Friday, January 30, 2009

Wistful Spook

Not much house news yet. I'm finally almost done with the white trim in the craft room, and then I can start working on the layout. And then I'll have my desk set up, whoohoo! The trim was a very dark wood stain, and it took 2 coats of primer, and 3-4 coats of white paint to make it look right.

Once the craft room is set up we can clear the gym out and get equipment to make it really a gym.

Spook spends much of her time in this position, unless she's tearing around the house like mad. Marmalade seems content though, and maybe she's wise and realizes it's too cold to go out anyway =)

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Scenery

Here's an early morning shot from my commute. This is at the little observation point on Highway 9. It's a quick and dirty panorama, but someday I may take my tripod out there and get something better. Obviously this is pre-rain. The road later in the week had a different kind of beauty, with the trees appearing out of a thick fog. Quite enjoyable, aside from the limited visibility.


Did the S&B last night, and C & C came and hung out. It was a nice mellow night. Most of my yarn is packed away still, but I have a few projects out.

C made me this necklace for Christmas, and last night she made earrings to match. I love them!

Earrings and necklace from C

I had some odd wool lying around, so I made a coffee cup sweater. I definitely like this ribbed version better than my old pattern, as it feels thicker and is slightly stretchy.

Cup sweater I just made

Maybe I'll make some up for Valentine's Day. Although my last batch of those didn't really go anywhere :) There are a couple up on my Etsy store, which is also my old pattern done in the round. At some point I should post the patterns for those.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pretty Things

Home is officially Home now that we have a net connection. But my desk isn't set up yet, because first I have to paint the ceiling, and then I can unpack the desk and the boxes.

The cats are just starting to explore the spiral staircase. Up until now they'd watch us going down with a look of complete horror, but wouldn't step foot on the stairs themselves.

This weekend I got Spook to step down a couple steps with treats and toys. She'd come down a couple, get the prize and head straight back up. All the while she'd be purring and acting very curious and cute, but it took some coaxing to convince her that the stairs weren't going to fall away under her. However, this morning they were both going all the way down and back up. Marmalade is a little more unsure of the steps, but she is a little older.

Every kitchen needs some daffodils. I can't wait to start a real garden...


My new commute is very lovely. I stopped off at a vista point along the way last week and got this picture. Gorgeous views on one side, and redwoods on the other.

View from my new commute

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I know this isn't craft-related, but it's going to be awhile until I'm back into any kind of routine.

I've been trying out the new commute, which is more of a winding road than I was used to. It's been running around 50 minutes, which is not to bad, being only 20 minutes more. I've taken the car this week, but today I decided it was time Sophia got out.

I've seen ice on her before, but the kind of frosty thin layer that you can brush away. This ice I had to scrape away from the seat and the mirrors. Those grooves on the seat aren't water dripping. The whole thing is frozen solid. You can see the gas line on the tank!

Ice on my seat Icy tank

My husband measured 26 degrees at our house this morning, but fortunately most of the ride was in the upper 30s and into 40s. I'm glad our heater's working! Double-paned windows are on the long to-do list.

We stopped by the old house for some more things last nice. A friend of ours gave us this balloon right after we got back from our honeymoon, which was the July 4th weekend. It's a little deflated, but it's still floating! Cool.

Wonder Balloon

And that's our internet connection in the corner, ready to be moved to the new house. After tomorrow we'll be connected again.

The other day I decided that I need a duvet cover for my down comforter. It's a queen size, I think, but I want to put it into a twin size cover, since it's just a little too big. (We solved the blanket-stealing issue by each getting our own.) So there I am at Target, and I find this pretty lilac duvet cover with shams, and I almost put it in my cart without thinking, but then I saw the price: $50! For a simple little thin cover. Wow! So instead I picked up a set of cotton sheets, in a similar lilac color for $10 and I'm going to sew them together. That should do the trick. Really I just want a cotton cover to replace the noisy polyester-ish one that's on it Now all I have to do is unpack my sewing table! =)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What a strange place!

Day 4 of my bizarre captivity. Though I can see the outside, I've discovered there is definitely no easy way out at this time, though Mom and Dad disappear occasionally by way of a hole in the floor. I can't begin to imagine what terrors lurk down there.

Thoughts of the horrible crate ride still haunt me, though I try to block it out by tearing around the place as fast as I can. It really helps. The smells are all wrong here, but I've discovered that I can get lots of pets with loud purring and looking cute. This is New and Exciting.

The good news is that the daily gooshy food still exists here. They're making me use the litterbox again, though. I miss the outside.

Marms is taking this whole ordeal very quietly. She seems content with her gooshy food and napping in her bowl. Not me!! There's some kind of pathway at the very top of the living room, and I've been trying to reach it, but no success yet. The whirly round thing in the middle of the ceiling is weird. So far it hasn't attacked us, but I haven't ruled out that it may try.


There I am next to my bowl, aren't I cute?? Marmalade wouldn't pose with me. She said to stop acting human. Hah.

Later! I'm going to go stare down the dungeon hole some more. I think I saw something moving earlier. Then maybe I'll get a nap so I can stay up all night. What a day!

Btw, Mom doesn't know I can type, so just keep that hush-hush, k?


Monday, January 12, 2009

Quick House Update. The painting begins!

Things I learned this weekend:
  • Friends that help you move are awesome. We got all the furniture and most of our stuff completely moved over yesterday.

  • Friends that help you mask and paint are also awesome, and it's more fun to do with others.

  • Masking takes longer than the actual painting does.

  • When painting around the top of a small room, go clockwise if you're left handed, and pay attention when you reach the beginning. (I wanted a green right hand anyway) Learned the hard way.

  • When painting a VERY small room, don't back up. Just don't.

  • When painting the ceiling with a long rod, to make sure you don't paint right above your eyes, do a back-and-forth dance, but make sure you don't step in your paint. Learned the easy way this time.

  • Smaller rooms generally require more masking.

  • Paint rollers get heavier over time ;)

I don't have pictures yet, because there are still boxes everywhere, and furniture up on end. But we spent our first night in the new place last night. Moving over the cats was interesting. We got the little one in her crate (finally), and I carried Marmalade. She did alright, but she started panting half way there, and acted a bit stressed out (She hasn't been in a car in two years).

Hopefully they're settling in today. My husband stayed home to meet the plumber, who's going to fix the pressure regulator. The city water pressure is extremely high, and it seems to be putting a lot of stress on the pipes. After that, our project list is fairly long, but fortunately nothing as urgent as the plumbing.

A funny thing happened yesterday. We were planning on replacing the bathroom sink at some point because the faucet leaks, and the whole unit is generally pretty icky. We noticed that a house two doors down had a beautiful pedestal sink sitting out front with a "free" sign on it. So my husband walked down and met our new neighbors, and came home with a new sink! We'll have to do some tile and backsplash work, as well as replacing the floor at that point, but I'm looking forward to planning it all out.

The kitchen, living room, hallway, bath, and my craft room all got painted this weekend.

I'm very much excited about the craft room =)

I'll update once I have pictures to show. We'll have the net connection moved over on Friday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Work Begins

Last night I went over to the new place, to get it ready to paint this weekend. I started off all optimistic, with a goal of:

- Pulling off the baseboards and trim in the craft room
- Washing the walls
- Laying down plastic and taping off the walls
- Sanding the boards
- Priming the boards

But since I arrived at around 8, and since the baseboards were increasingly Difficult to get off, I trimmed down my expectations one-by-one, and in the end settled for pulling off all the baseboards and trim. My rationalization is that it would have been a bad idea to sand the boards inside anyway, especially when we're painting this weekend, and that the boards can be painted outside and then put back after Sunday, when the big haul is happening.

Here's the craft room "before," as I've taken all but those last two boards off. See the dark wood? Not so exciting. The walls will be a very pretty sage green, with white trim.

Craft room, before

I was there by myself until almost 11pm, and even though I was being very careful, locking the doors, etc, it's still a new neighborhood and a big empty house. So I did a double take a couple of times glancing down the hallway. I'm sure I'll get used to the stove though :)

Down the hall

And here's the big pile o' metal that I pulled off the trim.


This reminded me of a habit I'm trying to work on: finishing something completely before I move on to the next thing, or part of thing. Like not leaving any nails in the boards to get out later, since that was the difficult part. Tetanus shots anyone? Or on a more dangerous level, not leaving loose threads to weave in until the end of a yarn project. I always do that.

After the craft room last night I thoroughly cleaned the living room wood paneling and hardwood floor. I love Murphy's Oil Soap, but after 3 buckets full and 45 minutes, I was ready to be out of there.

The only injury sustained so far was when I tried to lift the blinds in the craft room, and the whole unit came crashing down and hit my knuckle. I was going to replace them anyway! (the blinds, not the knuckles)

And my husband's doing his share of the work, also. He stayed with the plumber yesterday so I could go to work (yay for working toilet!) and re-fit one of the doors with our shiny new lockset.

I'll probably be doing pictures from the phone for awhile, since it's faster to upload. I'll save the nice shots for the finished project. Although, really, that's an oxymoron for a house...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

House News

Here is the single biggest reason I haven't been posting much lately:

Keys, we have them

Yesterday, we closed escrow on our first home purchase. We'll be moving in over the next couple of weeks, and painting and decorating.

I have plans, oh yes I have plans =) We have raised beds to build, a vegetable garden to plant, a craft room to plan out, a home gym to set up (yay!), a kitchen to decorate, curtains to sew, and we're painting nearly the whole thing, inside and out. Whew!

SO excited! There will be pictures and updates as we go, but I may be more busy than not for a couple of weeks.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bread, Version 2

I've been trying to make bread at home, and this is my second recent attempt. I tried for a lighter loaf, so I made it all white, with an added 1/2 cup of wheat germ. (I don't do "white bread")

I think the oven was a bit hot for it, because the crust is nice and crunchy, almost too dark, and the inside could've used a few more minutes. But my husband says the flavor is good, and I have to agree with him =) Next time I'll try the same recipe but make rolls. That would be perfect.

White with Wheat Germ Bread

Then I got to thinking of the nutritional facts. First I added up everything for the ingredients in the bread. I had sliced off a couple pieces for us, and so I marked out the same size pieces (see on the photo), and came up with a total of 12, so I divided the totals by 12. I think if the inside had cooked more, I could have gotten them a little thinner. Next time.

So let's compare that with store-bought stuff. Here I have Safeway Select 15 Grain. The bread is just about as tall as mine, but my pieces are about 50% thicker. I took that into account and added 50% to the amounts given on the Safeway bread.

Slice of Homemade White with Wheat Germ Bread
160 calories
1.4 g fat
34 g carbs
5 g protein
395 mg sodium

Equivalent slice of Safeway Select 15 Grain Bread
165 calories
3 g fat
28 g carbs
6 g protein
285 mg sodium

Ok, so it's pretty close. Mine has half the fat, but more sodium and more carbs. Sure the store bought stuff has a bunch of healthy-sounding things in it, but I know that my ingredients are all fresh. Plus, 7 ingredients: Flour, milk, yeast, canola oil, salt, sugar, and wheat germ, compared with 32 ingredients. 32!

I'll work on the texture and hopefully start adding more seeds and grains as well.