Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yellow room

So, you may remember we have this room in our house that has yet to show it's purpose. We call it the 'mudroom' because it is our entryway. It's the side entrance, but we never use the front door as the dog tends to be better at getting out through the front door. Anyway, the room was white, or some variation of white (read:dirty white). When we moved to Nantucket, my baby sister moved in, and we told her that she could paint the room if she liked. (I can't remember if she specifically asked to paint, or if we just said that she could make it her home while we were gone.) This is the color she chose.
I actually liked it, but Hubby thought it a bit too close to pea soup.
For a few months my mother lived with us, shortly after she and my dad split up. We don't have much room, but I was in the process of re-finishing the basement, so I painted one room in a lovely yellow (Rich Cream). I bought that striped bedspread to go in that room, but it even went nicely with the green.
Anyway, I had a half gallon can of the yellow left over and thought we could repaint the room without spending a dime. I was wrong, we ended up needing another can...I thought a quart would do it, changed my mind, but realize I was probably right. Now we have another gallon of this yellow...oops.
At first I thought it was too bright, but it mellowed out with the second coat.
Next we're hoping to get the floor redone. Possibly bamboo of some sort.
I decided to paint the beam over the front window, too. It was the only unfinished, dark brown wood beam. I figured painting that one would be a lot easier than striping the other.
So I like it...Now i guess i need a new project. Which means I had better get down into the studio!!

The 10 minute post

I have about 10 minutes before i MUST be ready to walk out the door for work. So, in fact this is an 8 minute post!
Just wanted to put it in 'writing' to make it more than just a half-assed thought I had one morning. It's kind of a personal blog that makes no difference to anyone, but I don't have time right now to figure out how to make it a private entry...
I am trying to better myself. What? How? Well, I want to be the well-rounded healthy person I always dream to be. What does this mean?
1. I'm taking the time for myself to workout at least 5 days a week
2. I'm making more effort to work out healthy meals and menus for Hubby and me
3. no more coming home to eat lunch and instantly lose the desire to stand up again...work, work, work, play! I want to get back into the studio, so no more week day tv marathons!! (damn you Bravo!!)
4. there are sooo many things i have been wanting to do: pick up French again, pick up the guitar again, art, the little stress relievers that i just get too lazy to try
5. i need to organize my life if i want to be a healthy centered person...i'm going to try (TRY) to clean up my life in every way. get rid of anything i don't need...and trust me, there are a ton of things i don't need! my shed, basement, and attic are full of random bits of uselessness!!

so there it is. My grand scheme to detoxify my life.
The paint is up in the mud room...i'll post pics with my next entry.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I did it!!

I finished the most recent thing I've been working on. I had some nice paper that I made from my last batch of pulp before I toss everything. I had a ton of pulp that I was hoping to work with, then lost all interest when I was duped by a retail shop in Maine. The experience left a bad taste in my mouth and wiped me of any creativity I may have possessed beforehand. So...all left over pulp got dumped into the garden beds/compost pile and I haven't made any paper since. However, I did have some paper that was already finished that was just waiting to be turned into something.
I embroidered a little design on a small sheet of paper I made. I love the look of embroidered paper.
I like the 3-D effect of the Chinese knots. It's such a crazy mix of emotions I go through with this, though. The handmade paper has sections of it that have thick bits and the needle won't go through quite smoothly. There are times, you make so many stitches that you just produce a hole in the paper. It's not like cloth...paper rips and it has no forgiveness for a missed stitch.
Originally, this piece was supposed to be the cover to a journal. But while making it, and then upon it's completion, I thought, 'this could just be a piece of art. It's worthy of framing.'
I had only one matte to test it out, but I actually think it works. The paper, in real life, is more green than blue, so the sage green matte does work, but I would probably choose a mustard yellow or another shade of green.
Today's 'victory' did get me a tad more excited about creating again. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying to get hold of that woman who screwed me over!!

Last weekend

My Roma Tomatoes are starting to emerge!
I have been picking snow peas...and them immediately eating every last one. Well, Moxie gets a bite here and there. She races right over to the fence when I pick them!
I even got this beautiful purple radish! These were great in a salad I made.
We finally started painting the 'room with no purpose'. It was a dark shade of green, but we're going with a very pale yellow. So...primer coat #1. You can see that, as an added treat, the previous owners thought panelling would be a good idea for this wall. The wall opposite also has panelling, but we have a slider in that takes up most of the space. I hate painting in grooves. It takes much more time and paint.
The whole point of this project was that we had left over paint and primer, so it was an improvement to the house without spending money. But, the paint isn't going to go as far as it normally would because of the panel grooves. So, today, I will go over this second coat of primer with a third...since we had almost a full gallon of primer, but only a half gallon of paint. I actually enjoy painting...not priming...so it's still 'all good'.
Speaking of painting, just a different kind of painting, we went out with some friends we hadn't seen in forever this past weekend. A mutual friend of the artists in our foursome, was having a group show at a gallery nearby. So I got to get glammed-up. This is what I tend to wear when I want to feel like a city girl. Not sure why, maybe it's the bare shoulders? Or possibly the pointy shoes.
Afterwards we went out for pizza and wine and catching up. It was fun, but it sucks being the wet blanket who has to get up at 4 a.m. the next morning!

So that's what I've been up to. I am hoping to finish priming today. Maybe start painting. Maybe get into the studio soon. It is finally clean and just waiting for me to be ready to return. I'm not sure I ever will be, though, and it's making me sad. I need some inspiration!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pretty things that now make me sad...

Some of my favorite creations that I will a)never see again; and, b) will never be paid for! :(
A cute little card. The wheels are made of my own handmade paper, and they really spin. This is one of a series of 3 that I did.
This tiny book is made entirely of my handmade paper. I stab-bound it and embroidered a little elephant on the cover. I thought it was pretty cute.
I made a few of these cards with origami elephants. I first made one of those elephants, with a baby to go with it, and gave it to my elephant collecting mother as a Christmas gift. This was actually a popular item in my etsy shop; an item I actually sold. I thought it would do well in this little shop in Maine. Maybe it did? I don't know as I never got any feedback or acceptable responses to emails. Sad.
These bookmarks sold well at the couple of craft fairs I did. Made of my handmade paper, and embellished with bits of paper collaged to be birds. I love these...again, I thought they'd do well in a retail setting.
One of my favorites was this card completely embroidered by me. A little froggy and some cattails. Minimal, yes...but still sellable, yes?
I LOVE this card. The petals are made of my handmade paper. The stem and leaves, I embroidered. The petals are movable, as they are held with a simple brad. I really like the blue flower with the brown background.
Yes, I'm sad that I put so much effort and time into making these things and didn't get anything for that. I am more sad that NO ONE ELSE got any joy out of them...I basically made them and then threw them away.
I can't find a phone number. The woman no longer updates her blogs. She has nothing in her etsy shop. And the website is 'under construction'. My only hope is that eventually she'll get her shit together and/or get all the emails I have sent the past year, and do the right thing...pay me or send my stuff back.

Tuesday morning garden post

I just uploaded some recent garden pictures so I'll just add some words for a quick post before work.
My snow peas are very tall, and getting flowers. I need to add the next bit of ties so they can grow taller.
My jalapeno plant that I bought is just starting to get the beginnings of peppers; but, this is a tiny habanero on the plant my sister gave me. It was wilted and on the very of being compost, but a little water perked it right up...and now look at it!
This was my first batch of radishes. You can see one purple one from the 'Easter Egg Mix' that I planted. Mostly I am getting the basic red ones, as the others don't seem to be filling out into radishes. I still prefer the red one for taste. The purple one was spicy to the point where it wasn't really tasty...it may have been too early, so I will give them all another shot.
This was my first bucket of potatoes. I was suppose to keep covering the new growth with fresh dirt/compost, but as you can see...the bucket is only so tall. This one was smaller than the size I wanted to use. I guess we wait and see what we get. I believe they will be ready when the green parts start to yellow and wilt. I planted a bigger bucket with a bag of red potatoes that sprouted in my kitchen. They are growing as well!!
I got extra points with my mother-in-law when I told her I planted Edammame this year. I sure hope I get some and can have some to share with her this September. They still seem to be growing...they're all fuzzy! I'm waiting to see if I need to add trellis for them...I'm not sure if they vine up? I have my bamboo stakes and twine ready, though.

I will have to get some new shots of my privet hedge and bamboo soon. Everything seems to be doing okay. My only complaint: I bought 5 bare root hedges for $25, which I thought was great. I bought 3 EIGHT FOOT hedges for $30 each...also=great. The problem? Only one of the $5 hedges seems to be growing...so, in essence, I paid $25 for a 2' bare root hedge!! Live and learn.
WARNING: this next bit is a bit of venting...
And going through my pictures, I was looking at all the product I made and sent off to Maine to be sold in a little gift shop LAST JULY. I never got any money. My last email from the woman (IN FEBRUARY) said she'd send my stuff back. She will not return my emails or respond to any letters I've sent. The website for her shop is 'under construction'. I know the woman who was her partner still has a blog, but I never dealt with her, so I don't want to be rude to her. I just want her to respond and I'm getting annoyed to the point where I have to keep myself from doing something stupid (like publicly calling her out). I just really liked the stuff I sent her and wish I could add it to my sad little etsy shop. And I really want her to be a responsible shop owner!! She's turned me off trying consignment, that's for sure. I will post pics of my fav stuff that I will never see again (or get paid for) in a separate post.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A weekend in Boston

I have been sick since about last Wednesday. Stuffy nose, nagging cough, and now that awesome crap in my chest that just won't come up and go away. But I went to Boston anyway. We had booked a room for Saturday night so that we could spend the weekend with Hubby's parents. I wondered if I should stay home so that I didn't get them sick, but I really didn't want to pass up the opportunity to see them while they were so close (they live in Akron, Ohio and travel ALL THE TIME). They spend 2 weeks out here by us in September, but it would just be wrong for us to not travel an hour to see them. And it was a great trip. No traffic from the Cape to the subway station, and the train rides were pretty clear the whole way. We found out hotel, we found theirs, and then the rest of the weekend was walking, eating, drinking, and catching up.

We had a quick bite and a cocktail before heading out on the town. It rained most of Saturday, so we wandered around indoor shopping centers. Our dinner menu had the Sunday brunch menu on the back, so we all decided to go back for that. Basically the trip can be summed up by the drinks: Manhattan with the arrival snack; cucumber martini with dinner; mimosa with brunch; and, sangria with our departure tapas. I get along great with my in-laws. Unfortunately, I do not like the 'calling of the brother' when we are seated in a (very empty) restaurant. I think I upset Hubby's mom when I basically refused to talk to my brother-in-law.
Sunday morning was foggy. I don't like being in the city, but I had said to Hubby that I was looking forward to Sunday because Sunday morning in the city is fabulous. Especially with fog like this!
It was also supposed to rain all day, so we decided to hit the New England Aquarium. It was as I remembered it. Penguins and fish.
This was looking down into the giant fish tank. It is runs down the center of the building so you can see into it at all depths. Pretty cool. They had a barracuda, but it was too fast for me to get a shot of it.
This was when I was watching them feeding the penguins while we were up at the very top of the aquarium. I have loved penguins since seeing them at the Detroit Zoo when I was about 5 years old. So cute!
I have some garden pictures to post, but I am done blogging for tonight. (Hubby went to see a movie with a friend.) Tomorrow night I am alone again (poker night), and I have Wednesday off, so I am up for the night tomorrow, I think. (?)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I don't believe it! (well, actually...)

My computer has been down for the past week or so. The AC power adapter was not charging the battery, and (because I am rather dumb about such things) I let the battery completely drain. I thought it might be charging while it was asleep, but the cord wasn't working at all. Hubby knows way more about computers than I do. He said, 'you need a new battery.' I attempted to get one, and the store clerk asked, 'well, does the computer run without the battery, but still plugged in?' Hubby was under the impression, and so told me, that the computer cannot run without the battery and the cord was simply to charge the battery, not to run the computer. I just accepted that until talking to someone 'in the biz'. After explaining this to hubby, he still didn't believe me. We got online to find a new battery. It wasn't easy to find one with the correct voltage, and when we did, it was $120!! I suggested getting a power cord as they are cheaper. We had a bit of a disagreement ending in me simply saying, 'never mind, I will take care of it.' So the next day, while he as gone, I found a power cord for around $6 ($11 with shipping, but still a good $30 less than any others) and a battery for $45 ($55 with shipping!).
Anyway, long story short, I got the cord today. My heart was beating as I unwrapped it and plugged it in. The battery charge light came on, and my little guy started to whirr!
'I was wrong,' were the next words from Hubby's lips!
Of course, the new battery is already on it's way, but I think I will keep it just in case...I don't want to pay over $100 if I ever do need one, or go through the trouble of tracking down a cheap one.
I am eager to get my latest radish pictures up. They are such a great veg for photographing! And hopefully, I'll be getting much more from the garden soon. The peas and peppers are getting little flowers and stuff's getting bigger!
This week is a major cleaning week at our house (for me, anyway). We are taking a weekend to get away. Just to Boston to see my in-laws while they are in town, but it will be nice to get away, if even just for a night. Our friend is coming to stay with the dog, so I don't want the house to be the messy stinky place it is now. I also have to mow the front lawn as the 'ornamental grass' is as tall as my car now! I think we have become the 'neighbors every one talks about.'

Friday, June 4, 2010

just a few things

Sadly, I am still without my own computer. That means, no uploading photos. I picked my first radishes of the season this morning. About 4 plump red ones and one measly purple. I think the 'Easter Egg' variety grows at a slower rate. I found a recipe for aphid spray that is just Murphy's oil soap and water. I am going to try another, that isn't oily, but it involves sitting overnight, so I wanted to get something on the plants before my broccoli got devoured again, like last year.

We are heading into a busy social weekend... AGAIN! Helping a friend get her house cleaned, painted, and ready to sell on Saturday. Surprise 'group' birthday party on Sunday (good thing none of my friends read my blog!!).

Today, I am just sticking around the house, enjoying a day off. I even stayed in bed until almost 8 this morning!!! I stayed up watching a movie, plus I've been pretty tired lately. I think it's because I have started working out again. All those things they say will boost your energy (coffee, sugar, exercise) just don't. Maybe in the long run exercise will help, but right now... zzzz! The super cool part about working out again, though, is that after just a few days, I am already stronger. I've been doing Jillian Micheals' 30 Day Shred workout. The first day, I couldn't make it through all the push ups (not on my toes... i can only do the ones on my knees). By the third day, I could do 15 in my first set, and 10 in my second set!! I love getting stronger and seeing results!

I just read in Shape magazine that beer has loads of B vitamins, antioxidants and silicon. More silicon than fruits and vegetables, and it's apparently one of the key minerals for keeping your bones strong. But...as we all know, beer is full of calories, so as with everything in life... you gotta take the ups with the downs.

At some point today, we are also meeting at the bank to see about refinancing. Oh... crap... gotta go get my stuff together!!!