Monday, March 31, 2008

Saturday's Fog

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday Afternoon



Saturday afternoon consisted of playing Rook, drinking wine/beer/tea and listening to music. Erin's husband, Keith, had driven down on Friday for the weekend and we enjoyed passing our time together in a familiar fashion. The weather wasn't suggesting a hike, and so we didn't push it. It was wonderful to have them here for several days. If only we could do this more often...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Out With Friends


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Because it is time...


The grass needed to be mowed, and so when Nick came home from work...that's what he did. It has been so exciting to see how green the yards and fields have become in the last week.

My friend, Erin, flew in on Tuesday and so I've been doing many other things other than blogging. Yes, I did see that Laurie had her baby this week. And yes, I did see the several families with our agency received their I-600s. Both very exciting happenings. But, other than that, I've been doing other things like talking, shopping, reading and drinking margaritas in the sun. It has been lovely. However, it also means for the first time this year I forgot to post my Wednesday picture. So, I just posted one late. No one else cares anyway.

Wednesday's Photo Belated

Monday, March 24, 2008

March Dinner



It has been nearly a week since we had our March dinner at Nicole's. It was incredibly tasty and I am looking forward to getting the recipe. Nicole also put together binders for each of us to collect the recipes from our different dinners. I'm already looking forward to April!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 23

Tomorrow marks one full year as owners of home in the mountains. This last year has been quite full. Many challenges have befallen us after we signed that paperwork...and very little of it related to this house.

However, over the last year we have managed to do a few projects around here. Our second floor is nearly completely redone. Every door, drawer and hinge works just a bit better, thanks to Nick. And as of today we have a new-to-us refrigerator, thanks to Todd and Jess and their willingness to trade. (No, not refrigerators.) One appliance down...two to go...and oh, how I wish they would.

Tonight we are celebrating. A nice dinner, a fancy dessert with some lovely jazz and then an old romantic movie to end the evening. Sounds pretty perfect to me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"If we had no winter, than spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."

-Anne Bradstreet

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Forsythia


Everyday offers a few more hints at spring's arrival.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oh, my wonderfully talented husband...

We have moved back into our master bed/bath after six months of work. Nick did most of the work, with some help from Todd. Any stained wood you see...well, that was me! I figured I'd share some before and after pictures.

The first set is of our bedroom. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures when we walked through the house the first time and in fact, the first picture of our master bedroom was taken after the project had started (obviously).

Before:

After:

(Mona can usually be found lounging on this corner of the bed. It is right next to the balcony door.)

The second set is of our bathroom. We still have a bit of trimming out to do...but
its pretty much done. We moved the bathroom wall 13" to make the bathroom a bit wider.

Before:

After:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Playing

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Plants

Right now, our house is overrun with plants. We have several hundred garden starts going in the basement. My infirmary is full of those that are just starting or need a bit more coaxing. And this weekend I picked up a van full of someone else's plant collection.

When I was at the rug class a few weeks ago, I met a woman who was planning to leave at the end of March for a 7-month RV trip around the country with her husband. At the time she was saying that she didn't know what to do with her plants because no one likes plants anymore. Everyone travels too much. Of course my ears perked up. While I was hanging out with a group of retirees and I am not currently working...we aren't exactly living the retiree lifestyle. We can't afford to travel much and we love plants. So, I gave her my name and number and figured that if she called, I'd take her up on the offer.

Well, this past Friday my in-laws and I drove out to her house and picked up 20+ plants that I am now working to incorporate into our indoor landscape. Several will be passed on. Several are perennials and will move outside permanently this spring. Several can be separated again. And several are going to just need to find a spot somewhere in my house because I am excited about the new variety.

I think it is safe to say that if you're visiting me in the next month or so, you may be leaving with a plant.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dusk

Friday, March 14, 2008

From Da Burgh

Thanks to Kaethe, I took this little quiz. Turns out....I'm still a Pittsburgher! If you live in Pittsburgh or have ever lived there... you need to take this quiz AND leave a comment about your score.

You are 92% Pittsburgh.

Great job! There's nooooo doubt about it. You're from Da Burgh. You deserve a reward, so go have an Ahrn City or two. And GO STILLERS!

How Pittsburgh Are You
See All Our Quizzes

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Addiction

I found this site through another blog. For every word that you get right, FreeRice will donate 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program. It's fun. I also found reading their Q&A was helpful and interesting.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Its 35 degrees

and I am sitting outside. Tonight when we returned after being away for dinner, we realized that we had left the garage door open and basement light on. If you have been to our house, you realize that is the first thing you see when you pull into our driveway. I guess we had left in a hurry. It was great, a spotlight on all of the tools and the open door into our house.

Well, while we were gone a bird came to visit. And then somehow made it upstairs into the house. Our living room has a vaulted ceiling with plenty of beams for perching. This has been going on for about 30 minutes and I'm not sure what we're going to do. Nick is throwing things at it and I am trying to stay out of the line of fire--whether flying objects or bird poop.

Has this ever happened to you? What would you do? And why won't this damn bird fly towards one of the open doors?

Update (20 minutes later): He's out of the house now. We finally managed to chase him into an upstairs bedroom that did not have a vaulted ceiling. Nick stunned him with a swat and was able to let him out the window. I was watching through a door knob hole. It was humorous, but I'm happy its over. Now I can go to bed.

The Apron

Last month I posted about an apron class that I was taking at a local fabric shop. It has taken me a while to get pictures up--between finishing the apron and you know, taking the picture, the days just seemed to pass. Alas, here is a picture of the apron I made--I love it. It gives me some ideas on how I might fashion a dress....from my head instead of a pattern b/c it would be too easy to actually have instructions and a picture of something I would like to make.



And it's reversible.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another Find


Originally a full service for eight, this set now includes 3 dinner plates, 8 dessert plates, 4 bowls and 4 tea cups. The whole set was only $3.00. I have a thing for dishes apparently. However, as Nick pointed out...that does not seem to include doing the dishes.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bowl



On Friday, Jess and I (with Ben) went to a local antique mall that is closing today. I found many great things. This is one of them. I don't know if the picture demonstrates the allure of the powder blue exterior. Nick didn't even see it when looking at it in person. However, it is what I love about it most. Well, that and the silver rim. And the shape. And the fact that it has this antiquated stamp on the bottom of a ballerina. I'll share a few more pictures of my purchases later this week.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday in Knoxville

Last night Nick and I drove to Knoxville, TN. He has a work conference today and so I just tagged along. We're staying in a nice hotel and I wish so much he didn't have a conference and that we were staying one more night. But, I'm also enjoying the space and brought a lot of things to do. Not to mention the computer which can steal hours away from me. :)
Of course I brought my camera. I had expected a warm, sunny day and had hoped to wander around town and take lots of fabulous pictures. The contents of my suitcase would confirm that assumption, as well. However, it was based in nothing. I hadn't checked the weather, heard anything or even known what weather is often like here in Knoxville. And, this morning it is gray, cloudy and snowing. Very much snowing.

As for the camera, there are still interesting picture possibilities. The snow is creating interesting patterns on the bank outside. The plush red chair in our room is wonderful and I'd love to take it home with me. Even a picture of the desk, computer, coffee, and mirror could be interesting. But Nick somehow convinced me that pictures from his conference could be beneficial and so he should take the camera. So, there you go. Instead you just get my random ramble of thoughts.

The coffee is good and complimentary. The magazines are plentiful. I even brought scissors and glue sticks and may find something fun to do with the combination of all three. And, I have access to (expensive) still-in-theater movie options on TV. Somehow I doubt I'm going to be bored. They'll be kicking me out before that happens.

As for those of you who have dropped me emails asking to see the apron I made a few weeks ago....I finished all of the hand sewing on it--so it is ready to be debuted. I promise its coming soon.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Blayne's Package


(1) Small Journal (2) Pair of Earrings (3) Tea Towel Apron
(4) Rice Warmer (5) set of 5 quilted coasters

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Up Next


I have cut all of the pieces of a new quilt that I have started. Next comes the sewing the pieces into squares and then from squares to a quilt top. Its big and there are many pieces, so it may be a while before I have a quilt top to show.

However, I did manage a mini one with the same fabrics. After I was finished cutting all of my pieces I had some great strips left, so I created this doll-sized quilt top. I'll finish it sometime before too long.


As a kid I had a beautiful wooden doll bed with a quilt that my mom (or grandmother...I need to check on that) had made. Now it will have two quilts! Whether it ends up being for a daughter or granddaughter (thinking way into the future) I think it will make a special present someday. Or who knows...maybe I'll have a boy who loves dolls...that could work, too.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pre-Peepers

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What I'm Working On...

Last fall I started cutting these squares, and finally finished sewing them all together....just in time to possibly cut them all a apart again. I need some other opinions. I have a total of 80 squares. Forty look like this:



And forty look like this:



I know that I want to put them all together into one quilt...I like the idea of having something bright and busy. So, if I put the squares I currently have together, they will look like this:



If I decide instead to cut the squares in four and put them back together again, then I'd have forty that look something like this:



and this:



And all together they would like this:

So, what do you think? Should I take the squares one step further or leave them alone? Or, do you have some other ideas of how they should be put together. I'd love some feedback!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bug Blanket



This a small flannel blanket that I'll either use on the floor, tucked in a car seat or in stroller.

And, completely unrelated:
Happy Birthday, Andy! My brother is turning twenty-eight today.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Finished Imperfection




Saturday, March 01, 2008

HDR



I didn't take the picture. But I think the detail is amazing. This is a high-dynamic-range photograph. Click here for the wikipedia definition. And to see some more HDR photographs, look here