Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Back to the reno..........

So the last beach cottage reno pix are here. I promised to show the kitchen side of the living room wall re-do once it was done. Here is it finished up minus décor on the walls that will eventually be moved there from other spots as more kitchen renovation starts. Don't pay attention to the floor and missing baseboard - that will be a mess until we get to replacing the floor, no date set for that yet as everything else needs to be done before we start laying flooring.

So, here's the other side of that wall we opened up when we took the coat closet away and put this new/used much needed cabinet in the kitchen. We are doing this reno on a shoestring and went into sticker shock when we priced new cabinets. We went on the search through second hand shops and came out with this 96" tall cabinet that gives me much needed drawer and storage space - all for $100. I painted it and then put green glass drawer pulls on.

Whoo Hoo - look at all this space - the cabinet is 24" deep - so much space. The top drawer stores the cutlery which was a jumbled mess in the small drawer it had been in. The next drawer has all those important kitchen tools and gadgets, middle drawer muffin tins and such. Pots and pans are in the bottom two deep drawers - there was no cabinet for those in the current kitchen so I stored them in the pantry cabinet which was really too narrow for them - a fight to get them in and out.
 
Ok, so here are before pictures of the current kitchen - it will be a while before after pix show up as we only work on this place here and there. See that cabinet hanging down over the stove - well it's coming out soon and the soffit will be removed. This will open up the kitchen and dining room - right now I have to stoop down to look at someone in the dining room.

See the overhang of the countertop - well, those drawers on the right are impossible to get things in and out of because of it - poor design - I can only see 4" into those drawers. We're going to move those cabinets out 12" and eventually put a section of the overhead cabinets down there too. We could never use that bar with stools at it because the dining room chairs are just a couple feet away so we'll be putting that space under the counter to good use.

Oh, and I'll be painting all these kitchen cabinets white, hopefully over the summer - they don't look bad in the pictures but they are, they're sound sturdy cabinets but the finish is worn off.

Ok, so here's looking at those cabinets from the other side - can't wait for them to come down. We'll be taking part of them and putting them on that back wall to the right of the window. That stove and dishwasher are eventually going - the stove is old, a grimey old that we just cannot get clean and the stainless pitts from the salt air. And the dishwasher, just as old, sounds like a jet engine - no escape anywhere in the house from the noise. Both will be replaced with white appliances.

Another view of the kitchen wall to the left of the window. The only job we'll be subbing out in this reno is the countertops - we haven't even begun to look at what we'd like - it will be a composite as that's what we can afford for this house and they do such a nice job of them these days. For a backsplash I'm thinking bead board that I'll paint and distress - that's still in the percolating stage.

That soffit over the sink is coming out - I hate those soffits. I am compromising on the ones on the left wall though. I told Sam they could stay as long as he cut back the soffit to  follow the cabinets - you can see it in the picture above and below.

A new sink and faucet are in order too, the sink is all scratched up and the faucet about to fall apart - I'd love a farmhouse sink but they're just too spendy so will get a basic 2 sink unit.....unless I find a farmhouse sink at some close-out price somewhere..........

This kitchen might look a decent size but it's really small and lacks storage space and really lacks counterspace - the photos are deceiving. More than one person in here and it's crowded. I don't care for the fridge with the freezer on the bottom that holds very little but it was free so no complaining from me.
 
 

Oh so yummy.........

This past weekend I decided to make some pogey bait (as my friend Yvonne calls it) for the guys golf getaway on the coast next weekend. I put some of these Crazy Brownies in the freezer over there for them, some but not all, after all I/we have to try them out before Sam gives them to his buddies, don't we? These Crazy Brownies are from The Pioneer Woman's blog - very fun blog, very fun show on Food Network on Saturday mornings.  You can find the complete recipe on her blog.

First I mixed a chocolate cake mix with some evaporated milk and melted butter, then patted half of it into a pan. Then the naughtiness begins - 9 Reese's peanut butter cups get laid on top of the cake mix - hmm, 9 of them, there are 2 in a package, guess that means I popped the leftover in my mouth -yum.

Next I unwrapped 16 Rolo's and placed them in-between the peanut butter cups......well, actually I probably unwrapped 20 and popped the extras in my mouth - yum again.

The original recipe calls for chopped nuts and a sprinkling of salt. I love nuts but not in my baked goods so I broke up pretzel sticks and threw those in the open spaces. And then topped it all with mini M&M's - I think the recipe calls for regular M&M's but I think the mini's are so cute.  Of course you know I ate some pretzels and M&M's - yum again.

Next the rest of the cake mixture gets patted out and placed on top ready to pop in the oven. Now the hard part comes - in order to cut this baby you need to place it in the fridge for a few hours after it cools down..........good thing I was devouring taste testing those ingredients as putting it together since I wouldn't get to try it until the following day.

And here's the final results - oh my gosh, how yummy, deliciously scrumptious these are. I can't even begin to imagine how many calories are in them and I'm not about to calculate it. Each bite brings a taste of chocolate, peanut butter, caramel and pretzels - all my favorites. I cut them into 16 brownies - next time I will cut them into 20 as they're pretty jam packed with rich deliciousness. I'm definitely making these to take to my spinning group soon. Good thing most of these are in the freezer over on the coast for the guys........and I will not be within quick driving distance......and I have no interest in barging in on the guys getaway golf extravaganza no matter how yummy these are.



Friday, May 23, 2014

New spindle spinning

Since I finished up the last spindle spinning I thought it was time to pick out some roving for new spindle spinning.........and a spindle I haven't spun on before other than to try it out. 

This is a sweet little Turkish spindle from Jeri Brock Woodworks. It weighs 7/8oz/24gr. There is no website listed on the tag but if you're interested she is on Ravelry under the name jeribrock (I did not buy directly from her but from a shop a few years ago). It spins beautifully.

The fiber I'm spinning is from Crosspatch Creations - it was the Special NWRSA Spinners Blend - The Spinning Shepherdess colorway made to celebrate the 2006 conference.........yep, it's been in my stash since 2006, got buried behind something else on the shelf. I've got 4 oz of it to spin, should take a while as I don't spindle spin that often. This type of spinning is always a challenge to me - the blend is not meant to produce a smooth yarn, it's going to have lumpies/bumpies due to the nature of the batts. Crosspatch always has fun batts - this one was only available at the conference but check out their site for others.

I've also picked out some merino/bamboo/tussah silk roving, my own hand-dyed, to start spinning on the wheel. Will post a picture of that once I get started on it. Actually, here's a picture of it in my etsy shop - I really should try and get a better picture, this one doesn't do it justice, the colors are lovely and sheen incredible.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Finally time to weave...........

 Finally I got back to that bamboo warp yesterday - here is scarf #2 on the warp using a purple weft.....
 ......and here's scarf #3 using a black weft......Unfortunately none of my photos of this scarf were good - it's much prettier than it looks here.

I picked up these 2 skeins of sock yarn at The Wool Co in Bandon on Saturday. Whoo hoo - look at those bright colors, the socks will brighten up any dreary winter day. I'm almost tempted to start both pair so I can see how they'll look but since I've got another pair of socks on needles and a hat I'll restrain myself. Hmm, wonder if they'll glow in the dark..........

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fairy garden......or not........

I love the little fairy gardens folks are putting together so decided I needed to give it a try.....minus any fairies. I toyed with doing a beach themed garden but as I looked around the house I found a few items that would make a great bird themed garden like the little pottery birdhouse I've had for years sitting in the flower beds out front on a bamboo pole which has finally disintegrated - it's the teal with red roof birdhouse on the left. And then the little plant poke brown birdhouse on the right and a fun Francisan plate - only one I've got picked up for 50 cents. The only thing I bought was the little birdbath sitting in front of the plate. If I run across the perfect little bird I'll buy it to add to the garden. This past weekend I picked up some stones and pebbles off the beach to make walkways. Today after my tooth sharpening (dental visit for cleaning) I rewarded myself for making it through that appointment by buying some plants. I decided to put in a few herbs so as I trim them for the garden we'll also get to eat them - chives, rosemary and Italian parsley. There's some lobelia for color and a cute little ground cover in the foreground. It makes me smile......

Friday, May 16, 2014

More spinning...........

Finally finished some drop spindling that I've only worked on here and there. This was some of my own hand-dyed superwash merino. I've got 350 yards - maybe a cowl......who knows........not my best spinning but it will look great once knit. It's super soft and I love the colors.....in spite of blue not being my color.............

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spinning myself dizzy..........

When I go to my spinning group Sam always tell me to have a good time and not to spin myself dizzy.....it should actually be gabbing myself to exhaustion!  I've been working on this handspun for a long time as I've only spun on it when in the group and that's in-between catching up with friends. I finally finished up the 2 bobbins I had spun on my Majacraft Little Gem and last night I plied them on my Hansen mini-spinner (electric spinner). I got 504 yards of fingering to DK weight yarn. It was spun from Sporfarm (The Dalles, OR) batts of 2/3 Shetland/1/3 Fine Wool in the Sea Mist colorway.  Her batts are so pretty, such soft colors......not as soft as I would have liked once spun but still very lovely.  I'd give a link to her website except she doesn't have one but she does always have a booth at Black Sheep Gathering and Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Not sure what this will grow up to be.......will sit and visit with the other handspun on the shelf for a while.  Now to pick out the next fiber to spin..........maybe some of my own hand-dyed.
 
 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Echo Weave book

This is what arrived in my mailbox today - Weaving with Echo and Iris. I've been waiting for Marian Stubenitsky's book to come out in the English translation. I've been fascinated with what echo weave I've seen but there is so little out there written about it........until now. Hoping to sit down with it soon and go through it page by page - I've only flipped through it so far and it's a beautifully published book - well worth the money. If you're interested here's the link to Marian's site.  I was so glad it fit through the slot in our locking steel mailbox otherwise I would have had to go to town tomorrow to pick it up at the main post office.



Bamboo

I did get one hand-painted (dyed) bamboo scarf woven today in-between everything else I needed to do. I think this run of scarves will look great worn with blue jeans, not to mention blue, purple or black slacks or dresses. I used a navy bamboo weft on this scarf, next one I'll use purple, maybe black on the final scarf.



My small gardening effort..........

This morning I fit in my small gardening project for the year - some pots on the deck - half as many as in the past but I'm good with it. We took off some of the drip tubing since I cut back the pots but there's still one left that I may put a pot under for a fairy garden.

I bought 3 hanging baskets - they come in to BiMart each year in time for Mother's Day at bargain prices. This year's color scheme is purple, yellow and white.

I've got 4 of these deck planters - I planted them this year with Compact Safran, Calibrachoa Volcano Gold, Plum Pudding Petunia easy waves, Bacopa Big Dark Blue Falls and Crystal Palace Lobelia. Hopefully in the near future these will start growing and overflowing the planters to cover the brackets. Each year I tryout some new combination.

Here's looking down the deck - the 4 planters, basil in the corner and hanging baskets. Usually there are numerous pots along this deck railing but have scaled it back this year.

Here are the basil plants - the best starts I think I've ever bought. I thought I bought 3 varieties but found just 2 when I planted this morning - Italian Large Leaf and Nufar. Must have zoned out when putting them in my cart.

Unfortunately I don't have a veggie garden like I did at the last house - very little flat ground on this property. I've experimented with tomatoes and peppers on the deck in pots but they've never done well, this area doesn't get enough sun for most veggies. So, I go to my local stand or the grower's market to shop for fresh veggies all summer. Very sad - my 2 big fig trees out front look to have been done in by the extreme cold we had back in December - no buds, no leaves, just bare trees. We're not taking them out yet though, I have hopes that something is living underground that will send up new shoots - if we don't see anything by winter we'll pull them up. They were good producers - what a shame.

Now off to the loom........

Monday, May 12, 2014

Surprise in the mail......

This is what I picked up at the post office today - a giveaway from Alisa Burke's blog where she gave away something fun every day for a week to celebrate her birthday last month. I thought I was just getting a wood burning tool but look at all the fun wood I got to embellish - oh boy!  This is going to be fun - I haven't used a wood burning tool since I was in elementary school - yes, that was a long time ago, around 50 years ago - yikes! No doubt you'll be seeing what I create on the blog but since I have a number of ideas for holiday gifts they will be squirreled away 'til the season and won't be shown on my blog for many months. If you've never checked out Alisa's blog you should hop on over there - she's very talented and creates new fun stuff every day, she also sells her art in various forms, has online classes and classes in her studio up north on the Oregon coast.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Huh???

Yep, that's what I said "huh???" as I was trying out wefts for a painted warp. Draft chosen was the simple 4 harness Wall of Troy (which I love) but as I was auditioning wefts I could see a problem in the treadling - can you see it in the black and purple weft areas?  I double checked, triple checked my tie-up - it was correct, treadling was correct, threading was correct although I knew it wasn't a threading error........it all matched up to the book (Davison's). So, out comes my own weaving records to look at what I had written down for some other scarves I had woven in this draft - the tie-up is different on my records. Obviously I discovered the error in the book back then but neglected to make a note in the book.....notation now made......tie-up corrected and the navy blue sample is what the weave structure should look like.

No weaving happened today other than getting the warp on the loom, wefts auditioned and error fixed - it was time to spend time with Mom. Hoping to get to the loom tomorrow although there are a couple other things on the schedule.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Renovation is underway.........

I'm still here, haven't posted in a bit because I really didn't have much to post. My brother came out for a visit so there was family time and then we took off for the coast for a few days right after he left. While on the coast we celebrated our 31st anniversary and worked on a reno project. I'll show you part of what we did - kitchen side of the wall will be posted after it's done. This was not all done in the 3 days we were over there, it took several visits as it takes time for drywall mud to dry between coats. Ignore all the ugly flooring as we'll be replacing that once we get all the other work done throughout the house.....which means it will be a while as we only work on the place here and there.

This is the living room side of the wall we worked on........well, to be honest mostly Sam worked on, other than me lifting a paintbrush and roller I supervised. This was the old coat closet.

Here it is with the closet trim and door removed and the drywall cut away from the kitchen side. We're putting another cabinet in that space. The kitchen is small and lacking cabinet and drawer space - we found a great 96" tall cabinet in a second hand store with lots of shelves and drawers.

See the bottom part of the cabinet?  Shortly after this picture was taken the top part of the cabinet went in, then drywall on the living room side.

Yes, missing many 'in progress' pix but here's what it looked like yesterday morning. The closet is gone and we cut an opening in the wall to open up the area. I'm going to look for something fun to hang in the top part of that opening, maybe a glass mermaid or such.  (Ok, so this electric leather recliner - very comfy but not what I was looking for - I was looking for a used vintage looking chair and ottoman, maybe something I'd slipcover - lesson learned, don't take hubby along - he saw this on clearance and wanted it.......not exactly the décor/look I'm going for.....but he is a good sport with all the vintage décor so giving in on the chair didn't seem like too big a deal)

Here is that wall again looking in toward the kitchen. Soon that cabinet (see it hanging down through the opening?) will be coming out along with the bulkhead it's screwed to - that will open up the kitchen to dining area tremendously. I will also be painting all the kitchen cabinets white, hopefully this summer. So the area behind this little table (yes, I bought another bargain little table) and mirror is the new/used cabinet in the kitchen. That wall is now finished on the other side but I haven't painted the cabinet yet.....hopefully next trip over, then I'll have more pictures to share.

So here's the hallway looking toward the bedrooms.  We stole a part of a big closet in the guest room for a new coat closet. Sam cut the opening, put the closet trim and door in and then had to divide the closet and drywall over part of the wall in the bedroom.

Here's that new coat closet.  It's not totally finished as only the first coat of drywall mud is applied inside, more coats and painting needed. We hate the color of wood in this house - eventually I will be painting it all white including the doors, those kitchen cabinets and the bathroom vanities. Poor Bailey's bowls don't usually sit there, they keep getting moved around the kitchen as we work - confuses the poor pooch.

Now it's time to get back to the loom, planning projects and weaving.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day Discount

To celebrate the first day of May I'm offering a 10% discount in both of my etsy shops - the coupon code, MayDay2014, needs to be used at the time of checkout. And this offer isn't only on May Day - it's good through Sunday, May 4th.

My handwovens, felted items, etc. are in this etsy shop.

Roving and all fibers for spinning, felting or crafting in this etsy shop.

Don't know about the rest of you but it's going to be 90 degrees today, going to set records, not my idea of perfect May Day weather..........but it could be forest fires, floods and dealing with tornado aftermath as elsewhere in the country so I'm counting my blessings...........