Friday, January 23, 2009

Feels like a heat wave!

I was able to walk out the door to get the mail without turning into a popsicle today. We're having a one-day heat wave here. It's 35 degrees at the moment. Now, to some of you (Hi Maria!) who may be enjoying unseasonably warm temps, we have been below freezing, and quite often below zero, for a while now. Brrr.... We also had a bunch of snow dump on us again last weekend, but thankfully none since then.


It's going to get frigid again this weekend. Single digits overnight with highs in the teens. Winter has a tight grip on us this year for sure. My wool socks and felted clogs are on my feet constantly. I've even had to wear socks to bed a few times and let me tell you, it has to be mighty cold for me to go to bed with socks on. I HATE having my feet covered in bed. Most times I have them sticking out of the sheets and blankets. So yes, this little warm up today feels nice. Even if it is short-lived.

I started these socks before Stitch 'n Pitch this summer so I could knit something small at the ballpark. After the game, they got put aside so I could work on my Rhinebeck sweater. I finally decided to pick the socks back up, and I've made a good bit of progress in the past few days. Hopefully they will be done this weekend. I love the pattern and the yarn!

I have another pair of socks that have been in progress even longer than these. I need to finish them so I can dive into my sock yarn stash and start a new pair. I really want to knit up some of my sock yarn before I buy any more. Not all of it, mind you, but at least a couple more pairs of socks have to come from my stash before I buy any more (and I already know what the first purchase will be. I got to see and feel some Mini Mochi last night and it is so pretty, and SO soft. That yarn is going to make some scrumptious socks!)

I'm working on a new design right now. It's being tested, and I hope to get the pattern written up, photos taken, and have it for sale soon! Watch for details here!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

The holidays left very little time, energy, or desire to blog. But here I finally am!

Christmas was wonderful. We had Christmas Eve here at our house, with Kim and Drew, my parents, and my brother Andy and his family. Mike made homemade kielbasa, and golabki (pronounced gawumpki....which is Polish stuffed cabbage). We also put a ham in the oven, and had some yummy side dishes. SIL Karen brought an awesome salad that I will definitely make again. It was unique and wonderful!  Here is the link: Spinach Salad.  She used fresh bean sprouts instead of canned (a very wise choice in my opinion!) and added Toastettes croutons as well. Yum.

Kim and Drew spent the night as they always do, and we all woke up in the same house to share the festivities on Christmas Morning. Lots of great gifts were passed around and then opened and enjoyed.  We had a rather lazy day, just the way we like it. 

New Year's Eve plans were changed at the last minute. The party we were to go to was cancelled so we ended up picking up some take-out and staying home. No problem. Another quiet, lazy day. Same with New Year's Day. More time for vegging.

This morning I awoke to a strange sound coming from downstairs. Even as I came down, I couldn't figure out what I was hearing. Turns out Mike had started stripping the wallpaper and had the steamer going to get the paper and glue off once the top layer of paper came off.

We have been talking about redoing the kitchen for many months now, and if you don't take that first step, it will never happen.

We've had the same theme in the kitchen since we gutted and remodeled the kitchen not too long after moving in over 15 years ago! It's hunter green checkerboard, and apples. I loved it at the time we did it. I've had a LOT of matching accessories added to the room over the years, but after a while you just get to the point where it starts to drive you crazy. Apples, apples, EVERYWHERE!

When I got my Fiesta dishes, I started thinking more seriously about changing things up. So now it looks like we have made the decision to do it. I can't wait. The few walls that we've gotten the wallpaper off today already look better (though we will have lots of repair work to do before we can actually put some fresh paint up). And unfortunately, it's not just 4 walls of one room that need to be done. The apple/checkerboard theme goes towards the back entrance area, and also down the hallway to the stairs. I think it's actually on 15 surfaces. A big job, for sure. But it will be worth it in the end. I am SO ready for this!

My plan is to paint all the walls one color of Fiesta (pretty sure I've decided on turquoise) and then the window and door moldings will be a combination of the other Fiesta colors that I have in my dishes. It's going to be quirky and whimsical, and I'm going to love it! I plan on using Porcelaine 150 paints (mixing to make Fiesta-like colors when they are not available) and painting all of the 40+ ceramic cabinet and drawer knobs I have now. I have looked and looked and have not found anything I like to replace them without spending about $500. I have used the paint before and it is very durable after being baked in a regular kiln needed! 

I have no idea how long this project is going to take, but I'm glad it's finally underway and I really am looking forward to my fresh, new kitchen! Long overdue. 

 The big issue we have to decide on is whether to tear up the ceramic tile countertop and backsplash now, or have that be a separate project later on. The tile is almond, with an almond/green checkerboard backsplash. It REALLY needs to go (I'm thinking about a soapstone or concrete countertop). Now, or later, that is the question.......

Off to put the last of the Christmas decor away. Hopefully weeks won't go by again before I blog the next time, huh?

(Holy cow, I just went back and looked at the post when I got my Fiesta dishes and started talking about taking down the wallpaper and painting the kitchen. That was over EIGHT MONTHS AGO! It took us a while to get to this point, huh? Sheesh!)