Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Year End Housekeeping

Time to take stock of 2011: what is still undone and what I will try to accomplish in 2012.

Must be done before the end of this year: Register my car in Massachusetts, transfer my drivers' license to Mass and register to vote in Massachusetts.

Unfinished business from 2010:
-Clothing for Mr. Foster (unfinished Xmas gift, should be finished ASAP)
-Silk shawl, cabled socks, experimental lace shawl which will now become Gansey Stole.

Unfinished business from 2011:
-Finish painting the trim in the bedroom.
-Make Blinds for the bathroom.
-Consider painting the nightstands
-Purchase another shelving unit for the basement and unpack the crystal and china.
-Get the bicycles settled in the basement so there is a place in the shed for the lawnmower.

New Business for 2012
-Get workouts into my routine.
-Locate and purchase cold weather cycling gear.
-Get cycling into my routine.
-Locate and purchase kayaks.
-Paint the workbench and arrange for improved lighting.
-Sand and seal kitchen cabinets.
-Get the guy out for the septic.
-Plan front yard island shrub bed and shrub border. Island bed will be priority installation.
-Design and plant first phase of cutting garden behind/around shed. This will need to be largely started from seed for monetary considerations, but I can supplement from House of Dobberteen and a few grown plants. This project can get started right away & enlarged as feasible.

-Thrift, scavenge and/or create items for a picture wall in the living room.

This resembles resolutions without actually being resolutions.

I'll be in Oklahoma City January 15-19, Brighton CO 19-22. I'll be mainly visiting family, but I'd love to meet for coffee or a meal. I had a crisis with my phone what lost half of my address book, so if you haven't heard from me lately but wanted to let me know or call me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We Already Have the Best Gifts

My friend Janet shared a lovely little film with me, and I'm going to do the same. These are things that are right in front of us but because of the nature of our sight we never see them:

For all of my friends, blog buddies, and family I wish a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, and Yule, and hope everyone has a splendid and productive New Year.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snow Day

All my  Christmas packages went in the mail yesterday (Priority Mail, Ouch!), so I can amuse myself now without worrying that I'm taking time out from gift projects with deadlines.

Mom sent me a Christmas check, which I cashed and made a beeline for Barnes & Noble. I had been longing for a reckless book feast and the time has come! Shana offered to come with me, but I went alone this time so I could lollygag around reading snatches of the finalists and having a peek at books I've seen online but were not candidates for this trip. Somehow  no one really enjoys watching me pick through books for hours at a time! I made a beeline for the decorating, gardening, and crafts section, then basically pulled up a stool and looked over anything that had any appeal at all. It was lovely to dip into lots of books and decide which will be stacked up next to my reading chair. The winners:

The view from my kitchen door today
100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet, by Leslie Stanfield
The Knitter's Book of Socks, by the wonderful Clara Parkes
The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques that Save You Money, by Richard Freudenberger
The Embroiderer's Handbook , by Margie Bauer
Interweave Knits Accessories 2011
And the December 19 & 26 issue of New Yorker

I browsed ferociously in the sections devoted to chicken husbandry, gardening in New England, and home decor, but stuck to crafts books for my purchases. The used book store around the corner, Isaiah Thomas Bookstore, carries lots of gardening books with a regional focus, so I think I'll go there first for those. For home decor I like to look on line and at magazines. For my knitting and craft books I really love the pleasure of a pristine new book with beautiful pictures, and I do indulge in new books because I keep them forever unless I pass them on to another knitter. I rounded out my shopping extravaganza with  pair of fleece pajama pants and a packet of shortbread cookies to go with my books.

I stopped at Trader Joe's while I was nearby to see if they had some tahini. They do carry tahini sauce, which suited my needs - the most recent batch of hummus was a little bland and really needed tahini and lemon. Trader Joe's also had KETTLE CORN COOKIES. The. Best Cookies. Ever. They are absolutely delicious and I did not even try to resist. I can't get out pf Joe's without some delicious snack.

On the needles right now - plain socks in Virginia Tech colors and a pair of Cookie A's Monkey socks in a turquoise and black from Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet. I don't know why, but something about the Monkey sock pattern makes it seem to go much faster than plain socks. It's just so much fun to see it growing like crazy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Porcupine Love

I seem to be doomed to forever live where there are no porcupines. I have a long standing unsatisifed wish to see one in the wild. Although their range does not extend to Cape Cod they apparently live in northern Massachusetts and elsewhere in northern New England, so i'm thinking a camping trip up north should be planned for next summer. In the meantime video will have to suffice:

We have a live Christmas tree this year (incompletely decorated). After much negotiation we purchased a baby Norfolk Island Pine. Although they can reach to 200 ft in their natural habitat, I think ours will stay a little smaller! I had to buy some ornaments for it - everything we have for a "real" tree is scaled too big for this tiny tree. Combined with a swag on the door, a poinsettia and lighted snowmen  in the front yard we about as festive as I've been for several years.  The weather reports are trending cooler - this is one place where a White Christmas is a distinct possibility.

It's easy to tell I have lived in a warmer climate for a long time - I just made my reservations for a trip to Oklahoma and Colorado in January. Whenever I book for the summer I know when not to arrive to avoid landing in a thunderstorm, but apparently I am not considering winter storms at all. I'm crossing my fingers that all will go smoothly.

I'm sure Roxy hopes that the extremely boring quality of her pictures will keep me from bothering her, but not so!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Still Cranking Them Out

I've been plugging right along with the knitting. This week I pulled a big skein of handspun wool from my stash for a quick and casual scarf and hat. It's getting cool here and I was eager to have something woolly, and new to wear for beach walks. This was yarn I purchased at Taylor Bray Farm at last spring's open house. Because the yarn itself has a lot of texture and color changes that I wanted to emphasize I went with a very simple mistake rib, and made a hat loosely based on the London Beanie (very loosely, mostly I just used the stitch count!) and added a teeny little pom pom to use up the last atom of the yarn. I'll know I'm making the absolute most of my increased available knitting time when I clear out the little stash of unfinished projects and either complete them or unravel them to prepare the yarn for a more congenial project.

Whenever I walk up to my beautiful Roxanne with the camera she looks put upon and pulls her ears in. I promise she does not always look so unhappy in real life. She still has her fluffy coat and friendly disposition but  it's pretty easy to see that she is getting old - her eyesight is not great anymore, and sometimes I startle her because she no longer hears me coming.  If I'm lucky I'll have her a good while longer, but it's a reminder of how short the life of a dog is compared to ours.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Living in Hat Town

I've been fiddling around with hats this week. I've made a hat according to a pattern (notice I do not say exactly!) and one that's pretty much improvised.

I made Beamish from BamBeanies pretty much as written, except for using only one color. It came out pretty cute. I must point out that the "hat model" has a pointy bun on the back of her head, which makes the shape of the hat decidedly odd.  I used Cascade 220 superwash, which is very nice to work with except that this skein had a lot of damaged sections that caused me to need to work in more ends than I should have. Otherwise a super easy hat with a lot of sizes listed.

I used Calorimetry from Knitty as a springboard for my Not Quite Calorimetry headband. I made it smaller, and added a flower and leaves for a girly touch. I used odds and ends of yarn for this one, out of the loads of partial skeins still lurking in my reduced and edited stash. Although I purged a lot from the stash getting ready for my big move I did keep the partial skeins of workhorse yarns I knew would be enough for small projects. I cannot explain away the deficiencies in this hat model. Sorry.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

December Finished Objects (no, really)

I'm in my usual December knitting frenzy, testing my speed and commitment against the last possible shipping dates for gifts to arrive on time. As usual I started  thinking and planning months ago but piddled around until the deadlines started approaching. I didn't feel like doing serious holiday knitting until we moved into our home in September. I'd love to be able to offer a good excuse for this, but I can't think of one.

So far I have made up three pair of socks (I want to keep one but it's not looking good), a cowl, a scarf, two hats (one mine) and a baby afghan. Not great. I have most of a scarf for myself finished, half of a hat (actually it's a complete Calorimetry but I want to put a flower on it). I still have hopes of completing a few more hats and since they won't all need to be shipped I have enough time, I think. I really do have plenty of time to knit, but I get distracted by the Internet (ooooh, shiny!).

Two of my finished objects are both basic and black, so not photogenic. I finished reknitting Wurm in a size that should fit, but I need someone to take a picture of me in it because it doesn't look like much empty and does not fit the dog. The dreaded bathroom pictures look BAD - it seemed fine before I washed it but it might still be way too big and I'm not sure what to do about it short of felting the thing.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Cape Codders' Beach Time

This is when the locals go to the beach - before the snow flies and after the tourists and Summer People leave for the season. There are some public parks and recreation areas which are truly closed after the summer (I guess WE are not the public they mean to serve) but the public beaches are not only open but they are free and you can bring your dog. In summer to park there you must have a purchased sticker for your local beach, and for other beaches there is a fee. Generally if you walk in you don't have to pay, and after 3:00 pm it's free. You can't bring your dog from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Therefore locals are to be seen on the beach after 3:00 or off season. It's nicer then anyway, because the water is never very warm here so I don't swim anyway, and the summer crowds are no fun.

Roxy and I went out to the Mashpee Town Beach and the South Cape State Park for a walk today, taking advantage of a sunny day. It's still unseasonably warm, although it felt quite cool and breezy today. I needed a coat and wished I had brought gloves.  The cold breeze did nothing to mar the beauty of the beach and we had a great time. Roxy gets bored hanging around the house all day, and no matter how many times I suggest she take up a hobby she never does. We had the beach mostly to ourselves, except for one man and a couple with a dog. We did see a group walking on the trail, but they were going in the opposite direction and we didn't even hear them after they passed.

I got a cold this week and some kind of eye infection, so I set my knitting aside for a day. This may prove to be a fatal mistake for my Christmas preparations, but it can't be helped. I guess I should have settled right down to work this afternoon instead of roaming around the marsh, but I couldn't resist. The really cold weather will be here too soon, and although I will probably still stop by the beach often it's not likely I'll spend much time there.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WKRP Turkey Drop

I hadn't seen this for a while, and it's just as funny as I remembered:

We're just about through the last of the leftovers from our Thanksgiving dinner - just about time to think about Christmas cookies. Weather here is just like late spring, but without the daily rain. It's hard to think about holiday baking when you don't even need a coat yet.

 A word of warning to friends and family - I am planning a trip west to visit Oklahoma City and Denver in mid-January. It will be a quickie - just a couple of days in each place. I am so looking forward to seeing the friends and family I've been missing for so many months. In the meantime anyone with a GMAIL account and a webcam has access to free video chatting which I would really love to do with anyone with a little time to spare. It's great to be in touch through facebook, email and Twitter, but it sure would be nice to see your faces from time to time!

With no gratuitous Roxy picture to share today I'm sharing a picture of Samuel Adams standing in from of Faneuil Hall in Boston. He sure does make a tasty beer (haha) !

Monday, November 28, 2011

Consolidation Time

You may feel like you are doing your civic duty by carefully choosing your media outlets, but here's an eye opener:

Media Consolidation Infographic
Source: Frugal dad

Street Scene Beacon Hill
If you don't already, take your media content with a grain of salt and do your homework online. By the way, Frugal Dad is a good resource for a lot of interesting information and coupons. Check it out if you haven't already! I was just pointed his way by Annie Modesitt, who is one of my knitting heroes. In spite of a lot of personal challenges she continues to produce some of the most interesting and inventive knitting around.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Fun

We spent the holiday with family and friends, ate too much, took a long walk, and came home in a state of collapse. We have a great supply of leftovers and Roxy lives in a constant state of unsatisfied yearning for a plate of turkey.

I went to Sandwich Wednesday to visit the Sandwich Glass Museum again. Our house guest loves antique glass, so that was the obvious place to go. There was a seasonal display of creches in an amazing variety of materials and styles which we really enjoyed. The only down side to the day was that I needed to deliver my car to the shop and pick it up later in the day (early, because of the holiday). After two extra trips to Falmouth it turned out that the chronic flat tire issue I spent about $30.00 to fix returned in less than 24 hours. I'll have to get the car out there again next week to get the issue settled. First World Problems, of course.

For the first time in years I was not at home for Black Friday. In my retail years I worked it every year, so in all the following years I either stayed home or went to the mall to sit on the sidelines and watch the crazy people lose their minds. This year I am back in retail and on the front lines. Fortunately at my workplace we did not have any door busters or middle of the night openings, so it was pretty civilized although really busy. I did notice that a lot of the purchases were for very small amounts, single ornaments purchased as gifts were pretty popular.  I was shocked and ashamed of my fellow man to hear about pepper spraying at WalMart and other violence in the race for cheap junk.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hitting the Tourist Traps

George Washington
Mature Beech Tree at Boston Common
We have a house guest this week from Oklahoma and an excuse to run around to the tourist traps. I was "Off Cape" for the first time in months this weekend trying to hit every possible tourist attraction. Usually when Shana and I go to Boston we have two or three things we want to see or do and wander around casually for the rest of the weekend but since our guest will not have the luxury of returning soon we tried to see as much as possible. She had a list and we had some ideas.  Major museums were out because of time constraints, so we did some tours and a lot of walking to get her out and enjoying the flavor of the city.

After a fortifying breakfast at the wonderful Moonakis Cafe and a quick stop at the Christmas Tree Store at the Sagamore Bridge to test the limits of tackiness we went to Boston Commons and the Public Gardens, checked out Beacon Hill and the "Cheers" bar, slipped into a designer store and a nice bar on Newbury Street, went to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, ate a sumptuous dinner at Villa Francesca  and bought cannolis at Mike's Pastry on the North End. Then we rode the T out to Cambridge to see the campus of Harvard (inaccessible because of security forces trying to prevent OWS from coming on campus) and Harvard Book Store. We finished our first day off Cape with drinks in the bar at our hotel.

Night view from Quincy Market
The next day after breakfast at the hotel we went out for a Duck Tour, then shopped a bit at Prudential Center. We thought we might like to check out the observation lounge on the 50th floor, but admission was more than $10.00 per person and we did not want to pay that much for a quick look around,  so after a (free!) peek past the gatekeepers we checked out Julia Child's recipe for Boston Baked Beans on display in the lobby and returned to earth. Then we retrieved the car and our luggage from the hotel and set out for Salem. In Salem we had a giant lunch at Red's Sandwich Shop (home style cooking with a varied menu and everything is fabulous) followed by a visit to the Salem Witch Museum. After that we met our guide for an entertaining (and cold) walking tour of the town before heading back to the Cape. Today we are sticking close to home for errands and to let our guest's tired legs recover. We often (like everybody) get a little turned around in unfamiliar places and it's MUCH more tiring to back track on foot! While Boston and Salem are pretty compact and suitable for walking two days of constant action can be a lot for someone who does not walk much in daily life.  I've been working retail for the past five months so I have had time to build up endurance - an unfair advantage!

Gratuitous Roxy Picture
We are lucky in our weather this week. Our first day in Boston it was unseasonably warm, and although temperatures fell all day yesterday the sky was brilliantly clear. Today for errands and Thursday for the ceremonial frying of the turkey will be clear, with our only wet day being one already planned for indoor activities.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Little Before and After

We've got most of the big indoor projects done here on Cotuit Road, but of course there is always some kind of crafty project under way.

In needlework I've got a secret project about a third done - as always I seem to work backwards from the deadline and start things only when I know I will be done 15 minutes before it HAS to be complete. As usual I don't know why I put it off because the secret project is in crochet and I love to crochet although my wrists are not so fond of it as they used to be. I've got three knitting projects well underway which are not at a photogenic place. That's not counting two hibernating projects that are partially done. One of those will be finished at some point and one will be torn out yet again and reknit in a more suitable pattern.

Yesterday I set my needlework aside in favor of a decorating project. I think a guest room should have some kind of a mirror so your guest can see if they look like a wolverine before they join the family.. After a fair amount of scouting around I finally found a mirror for my guest room at D's Home Again in East Falmouth. I wanted something small that would fit the available space and that I could decorate. Shana was disappointed when I showed her the oval wicker mirror because it looked like something everyone on earth has owned at some point. I pointed out that it was just what I needed however boring and she agreed. Yesterday I found myself with time and motive and got to work. Several hours and a lot of hot glue later (and only one little scorch on one finger!) I am pleased with the result, and I feel like our guest room is complete, just in time for our first house guest's arrival this weekend.

One process note - I did not realize how hard it would be to get a presentable photo of a mirror! My first effort yielded a really nice detailed picture of the original mirror reflecting a nice clear image of the basement rafters! In general it's easy to hone in on your subject and not realize that there are unintended things in the background calling attention to themselves. A photo will also give you a different look at a project - looking at a project in a digital photo during the construction will improve your result because you will see things in a photo that you don't notice looking at your work in progress.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Paulsen for President

I recently saw a segment of the Rachel Maddow show suggesting that the Herman Cain campaign is an elaborate practical joke. Of course this immediately brought to mind the Pat Paulsen election campaign. The Rachel Maddow segment, with my apologies for the oddly placed Exxon ad:

The 2008 Paulsen for President clip featuring his son:

There are loads of Pat Paulsen clips on YouTube, all well worth another look.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crowd Control In a Civil Society

If you were wondering what kind of crowd control standards we require in a war zone (which I believe Oakland is NOT):

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Now That the Tourists Are Gone

During the summer on Cape Cod the beaches are full of tourists. There is no parking, all of the beaches require stickers and/or payment for parking, and dogs are not welcome. I got around some of the issues last summer because I was living within walking distance of the shore, and I had the benefit of a yacht club membership. If I got out early enough or late enough I could get the dogs out for a walk on the beach without anyone from the yacht club complaining. Next summer I'll get a sticker for the Mashpee Town Beach, use my old strategies for Falmouth, and visit where I please after 4:00 pm (the magic hour for free access!).

Until Memorial Day the beaches are free and the locals are out in force to enjoy them. We bring our dogs, park where we please and enjoy the solitude. Yesterday I went to the Sandwich Town Beach by way of their beautiful boardwalk across the marsh with Roxy. It's about a 15 minute drive from my house. Although I heard a comment that there were a lot of people on the beach (good weather with rain coming later this week) I was seldom where I could hear the voice of another person.  The locals go to the beach all winter and so will I. The water here is not really warm enough for me to enjoy swimming, and walking on the beach is enjoyable in all weathers.

Yesterday we visited at low tide - lots of exposed rocks and tide pools which Roxy did not care for - she was relieved when we moved further up on the beach where she had more comfortable footing. She loves a walk on the beach - there is always a chance of finding some fragrant dead thing and she's very interested in gulls.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bits and Bobs

I've been surprisingly consistent (for me) in posting blog entries with one, or at least limited, topics. It's not really like me - I love a good tangent better than I should. I ended up with a lot of odds and ends pictures, some of which I upload to Flickr and some I just let hang around on my computer until I need a little something for a post without much visual interest. I am not counting the random Roxy pictures because someone I know rather well does not feel that a post is complete unless there is a picture of The Amazing Roxanne. I had such a fractured day yesterday and had some interesting pictures to go along, so I thought I might indulge in an oddly assorted post.

Yesterday I was out & about a fair amount and the pictures I took of my various activities do not go together at all. First I went to the fall open house at the Little Farm on Cape Cod with my knitting group.  The farm owner is a new member of our group, and her farm is just lovely. We got to see various farm animals - the usual horses plus alpacas (one was a teeny new baby!) ducks and masses of chickens. The chickens were in their run, but responded very enthusiastically to my offers of plantain leaves. Big fun and of course I NEED my own chickens. There were all kinds of chickens in the pen but I'm featuring this picture so Richard can enjoy the beaky terror (Say thank you!).  The weather was perfect and we all had a great time. Joan keeps a little store in the farm where local products are for sale - handspun from the farm's alpacas and also hand dyed yarn, local honey and jam, jewelry, bread, goats' milk soap (very nice for dry skin and free of all kinds of additives) and other goats' milk products. It's a sweet little store and the locals who produced the merchandise were on hand to answer questions and visit with us.

After I came home I needed to run up to the pharmacy to pick up some antibiotics to treat a tick bite which did not look good to Doctor Lisa. We arrived at the better safe than sorry position based on the comparison of effects from an unneeded dose of doxycycline vs the effect of Lyme Disease. Lyme if very common here and nothing to play with. On the way to the drug store I passed a cranberry bog and noticed that they were doing a water harvest. I had promised my friend Sharon in Oklahoma I would send her a picture of a cranberry harvest if I saw one. Of course it was the one time in the last three months when I had neither camera nor phone with me, so back I went to get both.

her head is in the bush but I got the tick. No fair!
While I was out taking cranberry pictures I stopped to take pictures at Wakeby Cemetery aka Sandwich Goodspeed Cemetery. I pass it often, in fact there are a lot of these tiny old plots all over the Cape and they are all interesting places. I had always intended to stop in and take a few pictures, so with camera in hand coming back from the bog I stopped to take a little peek and a few snaps.

There is still knitting going on. I am currently reknitting a hat that I made this spring. I chose the wrong size and it was like a wastebasket on my head. I just clipped the top and am now knitting the new (4" smaller version) right off the old giant one.  Too lazy to reskein it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

There Will Be Knitting

Given the number of times I have been visiting yarn stores and farms it's about time I posted something like a finished knitted object. I actually have two finished objects to post for an exciting change of pace.  You'd think the astonishing output this month would indicate I will be running short of stash yarn, but not so. Todays visit to the Little Farm on Cape Cod yielded a lovely sunshine colored hand painted sock yarn to replace anything I may have accidentally used up.

One is the Birthday Cowl by Nova Seals, knit in a delicious merino and silk blend from Manos del Uruguay. I picked up this yarn at Black Purl during the Cape Cod Yarn Crawl. The cowl is very pretty and a fast knit. The other is a pair of socks from the Cookie A pattern Wanida in a bright turquoise yarn from Regia that has been marinating in my stash for some time. The original pattern has one more pattern repeat on the foot than I ended up doing (I was not sure about the foot length), but otherwise no changes.

We are enjoying beautiful fall weather here, so I have been outside walking in the woods a bit. This week Roxy and I took a walk in the Boyden Farm Conservation Lands. The reward for that so far has been a deer tick bite. I am currently "enjoying" a prophylactic course of doxycycline which has to be taken on an empty stomach, guaranteeing nearly instant int3nse nausea 9with sweating).  I am assured that Lyme Disease is worse but it's hard to imagine how. I do wear long pants and long sleeves whenever I go walking in the woods but that's not always enough protection.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Maybe This is What They Meant

Once again I have not been raptured.  I thought they were talking about was being taken bodily to heaven but maybe this is what they meant?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Before and After Six

At last our sofa is delivered and taking its proper place in our living room. We have not had one for a while and I was looking forward to having one. That the one be bought was my absolute first choice is just icing on the cake. This is the room whose color scheme so distressed me - flesh pink beige trimmed with flat band-aid. The room has been getting better little by little since we moved in. The rattan chairs are reupholstered chairs from Shana's parents home, vintage 70's with a fresh face. The coffee table is the one that has been following us around for twenty years, also vintage 70's. Shana's mother really wanted us to have it because it's a really nice piece, but we were afraid its large scale would overwhelm our small house. Turns out Inace was right about it. The little stools are also vintage with fresh cushions. We bought the sofa, drapes and rug at Pottery Barn; I made the tiebacks from supplies of my own that I brought from Oklahoma and shells we picked up on the beach in Florida.  The glass table we bought  nearly twenty years ago at Dillards. The bookshelf is an older piece, and the plant stand came from Inace's house. The pillows on the sofa are a combination of purchases made on Newbury Street in Boston and Greece.

 I started planning the room from the Chagall print above the sofa. The colors in the print are too strong to literally base a color scheme on, but the idea of combining a lot of different blues and greens make it the obvious inspiration without going all "clown car". The colors in the Chagall are repeated across the room in a different way in the floral print, with the books putting some weight on that side the balance the sofa. I'm really pleased with it and hope to be entertaining soon.

I was in such a hurry to get pictures up before I have to take off for work that I have featured a bit of protruding rug pad and an entire vacuum cleaner (Dyson Animal - superb!) in them. Please pretend you don't see them and I will upload improved pictures to Flickr when I can!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Little Change that Makes a Big Difference

Before we even had picked out a house to put it in we had purchased a little white and crystal chandelier for our bedroom. It's been in a box for months - the promise of a pretty bedroom for us. The house we bought had a ceiling fan the size of a helicopter (a very nice fan but not at all my taste and much too large for the room) which because of the way it was wired had to wait for an electrician to replace it with our chandelier. Today was the day! I think our chandelier is a perfect fit and adds a little more charm to our room. All of the lamps in the room feature sparkly crystals, so that big brown object on the ceiling did not add a thing.

Because of the peculiarities of our house's wiring when the new lamp was installed no other lights in the house would come on. I nearly fell out the back door in conniptions, but after another run at the problem the electricians set things to rights and things are now all working correctly; our pretty bedroom is complete except for a teeny bit of painting I'll probably do tomorrow morning - the bit of ceiling that used to be covered by the fan and is not covered by the much smaller lamp base, and the baseboards.

Roxy was also very pleased because she has grown to love having workmen in the house. She was quite disappointed when I put her outside on the lead and entertained the neighborhood with barking until it started raining and I brought her in. I'm afraid any pretensions she may have had to being a watch dog are proven totally false.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Before and After Five

After having stripped a lot of it to the studs the bathroom is finally finished, except for the vanity drawer pulls and a window treatment. I am currently haunting Spoonflower for a suitable print. I have scoured the local Joann's and will be hitting the other fabric sources on the Cape, but I suspect I may be looking for this fabric for some time.  The colors in the floor and shower are a little uncommon and I want something outstanding to go with them. This may not be the final wall color, but this is the one I wanted and because I had nearly a gallon of it I went ahead with it because having the walls half painted was so much worse and it was depressing me. In the picture the new color looks just like the old, but it's just a trick of the flash.  The old color was a dingy kind of grey. The new color is the same pale grey I used on all the rooms on the back side of the house.

We started with a beige fiberglass tub enclosure and  grannyish stick on tiles that probably came from the 70's. We took out the tub and replaced it with a nice big ceramic tile shower with a glass tile trim. The beige toilet came out; the white toilet was installed. We removed the old oak vanity with the beige sink and replaced it with a grey stained rustic pine with a quartz top (ECO, color crystal ash) and white sink. The faucets and shower heads are brushed nickel with a bamboo theme. None of them show in my pictures - you'll just have to take my word for it that they are spectacular! The floor is Marmoleum (color #3403 Asian Tiger). I love the shower. Some people think for resale you should never remove the only bath tub, but for our personal use the shower is so much more what we wanted.

The pictures on the wall are sunset pictures I took during a vacation on Marco Island, where we used to vacation every summer.  The terrarium is my own creation.

This week I also made a little makeshift bird feeder out of a soda bottle - it's not much to look at but it draws loads of adorable little birds in the morning, as does the suet feeder I have on one of the back yard trees. Of course the fat squirrels are very interested in both.