82 posts categorized "Susan's gratuitous cat picture"

open window day

Installing the wallpaper with double stick tape was remarkably easy.  I'm suspect.  I'm going to leave it alone for a few days to make sure it's going to stay stuck before I continue on with the room, or go crazy and use it on the big, main, room.


I'm playing around with ideas for the closet door.  Do I want it shut, or open a bit, with some cleaning supplies visible?


The bathroom will be a closed off room, only visible through the bathroom window, and a wee bit through a side window in the main room.  But, if one is going to peek through the bathroom window, shouldn't one have something to peek at?


It was finally warm enough outside to open my window, so I painted the toilet and sink with stinky enamel paint.  Ester LOVES open windows....all the convenience of being next to Mom while she works, but still able to smell, hear, and see outside.  I gave up on shooing her and cleared her a path instead.


Here's the toilet after the first coat of paint.  The second is still drying.  I wanted to paint them white, but am either out, or didn't put it away in the proper place.  I used ivory paint instead.


I did have to spend some time sanding smooth the back, cut, edge before I started painting, but considerably less time than I've spent sanding 3D plastic printed toilets.  Certainly, the price is right for a toilet that will only be seen in glimpses.

interior walls, antiques, and the beach

The carpet and interior walls are glued in place.


While the glue was drying Husband and I went out and about to enjoy the warm spring weather.

Our art museum is in the midst of an expansion and is closing for a few months during construction.  After all the exhibits were packed away the museum lent its space to the local artists for an "Artists' Studio Spring Clean-Up Sale".  I came home with a Glenn Wolff print.


Husband came home empty handed, as the painting he liked was too large to hang in our house.

After the art sale we took a beautiful drive to Elk Rapids, to browse one of our favorite antique malls, which has just reopened after being closed for two or three years.

Normally I come home empty-handed from these trips, but yesterday I picked up a few things.


I wasn't going to buy the metal folk art plane, but then Husband pointed to the "everything in this booth 50% off" sign.

I also picked up three more glass bottles for my slowly growing collection in the living room bow window.


Two more I LIKE IKE campaign buttons came home with me.  I made it almost all the way through the last election cycle before I ran my last one through the laundry and ruined it.

I also picked up a unique glass bottle I've never seen the like of before.  I need to do some internet searching to see if I can determine what is was for.  It sits on my desk, because it's a scoosh too wide for the window frame.


(Just ignore the dust, please.)

Husband came home with a Swiss Army type knife that appears as if someone modified to include a fork and spoon.  He spent the afternoon cleaning away the rust, sharpening, lubricating, and polishing.


After lunch (gas station pizza and fountain pop, eaten in the Jeep, parked at the beach...the pizza wasn't that good, but the conversation was) we walked on the beach.


Every year the beaches are littered by more zebra mussel shells, they wash up to create piles that look like banks of snow.  Zebra mussels are an invasive species decimating Lake Michigan's native clams.  It is rare now to see a clam shell on the beach; when I was a child they were plentiful.


It may be difficult to see if you don't know what you're looking at....let me do this....

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They are fun to walk on, though.  Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Alright, back to minis....

Now that the build is no longer a hotel room, I'm going to go a little wild with the small bathroom...like an art student was let loose at the walls.


This is the inside of the book jacket of a coloring book.  I bought the book when I re-did my dresser, thinking I would decoupage pictures on the drawer fronts, but then I changed my mind.  It took forever to find where I put the book.  Not on the bookcase, that would make too much sense.  I finally found it in my closet, under a box of crayons/pencils/markers.


I'm going to spend a quiet afternoon coloring :)

Oh, wait, there are a couple more pictures in the queue yet...

Yesterday's winner in the ugly lamp contest...


A miniature horse saddle I would have loved to purchase as a joke for my assistant, who raises Patterdale Terriers and has a ten month old son....but it wasn't joke priced, so I texted her a picture instead.


Oh, one more....this post is already lousy with pictures anyway...



Freddie the bricklayer

I've been busy cutting bricks from egg cartons.  I'm using Brae's measurement of 3/4" x 1/4". I couldn't see researching something she's already figured out, and you can't fault Brae's brickwork.  I did make myself a wooden cutting template though, so I don't have to measure each row with the ruler; it should eliminate error and quicken the process.  (The extra strip of wood is 1/4", I add it to the width of the template piece to cut corner bricks.)

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I got antsy to see it on the build, so bricked the side extension.


You've noticed Freddie Mercury, my new assistant.  C3PO wasn't working out, I had to let him go.  Although he is fully articulated he has as much range of motion as, well, C3PO.  I'd say he is a regretful purchase, but I had fun assembling him.  (Freddie arrived already assembled, with three interchangeable heads and four sets of hands.)

My other assistant was too busy playing 'get the tail' in the chair next to me to be much help with the bricks.  But then, her official job title is Chief Distraction.


I've been thinking about exterior lights while I cut egg cartons.  I don't want sconces next to the door, so I'm going to place lights in the roof above the door.  I could buy a couple of can lights, but I already have a couple of ugly ceiling fixtures in my stash...so if I put a couple rows of bricks in front, so you can't see the fixture....but would that make the height above the door too short?  Do I even NEED exterior lights?  Well, I've already got one that's going in around the side, so I should finish the job.

I roughed it out, it should work.  This rough is for two rows of bricks, which should conceal the fixture, but I think I can make it up to four rows high if I need to.  Plus, I can cut into the bottom of the roof a bit to inset the fixture.


All the places with black foam core will be bricked, all the mdf areas will be clad in wood strips.

I'm not sure I"ll get anything accomplished today, I have to do our taxes this morning, Kate's coming over for lunch, and it's going to hit 60 degrees this afternoon and I'd like to get last year's dead foliage off my flower beds....plus I'm behind on laundry....the never-ending list of adulthood.

Husband has the day off today, perhaps I'll have him cut my window and door openings.  He feels guilty about an argument we had, and it will make him feel better to do something nice for me to make up.  I hate to see him moping about.  Normally I'd ask for lasagna, but he's got a special lunch planned for Kate.  The man makes lasagana from scratch....he starts with fresh tomatoes and basil....he's brilliant.

One more quick share to put off doing taxes a few more minutes....my attempt at staging a cute picture for you of Freddie relaxing with Ester didn't go as planned....


He's taking a nap with the bricks, instead, while I take the day off from minis.

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building furniture smarter

I build furniture more quickly than I used to.  Not because I do it faster, but because I do it smarter. 

Yesterday I made three modern tables....


A dresser/desk combo....


And a kitchen unit...minus the countertop and sink, I'm not going to cut the countertop until the alcove the unit sits in has been built, when I know the exact length it needs to be.


All the pieces have faux doors and drawers, as I don't require that any need to open.  In fact, the fridge is just a front, since that's all that will be seen.  I just have to remember to paint black the alcove it will sit it.


Before I would have cut rectangles of wood for door and drawers, then glue them onto another piece of wood.  This time I lowered the blade of my table saw to half the depth of the wood then cut grooves in it.  Whizz bang boom, drawers and doors.  I also cut a groove down the back of each of the side tables, to run lamp wires in.


I used to smear glue all over then wipe away the excess, now I put on just enough; it holds better and the dry time is significantly decreased.  I use good clamps now, as well.  Clamping is crucial for a strong join.  Oh!  And a nice square gluing jig.  Tools are wonderful.  I wish I had invested in the proper tools earlier, instead of accumulating a stash of cute "I'll use that some day" minis, most of which are still waiting.

Speaking of cute...


color scheme scheming

I went shopping yesterday.  Michael's, Pet Smart, and JoAnne's.  I hate shopping.  Pet Smart was the worst...crowded...horrible, twangy, too loud country music...and some small horse that looked like a cross between a Standard Poodle and a St. Bernard thrust it's entire snout in my crotch, from behind, and almost knocked me over.  I have got to start ordering cat food online.

All the paper at both Michael's and JoAnne's was looked over at least twice.  Also stick-on vinyl sheets, wrapping paper, etc.  I didn't find anything I liked.   There used to be a proper art supply store downtown, with large sheets of artist's papers.  The big chain stores put it out of business years ago.  I miss it dearly.  One cannot purchase a just-right shade and texture of paper without seeing it in person.

Once paper was made an impossibility I wandered over to the fabric section.  Too many choices!  I spent an unreasonable amount of time examining the three dozen almost-the-same-shades of light tan before I shook my head to clear the cobwebs and just picked one already.  I'm going to cover the walls with fabric this year.  I also picked out a patterned fabric for the chair....or rather, it picked me...I was walking past the patterns to get to the solids when it stopped me in my tracks.

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These are this year's colors.  Thalo Blue and natural wood for the exterior.  Deep blues and browns for the interior, with white, tan, and small shots of gold.  The roll of paper at the top of the picture is from my stash, it was one of the contenders for the floor in the beach house, it will become bathroom tiles in this build.


I am going to turn the house to move the front entry to the side, and change the placement of all the windows.  This makes the overall proportions a bit awkward for my needs, so I'm going to cut at least two inches from the depth of the structure.  While I appreciate that grooves make a nice, tight fitting build, it doesn't make it easy to alter (is that the point?).  Thankfully, I have my fabulous little table saw, so can recreate the edge of the walls.

The best course of action for this build, I've decided, is to make and fit the furnishings first, before I make irreversible alterations to the structure.   I'll leave the build in dry fit for quite some time, I expect.

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The flat section of the roof will be a succulent covered green roof.  I've estimated I'll need to make a bazillion paper echeveria.  But then I found these at Michael's yesterday.  They may be a bit big, but I can remove the bottom row or two of leaves if necessary.  They will add some variety in plant size and thickness to the roof, and will reduce my labor.


I'll close with a gratuitous picture of a fuzzy round ball.





I've decided on an interior layout.  I'm not going to show you just yet.

With that done, I dug into my basket of fabric to lay out possible color schemes.  Carpet, bedding (white), curtains, and chair.


I picked one, then second guessed myself all week in favor of another.  When I looked at this picture again this morning I knew my first choice was the right one.

There are not enough pieces of the same paper in my stash for wall covering, though I did pick one for bathroom tiles, so I'm off with my fabric swatches to Michael's today, to spend the gift certificate my brother gave me for Christmas.



Ester has moved from the seat of my her recliner to the top.  I thought it meant I could sit in it again; that we could share.  I was mistaken.  Instead she places her back feet in the center of my head and pushes.

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I'm still alive

I got over the flu, felt better for two or three days, then it came back with a vengeance.  I've been working from home the last few days instead of going to the office.  I'm feeling better again now.  Thanks for all the well wishes.

The next contest kit arrives tomorrow, and I'm not ready for it, my studio is a mess and I've been too under the weather to clean it.  I've got motivation now, though.

Thanks to Bridget, who sent a belated Christmas present.  The artists got a box fan to help them stay cool, and Ester got some catnip, which I couldn't unpack fast enough to suit her.


A blurry picture of Ester, high on the nip...


An in-focus picture, taken a few minutes ago...


She says thank you, she loves her present :)