Monday, March 2, 2015

Now They're Just Messing With Us

We finally seem to have broken out of the cold snowy cycle we've been in.  Just imagine, three whole days with daytime highs above freezing!  Why, it's been positively sweltering!  Of course this morning we got another dusting of snow. We're over 100 inches for the year, we don't actually need more.  But this was nothing much, just enough to freshen up the look of the snowbanks, which had been getting a little dingy.
Yes, the black spec in the snowbank at center left is my mailbox.
Certainly there hasn't been a lot of motivation to stop knitting winter wear.   Here's the hat:

There have been more mittens- one pair of kid mittens, and another pair for me.  Come to think of it, this is the second pair for me.  I don't think I took a picture of the others- they were off the needles and onto my hands too fast!

And for the housewarming gift, a set of draft excluders.  Traditionally these are filled with sand, but dry sand is hard to come by this time of year- the yard being frozen solid- so I copied my mother's winter innovation and stuffed them with cat litter.

And now it's bedtime, and I should go stick my feet under a cat and go to sleep.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Snow Days

There's nothing like 40 inches of snow, a busy slate of leisure and work activities and a nasty, if short-lived, head cold for interfering with a person's crafting schedule.    The snow:
See how thrilled I look?  Yeah.  I'm not nearly
that happy.  

Small car.  Big snow.

The cats are quite puzzled by this. 

This was after the first storm.  We got another fifteen inches last week, plus four more today and we're scheduled for another foot tomorrow.   Just in time for my commute.  Wish me luck, folks! And strong shoveling muscles- I'm going to need them!

In between storms, we made it out to the big train show...(Amherst Model Railway Society Show, but around here, 'the big train show' doesn't need clarification.)
Not even the train layouts escaped the snow.
Then Cookie had a vet visit.  Poor baby- he had four teeth taken out, had to go an entire night without food, and worst of all:  The car.  There's nothing to make you feel truly rotten like your normally silent cat crying piteously all the way to the vet's.   In a snowstorm.  Of course, as soon as I stopped the car, he stopped crying and he completely charmed the vets with his friendly personality and demonstrative affection.  We're a little cynical about the affection at home.  Cookie is pretty ecumenical when he's hungry- you have thumbs, he'll suck up.

Anyway, between all that, and the head cold (I'll spare you photographic evidence of that), there hasn't been a whole lot of crafting.   Some mittens:
There's a hat still on the needles and I finally started the edging on the pastel vest, but really.  Not much.

In the sewing department, I'm making some window coverings for a friend who just moved into a new house.  They're losing a lot of heat through the windows, so I figured they could use window quilts as a house-warming present.   Though sewing projects always seem to been multi-step things.  Wherein step one is to deal with a pile of mending that is blocking access to the sewing machine.  (A pair of pants, a shirt, a sweater and a jacket have been returned to my closet.  And various other garments have been deemed irreparable and put into a garbage bag.)

Next step, lay out the project--in this case, some long curtains I had, that only needed to be shortened for my friend's windows.

At this point the whole thing bogs down, as spreading fabric on the floor is a guaranteed way to get 'help'.
With both Cookie and Biscuit on the job, things rapidly got more complicated.

Biscuit wandered off after being removed a couple of times, but Cookie was determined to thoroughly check out the project.  In this case, by determining how comfortable it is to curl up on.

After I callously dumped him off, he went on to inspect more fabric while I sewed.  Biscuit likes cutting out, but he thinks the actual sewing is boring.  Especially when I refuse to let him get up close and personal with the thread, the threaded needles, the sewing machine, etc.  Once I thwarted all his paws-on inspection, he started complaining and trying to get me to do something more interesting before finally wandering off to nap.

After my feline assistants settled down, more progress was made. Though naturally I didn't have a bobbin of thread in the right color and had to wind one.  Then there was an interval of taking things apart and cleaning the bobbin race before the thread would stop tangling,  But.  One set of windows down, two more to go.

Now I just need it to stop snowing so my time stops being chewed up by horrendous commutes and snow removal.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Last weekend's plans were derailed by a last minute social engagement which turned into another weekend-long board games marathon.
I only succeeded in conquering the galaxy once, but my final move of the game was to decisively blow up a dreadnought that had invaded my star empire.   I gloated basked at least halfway through the next game.  

We built star empires, constructed the French countryside, and finished with a rousing game of RoboRally, wherein my sneaky spouse snatched victory while I was busy pushing Kevin's robot into a pit.  These things happen.  

While not much happened on the craft front, I did finish off the cell phone cozy.
I may still get funny looks when I pull the phone out of it, but it definitely protects the phone from getting banged and scratched in my bag, and it's not nearly as eye-catching as the sock I was using as an interim cover.  

The cats were thrilled with the company- our friend Kevin is a frequent visitor, and all the boys came out to greet him (and sniff his luggage).  Biscuit has evidently decided he's part of the family, and patted him, followed him around, and supervised his activities in the bathroom.   It was exhausting, however, and Biscuit needed a lie down after a while.

Cookie and Jake were more blase, and curled up together in the living room while the rest of us played games in the library.  

Tonight I arrived home to find everyone weirded out by the furnace having emitted noxious smells. My husband had the situation well in hand- the furnace turned off, repair persons called, and his schedule rearranged to be here to let them in while I'm at work tomorrow.   There are some decided benefits to this marriage thing.   The weather has fortunately cooperated by not being enormously cold, so we'll be fine overnight- we can always build a fire in the wood stove in the morning if it's too chilly.    Hopefully it's nothing serious.  Our hot water is made by the furnace, and while it will stay hot for a couple of days with the furnace off,  keeping a fire going in the woodstove and heating water in the kitchen for baths is a pain in the patootie.  Wish us luck!