Monday, December 31

2012, 2013 and that house thing

Back in June, when we put our townhouse on the market for sale, we never imagined that we wouldn't be in a new house for the holidays. We didn't even thing we wouldn't be in a new house for Halloween. But there it is, Halloween, Thanksgiving and CHristmas have come and gone and we still are camping in a small apartment. What happened ?? Well complications for sure. If you want to short story you can skip to the end of this post. 

Here is the long story. Back in May we started scouting the area for houses, we spotted a house we really liked, in a great neighborhood, with great schools. Unfortunately this house had been on the market since March 2009 years and unoccupied since May 2009 because it was a short sale, the bank holding the mortgage was making the process drag on and in the meantime, the house suffered some damage and with the repairs needed, the asking price was way over-stated. There had already been several offers on the house, some had been retracted due to the delays some still active, so we decided not pursue it. 

Early August, once the sale of the townhouse was finalized, we started seriously house hunting in the neighborhoods we had previously retained as possible and soon thereafter found a suitable match: a large split level house, with a pretty yard and room to grow. Our offer was accepted and we thought we would be moving in by the end of September. Everything seem to workout well until the bank ordered appraisal came back, way lower than the price previously agreed on. We tried to re-negotiate the price but to no avail. There we were, at the end of the summer, back to square one, house hunting again. 

Then in one of those crazy curve balls of life, that same house we had been eyeing back in may was back on the market, this time the asking price was well within our range, even factoring the inevitable repairs. So we decided to visit the house. After assessing the situation (not as bad as we had anticipated)  and discussing the other available options thoroughly, my hubby and I agreed this was THE house. Mid-september, we took the plunge and put an offer of that train wreck of an house that we had fallen in love with. And then waited, and waited, and waited for the bank to make its move. 

Early October, we moved again to another short-term rental. That's when things started to move again. Paperwork, then wait some, more paperwork, more waiting was the name of the game until the week before Christmas. And then just as we started to doubt anything would happen until New Year's, the news finally came in: the short sale has been approved by the bank. We have until the end of January to close.  Some seriously crazy Christmas present for us. There is still many a thing that can go wrong and prevent the sale to conclude, but the short sale red tape phase is over. 

If everything goes well in the next couple of days, we will have a new home at the end of January and move in by the end of march since there are some repairs that will have to be taken care of before the house is habitable. Are we crazy ? Certainly a little bit for embarking again in the fixer-upper boat. But the house is infinitely worth the trouble and the wait: it has all the features both my husband and  desired, the location is great,  we are getting a great bargain on the price and after a bit of TLC, the house will be fantastic.

So 2013 will be a busy year for sure, while we turn our train wreck into a dream boat.

Happy 2013 to all !!

Saturday, December 29

Holiday placemats

Now that Christmas is behind, I can share the homemade gifts I had to hide before. I absolutely loved making this holiday placemats and napkin rings for my friend Amie and her hubby. She moved in an apartment recently and I wanted her to be able to make a pretty table with her white porcelain set.

I knew this would be perfect for her because she loves grey, yellow and mustard. I bought the fabric with a big smile on my face then had fun figuring out making the napkin rings, making sure they are all distinctive.

I will certainly will do this trick again for a set to keep for myself.

Thursday, December 27

Onto Easy Street - Part 5

I did it ... just barely but I finished part 5... I can't believe i'm still on track with all the craziness going on in the family lately... Like a last minute trip from MD to upstate NY leaving Sunday and returning yesterday in a giant winter storm (snow and sleet were our companions for half of the way).

After putting away our luggage, Christmas goodies, getting the groceries and 2 load of laundry, I was finally able to cut and piece the "house" blocks.

Like each previous step I have a few extra blocks

Here is a sampling of the completed blocks. I'm starting to feel very curious about the final result :)

See everybody else's progress here

Monday, December 17

Onto Easy Street - Part 4

Still on track despite the pre-Christmas craziness, next week will be another story with a last minute trip upstate NY to visit the family.

This week the geese will be grey and yellow

I followed Bonnie's trick for a seam guide 

And the geese came together much faster

Looking good :)

I did have a couple of oopsies 

But it's all fixed

And I aslo cut my squares ... my green is actually pink
I'm way to busy to try to figure out how this is all going to come together but I admit I am intrigued 

You can check on everybody's progress HERE

Tuesday, December 11

Kitty for my cuties

Do you have Hello Kitty fans in your life ? I do. 3 of them: Bug and her  2 cousins. . I'm guilty for part of it. My sister may not be super happy about this but my nieces will be thrilled with the little bags I whipped up for them (and the Hello Kitty goodies I put in them)
I found the fabric in the remnant bin at JoAnn's

and pulled some red satin from my stash for the bows and lining

They are so cute. Bug certainly would like one too. I almost want one for myself :) 

Monday, December 10

Onto Easy Street - Part 3

After the flying geese of last week, week 3 was rather easy. I also caught up on the cutting of the rectangle blocks I skipped last week.

I was on a roll and piece all blocks in a couple of hours

All done ... I love the yellow white and grey together

Thanks Maxine for working hard with me

Here are steps 1, 2 and 3 together
I'm just so happy I'm still marching along.

You can check on the other participants' progress HERE

Monday, December 3


 This year, both my nieces have a doll just like Fiona... well one is blonde and one a brunette but thankfully, I can use Princess Fiona as a model to sew for their dollies. Miss L has the blonde doll is a HUGE Cinderella fan... So by special request I fitted Fiona with a blue ball gown CinderFiona style :
I must say I had to get friendly with my seam ripper a couple of times to pull this one off since I was putting this together without a pattern.

Shirred bodice  to make it easy for little hands to dress and undress the doll

I think it turned out OK but I'll have to wait until later to find out :)

Oh and Bug wants a ball gown for Princess Fiona now :) 
Not exactly a surprise

Onto Easy Street - Part 2

Part 2 of Easy Street brought a bit of a challenge for me ... Flying geese.. my first ever. I was a bit nervous but thankfully the instructions were easy to follow and it turned out to  be much easier than I was expecting.

2" strips

A lot of cutting

Piecing and ironing, then more piecing

It worked a lot better once I engaged my machine's handy dandy even feed

So after 3 sessions of cutting. sewing, ironing, clipping I have conquered my fear of the flying geese (and bias piecing)... TADA !!

All counted and bagged 

Along with last week's

in a giant zipper plastic bag... bring it on week 3 :) 

See everybody else's progress here in Quiltville

Tuesday, November 27

Onto Easy Street - Week 1

Crazy me .. since I apparently I don't have enough to do at this time of the year, I added to the pile with the latest Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt : Easy Street.

Since most of my stash is still inaccessible (in boxes in a storage unit) I only had limited choices but I think I was able to pick a cohesive palette.

Here is my fabrics selection :

My color table:
Lime -> Red & pink
Aqua -> Grey
Purple-> Orangey yellow
Grey-> Black
White & Black->White

All fabrics are small floral prints or polka dots except one of the scraps of grey

I went to work ... cutting




See all the other participants' first week in the linky party :

Thursday, November 22

15 minutes dress fix

Happy Thanksgiving to all! This morning I decided to take a couple of pictures of Bug in her pretty formal dress, and I noticed a little problem. Do you see it ??
 Look closer... Here.

Well, Bug is one of those string bean kids, show only grows one direction : UP, and fast at that. While short dresses are cute for babies and toddlers, I felt this was a lot of leg to show for a formal dress, even with tights underneath.

So a little stash dive later... I cut some 6" wide strips of satin that matched the sash color as closely as possible:

Folded in half, ironed and cut to size.
Then sewed into a loop

And added to the bottom of the skirt

Ahhh much better and it only took 15 minutes :)

Happy Thanksgiving !!

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