Wednesday, September 24, 2014

All That Wool

Dear Mom,
Remember last spring, when I took all that beautiful angora fiber from Duncan, your adorable rabbit, and some black alpaca that was given to me, and some gorgeous mohair (another gift) to the Fiber Event to be dropped off for processing?
Well, it's here.
And it is beautiful. 
And boyohboy do I have my spinning "work" cut out for me! (okay, we all know it isn't work.)

I chose to have half of the angora blended with some coral merino wool, and the other half blended with a teal merino wool. Both blends and 80% merino/20% angora. More angora than that and the garment would be too hot to wear. The mohair was also blended with merino, but with white merino so I can dye it if I choose, and see the shimmer of the mohair against the merino. That will be fun to play with. The black alpaca was blended with a peacock merino. The color is gorgeous. 

I've already started spinning the coral. It is a dream to spin.
This is the coral blend (obviously) with the mohair blend behind it.

And the teal in front of the peacock.
Getting an accurate color photo of these blues was tricky.
 This is the best I could do.

The heavenly mohair/merino blend

Olive says, "ACK! Where are you going to put all that stuff?!"
"Just don't block my view!"
Lots of squirrel watching out there.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Kitchen

Dear Mom,
Okay. The last time I showed you the kitchen, the back splash looked like this:
and the island looked like this:
And now?! The island has been painted and the backsplash has a decoupaged collage of vintage cookbook pages and kitchen advertising!

I even covered the outlet and switch plate covers.


I even decoupaged some pretty fabric into the drawers- no more ugly, self-sticky drawer liners!

Mod Podge has come a long way. I used a furniture specific formula that can be washed after several coats and time to cure. I took a leap of faith, doing this, and got that sick "I am making a big mistake" feeling when I was a small way into the project. But once I finished the collage on that first section, I was in love.
I had a great boost in supplies when MelissaWhoDoesNotKnit offered me her grandma's collection of clippings and recipes in exchange for a pair of hand knit socks. Otherwise, it would have taken me forever to get that wonderful assortment! I love the personality my new back splash adds to the kitchen. And the paint color on the island turned out better than I dared to hope. When I look at those "before" pictures, I am amazed at how washed out things looked.

It would seem that most of my creative efforts have gone into the kitchen. And yes, it did take a lot of time and energy, but, there has been some knitting. And spinning. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Starts and a Finish

Dear Mom,
School has started, projects are nearing completion and others are finished with great satisfaction.

The Young Lady started her Junior year of High School and I was able to take a First Day of School photo on the front porch. A clear sign of Growing Up-  the Starbucks Light Vanilla Frappuccino in her hand.

A week later we moved The Young Man back to IU for his Junior year. On the hottest, humid-est move-in day, for us, so far. With the longest walk from vehicle to dorm, for us, so far. Thank heaven his room has AC and we only had one flight of stairs. After making several trips back and forth, laden like pack mules, and still faced with transporting the really bulky, heavy stuff, we decided to risk our parking spots to pull into a drive meant for Official Vehicles Only to do a quick unload, thus cutting our walking and carrying distance in half. Since mine was the vehicle with said Heavy Load, I pulled into the drive with My Hero and the Young Man standing by. They unloaded onto the sidewalk in record time and I almost as quickly pulled around and began a new hunt for a parking spot. I lucked out and got a spot even closer than my previous one! My Hero babysat the load on the sidewalk while I was parking and the Young Man took a load to his room. As I approached My Hero in his perch on the sidewalk, I saw him signing a clipboard and handing it back to two camera wielding folks. When I got to him, he flashed me a huge smile and proudly stated that he was "going to be on a website somewhere".  Last week, the Young Man forwarded this photo from one of IU's Facebook pages.
Yes, there he is, in a garage sale rescued dorm chair, with the mini fridge. 

While we were moving in, I noticed several resourceful people pulling collapsable wagons loaded with belongings. We are going to have one of those for the next move. 
After 20ish years, our backyard barn was an eyesore. We needed a new one, and one with a bit more useable space. After unloading and dismantling the old barn, and storing all its contents in the garage, we finally got the new, cute little backyard building painted and reloaded. This one has two sets of doors- one for easy access to the things kept there, and one for John, Dear to drive in and out. We are calling it our cottage because it is probably the closest we will ever coming to owning one!

We've really accomplished a lot of home improvement projects this summer. The kitchen facelift is almost complete! I can't wait to show you how it looks!