Friday, December 28, 2007

Fashion in Miniature

So, what have I been up to? Well, here is an example. Here we have Tyler Wentworth, okay, two Tyler Wentworths, a redhead and a brunette, sporting the latest Becca creations.

The brunette wears a sweet little outfit in red cotton with tiny little hearts. I didn't expect the skirt to be so full, but sometimes these things happen. The best part? She's wearing the cutest little brocade coat.

The redhead has on a hand knitted lacy top along with another red coat, this one with the brocade as lining instead of as the shell of the coat.

The purpose of this miniature couture? Well, partly because I always seem to pick up dolls that are homeless and clothes-less. The other reason is this is a great way to work through those little bits of fabric left over from real projects. The tiny bit of brocade I used for these wonderful coats came from a ren-faire bodice I made for a friend years ago. I can't be positive, but I think the lining is from the only wedding dress I ever made.

I'm not sure what my next project will be. I think I'll stick with little fashion for a little while. Maybe if I get really adventuresome, I'll venture into the miniature shoe business.

Vacation and Crafting

I know I haven't been posting. Partly because I haven't had much to say, part of it is because I've been spending my vacation time doing other things. Last night, I did get on a crafting roll. I realized at about midnight that I should be sleeping instead of sewing. I wound another bobbin and called it a night. Today, I will try to get some pictures up so you can see what I've been up to.

Doctor Who Scarf update: I have been working on this project a little here and there. Since my sewing table is covered with ribbon, fabric and other stuff related to sewing, I will not be laying it out to take a picture. I'm almost afraid to measure it. I'm pretty sure I've made it a couple more feet of the pattern. I'm more than half way throught the pattern, so it should be all downhill from here.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mid-Winter Gifting

I know I haven't been posting. I don't want anyone to think that I haven't been doing anything. I have, really. I've been doing things for gifting. No way can I post those pictures. You all will have to wait until after the gifting is done.

Let's just say, I've finished four items and am beginning work on the next couple items. Pictures will just have to wait.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

America's Favorite Ball Park

Today I worked a little on the Doctor Who scarf. That, however, is not what I want to show you. Besides, the six inches or so really doesn't compare to this...

Today, my friend "Triple-A" re-enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. Why is that interesting and blog-worthy? Because I got to go to Fenway Park with her! Yay, I've been to Fenway. The best part?

There were only about a 100 people there, not the usual game-day 35,000 (that's just a guess, so don't get all statistical on me). They say I also saw a ball player, but since I can't tell one Bostonian from another I guess that isn't as neat as it could be.

First up, we have the street shot of the park.

This a view of the field. Since they are doing all kinds of construction in the park, we were limited in where we could go.

This next one is of my friend and the Captain. Look closely, you don't want to miss the Red Sox hats that are topping off those uniforms.

Lastly, I couldn't resist a picture of their 2007 World Champions banner. Granted, I didn't see a single game, but I still couldn't resist.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Susannah's Coat

Susannah met her coat yesterday. Lovely Mommy put up pictures today. Just so everyone knows I actually create things that can be worn, here is the photographic proof.

Here we have Susannah and coat along with the goodies I put in there for Barbie. Even Barbie needs a stylish coat!

As you can see, it wasn't long before they were both sporting their wonderful new coats. For you nay-sayers out there (Honey), the sleeves are supposed to be that way. Besides, this way I'm pretty sure it will fit next winter, too.

What's next on the crafting agenda? Well, I still have way more flannel than any one woman has a right to own. (Think pajamas, pajamas, pajamas.)

Oh, yeah, I'm also thinking about clearing out my costume closet. Let me know if you want something, I might have one, or two, or .... you get the idea.

Transfer season is coming and I don't want to move it all again. Besides, I need a reason to make more costumes. Getting rid of some of mine would make room for more.... uh, was that out loud?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

As most people know, especially anyone that has ever worked in retail, today is Black Friday. The big kick-off for Christmas shopping. Whew, Thanksgiving is over. Quick! Start shopping for the next big holiday. While Christmas isn't really my thing (I hate the way consumers are nearly forced to spend more than they have for a holiday that doesn't mean what it should.), I do like a good sale.

Yes, I did get up early, but not so early as to appear insane. We were at the fabric store well after the doors had opened and many of the other crazy crafters were already there. The trick to this is to get your number from cutting counter early. Then you shop until the basket is full, or you are disgusted with the fact that someone else has what you want in their carriage. Hopefully, by that time, your number is called. How did I make out at the cutting counter? Well, when I pulled my number the ticker read 18. My number? 55. That's not so bad. I still had to fill the cart. You should have seen another lady, though. They weren't even close to my 55 when she pulled 127. All in all we spent less than 2 hours in the store (sorry I can't be more clear, we can't remember when we got there or when we left, we think it was around 1.5 hours).

What could be so good it would make me go through this? Well, cotton flannel at $1.00/yard is the best price of the season. Since I love flannel and only pick it up on sale, this was prime Becca real estate. I use it to back baby quilts, I really like how it works up, it is soft and cuddly after washing and not a single Krage is allergic to it.

Below, you can see my wondrous take for this shop-a-holic trip. How much did all that cost? Well, I'd like to say less than $100, but the truth is somewhere between there and $150. So, who wants some cotton flannel pajamas for Christmas? Please, someone, anyone, I have 10 yards of pink, please say pajamas.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Krage Challenge is Complete!

Finally! Yes, the 100% winter coat is complete! Oh, wait, I still need to put a label inside. Oh, well, that won't be too difficult. Then the mailing.... okay, I suppose there are a few additional steps for the little one to get her coat. Good news, the hard part is over. I have successfully turned a pattern for a fleece coat into a coat for someone that can't wear fleece. Yay!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Krage Challenge... Almost there.

Today I got the lining all pieced together as well as the shell. Now all that's left is putting to two together. And the button and the snaps. Okay, maybe I'm not as close as I thought I was. At any rate, here is the most up-to-date photo. The only part I'm worried about is fitting all the lining into the shell. I'm pretty sure that the quilting made it shrink a little, so it should be fine. I guess it will be a "as you sew, so shall you rip" moment if I get it wrong.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Krage Challenge.... yes, still.

Today I sewed the outer shell together. Well, mostly. The side-seam pockets are in and pointing the right direction, so at least that went well. Now, I just need to sew the hood on, sew up the pieces of the lining and try to put it all together into one piece. Okay, maybe I won't be done tomorrow, either. Don't worry Mommy, it will be done before she gets really, really cold.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Krage Challenge continues.

Today I got the quilted lining quilted, the hood lining sewn together and the front and back linings sewn together. It may not look like it, but I'm making progress. Tomorrow, after my brain has had some time to work it out, I'll figure out how to get the lining into the coat. Hmm... I think I'll have to sleep on it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Krage Challenge

The Krage family, the only family I know that is allergic to half of everything on the planet, have challenged me to create a winter coat that is 100% cotton. Well... I guess it really is just a challenge to create a winter coat that does NOT include polyester fleece. You know, the fleece that appears everywhere in warm winter clothing. The Krages are not good with polyester. The good news? The coat only has to fit one little girl for a winter or two.

I sent Mommy some ideas, distilled those ideas into a fleece-free plan and headed out to the fabric store. Now, I will put it all together into an allergy-free winter coat.

The outer shell is dark blue denim (100% cotton, trace poly for the embroidery) with embroidered pink and orange flowers. The lining is 100% cotton flannel in a wonderful coordinating pink that I really like. The batting is also 100% cotton. Thread was a little more challenging; I ended up with cotton wrapped polyester quilting thread.

In the photo, you can see that I've cut out all the pieces and layered the quilted lining. Next step: quilt that lining together. Since this is a work-week, you should see this project as it moves along.

The Doctor Who Update

I've been working on the Doctor Who scarf a little bit this week. I realized I'd knit somewhere near four feet since the last update and decided I'd better take a picture. Since I don't have a really long surface to spread it out on, I folded it in half and measured it that way. By my estimation, it's a little over 10-feet long. I'm about half-way through the pattern, so I think it's about right. It will be one heck of a scarf when it's done!

I had to push it together to get it all in the photo. Believe me when I tell you it's longer than it looks.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Statue of Liberty

I didn't get ANY crafting done since my last post. I can tell you that we did some work in New York. To prove it, here is a picture of the Statue of Liberty.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Red Socks

Today I finished the Red Socks (or should I say Sox?). I think they turned out well. I just hope the sizing is right. According to my sock guide, it should fit a size 8. Let's just hope they guide is right. I'll find out tomorrow if it's right. I'm off on another trip tomorrow. See you all when I return. When is that? If I knew that, I'd be in charge of something.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Baseball and Red Sox

Sometime during the third game of Boston's Red Sox sweep of the World Series, I finished these tiny red sox. Brenda was kind enough to model them for the photos. At the time, I didn't really know who was winning the Series. They were basically a trial of making sox for my friend Triple-A. She's a Boston fan (half of New England residents are Boston fans, the other half, it seems, are Yankee fans).

I actually started making Triple-A's sox after Boston had won the Series, but that isn't my fault. They could have made the Series take a little longer than four games. I think they were in a hurry.

Here are her sox, still in production.

Details: Worked at... well, I don't really know the guage. I just know that worsted-weight on size six needles is 40 stitches for a sock that will fit a size 8 foot. Yes, I know, the photo really is kind of blurry, so you miss the reinforced heel. This will be her Mid-Winter gift, even though she knows I'm knitting them. I think, that if you spend hours knitting something, and the recipient of the gift sits next to you for most of the knitting, they will appreciate the gift, even if it isn't a surprise.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Four-Patch Baby Quilt

I'm starting to think that I should just call them "Little Quilts" or "Quilts for Little People" rather than Baby Quilts. They're all small and created for small people. Hmm.... I'll have to ponder that one.

So, here is my latest contribution to the growing stack of "Little Quilt" tops. I put way more fretting into this one than was needed. I'm not sure I'm completely satisfied with the result. I'm not going to rip anything out, though. I sewed it up, that's the way it stays. (Some would say: As you sew, so shall ye rip. I'll ignore them.)

I have three more stacks of fabric waiting to become Little Quilts. Bad news is that I don't think I have anything even remotely "baby boy" on the list. I think I'll have to go back to the stash sooner than I planned. Maybe I could get lucky and everyone will have a baby girl. Although, that might upset the balance of the planet. I shouldn't let my lack of "baby boy" quilt magic interfere with the balance. As I've said before: "I can only use my powers for good."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Windmills Baby Quilts (yes, that's plural) Update

Yet again, my powers of estimation are all off-kilter. I cut and sewed and found I was just a few blocks shy of two baby quilts. What to do? I cut some more, with another coordinating fabric and made sure I had enough for two. I played with layouts for about 30 minutes and found two I liked. At this rate, I might work through my stash better than I'd hoped.

Once the center of the quilt(s) was (were) done , I added a couple borders to bring the size up to fit the backing fabric.
Now, I'm off to get the next stack of fabric into shape. Currently, it's giving me fits, so I may just skip to another pile of fabric.

I also made a trip to the fabric store yesterday, so I may be totally off on the working down my stash idea. I do try.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Windmills Baby Quilt

I put away the computer and EQ6. Mouse clicks just weren't getting me anywhere. I'd actually started the cutting for this quilt, so the software just showed me the math for what I'd planned anyway.

Quilt math is interesting, if you care about it. All seam allowances are 1/4". So, if you cut two strips (like the ones in this quilt) to 2.5" and sew them together, you get 4.5 inches. Two of those add up to 8.5 inches and so on. The software lets you just plug in the finished size, then it calculates everything from finished size to how much fabric you'll need. The fabric estimation is the most important part for me. I always OVER-estimate the yardage required. Granted, this leaves plenty for scrappy quilts later, but it also means I over purchase.

I really enjoy putting the baby-size quilts together. They'll like short attention-span-theater. Cut, cut, sew, cut, sew, sew, sew... ta-da! Quilt top. Quilting it all together is pretty easy, too. No fighting with a huge bundle of fabric under the arm of the sewing machine. Until I can get a long-arm, I'm pretty sure big quilts will be special occasion projects. Wall hangings are even better, but baby quilts are the best for making happy parents.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Electric Quilt 6 has arrived!

I picked up a copy of one of the many quilt magazines and found an article on several different quilt design software packages. After a little Internet homework I found EQ6. Let's just say I've found another way to waste large amounts of time. After installation and some poking around the software, I've found that time just escapes into thin air. Hopefully, I'll have some quilts to show for this by the end of the weekend. Then, I'm off again for another trip. Which means more knitting. I've got another small knitting project in the works, but I'm keeping it under wraps for right now.

The workspace of the modern quilter: laptop, sewing machine, mouse and scissors. (Oh, yeah, and the really big manual to figure out the software.) (You can check out EQ6 at

Yes, that wonderful desktop image is the 'smiling' face of my pup Reesey.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Crafting Shop-a-holic

Today I went around to the stores and did the shopping thing. I have several ideas roaming around my head causing all kinds of trouble. Some of this I have plans for, some of it I just had to pick up. Husbands wonder how the stashes get so big.

Fleece, because you can never have too much. I purchased fleece remnants for about a year and after picking up fabric for the backs, I ended up with five patchwork throws that I still have to give away. Some flannel, because you never know when you'll need to make a baby blanket. Some fuzzy fleece, because I have an idea to make some little throw pillows for the bedroom. I think they'd make a great Mid-Winter gift. Yarn for socks (that's the red and white) and yarn for a baby sweater (yellow yarn) (Fabric Place is going out of business). I picked up the pattern for dog sweaters because a friend has a short-haired puppy that could use a sweater for the winter. I think my puppy might like one, too. Lastly, some print-on magnetic sheets. When you spend half your life in a big steel box, you have plenty of places to hang magnetic signs.

So many ideas and projects, so little time.

Knitted Vest

As fall arrives and winter seems not so far away, knitters look to adding warm things to their list of projects. I purchased a stack of Moda Dea Ticker Tape at the discount store. What to do with it? After a couple frogged attempts, I settled on a v-neck vest.

Knit on size 11 needles (love those turbos) at about 3 stitches to the inch, it worked up pretty quick. As usual, I ignored most of the directions. Directions said knit the back, then the front. I knit them both in the round. I love knitting in the round. I worked the decreases at the same time. Instead of using bind-offs at the ends, I just included a couple k2tog to take up the bound off stitches.

Instead of working one front side, then the other, I continued to work back-and-forth on my circular needle, with three balls of yarn on the move at the same time. That's one for the back and two for the front. Again, avoiding bind-offs on the shoulders, I merely worked the stitches, placed a marker and worked the next set. That way, I was set up to work the three-needle bind-off for the shoulders. Pick-up and knit the armholes and the collar and the vest is done. (I try to avoid including weaving in the ends as a step, it is the most annoying step.)The worst part? I still have 3+ balls of the Ticker Tape. What can I make with just three balls? Well, the sweater took 6+, so I guess what I have will go a long way.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Quilting I will go.

First order of business: pick out some combinations of fabric for some little quilts. How hard can it be, anyway? Well, it only took about an hour, but I managed to come up with the following. Each stack is a potential quilt, in miniature. Thank goodness babies are small. The rule I use is that it should take no more than 1.5 yards of fabric for the backing. Somewhere around 40" wide by 54" long.

Next, pick one of the stacks and start whacking. The center stack of the bottom row is the one I chose for this project.

In truth, the quilt magazine instructions read like this: "Getting started: Pre-wash and iron all fabrics. Sew with 1/4" seam allowances. Press all seams as you sew. Always sew a sample block before cutting an entire quilt." Guess what? I don't do the last step, hardly ever. Why? Well, with a rotary cutter you can afford to get crazy. Besides, how else will I ever use up that stash?

The first pattern I decided to use is called Patience Corners. Really much more simple than it sounds. With trusty cutter in hand, I attacked the small stack of fabric and started cutting. Cut strips, sew strips, cut again, sew some more, cut again and surprise, squares. Then I laid them out and put them together. Add a few borders to make the thing closer to my desired dimensions and a quilt top appears.

Here is the finished top. I think I'll wait until I have at least one more of them complete before I start putting the backing and batting together. Besides, I've used almost the entire stack of fabric I picked out and I don't have enough for a binding. Back to the stash.

I'm confident that the completed quilt will make a little girl very happy. Hmm... which set of parents is having a girl? I wish I knew.

I must apologize. I think the camera's flash washed out the colors.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Everyone is making babies.

It seems like everyone is going to have a baby. Okay, not everyone, but several of my friends and co-workers are pregnant. So, I have to get cracking before the moms start popping.

I have a huge selection of cotton fabrics for the job. The challenge is making enough of them work together to make a quilt. No wait, it would be more than one quilt. Usually, I find out about the parent's choices for baby's room, or at least the gender of the child, and do my shopping for each individual blanket. Honey has said I'm not allowed to buy any more fabric for this insanity. Thankfully, I do have some fabric on-hand.

One, two, three, four... I'm sure I'm missing at least one other pregnant couple.

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to create no less than four baby blankets using the materials found in my fabric stash. I know, it won't be easy.

What you see here is my stash, what you don't see are the bins with smaller scraps. I suppose I should at least try to work some of those in, or even make a really scrappy quilt. Ah, the possibilities.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Great Bathroom Remodel of 2007. The shower curtain debate.

I wanted a shower curtain that had a clear or mesh top. You know, something that would let in more light. I looked at the the usual places. That's right, no luck. Evidently, I'm the only person in the world that wants a shower curtain that lets you see what you're doing in the shower. That, or everyone else in the world has recessed lighting over their shower.

At any rate, I couldn't find what I wanted, so I headed to the fabric store to find something I did like. Honey and I agreed on a striped fabric that we thought would go with the tile, although the floor still doesn't match much of anything. He grumbled when I told him we'd have to buy new towels, too. I tried to make him feel better by pointing out that we'd only need a few, just enough to put up when guests come by. That made him feel a little better, but not much.

My answer to this question, was to use an inexpensive, clear vinyl liner for the top of my new curtain. I'd just have to trim it to the length I wanted (no need to have a really big see-through panel) and add fabric to the bottom (this also helped with the lazy factor, I didn't need to buy, or install, eyelets). I purchased a new liner and installed it. Since the old liner was too short, it would become my donor. I also purchased some new hooks, primarily because the blue ones just weren't working any more.

Measure this, measure that, start cutting. Well, I didn't actually cut much. I'm a big fan of the "snip & rip" method of cutting straight lines on long pieces of fabric. Thank goodness my fabric has wavy lines on it. Nothing worse than ripping a piece of fabric to find that the printing and the grain is all messed up.

Since pictures of me and my sewing machine fighting with several yards of fabric and some vinyl don't show well, you'll only get one picture. The finished curtain, hanging up in the bathroom with the linens that don't match. I'll work on that.

It doesn't feel claustrophobic inside the shower any more. You have enough light to find that dropped soap and you can actually see to shave. Now I just need some orange and yellow towels. Maybe I'll paint to floor yellow. Hmmm.....

Now, what do I do with the half-yard or so of left over fabric...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Great Bathroom Remodel of 2007. In my absence.

So, while I was away, Honey did some work on the bathroom. It's not done yet, but we're still making progress. The walls are painted, with just a little touch-up remaining.

The new vanity finally got put in (gee, I kind of miss it when I sit on the couch).

New faucet, some matching door-pulls for the vanity and the laundry shoot. Oh, yeah, and the door got put back up. Yay! Privacy returns to the bath!

The towel rods got put in. (I tried to tell Honey that the high one is too high, but he's tall, so he doesn't see it as a problem.) Now, there is room for everyone to hang up their towels. Seriously, who thought a 2/3 bedroom house with a single bath could get along with just one towel rod in the bath?

The floor is still a mess and the ceiling could use another coat of paint. It's still a work in progress.

Here is the up-to-date long-shot of the bath.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The neverending scarf.

A friend of mine inquired about me making him a Doctor Who scarf. Foolishly, I said I could do it. If you haven't looked around the internet for the instructions for this wonderful wardrobe item, you haven't lived. Let's just say... I'll be at this until Mid-Winter. Heck, I'm hoping the weather doesn't turn warm again before I'm finished.

There are not quite as many different Doctor Who scarves as there are Doctors, but it's close. I decided on the Series 12 version provided by a wonderful collector. He broke it down into simple terms. Not that it's complicated. Row after, row after, row... you get the idea. Garter stitch until you can't stand it any more, then you probably do it for five more feet. So far, I've worked through what I think is about 25% of the the pattern instructions. The scarf is over six feet long already (I think my measurement today was just over 80 inches).

I'll try to keep you updated on this monumental project. It isn't something I can work on exclusively. It is a wonderful sit & knit project for TV watching, though. Simplicity. Besides, I think it's fun to watch the new series with David Tennant and knit along. Torchwood isn't bad either.

For those of you that must know, I threw caution to the wind and decided to make it my own way, sort-of. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn and size 6 (US) needles. Even knowing it will take just as long, I opted for worsted weight and size 8 (US) needles. This means that the 60 stitches (counted on the original scarf) comes out around 12 inches wide. This will be a monster scarf.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The sprained knee...

So, within 30 minutes of arriving home after my cruise, Baby and Reesey barrel into my left side, taking out my knee. After a little self pity and a small grass stain on the right knee, I headed to the clinic. There I got x-rays to determine that I hadn't broken anything, but had mild swelling. Granted, I didn't need an x-ray for that, but I'm not a doctor. A knee brace, some medication and a limited duty chit later I was sent on my way.

Stuck on the couch, I decided on a new project. Yes, yes, I know. I have something like twenty projects in the works at any given time. Yes, the Doctor Who scarf is still in the works. I don't plan on that being complete for quite some time.

My friend Triple-A purchased some really scrumptious yarn the last time we visited Portland, ME. It's JCA's Blizzard, an Alpaca (65%) Acrylic (35%) blend. Very soft. It also sheds almost as much as Baby does. She originally purchased enough to knit a hat and a scarf. She successfully knit the hat, but lost interest on the scarf. Knowing her like I do, I decided that I'd just knit it up for her. So, knee in brace and under ice, now seemed like a good time. She'd seen a pattern in the newest issue of Knit.1 and decided that's what she wanted. I picked up the yarn and sat down to get started.

Like usual, I can never follow the pattern to the letter. I've tried, really, but sometimes the directions just seem dumb. My way is better, anyway. The pattern is for a cute little hat with ear flaps that are knit long enough to wrap around your neck. I'm sure that in the winter it will be a wonderful item for keeping warm and fashionable. Here is the cap of the hat.

She had four balls of the alpaca blend; two in a light green, two in a chocolaty brown. I actually completed the green one first, so a little bit of the green ended up in the brown one. Here you can see the top, with the edges bound off waiting for the ear flaps to be added on. Again, the green part is where I completely ignored the pattern and did it my way. I kind of like it.

I had to use up all the yarn, or she'd never find a use for it. Even after the two hats, I had some brown left over. I'm thinking it should be enough for a headband, something just to keep the ears warm.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Just a little work on the "bathroom from hell" today.

Today we tried to keep things low stress. Just putting up the curtain rod, adding caulk around the faucet handles and putting the closet in order. Some things got thrown out, some got put in their new place. The room is by no means complete (paint still needs to go up and the door is still missing in action). It should be serviceable until my return. I'll be departing for a "cruise" tomorrow. I'll see you when I get back.

Here is the closet in finished form. I think we still have some things to go back in, but it shouldn't be a problem now that there's room for everything. Biggest plus? Everything is easy to find!

The long shot of the bath shows that I still need a decorative curtain for the shower. Right now there is something to keep the water in, but nothing to maintain privacy. The upside? It makes the room look just a little bit bigger.

When I return, you will get an update on my newest knitting project: A Doctor Who scarf (season 12, if you pay attention to such things). My recommendation for this project? Watch the show while knitting!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Atlas of Barlowe the Explorer

Today is a day off from the evil bathroom.

Today was the completion, heck the beginning all the way to the end, of the first copy of Barlowe's Atlas. If you don't know what it is, well, I can't tell you.

The challenge: Create a book from a stack of paper, some file folders, a piece of cotton canvas, a piece of ribbon, a piece of leather cord and a bunch of glue. Lots and lots of glue.

First order of business, figure out a way to get all those pages to stick together. My plan, since the sheets are not intended to be folded, is to use my sewing machine to stitch small sections (about four sheets) together. Here are the completed sections, ready for the first encounter with glue.

I put rubber cement on the edge past the stitching, matched up the edges as best I could and got it all stuck together. We ran around like crazy people looking for the clamps. We couldn't find the clamps anywhere. I did a quick search on the web, to try to show Honey what I wanted when I realized we have a vise in the basement. Some scrap lumber and a couple turns on the vise, and the pages were left to become more book-like.

While the pages were getting all stuck together, I went to work on the cover. Simple cotton canvas, purchased at the fabric store for less than I'd thought it would be. I glued shut file folders and cut each to fit the pages of the book. More rubber cement to get everything stuck together.

I added more rubber cement to get all the loose threads from stitching the pages together as well as to hold the bookmark ribbon. I used another piece of the canvas to cover up all the space used to glue it all together.

I asked Honey to poke some holes in the now well stuck pages of the book. Here was the quick and easy answer. It also kept the amount of tearing I was afraid of down to a minimum. Once I had the cover done, he did the same with it.

Holes everywhere there needed to be holes. I began the process of weaving the leather in and out of the holes. I didn't want the holes to be so big you could definitely see them once the lacing was in, so it was a challenge to get it in. I used a pair of needle-nose pliers to get it done.

After tightening all the lacing, I had to decide how to finish off the lacing. After two attempts (actually, I ended up with the first version) I got it right.

I got out the glue, and got back to making it all stick together. This time I glued down the end papers, to complete the project. Put it under a stack of heavy books to make sure it all stayed flat long enough for the glue to set, wait a little while.... and success!

No flashy cover, no fancy graphics, just a simple tome.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Great Bathroom Remodel of 2007. Day Three.

The all grout, all the time show. (Sep. 7th)

So, how hard can it be to grout? Well... I manage to get all the grout up. Then the fun begins.

Now, we clean up the really big mess I made with the grout. Sponge, water, wring, repeat. Careful, don't pull that carefully installed grout. Take a break, do it some more.

Don't worry. If you you mess it up, you can just do it over! Ugh!

Good thing the tub finish is already messed up. I'll hire a guy to fix that, later.

The weather is great for it. Hot enough to help my grout set, and hot enough to make us miserable while we work.

Grout may look like nothing more than something to stick in between tiles. Until you've tried to remove semi-dry or dry grout, you don't really appreciate its strength.

Closet shelving went together too easily. The catch? Well, thy didn't exactly fit in there the way I wanted. Seems when you measure a space you should take the baseboard trim into account. Ah, well, I didn't like it anyway. Trim removed, the darn things still didn't want to go in. Hmm... took a break, came back, and... all those hours of playing Tetris pays off again. A metal plate, a couple of drywall screws and it almost looks built-in. Just don't look at the trim that's now conspicuously missing.

At one point, we heard a strange sound from the front of the house. Along the lines of a loud crack, and a bang. Quickly, we rushed to find a tree branch had freed itself from the tree and found it's escape route blocked by Kid's parking space. Thank goodness his car wasn't in it at the time.

Honey secured the water to replace the valve seats for all the new valves. Dandy new valve seat tool still can't do the job. Honey goes back downstairs to turn on the water. With my back to the spigot (mind you, it's nothing more than a chunk of copper sticking out of the wall), I knew exactly when the water came back on. A straight stream clear across the tub to soak my backside. The yelp of surprise did get the water turned back off. Valves closed, we turned the water back on.

Caulk, it's all about caulk. Around fixtures, the new soap dish and where the tile meets the tub or wall.

Honey finally said the tile is done. It isn't done to perfection, but he says I'm not allowed to worry about it, at least not any more this week. I guess the painting will get done next week, when I'm not here.

I'm so glad I just wanted to put up some paint and get a new vanity. Remodelling the bathroom was such a great idea.

The worst news of all: I still hate the floor tile, and while I hated it before, now it doesn't match the rest of the room.