Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Winter Color

While Luke and I were waiting for the plumber to show up at the new house today (he never did), we decided to go explore part of the yard and look for interesting things to take pictures of.


A Brighter Note

On a brighter note, my new studio is almost done - I've been painting and painting (a bright clean pure white) and I just have some trim and the cabinets to finish - I'm going to try to make glass handles for the cabinets myself. Eventually, we will put new floors in, but obviously we have higher priorities at the moment.

Here is my view from the studio - I think that's a big old cherry tree out there. I will someday build a brick patio down here too so I can paint outside if I want.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Good-bye Guestbook, Hello New House

Sadly, there are mean people in the world who just wouldn't let a fun little business alone - they had to spam my guestbook with all of their drug and weight-loss links and fill my in-box up in the process. So I've removed that feature, even though I loved hearing from people all over the world. Perhaps one day I will try again and hope that the spammers have forgotten my site by then.

In other news, things are moving along at the new house - though I'm not sure what direction we are heading in there. It turns out our new house is more shabby than chic - in fact, it's missing most of it's chic right now. The shower has been leaking into the wall for years and it's all rotted - Frank has torn all that out. In the process he discovered that there were layers and layers of white paint over the beautiful blue ceramic tiles in the bathroom. No wonder the tiles looked so dingy. Honestly, I had not looked that close - figured a good cleaning was all they needed. Worse, the house is infested with rats - there is a huge rat's nest in the attic and the exterminators are having a heck of a time pulling out all the contaminated insulation there and in the crawl-spaces. What a mess. Just gross. They said they've been up there for at least 10 years. The first day we got the keys, we walked into the kitchen to find a rat had left us a mess on the counter - welcome to the new house! Even the mailbox is wobbly and ready to fall over. I just keep trying to remind myself of all the possibilities I saw in it before I realized how much actual work it was going to take. More than just a good coat of paint and a little shopping for accessories...

Here is the rat's nest. Frank said I wouldn't want to show it on my journal... but how often do you get a chance to see what a real rat's nest looks like? I hope this is my last one, and yours too. I imagine the exterminators removed some of it - I'm sure it was more 'cozy' a few days ago.

And here is the master bath demo. Frank is very proud of himself - he did a good job not destroying the whole bath and bedroom. Now we *just* have design the new master bath.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A History Lesson

This is so fun. The seller of our house called yesterday to wish us happiness in our new home and to give me some details about what's going on before we take possesion (cleaning stuff, etc.) and she also told me a little about the history of our new home. It seems that the property was once a lot larger, of course, and that rumour has it the first owner was a mobster (LOL!) and then a family bought it and used it as their summer home and built that loft over the dining room for the kids to sleep in (because the house was smaller then than it is now) and that one of those kids was Bridget Hanley who later starred in "Here Come the Brides". She said that there was once a log cabin on the property and that it was saved and moved to downtown Edmonds next to the museum. From what she told me, I was able to dig up this link about the history of the cabin - and it does mention the "summer house" which is our house! See, I told you this was fun!

A little more research has dug up this Edmonds Historical site and I found this picture which I *think* is our house from the backyard (which must have been where the tennis court was) - I think that big chimney is our fireplace and the little one is the furnace exhaust (which currently has a brick lodged in it - I don't know how we will ever get that out!).

The caption for this picture says: "A view looking North across the tennis court to the main house. The Cabin was to the West from this location." - I think they meant the "summer house" not the "main house".

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

There is a Turtle in My Sink

...and other reasons to move. Luke and I have a difference of opinion on what would be a good selling point. I like to have a clean sink with a nicely folded clean towel in the rack before we leave... Luke thinks a bowl full of water with a turtle in it would be better, and it doesn't bother him in the least if the towel is on the floor in a crumpled heap.

And here are a few more items to add to my list:

26. Art galleries in town.
27. Live and film theaters in town.
28. Can hear ferry horn from yard.
29. Neighbors all wave and say hi to each other.

Moving Ahead - Staying Still

It's that limbo thing - being busy but not feeling like I'm moving ahead, and having to stop and wait be patient at the same time - that drives me nuts. So yesterday I made some beads to try to get out of that stuck feeling, and later on today I'll clean them and maybe turn a couple of them into necklaces. It was fun to melt glass again. And in the meantime, I've been counting out the things I love about our new home in Edmonds - to remind me why I'm doing all of this. Here are some of them - I could keep going but I have to go deliver a big order of jewelry that just sold!
  1. Sidewalks. Yes, I'm sooooo excited about sidewalks!
  2. All those windows - I finally get to play with window treatments.
  3. Rooms to paint. With color even! I'm thinking of painting the living room a tuscan gold with cream trim and black on the window pane frames. Or! An icy blue with white trim... and I'm thinking of making the master a robins egg blue... maybe. So many choices!
  4. A bathroom or two to remodel.
  5. A real yard.
  6. Fireplaces!
  7. Circular Driveway.
  8. Parks to walk to.
  9. Beaches.
  10. Swimming Pools & Parks less than 5 minutes away.
  11. Cute shops and restaurants.
  12. Trader Joes just up the street.
  13. My friend Becky will be really close by.
  14. My friend Lara will be really close by.
  15. Community College with Art Classes just up the street.
  16. More Sunshine/Less Rain (really!)
  17. A patio to plan and build.
  18. Kids for Luke to play with in the neighborhood.
  19. Schools in the same town - and we can walk to school!
  20. Room to plant a garden.
  21. Saturday market all summer.
  22. Summer Festivals.
  23. Great kids programs at the parks.
  24. Dog's park at the beach.
  25. Lower gas prices at the pump.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Starbucks Holiday

Stopped at Starbucks today and was served my favorite beverage (a grande no-whip mocha in case you didn't know) in their new holiday cups. They are NOT as cheery as they were last year - those cups would make my heart sing every time they handed me one. These cups are just Ho-Hum... a faded burgundy color with some line drawings. Nothing exciting or in the least bit... Ho-Ho-Ho. Ah well... it's what's inside that really counts, right?

We Closed on the Edmonds House

What a whirlwind this past 20 days has been! Everyone (except the sellers) thought the contract said we were closing on the 18th... but NO - it said today was the closing day and the day we could take possession is the 18th - we found out yesterday and managed to make it happen - and so we signed papers and we own the house! We actually own two houses - we NEED to sell one fast because we can not afford two mortgages obviously. Good vibes on selling our Carnation house please!! It's officially listed now through our agent and it is currently sparkling and ready to show. I'm just about burned out - I'm going to need a vacation somewhere sunny and warm very soon. (Though I'm sure that is not going to happen.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Something Magical

Something magical about my new house that I forgot to write about: this summer Luke and I went to tour a home in Edmonds that was next to an elementary school. The location was great, the yard was amazing, the house was even very nice, but it just wasn't "our" house. There was no room for an art studio, it had both formal and informal living and dining areas and I really wanted a greatroom kind of home. And it was priced at the top of our budget, so no money left to build a studio or remodel either. But I loved the yard and spent a moment on the deck looking at all the wonderful gardens... and then I looked over the fence at the neighbor's home. Now THERE was a home and a yard I could fall in love with. It had a covered patio with white twinkle lights strung under the ceiling - and you could see the stone fireplace on the outside, with vines climbing up the house next to it... the old windows with all their panes were sparkling in the sunlight... it was exactly what I was looking for - on the outside anyway. So I said to myself - THAT is the kind of house I would like to find - that house right there would be perfect for me. I would LOVE a house like that. And then we drove away and I forgot all about it... until we were standing outside at the inspection and I was looking over the fence into the neighbor's yard... and then it all clicked.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

All Done...

And it feels like it's almost time to start over again. May this house please sell quickly and easily so I can stop cleaning and scrubbing and picking up things over and over again. Please.

Good news, all the loan paperwork is done and we sign papers soon. I think I even found a wonderful new preschool for Luke - they teach the kids Yoga there! Along with science and math and reading and art... It sounds so great. We will try to tour it this week and sign him up if it feels and looks good.

Here's a bit of fun: these photos are circulating the net and so I snagged my favorites to share here. I wonder how my girls would feel about painting their toenails.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I just want to make art today

But it is just not going to happen - it's just too big a mess to deal with and all the other things would not get done. I'd also like to curl up in bed all day reading my latest guilty pleasure - the newest Outlander book - but it's not going to happen either - if I did that, Luke would turn the living room upside down with all his toys. If I close my eyes for a second, it all seems to explode around me. How in the world am I supposed to keep this place looking good with two big dogs and a 5-year old? I'm thinking of putting Luke in school 5 days a week till the house sells... but what to do with the dogs?

Instead I will call and get the furnace serviced, the septic pumped, the water maker in the fridge repaired and continue the keeping up of this house - I have floors to mop and a glass studio that needs a major pick-up and a garage that needs the same. The dogs need walking and it's pouring out of course. Problem is, I really don't think I have it in me today - I think I inhaled enough bathroom cleaning chemicals yesterday to last me a year. And somehow, I gave my calf muscles a really bad work-out and they are screaming at me now. And I'm just so tired. Maybe I'd be smarter to use the money I'd spend on two extra days a week of preschool for a housecleaner instead. YES. That is what I need to do. Hmn... more phone calls then. I really, really just want to play hookey and make art though.

Here's my Tyger boy - he loves it when I paint - he likes to sit next to me and watch. I wonder why.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Better Late Than Never

Or, so the boys think... Luke needed the jacks, Frank needed the seeds... I would have been happy having whole, cheery pumpkins on my porch for a couple more weeks... ah well. We were late last year too. Hope this is the end of that trend.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

L. A. M. E.

That was our Halloween night. I brought the camera but left the media card in my printer - so no pictures even of my little green Power Ranger. We did trick-or-treat at my husband's work and it was so bad. Almost no one put out candy, there were almost no trick-or-treaters, no party like usual, it was really dismal. Then I had to fight traffic to get to drawing class where I had a bum pencil that wouldn't draw right... and Luke and his Dad hit three houses in the hood and had one trick-or-treater hit ours... and that was it.

The only good thing in my eyes was this rhyme Luke learned on his own (from his friends at school) and kept saying over and over - it kept me laughing:

Trick or Treat
Smell my Feet
Give me Something
Sweet to Eat
If you Don't
I don't Care
I'll Pull Down
Your Underwear

Luke was happy at least because he got more candy than last year (how he managed that I don't know - except everyone kept telling him to take 3 since there were no other kids around). Oh, and he got to take extra for saying his rhyme at the neighbors - I think that made their night too.