Friday, December 31, 2010

Felting - A Success????


 I bit the bullet, made my little coin purse and gave my best attempt at felting.  As I have a front loading washing machine, I thought I give the 'boiling' method a go.  However, after about 30 minutes in the pot, all I managed to create was some delicious electric purple water!!  It really was the most brilliant shade of purple I've ever seen.  The purse didn't shrink one tiny bit.  I double checked the yarn I used and confirmed it was actually wool!!!
(before)
So, Middle J offered up some white socks, which upon inspection of the boiled water he thought might look nice purple and we decided to bung the purse and socks in the washing machine, cross our fingers and hope for the best!
One hot wash cycle later, this is what emerged.
(after)
It's ever so slightly smaller.  It maybe shrank 10%?  But its ever so soft and the wool is definitely thicker and less shiny, although the photos don't show that very well.  I must say, I am pleased with the results and may try this again.  It's probably a good thing it didn't shrink any smaller, or as Jane commented, it might have ended up a 'coin' purse, holding just the one coin!

 Thank you all for stopping by and visiting.  I appreciate all of you and the wonderful advice and support I've received through your comments and emails.  I've thoroughly enjoyed my blog this year and am so thankful for the friendships I've made through it.

Happy New Year!

♥  All the best to all of you in 2011  ♥ 

Toodles...L x

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Felting Phobia

Hello!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We most certainly did at the Gephart, although it was relatively quiet, with zero relatives in the area it's just Mr. VW, the Boys and me.  I've been enjoying a few blissfully quiet work free days - those work free days are the best you know!  So rather than continuing progress on the various woolly projects I have on the go right now, I decided on a whim to start something new! 
Based on Lucy's bag pattern, I whipped up this little bag with some woolly wool given to me by my MIL and some left over bits of Icelandic wool from this hat.  It literally took me two evenings in front of the telly to hook this up. 
Of course, we all know the last thing I need is another bag!  Even I am starting to think I have some weird sort of bag addiction. 
Anyhow, the last few days I've been picking up this sweet little bag, admiring it (I do quite love it), researching the Internet on felting and contemplating bunging the thing in the washing machine and crossing my fingers.  Even though it took just one ball of yarn, which was gifted so there will be no great loss if it gets screwed up, I just can't bring myself to do it!
Hopeless, I know.
Perhaps I should start with something smaller?

Right, I'm off to make a matching coin purse which I'm determined will be my first felting project!!!!!
Wish me luck........

Toodles Lx.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!  May your day be full of joy, wonder and love.
Take care,
Louise x

Monday, December 20, 2010

:: teach ::

The swearing has ceased and this years present for Little J's teacher is completed.




On the list for next year's gift for the teacher - a box of chocolates.
Toodles, Lx

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One Scarf Down, One to Go!


The scarf I debated on back here is finally done!  I ended up using Caron Super Soft yarn, which although is acrylic, is SUPER soft!  I'm really happy with how this turned out and was relived when last week my boss picked up a scarf in an identical colour at the shops!  Nothing more nerve racking (least not for me) than making something for your boss :-)
Hope you all have a lovely last week before Christmas!
Now I must get cracking on the scarf for the Big Boy....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bowl of Trees




And the little trees became a bowl!  The question is, should I add two little handles, one on each side or one big one going from side to side?
Happy Weekend!
Toodles...Lx

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lemon or Lime?

Not very christmassy I know, but I'm sure the dishes won't mind.  However, even though I made this to wash the dishes, Mr.VW said it was too nice!   Bit of shock that he even noticed....

Reminds me of some sort of citrus fruit, not sure exactly what type of citrus though.
Toodles....Lx

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stitching

Thank you for all your lovely birthday wishes!  I had a fabulous day cleaning out the Big Boys room for his return home from college for the holidays!  Two days to go and I am praying for him hourly as his sits his first round of college exams.....
To keep my mind occupied while waiting for his arrival and keep it off the disaster then ended my  adventure of knitting on dpns (I can knit on dpn's, but I cannot make thumb holes or cast off neatly), I've been doing a little stitching.
Not exactly sure where this is going, it's an experiment.
Happy Monday!
Toodles, Lx

Sunday, December 12, 2010

43 & DPNs

Yep, its the big day :: 43 ::  enough said.
Thanks to the PurlBee I taught myself last night to knit in the round.
Let's hope Middle J would like a pair of fingerless gloves to match the hat I made him for his birthday! ☺
Luckily I had some yarn left over, it's the most amazing electric purple and green which he chose himself. Lovely lambs wool and mohair blend, which is amazing to work with.  Unfortunately the terrible light doesn't do the colours justice. 
Thank you Alice for the inspiration.  I figured if you could learn to knit on dpns whilst on a long bus journey, then surely there was a slim chance I could too with the aid of the Internet and the peace and quiet of a comfy chair!
Toodles and Happy Sunday!
L x

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tree's Up

Actually, it's been up for almost two weeks now.  I think I might be quite pleased with it this year, for a change.
I really wish I could figure out how to take a photo of it with the fairy lights on, but I haven't yet.
Have a lovely weekend.
Toodles....L

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Sneakiness of Bloggers

Someone has been very very sneaky! Someone has made me squeal very loudly with delight very early on a Sunday morning!  Louise thank you SO much for your lovely surprise!  Yes, I know it isn't my birthday yet, but I simply couldn't resist opening the little red pressies after reading your beautiful card.    The postman must have stopped by quite late last night for me to miss this little package, so I was surprised and completely delighted when Mr. VW handed me a package this morning. 
Luckily, for a change, I had the forthought to take photos before ripping into the package....
Lovely little red parcels.... and considerable debate as to which one to open first!

FABulous crochet flower!!! Louise you are too clever, I wish I could make one of these.  This has pride of place on my mantle.
The sweetest little tissue package with adorable cherry buttons!  (Needed a couple of these to dab up the tears, I was overwhelmed that someone had been SO very thoughtful and damn sneaky all just for me!)
OMG !!!  The cutest little folder with cards and envelopes!
OK these are seriously, I mean SERIOUSLY, the cutest little rabbits ever!  I can't put them down, I just want to admire them all day long.
Well I have to say I was quite overwhelmed at the generosity of someone I've never actually met.  To think that someone would take the time put together this adorable package all just for me, it just leaves me speechless.  I cannot thank you enough Ms LallyLouLou for your thoughtfulness.
 
***Sending you a virtual hug!!***

And you were quite sneaky, but am I correct in thinking you mentioned your sneakiness in this post?

All I can say now is, GAME ON!!! 

Happy Sunday folks....hope your day turns out to be as wonderful as mine!

P.S.  I just have to add this, as only bloggers will really understand how we make these connections in cyberspace without actually meeting or speaking, but my first thought after opening the package was that I wanted to ring Louise and thank her in person! Because I felt like I've made a good friend, without even speaking to her.   So instead I quickly grabbed the computer to start a post instead.... 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time Warp

Finally, after an hour  blogger has been gracious enough to let me load the photos I couldn't load yesterday.  So, are you ready to see the 'Summer House'???
Firstly, let's take a look at the best bit about this summer house.....The View.  Right on the water and what a view.
History of this house:  Purchased by Mr. VW's folks in about 1973, visit regularly (twice a month) right up through the 1980's and then occasionally by various grown family members perhaps four times a year at best through the early nineties.  Then left and abandoned, except for a few racoons who moved in when the roof eves rotted.  We live quite a distance away, so for many years we weren't able to go down there and Mr. VW's folks are in their late 70's and their health isn't brilliant.  Anyway, when we finally decided to go down there in the summer of 2009, it was apparent no-one had been there since about 2001.  You could barely see the house from the road.  So we spent a few weekends in the summer of '09 cleaning up the yard.
Now the details.
This house has four bedrooms, one living room, two bathrooms and two kitchens.  Apparently two school teachers or sisters or someone lived there, one on each side sharing the common living room.  So if you can imagine, two bedrooms, one bathroom, one kitchen on one side and the same on the other - joined by the living room.
Renovations:  NONE.  This house is a complete time warp from the day it was purchased.  I'll add a note here to perhaps explain why it is the way it is.  The main family home were the IL's live, purchased in 1952 in a very nice suburb in outside Washington DC is practically identical to the day it was purchased.  Same grass green carpet, same magnolia walls, same everything, I mean nothing has changed. Gobsmacked is the way I would describe my reaction the first time I saw it.  Oh and I'll add to help you understand why people let their homes fall into disrepair, there's a hoarder in the family - practically NOTHING goes in the garbage and the hoarders has motto, "Why buy one, when I can buy three".  Their main family home is jammed packed with stuff.  You can't swing a cat in their house, heck you can't barely sit down!  We don't go there often, which to me is unfortunate.
Let's take a look shall we.
1.  The water side in desperate need of a coat of paint.
2.  The Fridge.  Circa 1955.  Fully functional.  Yes it works and I wish I had taken a photo of the inside as it has those sweet little spots to put your eggs on the door along with a special compartment for your butter.  It rocks.  (please excuse the bags of rubbish)

3.  The phone and a bit of the kitchen we use.  It doesn't work, but only because it isn't hooked up.  Old school rotary phone that used to be on a party line.  I had to demonstrate to boys how it worked!!!  Note the wood paneling?  In every room, except the bathroom.  Real wood, so it will be painted white as it makes the place very dark.
 4.  The Bathroom.  All original and with the exception of the floor, the tile is in pretty good condition.  We only use this bathroom, the other is filled with 'stuff' (hoarder style).
 5.  The kitchen we use.  Both are fairly identical.  The other of course full of 'stuff'.  Take a look at the stove.  Yes it works and I LOVE IT. If I could slip it out the door and put it in the boot of my car I would!!!!  The curtains on this side are new, but in the other kitchen they are brown, orange, cream barkcloth - straight from the 60's.
6.  The coffee table!  Isn't it cool?  Just love the mosaic tile.  Not sure how old it is, but definitely from the 70's.
So you may be wondering what we've been working on at this house.  Remember the hoarder?  Yep, clearing out 'stuff' and repairing ceiling which have collapsed when the roof leaked (roof now replaced).  Most of the stuff goes to the dump, but there's been some treasures.  Cool wooden 50's school desk.  The American kind where the desk and chair are one piece and there's a cubby underneath for your stuff.  We hauled it home and Little J uses it.  A string of party lanterns, still sealed in their box, but clearly pre-barcode vintage.  Loads of stuff, too numerous to mention.  Two kitchen tables, the chrome and formica kind right from the fifties, with chairs.
Remember the cool fridge?  Yeah, there are three of them!!!! One definitely doesn't work, but I don't know about the other.  Mr. VW is pretty sure it does.
Anyway enough. 
Here's the reason why I endure the four hour car ride and the piles of stuff.
That view.
Hope you enjoyed that sneak peak - I won't be offended if you didn't read the words :-) (I just did and it bored me silly). I  know most of us love a nosey in other peoples houses :-) 
I know I do!!!
Before I go, a super duper big THANK YOU for your supportive comments on yesterdays post.  Much appreciated.  The cloud is gone and the sun is shining!
Perhaps tomorrow I'll let you have a bit of a nosey in my house????  Would you like that???  The tree is up you know.......
Toodles, Lx

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back Again & 10 Things...

Back.  Didn't mean to be gone for so long.  There's been a bit of a grey cloud hanging over my head for a few days, but I'm slowing digging my way out of the dumps.

We spent our Thanksgiving on the road to the house above, so no turkey for us, just a luke warm tin of raviolis. I'll never get citizenship to this country unless I can learn to embrace this holiday! Not that I want to :-)
So I had BIG plans this evening to upload photos of the summer house, blogger on the other hand, had others.  I've tried three times to upload more than one photo, but to no avail.  My patience is gone and the grey cloud is looming overhead again.
So rather than sneak peaks of the above house, which a few of you have asked for, I'll have to move on to something else involving just words.

Brace yourself.....

I have to thank the lovely Alice for giving me the Beautiful Blog award.  Thank you lovely Alice, you are too sweet.  So you ready for the ten things about me???

1.  Dental Floss makes me nervous - I had a very bad experience at the hands of dental technician many moons ago.  Drill all you like, keep the dental floss far far away.
2.  I LOVE sausage rolls - YUM.  They are the food I miss most about home.  I'd give anything to have one right now, but the Americans haven't figured them out yet :-(
3.  I'm not shy, perhaps overly reserved.  I am very uncomfortable around people I don't know in social situations. 
4.  At the ripe old age of 41 I finally got my drivers license.  Better late than never I say.
5.  I am the third of four children - older brother & sister, younger sister.
6.  I wear bifocals and have dreadful eyesight, but I rarely wear my glasses unless I am at work or behind the wheel. I am squinting as I type this and probably have crows feet the size of small islands :-)
7.  I learnt to knit and crochet when I was 10, but only ever the basics.  I wish daily that I had asked my Mum to teach me more before she was gone.  She was brilliant at both, just brilliant....
8.  Ginger Ale is my drink of choice.
9.  I used to smoke, but it is now a filthy habit I quit 5 years ago - YUCK, I feel sick just thinking about it.
10.  I love my boys more than anything (but you probably know that already :-))

Ok that's me.  You still awake????  Hopefully I haven't sent you into a coma or off to sleep.

To be honest, I'm nervous about passing this award on as many people find them a wee bit annoying. But at the risk of being annoying, I will pass this on to the lovely Louise and Jane.  They have been reading my nonsense for almost an eternity now and I appreciate their support and of course they have Beautiful Blogs! 

Right that's me done for this evening.  I promise I will battle the photo upload again tomorrow.

Toodles....L