Tag Archives: Art

I should be preening, but I’m not allowed to just yet.

twirlingpreeningI’m so pleased with myself I could twirl and preen, except that I’m not done done – no twirling or preening until then.

For more than two years, the house has been in an absolute state of chaos, one that accelerated In June as Doug’s stuff needed dealing with. There has been all matter of inconveniences: painting, drywalling, floor installing, termite eradication, near gutting of the family room, bookshelving, more painting, wallpapering, and a fair rodeo of sorting and organizing.

The upstairs hallway still looks like this and will for some time to come, but the entire house looked like this in July!

The upstairs hallway still looks like this and will for some time to come, but the entire house looked like this in July!

The last couple of months I’ve been hammering away at it – oddly motivated after having been a sloth for a good while. I believe I’m nesting. Except for the upstairs hallway, study and a couple of the closets, the house is decluttered, reasonably clean, and I know where stuff is. This alone is a major accomplishment.

When we first moved here from Milwaukee, we luxuriated in the fact that we didn’t need draperies on the windows for either privacy or warmth. My windows, and I have a lot of glass in this house, were brazenly bare and I loved it. I figured if anyone snuck up here, got past the dogs, and peered into windows they deserved to see something.

I had always hated curtains and draperies. They’re just dumb, they cost a stupid amount of money, and let’s not even discuss the cost and installation of the hardware.

The drapes and I had to have frequent time-outs.

The drapes and I had to have frequent time-outs.

But. . .I noticed a few years ago that my windows went from being nude to being naked. There’s a distinction there. Nude is fine art, naked is pedestrian. I can’t abide pedestrian.

I added strategically draped scarves and valances here and there so that my Nudes with Barn remained nude, but tasteful. I did put proper lace curtains in the dressing room as I’m not so easy about the idea of a Peeping Tom as I used to be.

The living room/dining room stymied me. Whatever I did was going to require a second mortgage given two 7’ windows and two 9’ atrium doors. I pondered and browsed and hovered over the “add to cart” button on a hundred different sites. I scoured stores. I frequently came down with the vapors at the cost. I put it off.

The ceiling is painted, the walls are papered, the floors are installed and the room is starting to come together. It was time to pull the trigger. I ordered inexpensive faux silk draperies from Amazon and boggled at how nice they were when they arrived. I tried to order hardware but it had been on back order for weeks with an estimated shipping date of December 19th. The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to be trying to hang drapes while tripping over a Christmas tree.

Tools!  I am woman!  Hear me roar!

Tools! I am woman! Hear me roar!

This morning I woke obnoxiously early and headed to the Lowe’s after some coffee and cogitation on the unseemly state of the windows. An hour later I was home and fiddling around with the new power drill – a twinkie Black & Decker, but lightweight enough for me to stand on step-stools to install the drapery hardware also procured from the Lowe’s.

I prayed on Facebook that the installation of all this would be an adventure and not a saga. It was a bit of both, but by my standards drama free. Oh sure, it sounded like a biker bar with all the cursing and carrying-on, but nothing got broke, no emergency room visits, and the end result is as well-installed and level as is possible in a house with no true right angles anywhere.

Standing on step-stools with tools is creepy.

Standing on step-stools with tools is creepy.

OK. That’s not true. I’m sure somebody who knew what they were doing and strong enough to hold a proper drill would have rendered hardware more securely attached to the walls, but, hey, it’s fake silk, they don’t weigh much, and if it all falls down I’ll just start screaming until they commit me. I’m pretty sure the state of my windows won’t be as much of a concern under those circumstances.

drapesThey look great. Not much of the glass is covered – that wasn’t my intention. The room is still flooded with light and once I get the prisms properly hung with ribbon from the exposed rod, it’s going to be spectacular.

I told myself I would be immensely pleased with myself if I managed to just get the draperies hung today. But, surprise! I was done by 2:30 after working at a leisurely pace. So then I took to sorting and packing the remaining books, ejected all the flotsam and jetsam from this room, moved furniture around, and began putting the molding back on windows and doors! Hence, my desire to preen.

I was rocking through stuff today.

Rainbow-making prisms

Rainbow-making prisms

I start every weekend with an optimistic to-do list, but, by golly, I’m going to pull it off this time! Tomorrow I finish all the molding except for the pieces I have to replace, plant a hundred crocuses and nearly that many snowdrops, and, with any luck, get some laundry done.

I will be insufferably proud when I check off the last thing on the list tomorrow. Woo hoo! I can’t hardly wait.

prisms (2)An aside: Of course, the downstairs hall is now a mess again, but that’s short term – that stuff will go to Doug’s daughters’ storage unit on Monday. This means there are only 4½ boxes in this room! Those will be dispatched with Doug’s daughter comes for the holidays and we can go through them together.

berry 8 lbs (2)Another aside: Berry is doing better. He’s still at the vet’s. He is still having to be syringe fed. The good news is that he’s not a snotty puppy any longer and he’s put on a pound since they’ve been feeding him that highly stinky food thinned with Karo syrup (oh, gag me now.) Maybe by Monday I can bring a healthy dog home.

And yet another:  I just got news and a pic that Berry is up to 8 lbs!  Yee Haw!

 

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Filed under November 2013

12-Step Program for Refrigerator Magnetaholics?

I have a thing for refrigerator magnets. I realize it’s hokey, bourgeois, tacky and a sign of feeble intelligence. But I love them. They make me smile and, sometimes, guffaw. My penchant for excess is clearly apparent by simply looking at my refrigerator. [I was sorely disappointed to learn my dishwasher door was not metal. That’s probably a good thing as I tend to dribble coffee down the door.]

I don’t even pretend they’re utilitarian. I don’t use them to hold notes, children’s artwork, grocery lists, or medical appointment cards. They are there because I like them. Although when Chef Boy ‘R Mine was little, I had alphabet magnets near the bottom so he could play with them. The magnetic poetry is not on the fridge because I like to sprawl on the couch with the nifty magnetic board and compose my pearls of verse.

Some magnets I bought as souvenirs and others were gifts. Some my son made and some were made by friends. Many were given to me by HMOKeefe. Some I bought just because I liked them or they spoke to my heart.

When I painted the kitchen several years back I packed them away. For reasons I don’t understand and certainly can’t explain, they’ve languished in the closet all this time. During the holiday housecleaning frenzy it occurred to me while cleaning the surface of the refrigerator that I ought to perambulate my lazy butt over to the closet, fish them out and put them back on the fridge. And so I did.

I feel like I’ve reunited with old friends.

Among the puppies, quotes, Wizard of Oz characters, tropical fish and goofy photos are the Unemployed Philosopher Guild’s magnetic finger puppets. If you’ve never seen these things you really must meander over to their website. My favorite is Freud and his accompanying couch. But then again I’m uncommonly fond of Frieda Kahlo. Not to mention Schrödinger’s cat and Pavlov’s dog.

My magnets are not confined to the refrigerator. I also have them on my filing cabinet at work. I haven’t added to that display for a few years now. It’s time to remedy that.

As for alternate locations at home, for years, I’ve been trying to find the right sized piece of sheet metal without grooves to cover one side of my antique filing cabinet so the finger puppets can go live there. I’ve explored the possibility of magnetic paint, but I’m not convinced it will hold the heavier magnets and, besides, we all know how I hate painting. [And if you don’t, please understand that I would rather clean the cat box with my tongue than paint. While cleaning the cat box in that manner is never necessary, painting is and the bitching and moaning that occurs is legendary in its intensity.]

I really do have to get the puppets out of the kitchen to protect them from grease and the occasional flying food spatters. And the cat. She likes to pull them off and play kitty soccer with them. I’m a little tired of finding Dorothy Parker under the church pew though I think if she were still alive she would have something really funny to say about lying under a church pew.

Somewhere I have a package of 50 magnets the size of business cards with adhesive on one side. Their reason for being is to turn business cards into fridge magnets. When I bought them I did so because I figured making my own magnets would be a big bunch of fun. I’m going to throw in the towel and just go buy some more. [Lost Things drive me crazy. It doesn’t matter if I want them or not, their status as Lost is a challenge that makes me feel like a failure when frenzied looking is of no avail.]

Frankly, I think we all have some silly thing we collect not because we need them, but because they make us happy. My shoe collection is another, but that deserves a post of its own as do the reading glasses and watches (all of which need new batteries). And of course there are the cow and barn images.

I have a friend who has a display of antique toasters – at least a hundred of them – that are stacked two and three high on the top of his kitchen cabinets. I have an uncle who collects clocks. Every wall in his house is covered in clocks. I believe they number in the hundreds. My brother and his wife have every movie released on video tape or DVD in the last 20 years. My father acquires old computers he works feverishly on to get them running. He does nothing with his successes as most of them are such old technology they are useless. My mother is into glass birds and painted birdhouses – both collections are getting completely out of hand. [I am so dreading dealing with my parents’ house when the time comes – they’re getting close to needing intervention for hoarding.]

So, what is your silly thing? And how to you justify it?

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Filed under January 2011

Faceboard Flitter Status

And since she couldn't remember, she played with photo editing software.

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Filed under October 2010

Progress is slow, but progressing nonetheless

 

I've got to figure out the cord clutter, but the office closet is mostly done.

 

My Maiden, Mother, Crone sculptures are not going to be able to stay here (alas), but ain't they something! Plan B is to hang them on a wall somewhere.

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Filed under June 2010

Maiden Mother Crone (The Arrival)

Maiden Mother Crone

I have taken dozens of photos, scrapped hundreds of words, and pulled on my hair. I cannot capture the images and I cannot find the words to describe what I’m seeing, but my Maiden Mother Crone triptych is in my possession. And it is phenomenal.

I’m nearly speechless with awe.

I began blathering about this last year when my friend, the art historian aka The Bitch Across the Hall, snagged some student work. I threatened to steal hers, but as the conversation with the artist, Melissa McCloud, progressed, I found myself commissioning my own set. I fretted for some time trying to figure out how to pay for them only to receive the news that Dr. B.A.T.H. was giving them to me for my 50th birthday.

Melissa McCloud

My 50th birthday, all around, was an occasion that kept me in happy yet overwhelmed tears. The significance of the triptych to my turning 50 is so apparent to me that I’m puzzled when I have to explain it to people.

The average of menopause in this country is 50 and I’m right on track. Menopause is sometimes referred to as the crone stage of life. I’m still mothering my son, albeit in quite different ways, but the hallmarks of motherhood are passing. I’m entering, mostly gleeful, the crone stage.

Here it is Easter weekend. I have in no way marked Easter in the Christian tradition or Ostara in the pagan tradition. I have sat around wiggling my nose hoping to end up with a bunch of completed projects without putting in the time and effort.

It wasn’t working.

I forced myself to pick up the camera and try again. It was an insult to the artist and to my friend not to acknowledge this triptych. In moving about the house trying to capture their beauty, I’m slowly gathering steam.

The Working Drawing

The three women are carved balsa wood. Layers of balsa were glued together (laminated), cut and carved. At my request, they were heavily textured and stained the same color as my woodwork and most of my furniture. I wanted them to slide into this house like they’d always been here and to appear as if they’d organically grown with the barn on this hillside. And they have.

Carved front and back.

There’s no place in this house they wouldn’t be perfect. My struggle is to find the right place where I can see them often and touch them often. They beg for touch. (Besides which, I never get the opportunity to fondle a well-endowed set of breasts.)

Some years ago, I whined and pleaded my way into another piece of art featuring the torsos of three women (Artist: Sherri Weeks.) The multimedia piece has hung in my study for several years now and I never tire of looking at it. In anticipation of the Maiden Mother Crone arrival, I have been preparing the study for installation which has involved a thorough gutting, cleaning, wall repair, dithering about color, and the application of 8 million coats of paint. I have whined.

I have also stalled.

The Other Women

My plan was to install the triptych under the painting and on top the bookcases that serve as a credenza. The one trio of women would mirror the other.

For some weeks I worked feverishly on the study and other weeks not so much. The closer I got to finishing, the more my energy levels waned and then I got zapped by Carlos the Cruddy Cold (who may turn into Boris Bronchitis).

The camera is just inadequate.

Without the ceremony they deserve, I picked up the triptych on Friday. My inertia deepened when I couldn’t get them to photograph well, I couldn’t describe them to my satisfaction, and I couldn’t find the energy to finish the damn study.

Frankly, I’m tired of the chaos of the study project. I want nothing more than to sit in there gazing adoringly at my six women.

Winter is over, the triptych is here and I feel ambition welling akin to the swelling of the branches that will result in leaves and flowers on the plants in my as yet neglected garden.

The women whisper to me to get on with the next stage. The earth has turned, the sun has returned, and the time has come.

The women must be listened to.

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Filed under April 2010

Mmmmmm Matisse

I've only been looking for this print for this spot for eons. I'm so happy it's as wonderful as I thought it would be. I love it when a plan comes together - a rarity in my life.

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Filed under February 2010

The First Blog I “Read” Regularly

Rick Lee’s photoblog was one of the very first blogs I ever read and I now log into it daily as part of my morning coffee routine. I love his photography – particularly his grocery store shots.

Someone has put together this slideshow and, apparently, Rick didn’t know about it. [I don’t know Rick, but he seems like a first-name-basis sort of guy, ya know?]

It’s a beautiful slideshow of some vivid images. Enjoy.

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Filed under February 2010