Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bathroom Pro(re)gress

Oh dear! This is how our bathroom looks right now. Actually it's looked like this for 7 weeks. We've been working in the basement some, taking out the poop pipe (the old cast iron pipe) that, I can tell you, is not a fun job. We know because we've done it twice. Once in the Cumberland house and now in our Barnesville house. We know how to do it now, but don't ask us to do yours. Hire a plumber or your uncle Bob.

Last week the Washington Post featured a darling young couple from Richmond, Virginia who buy 1970's ranch houses and fix them up. They blog about it and make tons of money. It's called 'Young House Love'. That's so cute. They're cute, their baby is cute and both their houses are cute. I love their blog and am now a follower along with the millions of other DIYers that are fans of there's.

I could call my blog 'Old House Love'. Our Barnesville house is nearly 80 years old and the Cumberland house is 86 years old. I really do love old houses, they're charming and the workmanship is solid. Heaps of character.

But a few things that old houses do NOT have are decent bathrooms, kitchens or closets. All these are afterthoughts. I'm sure that when the builder was nearly finished with these houses, he (I'm sure a woman would not have done this!) realized he had not put in a bathroom or a kitchen. He figured he could just stick a bathroom in this tiny space, a 6' x 6' room would be just fine. And the kitchen could be a tiny bit bigger and let's throw in a counter that's 1' wide!

Above photo is from my archives. This is our bathroom back in the early 80's. When I sat on the toilet, my knees hit the tub. Ouch! And that lovely wall board. Yikes. And, yes, mauve was a popular color then!

We demolished the wall into our bedroom, stealing 5' to make the bathroom big enough that we didn't have to go in sideways. Jenna & Garrett were just 2 then.

I know...this looks totally scary. And what's that roll of toilet paper doing there?! Wishful thinking. But this looks very similar to what our bathroom looks like now. Can't believe we've been in our 'starter home' so long that we're doing this all again.

This is the nearly finished bathroom the first time. Jeesh! How old WERE we?! That wallpaper is so old lady! And the tile...eek! When I told Houston I wanted to re-do the bathroom because I hated the tile, he said, "Well, why didn't you pick out the right tile the first time?" A girl can't change her mind after 25 years, can't she?! And anyway, tell me anything that was good style-wise from the 80's.

One thing we are going to reuse is the medicine cabinet. I got it for $20 at a recycle place back in the day.

It's a nice, solid piece and we can save at least $100.

I've painted it white and it looks so much better.

Now we just have to make the hole in the wall for it and wire for sconces on either side and build the vanity to match it and put the tub in and...........

This is a cute little cubbie in the hallway outside the bathroom, on the way to our bedroom. The phone used to reside here. How old fashioned. Isn't even having a land line old fashioned? Mommie, what's a land line? Anyhootie, I LOVE this cubbie. Houston said we'd have to take it out because it protrudes into the bathroom by 4". He had built a wall to jut out and put the plumbing for the sink in there but we want the wall flush now so the cubbie had to go.

I whined and whined. I told my friend that after 28 years of having my pens, notepad, but most importantly, my vaseline (which I use for my very dry lips) and dip into every time I pass, I would greatly miss that space. She said, "You mean you're designing your bathroom around your lipstick?!!" Yeah, so?

Ha ha. I got my way! Houston, the dear, took it out, cut it down and put it back in its rightful place. Thanks! Both my husband and my house have charm!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Stuff in the Studio

I'm trying to show new things that I've done to entice folks into coming out to the studio tour April 15, 16, 17. This is my 'Carnival' Shawl, a nuno felted 'throw-everything-on-top' kind of shawl.

Lots of texture and color, uh huh.

and squiggles of wool. Love that!

I added some funky beads to jazz it up.

And this 'Autumn Walk' is hanging at the Saville Gallery in Cumberland.

Lots of leaves dangle from the edge.

and of course, more embellishments.

This is my 'ocean' one, a delicate, watery scarf, flowing in the tropical breeze.

And my ode to spring green, that luscious, happy chartreuse green that just makes you smile. Lots more coming up. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Lovely Maple

Well, this is not my maple at its loveliest. I couldn't even find a photo of it in full leaf, but it really was beautiful. But 80 years ago it wasn't pruned properly and it had 4 large branches coming out of the trunk. Back in Decmember we lost one branch which gratefully fell all the way to the ground. In February we lost another large branch but this time it hung vertically and it was too dangerous for Houston to get up there and cut it down. Leave it to the professionals.

And that pro is Mike, my tree guy. He's also an arborist and he recommended we take the entire tree down because he'd just have to come next year to do it because it was dying. This is the fourth very large tree we've lost, the other 3 were oaks. Our house used to be totally shaded in the summer. We had such a nice canopy.

Mike cut into it

and some more

and Victor pulled it taut.

It appears that the tree will fall on Mike's truck but really it was yards from it.

In fact, the maple fell exactly where he wanted it to. Now we have to cut it all up and it will be warming us next winter. I'd much prefer it shading us this summer. Houston was taping the whole thing and got about 10 minutes of Mike cutting, Mike walking around the tree, Mike cutting some more and 30 seconds before the tree actually fell, his video camera ran out of power. Doh!

This is Mike last year when he took our oak down. Now I just have to get the nursery and get a few more trees.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Felt-a-licious Too

Now that our gallery opening is over, I have time to get all the photos in order and write about this event. Phew! It was a lot of work, but I would do it all again. It was so much fun to set it up, figure out where things would go, make vignettes, see all the gorgeous work all my fellow felters have done and finally to see the reaction of people coming into the gallery.

My friend, Beth, designed the banner and postcards.

Come on in for a peek to what we've been up to.

'Dogwood Dance' is our representation of the four seasons of the dogwood.

As people would walk in, they would stop, look up and take it all in. Then they'd pull out their phone and start texting or take a phone photo and send it. They'd say they were texting their friends, "U gotta C this show"!

The backs were nearly as pretty as the fronts.

To give you a perspective of how large they are, Bev is standing nearby.

Let's step back a few days and view the chaos that was to become our first gallery show. Bev and I had strategically packed her small SUV with all our things, not even having enough room for my dog. Sorry, Trapper, I had to leave you behind! We unloaded everything...

...and spread it all out on the floor.

Daunting! I thought we would have to edit about a third of it, but we actually got nearly all of it up. Just a few lone pieces got left behind.

This show is different than most of the shows this gallery has. Most of the pieces are wearables so we had to figure out how to hang them so they looked ok and could be taken off the walls to be tried on.

This is an ethereal shawl that Sharon made. (My friend, Seal bought it and told her husband she would just be wearing this. Thumbs up...Like!)

One of Roz's many pieces. Beautiful!

I just have to say that this group of women is so incredible, inspirational, talented, and diverse and I am so proud to be a member of this 'tribe'. We meet once a month and it never ceases to amaze me what they bring to the table, literally and figuratively. We all have a common bond, the love of our art, and it's always fun to get together and share.

The vessels we displayed were really well done.

I've never seen Francine's vessels but I really did love them. When you touched them, they were so soft and flexible but they stood so erect. Beautiful!

"Bluebird of Happiness". I felted 3 little blue eggs that are tucked into a nest inside this vessel.

Roz's Pea Pods

Jeanne traveled across country last summer taking workshops and seeing the sights. She gathered seeds, pods, leaves and sticks every day. At night, she heated up her little hot pot, took what she had found that day, boiled the things and extracted the dye and dyed cotton muslin with the dyebath. She also used a technique to transfer the images of the leaves, seeds and pods onto the dyed muslin, using the sun. When she returned home after 6 weeks on the road, Jeanne hand stitched all the little pieces together, making this unique 'quilt'.

We had many flowers, in the form of garlands, pins and necklaces.

Grace and Paige created most of the flowers. So light and airy and gorgeous!

Nearly all of us had wall hangings, basically paintings using wool as a medium. My piece is on the left, a bowl of beets.

The Great Wall of China.

Hats and gloves and dancing above the display are our Barbies.

Three years ago, six of the felt group came up to Cumberland for a little creative retreat. I had 3 old Barbies and we had our own little 'Project Runway'. We divided into 3 groups of 2, each taking a Barbie to felt an outfit for. We went to different parts of the house so we weren't privy to
each others' designs.

We had a great time and actually came up with unique outfits.

Because we had so many pieces that could be worn, we decided to let some of our scarves and shawls be taken home with the purchasers. We set up 'Scarf Alley', hanging dozens of scarves on a felted clothes line. It was fun to see women trying them on and then wearing them at the opening.

I think this was my favorite vignette. I love the primitive aspect of it and the pieces are so well done.

We had so many pretty things displayed.

But after we had everything hung, I thought we were missing something. Something wierd, kooky, big and kinda ugly. We needed a pod.

So on Thursday, Bev and I began 'Whacky Pod'. We hadn't come prepared to make such a large piece, but had brought wool for other projects. We started out with burgundy and black for the outside, black on the inside and in between the outside and inside layers, we used up all the bright colors that didn't go with anything. We made spiky things for the top and hanging tendrils for the bottom. Luckily we had enough wool, wetted the big egg and rolled and rolled into the night. In the morning we worked it a bit more, infused it with fabric stiffener, made some ridges and let it dry all day by the radiator. The opening was Saturday night so the pod had to be done or it wasn't going to have a home in the gallery.

The radiator did the trick (along with a little dryer action) and we walked the pod to the gallery.

After a near fatal drop, Houston got it hung.

And now we had a 'fun' piece, to contrast to all the pretty pieces.

Here we all are (except for JoAnne who is in Norway). A talented group of women, for sure! Here's the article about us in the Cumberland paper.