Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fieldstone Wall

One of the projects my husband has been working on is building a beautiful stone wall at the edge of the grass on our property.  He's made a lot of great progress this year on it.  Eventually, we plan on planting flowers along the front of it. 

Here's the progress this year:


We plan on planting black-eyed susan flowers behind the wall as you're looking up the driveway.  We won't really have to take care of the flowers and just let them spread and do their thing.  The backdrop of yellow will look really nice though.


Looking from the base of the driveway past the wall towards the house.  I think it already looks great and can't wait to see what it will look like once it gets further along.  It will be a long time before its finished since it takes a while to place each rock and make sure its supported the way you want it to be.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wild America

A few years ago we were given a trail camera as a Christmas gift.  We set it up last year in an area that we thought was good, but we only caught one deer in the camera the entire time it was up (3-4 months).  We typically ended up with lots of blank pictures as the trees moving caused it to take photos.

However, earlier this fall, we found a game trail on the back of our property and set the camera up right along the trail.  We've been getting some pretty good pictures lately since the deer are on the move and we've even noticed a few "repeat offenders".  :-)

Here's a great shot of a doe coming into the view of the camera.  This picture was actually taken around 12:20 in the afternoon.


She actually paused right in front of the camera to lick a spot on her back and then continued on.


This next one is actually kind of interesting.  We think the dark blob on the bottom left is a porcupine!  We saw one on the road (dead of course) a few weeks ago and found it cool that we think we caught one in the camera.  Maybe we will see it again soon.


This was also a neat shot taken at dusk.  It was about 6:20 PM.  Between the trees you can make out the shapes of 3 deer wandering past the camera.


We're hoping to get some more interesting photos the next few weeks as it gets colder and the deer and other critters tend to move around more.  If we catch some good things, I'll be sure to share it on here.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stashbusting 2013 - Week 43

I've been pretty busy lately so I haven't posted for Stashbusting in a few weeks.  However, I did get a quilt finished up on my quilting frame, so its time to count the backing as busted!  :-)

Here's the quilting all finished up on Three-B's (batik bento box):



Close-up of one of the blocks:


So here are my stash numbers:

Added This Week:       0 yards
Added Year to Date:    47.65 yards
Used This Week:          5.05 yards
Used Year to Date:       21.48 yards
Net Year to Date:         26.17 yards

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Love My Vacuum!

I love my vacuum....those are words probably said few and far between.  I can truthfully say I am not a fan of vacuuming.  It always seems that no matter how often you vacuum, the carpets still feel "eh".  While the vacuum may have picked up the surface dirt and hair, the carpets don't quite have that "new" feel anymore.

That all changed when my Mom came to visit and brought her Rainbow vacuum with her.  After feeling those carpets, I am a convert and picked up a used Rainbow vacuum on eBay.  Now our prior vacuum was a pretty decent model and we paid about $120 for it.  It did well for a while, but never really excelled.  It was also a pain to vacuum near the cat's litter box as my feet were constantly being sand-blasted by the litter that was tracked outside the box.

When I went searching online for a Rainbow, I knew I didn't need or want the shampooing attachments (which by the way, it does an excellent job with shampooing carpets, too) and I didn't need a top-of-the-line version of the Rainbow vacuum.  New Rainbows sell anywhere from $2000 to $5000.  No way was I going to spend that much on a vacuum!


This is my vacuum above!  :-)  I got if off eBay for $150 with free shipping.  It was a sweet deal.  This model is from around the mid-1980s and works great.  If you're not familiar with Rainbows, the way they work is they suck all the junk out of your carpets and dump it into water held in the lower section of the canister.

Be prepared for some kind of gross pictures ahead.  As a testament to how well this 1980s vacuum still works, the water I started out with in the canister was perfectly clean and you could see through it.  The photos below are of the water after vacuuming my living room floor.  There are little bits of wood floating in the water since we've been tracking it in a bit with using the fireplace lately.


As you can see, there's definitely a lot of "JUNK" in that water.


And you definitely can't see through it anymore!

The great thing (at least in my opinion) about Rainbow vacuums is that they just don't die.  The reason people get rid of them on eBay and Craig's List is because they simply stop wanting to deal with the canister and the dirty water.  My Mom's vacuum is from the 1970s and she uses it a ton.  She usually vacuums once a week and for the first 10-15 years she had it, there were 6 kids in the house as well as a long-haired dog.  Her vacuum is still running just as well as the day she bought it (she also got hers used).

So if you have carpets and are thinking of getting a new vacuum, try out on of these from eBay or some other used facility.  For the right price, its definitely worth taking the gamble on something sight-unseen. 

By the way, these vacuums are one of the best for people with allergies.  Because the dust, dirt and pollen are trapped in water, its much better for people who have allergies.  Its actually one of the few vacuums that are recommended by allergists because they are such good vacuums.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Some days I have a very easy time coming up with post titles.... not so much today.  For the life of me I can't think of anything creative to call this post.


Last week before I left for training, we had a day where a TON of rain came down.  I think we had about 2-3" of rain in that single day.  When we got home from work, we decided to take a trek down to the creek/river/stream in the back of our property.  Usually this time of year, its pretty much a small creek or stream.  Most areas you could walk across with only ankle-deep water. 

After the rain storm that came through, it was raging again.  Our neighbor has semi-developed his area to make it a bit more usable.  In doing so, he created a small area where he built a dam and a waterfall.  The weekend before, there was only about 1/4" of water running over the


There was at least a foot of water raging over the same log that only had a 1/4" of water over it.  It was really pretty being down there and listening to the river, which it really was a river after all the rain.


Here's some more photos of the waterfall and "rapids" from a down-stream angle.


I haven't been back down there since getting back from training, but I'm sure its back to normal now.

I will have some quilty/crafty posts again soon once I get caught up on things again.  I have a bunch of photos on the camera and need to get them downloaded on the PC and then uploaded to Flickr.

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another Crazy Week

The upcoming week is going to be yet another crazy week.  It amazes me how things just seem to get a bit messier each week instead of becoming less hectic.

Two weeks ago, my company announced a bunch of layoffs that will be taking effect over the next 6-8 weeks.  There were more people affected that I thought would be, and its been difficult moving towards a new "normal".  No only am I trying to help and comfort those affected, but I'm also trying to figure out how we move forward in my teams when I've lost a lot of our engineering support and will be losing more resources.

Last week, one of my technical leaders was out of the office to provide training for other individuals.  As such, the week was a little extra busy as I was covering for that individual as well as having a lot more meetings to determine how the business wants to move forward.

This week, I'm off on training.  This particular training involves traveling about 3 hours from home, staying in a hotel (which always throws me off) and having to go through copious amounts of "networking" events.  I'm not a very social person, so these network events always make me extra nervous and stressed.  I get along with people in smaller settings, but having to do a 5-minute chat with 30 people... not my cup of tea.

Thankfully, I got to the hotel fairly early this afternoon (around 4pm), so I was able to check my work emails, get some dinner and have some relaxing time this evening.  I brought a wool felt project with me that doesn't require a lot of thought.  All the pieces are glue basted in place, so its just mindlessly sewing the edges down by hand.

I will however miss the hubby and the flannel sheets that we just put on the bed at home!  :-)  Plus since its supposed to be cool at night this week, the hubby had brought in a bunch of wood so he could have fires at night.  I'm going to miss those this week.  It will be over before I know and I'll be back least until my next trip.  :-)

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bento Box Progress

The other weekend I loaded my Bento Box quilt top onto my quilting frame and started stitching on it.  I don't recall the name of this pantograph, but its got a nice flowing design to it.


I'm using Superior Threads King Tut in Grotto Green in the top and a matching light green from the Bottom Line thread line.  They are quilting up beautifully and they play so nicely together!  :-)


The backing fabric is a single piece (extra wide) batik backing.  Its a green color similar to the dark green shades in the strips I used in piecing the quilt top.


I can't wait to get this quilt top done.  Its going to be very soft and snuggly and look great! :-)  The batting I'm using is Quilter's Dream Cotton.  Its in the thickest variety (Supreme).  It is beautifully soft and I can't wait to see what it looks and feels like after the quilting is completed and its washed.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

More Needlepoint

While I have been doing quilting lately, I've also made a lot of visible progress on my current needlepoint project.  Here's where I was 2 weeks ago:


I had 2 days where I was off work due to being sick.  During my waking hours, I ended up doing a bit of sewing.  On the 2nd day, I started feeling better in the afternoon and put in some quality time with my needle and thread. ;-) 

Just a short week after the 1st photo was taken, here's where the project stood:


Another page completed in the pattern!  Yay!  There are 42 pages in this pattern and with completing the current page, I was just shy of being 1/3 of the way done with the project.  Here is a close up of the section I completed:


Its really coming along nicely and you can see the shape and detail of the bridge now.  There's still a lot more to go, but any progress is good progress. hahaha :-)

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations