Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It is so therapeutic to unload belongings that go unused and clutter the house. I am avid that as little as possible goes into the trash so instead I donate or sell back as much as I can.

Today I am thankful for the following:

St Vincent De Paul: a wonderful community thrift store where I dropped off a van load of unused 'stuff' today. Sadly several of these items have been in my basement collecting dust since we moved it.

(Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright often drew his house blueprints without basements? He believed that basements fed into our human desire to keep more than we needed. In my case this is quite true.)
Half Price books because they even take old VHS and LP's.
Art teachers everywhere, especially Mrs. Smart because she seems so pleased to receive the 'stuff' that was cluttering up my work space.

Once Upon a Child second hand store who now has a kids kitchen play set I hadn't been able to part with...

and lastly to the metal recycle guy (who ever you are) who promised to haul away 2 metal doors, an old freezer, and an unused gas dryer one day next week.

Unloading feels SO good!


Friday, March 26, 2010

DIY Spring Flower Artwork

I found an old bulb catalog today and got pulled into the vibrant colors. I decided to scan the pages and run the images through a watercolor filter in Photoshop.

These are all tulip varieties, I am now thinking I should do the same with daffodil images too.
So pretty.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Easter images and a pink disaster

I wanted to share some Easter images with you in hopes that everyone is working away feverishly on spring projects.

I will not be allowed to work on fun little projects because yesterday I discovered this disaster behind an old bathroom cabinet.

Don't you just adore the very 1960's pink bathroom (and what is up with that yellow grimy stuff..eeww). I have wanted to change out the fixtures and paint color for many years but never got the nerve. Perhaps I should have clung onto that fear a bit longer. I can't believe the damage hiding being the wall fixture. To make matters worse the wires to the outlet are no longer 'hot' and the new GFI we installed is useless. So repairing the wall will have to wait until I can get an electrician in.

No worries though I still have lots of other projects waiting to be completed. Tonight I'm headed out to pick up paint for several rooms in the house. To me putting fresh paint on the walls always provides instant gratification.

It is a very rainy and chilly day here, I have seen others around the US getting snow. Hoping spring returns soon.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

House project progress

Remember this?

Now it looks like this! The wall is repaired and I started on the surround.
Drywall is on now I have to get a nice thick slab of wood to fit the top.
Here is the mud room again...
This is it now, all the joint work is done it is primed and waiting for paint. I did have help with the painting, Miss Maria spent the day at home sick Friday but you can't keep a 7 year old down once she's had her ibuprofen so I enlisted her help. Once I get color on the walls I can finish up the trim work.

All this work is so tiring and I reminded daily that I'm not as young as I used to be. These few pictures don't even show all the work we've done. On Thursday Bob had a friend from the university come and help us fix the concrete work that deteriorated over the winter. Yesterday I pulled down the mailbox and light fixture to give them a fresh coat of paint. Slowly but surely it is getting done, it helps that I have taken a few projects off the list just due to time and money constraints. Truth be told I could spend another 2 weeks doing nothing but painting but I think my body would revolt.

I hope you all are having a relaxing weekend.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Etching Metal

Carla and I finally took the leap and tried etching metal. We are spurred on by the fact that we will be doing this at our Altered States of Mind meeting in April, we wanted to make sure we could get good results.

The process we used was from Stephanie Lee's Book Semiprecious Salvage, there are some changes from the book and she has a post about it here.

(Click on the image to see the detail)
I am just so pleased with the end result. The process today used Staz-On ink and stamps to create the resist. On another day (one that is hopefully much warmer) we want to see the results using acrylic paint as the resist.

All my etched pieces are brass from a sheet I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I'm looking forward to antiquing the them to really bring out the etching.

(Update: Here they are antiqued, I used the Sophisticated Finishes- Metallic Darkener.)


Friday, March 12, 2010

How many projects can one take on anyway?

Let's start with the fun stuff...oh so faux tin types

I've had this idea for a while to try and make image transfers on polymer clay that resemble tin types. At the moment tin types are very popular in assemblage and mixed media jewelry but I don't own any (no surprise there right?) But therein lies the problem, since I don't own any how do I know if I'm getting close to a good result ^shrug^. The bottom left is my least favorite..too gold. The others all have a hint of metallic, unfortunately I can't seem to capture that with the camera.
My time to play with polymer has been hindered by the decision to move forward and try to sell the house. Let the overwhelming number of projects begin...LOL.

Trim & door painting started...why yes I am a messy painter... but I am convinced it will all look better at the end.
Working on last summers mudroom addition, down to finishing trim then prime and paint.
Biggest expense..sump pump installed... this is in the rec room ...right out in the open so now I have to repair the wall and built out a step with an access door.

SO that's it, I'm sure a piece of my sanity will be left behind with each project I complete. In the end these are all tasks that have needed to be completed we just got to a point of living in the house and not doing what we needed to. I feel that even if after all this work if no one else shows up to buy the house it will still be far more enjoyable for us as a family to have it all done. That's my pep talk and I'm sticking to it!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Glitter is better than a sump pump

There are big changes in store here at my house, a long overdue sump pump installation may begin today!! I need to deal with it but I don't want to , so while they are digging up my house I will be dreaming in Technicolor...

I wanted to share with you a giveaway that Marie at Spun by Me is having in honor of her 500th post.

Come join in the fun and leave her a comment on this post!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Carl comes for a visit

My brother Carl has been in town over a week, he flew in from Idaho to have eye surgery at Wright Patt Air Force Base. When he was planning his trip he asked if it would be be OK to stop into the kids school to say thank you for the well wishes the kids sent while he and his group of airmen & women were based in South Korea. Of course the teachers were thrilled to have him stop in and give a little talk.

Carl told me he was nervous about talking to the second and third graders but in my book is got an A+. He explained to the kids about his job, how long he had been in the military, and all the places he has had the opportunity to live while serving. The classes peppered him with questions and hopefully learned a lot.
We stayed for lunch and recess...I'm pretty sure this is some sort of Air Force hand gesture requesting help or back up support...
...but after a while he figured out how to engage the enemy and win over their support.
Thanks Uncle Carl you were the rock star of second and third grade!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dressed for a Mad Party

I spent part of Friday creating a necklace to wear to the Shop Bellevue party. Trying something new, I created a mixed media piece with one of my Alice in Wonderland beads.

I used annealed wire to hand craft all the links and the hook clasp.
I made another seam binding bead too, for this one I was hoping for a more aged look so I antiqued the ribbon in instant coffee first.

With my necklace completed it was off to the party. It was hard to miss the gals who work at the Beadery, they were in full costume.
This somewhat creepy Mad Hatter would pop into the shop from time to time during the evening... I'm fairly certain it was not tea in that tea cup.
These fabulous ladies were set up at the Beadery too, they both create lamp work beads. The one on the left is also teaching soldering classes tomorrow, I would love to attend but this weekends schedule doesn't allow it...bummer.
We were also treated to a visit by several royals, but this King and Queen of Hearts were my favorite.
It was a fun but exhausting evening, this white rabbit is headed off to bed.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mad Hatter Party!

Tomorrow (ok, technically today because it is after midnight) is First Friday and the Shop Bellevue event looks like a lot of fun. Bellevue is a well established river city in Kentucky just across from downtown Cincinnati. Each month the Renaissance group of business owners host a themed event. The shops stay open late, have sales or giveaways and offer up some free food and drink. This month in excitement for the new Alice in Wonderland movie they are having a Mad Hatter Party.

I cannot wait and I'm planning to attend...even though I am running around this evening shouting "I'm late, I late" just like the white rabbit. Why? Because as usual time got away from me and I failed to get my beads prepared for the event. This evening was spent with these fabulous vintage images now permanently encased on pearl polymer and I am so relieved they are done.
I cannot wait to attend and see how much fun the shops all have planned. I will have camera in hand, I'm hoping for lots of fabulous hats.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Images to share

March is always an interesting month...
We are all so ready for winter to be over but alas again today it will be in the 30's and cloudy...
but there is hope, little patches of warmth will show up as a reminder that Spring is coming. This weekend the powers that be are forecasting temperatures in the 50's and they even suspect lots of sunshine. A perfect weekend for the bulbs to sprout up a little bit more and buds on the trees to show themselves.
Think Spring!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Big decisions, maybe

Can I be any more indecisive???

Bob and I are seeking out a better school district for the kiddos and wondering if now is the right time to sell our house. With great incentives for buyers it seems like it would be the right thing to do but many of the incentives may expire at the end of April, that has me wondering if this all makes sense. (see what I mean...indecisive)

Our real estate agent came out today to measure rooms and give me an overall impression. I know there is a lot to do and I would have to really focus (hey there is that word again). UGH! She will come back in a week to give us a comparison report to other home sales in the area, my curiosity is peaked. We have been in our house for 7 years and have made some major improvements but the house could still be so much more. Then there are the "issues" like the undisclosed leaky basement when we bought the house and the depressed market.

I start to look at the to-do list and just want to duck under the covers and sleep off the idea. We have so many projects that were started but not finished (kitchen & mudroom), then there are the walls and trim that haven't been painted in 5 years (it is amazing to me how much dirt little fingers leave behind) and finally projects not even started (sump pump for the leaky basement).

I may have to take you all along on this ride, whether we decide to sell or not having the agent here today really opened my eyes to how much we can be doing to fix the house up. It is amazing to me how just 2 kids and 2 busy parents can just let a house go...paint and projects that is what in in store for us.... Lowe's here I come.