Thursday, 17 December 2009

More Christmas Knitting

I've been knitting away for Christmas. Sometimes a financial situation requires resourcefulness when it comes to gifts. Since most people really like hand made items, I don't know why I don't do it more often!

I've been wanting to make fingerless gloves since the first time I saw them on some of the knitting websites and in some of the knitting books I have. As of today I officially have 3 pr. completed and 3 pr. in various stages of completion. I've done each pair a little differently, but all of them are variations on the same theme. I just combined all of the information from a number of different patterns and made adjustments according to the yarn I had on hand. Except that this particular pair required that I purchase some purple yarn, since I didn't already have purple in my stash. But purple is my co-worker Vicki's favorite color, so whats a knitter to do?!I've also knitted a few of these pretty washcloths to gift and I ordered some handmade soap from Angie over at Maple Valley Off Grid Farm. to give with them. She and her family are living on a beautiful Amish farm and really getting back to the old way of doing things. When you're through reading this post, be sure and jump on over to her blog and take a look. They have a great love for God and a much more simple, if busy life.And then I was inspired to make some home made body scrub/bath salts, which I'll post about later.

As I was going trough some of the knitting that I'd done a few years ago, I came across some of the felted bags I made and forgot about. I thought they would make great gift containers, so I put the gloves, a knitted washcloth, the soap and a jar of body scrub in this one (it's red and purple, but the picture looks a little off color), and gifted it all to Vicki. She was thrilled and I was thrilled that she was thrilled!

Vicki is on her way home to Ohio (wearing the fingerless gloves I'm sure) and I'm off to continue knitting.

Have a Merry Christmas.

My next post will be after Christmas because I'm off work until then and I won't have access to a computer!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Repurposed Front Door

You may remember this picture from when DH was removing the old front door to gain access to our newly enclosed front porch. As you will see below, it now has a new purpose.Since the newly enclosed front porch connects to the dining room and kitchen area and since the wall between said rooms was removed, we have had to rearrange our kitchen. Tee Hee Hee! Ain't it ashamed?!!!

So, since DH has time off from work until after the first of the year, I've made him a list, errr, I mean we've come to an agreement on the projects that he can work on, using materials that we've already purchased. One of the projects is MY NEW PANTRY!

We borrowed some space from our side entry that we are now using as our main entry door. He bumped out about 3 feet and built a new enclosure that runs the full length of the current kitchen. I'll post more pictures of that part later. It's completely huge and completely awesome, or will be when we get it all finished.

So far we've put in a few shelves to accommodate some of the lesser used items and some narrow shelves to store canned goods, etc. That has only used up about 1/3 of the total space so far. The plan is to get a small, chest type freezer to put at one end. Above the freezer will be a shelf or two for items needed for the freezing process: bags, containers, butcher paper, etc. In addition, I plan to place some hangers for wrapping paper and ribbon, scissors, gift bags, etc. so that I have a place to wrap gifts. I will be able to use the top of the freezer as a work surface! It will be wonderful to have a designated place for that!

There is also a plan for pegs to hang my reusable shopping bags, bins for my recyclables, shelves for my wine glasses and perhaps a few bottles of wine, baskets for my veggies and who knows what else. I'll just have to see what I can squeeze in there.

So, yesterday DH took the old front door and installed it in the entry to my new pantry! Once he gets it all trimmed in it will be painted, I'll order a "PANTRY" sign from Upper Case Living and put it on the horizontal piece just below the windows and I'll frost the windows with either some paint or some cool paper I found.

I REALLY need to consult Layla at The Lettered Cottage for some suggestions. I think I'll purchase one of her consultations for myself for Christmas! If you haven't already, you need to check her out. She has amazing talent! Any suggestions for pantry design are welcome.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Christmas Knitting

It's been a good while, maybe 2 years, since I last picked up my knitting needles. There's been so much other "stuff" going on that I just had not had the time. But,that all changed when my DD saw some self striping sock yarn in Hobby Lobby and said that she thought it would make cute hats for her girls. So I bought a few skeins of sock yarn and that's all it took.

Coincidentally, at work we have started a new program with The Circle Center, which I will explain at a later date, and one of the first things we had to do was choose something that we needed to work on. I decided to work on "focusing", which I often have a problem with, as you will see. And I always wondered where my DS got his ADD!?!
If you are a knitter, you know that knitting is a good thing to help with focus. In fact, with many patterns, focus is an essential part of completing a project successfully.

Well, sock yarn is what is called "fingering weight", which means it requires small needles. And I needed circular needles to keep me from having to sew seams, which I always try to avoid. So I made a trip to Haus of Yarn, my local yarn store and bought some size 2 circular needles. Well, OK, 2 size 2 circular needles. One is 16" and one is 12". Who knew that there were 12" circulars out there?! I HAD to have them.

Then I decided I needed a good book for knitting with sock yarn and I remembered seeing this book the last time I was in a yarn store?!
So I asked if there was a similar book with patterns just for kids, and this is what they showed me:
Well of course I had to buy BOTH of them, you know, just in case I decide to make some things for me too. And I HAD to buy 2 skeins of Lana Grossa sock yarn because you CAN'T go to a yarn store and not buy yarn!
So I knit up 2 precious hats from the yarn I bought at Hobby Lobby, which I of course didn't take pictures of, for my DD's 2 girls. THEY LOVED THEM!
Then a big light went off in my head - hey - I could knit Christmas presents for other people too!
I know, sometimes I'm a little slow.
So I pulled out the Lana Gross and started knitting a scarf, in the round. But knitting a scarf on size 2 needles takes a LONG time, and I quickly got bored with it. But I had gotten far enough that what I had already knit was about the right length for a child's hat, so I made it into this cute little hat for one of the smaller members of my family (shh, don't tell). Then I decided little people need little leg warmers too, so I winged the pattern for the tiny little leg warmers to go with it.
Then I realized that I had LOTS of yarn left over because these two things only took part of one skein and I have 2. So I've started these leg warmers in a slightly larger size for another one of the smaller members of my family. They are working up great on my new 12" circular needles. They are just knit in a K2 P2 pattern, which goes pretty quickly and I just found out that they only have to be about 7" long - so that should take just a few nights of after work TV knitting!

But if you think that's all I've been knitting - remember the focus thing? Yeah, well, just maybe I've worked on a few other knitting projects too. You know, because I get bored doing the same thing all the time and need options!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Nothing Crafty Happening Here

I've been neglecting my poor little blog the last few weeks. Truth is, I've been on the injured reserve list, after slipping in the mud and landing on my fanny in the process of feeding the chickens. The fall sent me to the emergency room for a large number of xrays because I heard cracking as I hit the hard ground.

I had a fall at work a few years ago and broke my left hip. Ended up with 3-4" screws in my hip. Not fun. But, I found out that I have osteoporosis, so the cracking sound really scared me. Luckily nothing was broken and I didn't knock my screws loose - although some would say that I've always had a few screws loose!

So, since there hasn't been any craftiness happening, I thought I'd post a few pictures of our property after a big snow, to get you in the winter mood.

These were taken a couple of years ago from our bedroom, looking through the French doors. The snow only lasted a few hours. As soon as the sun came out it all melted away. A friend of mine who is an artist used the first photo to paint me a beautiful picture for my birthday, which is now hanging in a special spot in my house so we can enjoy the memory of the beautiful snowfall.

I hope you enjoy them.

Now that Christmas is just a few weeks away, I've started knitting again. I'll post pictures soon.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Halloween 2009 Comes to an End

I hoped to have a bunch of cute pics of little Trick-or-Treaters, but I couldn't get them to stand still long enough to get good pictures. With one exception - this cute young flower fairy. She and her sister had matching costumes, but in opposite colors.My daughter and I made these costumes for her girls. We bought the fairy wings at Wal Mart and hot-glued the flowers to them, to the skirt and to the headband. Then we pinned flowers to their shirts and leggings. If I had it to do over again I would choose lighter weight flowers. The centers of these were hard plastic and way too heavy. But I thought they looked precious. This was the last time she stood still for the rest of the night. Do ya think it might have been the candy!?!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A Halloween Guest Post by My Daughter

Hello. My name is Amber and this is my very first guest blog. I am excited to show you the cute Halloween overalls that I made for my oldest daughter.

It all started with a trip to a consignment sale where I found a cute pair of Halloween overalls to fit my youngest daughter. But . . . there were none to be found to fit my 4 year old. So, as all good crafty Moms do, I looked around and decided, "Hey, I can make some that are just as cute, and probably for much less!"

So, I looked through her closet and found some overalls that still fit. I have a thing for ribbon and I have collected a good size box (or 2) of really cute ribbon that I found at 50% (or less) of it's original price. I gathered together several different patterns of ribbon that, when put together, had a similar color scheme as that of candy corn. For my specific design I had a wide orange ribbon (about 2" wide), a medium yellow polka-dot ribbon (1/2" wide) and a small gingham and small orange and black polka-dot ribbon (1/4" wide).

I cut a foot long strip of each of the ribbons, two of the yellow polka-dot. I placed one of the yellow ribbon strips right up against the bottom of the wide orange strip. I used a piece of scotch tape at one end to hold the pieces together temporarily. Not overlapping. Just touching each other. Then I hot glued, with a very thin layer of hot glue, the gingham ribbon strip over the top of the orange and yellow ribbons, covering where their edges met. Then I did the same thing on the opposite side of the wide orange ribbon using the other strip of yellow and white polka-dot and the orange and black polka-dot ribbon.

To get the shape of candy corn, I cut a 3" triangle template out of a piece of paper. Then I traced the triangles onto the back side of some Stitch Witchery and ironed the Stitch Witchery onto the back of the ribbon strips. Then I cut the triangles out, rounded the edges of the triangles to look like candy corn, and ironed the candy corn onto the leg of the overalls.I found this skull and the letters that spell out "sweet" as pre-made iron ons. As you can see, I applied the letters to the front of the other leg of the overalls and the skull to the back pocket, adding the ribbon to indicate that it is a girl skull!
The word "BOO" was made by just free-hand cutting the letters out of fabric that I fused to some more Stitch Witchery.
A friend embroidered the spider down the back seam on her fancy sewing machine and I finished them off by outlining the candy corn with black paint.
It was quick and easy project and my girls loved having Halloween overalls to wear to school.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Three Generations-Three October Birthdays

Three generations of women in my family have October birthdays. Tuesday, October 13 was my 35th birthday! Really! I wouldn't kid you! Just ask me? :)

Today, October 15th, is my oldest Granddaughter's birthday. Isn't she precious?! She is 4 and quite something. Just ask me - I'm her favorite Granny! She loves flowers so that will be the theme of her party on Saturday. I LOVE spending time with this child and her Mom and her baby sister. She is one of the happiest children I know. Every where we go she sings. Most of the time she makes up her own songs. I'm sure she is destined to be a famous singer one day! My Mom's birthday is Saturday, October 17th. She won't be 4 or 35. I wish I had a scanner so I could scan a picture of her and show you her picture, but alas, I don't (Oh SANTA!). Everyone says I look just like her so imagine me, but just a little shorter and a little older. She was quite something in "her day" too.

So - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND GP#2 (Grandpunkin). I'll see you both on Saturday!

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Remember WAY BACK IN JULY! when I showed you this sneak peak of a project that my daughter and I had been working on?Well - I FINALLY have pictures of the finished project!
Its a toddler bed for Zoe, my daughter's youngest, that we made out of an old 1950's baby crib. After we got through with the mod podge portion of the project, my daughter decided to send it off to a friend who has the equipment to do spray on polyurethane. It took him FOREVER to finally get the bed back to her! She has now decided that she could do just as good a job, or better, with wipe on poly!

Once she got it back, she hot glued the red trim around the edges of the toile fabric and set the bed up in Zoe's room. Zoe promptly doned her PJs, climbed in the bed and went to sleep! Apparently she was happy to have her new bed!
What started out as an old, cream & gold, 1950's crib (sorry, the original picture got lost when my computer crashed), then morphed into a REALLY PINK toddler bed that didn't fit in the spare room at my house,Then, much to the dismay of other family members, got a new coat of glossy black spray paint,and then morphed into a precious toddler bed for princess Zoe!
We couldn't have done this project without the wonderful tips we received from Amy over at Mod Podge Rocks! If you haven't visited her blog, go do it NOW! She has wonderful projects that are so much fun, and anyone can do them!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Front Porch Update-The AC goes in

Friday night my #1 Step Son and his family came for a visit. The purpose was for #1 Step Son to run the AC duct under the floor and out to the new room.

The bonus was that I got to play with this little doll baby!

Last time we saw her she was just starting to crawl. This time she is cruising around furniture. Next thing you know she'll be walking. Then there will be no stopping her! She's gotten new upper teeth and learned how to wave since the last time too!
Oh, and the sub floor is now down and we've started to put up the wall treatment. Check back, I'll have new pictures soon.

Monday, 14 September 2009

County Fair Poultry Show & Remodel Update

On Saturday my handyman and I went to the Dickson County Fair Poultry Show & Sale. This is the first time I've been to this event and it was a lot of fun. We met some really nice people, saw some beautiful chickens from teenintsy to huge. And, much to my handyman's surprise, I didn't buy anything!

We really enjoyed watching the 4H kids in their Fairest of the Fowl contest. In this contest the kids choose a theme and they dress themselves and their chicken according to the theme. Here is the line up: (Left to Right) #1. A chef: he had on an apron and was carrying a HUGE knife and clippers in one hand and his chicken in the other. If I'd been the chicken I'd have been concerned! #2 was a vet in her blue scrubs and white coat. Then there was #3, her sister, the magician. She was carrying her chicken inside a top hat. #4, for you Vanderbilt basketball fans, a basket ball player and his chicken cheerleader. Someone had made stocking arms for the chicken and had sewn little pom poms into the hands. It was really cute. #5 was a Cop and Jail Bird. The young lady was dressed as a cop and had her chicken in a cage in the paddy wagon (red wagon). Cute, cute, cute. This young lady also won the Grand Champion ribbon for her 6 Barred Plymouth Rock chicks that she raised for 4H. They sold for $45 each! #6 was Colonel Sanders. This was so cute. She had her chicken in the KFC bucket with it's feet sticking out of the bottom. The chicken was calm through the entire show! #7 was a precious pirate and her companion. #8 was a 1950's Poodle Skirted girl. Her chicken also had on a Poodle Skirt and even had a pink bow in it's hair, I mean feathers! and #9 was The Cat in the Hat with Thing 1. I met this young lady and her parents prior to the show. She was adorable. Her chicken is a Polish with a big white top knot. So cute!
And here are the winners:
Because of the Labor Day Holiday and having a house full of people, we didn't get to work on the remodel until Sunday. Here is a picture of the floor joists going in. My handyman got all 13 of them in, but it was dark when he finished and I couldn't get a good picture. It is really starting to look like a room! My handyman's oldest son is coming on Friday to run the duct work for the air conditioning. Then the sub floor goes on and it WILL look like a for real and true room! Awesome!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Post Weekend Kitchen Wall Demolition Update

Window wall before (top) & after (bottom). Now even the frame that was around the window is gone as well, but I didn't get that picture yet.

Wall behind the refrigerator before (top) & after (bottom).
Don't ya just love the smell of sheet rock dust in the morning?!!
Next step - floor joists to bring the floor up to the same level as the rest of the house, air conditioning duct work and sub floor. Whooo Hoooo!
But that will have to wait. Lots of company coming at the end of the week and lots of other things to do between now and then. Don't forget to check back.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A View From the Inside

As promised, a view of what things look like from the inside. This view is looking out to the right side of the property. Since this picture was taken the wiring is now in place and so is the insulation. This is my handyman removing the window between the new room and the old dining room.And here he is removing the door between the rooms. This was the really exciting part because now we don't have to open the door to step out into the new space! Yay!!!

And this is the beginning of the wall demolition. On the right of the picture is where the window 2 pictures up used to live. When I got home last night this whole wall was gone, except for the studs that are necessary to hold up the wall until we get the new support beam.

Tonight I think my handyman is going to take out this wall between the kitchen and the new room! It's my night out with the ladies that I work with, so I won't get to enjoy the noise!
I'll have more progress pictures in the next few days - I promise!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Front Porch Remodel Progress

I am so excited I can hardly stand it. This is what arrived at our house at 9:00 last Friday morning:Our 7 new windows to close in the front porch.

The installation began bright and early on Saturday morning. Like 7:00 a.m., so that it could be done before it got too hot and muggy.

This is the first one being installed by my oldest step-son and our awesome "neighbor across the lake". These windows are 6ft. x 6 ft., aluminum clad windows made by Peach Tree. Let me just tell you how awesome they are and how great they are going to make our new "overlook" as my husband is calling it!
This is what they look like (at least this side) with the trim installed, but not painted:
I'll post pictures of what's happening on the inside later. Do come back and check. It's going to be GREAT!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Camera Died

It just quit. I thought it was the batteries, but I put in new ones and I took some out of another item that I knew was working and still nothing. GRRRRRR! Now I've got to find time to go get it fixed. It might be quicker to just buy another one. GRRRRRR! There's so much going on and no camera.

The black & cream toile project is finished - no pics yet.

The guest bathroom is coming along beautifully, if slowly-no pics yet.

And the big news is that the windows that we've ordered to close in our front porch have arrived - almost a week early! The framework has been ready for decades-well maybe not decades, but a long time. They will convert this into an actual room!

I can't wait!

Then the wall comes out, the duct work and electric goes in, the floor joists, the lights, the new ceiling, then the dining room cabinets and the kitchen cabinets, . . . ya know, one project ALWAYS leads to another.

Maybe I can borrow a camera before Friday, which is when the windows get to the house from Lowes. I think I now officially owe them more than I owe on my mortgage.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Happy 29th Birthday & a sneak peek

Tuesday was my daughter's 29th (gulp! where did time go?) birthday. This picture of her is one of my favorite, besides her Sr. pictures from high school, and she took it herself-with her cell phone! I love it because it shows her beautiful blue eyes and bright smile so well. I am so proud of her. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but she is also beautiful on the inside. My Mother always told me that "pretty is as pretty does" and I, for one, happen to think that this young woman does pretty great!When most of the other girls in high school were talking about who they slept with over the weekend, this child was witnessing to her classmates. She is a wonderful Christian young woman, a great Mom to her two beautiful girls, an awesome daughter and a thoughtful granddaughter.

So, for her birthday, I took the day off to spend some time with her and the girls. I told her we would do whatever she wanted to do and she decided she wanted to work on a project that we had started, but hadn't had time to finish.

I arrived at her house about 8 a.m. Her husband had taken the day off to help watch the girls so that we could work on the project. He was cooking pancakes when I arrived so I got to enjoy a delicious and fun breakfast with all of them. Then he took charge of the girls and my daughter took me outside to show me the garden that they had put in. We picked some of the squash and chatted about her garden. Then we went in and went to work on this: I have a BAD habit of trying to do projects for her rather than letting her do them herself, so I tried really hard to supervise instead of do. It was a great learning experience for both of us.
My Mom & Dad came by for lunch, then we put my Dad and the girls down for a nap and three generations of women went shopping for a couple of hours.
We had a WONDERFUL day. And my daughter and I both got new clothes.
My daughter says this was her LAST birthday, and she was glad to get to spend it with her family! Next year she'll be 29 AGAIN! Does that mean I don't have to get older either?
Check back for the finished project. It's SO CUTE! I think you'll love it.

Friday, 10 July 2009

An Emotional Start to the Day

This is Dandy, my precious and beautiful Silver Laced Bantam Cochin rooster. My handyman found him dead in his chicken coop this morning. He was still warm when he found him. We have no idea why he died. There were no wounds, no signs of parasites, nothing. He was just laying lifeless on the floor.

I held him and cried! Yes, I'm that crazy lady who cries over a dead rooster!

Dandy liked to jump in my lap and let me stroke his beautiful, soft feathers. I had plans to breed him and raise his babies to keep and to sell. He was just starting to crow and sounded like a boy whose voice was starting to change. It made me smile every time I heard him.

I never thought I could be so attached to a rooster, but there ya go!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Beachy Nesting Boxes

As I said in the previous post, we moved our little bantam chickens into the old, re-worked coop. Why, you ask? I thought you would never ask!

First-to get them away from the standard chickens that were picking on them relentlessly and Second-to give them a place where they could breed in peace. But, because we moved the original nesting boxes into the new coop, we had to come up with a new set of boxes for the bantams.

Since Lowe's already gets a disproportionate share of our income, my handyman decided to take a look around the garage to see what we already had that could be made into nesting boxes. Over in the corner, behind the door, he had stashed the bi fold doors that were originally on all of the closets inside the house. We had already used some of them on the 2008 coop for the doors that you see opened to the inside of the coop in the previous post, and for the little pop door that lets the chickens in and out of the coop. We had also used one to make a door from the pen out into the yard, but that one was removed during the remodel of the pen.

So, my handyman took one bi fold door, one piece of plywood that was already the right size, a few scraps of furring strips, a bunch of screws, a good helper (me) and went to work:

The plywood just happened to be the size we needed to make 2 nesting boxes, so no energy was needed to cut it to size.

The nesting boxes needed to have a sloping roof so that the chickens won't (supposedly) roost on top and do what chickens do when they are roosting (poop!) and make a mess of the nests. My handyman took a good look at the bi fold doors and decided that the lower, solid portion of the door would make perfect end panels.

He cut the panels 14" in the back and 12" in the front. Then he made a center divider by cutting a portion of the louver section to the same size, cutting in between the louvers to make life easier (and to keep the louver from falling out). Then he centered the panels on the plywood and screwed them together from the bottom, into the thickest part of the door sections.Then he laid the remaining portion of the door across the top to see if it fit and it did! All he had to do was cut off 2 louvers to make it the right size. Then he added 2 pieces of furring strip to the front of the box. These are to keep the straw bedding and the eggs from falling out of the nesting box.I found the left over spray paint from my co-workers office re-do, took the nesting boxes outside and covered them with beautiful, beachy blue paint.We screwed them into place in the coop and filled them with straw bedding. Now we just have to wait for the bantams to get a little bit older and discover that egg laying is what those big blue boxes are for!

Just between you and me, I've already seen one of them checking them out! I'll keep you updated.