Master Suite :: Week 1

For the past several weeks I have been talking about a BIG project we are working on. And when I said BIG, I really meant HUGE! Here's the back story. We live in a 2 story home with the bedrooms on the 2nd floor. As most of you have heard at one time or another, I have arthritis in my spine that is getting worse with each passing year. Stairs are already a real bugger, and Tim and I have talked about moving into a ranch. We love our house and our property and really did not want to move. We decided that when I couldn't do the stairs anymore, instead of moving, we would add a bedroom on the main floor. Tim suggested that instead of waiting, we get started now, and so we have!

It started with us drawing up a rough plan that included the master suite, we also wanted a screened in porch. We then meet with our builder who took our ideas and did the actual design. We loved the plan! Not only did we get the bedroom and bathroom on the main level and the screened in porch, we decided to add an extension to our basement which will become Tim's woodworking shop and a bathroom in the basement. As I said... a HUGE project!

Here are the actual floor plans:

First thing Monday morning... getting ready to break ground. Notice the man in the foreground with a snow blower. Before the backhoe started, they had to shovel the area! Who knew they could build in this kind of weather!

The first scoop. Now I feel like this is really going to happen!

This is Tuesday morning. They dug the basement in just 1 day. Amazing! Here they are pouring and leveling the footings. They covered the whole area with plastic blankets before they left. I guess even cement gets cold!

It was 25 degrees today, but snow and falling temperatures are suppose to come again tomorrow.

Bug busy watching the process. What fun!

I will be doing a weekly update... more for our family's benefit than anything else... but if you'd like to follow along, you can join us here :)


New Gnomes in the Thicket

Although your average woodland gnome has a life expectancy of hundreds of years, that's not always the case for friends that dwell in our gnome house. Although many of them live to a ripe old age, sadly, some have been carried off by beasties, sometimes known as puppies, others have mysteriously disappeared, only to be found later by mommies when going through the pockets of wee ones that have come to visit, and, occasionally, they go off on their own journeys, perhaps to other rooms in the house, and sometimes they are even discovered in the mailbox in our fairy forest! When these wandering gnomes do return, they are always ready to share tales of their adventures! But the sad truth is... occasionally we do lose a gnome of two or three. ((heavy sign))

From time to time we invite more gnomes to join us in The Thicket. Here are a couple of new gnome friends that now reside with us. It looks like they are dressed in their finest... perhaps for a spring wedding!

To make your own Wedding Guest Gnomes, follow the general directions for making gnomes which can be found HERE.

Gather your supplies. For the capes and hats I used hand dyed felt I dyed myself. I love the variations in colors you get. I will soon be posting how I dye my felt.

Follow the general DIRECTIONS for making gnomes until you come to the capes.

Important Note: People turnings (wooden pegs) are not all created equal. Even pegs bought from the same company can be slightly different. I highly suggest you make a copy of the pattern, cut it out of paper, and “try it on” your wooden pegs. Make adjusts to the paper pattern before cutting out your felt.

Needle felt a design on the cloaks. For the flowers I used white roving and began at the center of the flower, twisting the fibers as I went to create a spiral.

Next, I added some simple leaves using green roving.

Finally, I used a very little yellow roving for the flower center.

After you have needle felted the cloaks, continue with the general DIRECTIONS.

When I was sewing the cloak to the gnome, I added little dangles I had in my bead collection. Also, you will notice that these gnomes have little dreamy eyes. Fairy will play with faceless gnomes, but she does prefer the have eyes, so I oblige :) Use a very fine tipped, waterproof marker to make the eyes. (I used my Pigma Micron 01.)

These gnomes are now ready for spring and for the gnome wedding they have been invited to! They will be given fair warning to stay away from the friendly, but sometimes too rambunctious canines!

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Busy, Busy Hands

Snow, snow, and more snow.... but mostly cold. How to hold off cabin fever... keep your hands (or more importantly your kids' hands) busy. Fortunately most of my kids' Christmas gifts were activity based and as this winter has keep us mostly indoors... we have greatly appreciated all the crafty goodness.

Bug whittling with his new pocket knife.

Fairy making beaded jewelry.

Pixie painting by number.

Knitting a Little Sunshine

Dreary, gray days. Michigan has many, many of them, especially in the winter. The haziness can start to get you down. I find that this time of year I am drawn to bright, warm colors. This amazing, squishy, melon colored yarn (Swish Tonal Yarn from Knit Picks in Queen Anne colorway) that I'm currently working with helps bring some sunshine into the house.

I am working on the Pine Forest Baby Blanket available as a free download on Ravelry. My only mod is making it bigger to be a lap blanket. I CO 151 sts and am hoping my 5 skeins will give me enough length.

Brrrr... Cold Day Project :: Mitten Line

It is bone chilling cold out there today! Our schedule has been cleared, all activities for the day have been canceled due to extreme wind chill. What to do on a snow day that is too cold to play outside... crafts of course. Here is a fun and useful project that we made a couple weeks ago on another similarly cold day... a mitten line.

Usually when the kids come in from playing outside they all try to pile their wet mittens up on the heating vent in the foyer. When their mittens were much smaller this worked fine... but now they don't all fit and we have a puppy who loves nothing more than to run off with a pair of socks or mittens. So we hung up a clothes line in the foyer that keeps the mittens off the floor, lets the mittens dry, and makes it easy for the kids to find a matching pair while bundling up to head out into the snow.

For this project you will need a clothes line hung where the kids can reach it.
Pairs of clothes pins
Acrylic craft paint

First you will need to disassemble two clothes pins.

Paint the clothes pins with acrylic paint. We painted our clothes pins in matching pairs. So 2 red, 2 yellow, 2 green, and so on. Be sure that the paint you use will not wash off when wet. You don't want the color to bleed on your damp mittens.

When all of your clothes pins have dried, carefully put them back together. You now have a fun rainbow set of clothes pins.

Hang your mittens using matching pairs of clothes pins.

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