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A New Look for the Livingroom

A New Look for the Livingroom

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. I have so many things I am working on that had to be put to the side. I last wrote about our huge undertaking to clean out the garage. It took us four hard days of cleaning, sorting, hauling and piling in a huge pile outside to go to the dump. I didn't take before photos because it was that bad! This is what it looks like now:

 I still need to haul the shelves downstairs and all the tools to be put on them plus various other small chores but it is close to being done. The huge pile on the left is our wood we use in our wood stoves. We probably have enough to last us through this coming winter (we have another big pile downstairs for the downstairs stove). This week we plan to get the floor painted and today we are getting plugins installed hopefully.
Yesterday our electricians arrived. I was expecting a short visit. Several plugs to be installed in the garage and a box replaced downstairs. Last night when they left they hadn't even touched the garage. 

Downstairs: one whole wall of boards removed, one section of ceiling destroyed, furniture out in the yard, piles of rubble everywhere, no electricity in my studio and I was told to not go near the bathroom when they left because it was 'hot'. I'm afraid of what I will be facing when they leave tonight!

Well on to what I really want to talk about. 
Sorry for the quality of the pictures but being on the southern slope, even on overcast days, the light can be quite bright in this room making pictures difficult.. 

We finally decided on what to do with the windows! 
We had talked of several things and nothing seemed to be right. 
Big curtains and curtain rods just wouldn't work with our windows. 
We tried the cinema curtain that I showed you in this post, and though it did work it only worked if we never moved our furniture. 
I thought about roman shades but I didn't want to lose any of our view. 
It's just that good! 
So finally after much discussion and looking we decided on these:

I think they are perfect! 
They fold out of the way when we don't need them, take little room and they look great in this room. I was really nervous waiting for them to arrive. I was sure they would look awkward and not fit in with the decor but they seem to be the perfect fit.

Added bonus, they block the light splendidly when needed. 
Since we sit on the southern slope of the mountain it can get quite bright in the summer time so this was a much needed feature.

What do you think of our solution?

Sometimes Life is Dull

Sometimes Life is Dull
       I haven't put a post up for awhile and I really do want to keep you up on what I am doing around here but this week has not been fun. For one thing it is raining, long gray and wet days. Secondly, we are cleaning out the garage and really, trust me, you do not want to see the mess that is in there! 

         I am also going through my first week on the elimination diet trying to locate a possible food sensitivity. It is so much harder that I thought it would be! I did fine tapering off the coffee. I just mixed it with decaf and added a bit more decaf each day till it was full decaf. After that, dropping the coffee wasn't a problem so I went into this thinking if cutting coffee was easy everything else will be a breeze. Wrong! If you were a fly on the wall you would see this sad soul wander into the kitchen over and over and just stand there. What can I eat? I want salty, I want sweet. Pitiful! I will get through it though. Yesterday I spent the time I wasn't cleaning out the garage with scouring the internet for recipes. I think once I have a good pile of recipes to work with it will be easier. I did make a delicious green smoothie with an apple, celery root and avocado so there is hope.
Wish me luck.

     I do have several projects in the making so I will be writing about them soon. Well, as soon as I conquer the garage. It is full of not only our stuff but all the stuff the previous owners left behind. It will be a nice weight off our shoulders when that is hauled away to the dump and we have a cleaner more organized house. I promise, THEN I will take pictures.
So I will see you soon, hope you have a great weekend!

A Day Trip to Ribeauvillé

A Day Trip to Ribeauvillé
Today I wanted to show you another of my favorite villages nearby. 
We were out and about a few weeks back and Frenchie proposed a trip over to Ribeauvillé. 
I had no problem going along with that idea! 

Ribeauvillé is a very old and very picturesque village dating back to at least the 8th century. 

It was the home of bishops and lords, the stuff of fairy tales! It is nestled among the vineyards and there are several notable wine makers who reside in the village. 

It is always full of tourists and the village thrives on their business. 

I can well see why. It is worth the visit. 

The houses are charming... 

and there are lots of interesting little shops to visit. 

We entered the village through tiny winding streets....

and happened upon a horse and wagon!

The day we visited we arrived a bit late for a meal. In France if you don't eat at lunchtime you are out of luck until dinner time. All the restaurants quit serving and you have to search for a place that might have something quick. We lucked upon a bakery that was willing to make a tarte flambée for us. I think it was probably one of the best I have had. The secret to a good tarte flambée is the crisp light crust with slightly browned edges, sometimes even burnt! No one gives the edges a second thought seeing as they are baked in a wood burning oven.

After our satisfying treat we took the scenic route home, wandering through many a vineyard

with castles nestled up on the slopes

and sleepy villages dotting the landscape.
All in all it was a wonderful trip.
I grow to love this land more and more every day. Life is simple here and gazing on this beautiful landscape brings me peace.

I hope you enjoyed another little taste of France today, hope to visit with you more soon!

The Studio is Finished!

The Studio is Finished!

It's been quite a few weeks since I wrote about my studio mess here. Since then I have worked hard on it off and on. I told you what an odd room this is but what I didn't mention is the ledges going all the way across three walls of the room. The first wall has a ledge about a foot off the floor and about two feet wide, the second wall has a ledge that is two heights, one of about two feet and the other about one foot and about 18 inches deep, the third wall the ledge is only about 4 inches high and 6 inches deep. I am not sure what the purpose of these ledges were but they make it very difficult to place furniture in this room.

I really have a lot of plans for this room but right now I have to hold off on everything. Since two of the walls have to be rebuilt, the third wall has to have a door set into it and the fourth wall will hopefully have new windows put in it, I was told no painting right now. No anything really, since it will all change. 

So I cleaned the room thoroughly and did the best I could for now. I had two big pieces of lightweight wall covering and my bulletin board to work with so I simply covered the damaged part of the wall with those. It works great for a temporary fix. I have lots of my WIP's hanging on the board and they make a nice display and serve as a gentle reminder that I need to finish them. I also have my keyboard tucked into that corner so when I get a chance I can enjoy a bit of music.

Under the window I set up my dye area. I use the big black desk to mix all my dyes, the nice slide out tray is perfect for holding my soda ash mix. I can soak fabrics in the bin and have it tucked away safe while doing so. 

The sets of drawers next to the desk hold all my dye supplies, clamps, dye, masks etc. and the small chest of drawers holds all my dyeable fabrics. It is nice to have it all contained in one area and it gives me a lot of surface area to work with also. 

I set up this back corner as my work area. This is where I use the computer, sew, work on jewelry, etc. I was told long ago when I worked as a reweaver that if I continued bending over a desk I would do irreversible damage to my neck and back. I quickly trained myself to reweave in a recliner. It was hard at first but I caught on quick and since then it has done wonders on my neck and back pain. I was also told at the same time by my eye doctor that with the type of work I did that my eyes would also deteriorate rapidly. There is a reason there are few reweavers in the world! He suggested that I watch TV while I worked so I would look up occasionally, therefor exercising my eyes. Since then I have always worked with a TV or computer going in the background. Here I have my computer, and it is a large screen. I like having my screens away from me. It's better for eye strain and for any kind of EMT emissions. 

Since I have these strange ledges I tried to work with them. I made this one a nice shelf for all my drawers full of beads, threads and tools. I places another shelf above so I have a place to various other things, 

The bank of file cabinets in front of me is full of more tools, beads, wire, pencils. All the goodies I need to make jewelry, do graphics work and do embroidery. This is the perfect set up for me and I love it!

Here next to my red drawers is my little desk. This fits just right next to my computer so I can work with my graphics tablet. I can also add my portable drawing table to the top and have a great design area for graphics. 

I set up a nice long table here as a work table. It is right next to my sewing area so I can use it as a cutting table, lay out my pieces here as I work and also use it for other projects. Right now I am in the middle of sorting, wrapping and readying some of my trims for the shop. the folding table sitting in the back is the nice portable drawing surface that I use at my chair or on my drawing desk.

This is my sewing area. I have plenty of room here to sew and lots of storage within arms reach.
My little needle felted cottage rests among the baskets of wool.

The shelves above hold my wool for needle felting and yarns, threads and other goodies.

I put these shelves next to the sewing table and also an old kitchen table that we had no room for when we moved here. It works perfect to hold my projects I am working on now and has some nice storage area beneath for patterns and other odds and ends. The shelf next to it holds all my hand dyed velvets and cottons plus various other fabrics for ongoing projects. 

The large armoire next to this holds all the rest of my fabric and old clothes. I use a lot of old clothes in my work. I like to reuse and recycle as much as possible. Most of my fiber art incorporates these used clothing items. I rarely buy new fabrics unless it is to dye!

So this is the finished room. I know it is only temporary and I really can't wait to redo this room how I want it, with bright walls and lots of light but for now I think it will serve me very well. I already feel so much more comfortable and ready to go. All my things in order, easy to find and within reach. This is making my artist heart sing!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Sugar, is it the culprit?

Sugar, is it the culprit?
I had a wonderful time this weekend. We had our much loved neighbors up for a lovely dinner and another dear friend made the journey over from Colmar to join us. We enjoyed wonderful food, good wine and sugar. The next day I woke up to a tight chest. My bronchitis seemed to have returned, with a vengeance. I did all the things I could to help it out, the steam treatments, the herbal tea and the Clear Lungs. The next day, yesterday I woke up to nausea again. Total rebellion from my body and hives. I realized that this is not just another case of stomach flu, or whatever else I could blame it on. I am convinced with this recurring scenario that something is rotten in Denmark. 

This week is the Glowing Skin Summit. Something I have been waiting for and excited to watch. It involves five guest speakers each day talking on the topic of healthy skin. I am deeply interested in the subject and so even though I am feeling quite ill this week it has been playing in the background each day. So yesterday when I was feeling my worst, after I discovered the hives all over me and was just feeling really down, I was listening to this woman talk on one of the videos. But she wasn't really talking about skin, she was talking about headaches and hives and nausea. Everything I have been suffering from. In fact she sounded like she was talking about me. That's when I realized, my body is reacting to the food I put in it this weekend! It really makes perfect sense. Each time I let myself slip I end up sick. Each time it seems a bit more aggressive. My immune system seems to be at a complete low. I had four rounds of antibiotics in October and November. I am starting to have recurring bronchitis, something I haven't had problems with in years. This woman talked of candida and how sugar feeds it. How rounds of antibiotics encourage it. I will spare you all the gruesome details but it is true that my reactions to antibiotics have become quite severe.

The pieces are starting to come together.
So I have decided to go on an elimination diet and see if my symptoms clear up. I am already pretty strict with what I eat so it shouldn't be too hard. I am interested to see if this will yield good results. I know I am tired of this never ending 'Ring around the Rosy'. I will let you all know how it turns out.

In the meantime, I am down this week. Lots of sleep and a little cross stitch is about all I am up to. I have several projects that I wanted to finish up and show you but I finally realized that they are not going to happen. I have to let myself heal and stop stressing about the things that are undone. There will be time for that later.
So I leave you with a photo, an update on my cross stitch. It won't be long till she is finished!

I hope you are well!