Henry and I celebrated our 11th anniversary a couple of weeks ago. We went out to dinner, but our real celebration was this weekend. We attended the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello….without children!
If you are a reader of this blog, you know that I am very interested in gardening, cooking, food in general, etc. Henry shares many of these interests…largely because he is beneficiary of these pursuits. Henry has started two bee hives, so he is really into that.
This is the first time in almost 10 years that we have both been away from our girls at the same time for more than one night. They have spent one night at a time with meme and papa or grandpa and grandma while we we in town, but this was a milestone for us. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and so has Henry. It has been really great for us. We do so many things as a family and so few as a couple that sometimes we forget how great the person we married is!
I ran into three Waldorf teachers and about five Ravelers….but didn’t get their names. I’ve a habit of knitting and walking when we are out. I take something simple (wingspan, this time) and Henry walks next to me in case I lean a bit. So, I am obviously a fiber enthusiast and meet lots of people that way. Meeting the Waldorf teachers, I don’t know, I think it’s some sort of magnetic force we give off. We run into Waldorf people everywhere we go.
I am posting a few pictures and may come back later to tell you about that great info we got from the classes. Until then, enjoy:
For better or worse, I have decided to join the The ABC’s with the Accidental Knitter. http://accidental-knitter.blogspot.com/2011/05/learn-your-abc-new-meme.html This is a once a week posting theme based on the ABC’s. We will post a topic beginning with the week’s letter of the alphabet every Monday. I have been looking for a way to get back into to posting and I am hoping this is just arbitrary enough to suit me. We were supposed to start last week with A. Obviously, it didn’t happen. So, I will post A tonight and hopefully put up B tomorrow. I have a ridiculous backlog of photos, projects, stories, etc. I just felt compelled to link the Might Be Giants song Alphabet Lost and Found because it is so cute and it starts with A.
Here’s a cut picture of Allison’s two littlest and my two making some no bake cookies. Henry and I took Allison’s oldest and ours to the used bookstore today and Mycah bought a couple of cookbooks. She immediately began pouring over them and located a simple recipe that we could make with many hands!
Today was craftapalooza at our house…..so named because I had five extra girls and one mom at my house to make valentines. Yes, you heard me right, I had a total of 7 girls 5-9 and another mom and Henry at my house today. The picture to the left and the picture below show my dining room table covered in the various and sundry items used in making the valentines. The girls all go to a school where they are to make the valentines…no store bought crap for this crew. So, I felt like we would take the opportunity to get a jump on the Valentine making since I had to keep two of the girls today anyway. The girls had a blast. Besides the Valentine making, the girls helped make pompoms for the knitted farmyard as evidenced later in the post. They had more fun making them for themselves, but I did get a few out of them for the farm. They also had lunch, hid in the back bedroom and whispered, ran around like nut cases and had various little girl dramas all day. All in all, it was a lot of fun.
This is the photo of our dinner. I made homemade French Onion soup and used my homemade bread for the toast layer. Mycah had two bowls, so did Henry. Grey had a bowl and a half. It was a big, big hit. Henry was a little suspect of the idea of French Onion soup. He likes it, but everywhere we have the soup it is way too salty. I knew his objection because I have the same one, so Mycah and I both tasted the soup BEFORE adding salt and then added a little at a time until it was perfect. Henry had bought me these little crocks the other day when I mentioned for the second time that I sure would like to have them. The girls loved having their own crock with a lid and everything. I used the Mark Bittman recipe out of How to Cook Everything. Lori turned me on to him a few months back and I bought his book. It is great. The recipes are really good and he discusses substitutions for seasonality, explains lots of things I had not know and give lots of variations for most of the recipes. i also bought How to Cook Everything Vegetarian based on my happiness with the other book and it is a winner too.
These last two photos show the progress on the knitted farmyard. Henry made the little hay bales for the field of hay. I love them. I have pinned down the additional fabric for the hay and the grass. The blank spot will be the only latch hooked area as latch hooking doesn’t agree with me. The pompoms are little bushes. They are not sewn down yet. That will be one of my last things. I have made one chicken and am still working of the dad. The knitting part of the knitting farmyard should be the easiest for me, but it has turned out to be the slowest and most fiddley. It’s well on its way to being completed, so I will soldier on.
Have a great, crafty evening and love to my family across the pond, in the burbs, on the ridge and in the hills of GA!
In August our girls started a new school. The school is a small private Waldorf school. (for those interested in learning a little more, here is a Wikipedia reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education ) There is a lot more to Waldorf education than a Wiki reference, but you get the picture. Anyway, it is a very small school, only one class per grade in grades 1-8 and two mixed age classes of pre-school and kindergarteners. The school does a lot of community outreach in order to keep things going as the tuition alone would not float the school. There are two big fundraisers every year. The first is the Elves Fair in November and the second is the Gala in the spring. Part of the Gala is an auction……….I’m sure you can see where this is going……
I have decided to make a knitted farmyard inspired by Wernhard Hannelore. Her book is here on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1844482170/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0855325763&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0SERHA50EK428SZ5JS6D
I say inspired because since I really got to looking at the book, I thought that the author had lost her mind. The entire play mat is made on a base of latch hook rug canvas. It is hooked and embroidered into the rug. I had Henry draw out the portions I thought I’d like to have and then we sat down to watch a movie with the girls while I started the embroidery on the pond. I worked for an hour and then Henry worked for the second hour with very little to show for the time invested. I was getting vey discouraged when henry said….how about cutting up some Goodwill sweaters. EUREKA! I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored some great fabric that had no business being worn in the style in which they were made….so no great fashion has been harmed in the making of this object. I have started piecing together the different sweater fabrics. I will still have to latch hook bushes and maybe a field, but most of this will be a lot less labor intensive than I first planned. The part that will be challenging is getting enough various little animals and people made. I have several friends at school who have volunteered to knit something and one friend had volunteered to needle felt some animals for the farmyard. I think the mixture of fiber crafts will make this project even more interesting than I originally thought. I hope that it brings in some money for the school as well. I plan to keep you updated for the next month on it’s progress…it should be interesting.
I am waiting for the changes. Some I wait for impatiently, some I dread, some have to happen, some can’t. Changes are part of life. The only end to change in one’s life is the end of one’s life. I know this, but it doesn’t make some changes any easier.
We’ve spent all summer working on the new house…talk about a change! The house is incredible and I cannot wait to move in, but I have to wait another week I think. There are still a handful of things that need to happen and I don’t want to rush in where we are living in an uncomfortable situation. It’s funny, I am dying to move in, but I am nervous and worried at the same time.
My sisters are all having major changes happening in their lives. I am standing on the sidelines waiting to see who needs to be picked up. My stomach turns and churns watching and waiting for the last shoe to drop in all of these situations. I know that at least two of the sisters will come out stronger on the other end, but I can’t stand to see them hurt, but the other sis…I’m not so sure about.
My girls have changed schools. We put them in the local Waldorf school after three years of public school for the oldest and one for the youngest. This was a very hard change to make. We fell in love with the school more than a year ago and have been planning this change for that long, but we still had tears from the oldest for the first couple of days. It’s funny, she knows that this is where they belong, but she is still homesick for the other school. They have both started to settle in and seem to really be blossoming. They are wonderful girls (yes, I am biased, but this is true). They are creative, curious, polite, full of wonder, adventurous, willing to try, and good hearted….all of these things seem to help them fall right in with the other children and I look at their classmates and am amazed to find such confident, grounded little beings. This has been a great change even with the challenges.
Speaking of changes, there are some I need to make (or I should say, Henry and I need to make). On the health from the two of us are woefully unprepared to get older. We need to clean up our diets and start exercising. And I need to find a way to learn to let go of stress or at least not react so strongly to it. The summer’s stress has caused me a hard summer and at least one minor exacerbation. I need to get healthy physically, mentally and emotionally to lull my MonSter back to sleep. Once we finally get moved, the changes will be coming on that front.
Now I know most of you bother with my blog more for pictures and knitting than for the dribble above, so ask me how I meet all of these changes… Well, I continue to knit. As Elizabeth Zimmerman says, “Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.” I have not exactly produced a ton, but I have managed to continue to knit a little here and there throughout all of this junk and have a few things to show for the effort. I made a baby jacket for a friend fo a friend and I knitted a big headed monkey for Mycah’s birthday. I also started a vest for me for winter. The only downside to the vest is that I have to borrow it back from the shop as Carolyn gave me the yarn to knit it for the shop sample!
I am determined to post tonight. In all honesty I have wanted to post a number of times over the last month and have just become too irritated with the Mac to do it. See, I have been a PC user until this past Christmas> I needed a new computer, so Henry bought me the one I wanted terribly… MacBook Pro. It is awesome, but I did not take a clas…I am not that kind of person, I like to figure things out on my own. Unfortunately, the thing that would have helped me the most is what I need to post easily. I need a simple explanation as to where to store things and how to access them easily so that I can load the photos into my post. Agggghhhhh, I will beat this!
Anyway, onto the blog. We are in the middle of renovation land at the moment. The new house has had much work done to her and will have much more work to come. Henry and I have painted the living room, the dining room, the guest room downstairs, and the girls playroom. Now, while this may sound like no big deal, let me explain…..our gal is tall! She has 12ft ceilings which required the purchase of a baker scaffold. We have not turned on the air as we want the house to air out both the paint fumes and the order that she has acquired before our purchase. Anyway, it is hot in TN. It takes me and Henry 2 days per room to lay on two coats of paint. The dining room took three days because we had to paint the poop-BROWN ceiling. We still have the girls room, our room, two bathrooms and the yet to be completed kitchen to paint.
In addition to the painting, we will be ripping out the master bath due to some hidden water damage and not hidden hideousness and the kitchen will be finished by the contractor and a library will be built in the other guest room downstairs. All of this is supposed to be complete by the end of July so that we can move in and get settled before the girls start school. We are crazy! We will make it. Here are a couple of pictures for your enjoyment>>>
That’s the kitchen before.
Above is the before of the dining room.
In news unrelated to the house, I have been doing a bit of sewing, knitting and hand sewing. I took a class with Lori at Textile Fabrics http://www.textilefabricstore.com/public_html/ . The class was on reverse applique and was with Natalie Chanin. http://alabamachanin.com/ It really got me excited about working on ANYTHING again. I have barely knit in the last couple of months because of the house and because I had gone back to work temping for my old company. I have been so busy and so tired, I have not felt like doing anything. It was great to get my hands busy making something again. The creating bug bit hard, so I took advantage of having Lori at hand and dug out two old unfinished sewing projects. Last summer I attempted a dress for each girl and made some fatal errors in the construction. This was before my week long sewing lesson with Lori. I sheepishly dug them out to show her. She said it was salvageable and we began to rip. We ripped out most of my sewing, ironed and repaired. Now, my girls each have the dresses I promised them last year. I also cut out another dress for Grey last night and sewed it. She was pretty pleased with it as well!
I would love to tell you more, but I will save it for later as this stupid post has taken an hour!!!!
I am entirely too tired to write some long descriptive post. So, you will have to deal with photos only. I am starting a shawl with some local alpaca because I get to go with Lori to the Alpaca convention here. She has several students who have placed well in their fashion design contest and I get to be her date for the tea! Oh, forgot to mention….it is at the farm where I bought the alpaca I am making the shawl with. It is a blend of 5 of their black alpacas.