Next batch of project pictures - getting bored with this yet?  Remember, these projects were done mostly in May early June though I am now, for the last few weeks, on to round two of projects.  Of what I've shown so far, the wreck room is from the resent set of projects and all the rest are from the earlier set.

Our 17 year old microwave finally died, necessitating the purchase of a new one.  Of course now they don't build microwaves the same size or shape as  when this kitchen was built accommodating the old built-in so, naturally, the new ones wouldn't fit the hole.... I built this shelf in the hole from the old unit and faced it with trim.- it almost looks like it was meant to be this way. The only other thing I did in the kitchen was to repaint. A picture of the new wall color would not only be boring but would look different on everyone's monitor so no need to photograph that.

Moving on to the laundry room -  Found this rug so catch crap from feet coming in through the garage -

needed something to protect the finish on this new floor I put in - All By My Self!  A little proud of this job.  Nothing fancy, just self stick tiles but I had to use embossing leveler before I could lay the tiles to keep the old pattern from bleeding through and then I had to keep everything straight and true through the process.  Did a fair job if I do say so myself.

This is the new hall rug - got tired of the dogs moving the old worn out rug all over the place as they chased tennis balls up and down the hall.  This rug is heavy enough to stay in place.
 Rug mover...

There was a little interest in the trip art so here are a few more items - the top is a tempera painting done by a little old farmer in China, the middle piece is embroidered linen from Poland, and the bottom piece is hand cut and painted from water buffalo hide (Thailand)

 This is tempera on hand-made paper from Mexico

And finally this apron (mounted in a poster frame) which is from Tibet (the hub and D2 went on that trip, not me)  Striped aprons like this signify a married woman in Tibet, single girls/women wear solid colored aprons.

Okay dokie then, I promised more pictures so here goes.

Adjacent to the wreck room is our basement bath. This room is sort of the hub's retreat because it has the steam shower he wanted.  I hate the shower, just can't breath with all the steam - more of a  long hot soak in a big tub kind of girl - but he loves it. However, he hardly ever takes the time to use it so the primary use of this bath is as the guest bath  to go with the "guest room" function of the wreck room (when the inflatable mattress is in play).

See those boxes on the shelf there?  I covered those. The black and white ones are banker's boxes and the deep red ones are cardboard file boxes.  This room is done in grey, black, and a deep red/wine color.  Long ago I did the walls in a paint technique that utilized plastic grocery bags.  I still like the effect though you can't really see it in the picture.  The light is not so great either - but having to stand back far enough to get the shot made the flash useless.  Ah well, you get the gist.

This shows the steam shower but the project part is that shelf above the toilet and the basket of guest toiletries  I hung the shelf - all level and everything - and filled the basket with small bottles of shampoo/conditioner, a small can of shaving cream/ razor, toothpaste, really nice soap, and a loofah.  Don't know if you can tell but the floor is a pretty black marble tile with small veins of white and brown - we got those for a super good price back when.
This is the wall opposite the sink. I used decals from Tar-jay, didn't want to commit to an actual painted design because if I didn't like it or wanted to change someday - I'd have to repaint the whole room and I like the the walls too much to risk that.

The other two things added in this room were a big black on black rug (to help with the cold tile issue) with a large textured square pattern and crown mold. Did the crown myself with the boy's help holding the crown while I nailed, cut it by hand with a miter box. A picture of crown would be boring and black on black just doesn't photograph well so no shots of those.  I still want to find a luxurious white robe to hang next to the shower for guests, but haven't seen any in stores yet - expect they will show up soon as Christmas merchandise is beginning to make its appearance.

Next project to share is up in the family room (you'll remember this room from the Christmas photos last year) - the only thing I did in this room was to frame and hang a bunch of the trip items we've brought home along the way.  Many of these items were lost in the mass of things on the shelves and lent themselves to easy framing and our local Michael's facilitated the process by having many really good weeks of frame sales this summer so now we have this grouping:
 That strip on the far left is a belt decorated with coins and seashells from Thailand.  The seven postcard sized paintings are from Burma - they were sold in a plastic sleeved strip and are each hand done in ink - the whole thing cost something like $3.  There is a piece of Belgian lace that looks like a row of town houses, a paper doll from the airport in Japan (we've never been to Japan, just the airport in Tokyo and we don't count a country as "visited" unless we leave the airport).  The items in an X are a set of handkerchiefs from Mexico, there is a small square of hand embroidery from Colombia (just thumbtacked to the wall), a piece of Islamic designed star shaped tile from Spain, and both a piece of hand woven fabric and ribbon embroidered/ hand made lace trimmed linen from Romania.

And then on the other side this grouping:
Here you can see a piece of Australian Aboriginal Art in the upper left corner - an appliquéd pot holder from Panama, more of the cards from Burma, Irish lace (center) a hand painted tile from Haiti, another - bigger- piece of appliqué/embroidery from Colombia, and a silk screened cotton print scarf also from the Tokyo airport.

The frames are all black and most of the items are just pressed to the glass with black acid free scrap-booking paper used to back them.  There are a couple items that did better with other colors behind (i.e. the Japanese doll is on gold, the Irish and Romanian lace are on dark green)  All the square frames are actually very inexpensive album frames and the Japanese scarf is in a small poster frame.

Enough for one day.  More another day.
Alan Grayson apparently, in addition to having no shame, plays the dirtiest politics I think I have ever seen and is the definition of why so many of us have nothing but disgust for Democrat politians in general (and more than a couple Republicans too for that matter).

Case in point, this campaign add:

Aside from the obviously outrageous comparison of Daniel Webster (what a name) to the Taliban - this is one of the  most outrageous "taken out of context" cases ever.  If Grayson gets away with this, we'd all better stop talking in public at all because they can take one word here and another there to make you seem to have said whatever they want.

Here is the actual context of Webster's words

Notice that Webster is saying NOT to throw those words (and yes indeed, they are in the Bible) in the face of one's wife, but to focus instead on what a man - husband - should do in a marriage.

Grayson is a disgrace, and he is not alone.  Keep the fire in the belly my friends.  Every day it's getting closer, going faster than...
Earlier this year I blogged that  a bunch of projects were underway here in the casa; some of you showed interest in before and after pictures.  Well, when I decide to do something I jump in and get going so usually a project is  about half way through before it occurs that I should have taken some before shots - by then it is too late.  Actually the process generally begins months before when a kernel of thought begins to grow that something needs to be done about a certain area, then I ponder and think and experiment in my head until a plan is formed as to exactly what and how.

Anyways, the boy and I assembled a table for our "wreck room" yesterday afternoon - thereby completing (at least for this year) one room worth of projects.  We've always called this area in our basement the wreck room because, though it serves several purposes, for the most part it has always been the play space. Our wreck room is a long narrow room spanning one end of our home completely - front of house to back of house.  It pretty much naturally divides itself into three areas.  The back end is where we have a bank of white storage shelves (those closet maid things you can buy and put together) that have held toys ranging from Barbie and Disney stuffies to K-nex, transformers, Legos, and matchbox cars. The center area is the TV viewing area so that is where the seating is as well, and the end at the back of the house has always housed a table - until yesterday a large old round table that was my mother's before being handed down to us and the site of many an art project.  There are also a couple shelving units on the end with the table that have always held multitudes of art and crafting supplies for the girls (boy has never been much into the art thing).

With both girls now in apartments - having taken both the couch and love seat from the wreck room with them - and the boy (my last baby) now 13 - it was time to give the room a complete face lift, make it a more cohesive grown up space,  especially as now we often use this room as a guest space for the girl's college age boyfriends and girlfriends when they come to visit.  The first thing I did was paint the room a great shade of blue - it had been a moderately deep shade of blue-green which certainly contributed to making it a somewhat dark space, even though it is a very large room with two large glass doors one one end.  Then I cleaned the carpet, found a great deal on a new couch and love seat (chocolate brown), upholstered a pine toy box one of the girls had made and painted many years ago in camp, cleaned out the toys - getting rid of the things that were outgrown, hung fabric panels in front of each of the shelves that didn't have doors, painted a design on the white doors of the cabinet, covered boxes to store the remaining art/craft items the girls still own (and an impressive collection of Breyer horses), repainted the vanity that is used as a TV table (this is the fourth time I've painted this vanity to match changing decor), and ordered then assembled the new - smaller - rectangular table.  Finally a few blue throws and some pillows and here we are.  I still need to find something to go on the wall above the couch and I want to put in crown molding - the crown is just going to have to wait for next spring.

So now, here you go - a few pictures of the finished product - each can be embiggened if you click upon them.  Remember, I'm no photographer - I use a point and shoot - and have no idea how magazine room photographers do what they do - but these will give you an idea of what how we ended things in there.  We really like it.

This is a look down from about 1/3 the say through, behind me and not in the picture is the wall with the toy cabinets/shelves but this gives you a good idea of how things are laid out.  You can just see the tops of the chairs to the new table just behind the loveseat.

This is the new table looking back the other direction, you can see the toy cabinets back against the wall way back there.  Against the wall behind the table is the cradle my father built for our 2nd, stored under the cradle in a nice neat bag is the inflatable queen mattress we bought this spring for guests.  When it is set up we center it against the toy cabinet in the back of the room.  In the cradle (tightly packed in "space bags" are a big feather bed and nice pillows that we use on the mattress and folded on the top is the quilt with which we finish the whole thing.

This is the shelf (the hub built back in our first year or so of marriage - ya know, the year before Noah built the ark) and the banker's boxes I covered with chocolate colored microfiber fabric to store the art stuff and horse models.

This picture is pretty dark but the new couches are chocolate colored so I don't know how to get a better shot.  The recliner there on the left is one of the first pieces we ever bought - I've reupholstered it once before and now it is slip covered.  It just goes on and on...

Here are the toy cabinets, the fabric doesn't show well here - I've tried several times but I can't get the light to really co-operate.  Ah well, take it from me the fabric is chocolate brown with a geographic pattern in a silvery white.  I painted the designs on the doors to add texture and try to pull it together.  Those tubs on top hold a multitude of K-nex and Legos.

A close up of the door design - came up with it all my myself and put it on with Sharpie paint pens.

The wall with the TV - here you can see the curtains over the shelves better.  Guess what I used?  Two fabric shower curtains that I cut to fit then hemmed the sides and tacked across the top with silver upholstery tacks and about 18 inches up from the bottom on each side I used velcro strips to secure them to the edge of the cabinets and keep them hanging flat and straight.

This final picture is the pine box I upholstered.

I'll show more projects in other areas tomorrow - or the next day - or whenever I find time to sit here and do it : )

Question - If this is law in Texas, why am I not hearing about kids being sent to detention all over the state?  And - since when did any state's laws require the sending of children to detention as a state mandated penalty?

Nother question - Is this school's principal a compete idiot? And since when do Texans put up with this sort of idiocy?
To keep up with my girls, that is why I facebook.  They say I am a creeper, but I don't creep - I let them know I am there.  Plus if they put it on the internet to share then they have no room to gripe.

So what did I learn about my girls on facebook today?  I learned that one of them was nearly hit by a driver that chose to throw his SUV into reverse and start backing without checking to see if anyone - say my 100 pound when soaking wet daughter - was behind him.  And what happened?  Well, her buddy with whom she was walking grabbed said daughter and launched both of them backward onto the ground - there by saving my daughter from certain serious injury if not death.  And what did daughter do?  Once she was safely on the ground she gave the SUV a good hard kick to let the idiot know he'd nearly hit someone.

Now, if any of us discovered we'd just nearly backed over someone we would have gotten out of the car, rushed to see if they were ok - and apologized profusely, right? What did this guy do?  The idiot got all up in my kid's face and started yelling at her for kicking his car.  Most bullies expect tiny young girls to back off and be frightened when confronted with yelling men.  Did my kid back down?  Hell no - she just got further up in his face and yelled right back.

Her friend of course was struck speechless when the guy started yelling - but not my kid.  This kid fought cancer and won   - ain't no bully stands a chance against her.  Her friend said thank goodness D3 is never at a loss for words.

Heh - giggle - oh my god someone nearly killed my kid - thank god she is one tough knot - giggle - whew.
I do not like this Uncle Sam.
I do not like his health care scam.

I do not like these dirty crooks
or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals.
I do not like their health care deals.

I do not like this speaker Nan.
I do not like this "YES WE CAN!"

I do not like this spending spree.
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.

I do not like the smug replies
when I complain about their lies.

I do not like this change and hope.
I do not like it...Nope! Nope! Nope!

Go Green...recycle Congress in 2010!!!

This was emailed to me this morning by a friend - don't know who wrote it, but it was worth sharing.

Okee Dokie then, pictures : )
The boy and I had a couple great days in DC last Fri - Sat.  We drove up Thurs and back Sunday - Thursday afternoon we arrived on the beltway just in time for rush hour DC style and it took us more than an hour and a half to go the last 20 miles.  Makes me very very glad I don't live up there!  The trip up took well over 9 1/2 hours - the trip home about 8....

Friday we didn't try to get on the metro before 9:30 a.m. so our trip in was easy as can be.  We came up in front of the Navy Memorial and behind the Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue and from there it was a short walk up to the Newseum.  As we got to the front of the building the boy pointed out that his tickets would be free for that day - great, I'd already bought tickets for him on line - and they ain't cheap.  Ah well I thought, that is what I get for trying to be organized and prepared and doing things ahead.  I made a crack to one of the security guys at the door about me being dumb and unnecessarily spending money on a ticket - he took me right to the ticket desk and they refunded my money!  Wow!  I sure didn't expect that.

We really enjoyed our visit to the museum, it isn't huge like the Smithsonian museums but it had plenty of interesting items - a fun display on the FBI, they called them G-men (side note - life sized cut out of J Edger Hoover showed him to be much shorter than me.  That was a bit of a shock), some bits of Elvis memorabilia, but most moving were several of the slabs from the Berlin Wall (and a good display on the building of the wall and people's attempts to cross from the East into the West) and the twisted steel remains of the top of one of the antenna from the World Trade Center (and a few small pieces of the plane from Penn.).  The 9-11 pieces gave me chills - they also had the cameras of the news photographer who was killed when the first tower fell.

There is a balcony on the 6th floor from which you get a fantastic view of the city

When we finished the Newseum it was only about one o'clock so we walked a few blocks down and over and went to the International Spy museum.  That was fun as well, I particularly enjoyed the WW2/Cold War era spy cameras and guns - ring cameras, cigarette guns - too fun.

Finished all that about three so we still had some time to kill.  We decided to go ahead and walk to the Lincoln Memorial to see the stage and what was happening in the area that the rally was to take place.  I figured it was our best bet to actually get a clear look at things as I expected we would get nowhere near the front on Saturday.  I'm glad we made the hike.  They were doing sound checks and checking the jumbo-trons so I knew that so long as we got somewhere between the WW2 memorial and the reflecting pool we'd be able to see and hear just fine (all be it from super large screens and mega speakers).  I also found that there were already a good many people settled into the places they planned to remain in until all activity was over - some 24 hours later.  There were plenty of folks doing the same as me - enjoying museums and casing the grounds for the rally on the day before.  Lots of smiles and excitement.

After we had all we could stand for the day we made our way back to the metro and took the train back to Maryland where we were staying with an old friend.  I spent the evening convincing my hosts that we would need to get on the metro at the beginning of a line on Saturday morning because my experience last year told me that the train would be packed from the very first stop and if we tried to get on later we wouldn't be able to wedge ourselves in.  Eventually they took me at my word and said they'd take me to the beginning of the orange line because it was in an industrial area and there is never anyone there on Saturday mornings.  I thanked them and said I'd need to be there about an hour before it opened, meaning 6 a.m.  They thought I was a little nuts but graciously offered to drive us over even at that insanely early hour.  When we arrived the line was already very long - my host's jaw literally dropped.  She said she had never seen anything like it.  I just smiled - and was very relieved that we had gotten there when we had.  I'd also had the presence of mind to buy our metro tickets the day before so once the doors were opened we didn't have to wait in line at the machines.  The boy and I were on the first car of the first train of the morning at the first stop of the orange line.  And as I expected the train was packed - I am sure it continued that way for several hours.

The crowd was excited - happy - and ready for fun.  And that feeling continued for the rest of the day.  We rode in (and no one was able to get on at any of the subsequent stops, just as expected) and walked as quickly as we could toward the area of the rally.  Fast as we were - early as we began - the closest we could get was about half way up the reflecting pool.  Left side.  The boy and I settled into our spot and began to meet the people around us.  There were people from as close as Maryland and as far as California just in our area.  Primarily I spoke with a couple of fellow southern belles from Atlanta-

This is Ginger and Catherine, Catherine is the leader of her local 9-12 group.  I believe given a little more quiet and a little more time we could become friends.  Also sitting right behind us was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal - Constitution, apparently he won the lottery and was chosen to cover the event.  He told us everyone was jealous.  He seemed genuinely interested in what was going on and what those of us in the area had to say about it all.  I kept my mouth shut but I did hear some very well thought out explanations given to him. There was also an AP photographer from DC more or less camped out with us.  He wanted to move about more to get more pictures, but the crowd was so dense - once things got rolling - when he tried to get out and about he couldn't really get anywhere.  I also know he was very frustrated toward the end of the rally as he tried to upload his photos to the AP.  There was no signal to be had - way too much digital data flying about with those tens of hundreds of people we were with.  giggle.

One of the most moving moments of the day occurred actually before things really got cranking.  There were beautiful shots from around America playing on the screens, moving music building to a crescendo when suddenly a flock of geese in perfect V formation rose up from behind the Washington Monument and flew down the center of the reflecting pool  
It gave me chills, seriously.  A couple days later I heard Glenn saying that someone had sent him a video of this occurrence, he was totally unaware that it had happened.  The truly moving thing is that he had tried for months to get a military fly over arranged - to no avail.  So maybe God sent his own feathered fly over... You would have to have been there to feel how incredible it was.

After all the speakers, and a very moving closing prayer, Jo Dee Messina - John Rich - and others gave us a small concert as people began to break up and head toward their busses and the metro.  At this point DW and I managed to meet up at the Hawaii marker of the WW2 memorial.  It was great to put a second blogger buddy face with a name.  We had a nice quick chat and a few laughs then he went to find his travel companions and the boy and I continued toward Pennsylvania Ave.  As we approached the road between the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian buildings we saw a fire truck spraying water for any who wished a quick cool down.  The boy took advantage of the opportunity

I did too, but no wet t-shirt shots of me to prove it!

From here we squished our way on down the road - along the way we passed a Michele Bachman gathering and were able to listen to her for a few minutes, but honestly we were too tired to stay for long.  Then we encountered the Sharpton march as they made their way up Penn Ave.

After watching them for a while, and allowing the boy to see and feel the difference in attitude between this group and the one we had left - seeing first hand the difference between hate/ intolerance and love/ acceptance (you figure which was which), we had to make our way right through the march to cross the street to our metro station.  

Just at the top of the entrance we found this fellow catching some cooling action from the granite of the wall.  I think he was just plumb worn out from all the excitement.

And from there we just rode back to Maryland, went out for a good burger and some homemade ice cream and then a very much needed good night's sleep.

So there you have our experience in DC.  It was an amazing day Saturday.  I will not go into the size of the crowd too much here - but I will say that anyone who says it was less than 4-500 thousand is laughable and a higher count is well within the realm of reason.  Everything from the feet of Lincoln (literally) to the base of the Washington monument was packed.  Also to both sides from the Viet Nam Memorial to the Korean Memorial.  I saw no signs and heard no agitation in the area around us, but we was pretty much smack dab in the middle and if there were to be any agitating I would expect it to have been out around the edges.

Next time you guys come with?  It's well worth the time and trouble of the trip.

Go here if you want to see more pictures from the day.

Go here if you are interested in the Huffington Post's idea of what is ridiculous.