Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Playing catch-up - camping

We tried to go camping at least once a month this year from April to October and we were pretty successful minus a few months.

Besides our train wreck camping trips in March and May the rest turned out pretty good. In Early July we bought a new tent with some birthday money from my parents and then took it on it's maiden voyage soon after. It's a good thing we did or that trip would have been crappy too because it rained a day and a half. Because our tent was keeping us warm and dry we toughed it out and still really enjoyed ourselves.
We tried to hike the trail through the boy scout camp that burned a few years ago, but it didn't go too smoothly. After a couple minutes of walking the dogs were a few feet a head of us and stopped dead in the tracks staring at the side of a hill. My first thought was, "Oh dear God, there's a moose!" but when I jogged up to them it was just some cows. The dogs didn't start barking until we clipped their leashes on and the cows didn't seem phased.
It then started raining so we turned back and hunkered down in the tent the rest of the day.

The next camping trip we went on was a couple weeks later with some friends and their dog. They hit a large rock into the camping site and ripped a hole in their car's radiator so most of the trip was spent driving to and from Wyoming trying to repair it. Luckily it didn't ruin the trip and we still all enjoyed ourselves.

September and October passed by us in a blink of an eye so I thought we were done camping, but my mom called me saying she wanted to go to Goblin Valley in early November. Since Goblin Valley started out our year by kicking our butts I agreed so we could conquer it!
I didn't take many pictures, but it was such a nice camping trip with my parents, John and our two pups.

We hope that 2015 brings us some more camping adventures because both John and I love going up into the mountains to get away from everything for a while.

Playing catch-up - stuff around the house

2014 has been pretty quiet on the remodel front, besides finishing up the craft room, basement flooding and new carpet not much has been done. The larger projects we want to do will all have to wait until money is saved up.

We did do a little work in the backyard only because we were presented with free rocks. John's co-worker ordered one ton of rock for his driveway and the company delivered two tons. The company wouldn't come get it so John's co-worker has been trying to get rid of it.
Knowing that we needed to fill in some of the backyard, John offered to take some off his hands.

I think in the end it took 4 or 5 truck beds full to finish the side of our house, but it looks much better than it did. I couldn't find a before picture, but just imagine dirt, mud and over grown weeds and that is what it looked like.
 John also filled in the section of dirt between our house and the grass, nothing would grow there but weeds.

We also had a lot of dead sections of grass from storing the shed on it or Winston's killer pee so we bought some sod to patch them up.

Now we wait out winter and save for a new roof to be installed in the spring.

Playing catch-up - quilting class

I hate when others play catch-up and here I am doing it. My quilt class started in August and that's where most of my time went.

 There are about nine girls in my class now and here they all are enjoying our first class of the series.

I'm teaching paper piecing, meaning the pattern is printed on a piece of paper and fabric is sewn onto the paper and once all the pieces are sewn on the paper is torn off. We're doing a quilt called Around the Town and every month we sew a new building.

It takes a few weeks prep time since I make the pattern in 3 levels for the girls in my group since everyone is at a different skill level. I then sew the hardest level and make cutting lists for all three levels. It's quite a bit of work, but I enjoy it.

I didn't get pictures of the first month block, but the second month was a church.
 Here is my church, advanced pattern has appliqued windows and embroidery

And some of the class's church, they all did the advanced block, but didn't have time to do the applique

The next month was an ice cream shop,the advanced block had more windows and an appliqued ice cream cone on the door and appliqued window curtains
 My block

Some of the class's blocks, I think most went with the intermediate block and they need to embroider the words Ice Cream Shop on the building 

The next month was a quilt shop and it looks like I slacked on pictures because I didn't even take one of mine. Here are a few of the classes.

In December we did a toy shop and I forgot to take pictures of the classes finished blocks, but they all turned out pretty cute.

The class will go until next August or so and then I think I'll take a couple months off to breath before I even think about doing another block of the month series. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Craft room closet

So the poor craft room closet had been sitting in limbo since John had finished the room. Everything had been emptied out of it and was living in the guest room, until it flooded. Then everything went back into my craft room. I was not pleased! I had absolutely no floor space which meant laying out my quilt designs was almost impossible.
This may not look too bad, but the open floor you can see is all I had. Everything outside the shot is where furniture sits. 

After I lite a fire under him he put the last shelf in this morning. The closet is under the stairs and mostly holds holiday decor with a few odds and ends of overflow from upcoming craft projects.
First off, John put in rods to hold up the wrapping paper, I can also string up my wrapping ribbon, which I haven't done yet. 
 He also put up shelves under the stairs to hold all my holiday decor from Wood Connection.

 Some of them were a little too tall so he put up another shelf to hold those ones and more that I'll most likely obtain over the years. Right now it's holding my Halloween lanterns.

 My wreaths all have a home on the walls so they don't get squished or chewed on by the cat.

 It's not a large space as you can see, Christmas lights are in the very back that you can't see and other Christmas decor in front of it. If stacked nicely we can get quite a few things in here. The folding tables and chairs also sit in that empty space.

 Right inside the pocket door are boxes that hold all other holiday decor and makes it easy for me to get to all the time. To the left, just outside the frame, is where my large craft projects get put until I use it.
Now the room is cleared out again, just in time for me to finish up two quilts that are going to the long arm quilter tomorrow. To celebrate, I bought myself a fishy friend.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

New carpet

We hadn't planned on getting new carpet this year or even next, but when the guestroom flooded and there was no way I was going to try to save carpet I hated we decided to buy some.
We lived on bare floors for about a week and the night before the carpet was going to be put in we moved all the furniture out of the master bedroom and family room. The guestroom was still empty from the flooding. Almost everything got piled into the office.

The installer came about 8AM and finished about noon. Of course I had buyers remorse at first because that's just my nature. The lady at the carpet place said to always go darker than you think because A) the carpet will look lighter in bigger pieces and B) it'll last longer since it'll hide stains better.
I really wanted a lighter color, but took her advice and went with my second choice. I wasn't a fan when it was put into the family room, but it has grown on me and I finally like it now. It will be good with three dogs and a cat.

Here are the befores and afters pictures of the rooms...while i was trying to find before pictures, I realized you don't really ever take pictures of carpet...:
 A sampling of the new carpet

The guestroom with the cream carpet that came with the house

The speckled brown carpet now, my favorite room with the new carpet.

This is an old picture, but the before the the family room.

 The family room was so hard to get a good picture of so finally I turned to lights off and used the flash on phone. It's the most accurate of what the carpet looks like in the family room now. The picture above the couch is one we got from Tai Pan Trading. We just went there one day on a whim and that picture was on sale for $50. 
I bought those cute little canvases of the dogs from canvas discount, if you need canvas pictures I highly suggest them.

 Our master bedroom before. The carpet was cheap, matted, wasn't pulled tight enough, and Makoa chewed a couple holes through it so it was nice to have it replaced.

The new carpet is so nice, but we still have so much to do on the house still. The list just seems to get longer and longer.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Basement flooding

On Sunday morning, May 18th I headed downstairs to clean out Sophi's litter box, but was surprised to find water on the floor. I called John down while I racked my brain trying to think what was leaking. I first thought it was the central air, but since we hadn't turned it on yet that was pretty impossible. Then I hoped it was the water heater because that would mean I'd get to upgrade to a tankless, but by the time that thought had come into my head John had run into the guest room. He shut off the main water to the house and figured out it was the sprinkler main by the house.

We then spent the rest of our Sunday hauling out the furniture. Unfortunately, the guest room was storing a lot of holiday decor and odds and ends that needed to go back into the unfinished closet of the craft room. My house is now cluttered with furniture and it won't be getting better any time soon.
John called his brother over to help remove the carpet and padding since it was way too heavy for me to lift up the stairs. We then sucked up the remaining lake of water on the cement with the wet vac and my little carpet cleaner.
 Then came the part I was dreading, pulling down the pine paneling that was only put up a couple years ago.
My heart ached pulling that down so John could cut out the wet sheet rock. 
 It was late into the afternoon when we finished and set up a fan to help dry out the room. 

John started fixing the sprinkling system the next day, but even that was a chore. The hole was 5 feet deep and 3 feet wide when he found the broken pipe. 

 By Tuesday he had it fixed and the water was turned back on for good. We then left the guest room alone for the rest of the week so it could really dry out. 

Saturday we bought carpet to replace the guest room, family room and our bedroom. Only the guest room was ruined and we really could have saved the carpet, but I needed a silver lining! 
Sunday we ran to Lowe's more times than I'd care to remember and spent way too much money. We also seemed to run every other errand known to man so we didn't really get started on the room until Monday. 
We made pretty good time and the guestroom got put back together by the end of the day. We also replaced the white casings with pine, something that we had been meaning to do for some time. 

John has the rest of the week off work, he's going to use the time working on the house. Replacing the builder grade molding in our bedroom with what we've used everywhere else, tear out carpet and finish the craft room closet. I will have to find someplace to put all the furniture while the carpet is being installed on June 7th, but I'm really looking forward to having the house back in order.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Early May camping at Currant Creek

I know it has been a while since I've posted, but work has gotten me swamped. I was helping get ready for a system intro at work which required so much of my time that I think the lap top glued to my legs at home.
The system was going to be launched May 5th and I knew that I wouldn't have any time off for a while so I asked John if he wanted to get away to the wilderness for a couple days for his birthday. We decided to go to Currant Creek since the camp ground wasn't scheduled to be opened until the next weekend so we were hoping for peace and quiet "primitive camping".  

We found a nice spot that I'm sure will be even more beautiful once the leaves come in. We did have to do some cleanup of deer pelts and legs so the dogs would leave it alone....they still didn't. The spot was also littered with broken bottles, beer cans, dirty diapers, ceramic plates, and carpet. I was very unhappy with my fellow man and the mess. The first rule of primitive camping is to pack out what you pack in. We had to use a whole trash bag to clean up someone else's mess, but we didn't want to leave the spot.

After setting up our spot (thanks for letting us borrow your tent, Parents!) we walked around with the dogs to let them blow off some steam. Luckily John saw the deer before I did, so we could keep the dogs far enough away to not chase them. They probably couldn't figure out why we weren't moving for so long.

Once back at our spot, John took a nap and I read my book and enjoyed the idea of not having to do anything.
Around dusk the deer starting coming out in droves, they were all over the side of the hill we were camped by. John stopped counting one group when he hit 50. A little while after that we started hearing howling in the distance, we figured they were out hunting all the deer we had been seeing.
We started a fire and roasted hot dogs and s'mores for dinner, but didn't last long. I was cold and wanted to hit the hay so we climbed into the tent around 10PM.

Enna decided to steal my seat while I was up making s'mores.

It was about 11PM when we started hearing the growling, whining and barking of a single animal and it was close to our tent. It would hang out for about 5 minutes and then we'd hear it a little further away. This went on for about an hour and we were starting to get tense. The forth go around, the animal actually pushed on the tent. I chirped our car alarm to see if we'd scare it away and by for 3 chirp it was gone and didn't come back. We weren't sure if it was a wolf, coyote or just someone's dog, but we weren't going out of the tent to find out. Luckily our dogs didn't make a peep during the whole thing, who knows if that would have helped scare the animal away or make it worse. When we got home, I did some research and I'm fairly certain that it was a coyote.

We slept soundly after that and since we had never had a positive camping trip just the two of us, we decided to stay.
The next morning we took our time making breakfast and cleaning up. After we took a little walk so the dogs could stretch their legs. I think Makoa brought us every deer leg in a 5 mile radius and Enna hunted every bird in the grass.
It was such a beautiful day in the mid 60's and I was soaking up the sunshine while we strolled.
Once back to our spot, the dogs finally settled down.

 John and I read, took naps, played mancala until we started our stew in the dutch oven for dinner. It was delicious, thanks Derek and Jonessa for the antelope meat!
We started a fire early and didn't have any coyote sightings or hearings, but the dogs did keep freaking us out by barking into the shadows.
We had no problems during the night and in the morning we used the fire to make breakfast and brew our coffee. We were in no hurry to get home so we took another stroll with the dogs before we cleaned up.

The puppies were so quiet while we cleaned up and we headed home around noon. It was such a nice camping trip for once and we're hoping to go once a month the rest of the year until the snow comes in.