Monday, July 02, 2007

No Drips Here!

This weekend, I helped my mom out by fixing her leaky kitchen faucet. Things are never simple and easy at her house. Something always seems to go a little awry! This time, what the faucet needed was a new o-ring in the spout (spigot? I tell you - a plumber I am not!) part. Some time ago, we had bought a few o-rings, but now that we need them they are nowhere to be found! So of course that meant a trip to the hardware store for more o-rings and oh guess what? We forgot the installation directions at home!

Now we get to the plumbing counter at the local McClendon's Hardware. If you don't live in Seattle, this store is a real hardware store. You never know what you'll find there that you don't need, and you can find just about any hardware item you do need. McClendon's has been around for ages, and everyone there is very helpful and knowledgeable. So anyway - we're at the counter, with no directions, nothing to tell us the faucet model name or number, and no idea of what size o-ring we need! We did know it's an American Standard, so the guy at the counter pulled out a catalog and we found a faucet that resembles my mom's. But guess what! Still no size listed for that o-ring! Now what to do?

Well, we just selected a whole bunch of different sizes of o-ring, and bought one of each size! We had the guy at the counter laughing at us as we joked about how many we were getting! We just figured one of those rings just HAD to fit, and my mom could return the rest of them. Now I call that the shotgun approach to plumbing repair.

Now a guy....(such as my dad)...would have bought ONE o-ring, being convinced he had the right size, gone to fix the faucet and found it was the wrong size, and had to make at LEAST two more trips to the hardware store! This method is better known as the scattershot approach.

We took our packages home and ate dessert. You know - the important things first! THEN we tackled the faucet. Getting all the stuff from under the sink? Easy. Turning the water off? Easy. Finding the channel lock pliers? Also easy. Getting the metal collar off the bottom of the spout without scratching it all up? Uh oh...that is, until my mom had the absolutely brilliant idea of putting a strip of duct tape around the collar! One tug and that collar screwed right off.

The o-ring came off easily enough with the help of a screwdriver, and the replacement slid right on. Oh yeah - of course we had the perfect size among the dozen or so rings we bought! Screw the collar back on, turn on the water....and it leaked like a sieve! Damn! My mom was all ready to take the entire spout back to McClendon's to see what else needed replacing. But I thought about it for a minute, and figured I hadn't seated the inner collar firmly enough. I put the spout back on, seated the collar and screwed the metal one back on. This time - success!! I am so proud of myself!

You know - we used to joke and tease my dad all the time about his duct tape, but I think that last night he was up there somewhere laughing at us and beaming at how well his favorite fixit worked for us!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Before I Sleep

Just before I head to bed, I've been sitting here finishing the post I started the other day about ArtFest. In the background I have the TV tuned to an OLD episode of "Soul Train." We're talking...oh...mid 70s, maybe early 80s. What a trip back in time! The Afro hair styles...the platform shoes - on the guys as well as the grils...the high-waisted bell bottoms...the wide collars. Everyone is so nicely dressed, with nary a t-shirt or baggy butted pant in sight. No tats or piercings, but I was really surprised to see one girl with a pierced nose! Don Cornelius is wearing a 3-piece suit and tie - and he looks so young.

Let's see...who is singing...Betty White, Wilson Pickett...Archie Bellows and the Drones...all singing upbeat dance tunes. Now they're doing a dance line to a song called "Let's Go Disco!" How cool! There are even a couple of pop-lockers in the line.

OK - Yawn! - Now that I've danced down memory lane, I gotta git off to bed before the sun comes up here!

Friday, April 13, 2007


I actually have lots more to post about ArtFest, which I started to write tonight. But it's really late now, and I am falling asleep at the keyboard. So I thought I'd at least add this little interim post and say more is coming, with lots of pictures. The weekend was an event to be relished and cherished, and shared in pieces, as it was all way too much to take in all at once!

Anyhoo...I'm off to bed now, and I'll post more later.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Off to ArtFest: The First Day or So was my first one, and there was so much to take in that I decided to divide the retelling into more than one post.

I spent the days before the actual event packing and instant messaging Heather and asking her a bazillion questions. Thank goodness she was there, because I needed lots of help keeping on track and getting through my lists - what to take for art, what to pack, what to get done before I leave...just lots of STUFF. Thank goodness, too, that I rented a nice-sized SUV. I needed it for all that stuff!

Wednesday morning, I picked Heather up from the airport and we were on our way. First there was the ferry dock in Seattle, where we met Kim and her friend, and some other ArtFesters, including Kristin. Even though we had never met before, ArtFesters weren't hard to spot, with the their excited looks and chattering and funky attire. We all felt like school kids on holiday! Here's a picture of Seattle from the ferry:


...and here's Heather!

Heather and Seattle

When we got to Bainbridge, we took our time getting to Port Townsend, stopping in Poulsbo to buy beads at Imagine That! (of course we stopped for beads!), and plate-sized doughnuts and other goodies at the bakery (yum!), and even more supplies for our classes at the stamping store (as if we didn't have enough already!) Then off we headed for Port Townsend.

Of course we managed to get lost looking for Fort Warden! We had both managed to forget to print the directions, but we knew it was close to the town. We drove around a bit, asked a deer we came across in the middle of the road (he wasn't saying much!), and soon found where we had taken a wrong turn.

Soon after we had arrived, checked in, eaten dinner, and found our dorm, we all gathered for a welcome and to meet the artists/instructors. Everywhere we went, Heather was running into people she knew from online, and I met a couple of fellow bloggers too. She has met more people online than I have since she has been a mixed media artist longer than I have...but she introduced me to everyone, and it was fun meeting all these new people. Not only was I meeting everyone, but people were trading with me all over the place! My charms were going fast...By the time we headed back to our rooms, I had all kinds of wonderful little pieces of art to look at.

Jaz, my Blythe doll, came with me on this trip. She wanted to spend the weekend with her sister Ginger. They both spent almost the entire week in their sleeping bags! On the last day we did make them come with us to class...

Ginger and Jaz

So...the next day was my first class, "Resins: Creating Transparent Papers" with Susan Lenart Kazmer. What a fun and energetic class! Susan is full of all kinds of wonderful energy and ideas. We soon had paper covered in resin and drying on the porch, as well as brass bezels that we filled with tiny collages and resin. In the afternoon we learned how to make jewelry from the papers we had made. The papers are wonderful media for enhancing journal pages, and for tearing up for jewelry. I made a prayer box, some paper-covered copper loops, and some bezels for a bracelet I'm planning to make. Now that I'm home, if I could only find the prayer box, I'd have the bracelet done! Here's the results of my work:

Resin pieces

And here are Heather, Rita, and Susan, after class:

Susan and Students

We left our pieces to dry overnight, and headed off for dinner in town. We ate that night at the Public House (I think that was the name), which was pretty good. We found Kelly in town near where she was staying and took her off to dinner with us. We had a nice time visiting and talking. Oh yeah - we went to another bead store too! Wynwoods Gallery and Bead store is small, but boy did they have lots of beads. They also have this lobby full of the most fabulous trims and laces...I wish I could have spent a couple hundred dollars there!

Whew - a long day and a looong post! There's more about the dorms and stuff, but I better wait until another time...soon...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Where HAVE I Been?

Arrrrgh! I just accidentally deleted my entire post, and now I must reconstruct it from memory. It was so good too...a work of literary would make you return again and again for more of my elegant prose...well a gal can dream can't she?

Anyhoo...I think I started out by saying that I think I have to face the fact that for right now I am at best a sometime blogger. I'm still trying to find the consistency to blog more than once every so often, so until I do, I hope my few visitors will come back once in awhile to check on me!

So - where have I been? I went to ArtFest! I'm still processing all that I saw and did there. I met lots of wonderful artsy people, many of whom are fellow bloggers. I'm still trying to find them all, and I hope to add their blogs to my list. They all have lots of wonderful creations to share! I have lots of pictures to share and things to post, too...

First, here's what I did before I left. One of the funnest and most popular things to do at ArtFest is to trade things! This year many of us decided to make charms - little tiny, wonderful works of art to share with everyone. Ooookay...what was I going to use to make my charms? It took awhile to figure this out, but one night my eye fell on the stack of CDs I've saved from all those infernal AOL mailings. Somehow I just knew that I'd find a use for them!

...and I did! First I cut out all the pieces and sanded the edges round. Then I painted the shiny side. I needed a way to keep those little pieces from moving around while I painted them, so I attached them to a CD with a dab of glue:

Charms stages

When the paint was dry I added embellishments. It was kind of challenging trying to get all those tiny bits of paper in place, but I soon found a way. When they were all embellished I sealed the charms with a coat of acrylic medium.

Charms embellished

After the charms were all dry I finished the backs with a coat of tissue and more acrylic medium. Here they are all ready for jump rings:

AF charms punched

The final step was to add a little brass snap swivel I got in the fishing tackle department, and the charms were all ready to trade away:

AF charms ready

This was such a fun and simple project, but the best part was all the wonderful charms and ephemera packs and ATCs I received in trade! I'll show you some of them in later posts. Each one is a miniature work of art!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Little Bit o' Jaz

The other day I was all about showing off my silkscreened shirt and sharing what fun I had creating it. But SOMEbody had to peek in and see if anyone was still out there!

As she made her way to Seattle, this little one first showed up over on Joleen's blog when she landed there with her friends Ginger and Ava, all the way from Hong Kong. Then she made an appearance on Heather's blog. She is a Takara Prima Dolly Ashlette Blythe doll, and by the time she arrived here, I was so excited to meet her! She's even prettier for reals, with lovely long thick hair. She quickly let me know that she wanted to be called Jasmine, or Jaz for short.

Of course Jaz had to sit for her portrait soon after she arrived. I'm not sure she was too thrilled with the setting though. That snow looked a tad cold!

Welcome to my Jaz!

Now Jaz is settling in nicely, and I'm having fun making her all kinds of cute clothes. I told a little fib the other day. I did make her that hat. I sized down a baby hat pattern, and knitted it out of Noro Aurora yarn on size 2 needles. That was my first time using four double-pointed needles. I like the yarn so much I'm now making myself a hoodie sweater out of it. I'll post a picture sometime in the future when the sweater is done.

Warmth for the noggin

I also knitted Jaz this little hoodie sweater, making up the pattern as I went. That was fun! I love the furry trim, but I learned something pretty important when I put it on. Next time, I'll put the snaps and buttons on first, so that all that fuzz doesn't keep getting caught under the thread as I sew!

Warm and snuggly

I've been sewing some clothes too - a striped denim mini skirt and some very skinny jeans. I made all kinds of clothes for my doll when I was a girl, and I had forgotten how fun it was. Methinks this little doll is going to have quite the wardrobe!


Oooh -lookit me! Since Blogger MADE me change to the new version, I went ahead and took advantage of their new template choices, and got a new banner. Neither one of which I would have done without some help and heavy hinting (!) from Heather. Isn't the banner she made me beautiful? Click on her name here and go check out the banners she can make for your blog. They are all so pretty!

Now that I've had a chance to look around at this new version, I'm getting intrigued by what I can do with my blog. I'll have to play some more...but not tonight. It's getting late and I still have to re-construct that entry that IE ate up for me.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Well, I HAD another post all ready to go last night. I just had to add the pictures when IE crashed on me for the second(!) time and I lost the whole thing. By then it was too late to reconstruct the post yet another time, so I'll try again tonight. Cross your fingers! It's a fun one too...