Monday, September 20, 2010

For Sam I Am

There's a new sweater in a new size for Sam - just in time for the fall weather and cooler temperatures. I finished the sweater on Sunday after going back home from one week stay with Kristine & Kent. 
I'm excited for this coming weekend - I'll be delivering the sweater in person! I leave for Pittsburgh at 12:55am on Friday night/Saturday morning and will be in Linesville by early Saturday afternoon. Whoohoo!! Becca doesn't get to go on this trip - she's staying home with Uncle Ken & Aunt Perla.

The slippers will also be going to PA so they can be felted and warm some cold toes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Makovers, Anyone?

It's been nearly three weeks since my last update and busy weeks they have been! I can't even recall all that was going on the first week and a half other than to generalize that I was having more work done on the roof finishing and outside decks. Inside, I was starting the prep work for the floors refinishing. I started the week before the refinishing with boxing up books, photo frames, etc from all the furniture in the living room, center gallery, kitchen and laundry room. There are a lot of boxes stacked in the craft room now!

On Saturday, September 11 Kristine came to help me move furniture. EVERYTHING had to be moved from the rooms that would be refinished. I started working on moving anything I could handle myself early Saturday morning and thought I had made a good dent in it. When Kristine arrived a couple hours later, she saw how much I had moved and thought that it wouldn't take long for us to finish. HA :-)  It took us another six hours to empty the rooms and we only took a couple short breaks to rehydrate when we started getting light-headed.

We managed to move ALL of the furniture into the office, craft room, extra bedroom and sun room. The refrigerator would only fit through one doorway in the house - the FRONT double doors. It is now residing on the deck and is doing fine but will probably be happy to be back in the kitchen eventually. I should have taken "before" photos just for future comparison. Now that everything is moved out, I've decided there's a lot of it I don't want to put back in place. The floor refinisher says it takes 12-14 days for the finish to fully cure so it would be best to wait a week before putting the furniture back in the rooms, although we can walk on it now.

At the end of the day we were pretty tuckered out but Kristine suggested it might be a good time to paint the laundry room while it was empty. I agreed whole-heartedly and wondered why I hadn't thought of it. We planned to meet the next morning in my laundry room to tackle that task. Kristine has all the stuff for painting since she's been doing so much of it this past year. She brought all her tubs of tools down and spread the most spectacular drop cloths first thing Sunday morning. Here's a photo of me, taken by Kristine, while I was working on the second coat around one of the windows. Isn't that a cheery shade of creamy yellow?

We finished the room early Sunday afternoon and it looks great! I'm so happy she suggested we get it painted that weekend.

I went to work on Monday with my car loaded to go stay at Kent's & Kristine's house for the week. Since the floors couldn't be walked on while the work was taking place, I would only be able to access my bedroom and that wasn't going to work very well, especially with Becca needing to be fed and getting bored with being closed in one room. I had a fun week staying with Kristine & Kent and am so grateful for their offer to come and stay with them.

On Tuesday, I stopped by the house to pick up more work clothes and was able to snap a few photos from my bedroom doorway and from the front door of the floor as it was being prepped for the finish. Here's a photo of an area in the kitchen that shows "before" and "after". The previous finish had been stained but a lot of the dark color is due this being a very high traffic area:
 Here are more photos of the floor partially sanded:
The edges were all finish sanded on Wednesday after I took these photos. There are three coats of polyurethane finish on the floors. I chose to leave them natural and I think the results look great with the rest of the wood colors. That was my biggest concern but I don't think it's a problem and the lighter floor color lightens up the rooms even more. Here are photos of the finished floor as it looks today. I enjoyed my week with Kristine and Kent but am happy to be back home.

The floors weren't the only thing getting a makeover this past week. Both garage doors were replaced on Tuesday. The new doors are EnergyStar with metal exteriors and high insulation count in the core. I had considered having doors with windows this time but then found out that they'd no longer be considered energy efficient and wouldn't qualify for the federal energy tax credit so I went with solid doors that have a design. Here you go:
The damage to the finish on the house isn't repaired yet. That will be done in October. I''m hopeful that I'm still on track to have all repairs completed by the end of October and then ready for a more relaxed fall and into the holiday season.

On another note, The leaves were still green when I first went up the mountain to stay with Kristine and Kent. Each day that I drove to work and then back at the end of the day I noticed more and more leaves taking on a light green cast, then a turn toward yellow. By Saturday, there were distinct patches of yellow aspen among all the evergreen trees in their valley. I took this photo on Saturday - by Sunday morning the small yellow patch on the bottom right corner had become a deep golden shade. I believe Autumn is upon us!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Progress on the Slipper Front

As soon as I finished the Yggdrasil blanket I pulled out the wool to make the felted slippers requested by Valerie for her family. It was fun to get started on a new project. The wool yarn gives it a different tactile experience and the smaller sized project is SO MUCH easier to balance on my lap.
I finished Amol's slippers on Saturday while Kristine and I were visiting at my house. We were enjoying the new back deck and a day of uplifting friendship. Kristine - you were more help than you know and I appreciate your love that let you give the day to me instead of being too busy when I needed you. When the slippers were finished, Kristine snapped this picture so I could share the funny-looking unfelted clown slippers with you. I'll post a picture of the handsome felted version as soon as all the slippers are finished.
I ran out of navy blue yarn for the last two rows on the bumper of Amol's 2nd slipper :-(  Oh, well, at least this way it will be easy to tell the left from the right.

I started working on Val's slippers the same day. I completed the first one last night and will start #2 today:
 The eyelash yarn knitted into the wool around the cuff should add a fun look - it picks up the purple, yellow, and a few shades in between. Kristine and I discussed the merits of adding the eyelash fur to the whole sole to create "floor dusting" slippers. Then I thought that if I also added it to the bumper around the edge, they'd be handy for cleaning the woodwork trim above the floor. But, alas, all the shag would probably make them too slippery or get caught on floor imperfections and become a tripping hazard.

Tomatoes are Turning!

A few of the tomatoes are starting to turn red!!! The first one to ripen is only about 2 inches in diameter but it's still very exciting to me. Our nights have started to turn much cooler - last night was in the 40s. I'm not expecting to see much more growth due to the cold nights but am hoping the warm days allow the fruits on the plants to ripen.
Here's a photo from Sunday, August 29 when the tomato was just getting enough color to attract attention through the leaves:
And here's a photo from today with lots more red:
 I see a tomato sandwich in my future - maybe by this weekend! Yum, yum, yummy!!

A Visit from a Distant Friend

On Friday, August 27, we had a visit from Jackie. She is a friend of Perla's from way back and has become a friend of the family. Jackie now lives in Atlanta and was in town for a conference. Luckily, she was able to fit in time to visit Perla & Ken. We first met Jackie a couple years ago on a Father's Day/Rodeo weekend. The first friendly thing she did was wipe up the Scrabble board with Kristine and myself! :-) We knew she was a Scrabble fan as soon as we saw the cool Scrabble t-shirt she was wearing. What a fun way to find new Scrabble players.