Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Progress, Despite the Hindrances

VOILA! Here's my newly completed valences. The drapes washed out a bit in this picture, but the detail of the valence material came out great. The material has a leafy/woodsy pattern to it; perfect for our decorating scheme.

After they turned the water off on Monday, L and I went to the fabric store. I took along the new drapes and the arm cover from the couch to match the fabric. We found the perfect fabric that is the exact color of the couch, yet blends well with the green stripes in the drapes. The total price for the valences was $19.30, including thread. Total savings: $160-$19.30=$140.70!

It took me most of the day to shorten and hang the new drapes, and sew the new valences. The money we saved was well worth my time!

Here's a picture of our worn-out drapes that had been hanging for the past 23 years. Putting up the new drapes was a necessity, as I don't think the old drapes would have survived another washing.

I'm a firm believer in insulated drapes! No matter how good your windows are, you will still have cold reflecting off the windows, into your room, at night. Our living room drapes are store-bought, foam backed drapes. The rest of the curtains in the house, I sewed, using quilted fabric. The other money-saving bonus of our window coverings is they are all machine-washable/dryable.

Money saving sewing hint:
I used a dried out soap sliver to mark my fabric. Ever wonder what to do with all the little slivers of bar soap in your soapdish? Save a few of them for marking fabric. This works much better than those expensive little chalk pencils you can buy. Plus, the soap washes out of your fabric without leaving a trace.

This has been a week full of utility problems. Monday, we had a scheduled, day-long water shutoff. Tuesday morning, we had an hour-long water shutoff due to "debris" that got in the water line the day before. Thursday night, we were without power for 7 hours. A transformer had exploded and burned down the power pole it was attached to. Fortunately it was a warm night, so we didn't have to hook up the generator to run our furnace.

The last 2 days we got over 3 inches of rain. Today it's snowing. What a mess! BUT, when I look at the weather in South Dakota, I realize we have nothing to complain about.
I'm just grateful that we finished all the winterizing last weekend!


At 11/08/2008 12:17 PM, Blogger Cherie said...

Beautiful! Good sewing job, Tshs, and I LOVE the color and pattern. You'll be smiling all winter.

So, you've had some 'camping days', huh. You guys are hearty, you can take it. ;)

(I hope the utilities get sorted out once and for all before the bitter cold arrives, though.)

At 11/08/2008 1:38 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

How clever you are!
I really should get new curtains for our living/dining rooms - the old sheers are still fine but the one curtain rod has worked it's way out of the wall - I need new over curtains - but that can wait - insulated sounds like a good idea - better for room darkening too.

At 11/09/2008 7:50 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Cherie, THANKS! I wasn't sure if I liked the new drapes for the first couple of days. Now I love them.

LOL! Yeah, camping gear makes living without utilities a lot easier. ;)

Jeannie, try putting screw anchors in the holes where the rod has pulled out. You may have to drill the hole out a slight bit more.

There are a lot of advantages to insulated curtains!

At 11/09/2008 9:26 AM, Blogger Miladysa said...

I really admire your skill - they look fantastic.

That is a great tip with the soap. We will all be needing a lot more of them with this credit crunch.

I hope you have had all your utility problems - they can be a real pain. We were with out electricity for about an hour yesterday when there was a fault of the main grid. Only an hour but it was a pain!

At 11/09/2008 12:37 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Cherie's right, good sewing job! I liked the old ones too.

Not really fair getting snow AND rain!!

Agree with the others, enough utility problems. May the past ones be your only ones for the next decade.

At 11/09/2008 1:02 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

I'm a firm believer in insulated drapes! No matter how good your windows are, you will still have cold reflecting off the windows, into your room, at night.

Agreed big time. Good drapes can really lower your heating bill.

Snowing in MN in November? I'm so shocked. ;)

At 11/09/2008 2:43 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Love the valances! You did a great job! I never mastered anything beyond a straight stitch. Sounds like you've been running the gamut with utility problems and types of weather. Hope it all settles down. Stay warm.

At 11/09/2008 4:47 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

Is that a new couch or have I been gone that long?? I like the drapes they look great.. I have these little flimsy curtains in my front window. I couldnt get drapes up in our front window.. I have posted photo's of it with x-mas decorations last year...

At 11/09/2008 5:34 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

SA, measuring is the only thing that really requires skill. The rest is just basic sewing.

I've been working on some posts on money-saving tips. Life is expensive right now!

Bridg, I was overly attached to the old ones. It took me awhile to get used to the new ones.

Yeah, snow on top of all that rain is no fun!

ZS, the first thing I do when we move into a new house is change the curtains. I've been known to make curtains out of old quilted bedspreads if we couldn't afford new curtains. Anything to cut that cold reflection.

At least it didn't snow in October this year. ;)

VV, these valences are nothing but a huge rectangle. Straight seams all the way. YOU could easily make these.

Tweets, we've had the couch for 3 years, but it's still new to us. ;)

You could put drapes on that window. You'd just have to put them up over the whole window opening by hanging the rods on the wall. You wouldn't be able to keep your plants there at night when you close the drapes though.

At 11/09/2008 5:57 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

Very nice curtains. I can see that insulated drapes would be a "must" for you. We should probably, too, but all we have is blinds. What a drag with all the utilities problems.

At 11/09/2008 6:14 PM, Blogger Pam said...

Looks beautiful!

We are ready for winter down here too -- the whole garage rotation thing with snow shovels replacing rakes and snow blower replacing the mower -- which undoubtedly means we will have an unseasonable heat wave! Oh well. We are ready for the snow whenever it comes.

Here's to winter with electricity, heat and water! Hope you have them all soon.

At 11/09/2008 9:39 PM, Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

The new drapes and valances are beautiful. I'm very envious because sewing just completely blows my circuits. lol.

Here's to a nice, toasty warm winter for you - with all possible utilities in good working order!

At 11/10/2008 1:53 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

I havent been home since Bri was a baby when you got to see her in your house that time. Its been almost 3 years.. LOL.. I like the color though. I want new furniture but its going to have to wait for a while yet..

At 11/10/2008 9:07 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Thanks for the tip with the soap! The drapes look wonderful - good job!!!! Oh, snow already - sigh! Time to hunker down! Almost Thanksgiving - can you believe it? That reminds me I have to get some sewing jobs done and get the sewing machine off the dining table......

At 11/11/2008 4:06 AM, Blogger SME said...

I remember your soap-sliver markers.

At 11/11/2008 6:14 AM, Blogger mister anchovy said...

Looks like it's one thing after another with your utilities...

At 11/11/2008 5:47 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Squirl, I'm hoping that we'll have stable utilities for the rest of the winter.

Pam, you and I will now be blamed for global warming! ;)
I can't believe we got it all done before the weather turned nasty! We usually tarp the camper on a 20F day with 30mph winds. This year it was 60F and calm.

Grizz, sewing is as close as I get to being artistic. I can't draw, sing, or play an instrument, but I can sew damn near anything. ;)

Tweets, I love the color, but L doesn't like green. We got such a good buy on the couch that L decided that green wasn't so bad. ;)

Gardenia, thanks!
I KNOW! I can't believe how quickly the holidays are approaching. I want to get my sewing done before Thanksgiving too. Do you think we'll make it?

SME, it seems to me that you originally thought I was crazy for saving soap slivers.

Mr A, it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop. :(

At 11/16/2008 4:01 AM, Blogger Z-kid said...

Well, at first I hated the drapes, but I'm starting to get used to them now. Just goes to show what dear old mum knows about interior design. :P

I've doubted quite a few of her remodeling projects in the past, but it's always come about before, so now I've just learned to go with it.

At 11/16/2008 8:59 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Yeah, you and Dad can never envision what a finished project will look like.
"I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals!" ;)


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