Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Granny Flat

One of the projects I completed this summer had nothing to do with fiber or fabric.  My husband and I have been finishing our basement for the past few years.  He did all the framing and I helped him with the sheetrock.  Every time he brought home a load of wallboard, I wanted to cry.  They're really heavy!  I know I'm stronger than I look, but I'm not as strong as I was when I was twenty!  We hired an electrician to do the wiring and a mudder (?) to mud the sheetrock.  I painted the walls and ceiling, laid tile on the bathroom floor and installed bamboo flooring in the play/living area.  About two years ago, we were at the 90% mark.  All that was left was trim and plumbing hook-up.  The basement stayed in that stage for a year.  That's twelve months the trim stayed on the floor.  I don't know what Hubby was waiting for.

Last year, Hubby decided that we would convert the basement into an in-law suite for his parents, complete with a FULL KITCHEN.  There was much tears and gnashing of teeth over the decision.  Needless to say, I gave in and work resumed.  Part of the space was partitioned into a bedroom, a wall in the half bath was knocked out and framed for a shower, and a full kitchen was created in the living area.  Since the basement was originally intended as a play space, the walls were painted a sunny yellow and pretty sky blue (my favorite color).  With the space reassigned for Grandma and Grandpa, I had to rethink the color pallete.  My mother-in-law picked forest green fabric for the new couch covers (they needed to be replaced anyway) and I repainted the walls a coordinating taupe.  I also painted, cut, and installed all the trim for the windows and doors.

One weekend in July, I tiled the shower.  Hubby cut the tiles for me while I stuck them on the walls.  I was a bit nervous about the project because I'd only tiled before on a horizontal surface.  What if the tiles fell over before I grouted?  In the end, my fears were baseless.  The mastic held the tiles in place and there weren't any stray tiles on the floor the next morning.  Grouting was a little tricky until I got the hang of working over a vertical surface.

Since I haven't repainted the bathroom yet, you can still see the pretty blue that I love...

tiled shower,

all grouted

accent tiles, so pretty!

almost done

I'm  pretty proud of my tile job.  Other than repainting the bathroom, we still need to install shelves in the bedroom closet, caulk the trim in the living room and install the floor thesholds under the four doors.  I think that's it. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bad Blogger

I don't think I was home for more than two weeks at a time this summer...  That's probably an exaggeration.  It really was a busy summer for my family.  That's my only excuse for being a bad, or shall I say "absent", blogger.

My two little ones (not very little at all) have been in school for the last two and a half weeks. But despite that, I didn't feel like the summer had ended for me until last week.  That's because last week I got home from dropping E off at her university. Since her school is on a trimester schedule, they didn't start classes until the 21st.  A has been in London since the beginning of the month where she's spending a semester abroad.  Now that all my children are settled at their schools, Fall has begun in earnest.

Progress report on my projects?

I set my February Lady sweater aside over summer vacation.  The last thing I wanted to touch during the heat and humidity was my wool and alpaca concoction.   I did pick the project up again last week and started the first sleeve.

I started knitting the Uptown Boot Socks by Jennifer Appleby during a trip to Orlando.  I had just cast on the second sock when a knot forced my to cut the yarn and roll the skein into a ball.  Somehow, that ball never made it back into my bag.  Oh the agony! 

My rainbow Citron

Fortunately I had a backup project:  Citron is a cute little shawlette.  I used a skein of Norro Sekku.  My sister-in-law loved it so much, I gave it to her without even blocking it.

Once I was home, I was able to order another skein of my purple trekking sock yarn so I could finish the second sock.  The dye lot wasn't the same, but that's okay.  At least the socks are done.  E took them to school with her, so I didn't have time to block them.

purple uptown boot socks
I don't know why the bottom sock looks bigger than the top one.  They really are the same size.  Even when we try them on!

I made a little travel jewelry case for A, but didn't finish it until she had already left for London.  She found something a catalogue and asked if I could make her one.  Being the crafty mom that I am, I whipped one up for her.  She's got something to hold her earrings, a compartment for bracelets/watches and a tube to hold her rings.  There's even an extra zipper pocket for miscellaneous junk that girls collect.

I have a few more projects that were completed, but I'll save them for next time.