Monday, May 26, 2008

Longest paint job...EVER!

After over six weeks, I finally finished painting the kitchen. This was definitely the longest paint job I've ever done although it really shouldn't have taken quite that long. We've wanted to paint our kitchen (and hallway and foyer and....etc) for a while but we haven't been able to pick a color. Finally found some paint chips from Home Depot (new paint product called Fresh Aire, no VOC chemicals) in shades of red and green so I brought those home. Fresh Aire (just recently released) was also giving out 3 free paint samples so I got a few and we liked the green the best. Painting that green took me less than a week to complete, although I got really tired of all the nooks and crannys of the kitchen.

I left one wall blank because we wanted to do an accent wall. Picking a new color for that wall took me about two weeks! Originally we were going to do a darker green but after speaking to Sue and Jen we were advised that lighter would be better. Sue picked out a color and said it would look really good but did I listen??? Instead I decided to try a couple of other colors first but nothing looked quite right. I finally bought the paint that Sue recommended and of course it looked fabulous. It took me about a week to finish because by this time I had somehow screwed up my back so it was pretty difficult to do any painting.

After finishing the wall, we realized that the niche wall and the staircase wall (originally left unpainted) would look better with the kitchen colors than with the hallway colors. Unfortunately by this time my back was really pretty painful so I didn't attempt to work on it until last week. I finally finished the darn thing last thursday so our kitchen is finally complete. Now I have to find window treatments, who knows how long that will take!?!

We are really quite pleased with the paint colors in the kitchen. It's subtle and clean but it also transitions really well into the family room. Next paint job will be the foyer/hallway area which is a doozy. I think I'll save that job for later...much later.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's about time!

For the last couple of months, I seem to have lost my needlecrafting mojo. I would put a cross-stitch WIP on my stand and after only a few days I'd lose the urge to stitch on it so I'd put it away. It was the same for my knitting, I could only do a couple of rows before I would completely lose interest. Even looking through my kitted projects, nothing caught my interest. I have been lusting after Celtic Banner by Butternut Road but I didn't own it. Thanks to some gentle nudging by Sue, I caved and finally bought it and the materials for it. As soon as I got all my materials, I put it on my stand. FINALLY my mojo came back! I LOVE LOVE working on this project. It's gonna take me a while to complete it, but I really enjoy working on it and when I'm not working on it I want to work on it. That's always a good sign. And to top it off I've started stitching Jen's fourth pair of socks (for her 2007 Christmas present) and I'm enjoying that project too.

I've completed my first felted project (a purse) and I'm quite pleased at how it turned out. It's a very simple pattern called a Booga Bag, basically knitting in the round. I originally bought the skeins of yarn to make a scarf but after knitting a part of the scarf, I realized how itchy the fibers were and put them aside until I realized I could use them to felt a bag. The knitting went really fast since it was pretty mindless. After finishing the bag and icord (aka handles for the bag), it sat around for a while until I finally got around to felting the bag. After felting it sat around again while I figured out how I wanted to finish the purse since I didn't want to just assemble it the way it was.

I bought some metal feet, grommets for the handles, metallic clasp to close the bag, and plastic mesh to stabilize the bottom of the bag. I also lined the bag since I thought it would look nicer than just the interior felting. It came together quite well, hopefully my mom will like the bag.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Always something new

With such a beautiful day outside, I thought it would be nice for the dogs to spend it in the backyard. So I got two large beef knuckle bones for Max and Pete to gnaw outside. They are only allowed to eat these things outside because they do get a bit messy. The bone is smoked long enough the dogs just gnaw away at the bone. They both found cool areas to lay down in and started working away.

Well, after a couple of hours, I guess Pete had enough for the day. I keep an eye on them to make sure they don't wander around and just make sure they are doing ok. We noticed Pete started to get up and walk around with the rest of his bone in his mouth so I went down the deck to see how he was doing. Going down the stairs, Pete was in the small garden making odd head movements (obscured by our rhododendron) so I went over to see what he was doing. When I got to him, he was using his head to move piles of mulch around the plant then tamping it down with his nose. I watched him do this for about 3-4 minutes and realized he was burying his bone! We've never had one of our dogs (or fosters) show this behavior so it was fun to watch. Incredibly he was neat about digging the hole and putting all the mulch back where it should be. If I didn't come down while he was doing this, I never would have known he had dug in the garden. Just to be sure, I dug up the bone (surprisingly hard to find, he had buried it deep and close to the plant) so Pete wouldn't dig the garden back up to get to it in the future.

I wonder what else he's buried in our yard?