Monday, April 28, 2014

working on the patio or how we are way over our head!

Spring is here and it is time to tackle some hard work,
or so we thought when we started Saturday morning.
By mid-afternoon, we started to second guessed ourselves!
Why? Because of this:
This is what your deck looks like now,
yep feeling quite overwhelmed!
But let's go back in time to see when it all started
Here what the deck/backyard allegedly looked like when we bought the house:

We moved in just after a huge snowstorm (by DC standard),
and this is what it looked like:

(about 3 years ago)

Pretty rapidly we realized that part of the deck was in rough shape,

and getting dangerous, we even started replacing some boards,
but this was not the solution we were looking for.
So we looked for various options and decided to get a concrete plus stone patio installed.
Since it is a major investment, we found that one way to cut cost what to do the demo ourselves.
so we started! 

It was a family event, everybody helped,
some have just more force or tools to work with.

More than half of the wood is rotten, so we decided to just cut the deck,
instead of just taking it apart.
I saved the benches, the wood there is actual OK and I have plans to reuse it.
After removing about 1/3 of the deck, we were surprised to find some concrete under the footing,
they are huge squares, about 4 feet by 4 feet, and about 6 inches deep.
These concrete squares are not level and are lower toward the house,
we always thought that we had a grade problem and that the water was going toward the house,
well at least we know why now!
That would probably explain also why it felt like the deck was harboring mosquitoes,
it was dark, warm and humid under there, perfect breeding conditions!

Do you see the chair there?
Somehow there is a hole there, huge hole,
and interestingly we have a problem in the basement just at the same place....
coincidence or connection?!

Now the real question is does this concrete need to be removed?
or can our contractor work with it?
it is quite low toward the house...
I am just concerned this is going to be more expensive
and our budget has very little wiggle room!
At least we have some more time to remove the rest of the deck,
our bodies have the rest of the week to recover!
Happy whatever-you-are-doing day!
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

embroidered bunnies

I have been working on embroidering some cute little bunnies
for a spring decoration,
but is is taking too long!

they turned out really cute.
I like to embroider on linen and not Aida fabric
but my eyesight is going down, I think I need glasses,
or at least reading glasses when I do embroidery!
Everything is just too small on fine linen!
While I did not finish these bunnies on time for Easter,
I met my nephew Baby S!

Miss C. was also pleased to meet him!
Happy sewing!

Monday, April 14, 2014

cherry blossom inspired doll outfits

I was inspired to sew 2 new spring doll outfits.
One for Camille, our little doll from France
and another for Saige.
I know there is not so much cherry blossom in the NM,
but now she lives in DC and here it is a big deal!

I tried to take pictures of the girls with the blossom, but the trees are too tall!

Saige is wearing a top based on this pattern from Liberty Jane Pattern,
it was a freebie pattern a couple of weeks ago.
It would make a cute dress but it is perfect as a top,
and it goes so well with the white shorts that I sewed last year.

For Camille, I made a nice T-shirt, using this pattern from Liberty Jane Pattern,
it is a mini-version of the many t-shirts I sewed for the girls.
It fits really well, and looks good.
I made up a little skirt from a rectangle, some elastic and some pompom trim,
she looks perfect for a hot spring day.

The cherry blossom has finally reached our neighborhood,
it is so pleasant to walk down there,
under the falling flowers.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cherry Blossom

Spring is in full bloom,
and yesterday we went to check it out,
like everybody else!
It was so crowded, full of tourists and locals alike....

We did get our fill of Cherry Blossom,
it is coming to our neighborhood,
we are just a few days behind.
It makes me want to sew summer things...

Happy day!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


just a little post for me to add my signature at the end of post

I am following this tutorial if you are interested in doing the same thing.

And while I am at it, I am also trying to add icons for pinterest, email
and all of that sort of things, following this other tutorial!

Happy day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

chocolate fondant

Over the week end, we were invited to a party,
and since I am known for my love of baking,
everyone always expect me to bring some desserts...
and I would hate to disappoint anybody!

I found this recipe in a French book :
and it is super easy.
I used the baking mold that came with the book,
but any small mold would work fine.

They are  called "fondants au chocolat" as they melt in your mouth!

  4 oz of chocolate, baking bar (bittersweet, or semisweet)
7 1/2 Tbsp of butter (100g)
3 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar (100g)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp of flour (45g)

melt the butter and chocolate together,
mix eggs and sugar, then add the flour,
and finally the butter/chocolate mixture.
let it cool down
bake for 10-12 min at 350.

Enjoy warm or cold.
They are so little, it is hard to enjoy only one...

Happy Day!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

quilt top: finished!

With this week end last snow fall,
I was able to complete my son's quilt top:

It looks so good in the snow,
but spring is finally here,
apparently we are 1 week away from the Cherry Blossom peak...
it is hard to see to believe as there is nothing here, a few miles away from downtown!

But back to the quilt, it is huge, about 95 X 95,
and I am not sure how to quilt it,
I would like to keep it simple as I only have a regular machine...

It has come a long way from these simple blocks :

Any quilting suggestions?

Happy sewing!

Coffee, bunny and Easter eggs

Can anyone have too many bunnies, really? OK, maybe, but I am not there yet! I changed my cocoa station from last winter to a spring coffee ...