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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Grandma Dust and Making a Sewing Room

Since we are kinda hanging close to home and waiting to see what is happening in Ohio with our step dad, it's like marking time.  We don't want to start using any vacation time, instead we are holding on to it to help mom afterwards.  Each time the phone rings, I jump.  We are so thankful that mom got her laptop going, so we can keep in contact hourly.  Hospice is now there round the clock with our dear Lowell...  and he is so very frail.

We are having sub zero weather this weekend, and the wind chills are in the 30 below zero range. No dog walking, no outside projects and no going anywhere unless we need to.  Plus, I am feeling a half-arsed cold coming on, arggghh!

I was looking at my Loom Room the other day.  Since I have also taken up quilting, the studio known as my Loom Room is getting "crowded"...  I am primarily a weaver, and need to have access to my looms at all times for custom orders and rug creation.  So that is the main purpose of having the room set up exclusively for weaving....  Looms, shuttles, supplies and materials are a mainstay of my job.

But... the quilting is fun!  I don't make much money at it, but I enjoy creating the wonderful hotpads, wall hangings and quilts that I have made.  Soooo keeping those things set out, in the way in my Loom Room is taking up space.  I have three sewing machines in there!   My big 101 year old Singer Treadle machine, my 1941 Singer electric from my Grandma Groop (which I also use to hem rugs) , and then a newer computerized Janome for the actual quilting process.  On top of that, I have a Singer Quantum for the motorhome!

Add to that, I have a "Big Board" ironing board which Steveio made that takes up a lot of room, and I end up setting it up in the dining room each time I want to work on a quilt.  Then I end up putting my big Olfa cutting mat on the dining room table. We use our dining room a lot, and it is a main walkway between the kitchen and living room.  So I can't just shut away the stuff in the dining room either. It's right "there" in our faces while I am working on quilting projects. Then I have to move all this junk errrr stuff at the end of each sewing session back into the Loom Room.  Things get "dumped" in there on nearest available flat surface and soon I have a mess!

I was thinking.... hmmmmm we have a whole third bedroom upstairs that we fondly call "The Grandtot Room"  We use an inflatable queen size mattress in there for when the grandtots come to sleep over.  We filled the room with toys and books, but in actuality, they don't play up there. When they do come over, they play down in the main livingroom, foyer and diningroom by us, the grandparents.  We keep a toy closet in the foyer, completely filled with toys and a reading nook with books too.  Now that most of the grandtots are of school age, the overnight visits are less and less.  Hmmm why are we keeping a whole room set aside for them?

We have a perfectly good guest room with a queen sized bed for visitors. Now that the grandtots are all potty trained and sleeping in big beds at home, they can do the same thing here.

I decided to clear out the toys, condense them down to the toy closet on the main floor and clear out the room in preparation to make it into MY SEWING ROOM!  Heck, we could even inflate the mattress in the middle of the sewing room if they do want to sleep in there. Just have to remove the scissors and needles first I guess.

On Friday night, I brought up the idea to my partner in crime, Steveio.  I was hoping to get his help in carrying up the sewing stuff to the grandtot's room and help me make a Sewing Room.

One glitch.. that danged perfectionist husband of mine!  He said there will be no moving ANY sewing stuff into the room. Why? Because he said FIRST we need to skip trowel new plaster on the ceiling BEFORE I can move any of my sewing stuff up there.  Dangnabbit, he threw a monkey wrench into my plans.

Our home is a sturdy stout 101 year old Craftsman home.  The plaster is thick like cement on the walls and ceilings.  But over the years the ceilings look "wavy" and he doesn't care for that. It's not cracking or falling down.  He just doesn't like the look of the wavy plaster.  The walls are fine and smooth, it's just the ceilings he is bothered by.

When we bought the house 3 years ago, we skip troweled the ceilings in the living room, dining room, Loom Room and our master bedroom.  We never got around to plastering the ceilings in the other two bedrooms.... (or painting them either, but wait, that is going to foil me even more!)

Off to the store we went to get a bag of the proper plaster (the 210 wt size for good adhesion) and then we cleared out the last few things from the room.  First thing Saturday morning he was hard at it, doing a skip trowel technique on the ceiling. He mentioned we should PAINT the walls too...  He HATES painting, and that means it's left up to me to paint the ceiling.. and now the walls???  Well, the walls were perfectly good and nice pale blue, from the previous sellers, and there was nothing wrong with them!

I asked... "Why do you want the walls repainted?"  He just grinned and replied: "So I can say they are all repainted since we bought the house"  Huh??? I sure couldn't see that logic!   Then...then... he pulled a fast one on me!

He had a little repair to do on the bump structure from where the roof line comes down into the room on that side of the house.  Seems while doing the repair, he just HAD to mess with the trowel against the walls too.. making gray streaky metal marks on the light blue paint, knocking some pieces loose in the joint and making a real mess of the wall!   Geeesh!!!!   I had no matching paint to touch any of that up, because it had been original paint from the previous sellers when we bought the house.

Dangnabbit!  Now the wall looked awful!  I went to my "paint stash" in the basement and found a nice gallon of pale yellow paint I had been saving to redo the laundry room (which is already yellow).  I guess we were going to be doing some wall painting too.

He mixed up the plaster to the right consistency. He uses a big beater device in the end of a drill to mix the plaster.

While he was troweling it on, I was running back and forth with buckets of water, damp rags, and moving the step ladder around for him.  I am the "Go-fer" to his projects! In the photo on the right, you can see the wavy ripples in the 101 year old plaster that he is talking about.

The ripples don't bother me one bit, 
but they bother him enough to do this project 
on a lovely Saturday morning!

See?  He's bothered, all right. 

While the plaster was drying, we attended our neighbor's birthday party at Hilde's Deli in Chilton.  It was a nice break in the day's task, with a wonderful lunch, good laughter, and so nice to be included with her family and friends for her party. 

Once we got home, we changed into old clothes and time to get to work! 
We took the paintings and print picture frames down, 
pulled off the curtains,
 and covered the hardwood floor with tarps.  
Time to PAINT! 

Here is where the "GRANDMA DUST" part of my blog title comes about.  This is my prized possession, hand made by my maternal grandfather, Harvey Kafehl.  I never knew him, he died 10 months before I was born. He loved to dabble in woodworking and made a lot of cute wooden items in his spare time. He was an electrician by trade.  This crescent moon and star hung for years at my Grandma Kafehl's house.  The little bear on the star was something my daughters gave to Grandma years later and she stuck it there too.  See the Grandma Dust???

I had made her a set of little ceramic Christmas Carolers that she kept up year around, setting on the steps. 20 years ago I took it off the wall in her apartment after she passed away. Dust and all!  I never dusted it off.  I rehung it in the studio at our house in Oconto. When we sold that house, I took it down carefully, dust and all, and wrapped it in plastic.  When we bought this house, it came out of my treasured steamer trunk and I hung it up again on the wall.  Yes, dust and all!    So again, I carefully took it down to paint the walls.  And I warned Steve that I would skin him alive if he wiped the dust off these little moon stairs! LOL 

I rolled the white paint on the ceiling while Steveio was cutting in on the walls with the yellow paint. He had to brush around all of the doors, windows, baseboard and crown molding.  Did I say that he HATES painting?  So I gave him the hardest part of the job because he is the one that ruined the wall in the first place. LOL   

A second coat of ceiling white went on while he was just finishing up the cutting.  I rolled the pale yellow on the light blue walls kinda thick, and it covered in one coat!  Wheeee I hate doing two coats of paint.  So many of the new paints now are made for just one coat, and low odor too.  Being closed up house on a subzero weekend, the smells would have been awful with old paints. 

We finished up in no time flat, and cleaned up our tools... and we both took a nice well-deserved nap! 

Ahhhhhh by the time the Packer Game came on at 7, the walls were dry. We started carrying in my sewing items bit by bit during commercial breaks, and we carried up the super heavy parlor cabinet for the treadle machine during half time.  

By the end of the game (which the Packers sadly lost) we had the Sewing Room complete! 

I kept the rocking chair, some story books, and the little Raggedy Ann and Andy in their chairs for one corner.  The tv will keep me company while sewing, or can be for cartoons if the grandtots inflate the mattress in the middle of the room for sleepovers.  I guess, afterall, it's not changing the room too much for them, but it's making a huge change in my Loom Room accessibility.

 I just love this 101 year old treadle machine, 
it was made the same year as my home. 
My friend Paula gave it to me.
The cabinet opens up and the treadle is inside. 
The machine raises up like an elevator to the top surface to sew on,
and the treadle belt is hidden in a compartment on the right side.

This morning I finished hanging a few pictures on the walls, hung my thread rack, and moved a few things around. My Janome machine goes well on a rolling typing table my friend Linda found for me. The Big Board ironing table works well on the side wall.  I hung my stained glass pieces in the windows, and set up my supplies.  Ahhhhhh  

I am not putting anything on the wall over the Big Board ironing board yet, because I am going to look for a rack or pegboard idea to hold all my various cutting rulers, shapes and templates.  

Now my Loom Room is cleared up and ready for more weaving! 

And yes, the crescent moon and star are back in place,
 complete with my "Grandma Dust"!!!


  1. You are amazing. I'm tired just reading that!! Beautiful job!

  2. I love the moon and star but my dust allergies would not let me spend much time admiring it.

  3. I am also tired just reading the blog. Love your treadle machine. I have a similar moon and star, it is blonde, that belonged to my mom.
    Happy Sewing in your "new" room.

    Celebrating the Dance


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