Monday, October 29, 2018

a liitle paint

One of the house projects I worked on this year was painting the room I call my office. It's a really small bedroom that looked dark and dingy because of the taupe/mauve paint on the walls. Honestly, I don't know what the previous owners had against color. Every wall in the house with drywall was painted this ugly shade. You can see it in the hallway through the doorway.

I had some leftover dark blue paint from my bathroom project and a sample container of light blue paint I wasn't crazy about. Neither amount was enough to paint a room or even an entire wall, so I thought I'd try painting horizontal stripes to see if it would make the room look larger.

I had just enough paint to do the two shortest walls in the room.

I made a narrow shelf to display photos & postcards and painted it to match the wall. I also spray-painted the old filing cabinet and shelf brackets. The color's not quite the same, but it works for me. Here, I've begun putting up some of my Dog Art.

Friday, October 26, 2018

acorns big and small

I like picking up different things when I go out with my dog for walks. One of my favorite things in the fall is finding & comparing different kinds of acorns. I've read there are more than 400 different kinds of oak trees, and I suppose there are almost as many different kinds of acorns. These two big acorns are easy: they're from a bur oak. I used to collect dozens of these for a co-worker to take home to his daughters, and they would make little "rasta people" from them. I still pick them up out of habit and because they're interesting to look at. Lately my dog Kiera has taken to circling and re-circling the bur oaks at a nearby park on the off chance she'll scare up a squirrel. They're up in the trees, alright, but usually they're smart enough to stay up there. They like to drop (or throw?) their half-eaten acorns and woe to any unfortunate dog-moms (me) standing below. Those acorns are deadly little missiles.

The little acorn may be from a shumard oak, but it could be from a nuttall oak. Next time after things dry out a bit from our recent heavy rain I'll pick up some leaves to help identify it.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

wildlife in the summer

Just a couple of photos of backyard wildlife from this last summer . . .

One of the spiny lizards that inhabit my back yard. This one is probably a female, she was at least ten inches long (25-30 cm). I think she had molted VERY recently, because I've never seen such intense color on my backyard lizards. Here's a link to a brief video of a spiny on a tree much like this.

 Ms. Spiny was a great subject while I circled the tree to take photos from many angles. She didn't move a muscle, but her eye followed me the entire time.

I spotted this crab spider taking down some kind of bee or fly and I was struck by its color. It was the first time I noticed such a white spider. I thought it was unusual, but from the photos I saw while googling for information, it's rather a common color. Crab spiders depend on camouflage so they can surprise their victims; their venom quickly disables their prey. I guess pale flowers make for good hunting for this little arachnid. The purple flower is a scabiosa, which gives you an idea of how small this spider is.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

the new door

I see I've let the blog go for over six months, and of course I let my 365 collage project slide; however, that isn't to say I've been idle. When the weather warmed up in April I just had to get going on DIY house projects. It takes me much longer to do these projects than videos on YouTube would lead you to believe, especially since I'm often doing things for the first time, and using new tools, too.

Anyway I thought I'd do a few posts on some of the projects I worked on to remind myself of what I got accomplished.

The Old Door
This is the front door that used to be on my house. I never liked it. The design just isn't my cup of tea and seems out of place on a near-mid-century ranch-style house. The glass was single panes and transferred cold into the house. The door and handles were poorly fitted and it was sometimes tricky to unlock. I also worried that it afforded easy entry for would-be burglars. It would be easy to break a few panes of glass, reach through the opening, and unlock the door. My dilemma was that much as I disliked the door I couldn't quite justify the expense to replace it.

One Friday night last November, as I sat watching Netflix, someone solved my problem: they kicked in the door. I guess they realized someone was home because they immediately ran off. The door was in bad shape, but I covered the big hole with plywood on both sides and the next day I started shopping for a new door. Decisions, decisions! Wood, steel or fiberglass? Left or right inswing? Painted or primed? What kind of handle? What kind of deadbolt? Hardware finish? Doorbell button? How to install it?

The New Door
I lived with the old boarded up door for about two months. I had to wait for an installer to measure my door & check the door frame, then wait for the door to arrive, and then another wait for the installer to fit me into his schedule. I opted to get an unpainted door because I didn't like the colors that were available and because it saved me almost $200 to paint it myself. That was about my only part in the process aside from picking out the door and all the hardware to go with it.

I really like my front door now.  I have a different pot next to it now, but so far I haven't been able to keep anything I've planted alive. I was hoping to grow something tall and green but he summer heat just fried everything I planted. Someday I'm going to remove that weird pipe sticking out of the top of my porch light. It connects to an electrical outlet and was installed by the previous owners. I'm pretty sure it's not up to electrical code. (Maybe next year...)

Thursday, April 19, 2018


This week started and ended with paint.

I felt I had no ideas for collage so I squeezed out some paint and tried some different things. It was fun!

Of course I still had to glue some bits of paper onto the painted surface here and there.

space dog

lost dog

GO, Fish!

laughing heads


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

100 collages!

Air Mail
This week: collages 95-100.

I think I've made more collages in the first 3 1/2 months of 2018 than I made in the whole 12-month span of any other year (not counting tiny "doodle collages" in my journals). A year ago I would not have thought it possible. Of course I often struggle to come up with ideas but it seems I keep ending up with more collages. I'm proud of my little milestone.



spit it out

brown slats

red Elvis

Thursday, April 5, 2018

collages 86-94

I was behind.
I got ahead.
I fell behind again.
I'm almost caught up.

A few new color combinations.