Thursday, May 28, 2009

Staying Outta the Fast Lane

I'll be honest and tell you up front that it's all my fault. Truly. I accept responsibility. Sorta.
I couldn't pick a paint color. Bought 5 different colors and couldn't make up my mind about any of them. Finally decided that yellow was best for the guest rooms, powder room and guest bathroom. It's a lovely shade called Butter Yellow and it isn't really yellow at all. Until you put it next to the Cottage Linen off-white color I bought. Suddenly my yellow is yellow and my cream is brown. Argh! The cream is in the new pantry and I don't care for it one bit. Good thing we put it on the walls of course, because that was the color I'd selected for the entire first floor. Now wouldn't I have taken to bed for weeks, months, years if that color had gone up everywhere? Have mercy, I've dodged yet another bullet.
So the front guest room is Butter Yellow, which looks like a lovely shade of cream to me, and that's the color I want everywhere on the first floor. Notice I said it's what I want. Not what hubby wants, who's now decided he wants green in the master bedroom. As we live and breathe. We've not discussed, nor looked at, any shade of green. Where's this coming from?
So the hold up is sorta my fault, but not entirely.

Now to give you a peek into my world...We boxed up all the kitchen wares back at the beginning of April. And those boxes have moved from one guest room to another, with furniture (beds, night stands, end tables, occasional tables), shoe storage cases, clothes hampers, clean linens etc all piled in front of those boxes. And we agreed not to start moving furniture back into place until at least one guestroom had been painted and was ready to be furnished.
Well, there's a gallon of paint on those front bedroom walls but it's screaming for a second. Which means nothing's moved.
And that brings us to Saturday morning when someone other than me decided it was time for a home cooked breakfast. I had bacon in the fridge but couldn't find the griddle. (It was located for me.) I found a fork and a plate, along with a roll of paper towels. And we're off...
Except that I needed a bowl and a spatula to whip up & flip the pancakes. No luck. No problem, we'll get the waffle iron from the garage cabinet and make waffles instead. Except here again we had no bowl, no measuring cups or spoons. Back to the storage room for a spatula and a bowl, finally.
Since I managed a breakfast, how about a dinner? I found tin foil to bake my shrimp on but no cookie sheet, so I put the foil directly on the racks and went for it. My new microwave has a button that reads Baked Potato, which I pressed. The next message to appear read "sensing 1-4" and it turned itself on. When it turned off, sure enough, my potatoes were cooked to perfection. Have mercy. Why can't all my appliances work that efficiently?
We've now used both dishwashers and I was correct; the first one wasn't empty by the time the second one was filled and run. Two dishwashers, both with clean dishes. Just as I predicted. Smiling...on the verge of gloating.
I bought new rugs for the living room and the foyer. Need a new bathroom rug to replace the one the puppies chewed to bits a week ago, and at least one scatter rug for the kitchen.
My new Plantation shutters were installed and they're spectacular! I have knobs on my upper cabinets installed but the pulls for the 15 drawers are still in the bag. Just as well since I ran out of shelf liner. Slowly but surely we're getting there.

Real life however can be held at bay only so long. I've got classes filling and kits that need to be assembled. Life must go on. My studio is now the home of my old white kitchen cabinets and they're simply divine, if I do say so myself. They're also already full which begs the question, how'd I ever live without them?

I'm teaching my chunky ATC class at Stampaway in August and it's already sold out. The same class at Stampfest next month in Orlando is slower to fill, but kits must be made regardless.

I'm gathering oodles of goodies, both old and new, like rusty keys, Bingo markers, ticker tape and vintage tickets for those blocks of wood. I'm also bringing every color of Ranger's Distress inks so no one is forced to use any particular color palette other than the one they prefer. As an added bonus I'm punching flowers from Claudine Helmuth's sticky-back canvas, and again, they can paint them any color they want before adhering them to the blocks. Too much fun.

My stencil class at Stampaway sold out in a couple of days so we added a second class, which also sold out almost immediately. So it comes as no surprise that my stencil class at Stampfest is filling fast. Note to self: order stencils today!!! Count the specimen boxes! Make sure I've ordered a sufficient number of Tim Holtz masks in all sizes!
And my Miniature Masterpiece class is also filling quickly, so that means pulling out camera slides, microscope slides, game pieces, and so much more. Tick tock.
One last note...I've read several books since my last post. Two more by Jeffrey Archer, two more by Stuart Woods, and just last night I finished a John Grisham book entitled A Painted House. Mother has already asked to read it because I kept calling her with questions about picking cotton and painting houses and canning butter beans. Hope she enjoys it as much as I did.
When you think of me, and surely you will, picture me hard at work on the house, hard at work packaging kits in the studio, climbing into bed around 9pm for a bit of reading, and then dreaming about all the unfinished projects on my plate. Including a more timely update schedule for my blog.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Take a Number, Stand in Line

I'm almost afraid to say it, but I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The cabinets and appliances are installed (sort of). Dishwashers aren't really hooked up but they're in place and the template is being made for my granite even as we speak. Looks like I'll have a sink and countertop by Friday. Dare I hope?
I've decided to give in on the yellow paint for the guest rooms, guest bath, and maybe even the powder room. But I'm getting a buttery cream for everything else. We've selected the wooden A/C vents to match our flooring to the tune of $16 each. Have mercy! No, I haven't chosen my cabinet hardware yet but I'm tellin' you, my cabinets are divine (even though I can't open the drawers).
I gave the new microwave a whirl last night. (I should find the book and then read it.) Haven't even figured out to set the clock on the new stove, but again, when there's time to read the books, I'll jump right on it.

Speaking of reading...last week I read an old book by Jeffrey Archer called False Impression and loved it. So I went back upstairs and found another on the shelf and began reading that. (First Among Equals) And then I got a call from the library that a book I'd requested awaited me. Don't even remember requesting Loitering with Intent, a Stuart Woods book featuring Stone Barrington, but I was able to finish it in 2 nights. LOVED IT. So now I'm back to Mr. Archer's book and with luck, I'll finish it tonight. I've got a rubber stamp somewhere that reads "So many books, so little time". Ain't it the dyin' truth.

My to-do list is growing by leaps and bounds. Wish I could say that I'm crossing off completed tasks but that would be less than truthful. I've got bangles and beads to design for publication in a catalog (can't say; don't ask) and I've also got lots to design for the Summer Craft & Hobby Assn show. Tick tock. The time draws near.
But instead of putting my nose to that grindstone I'm itching to begin packing my class kits for Stampfest and Stampaway. My outing to the Liberty Antique Festival a couple of weeks ago was quite productive. I'm now the proud owner of 500 antique tokens, more foreign postage stamps, and hundreds of old b&w photos. I actually bought someone's scrapbook/photo album that they'd spent a lifetime assembling. Came right home with it and pulled out every single photo, tossing the book. Priorities people.

In the past I've packaged convention class kits in popcorn bags, popcorn boxes, interoffice memo envelopes with string closures, Chinese take-away containers, and other clever storage containers. But this year I've already decided on my "brown paper packages tied up with string". I'm a firm believer that a successful class begins with the presentation. Oh how I love my presentations and this year will be the best yet.
I received an invoice via email this week, telling me that more new products ordered after Winter CHA have finally shipped. Why I can hardly wait! Ranger's new alcohol pens, Tim's mini masks, grungepaper... Be still my heart!

And don't you just know that all my classes in the studio, in Orlando and in Cincinnati are going to include play with all these new goodies and more? You better believe it.
Stay tuned, I've got photos of my antique treasures to post as I begin assembling my kits...