Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Drip, Drip, Drip

We have had a leak in the basement for a while now.  We put it on the back burner so we could get through the holidays and I finally remembered to call the plumber the other day.  He came out yesterday and we tried to find the leak.  We only knew that we saw water on the basement floor only after showering in the upstairs bath.  We had the plumber stop by in early December, but without starting to cut walls open, we just couldn't find the leak.

It is so much easier to try and explore the inside of your walls when you have 3 cats and a dog.  And everyone but you is working.  And the dog won't mix with the cats.  And one of the cats won't mix with anyone.  And the plumber has to go to the basement a lot where two of the cats live.  And then he has to tear into the closet of the room where the other cat stays.  And that closet is full of someones junk from moving back home.  And it needs to be cleaned out.  Immediately.  So that ceilings and walls can be cut open.  And then your living room looks like you are moving cuz it is filled with boxes.

And the dog is barking to come in, but he will eat the cats who are free.  So you take him for a walk and he comes back happy.  But, then someone goes out the door and he starts barking again.  So you throw him a bunch of rib bones that are in the fridge looking like fingers from a serial killer's spree (I am completely serious).  And he stops barking for a few minutes.  Then he starts again.

We found the leak.  Or should I say leaks.  It only took about 300 gallons of water and 1 1/2 hours to find them.  I went up and down the stairs 28 times and I wasn't even doing laundry.

Rach barked so much he couldn't talk the rest of the night.  And I made a lemon pound cake as a stress reliever.  It was good.  I even saved some for my family.

And maybe, if you are very lucky, this repeats today when the repair guys come to try and cut open more wall and fix the ceiling.

Gee, I can't wait until they try to fix the leak.  I am going to make everyone call in sick and stay home so that they can deal with it all.  I think that I will go shopping.  In Australia.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Two Days in a Row

Be still my heart!  We have had two very sunny and warmer (relatively speaking) days in a row.  I am a happy woman.

Here is a sneak peak of more of the happenings in the Bat Cave.  Trust me, I have been working, but this is a big project.  I would say I am about half way through it.

Well, it's not really a picture of the work itself.  It's more like a suggestion of the work that I have been doing.  This is the paper covering the art table.  Believe me, it's a very small section of the table.  The rest is covered with product that I think multiplies on it's own when my back is turned.  Sort of like those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.  I'll let you know when the paint bites back.

Have a great week.  I can't wait to show you the finished work.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Holy Toe Nails!

Yup.  That's right.  Because I have no life, I have started another project here in the Bat Cave.  Actually, I should be a lot further along, but I got sidetracked by re-organizing some things so that I could work more efficiently.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, here are the beginnings of another project.  Another gift actually.  I don't know what it is about my friends (or the kids of my friends) having babies, but I sure have made a lot of baby themed gifts recently.  Oh well, for me that's job security.

Oh and I have to brag.  I am the happy recipient of a Justin Bieber valentine.  Along with a Power Rangers one and a Tinker Bell one.  Oh, and Scooby Doo.  I scored the valentines (along with a couple of goodies) and I don't even have a classroom.  Sweet.  Thanks, kids.  I love my valentines.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tearing Up a Book

I love books.  I love to read them over and over.  I have respect for books.  Mostly.  Recently I have been using older books for the cool paper, print, photos and drawings that they can provide for my attempts at art.  I don't think that I will go to Hell for cutting up books, but I am not completely certain.

I found some cute little kid's books at Goodwill.  I kept them for a while because for some reason it seems kind of mean to cut up a children's book (especially given that I teach Preschool).  Then I was completely overcome by a very cool project that I learned from a class that I am taking through Scarlet Lime with the wonderful Christy Tomlinson.  She always inspires me.

The project involved cutting out a shape from each and every page in the center of the book.  I looked for a small book.  I cut out a heart (as did Ms. Tomlinson) and while I was a little intimidated at first, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be because I have a very cool little cutter tool thingy from Fiskars.  You can really control the blade with this special tool.

Anyway, I cut out the shape from all of the pages, then started in on mixing it up, so to speak.  I made tabs from stickers and stuck them on.  For the most part, I glued two pages together before I adorned them with my messiness.  That way they were a tad bit more sturdy.

This book is a gift for someone who is going to have a baby.  My intention is that it will be one of those 'picture of each month of life for the first year' type books.  I will let the Mommy figure out how to get the pictures into the book.  That will be her problem (along with a multitude of other issues that she will have after said child is born).

I hope that you enjoy my take on this project.

 The heart cut out.  I did have to go in and clean each page up a bit, but I am happy with the results.  Be aware that older books have fragile pages.

The inside back cover.  I painted the heart to coincide with the hearts from the pages.  Hopefully the new parents will be able to insert a picture of their brand new baby here.

The rest of these are pretty much from the inside of the book.

I love these hanging hearts.

These are the tabs that I made from stickers.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Uh Oh! Another Project is Complete!

Here are a few pics of my latest attempt.  If I am to look at it critically, it's a mess.  But I really don't care because it is going to be stuck on the wall by my desk and computer to remind me of what I need to do.

Now you may be asking what in the heck is up with the balloons?  I know.  But they make me happy.  I don't know why balloons make me happy, but they do.  I hated them when I was a kid because I hated loud noises and balloons would always pop around me.  Must have been my prickly aura.  Anyway, seeing the balloons and remembering the principle behind them will help to keep me focused; I hope.  Besides, balloons are easy to paint.  And draw.  And shade.  And I love making those squiggly little strings that hang down.

This piece is all part of the class that I am taking through ScarletLime (see side bar).  Regardless, I am just happy to be getting my hands messy again.  Although, my manicurist is a bit put out with me.  Seems she had to spend a good amount of time digging out the oil paint from under my nails.  Oops.  I may have played with my Shiva Paint Sticks the other day.  I need to use those on a project.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.

This is the completed piece.  I used cold press watercolor paper, paint, ink, sprays, watercolor; all sorts of yummy things.  

One of the important things that I learned this time.

Yes, balloons.  I finished watching "Pride and Prejudice" while I did these.  

I love my key rub-ons.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yeah! Art is Flowing Out of the Bat Cave!

I have actually finished two projects this weekend.  One is for my kitchen.  A long time ago (in a land far, far away called 'we have one child'), I bought some famous baskets and turned one into a recipe holder.  It is a royal pain in the ass to use.  So, before Christmas I bought a couple of paper mache type recipe boxes and I just got around to gunking them up in my own way.  Sorry, no pics of those.

The other project goes with a class.  I know, I know.  I have so many that I am taking that I can't even remember them all.  This one will expire first, so it gets finished first.  I am logical like that.

This is my Vision Canvas.  I'm not going to go into it, but I had a lot of fun doing it.  

First I had to remove all of the melted crayons from the canvas since I had already used this one for one of those Pinterest-inspired melty crayon thingys.  They are cool, but I hated this one.  After tons of scraping, I cleared off the surface enough to use the canvas.  I layered on tons of paint and made flowers out of modeling paste.  It was butt ugly (or fugly, your choice).

So, I scraped everything off again, laid on a super thick coat of gesso and started over.  This more closely resembles what was in my mind.  I'm not very good at completely translating things out of my little pea brain onto canvas, but this one comes pretty close.

I used gesso, paint, alcohol inks, stamps, rub-ons, paint, paper, ink,  paint, punched out circles of different sizes and pen.  That's it.  I like her boots.  I want a pair.  I think that I should be a shoe designer.

 Believe it or not, I painted on her legs.

Ta da!  The whole canvas.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Finally! Posting Some Christmas Cheer

I have had a desperate plea from Pony Girl to post some of my Christmas pictures where she can see them.  I am going to oblige her.  Unfortunately, we missed seeing the KU Land Clan by one day over the holidays.  We had obligations in the Land of Lincoln and arrived after they had departed for home.

These are the obligatory playing cards pics.

That's Computer Boy, thinking.

You missed the Beauty Shop action.

I don't know quite what to say about this.  Why is the lamp all crooked.  Did someone have a party?

Navy Girl and her sister are checking out the new calendar.  Navy Girl got her own this year.

There is a Sleepy Boy in that mess of blankets.

There he is.

Navy Girl and Alaska Girl bonding in the kitchen. 

Look closely.  How many different bodies can you count.  Look for feet.

AZ Dude looks so happy.

 The tree.  Can see the envelopes attached?  The Parentals always put a check in envelopes for everyone and then they attach them to the tree.  This year when everyone opened their envelopes there was a note inside each and every one that said, "Thanks for the tip.  Santa".  No checks.  We all assumed the culprit was Ad Man since he had been in town and left.  We were wrong.  The checks were recovered.

Just plum tuckered.

Or, rather, sugar overload.

Navy Girl checks out Buko's gift.

So, these are for you, Pony Girl.  I hope that you enjoy and I wish that you all could have been there.  We missed you.