OK, the reason for my title will become clear in a moment. Promise!
Our kitchen has a woodstove. It sits on brick pad, with a woodbox next to it, for storing logs. The mantle is relatively high, but narrow. The room also has wood beams in the ceiling. All of them were a nice 1970s walnut brown, which I painted white.
Last year we didn't have stove at Christmas, so we actually hung the stockings on the mantel and had three lit trees in the hearth. Not so this year... We use the woodstove for supplemental heat, and it gets HOT! So, I'm not hanging anything combustible on the mantel!
I wasn't sure what to put there, afraid of the heat. But I did my best, and this is what is there:
I found this child's crib frame in a dump back on some property here in Maine. I am hoping to go back and look for the rest of it. The wreath is a wire form, wraped in aqua ribbon and lace, with a little cement angel at the bottom.
I also deocrated the adjoining kitchen. One of cabinets is open on the top (which BTW, was the squirrel's hiding place...) and I put all of my carolers up there. These were a gift from my mom. She had collected them for a number of years, but then grew tired of them. I added some twinkly white lights for a little magic.
I made these mittens last year for our Etsy shop. Each has a set of vintage earrings on it. The black and white toile is very festive and classic.
The blue and brown looked perfect with the corduroy!
My mom asked me the other day if I had done any new posts, particularly Chrismas decorations... so here goes.
Last year I saw a picture of wreaths hung on the inside of windows. Of course, I can't find it now, but I did go out and buy some wreaths on clearance. I stashed them away with the rest of the decorations.
The photo showed the simple green wreaths, with no decorations, hung from the top of the window with thick ribbon. I used a snowflake fabric that I ripped into strips. I decorated the bottoms with stuff that I had. It took some creativity, as I have 8 windows in the living room.
Each is a little different. Four on my windows have curtains, made from drop clothes. Four are still bare and have just shades. The wreaths are attached to the wood with pushpins. I thought about tying them to the curtain rods, but they are pretty flimsy (someday I'll have pretty ones hung).
For the Paper Digital Arts swap I mentioned, we are responsible for making a set of covers for ourselves and our partner. I don't know who my partner is, but this is what I came up with. (They are slightly blurry- I took them out on a cold porch to photograph, and I think the lense started to fog up.)
The inside cover is supposed to be a statement about our point of view.
Pretty plain, just supposed to give our info.
I refused to share the front cover on the PDA website, but since I don't hink anyone (except Jean) comes here, I thought I'd show them. The kicker- I may keep these and do similar ones for the swap... hehehe
As if I don't have enough on my plate, I joined an altered book group over at Paper Digital Arts. (We're still looking for 4 more players- and membership is FREE).
We are required to make 2 set of book covers, one for ourselves, and one for the person on our mailing list. Then, each month has a pre-set page theme. The group is called Interpretations, and the first month's theme is Handwritten. So, we take the them and ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun (like Forest).
Anyhow, these gals will show up in mine somewhere... aren't you curious??
Well, it's always interesting around here. As some of you know, when we moved here last year, we found a bone yard in one of the walls. Obviously, squirrels were getting in the house. Chris repaired the area, but as the cold has settled in, the critters are back.
Mostly, we hear them at night, running across the ceiling. There's no way to trap the buggers, because they're in the floor, not out in the house.
I've been hearing a lot of noise in the kitchen at night, but since the activity in the house had started up, I figured they were in the walls. And what can you do about that? Not much, except find the problem area, which we hadn't done yet. And in a house of this size, as old as it is, it's going to be hard to pinpoint. Turns out the little buggers can get in very small openings.
So last night there was quite bit of noise in the kitchen. The dog and I went to investigate, and saw a little squirrel run across the floor. Scared the you-know-what out of me!! I though I blocked it under the cabinet, and left it at that. Except I kept hearing it scurry across the wood floors, and banging around last night. Greeeeeeeeeeat.
So, this morning, repeat of last night. But the little thing was just sitting in the middle of the kitchen, looking at me. I think it's wearing down, or starving. I tried catching it with a bucket. STUPID. I should have used a towel, I could have caught it then! Anyway, it jumped off the top of the refrigerator, past my head, and onto the stove. CRAP. Now what??
So, I head off to the hardware store, where after talking to a clerk, figure out it is a flying squirrel. Hence, the jump-past-my head-thing. I bought a tiny little Haveaheart trap, and hope to get it tonight (they are nocturnal).
Seriously, I thought the leaky sink, blown off barn siding, and blown off roof had tipped me over the edge. Nope, but this might.
Oh, the mojo has been gone for quite awhile! I have been so consumed with life in general that my art work has taken a backseat. No, more than that. It was left be the roadside somewhere...
Some recent good news **hint hint** has inspired me to get moving! I hosted a round-robin awhile back, and my book had some unfinished pages. I knew that it needed some additional artwork, and the ideas started to come. Here is the latest page:
It was very labor intensive, to say the least, But it was fun. Enjoy.
Well, a lot has been going on these past few weeks. Chris is off in Colorado, hunting elk. I hope he gets a big one!!
Before he left, we tackled at leaky faucet. I found the leak while he was gone on a previous business trip. He walked me through how to shut if off in the basement. What a pain, though, the same pipes feed the downstairs bathroom where the kids brush their teeth every day.
Anyway, after being off for about a week, and after his return, I walked past the 300+ pound soapstone sink and noticed there was still some water running. Hmmmm. Two thoughts crossed my mind. 1. How does that happen? and 2. This is not a good sign.
We removed the sink... yeah, all 300 pounds of it. Chris put a 4x4 beam underneath and jacked it up with a 2-ton jack. Then we gently and carefully moved it to the laundry room. It felt like it was going to topple over every. single. minute. It was nervewracking!! I was scared. Chris thought it was fun. (warped, I know...)
The stench of mold coming from behind the sink was overwhelming! The wall was black and green. The drywall was soaked. We poked until we found the dry parts, then cut and started pulling. Then we just ended up gutting the wall. The drywall had the consistency of packed wet sand.
The faucets came out of the holes in the wall, above the shink. This is where the leak was. The wet spot had extended about 8 inches above, and two feet on either side, as well as down to the floor. The adjacent wall to the left, underneath the window, was also wet.
Underneath the wet drywall was equally wet wood clapboard. Underneath that there was no lathe, it just backed up to the plaster wall in the bathroom. My guess is that it was an outside wall at one point. The other walls are stripped to the wood at the moment. That will come down too. But, at least the wet stuff is gone.
The water had dripped down and the floor boards are rotted near the wall, as it part of the 8x8 beam underneath. This is an old leak, I'm sure. Making the mold worse is that fact that the baseboard heating is on that wall, keeping it nice and warm. So we had to rip up the floors too. There was old tile, over subfloor (overzealously stapled about every 2 inches), over particle board, over wide plank wood. Seriously- that many layers of flooring??? I doubt we can save much of the floor, at least on that end. It's rotted.
Chris is standing on particle board, and that the subfloor to the right. The tile had already been removed.
We found another spot of mold on another wall. We were surprised. We can't figure out where the moisture would have come from at that particular spot. We also found another corner that is dryrotted- we'll dig into that when Chris gets home from hunting.
See the spot near the floor, to the right of the door. Black mold.
So, now this little "utility room" has had to become top on the list for fixing. That's annoying- we have other projects to tackle first!
Like the barn, which was damaged the other night in 60 mph winds. It was a long scary night, and I head the siding rip off. Ugh, just add it to the to-do list.
What's on your to-do list?? I'm going to add "hit the lottery" to mine.
I woke this morning in darkness. It was only 5 a.m., and part of my mind wondered if I'll ever sleep much past 6 again. Sunrise was 7:21, but it didn't seem like a real sunrise. Not really. It was so dark and gloomy out. So gray. But there was a touch of pink to the sky. Just a touch.
I wandered through the house, looking out windows. It was very quiet, and cold in the front part of this giant house. This giant house. It seems so ridiculous sometimes. Almost embarrassing. We are so fortunate to have a house, but it's so big. I walked room by cold room, through the front of the house where we don't live. Through rooms that are bare and empty. Bare floors and walls, waiting for something.
Again, so quiet. I looked out the windows. There was frost on the roof, and on the grass. My mind reeled a little... already? It's only November. Then I realized it was 9 a.m., and still frosty and gray.