Thursday, December 25, 2008

And old-timey Christmas

In addition to Sugar's pheasant, the gifts under the tree this year were rather old-fashioned. For example, an old-timey popcorn maker to be used on campfires or the wood stove:

Mancala, perhaps the oldest game on the planet:

And a Roman oil lamp from the first century, AD. At least, that is what the antiquities dealer said.

We first saw oil lamps at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (which is a fabulous institution) when they hosted Roman art from the Louvre. There were mosaics, statues and other decorative relics, but also pieces of real life, like the oil lamps. The punks at the museum wouldn't let me touch anything, so Bill got me my very own Roman artifact for Christmas. We think the detail is a goat?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pheasant Hunter

Sugar was allowed to open one present this evening.

It is already coated in dog slime.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remember when...?

Do you remember a time when ornaments like this:

WEREN'T made in China?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our Tree is Not Naked

Or "Holy Eskimo, I Am Old."

With only 4ish days until Christmas, Bill and I finally put up a tree today. As this is our first real tree since the early naughts, I was a bit nervous that we would have an insufficient number of ornaments. For reference, this tree was the last we "put up:"

It was a 3 foot fake tree on a table in our 700 square foot apartment. THIS is our '08 tree:

Though it is thin, I'd guess it's 9 feet tall. Fortunately, we have over 30 years of ornaments collected and our tree is nicely decorated. I even had to leave some Eskimos off.

So here, in all it's decorated glory is our $18 tree-farm Something Fir. It is mildly Charlie-Brownish, but it is less than a week from Christmas and we rather like it.

And an oldie of Bernie from the photo archive:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Now with 50% less blue

Two of the four rooms in our house that were a tired sky blue when we moved in have been transformed into much nicer rooms that people would actually want to spend time in. You may recall our bedroom was the first to be tamed...

Bluefore and after:
And now the living room is done being painted! More photos when it's cleaned up, but here is a preview.


(This, by the way is a photo of Bernie on the night before we brought Sugar home and threw his entire world into disarray. He thought the new doggy-sized bed was for him. Sucker.)


Two rooms are still in a state of bluedom. This was previously, I imagine, a lovely parlor before an awkward bathroom turned it into a "master bedroom." We've never showed you a photo before this moment because it is really the saddest room in the house. It will be the next to be tackled with the intent of creating a hobby room. We'd ditch the bathroom, but the walls contain the pipes going to the upstairs bathroom we want to keep. Dilemma.

The kitchen and adjoining pantry are also blue:

Eradicating those blues, however, is for another time. After a hard day of painting, some sleepy snuggles are now in order and I'm going to get in on this:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Living room in progress

Some dark photos of our living room as it is currently half painted. The transition zones:

Before and afters:

We traded two TVs for this fish tank, which fits so perfectly in this spot Bill thinks it was made just for us. It is somewhere around 50-70(?) gallons and will eventually be home to a range of live-bearing fish.

We plan to finish painting and put up a real live tree from a tree farm next weekend.

Our bird feeders were visited by a Sharp-shinned Hawk this afternoon. He scattered all the chickadees and juncos and got away with a house sparrow in his claws. The commotion caused another house sparrow to fly into our window. She was stunned enough to let us hold her for a full five minutes before flying away. We suspect the Sharpie will be back.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bye-bye blues

Like, every room in our house is a shade of baby blue. It's not cool. Well, it is cool and that is the problem. I think a drafty house needs warm colors to feel cozy.

Today we prime half the living room! Say bye to these baby blues:

I know my new curtains are a bit too short...they aren't on the correct curtain rods yet. They are currently being functional, though, at cutting down drafts - much better than the lace that was there before:
The ceiling has a darker stripe of baby blue. It's going too. I've convinced Bill that it should be red. He's a bit hesitant, so if you all could gush over the stripe when it's done, I'd appreciate it!

Off to paint!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anne-Marie's Shawl

When Anne-Marie visited in October, she wanted so much to be like her wicked-awesome-cool big sister that she dyed some yarn with kool-aid and demanded her own Sunday Market Shawl.

Or something like that.

Here it is. Clearly, we have different fashion tastes...I, for example, don't have anything that really matches kool-aid pink.

AM - it will be in the mail soon. Mwah.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


We've pretty much hunkered down for the winter with few plans for housey stuff till spring. We plan to paint the living room before Christmas, but that's about it.

I'll be using the non-working time for KNITTING! I just finished this White-Water Wrist-Warmer this morning:

This is a rare event...I will allow you to see the "back" of something I've made because it is pretty cool:

The cold rainy weather has brought the birds back to our feeders. Scads of gold and house finches, noisy chickadees, Sal the Cardinal and every type of woodpecker you could imagine. It is actually time to refill all those feeders again.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Winter Prepardness - Play at Home!

All our bird feeders have been washed and filled with fresh yumminess. If you are playing at many feeders can you find in this photo? Answer at the bottom of the post.

In addition to enticing neighborhood birds into our yard, we've been getting ready for winter by making curtains and testing the wood stove.

This is the curtain fabric and the design is inspired by curtains I was staring at during a (clearly engaging) meeting at the Indiana statehouse. Perfect for our deep window frames.

We've also been testing a theory that wood stoves are the great uniter in the house. Kitties and puppies will put aside their differences in order to sit peacefully near the wondrous fire. How many mammals will chose to be in the same 5 square feet out of the 2,000 available?

Second it the stove they crave or the pancakes?

Finally, how many feeders were visible in the photo? The answer is...EIGHT. There are more that are just outside the range of the photo (for a total of 10). In November, will we spend more $ on people food or bird food?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall photos

We haven't been doing much work lately, but I hope you enjoy some photos of fall.

Anne-Marie visited last weekend and dyed some yarn with kool-aid for a Sunday Market Shawl.

And Bill's DNA scarf is polymerizing: