So, what do we do with the BEST season in the year?
Add more chores to our already-full schedules, leaving little time to enjoy Spring!
And I am no exception. On the fridge is a long list of spring-cleaning chores, written in black marker, lest I overlook them, if written in thin, little inked words.
Actually, one page isn't enough, as I forgot to add wash all windows, inside and out, to the list - ugh.
Also NOT on this list is digging up and sawing down all the plants, bushes and trees I DO NOT want in the garden, so that I can plant what I DO want – heirloom roses and honeysuckle, and eventually, more lilacs and azaleas. This will be our 2nd summer here, and I don't like the garden. It's depressing.
There's a long, but narrow patch of sand (I don't dare call this stuff dirt) along the side of the driveway to the kitchen door, which needs a new support system, soil amelioration, and as it gets enough sun, I may put tomatoes there.
Bricks, wood, bamboo, faux rock, cut stone, interlocking blocks? Whatever we use, it will need to coordinate with future paving/edging choices.
I've already hacked at the wild roses along this fence, though digging up the roots was proving to take more energy than my body can put out, so hubby tackled them with a long spade.
The fence is in desperate need of a bath and repainting, and how much more beautiful will some Louise Odiers, Madame Pierre Ogers and Felicite Parmentiers be (If I could FIND FPs. Either out of stock or backordered.)
I also hacked up and pulled up a large Scotch Broom abutting the fence, and easily pulled up a dead rhododendron by the house, thanks to the soil, I mean, sand, that we live on.
OK, so that's 2 separate sets of chores. Add to that the usual housework and laundry. Add to that baking hubby's bread and cakes, and cooking his, mine, and our meals.
So, now we're up to 4 major piles of chores.
Add to that designing, working on the other 2 patterns sitting here since last August, when my iMac died, knitting more things for Etsy and my site (which STILL has no handknits listed yet - my apologies!), as well as adding more designs to Etsy, CraftHub and the other new venues on which I need to get them listed – yet more ha!
So, 5-6 major piles of work, as my design work and business is a full-time job.
Nope, not done yet. Then there's the sewing projects I need to get done asap, before the sun gets any higher in the sky – namely finishing the Swedish blinds, designing and sewing something for the 2, large, south-facing skylights, before we get baked (have you seen the prices for those simple, skylight blinds? – ha!), and lining these vinyl shades with fabric, as they are ugh-ly.
And me, with half the energy I used to have, until this body heals.
So, most days I am SO confused about what to do, as there's just TOO much that needs doing.
I can tend not to feel well half the time, so when I do feel well enough, I tackle too much, as too many days are lost to non-productivity, backlogging necessary chores.
What I need is a large spin dial, as in board games. I'd stand in the middle and spin the dial. Wherever the thing stops, that's the chore I'll tackle that day, as if one chore is enough for a day! I'd have to spin that dial 10x/day, every day.
So, when yesterday's dial spun, it landed on Tackle the Skylight Coverage Issue and then on Figure Out the Swedish Blinds.
Now, I have several resources explaining how to make Swedish blinds, with slight variations.
All variations though involve a wood batten, either wrapped or not, a dowel, cording, glass, wood, metal or plastic rings, and screws, as the entire contraption is screwed into a window's header trim, through the fabric, wood and knotted cording.
Aack. This did not appeal to me, and I let the project gel in my mind for months. Holes in the face of the wood trim, that, eventually will need to be filled, sanded and painted by someone (hint: not me.)
I wanted it easier to make, involving less parts (and therefore less cost and time) and be more easily removed for cleaning.
So, tension rods.
I have been hanging curtains, for decades, on tension rods. They were inexpensive, especially important, considering *how* many windows in our NY house which needed covering, and because the woodwork in our old house was SO beautiful, you'd be crazy to hide it behind elaborate window treatments.
So, I thought, why not? Why can't I sew on the fabric loops holding the rings, with the cords sewn to the WS. Would it work? I wouldn't know until I made one, and hung it,
Yes!, it works!
And, of course, using what I had on hand, not the expensive glass rings, or the fixed eye pulleys, which were another option.
I used white carbone rings, natural cotton twine for the cord, a disused flannel sheet and disused throw slipcover for the front and back coordinating fabrics, and only needed a $1.80 dowel for each window, which easily slides out of the slim bottom pocket, when it's time to clean the curtain.
The only adjustment to the tension rod was to make it one notch tighter, not that I'd be yanking on the curtain, but just less-likely-to-startle-me-when-it-crashes-to-the floor! And so far, no crashing. We do need to pick up window cleats. at the hardware store, on which to wrap the cord.
Now, as for the skylights. Been cogitating upon them for as many months, as the Swedish blinds.
I was thinking of a fabric blind – much like the Swedish blind – but without all the cording and loops, but *with* carbone rings sewn into the side seams at the middle, lower 3/4 and bottom, so 3 sets of rings on each side.
On each side of the wood trim surrounding each skylight, I'd put 3 small cup hooks, to correspond with the carbone ring placement, so that I could (tautly) hook the fabric blind up 1/4 or 1/2, depending on how much sun I want to let in, or hook it completely down.
It would take more accurate measuring (to ensure a taught blind), than I think I am prepared to deal with now, but, may well do this at some point.
In the meantime, I've hung curtains on each skylight, using cup hooks to hold the tiebacks.
The curtains do drape some, over the skylight openings, but I don't totally dislike the look. At least it softens those huge skylight windows, and blocks some of the light, yet still allows access to the control handle – until I come up with something else.
Some other bits of sewing had me adding ties to 2 older white matelasse slipcovers and making the lower curtain to match the topper, for this bathroom window.
On our first (well, *only*) real vacation, in '94, we came here to the Cape and browsed some yard sales.
At one such sale, we bought a chair, and an odd bag of curtains, including 3 of these toppers, and a large square, which must have been used as a table topper. So, I just turned the table topper into a curtain, matching the rod pocket and hem of the topper.
I do need to make a small adjustment, however, and turn the lower curtain into 2.
So, 19 years later, this fabric are still in use, and actually, as I was sewing it, I noticed the design and copyright date in the selvedge – 1983!
Tomorrow's spinning of the Daily Chore Dial will surely land on sewing the other 3 Swedish blinds, as the feet are going up soon, and knitting pulled out!