Sunday, December 30, 2007
It's New Year's Eve in Exeter, and we'll probably do our usual: in bed by 9:30PM after a glass of champagne! I tellya, we're real ragers around here!
Hope you all have a safe and sane New Year's Eve. Here's wishing you all the best of all good things for 2008.
Monday, December 24, 2007
And here's our bathroom, just off our bedroom, with our closet on the left. The brickwork here will also be covered with sheetrock and painted...no brick will be visible anywhere.
This is the view from our bedroom. The wall on the right will move to the right about one metre, and the opening shown will be much larger. There will be a large set of French doors there onto a verandah, where I'm sure we'll sit in the mornings with our coffee...it faces east.And here is the lovely view from our temporary digs. It was raining when I took this shot on Thursday, but isn't it pretty? I hope to catch a shot sometime that has the two sheep, Mary and Martha...they are a kick, always looking for a treat.
Finally, I wanted to share this lovely poem I came across today, that expresses my wishes to you all as this eventful year ends and we look forward to 2008:
I deem that there are lyric days
Merry Christmas, everybody...may you enjoy this special day with family and friends, and may the coming year bring happiness and joy beyond measure.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Patch is inspecting a big pile of windows and enjoying the lovely sunshine this morning...yesterday was glorious, too! Now, this afternoon, it's beginning to cloud over again, and we are expecting MORE rain this week. I tell ya, we should be building an ark, not a house!
Can you believe this incredible pile of lumber that's come out of the house? Patch and the others find this all very interesting...especially on Saturday, when there aren't workmen around to make noise!
As you can see, the connection between the house and the new garage is still a bit tricky! We're thinking of auditioning for the high wire act next time the circus comes to town... Do you see the cool new outdoor fireplace to the left? Can you just see us sitting out there on a warm evening, sipping our wine and enjoying the fire? The renderer is coming Monday to start rendering (stuccoing over, for you Northern Hemisphere types) the fireplace, so it will match the garage. The house will also be rendered when it's finished.
It's so great to have this project really underway, at last. The mud everywhere is a bit of a worry because we still have big open trenches on one side of the house. They can't fill them in because the ground is so soggy that the bobcat can't get back there. If only we'd get a couple of weeks completely free of rain, they'd be able to take care of this...pray for dry! I know, I know, that's positively un-Australian, but it would really help...just for a couple of weeks.
The new garage is going to be absolutely wonderful. They've moved the old kitchen cupboards out there, plus my old fridge and dishwasher. How easy will it be to barbecue, then keep the mess confined to the garage?! I'm also going to put the old washer/dryer in the garage, so I can wash the cats' bedding out there and avoid having lots of cat hair and twigs in the "nice" new dryer in the house!
In the next couple of weeks they'll have the new internal rooms of the house framed up and I'll be able to give you a glimpse of the new quilting studio. It's going to be really great, with closets at one end with shelving for stash and mess, AND...a large windowseat with that incredible view.
In knitting news, I've nearly finished my first cotton sweater - pics next post. No quilting news as yet. I haven't discovered a place in the temporary digs to set up a quilting station, but my Bernina is here and I made sure to park the plastic tubs with my stash near the front of our new shed, in front of all the furniture and household stuff. Gotta be ready when the mood strikes, doncha know?!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Here's what the inside of one of the indoor rooms looks like. We'll be adding more places for them to "roost" up high on some shelves, I think, but this works for now. You can see Cassie lounging in the camp chair. Since not everyone gets along with everyone else, the division allows for the two more agressive males to inhabit one half of the complex, while the other five more mellow types live in the other half.
And both rooms have this view from the windows and from the outside screened-in area:
Meanwhile, at the house, here's what's happening to the kitchen:
After a few hours of messy work, the skies opened up (AGAIN!) and here was the result:
Today there are no workmen here, the ground everywhere is a giant mud bucket, and there are pools of water everywhere.
This will be short, because I'm writing while sitting on the floor of the empty bedroom. Our internet connection isn't up at our temporary digs, so we have to come back here till tomorrow to send e-mail and such.
More later...pray for some sun!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Business as usual here, but it started raining day before yesterday and hasn't really let up, and no end in sight...sigh! We're surrounded in a quagmire of mud...again. Time to get serious about packing things up here...we'll move out on 1 Dec. Not sure how we will go about schlepping all our stuff out to the new shed through all this greasy mud, but I'm sure it will happen somehow.
Night before last, Alfonse, our little black cat, managed to climb onto the roof framing for the extension, in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. Lightning, deafening thunder, and constant rain. We couldn't find him at dinnertime and thought he'd come in at some point. That didn't happen, so at 10PM I decided I'd better make one more circuit and look for him. Wellies and raincoat on, flashlight in hand, circle the house in the rain and very slippery mud.
Spotted him on the roof and started calling him to come down. He meowed piteously and continuously, but wouldn't jump down onto the scaffolding. Did I clamber up onto the scaffolding, in fear and trembling, trying to reach him? Of course. Was I successful in getting him down? Of course not. He retreated to the "safety" of the roof of the house. Sigh.
Wandered around in the shell of the extension and found a large ladder, in the dark, and dragged that over to where he was cowering. Crept up the ladder, flashlight in hand, all the time thinking "if I fall on this slippery ladder, it will be REALLY BAD!", and started calling him again. He slowly crept closer and I managed to grab him by the scruff of the neck and haul him to me, all claws out and desperately scrabbling at me.
Brought him inside, where he indignantly headed for the food dish and then settled in for a nice warm nap on the couch. Grateful for the rescue? Nah...he's a CAT!
All's well that ends well. Now, if the builders will JUST finish up the garage, with its two kitty condos, life will get a lot easier!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Here's how it's looking today. Roof trusses are going on now. Noisy, but very nice to see. There are thunderstorms predicted for later in the week, so I know they're gunning to get at least the plywood on up there ASAP.
I actually started clearing out the kitchen yesterday. Can't tell you how TIRED I am of packing and unpacking! Plus, I managed to tweak my left lower back picking up boxes that are too heavy for me. Will I ever learn?...don't answer that!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The shiny part below that looks like a swimming pool will be our new living and dining room. The curved part where the guys are just starting to smooth it out will be the new verandah that extends beyond the living room. There will also be an outdoor "room" on the right hand side...cool, eh?
A mucky job, but nice and cool this morning. As it warmed up and the sun came out, the flies also came...horrendous! Any Aussies reading this will understand what I'm talking about! The blowflies here are unbelievable.So all this activity happened between 7AM and 10AM. Now it's just finishing up the smooth surfaces. I'll post tomorrow how it looks when all the formwork is down, but isn't this GREAT?!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
And lest you think I haven't been doing anything lately, here's the evidence. This is the current sweater in progress - a Tomten jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman, on 4.5mm circular needle, knitted with Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic in Green Tweed, with Alpaca insets in Sphere. I'm coming down to the home stretch on sleeve 2. It's a very cool design, and should be warm and cozy next winter:
This sweater was finished in time for me to wear it recently, and I really love it. It's Knitting Pure and Simple's V Neck Top Down Raglan Cardigan, knitted on 4.5 mm needles, with Bendigo's Rustic yarn in Graphite. It's such a simple classic design, I'm sure I'll get a ton of wear out of it.
And I apologize for this bad pic, but it's Phoebe, from KnitPicks, in their Wool of the Andes yarn in Sapphire Heather, knit on 4.5mm needles. Gorgeous color, but very hard to photograph. There are really cool cables running down the arms, but hard to see.
In other news, enabler Jane Ann has aided and abetted me in my interest in English paper-piecing, and I'm mulling over a hexagon quilt, maybe Grandmother's Flower Garden. Picked up the hexagon papers yesterday at the LQS...we'll see how I go!
Friday, November 09, 2007
So, what's been going on, you might ask (that's for the 2.3 of you who may have wondered whether I might surface again one day!)? And thanks, QuiltingFitzy and Clare, for rattling my cage and motivating me to get going.
We started on our renovation project in September, with the demolition of the garage and outbuildings. It's been a slow process from there, mainly because of the weather: lots of rain, mud, wind, muck. This picture is, I think, worth a thousand words. The garage has looked like this for the last two or three weeks, but today (Saturday, of all days!) there are workmen here putting on the outer "skin" of the garage. The weather is holding so far, today, and I'm hopeful that we'll have more clear weather next week. The cats will have two rooms at the far left of the picture, with kitty doors to an outside wire enclosure. I will be SO happy when they can move out to these new digs. Right now, all seven are living in the house...yikes!
And speaking of the house, here's how things are looking in there...warning, it's NOT a pretty sight:
All the stuff that was in the garage and the cats' house has moved inside, mainly into the living and dining room. I also had to empty a few kitchen cabinets onto the dining table so they could remove one section of cabinets when they removed the double doors to our outside screened-in porch, so the dining room now looks like this:
And instead of looking out at the lovely view through the French doors, that's been replaced by this:
And doesn't EVERYBODY have a chainsaw and whippersnipper on their dining room floor?
BTW, I wish all those boxes you see stacked up there were full of our stuff, but unfortunately they are still just full of the old packing paper from when we moved in. I need to get started packing things up very soon.
Here's the plan: in another two or three weeks the garage/cat rooms will be finished and the cats can move out there. We will then pack up the stuff from the house and movers will carry it all out to the new garage. At that point, we will move to our neighbors' cottage a few doors away for the duration.
So, that's what's up with us. I haven't been doing any quilting at all, but I did loan a few quilts to the local society's quilt show a couple of weeks ago...it was in Burradoo, a nearby suburb, and was just a wonderful show.
I've also been knitting like crazy (poor choice of words, that!): four and three quarters sweaters and nearly 20 pairs of socks since I last posted. Knitting is small, portable, and manageable, when everything around me is in chaos, for the moment. Still, it's going to be wonderful when it's finished.
I've been reading all your blogs regularly, and want to say a big thank you to you all. Your sharing of your lives has really helped keep me sane over the past three months, and I LOVE you all!
BTW, for those knitters among you, and I know there are a few, if you aren't on Ravelry yet you should be. It's a great site, still in beta so you can't log on until you're invited to join, but you can add your name to a queue and they'll let you know when you can get on. I wish there were such a wonderful site as that for quilters.
Not to worry...I'm back! And there will be more pics of the project and my handiwork, but Blogger won't let me put up more than five pics at a time.
Monday, August 06, 2007
We should be starting our remodeling project soon, and will need to move out of here in a couple of months. Should be back in the house again around January/February of 2008.
Best wishes to all...hope to see you again in a few months.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Here's what I've done on the trip. First socks are plain stockinette, because I felt a pattern would distract from the gorgeous green Koigu variegated yarn. What fun to knit this stuff...it's so soft and fluffy it's a dream to work with, and feels great on your feet, too.
And here's my second pair of Jaywalkers, knit with variegated sunset colors of Crystal Palace's Panda Wool, a blend of wool, bamboo and a bit of nylon. This stuff is a bit splitty, but very soft and lovely to knit, too. I bought another color while in the Bay Area, very pale pink and cream. Can't wait to start on that, too. I'll post a pic of my other yarn purchases once we're back in Oz.
When I can get on the Internet on this trip I've been reading everybody. So good to stay connected to you all!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
This cold, clear morning deserved a photo, and can you believe the gorgeous protea on the right? I think this is a South African native plant...it seems to be thriving in the frost. The morning this was taken it was minus 3 degrees C. (about 28 degrees F. for your Northern Hemisphere types), so it's pretty impressive that this plant looks so good.
As you see, the cats weren't deterred by the cold, and they had a fine time prowling the yard.
Check out the frost in the foreground of this pic...you'll note that Chloe has wisely decided to stay under the leafless tree, where there's plenty of sunshine and the frost has gone!
So, this is the week we hope to have approval of our house remodel plans from the local Council. Keep your fingers crossed!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The cats are absolutely loving being inside. Last night both the big grey fellows were on the bed with Ross, till I booted them out. They spend their nights in the bathroom, to avoid those incidents of World War III on the bed at 2AM! Wonder if Feliway would help them. I actually think it's too much testosterone, even though both brothers have been fixed, long since. The other five, comprised of three females and two males, get along much better and are able to spend the night peacefully in the laundry. The two fat old ladies rarely leave their little cupboard nests and seem happy as clams in there.
And here's where I am with the sweater/jumper. Just a few more inches on the sleeves, and I can block this baby and wear it. I'm really loving the color.
I succumbed to the apparently worldwide urge to make a pair of Monkey socks (designed by Cookie A. and pattern available free at Knitty.com) This is Knit Picks Memories yarn in Red Hat color, though the overall tone is much more purple than the blue of this photo. A very fun pattern, I must say.
Also finished the red pair of socks, using Colinette Jitterbug in Fire color, using Nancy Bush's Oak Leaf pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks, but the red color is so intense I haven't been able to get a photo that looks anything like correct.
Meanwhile, we're finishing interviewing potential builders and checking out references. This is turning out to be a much more expensive project than we had envisioned, but at this point we aren't ready to retrench to less extensive modifications. Will keep you posted. Our neighbors, who only come here once a month or so, are kindly agreeing to rent us their house during the time we need to be out of ours...isn't that terrific?
So, that's the news of the day from here. Still no quilting, but getting to a much better mental/emotional place.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Here's DH trudging out to attempt to improve the capacity of our spillway...my hero!
We couldn't leave the cats in their little chicken coop and yard because it's just not weatherproof at all. You can actually see through the mortar holding the bricks together in places, and the roof is a joke. It was freezing, wet and mucky out there, and I wasn't sleeping for worrying about the cats. So, yesterday we moved them into the laundry in the house: During the day, those who want to venture outside have a staging area on this little porch outside the kitchen. As you can see, it isn't weather-proof either. Fortunately the house has remained dry, may THAT continue to be so!
And here are the three fat ladies settled into the cupboard in the laundry room. They rarely venture out, preferring to sleep away the storm in comfort. Their four siblings are in and out, being more adventurous, but all come inside to sleep for the night. You can barely see Cassie in her donut on the top shelf, but Spike (on the left) and Chloe (on the right) were more willing to be photogenic. As for me, you'll find me on the sofa, snuggled up under a blanket, with either my computer on my lap or the second of the red socks, nearing completion. I think we'll venture out this afternoon, though...I'm so sick of my own cooking I could scream...