Friday, June 29, 2012

But What About the Ceiling?

A couple of weeks ago I showed pictures of our half-finished ceiling.  Well--it's still half-finished.

Tropical Storm Debby got in the way.  The ceiling panels were down in my cottage, and exposing paint and plywood to the pouring down rain to try to get them to the house did not seem like a wise idea.  I also needed to finish painting the trim pieces.  As those are 10 feet long--and my workroom is about 10 feet across, I really can't do this inside.  I thought about setting up in the barn, but I decided that accidently getting copper paint on Bob's precious jeep might cause some marital discord.

But the storm has passed, the weather is clear, and the trim is painted--so the ceiling is back on the schedule.

In the meantime, I did get a quick project done.  In October there will be an alpaca show in town, and the local spinning/weaving guild is going to have a booth for sales and demos.  I usually don't sell my handspun yarn (it takes too long to make it) but I thought I might do a few skeins, and of course would have to have something knitted up to show it off.  I had spun up some black, white, and gray yarn and picked out a simple scarf pattern.  About that time, we got a call that Mom was sick and had to go to the ER.  I'm not good at waiting (that's a serious understatement) so I snagged the knitting bag on the way out.

The scarf is in garter stitch--I don't particularly like garter, but you don't have to think about it, and you don't really even need to look at it.  It's like twiddling your thumbs.  So now Mom is back home, starting to feel better, and I have a new scarf.  At least it's mine for a little while--I have a feeling that Mom may lay claim to it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Fool's Errand

It's been a rainy, nasty day with Tropical Storm Debby wandering around in the Gulf. Only a fool would leave the house if she didn't have to. Only a fool would go driving down to the coast into the storm. Only a fool would leave the safety of the car to walk precariously atop the mounds of seaweed when the wind rips off her hat and the rain feels like needles on the back of her hands.

But only a fool would find a baby pelican, trying to huddle out of the wind.  Only a fool would make a long wet drive to take him to safety, warmth, and food.

During storm seasons rescuers sometimes find dozens of baby pelicans.  Today, I found only one.

Did it make a big difference in the Great Scheme of things?  Probably not.  Did it make a difference to this one little guy?

Only a fool would know.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

So Far, So Good

We started putting up the faux-copper panels today.  This project is starting to make me nervous--so far everything has gone smoothly.  It was somewhat awkward in the middle of the room trying to hold a panel overhead and nail it into place while standing on a waterbed (thank goodness for power nailers).

So, here's the before ceiling with the cosmetic black plastic bag (from the last entry) removed.  And then what it looks like now.

There's still a lot more to do--we have to make some more panels, and we're going to be putting molding strips along the seamlines, so I still need to paint them.  But with any luck we'll finish up next weekend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Had a short vacation this past weekend.  I live mini-cations--they don't require the planning and packing (and major expense) of a "real" vacation--it's just a short time to get away.

Actually, I wrote all about this one a year ago--things to tend to be cyclic.  It was again time for the annual "Scott Con" model convention in Warner-Robbins, Georgia.  You can read all about it in my June 4, 2011 entry.  As in last year, we opted to splurge for a hotel rather than daytrip (which would mean leaving the house about 5:00 a.m. and getting back at 10:00 p.m.)

It's good to have enforced idleness once in awhile.  We got there Friday afternoon, got set up (Bob got a sales table to try to sell of some unwanted models), and checked in.  And that was that.  Even when you're taking it easy and goofing off at home, there's always that little nagging knowledge that *something* could use doing--laundry, or cleaning out an overcrowded drawer or paying a bill.  Suddenly, that's all gone.  We don't have smart phones and I didn't bring the laptop, so no email or computer games.  Just time for a swim, and some dreaming (like planning to have a small lap pool put in--it would be so nice to come home tired and take a swim instead of plopping in front of the TV--it might happen).   Then a walk over to the Vietnamese restaurant for a bowl of pho (pronounced "fah")--hot brothy fragrent noodle soup that is impossible to eat quickly.

Alas--I did forget to bring my book, but I did have my knitting, and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was on TV--the original one (Sorry, Johnny Depp---I love you but Gene Wilder was *much* better as Willy Wonka).

The model convention the next day was rather long for me--I was manning the sale table, and nothing was selling (I think I sold 6 or 7 models all day.)  I knit until I got bored, then spun for awhile--looked around and hummed.  But I have to admit that the hanger is a great place to have a model show.  Bob kept himself occupied by being one of the judges.

And, of course, he came home with a couple of more first place ribbons to add to his collection (sorry for the poor picture--must set up and take some decent ones.

And how do two people with five cats (one a new kitten), a dozen chickens (one that needs medication), peacocks, a flying squirrel, and young opossums manage to get away even for a weekend?  By having a couple of very dear friends who not only come out and take care of everything, but had carrot cake waiting for us when we came home (and pancake mix and bacon for the next morning).  So here's public shout-out of gratitude to Rob and Jeff--you guys are the best of friends.

And here's a final picture for Margo--RiverSong helping me with the computer (she likes to chase the cursor).  It's amazing how fast she is growing--she's going to be a great cat.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And Now We Are Copper

The 12 panels have now been painted with the copper paint.  Now it's Bob's turn--he's the one who gets to put them on the ceiling.  There's still a lot to go--after the full panels are up we'll have to measure and fit the partial panels.  Then we'll have to put up some half-round trim between the panels.

But it's a good start.

When I wrote yesterday's blog, Bob asked if I had included more pictures of Riversong.  My bad.  So here are a couple of cute ones--cute, because Nazgul (my 16-pound male) has adopted her.  It's fortunate for us, because she has crazy kitten energy and its good for her to have a wrestling (and napping) partner)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mother and Daughter and Various Projects

These posts are always in chronological order.  Sometimes I find pictures that I haven't written about yet.  Mom thought she escaped being in this blog--but here she is.  It's been a while since we wore matching mother-daughter outfits.

There's a story behind the peacock skirts.  Several years ago, my friend Jed bought a bolt of it, and we were designing an elaborate costume robe for him.  And then he up and died on me before we made it.  So this fabric has been hanging around since then, making me sad when I saw it.

Well, I see no reason for keeping something around that makes me sad . . . and it was pretty.  Thus, my skirt.  I knew that Mom would try to steal it as soon as she saw it--hence, her skirt.  Might as well pick up matching T-shirts while I'm at it.  Now the peacock skirts make me happy.  Much better..

Some other sewing was requested.  Chris (of Florida Wild Mammal Association, aka She Who Gives Me Baby Animals) wanted some hanging pet beds.  They're even convertable--they can be a bed or a hammock.  As you can see, time has not improved the attitude of my little possums.  Often when I raise the babies, it gives me a real pang to open the door and let them go into the world. Other times--not so much.

And now I'm beginning A Big Project.  Several years ago, when we repainted the bedroom, we painted the ceiling as well as the walls.  It didn't turn out too well--the popcorn texture was hard to paint evenly, and the one coat we put on was such a pain in the backside that we said the heck with a second coat.  So we've been living with a blotchy ceiling and from time to time thinking that we should do something about it--but quite frankly it didn't bother me enough to actually get to it.  Until this past spring.  Our roof sprung a leak, and before we could get the roof replaced part of the bedroom ceiling had fallen in.  Now, I'm pretty laid back when it comes to home decor, but a blotchy paint job with a black plastic bag taped over a hole is a bit much even for me.

What I really love is pressed tin ceilings (or, to be specific, pressed copper).  Y'know--you only live once, and it's only one room, so why not?  I'll tell you why not.  $1000+ for one room is just a bit much.  So I'm faking it.  We bought some thin plywood, some textured wallpaper, and some copper paint, and we're making ceiling panels. It's a bit involved.  To start with, wallpaper comes in 20.5" wide rolls.  If it were 2 feet wide, the sheets of plywood could have just been cut in half.  But instead Bob had to cut 41" squares for me.  Then they had to be primed, papered, and the base coat painted on.  I've gotten that far.  I'm working in my little cottage (to avoid cat paw prints in the paint which would happen if I worked in the barn) so there's a bit of wrestling to find enough space to lean all the panels.  And they got wrestled once for the primer, again for the paper, again for the paint.  I'm getting sore.  Stay tuned.