Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Girl Her Dog and Her Wagon

If you click on it you can see a bigger picture!

Here is a collage of a collage that I made back in college.  It was supposed to be a piece using ink and pencil and only done in black, white and mid-tones (gray).  We were to find things in life we liked, loved or had affinity for.  We were also to include a silhouette of ourselves somewhere in the picture.  We were to write about what was happening in our life at the time we were making the piece (writing is at the bottom).

When I got this out of storage and read the writings it totally brought me back to that time in my life; it was a mini diary of snapshot in time.  I had gone back to school after getting divorced from my children's father.  Yes, I was a starving student and had a starving artist boyfriend, too.  It is amazing what you can do without much money really.  Museums usually have one free day a month to visit and the student ID helped, too.  There was the library and parks; picnic lunches or cheap fast food.  With not much help from the ex there was bitterness and resentment.  What balanced it was to create art.  My escape from the cruel economics of life.

The pen and ink outlines are taken from a vintage photo of a girl, dog and wagon that overturned spilling out flowers.  Then I added a rose, a songbird and an outline of a winter barren tree, 3 things I love.  The photo I chose reminded me of both my younger sis and my daughter when they were little with our family dogs.  What kid doesn't have fond memories of their dog & wagon? 

We never lived together but the boyfriend was talented, funny and romantic and we had a great time doing artsy-fartsy stuff together.  We went to art gallery openings, traveled up the pacific coast to draw and paint; he lived in San Luis Obispo for awhile, I'd go to visit and almost moved up there with my kids but after a couple of years or so I figured he was never going to settle down or ever have a pot to know...#$!@ in.  I had two kids whose needs grew, like $ for college soon, etc.  The relationship took it's course and he took it harder than me but we moved on. 

More art from my "Bohemian" past life in the days to come!
Hope you're enjoying today.

Friday, July 30, 2010

New Crochet Book

I decided that I needed to decide on a border for my afghan or it will never get finished.  So I got this book, Around the Corner Crochet Borders and... I got lured in by the pretty cover.  Yes, there really are 150 different borders in it, (unlike some crochet books that say there is allot of patterns but then you find the only bit of difference is using different colors together).  It also has the corners all figured out so your blanket will lie flat.  I think that every crocheted creation needs to have a complimentary border be it simple or extravagant depending on what it is.  Ya know, so it's finished looking.  This book had great reviews so I went and got it.  It's just what I needed.  I've had fun with this book, practicing a few borders.  Originally, I just wanted to use white but now I may use some color in the border as well.

I like these two.   The one above, the row with the pink almost looks like rosebuds.  There are quite a few in the book that would go great on the edge of the 'ghan but I don't want to do too many rows or it may seem like it will never be done.

This one is just so "cutsie cute" but I love it because I'm such a flower freak.  I think I'm going to make something just so I can use this border.  It won't look right on the blanket though.  First I have to finish the scarf then the hat, then while working on the blanket I can start another project, one that is smaller and portable.

Guess I'd better head on home since I found a little critter trying to make his way into my shop this morning and he must be hungry by now.  Why he was there in a parking lot with no foliage around he must've been lost!

Then I got my watering can and scooped him up and I told him he wouldn't find any food in my shop and that I was going to take him home and put him in my new garden.  He hasn't eaten all day, poor guy.  He looks big in the pic but he is only 2 1/2" or so to the end of his tiny tail.  If you grew up with 5 brothers then you wouldn't be afraid of lizards.  I never liked their pet snakes though.  Lizards and frogs, ok.  Lizards will eat lotsa bugs in your garden, nature at her finest.

Hope you are having a wonderful Friday night!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Punchinello Says Hello

I made this hand puppet several years ago for my sculpture project in college.  I hand sculpted his head and hands out of paper mache and then painted him with acrylic paint.  I hand made his gold beads; designed and sewed his costume.  From the top of his hat to the bottom of his clothing is about 18".  His poor collar is very distorted from being packed away in storage.  It was made with gold wired edged fabric ribbon.  Awhile back when I was re-packing items getting prepared for moving, I took pictures of some art I created to send to my pen-pal in Nova Scotia, Canada.  These pix were taken quickly before packing them away again.

Remember Punch and Judy?  How Punch had a stick and wailed on Judy or threatened her?  Well, he was a modern version of this old Italian clown.

A bit of history for ya: 
Pulcinella, often called Punch or Punchinello in English, Polichinelle in French, is a classical character that originated in the Commedia dell'arte of the 17th century in Italy and became a stock character in puppetry. His main characteristic, from which he acquired his name, is his extremely long nose, which resembles a beak. In Latin, this was a pullus gallinaceus, which led to the word "Pulliciniello" and "Pulcinella", related to the Italian pulcino or chick.  End of history lesson!

He used to have a big box that was his stage that I made out of a cardboard box and covered with striped purple and lavender wallpaper and made fabric side curtains.  That is long gone and I don't have a picture of it, sorry.  He looked rather cute hanging out in his box/stage.

My son who was young and in grade school at the time thought he was scary.

I think I got an "A" grade on it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Guess What This Is!

Hi, Can you guess what this is or what it's for?

Hint: It turns something on...

Yup, it's a knob.  But, what does it turn on?

Guess what it is yet?  Hint: It cools you off...

Try to guess...

Scroll down a bit more to see what it is...


Many moons ago I purchased 2 of these.  One for home and one for the shop.  Last year while bringing the shop fan home the knob got lost (I think it is somewhere in the old van).  So instead of getting rid of it or using a pliers to turn it on on and off I made a knob out of polymer clay.  I used the German brand called Fimo.  I got the kind with sparkles in it just for fun.  I molded it by hand and made sure it fit in the metal shaft and then baked it in the oven until hard.  The cool thing about this clay is that it doesn't really shrink.  Years ago I made jewelry with this type of clay and so was familiar enough with it to make a utilitarian object out of it.  It works really well.

Now, I think my knob is cuter than the original that looked like this:

         What do you think?

OK, I'm off to plant these in the side yard where it's shady and empty since I stole the plants from there to go in the front garden because they needed more sun. BUT before I do that I need to pick up a few yummies from the market.

To leave you with a little pretty, here is a pic of my new Geranium plant I got for myself on Mother's Day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Desk Chair Arm Covers

I started these a few months ago.  I got a remnant piece of fabric, a patterned cotton denim to make covers for my poor desk chair at work.  Lord knows that I sit too much in the darn thing and I'm wearing it out.  I finally finished 'em the other day.  Just have so many projects to finish up it felt good to get this one outta the way!

It's amazing what light does to picture taking.  The fabric is more true to it's color taken in the first and second photos above.  The last pic is taken in florescent light.  It isn't that bright blue and there isn't as much contrast to the chair fabric in the last pic, weird.

I wrapped up a few wedding gifts for a customer yesterday.  Mickey Mouse popcorn maker, how cute!  I hand make almost all the bows here at my shop.

I haven't made that much progress on my crochet scarf with all the garden and refinishing love that's been going on in my free time.

If you wanta see a cute crocheted cozy go to the crochet along here.  It's amazing what people can do with yarn.  Hope you're having a sunny warm (not hot) summer day, enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Before and After (mini) Refinishing

Hi, here is the cabinet in the guest bathroom.  There was wear to the finish mainly where the previous owners let water go down the front and then where you'd grab the doors to open them at the top.







In the worst part, where there was some raised grain from water damage, it didn't fix that like sanding and a full refinishing would have done but rather this product helped to blend those places in with the other wood and it really created a nice shine.  I put 2 coats on it for more protection.  Best thing is that it was really easy...clean 'em...let 'em dry...use fine steel wool on the worst place to get any flaking finish off and then shake the bottle, open it and apply some to a cloth and wipe it on the surface.
I think they turned out nice, what do you think?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Front Garden is DONE!

Here's some before and after pics of the front garden.  This one is from Spring 2004:

Like my weeds?  This one is from Spring 2006:

Yeah, these are the plants that will finally be put into the soil.  This pic below is a couple months ago after the cement was put in to support the moving gates.

This is after the soil amendment has been added, the soil turned over and almost ready to put in the permanent plants:


We have succulents, many different Geranium plants, 2 rose bushes, an Hibiscus bush, several Lily of the Nile (purple flowers that you see) and I threw some California Poppy and Alyssum seed (little white flowered low growing plant) that will come up when it's ready!  These are all plants that conserve water when they are established which is important for our lack of rain fall we have here.

My first attempt at a panoramic picture taken in 3 photos and then stitched together using the software that came with my camera.  I should have taken it aimed more at the sky than at the ground.  Cool tool none the less!  If you click on the pic is should take you to a full page picture.

Now, if there was a magic way to get rid of the cracks in the driveway cement!  Bye for now!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So far so good...

An update on my refinishing project.  All went well and I took before pics but it's been overcast in the mornings to take the after pics and I haven't been home until dark being busy with work.  So, I plan on taking some after pics tomorrow.  I finished the smallest bathroom cabinet.  In the areas where there was missing finish and color it will need to have a second coat.  They're all shiny now and look sooo much better!  It was so easy, too.  I promise, pics in next post.

The front garden is now OFFICIALLY DONE except for occasional weeding and daily watering until the roots are established.  I took pics but they didn't come out good so I'm taking more tomorrow of them as well.

I also want to apologize if  you saw some ads on my blog.  I use Firefox as my browser (love it) instead of Explorer and there is an add-on that blocks all ads (looooovve it especially on sites that have a ton of ads that slow down page loading).  Well, I went to add a couple of new gadgets and they weren't working right so I disabled the ad blocker and noticed that I had some google ads appearing on a couple of gadgets I already had.  Then I went to find out how they got there because I never signed up for "monetizing my blog".  Talk about a maze from hell on "blogger help" trying to figure out that so instead, I just deleted those gadgets.  I'll research that later.

If you have a Trader Joe's near you this is my latest fav from there.  If you like blue cheese dressing and pecans you'll like this:

Here are some pics of my darling niece's dance recital:

She was in 8 dances and these are just pics of 4.  She did so well, she's such a beautiful dancer!

I'll end off with how amazing mother nature is.  Look at the Lobelia flowers growing out of the cracked pot.  Yes, I need to repot this vine plant.  I'll get to it one of these days....

Now I'm off to the weekend, bye for now!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Woo Hoo! It's a 3 day weekend

Hi, I getta have 3 days off (of course I don't get paid) but there is so much to do STILL to get the house ready to list so more gardening for me and this:

It's a wood finish restorer from a company I found out about 7 years ago and now it's time to try it out!  UPS just delivered it right now to my shop, YAY!!!!!!

There is no removing the doors off the hinges, sanding or stripping involved.  Where finish is missing use super fine steel wool and apply 2 coats.

Would I rather be going to my sis' BBQ and taking in the movie "Knight and Day", yes.  BUT, this has got to get done, the sooner the better!  AND it's a treat not to have to drive anywhere.

I got 2 bottles of the medium color for the kitchen and the 2 bathroom cabinets and one dark color bottle for one of the bathrooms and some of the baseboards in the livingroom.  Where the sun has bleached the kitchen cabinets in the eating area I may use the dark color instead of the medium to tone down the orange-ishness.  I got their wood cleaner, too as I didn't want any chance of it not working correctly and you know how kitchens can be, even if you clean it there is small grease particles that get in the air and go all over so cleaning wood is the other project this weekend.  I'll post some before, during and after of this project.  Now, I know that I won't finish the whole job but I'll have 3 sweet days of work time.  Ya, it's not much of a holiday of relaxing for me but I gotta get this house done since we packed up so many things already a year ago and I just want to get moved and settled in somewhere new.  I miss all my crafty stuff.  I will letcha know how this stuff works in case you have any wood items that could use some sprucing up!

I got some new rubber gloves and two 6-packs of flowers for the shady part of the garden; impatiens and begonias from OSH last night.  There were quite a few people there shopping and standing in the checkout line so I'm not the only crazy weekend cabinet/garden makeover warrior here.


Tonight I'm going to the grocery store and only buying ready to eat food because this gal is not cookin' anything.

I will fit in some crochet time since I decided to keep part of the top instead of frogging it all.  I'm saving the band part and making a scarf with it and then the rest of the yarn will be for a summer hat, which I haven't decided on the one I want to make yet but I'm getting closer.

I'm adding 3 tiny grannies to each side and then do hdc stitches the rest of the way to make it long enough to be called a scarf.  My work won't be all wasted and I could use a soft scarf on some fall or spring mornings.

I sure do hope that you get some time off this weekend and do whatcha want.  Let's celebrate and be grateful for what FREEDOMS we have left here in America.