Sunday, June 30, 2013

What I did on Friday night...

It's getting closer and closer to the demo on my kitchen and all a sudden I got a bit sad.  Tim knew how I love purple.  I wear purple, I sing purple, I eat and smell purple.  Well, you get the gist of it.  So one of  the first things he did when we bought the house eleven years ago was surprise me with the offer of a purple kitchen.  If the name purple scares you, try to think lilac...anyway he took his time on it (three weeks) cleaning and priming and painting and I loved it.  Here are two pictures that I stitched together to give you a panoramic view...

I'm not the best at photo manipulation, but once again you get the idea...

Over the years we had lots of fun in the kitchen, fixing coffee, dancing Three Stooges and James Brown style on the newly waxed slipperiness of the vinyl flooring. We seldom ate in the kitchen, choosing to chow down in front of big screen in the living room, so the kitchen was always the site for craziness.

We bird watched and deer watched from the kitchen windows and he cooked his first real meal in the purple kitchen. We both were pleased with the purple kitchen and just were never ready to repaint it.

So it was sorta bringing me down that I had to destroy all of this for my kitchen update.  In an effort to way goodbye to the kitchen and have some fun at the same time, I decided to graffiti the cabinets and the wall that are going to be removed...

This is the first thing that I did.  Oddly enough, it felt wrong to write on my walls.  I thought it would be freeing, or something but it really was more of a sad goodbye to start out with.   I didn't stop, though, I had other things to say...

We always talked about blooming where you were planted and were happy to say that we felt like we had.  Tim was a musician and was always touched deeply by the deaths of other musicians.  With that in mind I honored a few of our favorites on this cabinet door.

We prayed in the kitchen many time and were never hesitant to give the Lord credit for all the wonderful things he had done for us.  Some of you may know that hubby was conservative in his political views, so to say that the Lord was praised, but the president was not is a very true statement.  Even though the self imposed stress of politics may have contributed to Tim's early heart attack, we were very happy together...

By the time I got all around the kitchen with my markers, I had cried quite a bit, but I realized that I am still happy.  Happy for the privilege of spending so many years with the man that painted my kitchen. Happy because I am anticipating many more years of joy in my new kitchen.  The years to come will bring new friends to my table and new experiences to my kitchen.  How can you not be grateful for a life like mine.  I have wonderful sisters and good friends and a hopeful positive attitude.

So in closing this post, I have to let you know that I am ready to say goodbye to the purple kitchen.  I realize now that I'm not saying goodbye to the memories of the wonderful things that happened here.  I'm moving forward and looking forward to wonderful things happening in my new kitchen.

Happy Sunday to all.  Stay tuned for more pictures of the remodel.  I'm sure there will be crazy things happening...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I've decided on wall color...

I am giving myself a pat on the back for not only admitting that my initial wall color choice was so "not me", but for listening to that little voice in my head and changing completely.

Initially I was thinking pale yellow as our friend Ellie, has a beautiful yellow sunroom.  Now mind you, I wasn't even thinking wall color when I  picked out the vinyl for my flooring, I was thinking how I wanted something that I really like and would want to live with for years.  (I may no longer be a spring chicken, but I am planning on many more years in this new space).  I love the vinyl squares that give the appearance of stone with grouting, but give me the benefit of more cushion underfoot and easier maintenance than actual slate. 

So after deciding on the vinyl, I realized yellow walls would not work at all.  Especially with the laminate that I picked for the counter tops.  This is the process I used to determine what paint color would work...

My appliances are going to be stainless steel, so I took a stainless steel burner cover, the yellow paint sample, the sample floor tile and placed them all together.  I even made a little drawing of my stove and cabinets cut them apart and placed them on the yellow paint sample. See how I colored the counter tops with pencils in the drawing?  Then I used the outsides of my colored pencils as substitute "paint samples" to see what shades would work.  It didn't take long to realize that my floor and counter tops would simply not work with yellow.

I continued with this method using other colored pencils and decided that I really needed something in the warm rose or beige family.

I took my laminate samples and headed to Home Depot to look at more paint samples.  I finally narrowed my choices down to a warm color in Behr paint called Champagne Ice and a cooler version of the same color called Early Sunset.  I purchased paint (sample sized) mixed in both of these colors and went forward with this...

I wish the colors on the wall showed up better in this shot, but as you can see when you click in, I took the floor, laminate and stainless samples and placed them next to the white baseboard ( representing my new white cabinetry) in my dining room.  I then proceeded to paint the sample colors directly on the wall.  What??? is she crazy??  She's not having the dining room remodeled!  What about her walls? 

Well, the area that I painted will be cut out to make a four foot opening connecting the old dining room to the new sunroom.  It will then be more of an extension to the foyer and the color of the sunroom  and kitchen will be very visible from the dining room/pass through.  For this reason, my carpeting needed to be complemented by the new flooring and wall color.  Whew, what a long (and probably unnecessary) explanation. 

Bottom line is this, Campaign Ice won out. I love the warm beige-y color with everything.  It reminds me of the color of my grandmother's face powder.  It is such a "make-up" color and it feels soft and comforting, where as the Early Sunset (the cooler painted block) ended up looking cold and uninviting and pretty much turned gray.

So the porta-potty has been delivered and the dumpster for the demolition trash.  The plumber has been here and the hvac it is really underway.

I'll try to give you updates, and who knows maybe I'll have time for some art while all this is going on.  In the meantime, let me know what you think of my choices so far. 

We'll talk soon. Take care.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Deep thoughts...

Posting twice in the same week...crazy, huh.  This is just a quick post because I needed a format for my inner most thoughts today.

You all know that I loved my husband and, of course, I miss him.  One of the things I don't miss is how super cautious he was.  He was so prone to trying to be perfect that he would get almost paralyzed if it came to doing something where he couldn't visualize the scenario ending perfectly.  This has never been my style and sometimes I really felt bad for him when he just couldn't move forward because of these self-imposed "what ifs".

I could expound on this personality trait, but let's just say for now, that I am not completely stymied by the unknown.  Today's unknown would be, me wondering if I can trim my hair (front, back and sides) and not look like a toddler had taken scissors to her bangs while playing beauty parlor.  Tim, would have said, "no, no, no, you DO NOT want to try that, call your stylist!"

Well, when I want my darn hair cut, I want it cut now and now is when it's gonna be cut.  I've cut hair for years and done a pretty good job of it, so I went for it.

Here's the front view (the lighting was really bad and my eyes do not look that raccoon like in real life.

I am posting the side view mostly because I think the photo is hilarious.  I don't know what I was thinking, with the pursed lips, but I think I was talking out loud.  Be sure and click in on the vintage ear bobs that I got for Christmas 1972.  Yeah, I still have a lot of my old jewelry.

So the whole point of  today's post is to remind you to let yourself go sometimes.  You'll never know  what you can do until you try. Don't be that person who, after you have passed on, has people feeling bad for you because you were frozen in fear of something not being perfect.

My, it's not perfect, but it reflects my attitude about life.  If no one is going to get hurt by it, (after all, hair does eventually grow out) go for it.

The way I look at it, I saved $40.00 and there are several tubes of lip gloss at the CVS that are calling my name.

Love ya and we'll talk soon.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I've been sewing...

As many of you may know by now, I do things in "spurts".  Wait, that didn't really sound right.  What I mean, is that I do one thing for several weeks and get over that and go on to something else.  I'd like to think it really keeps me creative, so to speak. Actually I get bored easily.  If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I make jewelry, I crochet, knit and do various type of needle work.  Recently I've been posting pictures of watercolor  paintings.  Well, this week I got the sewing bug, mostly because it's frustrating that off the rack clothes seldom fit.  Recently I have found several items at Hamrick's that do fit really well and I wanted to  duplicate them in a fabric of my choice.

Before going to shop for fabric, I took to the basement to dig through my stash.  I knew I had some really pretty print rayon (thank you Peri) that would make a cute pair of shorts/culottes so I found that and then went to the internet to find out how to convert a shorts pattern (which I had) to a culotte pattern (which I did not have). I  found a site through Pinterest redesigning children's shorts, and adapted it to my own adult sized shorts pattern.

I took my shorts pattern and custom fit it by making slight adjustments to the length of the stride, duplicated it on paper and cut it as show above, repositioning to get a bit more flounce. I then taped it down to another piece of  paper and cut it out.  In all actuality, it would probably be easier to take a skirt pattern and add a crotch to it, and I may try that at some point.  I digress, as I said, above you see the culotte pattern that I came up with. Now the blouse...

For my blouse pattern I took a commercial pattern that was close to the style I wanted and made adjustments in the length (see that red pencil mark near the hem).  Then I weighed the pattern down with kitchen silverware and cut it out.  If you are not as confident in your garment cutting (or have more patience than I do) this would be when you pin the pattern to the fabric.  I've done it this way for years, having learned this shortcut in a sewing class I took back in the 70's.

Next,  I took the actual blouse that had the sleeves that I wanted, and placed it down on a sheet of tissue paper and drew out my own sleeve pattern.  Shucks, if it doesn't work, I'll make it sleeveless.  Never know  till you try, right? (By the way this fabric is so pretty with silver glitter actually on the surface)

After sewing and pressing and learning a different sewing machine as I went, I came up with this...

Normally I would never have taken a pictures of myself in shorts, but as you know, I have a new normal now, so ta, da!

The shorts turned out so comfy (with their elastic waist and roomy pockets) that I have been wearing them everyday.  Good thing I went to Joann's and got a bunch more fabric, right?

The blouse is a bit wider in the neckline than I had anticipated, but it was so pretty that I actually paired it with black slacks and wore it to church today.

So there you have it.  I'm sewing again.  The builders will be here in a week, so I'll probably move all my accoutrements to another part of the house, but it feels so good to make a garment that fits my current body size, that I'm ready to tackle another sewing project.  I even purchased lots of extra fabric to make tops for Per and Peri.  Who knows where this might lead.

Well, that's all for now.  Hope everyone is having a good Spring, because Summer is right around the corner. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I'm staying busy...

As I wait for the contractors to finally start in two more weeks, I am thinking of ways to stay busy.  I love to do various kinds of art so I've been doing watercolor to help pass the time.  Imagine having to find ways to pass the time...I live a good life, huh?  Anyway I did another house portrait, this one for my neighbor.

 (She fell in love with it)

 This was a fairly large piece with the image area being 14 x 11.  I usually do 8 x 10 sizes.

 This next one is a mixed media piece, a still life of sorts, based on the picture I took of the citronella candles from my last post.  The shadows are cast by the pole and fabric folds of my deck umbrella being reflected in the textured surface of the glass table.

This one is much smaller, with the image area being 5 x 7.  I used my photo program to turn the photo into a black and white line drawing.  I then used artist's graphite transfer paper and just traced the image onto the watercolor paper using a mechanical pencil. For this painting I used a very smooth surfaced watercolor paper.  The underpainting was done in traditional watercolor paint with the details being done in another of my favorite water media...inktense pencils.  It's not perfect by any means, but the reflections are my favorite part.  It's raining here today, so I went out and took more shots of the candles with rain on them in hopes of continuing the series while learning to paint rain drops.

Well, that's the art for this week so far.  Who knows I just might do something else this week.  I've got the time and I'm not easily discouraged, so I just might learn something new.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What do these things have in common?

Ahhhh the beautiful flowers and the lovely aroma that they provide...

I love to sit  outside on my deck in the evening, talking to Peri on the phone.  The smell of this container of flowers is most pleasant...

After the first night of sitting outside to enjoy nature while we chatted, it quickly became apparent that I needed these...

 Citronella Candles

Mind you it wasn't because I heard or even saw any bugs, it's just that I am one of those types of people that draws insects to them, causing them to soon need these items...

Perhaps it's just because I'm so sweet, but ever since I can remember (and probably before then) I have had allergic reactions to all bug bites.  Even gnats.  Especially mosquitoes, which as usual caused this...

I hope you don't mind seeing the resort supplied slipper, as well as the freckled and crepey skin on this sixty year old leg, as you view the bug bites that have been most unpleasant the past two days.  There is one on my shin of this same leg and one on the calf of my other leg.  My little tootsies have even swelled some.

I bathed them in cold water, put ice on them, and even made a poultice of crushed aspirin before finally going to the store to get itch cream and taking a Benadryl.  They really feel mucho better now, but they look hideous.

Wont be but a few more weeks until I have my deck screened in and can sit out there and talk for hours if I want, but until then...I'm loaded and ready to attack if it happens again.  The candles really helped last night, so I think I'll be ok.

I suppose if bug bites are the biggest worries I have, I'm doing pretty dang good.