Sunday, January 28, 2007

Studio Renovations II

Slowly but surely we are holding to our plans to renovate the studio. We wanted hardwood floors but instead decided on a vinyl floor that looks like wood flooring. It also has the advantage of being waterproof which is a big deal in a place where paint and water has the potential to being splashed on the floor.

We have purchased the vinyl flooring but didn't have time to get it started this weekend. Hopefully it will be next weekend or the following at the latest. We have to strip the old industrial tiles off the floor, sand down the glue to make the surface fairly smooth, then lay down the foam sound barrier and finally the flooring itself.

My research has shown me that the flooring is usually the last thing to get installed during a renovation. This allows the flooring to be installed so that it floats next to the wall nit underneath it. It also keeps the flooring from being damaged by falling tools, supplies, and drops of paint. We are kind of going at this backwards since it is being done piece meal rather than all at once. One advantage to doing it backwards is we get the test the durability, flexibility, and staying power of the new floor before we use it in other rooms.

I plan to include photos of our progress along the way, and of any surprise findings. Until then, as requested by L., here are a couple of photos of the room as it is right now. The layout is quite nice and I find it very easy to spend two or three hours in here doing scrap booking, drawing, and as of this weekend beading.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ice Feathers

Ice Feathers
Water drops on the window pane
Turn to Feathers of Ice
When Winter's breath touches the glass.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Studio Renovations

One of my New Year's resolutions was to renovate the spare bedroom. It has begun, sort of...

We got rid of the bed over the Christmas break, and decided on the look and style we wanted for the room. Something neat, bright, and a little old fashioned. Wood look floors, plaster look wallpaper, and new wood trim for all the windows and doors.

We will be replacing the door with a model that will fit with the look we want. We haven't decided whether the replace the windows or not. If we do, we will get old style split panes with a wood look frame. If we don't then we will be repairing the windows, frames, and sills; and we will be replacing the storm windows with something a little more airtight.

Since we have gotten rid of the bed, we rearranged the room to make it flow better and hopefully be useful until the renovations get started. Now, I am proud to say, I have a Art and Craft studio.

I used it for the first time this weekend. It was great to be able to spend four hours working on the scrapbook I am creating for my grandmother without having to fight cats, dogs, and lack of workspace. I can't wait to pull out paint, pens, and paper to create a piece of art to hang in the house. I'm looking forward to locking myself in the room each night to work on something, anything.

So now that I have my own space I can't imagine giving it up for even short periods of time for renovations. I don't know where all my books, supplies, and such will go while we rip out tile, panelling, and ceiling. I'm sure we will find a way but right now it looks hopeless.

I do know that we have officially lost the spare bedroom. Once the renovations are complete I will be setting the room up once more as my private studio. I will revel in space and privacy. And, hopefully, I will once again begin creating artwork worthy of being shown to the rest of the world.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sesla - Jedi Knight Kitty

Every Christmas I stock up on Scottish Shortbread and pig out for several days and Sesla likes them too. So much so she spent several minutes practicing her Jedi Mind tricks

....<looks intensely at the cookie> "You do not want that cookie. This nice kitten will eat it for you"

.....<waves her paw slowly from side to side> "You do want to share that cookie with me"

....<lowers paw and leans forward> "Yes, you want to give me the cookie"....

My mind is still stronger than hers, or perhaps not. In the end she got a small piece of cookie and a pat on the head. I think Sesla has been watching to many Star Wars Movies.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Peanut Hoarding

Some of you may remember one of my very early posts about Little Red. For those who don't know her, she is a little red squirrel who has conquered our yard and at least half the neighbourhood. Red squirrels are voracious eaters and will hoard tons of food in preparation for the leaner winter months. Now, with the brief introduction I can continue the tale of the Peanut Hoard.

We've seen red jumping up on the tires of our pickup truck but never really considered she may have an ulterior motive except curiosity. Today, on our way home from work, the truck was acting a little odd. Running a bit rough. So we pull into the driveway and pop the hood to find what must have been 2 lbs of peanuts, chestnuts, and other assorted squirrel treats. She had used any surface that was flat and had a slightly raised lip to store her winter rations. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking clearly enough to get a photo of her fairly won, and sometimes ill gotten booty.

The truck is still running rough so we are assuming Red has pulled a wire loose or chewed on something she shouldn't have. We'll be taking it to the dealership this weekend to have them give it a good once over and remove anymore of the hoard they find.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Today is Not a Good Day to...

Today has definitely not been one of those beautiful, bucolic days one dreams about. It has been wet and warm, especially for the middle of January. Despite the weather I was determined when I got up this morning to try to have a good day and get something accomplished.

Instead we spent the entire day trying to assemble the new bed frame we bought only to find out that Sears screwed up and ordered a single ended bed frame which means the foot board could not be mounted. On top of that, the sales person didn't know that the low profile frame doesn't work on any of the foot boards and headboards sold by Sears.

We have a gabled roof and the bedrooms are under the gables, making for a rather low ceiling in half the room. The only half that a bed can be placed to keep from blocking the doorway. We were told, and believed, that a low profile bed frame would give us more head room. We were sold. I mean who wouldn't want to be able to sit up in bed without knocking themselves silly on the ceiling? Problem is the low profile frame headboard holes do not line up with the headboard holes.

So we called Sears and spoke with the sales person. Turns out this has happened to three other people this week and "No problem. Just bring it in and we'll order you a new one." So we packaged it back up and travelled into town to return it only to find out that we bought it during a GST promotion that was no longer running. The replacement frame, that they made the mistake on, cost us more money. Well, it would have if PeterC hadn't stepped up to the plate and made it clear this was their problem not ours. Oh yeah, and it'll take a week to get here. Sigh!

In the end, we put our bed back together with the old frame. The foot board and headboard are sitting in the living room waiting for the proper frame to get here. The only positive that came from all the hassle with the bed was we were able to catch the dust bunnies unawares and vacuumed a large colony from under the old bed. I guess you just got to look on the bright side of even the most grey day.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year - 2007

This has been a busy week at Sparrow Haven, as evidenced by the unusual number of new posts in one week, and we decided to take a break for New Year's Eve. No food, no music, no visitors. We played a game together, washed laundry, saw the new year in, and finally sat up reading to all hours of the night.

But, as with any other time when I am not busy doing something with my hands, my mind was busy. I thought about this last year and reviewed the things that had been important to me and to Sparrow Haven. I thought about the year to come and tried to get a glimpse of what will be important in 2007.

Last year I had resolved to make as much of our bread from scratch as possible. I had also resolved to learn a few more skills required to be more self sufficient. And finally I had resolved to be more and better prepared should something happen that caused us to be unable to acquire food or other necessities by simply heading to the local grocers. For the first time, since I knew what a New Year's Resolution was, I made and kept my resolutions.

In those quiet hours last night I found that my resolutions were already made, but it took a while for them to filter to the surface of my busy mind. This year I will continue to make homemade bread, but I will add sausage and sauerkraut to the list of things I will make rather than buy. This year, I will make and install a ground feeding station for the birds and squirrels. And, the biggest decision of all, we will begin renovations on the inside of Sparrow Haven herself.

This should be an interesting year indeed. As always I will record our adventures at least once a week and occasionally make an extra post if we get a particularly challenging or interesting project accomplished.