Monday, July 24, 2017

It's Been Awhile!

I can't believe it's been over a year since I wrote a blog post! In fact it's been long enough that I sort of forgot how to use blogger. Rather than try to catch up on all the things I've missed, I'll just jump right in to where things are today.

It's HOT! and apparently hotter than our air conditioning unit was prepared to handle, so it gave up the ghost a week or so ago.  It was a hot couple of days, but we were able to get a temporary unit installed and we are cool enough for now.  We are getting a whole new system installed August 3-4, and meanwhile we have been filling out forms and scheduling estimates and an energy audit to qualify for energy rebates.  The new system will certainly be an upgrade from the builder's model, with 66 stages of energy use (WHY??), a programmable WiFi thermostat, and special booster registers that will force the air down from the vaulted ceilings in the hall, living room, kitchen and master. They will expand the size of our current return air vents and the new filter change will be done once a year (YAY!) and at the unit itself up in the attic, as opposed to having to climb to the top of a ladder, balance on toes and change the filter in the house. The duct work in the attic is actually separated in a few places, pouring our "bought air" right into the attic.  No wonder the unit decided it was working too hard!  So, they will repair all that, seal up the duct work and then eventually we will get new insulation.

This weekend Ornery discovered that the automatic sprinkler system had sprung a leak, and it's beyond his skill set as a plumber.  So we have someone coming to look at and fix that today or tomorrow as well.  I balked at using the system, and it has been a rather pesky ongoing expense with repairs and such, but the yard looks fantastic this year, so I suppose it is worth it, especially since I am no longer physically able to get out there to water by hand.

As for what I have been doing, this weekend I finished a painting I started around the first of June.  It has had many incarnations over the almost-two-month period, but I finally decided I liked this one enough to move on to another project.  It's 18 x 24" on canvas board.

I also got a new computer, hence the renewed interest in blogging.  My old laptop still had Vista OS on it, and most firms are no longer providing updates, so not only was it slow, prone to overheating and unable to update, it was becoming a security issue as well.  So, here is the shiny new hp on its first day out of the box.

It took me quite awhile to figure it all out, and longer to get it all set up.  Good grief!  Someone on my Instagram post commented about what a time suck new technology is, and they were right!  However, I am delighted with it, and hope for another long stint of writing before this one is outdated!  Technology, and Google in particular, has sure made things easier to access, for better or worse.  I was able to download the photos in this post from my phone!  It may have been like that for some time, but as I mentioned above, it has been over a year since I wrote a blog post...

I am still writing letters to several pen pals, all of them in the US these days, and post most of my artwork on my Instagram account (which is probably why I haven't felt the need to write blog posts).  I am also active on Swap-Bot, but not as much as I was four years ago when I first started. I am also in a small group of artists on Instagram that does frequent group swaps, the latest being pages for a junk/mail-art journal and a tag book that goes around to each person in the group to have an altered tag added.  Here are a couple that I made for other people's booklets.

A couple of weeks ago, Ornery moved the sauna out of our room into the guest room.  I don't think I have posted pictures of that room since we repainted and built the bed. The bed has a second mattress under the frame which saves space but still allows two guests to share the room. (Art on the floor is by Elizabeth when she was in high school, art above the bed is mine. :)

I also reworked the artwork on the walls in my studio to display a number of ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) and other art people have sent to me in swaps.  There are a few of my own pieces in the mix as well.  I really like how it turned out, and it inspires me to look at all the beautiful artwork on display.

Another thing I have been up to is sewing, something Ornery thought I would never do again!  Ha! Gotta keep the man guessing, I say!  Anyway, this is a little envelope bag I made from scraps leftover from the Christmas stockings I made last year.  The inside is lined with part of an old pair of Elizabeth's jeans.

I added a little pocket inside the flap. 

This is the back side

This is the front.  I added the crocheted flowers, buttons and bow to dress it up. 

I also made a LOT of doll clothes for my granddaughter, Makayla.  Here is a photo of the last dress I made, which matches a skirt for Makayla from the same fabric.

A couple more fun doll dresses and a skirt for Makayla to match.

While I was in the sewing mode, I also made a new window treatment for my studio window.

So, that is what is happening in my life right now.  I hope to get back to working on my memoir and a novel I started back in 2009, and I have a few craft projects in mind as well.  Despite being homebound and mostly immobile, I feel like my life is pretty full, and I am grateful for all the things I am still able to do.