Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Last time I was in Iowa City Erin and I had such a great time hunting for real and fake pumpkins for their upcoming party. We had to check out JoAnns, of course, and Erin was like a kid in a candy store – oooing and ahing over all kinds of decor and fabric. She chose this Cloud9, organic fabric, that was designed exclusively for Joann’s stores. It’s such a nice weight and we both loved the color combination. The most important thing to Erin?? Dogs in the print. I have coordinating fabric for the leggings that I’ll work on next. I also have yarn for a dog that she wants me to knit – oh, and yarn for a scarf from The Knitting Shoppe in Iowa City.


Since I retired last October, I’ve completed many, many knitting projects. I love how easy it is to pick up a knitting project, that the projects are so portable, AND that the supplies create very little mess. I can knit and create while watching TV with my husband or sitting on the deck while I listen to an audio book.

However, I used to sew a lot and recently went through my “stash” to see what new projects I could work on. Happily Paige has an interest in sewing and we had fun creating a blanket for her newest baby cousin this summer. She has renamed the “baby bedroom” into the “sewing room”.

This is a sewing project I just completed today from fabric I bought years ago for a quilt. I just don’t have the patience to quilt big projects any longer. I had been searching the fabric blog world and came up with this little project over at Pumpkin Patterns – my first attempt was fun! I think it’s sort of an odd shape but it was a test, or prototype, project. I do like the squared bottoms and next time it will be quicker. Next time I’ll use this tutorial at Noodle-Head instead. Can’t wait to make a couple more of useful these little bags.

Squared Bottom

contrast lining

Funny Shape

Bathroom Remodel

July 18, 2013

After reading The Pioneer Woman’s remodeling posts on her beautiful new blog, I feel quite unworthy to post these photos. That said, we are thrilled with our renovated bathroom. I’ll start with a couple of the wiring photos. I always needed an additional light over my dark shower and had also seen such lovely sconces over at Actually, I got most of my inspiration there. I originally wanted them at the ends of the vanity but the barely visible pocket door caused a problem. I searched for something affordable and loved some at Restoration Hardware but these from Lamps Plus are taller and the shades are glass instead of linen which seems quite important in the bathroom. The first step in the project was to paint the walls Gray Wisp by Benjamin Moore. After I finally hunted down the paint chip in Rockford, I purchased the paint from Sherwin-Williams in Freeport. Next, Heidi Stukenberg of Lily Field Furniture painted the oak vanity with chalk paint called Graphite by Annie Sloan. Love this so much I want my master vanity painted, toO!

Old Light Bar

Old Light Bar

Sconces from Lamps Plus

Paige and I made our second recipe when she was home sick with strepp throat. By late afternoon of the second day on antibiotics, she was feeling pretty good. We thought Mommy might like this one because it’s healthy! Of course, Paige didn’t even want to try it because she detests anything with mayonnaise. How can that be?? The most difficult task was slicing the grapes down the middle. It struck me at how many cooking tasks I just take for granted but to slice a grape you must finesse it from the top down, at an angle and definitely use a serrated knife. She wanted to muscle her way through each and every one of them. She really did great chopping the apples, though, and based on my recommendation we gave this one three stars.

I came across this book during our extremely quick trip to Edward’s Orchard in Poplar Grove a couple of weeks ago. I thought, Paige and I haven’t been cooking anything together for a while and maybe this would give us (me) the motivation to start again. 121 recipes might be too much and take us a very long time but we will definitely have fun along the way.

The very first recipe in the book, Cooking Fun 121 Recipes to Make with Kids by Rae Grant, is for a Blueberry Smoothie. Despite the fact that Paige adores blueberries practically more than anything else (except ice cream), we only gave this one two stars after deciding upon a four-star rating system. Two stars means it’s, “so-so.” She did learn what it means to level off a measuring cup of plain yogurt!

The cookbook is so cute, though, with easy to read recipes and helpful hints. I just love the cute retro cover, too.

I’m really going to try and go farther this time with a photography project. Gosh, I admire people who can keep up a 365 Project.

Checking Out the Recipe

Juicing the Lemon

I added another sixteen miles last night to watch a frequently-changing sky. I knew I needed to be home by the end of the Blackhawks game, though. I’ve had my eye on these old trucks as we fly through Eleroy on hiway 20 and had a vision on how to use them to create an image. Unfortunately, I just don’t have access to any others. I try to take new roads while looking for these shots so I turned right on Salem Rd, north out of Eleroy. This road turns into something that almost parallels highway 20 and I’ve never been down it before. I discovered this beautiful little church with the steeple rising into the western sky and perched on the top is a lighted cross. So pretty! Then, across from the church is a cornfield, of course, but also one of those historic wood buildings with peeling paint that are becoming increasingly difficult to find. The windows aren’t all boarded up (frequently a disappointment with old buildings) and it appears to have the original paned windows AND doors – what a sweet surprise.

What I’ve done so far:
sun flare

What I want to do:
side lighting
smiley faces?
I plan to be back out there searching for something new and fresh tonight after a couple nights of rain and mosquito spraying. I read this in a recent issue of Rangefinder magazine and I can affirm the points made:
…dispels the concept of artist-as-casual-wanderer who finds pictures. This is work. There is a structure. And making these pictures, hitting the street-discovering new neighborhoods, or revisiting old ones, is what this kind of fine art project is all about. You want to be an explorer going up river, he says. It’s just about you and this very stringent standard, which is, “You either nail it or you don’t. ” You don’t have much to fall back on except your wits, your cunning, your charm, your experience and the variety of responses you’ve developed over time. And for me, that’s so exciting….Tom Alleman

I took this one a little earlier than sunset so added a couple of texture layers to it. I’m intrigued by this rundown, turquoise house, though. Turquoise is definitely going to be included in my new logo and branding that is currently in the design stage by Danielle Zuberbuhler.

For the past several weeks I’ve been working on a large photography project for Highland. The photo below shows the seven images which are 30″ by 40″ laid out onto the Board Room tables where Teresa and I, along with Dr Kanosky and Dr Davidson were able to preview them last Thursday. The next step will be to mount the images between layers of Lexan and then to install them onto the curved wall of the Science Center lobby. It looks like we will meet our deadline by next Wednesday, May 6th, the date of the Nursing Wing Dedication.

Board Room Review

Board Room Review