Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blogging A to Z 2015: Blog Like a Boss!

It's hard to believe that we are almost at the end of February, which means that I only have one month to prepare for April and the big Blogging from A to Z challenge. But, I am not worried. I have a good handle on it this year.  My list of ideas is filled in and I have already begun writing my posts, including my Great Theme Reveal post scheduled for March 23rd.

This April 17th marks my 8th year on Blogger!  I have written over 2250 posts during those years, the majority of them on my first blog (1448) Thoughts from Miller Manor which I no longer have public. When I started out all my topics were there, and believe me, there were a LOT of topics! But my second son-in-law suggested I break them down and use different blogs for different topics.  So I started a recipe blog and a crafts blog.

The blog I am currently using started out as a weight loss blog, but I decided last year to combine all my online personas and be easily recognizable wherever I virtually appeared. I figured if the Pioneer Woman could do it successfully, why not ME?  Why, it worked so well that on my birthday Google had a spiffy little doodle with cakes and party icons and a link to my Google+ which I don't have activated. Which was actually a little bit creepy.

Anyway, back to the topic.  I seem to wander off a bit lately... So, when I say I have written over 2250 posts, that would not include all the posts I deleted from this blog to make it more of a generic/all about me and my life/conglomeration of all my interests in one place blog, nor a rather large number of blog posts on Thoughts from Miller Manor that upon re-reading I felt like were not worth keeping.

These days most of my posts are art related, but from time to time I throw in something about gardening or home making or ... whatever. :) I may be a little Attention Deficit Disordered.  For sure there are other disorders going on in my head!

When I first began blogging I wrote about anything and everything, and sometimes wrote two or three posts in a day.  (OCD is another of those disorders mentioned above) and eventually I burned out. Poof. Gone from the interwebs for months at a time. Then we moved to Zoe Cottage, and I blogged under a new blog name, but I never got my mojo back for writing and posting. I am hoping this foray back into the blog-hop world will restart my word-engine and I will be back at the keyboard more frequently. It's on my schedule. My Wunderlist App reflects my goal. I have Alarm Droid to remind me to get on the computer. Now for the follow through.  I need a self-starter app...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Living Room

I may or may not have mentioned that I was going to get new curtains in the living room. If you've been following along here for a few months you know that we tried to sell our house last fall and decided to repaint all the color out of it to make it more appealing to potential buyers.  Never. Again. Mark my words!

Anyway, living with beige walls hasn't been quite as onerous as I feared, but it hasn't been all that uplifting, either.  A few weeks ago, we wandered into a new store in Tulsa and found some fabric that would add a little color and pep to the living room.  I thought I might make some pillows with it. Then my friend Mickie came over to help me figure out how I might liven up the room and she suggested curtains from that fabric and that we paint the ceiling to pick up the teal color in the pattern. It took a little convincing, but I finally got Ornery on board with painting JUST the ceiling. Phew!

Mickie brought the curtains (I asked her to sew them for me) last week and we have really been enjoying them. So, this past weekend we bought the paint for the ceiling.  It was a much more difficult decision than I anticipated to select the color because there were none that really matched.  It turned out that it was much more green than blue, but I finally settled on an Olympic color and had them color match it in a Valspar Reserve paint. Because if I was ever going to convince Ornery to paint, I had better provide him with his favorite kind!

We bought the paint on Saturday while we were out running errands, then Mom came over to celebrate my birthday, work a puzzle and switch out her old (dying) flip phone for Ornery's not-so-old but no longer in use smart phone. She got so caught up in the birthday dinner she forgot to bring her phone with her, so we set a time for her to come back on Sunday.

So, running errands and my birthday celebration took care of Saturday. Since we knew it was going to snow/sleet/ice or whatever on Sunday night, Ornery decided to go into work for a few hours on Sunday morning. Mom came over on Sunday afternoon with her old phone and Ornery took her to get a new sim card. She is with AT&T, we are with AIO, Cricket. To make a VERY long story short, it took five hours to get her set up, I have Ornery's old phone and she has my phone. She called about seven times yesterday asking questions. She won't write things down, just keeps on calling asking the same question. I know it must be frustrating to try to learn something so foreign so I am trying to be very patient with her. Sometimes I am more successful than others.

The roads were a mess for sure Monday, and I was really glad he decided to stay home since he drives a 2WD pick-up truck with no traction. It was too cold to work out in the Man Cave on the couch table, so he broke out the paint and got the ceiling done! I wasn't sure about the color, as it is not as vibrant as I normally would have chosen, but it turned out really nice, and certainly gave the room a more put-together and lived-in feel.  Once he finishes the new couch table and I get the rocking chair painted and recovered, the room should be much more to my liking.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Catching up and More Art

Ornery finally got the oven installed at the rental property last night. The electrician recommended by the property manager helped him in the morning to wire it in, but he had to go back after work to finish remodeling the cabinet because of course the oven was not the same size as the old one.

He started working on the new couch table for the living room this weekend, and actually made quite a bit of progress despite not really getting started on it until Saturday afternoon.  He spent most of the morning helping me rearrange the kitchen cabinet contents to make my work space more functional. I am pleased with the results, but still have a bit more to do to finish it up.  After four hours of working on it, I was more than done!

I am not sure why we were in the house over the weekend. The weather was incredible with the high on Sunday 78 degrees! I opened my studio window and enjoyed the day--except for the yappy dogs...

Here are some of the things I worked on from Friday through Sunday.
Pages for a traveling art journal

Pages for a friendship journal.  These are sent alone, not with the journal.

back sides of the pages above.

Altered Rolodex card. I used pieces of art journal pages I had trimmed off to weave the background.

another altered rolodex card. This one is called Family Game Night.

Happy Art Swap cards for February. (#haswap)

An ATC I made for a swap using Fibers

More scraps cut from Art Journal pages, and I added some embellishments I had in my stash.

Metal ATC for a swapbot swap. I have tiny cuts all over my hands from weaving that background!

Junk Journal/Letter for a pen pal
This last item is a conglomeration of odds and ends that people have sent me as extras in swaps and with letters.  It gathers in a couple of piles, and before long I have a huge mess. The pen friend to whom I am sending this always sends me lots of extra fun stuff in her letters, so I decided to do something new and different for her and created this journal. There is writing on all eight pages, plus a wide variety of ephemera and other things tucked in here and there. The back cover has a pocket with string closure and it contains an altered Rolodex card and an ATC. One page has a little envelope on it with a washi feather inside.  The whole thing will take her longer than a minute to read and since she says she re-reads my letters several times, I figured I'd give her more to look at.  :)  I do the same with her letters, and I have really enjoyed the things she has made for me. Hopefully she will have fun with this.

This week we are saying our last goodbyes to wheat. We'll see if the loss will be sustainable, but for now we are hopeful that it will help us to lose some unwanted pounds and improve our health.  Of course on Saturday a neighbor came by selling Girl Scout cookies, but we only bought one box of thin mints and decided they just don't taste as good to us as they used to.  That's a good thing!  It is amazing the number of foods that list wheat as an ingredient. I don't plan to give up all grains, and I am not going to try to maintain "gluten free" practices, but giving up just this one ingredient will be a significant change and require a dramatic lifestyle adjustment.