Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Winter Wonderland!

Well, I guess we're lucky, by this time last year, we'd already been shoveling the white stuff for months. We had our first substantial snow storm this week, and I'm happy to report that this little downfall has helped me stick to at least one of my resolutions: To reintroduce fitness into my lifestyle. Yeah, I'm a bit sore, but I'm sticking to it. Oh, and remembering to bend at the knees. Here's our front porch on Monday. Right before my neighbor picked me up to go run a few errands. What were we thinking!? Oh, right, I needed groceries... ;)

I wanted to take a few shots of the aftermath. The railing got a massive covering of snow, that pile was about 10 inches high, and it must've thought it was soft serve ice cream or something? Here's what it looked like this morning, when things started warming up just a little bit. Pretty cool eh?


Even the clerestory got covered. Id never realized just how much more natural lighting those windows let in. It made the place look so dark with them all covered like this.

Well, with snow storms comes cabin fever. Though we haven't taken on any major renovations, we've been keeping up with the tiny little things here and there we just couldn't live with anymore. Here's one such project. Above our kitchen sink sat what I can only describe as a fake window. No really, see for yourself:

It's not the best shot of it, but let's just say that it wasn't one of the house's selling points... At least not as must as the built-in vintage food mixer was.

So, hubby and I got to work. I removed the 'pane' a while back, and found that it was just like a recessed shallow box. But the scenery, oh the scenery... I just couldn't take it anymore. Every day I half expected Heidi to come jumping out of the Alp-like scene... It was just, so, not... here! LOL!

So here was my bright idea: To remove the pane, scrape off the paper, give the whole surface a good sanding, then a few coats of chalkboard paint. Oh, and a few cork tiles. So we'd have a cork/chalk board :)

I played with a few ideas on how to divide the panel. This looked cool, but then would have left the chalkboard so high, the only one able to use it would have been D.H.!
Well, unless we kept a step-stool at hand for Mimi and myself... ;)

Ta-Dah! :)
Quick, simple, and EASY!
But MEHHHHH-SYYYYYY!
Everything in the kitchen had a slight coat of black dusting, since I used spray paint. (but I made sure the area was very WELL ventilated!!!)



And hey! Did I tell you I got to plan a short and sweet escape over the holidays? D.H. had some time off from work, and I seized the opportunity to get up and go! Yes! I left my husband and child to go on a mini vacation, just for Moi! :) It was *really* short, but I enjoyed it fervently. And yes, I did miss my family, but I also missed my Mom. And heck, I hadn't been away by myself in over 8 years!!! (Little Highness arrived a little over 8 years ago... you catch my drift?)
I got to spend some quality alone time with my Mom, enjoyed seeing my aunts and uncles, got to meet my cousin's new beau, and was in awe at all the hard work my Mom and Denis did in their basement, which was previously considered a 'catch all' kinda room, and is now a gorgeous suite with kitchenette, game room, computer room, and ANOTHER living room!!!! LOL!
Oh! Remind me to tell you about some of the gorgeous vintage yarns my Mom shared with me. She finds the best deal places for stuff like that I tell you!

On the day of my departure, I went for breakfast with Dad. I know he wishes we'd had been able to spend more time together, but the trip was planned so quickly, all I wanted to do was 'get outta town'. ;) Dad and I had a bit of a gift exchange. Nothing big, I gave him what could be considered a goodie bag of varied assortments. Some homegrown herbs (no, not THOSE kinds of herbs!!!! The kitchen kind! Sheesh!), some hand crocheted man-sized face cloths, some handmade soap from Chase Street Soap Co. on Etsy (you really should check her shop out, Jessica and I did a little trade for some of each others' wares, and boy was it worth it!!! Her soaps leave your skin feeling soft and silky, no scummy soap film left behind, and no dry feeling either! And the scents are TDF!!!)

I think Dad was mostly surprised by the nice fat cheque I was able to give him, since I sold a few of his bowls and some captive ring rattles. Here's one of the lovely babies he gave me: A wood turned crochet hook! He gave me 5 of them, to test out and enjoy for myself. This is my favorite prototype so far:

Feels fantastic in your hand, in either the pen or knife hold, won't make your hand feel fatigued after hours of handiwork. He says he's going to make me one out of deer antler next. Can't wait to see it! I also like that he can make them to my specifications. This one here is 7 mm in diameter. I'd been looking all over for a 7mm hook, and could never find one - do they even make them???


Speaking of crochet, here's my newest endeavors. I call them "Personal Spa Sets", and the set comprises three luxurious, thick, cozy crocheted items: A face cloth, a wide headband, and a lovely little "soap cushion" to wash your face with. I used to have such an extensive self-care routine, with all the different soaps, and creams, buffing this, sloughing that... With this set, well, I'm all set! The headband is wide enough that it holds every strand of hair out of my face, so no worries about getting my hair soapy. The soap cushion is just the right size and thickness to get the job done, and done well. The nature of cotton makes it so that the surface of the cushion is slightly exfoliating. Not too rough, and not to soft. You can either use the cloth to wipe your face dry, or as a general wash cloth. Either way, it too feels absolutely glorious on your skin. The soap cushion can be used with your favorite liquid wash, OR you can use the handy-dandy little opening at the back, and insert a tiny piece of your favorite bar of face soap (My current favorite is, of course, from Jess' shop, is the Oatmeal Honey Spice loaf). Smells good enough to eat!

Off White

Chocolate Brown
I've had so much fun making these sets, that I had D.H. go out and get me some more cotton in different colors. Which is bound to keep me busy for the next few weeks... ;)

But not just with crocheting mind you. I've recently started hanging out in my beading studio again, trying to get those creative juices flowing. I wanted to play with my pearls, but didn't want to make anything too complicated, so I stuck with an old favorite of mine, my Pearl Blossoms, but did something slightly different. Where I usually make them into a single pendant which can be transferred from chain to chain - or ribbon... - this time I chose to make them an integral part of the design.


I call this one Trinity.
Three deep red Pearl Blossoms hanging from an antique brushed brass finish chain.


This was the original one, called "Ye Ole Ball & Chain".
And D.H. named that one, 'cause that's what it reminded him of.


Now, on a final note, I want to share this news with you: Carol Dean Sharpe, of SandFibers, is having a lovely give away from her blog site to celebrate 1000 sales in her Etsy shop!! The giveaway is for a $100 gift certificate TO HER SHOP!!! Not only does Carol Dean create fantastic beadwork, she also sells some of the patterns for her glorious designs! Please do enter, Carol is an amazing bead artist and you will be sooooooooo glad you did. Click on the photo below to link to her blog.


Here's what Carol says of her contest:
"The winner can use this gift certificate in my Etsy store or to order a custom item. Or, because I will make the gift certificate transferable and without expiration date, you can give the certificate as a gift.

For your chance(s) to win a $100 Sand Fibers Gift Certificate, you can do one or all of the following:

1. Leave a comment here telling me what you would get with a $100 Sand Fibers gift certificate. (Don't worry: I won't hold you to your selections if you win.)

2. Blog about this give away and leave a comment with a link to your blog post.

3. Twitter about this give away and leave a comment letting me know you did. Be sure to reference @SandFibers in your tweet.

4. Link to this post on Facebook and leave a comment with a link to your link (does that make sense? lol)"

So? Whatcha waitin' for? Git!