Monday, January 21, 2008

The Wall - Before and After

Over Christmas break I finally decided to paint the living room! I'm finally getting around to posting before and after pictures! Here is the living room wall and couch before I painted. Scroll down to see the after...

Here is the wall after I painted it with my pictures of Denali. The Alaska in the middle is made from old Alaska liscene plates! I bought it at the Bizare Bazzar - see more liscene plate art here

Cross Stitch Projects

I have a few projects I have recently finished - all were gifts so I was waiting to post until all have been given! :)

My friends Kris and Amanda had twins in July! I made these 2 samplers for the girls. I ended up having to paint the frames myself too as the ones I'd wanted had been discontinued! AGGHHH!!!!

My friend Rachel got married at the end of October. I bought her the breadmaker she wanted so decided to cross stitch her a breadcloth to go with it. This looked like an easy enough project, however the repetition proved to be very tedious and the whole project felt more like an endurance test than a creative venture! I was glad when this one was done!

One of my fellow 1st grade teachers at school got married in October also. I decided to make her some "Apples for the Teacher" kitchen towels similar to the ones that I have in my own kitchen.

I have 2 baby bibs that I have been working on. One for baby's 1st birthday and the other for a new baby due in May. I'll post those when I take a picture of them!

Monday, January 07, 2008

How Ridiculous is this????

This is beyond ridiculous - be sure to read the whole thing...the mind-boggling bit is at the end...

I'm starting my next grad class next Wed the 16th. Over break I ordered my books from I ordered them on Thurs December 27. I chose "free shipping" since I wanted more books rather than paying for shipping. Basically this means "get them to me whenever you freakin' feel like it." Part of my order arrived on Saturday Dec 29 via US Postal Service. I was very pleased, however this portion of the order contained simply a few kids books I'd ordered "because I was ordering" not my books for class that I was thinking I'd get a head start on reading. I assumed that the rest of the order would soon be here. Wrong. Part of it did arrive on Wed the 3rd - again, not the part that included my books, well one of the books, but it's not the one I need to read 1st.

So when it didn't show up on Thurs or Fri I started wondering. Why did 2/3 show up but not the part I actually wanted? So I went to "track my package". Well, it's being shipped via DHL so I go to their site - it says "arrived in Alexandria, VA, out for delivery" on Fri evening. I was expecting it Saturday. no. I thought surely by today. no. WTF?

I got back on DHL's site. It appears that it is being taken to a post office for the USPS to deliver to me. Ok, good, they have their shit together and can actually deliver a package (as a side note I mailed a package to a friend in central PA after noon on Dec 31. She had the package before lunch on the 2nd of Jan. See what I'm talkin about...less than 48 hours, with a holiday and I didn't pay extra. But I digress). Well, the PO is closed for the night so DHL will try again tomorrow.

The TRULY ridiculous aren't going to believe this will blow your mind...I scanned the whole "tracking" page and my package of books that I have now been waiting over a week for was sent from CHANTILLY VA!!!!! That's 30 miles from my house. That's right folks. The return address on the DHL page says "Sterling, VA" My box of books has traveled from Sterling (30 miles from my house) to Wilmington, OH (DHL's hub - near Cincinnati), then to Allentown, PA then to Alexandria VA and now it's being delivered to some PO. WTF??????

Here's proof:

I'm just blown away. I could have seriously driven over the warehouse and picked it up myself. I guess then I would have had to pay for the gas to get me there. Somehow, I doubt that this is the cheapest way for Amazon to get me my books.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Are you a lesbian?

A good friend of mine bought me the coolest ABC poster for Christmas. It's called the Alternative Alphabet for Little and Big People. It's prouduced by group the specializes in cultivating peace and social justice. The poster features each letter with a word and a picture then each picture has several other words around it that start with the letter. The cool thing about this poster is that it brings big idea and important people (K is for King Jr as in Martin Luther)not usually mentioned. It's bright and colorful and I was egar to find a special spot for it in my room this afternoon (a big statement as most stuff that goes up on my walls is either county mandated or child created). As I was hanging it up I noticed that one of the small words on the L was lesbian.

Hmmmmmm....a general rule of the thumb is that if you don't want to explain it to a six year old don't bring it into the room. I wasn't sure I could explain what a lesbian was on 6 year old terms. I wasn't sure if I should explain it. Finally I decided: who cares. When (and if) a kid asked I'd figure it out. I was not going to be afraid of a word or an idea, even if it is controversial. L is for lesbian just like L is for library or lollipop or leaf. Children need to learn about these things. We have a 2nd grader in our school who has 2 mommies - they are both very active in the PTA and very well accepted in the community - so it's actually something my kids might encounter.

The poster came with a teachers guide that explains all the words. I looked up what they had for lesbian and the definition read:

"Women loving other women however they wish."

I liked it. Simple. Non-sexual. Easy for a child to understand.

My only question is, doesn't that make us all lesbians?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Paint the Town Purple

Well maybe just my living room! I moved into my house in August 2002. The day we put my early American hand-me-down couch with the ecru and pastel stripped slip cover against the "real estate" ecru wall I knew that painting was in my (or my dad's) future. Since purple is my favorite color and there's a purple stripe in the slip cover, I thought the wall should be purple. Then my mom hung some blue shelves and covered them with various knick-knacks - most with sentenmential value - and the task of painting seemed too daunting. The blue shelves would not look good on the purple wall so they'd have to be painted and the project snowballed.

Then inspiration hit! I'd taken some fantastic photographs in Alaska (see them here and here, as well as in the Tetons and here in SNP. I'd take down all the knick-knacks (they just collect dust and dander and other things that make me sick) and replace them with pictures! I'd order poster size prints fron and just cover the walls with my own art!

I'd never embarked on such a project before. Other "home improvement" projects have been performed by my parents. They are currently enjoying their "gypsy" life and have a long list of projects for their own house so I decided I'd try this one myself. Especially after Susan painted both her basement (I can't find the link to that one!) and her mom's dining room made it look so easy! I figured that I'd do my best, learn as I go and not expect perfection the first time out.

So I made this my winter break project! I went to Lowe's and collected all the purple paint chips I could find. I settled on American Traditions "Purple Hills". I ordered 7 poster size prints of pictures of Denali. I then broke out the paint!

Sunday I painted the wall with the couch, thinking I'd stop there. I then was in a holding pattern waiting for my pictures to arrive. Other things I have ordered friom came in record time, not the case with my poster prints.

After I'd painted the couch wall I had a little less than half the gallon of paint left and it was burning a hole in my pocket so I had to paint more. The wall with the sliding glass door had too many things that I needed to take down and then get back up so I opted for the TV wall.

It's quite "purple". A bit more purple than I had in mind but I like it! I'm sure it will look different once I get my pictures up on it. Here are few pictures.....

I'll post "before" and "after" pictures once my pictures arrive and I get them up.

It's not a perfect paint job, but I did learn a lot about the process - I like using a brush for the edges better than the $6 ergonomic edger-tool I bought and I see why the pervious owner painted the ceilings the same color as the rest of the room!I'm already eyeing the other "real estate" ecru walls in my house (which is practically all of them!)....maybe a goldish yellow for the dining room, green for the bed room, a different green for the basement, maybe some blue in there somewhere, I also like red, I'm sure I can find something to paint red....hmmm....if I'm not careful the house will look like The Partridge Family Bus! Oh well, it's only paint, right?