Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Farmhouse Progress Report: Kitchen

Two weeks ago when we went up to the Farmhouse, our main goal was to get the kitchen finished. And I am happy to say, we did it! Now they are just waiting for the counter tops and sink and it will a complete kitchen!

If you recall, this is what it looked like when they bought the house. Lots to do!

 And here it is in progress. We were all so excited to finally take down the scaffolding! We had forgotten how big the kitchen was!

 Becky's wood floors came out beautiful! There is maple throughout the entire first floor.

 The cabinets were a wonderful Craig's List find, which worked out perfectly. (Pardon all the sanding dust, I couldn't wait to take pictures!)

Mandy and I are hoping to get back up to the Farmhouse in about a month to help finish the bathroom walls. Progress seems slow at times, but so much has been accomplished!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Raspberry Hazelhurst

What is a Raspberry Hazelhurst you ask? It is my favorite summer knitting project!!

With a lovely (easy to memorize!) and mesmerizing pattern, that is soothing but at the same time not boring, the Hazelhurst Scarf is a great project for  traveling or just hanging around watching movies.
The pattern is by Kate Davies and you can find the pattern HERE.

The yarn is Shepherd's Wool Fine and is one of my favorite yarns. So soft and fluffy, but still feels like wool. I love this combination of Raspberry and Natural! 
(.....well.....I pretty much love anything made out of the raspberry. This is my third scarf with this color!)

I have been holding the raspberry in my right hand (knitting the English method) and the natural in my left hand (knitting the Continental method). It works quite well this way and I have  a nice rhythm going. After knitting yards this way, it is almost becoming automatic!

The color work makes the scarf so squishy and snugly. I can't wait to wear it!
For those of you who are knitters, you can find all the info on my project HERE.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Farmhouse Progress Report:Bathroom

We headed north this past weekend to help Becky at her farmhouse. I can't believe it has only been two and a half months since they bought it. They have done so much in that time! 

The bathroom has changed so much. From an empty square of a room, to a very charming functional bathroom. Of course there are still things that need to be done, like finishing the drywall and a bit of trim. But for now at least it is a working room. 
Becky has had so much fun adding antique/vintage details back into the room. The bathroom had been completely torn out so there was no character left.

She picked out a beautiful old medicine cabinet with original hardware.

Re-claimed bead board for the walls. Even though it looks a bit grungy with a bit of cleaning and a fresh coat of paint, it was the perfect way to add character to the bathroom!

Doesn't that add a bunch of vintage detail!

We also helped her install a classic black and white tile floor. So old fashioned, I love it!

But I think the real star of the bathroom is the antique door! (When she bought the house, there was no door, so it was on the top of the list very fast!)
Isn't that black enamel doorknob fabulous?! 

I love all the old layers of paint and history.....

Stay tuned for a kitchen update next week!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Blueberry Jam

One of my favorite things about summer is collecting the abundance of fruit. (I am kind of squirrel like, packing as many varieties as I can find into the freezer for winter baking.)
Last weekend my sister gifted me a five pound box of blueberries. She knows how to make me happy! I put a couple of pounds in the freezer, a pound in the refrigerator for eating and that left a few pounds for Jam!

I had visions of all the lovely pictures I was going to take of the luscious blueberry jam, a pot full of fresh blueberries, the thickening fruit bubbling in the pot, a bowlful of crystalline sugar flowing into the jam, but that did not happen.....

Once, I got everything set up for jam and put the pot on the stove, my Mom came in and distracted me. I was also trying to wash the dinner dishes, stir the fruit and clear a space on the kitchen table. As you can see, too much multi-tasking! Ah well! I did remember to take a few quick photos of the jam in jars at lest.

My favorite way to make jam is with the No Sugar Needed Sure-Gel, that way I can use little sugar as I like. These were lovely sweet blueberries so I decreased the sugar to 2 cups to 8 cups of berries.
The jars look very vintage don't they? I just grabbed a few from the stash in the basement not even noticing until they were filled with jam. Isn't the "Self Sealing" Kerr jar neat?

Delicious! Of course, I had to whip up a batch of biscuits so we could all sample the Blueberry Jam! Blue Ribbon for sure!

Are you planning on making jam this summer? What is your favorite recipe?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New Walkways

Well, here it is! The big project we have been working on, New sidewalk, walkway and steps!
When I bought my little house, I knew the sidewalks were one of the things that needed to be done. But it was also one of the things that kept getting moved to the bottom of the list.

Old cracked walkway.
 I am so excited to finally have this done! Every winter we would shovel pieces of the old walk up. And it wasn't helping the curb appeal any. (Now I can't wait to shovel snow!)

Aren't those pretty steps! A lot fancier then what was there before. A friend was helping my brother build basement steps and they kindly offered to also make my steps. (It just happened the ratio of rise and run worked for both sets of stairs!)

 I love the rounded edges that won't get chipped or snagged.
As you can see, there has already been quite a bit of traffic up and down the steps already.

There is still a bit of landscaping to do. And since it has been so dry, the grass is a little worse for wear. But a bit of dirt and grass seed should fix it right up. Happily, it is not a huge yard.

One of the reasons this project kept getting moved down the list, is concrete is not the most fun diy project, especially removing the concrete. After a neighbor had their sidewalks replaced, I called and had the same company come and do mine. That made it easy! 

There was a walkway that curved around the house to the back yard. It was also starting to crack up and wasn't really serving a purpose, so I had it removed. Now I will have a bit more space for my cutting garden!

And as I didn't want to leave you with a messy in-progress picture, here is one last look at the steps! (Sorry these photos have been lacking in color, apparently the geraniums are taking a breather.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crazy Days of Summer

We have been working (and sweating!) away on a project the last few weeks. I wasn't really planning on any big house projects this year, but things just worked out that way. So not so much "lazy" days around here, as "crazy" Summer days! I can't wait to show you all!

Nat King Cole singing "Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer"

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hydrangeas 2016

This year is a good year for my hydrangeas! I am not sure if it is the weather (and the rainy cool spring we did not get), the early spring trimming I gave the bushes or just because the plant is fully established now. 

 I had originally planted two "Invincebelle Spirit" bushes, but one didn't make it. This year I ordered another and it seems to be doing good, though it is still tiny.

July 2016
I can't believe how much all the plants have grown since last year! The little boxwoods have doubled in size. Above is this years flower beds and below was last years.
June 2015

June 2015

July 2016
Even the hydrangea is so much larger! It is now about five feet tall, though rather floppy. This particular variety tends to be a bit leggy.

The flowers start out a lovely vibrant shade of rose pink and fade to a pale pink over the summer. By the fall they are cream color. You can see the two tones in the picture below too. 

This branch was propped straight up against the house and gutter just waiting for it's picture to be taken!