Tuesday, May 17, 2005

We spent some time with our architect again last night trying to finalize the building plans for our house. The goal is to make it affordable to build, within 10% of the size of our hurricane destroyed house for tax purposes, and functional for our family. Our architect friend is enormously talented and is really doing an incredible job. Long ago we realized that a rectangle "box" was the most affordable style of house to put on stilts. However, looking at the front of the house you don't think "box".

There will be stairs leading up to a front porch and then into the house. The second floor has three dormers. The front of the house faces south and though we have never been able to see the water from our home before, we are hoping with the new height of the home, this will change.

Here is another picture of the front of the house and the east side.

The back of the house will have a bit of a deck and then stairs leading to the back yard.

Here is another view of the back along with the west side of the house.

The master bedroom is on the east side of the house and will have a fireplace! I am VERY excited about this particular feature. I always wanted a fireplace in the master bedroom!!!

This is the first floor floorplan. It is difficult to see.

Starting at the bottom, almost center you can see the front door off of the front porch. The room immediately to the right is the dining room, which is just like the original house. To the left is the "library" or shall we call it, the "wool room". On the far left is the master bathroom and closet. You can also see the stairs leading to the second floor as you enter the house. Towards the top of the picture, the kitchen is on the right, the great room is center and the master bedroom is to the far left. There is a deck off the back and then stairs down into the back yard. We would one day like to incorporate a swimming pool into the deck system.

I am really hoping the second floor of the house, which is three floors up, will have a view of the water, the Santa Rosa Sound, to the south.

The top of the stairs brings you to the center of the second floor at the top of the stair diagram. As you arrive at the top of the stairs you see two bedrooms and the kid's bathroom on the north side of the house. To the south side of the second floor are the front dormers. The center one is a small niche which Kurt has already claimed for his computer. If the view is too nice however, he may not get it. I might have to put a chair or something there and create a reading/knitting niche. The other two dormers are in what is suppose to be two more bedrooms. However, we removed the wall for the bedroom on the front right and are creating a loft or school area for the kids instead. Kurt's computer may just end up there because he shares it with Gregory and Gregory will need it for school.

We are very excited about building this house. It is pretty much the same size as our former home which will be nice. However, there is the possibility of some really nice southern water views and I am so excited to think about that. Furthermore, I have always wanted a front porch. Between the porch and the master bedroom fireplace, this could very well end up being our dream home! If we ever get a pool put in, it definitely will be!

The children love to play with the Lutrell children while we are pouring over architectural details. Gabrielle lost all of her dress up clothes in the hurricane and misses them. She had a great time playing dress up with Hannah last night.

We sure do miss being in Gulf Breeze and close to our church and friends. I pray for the day when we can move back and, God willing, into our dream home!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

It's a boy!

And boy does he wiggle! I've been able to feel him moving more and more over the past month. Kurt and I have actually found a name we both like for the first time ever. I don't know if this is because the name is great or if it is a by-product of our ever deepening relationship. Right now, it looks like the baby will be named Michael (who is like the Lord) Zane (God's grace, sea lover). The meaning behind the name fits our family and where we are presently.

I started a baby sweater a few weeks ago, but it stalled out a bit when I realized I was a 1/2 stitch off on my gauge. As a result the sweater looks like it is going to be big. (I have a hard time holding the camera still sometimes.)

Of course with my history of large babies that grow quickly, I shouldn't be concerned about it at all. I haven't worked on this sweater in a couple of weeks and I really need to get back to it.

Recently I picked up my Legends of the Shetland Seas stole again.

At least I haven't given up on the thing despite that I have been working on it for almost 2 years now. I finally got back to the place I was a year ago when I frogged the whole thing.

It seems I have several projects that have been ongoing for awhile. I won't even mention the sweater I started for Kurt more than a year ago. Then there is the shawl I have been weaving on my tri-loom for the past few months.

Though it is hard to see in the picture, the shawl is woven from the green and blue polworth fiber I picked up in Destin in 2004. I'm just about finished. I still need to blend some fiber and spin some yarn for the fringe. Rather than try to match the colors of the individual rows I thought I'd just card up some of the various colors of this multicolor roving with some sparkly stuff and use that for the fringe.

For what seems like years, though it has only been months, my spinning wheel has been held hostage to the lace weight Shetland I have been spinning. I FINALLY finished it last week!

It is 2,028 yards of 45 wpi double ply yarn. I'd like to eventually knit it up into the Tina Shawl as a wedding gift for someone. I won't be more specific than that, just in case.

After so much bland, undyed fiber, it is nice to finally be spinning something with some color again!

This is an alpaca/silk blend though it feels like there might be some mohair in it as well. It is pretty fiber, but more vm than I like. If I have to vacuum after I spin, there is too much vm for me! I'm aiming for 30 wpi double ply and after what I have been spinning, this seems gigantic!

We started a sock KAL in the Christian Artisans group. I finished my first sock fast enough, but my second sock is lagging a bit.

I really like how the socks are looking. But I don't think cotton is likely to become my favorite yarn for socks any time soon. These barely have enough stretch to fit over my heel.

Last year during Hurricane Ivan, my MacComber floor loom was completely destroyed along with my very first weaving project and my brand new LeClerc floor loom was damaged pretty badly. Knowing how much I wanted to try my hand at weaving again, for Mother's Day Kurt started the process of attempting to fix my loom.

There is a lot more damage to the wood than I originally thought and it will cost as much to replace the rusted and damaged parts as it did to buy the loom in the first place. However, it does look like we may be able to fix it. I am hoping! Kurt did a really good job with the first round of loom repair.

I thought I had discovered all of the missing and broken parts, but as Kurt removed layers of debris, he discovered more parts that need to be replaced and repaired. Sigh. Patience is not a thing I ever really wanted to master, but there sure are many opportunities for growth in this area presently in my life.

A Christian Artisans member, Margaret, who owns Heritage Yarns sent me some beautiful silk.

I can't wait to spin this up. I've never had a full 4 ounces of handpainted silk in the same colorway before. 4 ounces is all I need for a lace shawl.

I also received my first handpainted silk from another Christian Artisans group member, Eve, who owns Spinning Karma.

It is the "Pacifico" colorway.

I am so grateful to be a part of the Christian Artisans group. There are so many talented members and all are such Godly women. The group is such a blessing!

Eve also sent me a sample of some mystery fiber denoted only as "20".

I'm hoping Eve will tell me what kind of fiber this is eventually. She also sent some really pretty stitch markers.

I just love the colors! They even match the beautiful hand painted silk I got from her.

For months I have been washing a corriedale fleece from an ewe named Eve. I finally finished!

There was so much fiber with this fleece! It sure feels good to be done with this one. Now I just have to wash Brooke, Violet and Merlene. I got the corriedale fleece (Brooke, Violet and Eve) from Cary of Serenity Farms. Cary has the nicest corriedale fiber I have ever seen/felt.

The fleece from Merlene comes from Running Moon Farm. I bought Merlene's fleece last year and lost it in Hurricane Ivan. It was great being able to replace it this year with a fleece from the same Ewe!

I started combing my clean corriedale fleece on my new combs. Boy does this fiber comb up nice!

I really like my new Alvin Ramer super mini combs!

For a month or so during my first trimester, I was unable to spin on my spinning wheel without cramping. So I spent some time with the purpleheart Bosworth mini spindle I picked up in Destin this year.

I actually got quite a bit of fiber spun up in the "here and there" moments. Now I am wishing I had an easy way to ply my spindle spun yarn without having to wind it off on an empty toilet paper roll. I KNEW I should have bought that cool plying tool for spindles at Destin.