Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Actually, we haven't gone on vacation this summer, probably should have gone to the Gulf when Belinda and Bobby did in the spring. We had planned to go after school started in August, but with the black blob enveloping our favorite playground, we decided not to go.........maybe forever. We discussed other places, but I'm not going without Marley, and Jim thinks this is a huge added travel burden. Life's not easy when you're Jim. Anywho, a while back, I realized that the best part of traveling was coming home. I'm insanely (probably the key word here) happy puttering about in my own little nest.

So, in lieu of photos of us standing in front of interesting sites, I thought I'd share with you some of the stuff I've been playing with this summer. There are always UFOs (unfinished objects) all over my house, so some of these are works in progress.

I liked these 2 old tables too much to throw them away; after a few winters on the deck, they were needing a paint job anyway, and I'd been wanting to try this primitive, playful style of decorative painting, so they were the obvious victims. I'm not sure this style has a name, but it's fun, and I wouldn't want more than one or two pieces in my house. I sanded them a bit and then began painting bright acrylics on them. I added rubber stamped stars, colored twine, some brass hardware I bought at Home Depot, and some pieces of old jewelry. The Scrabble tiles on top say, "Time is a River", which is something I say to remind myself that hard times aren't forever, and "What I do is me, for this I came", my favorite John Bradshaw quote. It was a slower process than I'd thought and took almost 2 weeks from start to finish. I was fairly happy with the results.

My next project was to brighten up the living room and entryway; theTumble Weed (dark taupe) walls were feeling dreary after 7 years, but I wasn't up for painting all the walls, so with Jim's help, I taped off four 8-foot panels (the same size and shape as the windows) and then painted them with China Doll, the color of the ceilings. I'd found these enormous dandelion stencils that I really love; I've done a lot of brush stenciling, but these suggested using a foam roller, which was tons easier, especially for such large images, but I hadn't figured on just how hard the giant stencils themselves would be to handle. I kept thinking Colleen would know a better way to do this. I painted them in taupes and white. I'm not totally pleased with them and would use brushes next time, but they do look interesting and brighten up the room.

Here's my first attempt at origami. I made 21 little cranes one evening. I love how once they're folded correctly, you don't have to worry that they'll unfold, probably not my next great passion, but when you've done a few, you gain respect for origami's not as easy as it looks.

I've been seeing these miniature houses online, and you can invest hundreds of dollars in pre-fab appointments for them (which would be a total bore) or almost nothing and create your own decorations; I've opted for the latter. It's a project that I hope to work on for months or maybe even years, a concept Jim can't quite grasp. He keeps asking if it's finished. What I've done so far is to glue together a plywood house (only 18 bazillion unmarked pieces; the instructions said, "Look at the picture".) as well as some basic pieces of furniture that I got at Michael's. The look I'm going for is a Faerie House, and that's what I kept in mind as I painted it inside and out. For the "tin roof" I ripped apart corrugated cardboard and painted it silver. Kitchen and bath are floored with hand cut stained glass tiles, and the bedroom has a floor cloth made from a black canvas I painted with acrylics. There's also a living room, and of course up in the attic is an art room. I've got plans for tiny curtains, bed linens, etc., and in the eventual backyard, a Secret Garden.

I recently started going to classes at the local stamping shop; I enjoy them because it's a group of happy women playing. Greeting card making is big business these days, and some of the ladies have thousands of dollars invested in creating their cute little cards for family and friends. I'm not that enthralled with gluing Cricut cut-outs onto card stock, but after each class I come home all happy and relaxed, with 2 or 3 cards and possibly an idea or two.

And I've got several projects not far enough along for pictures, but I'll show you an altered book I started. For a book lover like me, it's a hard decision to deface a book, but when an old book has outlived its usefulness, I figure it's happier getting all gussied up and living a brand new life. This one has a little drawer for hidden treasures. I carved out a place for a box, using an exacto knife after I fused the page edges with Gel Medium.

And of course there's always time to play with my little shadow. He's definitely not a "dress-up" dog, but sometimes I try for 2 seconds. These starry-eyed sunglasses lasted for not quite that long. Lately he's sporting a Tinkle Belt because the marking isn't quite under control, and Jim was about to divorce both of us. Marley doesn't seem to mind the belt, and Jim loves us again. Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Cat, we are soul sisters I just know it. You know, everyone of the wonderful projects I love. I did so a chair and some lamps like your tables, loved doing that. Daughter did give them away though. To bad, I would love to have had them back. Funny, the altered book thingy, I am fixing to try and do something like that. See? what you have done I am going to and what I have done you are going to. Man if we lived closer Eldon and Jim would really sit back and shake their heads. Love this as usual.