Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November hike


This weekend, inexplicably, it was sunny and mid-60s. Thank you, November, for a last parting shot at Indian summer before winter sets in for keeps.

I'm feeling in need of a little bloggy-break for maybe a week or so. I've been wanting for content lately-- it gets harder in fall and winter, with the early evenings and lack of green things outside. If any of ya'll have ideas for things I could write about-- or things you'd like to see more of-- please give me a shout! 

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Pretty pictures

I don't have much to show today, just progress on my curtain-- only one more section to go!-- and a late-autumn (or is it early winter?) view from my office.

House-wise, I've been doing mostly ungratifying things like painting over water stains on a ceiling, and repainting the guest room floor. Oh sure, it'll be beautiful, and worth it, when the rooms are re-assembled and photographed, but for now it's just progress. Un-blogworthy progress. 

This weekend is supposed to be a stunner. I'm not sure where Patrick and I will end up, but I'm pretty sure there will be hiking boots on our feet. 

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Two years since we began

Somehow, I let the day pass without noting its significance, on Monday. November 5th, 2010: we closed. We drove here from Unadilla, with Patrick's dad, who probably thought we'd gone completely batty, swooning as we did over a dirty, bug-filled technicolor-painted shell of a neglected old house. We walked into that room you can see on the right, which is now the guest room, and I think I jumped up onto Patrick's back and he threw me off and wrestled me on the floor. We were so happy. We ARE so happy. I think maybe a few kisses were involved. The next day, we spackled holes and sanded, and I insisted he grab the camera to document the first application of roller to wall. I can't get over my face! So happy!

This is where we started. With an upstairs kitchen, yellow/orange/green, with painted tile and dead bugs inside every light fixture.

With more yellow and more green, and a bamboo chair-rail Patrick had just wrested from the walls. This is our bedroom. Unrecognizable.

This was Veterans Day. Patrick had a day off from work, and we couldn't bear to not spend it on the house. It was so much fun.

Then it got a little less fun, and a lot more cold. But progress was being made. Oh, sweet progress. This is Patrick's music room.

It started to snow.

It snowed quite a bit more. Patrick and his dad wrestled three 12 x12' carpets out the front door and into the garage. Our neighbor Jody shoveled our driveway while we were away, without us asking, every time it snowed, all winter.

We uncovered the stairwell. Oh my GOD, I can't help but think, looking at this. And considering this:

File that one under Things I'm Glad I Won't Have to Do Again.

Installing the chandelier was a big day. It all started to seem possible, the other side. The prettifying side.

A boost in morale was needed, in the face of sanding.

Then, it became spring. That helped.

We planted asparagus.

We waited for the floors to dry, so we could live on them.

Then, slowly, things began taking shape.

I am so grateful. We are lucky, and this house is lucky, and so we are lucky together. Isn't that the sign of a good relationship, when both parties feel like the lucky one? It holds true for houses, too, I think. 

I can't wait for another year to go by. I'm already thinking about springtime-- near-impatiently, at times, though it is the very beginning of November-- and everything we're going to do next year. 

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Monday, November 5, 2012

November weekend

I am really digging this project. I figured that would happen. After a long summer of grappling with things solidly beyond my ken-- greenhouse!-- it's nice to be back where things make sense. Presser foot. Seam allowance. Rotary cutter. Breathe. Relax.

I divided the panel into thirteen sections, to make it more manageable. I stitched together six-- nearly half of them-- over the weekend. I couldn't help myself. I was working on the floor, Saturday afternoon, when the sun decided to come out for approximately forty-five seconds.

Then it went away.

We've had sunshine for about five minutes in the last ten days. I swear. Upstate New York November is not for the faint of heart, I'm telling ya.

Yesterday, Patrick and I went and walked around a seriously old graveyard. It was snowing. It was awesome. The oldest grave was 1794.

That was my weekend: stitching and more stitching, and cemetery walking. It was a good one.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Stitching, again

Oh my goodness, I have missed this. The tidy satisfaction of cutting perfect rectangles and squares, the planning on the graph paper, the stitching.

My mom paints watercolors. She spends a lot of time at her boring desk job thinking about watercoloring, about the play of pigment on wet paper. We talked about it a few weeks ago. I entertain similar fantasies of sewing: not the process, exactly (well, maybe when it comes to embroidery), but the look of a seam after it's pressed, when you look at it and see its straightness and its tidiness and its perfectness. Life feels like a totally manageable project, looking at a perfect little seam like that.

The project is a curtain for the laundry room door. I spent awhile trying to figure out what fabric to use, as it requires about six yards, total. I'm using a pretty linen print for the back, but for the front I wrestled. I wanted something more creative than taking a big rectangle of fabric and stitching a hem, and finishing two looong sides, and sewing a rod pocket, and calling it done. I wanted to make art. It's been so long and all.

Then I remembered this image I've carried around in my head for I don't know how long. I spent a solid fifteen minutes Googling to see if I could turn it up again (I believe it was published pre-Pinterest!) and, success!

I didn't have linen scraps to work with, sadly, but I did have two worn-out pairs of Patrick's work pants! And some old sheets to tear into pieces! It'll work, right? I'll make it work. Every here or there I'll work in a rectangle of a gorgeous print I've been saving, or something from my scrap basket. I think it'll come together. Just one little seam at a time.

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