Saturday, June 27, 2009

I am the luckiest Mom ever!

My son, Andy is a geologist and he travels to all sorts of interesting places testing the soil and water. His field work is frequently at abandoned mines - mercury mines (who knew there were mercury mines?!), copper mines, gold mines... He always comes back with the most interesting tales about the places he has been, the things he has seen and the history. I could listen to his stories for hours! He often comments on what he calls the "little trinkets" he runs across in his travels. Oh! to be a little mouse in his pocket just riding along watching the ground. Stop, Andy, stop, put me down here! Junk envy!
Yesterday he came back from a gold mine in Death Valley and gifted me with these rusty pliers. OMG! He gets it!!! I hugged his neck and told him he could have wrapped these up and given then to me for Christmas and I would have been THRILLED!
He said they are probably about 130 years old and crusted in arsenic so I should be careful. I told him I wasn't planning to lick them!

Don't you think they look a little like an X?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Art Room

These are the pictures I took of my art room last night. Art Room is the fancy name. Mostly I just call it my Crap Room. But I'm trying to use the fancy name more. Pretend it and it will become, or so they say!

I guess I should have tidied up a little first but honestly, it always looks this messy and for a couple reasons. First and foremost - I LOVE JUNK! I love to look at it, touch it, sort it and shop for it. I don't think there is anything about junk I don't like, except maybe dusting it. So I just don't do that.

Second is I have been working very hard on learning PATIENCE with my artwork. My inclination is to start something and work it to the end before I start something new. I get frustrated waiting for paint to dry and glue to dry and trying to force the next step. My lack of patience has resulted in many failures. Now, I am trying hard to work on more than one thing at a time. That way I can set it aside and move to something else, especially when it needs to steep awhile. I'm still struggling to remember to do it but I get much better results when I do.

I'm not too happy with the way the pictures turned out so you may be seeing a do-over one of these days. Funny thing is, that's how the art works a lot of the time, too. I make something and then have to do it over because, over the course of the process, I think of things I wish I had done differently or get inspiration to take it in a different direction. Do overs!
The oak buffet "workbench" was a big splurge to myself and I love love love it! It is just the perfect height to stand up and work. It has seven drawers and two cupboards and it is sturdy like a ROCK. The veneer was peeling off the upper drawer fronts so I covered them with cheetah paper. Too cool! I agonized over buying it because I'm such a cheapskate but every single time I stand in front of it I am SO grateful I found it. Worth every penny!
This is my desk, where I am sitting right now as I type this. That pink blob in the lower left corner is the back of my chair and behind that is my sewing machine. Obviously every inch used and barely room to turn around in here - but a joyful place to me!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sunday Junking

I am such a procrastinator on getting comfortable with this camera! Tonight I came home and decided to just do it. I snapped a few outdoors and a few indoors for practice.
Last Sunday I made my weekly pilgrimage to the Volunteers of America Store. I love that place but not like I used to. They remodeled and cleaned up to make it more like the Goodwill, the Portland gold standard for second hand stores. I liked it better the old way! They eliminated the "as-is" annex. Man, that place was some good treasure hunting! Their final resting place for the things that didn't sell and the stuff they didn't consider worthy of a spot in the "real" store. In short, the crap. Oh Yeah! The dust mites made me cough and reaching your hand into the textile bins was a little sketchy but the lure of the NEXT GREAT THING drew me like a magpie to a sparkly thing!
This was where I found the old photograph that I used in my Somerset Studio Melange article. Twenty nine cents. I remember one time I was shopping there with my daughter-in-law (she didn't care to touch too much in there and I warned her not be alarmed when I started to cough)when I spotted this little old suitcase, the size a child would carry. Brown "leatherette" exterior, rotted interior and neato Lucite handle. I fairly hugged it to my chest and asked the clerk, "How much for this?". She scrutinized it up and down, looked inside, turned it over and furrowed her brow. She looked up and said, "How about 35 cents?". She probably got a good dinner table story out of it, I'm pretty sure my daughter-in-law was mortified and I got this fabulous little suitcase for storing my collection of millinery flowers. The inside is covered in sunflower fabric now and there are sunflowers and butterflies on the outside. I don't actually do anything with the millinery flowers but it makes me happy when I open up my little suitcase and fondle them.
Man, I am getting WAY off topic. I get a little passionate about rescuing old crap.
So Sunday I went over to the new, improved and not quite as fun store and spotted this white metal shelf for just $4.95. Who could resist! This is perfect for my little bonsai trees. The big metal shelf is made from a metal pallet that was used to ship outboard motors. Our friend Bob gave it to me. I dismantled it and cut apart the metal strips and my husband welded it into it's new purpose. It works great but the smaller trees were getting too shaded by the larger ones. There is some funky wooden ball on the top of the new shelf for a finial. I'm not too in love with that look so will have to find something different, but that's another trip to the Volunteers of America!
This is my feet at the entrance to the pergola. Why not. Everybody else is taking pictures of their feet. I think it's supposed to be artsy. I think it's just proof that I really do paint my toenails and wear flip flops like a hip, happenin' chick!
Did I mention I built this pergola from scratch. It was to replace the one I built out of sticks from pruning our apple tree. That's a whole other story. Just so hard to waste something when you can make something out of it....
And one last picture of the foxglove. They are fully open now and won't be lasting much longer. Thank you God and Mother Nature for gifting me with these year after year. They are second only to iris in their tenacity and ability to hold up to anything thrown at them. I didn't even take any pictures of the iris this year.
Damn, I need to make friends with this camera!