Painting Pets.

Hey hey everyone!

So, we have been busy lately painting a lot of really cool pets.  I have had the privilege of meeting some really cool people and I LOVE it!

A few months ago, I was approached by a friend who has asked if I would consider teaching a Paint your Pet type class.  It’s kind of funny, I had never considered it.  Ironic, given how much my life revolves around pets of some sort.  Honestly, I think I was scared of failure.  The fear of letting people down.  One of the primary goals in teaching classes was that people would be able to relax, socialize and truly enjoy what they created.  Pets seemed scary.

But I said, sure….let’s give it a whirl.  I had a ton of response!  Apparently, people really love their pets.  WHO KNEW?!?!?!

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For the pet classes, I did manage to get my new easels made.  I was actually pretty impressed with these little guys.  1.  I made them from scrap materials pretty much. 2.  They actually seem to work pretty well!

In this class, I had a couple of newbies and I can not lie….I was super nervous for them, because I didn’t want to let them down! But as they started to work and I started to see their paintings come together, I got really excited for each of them.  As they worked through each of the individual challenges of their pets, I could see their excitement grow. By the end of the class, I can not express how happy I was with them!

By the end, I think everyone was thrilled!  I even have some who want to come back to paint the rest of their 4-leggeds!  “B” in particular has 6 more to go because she is a saint who works with rescues!

Thank you for your dedication my friend.

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Also, if you happened to notice the abnormally high amount of injuries in this group…for the record…. they were all injured BEFORE they came to my class.  I had NOTHING to do with it!

For the second group, they broke ALL the rules.  Just had to put that out there.  I have never had a group of such intense workers.  We had a blast.  It was also the first group who actually asked if I had tunes to listen to….which melted my heart.  I am a music junkie!

This group also had some newbies….a few who were probably more qualified than myself to teach this class!  To see each of them work, it was truly cool.  The best part, regardless of each of their previous experience, they each made their own progress in their work.  It’s all about challenging yourself sometimes, weather you are a veteran at something, or a new kid on the block, push your boundaries!

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So, after the marathon painting session, I can honestly say that I think everyone left feeling accomplished with what they had created.  I had one…and maybe two…who might try to work on theirs a little more outside of class.  I was promised pics of completed works!  Which was another first, but it was great to see their dedication to their creations.

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Check out the photo bomb job from Beau.  He’s the best!

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Here was another first.  They aren’t spoiled or anything.

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I have noticed a couple of things about teaching these classes.  People tend to be very nervous to put that first mark on a nice clean canvas.  I think that idea applies to life in general.  Some of the greatest journeys have to start with a step and it can be terrifying.  Who wants to make the wrong line, take the wrong steps or ruin what they think is a perfect canvas?  But at the end of the day….putting that first mark on, taking that first step…can lead to something truly beautiful and amazing.  Take pride in the journey.  Love to results of process.  It’s just all little decisions that come together to make something wonderful.

Wow.

That was deep.

On that note…the hallway debacle is up next!  Ohhhhh, what a debacle it was…still is…lol!

Peace out peeps!

 

‘Tis the Season

I swear, as I get older, I just love the holidays more and more.

I love doing the little things for all the people in my life who help keep my world turning.

I love seeing the smiles.

Our world needs more damn smiles.

So, I haven’t posted…because I have been working like a crazy little elf on all of the goodies for all of the peeps.  It’s been busy!

I did take a break last Sunday to make the storm window frames for the craft room.  Funny story there.  I had been up there sewing, in multiple layers, still freezing.  I was watching the musical Rent while working and the thought crossed my mind…”Hey, minus the drugs and AIDS, I have a lot in common with the characters in this! Freezing my ass off and looking at a burning candle like it’s really going to make me feel warm!”  So, I decided it was time to get those windows buttoned up!

But, this is some of the stuff I have been working on!

It has been a variety of gifts for coworkers and the kiddos in my Off the Hook Club at school and even some fun doggie accessories for The Pet Loft!  PHEW!  This doesn’t even include gifts for my friends and family…that’s tomorrows project, because if I shared pics now….it would ruin the fun.

But the point of this post is this…it is so easy to get so lost in the lists and the To Do’s and the stress of the holidays.  For me though, each year…although always stressful…gets easier and easier.  I have really started to LOVE the process.  Making things gives me a chance to knock the cobwebs out of the crafty side of my brain.  I get to have an excuse to spend hours in my craft space just jamming and creating.  It doesn’t get much better than that for me.  Plus, I get to see the smiles…that’s so selfish of me.  But I LOVE seeing people smile and knowing I played a part in that!

So, take a moment…breathe…and love the moments that make this time of year so magical.  It’s not about the money spent…it’s about the smiles and the memories.  Laugh.  Love.  Embrace it!!!!

Plus, I really like Christmas lights.  I’m a kid at heart!

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If I don’t talk to you all before Christmas….have a WONDERFUL holiday!

Peace out peeps.

I think I have found my niche.

Hey y’all!

So, how is everyone on this gorgeous Saturday morning?

Last weekend, I hosted another painting class at the house…and oh we are starting to have so much fun!

I think I have found my niche!

So, when I started the classes, I wanted to do a variety of classes and I can’t say that I still won’t.  But the masses have spoken.
They like to paint.

A lot!

So, now when it comes to the painting classes, I basically let everyone tell me what THEY would like to paint!  That way, I know for certain, that they are taking something home with them that they will LOVE!

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I have got to tell you…I love how creative and talented everyone is!  It’s so exciting to see everyone work and encouraging each other to make such wonderful things!

 

Not to mention, everyone gets to serious and into it!

Next class up…we will be painting on glass!  Check out the Facebook event if you’re local and are interested!

Oh and memories…One year ago this weekend was the Open House party at the house!

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See, organized and AMAZING!

So…as usual…thanks again for all of your support!

Peace out peeps.

 

Storm Cellar Pt. 3,408

Yep.

You read that right.

That’s what it FEELS like.

The longest project ever.

BUT, we are most definitely on the homestretch!

This week, we poured the final portions of concrete to make the landing “pad” at the bottom of the steps.  We also started the repair work on the one step that had suffered so much water damage that it had actually turned back into sand.

Last Sunday, we had another work day at the house. Mr. T, Dad and I all got to play in concrete!  **I swear that I work on these projects…I just been voted official documentation person…so sometimes it’s hard to document myself!**

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You can see from this angle, that second step down that was so damaged.  We were able to concrete in a cap to help close the distance between the steps!  It’s still not finished out at this point, but it will be in 2017.

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**Please note..**

I started this blog post LAST WEEK!!!  This is embarrassing that sometimes accomplishing the little things can feel like climbing Mr. Everest!

The reason I am pointing this out is…

We have been living in torrential rain all week long.  Which translates to this, all of the improvements are WORKING!!  The basement is dry!!!  The drain is working.  The gutters are working.  The french drain is working!  It’s a BEAUTIFUL day in rainy Ohio when this happens in my world!

So, tomorrow…last work day for this project is scheduled.  We are planning on building the door frame and door.  I will be working on dragging the rest of the crap that has been down there out and covering that drain.  All said and done…one step closer to a decent, not scary, functioning old basement!  YES!!!

By next year….my basement entrance will be as cool as this!

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I even have the matching yellow hose!

Next week, painting class!!!  So….lots happening this week.  Meaning…probably not gonna blog. (if you’re local and interested, click here!)

I just like to keep it real around here!

Oh, and I finally did it this week!  I pulled the cranky yellow horse out of semi-retirement! For your viewing enjoyment!

Peace out peeps!

 

 

 

 

 

House Updates.

Well, I bet you were starting to think I had kicked back and was reading a book, enjoying a nice cup of tea.

Wrong.

Progress has still be occurring.

Slow…but occurring.

So, big news. Garden 2.0 has been started for 2017.  I know.  I am nuts. After holding a board meeting, the board (mom) and I decided that it would be best to expand.  Now, this does not necessarily mean I will be planting MORE.  But it does mean that I will be giving myself more room between plants to work.

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Which really means, I’ll be giving the weeds LOTS of extra space!

However, I am really excited about the expansion.  My compost bin will now be within the parameters of the garden.  I will…of course…be adding a couple of new plants.  Overall, I think it will just give me a lot more room to enjoy!

In other news….the grapevines!!!!

One of the most exciting things I found when I moved in last fall was the grapevines.

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They are very overgrown and a big bushy mess…but they did produce grapes!  I was a little late in picking them, but I was still able to get enough gathered to make some AMAZING grape jelly!

I am going to skip all the pictures in the middle (mostly because I didn’t take that many…lol!).  But I will say this, I now believe that I will never be able to enjoy store bought grape jelly again!

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It was definitely a labor of love….but oh my.

So. Worth. It.

Wrapping up this crazy weekend was a BIG day at the house!

We had a work day scheduled with Mr. T and Dad anyway (I’ll be posting an update on the storm cellar soon….we are on the home stretch!)  But then I was able to get someone down to come down and take the gutters off.  Plans are also in the works for what the new roof is going to be and possible window upgrades!  Thing LONG TERM…but it’s nice to know the options…especially in regards to the windows.

So, before an after!  The falling apart gutters and dilapidated gutters are GONE!!  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s one baby step to the entire process of bringing this house back.

Mr. T thinks she’s sexy.

I think she’s getting sexier the more we get down to the basics.  I literally CAN NOT wait to get all of the trim cleaned up and painting white again.

This is going to be a very long and slow process…but little milestones like today keep me hopeful!

Peace out peeps.

 

Panic…I mean…Fall is in the Air

Morning everyone!

So, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I normally LOVE Fall.  The only part I historically don’t enjoy is the loss of sunlight. But the rest of it….bring it on!

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This year is a little different.

Now, I see the beautiful leaves falling to the ground and a myriad of thoughts run through my brain.

Then the panic starts.

I feel…more than usual…that there will NEVER be enough time.

So, the To Do list comes back in full force.

  1. Prepare for the invasion (mice,bugs and critters…oh my!)

**Speaking of invasions…what the hell is this???**

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  1. Built a basement door (that might help with the invasion)
  2. Plant bulbs and final push in the flowerbeds for the year (because I am already envisioning the beauty for next year!)
  3. Garden…oh my garden…you will be bigger and better for next year (if I have time).
  4. Order the bare root trees to prep for planting in the spring (big goals to get some new trees started!)
  5. Classes…so many options for Fall fun!
  6. Enjoy pumpkin everything.

The next class at the house is all set up scheduled…but dear lord, it’s only two weeks away!

See what I mean.

Pure panic.

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So, with that being said.  Does anyone else feel this kind of pressure this time of year?

Oh, and if there wasn’t enough.  I think I am going to make concord grape jelly tomorrow.  I think you could get drunk from the grapes ripening right now!  Too many to just waste!

Peace out peeps.

 

 

Mini Pallet Recap!

Oh. My. Goodness.

In the last 48 hours here in Ohio, I have felt the first signs of Fall.  The crispness in the air, the golden leaves laying on the grass, the first head cold of the season, the snakes moving into the dining room…

So, last night, I slept almost 9 hours.  Whether it was because it was finally perfect sleeping weather or the fact that I was literally exhausted, it was wonderful!

Last Sunday, I hosted a great mini-pallet painting class at the house.  I really can’t express to anyone, besides my ever-patient mother, how stressful having the classes can be.  Between prepping for the class, cleaning house, making food and then teaching….there are MANY moments I wonder if it is worth it.

But then, everyone shows up, the laughter begins, the creativity starts and it’s just wonderful to see everyone have so much fun making things!

With being back to school for the last couple of weeks, prepping for the class was even more challenging!  But, it all got done and I think they turned out great!

I started by cutting apart pallets to make these mini-pallet canvases to paint.  It was a labor of love to say the least.  But just like everything else, once I got the first few made, they were pretty easy to put together.

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After a few solid hours working in the new and improved Girl Cave, I was well on my way to being ready for class.

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Now, for the heart attack of this story.

At the time I was wrapping up, it was about 10 pm.  I headed in the house determined to knock one or two more things off of my To Do list.  So, I quickly decided I would water the plants (sometimes remembering to do that can be harder than you think!).  Got my watering can, headed into the dining room.

To find this bastard.  **Warning…there is one cuss word.**

So, needless to say, after beating the poor thing to death with a flip flop.  I called it a day!  lol!

Anyway, back to the class.  Everyone did an amazing job!  It was the first time that I offered for everyone to make something they would prefer (instead of me selecting the theme).  It was great!  Plus, this way, I knew for sure that everyone would be able to take home something they would really enjoy to have in their home.

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Although I like to pretend my dining room is more formal and fancy…I love seeing it covered with creativity.

Now, you’re probably wondering why it’s so dark?  Because not only was it one of the hottest days of the summer (and there have been PLENTY) but we lost power after a storm rolled through.

These women were such troopers.  It was sticky and hot and dark.  They were rock stars!

Just look at what we made!

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Because of the loss of power, I wasn’t able to get a group picture…but here are some of the other gems!

Plus, this darling!  She had a bonus day…she even lost a tooth while she was at class!IMG_20160828_175507281

She also won the award for the most paintbrushes used.

Ever.

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Overall, I couldn’t be happier.

No worries, I have already started planning the next class.  Not to mention, I still have people interested in doing another pallet class…so it looks like the work will go on!

More to come…

Fall wrap up is on full swing…so be patient with my lack of blogging.  I am sure by the time December rolls around, I’ll be driving you crazy again with all of my random thoughts on life.

Peace out peeps!

 

 

Storm Cellar, Phase 2

Well, I know you have all been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting patiently for the next “chapter” of the storm cellar renovation at the house.

Since I am a people pleaser….

Here ya go!

So, I left off with the really cool old piece that we were able to salvage after it fell into the bottom of the storm cellar well, after the wall collapsed.

After setting the right side of the steps, we started working on the left side again.  To finish building the wall and place the cap piece.

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Big Bertha came

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Little did we know, that place what is the “right” side of the top piece (that was broken into 3 pieces) would be the easy side.  We tried REALLY hard to keep the left side in one piece.  Unfortunately, due to it’s size and weight, it became too much of a safety hazard and we were forced to cut it into smaller, more manageable pieces.

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This is just a cheesy picture of us working….I mean, I couldn’t resist!

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By the end of this work day (which was actually July 7th, for documentation purposes), this is what my awesome new storm cellar looks like!  Just to remind you….this was the before….

So scary!!!!

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Once again, could not thank Mr. T. enough for sharing his expertise in this project!

Onto the next project…

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Step design 101.  Who likes to play with blocks??

Peace out peeps.

 

Storm Cellar, Phase 1

Good evening fine folks!

Oh my Lord….what a fast summer!  It has been jam packed with so many projects, I hardly know where to start to share with everyone.  But, I am going to do my best to recap the summer in a way that actually makes sense…lots of things were overlapping and are still being wrapped up, so this could get sketchy! Hang in there!

With so much going on, let’s just remind ourselves of this fact, the work in a 160 year old home is never done.

Ever.

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So, this photo was taken June 7th.  At this very moment, I was preparing to unveil what could be the worst nightmare of my life.  But as it turns out, it was only a minor nightmare.

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Under the 3 layers of plywood and rubber mats, this was my storm cellar entrance. Definitely not what I had hoped for.  I felt pretty defeated at this moment, because I had no clue how exactly to fix it.  But I did know that it was going to be a grueling amount of hard work.

So, I called in a favor to a friend of my dad’s.  He was the only person I could think of who would have ANY idea on how to fix this.

Introduce to the play, Mr. T.

What a character!

If I were writing a script, I don’t think I could have imagined a person like Mr. T.  The best way to describe him is as follows…

He is a true force of nature, with perseverance, intellect, culture and loyalty…all mixed together to form 71 years of more experiences and stories of a fully lived life than any person I have ever met.

All of this put together just means that every work day was awesome…and fun!

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Without boring you with all of the minor details, I am going to share with you some of the cooler pictures of this process.  It involved cutting and shaping both old and new stones, lots of physics and crushed limestone, all coming together to put the jigsaw puzzle back together.

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On Day 2, we started to disassemble the other wall and cleaning out the bottom of the pit.  It was also the first time we had the basement door open.

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The mass cleaning of the basement has started…but that might have to be another post of it’s own!  lol!

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Mr. T invented this super cool contraption out of an Adjusta-Post and a jack from an old VW.  “Big Bertha” as we fondly named her, played a vital roll in pushing specific stones set lower in the well back into place.  This was kind of tricky because when the house was built, the foundation walls, the storm cellar walls and steps were all dove-tailed and integrated together as they built it.  So, naturally, if you start messing with one piece of the puzzle…other pieces are bound to move!

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So, very slowly…we reconstructed the walls.

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One of the coolest finds in this process was finding this top piece.  Over the years, it is what started the collapse of the wall.  It fell into the well first and broke in the process.  However, we were able to piece it back together based on this amazing detail on the back of it.  Notice that the original craftsman finished the face of the stone in two different textures.  The bulkier texture was designed to be underground and never seen, helping to anchor the stone into place.  The finer detail was meant to show off a little and can be found on the rest of the foundation stones.

Now, because it’s getting late and I fear I could bore you….and another episode of Grey’s just ended on Netflix…I will end Phase 1 here!  No worries…Phase 2 and 3 are right around the corner.  Next scheduled work date for the storm cellar is August 5th, so no worries…you won’t have to wait long!

Peace out peeps.

Sunday Mornings

Morning everyone!

I am sitting here this morning working on canning beans from my garden.  I am praying and hoping that my first experience will a pressure canner is nothing but wonderful!  lol!

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But it allows me a moment to be “present”.  I just finished paying bills and I am sitting here with the door open and the fragrance of cow is wafting around.  Mr. T. would love it right now!!  I get to take a moment and enjoy the progress of this summer.

I mean, just the success of the beans alone, it’s pretty remarkable!

I shouldn’t call it a success until I am done canning them, huh?

Anyway.  The beans are a result of my first big girl garden.

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I pretty stinking proud of it.  Bonus, it’s actually producing vegetables.

I feel so confident, I am starting a herb garden by the house today.

I know.  It’s awesome.

So, in the spirit of being present….and reminiscing all at the same time…it’s hard to believe how much has occurred in 8 months.  The house is coming along. The deck/patio area are almost done in the back.  The storm cellar is just waiting for a drain and a new door (once completed, I will give the full recap of that project!)  We are redesigning the entrance steps on Wednesday.  School starts in 14 short days, so I am in the big push to wrap up the major projects for the summer.

Another perk…I am starting love living out in the open and looking forward to more adventures daily.

Next up….I think I am going to be a Chicken Complex so I can have chickens next spring.

Anyway, it’s just a great, quiet morning. It’s actually a nice temperature…which is glorious without AC in the house.  It’s just nice.  Peaceful.  Whole.  Wonderful.

So, I hope you are having just as wonderful of a morning.  It’s a great way to start the day!

I am seriously starting to wonder about this pressure canning.   It is  definitely an exercise in patience.

Peace out peeps.