Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Hardest Challenges, The Greatest Excitement!

It's been an exciting few days which started with the Seahawks' shocking last second victory over the Vikings due to a missed chip shot 27 yard field goal. I am still pinching myself over that one. I do feel very bad for the Vikings and their fans. Been there... Remember last year's Superbowl? If you are a Seahawks or Patriots fan, you'll never forget it.

I opted for option #2 in plans for last weekend. I was feeling pretty nervous about all of the things I needed to do for the front wall of Alki Point, so I spent most of the weekend watching football playoffs with the hubs. I practically eliminated the front wall that came with the Asahi Tea House kit so that I could have a wall of windows. I was a little concerned in my ability to pull off such a radical bash. Did I measure everything correctly? Was the lexan going to slip in between both sets of window frames like I planned? Had I thought of all of the variables? What if I really messed up? How was I going to fix it?

Thank all of the wonderful blessing/luck/good fortune/karma/guardian angels/planning/past mistakes etcetera - it all worked out magically! The scoring tool was perfect! I made sure to secure the 1/16" thick lexan to my cutting mat with painters tape, then secured my steel ruler to both the lexan and to the cutting mat before I started to score it. Nothing moved on me, so my score lines were perfect each time. After scoring with about 14 passes, all I needed to do was cut through the film on the opposite side with my craft knife. Only one small edge had to be sanded a bit, due mostly to paint build up on the frame.

With the front wall "glass", interior window and door frames and door handles installed, I could now attach the front wall to the structure - another scary proposition. Did I measure the door height to floor accurately? Did I cut the slots for the tabs in the right place? Gulp... Only one way to find out... Other than having to sort of jimmy the floor under the bottom of the door a bit, and enlarge one of the slots slightly, it matched up perfectly! Like I planned it or something! Actually, I did do a LOT of planning and dry fitting along the way and it paid off!

After the wall was attached, I just stared at Alki Point for a while. Then I got out the roof pieces and started fooling around with those to see how things were going to look. It was then that I realized that everything is totally coming together like I first saw it in my mind's eye. That is such an exciting and rewarding feeling, and why all of us do what we do. Right?

Then, I looked over at the poor pillowless bed and remembered that I still had some challenges in front of me. I thought "why are you so afraid to make a stupid pillow?". Really? I have enough pillow making material that I could screw up twelve times and still be able to start over. Shelley was even so kind as to find a great tutorial, give it a go, take in progress photos, then email it all to me! If she was willing to do all of that for me, I at least owed her a try! So I did...

I used a little fusible web on the first couple throw pillows to see how it would work. On the grey pillows, it worked well enough that all I had to do was hand sew the last opening. The coral fabric did not want to stay together, so I ended up hand sewing all of them. I made several of them and just finished the best four.

For the bed pillows, I covered 3/16" x 1-1/2" x 2" mat board pieces with quilt batting using Tacky Glue. Then I took cotton handkerchief material and glued it over the batting. For the pillow cases, I ironed seems into the material, then hand sewed two sides leaving one open to slide the pillows into.

My stitches are okay - not as clean looking as I'd like, but I got some experience and learned some things. I think I need to let go of the idea that everything should turn out perfectly. I am happy and can live with the pillows I made, especially when I look at the project as a whole - I think Alki Point, for the most part, is turning out just as I had hoped!