Monday, March 31, 2008

What color?

Today was spent listening to our alarm system being update. If you have every had one installed, you know what I mean. We had to add the studio doors to the system so we did a major overhaul on everything. Both cats decided it was a good idea to stay out of the house until the noise man left. We had high hopes the drywall guys would show up to start taping, but no luck. Randy (the contractor) said this would be the reason the job may take an extra week. Drywall subs are known to be flaky. After the walls are finished, the painting will start. I'm not sure what color I should use. What's your vote? Warm light yellow or soft pale green? I plan to have some sheet metal in large frames to use as display boards and the floor will be a light gray so I put those color up against the wall colors. Since the studio space will be small and very little natural light, I want to keep the colors soft.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Iris Folding - Kimono

I'm not a big fan of Iris folding (too many steps for me) but I decided to give it a shot with one of my kimono die cut. Someone in my card class was talking about seeing something like this a while ago, so I came home after class and gave it a try. I thought it would be a good way to use up my washi paper scraps. I didn't use a pattern since I was just working with a circle. I think this will be the card I will swap with my card club next month.

In the garden

Some pictures of the flowers blooming in my front yard. Of course Mr. Purrcy was following me around and wanted to be in all the photos.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Studio Update - end of week two

Latest up date on my studio at the end of week two. The skylights are in and look great. The dry wall and all that goes into that is being done this morning and will take about 5 days to finish. The plumping is in and waiting for the floor to be done before the sink can be installed. If we keep this pace my studio will be done in three weeks. The floors will take about three days if the weather turns cold. We decided to update our alarm system and skylights in our house while we have Randy here.
Randy (the contractor) is really trying to work a little space into the studio for my husband. He really wants to make it so there is storage space in the rafters. I know that once something gets put up there, it's never is seen again, so I've veto that idea. The guys are really working on wearing me down. We are now talking about building a little out building in the backyard to storage all the things we pulled out of our garage. My husband is having a problem that his tools will not be stored in the garage anymore. He can't see his the tools anywhere else. Randy is working really hard at finding him a space of his own.

Monday, March 24, 2008

C.A.S.E. Card

This card was inspired by Michelle Zindorf, one of my favorite creative muses. She has a great blog (see my blog roll for the direct link) along with a step by step tutorial that shows how she makes all those incredible backgrounds for her cards. I changed up the card a little since I don't have much luck using a brayer. It took me several attempts to get the techniques down. It makes a BIG difference if you don't use a variety of colors blending one on top of another. Since I used sponges instead of a brayer, I also had fingerprints showing up where I didn't want them. I had to work much slower than I'm use to. This will be my card for my card swap group this week.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cat Class

This is one of the cards I will be doing from my upcoming cat class at Cranberry Hill. I now have to work on the dog class.


Even though I live in California, I do have a change of seasons in my front yard. First the daffodils bloom turning everything white and yellow. Next comes my irises changing the yard to dark purple. After that, all the plants that suffered from any frost damage have come back to make a nice green back drop for the annuals I plant every year.

Friday, March 21, 2008

End of Week 1

This is the end of week one for my studio and we are moving right along. All the recess lighting is in place and being wired. The skylights are frame in and waiting for the roofing contractor to come back from March Madness in Las Vegas. I had another great day at the auction house. Pick up 10 comfy office chairs for the studio. I did silent bids so even I was a little surprised at how many I got. My daughter is home from school this weekend so she helped me load and unload everything.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Purrcy In My Light Box

I went to use my homemade light box this week and found the background paper had some teeth marks in it. I knew it was one of the cats and I guessed it was Purrcy. He confirmed it tonight.
Lucy (our other cat) is acting like a bull dog with our contractor, Randy. Every time I go out to the studio to answer questions, she is right behind me. She gives the guys the once over, inspects all their tools and then comes back into the house. Most cats don't come near the crew because of the noise and things falling from the ceiling but it doesn't seem to bug Lucy at all. She would really like them out of her space. The cam light shells and outlets are up and getting wired. The frame work for the new ceiling was finished yesterday, so we are moving right along.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Zen garden for the studio

The work on my studio is going well. The new rafters are in and ready for the cam-lights and wiring to be put in place. I sent Randy home this morning after I found out his wife had a list of things for him to do before their open house tomorrow. Randy is selling his home of 20 years in Cupertino so they can move into and remodel their home in Willow Glen. Thinking that his wife would be totally stressed out about things not getting done (I know I would be stressing) I asked why he was here and to go home now. It wasn't a total loss for me. Kristen (a good friend and a landscape designer) came by to go over ideas on turning my side yard into a nice garden/sitting area. Debbie suggested that I have a place for people to go for fresh air or a smoke during long sessions in the studio. It's the side of the house that looks right at my neighbor's two story house and gets no sun, so creative planting is needed. We brainstormed and now have a plan on what I will do once the studio is finished. It will be a sort of California Zen garden. Right now it's a post modern junk yard.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Start of day two on my studio

Pictures of the start of day two on the making of my artist studio. On the first day they just removed the dry wall to make way for the outlets I wanted installed. The insulation was put in when we remodeled several years ago so that was one less thing they had to do. They are working on putting more support beams in to hold the new ceiling and framing for two skylights.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

San Francisco - Marriott

Can you say VERTIGO? We were in San Francisco for most of the weekend to help celebrate a cousin's 50th birthday. It was at the South Beach Yacht Club (very nice place) and we stayed at the Moscone Marriott. My brother-in-law also celebrated his 25th anniversary with the Marriott organization, so we went to the top floor bar to have a drink. The view was great but with floor to ceiling windows it was alittle hard to sit right next to the glass. It looked like something out of a batman movie.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

One Reason Why Houses Cost So Much in CA

My brother-in-law came out from Boston for a cousin's birthday party this weekend. We made a drive down to Monterey to kill some time and eat at my favorite restaurant, Red House Cafe. It was one of those beautiful sunny California days. There was a pod of whales playing off shore and some otters cracking shell fish in the cove. This will be one of the place my C.J. group will visit when they come out this summer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Senior Center Cards

These are the cards I will be doing at the Yu Ai Kai Senior Center on Thursday. The cards are always quick and easy since we do four cards in an hour. I have to do a lot of prep work a head of time to make sure we get done in time. I went of a more "Spring" look this time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Close Up Shot of the Mantle

Close up shot of the fireplace mantle I will be putting over the clean up sink in my studio.

Studio Update

Found two more things for my studio. In order to finish the final plans, I had to find a narrow sink. The plan was to pick out a sink (a really skinny one) and have a counter made to fit. I went to Home Depot but I wasn't thrilled with any of them. After that, I went to the Home Consignment store to see if they had a red leather sofa. Tucked behind a dining room set, sat my sink. I whipped out my tape measure ( I never leave home without) and was thrilled to find out it would fit in the space. It was a little pricey but now I don't have to buy a cabinet, counter or faucet so I think it wasn't too over the top. The sink and cabinet were custom made for someone building his estate home. The home never got built and everything made for the home went up for sale. The next day I went to the local auction house (this is were I get into trouble) and saw this circa 1900's Edwardian cast iron (thing weighs a ton) mirrored fireplace mantle. It was too cool to pass up. When the bidding started, I thought I would just resell it and help pay for my new sink. The bidding got to the point where the mantle was coming home with me to go over the sink. So now my plans to buy a red leather sofa is on the back burners until my bank account recovers. At least my studio will have the most interesting place to clean up. :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

New Class - Things with Wings

I just finished designing my new class "Things with Wings". I decided to throw in a lot of different techniques. Water color with twinkling H2O and water color pencils. Heat and dry embossing and ink resisted. The two butterfly cards are more labor intensive than I usually do for my classes. I think the design for the class went so fast because I didn't want to look at all the boxes I still have to sort through. I have managed to get most of the hallway done and I'm now working on the boxes in the other rooms. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Our pet bees

This is what happens when you clean out your garage. The husband moves things into the open space. Must be the law of attraction or the need to fill space syndrome. Our bee hive is in trouble. Doug called our local bee guild and had a mentor bee keeper to come over and check things out. The major problem was that our bees are starving. They had full boxes of honey but for some reason, once they seal off the chambers, they don't remove the wax to get to the honey. The second news was that we have two Queens in the hive. I think that means the hive was getting ready to swarm. Most of our neighbors are fine with us keeping bees but I know one of them would not find it funny or interesting to have 5,000 of my girls hanging out in his yard. They all know to call us if a swarm comes to visit. With all the chambers filled with honey, there was no place for the Queen to lay her eggs. Doug is exacting the honey from the combs to make more room for the baby bees and I think to free up some honey for the girls. It's best to do this in an enclosed room. The girls get very upset when you start to mess with their honey. During this time of year, I think it's all females in the hive.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spy Invites

I'm in search of paper or rubber stamps with the Spy vs Spy guys. Another invitation project I was asked to do has the theme of "Spys"
I want to use a cootie catcher (I was told that's what it's called) as the base card. With all the secret panels I thought it would be a fun way to get the clues to where and when the party is. It will be delivered in a plain brown box tied with string. After making one cootie catcher, it looked like the spy guys heads. If anyone knows of a source for Mad Spy vs Spy please let me know.
Yes, between all this I'm still working on getting all the boxes in my house sorted out.


I was asked to make some invitations for a office party. The theme is pirates and treasures. The invitations will go to all women, so I thought it would be fun if the invite came in a little pirate purse. They did ask that I make two samples so the committee could pick one. I really like the purse idea but just in case, I made a more conventional one too. I went to the bead store to look for a charm but all they had were dragons and skulls, which didn't look all that pirate-ish. I almost gave up when I saw some pearls. I then found some weird looking shells that look like mini oysters and then thought of the Captain Jack movie and his ship the black pearl. Since the invitations won't go through the mail, I didn't worry it's a little bumpy. Covering the holes in the black pearls has been a challenge. If you have any tips, let me know.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Studio List For Randy

My Must Have List:
1) Good task lighting (recessed) on different switches
2) Epoxy floor or whatever will hold up to chairs rolling across it
3) Sheet metal on one
wall (to use as a display board with magnets)
4) Outlets every two feet at eye level and a few in the ceiling
5) Vented door for water heater
6) Wire the main wall for a flat screen (I don't own a t.v. but I thought demo DVD at crops would be fun)
7) Sink with foot pedals and counter space
8) Space for mini refrigerator
9) Sky light that opens
10) Wire for phone and computer lines
11) Add mail slot on outside wall
12) Automatic vent/fan for attic space

UPDATE: Randy said he can "crank" out my project in two or three weeks. The floor is adding another 3 days after he's done because they have to acid wash off the old paint and the epoxy needs a good two days to dry. Since my cabinet are so large and heavy, he doesn't want me to move then back in until he's 100% sure. He may start this week if he can, but for sure next week!


It's been non stop cleaning and sorting at my house. Now that the garage is cleaned out (and keeping my husband from moving things back into it) I have to tackle all the boxes that came into the house. Many of them have things for my Alley Cats Vintage Treasures booths. Purrcy loves boxes but didn't want his picture taken tonight. It's Lucy's birthday today, so she had the day off - no modeling. My hallway is filled with boxes so I've decided to work on two feet at a time. So far I've done 6 feet and sorted out 12 boxes. Tonight I worked a boxes of vintage sewing notions and sheet music. Some of the music is over 100 years old. It's a very slow process bagging fragile paper and I have to double check all the pages are together.
The blue prints are being worked on and I'm meeting again with Randy tomorrow.