Yeah, February sucks.

This year I started out February feeling like it wasn’t going to get me down the way it has in the past. Normally my mood in February is as gray as the weather.
I made it to roughly the half-way point oblivious to the black hole of despair that is our shortest month before I was completely fed up with pretty much everything. Work has been a collection of suckitude, viagra approved Valentine’s Day was a bust, hospital the whole family shared a gastro bug, healthful I think I’m catching Anna’s cold, and our furnace is fueled by lighting $20 bills. The rest of the year I strive to count my blessings – things like a generous tax refund, newly knit socks, or heart-shaped biscuits covered with creamed tuna (quite possibly the world’s most disgusting-in-appearance yet tasty food). I’ve learned not to mess with February.
What I want to know is why couldn’t they put that extra leap day in June?

I figured as much

I really didn’t think I’d find the fabric for the girls’ Easter dresses at JoAnn’s castle of polar fleece, illness and I was right. I’ll have to order it online and cross my fingers that I like the feel of what I get.
I did, however, get fabric to make myself a dress. I’m not sure how I feel about the fabric I chose, though. I’m having a hard time feeling the “spring dress” vibe when it’s snowing and blowing outside.

This has been one of those weekends for doing all the little random things that you’ve been meaning to get to. Things like organizing the sewing drawer, hanging pictures, and doing taxes. I don’t mind doing the taxes, thanks to a year of house monkey business and itemized deductions. Things that don’t get too involved (like painting), as Mr. Unreserved is feeling poorly again. This is an odd and wicked year for viruses.

A year ago, if I remember correctly, we had made an offer on the house with the contingency that we had to sell our old house. Around this time we got a phone call that there was another offer on the house with no contingency, and we thought we had missed our chance. We were crushed. Then we found out that we still had a chance to drop the contingency, and so were back in the running. It was just the first emotionally charged portion of that long, drawn out adventure. The whole experience has imprinted on my subconscious, apparently. Last night I dreamed of touring a huge tumble-down old house. It had a bizzare rec room in the basement made to look like the inside of a municipal bus, and upstairs was a maze of odd rooms with crumbling brick floors. I was grateful to wake in our own house, with its crooked wooden floors and missing ceilings.

Ash Wednesday

Every time I tell people about the work we’re doing on the house, this web they say, medic “Take ‘before’ pictures! Document your work!” So we have.
One of the first things I did in preparation to move in, contagion after giving the place a good scrub down, was to paint the living room. Mr. Unreserved did the spackling. In this picture, you may be able to tell that I was painting the ceiling:

This picture gives a general idea of how the living room fireplace side turned out.

That was taken after the floors were screened and polyurethaned and the new ceiling fan was installed. I’m still figuring out what to put on the mantle.
I didn’t bother taking pictures of the kitchen. It merely went from yellow to beige, mostly to clean it up a little. I haven’t yet taken the “after” pictures of our room yet, but that’s on the list for a sunny day.

Since just after Christmas, I’ve been working in the girls’ room.
Before:

And during:

In that picture I’ve painted the ceiling and touched up the plaster on the walls. It’s far from perfect, but it’ll do for now.
People ask me, “Where do you find the time to do all this?”
My secret:

Since I employ preschoolers as slave labor, it gives me more time to do crafty things.
I dyed a merino/soy silk blend of fiber with a dye kit from ProChem and Dye:

It sort of looked like a rainbow colon lying there on the rug like that. I spun it, Navajo plied it, and knit it using the “Palette” pattern from Knitty.

I like the way it came out, but I can’t say I’d do it over again. I didn’t really like the way the soy silk spun. I hope the recipient liked it!

Since I finished that project ahead of schedule, I was able to bail out my brother by knitting his assigned giftee a hat/scarf/fingerless gloves set:

I found the hat pattern free online here, and made the gloves and scarf to match.

I blocked that off, and moved on to my final hand-made Christmas gift – Dad’s bar mirror. I purchased the mirror from Michael’s, and the etching stencils and cream from Etch World. Gosh I love the internet. I used Word to help me with the layout and font for the center lettering, which was cut out of contact vinyl with an exacto knife. This was great fun! If you look closely in the reflection you can see the faux marbelized slabs of drywall we’ve employed to close off the fireplace until we can have the gas burning insert installed.

Don’t worry, it’s not all work and no play for the girls. I let them take a break from painting now and then:

And then there’s nights like tonight, where I vow to put down the stencil brush for an evening and snuggle the kids until they fall asleep in my lap. Those are the best.

The Catholic church teaches that people are to observe Ash Wednesday as a day of fasting and abstinence. Only one larger meal is to be eaten, drugstore
with two small meals permitted, tadalafil
and no snacking. Meat is right out.
This observance is easy to make when one has gastroenteritis.