Sunday, September 28, 2008


O.k. I'll admit that I am not always good at finishing projects. This mostly relates to my creative projects because I have so many ideas in my head. I don't necessarily finish one thing before I start another. However, at work, I am very good at finishing things.

I'm usually pretty good about getting remodeling projects finished in a timely matter, except for this bathroom project.

The cabinet has been sitting in the garage not getting itself finished (I don't understand that?). So Friday, I decided to spend the entire day working on it. Frank had done the first round of sanding to get the finish off. I worked on it some more and sanded the inside as well (originally we weren't planning on doing that, but I decided I might as well).

I also worked on gluing more faces on the drawers, sanding some drawers, and painting one of the doors.
I also sanded the red finish off of this frame I had found years ago either at a garage sale or at a thrift store. I knew I would find a use for it someday. We will be putting a new mirror in it.

Am I finished? No. I worked on it some more yesterday and today. The main part of the cabinet is complete. I used clear polyurethane for the finish and, in the end, it looked almost like before we sanded it. I was hoping it would end up lighter, but it is only a smidgen lighter.

We are waiting for some new feet that we ordered on line. Then we can finish the bottom section as well. I just have a few more doors to paint and one drawer to sand and paint. So close!

The other thing that I am usually too good at finishing is books (when I actually sit down to start them). Most things get put off, like dinner and laundry, until I finish the book.

I just finished reading the Einstein biography by Walter Isaacson. I have wanted to read it since it came out a while ago. Someone brought it to the museum (we have a little staff sharing library) and I was happy to see it.

This book took me quite longer than usual to finish. I really plodded through it, as I was also trying to understand the theories of Einstein that were explained throughout the book. It was about 550 pages and very thorough. I found it interesting, but it was frustrating for me to be reading it so slowly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In the Yard

I was cleaning out some photos on my computer and I found this first photo of our front yard in the springtime. The second photo is of the yard, today (sorry the photo isn't so great).

I am really enjoying this autumn weather: very cool mornings, beautiful sunshine with the slightly changing angle of light, the start of colors in the trees and warm temperatures in the afternoon. It is my favorite season.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Autumn is back

Last week the temperature was in the low 90's every day. Finally, a storm and cold front came in this weekend. It rained all night Friday and part of the day Saturday. We really needed it and now the low 70 temperatures are a welcome relief. Some pictures from the yard before the rain.

Bathroom update: slowly, slowly, we are moving forward. This weekend I repainted the trim. We put the toilet back in and hung up the wall shelves. I painted one of the cabinet doors. We can only glue one face on a door at a time because we don't have a lot of clamps. So the doors will be a slow process. But if we get the cabinet finished, we can install that and the sink and the doors can come in one at a time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I just had to show you this picture of Anna. I found this cute shirt for her at Target. Wish they had one in my size!

Anna stayed home from school again today. But she was a little more perky so I think she will be going back tomorrow. My "routine" (not sure I really have one) was messed up this week. However, I did manage to work on some art today. Hurray! Need to do lots more of it (teaching art lessons at school doesn't count). Here is a little (literally) peek of what I was doing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fast Weekend

We've had a busy weekend. Saturday morning we had breakfast at the zoo. It was a special thing before the zoo opened. The theme was cool cats (and now you know why we had to go).

Tashi the snow leopard is only about a year old.

We also installed the bathroom floor. It looks great, except . . .

for the fact that we were two planks short!I called the place where we got the floor to see if they had an extra two planks. The lady called their installer but they didn't have any extra in town. So I had to order an entire box (7 planks) and hopefully can pick it up on Thursday. Then, I decided that even though the trim color was called natural white, it has too much of a blue tint for me. I will be repainting the trim. We also decided that the false fronts on the cabinet doors will look better with paint. So we will paint just the doors and stain the cabinet. I know it sounds kind of weird, but I think it will look o.k. This way we won't have to buy a new cabinet.

We also went to a bbq and Anna had her friend spend the night.

Yesterday, I knew it was going to be hot (it was about 91 degrees). I dyed some more fabric because I had some new colors I wanted to dye. Here they are stacked up ready to be rinsed out. Anna was home from school with a cold yesterday and today. So I will be able to rinse the fabric today. Tomorrow I will have to teach art for her class.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Soy Wax

Today Anna did not have school. After sleeping in (yay!), we had breakfast and went to the co-op. Then I set up an area to do some batik work with soy wax. Here is our set up in the garage.

I have been trying to collect metals objects for some time just for this reason. On the table there are some cookie cutters, clay cutters, metal lids, an incense burner I found at a garage sale that makes a lovely swirl and other assorted items. I used clothes pins to hold the metal and dip in the wax.

Here Anna is trying out the tjanting tool I ordered from Dharma. It's very cool. Can you guess what she is drawing?

Here is some fabric I was working on. I had re-shaped an old cookie cutter into a triangle. But Anna re-bent it into what she called a lemon. I thought it also made nice leaves. I used the tjanting tool to draw in the veins.

Here is the piece of fabric that I had underneath where we were working. I think I will dye it and see what happens.
We haven't gotten to the paint/dye part yet. This was a fun activity but it took longer than I thought to do. It seems to be better to do on smaller pieces of fabric, because the big ones take a long time to fill up. I got tired and didn't even finish all the fabric I was planning to use. But we can save the wax for another time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


This is my car, a Suzuki Sidekick with four doors. I have had this car for 17 years.

And just this year, I finally put on some bumper stickers. I got the vanity plate just so I could remember my license plate when someone asked.

A couple of days ago the odometer said this . . .

. . . and afterward, it said this. This is the first 100,000 miles.
After seventeen years, I think that is pretty good. I love my car. It is just the right size for me. It is dirty and messy and the seams are coming apart on the seats. But I don't have to worry about spilling anything, it already has stains. Anna has grown up in this car. It is pretty good in the snow. Not so good on the highway (too noisy).

It has had some work done on the engine. Last week I got new front brakes and rotors. I also need to take it in to check the shift lever or gear box or transmission. Once I see about that, I hope it lasts another five years or more. I was hoping it would last until I could replace it with a totally electric car. However, the car industry isn't cooperating and I'm not sure they will have a mainstream one by then. We'll just wait and see.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Art in the Park

Autumn is in the air . . .

and on the ground.

It that time of year again . . .

for the art museum's Art in the Park.

It is the Boise Art Museum's big fundraiser for the year. It runs Friday through Sunday. There are about 270 artists at the event. Friday was my shopping day. I love these "guardians" pictured above. I wanted one last year and would love to have one this year but they are a bit expensive. They are made with pieces and bits from recycled things.

This morning I had to work at Art in the Park while Frank and Anna shopped around. Anna found some earrings and a snow leopard puppet with strings. I have to work again tomorrow morning and hope to get some beautiful sounding wind chimes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


We are into the second week of school now. Anna says she does not feel like a sixth grader. I think she doesn't want to grow up (why would she?) and she is really nervous about going to junior high next year. But there are little signs that she really is a sixth grader.

Up until late this summer, she never really cared much about clothes (I guess she gets that from her mother). I would buy things for her, bring them home and she would try them on. Just before school started, we were at Target and she picked out some skorts (which she decided to wear on the first day of school). She likes them a lot. First, I think, because they are very comfortable and, second, because they are cute. When we were there again, she wanted to get another pair.

Today she was excited to go to Target to look for winter clothes (we didn't find much). The two skorts she picked out earlier were both plaid. The other day she said, "Plaid must be the new polka dot!" She said lots of people had on plaid shorts or skorts at school. She is observant and the fashion scene just might become a little more important to this sixth grader this year.