Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Favorite Room - the Studio

The major selling point to me was the attic expansion space, also known as my Studio.

Looking at the front, south facing windows.  The knee walls are no more than 3 ft high, and probably less.  It will be challenging to figure out how to place working furniture in this room...

Looking from the windows to the north.  From here you can see the stairs down on the right, the walk in closet to the left.  The alcove on the left is my office area.  With some carefully placed Ikea Expidit units or book cases, I can partition the area off.

Looking up the stairs at the closet door, which has a full length mirror - perfect for fitting.  The little corner to the right of the stairs will be perfect for a small chair and side table for a handwork space.

Better, though off kilter, image of my "office" alcove.  I love the grey-blue walls.

An attempt to show how short the walls are.  The camera is about 5 feet or so off the floor.

The walk in closet.  The light is from a wall fixture on in the back of the closet.  I can't wait to get fabric shelves installed so I can see my stash instead of having to keep it in rubbermaid totes.

With any luck, this will be posted while I'm sitting at the title company, signing my life away!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One More Day to Closing!

Second batch of house photos... Back Hallway - from this vantage (just inside the stairway up), you can see both bedrooms, the doorway to the bathroom (on the right) and the linen closet.
Closet in the smaller bedroom.  I love the storage above the closet, good for spare bedding or out of season clothes.  Given there is no attic space and very little unfinished space in the house, these will be important storage spaces.

Small room from the doorway.

Bathroom - Love the glass block window - no need for curtians and allows plenty of light in.

Larger bedroom - most of the rooms have a ceiling fan - will probably be critical in the summer as the house doesn't have air conditioning.
Larger bedroom closet.  The small framing on the left wall of the closet is a clothes shoot. 

One of my favorite rooms - the 3 Season Porch.  There is at least one window on each wall.  The room is over a crawl space, and does not seem to be insulated. 

I hope to replace the window visible in the photo below with a door and a deck along the back of the house. I love the glass panel door into the porch. 

Other side of the porch.
Moving outside, we have the garage.  It looks like a garage, and has some nice storage features:
Looks like a garage, right?  Storage space for house parts, yard tools, ladders, and room to park bikes and other outdoor equipment.  There are shelves and cupboards for storing small stuff, too.

Next up - my favorite room.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Count Down to Closing!

We did the walk thru today.  All the parts that were in the contract are there, plus a few things I didn't ask for (but expected would be left - blinds, anyone?).  Unless something has come up with the mortgage since Friday evening, the closing will be Wednesday morning. 

So, anyone want the "before" tour?  Even if you don't, here it is...

Starting from the bottom up - the Basement:
Stairs coming down from the back door landing.
br />
Storage in the mechanicals area.

Laundry Room, aka the Dye Lab

And the other end of the Laundry. The closed door goes into the mechanicals room, the open door into hall.

Basement bathroom - entirely tile shower.

Hall from the bathroom door, mechanicals room behind the bifold doors, the door at the end of the hall is into the family room (aka the Man Cave).  I'm seeing a wall of bookcases lined up down the hallway.  Maybe a reading chair in one of the corners.

One end of the family room (I really like the warm gold color on the walls) the built in bookcase camouflages the gas line and water main.

More storage  on the left - this will likely be where the camping gear goes - room to hang sleeping bags, keep the Thermarest inflated, etc.

The other end of the family room, the door goes out to the hallway.We will need to get a sofa (sleeper?) for this room, and we will put the big TV in here.

Moving up one floor we have:

The Living and Dining Rooms
 Dining Room, looking at the buffet with the windows above.  Love all the windows in the public rooms of the house.  Three windows across the front in both the dining room and the living room, plus windows on either side of the front door.

Dining room looking into the kitchen.  The former owners had cookbooks along the shelf under the counter.

The Living Room - from the sun, you can see there are three windows across the front of this room, too.  Also, love the three windows matching the dining room on the end.  

Moving on, next is the Kitchen:

The kitchen is visible from the front door, so I will have to keep my kitchen neat.  The green counter is fine, but I'm not loving the red walls combined with the counter... We think there is hardwood beneath the flooring.  
Counter and bar between the kitchen and the dining room.  The strip along the back of the counter?  Outlets!  I have never had so many outlets in one room before - and especially not in the kitchen!

Tomorrow, the rest of the house - including my studio room!

Parting shot - Took a walk at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, near the Mall of America
Note the minimal amount of snow.
It was so warm walking I had to take off my jacket, despite the wind.  According to Accuweather, it got to 48 degrees today  No wonder there is no snow for skiing!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to one and all! 

Lori in relatively snow free Minnesota...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One more week!

Closing is scheduled for next Wednesday, in the morning. By noon on the 28th (assuming everything goes well), I'll be a new homeowner!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Into the slow period.

I am now in the "slow" period - all the paperwork is in for the mortgage, just waiting for my approval to get the loan. Meantime, I'm thinking about how I want to arrange the small quantity of furniture that I own, how I'll set up the sewing room (and Home For Wayward Women). Having a space for a mini dye lab (the laundry room). Reviewing my inspector's report and thinking about the work that will need to be done in the not too distant future. With any luck I'll get to move from thinking to doing within a month or so - closing is between Christmas and New Years, I'll start moving stuff into the house after I get home from my New Year's ski trip (planned before I new the sale was going to go).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

More sewing

Just showing several more of the tops I've made during my (soon to be over) basement dwelling. Since it isn't my house, I don't have many responsibilities right now, leaving time for crafts and sewing. I'll soon be helping my youngest daughter learn to sew, so she can make Christmas gifts.

On to the photos...

First up is the actual Jalie Scarf top, as designed. Only change was to raise the neckline about 1/2 inch or so (it needs to be higher...). The fabric was purchased at Mood LA a couple years ago when I was in CA on a business trip.

This top is the body from above overlay'd with a Kwik Sew pattern - 3658 from a couple seasons ago. I prefer the closer fit in the body and sleeves of the Jalie pattern, so I'm now using it as my Tried and True (TNT) T-shirt body. Fabric purchased from Treadle Yard Goods, for the express purpose of making this "wearable muslin". It is a basic rayon/lycra blend.

This is the patterns as I lined them up to trace. Since the front of the top is also dopped to the back shoulder, I had to figure out just how to line up the patterns. Took some minutes of puttering to line them up for tracing. I think the result was pretty good, no?

I have a couple more tops I've finished from the two Kwik Sew patterns, which I'll share once I get some pictures taken.

Friday, December 2, 2011

One step closer to home ownership!

Had the inspection today, and am thus one step closer to home ownership. The inspector tells me that the house has good bones, there are no deal breakers. Some maintenance will be necessary, as is the case for any home and especially an older house. I'll have to watch for ice dams, have the boiler serviced, probably replace the hot water heater in 3-5 years. Will need to replace the gutters earlier, as well as have some wiring handled (will have to get an estimate from the electrician who lives across the street from my parents...), a couple other minor things. Yippee!

Also have the interest rate locked (at 4.375 - conventional). Now to get the paperwork done - I need to provide a couple things yet, then the loan paperwork can be submitted to underwriting. It is looking like I'll get to move into my very own house! With the attic sewing studio!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moving along!

The current mortgage companies have both approved the short sale of the home I'm buying! The cute bungalow near the south end of Lake Phalen will be mine by the end of the year. Woo hoo!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


While waiting for my house to become available, I am working on some sewing. The three tops below are a sample of what I have been doing.

Basic t-top, altered body from the Jalie Scarf Top, neckline raised to be a bit more "work appropriate" sort of...

Same top as above.

Kwik Sew (a new pattern - don't have the number at hand) traced off with the Jalie scarf top body (I prefer the fit of the Jalie body, including the close fitting sleeves.

The fabrics are all rayon blends from Treadle Yard Goods. Nice, soft, smooth knits.

I have another 4 tops to share, as soon as I can get the photos loaded. I also have the materials for a couple more knit tops, a couple of jackets (one to be a "wearable muslin"), and a blouse/tunic. I would like to also make/buy a pair of the close fitting jeans - to wear under the blouse.tunic... Have to wait and see - not sure they are my style...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good news!

My realtor tells me that the Negotiator and sellers have come to an agreement, and the offer is being passed to who ever has the final say. With any luck I will get the final offer within the week.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still waiting, still...

The second mortgage co is to have their decision by the end of November. About 2 more weeks to wait. I've looked at other houses, but none of them have felt like a home to me. There is one acceptable "plan B" house, but... On paper it is perfect, the house just doesn't call to me like the plan A house.

So. Living in the basement is getting better - clothes tossed into the laundry come back clean and folded, meals are prepared. Given that there is minimal work for me to do here and scouting has wound down from the early fall chaos, I have started sewing again. My sewing area is a desk that three machines are on (or two on, one sits on the floor until needed). With this arrangement, I have completed 4 tops and mostly completed a dress (a wadder, I'm afraid...). Getting started on a couple more tops today.

I've now got my first "tried and true" pattern, the Jalie Scarf Neck top, which is now the basis for all knit tops I'm making. I did a version of the new Kwik Sew ruched neck top, using the Jalie as the body, adding on the neckline of KS 3915. Turned out fairly well. Today I'm working on KS 3658, same thing - using the Jalie to alter the KS pattern. Have the pattern traced, ready to pin & cut out. I'll have to search thru my patterns to see if there are any other t-tops that would also morph easily, since most of the fabrics I have here are lighter weight knits suitable for such tops. Not that "need" tops, but they are easy to sew and nice looking. I'll have to work on photos.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Getting Closer...

Getting closer to the finish line. Last week the first mortgage company accepted the amended offer. Now the sellers have to negotiate with the second mortgage company. Couple more weeks for that... Looking more like a late Nov, early Dec closing... Hope to be in before Christmas? Basement dwelling is wearing...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Still waiting...

It has been over a month and the only news is that the current mortgage co has asked for more money (I guess this is a good sign?). With any luck I'll get the final offer this week, so that I have a hope of getting my stuff moved in before the snow flies... I can't wait to get my new sewing studio (with the big fabric closet with a full length mirror on the door!). Can't wait to have my own space!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Offer Accepted!

I have now moved from making an offer to offer accepted pending third party approval. Please wish for me that all goes well, and I'm moved into a house sooner rather than later... I offered a close date of on or before Dec 1 - I really hope it is well before...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Made another offer!

Made an offer on a cute bungalow, near Lake Phalen. Now, to see if the sellers will accept my offer, then to see if the banks do... Short sale. The goal is to be moved in prior to Christmas. By Thanksgiving would be even better - By my birthday the best. Now to wait and see what happens!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Waiting - again...

The last offer I made was turned down - another offer accepted. No worries, tho - looked at aother house, in an entirely different neighborhood, and am planning on making an offer tomorrow. This one needs very little work. Pretty much done from top to bottom!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Offer was made today, waiting for the word. I suppose if this falls thru, another opportunity will show up to take it's place...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Buying a house

Planning on putting an offer on a house tomorrow. I'm hoping that my offer is accepted, then the work begins!

I'll post photos, before and after as the work commences. First pass will be enough clean up to move in, then will work on the real remodeling.