the chair before was a great, colorful fabric, but it had faded considerably over the years from the sun. I thought about going with another colorful fabric, but decided to do something neutral so I can have more decorating options for the rest of the room. I especially want to be able to display quilts for different seasons, and I didn't want the upholstery to compete with the quilts!

Below is a close-up of the ottoman which gives you a little better idea of the delicate pattern in the fabric.
Work last week was very interesting. In addition to being busier than I could ever imagine, I was in charge of taking in all the applications to replace me! We only advertised for less than a week because of the timeline for getting someone hired. Nevertheless, we took in 81 applications which were weeded down to 12 for final interviews next Wednesday. Personally, I hope one of the three within our organization who applied get hired, but there are a lot of good candidates. So many that applied we jobless because of the economy and from what I heard the past couple of days from those that were calling references, not enough good things could be said about all of them! It will be a tough decision for the interview committee, of which I am not a part (and glad of it).

There will be some more packing this weekend, but as yet we have not had the assessment, so we have to be careful what we pack and where we put it! Of course we'll be delighted to see the trick or treaters this evening! I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Festival of Fall

This weekend Mr. Squash and I were out and about. We didn't work too hard packing - the appraisal hasn't happened yet, so we've done what we can until that is over. Sunday we decided to wander around the antique shops in Snohomish. We're looking for a couple of additional pieces for the Squash House.

This poor witch seemed to have gotten herself into a bit of trouble! I think the enormous spider sitting on her feet might have had something to do with it!

Aren't these pumpkins great? I love the gnarly warts growing on them!
Look at this box of apples freshly picked from the orchard - my favorites - Honey Crisp!! I wish I had room to take the entire orchard box home with me!
One of the furniture pieces we're looking for is a small table for the kitchen. I really liked this one - if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it, you will see another layer of table under the top. You pull on either end of that lower layer which pops out and up to make the table longer! This was American made, circa 1920, quarter sawn oak. I saw another table, same era and wood that was round. I wish I had taken a photo of it - I think that's the one we'll get.
We had a really nice day with absolutely no obligations! There won't be many more of those, however! I think we have our work cut out for us right up to closing on November 30th!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Splendid Journey

Since we're busy packing for our December 1st move to the Squash House, you obviously aren't going to see much in the way of quilting posts for a while. Instead, the "Life" part of my blog subtitle will be taking over for a while. I always have my little camera with me, so I thought today would be a good day to take photos while on my noon walk - and a very splendid noon walk it was in Fall's full glory!
Acer Palmatum below. For more of these gorgeous trees, check out Stephanie's blog today!
A very friendly dog called Bailey lives here and is usually napping under this incredible tree when I walk by. Our town is filled with wonderful old, stately trees!
I love this oak leaf mixed in with fallen ornamental cherry tree leaves.
Isn't this an incredible pair!
Check out the leaf potpurri below!
I love this homeowner 's display on her front porch!
Do you believe these crabapples? I don't think I've ever seen such a healthy and full display!
You can get an idea of how enormous this maple tree is by the size of the porch below - the house itself is quite large!
I hope you enjoyed walking with me today! Kim is also looking for people to join in on her walks - stop by for a visit!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Coming to Grips

Below is where I spent a good part of my day yesterday...more packing in my studio. Actually this doesn't look too bad. All that is left is what you see under my Koala table; a few of the drawers in the chest are already empty, there is a cupboard nearly empty to the left and the contents of my desk. I'm coming to grips with the reality that this is pretty much what I'll be doing until the movers come on Dec. 1st! I know my blogging is suffering, but it's been good to have the assurance from so many of you that you'll be there when time is on my side again!

We've decided to have our living room furniture recovered before we leave. It will be used in our "formal" upstairs living room at the Squash House. Below is my chair which I am almost ashamed to show as the fabric has faded so badly over 15 years. Mr. Squash has an identical chair covered in burgundy leather that will go in his office, and there is also a matching couch and rocker. For our family room at the Squash House we purchased some yummy leather furniture that is being delivered after we move. Saturday I went to the local upholsterer who does amazing work! I brought home several samples, two of which made the cut. Below are those two samples. It was very dark and cloudy yesterday, so the photo isn't as good as it could be, but you get the idea. The one on the left was my first choice in the shop and the one on the right was second. Once I got them home and played with them in different light during the day, I realized the smaller print was going to work best. It also has that sort of "craftsman" theme that we have going throughout our house. There is a tiny bit of sheen to the fabric, but it is rated as heavy duty. The little dark dots are actually burgundy in color, which matches the color in Mr. Squash's chair - just in case we ever decide to take it out of his office and use it in the living room.

Once we get it all back from the upholsterer, I'll be sure to post those photos!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Apple A Day!

Actually, I eat two apples every day! I love Honey Crisps, Jazz and Cameo in that order! But the other day I was over at Jane's and saw that she had just gotten some Timeless Treasures Apple fabric! I immediately saw it as valances for the Squash House kitchen! The colors blend wonderfully with our new tile backsplash. I ordered 4 yards of it from her eBay shop! I know I won't need that much, but I can use leftovers for napkins or whatever! And Jane, being the wonderful person she is, included some fat quarters for me that she said would blend for a nice table runner! They certainly do, and that's just what I'm going to make with them! Thank you so much, Jane!! I tell you, this move won't come too soon! There are so many projects I want to start (and you won't say anything about the ones I still have to finish, will you?)!!

Last week while at the Squash House, the squirrel activity was at its peak. The little cuties are running all over trying to stock up for winter. This one was in the backyard - he had an entire sunflower seed head! He was so intent on stuffing his cheeks, I got nearly right next to him before he ran off with the whole head in his mouth!
Here he is on the fence out back. He was hopping from rail to rail with the seed head in his mouth, nearly losing his balance several times! Here he's stopped to nibble some more. Notice how he's balancing himself with his tail against the telephone pole!
We're slowly overcoming hurdles with the selling process on our house. We're both feeling a bit less stressed than we were a few days ago! Not long now and the packing can begin in earnest!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Time in a Bottle

Once again I'm absent from blogland. Just when I think I can get caught up, something else comes along to take me away! I must admit that our life probably won't be normal for the next couple of months. So I hope you'll bear with me. I'm whizzing through my sidebar when I get a chance, but I just don't have much time to comment. I wish there really was "Time in a Bottle" like the song - if anyone has some - please send it my way!

I've been working on my pink version of Anne Sutton's free Tisket a Tasket BOM in the evenings. Eight are done so far, so I thought I would show you my progress. Where you see little gaps are places for future buttons. I decided I would use some vintage buttons I have as well as various other brown buttons to mix it up.

We're still dealing with some minor closing "issues" with our house. Little things keep cropping up that need attention. Just when we think we're home free - something else comes up! Talk about stressful. I keep telling myself this is all a normal part of the process.

And if it isn't one thing, it's another! Saturday at the Squash House we took delivery of a solid wood bed we ordered from Orvis. This bed will be in our guest room. It took weeks and weeks to arrive via several independent freight companies. Mr. Squash was so excited to sleep on a real bed instead of a mattress on the floor our last night there on this trip. They called to say they were running late and finally delivered it after 6 pm! We decided to unpack it, put it together, then go to a late dinner. We got it unpacked, read the simple directions and began to assemble. Turns out one of the side rails was split during the making of the bed! We're not even sure how it could have passed an inspection. How frustrating! Mr. Squash offered to call Orvis as he knew I was tired, frustrated and in danger of making things worse if I tried to explain the situation - LOL! They were very nice and are sending a new siderail, but it will be several more weeks before it arrives!

That's it for now. I promise to be back in a couple of days!

Friday, October 9, 2009

NMG-Late to the Party-Nachos Recipe!

Yikes - I'm late to Monica's NMG Potluck and Slumber Party. And I know you're all dying for the crockpot nachos recipe, so forgive my tardiness, but I'm sure you won't mind once you get the recipe! For those of you who don't know what NMG stands for, it's Non Market Going Society - you know, those of us who are stuck at home while the other fortunate souls get to go to Quilt Market. But thanks to the ingenuity of PamKittyMorning and at Monica's suggestion of using Mr. Linky, we all can keep up to date with market posts and slumber party happenings here!

But where is the recipe, you ask? It isn't any harder than taking a pound of Mexican Style Velveeta cheese, a can of Nalley's (or other brand) Chili Without Beans and a bunch of chopped green onions - dump it all in the crockpot, melt well and serve warm with tortilla chips! I always double it - more if you have a big crowd. When you can't figure out where everyone went, just look to wherever the crockpot is!

You might also wonder why I was late to the party. We're still at the Squash House through tomorrow. After another hard days work yesterday painting the kitchen cupboards, we decided to have some fun today. We drove about an hour and a half east of town to the Wooten Wildlife Area along the Tucannon River. We heard there was a lot of good area for fly fishing - were they ever right! We can't wait for fishing season next year.

There are also several lakes along the river that are made by damming the Tucannon in spots. We stopped at the first Lake and saw wild turkeys, otters eating fish in the middle of the lake, and several other kinds of wildlife. The lake below is Rainbow Lake, which is next to the fish hatchery. Trails run all around these small lakes, so you can fish from nearly anywhere on the lakes!

When we got back to the Squash House, we were greeted by this hawk or falcon on the fence out back! I got as close as I could -about 5 feet before he flew away!
This might be my last post for a few days. We leave Sunday to go home, but tomorrow we have a pretty busy day scheduled. I find I work so hard I don't realize the day is nearly done, then I'm ready for bed! Good work, though, happy work even!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Phase Two!

Our realtor called several times this afternoon with questions during the inspection. They asked a lot of things that made us very nervous. We gave honest answers, but were a bit stumped by a lot of the questions. Just when we thought this might not go well, she called again to say we passed the inspection with flying colors - they found no issues whatsoever!! She said we could begin packing, but wanted us to wait until after the appraisal because she didn't want boxes piled up around the house. Why, we don't know, but that's fine - as long as we know the sale is proceeding smoothly!

We decided to go to dinner tonight at a much recommended cafe in a small town, population 1200, abut 25 miles from the Squash House. You can see from the photo of the sign outside the name of the restaurant - WhoopemUp Hollow Cafe. We had the best dinner out that we've had in a very long time! Who would have thought that this tiny town surrounded by wheat fields could produce such incredible food!

Below are two metal sculptures outside the restaurant. You can see that I took these photos in the darkness. It was pitch black - no street lights or any illumination. I turned on my flash to see what would happen - and voila - fantastic photos! They reminded me of huge balls of yarn!
You can get an idea of their size by the car parked next to the first ball!
Today we had new windows installed at the Squash House. It didn't go off without a hitch, though. Turns out after measuring twice, they still managed to order three of them the wrong size! They have to be re-ordered which will take a couple of weeks. The windows that were installed are fantastic! We will no longer have to deal with old storm windows - now we have energy efficient double paned windows!

Tomorrow we meet with an electrician and also will be painting the remainder of the kitchen cabinets. Slowly but surely we're making progress! I'm doing my best to catch up on my blog reading - more tomorrow for sure - I go through withdrawal when I'm not able to see what you all are up to!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Out and About

Gosh, I'm just blown away by all the comments congratulating us on finally selling our house! Thanks to all - it's so nice to know we have so many good friends out there in blogland! We were even happier when we realized we will be there in time for Christmas!

Sunday we headed to Eastern Washington for the week. Today and tomorrow we're in Yakima where Mr. Squash has a public health conference. When it's over tomorrow afternoon we head to the Squash house for the remainder of the week.

We decided to take the really scenic drive over Mt. Rainier as our usual route is under heavy construction. So we headed over Chinook Pass near Mt. Rainier. This route will close for the winter soon as heavy snows keep it from being plowed during winter. It was a gorgeous day, and other than a few clouds around the summit - this is what Mt. Rainier looked like!

On the other side of the pass, the road follows the American River which we are itching to fly fish one day. We saw some folks fishing one spot and decided to get out and watch for a while. They didn't catch anything while we were watching, but sure looked like they were having a good time!
The only down side of going along with Mr. Squash when he has conferences, is that I'm left to my own devices - which in this town is pretty much shopping! Now how bad can that be? I have a couple of favorite shops, so of course I headed there first thing. The numbers below caught my attention as I was rounding a corner in the first shop! They had one eight, one two and several seven's left at 75% off! Of course those numbers make up the address at the Squash House, and the font is nearly identical to the title font on my blog! I was just giddy when I bought them - perfect for the Squash House!
Next I headed to the Bernina store, which is also a great quilt shop! I resisted buying several fabric lines I loved, but when it came to this very reasonable bundle of wool - well, what's a Woolie to do?
I also walked away with a couple of cute Halloween patterns! I've been collecting Halloween fabric for years so I'll have more than enough stash for the wall hanging and I have plenty of wool for the little pumpkin candle mat!
Tomorrow I'll be going to my favorite orchard over here. It's full harvest right now - apples, pears, peaches, pumpkins --- can't wait!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We Have A Buyer!!

Squash House here we come! Last evening we signed off on an offer to buy our house! After 8 months on the market, we were ready to get out of Dodge! Now all that is left is the inspection and closing, which will be November 30th! There is always the chance that it won't close - it can happen in any sale - but we're on a positive track here - it WILL close!

From now until closing, there will be a flurry of activity. My posting will be sporadic, but I'll do the best I can to keep you updated on our progress! I'm glad we've been gradually moving things over to the Squash House - it makes the rest of what we have to do here a bit easier!

And where are we headed Sunday? Why to the Squash House! Mr. Squash has a conference along the way Monday and Tuesday, then after that we'll spend the rest of the week getting new windows installed, finishing the kitchen cabinets, and various other last minute details. I'll surely be posting from there!

I'll leave you with a photo of the Squash House from this past summer after the new driveway was installed. I want to say a Huge Thank You to the support you've all given us during these long months! I can't say enough!! Your words of encouragement have really helped along the way - more than you know! It's so nice to know we have a family our there in blogland that really cares!