Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Maple Leaves

Things have been a little crazy around here. Just sat through watching all the elections yesterday and I'm happy that many of my candidates won. Whether they can improve the state of our economy and other issues remains to be seen but I am praying that they will provide the leadership to do what it takes to get us out of this mess. We really need some hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

I am getting ready to paint my oldest son's bedroom. My youngest son wants to make it into a movie room so I am going to paint some movie cameras and other equipment on the walls. Right now I am just imagining what it will look like, now if I can just turn that into reality.

Did a little painting for my etsy store and it's called,"Maple Leaves".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Economy Christmas Gift Bag

I decided to downsize to a gift bag which has only one set of cards, pen and chocolate candy. I also have snowman and santa bags with matching gift tags to go with it. In this economy, people are looking for better deals and less expensive gift ideas . I can print the person's name on the cards so that it will be a more personalized gift.

Ready to go gift bags in my Etsy Store and I can customize them too!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Christmas Gift Art Bags

I decided to offer some of my cards and magnets in a gift bag as I have been getting orders from customers that buy my cards and then want them shipped to someone else. I looked at the cost effectiveness of doing gift baskets but the price of shipping these was going to be very expensive. The gift bags are a lot lighter and easier to handle. I also added a pen and some candy as some extra amenities.

Check out my gift art bags in my Etsy Store.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bleak Week

The financial crisis has been dominating the airways and it has been a pretty depressing picture. Several months back, my husband was told by different reliable sources that it would be a good idea to get his retirement money out of stocks. He went ahead and took the advice and switched most of his 401K into bonds. I don't know if that was a safe move or not. This is one heck of a mess and I am hopping mad over it. How could this problem have gotten this big and this bad without anyone sounding the alarm or doing something about it? It just boggles my mind and I am afraid that we will be mortgaging our kids future because this is a problem that is going to have years and years of negative consequences. My husband and I are 10 years out from retirement and this really has impacted us as it has every other person in this country. I have no idea what the future will hold but right now it just doesn't look good.

I decided I needed to paint to get my mind off of this bleak week that we have had so this is my new painting called, "Reflective Eyes." I have a feeling I'm going to be painting a lot more than usual this fall.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What To Do Next?

Now that the remodel is for the most part done, I am trying to get back into gear with spending more time on my blogging and artwork. My in-laws are due to arrive in a couple of weeks so I am organizing things in preparation for their visit.

Friday, we went and saw the musical, "Chicago". They were doing only one show in our area so friends of ours asked us if we would like to go and of course we said yes. It was a very good show and a lot of fun. I am hoping to see more of these types of productions in the future.

I am looking into taking guitar lessons although I am having quite a time trying to find someone locally to teach me. I even advertised on with no luck so far. I may have to bite the bullet and drive 40 miles to take lessons.

I was able to sell some of my new boutique girls clothes on craigslist.

Another thing that I would like to learn is to speak Spanish. Through craigslist, I found someone that was willing to trade Spanish for English lessons. I contacted them but it wasn't going to work out which was disappointing.

We have a lot of old doors and a window that were leftover from the remodel so I will be advertising them on craigslist for nothing.

I highly recommend using this free online service. There are a ton of things on there and easy to find them locally too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bathroom Model Complete

I just took these pictures before my bathroom became a disaster area. Since my small bathroom is being remodeled, everyone has moved into the master bath and there are towels everywhere. With clear glass shower doors, we had to treat the glass with Rain-X to keep the water deposits from building up on it. It takes about 5 minutes to squeegee the glass and the tile, then wipe everything down. My family has been beating me into the shower first so they won't have to be the last person to wipe the shower down.

The shower looks nice but it will be more work to keep it looking that way.

This is the old bathroom:

The remodeled bathroom:

My studio is also complete. I still have to get more drawer space for it and for my walk-in closet but I am glad we are done!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bedroom Remodel Almost Complete

It has been a looong 5 months and all I can say is that the bedroom remodel is almost complete. I really like it. It came out better than I thought despite all the headaches. One of the major problems amongst many that occurred during the process was that my cabinet maker did not use the right stain on my doors and the bathroom vanity. The bedroom door sits very close to one of the kitchen cabinets. Since the cabinet was a couple of feet from the door, it was really obvious that the stain did not match. One of the reasons I went with this cabinet maker was because he had done my kitchen cabinets and he said he would use the same stain.

My husband said, well there's nothing we can do about it now so just get over it. I guess never assume anything is what it has taught me.

Here's a picture of my room after installing the French doors:

And the new room:

My furniture that I repainted looks like all new furniture. Saved a lot of money by keeping the old set.

Bathroom remodel will be next. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer is Almost Over

School starts again next week. Both of my boys will be starting on the same day. My college son is back on campus. We moved him in a week ago, Saturday. He started a university job this past Monday. He is going to have his hands full with classes and work. Good thing though as he is paying his last 2 years of school so he needs the income.

My other son starts high school this year. With all the challenges he has been through, I hope he has a smooth 4 years.

We went up to the mountains on Saturday and spent time together as a family. We hiked a really high ridge that had great views of all the mountains, then we drove to a small lake and rafted and fish. Didn't catch a lot of fish but it was fun to be together. I know these days are numbered. My oldest son may stay in his apartment and not come back next summer so this may be the last year that we will all be living under the same roof.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flourish Boutique

Back in April, I was contacted by Vanessa Cooreman Smith to sell some of my artwork in her store. She sells on Etsy too and was going to open a boutique in South Bend, Indiana. The store is now open, their grand opening is slated for August 30th. The website looks fabulous and has quite a few things for sale including fine art, clothing,shoes, accessories, jewelry, maternity, home decor and even custom house portraits. I usually don't like to sell on consignment but in this situation I am really glad that I agreed to it. I just received my first check from Flourish Boutique. Vanessa's store is a very classy establishment and I am happy to be selling there.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Sun is Shining

I made it back from the doctor's and everything is OK. What I had was harmless and of no consequence. What a relief! I also liked the doctor and he was very kind and put my mind at ease immediately.

I have to say that I learned a lot from this experience. It taught me that you cannot take your health for granted, ever.

Also it taught me that I should make an effort to be kinder to everyone, including those that try my patience or that are rude. They are the ones that need it the most and perhaps they are going through some difficult times, you just never know.

One of the books I was reading talked about how everything little thing that we do can make a difference in someone else's life. We may not think it is of any significance but to someone else, it could be their saving grace.

I am so thankful for my friends.I had friends that were going to drop everything to take me to my appointment. I had cyber friends who were thinking of me and all of that just meant so much. It showed me that the world is a beautiful place no matter how dire the circumstances.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bathroom Vanity

Finally, the cabinet makers are going to be here tomorrow at 7am to put in my bathroom vanity. I ordered it over 3 months ago and have been calling them every week for the past month wondering when they were going to install it.

My doctor's appointment is also tomorrow and I am hoping they will be done before I have to go. My husband said that he would stay at home if need be, however, I would prefer that he come with me.

We will see how it all works out. I had a sneaking suspicion that the guys would show up on the same day as my appointment and sure enough that is what happened. Still I am just grateful that my bathroom is getting closer to completion. This waiting is for the birds!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Property Manager

We have friends that own some rental property near us but they live about 2 hours away. I had told them that I could show their house for them when they lost their last tenant. It saved them the hassle of having to drive down to show the place everytime. I showed it 2 or 3 times and we were able to get another renter in there relatively quickly.

Onsite Property Manager offers rental property management software for landlords. The 60 day free trial allows you to print lease agreements, notices to renters,and bank deposit slips for rental payments. Also automatically posts late fees and rental fees on the days you choose. The software makes managing rental property a lot easier and my friends might benefit from using a service like this.

This was sponsored by Bloggerwave.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Work is Never Done

It's been about 6 days since I had been to the doctor's and still have heard nothing back on the referral. Now I have to call them to find out what the hold up is. In the meantime, I have been keeping busy. I finished painting my closet doors, painted ivy over the French doors. Put up some pictures in the remodeled bedroom and I am prepping the family room for painting.

I will call the cabinet makers again this week to see where they are and if they will ever install my vanity. Had some frustrations at Lowes. I spent a considerable amount of time looking at blinds. Made another trip back to order them and they couldn't bring them up on the computer so I couldn't price them. They found all the other blinds just not the ones that I wanted. After I went back home, I did get a call back and it turns out that the people helping me did not know how to use the system. My blinds were found but now I have to go back in to order them. After the Lowe's paint and tile debacles, I am tired of making the 60 mile round trip to fix the errors. It is getting a little old.

Right now, I am eyeing my bookcase that will go back in the remodeled bedroom. I had painted all the bedroom furniture a thyme green and now I am thinking that the book case will not match. I am going to have to paint that too.

My husband thinks that I am making too much work for myself but at this point, I need the distraction so I welcome it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another Delay

Just got off the phone with the cabinet makers and they said another delay, possibly 2 weeks before they can come and install my double sink vanity. I had called them 3 weeks ago and they said it was going to be another 2 and 1/2 weeks. I had put a rush on my sinks so that they would be here for installation and now I find out that I didn't have to do that.

My patience is really running thin. I just priced airfare to fly out my in-laws, however, we need to get the remodel done so they can stay in that room and now it looks like the month of August is going to be shot.

Can't put the flooring in until the sink vanity goes in as I don't want the workman to scratch up the wood floors and also can't put the tile in until the sinks are in. Can't finish the walk-in closet until the wood flooring is in.

First it was the contractor not showing up 9 to 10 times likes he said he would and now I have to deal with the cabinet makers. I ordered the vanity over 3 months ago and they said it would be done in 3 months or faster. I wish people would not make promises they can't keep.

This was supposed to be a small remodel job. Now we are into the 4th month and may be
only 1/2 way finished. It's going to be a long hot summer!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Teeny Weeny Studio

Still doing remodeling although things should rev up here when my bathroom vanity is put in. I have been waiting for them to get this done before we put in the floors and tile. I just cleaned the French doors and grilles and will stain them as soon as they are dried. It will be tricky as I am using a stain for fiber glass and my test stain right now is too light. I am supposed to leave it on so many minutes and then brush it. The longer the period between brushing, the darker the stain. I can always wipe the stain off but at $50.00 a stain kit, I don't really want to waste too much.

There is a section of my bedroom that I am thinking of putting a tiny studio to store all my art supplies and sewing items. I still don't know how I am going to fit so much stuff into a little space. My husband is concerned that it will look messy so I am going to have to buy a lot of organizers to do the job right. Right now my drawing table is out in the kitchen taking up a lot of space. It will be nice to move everything back to the master bedroom.

I took some before pictures of the room and bathroom but I am waiting until I am totally finished so that I can show the before and after shots.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Destination Based Tax

My state just started doing destination based sales tax for those that ship goods here. I thought the idea was to make the tax system less complicated! Sales tax will be based on where the item is shipped, not where the seller is located. This is just crazy!

The shopping cart on Etsy was not set up to accommodate this type of change so I am going to have to manually look up the tax rates and charge customers accordingly. Fortunately, most of my sales are out-of-state so for now it should not have a huge impact on my business.

After some reading, I have found that my state is the 22nd in the country to switch to this kind of tax. This is supposed to level the playing field between internet companies and the brick and mortar businesses but all I can say is , there has got to be a better way.

I found an article, Why Congress Should Not Authorize a State Sales Cartel, which gives good arguments against having a destination based sales tax and I totally agree with it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Still Waiting

Made it back from San Antonio in one piece. It was fun but very hot and a very short trip. My contractor finished his job and so I started painting the bedroom closet. I ran out of paint because I wanted to test the color before I bought more. My husband made the mistake of calling the contractor and setting up a time for the heating and air conditioning guys to come out and move our heating vents. I was told they would be here this morning. I have been waiting all day and they did not show up. I wanted to go
to town to buy more paint and to look at shower doors, mirrors and flooring. I will have to go tonight now because I need the paint but all the stores will be closed except Lowes and that just gets me mad! I am trying to consolidate my trips because of the gas and now I will have to make another trip when the stores are open. I know I will have to be home all day tomorrow because the heating guys wanted to come then too. I wish people would show up when they said they would. My time is valuable to me and it irks me that I have wasted another day again!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Trip to San Antonio

Our trip to San Antonio is coming up this week and I am going to have to start getting things together for it. Thankfully we did a lot of shopping last week and got the boys set on clothes for the trip. I am not looking forward to flying with all the flight cancellations lately. Last year, when we went to Hawaii, it was a bear dealing with all the security measures and even though we had e tickets and did our check-in online, we still had to wait 45 minutes because passengers that were late for their flights were allowed to go ahead of us. Traveling has become such a hassle.

The good thing is that I will get to see my parents and the rest of my relatives. I hadn't seen the group since our trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and that was a few years back.

My mom's side of the family has had a reunion every year in a different location for the last 12 years.

This year, my son's girlfriend is coming on the trip so I had to book a two room suite at the Marriott. That should be really interesting. My brother and his family will be there too and we hadn't seen them since my parent's fiftieth in 2006.

We plan to hit Sea World, the Alamo and the River Walk. We have one day open and will play that by ear. Should be a fun time.

Restless Nights

Since my friend's mother has passed, I have been having a difficult time sleeping at nights. What has been on my mind is that it has really been hitting home that my parents and my husband's parents are failing and it is just a matter of time before something happens. Obviously, I have known this all along but lately it is becoming more of a reality.

I just had a conversation with my mom and she told me that she had to go to an internist because she was having major bowel issues. She also has dropped a lot of weight and she told me that she is just skin and bones. My father has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis which is a progressive lung disease that usually results in death within a few years. He is on heavy duty drugs and is feeling great but the doctors are telling him that the x-rays are not showing the progress he is feeling.

I know that this is just life and this is what happens to everyone. However, getting married and having kids was really a joyful time, the rest of it, getting older and watching your parents go downhill has been a difficult journey and I don't know how people deal with that.

I guess one has to hope for the best, prepare for the worst and have a lot of faith that no matter what happens, things will work out somehow in the end.

Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up tomorrow and we have a retirement dinner to go to so I had wanted to do a celebration today. Unfortunately, my friend's mom died and she needed some comforting so our women's group is getting together tonight to be with her. Yesterday, I had my youngest grill up some hamburgers and we did our Father's Day dinner on Friday. I have been trying to get the boys to hone their cooking skills so I am having each of them cook a meal every week. It has been working out great so far.

For tomorrow, I am having the boys whip up a special breakfast for their dad and they are supposed to be available to help him out with chores this entire weekend. Happy Father's Day!


The contractor has been showing up everyday for an hour to an hour and 1/2. So far he has put in about 20 hours. I guess his crew quit on him so he has been a one man show. Also his wife has been pressuring him to stay home at night and he has a day job which doesn't leave a whole lot of time left. My drywall is up and it has been taped,mudded and sanded. Hopefully next week he can texture and then I can paint.

The bad news is the $100/hour plumber that did our work in the bathroom, my husband put in the shower base and it did not line up with the drain. We only had the drain realigned and two faucet lines put in at a cost of $580.00! I told my husband to demand that the plumber come out and redo it but he won't listen to me so he is going to crawl under the house and do the work himself!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Do You Have the Look of the Year?

I have watched some reality shows and America's Top Model is one that I have tuned into once in awhile. It must be nice to look that good and have people clamoring to pay you to model their clothing or ads. Online there is another site called It's a beauty contest where anyone can participate and the judges are the public.Males and females have to be at least 14 to participate and 4 winners are chosen. Looks like there is a $10,000.00 prize too.

It's amazing what you can find on the internet these days.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Want to Pull My Hair Out!

Two days ago, my phone quit working so I finally called Embarq and they came out today to fix it. When the repair guy showed up, he said the service is free if the problem was coming from outside of my house. If it was coming from inside, it will be a $50.00 charge plus $25.00 every 15 minutes until the problem is solved. Turns out, there was a short in the line and it was coming from the inside! The guy was really nice and said that he could disconnect a second line in the outside box and if that solved the problem then he wouldn't have to charge me. He said it will probably knock out one of my phone jacks but it should be OK. Well, my phone line worked and everything was OK.

Then a few hours later, I went to turn on my computer and no DSL! The computer said there was no connection. The repairman had assured me my DSL was intact when he disconnected the other line. I called my husband and he told me there were two phone jacks in the office so all I needed to do was switch the DSL to the other jack. Well, there was a huge desk with a big book case on it blocking the jacks and there was no way I could move it by myself.

When my husband came home, he tried to pull out the desk and ended up breaking it, then he managed to wiggle his way to where the jacks where and it turns out that both of them were not working. We then tried to stretch a phone line from my DSL box to the kitchen phone jack. The DSL worked but my phone quit. When I disconnected the DSL, the phone worked just fine.

I tried to get on the phone with Embarq and it was a fifteen minute wait. When I finally got a human voice on the phone, she asked me if I wanted DSL technical support or phone support. I said I didn't know, I guess phone support and explained the problem. She asked me the question again and I said I am having problems with both. She put me back on hold and just dumped me back into the pool of customers waiting for representatives to answer. By this point I was not a happy camper to say the least. I finally got someone and they asked me if I wanted their maintenance program which was 4 something per month. I said yes, if it would save me from getting charged $100.00/hour. Then she transferred me to another department to make an appointment, I was then cut off. I tried to call back in but it would be another 15 minute wait.

My office is a disaster. I had to box up all the books and papers and computer supplies so that we could lighten the desk and my husband could push it out from the wall. I wanted to make sure the Embarq guy could access the jacks if he needed to.

I want to pull out what little hair I have left. I have boxes and boxes of things from the remodel that are sitting all over my house. Now I have to add to it, my boxes from the office. I just want my phone, computer to work and have my house back!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Finally Another Painting

I haven't been very prolific these days but I did manage to kick out this latest original called simply, "Peach Roses." I really need to make a trip to the art store to replenish my supply of brushes and paper.

Peach Roses in my Etsy Store

My new Canon printer is working fine. I had to play around with my card files as the alignment was totally different on the new printer. That was a bit of a pain. Also all the settings are not the same so I ended up printing several things out just to get an idea on how the settings affected the final product. It's now printing almost identical to my old printer which is great!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another Graduation Rolls Around

I can't believe it's graduation time again. Last year, I remember running around with my head cut off because there were so many things going on. We held a graduation party for my son and since he was on the football team, he knew a lot of kids, so there was a big turn out. It was a blast but a little bittersweet too as I knew my son would never "pass this way again". My little boy had grown up!

This year, my best friend's daughter graduated from high school. I made some cookies and bought a lot of fruit to contribute to her party. The weather turned out great and I got to see people that I hadn't seen since my party last year. Time just flies by so fast.

Now my youngest son will be entering high school in the fall and we will be doing this all again before we know it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Since I have been remodeling, I was thinking of adding an HD flat screen TV to the list. I have been saving up money for awhile and didn't know what I was going to use it for. All my neighbors have Direct TV. We are the last holdouts. I know there would be a lot of advantages to having satellite TV like getting shows on home improvement and some of the movie channels.

My son Andy has been begging for it as he wants to watch his hero Bear Grylls from Man Vs. Wild. Right now he has to watch his shows on the computer. Directtv seems to be the rage as all of his friends have it. In fact, I don't know anyone who doesn't have direc TV in their home.

Unfortunately, I was starting to have problems with my printer. I found out my warranty had expired so I can't replace it. I spent my morning researching new printers and just ordered a Canon two days ago. Now my reserve fund is $250.00 poorer so the HD Tv is going to have to wait.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Remodeling at a Standstill

Not much progress has been made in the remodeling department. Still waiting for the contractor. He did come and put my French doors in but that was all. He was supposed to come Tuesday and was a no show. I told my husband, he needs to keep calling him. All we need done is the plumbing and the drywall and texture. My husband ended doing a lot of the work these last 6 weeks so there really isn't that much left to do. If the contractor doesn't show up, I guess we will have to do the rest ourselves. We are going to put in the laminated wood floors and the tile for the bathroom floor and shower ourselves. There is still a lot of work to do but can't do anything until the contractor shows up.

Meanwhile, I would like to buy plane tickets for my in-laws soon since the fuel costs are rising but I can't because we have no end date for this project to be done. My small bathroom is 1/2 way ripped up but can't finish it until the master bathroom is done. It's all very frustrating.

Friday, May 23, 2008

No More Babies

I am coming to the stage in life where my kids are almost grown and I am looking forward to retirement. Imagine my shock when I learned my 46 year old friend was pregnant. She had just remarried about 3 years ago and her new husband had never had a child. It was a high risk pregnancy but things went smoothly and she ended up having a beautiful baby girl.

My friends and I got together and threw her a shower. It was so much fun. I wished I had known about a site called . One of their products, Mutsy Stroller called the 4 rider next converts into many options. One is a rolling bassinet, a forward push stroller, has a car seat adapter,leather handle and more. Also there are many colors to choose from. This is a really neat innovative interchangeable product and I wished it was around when my kids were born.

However, I definitely do not want anymore babies. To my friend I say, better she than me!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I have been signing up for various paid to blog sites and is the latest. I have already gotten a couple of opportunities so far, both paying $10.00 so we will see how it goes. All you need is a blog, the higher your PR ranking the more chances to make money.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Soccer or Not ?

My youngest son will enter high school next fall and I would love to see him play soccer again. He was a pretty good midfielder and sweeper when he played last year. He had been playing since he was 5 years old with dad coaching all of his teams until 7th grade. Unfortunately, he was forced to sit out this season because of his stomach troubles.

I know in Europe, soccer is big or football as it is called there. I came across where they sell premiership football tickets. Manchester United is really the only team I was familiar with and that is because I knew David Beckham started with them. Now he is with the Los Angeles Galaxy trying to increase the popularity of the sport here.

Soccer in the U.S., is more popular than it used to be but I think American football and baseball still reign supreme and it's too bad. I really enjoyed watching both my sons play the sport. It was exciting, fun to watch and it does take a lot of finesse, skill and strategy.

I don't know if I can convince Andy to play, he seems to be gravitating toward golf. I guess that is fine. At least he wants to be involved with sports again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Star Magnolias Painting

I was at the University of Washington campus and they had beautiful flowering cherry and magnolia trees, rhododendrons,and azaleas in bloom. I took some pictures and this is my latest original painting, "Star Magnolias."

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Watercolor Cards

I just put some new watercolor cards on my etsy site. With the remodeling, it has been hard to spend time doing artwork but I am hoping once the master bedroom is done, I can move my drawing table in there and set up a mini studio where I can work on projects. Right now, I am lucky to be able to find anything because it is all buried under a mountain of things in the living room.

Today, I just sanded down my cabinets and am getting them ready to prime. My kids are pretty hard on furniture so I hope these bathroom cabinets will hold up over time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Asbestos in My House

I just wrote about this on my other blog. I went ahead and got the carpet and linoleum tested. Turns out the glue in the linoleum is 50% asbestos! We have to take out the linoleum in order to tile in our master bathroom floor. It's not a big area but still it is going to be a big headache.

Our contractor has not step foot in our house since we called him initially to see if he could do the remodeling. It is going on the 4th week I think. My husband and I went ahead and did all the demolition, took out walls and drywall. My husband framed in new walls and now we wait until the contractor comes to put drywall in and texture. My neighbor is an electrician so we are hiring him to do our wiring. I am working on getting the cabinet makers in to measure so they can give us an estimate on bathroom vanities.

Meanwhile my house is a disaster. My college son is coming home for the summer and he has no place to live. My husband and I took over his room and so he will have to move in with his younger brother. Something he said he was not looking forward to.

My toilet finally came in for the small bathroom. I did get the bathroom painted doing the faux method and it turned out really well. Now I have to paint the cabinets in there and my husband has to tile the floor. I have a sneaking suspicion that we may have an asbestos problem with the little bathroom too. I hope not but that is the way things are going.

My advice is to get your house tested (as in flooring and popcorn ceilings) if it was built in the early 80's or before and if you are planning to remodel these areas. Everyone told me that I shouldn't have any problems with asbestos because my house was built in 1978. Well, there never was a total ban on asbestos and products that quit using asbestos still sold off their old stock with asbestos in it during the late 70's and into the eighties. I am glad I trusted my instincts and ignored all the experts.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bathroom Nightmares

I was still awake late last night when I heard a pop and then heard water leaking from somewhere . I woke my husband up and he thought it was raining outside. I got up and ran in the direction of the sound and opened the bathroom door. Water was welling up on the floor by the toilet. My husband came running and thought someone plugged the toilet up. Turns out, the tank had a huge crack in it and the water was pouring out from behind. Quickly, we got some small buckets, a mop and some towels to wipe up the mess. We turned the water off. It could have been so much worse. Our pantry, across the hall, where we had bags of flour and other food items on the floor would have been decimated.

Today, we were racing around trying to find a toilet in the right color and not have to wait two months for it to come in. We were planning to remodel the small bathroom anyway after the master bedroom and bath were done. We had bought a new sink but we were going to keep the old toilet as a new toilet was going to take so long and be very expensive because of its rare color. We ended up going with a slightly different color toilet and a different brand since Kohler was able to get it delivered by next week. We also bought a matching sink. Took the other sink back to the American Standard place and got our money back.

I tell you it has been one headache after another. I just sent in samples of our old linoleum and old carpet glue to be tested for asbestos too. Hopefully they will come back negative, otherwise, I am not sure what we are going to do.

In the midst of it, I was able to finish this new painting:

Bloomin' Hibiscus in my Etsy Store

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Faux Painting

My remodeling is going very slow. Can't get the contractor for another 2 weeks. The bathroom vanity is going to take 2 months. I just found out the french doors I wanted could take 2 weeks to a month to come in depending on whether I want wood or fiberglass. My husband and I decided to start on the demolition part just to get the ball rolling. We also may have asbestos issues to deal with as our house was built around the time it was banned. It is becoming a big headache already.

As far as the colors of the room, I would like to either rag the walls or try something a little different. I was researching faux techniques and came across Murals and Faux Painting Inc. I saw her demonstrations on and have to say they were quite impressive. She had a palette where you could load several glaze colors. She pressed those colors on over a base coat and then went over it with another pad to blend the colors in. The results were beautiful. She also has techniques to achieve the marble, rag, sponge, color wash look and more. I went ahead and ordered the kit and am anxiously waiting for it to arrive so that I can practice some of these methods.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fleeting Daffodils

My daffodils are all about gone but not before I had a chance to paint a few of them. They were one of the first hints of color to emerge in the spring and I am sorry to see them go.

The daffodils were first written about in 6th century AD by Mohammed. They were mainly growing wild for centuries until some Englishmen in the 1600's decided to tame them and bring them into the garden. Their popularity continued to spread and now there are over 20,000 hybrid varieties being grown in the world.

I wish the flowers would last all summer but since they do not, I thought it was fitting to call my latest painting, "Fleeting Daffodils".

Fleeting Daffodils found under SOLD in my Etsy Store

Saturday, April 5, 2008

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Real money also can be made through Google Adsense Ads that run on your Qassia User Page. Need to have a Google Adsense account though. You will get all of the revenue that is generated by that page.

Qassia is in beta and they are giving away a lot more points than usual. When they go public the points will diminish to a more reasonable amount. The only way to sign up right now is to go through this Quassia's User's Page.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Emergence of Spring

In between all the remodeling, I am still trying to watercolor paint here and there. This is my newest, "Emergence of Spring." Although our tulips are not blooming yet, the daffodils are and I suspect the tulips will be coming shortly. Definitely spring is in the air. The robins are making nests and all the trees are budding out. Just hope we don't get a cold snap here.

Emergence of Spring in my Etsy store

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bathroom Remodel

I am pushing my husband to get going on the remodeling that we can do ourselves. The master bedroom and bath will have to wait a while as we are going to need a contractor because frankly, I have knocked out walls and rebuilt walls and I don't want to mess with that anymore. The guest bathroom, however, is small and all I want to do is tile the floor, repaint the walls, paint the cabinets and have a new sink ,sink top and mirror put in. Originally I wanted to replace everything in the bathroom except the shower. It was going to come in around $1000, which I thought was a lot considering how tiny this space is.

After going to Lowes and some other places, and comparing prices, we found our sink. Fourteen years ago, we put our shower in to match the old sink and toilet, we now have to match the new sink to the old shower. Really limits our choices as it was this old beige color that is really difficult to find. The toilet I wanted didn't even come in that shade so we can't replace it. Got our tile on clearance, and I am going to just paint the cabinets so they won't have to be replaced either. I am hoping to do this all under $500.00. Also we have to replace the door and the molding as it was done in a darker stain and I have since remodeled the rest of the house in a lighter color.

My back is already hurting from painting the bedroom furniture, I just hope it can hold out until all the remodeling is completed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Remodeling the Bedroom

After a very slow start, I have finally begun painting my bedroom furniture. I am trying to save some $'s so instead of getting new furniture, I am recycling the old by giving it a whole new look. I spent the last 3 weeks working on one nightstand. Painted it about 5 times with primer and 3 different color coats of green. I was looking at the sample color rectangles to choose my colors but when I went to paint my furniture, the color never matched the rectangle and I was very dissatisfied with it. I went back to Lowe's 3 times and now have finally found the color that will work. This is going to be a huge job as I have to paint another nightstand, dresser, chest, mirror frame and the head board to the bed. We are also going to redo our entire bathroom,knock down walls, put in a walk-in closet to my master bedroom and also put in laminated hardwood floors. Hopefully, we can get a contractor to help us with some of it, but the majority of work will be up to my husband and me.

First coat of primer

Grass Pattern

Monday, March 10, 2008

Custom Domain Names Through Blogger

I was looking to buy a custom domain name for a blog that I had monetized on blogger but I didn't want to make the switch because I thought I would lose my PR and back links. Not that I have such a high PR or many back links but I really didn't want to start over. Then I found out that you could buy a custom domain name for $10.00 per year through blogger and have it redirect to your blogspot blog. The URL looks more professional. The original blogspot URL will continue to work too and automatically switch to the new URL which will mean back links will still remain intact. I found out my PR did drop to zero though, which was a bummer and will take a certain amount of time to get that back.

At least that is how I understand it. It definitely gets confusing at times but we will see how this goes. The idea of having to start all over with a new blog, custom domain name,hosted on another site, I just can't do that right now. I am in the middle of a house remodeling job and I really need to spend my time on that.

$55.50 earned- Cashcrate

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Painting a Week

I used to paint 10 paintings a week when I was selling on ebay, several years ago. Now I am lucky to paint one per week. For about 3 or 4 years, I didn't paint at all because I was just burned out. I am amazed at people who can paint something new every day. That is quite an accomplishment and I think very tough to do. I have to admit I am not to the point where I can whip out a painting at a moment's notice and have it be good. I still have to work at it and even then, it can be a real dud. The best paintings that I have done were really accidents. I just poured paint all over the paper and let it run together at will, then I painted my subject over it.

Here is "My Cat" watercolor and acrylic painting and it really is a painting of my cat!

"My Cat" in my Etsy Store

$52.00 earned- Cashcrate
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Pomeranian Dog Painting

My friend's daughter got a little Pomeranian mix puppy for her graduation present. It's very cute and inspired this painting of a purebred one. Spring is around the corner and I can't wait. It has been a long dreary winter and I for one will be glad to have the sun shine on my face. Also can't wait for the spring flowers to bloom. I will be taking my camera out to shoot some more pictures and hopefully I will have more great material to paint.

Pomeranian Original Watercolor and Acrylic in my Etsy Store

$46.00 earned- Cashcrate
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yuwie Pays You to Social Network

I had signed up with Yuwie last Fall but due to other commitments, I did not do much else. Now that I have had some extra time, I went to the site to see what the hoopla was all about. It looks very much like a Myspace page with the main difference being that Yuwie will pay you whenever someone views your profile, blog, your friends, comments and picture pages. Serious money can be made if you have a lot of referrals working under you. Yuwie takes its advertising revenue and splits it among its users unlike Myspace and Facebook.

No doubt, there is quite a bit of work involved to get those page views numbers but I have seen Yuwie checks with sizeable amounts on them so it is possible to earn some serious cash. Yuwie is growing by leaps and bounds and I am sure it will continue to do so now and beyond.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Painting for the Month of February

I have been trying to create more artwork and as a result, have not spent too much time on blogging. It seems like time just flies by. I am wondering what happened to all the minutes in the day. There is no time to get everything done. This is the latest painting I have done, titled simply - Grapes.

Watercolor Original Grapes- in my etsy store.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

GFCF Weekend Trip

This past weekend, a group of us went on a wine tasting trip to several wineries in the Walla Walla area. It was fun, although the weather did not cooperate at all as we were hit with freezing rain and then a giant snowstorm. Several of us had turned 50 so we thought it would be great to get away and do something a little different. My son came along and I wanted to see how difficult it would be to travel with him. I brought along gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) bread, muffins and a whole mess of GFCF snacks. We went to a deli for lunch called the Merchant Ltd. and it had several sandwiches. One thing on the menu looked like it would be GFCF and so my son had that. It was a chicken salad with pineapple, olives and a mustard oil dressing. Not totally sure it was GF but it was our only choice. The rest of the food was very good and we really enjoyed it. For dinner we went to the Creektown Cafe. It is a tiny restaurant with a very good reputation and it certainly lived up to that. I had called ahead and was told the chef would work with us on the GFCF entree and was well versed in diet restrictions. That was a relief to me. There was a sea bass dish on the menu that would have worked great except my son is not a big fish eater. The chef ended up making a grilled chicken breast for him with french fries. Andy was in heaven. He really enjoyed his dish. All of the other food was just excellent. For our first time travelling on the GFCF diet, it was not too bad. It went a lot easier than I had anticpated.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gluten Free Product List

I have spent quite a bit of time looking for gluten free products. I just got through emailing Walmart to see if they could send me a list of their gluten free items since they have about 1200 GF products on their shelves already. Problem is I don't know what they are. I have found a few already but it takes a lot of time reading the backs of every item. Many don't have Gluten-Free in big letters on the front. I also found Safeway's Gluten Free product list on Gluten Free Steve's Blog. Who knew they had such a list! It's 12 pages long but it will be a life and time saver.

We are two weeks into the GF elimination diet and it has been going very well. I know that it certainly would not hurt Andy to be on it but whether it makes enough of a difference, we will have to wait and see.

I was watching Dr. Christiane Northrup on Oprah the other day and she was saying that as we get older, we have a much tougher time digesting wheat. She suggested that 1 out of 4 women have gluten intolerance issues. That number is huge. The more I read about gluten, the more it sounds like we would all benefit a lot by not eating it.

I have been trying lots of GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free) recipes. Andy has been the guinea pig but this latest one, he really liked.

Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cookies

1 tbsp flax seeds ground
3 tbsps water
1 cup natural organic crunchy peanut butter
1/2 banana mashed
1/4 cup brown sugar packed
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave flax seed and water 30 seconds until you get gel like consistency. Mix the rest of the ingredients in. Drop by the teaspoonfuls on to the ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Makes about 12- 14 cookies.

This recipe was fast and quick and passed the taste test with flying colors!(Do not freeze cookies for later eating, they get too soggy.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Paintings to Keep A Smile on My Face

I have decided to make more of an effort to work on original paintings. This has been great for maintaining sanity in the midst of chaos. I wanted to do some winter pieces and also spring which is one of my favorite times of year.

Here are two of my efforts:

These are called, "Winter Crabapples" and "Bloom of a Peony" respectively. Now in my Etsy Store.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Great Start to the New Year

And I mean that in the most facetious manner possible. When New Year's came around this year I was not in the mood for celebrating or making new resolutions. To me it was just another day and I want to keep it that way.

Anyway, I have been dealing with a lot of things lately and really it wasn't getting me down until this week. First, I found out that I had to have a crown done on a tooth. Something I had been putting off for a year but now was being told if I don't, I could lose my tooth altogether. Second, I have been scrambling to change my son's diet to gluten free and dairy free. I have been able to do it for the most part but I am tired. I have had to do quite a bit of running around to several stores as one store may have only a few of the items. It also requires me to bake two loaves a bread a week + cookies, muffins and etc. so that he has things to eat throughout the week. By the way, I finally found after much searching and trial and error , a brand called Authentic Foods All Purpose Bread Mix. It is something my kid likes and will eat without complaining- finally. Last but not least, after 3 long months, my dad got his diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis- the aggressive kind and most likely the one that is inherited which means I could get it and my kids could get it. I have been researching my dad's illness and it is depressing. Not much on it as far as treatment goes and about 88% of the people do not make it past 3-6 years. Even the alternative health treatments are lacking for this particular illness. It is not good at all.

Coupled with that is my kid who blames me for everything that he doesn't want to do and a husband,who has not lifted a finger to help, since my child has gotten sick. My husband doesn't believe that diet will help our boy even though it has made a tremendous difference and he doesn't believe in any of the alternative methods. Well this week, I had finally had enough and let it be known that everyone needs to step up and do their part. I pretty much have been the sole enforcer of the diet, the discipline and everything else in the household and I am not going to take it anymore!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Photographic Prints on Sale

I was going through my inventory and found these prints of some of the work I had done a few years ago. They were made by a photographic process. I am looking to reduce my inventory so these items will be on sale in my Etsy Store.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Slowly Making the Gluten Free Changeover

I spent some of the holidays researching various online stores for gluten free products. There seems to be a lot available, unfortunately trying to get my son to eat them is another story. He has been having lots of D over break, in fact, he did not go back to school today because he was having another gastro-intestinal attack. He tried some gluten free Thai food late at night and I think that upset his stomach along with the fact that he was stressed about going back to school.

The seemed to have a good variety of gluten-free and dairy-free snacks. I found a bread by Garbo called "Toast" that looked like it would be good to try. Unfortunately when I went to check out, I found out it was going to cost $33.00 just to ship 4 loaves of frozen bread and another $11.00 to ship the snacks. I decided I am going to have to make gluten-free bread from scratch.

My friend bought me a couple of GF flour mixes to try from her local health food store. They were by Bob's Red Mill. I made the bread and also banana bread and a chocolate cake. I didn't think any of them tasted too bad. Andy, however, did not like the bread or cake. He just liked the banana bread. I am going to another health food store that carries a different brand of GF bread mix and give that a try.

Another friend told me she saw GF salad dressing at Walmart. When I was doing the gluten-free online searches, I was reading in some blogs about Walmart now offering gluten-free products. Quite a few it seems but they are mixed in with the regular goods on the shelf. It would be nice if they had a gluten free section so that it would be all together. I am still looking for the list of what they offer, just so I know what to look for.

My plan now is to try products one at a time to see if my son will eat them, then to buy them in bulk and bake several items up per week to freeze.I need more bread pans
too. Wish me luck as I am going to need it!