Monday, May 16, 2011

Family stitches

     In keeping with my resolution of Jan. 2, I am trying to accomplish a few things, and clear out others. I have finished the bathroom trim, am halfway through repainting the kitchen, and am working on de-cluttering - but it is a torturously slow process.  Sometimes, in the midst of purging, you do find treasures.  
     When we were clearing out her home last year, anything of my mother-in-law's that was related to sewing or knitting or any fiber arts, were put in our truck.  Many of these bags I did not pack myself, so I am discovering new things all the time. Some things make you scratch your head - why, for example, would my husband or his brother, or my sister-in-law have thought I would want a bag of rags? True rags, not small pieces of fabric for quilting or something. There were other bags as well. Recently I found a bag of yarn and "stuff" from my mother-in-law's house. 
    In it, I found this:

It was thrown into a bag with some ugly acrylic yarn in baby pink. I think it was started by my husband's grandmother. I looked and thought, "hmm, I can finish this."  I learned to do needle point when I was 14, but haven't done any in years.  I did think I would have to find some wool to create the background for the floral motif.  But after looking further I saw this little line on the top of the piece in the palest of greens.  

Digging into the bag I found a couple hanks of the wool needed to complete this project.  

I am so thrilled.  A little bit of Gran's work and some of mine and we will have a family piece to enjoy for years to come. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Mommy Times

   All the recent  activity at school - shows, last weeks of classes, finals - has made me want to be home or at least out with the children.  I recently got to go on a kindergarten field trip with my son's class.  We took the school bus up to the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, a place my family frequents a great deal.  It was a lovely day, warm and sunny for a change, but our teacher chose the muddier of the four trails.  At one point, we were slogging a long and I heard a shriek ahead of me followed by a continuous wail. I ran forward and scooped up the screaming girl to discover she had stepped forward, but the mud sucked her boot off. Therefore, she screamed when her sock hit to mud - then  she lost the second boot, and was standing in her socks in the muds shrieking.  Apparently not all children are like mine. My kids find mud, and if there is none to be found, they make mud.  Not so this child who screamed and cried for the next 20 minutes!
    Once we got to the picnic sight, everyone settled down a bit, especially when they found a swampy puddle full of frogs.

 Frog catching commenced and the mayhem began.

 It made me realize once again that I am better off as a college prof.

       Because Spring and Autumn are good times for painting, not too hot, not too muggy, I started painting my kitchen. It was time to get rid of the pale blue from the previous owner.  I did a test wall and liked the way it brings out the warmth in the golden oak cabinets, this morning I washed all the rest of the kitchen walls with TSP (which not longer has P but is still supposed to work) and this is what we have.
The blue next to the cabinet
Working with Mommy to paint the second coat on the wall

This brush may never be the same, but he is having a great time

This color - Chesapeake Sunset - warms up and lightens the entire space.
So now I need to get to the other walls. There is so little exposed wall, I am painting with brushes,  which I prefer to rollers anyway.
     As soon as this is finished, I am going to tackle the dining room with its blue wallpaper with pink flowers on it.  The previous owner really liked wall paper to hide the cracking plaster.  This is why I have to breathe deeply to avoid great heaving shudders each time I strip another room of the layers of paper.  I know the time that will have to go into repairing the plaster - it will be worth it, but I'd rather get right to the paint part!