Wednesday, February 29, 2012

worth the wait

Two years ago, I came across 5 skeins of Berroco Alpaca yarn at the Goodwill.......for $5.00.
When I found this yarn, I snatched it up quick. I decided that whatever I made, I had to be great. I settled on a sweater, searched for a pattern that worked with 5 skeins, and began.
I finished the original sweater 18 months ago. It was too big, and not the good kind of big. A good big would have been flowy, drapey, and comfy. I knew I wouldn't wear it.  I frogged it all the way to the bustline, and set out to make it fit better. The original shoulders and arms fit me so perfect that I didn't want to mess with starting over completely.
I am so pleased with how it turned out. It is a basic top-down, raglan sleeve, v-neck cardigan. I used a garter stitch band around the sleeve, neck/front, and bottom. The body of the sweater is stockinette. It has no closures and came out with the perfect amount of drape in the front. The sleeves are my favorite part. They are long and wide with a kimono-ish style to them. The bottom of the sweater hits me mid-hip and is nicely fitted. I just need to finish blocking and I am done! I would say, it was worth the wait.

Happy Leap Day, Tami

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I finally got around to starting my inspiration notebook. Again, I am using a marbled composition book.
I am thinking of having 2 main sections. I want a place to put my favorite knitting patterns, the ones that are tried and true. I also want a section to paste my magazine clippings and print-outs. Mostly these are for home inspiration. I want lots of space to doodle, write notes and list ideas.

I love having a place to put all these inspirations, and using a book makes it feel a little like art journaling. Anytime I can make something into an artist expression, that's the project for me.

Have an inspired day, Tami

Monday, February 27, 2012

can you feel it ?

Spring is just around the corner.
I can feel it in my whole being. That urge to get outside and get stuff done.
We had a little power outage the other morning, lovely being off-grid for a few hours.
We spent an entire day getting our garden ready for planting. More photos to come of that. It's looking pretty spiffy. I can see little signs everywhere. Flowers starting to bloom, leaves budding, the woolens are starting to come off.  (never completely though, I love my wool).
I have a stack of books to get me through this inbetween. Lots of ideas and dreams.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Friday, February 24, 2012

{this moment}

{we keep the tooth fairy busy here}
Joining Amanda.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I had to document this.
It was the strangest thing I'd seen. It's probably the strangest thing I will ever blog.
Static electricity had this piece of elastic sticking straight up in the air. I could actually move it around without touching it. It had a field of static around it like a bubble. It was very cool. I love science.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

a new old house

 Half of our house was built in 1909, the other half my husband built in 2002. Our goal has always been to have this house protected by the Local Historic Register in our town. When we were adding on to the house, we tried our very best to duplicate all of the details that would have been present when our house was built. My hard-working hubby hand cut every single rafter tail to match the curvaceous design of the originals.

{this is where the old house meets new, see the matching eaves}

I looked for an entire year on ebay to find a matching lockset for the master bedroom door. The chandelier in our diningroom was also purchased on ebay. It was half gas/half electrical and I had to completely rewire it for use. All of the original locksets, window hardware, and lighting fixtures were an unusual finish called a Japanned finish. It is hard to explain and hard to find. It's a mottled darkened finish with coppery stripes showing through.

{the original fir floors have a lot of charater}
We were very fortunate to have so much of the original workwork present when we bought the house. We were able to copy the tall baseboards and come very close to matching the top moldings. We remodeled the main bathroom and used beadboard and tiny hexagon tiles.
In the end, the landmark preservation board in our town was impressed by the effort and sensitivity we put forth in adding onto and remodeling our home. We were granted local historic status in 2010.

It's a wonderful honor, and made our hard worth it. I love old houses.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

right now

Sunday. Busy. Busy. Busy.
(not my favorite rhythm on a Sunday, I prefer rest.)

Monday. Lots of time in the kitchen. Rain, rain, rain outside.
Cookie making and my Grandma Joan's corn chowder for dinner.

Today. Lots of running around.
Orthodontist, dentist, playdate, Gung Fu........the kids are home this week on mid-winter break. The week has filled up quickly with things we need to do.

Tomorrow............hopefully a mellow day at home. Knitting and tea all day long. Bliss.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

the girls

{this is Henny}

We l-o-v-e having chickens.
It took me 3 years of yearning to get them. It was quite by chance.
Last July, a friend in a neighborhood a few miles from here had 3 pair. I say it that way because they were different ages and were raised in pairs. Ages 2 years, 5 months, and 2 months.
We are only allowed 3 hens on our city lots. She had 6, and the city found out. She sent out a email to anybody she could think of, and I jumped at the opportunity. (I jumped, as in the Mister needed a little convincing) :~) She wanted to keep one hen from each pair, so we ended up with a 2 year old Giant Blue Cochin, a 5 month old Buff Orpington, and a 2 month old Red Sex-Link. It took them a couple weeks of extremely stressful pecking before they settled into their order. I had to keep little "Pep" our Red, away from the bigger girls for awhile. By time they moved into the new coop, they were getting along. Pep is still the sweetest of the bunch and so curious.
Before we got the chickens, we had some experiences, our best neighbor friends have them and we had been gleaning lots of knowledge from them.
We had a make-shift coop/chicken run for a few weeks, until we converted our old dog house and constructed the chicken run.
We have the perfect area for the girls to free range. We have an enclosed patio garden off of our kitchen. Originally, we enclosed it to keep our little dogs out of the big yard. Now, we've banished the dogs to the big yard and claimed our "chicken garden". (I have the greatest book on order from the library called "Chicken Gardens", I can't wait until it comes in). We will really be sprucing up this area for them in the Spring.
The coop/run area is completely enclosed and covered to make it predator proof. They have access to free range in the garden when we are home, and when the weather allows.
It is ideal for them and us. I have easy access right out my french doors and we get to enjoy their antics and their yummy eggs!
I am looking to make a few changes this Spring to the coop. I want to get a galvanized waterer and build some sort of trough feeder, instead of the hanging one. The ramp from the coop to the run needs be a little more stout, also.
I bed the coop with white wood shavings and clean this out every week or so. We have 1 nesting box that has a very convenient access door, and a large access door that opens the entire side for cleaning.
I really like having a walk-in run. It makes it so much easier to rake and clean, but also to feed and water them. It is also pretty fun to get in there and have a little visit with girls.
So far our experience has been excellent. We have not had to deal with any big issues. I would say that they are far easier to keep than I thought they'd be.
Did I mention what a great experience this has been for my kids. Priceless.

{Anya and Pep}

Have a blessed day, Tami

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I've loved for him for half my life.
He is the most creative, inspiring, and resourceful man.
He always protects, always provides, always loves.
Did I mention what a pleasure he is to look at :~)

It is his birthday today.


Thank you for sharing your life with me, with us.
We love you so very much.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

built in

You'd think that a 103 year old house would have, at least, some built-ins. Well not mine. Our home was built in 1909 with great quality in materials and craftsmanship, but was built for a workingman's family, translation - no frills. No fireplace, no lathe and plaster, no built-in cabinetry, no fancy nooks and crannies. I am thankful though, for the lovely moldings that they put in.
I drool over images I see of old homes. There is so much character. A lot of this character comes from odd little corners, nooks and built-ins. It seems that every bit of space was used for a practical purpose. We need that in our modest sized home.
We decided to make a built-in cabinet of our own.

I bought a vintage wood corner cabinet and we stripped it down to the box. We mounted it in the corner above our gas fireplace and decked it out a bit with molding. A good coat of white paint and now I have my built-in. I decided to leave the old red paint on the inside of the bottom portion. It was charming and will eventually be covered by doors anyway. (next project on the list)

I love it.
I now have a practical place to store my china and a few oil lamps. The treasures that I put on the top shelves are very special to me. I am not one for a lot of clutter, so if it is seen, it better be special.

Have a very Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012


{a new piece of art for our walls, drawn by Kane}
{heading out to the chicken garden}

{homemade granola}
We had a wonderful weekend.
Eric and Gage went camping with his Cub Scout den. I'm glad to have stayed cozy and warm at home. We spent Friday evening with our best neighbor friends. We let the little kids stay up way too late, snacking endlessly and watching movies. Michelle and I talked and knitted the night away. It was the perfect way to spend the evening with the dads and boys away at camp.

{Camp Sheppard - can you see Gage way off in the distance?}
Sunday was busy with church and our annual Youth Auction. I hope that the bracelet I made went for bunches of money, it's for a great cause. This auction helps the high schoolers go on their summer mission trip. This year they are going to New Orleans.

I am glad the boys are back, they had a great time at camp.
We will be busy making Valentine cards today. I love Valentine's Day. I am going to be making a card like this one for my honey.

Can I gush a little bit about the beautiful drawing of the raccoons. Kane loves art class. He brings home the most amazing pieces. Most of them are in his room, I am so blessed to have this newest drawing to enjoy in the center of our home. I love using the art we've created to decorate our walls.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

rainbow bracelet

I made this bracelet for the youth auction at church. I think it turned out pretty great. It is called a rainbow salvation bracelet. Each one of the colors represents as aspect of our Christian faith.
(gold~God, black~sin, red~blood, white~forgive, clear~purity, green~growth, and blue~spirit)
There are many wonderful tutorials all over the Internet to make these. Mine is totally free-form, I used what I had on hand. I pray that somebody loves it and takes it home. Better yet, maybe they'll give it to someone they love. Maybe I will make more and give them to those I love. Yes.

Have a blessed day, Tami

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the pantry

I did a little pantry spruce up this week. I labeled a lot of my glass jars.
It was gently pointed out to me, that I am the only one in our home, that knows what is in them. LOL.
Labeling might help my hubby and some of the budding cooks in my house.
Just about anything that can be put in a glass jar, I put in a glass jar.
I really, really love the french canning jars. I have been very lucky to find so many at the thrift stores in the past. There are not a lot out there now. I also have big pickle jars, and other jars that I use.

I used a paint pen to write on the jars. I have used Sharpie markers in the past, but that doesn't stay tidy looking for very long. I might also order some craft paper labels for the jars that have rotating ingredients, and for the lids of my bulk tea jars.
I really like shopping in bulk, and this makes it easier to know where everything goes. It also looks quite lovely and organized.
Have a blessed day, Tami

Monday, February 6, 2012

a knitting basket

I take my knitting projects with me everywhere. I really wanted a basket with handles that was sturdy enough to stand up on it's own. I found a lovely basket at a local thrift store. It is exactly what I wanted, but really needed to be lined to keep my knitting projects from snagging. I love the size, it is the perfect for hauling around an in-progress sweater and a skein of yarn.
Now for the liner........

A thrifted 1980's shetland wool sweater. I felted the sweater, stitched in an oval piece where I cut the sweater below the armholes, which created a flat bottom to the liner,  and cut 2 slits near the top so it would slip over the handles. Pretty simple.

I stitched up the cut I made for the handles with gray wool yarn.
I may do a little more finishing work, like a blanket stitch around the bottom edge and maybe some embellishment. Maybe even a few pockets. I love how it turned out, practical and pretty.
Have a blessed day,

Friday, February 3, 2012

{this moment}

I have never joined in on this before. I think I will give it a go. Joining Amanda.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

the rhythm of morning

It is still dark. I hear the furnace click on, it will warm up soon.
I rise before everyone else, even the dogs. I love the quiet, a little time to start my day without
being rushed. A cup of coffee and email.
Kane gets up.
Time to wake up the little kids. Anya is the first dressed for breakfast.
I can hear the little boys playing and giggling upstairs ~ they are supposed to be getting dressed for school, but I love hearing them be happy with one another.
The sun is about to come up and it feels strange sending the oldest to school in the dark.

Making the kids lunches, the bread from yesterday a great success for sandwich making.
Need another cup of coffee.
Breakfast done.
Lunches done.
Always giving reminders to finish getting ready ~ easily distracted.
Teeth, hair, socks, shoes, coats, backpacks. They repeat the mantra.
I can see that there is a little blue sky this morning. The chickens want out.

Only a few minutes and they head out the door, the bus will be coming.
Out the door on time. Hugs and kisses.
I promise to walk them to the bus stop tomorrow. I tell them to be on their best behavior, as they run like wild things with the neighbors to the bus stop. I say be careful. They are yelling too loud to hear me, I hope they heard me say *I love you*.
This is my first 2 hours of the day.

Morning is always a blur.
Now for a little more coffee, and I will get on with my day.
I can't wait until they get home.
Late afternoon is equally busy, we get homework done right away, and look forward to a family dinner and time to relax together.
Evening is, by far, my favorite part of the day.

Have a blessed morning and entire day,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

in the kitchen

I 've got my favorite apron on and I'm baking bread today. I use the basic yeasted bread recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book. We really like using this for our sandwich bread. The sponge method used gives this bread the best texture and it slices really nicely. It does take the better part of a day to get it done though, a wonderful excuse to stay home.

I also need to whip up a batch of granola and some homemade Clif bars for lunches.
It is the perfect day for baking, it's very gray outside and my kitchen is chilly, baking always warms things up. I've got Pandora on, listening to a little indie radio.
We've got lentils with sausage and peppers over brown rice for dinner with a salad. I really want to put some dessert together..........maybe a little cake.

Have a blessed day, Tami