Friday, January 28, 2011

Productive Pictorial Update...

Good golly! February is right around the corner, but what happened to January? Winter never ceases to amaze me with its keen ability to both crawl and speed by simultaneously. Well, despite all this speeding and crawling, life is still being lived around here... Here are some pictures to prove it:

To begin any really awesome blog post, you need a bit of cuteness. It's like splashing color all over a brick wall--makes it more appealing.... or something like that. :)

 Love her toes! 

Anyway, she was coming down the stairs to help take the picture of my new couch cushions, by adding her cute color to the shot:
 These are the cushions I had been meaning to make for Andrew's bench for months. I resolved they would be my first project as soon as Christmas was over, and surprisingly, they were! I made them out of recycled foam and a table cloth from the thrift store. Naturally, I employed a lot of the girls' help, as usual. I tend to direct the projects and get the girls to do all my dirty work for me. Teehee! :-D I don't know if you can see them, but there are buttons that we sunk in the back. I had Andrew make me some wooden buttons and the girls and I covered them. Pretty much, it's a completely homemade couch!

Next up I have to show off all of Annie's new cheeses! 
 She's been making small experimental bricks on the side of Mom's mozzarella operation to try and get a good aged brick cheese. Of the ones you see here, some are waxed, some are wrapped, some are coated in ghee and two are freshly made. Her colby brick is nearly ready and we're all drooling to try it!

Annie has also been busily sewing up a new wardrobe for our fast growing little princess...
She's been recycling like-new unwanted clothing down into cute little outfits for our sweetie:
Donna has been growing used to our crafty household. When she hears the sewing machine running, she'll go racing into the bedroom and start tapping my knee saying, "Mary uh making? Uh making Mary?" After I respond, her next question is always: "uh Donna's?" The same goes for whenever anybody is working in the kitchen, she'll pull out a chair at the table with her constant "uh making? uh making?" chatter. Likewise she's learned that our knitting habits often mean new socks or little gifts for her, so she always has to know what exactly it is we're knitting and who it is for.

Some new pants with an adorable embroidery job from big sister:
Donna's growing up really fast these days, and not only in size. Her vocabulary amazes me with its vastness. Her ability to put together sentences is also really good for a just two year old. "Read da book," is a favorite, whenever she is able to capture someone resting for a few moments in the living room, climbing haphazardly into their lap with any book she can find. "Uh outside an... see baby cow," is another common one. One of her really cute ones is (to Andrew or Stephen): "uh fiksh it!" (fix it). She can say almost anything and in addition to her constant gibberish, she also loves to sing, as she hears her older siblings doing, and immediately starts bobbing her head whenever anyone picks up a guitar.

But enough about our precious... Theresa has been processing all the bunny hair she's collected off her angora bunnies over the summer. Here's her glove and one in progress.

Momma spun the yarn on her spinning wheel and then two plied it. One spool was from Marbles and the other was from Bugs and then she plied them both together for a super thick, soft, plush yarn. You can't tell from the picture, but it looks really blue in person and is super, super warm. Theresa also made two big pieces of felt out of her scrappier angora fiber and I lined Michael's farm chore mittens with them. To my surprise, he rejected them saying his hands were way too hot even in blizzardy conditions! He keeps them separate now, I guess to use when the temperature reaches -40 or so.

Theresa has gotten sick of her fingers freezing when they go out horseback riding in her normal store bought gloves while Stephen's stay nicely warm in his thick homespun gloves (his Christmas present), SO, she's been working on making riding gloves that will keep her warm. These wool gloves work nicely under another pair, but being commercially spun, are too thin to withstand our great outdoors alone. That's why she's been working on those angora gloves. Talk about toasty!

School occurs every day around here as well, both formally and informally.

 You can always tell when the boys are doing their school, because you can hear their pencils tapping on the wood floor of their room from anywhere in the house. They're usually tapping in rhythm with some music coming from Stephen's 3mp player. If you poke your head in there, the music will get louder and you'll see a messy room housing three boys with books, amazingly quiet, attentive and productive... for boys I mean. Mom is always calling them away from their books--she never has to tell them to study, except for maybe the younger kids.

Andrew and Dad have been busy working in town, helping the local doctor to fix up a 100+ year old house that he bought. On the side, Andrew has been building pieces of furniture like this night stand for sale.
The tracks are inlaid into the top and the animals are routered out--their backgrounds stained with a homemade black walnut hull stain.
He has them listed for sale on craigslist where you can see more pictures: Click HERE

Andrew has also been working diligently towards the release of our latest Indiana John movie--before another season of work intercepts his attention on that project. It should be out soon!

The kids have also been into a major chess kick lately...
The game that the boys made us for Christmas gets used a min. of ten times a day. Everybody in the house is becoming chess champs... except me. I got too traumatized when Andrew walloped me at checkers to even go near that chess set! I mean, I didn't even know someone could be beaten so badly at checkers--like, what's to know, you know? Apparently there's a lot more strategy than I was taking into account during our friendly--turned vicious--match up! ;-)

As for me, in addition to my stitches, I have been full fledged into my writing lately. I know you're not seeing the results of it to much on here, but that's because I'm working on two new manuscripts simultaneously. One is another 'for fun fiction' and the other is a collection of our homesteading stories. (Yay!) I'm trying to finish both before the spring work intercepts my attention on them.

I've also managed tumble myself out of bed stiff and sore every day this week, which is a feeling I normally only get during the spring work, so I'm happy for that. We've been working on a neighbor's firewood pile, among other things. It's nice to get out and work mindlessly on a project for awhile in the middle of winter.

And lastly, we've got lots of socks happening here!
Mom learned how to knit socks this winter. Her first pair are the pink ones and her second are the blue ones next to them. Johnny was so excited to get socks made by Mom! 

Feet on three: one, two, three!

 Knox in box and Fox in socks, but who sews whose socks? Sue sews Sue's socks. Who sees who sews whose new socks, Sir? You see Sue sews Sue's new socks, Sir! And that's not easy, Mr. Fox, Sir...


Until next time dear reader!
And please remember, no matter what happens--always keep your feet warm!

1 comment:

  1. Wow... Truly amazing!!

    You girls are the most productive sewers on planet earth!! I have a hard enough time making a hat in 3 months, let alone make millions of socks and gloves and cushions and little kid clothes!!!
    I guess it is alright though, I am staying busy enough helping build cabins and what not in our comparatively warm weather (btw, it was 70 weird and amazing!), but there's that side of me that will always be the failing craftsmaster wannabe. :D

    That is all such amazing stuff!! You guys are such cool people! (and Donna is SOOO big!)
    Thanks for posting Mary, I love it!


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