Sunday, December 21, 2008

"The best birthday present anybody's ever gave me"

After a few hours of weather related airport delays, Mike and Aunt Helen finally walked in the door at 11:30 last night. After quick hellos, I pulled Aunt Helen aside and told her what I'd done. She wanted to be downstairs when Mike saw the mancave for the first time. I told Mike his birthday present came while he was gone and I might as well give it to him early since he'd find it today anyway.

Aunt Helen and I came downstairs, turned out the lights and told Mike to come down and turn on the lights when he got to the bottom of the stairs. Down he came, he was shocked, happy, elated, surprised, thrilled, all those things. He came to the center of the room and just started turning around in circles looking at everything. He was so happy, thought everything looked awesome and then spent an hour going from picture to picture recalling the memories behind each one. It was really fun to re-live our past.

The photo at the top of the page is Mike when he first turned on the lights. Today he said he'd help me take some really good pictures so I can post them. I even told him about the blog, so he grabbed my laptop and sat and read the entire chain of events. When we went upstairs for some much-needed sleep he told me "that's the best birthday present anybody's ever gave me!"

Funny story about "the envelope" that I will share later on when I have more time. I got to sleep for 8 hours last night, woo hoo - more sleep than I've had in 2 weeks!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Project Mancave - sneak peak

Twas 4 hours before the reveal,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse (might be because my cat got it today :o)
Photos and curtains were hung,
in the mancave with care ,
in hopes that my hubby,
will soon be there. corny !! but remember I've had 3 hours of sleep.
Heres a sneak peak of the draperies and cornice/valance. I will post more photos soon, I have got to tidy up my house. The entire install took 5 1/2 hours, mostly because of the pictures.
I'll try to check in tomorrow with more photos.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Project Mancave - he's gone! all is a go!

Hooty-hoo, Mike got on the flight to Philadelphia! Yeah, I have renewed energy to finish tonight, or in the middle of the night. I'm staying up til I can't stand up.

Mother Nature may very likely spoil the surprise

Well, I THOUGHT hubby had jumped into the car to head north. Turns out, he got busy in his office tying up some loose ends and decided to call Aunt Helen to tell her what he was doing. She insisted that he not drive up there. Oh goodness, he may very well be back home tonight. He is heading to the airport to try to get on a flight to Philadelphia; if not he'll be home. He said he would try the first flight out to Philly in the morning and if he doesn't make it he'll go get her on Sunday.

I'm kind of in limbo now; not sure if I'll end up having to tell him or not. bummer. I'll keep you posted.

Project Mancave - Mother Nature almost spoiled the surprise!

Today has been a whirlwind - attended my daughter's Christmas program at school, which was a wonderful way to sit down, calmly and enjoy the real reason for the season. Only a half-day of school today, so she's been my helper this afternoon.

After school we delivered a drapery job to a designer then headed to south Charlotte to pick up the 20 foot long drapery rod. OMG - it was hanging out my front window, threaded between the seats and out the back window of my Expedition - I think I might have been one of those people on the road who is supposed to have a red bandana attached to their dangling cargo ?? Oh well, we were able to keep up with the traffic on the freeway and arrived home without incident. Grace held the rod and was to let me know immediately if it moved forward OR backward while we were driving .

Chaotic is a good word to describe the last few hours - load of firewood shows up in the driveway and hubby calls and can't get out of town. He is going to New Jersey to fly back with his 91 year old aunt (tomorrow) who will be spending Christmas with us. Well...........those of you in the northeast today know why no flights are heading to NY from Charlotte for the remainder of today. Hubby is thinking about bailing and re-scheduling until Monday/Tuesday. Oh no, Mike, you can't do that...Aunt Helen will miss your birthday, she's probably already packed, cancelled mail, blah blah blah. In other words, I need him to get out of here so we can get this project installed tomorrow! Guess what? About a half an hour ago he jumped in his car and he is DRIVING to NJ, spending the night with his aunt and then they are either flying or driving back tomorrow. So, I "think" he is outta here for at least the next 24 hours.

My list is still very long. Yesterday I was able to finish pleating the panels and made 4 of the 7 pillows. (orignally planned for 6, but added an extra) I know, it's late in the game to be adding stuff, but I think I'll be happier in the end. I've cut my wood for the valance, need to build it, make 3 boxed pillows, and put tons of pictures into frames. I plan on staying up as late as I can without ruining my day tomorrow. My installer will be here between 9 and 10 in the morning.

I'll post photos when we're finished.

Oh, the envelope - I did NOT open it, but not because I didn't try ;) The dofix only sealed it tighter instead of releasing the glue. DARN ! I've heard of people steaming open envelopes, yesterday was the first time I tried myself, didn't work for me.

Hope I finish. Oh, did I mention that I need to clean my house somehow during all of this?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Project Mancave - Uh-oh, hubby's onto me

Hubby thinks something is going on, so much so that the wiseguy tells me he thinks he knows what I'm getting him for Christmas. I insisted that he did NOT know, so he writes down on a piece of paper what he thinks it is, sealed it into an envelope with a "Kelly do not open before Christmas" on the envelope and put it away. Hah, rummaging for scotch tape in the desk drawer I found the envelope. Now, do I use my trusty dofix and steam it open and take a look at where his head is at? Or, do I just leave it. I really really really want to open it and re-seal it, possible enclosing a smarty pants note of my own. What do you think? Open it or don't open it? One more thing, whatever is written inside the envelope, he's already wrong because this project is for his birthday!

Yesterday I got the flight suit into the shadow box ready for hanging. I'm not 100% satisfied with it; I may have to make some changes after the reveal. The board inside it is covered with a nappy fabric that velcro is supposed to stick to. Problem is, the velcro doesn't hold that well. Hopefully it will hold long enough to make it through Saturday. It looks great, it would be a shame to have to re-do it.

My 2 hour photo adventure turned into a 4 hour adventure including a 2 hour date (and a big bill) with the Kodak Picture Maker Kiosk at the local WalMart - my LEAST favorite retailer in the world but yesterday they came through for me. Many of our photos are "pre-digital camera" age so I had to use the Kodak machine to make enlargements from prints. Even though I invested 2 extra hours than I had planned for, my pictures for the project are all here and ready to be put into frames. Yeah!

I finished up the Christmas cards and they should hit the post office today. Also got gifts wrapped and sent them on their way with hubby this morning to ship out of town.

Not much sewing time yesterday, I ended up coming down to the workroom last night and spent a half an hour tidying up the place. Sometimes you just gotta stop and clean up the mess before you make another one.

I had scheduled building the valance today, but I'm going to delay that until tomorrow afternoon. I want to get the panels pleated so they can hang for a day in the workroom prior to the install. They'll probably be a wrinkled mess after I finish dragging them around between the table and the machine. I also want to get the pillows started so hopefully I can make progress in those areas today.

Now, back to the envelope -- open it or no??

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Project Mancave - Tuesday 12/16 progress

It's the end of the day and it was a successful one! I accomplished more than I had planned, and that doesn't happen very often! I was able to get all the fabric squares (48 of them) cut and stitched together for the box pleat valance band and also made about 15 yards of chocolate brown welt. All of this went so smoothly and fast that I was able to table both panels. They are ready to be pleated and tacked - which may end up being a Friday late night project. 6 widths of fabric with black-out lining is heavy, but the tabling event wasn't as painful as I had expected. It took me bout 2 hours and 30 minutes per panel.

Tomorrow I'm going to work with photos for a couple of hours and try to get the flight suit into the shadow box. I'll be taking a break from the project for a few hours to tie up some loose ends for Christmas (ummm, cards and shipping gifts). From the looks of our mailbox the past couple of days we are the only ones who haven't sent out cards yet. I would also LOVE to get the boards for the valance cut, covered and joined, in preparation for finishing the valance on Thursday. I am unsure if I can handle the mounting of the valance myself; I wasn't able to carry all 4 pieces of lumber through the store. I wonder if that nice man at Lowe's would come by to help ??

I did manage to squeeze in the finale of The Biggest Loser tonight. I have pretty much watched the entire season and it was such a joy to see the results of all the hard work and determination of the contestants.

Another busy day tomorrow, but I feel renewed energy after all that I accomplished today!

Project Mancave - forward progress

The project is moving along. I've had a lot of moments in the past couple of days where thoughts have run through my head wondering if I can really finish in time for the Saturday reveal. Have even considered pushing the installation to Monday the 22nd, but decided that doesn't help me as my weekend is already planned and there would be no time to work on this project anyway. So I'm moving forward!

Yesterday I was happy to finish up my last job that has been promised for delivery by Christmas. The business part of me wants to move forward on other jobs in-house that are due after the holidays; but I've talked myself into focusing on this project instead. I've got the box pleat portion of the valance cut, seamed and assembled with the lining. Prior to pleating it is 560" wide. Oh my goodness, I've made some wide valances, but don't remember ever wrestling with one this wide. Today I'm going to cut and assemble the band that will be attached to the top of the box pleat and make the valance welt cord.

The brush fringe for the piillows arrived yesterday after a phone call to Fedex. Not sure what the issue was there, as the delivery address was correct.

I picked up the flight suit from the cleaners - it looks so much better; guess it was a little dirty after all. Also picked up some photos that I had enlarged - I've got to deal with the photos soon. I really need to devote an entire day to it.

Wish me luck that I get some things accomplished today; I'd say I'm about 1 day behind where I would like to be at this point.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Project Mancave - picture wall

Here is the wall that is planned for the main picture wall. I need to get a straight-on photo posted so you can help me decide if I should center the group over the shuffleboard table OR in the center of the wall. I've stared at it a lot and it seems like I should center over the table. I'll have to get some "designer" eyes to make the final call. Still a few things underneath that need to find a new home.

Yesterday I was able to finish the lining for the panels- gosh it's sooo heavy. I will definitely get a work out when finishing up the panels. I also got a good start on a job that needs to go out to a design firm prior to Christmas. A productive day yesterday even though there were a couple of snafus. Turns out I ordered one size too large boxed pillow forms for the fireplace hearth. I'm going to call tomorrow and re-order the smaller size - they should get here in time. Also, the trim I ordered earlier in the week turned out to be "undeliverable" ??? according to an e-mail I received from FedEx. Turns out the driver couldn't find my address?? Not sure what happened there, mapquest seems to get most people here, maybe it's a contract holiday driver that doesn't know his/her way around. I'll call and get it straightened out when I feel like being on hold for a few minutes.

I ended my busy day with some laughing out loud watching the newest episode of Saturday Night Live. The events, or corruption!, surrounding the Governor of Illinois wasn't going to go un-noticed by the SNL cast. It was hilarious irreverance, as usual. Being from Illinois I felt I deserved some extra laughs. Unfortunately for the residents of my home state, this isn't the first Governor that has handed the SNL cast easy material for a skit!

Iced tea in hand, I'm heading out the door to finish up Christmas shopping for gifts that need to be shipped; workroom this afternoon to make forward progress before 4. After that, I'll be "out of order" watching the Panthers hopefully beat the Broncos!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Project Mancave - ALMOST BUSTED !!

Oh goodness, hubby almost busted me this morning. I sent him up to the attic to "hide" some gifts. Guess he thought it would be easier to hide them in the storage closet rather than the attic. Understand, this man hasn't been in this closet for AT LEAST a year, maybe more. I'm not sure if he's even been upstairs in the past year. Anyway, he comes down and says, "Looks like Grace (daughter) has been in the closet up there and has gotten into my Navy footlocker. The top was open and she needs to be told to stay out of that." Of course, I'M the one who's been in it digging out his flight suit and other things. Note to self, cover tracks going forward. I can't believe I didn't close it after the rummaging.

My goal today for the project is to finish the lining for the panels. Oh how I would love to table them, but that likely will not happen with the other activities going on.

I began digging through photos to use for collages. Most of the larger prints have already been ordered. OMG - I am not being outrageous when I say that we have at least 10,000+ photographs. They are "somewhat" organized, other than the past few years, so when I do finally get up the nerve to dig through them, I should be able to find what I want fairly quick - as long as I don't stop and reminesce over each photo. Ten thousand photos sounds so ridiculous, but if I think about it, I've been taking and saving photos for about 25 years, that's 400 pictures per year so I have taken about 33 per month. I guess that's about right.

I did come across several albums from when I lived on the North Shore of Oahu. I lived with 3 Navy pilots in a beach house right on the Pipeline, (sorry mom if you're reading this, but I think you already knew that anyway ;) ), plus I ended up marrying one of them so does that make it ok? From the looks of the photos it was one big 3 year par-tay - they should make for a great collage!

My home pc crashed Sunday night, or so I thought. Turns out it had some sort of Trojan virus that has since been eliminated; I thought Trojans helped prevent viruses but I guess that's a different kind of Trojan. Come to think of it, it's a different kind of virus too. Back to the subject at hand - pc is working now so I can recover some of the photos for the project I thought I wasn't going to be able to use.

Tomorrow will be a short workday on the project as our Panthers play at 4:15 and the Survivor finale is at 8 pm.

I'm headed for the workroom.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Project Mancave - fabrics

Above are the fabric choices for the project. The three solids (taupe, blue, brown) will be used in the draperies and valance. The taupe will be the traversing panels and the box pleat section of the valance. There will be a band at the top of the box pleat valance and the band will utilize all three fabric colors. The animal print is for sofa pillows which will have brush fringe around the edges. Some of my colleagues in the biz may recognize this fabric from the Northfield House, , a charity project that has become near and dear to the hearts and hands of many of us in the drapery industry. And speaking of brush fringe - I called Deb Kearney, a friend who owns, on Monday morning, gave her the fabric information, told her I needed a medium brown/cocoa colored brush fringe. About 20 minutes later she called me back, had looked up the fabric and located a fringe that would work - it should be here anyday. Great service, as usual from Deb!

I would like to have a blue/brown/maybe a touch of yellow stripe for 1 pillow to break up some of the animal-ness, probably not a word. Also planning to stack 3 boxed pillows, one of each solid color, on the hearth. Any fabric left will be used for large floor pillows which can be stored underneath the shuffleboard table for use when the guests outnumber the seats.

Lots of work to do - I only have 1 paying job left that needs to be complete prior to Christmas - I was able to finish the other one this morning. Hopefully I can finish it this weekend and then have a full week to devote to this project.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Project Mancave - fireplace wall

Here are photos showing wall space on both sides of the fireplace. One of these will be hubby's "I love me" wall. I'm taking his flight suit from his Navy pilot days and placing it in a display case/shadow box. I had planned on hanging it on the right wall, but the box may be too large for that space, plus the lovely light switch is there. Will make that decision later. On the other wall I'm planning on putting some photos from his Navy days, and some miscellaneous memorabilia.
I dug his flight suit out and took it to the dry cleaner. It really wasn't dirty, it's just that the thought of ironing a piece of clothing horrified me - so off to the cleaners it went. I should get it back over the weekend and can complete that part of the project and hide it until the big reveal.
We have a large poster size photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt addressing the troops during World War II, DDay the Normandy Invasion. Mike's father is in the photo (one of the paratroopers from 101st Airborne) - so it will be going on the fireplace above the mantle. Mike has wanted a place for this poster for many years; this will likely be his favorite part.
I have some clearing out and re-arranging on the mantle to do, as you can tell. Can't do it all at once as hubby will DEFINITELY wonder what's going on.
That exercise bike on the right needs to be thrown in the lake. I mean seriously, do I really want to use energy to ride a bike that doesn't go anywhere ?? It will NOT be in the "after" photo - guaranteed.


Welcome to "Project Mancave", my bright idea to decorate hubby's "mancave" for his birthday - Dec. 22nd, how dare him have a birthday right in the middle of the Christmas excitement. Nevertheless, I always try to pull off some unexpected surprise for him so that he knows his day isn't forgotten.

In just 9 short days, this photo will look quite different with full traversing draperies and box pleated valance over-top. It will be quite a project for me; the panels are 12 widths (6 per panel). My bud Kesha helped me cut, seam, serge and hem the face fabric Thanksgiving weekend. Sadly, nothing has been done since. The "reveal" is scheduled for Saturday the 20th, so check back often as I will post photos and progress reports as I move along. My intent is to keep this a secret - which may prove challenging as I've already been questioned as to why I'm relocating some things. Hiding a
20 ft. wide valance could also be a challenge - but I have to finish it before I worry about hiding it.