Thursday, May 29, 2008

Did Someone Ransack Your Dining Room?

How cute is that? It is my pencil box. I got it some time ago at Borders (yes, I know - the evil corporate conglomerate - it's what there is.) I still haven't put together my visual journal supply kit, but when I find the appropriate receptacle, this will have to fit inside it. I just love the exuberance of the colors and the design. I keep thinking I will incorporate some exuberance into my art - but I seem to tend toward somberness. I guess I'm unconsciously working some things out? Do any of you ever have that happen? Start out with one idea, but keep coming back around to another one?
Look at the quilt my Aunt Karen made for Rexy's big-girl bed! How sweet is that??? Just perfect for my Valentine girl. You can see the bedstead on either side of the picture. It's actually two Heywood Wakefield headboards that we found for a steal at a local antique mall/auction house. They're exactly the same stain color as the Heywood Wakefield desk and chair that we found for her room when she was a baby. (Those were a steal, too!) The desk that we have since removed from her room until she is older. We realized its finish would probably not survive repeated applications of crayons, markers, and Play Dough! (This pic makes the green of her walls glow a little brighter than it actually is. It's still quite green - Benjamin Moore's Pear Green to be exact.) Those are Rexy's good friends there on the pillows. She has very little interest in most stuffed animals, but loves the Ugly Dolls that look like monsters. The gray one nearest the front is her best friend Babo (sounds like Bob-o). He's beginning to get a little bedraggled and parts of his mouth have fallen off. He is well-loved.
I promised I would show the aftermath of my various creative frenzies. I have to say it makes me laugh when I see people's pretty and neat workspaces. Mine looks like the aftermath of tornadoes and looting in comparison!
Admittedly, it is worse than normal since I had to move everything around in order to build the new cabinets. The doors you see on the left are 2 of 6 vintage doors that we will be using on the cabinet. They will be painted white, at first, until we decide on an overall look for the dining room. They were salvaged from a house built in 1880 that an old friend of my DH was renting about 20 years ago. When it was sold and it turned out that the buyer was going to tear it down in order to sub-divide, the new owner told the 2 renters that they could salvage whatever they wanted out of the house. My DH got 8 of these doors (they're from a huge closet with 4 sets of bi-fold doors) and some cool woodwork. They're huge - they're over 61/2 feet tall! When the cabinet is done, it will be 8 inches short of eight feet tall. I misspoke when I said it would be 12 feet wide. It will actually be a little over 10 feet wide. There's only room to use 3 sets of doors. We're going to make another cabinet for the bedroom out of the remaining 2 doors. Wouldn't you know, after DH and Rexy being repeatedly sick for the last 3 months, now I'm sick. My girl, of course, is full of all sorts of energy and bouncing off the walls when I just want to lay down. It's making the clean-up slow going. It does look somewhat better than these pictures now, though. We also have made a mock-up (my DH is the king of over-planning) of the middle cabinet to make sure that the construction plan works. It does. I will take a picture of that, too. When I say mock-up, I mean that we actually built it, but since it was a test we used basic 2x4s instead of the v-fir we're using in the final version. Now we'll have to take it all apart and rebuild it after I paint everything.

Got to go and take my girl to the park with her therapist now. Maybe I can take a nap on a picnic table while they play?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Goldilocks Did It

Last night, when Rexy was supposed to be going to sleep, I heard a noise in her room and looked in. There she was, out of bed and playing. I swooshed open the door all the way and said, "You're not supposed to be playing with toys, you're supposed to be going night-night! Get in bed and go to sleep!"
Rexy looked at me in complete seriousness and said,
"I didn't do it! It was Goldilocks!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Back in the Land of Blogging!

Thank you to everyone who continued to stop by even though I have been woefully absent. It's been a long month! My girl was sick 2 more times, poor baby. This is what we get for the solid 3 years of perfect health, I guess.

We started work on my "studio." I use that term lightly. It's really just going to be a big closet, albeit one that will be about 12 feet wide! The dining room has just a trail going through it now. There are construction materials and art supplies (and the requisite toys) spread out over nearly the entire floor. It's been 2 weeks since we ate at the dining room table. For those of you who don't know, the dining room's west wall is where I keep most of my supplies-on two tables, a big book case and a giant toolbox on wheels. In order to build the cabinet/closet, I had to move 2/3 of it to a different location - that we don't actually have in this small house. So I moved it into the corner - where I sit - and to the opposite side of the dining room. During the Row House extraveganza, things seemed to migrate all over the room. I'll post a picture of the aftermath later.

When I wasn't nursing my girl or moving supplies around, I managed to finish my Row House swap items - and then it took me almost 10 days to mail them! (That would be the time that Rexy had the full-on flu) Many thanks to Jeri Aaron at Artful Gathering for her kindness and understanding. Not to mention her heroic hosting of this swap! There are 33 participants putting in 11 Row Houses each! That's mumblemumblecarrythe2mumble.....363 houses! Yikes! That's a heckuva lot of work.

At left are pics of all the Row Houses that I sent out. It's difficult to see the varying degrees of 3D-ness that most of them have on pictures this small. Theoretically, you should be able to click on them and see them larger. I always seem to have trouble making that function work on blogger, though. It seems to be hit or miss. I guess we'll see when I publish! Anyway, the Row Houses were lots of fun to make! I have looked around at a couple blogs and there are people who frame them in groups of 3 to 6 in shadow boxes with dark backgrounds - very cool looking. I'm not going to decide what to do with mine until I receive them. We don't have a spare inch of shelf space so I can't really display them that way...unless I use my new Dremel (! yay! My DH gave me a super Dremel set for Mother's Day!) to put a new one up! I just realized what kind of power I have now; no more waiting for DH to to pull out the power drill and do things for me - which always entails a loooooooooooooooong discussion about the merits of my idea (It's hard being married to an artist, he has his own ideas-how inconvenient!). Of course, if he absolutely hates something I would take it down.

Does the one with the house look familiar? I cannibalized it (well, a picture of it) to make my new blog banner - what do you think? I felt like something more summer-y. I changed the template, too. For the first time in 2+ years! I have always hesitated because not all the templates allow you to have a banner and also because the formatting on the sidebar gets messed up when you change templates. I didn't want to have to move everything around. Well, I bit the bullet and did it anyway. I thought I would be able to do that and also post, but I was sadly mistaken. Between school, therapy, dinner, night-night time, and some TV-watchin' with the spousal unit, it took me all day to finish the switch!

So, during my blog-absence my friend Pam tagged me with this lovely tag.

Here are the usual rules:

1. Link back to the person that tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your entry.

I'm happy to link back to Pam, not only have I known her for (gulp!) 31 years, but she is a lovely person and she is becoming increasingly successful in the altered art/mixed media world. She has been published in 3 Somerset Studio publications and in Cloth, Paper, Scissors - and has more
published pieces coming down the pike! (Including a full length "featured artist" article!) It won't be long before she's writing a book I tell you! Go check her out!

Anyway, enough bragging about my friend, here are the 6 unimportant things about me:

1. My dad raced motorcycles when I was a kid and we spent every Friday night at the track.

2. My grandfather was best friends with a millionaire - also when I was a kid - and he let us take out his 52 foot yacht whenever we wanted to.

3. My first job outside of the family business was as an "Alien Escort" for an airport security company (get your minds out of the gutter, people! Seatac airport didn't have a Transit Lounge for int'l travellers w/out visas back then.).

4. A bonafide "pool hustler" taught me how to play pool. Unfortunately, my poor eyesight precludes any actual execution of the techniques he taught me.

5. When I was in Paris in my early twenties I kept getting mistaken for a Parisien - by other Parisiens! - because I could say "Bonjour" and "Pardon?" with a perfect accent and I never wore pants or jeans like the other Americans. ( I always said "Pardon?" after "Bonjour" because they would begin talking to me in French and I had no idea what they were saying! After they repeated themselves and I was no closer to understanding them - high school French
didn't take me too far - I would have to admit to being from the U.S.)

6. I used to only wear skirts. between the ages of 23 and 35 I only owned one pair of jeans and 3 pairs of leggings. The jeans were gone by 1989 and the 3
pairs of leggings were were a trend thing in the mid 90s. I didn't think I looked good in pants and I didn't buy jeans because I was on such a limited clothes budget that I felt I could only buy clothes that I could also wear to work. Funny, my wardrobe has done a complete 180 degree turnaround since then!

So there you go. Now I have to tag someone else. It's been a long time since a game of tag has gone around, so hopefully the tagees will have some fun with it. I have tagged people that I always like to know more about:

1. JanThomasen at the Polka Dot Barn
2. Altered Kat(Tarra) of Great Musings
3. Gina Smith at Lilly's of London-ish

4. Suzan Buckner of The Thrifty Collage Artist

5. Izabella of Izabella's Blue

6. Jodie Barone of Wild Vines

It's good to be back in Blogland! I'll try to get back to posting regularly. My DH has been active on the Vintage Bicycle boards lately

and we've been competing for computer time. (another reason it has taken me 2 1/2 days to get a post up) I figure that's a good thing, like many of us I get too caught up in the computer and neglect my art.

Happy Spring everyone!