Wednesday, December 31, 2008

First Sweater

In the last year and a half or so, I've gotten into knitting. I learned when I was a little kid, and absolutely hated knitting. I tried picking it up again as a teenager and didn't like it much better, though I did manage to finish a sweater. The sweater ended up fitting my brother not me, so of course that sort of put me off knitting again for a long time.

I picked up the knitting needles again when I was pregnant with one of my children. I don't remember which one, that's all been years ago. But I do remember knitting slippers for everyone. Ugly slippers, but warm. And then because knitting goes so slowly for me, I gave it up again and took up with my first love- crochet.

Then Darling Daughter #1 came home from college wanting help with the scarf she was learning to knit. So I sat down and knitted a scarf with her. And promptly gave up knitting again.

Fast forward a couple years and for whatever reason, I got inspired to make another scarf, and suddenly all the pieces fell into place and I was knitting and it was fun. The first sweater I made doesn't look great, but it's warm and I wear it a lot. It's worsted weight cotton yarn that has worn quite well. I wear it nearly all year long except in July and August. Of course it is made in my very favorite color. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beads and Baubles

I finally got the big tree put up. Of course "big" is a relative term in our house. We have a living room so tiny a tree barely fits and I was tripping over my husband all afternoon Saturday while I decorated it.
It would seem that over the last couple years I've accumulated quite a few purple ornaments. And I put every last one of them, plus some gold ones on the tree. Decided not to put anything on there but the purple and gold balls and I'm happy with the way it turned out.
Of course that means I have a huge box full of icicles, and gold and white themed ornaments.
The tree itself has a little story. My dear step-daughter wanted a Christmas tree. Her father, being the less than enthusiastic Christmas sort of person (ok, let's be honest and call him the Grinch) bought the cheapest artificial tree he could find.
A year later when I came on the scene, I said, "Next year we're getting a nicer tree."
And next year we had the same old tree because I couldn't afford a nicer one. And the next year I was unemployed and so on..........
So, last year as I dragged out the scraggly little thing
again. I decided, it's got too many memories now to
get rid of it. I just challenge myself to fluff and assemble
and decorate the puny little thing so you don't realize
how sad the tree is. It's sort of like Charlie Brown's
Christmas tree.
And it's been very fun accumulating those purple
and lavender decorations. Some of them came from
the thrift store I always shop at. The clear lavender
ones were an after Christmas clearence when I was
shopping with my daughter. And this fall, that same kid
who wanted the tree in the first place mailed me a
package that contained a dozen great big ornaments
all in shades of lavender and purple.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vintage t2t

This little picture frame, about 5x7 around the outside, was this weeks craft project. I've had it in mind for quite some time. Last weekend I went thru some boxes and culled some ugly, old or broken jewelry for this.

Originally I had intended to totally cover the picture frame, but I ran out of gold stuff to cover it with. Anything I would have added next to those big brooches on the two corners would have detracted from them. And I really like the goldish wood showing thru.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kibble..... and uhm, Christmas decorations

So, I get home from work last night and decide, I'm gonig to do it. I'm going to quit procrastinating, climb the ladder and get the rest of my Christmas decorations out of the attic. So, I climbed the weebly wobbly ladder and pulled the boxes down out of the attic. I was impressed with myself. I didn't drop anything on my head.
There are all the boxes, spread around the kitchen floor. Did I mention the attic door is over top of my kitchen table? What were they thinking???? I opened the box that has assorted Christmas do-dads and nic nacs in it and start dispersing those around the house when I came across this white poinsettia topiary.
This little thing has seen its better days. I threw it together a few years ago with odds and ends left from a different project. The whole top-heavy thing sits in a clay pot filled with rocks because that's all I had the night I made it.
At least I thought it was a pot full of rocks. The thing fell apart when I took it out of the box. Sure, there were rocks in the bottom of the pot, but on top of the rocks food??????? What the??????????
I have no idea how it got there. Was I desperate for more ballast in the pot at one point? Did one of the kids slip it in there for a joke a year or two ago? I'm completely baffled. And to add to the mystery, it's not even a type of dog food we buy. It had to have been at least three years ago or more that we had a sack of that type of dog food.
I'm getting ready to set up the tree this afternoon. I'm wondering what other odd surprises I have in store.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tagged and Another Tree

I've been tagged by Needless to Say over at
The whole idea I guess is to share 7 random or wierd facts about me and tag 7 other people.

1.) I'm left-handed. I don't think that's weird, but about 90% of other folks do.

2.)All things mechanical fascinate me. I love finding out how things work. I'm the only woman I know who knows, cares and understands how an internal combustion engine works.

3.) I do all my own home repairs. I own power tools (lots of them) and know how to use them. I don't think this is weird, but my neighbor ladies do.

4.) I collect vintage jewelry.

5.) I'd collect cars if I could afford to.

6.) I have three daughters and they've all totalled a vehicle. I find that disturbingly odd.

7.) I hate curtains, drapes and blinds. If it were up to me, my windows would all be naked. I want to let all the light in and I want to be able to see out! I lived in a basement apartment once and it nearly drove me bananas because I couldn't see out.

Now I know I'm supposed to tag 7 other folks, but I don't know 7 other folks much less 7 who haven't done this recently, so I'll just tag one.

Debi (What's Cook'n in Junk)

And now for the promised tree photo. I got my second Christmas tree up today. It looks a little sad and dilapidated in the picture, but it was sure pretty when I came home after dark this evening. It's in the front porch where everything looks sad and dilapidated, so it fits. Usually I have a coffee can or vase full of drying flowers sitting in that spot.

Hmmm. Guess I'm not adding any pictures to this tonight. Not sure what's going on, but the pics won't load, so maybe tomorrow.

Deck the Halls

I was off to a good start with decking the halls, but after getting a tree outdoors lit and a little tree up in the kitchen, I've realized that any other Christmas decorating requires some housecleaning first. And I'd rather do anything than clean house! I hate shopping during December, but I even went and stayed with my daughter this weekend and went shopping rather than clean house. I had this morning off from work and it's been much more fun to sit here and catch up on my e-mail and everyone's blog than it would have been to clean house.

So, here's a couple pictures of my kitchen tree, or the jewelry tree as I'm calling it. I didn't have near enough aqua colored ornaments for it, so I just started adding rhinestone jewelry to it. I really like the way it turned out. After it was all done I found some satin ribbon that would have worked better than the ric rack, but I'm not redoing it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another project

I can't imagine what would happen if I only had one project going at a time. I worry that I'd go into a tailspin of boredom, or that I would actually have time to keep the house tidy. Since my bathroom project has wound down to a near finish, I decided to tackle another project that has been bugging me for years. The Hallway.

Too big to be a hallway, too small to be a room. Dark and dingy and too ugly to be a part of my house.

A couple years ago I peeled the wallpaper off the bottom half of the wall and painted it the same color as the kitchen backsplash. The color coordinated pretty well with the wallpaper above, but I still didn't like the look.

And the wallpaper above was so old and dirty and dingy. One day I decided to paint a few different colors on the wall to see what I'd like in there. The Man suggested forest green after he came home and saw all the splotches of color on the wall. Well, forest green just doesn't go with the rest of my house. I settled on a teal, but was waiting to get more of the bathroom done before I bought paint.

On those home shows they talk about paint being the cheapest improvement you can make in your home, but paint isn't exactly cheap. Then I decided the ceilings better be painted first so I did the bathroom ceiling in white, and the hallway ceiling in a color called "Sand dunes" that I've got elsewhere in the house. The horrible grate in the ceiling was rusted and brown, so I painted right over that. It's not quite the eye sore it was before.

Under the wallpaper I found one wall painted with flat green paint and another wall painted with gloss white. Weird. But that's the way this whole house has been.

Scraping, sanding, staining and varnishing the woodwork is going to be an all winter project since I'm dealing with at least eight layers of paint.

More pictures to come when I get the halls decked for Christmas.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More Bathroom Photos

The essentials are done! Things are done enough to put the toilet paper holder back up.

And the mirror is back up. That's not necessarily a good thing, now I have no excuse for not doing my hair!

And the shelves have been moved back in after 6 months of sitting in the hallway. Nothing as inconvienient as having your eyeliner in the hallway, your mirror in the living room, and ponytail holders, in the kitchen.

The baseboard has been put on. I see from the picture that I do need to sweep the floor though!

With luck, this afternoon I'll get the ceiling painted and the rest of the window trim put on. I still need to hang the towel racks too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bathroom Project Update

I know I posted earlier this year about my bathroom remodel project, so I thought I shoudl update and give you some pictures to look at. It's coming along slowly but surely. As big a pain in the butt as it's been, some good things have happened. 1) our bathroom is now much, much warmer in cold weather 2) I got the table saw running again 3) hubby found the missing piece of the router and fixed it last night so I can use it again. Hooray!!!!

I tore all the old stuff off the walls, pulled out the old insulation (I was quite surprised to find any in the wall), reinsulated with modern insulation. Tore out a big heavy cupboard that was hung using three big finishing nails. Very interesting. There were several layers and colors of wallpaper. Most of the bathroom was originally built using used lumber. I used more used lumber to fill in missing studs. In one corner of the bathroom, the wallboard was nailed to NOTHING in the corner. The only thing keeping the corner together was paint.

Putting up the new boards meant draining and moving that water heater- twice. I worked all of one day and didn't get near finished, so I had to reconnect the water heater and start all over the next time I had a day free to work. The boards are pine carsiding, stained with "pickled oak" stain. Basicly just white stain. I want to keep the whitish look of the new pine, I don't want it darkening to that dull gold that pine gets after a few years, so I'm hoping this white stain will do the trick. After the stain is on, then I'm topcoating with varnish

I have more pictures on the camera. They will have to wait for another day to be downloaded and posted.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Garden Post

It occured to me that it's been awhile since I've done a garden post. We've had some rain that has kept some things growing and rejuvenated a few things that I thought were finished. We've yet to have a killing frost which is really odd for mid-October.

The Autumn Joy sedum looks like it should this time of year. I love this plant. It's so pretty, and it has some fond memories for me. When I was eighteen and away from home living on my own, a country girl living in town, I could look out my bedroom window and the landlady had a flower garden out there. I don't know what all was growing in that garden but I remember the sedum being so beautiful. When I got down and gloomy (or tired of doing homework) I'd stare out the window at that sedum.

Summer squash, this is yellow crookneck, should not be producing fruits in my area at this time of year. They should be frozen dead. But..... this plant did not even start blooming until Labor Day! It just sat and baked and complained about being watered with tap-water all summer until we had some rain. I took this picture maybe a week ago. We've since had just enough cold to kill off the top of this plant.

The cosmos have been just radiant. I really like this "tire-d" flower bed. :) Next year I may grow entirely cosmos in it instead of trying for three different kinds of flowers. These cosmos have survived being stomped to bits by the yellow dog. They've been baked to the point of near extinction, and seem to just keep coming back. Love 'em!

Marigolds. You can't beat marigolds for just blooming on and on despite whatever kind of lousy weather, soil or growing conditions they have. I used to grow a lot more marigolds than I do now. I think I will have to start planting more of them again. They are so easy and so cheerful.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Project #6

Saturday there was no time for projects. I had to work a couple hours in the morning and left directly from work for the city. Why you ask? To be a hair model for a young friend of mine who is a cosmotolegy student extrordinaire.
Sorry I don't have before and after pictures. By the time she was done snipping, it was quitting time and everyone was in a hurry to go. We didn't think to take an after picture. But it really doesn't look much different than it did to start with. She trimmed the ends and gave me some layers. Unless you're really into hair, you don't even notice. She got some experience with long hair and I hope, got an excellent grade.

Project #5


Ok, I've been a little slow getting projects posted on here, but rest assured I have been doing projects steadily. And Friday's was starching a doily I had finished a couple weeks ago. Actually this would be project 5 and 7 because on Sunday I did one more and I'm going to put them both in one post.

I can't even tell you how long ago I started this lavender oval. I found it crammed in a box of non-crochet stuff. I'm thinking I started on it about 3 years ago. Was half done with it. I suppose I set it aside to work on something more interesting. Or it could have gotten set aside for the summer when I'm really not into doing needlework, and then I forgot about it. Anyway, it's finally done.

These doilies and a couple others I have will be going with my mother to some craft shows. Hopefully they will sell, because I sure don't want them laying around my house. I love to make doilies, but I hate having them around. I don't want to dust under or around them. I went to work for a lady on Wednesday who had a doily or dresser scarf or some annoying thing setting on absolutely every single flat surface in her home.

This is a really poor picture of this lovely aqua blue doily. I bought the thread because it goes with the color of my kitchen. But when it comes right down to it, I don't want this in my kitchen. I"ve got sort of a vintage modern theme going on and victorian doilies just look silly in there.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Project #4

Ok, I have to confess, I didn't really do a project yesterday. I went to the doctor and had a suspicious spot taken off my left hand. I'm a lefty, now with stitches in the top of my hand. So I didn't much feel like doing a project when I got home yesterday. And then to top it all off, while I was making supper, I sliced into the first finger on my right hand with the chef's knife. Stupid. I've been cooking for a living for years, been cooking in general since I was nine and then I go pull a stunt like that. So, both hands are sort of sore this morning.

What I am going to post is what I've been working on in the evenings. I've been using up some odds and ends of cotton yarn making dish rags. I'd like to say I'm a generous soul who gives these all to folks who need them. Well, they all go in my towel drawer and get used by me. And I'll admit to being a slob who is not good at laundry and who is allergic to bleach, so my dishrags get trashed pretty fast.

I'm off to a full days work in another town today. May try to get some knitting done during the long boring afternoon hours. I'll see how my hand feels. I want to try a dishcloth knitted on the diagonal.

And tomorrow I will regale you with my story about breakfast with the elders.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Project of the Day: Day 3

Glass totem/candle holder. Eventually I hope to have enough of these to have candlelight along the edge of my patio (which is also currently under construction). Base is a casserole dish lid, then a scented candle jar, salad plate, whiskey bottle, candle jar lid, flower vase and lastly the little candle holder on top.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Project a Day: Day 2

Ok folks, here's yesterday's project. I've had these trowels laying around for at least two and a half years now. They were in a box of stuff I bought for $2 at a farm auction. That pretty green check ribbon has been laying around for nearly as long. Got that on a shopping trip with my daughter, specificly to make some autumn decorations. And I always have silk flowers laying around, so I finally got it all put together. Oh, and the cute little mini apple garland came from the thrift store yesterday.

It would be really fun if this wall was as big and blank as it looks in the photo, but it's only about three feet between a window and a door above an old cabinet.

And here's some fun stuff I got at the thrift store yesterday. I don't usually buy silk flowers and such there because they are a little overpriced. Yesterday, I happened to be there when they unlocked the door. Monday's they are closed for restocking and Tuesday at 10 the old ladies stand in line waiting for the door to open. I found out you can find a lot more "good" stuff that way!

I've never had a lot in the way of autumn decorations, so I was happy to find the cute ceramic turkey and the little glass votive holder turkey. At least I think it's a votive holder, not sure, but I'll be using it for a toothpick holder.

I was thinking about using the muffin tin for something crafty, but that's the kind I really like to bake with, so it's going in the cupboard with my cake pans.

The fabric in the background is about 3 yds. I was thinking I'd use it to reupholster some kitchen chairs that have white vinyl on them. After I looked at it in my kitchen I'm not sure. It's got more black in it than I really want in the kitchen, but the man likes it.