Posts Tagged 'weekend projects'

Nomads No More

David and I have been somewhat nomadic for the past 6 years, but last February, we actually renewed a lease for the very first time. This December we will have lived in this house longer than any other we’ve inhabited (including the one we owned!).

We love our house, but that old feeling is returning. The one that makes me consider what my stuff would look like in another setting. We’re getting restless. Our current house is the right one for us for now, though, so a couple weeks ago, we started trying some things to help us suppress our urge to move.

So, we switched our artwork around, we moved my sewing table downstairs, we reorganized our bookshelves. We made resolutions to use all of our CSA produce, to only put Ruby in disposable diapers when we absolutely have to, to go on a family walk every day, and then we broke them all before the week was out. We talked about me quitting my job to stay home with Ruby. We did our budget. We got a little freaked out and decided to revisit that later.

Surprisingly, all this superficial rearranging did the trick. But I’m sure that come January, we’ll both be checking out craigslist just to see what’s out there.

Other new stuff on my mind:

Shouldn’t we get chickens? I would make this coop and they would be Easter Eggers.  Do I even have to tell you that David is against this idea? I am working on him, though.

Ruby needs a Christmas stocking! To knit or to sew? Hmm

The GED class I teach just finished reading The Hunger Games.  Next up:  Catching Fire.  Thank goodness students filter out, or else they would surely catch on to the fact that all the books I choose are young adult science fiction with strong dystopian future themes.  Hahaha

This time FOR ME!

Happy belated Halloween!  Ever since David and I first got married and moved to our first apartment, I have wished for trick or treaters to come to the door by the dozen.  Unfortunately, things just never worked out for us.  When we lived in neighborhoods with lots of kids, it was not safe for said children to be out at night (we’ve lived in some rough areas), and when we lived in safer neighborhoods, there were very few children.  Well, I’m happy to report that our seventh home is a perfect blend of safe area and full of kids, so we had about 50 trick-or-treaters!  And, as an added bonus this year, Maxwell sat at the door watching these strangers approach us to take our candy and did not behave like a rabid killer!  There is hope for him, yet, people.

photo

 And look how cute we can make him look, when we put his head in a vice-grip and torture him with blindness!  And note also the presence of a very attractive human face on this blog!  All this anonymity just seems really silly to me at this point, so I’m ending it, starting with David.  This is what he looks like, Internet and he is not afraid of you or your spying ways. 

Anyhoo, the handsome man above and I are embarking on sort of an adventure this weekend–a train ride!  Yes, we will be taking a train from Kentucky to Philadelphia to visit the In-Laws and to attend our baby shower!  I’m not really sure how we decided to take the train–something to do with the expense of flying and the discomfort of driving 12 hours during one’s 3rd trimester (I can’t believe it, either).  There are only two major down-sides to travelling by train: 1. it leaves at 4:30am 2. it’s an 17 hour trip.  But the big positive?  Knitting time.  Also Dining Cart.  And Bathrooms.  So we shall see.  In preparation for this epic train ride, I have purchased yarn and plan to make a baby sweater–perhaps the February Baby Sweater, fitting since this little girl will most likely come a few days after her January 31st due date.  I was excited to see that Malabrigo is testing a superwash worsted weight yarn, but passed over it for the dk weight Silky Merino and it is beautiful. 

I smiled goofily while turning the hanks into cakes and kept saying to David, in the next room, “This is making me so happy!”  Weird, I know.  It’s like I have the opposite of pregnancy hormones.  I’m sure David would agree…RIGHT, DAVID?!  I also picked up a hank of regular Malabrigo Worsted in colorway Vermillion, because I was completely out after making those blue fingerless mitts. 

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And what did I make with the new yarn?  FIngerless mitts, natch. But these are different, because, unlike the last dozen pairs I’ve made, they are FOR ME! And while knitting them up, I couldn’t help but sing Rose’s song, the final anthem in Gypsy Rose Lee, which ends with Patti Lupone screaching several half-crazed repetitions of, “For me!” Pictures to follow.  Of the mitts, not my performance.

A couple things…

I made another pair of fingerless gloves.  This is only because I didn’t feel I had sufficiently proven my fingerlessgloveknitting prowess last fall, while preparing for the Christmas of Knitted Gifts.  And it is also because I have a special friend who I will be seeing soon at a certain baby shower (for me! OMG!) and I happened to have an extra hat from last year (it got a little crazy at the end, there), so I thought, what the heck, I’ll make some gloves and complete the set!  So I did.

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And, let me tell you, I am SO GOOD at making these now.  I think I can stop now.  Except that, somehow, I still don’t have any for myself. 

Pattern: Raspberry Mitts (Ravelry Link)

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Paris Night

Mods: I turned them inside out so that they are in reverse stockinet.  I just liked how they looked better that way. 

In other news, this fall has been disappointingly hot and dry–most days it hovers in the mid 70’s and just stays sunny.  Oh well, at least the dogwood tree is giving us a nice show, as always.

dogwood fall

Autumn Leaves, take 2

There’s a fear that’s been developing for the past two years, and now that I’m about to have a baby (in four months), it is rearing its ugly head.  I think my sister stole my good baby karma.

My parents tell me that my sister was a horrible infant.  She didn’t sleep, she didn’t eat, and basically behaved like those bad babies that hang out in the checkout lines at grocery stores.  Specifically Wal-Mart.  Anyway, she was so bad, they almost didn’t have me because they were apparently developing borderline personality disorders by the time she was two.  But have me, they did, God love them, and lo, my presence was a soothing balm to the household.  I was a Good Baby.

ERGO, the logic of the universe tells us that, when it came time to have our own kids, Sister Friend was doomed to have a hellion, while my biggest complaint would be that all the strangers complimenting my perfect children made me late for supper.

And here’s where things get worrisome: SHE had a Good Baby!!!  So now, I’m a little concerned.  At least, though, if I do end up with some screamy freak-out child, I will have someone to blame, and doesn’t that make things at least a little less unjust?

ANYWAY:

Yesterday was a great day for knitting! I finished up two projects which were languishing on the needles and even had time to knit a wee little plain baby cap.

I only have one picture to show you today, because the other stuff is downstairs, so obviously, that’s too far away.

But it’s a cute one:

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Does this look familiar?  It’s because I knitted one for my niece Ellie (soon to be known as “the good one”).  It’s the Autumn Leaves Cardigan from What to Knit when You’re Expecting, done in the (washable and cheap) Lion Brand Wool-Ease and with yellow buttons.  Awwww

We built a table!!

After discussing AT LENGTH what kind of furniture we would need to accommodate our exhausting summer social schedule*, we finally decided that we needed a small conversation area and a gigantic table. We need to seat at least eight people, because we like to set up our single friends with eachother and it’s a bit more subtle if you have a larger group than if it’s just Us and Them. Also for flipcup.

Before I talk more about the table, I will say that I got THE BEST DEAL EVER on patio furniture. We got this set

from World Market (it’s not available anymore) for less than $200 with shipping and everything! 

ANYWAY, with the table, we weren’t so lucky.  We were looking for a farmhouse-style table, but just couldn’t find one that we could agree on.  Then, I found knock off wood (by way of one pretty thing) and the simple instructions that she gives, along with the regular people who built nice things empowered us to make this table! 

First, we built the frame:
SAM_0184
As you can see, Maxwell was extremely interested in this whole process. I’m pretty sure he thought we were building him a bed. What a disappointment we are as his owners.

Then, we put in some supports:

SAM_0185
Did you notice the wet deck, there? Yeah, it was raining. I was so obsessed with this project that I made David work in the rain to finish it. Poor thing…

Then we screwed on our top boards:
SAM_0186
Look how bad the weather is! Oh my, I’m feeling a bit guilty now…

And then, I dropped the drill bit and it fell underneath the deck. YES, I CAN SOMETIMES BE FIDGETY. THIS IS NOT A CRIME, DAVID.

The next day, we screwed on the legs and put a table cloth on it so that we can take our sweet time agreeing on an appropriate finish for it.

SAM_0189

We are a lot like congress in that it probably will take us forever to make a decision about that and when we do, one of us will not be happy.

Spring is a happy time

How was your Easter?  Mine was so busy with all the family and whatnot, but overall, it was excellent.  The Turducken was awesome strange disturbing squarish pretty good, actually, once you got over the whole ‘meat inside of meat inside of meat’ thing, as my sister put it.  I got to spend some time with my niece, Ellie, who is the best and cutest almost-two-year-old (OMG) in the universe.  She did not cry even once in two days, can you believe it?  And the cuteness of the fork using and the talking and the sign language and the ponytail is really hard for me to convey, other than to say that I love her. 

Unrelated: Just days before everyone came to visit, David and I realized that we had a fairly serious bee infestation in our front garden, which, by the way, is an awesome thing to notice when you are hosting a toddler for the weekend.  Yesterday morning, our landlady and the exterminator were out front taking care of the problem and blocking the driveway when I was getting ready to leave for work.  And the exterminator was. so. weird.  He insisted on sharing with me that these are not, in fact, honeybees (which is actually good to know, because that would make me feel sad about killing them all), but a different kind of bee which lays its eggs in the ground in the fall and then in the spring, well, you can imagine.  To which I say: FANTASTIC! and also: DID NOT NEED TO KNOW THAT I’VE BEEN LIVING ON TOP OF ONE MILLION BEE LARVAE.  So that was neat.

Other than that, it has been an idyllic spring.  We’ve got daffodils, tulips and hyacinth all open in the yard and our dogwood tree is almost there–so close!  I think our house must be in its own microclimate, though, because all our stuff blooms a week or two after everyone else’s (which is fine because then I feel happy when my flowers are in their prime and my neighbor’s flowers are dead.  I am mean like that.).  For example, this is the dogwood outside of the school I teach at:

dogwoods

Totally open.  Ours is still covered in buds, but I’m patient.  I don’t want to rush Spring. 

This weekend, I will try my hand again at garment making for myself.  I’m planning to make the Yard Sale Wrap Skirt from Weekend Sewing.  I have the perfect material for it–white with blue stripes. 

Wish me luck on this one!

Easter

I’ve accidentally neglected my blog.  Again.  Instead of whining about my jobs and how they prevent me from pursuing my true vocation(s) (laying on the couch, watching Anthony Bourdain, cooking, perfecting miscellaneous handicrafts, and of course, blogging about it), I will excite you with news!  One of my jobs gets a SPRING BREAK!!  So, for this week and this week only, I am back to a 37 hour work week like normal people!  So, back to blogging I go and I have SO MUCH backlogged content to discuss–like the napkins I sewed! and the table we built!  and the doll of myself I made!  and the SHIRT I MADE THAT FITS!!  So much to share!  So many exclamation points!!!!!!!

So, this post will actually not cover any of the above.  Instead, I will hold off till I have proper pictures and replace that content with my weekend plans.  MY NIECE IS COMING TO VISIT OMG.  Also my sister and brother in law, mom and dad and grandma. My first actual holiday.  And guess what?

I’ll tell you because, unless your last name is the same as one of mine, you’ll never guess.

We are having a TURDUCKEN for Easter dinner.  I’m sure you know what a turducken is, but I will tell you anyway because it’s fun to say.  It’s a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a hen.  Is that not sick?  Oh, and…it’s Cajun.  Or Creole.  I don’t really know the difference.  Here’s an example:

Turducken

 I’ll just give you a minute to collect your thoughts.

Okay.  So what does one serve with this mutant bird?  Well, I’ve decided to alter some more traditional holiday dishes to fit this…nontraditional theme we’ve started.

I’m planning on putting together some creamed spinach.  This a favorite of mine that I make fairly often, so I won’t have to be stressed about it coming out right.

Instead of mashed potatoes, I’m going to make these Bourbon Baked Sweet Potatoes from 101 cookbooks.  I can make this ahead, plus, we are in Kentucky, so bourbon is appropriate, I think.

 The bird(s) come with their own stuffing, but I’m also going to make this Spring Panzanella from smitten kitchen.  It’s light, room temperature and quick to make.  And I think I can make this ahead of time, too.

 Finally, for my mom, I’m going to make this Breton Buckwheat Cake.  I made it last year and, as soon as I tasted it, I thought of how much my mom and her mother (who passed away several years ago, just before Easter) would love it.  I am the latest in a long line of women who love a not-too-sweet dessert, and this cake is marvelous.  I’ll probably make some whipped cream and berry sauce for the sweet tooths among us, though. 

 Okay, since I HATE to put anything up without a picture (turduckens don’t count, obviously), here’s the doll I made for Ellie. 

aunt jilly doll

It’s Aunt Jilly!  Groovin to some tunes!  I still have to make one of David (or Unkadunk as he is known to Ellie).  I basically stole a pic of a paper doll body from flickr and hacked off her little head and put mine on instead, then printed it out onto transfer paper, ironed it onto some leftover flannel, drew an outline around it and sewed along the outline with a plain white backing, leaving a space above my head, then I filled it with lentils and sewed the top closed.  I got the basic idea from angry chicken.