You’ve heard of tea cozies, meet “couch cozy!” Created by throwing an oversized quilt on my dark sofa. I am still unpacking and trying to find places for things so they don’t have to be in boxes or on shelves anymore. Selling or giving away what I can and now starting to throw out my “toxic” clothing that I never wore very much. The man made fabrics that never breathed or fit very well. Stuff too worn to donate. Even changing over to the natural fibers is no guarantee of fabric safety since most use pesticides everywhere now.
I’ve been sick more than well since October until just a few days ago so I don’t really care what my place looks like. No one can come in and I have not been out much except for water and supplies and do wear a “sick” mask everywhere so I don’t spread my cold or catch something else from all the unbridled sneezing everywhere I go. I buy my own drinking water since the tap water out here in the sticks is well water, too hard and I can’t drink that softened stuff, gross!
Had to take some plants off the sill because they started dying. I have some cuttings ready to transplant so I will do this and just keep them inside on my patio table I have right in front of the window for now. To the far left of the plants you can just see the large silver spoon I use as a spade inside for my houseplants. I gave away my garden tools when I moved from my house. This was from our family’s original silver set we used to use during the holidays. Most of the silver plating is off of them now but I’m glad I can use this piece for something.
Great Daily Prompt choice for right now in my area as we are in sub-zero weather and it is miserable inside and out. This is expected for the next couple weeks or so. UGH!! This older apartment building has a boiler and sometimes the heat is not sent through the building evenly. I have purchased a small ceramic heater that I use for short bursts if it gets too cold. What sucks is I am paying extra for this supplemental heat since the heat they supply is included in my monthly rent. My brothers have it worse further north. Way more snow and much colder temperatures of 25 below wind chill this morning. It was maybe 6 below in my neck of the woods.
This was a “cozy corner” in the living room next to the sofa before I condensed much of it down, got some hung and put some of my unfinished work away.
So dangerous for all the party goers celebrating the remainder of our holiday time now. New Years a few days away, there will be many out traveling the icy roads. Please be careful out there! I purchased this super sized Christmas stocking many years ago at a charity function for Children’s Hospital. Very whimsical!
But sure not the traditional. Not sure if this actually qualifies for cheeky, but wanted to show some shots of my current Christmas decor in my apartment. Won’t break down to get a big tree til I move again, maybe next year. I’ve been ill most of the time since before Halloween. It’s been a rough year for all of us I think.
Both will pertain to the autumn and Halloween that some celebrate.
I love to decorate for fall adding a few old time Halloween touches throughout, as cheaply as possible of course. I wait to get my pieces in sales, sometimes from clearance the year before.
We will start out with emphasis on curves such as the altered glass plate from Ikea I hang in front of the lighted trellis. The roundness of pumpkins, gourds & squash prevalent this time of year and various decorative items.
Now we come to the “good stuff.” The ghoulish or macabre. Not my cup of tea but many like this stuff, especially around Halloween.
One of my sons LOVES Halloween and really goes all out each year. This is him as the crow and that is his own hair, no wig. The other videos are some of the special effects that he uses. Enjoy this very “ghoulish” display if you dare!
Enjoy my PhotoDraw animated slide show for Halloween fun!
Evanescent. I just learned me a new word today. Who’da thunk it?
Sorry I have not had much to say for the last number of years but hopefully that changes in a few months, maybe sooner, not for sure right now. I know I am about to take at least a couple of months off after Memorial Day weekend.
I knew I was canceling my cable service, Comcast, due to constantly being overcharged for months now and not able to completely correct the various issues with my bill. I had never dealt with this company before now & read all the complaints before going with them anyway. Live & learn, it can happen to you too! I had no issues the first year with my introductory offer locked in but after that year and one upgrade deal that turned out to be $33.00 more than the agreed upon amount of $142 which was still way higher than the deal advertised for only $109 per month. They gave me a partial credit with more to come, but reneged on the deal numerous times so I’m done. Been charging me $176 or more a month! Probably sending a complaint to the FCC when I am done with them. I don’t expect they will just let me cancel. I actually expect them to pull stuff on me after the fact like sending some type of “cancellation bill” or claims they didn’t get all the equipment back. That’s how much I don’t trust them now and will wait and see so I can give a full report to the FCC when I do file a complaint so everything’s included.
I will choose another service after I get a break from it for the summer. Will give me a chance to create again instead of being distracted because I want to watch things and get my money’s worth out of this service while I have it. I might do another post before I stop for a while. This is some of the things I’ve worked on in the past in various media and with my computer graphic software of which I have three. Photoshop, PhotoImpact & PhotoDraw. Most are about 10 years old or more with some functions no longer supported by the company and as such no longer work like 3D in PhotoDraw 2000 because of their constant upgrades to Windows through the years. I rarely touch Photoshop Elements 7 & 9 preferring Microsoft PhotoDraw when I need it. The PhotoImpact edition I have came out in 1999, a year before PhotoDraw was introduced by Microsoft I purchased at a good price in my college bookstore.
I used to do restoration work on old photos back in then 1980’s for a couple of professional photo labs without the help of any software like we have now.
I have been suffering through yet another diet the last couple months trying to get rid of about 20 extra pounds after hibernating all winter with cable. Was nice though. Spoiled the heck out of myself. I started keeping a journal with the approximate calorie, fat and carb info for everything I ate. It helped me become aware of the nutrition in my food and make needed changes. I still freak when I have a couple of slices of bread I want to use so it doesn’t go to waste but I don’t want the added calories and have other left overs that are more nutritious. I’ve never been a big bread eater in the first place but did purchase it. I pride myself in never wasting any food but thinking like that will put on the pounds for sure. So will snacking on seeds and nuts thinking they are healthy but realizing just how many calories and fat is in them.
I made a “Pineapple Dream Desert” the other day for a treat after giving up cheesecake and ice cream, my favorites. I’m not fond of just any sweets but what I do love I must have like chocolate at least once a day. I created a “Diet Pineapple Dream Desert” in honor of my 11 lb weight loss. I was about to go berserk feeling so deprived. Click on the original desert name for the full recipe.
I did not make a crust, just the top sprinkle. Whip all the ingredients together as you would any whipped desert and chill a couple of hours to firm. Not bad but not as good as a cheesecake, fair warning. Also found this great snack food called Cosmos Creations that I think may put a crimp in my diet plans. Like the coconut crunch in moderation. Must be a Christian company because days later I was reading the back and found Psalm 89:11.
I have also added an additional 8 crates to my wall shelving. I’m eventually going to sand them all better and stain them a darker color as well as input those battery stick lights in some of them for ambiance when I can find some that are decent quality. I tried those years ago with my under the stairs storage and they eventually fell off after getting knocked. They were cheaply made. I will post the another picture once I complete that time-consuming project one day. *WARNING: Again, would not recommend doing something like this with young children who could easily pull it down on themselves.
I actually might just sand them and use white wash or milk paint. I like both effects. Viewed them on Pinterest.com. I plan on being creative as far as placement once in a while now that I have 20 to work with.
I plan on starting and finishing a number of collages while I’m away for a while. I will post them as soon as I’m online again. In the meantime I’ll share some of my old work.
Lamp post collage
My first nude oil. Interesting technique before I started studying with other artists.
Rose transfer in center of large plexiglass with stamped border.
This is what happened with I drew a picture from my head. Not happy with it
More fun with a glue gun.
Acrylic cross on canvas with stamped border done in monochromatic metallics.
When I think of patterns, I think of sewing right off the bat. Some could think of a pattern of conduct or behavior, I think of it as something that repeats on wallpaper or on a piece of patterned cloth that you would cut out a pattern from.
A while back I worked for a major decorating company for a number of years. The majority of the time I worked as a vendor representative with many companies from drapery and curtains to wallpaper and rugs and everything in between. It was a very fulfilling and creative time in my life. Unfortunately I chose to leave it for more money somewhere else. A place where there were no patterns except for those evading their taxes. There was a similar pattern in that respect.
Please see the short video I prepared to walk you through the way I created a flat panel from cotton muslin to hang on a cafe curtain in my tiny bathroom which previously had 2″ window blinds that stuck out when you opened them. I wanted to try something different so instead of just painting everything freehand on my panel, I found some colorful fish in my PhotoDraw clip gallery that I printed separately onto vellum/frosted paper. It’s a nice texture to print from. You can get them in the printer paper area or cheaper in scrap booking or paper craft area of any hobby or office store.
I placed pins to mask the general area for the fish patterns to go and used my inkjet printer to print directly on the sheets. You may have to place masking tape along the feed edge so the printer can see it. My printer is fussy with certain papers. You can see it on the transfer paper when I lay it inkside down on the fabric after I coat the area with gloss, semi-gloss or matte medium, liquid or gel. I have used them all with similar results. Don’t over saturate, but use enough. Experiment on scrap fabric before you ever start an actual project you care about to see the various effects you get from each type of transfer medium and what you prefer.
After I place the transfer ink side down on the medium I burnish the back of the entire picture with a plastic utensil I have. Many use a bone folder you can get at crafting stores. Don’t press too hard, but hard enough to push all the ink into the fabric from the paper. I use vellum because it does not come apart from the medium like other papers can do. It’s almost plastic like in texture. You will see that if you have used too much medium, the colors will squish out all over and the picture will blur and not look as good. Again, experiment for a while first.
Once I think that the transfer has been complete, I carefully lift up the paper and let it dry for at least a day. I don’t rush my drying when I need it completely dry. After that I hand painted various corals, plants and sea horses. I would have used a transfer for the seahorses as well but they were an after thought so I didn’t bother because I had already started some painting with acrylics. If you need to thin the paint you can use water or more medium depending on the thickness and intensity of color you wish to have.
Naturally I measured the panel and had all the edges finishes and sewed my rod pocket at the top to allow for the cafe rod, which is very small. Please see some of the finished pictures as well for an idea of how this looked from the outside of the window at night.
I did not wish to spend much money because I do not think I will be in this apartment for very much longer but even if I stay here another year or two, I knew I wanted some kind of shelving for books, magazines and some of the knickknacks I had still packed away. Most of my apartment is storage bins and I’ve been here exactly one year. I figure if I didn’t really have a way to move near my family this year, a days drive away, the least I need to do is get more situated here just in case I’m in for the long haul.
Originally I got one of those cheap, DIY pressed board bookcases from Walmart but it was crumbling during assembly. I put some Sauders brand together about 20 years ago but this was Mainstays and the quality was bad. I took it back the next day and decided to purchase a number of the unfinished large solid end pine crates 18″ x 12″ x 9 1/2″ deep. You have the option to paint or stain them as desired. For now, unfinished is ok by me. I might do something later depending on where I want to go with them.
I had seen some of these crates as wall shelves on Pinterest and fell in love with the rustic country bohemian look. Even cooler when it has a light stain on it from some pictures I viewed.
Made in America as well.
Used a heat gun to remove that large stickers on each crate.
Got sanders and mask ready.
Roughly sanded some of the many rough edges.
The sanding files work great on the handles.
I would not recommend this type of shelving if you have pets or children due to the fact that they could easily be knocked or pulled over, not super stable. Some choose to connect these permanently but I wish to be able to move them easily and keep them free to use as actual packing crates one day. Also you would really have to do a super sanding job on all plus maybe add a number of coats of varnish to make it safe from splinters. I’m sure I’ll be getting splinters once in a while if I am not careful but I will have to see what happens once I start actually stacking books and things in them.
Important to note is that Walmart had two types of large crates in the store. One was in the Home Decor section and the other in the Crafts area. I ended up with the ones in Craft because they were much sturdier and $2.00 cheaper per crate even though they were the same size. I did not really check to see how well those were sanded and they were processed by a different company than the ones I found in the crafting area. Some had slats on all four sides, which may make a difference depending on what you wish to do with them. Also, I preferred the solid end ones.
I purchased 6 of them to try them out and ended up going back for 6 more. I will say if you wish to stack them as I did you will need at least 8 if you want to finish your wall shelving straight across. You can tell by the stacking that you will need at least 4 for each square if you stagger it as I did. There are many ways to stack these and I plan on changing the pattern from time to time. Some people placed battery operated lighting that you stick on inside some of the crates for special effects that were very cool. Depending on what I do later on with mine, I will post updates. I would never recommend placing lit candles in these but they do have many battery operated candles that look just as cool.
Wanted to post a few photographs of some decorations I threw up this year in the tiny apartment I just moved to. I still have some decorations packed away I only realized when I started unpacking what I thought was all of my Christmas stuff. The rest has to be in my storage unit shoved in the back, so not looking for it this year anyway. I have a cute little area with lights that I can enjoy and that’s all I need for now. Besides this is one of the first years I’m not hosting my family for Christmas Eve, which I never post publicly anyway for everyone’s privacy. I may post a few more Christmas stuff later. So glad I was not able to sell the tiny tree at the garage sale held right before I moved!
I used to have two hand painted angels and then inherited the other two which were given to my sister after she sadly passed away right after the holidays in 2013, her favorite time of year. She was not expected to live to see that Christmas, but we all knew she’d hang on for it and she did! She actually rallied on Christmas Eve 2013 and I dared to believe that was sign but she wanted to go home and it was her time. Love you Gail!
As stated in my previous post, the last number of years have all been a blur.
I have never been so disorganized and out of touch and this is such a bad time to be this way. I am now in the process of cleaning everything out and packing as I go along, expecting to be moving before the end of the year. Certainly before winter sets in again.
I wanted to share some of the projects I have been working on sporadically since sometime last year as well as other odds and ends. This blog may be a blur as well.
I have been working on multiple projects on canvas with various mediums, sewing with fabrics, actually made some bead jewelry with supplies purchased years ago and tried my hand with polymer clay.
Click on thumbnails for full size.
The following are various sewing projects.
1980’s silk pants being upcycled to scarf. Love the images on them!
Very pleased with my second attempt at polymer clay jewelry! This was after I burnt a batch in an old toaster oven with messed up thermostat.
A couple of craft type projects.
I’m going to end this blur of a post with a question.