Monday, June 27, 2016

progress and a pause

 We finished the living room to the point where we could get the furniture all put back in place. We still need to attend to a few details such as face plates, wall decor, and curtains, but I'm giving the paint another day or so to cure. I've learned that lesson the hard way in the past. 

We were going to start the kitchen and dining area over the weekend, but we decided to take a much-needed family break and spend some time resting and playing. This week is going to be broken up a bit due to some traveling, so we're going to hit the kitchen hard next week and tackle everything at one time. I'm currently hem-hawing around regarding the paint color of our kitchen cabinets, so I want to at least have that finalized by the end of this week. 

The plan for the kitchen is to paint the ceilings and the walls. I'm going to paint the cabinets either a shade of white or possibly a light gray. We bought butcherblock countertop and a white ceramic farmhouse sink (I'm sooooo happy about both of those purchases.) I'm having Brad remove one of the upper sections of cabinets from one side of the kitchen window so we can put open shelving there. And we will be installing a white subway tile back splash. 

The weather was perfect over the weekend. We spent time outside. We picked and ate many blueberries straight from the bushes. We spent time weeding the raised beds. We visited with family who were in from Texas. We played with our animals, and the kids visited and played with their cousins and spent lots of time in the pool. We made sushi. I listed a bunch of homeschool material online. I spent some time knitting my shawl and spinning some merino. It was very unusually laid back for a summer weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

homegrown and handmade

  Some of my handspun. 
Very high tech fiber-drying apparatuses, huh?

I fought with the seeming frivolity of posting today. When I get really busy and consumed with projects or duties or just daily life, I often find pausing to take photos or write blogs tedious. I'm like, "Let's just get on with it! No time to pause for photos!" 

And many times, that is true and quite agreeable. I certainly find it harder to stay focused when I'm stopping to find my camera and snap photos. 

But yesterday, while swirling around in my busyness, I remembered why it is that I pause to take photos. I love to look back through our Shutterfly albums or read back through this blog and see all that we did as a family. I love to see our adventures, our journeys, our projects, our trips, our endeavors. 

So I paused long enough to grab my camera several times yesterday and this morning. And, admittedly, I hesitated. But, come one, these are the moments. 

So what has kept me so exceptionally busy?

Well, remember that interior door that I decided to paint? The one I mentioned back in this post? Yes, well that turned into painting all of our trim white. Then we decided to paint the walls. But first the ceilings, because nothing has been painted for eight years and you could tell. Then my mother-in-law gave us a very nice monetary gift to be used for a "home improvement" project! So then we decided we were going to replace our forest green counter top (yay!) and paint the cabinets. 

You know how home improvement projects escalate.

But also on top of all of that, I've been trying to wash as much as my alpaca fiber as possible, which is an all-day process. It's not an all-day project in the sense that I'm constantly consumed and attentive to it, but, rather, one that is drawn out and requires attention frequently. 

I've also been spinning and knitting and we've been picking and freezing cherries like crazy. And now my herbs? Well, they need picked and dried so we can enjoy them throughout the next year when we no longer have the fresh ones. 

Do I sound like I'm complaining? Oh, I'm not. All of these things are quite up my alley of interests. (Well, except painting ceilings.) And it has felt quite good to be so involved in the things that get my heart ticking. 

By the way, I'm joining in on the Yarn Along over at Ginny's blog, Small Things. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

a dash of this and that

So you've all heard about the snowball effect, right? Well, have you ever noticed that that's what often happens in the world of home improvements? 

Ian and I decided that we were going to paint the inside of the front door yesterday morning. We visited our "paint store" in the basement (in an effort to not spend money and use what we already had) and found a gray color that I liked. 

We painted the door. We stepped back. We gagged.

Oh my goodness did it clash with all of the honey oak trim that is ALL through our house. 

It looked horrible.

We found a can of white trim paint in the basement. He started sanding. I started painting. Twelve hours and four coats of paint later, two walls of beadboard wainscoting were white. 

But I still have a hallway, a third living room wall, and a dining room worth of beadboard trim to paint. And now the walls need done. Which, in all honesty, haven't been painted for eight years and are in desperate need of some new paint anyway. It's been on the to-do list.

Then Brad comes home from work, and he decides that our ceilings need painted before the walls (which they do, but I'm typically not one to examine ceilings so it wasn't something that was extremely important to me.) Also, those honey oak colored beams? Yeah, we should probably give them a coat (or five coats) of paint too. 

And that, my friends, is how a front door paint-job snowballed into a whole-house job. 

So for my own sanity, I am already psyching myself up to view this as a summer-long project. I'm doing this by myself as much as possible (Brad's so busy and the last thing he needs is another project), so it's definitely not going to be a quick job! And that beadboard? Gosh is that time-consuming to paint. I think I'm going to go for a mix of white trim and the oak. It can be done quite tastefully, and I honestly can't even imagine the time it would take to paint all of the oak trim in our house. Besides, in the next few years, we're planning on ripping down the old trim and replacing it with a more substantial trim, so this is a bit of a temporary update.

Also, the garden beds and the big garden are planted. I might throw in a few more seeds, but everything is pretty much set. I planted impatiens in our landscaping, and I'm patiently waiting to see what perennials decide to spring forth from the soil for the summer season. 

The peonies are blooming like crazy. This is the first year that I've gotten a good crop of peonies. I think that this is the third year since I planted them. Anyway, I've got jars of peonies set out around the house. They are my most favorite flower. And I even spun up some pink yarn to match!

Ian made me a coffee table. It was my mother's day gift, but I just realized that I never posted a picture of it. He did it all by himself, and I love its simplicity. It's actually exactly what I wanted. He's getting really good at building things from wood. I started a board on Pinterest for him to mark projects that he could maybe tackle over the summer.

I pray that you have a most blessed day. 

I'm off to spend the day painting again!