Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Curtains: the middle part II

And after the ribbons were attached, there was the boredom of attaching 12 bird portraits & backing to the curtains.  It was tricky too, trying to maneuver all that material.  I did it, though.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Curtains: the middle

You know what's almost as boring as pressing?  Sewing 12 bird portraits to 12 backing squares. This has been a good reminder I'm not interested in the endless repetition that is quilting.

But I finished!  And then it was time to mark the curtains for the ribbon.  I used my trusty ruler and also Wonder Tape, you can see that white line along the top.  The Wonder Tape held the top of the ribbon in place so I could stitch it down with no trouble.  It was kind of awesome.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Curtains! The beginning

Having cut the curtains to size, I prepared them for their grommets. 

I was worried that the curtains wouldn't hold the weight of the grommets very well, so I put a strip of blackout shade material between the two layers.

Spacing took some time.  I had a sheet of instructions from Fabric Depot, but I ended up using that as a guide and roughly guessing.  The grommets came with a template, and you can see where I have traced my circles.

It was the kind of work that involved a lot of attention (wouldn't want to cut in the wrong spot) but it wasn't very difficult. 

Here, you can see one finished curtain.  After cutting the holes, I just had to match a top part to a bottom part, and snap them together.

That done, I moved on to adding some flair to the curtains.  Which was the part I was most interested in, anyway.

I had leftover material from the shade, so my plan was to cut out the leftover birds and add them to the curtain, so things would blend better.  
Two observations.  The birds on the outer realms of the fabric--the shade was cut from the middle--are not as bright as the ones in the middle.  Second observation.  When I last visited Ikea, their textile department had disappeared, which was disappointing.

I had paper cutouts which I arranged in different ways before settling on this one.  You can also see the ribbon I will be sewing to the top and bottom of each curtain.

So the cutting of the birds commenced.  This ruler, which I think is meant for quilting, was invaluable. In fact, I use this ruler and the other one almost every time I sew. 

Should you be curious as to what brand of grommets I used, I have taken a picture of the packaging.

And so we begin pressing.  Four sides, on twelve squares.  It was a lot of pressing.  I listened to podcasts.

When I finished the birds, I still had to cut and press the backing for the bird pictures.  Four more sides, times twelve more squares equals more podcasts listened to.
And that was end of the sewing time today.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fixing the lined Swedish shade, plans for curtains.

When we last saw the lined Swedish shades, they were completed and I was happy with the jute twine.  Unfortunately, the jute twine wasn't up to the task of raising and lowering the shade.  It broke.

Resulting in the clothespin solution every morning.  So!  We need to replace the jute twine with something sturdier.

Since I had to take the whole thing apart anyway, I bought a scrap of leather (only one dollar at Oregon Leather Company!) to replace the very twisty fabric ties.  Here is one of the ties cut.

My trusty curtain/shade book told me to make a hole in the leather with an awl.  I had no awl, so I used my drill. It worked pretty well.  And that's as far I as I got with that project today.

I moved on to measuring the curtains.  These are purchased curtains, which I plan to modify to suit me.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gingerbread Christmas Trees Decorated.

Matt got us all Ikea Gingerbread Christmas Trees this year and provided icing and decorations to dude them up.  It was a fun Christmas activity.

Here is Matt with his Stingray.

Mom went for daubs of snow.

Mine was broken and when I assembled it, it was rickety, causing some hilarity.

Aunt Pat has glued hers together.

Aunt Carol went with a light dusting of snow and gold balls.

Aunt Pat's got a Cinnamon Bear as the topper.

Merry Christmas from The Orange Door!

Here's hoping your day is filled with lights and laughter.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 24

Intro is here

My favorite part of this calendar is that it acknowledges how silly and circuitous this quest has been.  FINALLY he looks in the living room and there he finds what we are defining as Christmas.
Apparently ,it has to do with decorating the tree and having five bears in the room.

It's always bugged me that this calendar poops out on the day before Christmas.  Shouldn't "He" bear find Christmas on Christmas, not Christmas Eve?  Could he not have looked just one more place in the living room?  Nope.  For reasons I bet have more to do with layout, our quest ends one day shy of the big day.

I hope you are about ready to find Christmas too.  I know I am.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vintage Cakes: Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake

A cake that is supposed to capture the flavors of a York Peppermint Patty Candy.  Although, as my friend Deborah commented, this cake gets the chocolate-to-mint-ratio correct with 95% chocolate, 5% mint.

This was delicious!  And easy to make.  Also forgivable, as I over-beat the whites.

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 23

Intro is here

It's not going to be on the bookcase.  You'd be better off looking in those stockings.
Will "He" bear ever find Christmas?  Is he doomed to walk the crowded rooms of his house forever, spinning around and around the one room that has Christmas (or how this calendar defines Christmas) in it?  Stay tuned.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Music corner. Now in our living room.

Thanks to my colleague who has loaned me a keyboard, we now have a music corner in our living room.  The Pink Chair/Cat Scratch Pad, has been relocated to the right to make room.

We now have the door for the TV stand, it just needs to be attached.

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 22

Intro is here

You've been reading C. Clement Moore, haven't you?  Santa will indeed come down this chimney, but not for a few more days.  Find somewhere else to look.
(And based on the fact that we still have to do the 23rd, I bet you are going to look in this very room.)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 21

Intro is here

Okay, again, not a bad place to look.  But it's not here either.  
I kind of like the portrait above the fireplace.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 20

Intro is here

Ah, we get ever closer to the Christmas date and "He" bear is wasting time in the kitchen!  It's not in the oven, it's not in the cookie jar, it's not going to be on the kitchen cabinet.  Guess what you dumb bear.  Based on the pattern we have established so far, if Christmas isn't in the first place we've looked in a room, it's not going to be in other places in the room.  Move on, "He" bear, move on!
Also, you seem to have a mouse problem. Unless you are okay with mice in your kitchen?

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 19

Intro is here

I'm all for looking for Christmas in the cookie jar.  Did "He" bear  not find it?  Maybe the cookie jar was full of cookies that were not specific to Christmas, like Oatmeal Raisin?
Keep looking little dumb bear.  
And it's probably not hygienic to stand on the counter top.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 18

Intro is here

I always thought this was the maid doing the cooking, like Alice in the Brady Bunch.  But maybe that's "He" bear's mother?  Anyway, you can probably find Christmas in the oven if you know when to look. Like now, where there are clearly cookies.
Also, don't look too far in that oven.  Maybe there's a wicked witch that wants to push you in.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 17

Intro is here.

(note stylin' red thread.)

Oh, "He" bear,  you are so very, very close. Don't you see it in the very next room?  It's the place you are going to find on December 24.  Why can't you see it now?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 16

Intro is here

Who is that bear in the bathtub?  It looks exactly like our bear, minus the ribbon. Is he staring at his own self?  I'm so confused.  
I do like the rubber duckie, though.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Beary Merry Christmas: Decembear 15

Intro is here

Again, a good place to look for presents, but not for Christmas.  Maybe if someone introduced "He", the bear on the advent calendar to the concept of a calendar "He" would have a better idea of time passing.