Are you and Alchemist?


Well, never-mind; you don’t need to be. It is all quite simple once you know the basics…we MUST know the basics.

Let’s talk mordants (just for a moment). Mordants are what I call binders..sort of like an egg in baking (right?) it holds the whole wretched mess together… a cohesive whole…if you will. If care is not taken to do this correctly…precious fibers/yarn could be ruined – or your barn, studio, garage…an explosive ending is not what we are after here.

Most dyes require a mordant; the mordant allows them to chemically bond to the fiber. Without them,the dye would simply sit on top of the fiber, rinsing off with each wash. The mordant chemically prepares and opens up the fiber to bond with the dye.

If you’re going to take the time to learn the basics of natural dying; be aware – this is not a quick project. Don’t rush, take your time (dare I say, enjoy the process) Don’t skip steps, as tempting as this may be, we are after quality results here…when the basics are conquered, results become more predictable, and the final results; well worth your efforts.

This is not a process to be shared with children, (there are kool-aid dyes for that) oh, and they are fun too; just be sure to use the kool-aid packet with out sugar.(no need to attract unwanted guests to the party..insects)

madder-sage- Photo from [Fleece on the duck]
The green shade was achieved by simmering sage with red basil. The liquid in the pot was purplish-red yet produced a khaki colored fiber. When lime juice was added the fiber brightened and became a soft sage green.

Take care not to breaht in the mordants whilst adding them to your pots…and for heaven’s sake; don’t directly breathe in the steam as it is processes. A little common sense goes a long way; so, gather your gloves, and find a mask some where. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

a llama run to CT

Toxicity vs. amount used = low ratio – for a pound of fiber, you’re going to want to dilute around only 1/2 an OUNCE of mordant (with the exception of alum, which you’re going to need around 1-2 ounces. (although, Alum isn’t toxic ) Once the mordant bath is used up or weakened, it is pretty harmless.

A list of commonly used mordants ( not exhaustive by any means):

Alum (Aluminum Potassium Sulfate): Pretty much, alum is the easiest to find and use, it is less toxic, and it gives what we will call the “base” color. It doesn’t change the base color of your fiber. You can find alum, made by McCormick, in the canning or spice section at most grocery stores.
THis is a good option if you are dyeing by solar power.
You want to dissolve your alum in lots of hot water, put it in your chosen vessel (pot,enamel is best), crock-pot, whatever, place your fiber in the pot*, simple- dimple.

Copper (Copper Sulfate): Copper will turn your fiber a light aqua-to-greenish color. That could be fun. It can be used with yellows to get soft greens, to make blues and greens more turquoise, and to make warm tones.

Iron (Ferrous Sulfate): Ehhhhh, some people class this as a “color modifier” not a true mordant. Makes stuff greyer/darker. Used with indigo or logwood, or even sometimes walnut, to get black. Known in medieval dyeing recipes as “copperas”, SO DON’T ASSUME COPPERAS MEANS COPPER. You can pre-mordant with this like you normally would, but a lot of folks just use it after dyeing to grey it up. Used alone, iron will darken your fiber. I don’t ever use it by itself as a pre-mordant. I only use it with something else, or afterwards to modify.

And some less common, but still widely used ones are:

Chrome (Potassium Dichromate): *TOXIC* I don’t use it; but some dyers love the effects it can cause…(color me chicken)

Tin (Stannous Chloride): Brightens colors. Tin does not change the base color of your fiber. Tin will give you the brightest, clearest reds/yellows/oranges, and can be used with cochineal to give hot pink. It’s my most favoritest mordant ever because I like the bright shinies, and it turns the mordant bath opalescent. Oooooohhhhh, pretty.

a shiny sheep

HOW TO MORDANT

ALWAYS! ALWAYS! – have dedicated mordanting pots. NEVER EVER USE them for cooking after! Nod, that you understand. Might I also recommend that you work outside. Most of the natural dyes, I’m not terribly concerned about allowing in my home, many of them are herbs and spices that we already have in our home. I will not allow mordant in the house.

The basic method is this:

Dissolve your mordant in a pot of warm water(think room temperature), LOTS of water, you need to let your fiber have plenty of space to move around, or the mordant can’t attach everywhere, Use a non-reactive pot—enamel, no chips please, or stainless steel. Keep in mind metals are mordants, so using a cast iron, copper, aluminum will alter your results…you understand the dilemma. Now, set it on the burner,( I have a burner on the side of my gas grill, but they do sell propane burners) and add (presoaked, wet)fiber. Turn the heat source to medium, and let it sit for about 1/2 hour, (if you are like me, you will find it hard to wait, I wanna see it now!) Stir occasionally; oh, so gently, with a non-metal utensil of course…don’t agitate..no felting allowed here. Let the pot cool. Ok, now you can remove the fiber and RINSE (keep rinsing til you are sick of it) rinse some more. Keep in mind, the mordant has made a chemical change,rinsing won’t hurt it. Having excess mordant will. Those pesky molecules of mordant will dance about, holding on in all the wrong places…causing havoc with your color and finished results. Rinse people. It is ready to be dyed or it may be stored wet or dry, for later dyeing – if yo can wait. If possible, let it sit over night.

onion-skins
Fleece on the Duck ~ onion skins to dye fiber.

***If you use crockpots. Allow them to preheat. Water should be good and hot BEFORE you add fiber, and then leave it on the high setting for 1/2 an hour, just like on the stove. Always, rinse out your crockpots well. You do not want to allow deposits of metal salts to build up. This can cause crockpot explosions. If a crack appears..ditch it. If mordants get into the metal base the pot may shatter. Kind of neat to explode a crockpot, but nonetheless, a bad idea.

PREPARATION OF DYE-BATH
Place dyes (what ever dye medium you have chosen) into cold water and heat slowly. the smaller the particles- the better results…so break things up as best you can.
Most dyes need to be brought to a boil before color is extracted. Dissolve powders. Heat till color is drawn out…cool.(both physically,and metaphorically).Strain twigs, bark or other matter;you probably don’t want all that in your finished project.

DYEING
Enter wet wool into a tepid bath. Heat slowly. Gradual temperature changes, and gentle stirring prevent shrinkage and felting. keep the fiber or yarn in the dye bath until you are happy with the color. Or until the dye bath is exhausted, ( and hopefully, you are not) Do remember;colors are darker on wet fiber. Decide accordingly.
Allow the dye bath to cool before removing the fiber you have just dyed beautifully. Use care to gently, , I say, gently,squeeze fiber to remove dye liquids. Let’s rinse yet again…til it runs clear. Allow the fiber or yarn to dry.
Behold your creation!

So, now you know!
Be well,
Jess

A Painted Chevy, and a challenge for you…


I am sure this is exactly what Howie had in mind when thinking of his Rat Rod….(Oh, right I keep forgetting about the Rat part of that description). Well, anyway; I thought it would be great to use the truck in the new design for our [Misty Maples Farm]farm banner. What do you think?

I would like to paint something into the little trailer, only I am not sure what? After working on the painting for 6 hours yesterday; my creativity must have been spent. I thought of the folks who read this little blog, aha, moment! You should choose.
So, I leave it up to you to choose what should be in the trailer. If you would?
If I choose your idea, I will send you a dozen (yet to be designed)Christmas cards featuring the painting. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


Not sure if this will be of any assistance, but, we have chickens, ducks, dogs, llamas, and soon Angora Goats here on our farm. I spin fiber, knit, and attempt to crochet the fiber.

Be well,
Jess

Ready for Rhinebeck?


 

We are heading to the most fabulous Sheep and Wool Festival.

Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Upstate New York hosts a spectacular fiber festival in October chock full of breeds, breeders,competitions, demonstrations, and lots and lots of fiber!

Andy will be coming along.


KatDoll will be going to the fair, Jenni wouldn’t go with out her…

There will be all manner of furry, fuzzy, fluffy friends;  Angora goats, all breeds of sheep, to Alpacas and of course llamas.  My favorite breeds of sheep are the long wools, WensleydaleTeeswater…and Leicester long wool.  I dream of  owning a few myself.  Perhaps at the fair, I can meet the right breeders (fingers crossed).

A friends sheep…too cute.

Jenni and I have been working on ideas for our stall display, we (Howie) have built several over the course of the years, but for Llama shows,not for fiber shows, and they must be different, I think.
Here is Andy sticking his head through our last display ~ in the making…guess he couldn’t wait.

I am thinking I should tap Josh’s creativity( Daughter’s boyfriend, Josh Cookfair ) being a phenomenal graphic artist and skilled at the art of branding ~ I am certain I could use his input. My daughter Juli is a talented illustrator…Jenni can structurally design just abut anything; Howie can build anything, so I think we will figure something out!

I will be sure to show you our end product.

We have much to do, grooming, planning designing and such…

A
ndy has grown so much over the summer, I will take a few shots of him and try to post them tomorrow…sweet, sweet boy; still miss his Mamma. (You can read a bit about her here..) He was barely 3 months old when she passed.

 

Be well,

Jess

 

Delightful! Isn’t it Delightful!


I have been gifted an award that is bestowed to blogs which have a quality that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye.
They think “A Winsome Journey” is lovely; and I am just tickled pink!

Thank you so very much Genie http://geniespeaks.wordpress.com/

Also, a big thank you to http://faithrises.wordpress.com

Both of these girls have very inspiring blogs, one of which I have visited almost daily for a huge dose of faith inspired goodness, the other I have just recently discovered and I must say; I am a huge fan. Keep walking Genie! (but take good care).

I do have rules to follow, but first, an apology is in order. I was gifted the Sunshine Award early in the spring…thank you, thank you…http://makebelieveboutique.com/2012/03/23/sunshine-award-4/ and Steph, at Lost Up Above: http://wp.me/p1ZC80-JM.

Ok now to follow the rules.

7 things you’ll know about me.

1. I love James Taylor (well, his music anyway)
2. My favorite color is greenpinkblue. (yes it is!)
3. I have been working very hard to start a creative business on a shoestring…I mean dental floss thin…:)
4. I think I am more funny than I probably am (Lucille Ball, kinda silly)
5. I can usually be found in the pature or the garden on a nice day.
6. On a day of foul weather, I am either painting, editing photos, or quilting.
7. I don’t like ice cream, mayonnaise or onions…blech.

Now….drum roll please…the nominations.
Don’t feel green, maybe I just don’t know you yet! :)

A green fellow…A lil tree frog saved by my sister from the chlorine of the pool…he climbed up her neck then hopped on the dog’s head..wish I could have captured that on camera, but I was laughing too hard! Ok back to the nominations.

1. ah, I am stuck, I love you all, how can I choose? Some of you share incredibly touching stories,some share family adventures, the excitement of living with small children, garden tips and beauty, farm visits, visiting with you; I am able to view photos from around the world. Photos from different perspectives, beautiful photos taken by children in beautiful gardens. I get gardening tips and inspiration from folks approaching it from like minded organic, sustainable manner.

So, don’t be blue:

Check out these sites, I hope you enjoy them!
http://dirtnkids.wordpress.com/
http://prairiewisdom.wordpress.com/
http://thislittlelight516.wordpress.com/
http://writingfeemail.wordpress.com/
http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com/
http://ktbloom.wordpress.com/
http://anyluckypeny.wordpress.com/
http://reposed-ny-blog.com/
I am never certain how to create links..so if these are not direct links, please go the extra mile and paste these URL’s you won’t be disappointed.
I am certain, I am omitting some very dear blogs…I appreciate all the work, care, and joy that blogging brings to you all!

Be Well,
Jess

You need a strong foundation, and back, and arms, and a hammer.


The important thing is that you have a strong foundation…

I have always wanted a Arbor covered with sweet juicy grapes in my garden.
This past weekend we made it happen. Of course us being us; we used only up-cycled materials. The posts we purchased for a dollar a piece from a sheep farmer nearby, the bolts and such were salvaged from earlier dismantling projects, the top braces were with the fencing we picked up for a song… I love these types of projects; not very time consuming, nearly instant gratification, and every one likes to get involved. Well, except for Lexi, as you will see from the photos.

I planted Concord, and Niagra ( a white grape). Niagra grapes were created by cross breeding Concord grapes with a white grape the Cassidy variety; in the 1800’s. A sweet -tart, think Welch’s grape juice taste…mmmm mmmm I can hardly wait.

Concord grapes remind me of grapes picked as a child to be made into grape jelly.
The Concord grape is a robust and aromatic grape whose ancestors were wild native species found growing in the rugged New Hampshire soil. Being born in NH, something these grapes and I have in common. (just thought you’d wanna know)
Developed on a farm outside Concord,NH…down the road from the Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne and Alcott homesteads, can you ask for better company?
Early ripening, to escape the killing northern frosts, but with a rich, full-bodied flavor, the hardy Concord grape thrives where European cuttings had failed to survive. I am so happy they did!
Experts found that the antioxidants present in the skin and juice of the Concord grapes have brain boosting powers that helps in improving memory. Perhaps, if I eat enough of them I will remember what I am doing from one room to the next. Did you ever have one of “those” moments; you walk upstairs, or into the kitchen to retrieve something., then have absolutely no idea why you went there!? Grapes, I will eat many, many grapes.


Concord grapes…:)


NY Niagra Grapes…hopefully my Arbor will resemble this!

I tried to capture the steps we took in creating our Arbor…certainly their are many shapes and sizes of structures to be considered if you are to ever plant grapes. I wanted an arbor that would act as an entrance to the garden; i think it will do nicely.


The Arbor.


Daisy, taking in all of the happenings from a distance; she is healing quite nicely form her traumatic encounter with a predator…you can read about that here: http://awinsomejourney.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/tragedy-and-triumph/ ( hope I linked that correctly)


Does Andrew measure up? You betcha.


William, our neighbor giving my husband a hand…


Lexi calls it quits!

After completing the arbor,late on an 85 degree Sunday afternoon, my tireless husband turned to me and asked, “Are you ready to shear a few llamas?”
Me, “nope”.
I am ready for a nice glass of wine. ;)

Be well,
Jess

I dream in technicolor…


Grey, drippy, rainy, windy days. Days when I relax cozily snuggled up in a blanket and dream…dream of warm sunshine and lush gardens. Yes, I dream in Technicolor. Vibrant, vivid images that gladden my heart and sooth my soul.
On rainy, sloshy days, I plan and I design, everything from garden gates to furniture. I’ve drawn and re-drawn gazebos, arbors (for my new grapes) and barns for my husband to build, so far, he has yet to take my pencil from my unyielding grip.
On misty days,I wander through memories, memories past, mine, my children’s, my friend’s…sometimes I smile, sometimes I laugh out loud.
I don’t allow sad thoughts in on rainy days; they are banished and put out with the remains of altered designs.
I dream of summers to come; summers past. Spring plantings, autumn’s wealth.
I dream in technicolor.


summers of innocence, summers of abandon


gather summers gifts


Summers by a NH lake… for just a day picnic or a decade.
This photo reminds me of one of my sons..he fished in his canoe before school (we had to retrieve him), he fished after school, he still fishes every chance he gets.


My husband and I always love an evening stroll.


Bliss, just lying in the grass watching the clouds drift by.

Be well,
Jess

Once Upon a Time, there was a tiny little cottage~that wanted to be a Farm


Dreaming up the happy ending… after all, some of its bones were made of trees (actual tree trunks).
Originally built in 1840, with balloon construction technique; a style of wood-house building that uses long, vertical studs for the exterior walls. These long “studs” extend uninterrupted, from the sill on top of the foundation, all the way up to the roof. It first came into use, well before the mid-nineteenth century, there certainly are many, many balloon-framed structures, between 75 and 175 years old, that haven’t floated away.( not very funny, huh?) Most balloon framed buildings were rather plain and simple. The original structure of our little cottage was a mere 800 square, only feet 18 feet wide. The family that lived here for the previous 50 years before us, raised 6 children here. The only addition they made was a small attached kitchen structure. We found out as we were re-modeling; the timbers for that portion of the house were tree trunks. We figure it must have been an old wood shed attached to the house for convenience in the winter months.

Although the tiny quarters posed many space and storage challenges, it has a very charming and warm feel to it. It was home. The pastures were perfect for llamas; though many outbuildings needed to be constructed and fences built. We installed a very inexpensive fence, as it had to go up rather quickly and with little money as we had so much reno work inside the house. Permanent and safer fencing is our next big project, but that is another story all together[ and a previous post]. We lived out behind the house in our 28′ travel trailer for the first spring and summer we were here; mind you there were still 5 of us living here, with a dog and a cat to boot. I remember, as summer of that year was coming to a close; my youngest daughter had a fair (and llama show) to attend. The usual course of events would have been to pack the camper with needed items, trailer the animals and head to the fair for the week….not this particular time, you see we were still “technically living in it”, so as it was, we packed up our home and went to the fair. How’s that for classy living? Long about the end of October we were finally installing the last wall of the addition, (Howie and I did the entire reno ourselves, with found items, recycled and reused materials). After relocating a stairway, bathroom , laundry room and building 2 new bedrooms ~the sky spitting snow, finally we could move into the house! It has been a long road, we still have projects to finish…
the cabinets(handmade by a local cabinet maker long,long ago) that I refinished, going on 6 six years ago are in need of touch ups, the living room was painted again this past month, old barn flooring was used for the stairs, and barn boards now cozy up a wall(all salvaged from a 200 year old barn, last summer…again a different post)…The “scenery” I change often…curtains, pillows, and re-arranged furnishings character-etched, and well loved, relaxed and worry free, we live here…and so do our-much too large -dogs. And that is just how I like it.

The outbuildings are a coming along…

So hey come let’s look around…a walk through the seasons, dismantled barns, [in no particular order] at Misty Maples: 52 weeks, 52 pictures…oops

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Be well. Enjoy your day. We are having extraordinary weather here in upstate NY near 60!
Yipee.
Jess

An Award!


For me? I knew this would be a great year; I just knew it! My 2nd VBA! (now, doesn’t that sound official)! Such an affirmation! Such encouragement! i am so, so grateful! (a lot of exclamation points, I know)
First, A BIG Thank you!

Thank you for including me among the other lovely blogs she named to be recipients of this award. Which, when you look at her list , is quite an honor indeed. Thank you so much
allaboutlemon.com

…But Sharing Is Caring.


To sum up her blog…Well, her words do it best; “It’s all about you, us and the others too. It’s all about life, people, places and all the things around us”.

VBA Rules
I’ve been nominated; I’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award!

1.Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
2.Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
3.Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I won’t post15,but,I would add,these blogs are excellent!)
4.Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — I will try to include a link to each site.
5.Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

OOPs, forgot…7 things about me.

1. I can’t sing..I try – Oh, how I try.
2. I have a Rooster aptly named Mr. Nasty. (more on him later)
3. I may have too many hobbies…can this even be possible?
4. I don’t like ice cream or chocolate chip cookies…I know, right?
5. I named my first daughter ~ Julianne Marie ~ I named all of my dolls Julianne when I was young ~ just loved that name (secretly wished it was mine)
6. I eat peanut butter out of the jar…and sometimes dip it in honey.
7. I am addicted to the PBS series ~ Dowton Abbey ~ which is strange because I very seldom watch television.

The above appears as though I have an “I” problem.

one of the sisters


The “sweetridgesisters” Sweetridgesisters.wordpress.com
~ one foot in the country, one foot in the city
The adventures of four sisters raised on Sweet Ridge Farm in the driftless hills of Southwestern Wisconsin, from lambs in the cellar to life in the big city. When I read their blog(s) and collective tales..I am transported to their kitchen table, or living room sofa…honest,raw,and sweet.

watchingthephotoreels.com

creative, imaginative, striking photography.
View life through her lens…fascinates me with every post.

thislittlelight.wordpress.com

“This Little Light seeks to remind me that I am called to be a light. I am not called to be perfect, I am not called to do it all by myself, I am not called to be exceptional in every way…” be sure to check out “tutorial Tuesday”.

awindowintothewoods.com
her first book

Extraordinary photography of nature together with great narration! LOVE this blog.

lostupabove.wordpress.com


A passion for prose<3

scriptorwrites.wordpress.com


Scriptor Obscura was reading by the age of four, and wrote her first story at the age of seven, …absolutely intriguing.

applepiespice.blogspot.com


You may recognize this beautiful young woman from one of my posts…A Day of Never-ending Dreams.
Truly, as sweet as pie!

The rules state 16; this is only 7…7 wonderful blogs to be sure. I do hope you have a moment to visit them if you haven’t already. You won’t be disappointed.

Now, may I introduce Harry. :)

Harry, the happy felted Llama.

he makes me smile...I just finished him this morning; my first felted animal.

Be well,
Jessica

I hope I have downloaded all links correctly..God willin’ and the creek don’t rise……fingers crossed

My Favorite Shade…of green


I want to believe long weekends were made for relaxation..No? No.

So, we have been busy at Misty Maples Farm.

1. We have torn out the staircase…we are going to use some of the beautifully patina’d barn boards for a focal wall, wainscoting, and wide board barn floor for risers, it is starting to take shape. I will post pictures soon.
2. Acquired 3 new llamas. Which led to number 3.

New face in the crowd.


3. Design and install new pasture fencing to divide the girls and boys. We really needed to do this anyway; Luckily, we have most of the material on hand.
Which, in turn, led to number 4.
4. Build a larger barn. Which leads back to our summer endeavor of reclaiming old barns to reuse the wood and beams.

Fencing, is my biggest priority right now. This has to be completed before the new llamas can arrive. How to design a fence, you asked?
Whether used as permanent, periphery boundaries, or temporary pasture divider fences need careful planning and construction for efficient usefulness, long life and low maintenance.
First, what is the fence to be used for? In our case it going to be a boundary fence and a a cross-fence to divide a pasture?
What is the fence for? Llamas and perhaps other fiber livestock.
What type of fence is best suited? The first consideration in deciding the best fence is the purpose for which it will be used.
Livestock protection and confinement are the main reasons for considering fencing, but the fencing needs for various types species,age,and breed of livestock vary widely.
Visibility is a necessary characteristic in fencing for llamas, they are very curious creatures and always keep a careful watch over the property. Greeting all visitors with their inquisitive gaze.
Barbed wire should be avoided because there are many opportunities for llamas to cut themselves,or damage their very large eyes on the barbs.

barbs can be a danger to llamas.

I tend to want to avoid High-tensile wire, or tape type fences, as they can pose a threat to llamas because they may become entangled in the strands. I have heard too many horror stories.

I think a four board fence, about 5 feet high will do nicely. I will add chicken fencing to the lower half to keep predators out and cria in. Pay attention to water resources when planning your fence arrangement. Wise placement of fences can result in being able to use the same water source in two, or more pastures. We intend to run water, and electric up the center of two connecting pastures.

How pretty is this fence-line.

A permanent fence that surrounds the farm is essential. We need to establish a fixed property line between neighbors. This new fence will help to prevent our livestock from getting out onto the roads, possibly getting killed,or as on one occasion,being mistaken for a moose, seriously, this happened. Also, a new fence will help to keep neighboring dogs away from our animals, my pet peeve. These fences will probably never be moved, so it makes sense to build a well-constructed, low maintenance fence that will last a long time. A permanent fence is also a good idea for a lane that gives livestock access to the place where we/you can perform herdsman-ship, animal husbandry type tasks, nail trims, shearing, wormings, etc.

Our choice;Board fences are very attractive, quite strong and are safe for animals. Board fences consist of 1- to 2-inch thick, 4- to 6-
inch wide boards nailed to wooden posts spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. They can be built to any height,however,heights of 4 to 5 feet are most common. As I mentioned earlier,ours will be 5′ high.

Hopefully, the new fencing will look like this.

We also brought home 3 – 1200lb bales of hay yesterday. The girls were delighted. I was too, to have such green hay in January! Utter delight indeed.

barn red, and hay green…and a little indoor beauty.

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As Robert Frost penned, I have miles to go before I sleep.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Be well,
Jess

sorry about all the corrections.

A month of thanksgiving ~ Day 15


November 15, 2011

I am grateful for finished projects

Earlier I wrote a blog post ~ Grateful for my home. I mentioned that when I found before pictures I would post them. I found some; they are poor quality – early cell phone pictures, so bare with me. It has been a long and arduous 6 years,(on the 23 of December) and we are still not completely finished. Though we are nearing the end. I want to build a kitchen island from the barn wood we are up-cycling, then screen in the porch between the kitchen and the deck. Speaking of barn wood, I will add a few pictures of the beams that we brought home from the NOW dismantled barn. That was a project. The property owner was awesome, he offered us an additional barn for the taking! This barn will be my studio. I am so excited!!! Did I mention I was grateful?!

ok, pictures…

before kitchen...oh boy...

ah yes, the "dining area" of the old kitchen

kitchen a couple of years ago...same cupboards; I sanded, painted and glazed them..I think they turned out ok.

kitchen with Riley ready to pounce into the chair. The venetain plaster was a bear...it has been fairly easy keep though..I did this about 5 years ago..

the old stair way...can you imagine? ....nice 50's paneling and wrought iron even...

The second floor of the old barn hat will eventually be my studio!

Outside view.

beams from one of the old barns...priceless.

My kitchen island...(model) , I think weathered wood will do nicely don't you? It will be about 8 feet long, and I hope to build in my microwave and wine chiller...

I do have to say this has been A LOT of work, but it has all been worth it. I am also grateful all of the mechanics of the house were relatively new and well maintained…the previous owner was meticulous about that.

Be well,
Jess