Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unintentional Hiatus

I had every intention of creating posts; but, I took an unintentional hiatus from blogging among many other things and retreated into books and life. I have been organizing, cleaning, painting, creating, etc. and etc. and making a lot of progress. At least, it is a lot of progress for a person like me! I also recently found a series of books by a favorite author and could not put them down. I am reading the third and final book in the trilogy and I had bought these last Thursday on my day out.

By "my day out" , I mean I took a day off from home and life. I went shopping in New Braunfels after an appointment with an audiologist. I went to two antique stores and found a gluten free bakery called The Red Oak Bakery that had somewhat good scones and some delicious cupcakes. I then searched for more antique stores in New Braunfels, drove for a little bit and ended up in Historic Downtown Gruene. It surprised the heck out of me! But, that place was quaint and lovely.

Anyway, back to the books I mentioned above. When I realized the author had continued to write about a fictional world that got me hooked way back in my latter high school days, I went looking online for more books and found quite a few. Yes, I purchased them because the local Half Price Books store never have any books by this author. I rarely buy new and have not done so in eons; but, I did get these "free" by using a portion of our cash back on a credit card we have.

I received my new camera three days ago and it is a learning curve. It is more or less the same as my old one; but, the buttons are in different locations. I am loving the new and slightly bigger LCD screen.

Hopefully, I can get my act together soon, get some decent pictures and start blogging once again. We will see as life is going to be a tad busy from hereon.

We have a short camping trip coming up to prepare for. I am actually looking forward to seeing people! It is going to be kind of like a family reunion. I am also hoping that we will take a few "staycations" or short vacation trips this summer. Both of us need to get away from it all.

In the meantime, I hope all of you will be blessed by this little break of mine. Ha! :-)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Macro Monday {Pink}

All taken on April 1, 2015

Note: I just received notification that my new camera has finally shipped. It should arrive either Wednesday or Thursday. I'm am so happy about that because I have been missing it especially since a bunch of gorgeous butterflies have been passing through the area.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Feline Friday

I was outside organizing my beads and getting them ready to be put into the cabinets I found at a moving sale. {You can also see the cabinetry painted and being put up here.} At the same time, I kept an eye on my cats. Gracie came along and hopped into this box and snoozed. She was happy and content to be outside and near me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Guest Room {Mis}adventures

I was full of anxiety and stress beginning March 8th due to the fact that the guest room needed to be painted before March 31st. I needed something in a hurry! I had no clue to color scheme and no inspiration jumping off point. I usually design based upon favorite picture(s), painting, fabric or whatnot. I once used a border wallpaper I loved as a jumping off point for designing a whole guest room and bathroom in North Houston. I had a blast with that one as I had no deadline.

The guest room is also going to be the gaming and exercise room. It will also have access to Satellite TV; so, people can watch TV. The hookups are there; so, why not?

I decided to try to decorate with either video game(s) or red, white and blue theme (which is both patriotic and Mario). I wanted something green in there too. Do not ask me why. I just did.

My favorite video games are anything Mario, anything Sonic (the Hedgehog) and anything from Link (The Legend of Zelda).

I had nothing for pictures to hang in there; so, I went shopping online and came across an Etsy seller that goes by the name of RoomB31 that made some cool video prints and the majority were from favorite games of mine!

Dan helped me choose seven small prints. When they arrived, I went shopping for things including paint colors and some cabinet handles.

I chose the color Admiration P340-1 (top color of paint chip card) for the walls and Reviving Green P340-3 (bottom color) for the cabinetry.

Note: The colors on the site links I provided may not run true to the colors on the paint sample cards provided within the store. At least, they are not accurate on my laptop. But, I provided the links to give you an idea of what I have chosen.

I also took Dan to see some cabinetry pulls (handles). I was having trouble choosing between three different pulls. Dan made the final choice and I really like what we chose for both the coloring (copper tone) and the fact the detail on the handle reminded me of The Wind Waker (The Legend of Zelda) game.

We completed painting the entire room (including the ceiling) by March 22nd. Lest you think I did not lift a finger, here I am with no shoes (just socks), raggedy baggy pants and an old shirt:

It is a terrible, terrible picture of me; but hey! It's proof! Ha! I actually painted most of the ceiling while Dan did the tedious painting.

Once the walls were painted, we could breathe and relax just a tad and return to other unfinished projects around the house.

Some nice young men came in and installed some partial cabinetry on April 1st. Dan purchased the paint I had chosen for the cabinetry one night after work. I came down sick in the night of April 2nd and ended up not being able to help paint over the weekend. I was pretty miserable and felt so bad for not being able to help out. Dan was a good sport and besides, I am not a very good painter. I think he might have been relieved that I was not painting. Ha!

Anyway, I walked in after he painted a first coat on the majority of the cabinetry and immediately hated it. The color made me want to puke. It was way too much yellow and not enough green. I made a huge mistake and felt so upset. This was the first time I could not visualize a color within a room on account of the fact the colors I picked are downright weird.

Here I am sick without a fever (thank the good Lord) and needing to go into town to pick a darker color. I was feeling so miserable; but, I was determined because the painting needed to be done as soon as possible. When we reached the store, we went directly to the same color family as the wall color. With Dan’s help, I ended up picking Anime P340-5 for the color of the cabinetry.

When we got home, I crashed and he painted. Once a coat of paint was put on, I was immediately happier with the color choice. The painting of the cabinetry was finished late on April 5th.

The top color of the left card is the wall color. And amazingly, the cabinetry (darker) color is a perfect match to some colors in the pictures I used as an inspirational jumping off point.

The young men returned on April 9th and finished the installation of the cabinetry including hardware along with the pulls (handles) we chose. Dan finished the touch up painting the following weekend.

I had taken pictures; but, anything I took after April 12th was lost as my camera died and the data on the compact flash card was corrupted. So, the final picture will have to wait until I get my new camera.

I have since shopped for and purchased bedding. We also replaced the ceiling fan. The room, in spite of it being incomplete, is now ready for guests to crash (sleep in). Several days notice in advance is required so that we can pick up stuff and make it safe for guests. After all, the house is still a work in progress.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Macro Monday {Baby Garden Spiders}

Foreword: My current camera is dead. It was slowly dying and I have been struggling with it for months. It finally just died this past Saturday (April 18). Since it is so old, Dan and I decided that it would not be worth the cost of getting it fixed (refurbished). So, it will not be revived. May it rest forever in peace.

Dan and I went comparison and price shopping for a new camera and we both settled upon one. The manufacturer happened to have a promotion going on and I found a site that sold the camera with the promotion (sale) along with free accessories that I have wanted but never purchased! I had mad money I have been holding onto; but, Dan said that it'd be an anniversary present. So, with his approval, I purchased the camera and it should arrive this Wednesday (April 22).

In the meantime, I am posting some of my less than stellar pictures taken with my macro lens. (I was extremely nervous taking the pictures,) I also think they are very interesting. Of course, some people who have phobias may disagree. Ha!

Enjoy.

I've been keeping an eye on Charlotte's egg sacs waiting for her babies to emerge. There was another garden spider (called the Banded Garden Spider) who also laid an egg sac that is vastly different from Charlotte. I have been keeping an eye on that one also. Well, sometime early on April 9th, the babies came flooding out of their egg sac.

Thousands of babies. The blob on the upper right corner is the egg sac.

Cropped image of the first picture.

A closer look at the unusual egg sac.

It was my understanding that garden spider babies usually hang around for approximately 24 hours and disappear (balloon). But, these babies did not.

They formed into small clusters about 24 hours later and hung around for approximately two days and finally took off. Note: I had to use the flash for this picture because it was an extremely cloudy day.

Cropped image of previous picture.

The babies are obviously bigger and not so transparent.

I was sad that I did not witness the ballooning process which most likely occurred in the night. I was also very glad they were gone because they were making me extremely nervous! Ha!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Strings

It has been awhile since I posted some doodles of mine. I finished the Zendala Dare #97 (scroll down a little on that link) around April 2nd. I was going to post this sooner; but, I came down sick before I got a chance to write it up. I had posted an incomplete one on February 22 here.

I would just doodle a little here and there. I have been quite busy with other stuff including finishing up the guest room. There is still a lot of things left to do in there; but, at least, it is almost ready for guests to sleep. And, I can relax a little bit now due to the fact the major work in there is completed. I am still needing to get queen size sheets. Once I obtain those, our guest room will be open for "business". :-)

By the way, the picture is horrid because I did not use a flash. It is what it is.

I used Purk and the rest is random. If there is a name for the patterns (other than Bob from Veggietales), I do not know what they are. I do know that stippling is the name of one tangle in the quilting world.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Slapdash Saturdays

Friday, April 17, 2015

Feline Friday {The Letterbox}

I threw an old quilted pillow sham onto a letterbox and placed it on my desk. I had this setup years ago and Gracie loved the box. Apparently, she still does.

But, come to find out, Abby Gail uses it the most! I never realized she would love being close to me.

It makes me feel good because when she is in there, I know she is out of mischief.

"Mah hooman doez not knoe teh secrets I Has. Hahahaha!"

Translation: My human does not know the secrets I have. Hahahaha!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

21 Years!

21 Years Ago (April 16, 1994).

We got married after dating for almost three years.

Today.

We have been through so much and survived. We've changed so much; and yet, I think we are together stronger than ever.

Happy Anniversary to us.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordy Wednesday {Spoiled}

I was needing something for Abby Gail to scratch while in my room. She was scratching my chairs. I try to discourage her; but, I cannot be mad at her for being a cat. I needed something else to offer her to use instead of the chairs. Dan said he would make another sisal triangle scratching post; but, I felt that we did not have the time to wait for something to be made. He had so many other projects he was working on and I really wanted him to focus on the house.

So, while at Petsmart recently, I looked at items that would suffice as a scratching post for Abby Gail. I could not find a single sturdy thing for her. Everything is so tiny and/or cheaply made. And, nothing was tall (long) enough. She likes to stand tall on her tippy toes and scratch. I ended up in the section where they sell the cat trees and spied one that I thought would suffice. And, it was cheap in price (on clearance).

The tree also would solve another problem. They fight over one windowsill when the room is opened in the morning. I think they knew that birds roosts underneath the roof of the patio and loved watching them as the sun rises.

As much as I hated the tree because it was so light and cheaply made, it did have three different types of surfaces that Abby Gail loves to scratch along with two perches. The sisal leg was tall (long) too. So, I thought it'd be perfect solution.

Gracie often uses the lower shelf and Abby Gail on the higher one. And, I am currently training Abby Gail to scratch this tree instead of the chairs. So far, it seems to be working out and they seem to be happier.

This makes THREE trees the cats own. There is a small one in our bedroom that matches the tall huge one in our living room (pictured here}. Those two were purchased years ago for our Maine Coon cats. They are heavy, sturdy and over 18 years old and still going strong. They were also very expensive purchases; but, well worth the cost.

And now, they have this cheap one in my room. The things I do for my cats. They are spoiled rotten little beasts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Macro Dump {Wildflowers}

Texas Toad-flax; March 13, 2015

Milkweed Seeds. March 13, 2015

If you look closely, you can see the pod the seeds came from. Below is a picture with an arrow pointing to the pod.

Slim Pod Milk Vetch; March 15, 2015

A type of flowering grass and it is mega tiny! March 15, 2015

Unidentified; March 19, 2015

{To see a larger image, go here.}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Indian Paintbrush; March 18, 2015

Bluebonnets and a rare mutation, the white (or albino) Bluebonnets. March 18, 2015

Note: I would love to see an even rarer bluebonnet in the wild – the pink mutation. The above bluebonnets pictures are wild in the sense that we never sowed seeds where these are growing. In fact, all of our wildflowers on the land are wild as we don’t plan or cultivate them. We let nature take its course and pray they come back again next year.