No Paintings – Just Life!

I haven’t posted for some three weeks – some of you have even messaged me ¬† ūüôā ¬† Those of you who follow along on the Contented Crafter Facebook page are kind of in the loop…… briefly put it’s been a little bit crazy with not much going on in the Create Joy room that can be shared.

First off I decided – completely out of the blue – to give my tiny house a wee bit of a makeover, a do-up, a preparation for winter if you like …… in my usual inimitable fashion and with not much spare cash I began a one woman crusade to find how best to gain space, colour, comfort and energy into a room measuring roughly 3.20 x 5 metres [or for you non-metric types: 10’6″ x 15′] ¬†It’s a challenge!

Then other activities began to intrude – there is my ED’s birthday gift to finish. ¬†I’ve been working at it on and off [mostly off] for a year now and you can follow it’s earlier progress here and here and, if you are really interested,¬†here.

I dislike leaving things unfinished and so it must be completed even if I wish I could have a complete re-do. ¬†I’ve discovered [again!] that you learn so much from an activity and get better at it the more you do – hence the wish to start again! ¬†But I can’t as the original idea was to recycle a box in an unusual and worthwhile way and the box is now no more and we have what we have. ¬†So on I went with my project, all the time backtracking to add in, embellish up and do over. ¬†Like Topsy it has grown and grown and developed and evolved and is ending looking nothing like the original idea. ¬†Isn’t this the way of life?

Intruding into this work came several more activities. ¬†YD is on a five week long vacation from her job. ¬†She spent most of the first three weeks taking me out shopping with her – just for fun she said, and I am always up for some fun! ¬†I never ‘go shopping’ any more and found it fun, but quite exhausting. ¬†Several items have found their way into my room makeover stash.

With all this time on her hands and nothing but good ideas in her head, YD turned to me as we drove home from one of our shopping trips and said “Let’s have a garage sale on Saturday!” ¬†It was Thursday afternoon.

We have been talking about having a garage sale for months. ¬†We have stuff to get rid of. ¬†I have a tiny house and can’t keep stuff like I used to. ¬†I have too much stuff. ¬† I have stuff in boxes and cupboards and in the way. ¬†I would like to get it gone. ¬†And it would supply me with some much needed cash for my beloved redo…….. But, like, in 36 hours time?

“But we haven’t advertised it” ¬†I said. ¬†That was no concern to YD, we would put up some big notices on lamp posts and attract all the Saturday morning strollers who would be heading to the Esplanade for their Saturday morning Latte’s……

“But, we haven’t sorted” I said. ¬†No problem! ¬†We would do that this very evening and transport all my stuff to her place, where said Garage Sale was to be held, tomorrow.

I don’t seem to have the word ‘no’ available for use with either of my girls and so we were off and running! ¬†Cupboards were emptied of boxes, sifted through and piled into cars. ¬†Cupboards got a quick once over, drawers were emptied out and resorted. ¬†The bookshelves were relieved of some of their burden. ¬†The boxes of stuff that had already been set aside for our garage sale day were loaded up and disappeared. ¬†My house felt lighter immediately.

Over at YD’s house on Friday we did the same activity for her and the piles of stuff accumulated in her carport. ¬†I discovered my inner hoarder and pulled a couple of items back, strictly with the living room makeover in mind….

Friday night, and again at 6 o’clock on Saturday morning, we drove around the area and stapled notices to lamp posts exhorting any one who could read to come to YD’s house and spend their money on our unwanted stuff. ¬†What we were both blissfully unaware of was that my neatly handwritten invitations – black Sharpie on brown cardboard – were far too dull and small to be readily seen by all the latte seeking hordes……….

Our Garage Sale was a fizzer. ¬†The fact that we made $60 was a small miracle according to YD’s best friend tLK who had driven around looking for the signs on her way to help fend off the hordes of bargain hunters.

What I was really pleased about is that all my junk is now at YD’s place living in her guest bedroom and YD and tLK decided they would have a second go at a Garage Sale – and do it properly this time with advertising in the media and readable lamp post signs and everything else required for a successful day on ED’s birthday – when I will be in Wellington celebrating said event with the ever-so-lovely and aging ED!

It all worked out rather well I thought.

While all the above activities were going on I had discovered that my vacuum cleaner wasn’t actually doing any more than picking up the minimal amount of dust and debris it could get away with. ¬†I had cleaned the floors vigorously with it and when that activity was over got down on my hands and knees with a lint brush and brushed up a rather remarkable amount of dust and debris – and hair from one Orlando King. ¬†The cleaner, despite its roaring and puffing and vigorous movements, had done minimal work and was due for a sideways promotion.

I spent several days perusing my options online and armed with my new found knowledge and requirements set off to visit three stores and see what they had on offer.  Imagine my joy when, at the very first store I was approached by a tiny young woman with a friendly demeanour and an extensive knowledge of vacuum cleaners!  Imagine Рthere she was, working in the appliance section of a store and knowing her subject!  Fantastic!

vc sales girl

I spent a happy ninety minutes with her, discussing so many different aspects about cleaners in general and three in particular that I am now a walking encyclopedia regarding the pros and cons of the things!  Having educated me enough we began to play with the possibilities.  I happily cleaned large areas of floor for the department store, scuttling customers and servers out of the way with my vigorous brushstrokes.  My friendly and capable retail person scuttled about too, finding more dirt and debris to scatter in front of my searching motorised broom while I oohed and aahed at the sight of all that muck disappearing up the pipes despite her valiant attempts to rub it into the carpet and scatter it about in inaccessible places.

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With two cleaners tried out and my back beginning to get a bit stiff from the bending it was on to number three. ¬†Now to be honest here, I was a reluctant trialler of this model. ¬†It was an upright – the ones that look like they used in the UK pre-war days and I have always been a girl who uses a lowdown cleaner – you know, the ones modelled on the electrolux in days of yore – there are still people in the world who refer to ‘luxing’ when they talk about vacuum cleaning their floors.

My friendly, but determined sales girl really wanted me to try it and honestly, I was just doing it to make her happy as she had been such fun to play with.

She plugged it in, showed me where all the switches were and I dutifully turned it on and ………..Wheeeeeee! ¬†It dragged me around the store at a rate of knots. ¬†If I was cartooning it for you you would see me hanging onto the handle, airborne like a para glider, grinning like an idiot!

I couldn’t find one of those but this may give you an idea:

cleaning frenzy

Of course it came home with me!  The absolute bonus on a fun afternoon was that that particular model was marked down, for that weekend only, by $100.  How much better does it get?

Here is a picture of the box, newly emptied of it’s goodies, proudly posing beside Orlando’s metre high wardrobe cat:

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And here it is a moment or two later – look carefully:

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Do you see that hovering bird of light in the photo? ¬†It’s a complete mystery to me how that got there!

As we are on Orlando, lets finish this post with a bit more about his latest obsession.

Due to my imminent room make-over the refrigerator has been moved to a fairly unlikely place, [but there is a good reason for it of which more later.]  This allows his little kingship full access to the back of said fridge, where the motorised bit lives and which gurgles in a most enticing way apparently.  He spends hours watching closely:

Morning,

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noon

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and night:

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Sometimes he falls asleep watching it.  Then it makes a big gurgle, or the motor switches on and he jumps.  He does that four feet off the ground, backwards leap that cats do when they get a scare.  Sadly for him, this makes his mumma laugh!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did ¬†ūüôā

My Arty Organiser/Faux Filofax

I had a crazy notion about two weeks ago that it would be a good idea – instead of having five different notebooks of varying shapes and sizes plus one note pad scattered over my coffee table, and side table in the lounge and two more large exercise books and various bits of paper with random notes, quotes and ideas on scattered about the creative room – wouldn’t it be a good idea to have it all in one place…..

Mmmm – I set my mind to it – I first had the idea for a cover but was a bit woolly about how to actually do the rest when by serendipitous good fortune down the email arrived a link to a You Tube Video, made by a country-woman of pretty darn good creative ability:

All was made clear.  I had about seven notebooks still sitting in a drawer from the summer before last when they were on sale for five cents each РI bought twenty of them, just because they were five cents each!

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I took the covers off and painted them. ¬†I painted them with my two favourite colours cerulean blue and viridian green. ¬†There’s a wee touch of white in there too…..

I poured glossy mod podge over to stop the paint scratching off and when that was dry gave each cover a good coating of car polish and buffed them up. Mod podge is not the best sealer around. ¬†When dry it still has a sticky tack and a bad habit of making things stick together when you don’t want them to. ¬†The car polish puts a sleek shiny sealed surface over the mod podge and solves that problem.

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I made the cover Рand I just love how it has turned out!  I used one of my postcards made from the original painting and embedded it onto the hardboard cover with texture paste which I then painted with the cerulean and viridian paints.

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The rest was pretty straight forward. ¬†I made some little pockets to hold the odd bits and pieces that might come floating by. ¬†Fiddled about a bit with the spine to ensure it was strong and sturdy and could do what I wanted it to do. ¬†Bought some hat elastic and wrapped it around the spine inner, which was then glued to the spine outer – meaning no-ones going nowhere baby! ¬†slipped the notebooks into place and voila – one artists organiser complete with the obligatory spot of bling…..

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I forgot to say earlier I made the little medallion thingy from a metal embellishment. ¬†I dunked it into embossing ink then into white embossing powder and heated it. ¬†Twice. Then I finished it with a dunk into some sparkly clear embossing powder and got the look I was after. I coloured the elastic with ‘Peacock’ Distress Ink. ¬† Here’s a spine view:

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Adding tabs ensured there is, amongst other things, a place for notes, a place to list things I want, a place to list gift ideas, a place to keep track of giveaways and winners of giveaways, a place for ideas, a place for quotes, a place for tracking expenditure and another for tracking earnings [giggle!] and a spare place for something else that might pop up.

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If you peer closely into the centre of the book you will see the hat elastic doing its job and holding the notebook into the spine quite snugly.

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And here is one of the little pockets which have been scattered throughout to hold the odd random bit of paper that may need holding onto….. and there is the blingy page marker at work too ūüôā

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And that my friends, is my version of an organiser – now to find out if it holds up and actually works….. she should do everything but make my morning coffee!

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If I missed anything and you really, really want to know what I did or how I did it ask away ūüôā

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

365 Days – February

Two down – ten to go! ¬†[And today is my first blogging birthday!! ¬†Isn’t that cool. ¬†I had forgotten all about it but the nice folks at WordPress left a note in my comments box. ¬†ūüôā

Blink and you will have missed it – that’s February done and dusted and there weren’t that many lovely hot days at all……..

Here are the daily ‘snap-shots’ neatly divided up into weekly portions as this is the only month that allows neat freaks like me to arrange the full month into equally numbered piles of four:

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And now, because it’s my blog and I can – here are a few of my favourites:

Obviously feeling pretty good about Life, the Universe and Everything on this particular day.  Despite the fact that the face got smeared and looks like a clown, I like the movement in this one:

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I had a break-through with The Book:

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I like how this one turned out – I had time to play and no particular word for the day, so I just started doodling and kept going – the word ended up being ‘Doodles’ ¬†ūüôā

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And here I was celebrating the sighting of a beautiful skirt I had seen on Etsy that reminded me of days gone by when I was this slim and could dance like this:

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The theme of the month appears to be gifts – I was the recipient of so many wonderful handmade gifts from my bloggie friends and a couple that I gifted myself – ¬†and dancing and skirts – which I did succumb to in the end – not the wildly expensive number I had eyed on Etsy, but another quieter, more mature version…………

Do you have a favourite?

Here’s the collection to date:

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Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!