Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Cabin transformation - first steps

When we bought the cabin one of my least favourite parts was the bathroom: it was dingy and cramped with an old top-loading washing machine and electric dryer taking up a lot of the room. The dryer also boasted a long power cord draped across the room.

The washer and dryer were functional - but only just.  By December we noticed that the dryer was running very hot and was I not confident that it would not combust with all our clothes one day. We replaced the laundry equipment with a stacking front-loading washing machine. (Also energy efficient and low water use).  We also had an extractor fan installed to stop the dampness of an unventilated bathroom, and bought an electric towel rail, to warm up an unheated bathroom!

After all this expenditure I thought that the very least I could do was invest in a gallon of paint. This nice sunshine yellow is a pearl finish, so rather shiny (shinier than eggshell) but ideal for a bathroom.  The woodwork and the cabinets are in a white gloss.  I stayed at the cabin one day over the winter break while everyone else went to try to ski on the minimal snow. 

I was so delighted with the results: how instantly more cheerful the room looks, that I rushed upstairs to paint the tiny bathroom as well.

You can see from the photograph how very tiny the bathroom is: luckily neither Nigel nor I have particularly long legs!  Hanging on the wall is a leftover of the Kath Kidston bunting that I made for Gill for Christmas: I have a little in the bathroom and a little more on the bedroom wall and it makes a very cheery decoration.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

End of an era

In February Adam 'bridged' out of cub scouts into being a boy scout. He loves scouts, which has much less parent participation: the boys plan and run the meetings themselves. This photo was taken just after the ceremony.

2012 was also his last Pinewood Derby. He initially said he didn't want to participate so was not involved over the weekends that Fin sculpted his car: the Red Fin. To maintain the cars aerodynamics he tuned the car and inserted the lead weights before painting, without realizing that the paint would itself weigh 1oz.  The car came in at exactly 5oz.  Luckily the 'official' scale weighed the same as ours at home.

While the car was fast, it was not fast enough to win - but it's certainly the best performing car the boys have produced so far.  The day that the Pinewood cars were weighed and impounded before the race Adam decided that he did actually want to enter a car. We still had his kit - so he looked for an option that could be completed in less than 2 hours. Here is Adam's Mouse car:

Astonishingly, even with it's terrible aerodynamics, it was not the slowest car by a long chalk!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Egg Hunt!

I just loved this action photo of the boys coming out of the house for our traditional egg hunt!

Continuing the Easter theme Adam gave me this bunny that he had made:


It is ingeniously made from a sock!

Monday, April 09, 2012

On the podium

This weekend, the last of our skiing season, Adam entered a Snowboard Cross race at Bear Valley.  If you have not seen one before (this was a new sport in the 2006 winter olympics) 4 competitors race down a steep and winding course with jumps. Its an elimination contest.

Here is Adam on the course during his first heat:

As it happened Adam was the only competitor in the under-13s so they raced him with the rest of the field. In this first heat he raced against Jackson; his snowboard team instructor, and Jake; the competitive team instructor. He acquitted himself well - he came in last ('of course' he says) but not by an embarrassing distance, and he rode well on the course.

The race organizers decided that he needed his own prize as the youngest competitor for his sporting spirit.

We were very proud of him: it was a steep course and snowboard cross is pretty aggressive.  Adam said it was scary to race, especially as the race was so fast. He also told us that one of the (adult) skiing competitors got to the gate at the top of the course and decided not to enter! It was a shame that he had no one in his age group to race against, but he had a wonderful time and everyone was really friendly to him.

Well done Adam!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Mr Fancy

Fin requested an earflap hat and chose some bulky blue wool that has been in my stash for ages: Curious Creeks Tsavo. I made up a pattern based loosely on Kerstins almost pattern earflap hat.

He loves it although it badly needs blocking - maybe I can get it off his head once the winter finally leaves!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Two made things

I have Fin here modeling 2 made items:  The waistcoat I made him for Christmas with the intent that he should be able to wear it to the Maker Faire.  Last year at the Faire we saw lots of people dressed up: in all kinds of steampunk/vaguely victorian/costume wear and Fin was especially taken to see some boys dressed up.  At the time he asked if I could make him something special to wear and here it is:

The pattern is McCalls M6229 view F without the pockets or back strap. Its made in a black/red wool tweed that I bought somewhere online. The pattern is so simple that it probably took me less than an hour to make.  I chose 4 mis-matched gold metal buttons for a slightly steampunk look.  We was delighted and especially pleased to wear it with the striped tie that Santa bought him.

Fin is also modelling another finished item: legwarmers:

I decided I needed some legwarmers for the purely practical purpose of keeping my legs warm (duh) while working at home. I have wool slippers so wool socks as well is somewhat overkill - hence the legwarmers.
I used the free Mellow legwarmers pattern knitted in black cascade 220.  The pattern uses almost the entirety of one skein.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Winter wildlife

We went up to the cabin last weekend for a non-snowboard-team trip to the slopes. Weather on Saturday was lovely; possibly the best weekend skiing we have had this year. Overnight it snowed about 6" and we woke to that soft quietness that means snow.  The cabin has a metal roof, so the transition from rain (very loud) to snow is rather noticeable.

While we were eating breakfast we noticed that we were not the only ones eating. Three deer were noshing away on the new leaves of the dogwood trees.  We have seen three deer several times over the winter, so I wonder if it's a 'local family'. Anyway - they hung around for a long time before slipping away into the trees.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Te Papa

Nigel came back from New Zealand in November with the perfect name for our cabin: "Te Papa" is the name of the Museum of New Zealand in Wellington and means 'our place'. I decided that the cabin needed an actual name plate so bought a cheap pyrography kit from Amazon and had a go at making one myself.

As well as the cabin name it also has symbols for us all. From left to right: whiskers for Charlotte, a fish hook for Fin, knitting needles for me, a downhill snowboard for Adam, and bike wheels for Nigel.

It was fun to do, and not too difficult, although I found straight lines easier than curved ones. I managed to make this sign without setting anything on fire or burning myself so I think that counts as a 'win'.  I varnished the plaque with a matte varnish and it's now mounted by the front door.  I can't think of anything else I need a pyrography kit for now - anyone need a wooden plaque??

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I saw this cowl on Ravelry and immediately had to cast on. Its the Toast wrap pattern Ravelry Link.  I wanted a red and grey combination but had quite specific ideas about the grey so I visited my local wool shop: Yarndogs, and came away with a skein of Dream in Colour Smooshy in Cocoa Kiss, and a skein of Madeline Tosh sock in Scarlet.

Both yarns were really nice to knit with and gave a good definition of the pattern.  The pattern itself was easy enough to motor through, but interesting enough to want to keep knitting.

I was really pleased with the result - my feline model on the other hand was less thrilled with it as a garment and liked it more as bedding.

(Silly face as a result of 11-year old photographer)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hitch a ride

So, I have been spinning, knitting, and weaving but none of it has made it to the blog for a while. I also have not even taken photographs of some of the things that have been and gone!  This one I kept for myself.  It's the Hitchhiker Scarf Ravelry link knitted in Madeline Tosh Pashmina.

Pashmina is a blend of 75/15/10 Merino/Silk/Cashmere and was a lovely to knit as it sounds.  The colour is Kelp. I only did 36 points rather than the recommended 42 and have about 3 yards of yarn left.

The yarn is a lovely, gently variegated brown and has been very wearable just as a regular scarf. More useful really than the lace shawls I like to knit!