Monday, September 24, 2012

The Finished Den: A Place for Inspiration

This is the Den.  Also known as:  The art gallery, the music room, the office, the library, the retreat, the reading room, world traveler room, etc.

It is our favorite room in the house.

It wasn't such a pretty room.  Here's a reminder.

But now, even for a small room, which it is, it performs a lot of functions, even becoming a guest room at times.  Because we can open both of the french doors, the room can become an extention of the living room when needed.

My brother gave us an old pair of french doors.  They were stained wood, and it took many months of sanding, scraping, priming, and painting to get the finish right.  I LOVE the white! They are my favorite feature, and the white is in beautiful contrast to the barn red walls.

It is also the messiest room in our house.  Usually there are piles of books, sheet music, art supplies, and art easels everywhere.  Not to mention all of the musical instruments.  Just how we like it.

We are fortunate to have lots of interesting original artwork.  And my Grandma's piano, evoking oh so many wonderful memories of the music we created together!

I love the light fixture Eric chose.  This room was definitely his design project.
We have lots of books.  Eric and I had always dreamed of having a library in our house.  But we never thought it possible at first, with our bunch and a 1400 square foot little house.  Even though we could have done other things with this space, having this room has become a sanctuary for us all. 

And this is where we find our kids.  Cuddled up in an old velvet chair, piling through the books.  Life is good :)
Here's a reminder of all that we've been through, on this journey of making this old house into a home!
The real truth about fixing up a cute old house
Eric, I love you so much.  With everything we have been through together:  the good, the bad, the ugly, and the messy, you have managed to make me laugh through it all!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Den

Two Rooms Became One Room and Then Two Rooms Again.......

Oh, the things that can change in almost 100 years.

You can see where we uncovered the door that had been there before, going out to the LR....

Sometime in the 1970's the people who lived in our home decided to take two rooms on the north side of the house and combine them to make a master suite.

But it was so large, and long, that they then decided to create a sort of 'closet' the size of one of those rooms on the end. 

When we moved in, the room had red shag carpet, brown rough paneling, low ceilings, and in the middle of the oversized closet - a pedestal sink.

It didn't function well as a master, a closet, or a bathroom.  Or at least a kindof a bathroom.  And we were short on rooms in this small, old, house.  We noticed, as we were putting up drywall in the LR, that there had been a door leading from the LR into that space.  We decided to return it to two rooms, almost as it had been before.  One of them would open from the Living room, and become a small den, and the other would function as a master. 

It all began, when we started cutting into the LR wall!  We had just 'finished' the LR, finally, and here we were, messing it all up again.

Moment of Truth!


It's out

It was a big mess!  Removing carpet, scraping and sanding the floor, living in one half while working on the other, and then switching sides. 

After we finished the bedroom side enough to move back into it, we framed in the wall between them.

My kids were immune to remodeling at that point, but still loved to watch :)

As can always be counted on, there were wiring issues, as usual,  to fix.

Ahhh, sleeping in a construction zone!!
With the new wall framed in, we began to put up the new drywall, with all that entails.  Then the texture.  Can I mention how much we HATE drywalling??  I think I'm still cleaning up the dust, years later.

My brother Kent was an amazing help to us through this whole project.  We'd still be in the middle of a huge mess if it weren't for his help :)

Finally we are getting the new Den put together!!!

It's painting time.  Eric chose the perfect shade of red.

Thanks Jim and Amy, for helping paint the room.

That's it for the messy stuff.  The final reveal is coming. Stay tuned :) It is well worth a little wait.

Friday, September 7, 2012

For Auction: The Perpetua Shawl

It is FINISHED! This shawl was not the easiest thing I've ever knitted, but it's done! Considering my previous experience with a lace shawl, this indeed, is a 'moment' for me.


The yarn is a lovely hand-painted merino wool/silk blend. It is beyond soft, with that subtle sheen that silk gives to all the tonal colors. The yarn color is called 'Water Lillies.'

Of course, it did not get finished without a struggle.  When I had completed the last of the lace pattern rows, almost to the finish, 25 of my 527 teeny stitches decided to slide off the end of the needles............

Frustration is inadequate to describe what I went through.  But I was almost there, and I really wanted to finish.  I picked them up as best I could, and luckily everything came back together just fine.  Whew! 

I got myself back on track, and then finished.   A finished lace shawl ends up looking pretty unremarkable. 

Really, all those hours for THAT?
'Blocking' is the process of stretching it into the shape it will take. 

I gently washed the shawl, and put it through a salad spinner to remove the excess water.

When wet it stretches to almost twice it's original size.  I laid it out on my mattress and pinned it into place.  This was the first time I've ever used blocking wires to stretch my project - and they worked beautifully.

As much as I'd love to keep this shawl, especially after all my hard work (and a few tears, I must admit it), it is being donated soon for a cause that is close to my heart.

For over seven years now, our autistic son has been receiving therapy services at Northwest Behavioral Associates.  The people who have worked with him there have worked nothing short of a miracle in our lives.  We are so grateful to the amazing program managers that have worked with him there:  Melissa Liotti, Mary Tinsley, and Randee Wagner, as well as fabulous directors, Stacey Shook, and Jane Helbig.  Together they have worked with us to bring out our son's amazing potential. 

Anyone want to buy a beautiful, hand-knit, lace shawl?  It will be sold at this event. 

If you are interested in donating to a great cause, or in attending the Art for Autism event, you can get more information here

I love the way light passes through knitted lace.  So very lovely.

There are probably 1001 ways to drape this shawlette.