Sunday, January 27, 2008

Almost done

Today the carpet layer installed the carpet. This is the advantage to living in a remote area, our community is small enough that I could get this professional who lives nearby to come in on a Sunday to put it in.

I got rid of all the blue tape, took out all the tools and it is nearly there. Tomorrow I have to clear out the closet, but I'm pooped out, hungry for dinner, and am ready to call the work day over.
I'm including some last photos. I'm afraid getting an accurate color match photo to actual wall has been very hard. The neutral is a gray shade of tan. The terra cotta is really the color of a flower pot and the carpet is a tweedy brown/beige with flecks of rust, blue, gold.

Mike arrives tomorrow night if the planes can land. Eugene got 5 inches of snow today. I sure hope he likes it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Progress on Room Transformation

It's been a week of manual labor for me. At least four to six hours a day has been spent, up and down my small ladder, sanding, taping, painting and , finally yesterday, doing electrical work. I've done all but the installation of lights many times before. Of course Angelica helped and we had to wear our face masks for this.

First I had to sand down and do small patches of remudding after the friendly mudder/drum maker, Rick, was here.

Once the sanding and wall preparation was done, it was time to add color. Remember the theme of this transformation is bedroom to office/pretty to handsome/cool to warm.

My photographer takes a lot of self-portraits.

She also creates somewhat magical photos by jumping as she snaps the picture.

The final product is a combination of calming putty and warm, inspiring terra-cotta.

The next step was to trade out the pretty light fixtures for the handsome ones. I've never done this before, but I've seen many a light fixture go in and it really looks easy. Once the breaker was turned off, I was ready to go.

It turns out, once again, that a job is never as easy as it looks. I had to first take my lights out of the package and read the simple directions. On that score, the tiny illustrations showing hex nuts, cupped washer, and wacha plateada (oops, that's the Spanish side) were not that helpful so I released one of the "pretties" to see how it was installed. This proved to be much more instructive. I disconnected the old and began to figure out how to put in the new. Something that has irked me in the past is crooked installations, so I worked using a level to insure that the final placement would be square with the world. All was going well until I discovered that the threaded pieces that held the light fixture to the wall were too long. If I used them as is, the light fixture would hang !/2 inch away from the wall. Luckily I had my engineering consultant to call--my husband, Mike-- to get a solution for this problem. An easy fix if you have a vise grip and a hacksaw.

As it turns out, our remodel from 15 years ago, had a few "remuddle" pieces to it, like the outlet boxes being installed crooked, catywampus, etc. That earlier work meant a lot more adjusting and refiguring to install new lights. What should have been a one hour job ended up taking me 4 hours! Who knew how many tools, how many consultations, and how many new skills I'd have to learn to do the job?
My tool layout.
And the final transformation of pretty

to handsome.

Now all that was left to do was flip on the breaker, turn on the switch and see if the lights came on.
Viola, success.

Tomorrow the new carpet goes down and I dream of getting back to a different kind of painting--creating art next week.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Little bit of Morning Magic

This morning as I made my coffee, I watched our pond out the window. It's been frozen over for several days now, as Oregon is having a cold spell.

The backyard is surrounded by huge fir trees, creating only a small window of sky above the backyard.

As the water dripped through my filter and the coffee aroma filled my nostrils, I caught sight something slowly drifting down through the trees and into the pond. It was traveling so slowly and the object was translucent, so I felt sure it was a feather, the downy kind. I walked out to the pond with my broom to capture my "gift" from nature.

The contrast between the icy cold, harsh frozen water and the soft, insulating feather seemed somehow significant, but I have yet to decipher the message.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Home Project

It is a funny thing to be back in our home of 20 years after a 2-year period of being disengaged from it. The 2 years in Hawaii taught me that I could let go of my home and my possessions. That had been a major concern for me. But now that I'm back, I have to reclaim my space, I guess. I have launched into what is familiar here--redecorating a room. I am transforming one of our daughters bedroom into an office for my husband,Mike. The name of the project is "From pretty to handsome." My goal is to have it done before he returns from Hawaii on Jan. 28.

So you know how it appears on the Home and Garden Network Shows. A room is transformed in 1/2 hour. I truly thought I could easily do this redecorating in a couple of days and still have plenty of time and energy to get out to the studio. Well, as often is the case, nothing is as simple as one would hope.
First order of business was removing the wall paper. We had put on a vinyl coated wallpaper 14 or 15 years ago. I figured it would easily come off in strips since I had primed and sized the walls prior to hanging the wallpaper. I expected to have it done in an afternoon. Wrong! First I had to peel away the vinyl coating which did not come off in large strips, but rather in small, sometimes tiny bits and pieces.

Once the vinyl coating was off, I had to moisten and scrape the paper backing off the wall. I did have a little help and encouragement on this part.

So this is how a small half-hour project ended up taking three days.
I have now chosen paint colors, carpet and new lighting fixtures. I had a drywall mudder up today. Tomorrow will be sanding and riming day. Painting if I have the energy. I hope to be ready for the carpet layer on Friday. Believe me, even though this is a small project, it gets complicated!
Have I been making use of the studio? Not as much as I'd like, but here are 2 paintings I'm working on.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Oregon studio

It's not that easy getting settled back into my Oregon home. First of all the shock of reentry, holidays, family get-togethers, unpacking both art and personal belongings have consumed my time. All of the family and holidays were wonderful diversions, but now it's time to get back to creating art.

One obstacle has been the cold weather and snow. Here is the exterior of my art studio, which is in our barn.

But once inside the studio, it is warm, comfortable and well lit.

But no matter how wonderful the space, I've not yet felt inspired. As I settle in here in Oregon, I trust I will begin to get my creative spirit back. It's not the first time I've experienced the struggle of adapting to a new place and new situation. Although my home in Oregon is neither a new place nor new situation, the two year break from here has given me a whole new experience to draw from.

Here's a start that I was happy with, but an hour later I felt I'd ruined it. Oh my!