library girls.

I have two rugrats, 7 plus years apart.  One unique advantage of this age gap is that I can clearly observe the developmental pattern because the littler one isn’t getting it directly from the older, rather going through the steps on her own.  For example, they both started dressing themselves in crazy outfits at a very young age,  cut their own hair at the same age, and they both acquired an affinity for lopsided hairdos at 7 years. ETC…..

Now I find myself waiting in line at a quite elaborate library set up in my living room at precisely 7.7 years for both children.  coincidently they are both bossy librarians who force me to return my books before I am even finished with them, and neither kept regular business hours.

The “library” that the now Teenager kept had detailed logs, and as The Associate comes sprinting along in her footsteps she keeps more abstract records, however, she does get points for creativity.  The miniature air hockey table becomes a scanning machine and its paddle becomes the stamper. She does all this wearing the dress she “made” while holding it up with one hand.

IMG_7410 IMG_7412 IMG_7414

After borrowing, not reading,  and then returning the first 6 books in the Nancy Drew series, she put her hair up. On the right side we have a ponytail (she wouldn’t let me take a picture) and on the left we have  it down, lightly brushed and a clip. I said “You look fabulous darling!”

And then I went to vote to support our local library, because I am a library girl too.

Lego my ego.

 

SONY DSC

I tend to lose perspective. Muddled with the minutiae of daily life I sometimes ignore the larger picture.

The Brother and The Niece were visiting and on a cloudless beautiful day we hit the botanical gardens here in Cleveland to see an exhibit of Lego sculptures cohabitating with the habitat.

IMG_6230SONY DSC

IMG_6231IMG_6235

IMG_6248SONY DSC

SONY DSCSONY DSC

and of course my favorite. The seed.

IMG_6228

The Niece took a bunch of pictures, The Teenager relaxed due to injury.

IMG_6233

and The Associate put her back into it and got down to business.

IMG_6240

I am always stunned by the beauty of this garden and the obvious passion of the people who care for it.  My pockets are full of seeds and tendrils and I am reminded that nature is my church, everything is connected, and we are but a small part in a vast universe.

IMG_6226

My garden has been tended.

digging for gold.

Ever since I moved back to Cleveland I have been going to estate sales.  These usually occur on Friday mornings and they are serious business. There is one woman who shows up at the house at 5 in morning to get a number at 9:30 to be let in the house at 10. That is just plain crazy. I do have to avert my eyes as she leaves because she has bought all the stuff I would have bought. Actually it’s kind of hard not to hate her. I wish I was a morning person.

Before The Teenager was a teenager I would always bring her along. The nice ladies running the sale would always gush over her and give her stuff, but once she was in preschool I was solo again. Without my baby buffer and instant conversation starter I began bringing a book.  I found it difficult to make small talk about what would be in there. I just like to dig through people’s junk, and luckily I can usually find stuff that nobody else wants and make it into something cool, oorrrrr store it for ten years.

The Teenager managed not go to school this Friday so I dragged her along with promises of donuts, and a T.J. Max trip.  We arrived very late, around 12, and there were still people waiting!

IMG_5274

The Teenager- donuts…..?

Me- just hold on. It won’t take long.

The Teenager- Mom? I pretty sure there isn’t much left in that tiny house.

Me- that’s a bad attitude.

The Teenager- That woman just left with a dead person’s colander. I’m pretty sure only the dreggs are left.

Me- maybe she was specifically looking for a colander to add to her collection.

TT-  If she is desperate to strain something why doesn’t she just go to target and buy a clean one. I wouldn’t ever be able to stop thinking about what that dead woman “strained”  in there.

Me- thanks for image. Come on let’s go.

As we wait another 20 minutes in the biting cold, The Teenager continues to make me laugh.

IMG_5278

TT- If this was my house I would totally put pictures of my face in those Flan looking holes.

Me- pose for me.

IMG_5277

this is the first time I was allowed to put her image on my blog. (as if it isn’t already plastered across every other social media site.)

TT- I feel bad for that shovel.

Me- why?

TT- it has got to be the most useless shovel in the world, sad.

IMG_5276

Me- snort.

We finally get in, and nice ladies freak out! That can’t be Ruby!!! hugs.. well wishes…. I remembers….. so nice. I wish I took pictures.

We left about 30 minutes later with a pile a random stuff for 5 bux, off to get some donuts.

guess what this is gonna be?

IMG_4639

This is what is left of The Associate’s rocking chair.  Much loved and much rocked.  When I tried to tighten it’s many loose screws I realized it’s time had come. I quietly removed it from the living room so as not to make her mad. Then it sat in the basement for a spell. Now it will be something else.  Now if I could just get my work table in order I could start.

my reel lamp.

While whiling around the dungeon I discovered a half lamp. As my disorders dictate this is a normal occurrence at my house.  The gray skies that drove me down here in the first place had not yet dispersed and the organizing was not going well, so I finished the lamp.  I have nowhere to put it, but it is done.  It all began with a film canister.

IMG_4043

1. drill a hole the size of threaded rod in the canister. slowly…… It gets really hot.

2. widen the hole on the film reel with the same drill bit.

3. glue the canister sides back to back. This makes a space on the bottom to add weight and run the cord, and creates a dish for change or jewelry or whatever.

IMG_4369

IMG_4371

4. add weights, I reused weights (which are basically heavy pieces of metal) from another lamp and secured them with washer and a nut to the threaded rod.

5. This is the trickiest things about making lamps, everything has to come together so when you put on the socket at the top it all fits together tightly.  In order for my second story to stay up I supported it from the top and bottom with aluminum camping pole scraps. I cut them to the appropriate size using a tube cutter. I really need a new blade.

IMG_4372

6. now that everything is on the rod, screw on the bottom half of the socket and make sure it is all going to be happy together.

7. run the cord from the bottom up and attach it to the socket.

8. pull the excess cord down and snap the socket all into place with the sleeve.

9. test the connections by plugging the lamp into wall and using a light bulb, of course.

10. put your lamp shade on and Voila` (that is for you Nicky:)

IMG_4367 IMG_4366

Now I guess I’ll put it back in the basement.

hostess with the mostess.

At some point in my life it was hammered into me, never go to a party empty-handed. I actually feel a pang of guilt.  Stress doesn’t suit me either. I usually have a stock of interesting items I pick up along the way, but the well has run dry. I wanted to make something more personal anyway,  because you definitely do not want me purchasing your wine, my palette is misinformed on this topic. Rummaging around in one of my many drawers I found some suitable ingredients.

IMG_0029

Origami paper, envelopes, paper, and a stack of dried flowers. After cutting the paper down to size to fit in the envelopes I cut out squares and circles of origami paper with my handy scrap-booking punches.

IMG_0030

I used glue stick to attach the origami paper to the card.  While waiting for the glue to dry I matched dried flowers with each card. Using an all-purpose no run gel, I attached the flowers.

I think four is a nice number so I made four.

IMG_0033

I then made an envelope for the finished cards with a whole sheet of the green paper.

IMG_0034

IMG_0037

IMG_0038

now invite me over.

magnetic magic

I have been longing for these for as long as they arrived at Joann’s fabrics.

IMG_0024

Of course they were way over priced so I didn’t partake.  I could make them myself anyway, which I never did.

My associate is fond of sticking up her masterpieces everywhere.  It isn’t that I don’t love her creative genius, but she does need to work on her editing skills.

On my recent outing/escape to Joann’s I saw them again.  Now that they were on clearance and one-third of the original price, I caved.  Now I needed magnets of course.  I wasn’t gonna buy these too.  After arriving home I immediately peeled the stickers off, because that is the kind of girl I am, and headed to the dungeon.  I dredged up some vintage holiday decorations and magnets and set to work.

IMG_0025

I cut their cute little feet off with some wire cutters, and got out the glue.  I chose this particular glue because it doesn’t dry super fast and it has more of gel like consistency so it doesn’t run. I used tweezers to hold the magnet in place while it dried because these magnets are small, strong and slippery.

IMG_0027

I apologize for the blurry picture I am not good with one-handed shooting.  When they were done drying I entered the lair of the associate and attached the magnetic marvelessness to the wall using washers. This also might have aided to their decline to clearance because the holes are very large and not everybody has washers laying about.

IMG_0041

Now she can stick whatever she wants to her own wall. I’m happy.

under the clutter and to the wood clock.

IMG_3606

On a recent thriftazganza I unearthed a clock from underneath a child’s toilet seat. Yes I still picked it up.  I don’t let the threat of infectious diseases stop me.  After I removed the clock works I thoroughly disinfected the glorious 70’s ish masterpiece.  Fortunately for me the maker of this clock really liked to poly urethane the heck out of things, so the surface was non-porous by like four layers. Once the specimen of great design was dry. I tested to make sure the works worked. They DID! yea.  I then pulled out my treasure trove of clock hands and selected a new pair.

IMG_3545

I couldn’t figure out what to use for the numbers. I went through several options before settling on some buttons.  These are the kind that have a hole in the back instead in the center, so snipped the hole down with wire cutters to make them sit flush.  A little Elmer’s glue and now it is rescued.

IMG_4075

 

don’t bring this lamp to a gunfight.

I find that many of my creations are inspired things I find annoying. For instance isn’t annoying when you get some plastic silverware for that BBQ and all you have left is plastic knives. You can’t recycle them and nobody ever uses them. So what do I do? I stockpile.

IMG_3603

When I felt that I had enough, then forgot about them, then found them yea! I got down to business. But first I would like to take a minute to introduce you to my very best friend that is a tool. We have been through a lot together, actually we have drilled through a lot together.

IMG_3686

Together we made holes in every one of those knives. Taking breaks to cool down the bit and fold some laundry. Multitask.  When we were ready I cozied onto my porch.

IMG_3372

with some wire cutters, wire and some hoops from former lampshades.

IMG_3605

I wove the wire over the hoop through the hole and around the hoop again, I did this over and over again until I had three tiers.  I ditched this other lamp because well I didn’t like it and my husband keep hitting his head.

IMG_3009

I removed the offending pieces parts and added my hoops to form a chandelier.

IMG_3684

Ta da!!! Much better!