Sunday, September 28, 2008

House update

Since I haven't done anything all week except cough and sneeze, here's a report on Corrie's productive weekend of porch column and window trim painting.

And to give you an idea of what the balcony color scheme will hopefully look like someday, here's a photo of the back of our house where we painted the gingerbread shingles a long time ago. (Ignore eyesore back porch.) Anyone willing to hang over the edge of the roof to paint the hard to reach places above the balcony? I doubt we will have takers on that one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We have Ourselves Quite a House

As I find myself uninspired to blog about anything I'm doing, it hasn't gone unnoticed that Corrie has been busy moving along on a project we started back in 2003: rebuilding our front porch. Here's how things looked back then. As far as we can tell, the concrete columns that appear here are the original columns for the porch. They were so heavy-looking and an odd fit for the house, I thought.

This wasn't a weekender project. Corrie (and I-I think I tore out some floorboards! I helped!) tore out the entire porch and columns. If I remember correctly, Corrie jacked up the house next to each column so he could easily knock them down. You didn't know which way the column would fall-we ended up taking out a section of our neighbor's fence with one column. Good thing they were nice neighbors and had a crappy fence anyway! I got a good photo of one of the columns coming down. Those blocks sort of bounce all over when they hit the ground. You wouldn't think concrete could bounce, but that's what it did.

We had little friends living under the column in the footing, including earthworms and roots from the awful vines that keep creeping over to the house.

I didn't remember this until I looked back at these photos, but Corrie must've been rebuilding each column after he knocked it out, which included pouring a new concrete footing, reusing the bottom set of blocks, adding a new concrete form on top of those blocks, then adding a wooden post on top of that. Here we have new column on the left and old column on the right.

If I didn't know that I took this photo, I'd say that Corrie is looking down at me in the hole I managed to fall into one day during this project. How come he can tell me not to fall into a hole one minute, and the next minute, what do you know, I've stepped backwards into the hole.

Once this portion of the project wrapped up, the porch stayed as it was over the following years. (Time flies!) Here's a shot the county assessor took in 2005 before they jacked up our property value.

Corrie lit a fire under himself (I don't light fires-I'm afraid of fire) late this summer and has replaced the temporary wood sections of the columns with permanent posts and has added nice finishing forms all around. We also have a nifty green and red railing now, which the porch never had before. Still some painting to do and a new ceiling to build, but things are looking up! I told Corrie the other night that we really do have ourselves quite a house. I think the front of it will be quite over the top if we ever also get the balcony redone.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thank you, Jana, for recommending the craft community site, Still in its beta phase, the site already has well over 100,000 members. (I thought that was the number I read when I put my name on a waiting list to register for the site. I can't seem to find that number again.)

The purpose of the site is to bring together all sorts of crafters-knitters, crocheter, designers, spinners, and dyers-into one online community that includes the ability to connect with other crafters, share patterns and advice, and keep track of your own projects and even your yarn stash with their notebook feature. You can log all of the specifics of your project, from the kind of yarn and needles you're using and where you bought your supplies to the date you started your project and how much progress you've made on it. Gone hopefully are the days when I had to bookmark a pattern or print it out and add to my overflowing pattern library-if you find a pattern on that you'd like to try, you can store it in your queue.

I've only added one project to my profile so far: a crocheted baby blanket in the fighting Illini colors for my friends, Kristin and Brian. (I don't think they read my blog, otherwise I suppose that ruins the surprise.) While not traditional baby blanket colors, Brian is an Illini alum, and since meeting I think Kristin has become a big fan as well. I hope they'll like it.

It's going to be pretty large, too, but I don't think a blanket can really be too large. Corrie's striped blanket is evidence of that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where do we keep the VP job description?

I never meant for my blog to become political in nature, but I'm sorry, John McCain chose a running mate who a month ago didn't know what the vice president does? I will give her 1/2 a prop for mentioning that she wants to be productive on a daily basis. I still don't think she's qualified to take over the presidency should that need ever arise. I was once simultaneously VP of my National Jr. Honor Society and the Spanish Club-plus I'm scrappy, and a staunch character-does that make me qualified?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fair Fun

I can't believe after today the Nebraska State Fair will be done for another year. We went on opening day to see if my craft entries had garnered any prizes.

My baby blanket earned a third place ribbon in the crocheted baby blanket-multicolor category, and the pig and piglets won a 5th place ribbon in some kind of knitted-other category. I realize now I probably should've entered them in the toy category.

There were some very impressive entries across all categories, including this really cool felted tote with diamonds on it.

I keep changing my mind on what I'll enter next year, but I think I will try to do a couple of extraordinary projects. I'll take Corrie's advice and I'll make something out of wool yarn and will felt it, and I think I would also like to try one of these beaded doll dresses-do you think I needed to start on it about 5 years ago in order to finish it in time? It does look like there's some sewing involved, sewing and I don't go together.

Thanks to Seth who sent me this link, I could also make this rat, although I suspect Amy will beat me to it.

Corrie and I sampled various tasties while at the fair as well. I had my standard pork chop on a stick and fried peach on a stick. The pork chop was good, the peach coating wasn't as crispy as I remember it being last year. Corrie tried an Indian Fry bread taco this year, too.

One thing we didn't try was a beef sundae. Maybe next year.