six days . . .

jenjoycedesign© new walls finished I have disappeared for a few days from my usual talkative places, but have been working very hard finishing the walls of my loft room studio. After six days I have just the affect I wanted, a look of weathered exterior walls of an old building, which makes for a very interesting photo background, and begs to have some interesting old hooks mounted.
jenjoycedesign© rubbed sienna tone for ' old building ' affect
Since last Tuesday I have plastered with Emma’s fur, painted two coats of primer, two coats of base color (with a quick sanding between coats of color), then finally this morning rubbed a faux finish with a watery semi-gloss sienna tone.  Here is the base color, nearly salmon . . .
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The end result is a bit different than before, but hopefully the same warm terracotta mood as before, however, I do think that I may put in some more ‘veins’ of sienna color in the big wall, after this all dries . . .
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Apparently after six days I am still not finished.  Of course, I refined my method as I went, so the first sections are a bust and must be painted over and refinished;  a bit disappointing, and definitely anticlimactic, but I can’t settle for ” almost right “,  its either right or its not right.    I just can’t wait to move my yarns and tools of the trade into this space, and yet I have to wait until the room has had the electrician finish so that I may begin to occupy, which is realistically in July. So still some weeks still.

Fun Fact: Did you know that in old days horse hair was put into plaster to reinforce the plaster? So Emma’s fur in this plaster (although in artful clumps) isn’t far from the old way of doing things.

 

Po

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Knots and crevasses in the wood make mysterious pictures and words. Tree pictographs. What do you think this beam in the loft room is saying?  Wood speaks, sings, and I am sure this word is going to give meaning to something, on down the road.

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Look here, the loft room just waiting for me to move into it, it is beckoning me to come inside with all my newly collected tools of my trade.  About now I am ecstatic because things are really happening!  As I post this,  the plasterer is about finished with the taping, and tomorrow will be back to perform his artful texture.

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Now looking through the doorways into the loft room, I am so much more encouraged than I was back in February, with a Then & Now post.  These are rooms taking shape, rooms that have impacted my life, and will again, in a deeply profound way.   So many times I would photograph through the front doorway, and capture the bliss of the woods as if through a magic portal, and post here on my blog with a thought of the day.  And now we finally have a front door exactly as the former door was.

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I do feel a great sense of release of the unbearable heaviness of loss and of waiting. It is such a tremendous gift that I am even here posting these progress photos with you, about something that feels so much like a death & rebirth in a span of a few years, but ripples out into my life in the furthest way, arousing a constant resonating gratitude.

♥     ♥     ♥

 ” Po ” . . .  to me,  in this moment,

translates to ” peaceful offerings ” from the mountain.

Stay tuned, so much is happening now, and I will no doubt be back very soon.

New Loft (( progress ))

jenjoycedesign© loft room progress 2 I have just been up to the house and its a lovely morning to photograph the new loft room progress, after the sheetrock has started. I am so pleased about this beautiful space, and I think it may even be more lovely than before, as there are a couple improvements made.  I am completely obsessed about this room, and work space to be!   ((click 1st image to go to slideshow))

Do you recognize that ledge, on which I took so many photos of knitted things and yarns? I just wanted to post these photos, but its time to get back to my frantic sock knitting, but thanks everybody for your comments, and I promise to be talkative again on the flipside of my sock-knitting May-nia.

A cause for celebration. . .

jenjoycedesign© roof.jpgA cause for celebration because the roof is finished!  Most of you out there have no idea what a difficult process it was to get to the point of being ready for the roofers to come, through the gusts of wind and rain,  all through winter and early spring, up here in the wild where everything is quite a bit more challenging.  But with a sigh in my heart I can now relax, and the next inspection can proceed with roof complete, ready for some serious action to begin in the weeks ahead ;  windows and sliding doors will all be in place, and the rooms will begin to take shape with drywall and upstairs subfloor too, covering the plumbing, electrical & mechanical chaos.  Soon the elements of the house’s layout & personality will be recaptured.

Meanwhile, it was utterly heartwarming to know that Emma is still a hit on my blog, and although she can’t walk very well, she is a stellar napper, and still keeps me company through the days. Thank you everybody who attended Emma’s little birthday celebratory post  last week, and for you who would like to take a peek in the archives, all posts Emma’s Birthday are here. 

A house in progress.

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I thought I’d post a little about the progress of our house rebuilding!

The most exciting thing is that half of the openings in the roof for the sky lights have been rough cut and light is already pouring in and illuminating things in a most magical way.

Compare the original house skylights of Then …

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From the Archives: Sweater Descent

to the rough cut openings of skylights of  Now.

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Fantastic! I recognize my dearest of old friends Light &  Shadow, among the beams.

Oh how I have missed them!
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Its been a really late spring folks, with gobs of beautiful rain, and it is still a bit chilly & breezy, but now the perpetual deep blue skies & sunshine is on its way!  The foliage from the year-old shoots from burned trees are growing rapidly, and the flowers are bursting open everywhere . . .
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 Soon will be siding and roofing…

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And at the same time Jeff is now rebuilding the deck, with a little bit of my help.   Rebuilding  has been slow going all winter, and while our county beurocrats have not shown any effort to hasten things,  our dedicated few builders commuting from far away have stayed through the worst of storms, and have remained positive and encouraging, so now at last it looks like things will speeding up.
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I meditate everyday on being ‘back home’ in our rebuilt house, setting up my loft room and setting new lofty goals for myself ! It is so comforting and gratifying to see how much it looks and feels like our original house, after all it is the very same kit, and its easy to feel like its all just a dream, which I am soon to wake from.   I am amazed at some of the blog readers that have commented, apparently keeping track of me and the progress since the wildfire , and that is so heartwarming. I am getting a clearer vision now of the next equinox being a time when I will be a busy bee reacquainting myself with my old routine again.

But do tell me, how is the weather where you are?

All posts Rebuilding

waiting

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This morning I’m dreaming about white lace in an Irish cottage window, so utterly timeless and beautiful.  Just a lace stole draped over a simple cord would do excellently.  Isn’t a curtain like this so much the same as a bridal veil, crisp and bright with the virgin morning light peering through, promising a day as good as it gets.  Maybe a Golden Fields or an Aria shawl would be the perfect window curtain.  I must find some white linen fine yarn, and like an expecting mother knitting baby clothes, instead I could be knitting a lace curtain for my future (rebuilt) knitting loft.  What a lovely thing to think about !

The near future so full of promise , yet I have been just quiet and contemplative through astonishingly cold days of January & February, while so much rain fell, and a couple times it snowed, one which I posted about.  March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, they say. Patiently I knit at the table,  next to napping Emma,  knowing very soon it will be the vernal equinox.  Building progress is so much slower in winter, and in the wild.  Presently the house is a maze of wires and pipe and venting….

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The house weathered the winter without a roof,

covered only in the first sheer layer , and then plastic through the worst storms of the year.

Oh, but the windows, they will surely be installed soon.

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I know that in a blink it will be finished.  I am hoping that by the Autumnal Equinox of this year I will be living in the house once again, picking up where things were left off, which I think about constantly now.   I ponder about where life was just before the wildfire;   what I was working on,  what was making me excited,  what had I just accomplished, what designs was I thinking of, and patterns was I writing and ready to test knit,  how far was I walking in the days, what was influencing me, and what great new recipes was I inventing . . . etc.   I so very much enjoy contemplating this blissful time which is destined to come back to me.   But six months? Maybe longer … or sooner? We can’t know for sure, and so “maybe” is such a fickle word. I know in my head this is not far off, but in my body and heart I am so exhaustively constrained existing in a tiny space, and once again having rooms wherein to move about will be a massive improvement to life, and will send me into a euphoric state!  I am so very grateful for being able to cocoon in our tiny house up in the charcoal forest for this epic waiting period,  although I am so very ready to come out of hibernation.

Then and now .

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Photo from archives:  Forthcoming

As I stood just this morning inside of newly framed wall of our future master bedroom, looking through the door-to-be, I recalled this photo above, taken October 2016. One year later, nearly to the date, the wildfire destroyed everything, but I think by this coming October I’ll be looking at a very similar scene.  We won’t be able to replicate the antique Windsor chair(s) , but I do recall distinctly the color of the paint in the room to be a shade lighter than the color “Monet’s Garden”, and that is indeed something to go by.  Yes, going to paint it the same shade if I can help it.  I know I’m really asking for an emotional hit when I peruse the photos of our house before the wildfire, but its all a part of rebuilding, and we’re having to consult these old photos often to build the same house, or nearly the same ~ things just change, like sixteen years of the timbers deepening to that beautiful dark honey shade… there are times that I feel so homesick and just want to go home to it.   Rebuilding just takes so much time up here in the wild, especially through the winter, but the builders are wonderful, post & beam experts commuting from far away and staying over in Napa on week nights,  trying really very hard to recreate our original home that we built ourselves, regardless of the code changes like sprinkler systems, the list goes on.  Wow.  I am overall just really grateful.  October 2019, two years after the wildfire,  I will take that above photo again, mark my words.

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Photo taken today, February 15, 2019

All posts Rebuilding.

Knitting In A Room

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Knitting in a room is a theme I love to post about, because to me its as if rooms can speak silent nurturing words, or be as a listening friend, and even fill me with inspiration. Such was this original loft room, which is nearly half way built again.   If I can ignore the dim light, the sprinkler system plumbing over the subfloor, the rough cut opening which will be a window again soon, then I can imagine how it will be.

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Those of you who have been following my posts since long before the wildfire, might recognize this spot on the stairs,  the most photographed spot for countless knitted things were on this shelf  wall at the top of the stairs, with the bright southerly sunshine pouring in from a big skylight.  But right now everything is quite dark for the (six) skylights have not been cut out of the roof yet, nor the windows uncovered from plastic to keep the rain out. I am hoping next time I post about rebuilding it will have the light pouring in that I was so fond of !

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Until then, I have placed a chair upstairs in my loft room to be, and I can walk up from the tiny house as often as I like (when the builders are gone) to climb the stairs and sit and knit in the room that I am swiftly falling in love with all over again.

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A lace cowl, and sanding beams.

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Hi, its me Abelene. 

I am wearing Jen’s latest knit of a beautiful cowl she knit from Golden Fields Lace pattern.  Some lucky lady is going to find this under the tree.  It is made from  Cascade 220 Sport,  in my favorite color of light grey!

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Jen says you can knit one for gifts for all the women & dress forms in your life, so be a pal and go find some yarn and needles and cast on!   Jen will really appreciate it,  because she’s really laid low, struck from the plague & on a short course of strong antibiotics. Actually she has gotten a nasty sinus & upper respiratory infection due to sanding beams last weekend if you can believe it!

It is this beautiful sun-bathed north-facing alcove that has put her down for a stretch…

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No more sanding for Jen!

She is happily dreaming of the months ahead when the house might be closer to finished, but for now Jen wants me to say that she hopes you all are enjoying the beautiful  Solstice time of year when things up here the Northern Hemisphere are at their most dormant stage. Nothing but dutiful resolutions to come in months ahead, so cozy up in  these dark shortest days of the year while you can.

Ta ta ,

Abelene

Golden Fields Lace Pattern!

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Golden Fields Lace.

A tribute to the golden rolling hills of the landscape I live in.

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Photo from archives: Fields of Gold

Wild Oat “glumes” (see Anatomy of a Grass) sway back and forth in a golden field of lace, waving & rippling along in the warm breeze…

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A traditional grains motif in an all-over pattern that is simple as it is beautiful, and so easy to knit!  Borders of garter stitch, soft scalloped edges at top and bottom, straight sides, and everything in between is from one simple Golden Fields chart.

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Photo from the archives: Out Walking In Autumn

Pattern includes three styles: Stole, cowl, and square shawl with four sizes each style!

Here Golden Fields is shown in stole.

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Photo from archives: Waning Summer

A few weeks back I did test-knit the cowl, and posted here . The cowl and stole will be really fun for me to knit over many times I think, especially with more samples of different Unspun yarns as I can come up with, as this one was knit with yarn I made and posted here.

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Pattern is now live on Ravelry HERE!

Now please go check it out and get started on your Golden Fields, just in time for a truly wonderful gift to yourself or a very deserving loved one for the holidays & beyond!

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Photo from the archives: Mountain Knitting

Abelene asked me if she could say something, so I will close with her note.

Hi everyone, its me Abelene!

It was a thrill to model Jen’s new lace design in my future house!  A thrill I tell you!  Jen carried me up a ladder to the second story under the rafters, and positioned me in a way where one only saw a small finished area in the house, but really there were tarps flapping and wind blowing through and it was so very cold but very very exciting!  Besides, I was bundled up warm in Golden Fields stole, so feeling no goosebumps. In the photo below,  Jen stepped back only about 6 feet, and you can see the mess and chaos of building, but it is coming along swiftly. Jen and I are both just over the moon.

Ta ta,
xx Abelene

jenjoycedesign© behind the scene 2

Wrapping it up.

Road and house construction side by side.

Quite literally, many things here are getting wrapped up, so to speak.  The biggest and most important of course, is our house,  and the timberframe is swiftly becoming enclosed, that is wrapped, while road construction is making great progress too as dumptruck after dumptruck of base gravel makes its way up the mountain from the quarry. 

Secondly I am about to close in on the last quarter mile of 880 yards of  Unspun yarn I made in the end of October. In fact, I have been putting together a lace stole & cowl design using this yarn, and the pattern is all ready but for the finish photo, all awaiting on the speed which I can wrap up this project!  I am hoping for it to be ready by the end of this week, and then there will be a lovely simple & satisfying lace pattern available for holiday knitting! 

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Next we’re wrapping up November, with only four more days to it, then its already December and the big wrapping up of 2018!  I tell you, in the recent couple of weeks I’ve had a transformation in attitude; I am no longer feeling sad and sorry for myself, but really excited, and my panic episodes calming, as the tide changes to feeling abundance and gratitude coming my way.   Its been a difficult year since last November,  but I am so very excited for 2019 at last, with all that it promises.  And until then I am loving the loud rumbling of road-making machinery, merged into the cacophony of air compressors, nail guns, and hammers, so while so much excitement is here at last, I want to enjoy every moment! I just know that in a blink the day is going to come when we migrate from this tiny house 500 feet up the road into our new rebuilt house. I am very content for life as it is, knowing that time will be here most certainly by the coming of next summer solstice. 

In closing, over the Thanksgiving holiday the rain came in a big way, wrapping up another epic dry season, transforming the dry moss into lush moss, life drinking it in, miniature rain forests growing thick carpets on the wood and rocks, and bringing a verdant mood to things. Loving that and giving thanks indeed.  

Timberframe! Part Two

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The first rafters.

About a week ago I posted first of the posts & beams in Timberframe!   I think the most photogenic and magical part of building a timberframe house is when the posts & beams go together,  against a hopeful blue sky.

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Most days have had thick smoke in the air from yet another dreadful wildfire northeast of Napa County,  but yesterday the breeze shifted and some blue sky was showing, and the tops of many of the trees are somewhat healthy looking in spite of their charred trunks.

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The timberframe should be finished this week and I am already totally and completely in love with our new house.

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Watch this space for old familiar interior shots, as next the house will become enclosed, racing the clock as rain is expected next weekend.

♥    ♥    ♥

See all posts about our building our timberframe house HERE.

Things Happening

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Now for a little catch up on the house construction!

Do you recognize my signature view of the mountains?

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Foundation poured, and floor joists going up , photos just taken less than an hour ago, during the workers’ lunch break.

Then a few hours later….

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Watch this space, things are really happening now. Next week construction starting on the road (we’re forced to put in a road to rebuild!)  and also starting next week will be the posts & beams of the timberframe going up!

♥   ♥   ♥

Emma is thirteen & a half today!

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Yesterday I took Emma out for a little walk, although not very far.  I’ve been rather quiet about things going on with Emma, but now she is on the mend, I will mention that she seems to be slowly recovering from a serious illness which came on in the first days of September rendering her completely unable to move on her own, and with very little appetite. I thought I lost her and was enormously miserable for weeks as I nursed her , but now she’s able to walk a little on her own, getting stronger every day, and eating a lot!IMG_20181101_094756.jpg

  My constant companion Emma ~~ she’s such a soldier!

day one: digging

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2:30 pm, on day one of rebuild. Excavating really deep for footing (the county building codes are so over-kill now). The first time, in early summer of 2000, Jeff and I did this by ourselves, not even half this wide or deep; Jeff operating a simple little back hoe, I moved the dirt in his lumbering old Ford 420 bucket front-loader, and lots of using pick and shovels too, and it took us a long time. Three men digging and moving dirt, with foreman, Jeff, and five miniature Dachshunds standing by, the excavation will be finished today!

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waiting

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Red lines painted for excavation & string elevations in place of where the rebuilt house will be.

Yesterday took a turn for the worse for us. The previous Friday we were told we’d have our permit, and too soon did we think we could just start building. Our building permit got held up because of yet another detail some engineer at the county building department was chewing on ; we now have to change the plans to do more fiddling, as we have done several times already, until its become utterly impossible & ridiculous. This means more time to wait, and worst of all , more money to build, and it also means more debilitating frustration in our lives, but we are coping and won’t give up. Our county building administration is notoriously harsh and very difficult to get a building permit through on the best day, and don’t for a second think they are in any way being lenient to the many who have lost our homes to the wildfire, now 11 months later. Our contractors are ready to start, we have the batter boards & string line up for the foundation elevation, and had the foundation sub-contractor up here spraying lines in the dirt and scheduling a start as soon as permit is issued.  Since its costing us more, we’ll end up having to do more of the building ourselves, and live in this teeny tiny space longer.  Not really glad about things right now. I’ll let you know when things really start, as many of you have no doubt been wondering.  I’ve just put this out there so family & friends will have an update ~~ apologies if  I seem like a complainer, I’m just angry and at a breaking point.