Monday, May 25, 2009

House Photos

As some of my friends and family are aware, we are in the process of purchasing a house in the town where I work. I am incredibly excited about not having a 20+ minute drive each way to and from work. Despite the worries about being an owner instead of a renter (i.e. having to deal with the tree in you living room at 3 am yourself), I am also looking forward to having a house that is mine. To paint, to plant, to whatever however I want. Well, I will have to take Steve's tastes into account.

We have passed all the major foreseeable roadblocks (pre-approval, inspection, appraisal), and so I feel secure in posting pictures of the house here. We close on June 19th. By the way, where did May go to?

Anyway, here are the pictures.

The front door - Steve loves the "atomic" style of the 1950's and 60's, so he was really excited about this detail of the front screen door.

There is also a great shed in the back, built by the previous owner. It has electricity. In my dreamworld it becomes a dye-studio with electricity provided by wind or solar. I want to put a window or two in the side (Steve is unaware of this). It is painted to match the house and the inspector was really impressed with its quality.

In fact, overall the house is in really good shape.
The kitchen - love the wood cabinets, all appliances are staying. Hooray!

Most of the other rooms are pretty unremarkable - nice wood floors, white walls. All decent size. There are three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. The dining area is small. Also, all the windows are new energy-effecient, easy-to-clean windows. After living in the draftiest house in Independence, this will be wonderful. Seriously, in the winter their is a breeze from our bedroom window strong enough to ruffle your hair. We kept our heat 0n around 62-65 all winter to prevent wasting too much energy. So not only should we see a major savings on gasoline, but on energy costs as well.

Another aspect of the house we love is the basement - I see great potential here.
The basement

Love the fireplace, the finished portion is about 2/3 the width of the house and runs its entire length. Oh - and that is not paint on the walls but some kind of ??? acoustical fabric, carpet? It sounds weird, but it looks pretty cool. I really want to turn this into a multi-use party spot. One area for dining, another for sitting.

The other really nice thing about this house is the neighborhood. We actually saw some houses I personally liked better, but the neighborhoods were not as nice. We will be in walking distance of grocery, post-office, library, and community center. There is also a greenways trail down the road. I think it will be too far to walk to school, but I will try it just once to see. Biking may be an option. But driving will only take me about 7 minutes, shorter if I find a way that does not involve so many stoplights.

So - hopefully this time next month we will be moved in!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Handspun Hats

I have not been documenting my knitting as well as I should - which is sad really, as I enjoy looking back on my past creativity.

That in mind, I present today two hats knit entirely out of handspun wool.

Handspun #1 - In addition to being handspun, all of the yarn in this hat is either naturally colored wool or hand dyed with plant dyes, with one exception. That exception is the lovely coppery orange that makes up the ribbing. The purples and yellow were dyed with annatto and logwood by my Plant Bio class last spring. I love the way this hat turned out and can't wait to wear it next year. I might have to make some coordinating mittens.

Handspun Hat #2 - This hat started with a special button for a friend who collects glass. I bought this button at SOAR several years ago. I had thought I would make her a sweater, but that has not happened.
Then one day, I noticed how great it looked with some blue handspun I had. Then I saw the cover of the book Boutique Knits and knew it would be perfect.

I love this hat. I am excited to give it to my friend. I may make one for myself (sans button), but the ruffled hat band was boring to knit. I also don't know if I have enough of my blue handspun to knit another one. Oh well.

My knitting has been a bit slowed this past school year, I hope to pick up the pace this summer. I have a couple of pairs of socks on the needles right now. A shawl from last summer that needs finishing. And suddenly many of my friends are having babies. So there will be lots of baby knitting in my future.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A day at the prairie

Yesterday my husband and I went visiting a couple prairies in central Missouri. It was great weather - perfect for being out in the field, though the sun was a bit bright for photos.

Here are some of the plants that we saw:

Dodecatheon meadia (Shooting Star)

Castilleja coccinea (Indian Paintbrush)

Lobelia spicata (Spiked Lobelia)