Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm on a roll....
Got the front porch deck scraped, sanded and painted over the weekend.
Entertained old friends we hadn't seen in 12 years. Cut out two aprons. Sewed up one.
Sold another from my etsy online shop. Cooked a pot roast. Celebrated my birthday.
And, took a nap. Whew.

Finished the porch painting and it looks great. Putting the paint on isn't the problem. It's the gut wrenching, agonizing, grunt work of digging those little pesky rocks out that get wedged in between the boards. (Check out "before" picture.) You see...I insisted on a driveway surface that reflected the age of our old house...somewhat. Blacktop just didn't cut it. We settled on something called "chip seal." That's a technique where they hide the black top underneath layers of loose stone...so all you see is the stone. It's the closest thing to having a good old fashioned dirt driveway, which is what we found awaiting us when we bought this house twenty years ago. I loved the way it looked with it's lush green grass median going down the middle. But...it was dusty and got lots of puddles when it rained. So we opted for the chip seal. It looks good. But there was unknown danger lurking. Those little stones get lodged in the bottom of sneakers, work boots and any other type of shoe sole that has spaces. They get picked up, delivered and perfectly planted on the porch and ultimately
get pressed into the spaces between the boards. It's a nightmare. Scraping the peeling paint was a cinch compared to digging out those stones. You'd have thought they were glued in there. Yet...with cooperative weather and fast drying paint, I finished the job on schedule.
It looks so nice and clean and crisp now. Too bad it's the end of the porch sitting season. We call ourselves, "the porch sitters," because we spend so much time out there during the nice weather months.
Not that I'm finished with all my outdoor painting, I'm back to the sewing machine. Dragged
out all my fabric and cut out two really pretty aprons. They'll be ready for my etsy
shop in a day or two. Have to package up and ship an apron to Alaska tomorrow. It always
amazes me how people come from out of the blue and buy my aprons. It seems like the majority of our online sales are to people who live in places like Wyoming, Utah, and Wisconsin. This is my first Alaska sale. What fun!
Check out my etsy shop at www.apronsgonewild.etsy.com

Monday, September 21, 2009


Finished painting the pergola...(per·go·la (pûrg-l) noun...an arbor or a passageway of columns supporting a roof of trellis work on which climbing plants are trained to grow...Sure hope the pink roses grow back. It was a rather dramatic beheading. But there's a sign of life sprouting on the tip. (See pic of stump.)The pretty fence in the background actually belongs to our next door neighbors. They designed it in such a way so as not to make us feel entombed. One problem...it's right on top of the pergola. Not much room for a gal like me to fit a ladder in between to paint the backside. The choices were...(1.) the neighbors get to look at peeling paint or...(2.)I figure out a way to get in there and up there. Looked around the garage at all the objects hanging and noticed a very small, very old, very wooden 3 step ladder. Remembered that I had picked it up at the dump one day from the "Pick of the Litter" building. That's a spot at our local landfill where you can bring useful things and take useful things as long as you don't make a mess and the things are in good order of sorts.The adorable little ladder fit perfectly in between the space and was the absolutely perfect height for me to reach the top of the beast. So now, it's done. All white and pretty. I'm pleased and impressed with myself.
On Sunday, I began the not quite as easy task of scraping the front porch deck to prepare it for painting. Those nasty little stones from the driveway get wedged in between the boards and make much work for old knees. Did a "shout out" for my padded knee garden pants. Perfect. They're such a clever design. Little pockets in the knees where you slip in little, square foam rubber pads. You can take them out to launder the pants and then just put them in again. Genius!
This project will take some time. Once it's finished, I'm done for the season. It'll be back inside to sew. My etsy shop needs more stock in preparation for the
holidays. Lots of cute aprons and tops listed now, but we need more. Check us
out at http://www.apronsgonewild.etsy.com/

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

16.5 miles? No way!

Yes way. I did it. Hubby asked me to to go for a looooong bike ride with him on the new extension to the Shining Sea Bikeway. That's our gorgeous bike trail here in Falmouth. It's a big part of why so many folks choose this lovely little town for their spring, summer and fall getaways. My favorite part (and my daily ride) goes along the beach. But the new extension goes all the way to N. Falmouth and passes alongside some beautiful scenery; cranberry bogs, horse trails and even stop offs for a bite to eat. It's the latter that was the way hubby convinced me to ride for 16 miles. At the far end of our ride, there is an old, Falmouth establishment called "The Old Silver Lounge." (See picture of hubby in front wearing Hawaiian shirt inappropriate for bike riding .) It's a restaurant that's steeped in old Cape Cod flavor, from the huge pine beams to the real locomotive caboose that's attached and is part of the dining area. Kids just love eating in there. There's also the lure of Uncle Bill's Country Store, filled with candles, jewelry, antiques and all sorts of things. It's attached to the restaurant on the opposite end of the caboose. (You can enter the country store directly from the restaurant...a cruel trick played on unsuspecting husbands.) Anyway, the promise, so to speak, was that we could stop off at The Old Silver Lounge and have lunch. My nature is to make a party out of every situation, so stopping for lunch and a cold draft beer sounded festive enough to get me to agree to the long ride.
It was a picture perfect day yesterday and the scenery along the ride was as promised...absolutely beautiful. At one point, with cranberry bogs and dunes in the foreground, you can se
e the waters of Buzzard's Bay in the distance. (See picture where I look fat.) As familiar as we are with all parts of Falmouth, we had difficulty figuring out just where we were at times...passing under bridges, crossing private roads and the like. Then..all of a sudden, we'd see a familiar landmark and settle down knowingly. The end of the first leg was rewarding as promised. The best Reuben sandwich I've ever eaten and a cold mug of Coors light. Very, very nice.

The ride back seemed easier. I'm always better when I know what to expect. I don't like surprises. I felt more comfortable knowing the crossroads and having a sense of the distance. The trail was sparsely populated with bikers yesterday, but there were enough so as not to feel alone. We even came upon our local FedEx driver who was taking a ride on his lunch hour. He's a peach of a guy and we just love him. Reggie rode all the way back with us and we chatted it up along the way making the return leg go by quickly.
I'm limping around today. 16.5 miles is a lot for me. My legs and other parts of my body that I won't mention are hurting. But, it was fun and I'm happy we did it. Hard to think that my husband rides that distance every day. Good for him. But, I'll stick to my 3.5 mile ride along the beach, even though I don't get anything to eat at the end.

I'll stop goofing off at the end of the week and get back to the sewing machine. In the meantime, don't forget to check out our etsy shop at http://www.apronsgonewild.etsy.com/
We've got some really pretty aprons and tops.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What the heck?

Where'd the sunshine go? And it's dark at 6 o'clock! Turning myself inside
out trying to get the hang of it not being summer anymore. Even the mailman asked me this morning, "Where did everyone go?" He had become accustomed to greeting us on the front porch each day when he brought the mail...(we are addicted to having our morning coffee out there.) He'd even have a dog biscuit in his pocket for the visiting Lab, Max. What a guy. But...that's suddenly all over. Seems like the doors & windows are closed
and the TV is always on. It signals "being inside," which I don't like.
In order to force the summer to last longer, I've committed myself to scraping and painting our pergola. It's usually covered with pink roses, but this year, the roses suffered some sort of a blight so we've cut both vines down to the quick. Alas...that exposed the awful condition
of the paint so here I go again. Scraping and painting. Not my favorite job. I'm almost wishing it was a rainy day so I would be tempted to stay indoors and sew. I hate painting! But I'm doing it. (See...Old lady painting. Looks like the old lady needs a work-out with the weights on her arms.) I'll show you the finished product when it's done.

I guess the sewing will have to wait for the moment. This is turning
out to be more of a job than I'd thought!

Check us out at http://www.apronsgonewild.etsy.com/

Saturday, September 5, 2009

It's often stressful for me to fill special orders when I'm making aprons...

Everyone has a different idea of what they like or want and it's impossible for me to read minds. (At least, I can't do it anymore since I passed retirement age.) So, special orders are always stressful for me. Usually someone says, "Can you just make something blue, or green, etc., with a little of this and a bit of that, and maybe some ruffles?" and so on and so forth. It always sounds more simple than it turns out to be. I much prefer to just make something from my own imagination and hope that someone will like it and want to buy it. Special orders always take longer, cost more to make and are rarely profitable.
Not so with the most recent one. A friend I met in Florida, who has bought several aprons from me, asked if I would make something sort of fancy for a relative's birthday. She gave me a general idea of what she wanted but didn't get too specific....so I was able to use my own thought process and pick out fabric and a design that I was comfortable making. I'm really happy with the way it looks.
I started with a very nice, smooth black cotton polka dot fabric which I cut in a similar fashion to my original baby-doll design, but without the little pleats at the bodice. Inspired by the previous half aprons you saw in my last post, I added a row of ruffled pleats across the bib along with some sheer, organza polka dot ribbon. I gave the same treatment to the pocket edge and then gave both areas a special touch with tiny crystal beads. It looks dressy, yet sophisticated. I'm pleased as punch. Take a peek. (If you click on the picture, you'll get a closer view.)
Beautiful, beautiful Labor Day Weekend here on the Cape. Lots of folks in town for a last hurrah. There's a big tent wedding at the Beach Breeze Inn down the street. We can hear the music as we sit on our front porch. A nice way to end the season.
Check us out on the web at http://www.apronsgonewild.etsy.com/