Hi everyone! I thought I’d do an update on the studio makeover. The main part of my studio is ready. However we are storing stuff in it until the basement guest room cum family room cum classroom is completed. The paint is drying as I type!
I’ve been working in my new studio, enjoying it for a couple of months now. It has been a great space to work! I have projects strewn everywhere. I could wish for improved lighting still. But the LED overhead lights are a great start. I wish I had some kind of track lighting to light up my gallery walls. I have two gallery walls at the moment, and hope to have a third before too long.
Check out my current photos. It’s a bit messy because of all the work going on here, but it functions for me. That is good!
My current projects are:
an appliquéd moose wall hanging or cushion cover for my nephew, in memory of his grandfather. I’m not sure which will be better for him.
Fixing a hand quilted quilt I started when I was seventeen. We won’t say how long ago that was!
Dyeing the border colors for my South Korean roof tile end caps wall hanging,
preparing for Workshop Week next week, and
getting the guest room stuff out of my studio!
Hoping to get considerable movement done on these in the next couple of weeks.
It’s amazing how much we collect, both in our personal and business lives. Nothing has shown me that more clearly than this move. I have STUFF! As fast as Charlie puts together IKEA storage units I fill them.
I made a decision. I’m selling all my scrapbooking supplies and going digital and online. I’ve been toying with the idea for a couple of years now. I don’t do much scrapbooking, but when I do I like to attend weekend scrapbook meetings and accomplish something in one fell swoop. I notice hauling around the supplies is getting to be an issue for me. That would be alleviated by going online and doing everything in the comfort of my own home.
I’ve made photo books online before and have had moderate success. I discovered an online business, forever.com, at one of the scrapbook meetings I attended. I’m giving them a try. I’ve seen some of their finished photo books and they’re great! They seem to be using good paper and good ink. Owners of the books claim the books are as good now as when they bought them years ago. I’m ready to try and find out.
I’ve also discovered I have a lot more rug hooking supplies than I thought I had. I’m sorting them out now and preparing to list some for sale online. I’m using my Facebook page – JLT Studios – and the newly formed Rug Hooking Buy n Sell Canada Facebook page. I will also use the local Kijiji and VarageSale.
Charlie and I took a break from working on the house last weekend and headed up beyond Canning, Nova Scotia. It is beautiful country up there. We stopped at Grand Pre National Historic Park on the way. We walked through the woods to the old Acadian church. I really enjoyed all the wild flowers on the way. There is also a great planting of coleus just before the statue of Evangeline of Longfellow fame. The colours were magnificent! I sense another rug coming on…
A friend has offered us the use of her cottage this summer, whenever we want it. We could both use it. I’m thinking of taking an artist retreat out there for about five days. Charlie has been trying to write a book on his laptop. There are trails in the area we could hike. It was very kind of our friend to offer the cottage, and we hope to take some advantage of it.
Good Monday morning everyone! Charlie finished painting the first studio wall this weekend. It looks wonderful!
I painted 37 year old cabinets and bookcases he’d made for me as a young wife. What a sweetheart! Those cabinets have been used in every home we’ve lived in. It was sad selling four of them for this move, but we had to downsize. They went to a good cause. A teacher wanted them for her classroom. The remaining four will be in our kitchen and my studio.
Today’s activities include putting together furniture for the studio wall that is finished, and filling it. That will, hopefully, empty a few boxes, giving us more room in the studio to paint more walls.
Other happenings around the homestead?
We are having the deck stained. Our friends were here Saturday and Sunday to work on it. Today is the last coat and touchups.
I found wild purple violets growing in our backyard. I picked them and tried to make candied violets, but failed. I made a sourdough banana bread from YouTube later in the afternoon and tossed in the candied violets. It was delicious!
I’ve been checking out the yard and cleaning up flower beds – both front and back. We have an interesting backyard. There’s some grass, but not much. What we really have is a meadow. There’s wild strawberries, forget-me-nots, wild purple violets, and dandelions. All of these are in amongst moss.
The fringe benefit of not having just grass is that we see a lot of different insects and wildlife. This morning I woke up to a robin and pheasant eyeing each other warily from about ten feet apart in the backyard. Neighbours have reported deer in the area too.
I’ve been checking out the flowerbed situation. It’s quite overgrown. We apparently have a major goutweed problem. I’m sorting through how to deal with that now. If you have any experience please post in the comments below!
The deck garden is coming along fine. Seeds are up. In fact, everything I planted is up. I’m a bit overwhelmed. I had over planted because in the past I’ve had issues with germination and damping off. So far everything is growing quite happily. Hopefully I can get it all transplanted and onto the deck this week.
I have too many squash seedlings, so I’m contemplating planting them near the goutweed in hopes their huge leaves will smother it. But I don’t know if that will work. I think I’ll try several methods in different areas of the yard and see which method is best. Then next year I’ll settle on one method and try and get rid of the stuff.
If you’ve been reading till now, thank-you. I hope you have a great day and productive week! As always, keep an eye on my YouTube channel for more video about the studio renovation. Talk to you later, Jean O.
Hi everyone! It’s been a busy week. The IKEA furniture arrived yesterday. The delivery guys would only take it to the front steps. Our son-in-law was here to help us bring it into the house. He also helped my hubby, Charlie, put together the sofa. They also managed a great start on the large 4’x6’ Besta china cabinet/storage unit for the dining area. Charlie and I finished it today. I unpacked quite a few boxes into it.
Charlie also put together a small Billy bookcase. So far I’ve been able to unpack several small book boxes into it. I figure I’ve unpacked about ten boxes today – a fair bit of it glassware and china. So far only one item was chipped. The living room, kitchen, and dining area are looking much better!
We had the pellet stove technician in. He fired up the stove in the studio and gave us the situation. It’s a very noisy older unit and awkward to start. Plus the automatic shut off isn’t working. We have a few choices: leave it and be careful when we use it, don’t use it, replace with a newer model, or just have the thing removed and taken away. I’m leaning towards the last option as it would give me more usable space in the studio.
Right now all sources of heat in this house are electric, which comes in on overhead lines. We’d like to have a backup heat source that isn’t electric. We’ve been investigating solar. We have a wonderful southwest exposure to our roof. Plus there’s a provincial grant for going solar. We’ll see.
The pellet stove technician also works with air exchangers. Ours doesn’t work, but he said he’d do some research to see if he could find a suitable replacement and quote us for it and installation. It would be real nice to have one up and running.
I finished washing and repairing my main studio wall earlier this week. Charlie was down there to wash them again and do touch ups today. Hopefully he can tape it off and start to prime it tomorrow.
I’m excited to be getting the studio underway finally. But first I have a few pieces of furniture to refinish: a small cupboard, a small bookcase that fits on top of it, and an old table. All of them need a serious cleaning and painting before going to live in my studio and dye kitchen.
Well that’s it for this week’s review. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Thanks for reading. Take care everyone!
I haven’t totally dropped off the face of the earth! I’m here and doing fine. The last two weeks I’ve been in self-isolation because I have a cold. I still have a cough, but I’m thinking that’s related to other health issues. For now I’m up and being productive!
I offered to help a relative in the medical field with any sewing, should the hospital she works in need it. After a bit of back and forth a request came in for cloth scrub caps. So the last couple of days I’ve been designing and sewing those. I hope to have a box off to them by Friday.
I’ve also been doing a bit of rug hooking on my South Korean rug since I last posted. But, to be honest, progress has been stalled with Covid-19 and the scrub caps.
I hope all my readers are well out there. Here in Canada our Prime Minister has invoked the Quarantine Act in an effort to get everyone to stay home and flatten the curve, reducing the burden on health care workers and hospitals. It seems to be working in British Columbia, our westernmost province. We are hoping it works across the rest of Canada.
Covid-19 has kind of messed up our plans for moving this year. As a result of the quarantine I have postponed kitchen renovations and bathroom renovations at our new house. They are not essential. We don’t even know if it’s okay for the sale to go through. As it stands now, someone needs to go to the bank and get a bank draft to drop at the seller’s lawyer. Plus there’s a final check of the house. Plus we have to see our own lawyer. Both Hubby and I are high risk for developing Covid-19, so I’m not excited about these extra community contacts. I’d much rather we both stayed home. But we can’t live in our friend’s basement forever. While the timing may be bad, it may just be a chance we have to take.
I’ve also decided to plant a garden this year, even if it’s just a container garden on the deck. I’m not confident about the availability of foodstuff from our local grocers. Hubby and I use online ordering to acquire food these days. They are slow at best, and didn’t have nine items on my list last time! I understand these are stressful times, but we still have to eat. I just wish people would quit hoarding so those of us who don’t can simply eat!
The decision to garden has been impacted by Covid-19 in more ways than that. Apparently everyone else has the same desire to garden this year. The main local seed store, from where I was going to order seed, temporarily shut down it’s online store due to a shortage of product. However, they plan to have it up and running again this coming week. It’s the panic over buying by some people, resulting in these interruptions in the supply chain, that is making Canadians nervous and fuelling more demand. It’s a vicious cycle.
Despite what’s going on in the world with Covid-19, I am seeing a lot of good in people and am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the skills, technology, and ability to help others. I’m thankful to have a roof over my head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. I find it useful for my mental health to look at the positive things around me…like our landlady sharing meals with us, and being able to bake with her. I am thankful that, while we’re on a fixed income, at least we have an income. And I’m thankful that I can contribute, even if in a small way.
As always, I hope this post finds my readers healthy and safe. Take care till next time…Jean
Wow! It’s only -5 Celsius out there today! LOL Well I guess it’s all relative. After about a month of -30 Celsius weather, this is downright balmy! Hubby is feeling better and is in the kitchen making Chicken Rice Soup. Yes, he caught that cold/flu bug after me and had it for all of 48 hours. I am soooo jealous! I wish I had short illnesses like that. I am looking forward to the soup tonight.
At any rate, after our two or three weeks of illness, we’re back at doing things around the house. Hubby is renovating and I’m back at the cardiac gym three times a week. We canceled the GoodFood meals. I found them to be great while we were sick and excellent quality and variety. However they are a tad on the expensive side. I can feed us 21 meals for what they were charging for 3 meals.
I made a menu plan and grocery list the other day before heading out grocery shopping. Picked up $120 CAD worth of groceries for about two weeks or more of food for Hubby and I. I found some good deals on meat. Came home and prepped the meat for easy use in meals.
I used to do mega-cooking. That’s where you cook all the meals for a month (or however long you want) at one time (usually over the course of a weekend) and put it in the freezer in meal sized amounts to pull out and reheat as needed. However that takes too much of my energy now. So my plan is to double cook meals. That just means making double batches of meals, eating one, and freezing the leftovers for later.
Hubby is still busy renovating the house. He is silent on when he thinks the house will be ready for sale. We’ll see. For now he is working on the basement, having finished all the upstairs BUT the front entry closet doors, which are an odd size.
I’m back at decluttering and selling used items online. Slowly getting rid of excess. I also had a good friend stop in and give me a sketchbook. An artist can always use one of those! She also brought her celery tops, which she doesn’t eat. As I was making chicken stock at the time, I just tossed them all in. Her timing was excellent!
As far as hooking goes…I have started hooking my South Korea rug and am not happy with it. I want to ‘fix’ it before posting a photo.
I also have not done any scrapbooking because of this illness. I need to have some photos developed first. I’ve temporarily given up on the idea of digital scrapbooking. The Forever program I was looking at requires a PC for full use of the site and I work on an Apple platform. There are work arounds, and I’ll have to look more in-depth at those before making a final decision.
I hope everyone has a great couple of weeks! I will be back then to post more.
Had a great time in Winnipeg. My niece beat her personal best times in swimming in all her races. So proud of her!
While in Winnipeg we saw the Picasso exhibit in the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the more traditional art exhibit. Also saw The Manitoba Museum and The Museum of Human Rights. Stopped in at the Assiniboine Park and down at The Forks. There was free entertainment every night at The Forks. We made it down a couple of nights. Checked into several really good restaurants in town – Kiwa Korean Cuisine and Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant (Greek food) stand out at the moment.
Came home and Monday we had a gas insert installed in our fireplace. Tuesday we had window cleaners here to clean all the windows in the house. Today we had a painter come finish the paint job on the house.
Yesterday I went with a friend to a nearby beach town to drop something off and have dinner out. Today Hubby and I went to Assiniboia to see the Shurniak Art Gallery, have lunch, and check out the library. We drove home through Ogema and stopped for ice-cream. Cute little town.
Now I have no excuses. I have to figure out my website situation. I can’t post photos and I can’t renew any of the plugins on it. I will talk with my website developer this week about it. Apparently my theme is no longer being supported by WooCommerce. 🙁
Not much to report. I drew some designs on backing. I organized my receipts for the year.
Other than that…
The excavation company finished the job this morning! And we didn’t get charged anything above the quote! They did excellent work and cleaned up quite nicely after themselves. We were impressed. Better yet, we have water and a functioning sewer line again. 🙂
AND…I’ve been de-cluttering like crazy here and listing items online for sale. Hubby has been loading up the car and we’ve taken trips to donate items various places. Not much sold this week, but there has been interest.
New mat by the front door to catch the dirt!…and my foot! lol
Someone suggested I post some photos and recipes. I have just made Korean Daanmooji to this point. It is eaten like a pickle would be…a few on the side of any rice dish. Or, if you are me, you just inhale them. 🙂
Korean Daanmooji (Radish Kimchi)
500 gm. yellow pickled radish (check your local Korean grocer)
1/4 c. chopped green onion
1 1/2 tbsp. Korean red pepper spice
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/8 tsp. salt
Slice the radish fine (1/8″ thick). Mix everything together. Store in a glass container in the fridge. Wait a day or two for it to settle flavour wise. Then enjoy as an accompaniment to any meal with rice. Or you can just snack on it. One quarter cup has 40 calories. 🙂
Also finished the peanut butter cups. Packaged a bunch up for presents already. I use the recipe from Dining on a Dime by Tawra Jean Kellam.
Next up? Spinach Namul and Mushroom Namul.
Wanna see kitchen photos? Or are you sick of them yet? These will be the last…I think… my kitchen at night. 🙂
We did manage to get everything in it in the end…we think. We seem to have lost the wheat flour. And I have yet to find a place for the sugar. But those will be small bags for us, so not so big a problem to find space as a large bag would be.
I promise I will get back to posting about rug hooking soon. I was up to one of the shops selling my wall hangings, ornaments, and cards and picked up a cheque. Always nice to receive one of those! 🙂
I may have to clean up my sunroom studio to find a place to put a small Christmas tree this year. Hubby and I agreed there will not be much under the tree. Our Christmas present is the new kitchen. 🙂
I had a fun-filled day yesterday…a little early morning disappointment, but it was overcome. The kitchen installer was here to install the pull out drawers we had paid for. Only one problem…they were the wrong size! Not only that but there are none the right size in all of Regina. They have to order them from the factory. That will be another three weeks. Probably not till after Christmas. At least the kitchen is usable as is. 🙂
In the afternoon I took off for some Christmas fun! I went to a friend’s and made lots of royal icing for the Gingerbread Nativity event at church this weekend. Then some shopping for supplies for said event, Christmas baking, and an Asian potluck we are having at church this Sunday. I get to bake and cook! One of my other favourite things to do! 🙂
I came home and made Korean danmoji – a sweet and spicy pickled radish. I plan on making a couple of Korean side dishes (namools) to take to the potluck too. That will round out what is there. I had to contact one of the Korean ladies in the congregation to nail down what everyone else was bringing so there would be no duplication. It is going to be a real Korean feast! I love Korean food.
I also made the fondant filling for peanut butter balls. Making them will have to wait till later today.
I live in this really cool neighborhood. It is known as a residence for artists and artisans. We have a small but mighty business strip within walking distance…including a grocery store. The last few years they’ve had a Light up the Village campaign in early December. Businesses stay open late and serve Christmas drinks and food. People gather and go caroling down the main street. There were over 50 of us this year! We all gather for hot chocolate, mulled cider, and snacks afterwards. It is great fun to be part of a neighborhood like this during this time of year.
Finished a third Prairie Sky wall hanging. Only seven more to go on this backing! I would like to have some for after Christmas, in case the gallery showcasing the exhibit with my work needs/wants more for sale. I find these small wall hangings excellent for the days I go to Crafting. One can be hooked in a couple of hours.
Our renovation is going well. The fridge is back in the kitchen! Unfortunately we have a few things that need attention. A small hole in the wall where the phone wires used to be. Some pull out bins for the pantry. Some trim for the base of the cabinets. All things that were promised us but that were not done. We are on the contractor’s and installer’s radar though. That is good!
Today is errand day. I also plan to make some royal icing for a gingerbread nativity event at my church. And I plan to go Christmas caroling this evening, if I have energy and time. 🙂
I am mega-excited! I cooked my first supper in the stove oven in three months last night! A spinach quiche. Today will be stir fry I think. Here are the kitchen photos. We still have to move the fridge, but that will not take long. Hubby wants to paint trim tonight and move fridge tomorrow evening. 🙂
As for rug hooking? I am dealing with contracts right now and not getting much done otherwise. I need to motivate myself to get started on “Goldfish”. I don’t know what my holdup is with that one. I suspect it is because I have never hooked fish before. I will have to browse through Deanne Fitzpatrick’s books. I’m sure she has a section somewhere in one of them on hooking fish.
As you can see I’m already getting ready for Christmas.
I had a busy weekend working on and in the kitchen. Everything is back there but the fridge. Need to clean up a bit and then some photos will be posted for your viewing pleasure. Need to get some curtains up too.
Not much happening in the rug hooking arena as a result. I found some affordable business cards at Vistaprint. I ordered some on their CyberMonday sale. We’ll see what they are like when they arrive. They are 1/2 the price of my previous ones. I ordered those from the US and, frankly, with the drop in the Canadian dollar I just cannot justify doing that anymore.
It took all of about 30 seconds…well maybe a minute…to figure out my new Beeline Townsend cutter and get it set up for cutting. I love it! Cuts like butter. A little stressful cutting thick stuff like blankets, but not bad. Just have to take it slow. I tried it on the thickest wool I ever hook with…which is very thick. I am going to look forward to using this baby! 🙂
My finished hat from yesterday…
Other great news! I’m putting things back in my kitchen now. Most everything is there. Just need to pick up a few plastic food grade containers to organize things and everything will be in. Hubby has yet to do the trim and baseboard (what little there is). Hoping to be cooking in there by the end of the weekend.
I thought my readers might like to see the finished Sauder Village pieces. I have actually altered Above the Garage a bit since this photo was taken. There is now a lot less trunk and a lot more leaves!
Finished this wall hanging earlier this week.
Finishing a knitted hat today.
Checking out my new baby — the wool cutter.
Waiting for the electrician to put together my kitchen.
The tilers come again today, but should be gone by mid-morning. Meaning I hope to make the gym this morning with my friends, and crafting in the afternoon. I am thinking I will take my hardanger. I do not have the time to organize my rug hooking for a road trip today.
Yesterday I almost finished a second wall hanging. I am going slow on these. I may need to do more dyeing of yellows. I am hoping my kitchen is done very soon.
I was up in my sewing room yesterday and decided I needed to cull some items taking up floor space. There are 4 items taking up space: a cross stitch floor stand, a bag full of naturally dyed wool – some hand spun, a big Rubbermaid bin of sale items that haven’t sold at craft fairs (not hooking), and a wicker waste basket with two hooked rugs in it.
Yesterday I listed the floor stand for sale online. I used it once and didn’t like it. It is a very good stand though. Lots of people pay dearly for them and there is a line up to buy them. But I just find the floor frame awkward to use. Plus I will not be doing anymore small counted stitching…other than hardanger…and I already have a scroll frame for that.
Then there was the bag of naturally dyed wool. It was tail ends from another project. So I decided to make winter hats out of it. I will give those as gifts or to charity. Doesn’t much matter. I just want to use up the yarn and get it out of here!
The big Rubbermaid bin is an issue. I might try to list things on Etsy…but I am afraid that will make my shop too diverse. We will see.
The wicker basket with the hooked rugs? One is in need of a whipped edge repair. And one is on burlap and needs to be put up for sale on Etsy.
I think I am close to finished. I have a few things to tweak and double check, but generally I am happy with this now.
What’s up this week in my studio?
I will be working on my hardanger and
Above the Garage next.
Also mind mapping some notes from old International Artist magazines,
reading back issues of Wild Fibers,
and going through old course notes for more rug ideas.
Hoping to soon be able to get into the basement to work on proper hanging systems for Prairie Sky and Lost Soul. Right now there is kitchen trim everywhere! Hubby is almost well enough to pick up work on the trim again. He injured himself on the table saw over a month ago now. So glad it was not any worse than it was!
This week we will have the kitchen installers in again.
I seem to be creating a larger version of my earlier geranium plein air piece. This is 10″ x 15″. I am happy with all but the leaves. I am thinking I have too many colours in there and not enough definition. Hmm…
I worked a bit on the Christmas ornaments today. Not much. Just sewed on ribbons.
Tried to work on my hardanger bellpull, but lost the thread! I know I put it someplace safe. Sigh. Old age is creeping up folks! (Later: found it under some stuff by my chair…seriously need to pick up around here!)
Pulling out my old rug hooking course notes to see if I can glean some new ideas.
The lower kitchen cabinets are in and look lovely. The kitchen installers are waiting for the countertop so they can put that in. It should arrive with them on Monday. Then they will install the rest of the kitchen.
Up and at ’em! Today was a beautiful day…a day for hooking. Gym this morning, hooking this afternoon. I worked on my Prairie Sky wall hangings for Etsy. Finished a spiral one and am now working on a circle sky one.
I heard from one of the shops yesterday that sells my work and they would like 50 assorted Christmas cards to sell! That was a nice feeling. 🙂 Hope they sell.
Before 9:30 AM I dealt with a cabinet company and a contractor. We currently have no one on the job until the new cabinets come in 2 or 3 weeks.
I am making the best of the situation. I spent some time picking up the living room today. Tonight we will be moving cabinets into the kitchen. I refuse to leave them in my dining room and living room where I am going to live the next 3 weeks.
The kitchen renovation has hit a snag…and a delay. Some of the cabinets are damaged and some are marked. As they are a light maple, every mark shows. We are waiting till everything is unpacked Monday before exchanging for new ones. They will take 2-3 weeks to come. The new timeline is to be finished the kitchen by mid-November.
As far as rug hooking…I did manage to send some business cards to the shop yesterday. I also managed to photograph the order for the other shop. I stopped in on my walk today to check out the new shop. It looks lovely. I do need to take my new inventory to them when the owners are back.
I started reading I Just Like to Make Stuff. It is a light look at starting a craft business. I think it will help me sort out what I want from my craft/art. I will continue to work through it and see how I can apply it to my situation.
I did not have a chance to sit down at my frame and hook yesterday. Maybe today…
I’m taking the day off from rug hooking tomorrow (Friday). I have gym in the morning, a friend in the afternoon, and another set of company in the late afternoon. I may do some hooking in the evening, but we shall see. I am making up for it by working Saturday.
Today was a busy day. I hooked most of the day. Made a short grocery run in the afternoon. Also had a visit from the contractor. He okayed the electrical from his end and presented us with a new, lower quote. We are happy. He is feeling bad for us because the electrician charged so much. But he is mad at himself for bringing the guy on the job. He says he’s learned something from this. So have we. Always get three quotes before giving someone the job.
I did manage to line a few more ornaments yesterday. The lighting was poor and my fingers were hurting so I borrowed a thimble from a friend to finish the job. I tired of it long before I finished.
I managed to hook another Prairie Sky rugette, and get half way through another one. I am looking forward to a chance to really settle in and hook today. I am also posting my Christmas cards in my ETSY shop.
The first half of the renovation is complete. The electricians were here yesterday with the power company to adjust the height of the meter. All is well. The contractors are swinging by with a renewed quote/estimate for the last half of the job.