Monday, November 19, 2007

More Floor News

This Guido (the disappearing floor guy) is a real ass. Excuse the language but you will understand in a minute.

Through the guy who gave us his name (thanks?) we found out where the tile we have at our house so far was purchased because he picked the stuff for us up in his truck. Jim decided we could finish this job ourselves and I was willing to help him try so off we went on Saturday to the supplier. We had a sample and explained about the abandoned job and how we needed the stuff- tile, thin set and grout - to finish the job because the original tile was purchased there but not enough for completion and we needed a match. They asked who did this to us and right away there was a reaction to the name and it wasn't a good one. It seems that even thought we gave Guido the money to buy everything needed for the job he wrote the tile suppliers a bad check. Now you get the ass part right?

The tile folks were very kind and we got what we needed at the contractors price which I thought was generous. From the customer service there I can recommend Tanner Materials if you are looking for tile or stone for your home. They are on Arizona Avenue in Chandler.

We started on Saturday and worked through last night and made quite a bit of progress for two people learning as we worked. Jim is cutting and laying tile. My job was to get the glue from the kitchen floor that adhered the old sheet vinyl. We were told thin set won't work well on top of that glue and it had to be removed. I also grouted the hallway and a couple of spot left undone in the master bath.

We won't be done by Thanksgiving but we have taken charge of the job, our home and our lives and it feels good, sore muscles, knees and all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last Year

Last Thanksgiving was our first in Phoenix. Jim and I were fortunate enough to have company with us last year. One of our daughters with her family and my son and his family were able to be with us. After years of cold Thanksgivings in Utah the warmth of a Phoenix November was nice. We decided to set up the meal on the patio just because we could. It was a relaxed and comfortable way to serve Thanksgiving dinner. We used tablecloths and the nice dishes as if we were inside in the dining room. Everyone easily fit around the 6 foot long table. At 6 months old Joslyn was the youngest of the group. Not being on big people food yet she still shared in the celebration by have her first baby sweet potatoes. I remember us all being amused with them ending up all over her face but she did seem to like them.

I just spent quite awhile looking for some pictures of the day on Jim's laptop when I finally remembered that they were one of our loses when his hard drive died. So I have nothing to share with you of the day except my thoughts.

This year will be another first for us. No company for Thanksgiving and we won't be going anywhere. It's okay though because I know I will be seeing family at Christmas. I am kind of getting used to this empty nest thing now. We have been talking off and on about the menu for just the two us. My goal is to downsize everything so we don't end up with too much left over. Jim has a favorite cranberry salad I have to make. We have a smoked turkey coming as a gift that I am looking forward to. I will figure out the rest of the menu over the weekend as we figure out as well what to do about our floor situation.

Maybe I will even get a picture or two. I imagine blog world, at least US bloggers, will be flooding their pages with turkey and pumpkin pie shots. Why not me as well.

This post is part of an Etsy Bloggers Street Team Carnival. You can learn more about the team here. The Carnival will be once again hosted by Stormy Designs. Thanks for doing that 2 weeks in a row!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Garage, Your Garage

With our ongoing saga of the new floors in the house there is another complication. The Guido has his saw set up in our garage. Thank goodness we have a painted garage floor. Jim is very particular about the way the garage looks and right now it is a mess. The good thing about a painted or sealed garage floor is the easy cleanup. When this project is all done and the tools and tile are all taken care of getting all the dust and mess cleaned up should be easy.

More of My Floor

I fear that this job has been abandoned by the Guido. He asked for money on Tuesday. The response he got from us was that we needed to see the rest of the materials for the job before we gave him anymore. He has agreed to this and this has been the same response for more than a week. At the beginning of the job we were told that all materials were paid for and being held in his name. We told Guido that we wanted the supplies here. Each time he had some reason why the materials won't be here today but maybe tomorrow.

At about 10:30 Tuesday morning he left without a word which wasn't that unusual to finally, I hoped, get the rest of the stuff for the job. I was expecting to see tile, grout, and thin set in my garage by that afternoon. He never returned. Jim called and left voice mail on his phone and the call was never returned. He didn't show up yesterday or so far this morning. The living room is about 2/3 done. The hallway has tile down but no grout or sealer. The kitchen has not been worked in at all. This should be a Thanksgiving to remember and laugh about but the way I feel about this right now it won't be for a few years.

Are you a Stephen King fan?

I am a fan. The first Stephen King novel I remember reading was Salem's Lot. I was terrified by it but couldn't put it down until the end. I don't usually go out of my way to read or watch movies that fit in the category of horror. Because Salem's Lot was so frightening for a long time I didn't read any of King's work.

Years later I rediscovered his work and loved what I found very much. I read the novels Misery and The Stand along with Delores Claiborn and Rose Madder. I found out that I could read Stephen King and still sleep at night. There is no denying that the man is a master storyteller and every chapter in any of them just made me want to keep going even in the 3 inch thick paperback of The Stand.

His collections of short stories were the books that I really enjoyed. The Shawshank Redemption which was a great movie came from the collection titled Different Seasons. The other collection I read was Skeleton Crew. This set of short stories includes The Mist by Stephen KingIt had another story that I remember which was Word Processor of the Gods. I don't know if I am strange but most of the time I like to read a book before seeing it in a film. The written work seems to help me put depth to the story on the screen and make it a better experience for me. If you like to do the same thing and read The Mist, Skeketon Crew was published in 1983, however I'll bet you can find it in a library or bookstore.

What I find exciting is that the same director that did The Shawshank Redemption also directed The Mist. To me that means a well crafted movie that I look forward to seeing even if it does scare me to death. If you want to know more than I can tell you here follow the links to the movie site. You can find trailers, downloads, a director's interview and more.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Handmade = Heartmade

I would like all of you to consider buying somethings handmade for the upcoming holiday season. I know that may not be possible for every gift you purchase. Each of you will have on your list a few who will insist that they receive what will make giant retailers rich and 3 of every 5 on this planet will have on Christmas morning. Please remember however that when you give or receive a handmade gift that it comes from the heart of the creator every time for every item. All handcrafters know that realistically they will never get rich but struggle with design and creation anyway. It is a drive from within that flows out to the world with high hopes and much love. I ask you to consider some of the things I have found on that I think would be well received by many on your gift giving list.

This bird feeder was hand thrown on a wheel from porcelain clay. The roof lifts up to fill with seed. It was high fired so will withstand most of the harshest winters, which is when the birds need help with food the most. Chickadees and titmice love 'em. Our cardinals try, but they are too big. This is my first bird feeder to feature my original hand made decals. Click the image for a detail look at the designs. If you have concerns with squirrels, try safflower, squirrels don't like it. The best feature of my feeders is that they are dish washer safe. When they get moldy and cruddy, pop them in the dishwasher and they come out brand new!
The bird feeder is by

Morgan Street soaps are all handmade from scratch using the cold process method. They contain all their naturally occurring glycerin. Glycerin is so important because it is a humectant, it draws moisture from the air and brings it to your skin where it is much needed – can you say bye-bye dry skin? This bar has DOUBLE shea butter in the recipe & poppy seeds for exfoliation! This one's definately for the GUYS! __________________________________________________________ PATCHOULI & BAY RUM: A combination of mood calming Patchouli essential oil and Bay rum essential oil. Bay Rum has a sweet spicy aroma that helps calm the mind. Patchouli possesses a warm, mellow, earthy scent that was especially popular in the 1960’s - a popular stress reliever. This one's a definate manly man scent!
Handcrafted for you by

You may ask yourself why buy from JPATPURSES?
I take an extra step that no other Etsy Shop does that makes my handbags, purses and accessories unique. Due to my special bat quilt interfacing technique that I developed, each item has structure, strength and stability yet are still so soft and comfortable to carry. An original JPAT is quality you can carry!!!

Again handcrafted love and quality by

These are just three of the sellers and treasures I have found browsing etsy. There are literally thousands and thousands more sellers and products. I truly believe that you could find something for everyone and I challenge you to try and let me know how it turns out.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Why oh why?

Why oh why do I do what I do? First of all what I do falls in the category of needle arts - knitting, crocheting mostly with bouts of quilting, tatting, embroidery and needlepoint. It all comes with a love of making something from simple tools and a bit of string.

I run that Barbara Mandrell song through my head sometimes "I was knitting when knitting wasn't cool." About ten years ago I was in a craft store buying a set of needles probably to start a new project and the size I wanted was in a closet with a UFO on them. Anyway, when I went to the register to pay for them the young clerk(late teens I think) said to me "I think it is so cute that some people still knit." Within a couple years everyone discovered knitting and she was probably a member of a Stitch and Bitch Group.

My first memory of something knitted was a pair of slippers from my grandmother one year for Christmas. It was the first time I realized the value and beauty and in a way honor receiving a handmade gift brings to life. I thought it was so wonderful that you could take yarn and knitting needles and create something that provided comfort and warmth in other words coziness. Now you see the reason for my shop and blog names.

The start of my knitting began on the front porch of a neighbors house. Sylvia and I were in about 5th grade and she knew how to knit. My mom didn't know how and the slipper grandma was in Kansas and I lived in California. Anyway I got my hands on a small skein of Red Heart and a pair of needles and she patiently got me through it. Casting on, garter stitch and binding off and I was hooked. I was going to make the world cozy with blankets, potholders and slippers. Never mind that she was right handed and I am a lefty by the end of a couple afternoons I could knit. If by any chance in this crazy internet universe she should ever read this, thank you Sylvia Lerma who lived 2 doors down the street in Oxnard.

My first big project was an afghan. I bought a skein of every color the local drug store had. This was in the days before the big super saver acrylic monsters. I think it was about two ounces which was just enough for a square of knitting before I got bored with a color. I made garter stitch strips that I later crocheted together with black yarn to make the blanket. I think my mother still has that afghan in her home more than 40 years old now and last I saw it all in one piece.

Over the years knitting is a craft I have picked up and put down. I picked up other skills and techniques through books always having to reverse all the hand references in the directions. There is always a knitted UFO somewhere in my life and it has been that way for about 40 years. I don't see this ending anytime soon either. As long as my hands and eyes hold up I will continue to learn and create.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Such Beauty

I am still in awe when I see some of the wide open spaces in the western United States. On our trip to Utah in October we came home using a route that I had never been on before. From Salt Lake we went through Zion National Park to Kanab. From there we took 89a to Sedona. Coming around a bend on 89a to see a new vista open up before us took my breath away several times. This picture was taken on the Vermilion Cliffs Highway. There was mile after mile of these stunning colors and cliffs along the road. If you ever get a chance, take the drive from Kanab, Utah to Flagstaff, Arizona on 89a. Be sure and take your camera along. You won't regret it. Click on the picture to see it larger for the full effect.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Floor Continues

Well the bathroom is all grouted and the toilet is back in place. The tiles still need to be sealed. That I am told should happen tomorrow when the grout is completely dry.

In the meantime my family room and kitchen haven't been done at all. I am sure I will love it when done but getting there is going to make me crazy.

The Guido had to leave today at 2 to pick up his van in the repair shop. Why this should cut into a workday he was hired for is more than I can understand. Oh well.
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