NYC…

Jeff and I were out and about today. We started with a short walk to Riverside Park. Jeff often rides his bike through this area on the way to work. This was a nice shot of one of the pedestrian walkways. NYC has some hills!


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This sculpture by Sequoia Aono was in an area that was under water during the storm. It's called Watching Upon the Present, 2012


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It's interesting in so many ways. If you look close at the skin, below, you can se the tile pattern which is lovely. They look so good with the other materials.

Her gaze and demeanor definitely pulled me in and her pose still makes me wonder. I'm of an age and from the south and sitting so that any passerby can look up your skirt is not exactly what I was taught. (Maybe she has leggings on?) But the pose coupled with the look on the face works. We saw other art today, but this is still the piece that I remember most. 


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We went to Lanskys Classic Jewish Deli where the food was very good and the floor was eye-catching. You know that English paper piecing video I made? You could make a quilt that looks like this! Personally, I'm tempted.


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 I took several photos of manhole covers which almost made Jeff crazy.


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 I love circular designs and so many manhole covers are really interesting if you just stop to see them. Those blue toes belong to Jeff. 


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We went out to dinner tonight and stopped for a bit at the fountain in front of the Lincoln Center.


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We went to see Aida at the Metropolitan Opera last night. I had never been to an opera before and this one was a spectacle. The sets were amazing! There were large people singing with big voices, the hall was beautiful… and there were actual horses on stage every now and then.There were subtitles on the seat in front of each of us. What more can you ask of an opera?


Christmas decorating, four…

I'm not going to hide my Sweet Sixteen. I think it looks good next to Santa. This particular Santa came from my grandfather's hardware store and is older than I am.


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This wonderful blue vase is the home of the Christmas-y florals that didn't fit anywhere else but I think they work here.


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Celia made these interesting pipe cleaner snowflakes last year and I saved them. I have a few more hanging ing the windows to the left of the wooden guy.


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I make a different Christmas ornaments each year for gifts… this is this year's ornament. They are cute all together!


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Here is one on my tree:


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I kept the decorations in the bedrooms more low-key – bows, small tabletop trees, that sort of thing. I did do a bit more in the guest room that Celia and Jeff will be in. Celia loves Christmas and she loves glitter! 


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In the next photo you might notice the piece of furniture below the tree. That came also came from my grandfather's hardware store. It used to hold hardware, but now those cute triangular drawers hold many cool crafting supplies. And the little green elf is Vernon, our very own vintage Christmas elf. 


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Last but not least, you should see our new Christmas boulders. We thought it would be nice to add the stacked rocks on the left of the walk to balance the boulders on the right. I had to add the bow :-). 


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The yard is prettier when there are flowers, but we think it's still interesting now. 

So, what do you think? Is it decorated enough? I hope so because I can't live with much more – and Steve for sure thinks that this is way more than enough.

 

Christmas decorating, three…

If you stand in the dining room and look through the kitchen, you can see the breakfast room..

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It took a surprisingly long time to tie the little bows on these ornaments. I put more, with some of the sparkly garland, on the shelf above the window. I like this a lot! It's festive without being overpowering.


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I also love the sparkly floral things in the vase on top of the Dinner at Santa's House runner.


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The North Pole village houses in the breakfast room are the ones that spell out 'north pole'. There are letters inside the wreaths over each door. You can see 'orth' below. FYI: I put in the broken plate backsplash several years ago and I still like it.


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Christmas decorating, two…

If you stand at the front door and look left, you see the dining room. The china cabinet was my grandmother's. She brought it back to OK from her family homestead in KY in the 1940s or 50s. I'm so glad she did!


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I like clear glass/crystal vessels. They look nice at the holidays with sparkly ornaments and/or sparkly garlands.


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Mom recently gave me this nativity set. It's from the 1960s and is the one she and dad had when I was bitty. It may be plastic, but I love it.


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I used this thick, sparkly garland in many places in the house. I don't know why, but the way it looks in this light fixture reminds me of ZsaZsa Gabor…


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If you got the newsletter I sent today, you'll recognize the angels below… the one on the right was made by our son Jeff when he was 3. The other two were made by our grandkids when they were each 3. Elanor's is in the center, Jack's is on the left. That boy has BIG hands!


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I'm traveling to NYC in the morning to visit Jeff and Celia. I'll write more Christmas decoration posts tonight and schedule them to go up while I'm gone. I may also tweet and post with news from NYC if there's time :-). 

AND – if you have not signed up for the Piece O' Cake newsletter, I did post two new videos: on paper piecing hexagons and how to applique inner points. There are some other new things… click here to go to the what's new page.


Christmas decorating, 2012…

To recap, our house is on the local Altrusa Christmas Home Tour. Our house is small, the smallest on the tour – but we think it is interesting. As you walk in the front door, this is what you see…


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And here are detail shots… This is the ornament wreath that Linda made for me years ago. I have to do a little re-gluing each year, and I've broken and replaced some ornaments, but it's a wreath that has held up really well. I love it!


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I used to collect the North Pole Village houses, made by Dept. 56. The Claus's house must be at least 25 years old but it still works. Of all of them, it's my favorite.


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I also used to collect Santas. I say 'used to' because I have run out of room to have any more, and I'm OK with that. I put them out on the mantle. The crazy-looking Santa on the right in the next photo is my favorite and I'm not sure why. I would not want to see him coming down my chimney!


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Look at what's holding the stockings. I just don't like the stocking holders you can buy, but I do love rocks. In fact, you can see some rocks in with the Santas. Anyway, I wrapped bigger stones with wire, making a hook to hold a stocking. Then I tied a ribbon on the stones to make them cute. 


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FYI – my stocking is 56 years old, made by my Aunt Helen when I was a baby. I made Steve's about 35 years ago, when we were dating.

I saw some ornaments pre-wrapped in cellophane but they were more than I wanted to pay. So I made my own! This is not hard and it makes a nice centerpiece. I used florists wire to keep the twists tight. Mom suggested running ribbon through the openings in the sides of the basket but I had this wonderful garland and used it instead. Looks good!


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I love my twisty sticks with little ornaments. And you might notice the bow on the floor lamp… bows are inexpensive and festive!


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I put some vintage tinsel around the front door and tied little bows on the tiles that hang on either side of the door. 


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More tomorrow!

 

Too busy to post!

We made amazing progress yesterday and today. Here it is, in pictures:


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Steve gutted the bathroom. Look on the wall and you can see the concrete squeezed through the back side of the metal mesh from the other bathroom. That's next summer's project. Below, Steve is standing on the subfloor, all concrete and floor tile removed.


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Then he carefully removed the tile and cocrete from around the plumbing. Hooray! Nothing broke!


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Next, Steve built a new floor for us to tile. It had to be built up 2" to match the adjacent floor. He put in a vapor barrier, insulation, and 3/4" plywood on top of 2/4's that had to be ripped to the right size…


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Meanwhile, Chris and I finished replacing the 3 windows. I forgot to take before photos, but imagine bad aluminum windows, with worse aluminum storm windows on top of them. TIP: Just break the glass to remove old aluminum windows. It's the only way.

Here is one new window, trimmed out with Hardie planks.


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Here is a different window, painted, with Chris. I did not pose in my working garb :-).


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Chris trimmed out the inside of the windows. Elanor helped Chris – here is her first ever cut with a power saw:


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I painted the trim, inside and out. So very glad to get that done because it is easy to put the painting off, forever.


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The windows were birthday and Christmas presents for Chris and Lorna. I'm glad to have them in now, while the weather is pretty. One less thing to wrap!

Today, Saturday, I taught Chris how to lay tile in the bathroom. He had placed the tile squares on the floor and made sure that everything fit. Amazingly enough we did not have to cut any tiles! He did have to cut some the the 12" tile units to fit, but that was easy.


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Chris and I took turns spreading mastic and laying tile. It's not hard, except on the knees. Chris is going to do the grout tomorrow. He's not done it before but I have complete faith in his ability to follow directions. Honestly, if I can apply grout, so can he.


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Aren't these pretty tiles! And you know what? They were $3 a square foot. It doesn't get much better than that.

Tomorrow, Sunday, Steve and I are driving to Oklahoma City for his dad's birthday lunch. It's going to be nice to relax a bit. That said, we really do enjoy a good project. Both of us are happy with what we've gotten done this weekend (and I didn't even mention weather-proofing our fence and mom's). Honestly, neither of us sits well. We prefer motion. We're lucky we found each other because I think we would drive other people crazy.


 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve has the turkey cooking and we are going to be having dinner in an hour or two… but this morning we got a lot done that has nothing to do with turkey!

I promised I would share some photos of the bathroom project. Here are some before pictures. 


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The color of the fixtures is not horrible but the blue tile was not in the best shape and the walls above the tile were very cracked: up one side, across the ceiling and down the other side.


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This built-in cabinet was just not good. Looked bad, wrong size, all bad. We figured we'd take it out and leave the floor tile…


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…except that it turns out that the floor tiles are sitting on about 2" of concrete that was poured around the base of this built-in, on top of the subfloor. This is a pier and beam house, it doesn't sit on a slab. Why did they pour concrete?! To top it off, the wall tile has concrete behind it, poured around a metal mesh. What a mess! It all has to come out. 


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Steve got this far yesterday and today, Thanksgiving he got farther. Chris and I put replaced the two kitchen windows while Steve worked in the bathroom and then cooked dinner. I'm out of time to write more but I'll share more photos tomorrow. Chris and I have one more window to install, Steve will be back in the bathroom to finish gutting it and to build up the floor so that I can tile on Saturday. If all goes according to plan, that is.

Enjoy your time with family – I know we will!