Archive for September, 2007

Knitting projects

sweater backsweater frontIt occurred to me (as I finished up my second knitting project) that I never posted pix of the first project, a sweater that I completed. You can see earlier posts about my attempts at the leaf motif here and here. Several months ago I finished all the parts and sewed it together. It was tricky to get the sleeves just the right length but after some fitting help from a friend, it all worked out great in the end. And just in time for the cooler weather coming our way.

market bagmarket bag folded up into its pocketMy second project was this market bag. It is made from variegated wool and nylon yarn – very nice to work with and the colors are sumptuous. The bag folds up into its own self contained pocket for easy storage when not in use. And I bought this very cool synthetic button for the closure.

Now I can start on socks!


Before and After

The septic is hooked up and working. We passed and the excavator is relieved. This is the first time he has jumped through the new hoops (guidelines) put in place by the state. They’ve made it complicated and expensive to upgrade and put in new systems and our engineer was being a stickler. But the mounds of dirt are gone. So are the trenches and large holes. The men have worked all week to cover things up and smooth things out. They’ve put down loam and spread it nicely. And this morning they were spreading grass seed and covering it with hay. This time of year is perfect for grass growing – a little soft rain and nice sunshine and we’ll be good to go. If not, it will all be ready for Spring.

the messcleaned up

There are just a few more outside projects before the excavators move on: Another smaller curtain drain along the side of the driveway (which doesn’t need inspection!), a little bit of stone work to fix a walkway and our front steps, prep of the driveway for paving, and resculpting the lower corner of the yard for better surface water drainage. Just two more days. Then they’re done. We’ll miss them – great workers and awfully nice guys .

Kayaking on Grout Pond

Lynne’s first attempt at kayakingWe had plans to go canoe and kayak camping this weekend with friends. But somehow, two days of rain and thunderstorms didn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. We opted instead to try to rescue the nicer part of Friday (while it lasted) with a kayak outing at a closer pond. It turned out to be just three of us and when we arrived, Grout Pond looked inviting. The sun was out and warm, but the light breeze was cool. The tops of some of the trees were beginning to turn; the pond looked deserted. And in the middle, near where we put in was a solitary loon.

After the short course on kayak operation (basically how to get in and out without a bath) we set out. It was a beautiful pond with a beaver dam in a small cove and a swampier end full of submerged stumps that we didn’t explore. There was a kingfisher staking out his territory there and a kestrel type bird perched high in an evergreen by the shore. By the time we reached the far end, the sun had been overtaken by clouds and the wind had picked up to a good clip. The edge of the water was lined with rocks and not very conducive to disembarking. But we finally found a place to stop and eat our PB&J lunch at one of the day use sites. It was chilly eating lunch and the wind made for an interesting paddle back to the beach. We noticed several camping sites that were occupied and when we were finished, there were two canoes going out to spend the night. I felt a little wimpy after that, but this morning, I’m very glad we opted out of the camping part.

Progress 20

old system tankWe’ve located the old septic system tank and dry well. Looks like we MIGHT not have to dismantle the garden after all. We’ll know better Monday morning after they pump the tank and bash it in so they can connect to the pipe that comes out of the house.

pipe from new buildingThey’ve dug more trenches: a big one for the pipe from the new building and a smaller one for the electric conduit that comes to the house.

The yard will stay this way for the weekend. Everybody and their brother is coming on Monday morning at 7 am for the big test of the system. They’ll disconnect the old , test the new, and then hopefully connect us to the new system. Then they can close up all the trenches and finish the mound.

That will be nice.
electrical conduit

Progress 19

We’ve progressed to digging up grass now. Yesterday the excavators finished up the leach field. You can see them sculpting the areas where the pipes lay and then the finished field. It made us feel like we should be at the beach building a giant sand castle. But no play here. This was serious business.

sculpting the leach field and installing the infiltrators and pipesfinished leach field

digging the tank holesetting the tanks This morning the monster ventured out into the lawn to dig the hole for the two septic tanks. These weigh several tons each and the man who delivered them had a cool little remote device for moving the crane to position the tanks. The excavators worked to get the hole just the right depth and perfectly level. Once both tanks were set in place, they started digging the trench to lay the pipe that would connect them to the drain field. By the end of the day the tanks and the drain field were one.

trench to the leach field

Tomorrow they dig more trenches and unearth the old system. Stay tuned…

Progress 18

Site preparation is done and construction has begun on the curtain drain and leach field.

curtain drain 1curtain drain 2

The trench is dug, lined with fabric, the pipe laid down and the trench then filled with stone.

curtain drain 3leach field prep

The fabric is wrapped over the top of the stone and will be covered with dirt. The leach field is tilled up a bit and then covered with sand. There will be more sand added tomorrow but the excavators wanted to get some material on the field since it has been raining quite a bit the last 2 days. This will stabilize things until they lay the pipe tomorrow and finish the mounds.

Copper Bowl Class

I took a class at Fletcher Farm School over the weekend. The class was a two day copper bowl and birdbath class. I thought I might come away with a practice piece and a large bowl but once we were done with the small practice bowl, we could make anything we wanted. practice bowlMy practice bowl turned out to be a triangular affair, not quite as deep as the instructor had wanted us to get experience making. So next I tried a larger shaped bowl that was made from an old piece of copper with a lovely patina. As I hammered the patina began to disappear but it is still an interesting color. I fashioned three leaves that the instructor soldered on for me overnight. I really like how it came out.

larger bowl with leavesAfter that, I wanted to try my hand at a weather vane. A man in the class made a very cool fish – troutish looking – but I didn’t want to copy. I decided on a feather, or rather two feathers, since it needed two sides, mirror images of each other. The instructor hadn’t brought a grinder to finish the edges so they could be soldered, so I brought it home to finish. (Soon we’ll have that grinder installed in the new workroom and I’ll get a crash course in soldering from Roger so I can put the sides together.) Of course, we opted out of the cupola for the top of the new building so it might just have to be on a stand indoors somewhere. We’ll see.

feather vane halvesI still had the better part of the second day left, so I started a large dragonfly that can be mounted on a stake to ornament the garden. I finished the body, though I wish that I had had a way to make the eyes much bulgier. The wings still need to be worked and finished and it needs some legs.

I had a great time doing this, never having attempted anything like this before. dragonfly pieces - work in progressMy mother was on my mind alot as I hammered away, partly because yesterday was her birthday and partly because the ball peen hammer that I was using was hers. She would have loved what I was doing and I’m just a little melancholy, wishing that she were here to share it with. It was fun working in a different medium and I was amazed at the overlap of design principles and the execution of texture and construction.


Art Every Day Month



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September 2007
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