So the tile for the back splash was finally delivered to the store in Fairfield on Saturday, but by the time I found out about the delivery, it was after the service department closed (12:00 noon). I was finally able to pick up the tile on Monday morning at 7:30 AM and was back at home with it in time for the tile contractor. The tile was installed on Monday and the grout on Tuesday and it looks beautiful. Under the cabinets is a basket weave design in a cream & brown colors to match both the counter top and the cabinets. The design over the stove, is a herringbone pattern, in similar colors but, in a larger tile surrounded by pencil tiles. It works like we had imagined and we had it in for Christmas, which was the goal. Meg was inspired by the back splash in the kitchen of the HGTV Dream Home in Florida. It was a black and white basket weave that went all the way to the ceiling (like a 12-15 ft. ceiling) over the cabinets. It was a very dramatic effect, and while ours doesn’t go up to the ceiling, and is in different colors in our kitchen, it still has the dramatic effect we were after.
The week before Christmas I took a class at the Woodworkers Club of Norwalk on ‘How to Turn a Pen.’ I had not used a wood lathe since shop class in Junior High, which is a very, very long time ago! It was a very good class and because it was postponed from the day before due to snow, there were only three of us, myself and a guy from Ridgefield, and his young son. After a brief introduction to the lathe, the instructor did a demonstration pen turning and then we were let loose on our own lathe and had at it under his helpful eye! We made two pens each in the time allotted although the pen blanks were pre-drilled for us so we got to start with loading them onto the lathe and then turning them. I made two pens, both in cherry, that I gave to my daughters as Christmas presents. The pens look very similar to our new cabinets in the kitchen and while there is a very light stain on the kitchen cabinets and no stain on the pens they look very close to each other. Using the lathe was easier than I expected but the potential to make a mistake is there and you can easily ruin a pen quickly. I enjoyed the experience, primarily because you go from a collection of parts to a completed, finished and working piece in a short time.
We had a great Christmas! Carolyn is home from college for a month and the week before Christmas she got her main present – a new kitten! The kitten, which, is now named Ollivander (Ollie for short), is a lot of fun, and is really into the Christmas tree and the low hanging ornaments he can get to. Kate & Kenny also came several days before Christmas but had to leave to go back to Kenny’s family in MA right after we opened presents and had Christmas breakfast. We had our usual Christmas Dinner for Christmas Eve and then went to church at 10:00 PM. and then home for the usual last minute wrapping, finishing hand-made gifts, stuffing stockings etc… Finally got to bed around 2 AM and then we had to get up early so that Kate and Kenny could keep to their schedule and leave by like 10:30 AM. The dinner was great (roast beef tenderloin!), but we have to go with simpler side dishes rather than the real complicated like we always seem to do. We had an involved process with the roast so we can switch to basic baked potatoes rather than the twice baked potatoes, or a simple vegetable instead of the stuffed mushrooms where there are like 18 ingredients that have to be prepared and cooked before stuffing the mushrooms. We did go to a simple but very good Creme Brule for dessert, rather than the very involved Daquoise or Bouche du Noel we seem to do most Christmas Dinners.
No real big plans for the New Years! Carolyn’s new boy friend will be visiting and I think they are going out to dinner with some of Carolyn’s friends and then the horde will descend on our house to continue the celebration probably playing with the cat, board games, and eventually watching the ball drop. Meg and I will probably do lobster or swordfish at home and then struggle to stay up until midnight!