Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quick Extension Update

You can see the corner of the roof timber behind mom's shed

The subcontractors for the concrete slab finally came in and put the pea gravel in.  I guess the subcontractors were supposed to have all of this done last week.

Because our contractors had the wood delivered so they could start framing yesterday.  Needless to say our contractors are not happy with the sub-contractors.  They had to go with a new company because the contractor they usually used found out he had cancer and was not able to do the job so they looked for a new company.  I don't think they will use this company again.

Mom and I feel for the guys but at least it is really rolling now.  I am not sure what is next after the pea gravel is in - don't know if they city engineer needs to come back in and inspect before the cement goes in or what.  Maybe mom and I will have a nice surprise tonight when we get to her house and the concrete has been laid.

I know this picture doesn't go with the extension update but I thought I would share it.  This is George Burns my honking big rose bush.  I seriously don't do anything to the rose bush - just let it do what it wants to do.  Though mom did tell me to by a trellis so we could reign George in because he was covering the sidewalk (he was my moat to keep people away!).  Two of my friends think we can dig him up and take him to mom's house after I move in because I love my George Burns and the greenhouse I bought him from doesn't have any this year.  I really don't think we are going to be dig him up and that will be sad day for me - I don't like gardening at all and mom asks me each year why did I buy I house if I didn't like the yard work (I ask myself that each year as we fix my yard all over again).

So, that is an update on the extension and pic of George Burns.  Depending on the weather (if it is nice I plan on painting trim) I may take pics of the pendants mom and I enameled this weekend and get them posted out on Etsy.  Mom has finished sawing out another Koi plate that I plan on enameling this weekend and I have several clasps I want to get sawed out and ready to enamel also.  So, even though it is a short week it is a busy week.

Monday, May 27, 2013

May ABS Challenge Piece

Vaas met bloemen in een venster :: Vase with Flowers in a Window, 1620
Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder
Oil on Copper, 64cm x 46 cm
Mom and I actually finished our piece for the May ABS Challenge.  Yes, it has been two months since we participated but we did it.  You can learn more about the painting by going to the Art Bead Scene Blog.

This is the second version of our design.  Mom had drawn on the painting and we were going to create a large pendant with three of the flowers sawed out from copper for the pendant.  Both mom and I decided we didn't like it so mom found another image and modified it for this challenge.  Both of us were happier with that design (if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!).

Here is a close up of the pendant.  It is hard to see but the colors I used were transparent yellow, to orange, and the outside was red.  You can see the colors better outside - I took the pics inside under a sun lamp because it is stormy/gray outside.

The lampwork beads I made a few weeks ago - when we were still going with the other design idea.  I based the beads on the colors from the painting - I have transparent amber, ivory with frit on top of it.  I really love how these beads turned out.

This was a mother/daughter creation (mom strung one side while I did the other side - went really fast on the stringing!).  Mom and I sat down with boxes of beads set next to each of us looking for ideas for accent beads.  I would choose a bead and mom would say no; she would choose a different bead or pearls and I would say no until we came up with this color combination which we both agreed on.  So, just so you know, mom and I don't always agree on the colors/beads that we use in all of our pieces :)

The accent beads we ended up using were yellow seed beads, Smokey Quartz and Citrine.  For the clasp we used a pewter toggle clasp.  That is our piece for the May ABS Challenge.  To see other pieces for the challenge you can head on over to Flickr group and check them out.

Memorial Day

"A nation that does not honor it's heros, will not long endure."  President Abraham Lincoln

To all who have served or who are still serving, "THANK YOU!" There are no words to express our (mom and my) gratitude for your service to our country.

Upper left corner - Grandpa Ralph, served in the Marine Corps in the South Pacific
In the middle - Grandpa Lee served in the Army in the European Theater
Upper right corner - Uncle Gerald, served in the Marine Corps and died on Iwo Jima
Bottom left corner - my dad, Ralph, served in the Army during Vietnam and retired in 2001
In the middle and the lower right corner - Me, served in the Army from 1991 to 2001

"Pur debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.  They have earned our undying gratitude.  America will never forget their sacrifices." President Harry S. Truman

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Focus on Life - Week 21: Reminisce

This week's Focus on Life was Reminisce.  This is what Sally had to say:

Have you ever been in the middle of a busy day and all of a sudden you run across a certain baked good, candy, flower or an object catches your attention and you are sent right back to your childhood?
This week capture what takes you back to moments past and reminisce a little.

I thought I would reminisce a little about my time in the Army, 1991-2001.  Sally was talking about a certain smell, a certain sound, a certain thought that brings back memories and I have those all the time about my time in the Army.  I know that these are supposed to be pics from this week and not from over 12-16 years ago, but I thought I would share a little of my time in the Army.

I am the one kneeling (only wore camo face paint twice - Basic Training and PLDC).
There are times I seriously miss the smell of the range - after everyone has fired "down range" the smell of gun powder is prevalent in the air.  The smell of your rifle as you clean after you have been to the range or out to the field - the smell of the parts and the oil you use to clean those parts - I miss that a lot.

This was during, I think, live fire exercies.
I know this one is weird to - the smell of a tank as it sits idle in front of you on the road.  Now that has a really distinctive smell let me tell you.  Or seeing the tanks go flying by your guard spot during training exercises at NTC (National Training Center - Fort Irwin, California). 

Sitting at a hanger waiting for a plane
I miss goofing off with everyone while we sit and wait (which we got very good at).  We use to play Hearts, Spades and Bones.  This is my first NTC rotation at Fort Hood - on the way back the plane broke down so we sat in a hanger for a good 8-10 hours.  While waiting for the plane we played Bones which the guys taught me to play during this rotation.  We also use to do a lot of other stupid stuff while waiting: throwing rocks at each other, building pyramids with the same rocks, rolling rocks down a hill to see whose rock goes the farthest or whose rock was the fastest, play fighting, and lots and lots of games, sleeping or reading books (Dean Koontz and Terry Goodkind were some of our favorites)!

MOPP 4 Training
I don't miss the training in MOPP 4 in over 100 hundred degree weather but I do miss the training with my squad and other sorts of training.  I also miss giving that training.  Yes, I know I am weird and I love it :)

I think overall I miss the smells of the military.  There is a distinct smell, especially of the guys - sorry civilian guys I do miss the smell of Army guys :)  The smell of starch uniforms in the sun, the smell of kiwi on the boots and just the smell of a guy with the combination of kiwi and starched uniform - YUM!

Though I have to say the one thing I don't miss - not taking a shower for two weeks!  I seriously can't do that now - I need me my shower at least once a day!

Thanks for letting me reminisce a little of my time in the Army.  Please head over to The Studio Sublime and see what everyone else reminisced about this week.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More Flowers and Extension Update

I am sure you all will get tired of me updating you about the extension but I am excited and I want to share.  Though I am sure it is TMI for some of you, but you will just have to suck it up for another two months :)  Here is an image of the plumbing for the bathroom.  Now the city inspector has to come in on Friday and once they have his/her green light they can lay the concrete.  No, that isn't all the plumbing because some of it is going through mom's attic into the extension - not sure what all of this is but as long as they know what they are doing and the city engineer approves it and I have a shower and toilet that works I don't care!

Mom and I went to the hort park this past weekend.  All of the bearded tongue iris were blooming and in about four different colors.  Do you notice on the petals that it is sparkling?  I love macro shots because you would have never realized all that is on the flowers until you pull the pictures up on the monitor.

Here are some more pics for you to enjoy!

I call this my alien flower - I love it!

A peony

A new flower I have never seen before - a knapweed - a friend called it a
sea anemone
Mom and I really want to do something with all of our flower images - we both would love to print them on canvas but don't have it in the budget from EB.  We did try the canvas printing from Wal-mart but neither one of us liked how that turned out.

I have been experimenting with the glass tiles and the diamond glaze and so far both times have been a disaster.  I am trying a new type of paper, so I don't have to mod podge.  I will use the diamond glaze to glue down the tiles on the image, let it dry, sand the edges, then put diamond glaze on the back.  I have my fingers crossed that this will work this time.  Otherwise it is back to the drawing board on trying to figure out what to do.  If anyone has recommendations I am all for them!

Tomorrow both mom and I have taken vacation.  Mom will probably be sawing, filing and sanding so I can enamel this weekend.  I want to finish power washing my siding so I can get the power washer back to my friend.  I also want to start painting my trim after I have power washed so I can start getting the house ready for the market.

What do you all have planned for this weekend?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Focus on Life Week 20 - Looking Up

This week's Focus on Life challenge was "Looking Up".

This week's challenge was a lot of fun (though I snuck one pic in from our epic flood of 2013).  It was fun to see the different aspects of the sky while I was looking up.

This photo is from when mom and I were at the hort park taking pics of the flowers.  The wisteria was still blooming and hanging all over this pergola.

The sky above mom's house the other night - I thought it would storm but it didn't.  I love the dark clouds with the sun peeking through.

This was taken at mom's just on Thursday.  I love the trail from an airplane with the sun shining down - it was a gorgeous day!

I think this is my all time favorite picture - from the flood of 2013.  This was taken with mom's iPhone when we were walking around West Lafayette looking at all the water from the river.  I just love this tree against the backdrop of the sky. 

So, that is our photos of "Looking Up".  If you would like to participate or see what everyone else took pictures of head on over to The Studio Sublime

Now I am off to help mom saw out pieces for a custom order and a challenge piece.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Extension Update and Flowers

My bedroom

They are moving along with the extension on the back of mom's house.  They have the footers in and mom and I are crossing our fingers that they will pour the slab today.  It looks small but mom and I keep telling ourselves our houses looked the same way and we didn't think they could get all the rooms on the slab that they did.  Of course I just need a place to sleep and I am happy :)

I am excited and freaked out.  Worry about moving my stuff over, moving the cats over, selling or donating the stuff I don't want, getting my house ready to put on the market, freaking out about the house being on the market and all of the other odds and ends.  This is what mom and I both want but it can be a little scary too, but we will make it work!!!

Okay, now onto the flowers.  If you didn't know mom and I LOVE taking pics of flowers.  It is fun going back through the old pics and seeing how much we have improved on our picture taking skills.  Mom even said my eye has improved and I notice more things than I did when I first started taking pics - nice compliment from mom because she use to take professional style pics with the old film cameras :)

So, the first three images are of my clematis at my house that have started to bloom.

These two different clematis bushes are in front of my door and I love them.  I don't do anything to take care of them and the blooms are huge (mom hates my guts for that).  I am soooo going to miss them when I move but at least I will have pics to remember them by.

The rest of the pics are from the hort park near where I work.  I love that place because there are so many different flowers to take pics of.  I don't want to bore you too much so I am only going to share a couple of pics but there will be more!

I was having fun watching this squirrel running in and out of this hole in the tree.  He was watching me for awhile as I was taking his pic.

There are these huge peony bushes that have gorgeous blooms on them.  Both mom and I took a lot of pics of them - they are huge!!!!  There are about six of these bushes and the flowers are about as big as dinner plates.

I love these flowers - not sure what they are - they just look so alien. I only had two pics turn out decent because it was windy when mom and I were over taking pics last Sunday.

Finally more clematis pics - if you can't tell I like the clematis!  These were growing up a fence and they are just perfect!

Mom and I should be working in the studio this weekend because we have a special order and we need to work on this months ABS Challenge piece.  I hope to have pics to share of what we have accomplished this weekend.  It is Friday - have a wonderful day and a great weekend!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all you moms out there!!!  I hope you have a great day because you all deserve it for putting up with kids like me :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

New Items Listed in Etsy

It has been awhile since I have listed anything in the Etsy shop but that changed today.  I just finished listing seven new pendants to the shop.  I have to take pics still of the Torii pendant and I hope to get that listed tomorrow.

Here are the pendants that were just listed:

Bird Pendant

Blue Circle Pendant

Peace Sign Pendants

Gecko Pendant

Guardian of the Wood Pendant

Orange Circle Pendant

Flower/Heart (depending on what you see) Pendant
Mom and I are working away in the garage and more pieces are being made.  Need to get on the bead making, sawing, enameling band wagon for all the shows we have coming up in the late summer, fall and winter.  Plus we have new pieces we are making and I can't wait until they are done to share.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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