Sunday, December 6, 2015

A relatively productive weekend.

Kind of a fun weekend. I've been having lots of issues lately. The computer is giving up the ghost and I've been sick with the nastiness going around. So this is the first weekend in several weeks that I've felt like doing anything at all.

My new computer got here yesterday, thanks to Amazon, I've spent about 8-10 hours since noon yesterday getting it set up and ready for work tomorrow, but in and around programs loading, I did get some quick sewing in too.

It was nice to have time for sewing. And nice to have some palette cleansers of easy projects too. I got a new pair of Pilates pants made, and finally got my Maria Denmark Kimono sleeve tee made up. (It's a free download from her site if you sign up for her newsletter and she goes from a size XS to a 4X.) Check it out, especially if you wear dresses.

The Pilates pants had a few alterations in the muslin phase. I lengthened the body of the pants as I don't like low waisted pants, and I actually lengthened the legs too  by an inch, which is odd, because I'm only 5' 4" tall. I'm not sure what the width of the waistband is supposed to be as I just did a 2" waistband. I've found it's best to do the waistband 1:1 with the pants waist, and then shorten the elastic by about 4 to 5 inches less than your waist measurement depending on the stretchiness of the elastic. In that way, the pants stay up no matter what you're doing. The fabric is a ponte de roma from Girl Charlee bought 11/27/15 on sale. It's called Black Charcoal Broken Chevron Feathers. They have it in a couple of other colors too. Lovely to sew and a nice weight too.

For the Maria Denmark Kimono top, I know she has directions on how to do an FBA on the website, but I didn't use hers. I did the lazy way, and just laid my TNT tee shirt over the pattern, and used my measurements as per that shirt. I used a size larger than my measurements indicated, because I don't believe a woman of my age and size need tees with negative ease. Just doesn't leave enough to the imagination IMO. I did rotate the dart I added down to a French dart as the Kimono sleeve with a dart right at the armpit was too close. I also lengthened the sleeves on this one by about 4", decreased the neck circumference a bit, and shorted the length of the top by 4". I like the fit quite well, as it gives me moving around room, and in this minimally stretchy knit, I don't think it would be comfortable if it were any smaller.

I found the Maria Denmark draft to be an excellent product. All seams line up well, and it was a quick and easy sew. If you don't need an FBA, I would think this could be done in an hour or so start to finish. I find the design very comfortable to wear, and like this one a lot. I used a mesh knit without a lot of stretch that was very old stash... I think bought in the 90s or so, maybe later, and used a lightweight stretch silk scrap cut on the bias for the neck binding. The fabric is what I think of for golf shirts. The binding is the cream, aqua, and beige remnants from the sleeveless top I made earlier in the year. It's nice against my neck.

Other news...
I'm definitely on the countdown to retirement and my new life. If all goes well with my apartment managers, I'll be signing a six month lease the end of January, and that will be it. I'll be on my way to my new home by the first of August! Can't wait for the new and exciting life to come.

As to the house, Eileensews asked about an update and I spent some time writing it only to have it disappear. I expect my post is circling the moon now. :-)

It is coming along. Dale has different priorities than I do, so hasn't done much with the inside yet. As a matter of fact, he just hung curtains last week (there were some there, but yukky cheap sheers) as it's getting cold, and he finally decided the lined curtains I'd sent might help keep out some of the cold. LOL

We have had some unexpected items crop up, and as Dale says, the house tells him what it wants next. Since I'm not sure what I've said in the last 10 months... he got a riding mower aka tractor for Father's Day last year. It's been a real blessing in getting the weeds knocked down and kept down. He still uses a regular lawn mower in some areas, but the two acres told him they wanted a riding mower.

All but one of my roses survived the move, as did the fig tree and the pomegranate tree. We got an unexpected bonus in that one of the "stumps" that we thought was dead turned out to be another fig and grew tons of figs when it got some water. We have three pecan trees too, but they need some attention from an arborist and I expect some sort of fertilizer. We're just glad they survived at all.

We've done a lot of what I'll call "infrastructure" upgrades. Despite what we were told, there was much that needed to be upgraded/repaired/replaced. Some we knew about, some we didn't.

First up was all new waste lines from the house to the septic system. I won't go into detail, but it was apparent when he had Roto Rooter out twice in less than a month there was an issue. When the trenches were opened up, it looked like someone who #1 had no idea how to run waste lines had done them, and #2 that they were falling down drunk when they laid it out. The fall was just wrong, and they had several 45 degree angles in them for no discernable reason. New lines were run from the house to the septic tank, and no problems have arisen since.

Around the same time, we also got new water lines, and new electrical services. Dale's taken care of the roof where some of the flashing was incorrectly installed and had odd leaks in some of the atypical thunderstorms this year. Not that thunderstorms are atypical, but like most of the world, the weather there is changing dramatically this year and they're getting El Nino weather patterns, which is rare.

We've got the rear steps that were crumbled repaired with a nice landing at the bottom, and added steps and a landing at the slider on the side. It still needs the trim around the slider installed. He's working on the exterior, and for now, is just patching and painting the cracks as he can. No time to figure out how to make and apply adobe just right. Hopefully next summer for that!

A huge unexpected project was when he started on the garage/shed roof. The shed part, approximately 12' x 28' had rot throughout the rafters and interior and he basically rebuilt it from the inside. At this point, I just about have him convinced that will be my new sewing studio! It does need a floor, as it is currently dirt floored, will need good lighting, and an electrical upgrade, but it's coming! We did have a roofing company do the actual roof, but he's going to do all the gutters too.

We've just replaced the heating system, the duct work,  and swapped out the evaporative coolers for what we call central air in California, and they call "refrigerated air." The evaporative coolers are not very effective in high humidity, and this year as it rained almost every day, Dale wasn't too happy with them. He's now a happy camper. Along with this, the gas lines got rerouted, and I'll have a gas line to the kitchen for a dual fuel range, and another to the laundry area so I can actually use my dryer.

We still have fencing and several other big items to complete. I think next up is the concrete floor and getting the "shed" livable, and then all new windows. He's pushing for a wood stove as the power went out for a few hours recently, and he figures anyone "in the country" needs a wood stove in case of power outages. We were hoping to do a prefab Kiva fireplace, but have decided it's not practical and with a price about three times the wood stove, it's kind of settled.

Once all that is completed, the kitchen and master bath will get some attention. It's a process, and we knew that going in. But as things become more livable and look more like a home, it warms my heart. We're building our future one day at a time. We've had a few people from the neighborhood, and the Realtor who listed the property stop and compliment him on the upgrades since we bought it.

That's all for now. I'll hope to be back soon!

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