Tuesday, May 31, 2011

House Update - 31MAY

I think the torrential rain has finally stopped!  If I remember correctly, in about 2 days we had almost 3 inches of rain.  That's on top of a completely saturated environment due to previous rain and snow melt.  Ridiculous!

At least its stopped and they started work on the lot.  Some very important things arrived on our lot. 

The backhoe that will be pulling all the stumps out!

Finally, the most important one....a Port-A-Potty.  

Once the rain had stopped though, they were able to start digging.  All the stumps are out along the 600 feet of driveway and they were even able to dig it out so its ready for gravel.  The gravel is supposed to go in today and since its nice and warm and sunny, I have no doubt that it will happen.  I think the guy operating the big backhoe will be pulling stumps from the house/yard area while the rest of the crew is laying the gravel.

Here are some pictures of the driveway looking away from the house (towards the road) and towards the house/yard.

We're pretty excited to see progress being made.  It will be awesome once they start digging the hole for the foundation!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rain, Rain...Go Away...

We've had so much rain the past two weeks.  It seems like it won't ever stop raining.  I keep thinking of the little kid's song....

"Rain, rain, go away
Come again another day
Little Sarah wants to play."

Actually, its not the playing that I want to do...I want the digging to start!  Due to the rain, our builder hasn't been able to start yet.  He raring to go...as are we.  Our property can actually handle the rain pretty well.  Despite the copious amounts of rain (several inches), we had no standing water on the property.  The dirt was just really wet.  We could walk on it just fine and it was sturdy, but the builder knew his heavy equipment would have gotten stuck in the mud.

On Saturday, we only received a passing shower and Sunday it didn't rain at all.  It hasn't rained today either, so hopefully they will be able to make some progress today.  The guy that's pulling out all the stumps was going to give it a try today and hopefully not get stuck. 

I'll have to drive by the lot tonight to see what sort of progress was made.

On a crafty note....no sewing on the machine. :-(  I still haven't setup a sewing area, although my mother-in-law has volunteered to come help this Friday (taking the day off from work to have a 4-day weekend) and help clean our "storage" room in the rental so that I can put the sewing machine up in there.  I have been doing a lot of needlepoint though.  I've been able to make a ton of progress on Starry Night.

I'll try to get some pictures up here soon. ;-)

Monday, May 9, 2011

New House - Progress Being Made

Last week, we met with our builder and signed the contract to build the new house (eek!).  While we're really excited about it, we're both really scared, too, since there just so much to do in a short period of time.  The good news is...the builder thinks it will take about 4-5 months to build, so we're looking to move in sometime between September and October.  Our rental is month-to-month and the landlord is our builder's dad....so if we need to stay for 6 months, its not a problem.

A fair amount of my posts going forward for the next 6 months will probably be house related.  I don't have a ton of time to sew (in fact my sewing machine hasn't been touched in over 3 weeks at this point), so I don't really have much to post about in that regard.  I will have a "crafty" picture at the end of this post though.

The next few pictures are just some snap shots taken from approximately the same location on the lot.  Its really odd to see the transformation so far.


The picture above is when we first bought the land in July 2010.  Just about in the middle of the picture, there's a really light spot where the sun is hitting and there's a rock there.  In the future pictures, you'll be able to see that rock pretty much all the time, so you'll be able to see what sort of changes went on.  This first picture shows the land pretty much untouched with the exception of a small backhoe getting in there to dig a test-pit for the soil test.


This picture was from only a week later.  The rock in the foreground...that's the same rock from the previous picture.  We had taken the first week of July off in 2010 (with outrageously hot weather) and spent the mornings chopping down trees and moving brush.  In just a week we made a ton of progress.


This one was from the middle of August 2010.  I don't have a wide-angle picture of the lot, but you can see how much more open it is even at this point.  From July to August, the only people clearing the lot were my husband, me and his dad.  So with only three people, we made a ton of progress in just 5-6 weeks.

This one is from sometime in late October or early November.  I'm pretty sure it was from October.  Again, about 1/3 of the way up the picture, you can see the rock from the first pictures.  At that stage, we had cleared pretty much everything we wanted to for the area our the house.  We dropped a few more trees in the back to make the back yard a little bigger, but that's about it.  Its pretty different from the first picture!

There wasn't too much to see at winter-time...except lots of snow, so this picture is from April 24th.  Things are really starting to get green there now, but in April they were still pretty brown.  Some of the trees had buds on them, but with the grey skies it was hard to see.  If you look on the right side of the picture near the big tree, there's the rock!  :-)  The big wood chip pile is all our brush chipped up for us.  The driveway will angle to the left (on the very left hand side of the picture) and the house will be basically straight ahead.

Our builder now has his construction sign up on the lot, and we're supposed to break ground this week!  Here's hoping that everything is good!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Multi-tasking in Quilting

Over on Jill's blog, she posted a question about whether we multi-task when quilting or if we do one project at a time.

I usually do multi-task when quilting.  While I don't have 5 projects going at one time, like some other quilters, I usually have at least 2 going at once.  I typically have my "focus" project where I spend most of my quilting time.  This is usually a project where I have a deadline or its just something I really want to work on.  In order to "force" myself to finish a project, I won't let myself start another project until this one is done.

However, at the same time of having my "focus" project going, I use 2.5" squares to start/stop my sewing for the "focus" project.  These kind of follow Bonnie's "leaders and enders" philosophy.  The 2.5" squares are going into a scrap quilt and I really like having this going because I don't have to think when I piece these.  Some days when I can't really get my mind to focus on completely a project or following specific directions, I'll pick up a bunch of 2.5" squares and just sew those together.  Here's a picture from a few months ago...I only had 9 "blocks" made... I now have over 25 blocks made.


I was surprised at how quickly I was able to make up a ton of blocks without even trying.  I like having the somewhat "mindless" project to do while working on more complex projects.

I also always have a cross-stitch project on-going while I'm doing quilting.  That way if I want to just watch TV or do some hand-work, I always have something I can do.  Below is a picture of the project I have going right now.


This picture is from the end of March and I've now finished that "page" completely and I'm working on the last row of the pattern.  I think overall, the picture is about 16" x 20" when its finished.

Ultimately, I try to set goals for myself in order to keep myself going on certain quilting projects.  Sometimes I start a project and then get bored or frustrated with it and I try to find a "better" project.  When I do find something that I REALLY want to make, I tell myself that I can start it once I get the previous project done.  That way I look forward to finishing the current project so that I can start the next one.  It tends to keep my UFO list pretty short.