Sincerest Apologies.

I know – it’s been a while since I’ve updated.  I swear I do have a very good reason.  We have been renovating our kitchen.  Yeah.  That kind of fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I will totally appreciate it when it is done.  It’s all the stuff in between that makes it not so much fun.  It’s been a bit of  a whirlwind.  We went in for a consult but there were a ton-o-deals going on that we ended up going for it.  Then the fun really began, especially since we have been doing a lot of the work ourselves which is why I haven’t had much time to come back here for the past few weeks.

I am happy to report that we are in the homestretch!  Painting is 3/4 of the way there and we are getting the floor torn up and finishing off the painting this week so we can put the new floor down.  Once that happens we will be ready for them to deliver our cabinets.  Yahoo!!  I’m pretty tickled with how things are starting to come together and I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure we would really get to this point.  It all seemed like a far far away goal that we would be scrambling the entire time.  However, things are going well enough that I am taking the day off tomorrow.  We hit the painting portion pretty hard this weekend and my body is giving me a strong suggestion that we take a day to relax.  We will see how well I listen to it.

I suppose I should explain a little further.  Our kitchen was a complete disaster.  Seriously.  I don’t know that I have seen a worse kitchen.  The flooring was yellow/gold linoleum from the 1970’s that we covered over with some super cheap neutral colored linoleum squares once the old had worn a rather large hole in the middle of the floor.  The stove was from 1957 and there was no self-cleaning option or self-igniting burners.  The door was also a little warped so you had to wing it with regard to cooking times and temperatures and you couldn’t buy parts for it any more as the door also needed a new seal.  There was no dishwasher and so we purchased a portable one which took up wall space and was a pain to move across the floor.  The sink also faced a wall.  Very  depressing.

That doesn’t even touch the cabinets which were of the homemade heavy plywood variety and painted dark brown.  No fun features and I’m not sure we could have even added any after market ones.  They had no back wall and the hinges were failing and the drawers were kind of small.  They also didn’t put a cap on the end of the counter top (which ended at the stove) and thus it made a gap against the wall that the mice were in love with.  There was also a terribly lovely brown faux wood paneling that went all the way around the room (yes, even behind the cabinets). Under said paneling was some sort of felted tar paper or who knows what.  It required some chemicals to come down but still left behind a brown residue.  All of which required some serious wall skimming which makes me wonder if I’m not getting some arthritis in one of my knuckles as it is not bouncing back so terribly well.  Of course the recent bout of painting hasn’t helped either.

Lastly, we have a small butler’s pantry.  At one point one of the walls of the pantry was removed to create a hallway (which also cut the bathroom in half).  We did replace the wall but had to had some hook up for a built-in dishwasher.  There was also a lovely painted wooden counter with a window and a built-in floor to ceiling cabinet.  Originally I was going to tear that out and put in some sort of shelving but after I really looked at it, the cabinet is really well-built and would just require new paint to make a new baking center for me.

So far we only have a couple of major things left to do – the depressing sink location is moving to the window (where we will have to cut away some window molding since the windows are only 33″ from the floor and standard cabinets are 34″.  However, it will be worth it to have some natural light by the sink rather than a dreary wall.  We will also need to figure out a location for the heat vent.  Gas is moving too, but it appears that in a former configuration there was a hole cut in the floor for the gas so we just need to move the pipe.  I’m sure it will be easier said than done as that is the way that everything goes.  Then there is installing the floor.  With any luck the rest of the tear out will happen by the weekend and we can spend some time mapping out where things are going to go and then start installing the new floor.

Needless to say, I have not had much time for quilting.  I feel like I have barely had time to keep up with laundry and now that school has started, I have to get up early and get going so we aren’t late to school.

I’m hoping that things will resolve in the next couple weeks and I’ll be spending some fun time getting the new kitchen organized.  I really am pretty excited.  My job this week is to finish painting the shelves in the butler’s pantry, touch up on the walls and such, and to start painting the woodwork.

However, tomorrow I am taking the day off from the kitchen to let my hand rest.  I’ll get back to it on Tuesday.  Then it will be taking care of the rest of the painting.

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More new stuff!

Well, it’s not new but I have acquired a new vintage sewing machine.  Yahoo!  Not a featherweight this time.  This time it is a Singer 306K and of course it is in a table.  Want to see it?  Of course you do!

I probably should give a little background…..  Last fall my Aunt passed away.  While we knew it was coming, we still didn’t anticipate things to quite go the way they did and there has been some sadness off and on between me and Small Blonde.  My mom has the job of cleaning out her house which had been my Grandparents.  During my last trip down, she wanted to make sure I saw the sewing machines in case I wanted them.  Both are in tables and both are Singers from the days when Singer was making a quality machine.  The first one I looked at was probably from the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It was not what I remembered my Grandmother sewing on.  I passed on it.  Then I went to look at the other one and remembered this one as the one my Grandmother sewed on.  At first I wasn’t going to take it.  Then I realized I just couldn’t pass on it.  So it got loaded.  She is kinda pretty and is in pretty good shape, although she still needs some servicing.IMG_0933 IMG_0935

One of the fun things about Singer is that you can look up the serial number and see when your machine was made.  This particular one was made in March of 1955.  Once I started looking it up, I learned that it had a few cool things.  It has an extra-large bobbin (Woohoo!  Less winding!) and it was one of the first models to include zig zag capability through the use of cams.  Thankfully, I have all of the cams original to the machine as well!  I’ve never had a machine that uses cam before so this should be interesting.

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Here are all the feet and bobbin case.  I’m not so sewing savvy that I know what all of them are for, but I was able to download the manual so I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out.IMG_0937

There are a couple of weird things – the first is that in order to change the bobbin you have to tilt the entire machine back.  Guess that is another good reason for extra capacity bobbins!  I know it’s not a terribly good picture, but you can see the underneath of the machine and the bobbin shuttle.IMG_0938

 

 

I like to do research on things so it was no hardship to do a little reading before I starting taking a good look at it and I’m glad I did.  Turns out that the other weird thing is that it doesn’t take standard sized needles – those are too long.  The needles it does use are shorter between the eye and the point and thankfully there are still a couple of sizes available to purchase.

So far it seems to work okay, but the belt has a bit of a kink to it and so it catches and doesn’t turn with the belt.  To that end it shall soon be off to be cleaned and serviced.  I’m excited to think that it will make a nice secondary machine (once I get the hang of using it) that I can leave in the main living area so I can sew while still keeping an eye on the boys or hanging out with the rest of the family.  At least I hope that will be the case once she is returned to me ready for use!

For the record, once I got home I felt like I made a terrible mistake in not taking the other machine and so I’ll have to make one more trip to pick it up.  I’ll be sure to make a full report when I do.  You knew I wouldn’t be able to really pass on it.