Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Did I ever mention that I am in a book club? It has been going on for many years now,  since 1995 to be exact.  I haven't been in it the whole time, but I was responsible for at least one book in 1996, so I have been in the club for over 10 years.  The last book we read was Lark and Termite which I thoroughly enjoyed, though there were some bits I thought could have been edited a little tighter. I don't want to turn this into a books blog, I guess I want it to remain whatever it is...dog, cats, books, knitting, redecorating ad nauseum, painting etc etc etc.  However, there is a story to be told and I want to tell it.  

I have met a woman up here above the GWB who has become a friend as we walk our dogs and do other things together.  She wanted to start a book club.  Now I am GENERALLY an optimist, but it seemed like this was an endeavor doomed to failure.  We put a note up on the door of the local cafe

and that, aside from picking the book, was all we did.  Well, tonight was the night and 6 other quite interesting people showed up having read the book and ready to talk about it!  What a surprise, so now I have 2 book clubs and 2 books to read for next month.  My "real" book club is reading "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" and my "Up here" book club is reading "Lush Life".  Will do a brief report sometime in May if I think of it, but I am amazed that something as simple as a note on a cafe door could produce an introduction to 6 new people and provide an entertaining evening!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Changes and Meetings

Remember this face?  Well, first note, there were no lingering effects from ingesting a ton of Girl Scout Cookies.  That either speaks well for the contents of Girl Scout Cookies or addresses directly the fact that I have always thought this girl could and probably does eat nails to no effect at all.  She also rarely chews, just swallows and everything is always fine afterwards. 
HOWEVER, after 2 hours of mud wrestling last night and much wailing and gnashing of teeth by me, Sienna is now ready for her closeup Mr. DeMille....
Ain't she pretty?
Hard to believe it is the same dog, isn't it?  The final straw was when one of her local admirers remarked that she might have gained some weight over the winter.  I think it was mostly hair, she looks pretty svelt, I think.  This wrestling will be renewed about every 6 to 8 weeks til next winter, sigh.  She does not like me messing with her hair.   Her paws still have little fairy bits of hair around them but maybe those will wear off, since we both need a break from mud wrestling. 

As for meetings.. sigh I am a BAD Meet and Greet person.  Yesterday I went here
and even had it cleaned to welcome my visitor....
We also went here and saw this and also went here and saw this with a knowledgeable commentator. 
I got to see several of the artists who are going to be included in her dissertation, and we talked non-stop all day long and had a great time.  However, I failed to take a picture of us!  Could someone please explain to me where my brain was located?  Oh well... we really DID have a great time!
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Monday, March 16, 2009

theft by sneakiness

The scene of the crime. 
I need to tell you all that I am doing Weight Watchers.  I need to tell you that so that you have a picture in your minds of the impact of the rest of this post.  I also need to tell you that I am nearly 5 pounds down and that I fell off the wagon with a big huge splat last night at Malecon. Also,  that my "friend" blogless Nicki is the grandmother of a Girl Scout and feels it is necessary to buy more Girl Scout cookies than can possibly be eaten by one person and to share them.  
Nicki went with me to Malecon, but earlier in the day she gifted me with 2 boxes of the aforementioned Girl Scout cookies.  
After Malecon, since I had fallen off the wagon so badly I figured that I was so far down the path to insanity that I might as well eat a couple of dulce de leche Girl Scout cookies since I had never tasted them.  We had previously determined that a serving was 3 cookies and 5 points.  Might as well blow everything at once and get back on the horse clean on Monday AM. 
Of course the only problem with that theory is that there would be an OPEN box of Girl Scout cookies to contend with on Monday, but that was a problem for another day, so I ate 3 cookies, closed up the box, put it on the counter behind the sofa and went to bed. 
This morning, I rounded the corner into the living room and noticed something odd:
I am usually pretty neat ....upon closer inspection I found:
Neat little pile of junk is it not?
It is an EMPTY box of Dulce de Leche Girl Scout Cookies.  I know I only ate 3, I have never walked in my sleep and even if I had, I probably would have put the empty package in the trash.  I really am neat. 
That leaves us with only one suspect, and the embarassed eyes and slinky behavior have confirmed it.  I figure she ate 15 cookies.  I am sure that the next result of gluttony will not be pretty, and I will spare you pictures, though I may summarize the results ...............

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friday Evening at the Met

Spent Friday night at the Met for the Bonnard show, which is one of my not to be missed shows, as Bonnard is one of my big heroes.  No photos allowed, alas, but I did revisit some of my old faves.  The head above is one of the very first things I ever drew, and I still have the drawing somewhere.  Perhaps I will find it as I refine the studio.
Then there is this guy.  I love him too.
The lighting in the cafe was pretty dramatic both above the tables and on the tables themselves.  Wine, music and little bites.  A nice end to the week.
For one other really delightful show that I almost missed, see here  The African Textiles, while a very small show packed a big wallop with some really beautiful things.  I will be running a series over on the picture blog for the next weekish.
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wanted to show you

how finished the molding makes the room look. Romeo appreciates the moldings too, I think
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Thursday, March 12, 2009


It is done!  The bedroom has  molding  added to it, it has been painted, the bed has been built and the little touches, like the bed skirt, have been added.   I also added a little sewing nook, since I tend to be messy and painty in the "studio" I didn't also want to be sewing in there.  SO, first, the sewing nook:
Nice shade of green, isn't it.  Leftover livingroom paint.

Second: The entire bedroom when you stand at the door looking in: (Sewing nook on left is not visible, nor is the mirror next to the wardrobe.) You can't see the picture rail molding but it is there.
No pictures hung, no speaker wires going to the studio, the bamboo posts are not decorated but overall.  We have liftoff.
THEN, we have the studio.  The flat files are under the bed in the other room, the tables are assembled, the shelves are coherent (Printing stuff all together, bookmaking stuff all together, all the pastels in one place, all the tools together ---  I am a little bit OCD)
Look.. you can walk all the way around the tables in the middle of the room without busting your butt on ANYTHING!!!
The light is great now that it has stopped raining and just gone back to being cold.

That is my chair, the little bit of dissolved madelaine cake that started this all.  I should find the article and frame it so I will remember it.  It started in early February and now it is mid March.  I only bought a mattress, some wood and one day of building, painting, moving help.  The rest of it I did myself!  I spent the last half of today just sitting in the studio admiring it.  Now I guess I have to actually DO something in there.. but that is for tomorrow.  Today is just for appreciation.
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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today is supposed to be THE day

Wide angle of my living room follows.  This could, as my mother used to say, make a Saint cry.  As could the fact that today was the day they moved the time forward an hour and, needless to say, it took Rafael by total surprise, so it is now 10:17 AM and he has yet to appear, though he did answer the phone when I called and told me how surprised he was that the time had changed......................... There is a big sigh somewhere in that sentence as punctuation, but we will let it pass.  Perhaps I am overestimating the time it will take to get this done and I am sure my neighbors will be glad that the sawing starts an hour later.
Meanwhile, Sienna is enjoying the respite from being locked in the crate, which she will be when the saws come out.
On the other hand, the former studio is ready for its transformation.  I could not get that table out by myself as it has to go into the air to go around the corner and that is just beyond me.  The flatfiles are in the other room ready to go also, but the swap is a two MAN job. 
For those of you who are thinking this thing has dragged on far too long, you are right.  I do think that by maybe Wednesday both rooms will be in good shape and the blog will remain as a record so that the next time I decide to do something like this the sane among you (you know who you are) will be able to link me back to these entries and say "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?" in a very loud voice. 
Meanwhile, we are now at nearly 10:30 and I am still communing with you, not Rafael.  
The big bamboo stalks, by the way, are going into the corners behind the bed.  I am thinking I might later glaze them celadon color and silver.  Joey says if I string Chinese lanterns between them he will kill me.  That will not prevent it from happening around Christmas however.
It is going to be up to Rafael to figure out how to get them where they are supposed to be.  Well, maybe I will help a little. 
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Friday, March 6, 2009

The Saga marches toward an end

Or at least we ALL hope it does.  My reader(s) with eagle eyes noticed that I showed you both of my bed/studio rooms yesterday and neither of them contained a bed.  Well, that is because there is no place for a bed in either of them at the moment, so the bed marched itself into the living room.  This is what the living room looks like now.
A bit crowded in here, I guess, but only til Sunday.  Yep, I thought Rafael was coming on Saturday, but I was on the wrong page of the calendar.  He is coming on Sunday to build the bed platform, put up picture molding and paint the bedroom.  I am also hoping he will help me get the two flatfiles moved to under the new bed before he leaves.
This is the remainder of the old bed, I don't know if we will need some of the pieces, so it is sitting in the foyer.  One of Sienna's squeaky toys is standing guard here. And this:
Is the molding and the pieces of the "big" bed that I know we will use, Romeo is inspecting them to be sure they are up to snuff.  Actually, one of them was so obviously crooked that I made them trade it out. 
These are the two inspectors resting from their busy days.   Notice that Sienna badly needs a bath, but there are only so many stressful things I can do in a single day.  Bathing will wait til the building and moving are done. 
On a lighter note, after weather in the low teens the first of the week, today feels like spring and though the sun is peeking through clouds it is almost warm out.   
We are coming up on my most unfavorite day of the year  -- coincidently it is on Sunday along with all the other stressful things in my life -- The day we lose an hour of sleep.  I HATE that day.  My sleep is so important to me and it takes me at least a week to get acclimated.  I rarely had jetlag when I used to travel a lot, but this one hour kills me every year.  
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

and today...

Are you as tired of this as I am?  Trust me, you could NOT be as tired of it as I am.  Next time I will show you where I am sleeping.  For now, this is my new best friend.  The big bed, she was put together with lots of very long screws.  I can now remove screws with the drill.  Didn't know how til yesterday, now I am a pro.
This is the bed partway gone.  I forgot to take a picture before it got this far because I was so happy that it finally was coming apart.
These are my second best friends.  One of them seems to be able to get me out of any jam I get myself into, and there have been many jams.
This is the speedbump in the hall.  She manages to lie directly across the only traffic path to the bedrooms and refuses to move.  She prefers to be stepped over.  After all, it is in her best interests for this to take a long time or for me to fall over her so I will be horizontal for several weeks or months.  She is plotting this all, trust me.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Ok, painting is as done as it is going to be....

This is the bookcase that was the yukky blue.  It is still yukky blue on the backside, but no one is going to see the backside, so there it is, done.
This is the one that was kind of yellowish cream.  So they match.  And they are drying nicely, so when I take the bed apart they will be ready to move into the big room somehow.  I can move them, no problem.  The flat files under the bed are the big question, but since we are covered up in snow today I am just thinking about the bed.

There is some good news.  I sold another pin from my VintagePlastic Etsy store.  I think the link will show you which one it was. That is my first this year.  I am in the process of finding it so I can send it to its new owner.  THERE you have the big problem, since all my "organization" is in tatters, but I have managed to find it, the little black bag that it is supposed to live in forever, the paper and box that all goes into.  Now all I have to find is the envelope I send it off in and the bubble wrap and we will have liftoff.