Laughing at myself

Look at this note on my fridge – it has been there for 3 weeks. I put it there because I do not pay attention to myself!

In the last couple months, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by house things I simply cannot ignore. My house was built in 1947, renovated in 2004. When I moved in a year and a half ago, I had my little bungalow painted inside and out. Had bug-proof screen installed on the patio (a Florida must-have). Changed out the interior lighting, got a new refrigerator, washer and dryer, new blinds on the French doors. A new A/C compressor and handler. A new roof!! But, after a respite, still more to do.

  • My water heater was 14 years old. Got a new one, check.
  • The 5-zone irrigation had never seen attention. Got it inspected and repaired, and learned about my water valves and so on. This is a big deal – check out that awesome back flow preventer. Just what I always wanted. Check.
  • About water – I did not have a shut-off valve between the city water meter and my house, on the main. Which meant I had no way to stop the water flow if I were to have a break or leak in the house. So I had one installed. Really sexy. Actually, there’s a really cute guy under that umbrella. Check.
  • Got the 6-month maintenance on the A/C system. Nothing sexy about this, so mundane, no pic, although my compressor is pretty awesome. Check.
  • And I decided, after one year, that my new leather loveseat is not meant for me. It’s too upright, too shallow, gorgeous but uncomfortable, and it made my bones ache! So I’ve replaced it with a glorious rocking recliner from LazBoy (pic from the store). Wow. I fell asleep in my chair last night watching Chips…yes, Ponch is sexy.
  • Finally something with a dress I made, my floppy garden hat, fertilizing the mandarin tree. Happy…

OMG, I am back to that memo on my fridge, I hope I can live by it. However, I just went to Ace Hardware for stuff…little stuff. Like major over-the-top cleaning of my food disposal, cleaning my bath drain, organizing my linen closet (which is already disgustingly organized). I just have to have some projects!

I hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day, full of gratitude for all those people who have made and continue to make us safe and able to enjoy the trivia as above.

Bye for now – Coco

Seeing the top of the mountain

Just some musings. And a small celebration. My county opened an appointment portal for 65+ residents at midnight, Dec. 29. I had been asking my doctors for info on when/where/how to get my vaccinations. And overnight, when the portal opened, I got a reply.

I got my appointments, for both my first and second jab, at 4:09 p.m., on the first day of of the portal. It was shut down at 5:51 p.m., all 42,000 appointments were taken, and there is no re-opening date in sight. My appointments are set for January 29 and February 26. I am so grateful, happy, relieved, to know I am in line. That’s my view of the top of the mountain. 12% of my county of 1.4 million residents, 168,000 people, are over 65 years old.

So now I am a little paranoid, climbing that hill, in avoidance mode. I’m diligent about using KN95 masks (from Amazon), and the vinyl gloves I harbor because I cannot use latex gloves.

Small earthly wonders. A year ago I bought a couple small pots of kalanchoe at the grocery. When they bloomed out, I dead-headed the blooms, stuffed them into a 10″ pot with some soil, and put the pot in the back yard.

And it’s January a year later. Cold outside! but what glorious color.

Parting remark: Because I am on an immunosuppressant medication, I have to get lab work every 4 weeks. This morning, early, at the lab, a man in the waiting room was porting a mask but had it pulled down under his mouth. I asked him to mask-up. He replied with how it was his life and he would do as he pleased. My reply was that I was concerned about my life, and I asked the door-keeper to remove him. Lots of grumbling, but he pulled up his mask. I get it. It’s a new paradigm. However – we have choices, I choose to advocate for myself. Be brave…

For now, with thoughts for all, Coco

Still here, just wandering a bit

Ok, I’ve not been very successful in the sewing department for a few weeks. It seems that I bin two out of every three things I make! I really don’t mind, all that sewing and fussing has kept me occupied.

However – lately I’ve turned to my stamp collection as solace. Nice days, no TV, no music – just me, stamps, Scotts catalogs, and albums. Stamp hinges all over the place. I’ve been collecting since 1979, international stamps through 1959. Lovely way to spend time 🙂

Today, in honor of Election Day, I cleared my table and did some cutting – two pairs of black bengaline Style Arc Barb pants. This is hands-down my favorite pant pattern with this fabric, and these are pairs 2 and 3. Side note, back in the day, traveling overseas for work or fun, I just took 2 pairs of Bengaline pants with me (vintage Liz Claiborne). Indestructible and no wrinkles, easy to clean, perfect with any suit jacket or top.

Some time ago I purchased 5 yards of Bengaline from Fabric Genie = 3 pairs of pants in total (first pair here, with sewing notes).

I will be busy, with the benefit of guaranteed success, for a while. I just need to rethread the serger with black thread:-)

I hope everyone is well, safe, at peace, and loved. Coco

Mid-week short chat

It’s once again that time of year, tropical storms and hurricanes. After over 30 years in Florida, I don’t panic, I just go to the grocery store! Done and done…

Sewing: My son’s linen ‘Hawaiian’ shirt is finished, pending a fitting and button placement. He’s in Banner Elk, NC, due to come back on the weekend. He and his ‘crew’ drove up to avoid Covid concerns, long drive from Orlando, so I hope he has a decent drive on return. Heavy rain in Florida tends to be a whiteout, difficult driving.

This is wonderful men’s casual shirt pattern, Kwik Sew 2935. Here’s the one I made my DSIL a few years ago, also in Brussels Washer. You might have to do a search to find it now, but it’s worth the effort!

Having finished my kitchen glass door, which has a wooden frame, with frosted film, I find that every one of my rotary blades is dull. I took a moment to order blades just a while ago, I love Amazon. These are incredible prices, if they don’t last a long time, I don’t care 🙂

Tomorrow I will get myself in gear and go to Sherwin Williams for black paint for the front oak door. I’m ready to be done with painting!

I hope this finds you well and engaged in fun in-home diversions. For now, Coco

I’m so busy!

Look familiar? My kitchen is my staging area for all kinds of painting, my only issue is that all the stuff is in front of my coffee maker!

The bathroom vanity – it was not an easy upgrade, because painting stained wood is giant pain. This vanity was ’80s oak, a Thomasville cabinet, so it was worth the effort. It looks so high end now! Black paint, new hardware 🙂

Speaking of black paint, I’m actually painting all my exterior doors black as well. They are all stained oak, so it takes a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to finish. And it will take forever to cure. I’ve finished the door to the wash house and the kitchen door (pic below). Notice that it cures very quickly on my hands…

The kitchen door, framed glass, and very exposing without something over the glass. I want to stay in the 21st century, so I added a frosted film (Rabbitgo), with a 1/2″ clear border. It’s great! and I can walk in my kitchen au naturel

Pending – the front door. I need more paint and a rest (at least 24 hours) from painting.

Meanwhile, sewing plans…

I’m making my son an Hawaiian shirt, white linen, using Kwik Sew 2935. I’ve measured him every way from here to Sunday for this project 🙂

And of course I’m sewing for myself. I ordered 3 yards of this gorgeous STOF France Zoya Multicolore linen for a Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau.

I won’t line it, I have a beautiful burnt orange voile for Hong Kong seams.

I’m grateful to be so busy. I’m feeling loved, my family stays in touch, and my son comes by for porch hellos. For which he gets Twizzlers and loop band bracelets.

I hope you are well also – Coco

Saturday chat

Hello from Orlando, close to Cape Canaveral, and I’m admittedly a space geek. I go out to watch launches every time I can, just to glimpse that thrilling distant flame of a rocket.

OK, I’m sitting here with black paint on my hands and feet, in old yucky clothes, taking a break from painting my wood doors and bathroom vanity! I have 3 doors – wash house, kitchen, and front porch, and I’ve finished the first two. There is nothing easy about these projects. I visited both Benjamin Moore and Home Depot, talking it up and, from Home Depot, getting paint. The staff at my local BM seemed so distracted, service was minimal.

Day 1, scruff up the wood with a sanding block and clean. Day 2, Gripper primer, wait 16 hours. Day 3, first coat, wait 16 hours. And, finally, Day 4, second coat. Pics!

Tonight I’ll take down the visine, lock up the house, and enjoy the two completed doors. May I say that black paint is challenge. It’s so black! and I have to be careful not to touch things or track on my floors.

Other non-sewing stuff – I finally shopped for a dresser, I really dislike shopping in stores, which is why this took so long. But I ordered a beautiful dresser from Rooms to Go, Cindy Crawford Home collection. Nice heavy solid wood constuction, interesting play between the woods. It won’t be here for another 4 weeks!

Another essential, a Polywood rocker for the front porch – and it won’t be here until September!

I’m really tired of painting, so I’ll be sewing tomorrow 🙂 For now – Coco

Fabric as art #1

Summer, and I’ve been in the house for 9 months. All the ‘big’ items are finished – roof and outside plumbing repair, front yard gardens, bug-free screening for the porch, and, the biggest ticket item, a new A/C compressor and air handler. Whew.

It’s time to work on my bedroom. It’s a huge room, 1/2 of the house, L-shaped, with a sitting area as one enters, which is home to my piano and a twisted wood and wicker chair, then a deeper space that is home to my dresser, armoire, bed, and nightstand…

I’ve had lots of time to think about wall art, and a couple weeks ago I decided to use 3 large frames with fabrics that I love, instead of conventional art. Today I framed the first of 3 pieces, the one over my piano. I don’t want to focus on the art when I’m playing, so I was looking for a fabric with fluidity and color. This is Waverly Mayan Market Caliente duck from I ordered 1 yard and turned the pattern sideways to get a horizontal motion. It is the most expensive fabric I’ve ever purchased, at $30/yd, but the cut was very generous. I’m sure it was done with a view of the pattern repeat.

Instead of sewing notes, here are my construction notes!

  • I purchased 3 stretched canvas frames from Sam Flax. These have a 3/4″ profile – 2 @ 30″ x 40″, and one, the one, at 20″ x 30″. I really don’t plan to frame them so size was important.
  • Tools! From Ace Hardware, a staple gun and 1/4″ staples for attaching my fabric. Which, by the way, I cut out with 2″ borders once I decided on the print placement. The staple gun was easy to use, it’s an Ace brand, I think the person helping me and I tried out every model in the store. I love Ace!!
  • I added fusible interfacing in a 4″ block on each corner, since the fabric is a loosely woven. I was scared silly I would mess up the corners. Then I stapled the opposing sides and worked with those corners. I was grateful for the interfacing, and it went very well!
  • To hang the frame, I used d-ring fasteners and picture wire. I like these fasteners because they lie flat. I did have to get shorter screws, the ones included in the pack were too long.
  • And up it went!! Please ignore the blue-ish walls, they came with the house, and as soon as it’s safe, they will be painted white, which I find very soothing in my bedroom space.

I hope this finds you all well and strong, what a strange and challenging time.

For now, Coco