Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday Night Priming

Remember this room?  Ugh - what a mess.  The clean up memories are buried need to dredge those up.  Moving forward!

Last night the Steelers' logo and terrible paint job went bye bye.

Here's a happy primer pretending it's summer...

The logo was sanded and primed satisfying!  Sorry Steelers fans.

Jennifer isn't a fan of trimming, but really who is?

Our miscellaneous leftover primers covered the whole room, which is nice for the checkbook.

All primed and ready for painting when we are next inspired...

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend Progress: Part 3

We moved craft room furniture and stuff into their new home this weekend!  There's still organizing to do and figure out, but the space is now usable and Jennifer's so excited!  

The space is bright and welcoming and most importantly....inspirational!

Soap is on the agenda for this week and it's so great to be at the place where we can start thinking about our creative ventures again.  Look for our Etsy shop to greatly expand during 2011!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekend Progress: Part 2 (Seed Saving)

This summer/fall we spent some time deadheading and saving seed from a few types of plants.  We organized all the different seed heads, but Bounder destroyed all our organization efforts.  She loved the drying boxes and always found her way into them.  She, of course, did the same when we brought the box in to finally separate the seeds.  

Look at her! She wants the camera out of her face so she can chew on some plants....she knows she caused no real harm to the seeds (other than the ones she consumed).

We saved seed from zinnias, calendula, agate soybeans (most were found and eaten by a mouse since our move - bad for us, but good for the mouse), coriander (cilantro), fennel and marigolds.  Since we're not selling seed, we're not too particular about removing all the petals and chaff; it will easily decompose when the seeds are sown.  We just love many shapes and colors.  Pretty amazing little packets of energy and life.

We have enough marigold seed to plant a whole field I think!  We like to pepper flowers all about our garden so I'm sure it will all be used this summer.  We plan on more seed saving next year....these are marigolds and zinnias from our garden at Coffeetree Bottoms 3 years ago! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Progress: Part 1

We said good bye to the red and gray dining room this weekend and it's all thanks to Steve.  This room bugged him especially so he prompted us to get primer and paint....just in case.  Amidst Steve's garage/shop organizing he also worked on priming...

Goodbye old paint!

Flora found paint rolling fascinating.  She helped Steve quite a bit on this project, as you might imagine.

And the new color goes on!  Yep, it's orange poppy folks.  We are officially hooked on bright colors.  Thank you New Mexico for expanding our color palette!

This room is so warm and inviting now.  Steve is planning the furniture he will build for this room.  Steve's skills, old boards and fun paint colors will make for awesome furniture, no doubt.  I can't wait!

We are also acquiring Steve's grandmother's table eventually and will add a natural fiber rug to keep our feet a bit warmer.  It's so much better than before and will continue to improve! 

Coffee or tea anyone?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What a Winter!

Snow certainly seems to follow us and this year is no exception.  We hiked at Mt. Gilead State Park again and marveled at the fantastic snowflakes blanketing the woodland.

Really, how cool are these flakes?!

Steve...what else is there to say?

The sunshine warmed us nicely and filtered beautifully through the trees.

Tracks on the reservoir leading to a beautiful open grown tree.

More secrets of the snow...

Shadows on the reservoir...  

Happy Hiking!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Basement Root Cellar

Fortunately for us, prior owners of our 1901 farmhouse added a basement root cellar.  The room is closed in on the northwest side of our house and stays quite cool when the door is closed.  

We have all our canning jars stored in there now (cats are no longer allowed as they are jar breakers...bad kitties!) and our produce from the 2010 gardening season.

We still have quite a bit of winter squash and 12 or so quarts of homemade applesauce from our apple picking adventure this fall.    

How nice are filled canning jars to look at?  We love it and plan for many more next summer!

It is getting to that time of year: seed catalogs are arriving!  Are you all planning yet?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Craft Room Progress

We are wrapping up work in the craft room, finally!  Painting is always such an involved job and we have LOTS more to do.  That's ok though, we have fun working together.

Trimming followed the wall painting.  The color is called Ohio Buckeye....appropriate for our new locale.

Little things hung us up in this room including the crude attic entry.

Steve and his handy self fixed it all up...

Here's a look at the attic entry with paint...

And the whole room with drying floor paint!  We're looking forward to moving stuff in and emptying the last of our moving boxes.

Happy snow to all you receiving it!  It's a winter wonderland here in north central Ohio.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Brisk Hike at a Great New Spot: Mount Gilead State Park, OH

 After all the recent toil (or was that a labor of love?!) we HAD TO HAVE a hike. Luckily, we live about 10 minutes from Mount Gilead State Park and, as we found out, it's a great place. Like a lot of state parks, it's centered around some mega-topography. In this case, a nice wooded gorge and surrounding uplands.

Finally, a trail again!

Everything returns to nature; old boardwalk boards covered in mosses:

And the sun even popped out periodically!

We wondered why these icicles were the color of butterscotch pudding and concluded that is must be from tannins or some other material being leached from the decomposing wood (American Beech, in this case).

It's always easy to reflect on how lucky you are while gazing out over a nice overlook!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

December 31st., 2010: 56 degrees and Sunny!

The first day of our 3-day weekend proved to me quite productive. First, we got a coat of paint applied to one of our upstairs rooms (this will be the craft room). Steve edged...

...Jennifer rolled:

Looks good after one coat, will look great after the second. The trim will be a nice red and the floor green.

Next we went outside since the weather was incredible - just like spring. We got a good burnpile going to burn some of the tremendous volumes of waste lumber scattered all over the property. Some we will save but a lot of it has been outside so long that it's too far gone to re-purpose.

We also cleaned up a huge pile of refuse left behind by the prior occupants. This ended up filling a couple dozen large garbage bags (it was a nasty, nasty job):

Next we cleaned the gutters on our house. After removing many years of goop and detritus, we flushed them out with water from our cistern.

Our good friend Tim Gerardot gave us a sump pump and hose and here you see we are using this to pump water from the cistern into a bucket. Once the gutters are flushed and flowing and once we pump the cistern dry and clean it out, we'll re-route the gutters back into it. The cistern is huge (appears to be 1000 gallons) and collects water from all our roof surfaces (which are metal; excellent for collecting rainwater).

Here's a look into the cistern. The pipes bring rainwater in. The brick divider, we suspect, acts as a rudimentary filter: direct water into one side and it slowly seeps through brick interstices into the other side - leveling itself as water does.

 Next we cleaned the gutters on the garage. Just a bit of neglect? Technically, we think a soil and ecosystem formed in our gutters!

From atop the garage a different perspective (of the junk) is revealed. Junk to the east:

Junk out back:

 Junk to the south:

Junk to the west:

To the north we have a good view of our house. We've got the downspouts directed quite a ways from the house to test the hypothesis that the dampness in the basement (during rains) might be due to lack of gutter maintenance.

Here's a look out back showing the fields and woods behind our place. Our garden shed is tucked into the pines.

On old stump provides a vantage from which the Enchanted Chicken can survey her new home. (Enchanted Chicken is a gift from one of our good New Mexico friends and has shared our many travels with us).

 We soaked up the unseasonable sun and warmth, knowing that winter will soon return....