Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm on Recyclart!

My Mosaic Box decorated with bits from Christmas cards (here is the original post) was featured yesterday on Recyclart, one of my favorite websites.  If you haven't been to the site, check it out.  Lots of ubercool stuff!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rock Balancing

I found a round, flat container at St. T's thrift store about two weeks ago and thought it might make a good container to hold a balanced rock sculpture.  I got some sand from a local park, sifted it, and put it into the container.

Then this afternoon I spent an hour trying some different rock balance variations.  Below are two.  The second is more simple, perhaps more zen-like, and is the current set-up in the living room.  I hope that over time I will get better at photographing my sculptures!

Sunday Thoughts

Help us to create as an act of worship to You.
-- Julia Cameron, from The Artist's Way.  (Thanks, Scott H., for introducing me to this book!)

Weekly Round-Up

This week I....
... watched the finale of Project Runway.  Congrats, Dom!  All four designers did a fabulous job, so I'm sure it was a tough choice.  I really liked Justin's collection just as much as Dom's.  It makes me want to play with fabric and my serger is in the shop for its annual cleaning!
...worked on my windowsill herb garden.  My goal is to create mini planters without spending any money.  So far, I've used yogurt containers decorated with left over twine, and now with pebbles and tissue paper.
 More on the herb garden later.
... I had dinner with my parents on Friday and got to play with power tools!  This is fast becoming one of my favorite activities.  (And, incidentally, I want an orbital sander for Christmas.)
This is me using a router:
 This is me using a table saw:
The red arrow shows the approximate location of the rapidly spinning blade.  I thought The Magician would freak out at seeing this photo, but he didn't.  Apparently he doesn't mind my fingers being that close to whirling dismemberment since my dad was there providing proper supervision!  I find this amusing.  But it is better than him freaking out.  (And Dad assures me that he (Dad) has had his fingers MUCH closer to the blade than what you see above.)
           What project am I working on?  I'm hoping to post an update this week. 
...went with my husband to the wedding of our dear friend Elizabeth to her "enchanting gentlemen" Nicholas.  Such a lovely and happy bride coming down the aisle in her mother's wedding dress!  Congratulations and best wishes!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

And for My Next Trick...

Problem:  My make-up table is so low that I have to elevate my mirror unless I am only putting stuff on my chin.
 Partial solution:
I've covered the cardboard boxes with a decorative mini-tablecloth.
Goal: Something more classy that doubles as storage.  Preferably without spending any money.  Stay tuned....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fire Rose

Sunday evening the Magician and I made a fire in our firepit so that I could take some photos.  I have some challenging artwork planned that involves photoshopping five images together in a kind of collage.  (Ok, it will be challenging for me!)

Anyway, I was playing around with my camera and this was one of the experimental shots:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Croatia: The Wall of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a picturesque little gem encircled by high medieval walls that make me at least wish I was trailing across them in a velvet gown.  I'm enough of the student of history to know that I would not actually like day-to-day life in the Middle Ages very much, but I'm enough of a sucker for romance that I long for them any way.

Even modern artillery couldn't bring them down, although they were damaged when shelled during the Homeland War.

Lovely, yes? 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

If you are not willing to die for your God and your brothers, at a moment's notice or by a thousand cuts and sacrifices over many years, then you do not have a religion. You have a hobby.                                            ~ G.K. MacBrien

 Most of us, I notice, have been placed on the "thousand cuts and sacrifices over many years" path.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekly Round Up

This past week I ...
... ate pizza and watched a modern-take Shakespeare film with my sister Rachel.  (Head over to the Reviews page to see what I thought of it.)
... bought Christmas ornaments at the St. Teresa's Christmas Boutique to (hopefully!) transform like this.  (And regretted not buying the Christmas plates to transform into tiered trays.)
... spent heaps of money at the Blessed Sacrament Church fall fundraiser silent auction.  (But Christmas gifts for Mom and Dad are covered!)

... finished Jan Karon's At Home in Mitford, which I liked.  I never would have read it except for Mom and Elizabeth P.  Mom had bought the large-print version for Grandma and dropped it off.  I'm thinking, Since when do I read authors who are actually alive?  But Elizabeth P was over for crafting and as she was leaving she noticed it sitting on the mantle where Mom had left it and she said she really loved those books.
... worked on my nephew's hand-made book which I'm hoping to finish before Christmas....
... went back to the Thrift Store on Friday and snapped up the plates
... made a decision that I've been struggling with for three or four years.  So far, I feel peaceful about it and haven't changed my mind like all the other times....
... enjoyed a surprise visit from Anne M. who was in town and dropped by for lunch.

Lots to be grateful for this week!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shelf from Leftover Wood

The Magician made a little shelf for me out of leftover wood from Dad’s shop and leftover paneling from repairing the basement.  (It’s drying…)  Thanks, dear!
 It's for one of those shelves that is about two feet high and everything I have on it is maybe six inches, so this will double my storage space.  (It's not pretty, but it's headed for the basement!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Herb Garden Update

I finished another couple of containers for our little windowsill herb garden, which now looks like:

These are made from yogurt containers and left-over twine and glue.  Cost: zero.
Here is a post on how I made them. 
I hope this post inspires you to make something from the recycle bin save you a trip to the store!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Got Art?

I found some interesting artist profiles in the one and only book at the local university library on art with recycled/found/discarded materials.  It’s called Raw+Material=Art. 

I will spare you the epic tale of the guy who makes wolf sculptures out of dust found in the Paris metro.  (No, I did not make that up.  See page 218.)  I did find some cool and inspiring stuff, though.

For example, I found some pages on Rosemarie Fiore who does art with explosives.  Seriously.  Fireworks=explosives. I don't like fireworks, but I thought the concept was super-cool.   (Her website is here.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Amazing Factoid!

Want to do something that no one on planet earth has done before?  It's very simple to do and you can do it without any practice.

Watch this video to learn about it.  It really is an amazing fact.

By-the-way...  those of you who are Jeeves & Wooster fans will immediately recognize Stephen Fry (Jeeves)...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Croatia: Fun with Stone

Here are some fun photos from Dubrovnik.

The idea is that if a guy can stand on this stone long enough to take off his shirt, he will have good luck.  (Gals can do the same, but shirt removal is not necessary.)
These fanciful carvings are from inside the courtyard of a Franciscan monastery.  (Also inside the same monastery—a pharmacy claiming to the be oldest continually operating pharmacy in Europe.  It’s been open for business since the 1300s.  The monks were the first proprietors, not unusual for the Middle Ages, when a monastery might be an inn, hospital, poor house, and research center all in one.)

These are from the Rector’s Palace, now a museum.  (The Rector was a secular government position, which involved, among other things, being forbidden to leave the palace during one’s term.)  There is a custom in architecture renovations that when you add something, you deliberately make it different than what was there so you do not deceive about what is old and original, and what is not.  I’m guessing that that is what is up with the hand rail.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.  
~ Ghandi

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weekly Round Up

-- My cousin's wife had her baby!  (She's been on bed rest in a room with only one window--that looks out on a brick wall--since August 9.)  The baby did come early, but she's over 5 pounds and excepted to do just fine.  Welcome to the family, Charlotte Jane!

-- For our anniversary date we cuddled up on the sofa with a movie from the library.  We watched Now You See Me, which I just loved.  I kept waiting for a break in the action because I'd forgotten my chapstick upstairs, and there wasn't one!  I thought it was really clever.  I can also see a little bit better the attraction that The Magician sees in doing that kind of thing.  The movie is about four magicians who rob a bank in Paris while on stage in Las Vegas.  But that's only the beginning....

-- I popped by the Christmas Boutique at St. Teresa's and it is big.  They must have emptied 20 big plastic bins and they were only half way done setting up.  I hope a lot sells or it all has to be packed up again and carted up the stairs...

--This morning The Magician and I did a little photoshoot for my next playing-with-Photoshop project.  Here's a sneak peak:

-- And lastly, a teapot painting party!  My mom collects tea pots.  She has one from her daughters, and one from her son and sons-in-laws, so it was time to add a grandchild one.

Afterward we went out for ice cream...

The kids had to play on the statue.  I love it that it is A) Whimsical and cool and B) More or less indescructible.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Reverie in Metal

A photo essay of a sculpture outside of the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I didn’t like it much at first, but after I sat inside it and watched the play of light and shadow, I had to admit it was cool.  It’s called “Reverie” and is by Linda Fleming.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tire House

I saw this article on the Non-Consumer Advocate Blog, and I just thought it was SO COOL!  It's about a house in progress that is made mostly out of tires.

(I want one!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Don't Throw Away.... Plastic Containers!

Here is the beginning of our tiny, window-sill, year-round herb garden.

I used robust Beacon 527, which I let dry over night, for the initial twine-to-plastic connection.  After that, it was Elmer’s all the way until the very end, at which point I used the Beacon 527 again.  For another one I used ordinary clear tape to hold the end in place.

 I had to push each additional strand up tight against its neighbor, but I still had some white peeking through.  Oh, well.  It’s still less tacky than un-adorned yogurt containers!

 I sealed it with my beloved ModPodge.
 Here is some garlic, planted in compost soil.
 I did a second one out of a taller container.
 You can see how much the garlic as grown in the past week or so.
I have hopes of making a whole little army of them.  The Magician has been growing them in water, which works fine, but I'm hoping dirt will work better.
I know the embellishment is unnecessary but frugal doesn't have to be ugly!  (And I already had the twine left over from something else.)