Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another Beautiful Day with my Best Friend

It has been a lovely day. After 2 or 3 long weeks of cold winter weather, we had a break today in the 40's with two more even warmer, though rainy, days coming up. A reprieve, as it were, on the solstice. When I lived in Colorado, we had these reprieves off and on all winter. Here, not so much!

Colorado snow!
I worked late last night on a computer consulting project, so I got to sleep in till 10!  Trisha called at 11 and said, "lets go!" and we went shopping. We stayed away from the weekend-before-Christmas crowds and headed for a little country town called Conway. We'd heard of a "pop-up shop" selling woven, felted and other lovely hand crafted items. This woman's studio and shop were beautiful. I envied her the organized, beautifully furnished space filled with weaving looms, a sewing machine, and tons of yarn and felting supplies.

After that we explored the Field Memorial Library in Conway. It is a wonderful green patina-domed rotunda with wings on 3 sides. It's ceiling is held up below the dome with marble pillars. Very patterned and veined marble. It also trims the doors and covers the walls. The floors are mosaics. This building was donated to the people of Conway by Marshall Field about the time of the industrial revolution when Andrew Carnegie was also building libraries around the country. What a wonderful sound our voices made echoing around under the dome. I think the librarian was happy to have us there, as we were the only guests. She never even hushed us. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten my camera!

But where I was really anxious to go was "Loot", a newish store in Turners Falls which carries all kinds of factory, school, office and other old building cast-offs. Being a mixed media artist, this was right up my alley, so to speak! We must have poured over that stuff for an hour! There were typeface letters, and all kinds of other lettered signage, there were old newspaper ad plates, skeleton keys, little tiny things, big industrial things, some new and crafty things and many tiny succulent plants. There were big nail bins filled with amazing little vintagy things: old matches, ephemera, tags of many colors, old photos, die cut metal hearts, onionskin and other magical papers and things...

More loot
Turners Falls is an old factory town on the Connecticut River. There are still lots of working mills, but most of them are either empty or repurposed. Imagine the loot you could find in the attics and cellars of these old buildings! Evidently the owners of Loot did just that. Now, instead of running off to Homegoods, I think I'll be visiting Loot regularly!

Then the Loot folks sent us around the corner to Funkshun, which was fun too! They had aprons, potholders, various other stitched wonders made with these MAN fabrics. Trisha got an apron and a doll for Christmas presents. How fun is that!?!  They had WOMAN things too, Wonder Women and cowgirls...

We had a late lunch at the deli of the local co-op and watched the people walk by. A woman set up a guitar outside and sang her heart out.  "Halleluiah" by Leonard Cohen was the first one I heard and what a great voice!

One more thing I had to do was go to Trader Joe's and buy Pecans for my Mom's Christmas pie. (This year's requests were Pecan and Mincemeat pies.)  What a zoo that was! The pecan shelf was naked! There were no pecans in the store. I grabbed a bag of raw cashews for myself and got out of there. Another back road to our little town and we were home in time for supper!

I love a good weekend adventure with Trisha!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

A New Look

Hi Folks,
Well, the old pink background and header didn't call out to me, if you know what I mean, so I got a new look. Somewhere on the way to vintage Christmas, I came upon this nice fresh look and I decided to go with it. (I just love!) I am pretty inept at photoshop, but I managed to resize the header so it would work well in the space.

My old garden
It is a good time for me to be thinking about new looks! I've moved out of my old digs and into Mom's. My space is limited here, so I have been bringing only what works in the two rooms. I sold my purple couches and lots of other things. My new living room has dark foresty green tweedy berber carpeting and the walls are off-white.

Humble Abode

In keeping with my wish to have sea glass colors in here, I'm gradually adding some color. I bought sheer curtains in a dusty blueish sage color, and white panels for the center. I really wanted nice turquoise drapes, but couldn't find enough matchy ones for the room, so the colored sheers will be the side colors, covering up the unfinished window frames. The next thing is to paint a lower half wall that has concrete blocks. It was going to be tiled, but for now, I think I'll just paint it a light tealish color.

Dad had plenty of work that never got done before his health failed him. Window and door frames and crown molding and floor trim in my living room and some upstairs trim work all need to be done. My 3 brothers are not so inclined, though at least one of them can be bribed with cash.  So I'm saving my money, cause the honey-do list is growing.

The last room of the house is Dad's carpentry shop, which has been used by a couple of brothers off and on over the 9 years since dad passed away. It will be my office and studio space. It is large with windows looking out the front and back of the house (woods all around). It is far enough away from Mom's loud TV, so I'll be able to shut the door, curl up in the old recliner with a good book, a cup of coffee with lots of cream, and daydream about my next project while listening to music--cozying up!

 A timely series of events must happen for me to get into that room:  First the 2 brothers who still live around here need to enclose a roofed in space beside the garage; then they have to move all the tools and things into that space. It will become Richard's workshop. (He wanted it before the snow flies, but oops, it did already!) Then, I get to insulate the walls between the 2x6's and get Jim to put up some paneling or beadboard. Then I'll paint the cement floor and bring in the storage and work units from the old house and set up my space. I can't wait...
Well, I can, I have to!

And we have to close off one downstairs furnace vent and open the wall in the stairwell for another one up there. And... Mom has been cleaning out the closet and art studio she had in "MY" room and cleaning out centuries (50 years) of clothes from her own closet. Today we cleaned out a lot of kitchen cabinet space for me to use. We took 3 boxes and 6 bags to Goodwill today. More to come!
I'm dreaming of a soft turquoise mid-century modern sofa from Thrive. Maybe I'll settle for something cheaper, but for now I have a futon for a sofa, so my niece can come and stay over when she wants. She's 18 and driving already!  I remember when she was four or five, I bought a recliner chair-and-a- half, so we could sit together and read and tell stories with the cats. I love that chair, but it is too big for my current living room. I do have a cozy spot picked out in the studio/office for a reading/music nook. That chair will be perfect there. Meanwhile I got a used recliner from my aunt. It's green and pretty comfy.


One sad thing, though, is that I had to put Snuggles the cat down. She was getting old and sickly and I couldn't bring her here. It was sad, but I had the vet, Dr. Joanne, come to the house and do it with Snuggles on my lap.  Very peaceful, and Jim, bless his little heart, took her away. I miss her and Fluffy so much, and I am sure that I see them out of the corner of my eye at least once a day!

Isn't this just the time for nesting and cozying up the home? I've been making lots of soup to share with Mom and getting all domestic here. Not wanting to leave messes, I've learned to clean up the kitchen instantly and not leave things in her living room.

I've taken my walking poles out for a trial run in my new neighborhood, and it's good walking here. My new neighborhood, indeed! I grew up in the house next door. But I haven't lived here since the early 70's. My friend Trisha built a house next door to her old homestead too, so we both live back where we came from. She's just up the road from me and our phone numbers are the same with two numbers switched.  It's The Circle of Life!

Dawn of A Feathered Nest or Graphics Fairy...
Hope you all have your nests feathered for the winter--Stay warm and cozy!