Thursday, November 29, 2012


Oh Deer
Bird Feeder
This week has been random is the most random way. 
We got a small dusting of snow that has since melted. 
There has been a small hunt for ornaments for Micaela's ornament swap and for this lovely lady whom I've been paired up with. 
While driving home from work I noticed our tree from half way down the street and how it just got prettier and prettier the closer you got. 
We filled our bird feeder, unsure if we would still get birds during the winter. They seem to be getting use to us.
No plans for the weekend. Well that's untrue because the plan is to paint and make things for the shop but no plans to leave the house.
Procrastinating on things like dishes or folding laundry, and drawing instead.
Has your week been as random as mine has?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting More Accomplished

This weekend was full. We finished celebrating Thanksgiving and put up the Christmas decorations. Next year we decided that the tree will be put in a different room, as it's filling up a good portion of the living room. It looks very traditional. Handmade, vintage, new, and all different color ornaments fill the tree. This is a great leap from years before when the children weren't old enough to help. Before the tree was color coded red, gold, and purple only - evenly spaced, and organized. I've relaxed a little because the memories are more important. Although I do have plans next year to simplify things - more of a rustic natural look. 

Little by little we are getting more accomplished here. Today dear hubby and I are priming the dining room. There are certain moments in the painting process that I look forward to. Picking out the color, when the room is primed and ready to apply that first bit of color, and of course the finished product. All other parts I'm not a fan of. Painting walls is much different than painting a picture. I've set up a little corner in our bedroom where I can paint watercolors or draw. Even though we haven't really even begun to think about the upstairs yet, I knew that corner would be my space. The desk is new, the vintage file cabinet is the one I found, and the easel is one my mom gave me. The walls and floor will be different but the space the same.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dispatches from the Kitchen - After Thanksgiving

There are dishes that still need to get done but all the bellies are stuffed. The biggest hit was the homemade apple pie. I couldn't find my leaf cookie cutters, so I went for the cute little squirrel. He says the ending of fall and beginning of winter perfectly. 

Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without some classic green bean casserole, so I made it even though dear hubby and I were the only ones who will eat it. I asked the kids what they were thankful for this year. Damien said he was so thankful to have met friends in our new neighborhood. Aries was thankful that I made devil eggs and Odyn...well he was thankful that zombies didn't eat his brain. Of course Aries said "A Man" to that we are counting it as our Thanksgiving prayer. We still have two more thanksgivings to go to but I hung up my apron until Christmas.

 There are plans to keep this weekend busy, whether that's painting the dining room, setting up Christmas decorations, or enjoying the towns festivities. I love busy weekends - for some reason it makes them feel just a little bit longer.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thanksgiving

This year we are so thankful for so many things, a new home, family that loves and supports us and our dreams, a new job, and good health.

Most importantly I am thankful for this space. A place where I can connect and share. Every comment fills my heart with happiness and amazement. The opportunities and new friendships are priceless. It has made me grow as a person and creatively. I am so very very thankful everyday, not just today.

I hope everyone is filling their bellies, having wonderful conversations, and telling someone how thankful they are for them. Because I am thankful for you. Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving ♥

Monday, November 19, 2012

Still On The Hunt

Friday I went to the Slater Museum with my mother - The building looks just like you are entering a Harry Potter movie. Heavy wooden doors, stained glass windows, a large old brick turret, and little hidden details everywhere. We are lucky enough to only live about 3 blocks from it and could walk there if we wanted. It's part of our cities high school and when we went school was in session. Art students filled the rooms with little stools and notebooks, studying and drawing. I felt a little disruptive as the old wooden floors throughout the building creak with every step, even if you try very hard to be quiet. In the gift shop they have a Bill Stanley book, the book that I thought had the history of house in it. It wasn't the one but the tour of the museum was worth it.
So I began the hunt again online for more Bill Stanley books about Norwich. As luck would have it someone just listed three of his books on Craigslist that same day. After contacting the seller with a hopeful note about finding our home she gladly offered them to us and for free. A pleasant surprise! So on Sunday dear hubby and I packed all the kids into the car and took a small ride to a neighboring town for them. On the way home I was a bad navigator, too busy flipping through the pages scouring for any little detail that may get us closer. But no luck yet.
Sunday night there was a beautiful sunset and a crescent moon. I called the kids in from leaf sledding down the hill in our yard - a much better alternative to the giant boulder filled mountain that heads straight into the road, the one they were originally sledding down! With all hands on deck, we started taking down the dining room wallpaper. Right away we realized we lucked out again. No watered down fabric softener, no scrapper, or hours needed - all you had to do was start at the top and pull down sheets. Aries and Odyn helped take turns pulling the sheets off the bottom, while Rob stood on a chair pulling at the top. The whole dining room was stripped in 45 minutes. A new record. Leaving me with plenty of time today to finish a crochet sampler blanket, a knitted scarf, or maybe even start painting.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Putting Together

Do you remember these? Well I have finally started to put it all together and I can't wait to show you the finished product. So far I'm in love with it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dining Room Before

Every room in the house really does have wallpaper - that was not an exaggeration. The dining room is no exception. While the wallpaper does speak to the harvest season, with it's fall like colors and plentiful fruit, it's coming down. Hopefully this weekend. 
The room is really truly unique. It has wonderfully big original wavy glass windows that form a lovely square around you that look out into the yard and onto the porch, just perfect for bird watching. There are small nooks and crannies in this room that were just so hard to capture with the camera. This room feels like the hub of downstairs. The place where everyone is going to want to be chatting during the holidays or playing a game at the table, with a fire crackling in the fireplace. It connects the kitchen (where I took the first picture from) to the front hall way, and you can see into our living room (last picture).
While we don't have the perfect table, hutch, or anything else picked out just yet we did pick a color. It's that little dark gray square above the fireplace in the second photo, Twin Cities by Allen & Roth. A moody slate gray, that will compliment lit candles at dinner parties. The other thing we almost immediately deciding on after the first or second day here was that the chandelier had to be replaced. It lovingly gives off a wonderful earth shattering glass shaking sound every time the kids are upstairs, mostly because the boys room is directly above. So that game of plush angry birds football can be heard throughout the downstairs. The image of Rob and I going into a lighting store and literally shaking and swinging the light to make sure it doesn't make any noise keeps popping into my head.
I also have plans for a fireplace makeover. There will not be any varnish stripping this time! Where the red brick is I have plans for some handmade tiles. It's something dear hubby and I are going to experiment with to get just right. I was thinking of maybe something with texture like these pressed lace tiles.

Monday, November 12, 2012

When History Finds You

This weekend was uneventful in the nicest way. No snow, no strong winds, no rain. We have been meaning to rake the leaves and get the yard ready for winter, this weekend we did just that. Lots of bags line the sidewalk ready to be picked up. The kids threw leaves up into the air, watching them tumble down on top of their heads. Aries found a giant leaf right by the back door. It was the only one in the whole yard - a rare big elephant ear like leaf. When it came time for actually putting the leaves in the bags the kids lost interest fast but with a little bribing of ice cream (Yes bad parenting move) they were right there.
Today we are clearing out the dining room - getting it ready for some before pictures. Then we start stripping off the wall paper. I've been saving a nice size piece every time we take some down. My hope is that I can start a little house art journal book with before and afters. On Friday the utilities guy needed to read our meters in the basement and I think it's the only time I was happy to be in a basement. He told me all about the history of our home. How it once was made for caretakers of a mansion that use to sit across the street. Apparently the mansion is no longer there but the stone stairs remain. I plan on taking a walk with the camera to see if I can find them. There is another stone house about a block away, one I always slow down to look at and admire - it was part of the same history and estate. It use to house the butlers and maids to the mansion.
I thanked him for taking the time to give me a small history lesson. My plan was always to go down to the library and see if I could find a picture of our house from years ago or maybe to find out who built it, if it had a story to tell. He was happy I was so interested and explained about a book that was written about our neighborhoods history and how in that book there are pictures of our house and more detailed information.
As soon as we said our goodbyes, I raced up and out of the basement to search for the book online.
While my intention was to find out the history of our house it feels more like the house is finding it for me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November's Beginning

For the first time the other night we turned on the heat in the house. There is something splendid about the sound of old steam heaters. They chug, tink, whistle - and when they are filling up with water if you close your eyes it almost sounds like you are in an underwater vessel.

All last week, before winter really hits us, I have been trying to sneak up on the birds at the bird feeder. Right after settling in here I hung a bird feeder outside one of the four large windows that are in the dining room. They are the perfect windows to bird watch out of - big, able to see from different angles, and I just thought the idea of eating and watching birds at the same time was magical in a way. After a week or two with no change at all to the feeder, disappointment set in. That was until Odyn saw the first bird. He went right up to the window and was just as excited as I was the see the bird hoping about on the feeder. I ran to get my camera but by the time I got there it had flown away. So all week I've been trying to capture them - I've waited out on the porch in my Pj's (sorry neighbors), set up the tripod, and even stood very tree like next to the window.
Finally I captured this guy but the quality of the photos aren't great - mostly because my camera kept wanting to focus in on the window screen. But the point is I finally was able to get a couple of pictures and there are birds at the feeder stocking up for winter that is just around the corner - in fact there is talk of snow soon.
I'll be happy when there is more talk of knitting, holiday decorating, or lovely recipes to be made - not hurricanes, elections, or snow storms.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Lion, Bumblebee, and Mario

With pillowcases in hand we went trick-or-treating last night. Our neighborhood went in a large pack, laughing at the idea of cancelling Halloween - how exactly is that done?! The brave lion went everywhere his older siblings went but at one part of the night he thought someone pulled his tail. Mario lost his mustache. We joked about bringing the 90's back one bumblebee at a time and we all started singing Blind Melon's "No Rain". Hope everyone else had a very successful Halloween filled with laughter, candy, and memories.