The House On the Hilltop - Part Eight

Monday, February 25, 2013

Continued from The House On the Hilltop - Part Seven

Its been over a month since I wrote about our house progress as there was only so much that could be said about hanging drywall!  Eldon and I did manage to get it all hung and then we stood back, took a very deep breath and hired someone to come in and do the finish work on the drywall.  We felt it required more expertise than we had!  (And frankly, we were exhausted.)
We got a few quotes and then went with our gut instinct and hired the men that were brothers, had worked together their whole lives, and gave us a warm fuzzy feeling! 
The warm fuzzy feeling was important because Eldon was going to be gone for almost a month and I would be the one overseeing the work.  I needed to feel comfortable with the men that would be here.  Let me just say they were good ole Tennessee boys and very fun to have around for the ten days they worked.  I was "Mrs Dori" immediately and they tolerated my presence very well!
I don't have any pictures of their work in progress.  It was a huge, huge mess that I tried not to think about too much because I knew I would be the one cleaning it up!
It took me two full days to clean up the mess!  And a trip to the dump with a huge load of empty drywall compound boxes.  And then guess what?
You guessed it...  I started painting!  The master bedroom painting is complete except for this wall because I am still debating on that blue. 
Then Eldon got home from his month long consulting job and went straight to the lumber yard for this beautiful pine planking. 
And we started on the dining room ceiling!  It is gorgeous.  It will go in the dining room and in my upstairs craft room ceiling.  I will paint it the same color white as the walls. 

The planks are one inch thick tongue and groove and actually very fun to install. 
My husband is really letting me branch out.  I got to do the cutting!  Not that there is anything to it, but it made me feel important anyway!
Dining room walls are painted, planks are installed on the ceiling and its looking like a real room!  Tomorrow we start on the planks in the craft room. 
And this is a peak at some of the projects I worked on to keep myself busy while Eldon was gone.  Now the sewing machine is put away, the Annie Sloan paint is back in its box, the porch furniture projects are on hold and its back to working on the house! 

A Marathon Weekend

Monday, February 18, 2013

I promise not to continually bore you with stories and pictures about our calves, but this is a story I couldn't resist.  You might remember my post back in January about our cow #173 that we thought was expecting a calf any day?  Well.... she just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger.  So big that we were really worried about her.  (Even Jillian, my four year old grand-daughter would ask me every day about Number 173!)

Everyday Belle and I would drive out to check #173.  And everyday the report would be the same:  no calf.  We were gone over the weekend and left our wonderful son-in-law, Justus, in charge of checking things at the farm.  We got a phone call from our daughter on Friday morning and this was what she said, "Well, Mom.  Number 173 isn't pregnant anymore.  AND SHE HAD TWINS"!   There were times when I would think she was so big she must have two babies in there, but twins are actually pretty rare in beef cattle.  (They say the chance is 0.1%.) 

Its been a bit of a rough few days as we all held our breath with the babies.  The Momma "hid" them.  On opposite ends of the farm from each other.   Knowing that it is very common for one of the calves to be abandoned when there are twins we were so worried and anxious.  My son in law was so worried he carried one calf across the farm and delivered it to the Momma - only to find it back on the back side of the farm again the next day. 
After a very stressful day today of driving over hill and dale back and forth between babies and Momma, wondering if I should start bottle feeding, talking to everyone in the "know", calling my poor husband (who was out of town) every hour asking his advice, this is what I came home to this afternoon!  Contrary to all the stories you read about a Momma cow not remembering she had twins, THIS Momma didn't forget and she knew right where she had them hidden and knew the exact right time to bring them together.  She is a good Momma. 
Its been a marathon of a few days.  Oh, speaking of a Marathon......
I went to Birmingham to see my son and daughter-in-law run the full Mercedes Marathon!

I managed to see them at a few different points along the run; usually just the backs of them as they flew on by!
They completed the full 26.2 miles and I was so proud of them.  It was a really awesome thing to witness as I stood at the finish line and watched hundreds upon hundreds of people finish that run.  I almost wish I had the courage to try.  (Almost!)

Fresh Eggs

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I love vintage wooden signs.  We have a little local cafe that we love to go for lunch and he has an amazing old wooden sign on the wall and all I can think when I go there is that I love the sign!  I've recently done a little looking for a vintage sign.  I finally decided to try my hand at making one.
I bought a nice pine board - six feet long and twelve inches high.  I used my little handy dandy Mouse sander to sand it nice and smooth.  I also sanded the edges till they were slightly rounded.

I took the board inside our house where I've already got a work table set up for the painting I'm doing on our recently finished drywall! I painted a light coat of Annie Sloan Coco and let it dry. 
(Incidentally I discovered the BEST drop cloth to put on a table, the floor, etc... for projects like this.  We had a roll of roofing paper left over and it is slightly adhesive on one side, so you roll it out, cut what you need and it sticks to the surface.  It is strong, stays put and NOTHING is going to soak through!)
Then I painted another light coat (should actually have done it lighter) of Annie Sloan Emperors Silk - its my very favorite color of her paints. 
I traced on the letters I printed off of my word processing program.  (I used tracing paper I had on hand which was for sewing - it worked great.)
I painted my traced letters white and didn't bother to be too precise about it.  I don't have a  picture of this process, but I used a tiny little childrens art brush.
I also painted a sloppy white line around the border.  And then I took my Mouse sander and gave a good sanding.  It looks pretty rustic, which is the look I was going for. 
I waxed it with the Annie Sloan light wax and then gave it a coat of the Annie Sloan dark wax.  It gave it a wonderful antique finish.  I let it sit for a bit and then buffed it with a soft t-shirt until the wood is as smooth as butter!

I absolutely adore how it came out and I cannot wait til we move into our house and I can hang it up.  I have the perfect spot all picked out!  It looks cute in front of the shed too!
The drywall finish is complete inside our house and I've begun painting!  I wish you could see what the living room/kitchen area looks like as I am painting walls and have several other projects going on at the same time.  So when I get tired of one thing I hop over and work on something else for awhile.  And inside our travel trailer my sewing machine is set up where I've been working on quilt blocks and patio furniture cushions! 
This week I am linking to the following fabulous parties:

Joining A Quilt Along!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

When my friend, John'aLee at The Scrappy Appleyard, first invited me to join her Quilt Along I refused.  Here I am living in a travel trailer right now, helping my husband (almost full time) build our house, and trying to squeeze in time with the grand-babies!  But, then she came to visit me and she brought her project and it got me pretty excited.  I thought about the beautiful fabric I have stashed for a special project and decided to jump right in and just do it.  So.... here is my start to the Quilt Along!
I absolutely love fabric.  I would like to just collect fabric and display it in gorgeous bundles like this all over my house!  I especially love soft, beautiful quilting fabric made by Moda!  This is their Noteworthy Collection. 
John'aLee has her Quilt Along very organized on her blog with a new quilt block every week for the year!   (She started in January so luckily I was only behind four blocks!)  She does great tutorials and has step by step pictures. 
Its been a long time since I made a quilt (a few years actually) and once I got my fabric spread out I was a little stumped on where to begin.  I decided to make it easy on myself and since I have this fabulous collection of colors I made the choice to basically stick with a consistent color combination for each block. 
This was Block One in the series and I have to admit that I am so completely out of practise I had a terrible time lining things up, getting my points to point, etc...  I was almost in tears with this block.  Can you tell?  (I may actually re-do it sometime in the not so near future.)
This was Block Two in the series, and it went much smoother.  I started to get my confidence up a little bit!  I love this Noteworthy Collection of fabric.  The colors really make me happy!
This is Block Three.  I love, love, love this one!  I love the color combination, love the pattern, love that my points are actually pointing!!!  It was a little tricky I have to admit.
Block Four was a disaster.  I guess I'll blame it on the fact that it was late, the lighting in the travel trailer was terrible and this block was just plain hard!!!  (John'aLee do you hear me?!) 
There are my January blocks for the Quilt Along.  By the way, this is called The Rancher's Daughter Quilt and is the design of John'aLee's.  I love that she has a little story behind the blocks she is designing.  I can relate, as I too am a Rancher's Daughter.
I'll hope you'll check out her blog and join in the fun of The Rancher's Daughter Quilt Along.  Its not too late to start! 

This week I am linking to these fabulous parties: