Monday, May 28, 2018

Kitchen Renovations, Part 2

Still Wishin' for a Kitchen...

Oh, would that we had our permit from the City of Boston. Unlike nearby towns, where you fill out an application and hand them a check, whereupon you are handed a permit, Boston can take up to 60 days to give you a building permit. Ask me how I know...
Our kitchen still looks like this. Do you like what we've done with the place?
My builder has called the Inspectional Services department repeatedly. I am on a first name basis with my local Rep and all the people in his office. My new friend Walter told me that our permit might come as early as next Friday (we applied for it on April 9th).
This doesn't look like much, but the gas line for the stove has been moved to its new location.

Our siding has been replaced. There is a slight color variation, but it's not very noticeable.
Our HVAC has also been moved to its new location on the back wall. It used to live inside the wall that we tore down.
We spent Memorial Day weekend with our friend Deb in Maine. Unlike us, she has a working kitchen and made us several lovely meals. She has been pet sitting LarryPug and Caesar for a month.
From left to right: Caesar, Auntie Deb, Elvis and LarryPug
Since we still don't have a building permit, we collected LarryPug and Caesar and brought them home with us. Thirty days of dog sitting cost more than a few milk bones!

On the bright side, some progress was made.
When we left for Maine on Saturday, our floors looked like this. The blue tape designates the placement for our new kitchen island.
The floor crew showed up at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and worked miracles! Missing boards were replaced. Everything was sanded and one coat of polyurethane was applied. Here are Caesar and LarryPug checking out the newly refinished floor in the kitchen/dining room.
Here is the living room.
This is the view from the hallway.
Since we'll be doing two more coats of polyurethane once the kitchen cabinets are installed (if we ever get that pesky permit), our downstairs furniture currently consists of three dog crates, a folding table and a lamp.

I took advantage of Memorial Day sale prices and ordered our new stove and refrigerator. We had picked them out on President's Day weekend back in February.
While our floors were being done, our builder moved our refrigerator outside.
And our stove is heading for the dumpster.
I've had these appliances for 19 years and they still work well. The only reason we chose to replace them is that the kitchen designer designs the new kitchen around the appliances so it made sense to update them now to ensure that they would fit. These are both GE Profile appliances and that's what we chose for the new kitchen.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Quilt for Baby Adeline

Last Wednesday at my quilt retreat in the Berkshires, I started a quilt for Baby Adeline. Adeline was born on Mother's Day, a perfect gift for my friends Jason and Jocelyn. I chose the fabric after Jason told me that Jocelyn's favorite colors were sea foam green and gray. The polka dot print is from Art Gallery fabrics and it feels like silk. The fabric selvage reads that you can "feel the difference," and you can!
I wasn't thrilled to work with green and gray for a baby girl until I found the adorable koala bear fabric that had both colors in it. It was so great to work on this project at a retreat where I had all day (and night) to sew with no interruptions!
By the end of the day, I had finished the quilt top.
Love these koalas! So cute!
I made a stuffed cat for Adeline's big brother Braydon. I also made one of these in April for baby cousin Nate. Nate enjoyed taking the kitties in and out of the pocket.
The cat is a pre-printed panel. The panel comes with two sets of cats, one pink and one blue. The little kitties are removable from the Mama Cat's pocket. This panel also comes in a dog version.
I finished the quilt by lunch time on Thursday.
It coordinated nicely with the chair at the hotel.
Here's another photo with Mama Cat and kittens.
Here is 6-day old Baby Adeline on her new quilt. Marion and I stopped on our way home on Saturday and I delivered my gifts in person.
Here is big brother Braydon with his Mama Cat and the monkey submarine that I brought for him.
I'm not sewing as much as I would like to this Spring, but once in a while I do finish something!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Pugs of the Berkshires!

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

Last week at the Berkshires, I experienced a perfect trifecta of happiness. Cindy gave me the surprise of a lifetime when she showed up with an original pug quilt that she had designed just for me! While she didn't give me the actual quilt, shown below, she did make me a copy of the pattern and she gifted me all the remaining fabric from her project, so I can get started on my own. Of course, I think a hot pink background will be fabulous.
I LOVE this pug quilt. He looks just like Romeo! Definitely my next project!!
Karen bought me Cadbury Eggs in the clearance aisle at Rite Aid.
And I scored big again at Marshalls!
Behold! A scrumptious fleece blanket that matches the pug sheets that I found last week at TJ Maxx. At $14.99 I couldn't leave it behind. I almost bought the second one that they had.
Here are the nail files that I bought the previous week. They also came with two Boston Terrier nail files that I gave to Joannie.
I bought a new pug flag for our garden on Amazon. Elvis is pleased because it looks just like him.
Elvis enjoyed a visit with Lucy. For those of you who can't tell the black pugs apart, Lucy is in front, Elvis is in the back. She is an exuberant 2-year old!
I found Elvis asleep one day with his head in his dish. Dreaming of his next meal, I guess.
Snoozing away.
Nancy D. sent me a photo of another finished quilt top from our quilting retreat. This is Hidden Stars from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I'm sure she's going to add another border or two...
Thanks for visiting!
Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, May 20, 2018

2018 Berkshires' Quilt Retreat

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

I've returned from my annual quilting trip to the Berkshires. We've lost track of how many years we've been going, I think it's been at least 20. We've been at our "new" hotel for 10 years.

Here are some of the beautiful projects from my Brown Bagger quilting friends.

Nancy D. finished a lot of projects!
Nancy added the outer borders to her colorful batik Card Trick quilt.
Here is Nancy's beautiful Christmas tree skirt.
Nancy put borders on her Friendship Braid, which was an older UFO. The outer border is a wonderful Kaffe Fassett print that ties all the colors together.
Here is Nancy's pretty table runner. The pattern is Breezy Runner by Pine Tree Country Quilts and Nancy purchased it as a kit with the instructions and all the fabrics.
Joannie was busy working on a t-shirt quilt but found time to finish her adorable patchwork elephant. It was her first time making a stuffed animal and it came out great!
Here's a close-up of the elephant.
Kim P. made this colorful play mat. This is a free tutorial on JayBird Quilts' blog that she calls Circle Quilt. I think I may need to make a few for all my friends who are having babies this year. If you look closely, or click on the photo, you can see Kim's beautiful machine quilting. She did some intricate vines in the green wedges. You may recall that Kim is an award-winning quilter who has won at the Vermont Quilt Festival and exhibited at the Houston Quilt Festival.
The quilt below has quite a back story! Kim was quilting it for her Mom's friend. She layered it this winter. When she pulled it out to work on it, she found that all of the safety pins had rusted and stained the quilt top. After she washed it to get the rust out, one of the pink fabrics in the quilt bled. In the end, Kim got the rust out and most of the fabric bleeding isn't noticeable. The quilt is absolutely stunning! I hope that her Mom's friend enters it in a quilt show.
This quilt needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.
Each little flower basket is different.
Here's a shot of the center medallion.
Karen was putting final touches on two new patterns that will be available for sale soon in her Etsy Shop, QuiltLily Designs.
This beauty doesn't have a name yet, although I suggested Nancy,
I think this one is called Cat and Mouse.
Of course, Marion was there with me. She finished two sets of blocks that will become quilt tops soon, probably by our next quilt weekend in August. When I left on Saturday morning, Joanne S., Kim G., Sally, Cindy and Debbie were all busy sewing but didn't have anything ready to share in the blog. I left the retreat early to go home and spend the weekend with Mike and Elvis, so I may get some more photos from Kim to share with you later this week.

Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: New Acquisitions

Hello Dear Blog Readers,

There have been some new acquisitions to the ever-growing pug collection. A couple of weeks ago, while innocently perusing TJ Maxx, I found both pug sheets and pug nail files! When I went to check out, one of the seasonal $1 shopping bags had a pug on it, so I purchased one of those as well.
I bought these beauties for $19.99 at TJ Maxx. I also found them on eBay for $69.99... Maybe I should go back and buy some more...
A couple of new pug t-shirts found their way to my house.
A T-Rex, a unicorn and a pug all rode into a bar... this design is probably a pop culture reference that I don't understand... I will have to ask my brother Gary or one of my nieces or nephews.
If you're a KISS fan, you'll appreciate this shirt even more. I was a huge fan of Gene Simmons' reality show, Family Jewels. I had someone stop me last night at the supermarket while I was wearing this t-shirt to compliment me.
The Pug Boys even bought me a t-shirt for Mother's Day.
Note: I am incapable of such styling, this photo has been borrowed from the website where the Pug Boys purchased the t-shirt.
Thanks for visiting! I'm off to the Berkshires to sew for four days with my Brown Bagger friends. I'm bringing two brand new projects to work on. I just bought the fabric last night for one of them.

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Kitchen Renovations, Part 1

Mike and I have survived week 1 of our kitchen remodeling project. If you have never visited Casa Pug Pack, here's a photo of our kitchen before the demolition.
Here is our original kitchen. Everything is builder grade and boring. By the way, the only time the kitchen was this clean was when I moved in 19 years ago. You can see, we really needed our floors refinished. The shiny part in front of the fridge had been protected by a rug. I guess that 19 years of four human feet and 12 pug paws can cause some wear and tear.
The demo started last Friday, April 27th. Mike and I packed up the pugs and headed to Maine for the weekend.

After a week of demo, we now have an open concept kitchen.
Look Mom, no walls!
Fortunately, we have a nice new ceiling beam to carry the load.
As well as a matching post to bear some of the weight in our laundry room closet.
As part of our reno, we removed a window in our kitchen. Our stove and exhaust fan will now go where this window was. I'm hoping that by removing the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, we'll still have plenty of sunlight.
Here's our first nasty surprise. Mold. Yuck! When our contractor removed the window, he discovered that it had not been properly installed. So now we have new sheathing and we'll be getting some new siding too. This window was not original to the house, so luckily our whole house is not rotting away.
Waiting for some siding and a sunny day for installation.
Here's our own personal dumpster, who's joined the POD in our driveway. Luckily, we have a very large driveway.
During the busiest parts of the demolition, LarryPug and Caesar are spending a few weeks up in Maine with their Auntie Deb and her menagerie of three large dogs and one cat.
Here are Caesar and LarryPug sunbathing in Maine. Deb's dog Sam is in the background. Luckily, Deb sends me funny photos every day. And I know that Caesar is having the time of his life, hiking in the woods with her.
Elvis has been spending his days in Joannie's kitchen enjoying a little senior romance with her 13 year old Boston Terrier Alli.
Elvis says that you're never too old for love! And special thanks to Auntie Joannie for senior daycare!
Mike, Elvis and I are camping out in the living room or grilling outdoors.
I miss my couch!
Here are our accomplishments for the week:

The dining room wall is down and the ceiling beam has been installed.

We've got the power! Ron the electrician spent most of his week with us before he leaves shortly for a 2-week mission trip to Africa. Elvis and I enjoyed hanging out with him. He also fixed our outside motion detector light.
I love how Ron writes on the wall! He assures me that the new paint will cover the pencil marks!
The new wiring is complete.
We purchased our sink, faucet and pot filler.
This is our new farmhouse sink and faucet. We ordered a brushed finish on the faucet (Mike's choice).
Here is Mike cooking the last supper in our old kitchen before the demo.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,