family, knitting, living

Archive for July, 2008

Home Improvement

Any of you who know Henry and em in real life know that we have a weakness for books.  Many are reference books (art history, design, technique, etc.)  We also findit difficult to give away or rid ourselves of any book, no matter how out of date, useless or totally unloved.  Because we have so many books, we built a library in our farm house years ago.  It had cabinets on the bottom and shelves to the ceiling.  The cabinets and shelving wrapped the room.  Now that we have moved we have found the need to build another library.  However, we took what we learned from the last build and improved upon it.  (I think.) 

I put the stock cabinets together in the farm house library and we had a carpenter build the shelves.  It took him forever and I think we paid too much.  This time we decided that Henry would do all of the building.  I was supposed to be the mathematician.  I think this is how we wound up with about thirty more shelves than we needed for the bookcases. 

The bookcase is completely built in and custom to the room.  We have completed one wall and think that this will give us a start, but we will have to do one more wall to really house all the books.  If anyone is doing this, make sure you use a nice plywood for the shelves and have the home store rip it down to shelf size because it will save at least half the cost of using solid shelving boards.  We used red oak ply for the shelving, red oak trim to cover the edges for the ply and give a more finished, beefed up look  and red oak board for the uprights. 

As far as tools, you will need a chop saw, hammer, pneumatic nail gun, nail set, a long and a short level, wood putty and varnish.  I am going to post some of the in progress shots and tomorrow or the next day I will post a finished shot, then one with books on the shelves.  Notice the one with Henry in it to show the scale of these shelves….they are pretty massive.

This last photo is of the closet in the library.  The floor was pretty bad in there and we could not refinish it like the rest, so I used the cut ends of wood we were using to piece together a crazy floor.  Once it is nailed down and given a couple of coats of poly it should look pretty funky…just the way we like it.

Family from afar

I have been meaning to write about our visit for a week now and have not had the opportunity.  This morning I woke at 6am and everyone else is sleeping.  Thank goodness.  

Anyway, I was blessed to have my sister, Becca, visit while we were moving.  The blessing was many-fold.  She helped us move in, she cleaned, she battled the kids and she spent time with me.  I miss her so much. She’s in France (where she should be) with her husband and two children.  I know she battles the “wanting to be two places” monster all of the time.  She has been there for 10 years.  But I think she is really starting to feel at home in France and I am so happy for her. 

Woooo…I have digressed from my purpose in writing this post.  Anyway, she and her two children, Remi and Alexandra, spent two weeks in the states.  Then she went back and the kids stayed with family for two more weeks.  I only got them for about 4 or 5 days of the two weeks, but I had to share.  They are the sweetest things.  Grey and Mycah think both of them hung the moon.  It was crazy here with 4 kids, but a good crazy.  They all swam in the kiddy pool out back, ran up and down the stairs, ate breakfast, lunch and dinner on the porch and had a generally good time.  This is the most time they have ever been able to stay in the States and I think they got a better feel for the similarities and differences in the two countries.  Remi is especially keen on explaining how things vary between the two countries. 

Henry had to go to Iowa while they were here.  One of the evenings after dinner I asked if they wanted to go for a walk.  Alex and Remi almost jumped out of their skins. Apparently they walk a lot in France.  So, we got our shoes on and I took all four kids for a little walk.  We walked the two blocks to the district and then walked in the district for a bit.  Remi carried Mycah much of the way.  He is not 10 yet but has to be almost 5 feet tall and about 80 pounds.  He is so strong!  Alex picked out her favorite house on the walk.  It was the day-glo turquoise one!  She said it was her favorite color.  (It is…all of her new clothes are that color!)  Anyway, we had the best time walking and talking.  

I don’t want them to grow up yet, but I can’t wait to see what they become.  I know it will be amazing.  I leave you with a couple of pictures that I managed to snap.  They were very hard to get pictures of as they were in perpetual motion most of the time.

Lace Swatch

Contrary to what one might think, this is not  the front of a knitted G-string.  This is a swatch for my swap partner (see below).  I was to swatch the pattern I picked for her and then post it on Ravelry.  I may have messed up because I am thinking I should have sent it to he.  I don’t know.  Anyway, it is the end of the tie on the Clementine Shawl in the summer IK 2007.  The pattern in so sweet that I may have to make one too.  It looks like a pretty quick knit.  It is a mini-shawl or shawlette.  I’m not sure I would where it as a shawl, but i might make a nice bunchy scarf.  One more thing to add to my ever expanding list of things to make!


This is my swap package from Piercy in the monthly swap group I am in in on Ravelry.  Even though it is monthly, I don’t participate every month.  With all that has gone on this year, I just have not been able to invest the time that the swaps deserve.  This time I really waned to be in because it was a lace swap.  I had a great time picking out my swap partners yarn and goodies….but I have to say, Opening this package was even better! 

I have been lusting after this yarn called Dream in Color.  All of you knitters know what I’m talking about…you non-knitters, let’s just say it’s a luxury car.  Anyway, every time I try to buy it, it is sold out.  This is some hot yarn.  So, imagine my total and utter surprise when I opened the package to find Dream in Color in a color that is absolutely what I would have picked!  In addition to that there was Blue Sky Skinny Dyed cotton with a note on it that it was for the Preemie Project!  There is a pattern for the yarn too.  Piercy did an amazing job picking out colors, patterns and really paying attention to what was going on with me.  She even put a note in saying she hopes we get settled in our new house so I can knit! 

This was such a lovely suprise and a sorely needed one.  She lifted my spirits and made me feel special.  I sure hope that my swap partner feels the same about her package.

OK….I’m in

Check ou this post by another wordpress blogger.  She is also on Ravelry.  She suggests we knit or crochet a market bag to take the place of one plastic bag per week.  While using knit or fabric bags is no a new idea, her post is certainly motivating and makes sense.  I’m in.  Better yet, I am in AND using yarn from my stash so that I do not waste gas to go buy yarn.  How about you…are you in?  Go sign her guest book.  It might be fun to start an avalanche of non-plastic bag users.