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Saturday, November 19, 2022

I Am Not A Fan Of Ceiling Fans

I am not a fan of ceiling fans. 

I never have been. They don't appeal to me in the least. The very worst is laying in the bedroom looking straight up at a ceiling fan rotating over the bed. It makes me nauseous. Even a ceiling fan out of the corner of my eye, in my peripheral vision, can make my stomach upset.

The only reason I agreed to a ceiling fan in my She Shed is because it's mostly positioned up over my shoulder, out of my line of sight. With the 14 ft tall ceiling, we need to push the hot air down and need circulation in the room. I know that. When we created the She Shed we added this 56-in industrial ceiling fan. It works quite well and has a rheostat type wall switch that you can run it on any speed. On the highest speed it is zooming like an airplane ready to take off! We usually kept it down as low as possible just to move the air around. But, it only goes in one direction and it pushes the air straight down on us. The outer walls still feel cold, and the corners are really chilly. Not bad in the summer, but in the winter months I just don't like the feeling of the air pushing down. Also, the industrial ceiling fan does not have a light on it.

Steve suggested we put a household type ceiling fan up there with a remote control. Then we can reverse the direction, control the speed, and have the light on dimmer to create whatever level we want of illumination. So he hopped up on his ladder and disabled the one that was up there. We will list that on Marketplace and sell it because it's a perfectly good fan. It just doesn't have all of the features that we wanted like the household one does.

It has only 3 blades and was unobtrusive up there, kinda out of sight, outta mind for me.

We ran up to the big box home improvement store Menards in Marinette. There they had this 52-in fan, which is a little smaller. But it did have the reversibility and also the light kit with the dimmer and the remote control.

Hop skip jump like a bunny, here's my Steveio assembling the new fan and putting it up. I read the directions and handed him the parts, while he took care of the wiring and the mounting brackets.  He just loves fiddling with stuff and getting it set right. 

Soon he had it all together and tested, turned the power back on, and it works just fine. Now we can control the amount of circulation in the room much easier with the touch of a remote.  It will push the warm air down along the walls and take care of excess condensation on the tall french doors and windows too.  We noticed a drastic improvement in just an hour of use.  The room feels more "even temp" with the better circulation. 

I do want to add this stained glass lamp shade to the bottom of the fixture to match the other stained glass lights in the She Shed and the rest of the house. The only problem is the threaded rod that came with the kit is only long enough for the white shade that was included. Steve put the white one up for now, but as soon as we get back to a hardware store he can get the longer threaded rod. 

We had added stained glass shades like this to the ceiling fans in the house in Chilton and it makes them at least tolerable in appearance to me. Even though I still don't like the blades moving if I can help it.  Now I can walk in the room and hit the button on the remote to turn it off when Steve isn't looking.  LOL


While we were at Menards, we took the time to pick up an extra gallon of paint to work on the newest antique door that he found on Marketplace. It's written about in the blog prior to this.  He is sanding it first, and then I will paint it before installing it on the laundry room/ half bath doorway. 

At the same time we had another thought in mind. Since we bought this house three and a half years ago we really hadn't painted any of the rooms (other than a couple crazy deep mauve accent walls), and we did paint the bedroom when we redid the ceiling. 

The rest of the walls in the entire house are almost a pinkish beige hue called Bermuda Sand. We are considering maybe lightning brightening and changing the tone so we grabbed a bunch of paint chips to decide what we're going to do. Since all of the trim and doors are painted in the String of Pearls color we need to find something that coordinates without looking too pinky. So here were some of our choices:

We will think about that a bit and make a decision later. But we can paint room by room, wall by wall, and take our time. I do enjoy painting and it can be a winter time project. Just doing a little bit at a time. 

On our run up to Marinette and back was an absolutely beautiful day with vivid blue sky. It has stayed cold enough here that the snow is still clinging to the branches of the trees everywhere. 

The wind chills were in the 10 degree range, 
but falling lower by the weekend.

I know in the Eastern states they are getting hammered this weekend with four or five feet of snow. Right now we just have an inch or two on the ground and that is fine. It brightens everything up and looks so clean, Much better than the dull browns and greys after the autumn leaves came off the trees. 

We are staying in this weekend and not doing much of anything. I may start on this next quilt project which is for my friend Vicky. It's in memory of her mom, it's a quilt kit that her mom had bought and never got around to working on. It will be a wall hanging.  I will do the cutting, piecing and quilting while she will do the stitching around the appliqued birds and the little branches they are sitting on.

When we work on it, Vicky has decided she would like all four birds going in the same direction. On this sample photo from the kit, it looks like they are crooked not placed properly. I hope our version will look better than this! 

So that's it for a comfy Snuggly Saturday morning. I am fighting off a little bit of sinus and a sore throat. Not enough to be really sick, but enough to not want to go anywhere either. Good excuse to stay home and play with my She-Shed stuff.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Casters, Snow and Another "A-Door-Able Door"??

It sure is a good thing that they built a Jo-Ann's Fabric and Craft store right next to the Harbor Freight store in Marinette Wisconsin! While Steve was busy digging around in Harbor Freight for a few special items, I had the opportunity to go next door to Jo-Ann's. I grabbed some extra backing fabric for my quilt and a new spool of the variegated thread that I wanted.  I was still waiting in the parking lot while he was shopping, and he had the keys in his pocket.  So I had time to snap this pic,  Great ideas of the developers to put these stores side by side. On second thought, I should have gone back in JoAnn's. 

One of the things that Steve added to his shopping cart at Harbor Freight were four heavy duty locking casters. I have been kind of prodding him to think about getting them for quite a while. He has this really wonderful HEAVY workbench island situation in the garage. But every time he wants to move it, he has to drag this very heavy island across the cement floor. The screeching and scraping sound is AWFUL! Not only that, I can't drag it myself if I want to move it! So I had suggested a set of good heavy duty casters on the bottom, ones that could be locked into place.

Now it can be moved around with ease or rolled out of the way if we're working on something on the floor. I like having this open workbench island space in the middle of the room to work on projects. The heavy metal top was originally a steel door that was used during a construction phase on his brother's home. It makes an excellent worktop for his workbench island. The sturdy steel legs came out of a bulk item trash day rescue. So all together, it didn't cost much for the island itself, so the investment of 4 casters seemed to make sense.

Plus I got to shop and oogle fabrics. 

In my last blog I was showing how we added beadboard to the rest of the walls in the bathroom. Now it's finally complete. It looks so much better.  Covering up those portions of the walls kind of makes the room feel bigger.  This is a wide angle shot with the cell phone to get it all in. 

It lightened and brightened it up as well. I really like the look of the beadboard slats and it seems to fit with The Farmhouse motif. I am so pleased with how it turned out.  I have a few little spots here and there to dab paint on. Spots that we filled in the holes from the finishing nail gun on the quarter round trim around the baseboard.

Just one more of our projects finished that we can tick off the list.

Wednesday morning we woke up to absolutely beautiful white snow covering on the ground. Our first snowfall of the season. The temperatures have dropped now and the ground has stayed cold enough that the snow is hanging around.

We let little Binney out into her potty yard and she had to dash around and bark and snuffle around in the snow a little bit. I think from year to year dogs forget what snow was like. So the first time out again in the snowfall is exciting. Just like kids.  She is so funny.  She had to wait and see if the neighbor dogs were coming out.  Then she barks at them to tell them off, and prances back into the house. 

After my painting was done, I spent Wednesday morning sitting back with my feet up in front of the fireplace. The sun was shining outside but a few flakes every now and then came glistening down as they twirled to the ground. Steve went into town for a haircut and I had a peaceful relaxing morning to myself with a cup of coffee, some soft music, a good book from my sister, and the company of Binney.

When Steve got back from his haircut, he insisted that we had to hop into the Saturn and go check out something that he had located on Facebook Marketplace. 

Here we go again! 
It's another "A-door-able Door"!

If you look a few blogs back, I had mentioned about an antique door that Steve had located. He worked really hard to clean it all up, strip it all off and get it in place for our master bedroom. When our house was remodeled back about 6 years ago, some of the doors were changed to modern hollow core ones. Others were left as original with the five horizontal panels. So we have been trying to locate old wooden doors to replace the newer modern ones. Steve found another!

Soooooo for another $20 (same price as the last one) we drove down to Green Bay to pick up the door. It was exactly what he was looking for and it came home in the same manner the last one did. Wedged between us in the Saturn. Much better than hauling it laying flat on the trailer, driving through the slush and the snow. He looks so determined to get this door home, doesn't he?

I am just along for the ride, laughing at him and his eagerness to restore these doors and get rid of the modern ones. He doesn't like them at all and he said that they bug him. They are kind of MDF white plastic fake chipboard whatever stuff. Nothing can beat a good solid wooden door, in his mind.

I did get him to swing by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Green Bay. I think he was hoping to find another door! We walked around and I managed to spy an additional light fixture with my same stained glass lights that I have in the home. This one is a pendant. I got the whole thing for $6. I don't even have a spot for it. But it was worth it to pick it up in case I ever need the shade, or if one of our others breaks. Who knows, maybe I will find a spot for it. But in the meantime, it's good to have an extra on hand. At that price, it was a bargain.  It retails for $39.99 new. 


So that was about it for yesterday. Today is starting out slow and easy and relaxed. We did bring the grand puppies over to the groomers so it was one less thing for the kids to do.  We picked them up a few minutes ago.  They are now minus a bunch of big bushy coats, and have their nails trimmed and we can see their eyes again.  This is Biscuit and Ewok. 

This afternoon we have an appointment with our local Health Insurance specialists to talk to Steve about his Medicare Part B Supplement stuff. He's only a couple months away from that. So it's good to get the paperwork in order and figure out what he's doing.

It looks like the Midwest and the Great Lakes are due for some very cold windy weather with wind chills down below zero in the next few days. Brrrrrrrrr

There's a Packer game tonight at Lambeau in Green Bay, and the wind chills might get down in the low numbers too. We hope they play as well as they did last Sunday!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Beadboard Completion

Now what is my guy doing bending over by the toilet? He's not sick! 

He is actually removing some of the old quarter round trim around the toilet in preparation for the next project. 

He decided that he looked at the pile of beadboard slats piled up out in the garage long enough. It was time to get them cut to size, brought in the house, and installed on the last two walls in our bathroom.

This little area around the toilet with the three walls and the two little edges around the corners needs to get completed with the beadboard.

The other wall underneath the window and the area around the sink still needed to be completed. That's one of the most complicated walls with the most technical cuts.

Last year we had completed the wall along side of the bathtub and around the corner to the master bedroom. We also completed the other wall near the linen closet and alongside of the end table with the stained glass lamp. Those were the two widest expanses that needed to be done. They were easy because it was one piece after another - boom boom boom - dune. 


Steve started working on the odd cuts to get around the lip edges of the sill and then he fortunately was able to just loosen the brackets on the pedestal sink and work in the boards behind it. That was much better than having to dismantle the whole sink.

This wood is comprised of thin pine slats that have a tongue on one side and a groove on the other. The front portion has two sections of beadboard, about 3 1/2 in wide.  Here is a profile end shot of a slat. 

It can be applied with small finishing nails while making sure each tongue is snugly pushed into each groove. Steve has also opted to put a layer of special adhesive on the wall behind each slat to make sure that they are securely fastened. Otherwise they may be subject to warping and shrinkage over time. So we fasten them both ways to be extra secure.

On Saturday morning,  it was time for me to get out my paintbrush and start getting the first coat on the beadboard. The temperature is here in Wisconsin have dipped way down, below normal, which is pretty much like the rest of the country it appears to be this week. Good to do some inside projects today. 

We were babysitting one of the granddaughters, so I bravely wrapped her in a an old t-shirt and put her to work. She has helped me before and even though she's only 6 years old, she does a very good job.

She loves the little roller. It's just her size. It works out really well to have a tiny person assisting. She could easily fit between the bathtub and the window to work on the wall underneath.

I could also stick her underneath the sink to roll that portion of the beadboard. Because the baseboard is already the same color as well as the window trim, we really didn't have to worry about her bumping anything other than the shower or the sink. Those were easily wiped off of any "oopsies".

We also gave her the opportunity to learn about "Lefty Loosey and Righty Tighty". She was able to take off the two screws that held the heating register grid in place. They are never too young to learn.

One good coat of paint, and then it was time to clean up, curl up and take a little nap together.

After nap time, she was ready and raring to go to put her painting clothes back on and get back to doing a good job.

Soon we had two coats on everything on that wall... while Steve was working on the other area over by the toilet.

Fortunately, the toilet is almost 4 inches away from the back wall. It was good that we placed it far enough away when we changed the flooring. Now Steve had room to get in behind there with the boards without having to maneuver around a tightly fitting tank.  Plus, I can get back in there with the roller to paint the beadboard once it's in place.

He was able to work into the tight corners with his battery powered finish nail gun. Sitting backwards on the closed toilet seat really made it easier to work in such close quarters. It looks funny, but it makes a good work surface to lean on when working on the back beadboards. 

I was able to get the first coat of paint on this next part of the beadboards, and Steve started cutting the top cap trim wood. It has a little bead roping and also some egg and dart design like the original trim around the windows on our 100+ year old farmhouse.

That was enough for Saturday. It was time now to take it easy for the evening, pop some popcorn and watch a movie with the granddaughter. We got enough done for one day. So we popped our ibuprofen and went to bed early.

Sunday morning we were able to finish up the rest of the trim and I gave everything a quick second coat of paint. It really came out nice. We just have two little pieces of cap trim to put on each side of the mirror and two L-shaped corner pieces on the edges around the toilet space. We have to stop up at the Home Improvement store to pick up a couple pieces of the L-shaped trim. Then we are done!

I'm quite pleased to have this finished up. I was thinking it was a midwinter project. I'm glad that Steve decided to get it done now and get the wood out of the way from in the garage. He's been reorganizing out there and this wood has been setting in his way since last winter.


Here is my little Sullivan table craft table that I picked up at the thrift store last week for only $10! Works out very well also as an ironing surface.

 I am prepping this quilt top to get ready to roll it onto my big frame. I lay down my big board ironing board across the entire length of the craft table. Now I am able to iron portions of the quilt without the rest of it rumpling up or landing on the floor.

What's great about a rectangular shaped ironing surface for a quilter is that you're not dealing with the funny angled nose edge of a traditionally shaped ironing board. Seeing as most quilts are straight lined shapes, it makes sense to get a larger surface for ironing on with a rectangle shape.


Growing up in Upper Peninsula of Michigan, some local foods are imbedded deep in my heart.  In the tiny town of Caspian, Michigan, almost every kitchen had this iconic red lettered brown paper bag sitting near their breadbox or next to the coffee pot. 


My daughter brought me a bag today as a gift, and babysitting thank you. 

From their website: 

Our original and most popular flavor of Trenary Toast - made in Trenary since 1928!

This crunchy snack is coated in our signature blend of cinnamon and sugar, and is ready to be dunked in your morning coffee, afternoon tea, or late night hot cocoa. 

For over 90 years Trenary Home Bakery has specialized in the production of this Finnish Korppu - try it today and experience Michigan's favorite breakfast treat! 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Why Do I Need So Many Sewing Machines? And PURPLE Potatoes!

Well, Mother Nature sure is fooling us. We had already battened down the hatches and started preparing for normal November weather in Wisconsin. Instead, it's an absolutely gorgeous day and it's going to reach into the seventies!

Steve decided to take down my rain chain from the front porch. That way the upcoming ice and snow and freezing rain doesn't destroy it over the winter months. We will hang it up again next spring.

It is so nice out this morning that before 10:00 a.m. we were sitting out on the front porch. I took out the spinning wheel and we've spent some time just relaxing and sipping our coffee. Even filled our breakfast bowls with cereal and yogurt and fruit and came out to eat on the front porch. Dining El Fresco!

I have an INDOOR meeting at noon,

and I don't want to go! 


The other day I got a package in the mail. A friend from Missouri sent me this beautifully hand stitched and quilted wall hanging. It's one little block for each month. It's all hand stitched and I really appreciate the work that goes into this. I don't do that kind of hand stitching.

I hung it for now in my kitchen next to the big pantry cabinet. But I do think I'm going to put it into the motorhome because I have a perfect spot there to put it too. 


So on to my title topic....   Why Do I Need So Many Sewing Machines? 

Someone asked me that?? Well, is that kind of like asking a woodworker why he has so many saws or chisels? Or asking a mechanic why he has so many tools? Or asking a golfer why he has so many clubs in his bag? Each one really does kind of a specific job. 

I only have FIVE. 

The big Janome 1600p- DB is on a big quilting frame and that's what's used at high speeds to free motion my quilts. It attaches the pieced fabric tops by stitching down through the batting and into the backing to create the quilts which are moved on the big rollers. 

The smaller Janome 8077 is the one with all the fancy stitches if I need something zigzagged or zippers installed or any other fancy stuff. I got that from my friend Rosie, and I think of her each time I sew on it.

The old antique 1941 Singer 99-24 is from my grandmother, Olga Groop. She gave it to me about 30 years ago, and I was soooo pleased to be given it.  I use it to sew the triple folded hems on my heavy handwoven rugs. This sewing machine is a real workhorse and sewed anything from my grandfather's heavy duty mining clothes right down to my aunt's really beautiful prom dresses. 

The 1945 Singer Featherweight is a fun little easy portable machine that is a delight to sew on. I can take it in the motorhome or to quilting retreats and workshops.  I got it last year from a vendor in the Antique Village at the Escanaba State Fair. I call her "My Fair Lady." She is my go-to machine for doing quilt piecing or seams or borders.

And then there's the 1916 Franklin Treadle in the original parlor cabinet. This one was completely an impulsive buy earlier this summer. I didn't need it. But I really wanted it! I do enjoy the gentle rhythmic tickety tickety tickety of the treadle machine. There is something soothing about working on it and it brings about nostalgic memories of things in the past. My great-grandmother Anna Today (Olga's mother) had a treadle machine out in her sun porch. I remember my brother and I taking turns sitting our butts on the bottom treadle base and the other one pumping furiously with their foot to give each other a ride. I am sure we snarled up the machine or possibly broke the needle or jammed the bobbin for my great grandmother. She never said anything, but I am sure that we weren't supposed to be doing it. I wonder what ever happened to that machine when she passed away?  I was only 12, so I didn't know what family mementos went where. 

Here is my treadle machine parlor cabinet all opened up. The machine rises up from down below on a chain on a gear device kind of like a little elevator. The doors open wide and the foot treadle piece is mounted inside of the cabinet as well as the big wheel with the drive belt. It is all contained inside of the cabinet.

When I am done sewing, everything folds back up and inwards to close down. The machine lowers back down inside and the lid flips over the top. This beautiful quartersawn oak parlor cabinet is a wonderful piece of furniture to look at and fits perfectly into the corner.  There are tiny wooden caster wheels underneath that I fear will damage our flooring.  I have it on a rag rug in the pic below.   But now I have it setting on an upside down carpet sample from a carpet store. The nap side of the carpet sample allows it to slide nicely across the vinyl plank flooring so I can slide it in front of the window if I wish.


That reminded me of something that I spoke to Steve about while I was sewing on my treadle machine I had wondered aloud to my husband if the person who first owned this machine had waited impatiently for it to come?

 Did they cherish it and love it?

 Or was it just another tool of the household, used to do the mending? 

Was it a chore just like doing the washing and the cooking and the cleaning? 

Or was this machine dreamt about and looked at in the Sears catalog for months on end (or even years) and saving up the pennies until you had enough to order it? 

So then I looked it up and the sewing machine was in the $40 range. The Parlor cabinet was $26 in this era. That was in 1916.

Transferring that into today's dollars is almost $2,000!

The last few days, the weather was a little cooler and windier so I spent more time inside. I decided to slide over my Franklin treadle sewing machine right in front of the big French windows in the she shed. What a great view to look out and daydream in between sewing blocks on my newest quilt.

The light fills the she shed during the day and it's nice to sew right in front of the windows. Because of course the treadle machine does not have a light on it the way that the electric machines do. If I sew at night I bring over a table lamp to shine down on my work.

This morning I did finish sewing the sixth row of blocks onto my pineapple quilt. I'm not sure what I'm going to name this one yet. When it's done I will put it in my Etsy shop for sale. For now, I clipped the quilt top to a long white stick that I can suspend from the hooks out on the front porch. I did that so I can get a view of what the quilt looks like and decide whether or not it needs a border around the edges.

I think it came out kind of cute and it was what I was looking to achieve from these harvest fall looking fabrics.

It's a pretty busy pattern, so I think I'm just going to do a thin brown strip of border around the edges and leave it as a queen size. Queen sizes are easier to sell over King sizes.

Next quilt on the list will be something I'm starting for my friend Vicky, in memory of her mother.


Our friends Joyce and Bob gave us some of the harvest from their garden this summer. They work very hard on a huge garden and ended up with a lot more produce than they bargained for. They shared with us some of these absolutely amazing purple potatoes! Yes, they are purple! They taste like a regular potato, but they are purple. They also gave us some beautiful German Gold potatoes. Both taste wonderful and are flaky and rich. I boil them up until the skin's burst because they are kind of little like red potatoes. We thoroughly appreciate the generosity of our friends.

Steve has been busy busy busy out in his garage. Now he has the entire ceiling insulated and sheetrocked and about 2/3 of the walls. He started over on another section of wall by his workbench and insulated the top portion. Then he built a very sturdy shelf across the top about 16 in down from the ceiling.

Across on that top he was able to stack a bunch of my very heavy totes of fiber supplies. These are things for weaving and spinning and other crafts. By getting them up and off the floor he has more room for his things to move around and to store away the lawn mowers and summer garden tools like the wheelbarrow and the wagon.

Last January we tried storing our Christmas tree by leaving it completely decorated including the ornaments and the lights. We wrapped it round and round with pallet strapping plastic and carried the tree out completely and stored it in the garage. It worked pretty good, but the only problem is it took up a lot more space in the garage then we realized. Steve would like to claim the space back again and I don't blame him. 

So I think this year we will carry the tree in after thanksgiving, unwrap it, and enjoy it. In January, when when the season is over we will take it apart piece by piece the way we should and stow it away in individual packages. Then he can have this valuable floor space back in his work area.

While Steve was organizing out in his garage I decided that I needed to do a little organizing in the kitchen. I have this very large wide utensil drawer that is actually over 2 ft wide. Every time I pull it out or push it in, everything rattles around and moves around. The little things slide to the back and then I have to dig for them. It's quite a mess. I can never find what I want. I bought these wire mesh baskets from Aldi's. They were two in a pack for $7.99. I needed them wide enough to accommodate some of our wider utensils, and they are different than just what a silverware tray could allow me to place in there.

I sorted through everything and tossed out stuff I wasn't using. Now everything is right at my fingertips. Especially, it doesn't slide all over every time I open the drawer. The little mesh baskets have rubber tips on the bottom corners to keep them from sliding around. 

That's about it for today. I should get this posted and get downtown for my meeting. Then we will enjoy the rest of the sunshine before real November weather bears down upon us.