Thursday, October 21, 2021

Getting Prepared


We've had an unseasonably warm October this year. The trees are at least one or two weeks behind in their autumn color, and everything is still growing and blooming and looking pretty.

I am enjoying it, but I also know it won't last for long.

I've been doing a little "before the weather gets cold and the holidays are here" planning and preparation this week.

When I have time, I pop in to my craft room and work on assembling Christmas cards. And if I have a chance to sit down, I grab a holiday stitching project.

One big job that I had been putting carpets! I took all the rugs outdoors, put them on the driveway on a nice sunny day, and cleaned them with my Bissell carpet cleaner and left them out to dry.  

In the living room, I started by cleaning the furry disgusting ceiling fan, washing all of the IKEA slipcovers, and then cleaning the carpet. I did this in the morning, and they were dry by dinner time. Nice! It smells fresh and clean now.

Next project: launder my winter coats, vests, sweater fleece jackets, hats, gloves and scarves. I cleaned up the coat closet and came up with a better system for storing our winter wear accessories.

I organized them into bins and put them here in the storage bench. Much better than the jumbled mess at the bottom of the closet!

I've also been doing a lot of planning for the holiday season at church. Before I know it, the Thanksgiving pie social will be here, immediately followed by Advent. Lots to do! It's exhausting!

Jemma has the right idea. Can't we just take a nap?

Blessings, café friends!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Around Town


A few entries in the downtown Scarecrow contest.

Lunch with Luke at Dan's Downtown Tavern.

A kingfisher perched on a birdhouse at the pond across from Sam's high school.

A farmer's field after the rain.

Pretty things at Cobblestone Rose.

This precious toadstool I spotted on a recent walk.

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Finished! Finally!


I'm so excited to report that the kitchen remodel/update project is finally completed!

After waiting for a full package of kitchen appliances that we ordered (and paid for!) in August 2020, we  had to give up on the notion of matching and try for "coordinating" instead. The COVID pandemic caused so many disruptions in the manufacturing industry, and there is a terrible backlog and shortage of appliances everywhere.

The Wall Street Journal published a story this month with the headline "Just 180 More Days Until Your Oven Arrives: Appliance Delays Cause Havoc."

Yep. Havoc.

We had originally placed the order with a small Michigan appliance chain that kept telling us every month "Maybe next month." And then the month after that. And then the month after that.

The gas range and microwave arrived in December. And at the beginning of 2021, I became doubtful that the refrigerator would ever arrive. We cancelled that order and found a white Samsung from Best Buy. Happiness!

The dishwasher was tricky. It is right next to the gas range, and I thought it would look odd if it didn't match. So we waited. And waited. And waited. I would often check other appliance centers to see what was available. Finally, I found a white Whirlpool dishwasher at Best Buy this month that looked like it just might be in stock. Three racks, white, with a stainless accent that would match the oven. And best part? Kitchenaid and Whirlpool are made by the same manufacturer, so I knew the white would be identical.

And the other best part? Two hundred dollars cheaper than the one we originally ordered. And I like this one better!

Some people may wonder...why white? For me, personally, I am tired of the stainless steel appliance trend. I like the "retro" vintage look of white appliances. And I think I was inspired by my Kitchenaid stand mixer. The white just gives a more "cottage" look to my kitchen.

My husband kept blaming the delays on my choice of white. Maybe. But when you know what you want and you have a vision, you've got to hold out hope!

The kitchen is a small space, as you can see. It's essentially a galley kitchen. Here's what we did over time to update the space:

*painted the walls Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue
*replaced blinds with café curtains
*replaced light fixture
*painted the brown tile backsplash white
*replaced the kitchen sink fixture
*replaced the cabinet hardware with chrome knobs and pulls
*replaced all the black appliances

Little tweaks. But the little things make a big difference.

Eventually, I think I'd like to wrap the back and sides of the island in a wainscoting painted white, to match the wainscoting you see on the left. But I'm happy with my decision not to paint the maple cabinets. They are still in good condition, and they give a nice warmth to the space. I am also noticing that the white kitchen cabinet trend seems to be moving on, and wood tones are becoming popular.

I sent photos to my son, John, this week with the message "A true COVID pandemic miracle! God bless us, everyone!" 😀

Like I said, 2021 is my year of getting stuff done!

Another project checked off the list!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Making A Joyful Noise


I decided to try something new this fall. I joined the church choir. We have a new choir director, a sweet and gentle man named Willard who is a retired music professor. I really like Willard and his wife, Gail, and wanted to support him in this new ministry. I told him I would join, and it's a good thing because I think they needed a soprano.

I have not sung in a choir in over ten years. There were so many things to re-learn...when to breathe and not breathe, when to be piano and when to crescendo to forte. All of those musical notations.

It's been fun! 

I think it is important to try new things. It helps me grow, both as a person of character and also as a creative type. Making a joyful noise for the Lord is also a wonderful way to serve my church family.

We recently sang for the first time this season as we celebrated Quilt Sunday. The quilters offer another wonderful ministry there. So many beautiful creations!

The quilters let our new pastor's children pick out their favorites and gifted them to all four of them. Those kids were so happy to show everyone their new quilts!

Music and quilts. It was good to be in the house of the Lord.

Choir practice tonight. I wonder what we will sing for Advent and Christmas season?

Blessings, café friends!

Monday, October 11, 2021

CP Notecards Dies

I was playing around in the craft room yesterday, using some bits and pieces that were laying on my table. I decided to employ Catherine Pooler's new Notecard dies. For the card above, I used the die to shape the card.

And for this card, I used the die to make the plaid background. And because I liked the rounded edges, I used a corner rounder to round off the edges of the card base.

I think these dies will have a lot of uses. 

I have so many cute autumn stamps, and I feel like I need to give them all some love before the season is over! Hmmm. Maybe I will start making some Thanksgiving cards.

Do you send Thanksgiving cards?

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Anchored in Christ


Just before church this morning, one of my dear sweet sisters in Christ told me some sad news. Doctors think she may have pancreatic cancer. 


She asked me to pray for her husband, who is having a hard time with the news. Isn't that just like a good wife? I told her I'd be praying for her whole family.

Our sermon this morning was taken from Mark 10. The story of the rich young man, who was anchored to this life by his possessions. Our pastor preached on how the things of this life can weigh us down and prevent us from following Jesus as we should. 

But we have another anchor, a "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul", as the writer of Hebrews reminds us. Jesus! And we can cast all of our cares on him.

I made this card for this sweet sister in the faith. I know that she will catch the reference to the sermon. And I know that she has put her trust where it belongs.

{Today's Brew: Phrases and Praises stamp set (PTI), MFT sun and hills stencils, Distress Oxide inks, Glimmer mist, baker's twine}

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Finished for Fall


I finished off these little stitched squares from Lori Holt this morning and put them up on the frame.

I did the same thing with these as I did with the spring Stitch cards. I glued them to backer board, added a ricrac trim, glued strips of magnet tape to the back, and then stuck them to the magnets that are on the frame. Easy!

I liked how these images had a touch of the gray tones that I'd used to paint the back of the frame.

How stinkin' cute is that acorn?

Just a fun piece to swap out for the seasons. I have this one in the basement dining area.

Another project finished for my 2021 Year of Gettin' Stuff Done!