First of all, I want to apologize for my long absence, and my lack of responding to comments....things have been beyond crazy for me this past month or so. Thanks so much for your support and all the nice comments you have written to me, despite my complete lack of new material/conversation. I just can't keep up with everything, and have pretty much been offline in every way except to research houses, communicate with our realtor, and look up pricing for house stuff.
Speaking of house stuff, I think (hope) we FINALLY have our housing situation figured out! In answer to all of the kind North Carolinans who have queried about where in North Carolina we're headed, Steve's job is in Elizabeth City (just below the Virginia state line) so we've been focused on finding a property in that general area. Not too close to any of you, unfortunately, but maybe when I get settled I'll be able to have an open house/sewing party for the orphans and you can stop by on your way to Outer Banks!
Okay, in a nutshell, here's how our house buying search has gone: 1st house, the buyers backed out and decided not to sell their house after all. 2nd house, we ended up backing out at the last minute due to a number of different factors. 3rd house, hopefully all is well! It's a beautiful, brand-new home that was abandoned by the builder halfway through and so the bank eventually took it back and finished building it. Having a brand-new home is VERY exciting, considering all the drama that we continue to experience with our vintage age home here in Virginia. There are several design/layout choices in the new house that are, um, frustrating, but nothing we can't either change or live with.
One of the best parts about this house (other than being brand-new) is the location, and the fact that it's on 3 acres! Whoohoo! I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to all that space. Having grown up on a farm, I've never quite gotten used to neighbors 20 feet from our house on all sides. I grew up being able to go outside on my front porch in my nightgown, cereal bowl in hand, and bask in the morning summer sun without any chance of anybody (other than my family) seeing my outrageous bedhead. :-)
Needless to say, with all the unexpected difficulties in finding a place to live (and multiple trips down south to figure things out...thank goodness it's only about 4 hours from here!), we've been slow to finish our house projects here in Virginia.
I still have to trim out all the doorways and the staircase in the basement, but at least the kids' playroom is presentable! Before we realized we were moving, I had planned on doing beadboard wainscoting, crown molding, and a really fun color on the walls. Now that we're moving, I had to dispense with the extras and just make a nice neutral space for the renters.
And no, I haven't even started doing the tile on the master bathroom - it's still in its glorious, gutted state.
Back to the basement: I put some of my quilts on the wall to liven things up, and
don't you just love our vintage red velvet sofa?! I was very excited to find this $80 sofa on Craigslist - other than some cat scratches on the arms, it's in great condition! :-) The kids don't care about the scratches, and I love how it brightens up the basement.
I made some quick artboards to display some of our favorite masterpieces by the kids, and they're so proud to have their artwork on display. I bought big pieces of 4' x 8' insulation foam board (the higher quality kind with yellow foam and foil paper backing, not the white compressed pebble stuff) at Home Depot. I brought a box knife with me to cut them in half at the store so they would more easily fit into the van. Just score the foam with the knife, then bend it backwards to create a crease on the opposite side of the board which you can then use as a guide to cut the paper backing on the other side of the board.
Once at home, I wrapped the boards with polyester quilt batting and then the white muslin to create a neutral background for all their art. I hotglued a piece of twine which had been knotted at both ends, for extra holding power, to the backs of the boards in order to hang them on the wall. And that was it! Instant kid's museum.
My quilts love to be shown off on the red sofa.
So do my pillows. Sorry the light is so funky - no time to tweak the colors in Photoshop.
I've had some requests to know where to buy my fabric...and to be honest, I don't really know. I'm not involved with any of the marketing/selling of my fabric line, that's all handled by Benartex. I've heard from friends that they've seen it in some shops in Utah (I don't know which ones), and it used to be on Fabric.com but it was clearanced out pretty quickly. The pictures on the online shops didn't do the fabric any justice at all, and if I were somebody who hadn't seen it in person I probably would never have considered buying any. (It's much better in person, I promise!) In all honesty, my fabric line has pretty much flopped as far as I know - the royalties I have received have been far less than hoped, and I have not even made enough to cover the expenses incurred for computer programs, travel to Quilt Market, and printing my sewing patterns. Most shops that I have spoken with have never heard of me or my fabric line = pretty hard to buy something they don't even know exists! Plus the scary economic conditions, the high price of cotton, and the super-oversaturation of designers and new fabric lines in the quilting industry make it really challenging for quilt shops to stay afloat, and to know which fabric to buy. It's much safer to buy lines that are by veteran designers that they know will sell well = less risk. Sooooo....it has been a pretty discouraging time for me considering the years of work, dreaming, and planning that have gone into making my fabric line dreams come true. At least I can say I was able to do it once, right?
At this point I'm trying to decide whether or not to throw in the towel (at least for a year or two, until my kids get a little older) or to keep trying to establish myself as a fabric and pattern designer. Life has certainly been crazy for me this past year, both with all the house projects/moving and personally at home (including having my sweet little boy finally diagnosed with Asperger's and ADHD), so maybe this is all part of the Big Plan. I know of several other women with young children at home who are successful at juggling motherhood and a fabric designing career, but perhaps it's just not meant to be part of my life right now. Those words are really hard for me to type, let alone say out loud, I can assure you.
Anyway. See what happens when I don't blog for a long time? You got much more than you probably bargained for when you started reading this post! :-) Hopefully I'll be able to settle in relatively quickly in North Carolina and I'll be able to figure everything out.
In the meantime, here's a peek at yet another project waiting in the wings until I can get our house fixed up...Craigslist is awesome, isn't it? Addictive, but awesome. I got these for our new house - right now they're dated and beat up, but they'll be so pretty when I'm finished. It's turning into a bigger project than anticipated, as always, but it'll be worth it! I'm too embarrassed to show you the dressers, kitchen table/chairs, and coffee table that I have been collecting at super bargain prices, all for the new house...you'd then have enough proof to convict me as a certifiable Craigslist Addict and take away the keys to my van - if my poor husband doesn't beat you to it!
Now if I can just get this house done in the next 3 weeks....