Thursday, December 16, 2010

The un-smelly update!

That's right, this blog has been coming to you odor-free since the end of October. The homemade deodorant has been working like a charm!

Keeping with my desire to re-use before recycling glass jars, I have the big batch of deodorant stored in an old Burt's Bee's lotion jar. I wanted something smaller for traveling, so as soon as this travel-size Burt's jar was empty, I re-purposed that: The tops of the jars are the perfect size for these little labels that I picked up at Michael's last year. I use just a pea-sized amount under each arm in the morning, so I'm hoping this will be enough for the whole week...

I loved the feedback after my first deodorant post; a few great questions/ideas were posed. Since I'm giving you an update, I thought I'd come back to one of the questions::
-Does the coconut oil leave grease stains on your clothes? Honestly, I haven't noticed any stains at all. I've been meaning to do a real experiment: take on old shirt, put a good amount of deodorant on, let it set in, and then wash and see what happens. This is still on my to-do list, and when I finally get around to it, I'll give you yet another deodorant update!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Owls! An Update

My sister Sarah and I are on our way to Germany, where they're experiencing the coldest beginning of December in 100 years. ouch. For two girls that aren't fond of cold this is going to be rough, but we know that there will be plenty of Gluehwien to keep us warm.

But I've taken the appropriate precautions and have packed plenty of wool, including my newest owl sweater::

Some people say that wearing more than one hand-knit item at a time is excessive, but I say bring on the wool! I'll be pairing this sweater with the new dimple hat that I just knit up::

And with the Elizabeth Zimmerman mittens that I knit either last year or the year before. These are the mitered mittens from Knitting Almanac with the thumb openings on the sides. Knit from a really fantastic Noro yarn that's a wool and alpaca blend:: Both look amazing with the owls!

Sweater Details::

Pattern ~ Kate Davies' Owls
Yarn ~ Lamb's Pride Bulky
Needles ~ US 10 and 10.5
Size ~ Medium

Modifications: I follow Kate's stitch count, but use my own judgement as far as sweater and sleeve length. This one I made a bit longer in both the sleeves and the body than my last. I loved the small fit of the last one, but wanted to compliment that with a cozier, bigger version this time (I also knit a size smaller for my last one). For both sweaters I did my waist shaping on the sides of the body, rather than on the back like she suggested. And finally, I made the neck slightly smaller than she suggests (by about 6 stitches).

As a fun comparison, here are both sweaters paired with the same skirt (in different colors) and boots. Even though they're different, I really like the fit of both. What do you think? Does one look better than the other? too small? too big?
... and yes, someone had a bit too much time on their hands in the cabin!

Here's to hoping we don't freeze**

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Living Room

This was supposed to go up on Friday, but in the hustle and bustle of the weekend I lost track of time! The living room::

The light coming in through the sliding doors during the day can make picture-taking difficult. Click here to see a nice picture of the room at night.

I really like this space. We don't have a TV, so the entertainment in this room will be the music from our so-to-be bangin' speakers and our collection of books.

Most of the furniture in this space made the long cross-country journey in a crate. As a result, there were a couple of bumps and bruises sustained along the way:: The end table and one bookcase each have a single area that was worn/rubbed down by whatever was leaning against it. Our plan to fix these puppies is to just apply some stain to the worn area. Of course, it won't get rid of the gouge, but it should make them less apparent, and we'll settle for that! I'll let you know how it goes.

There are a few projects that I'm going to tackle in the guest bedroom. Again, all having to do with cosmetic changes to the furniture. I'll share those once In a couple of weeks once we have the pieces in place.

And so very soon I'll reveal the "man cave"! I think it's required to keep the world in balance ~ every house that has a craft room also gets a man cave. For now, the cave is furnished with a mini-fridge and a single chair... which may be all that's required for a man in his cave?

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Our dining area and kitchen are one big space. Here's the dining side in its Christmas best:: The lovely fern comes from the Schu nursery. I'm trying to decide if the cuckoo clock should hang on one of those open walls? Or if it's better suited to the guest bedroom, which is currently without a bed, but is acting as a gallery of sorts since we've laid out all of our art and frames in there!

Again, we are so lucky for those family friends I mentioned in the bedroom post. Both the kitchen hutch and the dining room table came from them. Just like the dressers, these are old, sturdy pieces with character. Check out the legs on this one::

Anyhoo, when you turn around, you see the kitchen::

What projects are in the running here? When cooking, we both love the use of a deep sink and solid counter top. So we've thrown around the idea of keeping the kitchen as is, just replacing the counter top and sink. Of course, I LOVE the kitchen redo that YoungHouseLove did, but in our case, everything about this kitchen is functional, in great shape, and nothing to complain about, so we'll have to save those grand plans for another day. Speaking of YoungHouseLove, are you keeping up with their blog? You should. My sister, Kris, and I were talking about the major YHL crushes that we have at the moment. Stepping out of that dreamy, kitchen-love haze, let's talk about... wait for it... veneer!

As you can see, we have some warped veneer on the edge of the table::

And at the top of the hutch, we have some veneer that's pealed off and a decorative piece of wood that's cracked:: I *think* fixing the crack will be a piece of cake with some wood glue and a clamp, especially since this is just a decorative piece of the unit, not holding any weight and not an area that's going to get any "use".

I would have never known where to begin with the veneer issues until Design*Sponge came out with this fantastic article! I think most of my work will focus on the segment of their article where they talk about fixing bubbled veneer. I want to avoid removing the veneer if I can help it, rather just do some minor maintenance and then let the age of the pieces shine through.

Every Thursday Design*Sponge posts a series of "before and afters", with a range of projects from furniture projects to full room renovations. In addition, they post the helpful DIY articles, like the veneer one I mentioned about. It's Thursday, so get over there and check them out!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wednesday Soundtrack

We interrupt this house tour for music!

I have to say that I love songs about transitions.... maybe because my life as been full of them lately? Our move to PA isn't completely complete. In tomorrow's post you'll see that we only have one dining room chair! The rest are still in California with Calder's van and some final bits and pieces. Between Christmas and New Years we've scheduled a big cross-country drive to visit family and lasso the rest of our scattered belongings. Then, maybe, our transition will be mostly completely ~ we just have to wait for the mister to move back from Germany!

So here's a fun moving song and video that I keep replaying. Plus, I'm a sucker for those foliage shots at the beginning of the video. enjoy*

Artist :: Avett Brothers
Song :: I and Love and You

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The bedroom!

You'll have to excuse the lack of artwork on the walls... I've been so hesitant to commit to a decision and bang a nail, so the only artwork up right now is hanging on nails that were left behind by the previous owners!

The bedroom from the doorway {don't forget, you can click on pictures if you want a larger view}::

We have three pieces of furniture in the room at the moment ~ the bed, and two large dressers. We were so unbelievably fortunate that family friends were downsizing just as we were moving into the house. As a result, we were able to furnish our place with some pieces that are old, full of character, and built with craftsmanship that's hard to find today!.... Take these dressers for example. If that's not character, I don't know what is!

Although, I admit, I wasn't immediately sold on them ~ I often veer away from pieces that make such a strong statement and are unlike anything else we own. But the rest of my siblings were convinced that these pieces were keepers, and they're definitely right! Once the dressers were in the house, I realized that these pieces fit in nicely with the growing collection of art and housewares that we've picked up while traveling. What would you call this style? "Global", "International", "If it fits in the bag, it's ours"?

Right. Well, here's the bed dressed up with our quilt from India::

And back to the craftsmanship of these pieces. The bottom drawer of the tall dresser contains a little cedar chest for sweaters! If that's not the perfect fit for a knitter and sweater love, I don't know what is!

Although, you also see in that previous photo where the "project" lies in this room. Most of the lovely drawer pulls have broke over the years. Here's a close-up of the originals:: I want to find some sort of replacement ~ either something that looks like the originals, or a different option that keeps with the original style. And this is where the internet really comes in handy. I've found a few sites that allow you to search for every type of pull under the sun. I'll come back and give you an update when we make our final decision.

Tomorrow the dining area!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Breaking in the Craft Room

Last week the craft room looked like this::

After a trip for supplies, and the start of some projects, I'm sure the room will never be the same! ... and I realize that it's a lost cause to ever try to return this room to the "before" picture. The challenge is convincing C that it's ok to ignore the mess and just close the door.

The craft room has seen a lot of use because I'm trying my hardest to finish up some Christmas presents before I hop on a plane for Germany and the Christmas Markets!

So, before I leave, I thought I would put up a few posts this week that introduce you to the house by introducing you to some of projects on the horizon! Unfortunately today's project of secret Christmas presents cannot be shared {so much for my awesome plan for the blog!}.

As a bonus, here's the material pile for a future project for the craft room:: It's an experiment for the wedding. We're thinking of going with some unconventional seating for the ceremony, and it may require a few quilts. So rather than buy something, I have a fun idea for making heaving duty "quilts" that can be used again as picnic blankets. One side will be an army blanket, and the other will be a fun combination of colorful fabrics. The pile above includes some cotton from Jo-ann's and Ikea.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unpacking the Kitchen

Wow, it's been fun opening boxes! There are so many, many things that I've gathered over the years, but never had the opportunity to use. Finally, these fun objects are seeing the light of day, and making this first home feel so "lived-in" after only a week.

In the kitchen alone, we have a fun mix of old and new.

The Pyrex set I purchased at a flea market this summer::

The Dansk pots and pans that I've been collecting over the past year. Here's half of the collection being put to good use making soup::

The Rhino butter dish purchased from a fun little kitchen shop in Boston::

And the Anthropologie-inspired ramekins that I picked up many years ago for a couple of dollars, but never, ever took out of their box until now::

Friday, November 26, 2010

A new phase of Winterfoliage!

Hold on to your pants folks, things are about to get a whole lot more homely here at Winterfoliage. Why? Let me introduce you to the new homestead! It was so hard keeping this project under wraps! And now you can understand why crafting has been so. extremely. slow. With everything we owned boxed up and stored it was hard to find two knitting needles to rub together let alone a matching skein of yarn. Holy cow, I had to spend two weeks in a cabin just to create a diversion from my lack of crafty content. Did it work?

Things are about to pick up ~ not only do I have my very own craft room, I have a whole file of new home-related craft projects waiting in the wings! Fortunately for us, the house itself requires no work, so our focus will just be on the finishing touches :: sewing curtains and pillows, turning some of pictures into wall art, etc. Oh, and we've inherited a whole pile of old furniture, so there will be many projects revolving around refinishing some of these pieces. As a result, my internet browsing has transitioned from weddings to houses; I've added a short list of some favorite design-related blogs at the top of the left side-bar.

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the gardening. This place comes with a plethora of winter {and spring, summer, and fall} foliage! The first year in the yard is going to involve both a bit of research and trial and error, and I'm hoping to share much of it here. Wow, I'm still in shock at our luck. We have so much to be excited about and thankful for, and I hope you do too!

Stay tuned*

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I know what you're all thinking...

When will there finally be another Springsteen song posted for Wednesday Soundtrack? No? Is that just me wondering when, oh when, has enough time passed so that I can finally post another song from Bruce?

Ok, seriously, I'm sure it's more like this when you stop by:: When will there finally be more knitting on this stinking "craft" blog? Well, your wait is over.It's a pentagon of owls! I LOVE this sweater. Loved it the first time I knit it, and love it even more now. Plus ~ how awesome does the green sweater look with my hunter-orange hat? Fantastic. ! Unfortunately, I've lost my knack {or maybe I never had it?} for taking FO photos. I may need to call upon Sarah this weekend. Fortunately, I'm sure I won't take off the sweater, so there will be plenty of photo opps. I'll give you the full project details when I get the better pics.

Now, click here to enjoy some old-school, but newly released Bruce.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend at the Mosh'

Lovely readers, I ate Cranberries. Not dried cranberries, not cranberries from the frozen food section, but real, straight from the bush cranberries! It was my first time ever, *ever*, finding wild cranberries. As a result, it was also my first time picking and eating fresh cranberries. For those few minutes, I was in heaven.
This moment of joy happened on a day-long hike with my pop. Our trek took us over, around, and through the bog, marsh, and forest ecosystems bordering the lake.
Finding the cranberries was a stroke of luck. We had stopped to take some pictures when I noticed some red berries among the dried grasses. It only took a second to recognize the distinct berries, and just one more second to pop one in my mouth and confirm my find. Please note ~ I'm usually not so willing to "pop" a wild berry in my mouth, but I was 100% confident in my find... that said, Pop was slightly more timid. I don't blame him, earlier in the day we thought we came upon a patch of teaberries, but were mistaken... which we realized after sampling and immediately spitting out the impostors. Although the "teaseberries" seemed harmless, pop thinks we may not make it through the week. {If I don't post anything by Wednesday, assume that the berry got me!} But in all seriousness, we're fine, and I promise not to eat any more berries from the mosh unless they're easily identifiable.

Now, back to the cranberries. A big event next week is going to leave no time for pre-Thanksgiving cranberry picking, but check back in next year around this time, and I promise to take you along as I pick enough berries for some Thanksgiving cranberry sauce!

And almost just as exciting as the berries. I woke up to this beautiful foggy-scene outside the cabin.

... and the scene from the road as I drove to work.

Happy Monday*

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saw Mill Trail

The start of this morning's hike required extensive use of my camera's macro setting::

Today I took off down Saw Mill Trail, where, unfortunately I found no evidence of a saw mill. BUT I did come upon quite a few four-legged creatures trying to remain inconspicuous among the foliage {it is hunting season after all}. Can you spot the guy in the first picture?
What about his friend over here {this one is tough, you can click on the picture to blow it up}?

This trail was bursting, BURSTING, with teaberries. Eating the real thing just put a craving teaberry icecream in my mind!

And wow, the weather has been consistently beautiful, mild, and clear for this mid-November adventure!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Soundtrack

Hello! I have some fantastic music today, but no video.

Bob Dylan played in town yesterday, and unfortunately I didn't go, but it reminded me of new Dylan cover that I really love.

Artist :: Bree Sharp
Song :: Don't Think Twice, It's Alright {how could you not love a song that rhymes know'd with road?}

In other Dylan news, the mp3 download of his Christmas album is on sale this month for $5!!! You can bet that I'm downloading my own copy, especially since it was on my Amazon wishlist last year and not one person in my family bought it for me. The shame! I'm sure they were all kicking themselves last Christmas morning when we realized we were missing a good, gravely rendition of Here Comes Santa Claus to go with our eggnog and stockings. Well, don't worry guys, I've got it covered!

In cabin news, as I mentioned, we have absolutely no cell or internet service in the park. None. So, imagine how excited I was when I noticed the international sign for wireless on the park map. See it?!

Um yeah, what a let-down* when I referred to the map key.

*Really just a minor let-down, because I'm enjoying the internet free evenings. Except when I get that urge for some Bob Dylan Christmas music** and realize I have to wait until the next day to get it!

**Ok, that's a joke, there will be no Christmas music played until after the Thanksgiving turkey.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Home Sweet Home...

For the next two weeks this place is mine all mine!
I think the view from the back is even cuter. It's a one-room cabin in a PA state park, and I'm renting it for the next two weeks until I can move into my real digs...

I wish I could hitch this cabin to the back of the car and take it with me! It's so much fun to come home to this little space, and it's even more fun when I successfully start the fire! Here's some proof of last night's success: Once the fire's lit and my dinner is cooked, I cozy up to the hearth and don't move until bedtime. There's no internet or cell access, so before I leave work, I remember to download a few podcasts to listen to while I knit.

Since the evenings are so dark, I'm going to try to fit a few hikes in the morning before work. This morning I explored the trails closest to my cabin and ventured down to the large bog/marsh/lake::
One thing I love about winter hiking is the open canopy. If you can't have the warm weather, having the bright morning sun shining down makes for a fantastic walk.

Fun fact : this bog is home to Pennsylvania's three carnivorous plants, the pitcherplant, the sundew, and the bladderwort!

And my fingers are crossed that no one eats these guys before I get to them tomorrow:: They're teaberries! I saw them today and thought they might be the real deal, but I didn't want to eat them until I was sure.