Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baby Steps.

I have a decorated wheat sheaf hanging in the kitchen, my wreath is back up on the living room wall and I hung the curtains in the master bedroom and bathroom. It's not much but it's a little step in the direction of putting my house back together.

I also bought window candles for the front bedrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Then I put them in the windows. On the 3rd floor, the cords miraculously, but just barely reach the nearest outlet and that's only because the sconces in that room have outlets on the bottom.

Then for the second floor. Three windows, three candles. 2 outlets and one of them has something plugged into it. None of which occurred to me until I tried to plug in the candles. Oops. Now I need to buy an adapter. And probably some battery candles for the front window for this time of year and over the winter when the Christmas tree isn't up.

A single candle in each window. It seems so simple. Yeah, right.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Mother-In-Law

I love my mother-in-law. She's a sweet grandmotherly type, who almost makes me feel guilty about not being the type of woman who could her son into kids he doesn't want. Almost. Her name is Dot. (I'm not kidding.)

She called us up the other day and asked if I wanted to take her arts and crafts supplies off her hands because she wasn't going to be doing anything with them anymore. Because it's no fun without Lois (the neighbor lady across the street who has also given up doing arts and crafts). Because she doesn't like to shop for supplies without Lois, who won't tag along because she'll be tempted to buy something that she won't use anyway because it's cute.

So the husband tells his adorable mother that I said yes, I''ll be down to take a look at what she has. I called her back later when I had my work schedule handy and told her when I'd be down. I get the in-laws house and I can't hear the pugs barking (Ollie and Ruby) and Dot is talking absolutely forever to answer the door.

Just when I've almost decided that "Something Terrible" has happened, she finally opens the door. Turns our she broke her foot. I can't hear the pugs because she let them out that morning and the porch steps are a giant pain in the ass with the huge orthotic boot she's wearing and she hasn't bothered to let them back in.

So I look around the living at the half dozen or so totes and decide that I'll just take it all. Then Dot points out that there's more totes down the hallway (which is about three more, plus a pile of grapevine wreaths). So at this point I'm thinking no big deal.

I asked Dot if she wanted me to go through the stuff at their house or bring it home and return what I don't want or what? She says that anything I don't take she's just going to throw out. I said, do you just want me to take everything, and if I can't use it, just find another home for it?

Dot says "Could you?!?! I mean I don't want you to be stuck with stuff you won't use. I don't want you to take it home and then tell everyone that your mother-in-law stuck you with an incredible pile of shit and that you don't want any of it and don't know what to do because you couldn't say no, but it's a bunch of useless shit and you don't want it."

I said confidently, "No, no problem, I can find homes for anything I won't use." Secretly wondering how I'm going to do this, but I've already volunteered to take it all.

Then Dot says "There's more in the spare bedroom."

"That's okay, I'll just have to make a bunch of trips, we'll have an excuse to visit."

Then she shows me the spare bedroom. Then she tells me there's more in the closet.


So at this point, we've made nearly a dozen 45 minute round trips to my in-laws, 4 of which it took to even make a dent in the stack of totes Dot had. I think we're about 2/3s of the way through getting it to our house.

I have no idea where I'm going to store all of it, or how I'm going to get rid of what I don't want/need. What I originally thought was 12 or so totes, has turned out to be more like 40. But I finally have a wreath for my front door and so does Lisa, and I have another to give to Jess & Mike and I have a heart-shaped wreath to hang between the sconces in my living room. I'm also a long way toward replacing all of the Christmas ornaments we couldn't keep after the fire, and I'll be able to get Jess & Mike a good start for their first Christmas in their own apartment.

I ended up spending $12 on specialty floral picking pliers (that was after 50% off) and I'm sliced open 4 of my fingers (I'm running out) with the stupid steel picks for the pliers. There's styrofoam fake berries all over the living room. My back, third floor room looks like a floral supply warehouse, and much to my husband's delight/dismay, I'm happier than a pig in shit and so is his mother!

That being said, anybody need any floral supplies??

The house is starting to look like a home!

So after a chaotic summer, things are finally (crosses fingers) starting to fall into place around my house. I've starting finding time to read again, and what I'm reading right now is Julie Powell's Julie and Julia. She blogs her cooking project, she's got an audience, she uses hilariously colorful language. And then I thought, "I have a blog, too!" Immediately followed by, "and it won't have an audience much longer if I don't start posting something!"

Everybody has that mailing list that they belong to, where after a while you just start deleting the emails without actually reading them because you feel guilty/are too lazy/don't want to hurt anyone's feelings/whatever, and never quite get around to unsubscribing. ...And I've had the horrifying realization that chaos like this past summer is precisely why I started this blog in the first place and OH MY GOD! What if I write the posts that everyone deletes without reading and HOLY CRAP! I should do something about that!

And as I write this I also have the realization that I should have refilled my OCD meds like a week ago and I haven't yet and that might have something to do with the panic and the unreal speed that my hands are flying across the keyboard and yet if it has stirred me to think about my blog and my audience again, I can't help but think it's a good thing. (Maybe I should get in touch with Julie Powell about motivating me???)

At any rate, the studio is not really coming together yet due to a hilarious story involving my mother in law and more floral supplies than I've ever seen outside of a craft store (which I will cover in another post, because it's too good to not share, but would completely derail what little cohesion this post is still holding on to.

Suffice it to say, I've got to completely rethink how I'm going to handle putting the studio together. On the plus side, the house is starting to look like people actually LIVE here as opposed to the look of migrants surviving in a construction site that it has had since May.

The kitchen only needs the phone jack fixed and the silverware drawer installed. The dining room just needs the blinds hung. The living room floor and front porch need sanding and refinishing, but that's all that's left. Then the touch up painting and decision about whether we're recarpeting the staircase.

All in all, I've actually be able to hang a wreath on the door and decorate the kitchen some and it's really starting to feel cozy and livable in here.

I'm making a commitment here to start posting on a regular basis again. I'm also making a commitment to make the husband get the wireless set up again, because I can't take the pained looks he gives me when I pry him away from so that I can actually use my own computer.

Wish me luck! See ya sooN!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Studio: Reboot

So, no access to my art supplies is driving me crazy. That combined with the fact that I have things like Ink and Paint that can't remain in the basement much longer now that the weather is getting colder, has made us come to the decision that I really need to put my studio back together. What does that mean to you?

Well that means:
  • new items in the store (which will hopefully move off of Etsy)
  • updates to the website in a more timely fashion
  • new patterns!
  • a permanent move from tripod to Tilghman Street Studios (fewer, more targeted ads)
  • possible addition of video to the how-to's instead of just pictures
I'm feeling pretty ambitious about all of this. I'm up in the middle of the night, wide awake from having badly overslept and evening nap, and my brain is going a mile a minute.

We'll need to the get the hubby's computer up and running to make up for the fact that I may be living on the laptop for a good portion of our vacation next week. We'll be getting our new washer and dryer before too much longer with also means that I can felt without having to run down 3 flights of stairs to the washing machine. (The hook-ups are in the basement right now and the studio is on the 3rd floor. The hook-ups are getting moved to the kitchen!)

Speaking of kitchen, I had one that usable, if not actually finished and I'm thinking about trying to custom dye some yarn. Maybe doing some tie-dyes and such.

That's it for now, I think I need to spend some serious time with my notepad and my sketch book. I'll keep posting as new things happen!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And cooking some more

At my mom's again, because we still don't have a kitchen. Work has been prolonged due to failing a building inspection.

On today's menu:

  • Tarragon Chicken
  • Baked Chicken stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Basil and Roasted Tomatoes
  • Bulgar Salad with Roasted Anaheims, Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Lime Juice
  • Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Feta Cheese. This will be served over Fresh Spinach
  • Fried Chicken dredged in Whole Wheat Flour
  • More Energy Bark
  • Fried Red Bananas with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cooking, Cooking, Cooking

Due to the Kitchenless state of my house, I am at my mother's today to borrow the stove (and catch up on some laundry). Been cooking since about noon, here's what's for dinner. So to speak.

  • Energy Bark (recipe on Live Like a Hippy)
  • Tomato Salad
  • Lemon Pepper Tilapia
  • Tilapia with Beans and Sweet Corn (great in a Tortilla with shredded cheese)
  • Orange Glazed Rosemary Pork Chops
  • Breaded Pork Chops
  • Chile and Cumin Fried Chicken
  • Italian Sausage and Veggies Tossed with Penne Pasta
  • Chicken for Chicken Ceasar Wraps
  • Middle East- inspired Bulgar Wheat with Toasted Almonds
The tomato salad is for the PotLuck at work tomorrow and hopefully the rest of it will hold us over for a few days. Also, I will be leaving a serving or so of most of the dishes behind to thank my mom for use of the kitchen.

It would have helped too, if I had remembered to buy shredded cheese and ceasar dressing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dalmation Photo Journal.

So I decided to make my dad a dalmation for his birthday. And I decided to make a photo journal of my progress, so everyone can get an idea of how my doll-making process works. Also, to keep me on track for my deadline. Which was today.

Day 1.

Just a couple of legs, but a good start.

Day 2.

Starting on the body.

Day 3.

I've got the body finished, and arms attached. Just starting the head. One of the reasons this is going so quickly is that I'm using 2 strands of worsted worked together.

Day 4.

No measurable crochet progress, but I did buy his hat.

Day 5.

Body is finished and stuffed, just barely got a start on the detail work.

Day 6.

Great start of the detail work. Ears, tail and a few spots.

Day 7.

Trying out his hat. No eyes yet, I bought them but then I realized I don't have access to a glue gun.

Day 8.

Hanging out in my locker. I borrowed Darlene's glue gun to put the eyes on.


Packed in his gift bag and ready to go.

Everybody got a kick out of him, particularly the Fire Truck bag. Hope this gives a least a little bit of insight to you all.

Monday, August 2, 2010

They're here!

So, it's been like 5 weeks since we thought things were finally getting back to normal and the cabinets finally were delivered today. At this point, they're telling us that now that we have the cabinets, everything should resolve pretty quickly from here.

I've been working on quite a few charity projects with what little yarn I have that isn't packed away and I hope to be posting those patterns to the website in the next few days. Also, I need to renew our webhosting and domain name.

My knee seems to be recovering, although very slowly, so maybe, just maybe, things can start to get back to the low level chaos we call normal around here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Looks who's back!

So after all this time, we're finally getting settled back into the house. We've been living in it for almost 3 weeks, but it's only now starting to feel like ours again. All the damage from the fire has been repaired at this point but we haven't started to unpack yet because the bathroom remodel isn't done yet and repairing the living room floor and redoing the kitchen come after that, as well as the touch up painting in the whole house. When things are finished up, I'll post some pictures.

I haven't been totally lazy while I haven't been online, although admittedly, my dislocated kneecap is slowing me down quite a bit. But... I do have a few recipes to get posted over on Live Like a Hippy, including two for awesome salads, both using variations on Good Seasons dressing mix packets, and I've been crocheting for charity, and brainstorming a really cute draft blocker for you all.

I have my follow up with the orthopedic on Thursday, wish me luck.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Thoughts, Prayers, Vibes

Please keep our neighbors in your thoughts and prayers tonight. An arsonist struck our neighborhood early this morning. If you don't know, we live in row homes, so the whole thing was pretty scary for us, since it was the house next store to ours that burned.

We're fine, just temporarily displaced. Everybody next store got out, some with the help of the fire department some on their own. The house that burned was converted into 2 apartments. The family downstairs got out pretty safely, although their little guy was taken to the hospital just to make sure he was ok.

The upstairs family was not as lucky, the fire department had to force entry and all four of them were taken to the hospital. Their 5 year old daughter is in critical condition, but from what I've heard they think she'll be ok.

Please keep these to families in your thoughts, send vibes, add them to your prayer list, whatever it is that you do. Also, please think of the family on the other side who only closed on their house last week.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Studio Update (or Slacker!!!!!!!!!)

So, it's become pretty obvious that I work much better when I am actually working in my studio. The dining room table has become synonymous with screwing around on Facebook, while the studio remains a workspace.

That's not to say Facebook isn't great, I've hooked back up with a lot of old friends and I definitely have something to kill time when my insomnia is bad. Unfortunately, it's also been a great way for me to end up with no time left for anything important. Therefore, the official mission will be: more back into the studio, Slacker. Get something done for once.

Also, the cat was much happier when I was working in the studio. Anybody with a cat will understand why a happy cat is a good thing. If you don't own a cat, let me just say this: unhappy cats can be destructive, in all kinds of ways.

Since I brought the laptop back downstairs Crochet Pages has been badly neglected. My other Website, the parent site, Tilghman Street Studios has been completely neglected. Not good if I want to make these the source of my livelihood. Something's gotta give and it's not going to be my lifelong dream on becoming my own boss.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A day late, and a dollar short (2009 - Year in Review)

Ok, I'm a couple of days late, but here's your Year in Review.

1) The Cocker Spaniel is apparently the world's Meanest Dog. I know my mom's cocker spaniel, Armand, was a pain in the ass, but really? According to this study, yes.

2) That girl in Germany who auctioned off her virginity, is apparently a prostitute, or at least according to the government she is. What does this mean? It means her auction earnings are being taxed at 50%. Ouch.

3) Another wacky goings-on in Germany: it seems their patent office was not amused when someone tried to register a patent for a GPS enabled death chip. I don't even no what to say about this one.

4) Everybody loves a hero. Especially when it's a dog. Especially when it's a little dog. Or Three.

5) On the sad side of things, we had our first Twitter related death. Again, I'm not sure what to say about this one.

6) Another technology based wacky thing. A ring-tone that makes your boobs bigger. Granted some of us don't need this or wouldn't want it, but the science potential is huge.

7) I read this story and kept thinking about my grandmother having fits about little garter snakes inside the garden fence. I can't imagine her killing anything with her bare hands.

8) So, there's bacon, bacon salt, bacon chocolate and now Bacon Envelopes. Have we gone too far?

I think we're only gonna do 8 this year because my browser is acting up. I hope I made you think, or at least chuckle a bit. Good luck in 2010.