and that border that I mentioned?
From Artifact Puzzles comes this lovely
what it doesn’t say is that the border is not straight – oh no, not at all. Randall Spangler created the original painting. I have mentioned him before – he is the one who designed those two impossibly cute dragons dealing with computers.
any way –
the whimsy is easily seen in the crown – what I wasn’t expecting was that all those curlicue pieces turned out to be the border…
and there were a lot of fairly small pieces to tuck in here and there. I started this puzzle then detoured for a while.
Part of the joy of starting a new puzzle, especially one from LibertyPuzzles, is opening the box and gazing at the heaped up pieces just waiting to be freed. I am not compulsive about jigsaw puzzles; I neither lay them all out, or start with the edge and work in. Rather I enjoy seeing what the whimsy pieces of this puzzle represent, which often coordinates extremely well with the puzzle picture or theme. If a few edge pieces happen to tumble into their own pile, that is also fine.
In the case of this puzzle, there is the easel (the painter showed up later), various people, sailing vessels and a pair of crossed swords.
there is a kind of peace in fitting things together, not being in a hurry and knowing that – at the end – there is actually a reward – the view of Lugano.
or should that be owl followed by shirts? Nah, the shirts were completed long before dark when I started on the Owl
Feeding my puzzle addiction, I discovered a new purveyor of wooden puzzles. This particular manufacture has only a few available, and, as it turns out, they are made in China. Less expensive than the US made ones certainly. But the quality of the puzzles is certainly not the same standard. The owl wasn’t all that difficult to assemble, but the pieces didn’t fit as smoothly as I would have liked.
The shirts – the theme today was books.
there is the elegance of reading
which didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped
and then there is the reality of what is appealing to certain members of the family
and before you scratch your head – the clothes pins are to keep excess fabric out of the way and avoiding it being caught either under the hoop or in the stitching area. I know this because…..Both shirts still need to be washed and a few threads trimmed. It is all progress as I am working my way down my bin of “garment blanks.”
We had a break in the middle of the day – I had a sewing machine in for service. George proved that his feet are up to par since he drove both down and back. Remember that we have a standard transmission, so if he was going to have foot pain, I am sure that it would have been triggered by the drive.
and no, there is nothing in this post about sex, the government, or politics. It is my summary as I sit here with an ice pack on my wrist wondering why I wanted to put together rolling carts. It is not that I can’t do it, mind you, but why I wanted to. Did I think I was a mid-20s guy with strong hands and wrists (think Engineer Guy who is currently in Connecticut happily working and likely playing with lasers).
Perhaps I should go back to the beginning and explain myself? Right.
Phase one was cleaning up the studio. That totally chaotic room that I had claimed as mine when we relocated to the US West Coast from Germany. I have no clue how I had planned to jam in spinning wheels, a loom, sewing machines, a serger, needlework frames and supplies for all of the above. Oh, yes, and a dress form, ironing board, some kind of working surface and perhaps the knitting machine that has been boxed now for 15 years..
You see the problem? I also shipped a couple of plastic bin storage containers on wheels. Next I added a couple of small drawers cabinets;
oh, yes and bookshelves – tucked those in along the wall with the worst of the slanted ceiling. As I mentioned last month,, I did a major cleanup and organize–donating several good size boxes of crafting supplies and some containers to the local arts&craft recycle shop.
Then my new sewing cabinet arrived, which meant moving things around once again. Next on the list is getting the shelves organized, the piles off the floor and into clearly marked containers, and realistically culling. Having vertical storage seemed like a great idea in a room which has zero for closets. Hence, my purchase of a couple of carts on sale from JoAnn’s on a day which boasted discounts plus free shipping. They arrived on Saturday, abandoned next to our mailbox and had to be hauled up to the house.
Each one of these lovely little things came in pieces/parts + screws and fasteners. I can put things together – easy, peasy. If I have the tools. Several hours of searching led me to the conclusion that the red tool chest was somewhere, probably in the garage beside hundreds of kilos of other stuff. It simply was not worth spending hours excavating. Indiana Jones I am not, and we currently have the garage of doom. One day if I am feeling brave, I will share photos. Meanwhile, there I was–all those parts and me without a screwdriver.
Monday when I hauled the boxes (cursing about the weight) up to the second floor, I put together the first cart. Not that hard, just attach cross pieces to the side frames (two of them on the bottom) place this assemblage upside down on the reverse side of the top and fasten with four bolts (Allen wrench provided), turn right side up, add wheels.
Today I decided to take the plunge and buy a screwdriver. Heck, while I was at it, I bought a set since I wasn’t sure exactly what size I would need and had a sneaking suspicion that there just might be more than one size involved. Oh, was I right. Construction went something like this:
take side piece #5 and attach to back piece #7 with two screws from the bag labeled #14. Now take side piece #6 and attach with two #14 screws to the other side of piece #7, insuring that the grove in all pieces is on the lower edge. Now slide in bottom piece #9, putting that grove to good use..
With me so far? Next attache connector #10 on the inside of each forward side piece with screws from bag marked #15. Next find that Allen wrench and use it to fasten bolts #13 through the connector to the front piece (#8) making sure that the bottom is securely in its grove. Finally, fasten drawer pull #18 to the front of the drawer (with the screws provided – magnifying glass recommended by me. 10 screws, five pieces of particle board and two bolts. I needed three sizes of screw drivers in addition to that aforementioned Allen wrench.
And that is just the first drawer. As the instructions say: Repeat steps to assemble three more drawers…..
It took an hour. Not all that mentally challenging, just hard on my wrists. After finishing the first cart, I decided to hold off on the second.
Instead putting together a small six draw cart (metal) that I picked up at Costco today (much cheaper, FYI). The side pieces were fastened together with four cross pieces. The attachment being a bolt and padded washer on each side. Allen wrench, turn – Repeat. Pop on the wheels, tighten them down. Stand up right, slap on top, slide in baskets. Less than 15 minutes from start to finish, including loading the baskets with stabilizers and interfacings.
I think my fun meter is pegged.
From Artifact Puzzles comes another delightful design from Justin Hillgrove. The box titles it “Overwhelming Odds” but I just adore the sense of humor. Perhaps you remember all of my go-rounds with rubber ducks? No? Never mind, just be aware there was a time when there were rubber ducks invading the hot tub, the shower and making cameo appearances in the kitchen.
and yes, it comes WITH its own little duck
Then there are Ecru puzzles – this one has pieces with a complicated structure, a definite trend toward cats
and looked like this when completed (note, this is one of those “mystery” type puzzles…)
the challenge here was two fold – first not knowing what the puzzle would look like when completed. The second was that 90% of the pieces are identical in shape. Even more fun to have to pull out a piece when you realize that the color isn’t exactly right for that location …..not
I am not sure why a skunk wanted to live in our neighborhood. It is not car free, people free, other animal free. But apparently this particular skunk has been hanging out down the back hill from our house for the past several years. I saw it a couple of times on the stairs and gave her a wide berth.
Unfortunately, that skunk decided to chitter at one of Dani’s dogs. A German short-hair pointer, she doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about being scolded by an animal she thinks of as pray. Alex had the dog on the leash, the skunk scolded, the dog took off.
It was a draw – the dog got the skunk, but not before being sprayed.
It is a day or so later. The dog has been bathed, groomed and both upstairs and downstairs have been aired out several times. There is still a definite whiff of skunk in the air.
We are not amused.
actually isn’t all that hard.
A lot of driving involved to and from UCSF. Household tasks. A baseball game or so. Not much else.
But I suspect August will be more of the same.
And, in many ways, being stuck at home in July is my norm. There are few, if any, professional meetings held in July. I don’t cruise in July – just too many families with small children and a complete lack of any decent deals on sailings.
I am not going to provide a picture of my upstairs studio/craft/sewing room prior to my recent organizing and cleaning spree. Let me just leave us with – it was not pretty. I was able to walk through the room, sort of. Other than the fact that all the items in the room are actually in excellent condition and useful, it could have been a demonstration for an episode of craft-hordes.
I have supplies for: quilting, sewing, cross-stitch, machine embroidery. Oh, and knitting and spinning. Does that sound like a lot? I never think so until I write it all down and look at it. Familiar with the abbreviation “SABLE?” Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy. You get the idea. If I devoted all my time and effort for the next, oh, let us say 10 years, I could not complete everything on my “want to do list.” Practically speaking, it means that I need to hone down that list, share supplies with others so that I don’t feel guilty, complete all those UFOs and otherwise develop a more realistic view of what I can manage.
Right. And then there are those two papers which are hanging over my head….
Back to the more fun of creativity. End of last week and over the weekend I spent time cleaning and organizing. Dani helped me move several boxes of cables, electronics and “who knows what” down to the garage. I relocated the contents of one cupboard and proceeded to fill it will all the hard copy audiobooks which freed up some shelf space. Taking the time to put all the embroidery threads back into their boxes – I marked the top of each in order to better locate particular colors –
That was the easy part. More complicated is the fact that the room is upstairs with a ceiling that slants on both sides (if I can locate a picture of the room before the 2014 renovation. For whatever reason – most of the photo links vanished when I imported ww.proseknitic.de to this site about three years ago. One more thing on my “todo list” – find those photo archives, upload the photos and activate the links…
I was delighted to find that there was still a nice hard wood floor in reasonably good condition once threads, debris, and the occasional spot of temporary adhesive had been removed (hint–it isn’t all that temporary when used as manufacturers’ recommended amounts..)
Among the projects completed today are these –
they have been added to the Georgia bound box leaving me only short 1 item….
Oh, right. we made the run to UCSF this morning. In spite of leaving home at 0800 it took barely more than an hour including a coffee stop at Peet’s. The secret was to drive by the North Berkeley BART and pick up a ride share passenger. This meant HOV lane and reaching the Embarcadero Exit 25 minutes after leaving the house. The rest of the time was devoted to wending our way through the traffic choked streets of SF without getting back on the freeway. Everything went excellently, George was able to walk from the car up to the clinic, around while up there and back which meant the old wheelchair has been removed from the back of the car and is now residing in the garage. Next week should be the last of the 2x/week visits.
the whole flamingo thing started in 2003 when this particular set of wind chimes, seen hanging from an internal second floor window here in Berkeley, arrived in the mail while I was serving in Kuwait
I still don’t have a clue as to why Carmen thought I needed a wind chime. No one ever spent time outside except in transit between trailer, office, mess hall, meetings. I arrived just as we were headed into the warmest part of spring where temperatures often hit 40*C by lunch. It definitely
severed served as a conversation starter, hanging from my ceiling light in the middle of the room.
A bit later in the year, the flamingo was joined by a menagerie of origami animals courtesy of Pat. Unfortunately, I can’t offer a picture as they hid from packing when getting for my move back to Germany in summer of 2004.
Since that time, I have been gifted the occasional flamingo ornamented item, such as birthday candles, dish towels and a pair of leggings. I have, on occasion, also purchased the occasional flamingo decorated socks. Additionally, I have accumulated a number of machine embroidery files, should I really, really need to add a flamingo to something.
If I want to be honest, the whole flamingo thing started in 1978 when George and I received a couple of pink plastic flamingo lawn ornaments for a wedding present. We included them in our house hold goods for years, but some time in one of those transAtlantic moves they were lost.
The single metal flamingo that was standing guard over the lemon tree when we purchased the house is still in its location atop the retaining wall. Looking down, it can see my own flamboyance of flamingos, four with solar collectors to light the night and the other two anchoring both ends of the small area between the patio and front door.
the kind delivery guy actually managed to drop off the box containing this metal bird at the downstairs door. I am impressed. Not tossed in the bushes, not left next to the mailbox, and certainly not left in the driveway where someone might run over it.
The only downside of this pretty pink creature is the tail feathers. They are not suppose to rotate. But I am sure that they should be facing out, rather than toward the bird. Now, if the small bolt by which the tail feathers are attached were the right length, that would be the case. But it is too short to hold the wing nut in the correct configuration leaving me with the choice of a bird with a naked rear or one with the feather pointing forward.
In the manner of Joe Pike (in the series by author Robert Crais) – forward is the only direction to travel.
I am working on shoveling out and organizing the sewing room as I am finally investing in a decent sewing cabinet which arrives next week. Since it might be nice if I could get it up the stairs, through the hall and into the room….. otherwise, some knitting, machine embroidery, and the As game this evening….
of Flamingos according to a lovely, and slightly sarcastic reference that I found. Apparently the simple word of “flock” just wouldn’t do for something that is so obviously eye catchings. After all, they aren’t LBJs (little brown jobs in birder parlance) or high flying scolders/mockers like ravens and crows. They are that fun, bright pink color that comes from their diet.
I drifted over to Wiki to learn that there are six extant species of flamingo. The funny looking, long-legged birds really aren’t related to any other bird except maybe the grebe. They are scattered through out the world – from Africa to India, to South America, Asia, the Caribbean + Florida. (well, there are some that consider Florida it’s own separate world). Looking at the list, I think I have actually seen four/six – not the Andean or the James.
If you wonder why I am nattering on about Flamingos – just look back at the last few posts and my current entertainment.
Otherwise, I would need to focus on getting up at 0500 to drive into the city for George’s 0730 appointment (everything is going well), returning through much less traffic followed by a trip to the pharmacy, the grocery store, a couple of load of clothes, emptying the dishwasher, lunch, taking out boxes, rescuing the garbage cans …. and so it goes.
It is barely 1430 and I am tired. If I still didn’t have a list of chores, I might just take a nap…
oh – the boys are back…
the solar collector works!
Not bad for 0dark30. The birds don’t provide enough light to be able to navigate, but, hey – they are fun!
I am thinking about getting
(the game was much harder fought today with the As pulling out a 3:2 victory in the bottom of the 9th thanks to the White Sox’s short stop who bobbled what should have been a double play ball, with the subsequent throw being off. Pinder meanwhile blasted past second and kept on going. Crossing the plate with the winning run – it was secondary to an error rather than a hit, but no one cared. It was incredible to watch and it is great to have the Sweep. Jon Jay? Left field today – but we chose to use his name rather than Tilsen who pulled right field duty. Never let it be said that we don’t know the name of the opposing team’s right fielder.
I looked at those two flamingos – and all the empty space around them.
so there are now four birds (these two also have solar cells attached).
I am taking my entertainment where I can find it – and it normally is in small and quiet moments. These make me smile.
(As did the As game – it was a 13:2 rout. Then there was the issue of the White Sox’s right fielder. Jon Jay. Apparently he couldn’t understand the post run cheer – “we love you Oakland, we do (x3), not you [right fielder’s name]” and filled in something else in his head. Complained. Security came to talk to us. We looked at them like they were insane. Said they should talk to any of the security who had been working the park for more than a day. Like the cheer hadn’t changed in at least 10 years. The end result is that there was a replacement right fielder starting with the 7th inning. Didn’t change the cheer – nor several repeats of “we want Jay….
I don’t think the White Sox have been in Oakland for a few years. Certainly this particular right fielder seems to have played for enough different teams over the years that he should have know about RF149. My prediction is that he will be in left field tomorrow. Since the left field bleachers had been know for flags, chants, and noise makers, I don’t think that will be any more peaceful….
One flamingo, all alone, that just wan’t right. You don’t see single flamingos, but small numbers to huge numbers. But not a single flamingo. The Eldest and I attempted to locate a companion by checking with the local gardening stores and hardware stores. (I attempt to buy local before reverting to amazon). Apparently it is just too late in the year and they had all flown off. After checking JoAnn’s, East Bay Garden Supply, an Ace Hardware and looking on line at Home Depot- I gave up.
This lovely bird has a solar cell (that black thing part way down the stake) which charges over 8 hours, then is supposed to light up for at least eight hours.
We will see….
when running errands.
On sale at Daiso for only $2US.
Now, I used to have grass around my patio area. It had started to recover from the dogs fertilizing it for about a year. It was green. Ok, it was also long and full of weeds. But it was green. I like green. Apparently the weeds offended both my husband and the landscaper. I came home the one day to find that all my lovely green was gone and I was stuck with this absolutely horrid colored wood chip stuff.
Ugly doesn’t begin to describe it. I would haul it out and replace it with something else – anything else – crushed gravel, wild flowers, weeds, artificial turf. But I am too cheap to wind up paying again to fix something that is totally functional, but ugly. Oh, so ugly. And do not, under any circumstances attempt to walk on this stuff in your bare feet. You have been warned. What I really wanted, to tell you the truth, was the whole area paved.
Anyway – that poor lonely flamingo was the last one – which is why I suspect he was so cheap.
Now, anyone going in or out of the door gets to be treated to a bit of whimsy along with those ugly chips.
So, my day wasn’t all that exciting.
knit into a blanket. Finished now except for the blocking
a bunch of nagging and errands.
Since yesterday was a holiday – the waiting room at UCSF was jammed to the gills with both the Friday and Thursday patients. Since there was little to no traffic, the drive in went smoothly, the clinic was running at full speed and we were able to get out of San Francisco before what would normally be Friday afternoon traffic.
I was tired when we got home. Heading upstairs to finish off (finally) the one quilt, I pulled out the stitching and redid the quilting.
and then I moved on to this –
with a lot of fun pieces
and decided I was just too tired to think about going to a baseball game. Sent off a message to a fellow member of the group that I wouldn’t be making the game. Then I pulled up At Bat (the app) and sent her off a second message. She concurred as well; Seattle was just to far to go in the next 30 minutes….
Yesterday we had the trip into the city. It was not fun, as you can imagine. And, in further total destruction of my joy, George received a call last night informing him that one of his medication levels was off. Off enough that we needed to come back in this morning and get redrawn.
Deciding that the crack of dawn wasn’t needed, we headed out of the house about 0900 in order to make the 1030 deadline he had been given. So we sailed out of the house and I stopped by Peet’s in order to be fortified. Then on to the freeway, and into the maze and across the bridge where there was almost no traffic.
What the f)(*U(*&^*?
We were headed home less than an hour after parking the car (good news for me, parking is by the hour and saving $3/4 is always welcome). Proves once again that there is absolutely no way of predicting traffic in this area.
Oh, and those lab results? Turned to be an issue of which cannula the blood had been drawn from. Not an issue of his meds which meant he should continue on exactly the same meds.
Really long day ending exactly where we started.
The As are in Los Angeles along with a serious number of both Right and Left Field crews. After managing to lose last night, they beat the Angels 7:2. Some how, it is just not as fun to watch a game on TV as it is to be in the stands.
It seems like I spend my days getting there. From here, to there and back again. Or to the ballpark, grocery store, diner, UCSF. Not necessarily in that order, please understand. But the idea of having a whole day at home is really appealing.
I am thinking I can schedule it for next Tuesday.
Unless something else comes up, just saying.
between now and then? UCSF tomorrow day, perhaps the As in the evening. Same for Friday. Saturday and Sunday are going to depend on whether or not I can spring George, which is starting to look more hopeful than earlier in the week. If he escapes, then it will be back to UCSF all day Monday as an outpatient. Which takes me to Tuesday – which is where I started this conversation.
I spent the morning at UCSF. George actually had a few platelets of his “own” this morning so that trend is hopeful. The attendance at this afternoon’s As games was less than optimal but considering it is a Wednesday afternoon, there were the usual serious fans, retirees and busloads of school/summer camp kids. The As pulled off a nice win and swept the series. Considering we were facing the poor Baltimore Orioles, it could have been embarrassing otherwise.
Noah returned today from San Diego –
who is suffering a cut necessitating the cone of shame.
After taking the crew out to Barney’s for burgers – I started a new puzzle (Ecru–from Artifact Puzzles) before wiping out completely.