Archive for the ‘Domestic’ Category

This Is Halloween

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos

Well, our annual shindig has been and gone and it’s time to share the photos.

We went a little different with our invites this year, making them and mailing them out rather than leaving them on doorsteps. We made them as ransom notes, meticulously cutting out all the letters from the local papers.. but only the once. We copied the original and printed the rest out!

I made a couple of things for the party this year. First up this wreath for the front door – feathery and full of eye balls. Made from feather boas it’s just cute enough *grins*

Next came these candles that I dotted about the place. Made from pvc and hot glue, then painted and aged. They have battery powered tealights inside them that give a nice glow and flicker without the fire hazard!

We ended up pumpkin carving at midnight in order to get everything done.

We made the usual array of food, I went a little crazy with the cake and the gingerdead men, yes, you read that right, gingeDEAD men! I was cackling inside my head while piping the blood on them.

We took our usual portraits as people arrived, I think we may have only missed one or two this year!

Happy Halloween!

(rest of the photos in the usual place)

Fun At The Faire

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos

Saturday was a beautiful day – cool and sunny. And more importantly, I wasn’t working. So we headed to the Faire! Sherwood Forest Renaissance Faire to be exact. While the ren faire is a day out we both enjoy we haven’t made it to one in a couple years, in fact the last faire we went to was Sherwood in it’s opening year, two years ago.

Costumes were pulled out the closet and dusted off and off we set.

We had a really nice relaxed day. We had an idea of a few shows we wanted to see and we took the rest as it came. Stopping for a coffee and sitting on a patio overlooking one stage for a while (very nice band, good backround music), stopping at another show because the guy was playing with fire *grins*

The first show we wanted to hit up was the falconry, and I’m glad we did. It was very informative, they kept the birds moving from post to post so everyone could get a good look. The only downside was it wasn’t shaded!

Right after the falconry was the joust. Performed by Knights of Mayhem, who armour up and go full contact. Much better than the jousting at Texas ren when we saw it (oh look, the lance came within 5 foot of me, I shall leap off my horse). One of the team sadly had a hurt back which hindered the joust a little, but it was a very good show. If they’re ever near you I’d recommend them, they put on a good show.

We caught the “Dirty at 3.30″ by the Bedlam Bards. Entertaining and fun to listen to with a glass of mead. We then finished up with the mud show before heading home. Worn out, dusty, tired and happy! We’ll try not to leave it so long next time.

See all the photos in the gallery.

Happy Christmas

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos, Pup

Esme also wants to know when she can open this present.

Halloween Delayed

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos, Pup

Normally at this time of year we’re rushing to get Halloween built, all of our plans coming together and hopefully something good coming out at the end of it.. not so much this year.

As I’ve mentioned, we started redecorating our front room, this wasn’t a small task and as well as it taking up all of our time, it swallowed all of our money too! It’s at a stopping point right now, we’ll pick it up again when we can. but it’s looking good.

Last time I dropped in everything was covered in plastic awaiting ceiling work. Thankfully scraping the ceiling wasn’t too bad, the work of a couple of hours for the two of us (if you weren’t previously aware, spray the ceiling with water first to moisten the drywall then it’ll scrape off in big ribbons). The following evening we re-textured the ceiling, spraying it with a drywall compound and then knocking it down. The following couple of evenings painting it white. It looks good, it’s much less obnoxious and we can’t wait to get the rest of the house done up the same way.


Then the plastic came off the walls and we got to painting. We chose provence cream (aka pale yellow!) for the hallway and coral gold for the front room. On the bare walls the coral gold looked very… bright, the high wattage halogen work lights we were using didn’t help either. But with our usual lights and natural light coming in the window it seems much softer, and it’s a nice warm welcome into the house.

We steam cleaned the carpets while the floor was clear which of course summoned the much needed rain… so our nice clean carpets became covered in muddy paw prints.. I think it became a game for Es to run outside and see how far inside she could get before we got to her feet with the towel!

Then the bookcases went up, I cannot tell you how happy this made me! Furniture was moved in (putting out my back in the process – it’s sore but much better now) and the books went up on the shelves along with some knick-knacks to fill the gaps until we buy more books *grins* Yes, I am wearing a brace while I sorted the books, you’re correct, I probably shouldn’t have done that with a bad back. But I did it anyway, I was in my element sorting them all out and getting them “just-so” I would have stopped if it hurt too bad… promise!

So all that is left is ceiling molding, skirting boards and molding around the doors. We intend to do a stained wood. And we’re also going to make a media cabinet to store the computer and wii etc, and sit the tv on top, right now we’re using the coffee table, the table it was sat on has become an end table for the sofa.

Es did admirably throughout all of this and thoroughly enjoyed it when she had no obstacles in her way when racing round the living room. She’s doing well now,  she’ll be 10 months next weekend – almost a year!

This is her classic pose, we liken it to a child stretched out with a colouring book!

So we’re finally working on Halloween now, there’ll be no backdrop this year, and I have no idea what my costume will be. But we’re getting there!

Front Room

Posted by Sweets under Domestic

It all started with some bookshelves…

Anyone who knows me will know that I love me some books, it saddens me that a number of my books are still over in England. The rest that are here, are stuck in boxes still. Yes, I’ve been here 3 years now and my books are still packed away.

Because once we agreed on bookshelves it spiraled out of control a little.. to quote Dmentd

Of course, I don’t want to put them in until I paint the living room.  Of course, I don’t want to paint the walls until I scrape all the obnoxious popcorn texture off the ceiling, patch a few cracks, re-texture with something pleasant, and paint that.  Of course, once all that’s done, I’d love to replace all the painted baseboard and door molding with new, natural wood molding… oh, and add crown molding while I’m at it.

The bookshelves are finished (there are 6 of them) and are sat in the dining room taunting me with their completion.

The front room went from full to empty… The dining room is now very full!

All the moulding got sent to the kerb for bulk pick up.

And in preparation for scraping the ceiling the place is now covered in plastic. The eerie glow is the doorway to our bedroom.

I hope no-one wants to use the front door!

The pup was a little freaked out at first but has settled down now… apparently extension cords make a comfy bed.

I’ll let you know when it’s looking more hospitable!

New Photos

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos, Pup

We had a pleasant afternoon sat in the garden, DmentD with a beer and a book (which admittedly he didn’t get to read much of), me with a nice cold juice, and Esme with her favourite toy ever – a yellow rope!

Check out Esme’s gallery for all the photos.

In more general Esme news, on Wednesday she’ll be allowed out in public places, hurrah! Next week she’ll get her last puppy injections and will be good for the year.

One Week On

Posted by Sweets under Domestic

Last Tuesday I would have told you that this week, today, could not come soon enough. Last week we were tired, stressed and figuring out how to manage our lives around this new addition to the household.

One week on Esme has settled in, she has her puppy exuberance back (it’s not unusual for a puppy to become lethargic with a change of homes, and add kennel cough too and you have one mellow pup!), she’s used to us and is (hopefully) learning her place. We are more used to her, we know better how to deal with her. The number of house training accidents is reduced and she is doing well in her crate.

Tonight, in just over an hour, we start the puppy classes. This is what I was waiting on, banking on last week. But since then we’ve not done too badly. She came to us knowing “sit,” she’s mastering  “down” and “shake” and making some progress with “come.” We really need help with getting her to behave on a leash. But on the whole she’s doing well.

She’s settling in, we’re doing well. We’ll get there!

Esme The Pup

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos

We came back from England on Friday, arrived home about 6pm (more on the trip when I’ve sorted through the thousand photographs!) and slept lots. We planned a lazy day for Saturday but after making breakfast and realising we were out of milk we decided a trip to grab a few essentials was needed.

We’ve been talking and planning on getting a pup since before Christmas, we were putting it off until after the trip (for obvious reasons) and so we decided while we were out to stop by the pet store to start collecting essentials.. all the bits and pieces that aren’t dog specific. This ended up being the first stop on our list of errands.

As we were coming out one of the local shelters had set up outside. You see them around town, outside supermarkets and pet stores, typically fund raising, and if possible, finding homes for some of their pups.  They are one of the rescue shelters that often takes dogs from the one “kill shelter” in town to keep dogs from being put down just because they weren’t adopted in a timely fashion. We, being in a particularly doggy mood, decided to stop and say hello to some of the dogs.

It seemed the usual compliment of slightly older dogs, until we got down to the end of the line — there, playing together, were two young pups.  They had to be from the same litter, as they had the same brindle coat (brown with black tiger-like stripes), and similar features — they seemed to be a mix of catahoula, terrier, and a pinch of some breed of hound.  One, the male, had a black nose with a white bib and feet, the other, the female had a white nose with a white bib and feet.  The second we reached in to pet them, they took note and started licking our hands, happily sitting calmly to let us scratch their ears and chins.  They were energetic, but not hyperactive, playful, and had a good spark of intelligence in their eyes.  We asked the keeper how old they were, and she told us they were about 2 months.

DmentD and I looked at each other and knew that we had both fallen for the same one, the girl. We spoke with the keeper to get more details.  The pups were spayed/neutered already, were as up-to-date on their shots as they can be at this age, had been de-wormed, and were perfectly healthy — we have paperwork on every veterinary procedure performed (shots and all).  They would come with a 30-day “insurance” plan, and the shelter would always be available to take any of their adopted dogs back should adopters ever decide we’d rather not keep them.  We filled out the paperwork, went over a zillion details on what vet procedures were needed (booster shots, and once she’s of age, rabies/distemper/parvo shots, etc), heartworm, training etc.  We paid the nicely inexpensive fee, and we had ourselves a new pup.  *grins*

We put her in a shopping cart, and promptly went back into the store to get the rest of the necessities.  She was well behaved, and was showered with attention from everyone we passed.  We brought her home, and  bonded with her all night.  She’s very mellow with bursts of puppy enthusiasm, and will roll over to have her belly pet if you so much as look at her.  She’s starting to get used to the leash… a bit, anyway.  Someone has taught her to sit, as she does it frequently in response to treat offers or going outside.  She’s got no problems being handled or touched — I’ve played with her feet, ears, mouth, tail and she hasn’t so much as twitched.  She’s a relatively quiet pup too.

Today she sat, mostly quietly, in the yard while we cleaned it up and made it pup-proof.

She’ll grow to be a little bigger than we had originally decided we wanted a full-grown dog to be, but not much more… we estimate she’ll be in the 40-50 lb range, maybe a little smaller.  Her shelter name was “Rosie”, but we think she’s going to be “Esme” (after Esmeralda “Esme” Weatherwax, one of the witches in the Discworld series of books).  She’s absolutely adorable..

We’ll be off to the vets this week and plan on starting puppy classes as soon as possible, as much to help us as her! Stay tuned for more photos!

Here There Be Dragons…

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos, Random

A look at my latest craft project, I got the pattern from here, and everything else from Joanns Fabrics (except the stuffing which was stupidly cheap at Walmart).

Aren’t they adorably cute! One is a little “special” looking, he was my practice so I could get the second one looking good since it’s a present (it’s alright, she’s only a month old this won’t ruin the surprise for her!).

Happy New Year

Posted by Sweets under Domestic, Photos, Random

It was a hectic holiday season. Between the two jobs (both of which got busier for the holidays) and making presents and being social and doing all the things we usually do I don’t think I stopped during the month of December at all. It makes me glad they’re over and I’ve had a semi relaxing day today.. still lots of clean up to do but we’re almost there.

Disturbingly, this photo of me pulling faces, is one of the best photos of me from the holidays.. I’m not sure what that says about me!

Earlier in the month we went to Johnson City to see the lights.. they were uninspiring mostly, except for the lights around the electric company.

We got a few new decorations this year.

Christmas day was split in two. For lunch we went and joined one group of friends, for dinner another.

I got a great series of photos of our box of goodies being opened…

And I think the pups were keen on their treats.

There was fun, merriment and food comas all round! I’d call that a successful Christmas!

Hope 2011 is everything you want it to be!