Thursday, August 31, 2006

demolition done

the wall has come down!
and in my travels through the world of horse hair plaster and lathes, i came upon this:

an old wasp nest with a bird's nest underneath (and in between two other wall studs, i found a bird skeleton). i didn't want to know what was in the nest, i felt so bad for the dead my brother is coming over to take care of it. i'm just not good with dead things -- or wasp nests...even if they've long since vacated it. now blogger is giving me issues - it won't let me create paragraphs. every time i hit enter, it makes the cursor disappear. so i apologize now for this being all jumbled together, but it's just being tempermental. anyhoo, my aunt is up from maryland and the next few days will be busy ones; fabric shopping tomorrow, a true maine country fair on saturday and a birthday party for my aunt on sunday. i will hopefully catch up with you all on monday! have a lovely weekend (long weekend for everyone stateside)!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

plaster, lathes and all that jazz

ah, the thrill of demolition!

i wanted to share what i've done so far in my parents old bedroom, which will soon enough be mine.

originally this house had only 3 bedrooms. when i was born, my sister (who is 8 years older than me), had to share her room...that is, until i turned 2 and my parents realized that we needed our own rooms. so they put up a wall in the middle of their huge master bedroom. 2 years ago, i ripped that wall down and turned it back into a master bedroom for myself. now the plan is to move into that soon-to-be newly renovated room and make the master bedroom a craft/quilting/spare bedroom (with more emphasis on the craft and quilting, rather than the spare bedroom aspect) and eventually (when the budget permits) renovate that room.

the only bad part about this job is the plaster dust. it's everywhere! but i have everything covered, an exhaust fan in one window and i've been keeping the door closed. when i walk into that room i'm in long pants, long sleeved shirt, dust mask, respirator, gloves and ball cap, but it still really makes you itch - i was never so thankful for a shower as i was last night!

blogger won't let me upload anymore pictures (don't know why), but there are some before pictures here and i'll be sure to post "during" and "after" picts on flickr as well!

the wall is calling, so i must go - wish me luck!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

all the world's a stage

last night, i took marcia and deb (coworker friends) to lakewood theatre in skowhegan, maine for the production of "sarah, plain and tall" starring my friend juliana as sarah.
oh, it was wonderful! we had dinner at the the lakewood restaurant, then wandered around until showtime. we had balcony seating. they did such an incredible job, all the actors did! juli even had to sing on stage - which i find very brave, you wouldn't catch me doing that (unless forced to)!

per tradition, i always bring flowers for her and have them delivered to her "dressing room" and these were also celebratory flowers for another reason: juli quit her job after 5 or 6 years being there! i'm so proud of her!! she stood up to her boss (who was evil incarnate) and stood up for herself! for her to up and quit without another job to go to, that is a giant leap of faith for her and i'm couldn't be couldn't be prouder!

anyhoo, just had to share my saturday night with you all, tomorrow will be a deconstruction post, as i'm ripping out a wall today!

have a wonderful sunday all!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

the autumnal cusp

(by photographer Paula Corsaro)

fall has wait, it's still summer - oh, no, no now it's fall. oh but if you face this way - yup, summer again.

no, i'm not going crazy...maine is on the cusp of autumn. it was 54 degrees outside when i walked sadie this morning, bundled in my heaviest sweatshirt, fleecy pants and knee socks and it was still chilly!

at noon, i ventured out for lunch while a brisk breeze blew and the hot, hot sun beat down. by this evening, it will drop into the 50's again, much like last night.

autumn stirs so many emotions in me. everyone knows that it is a time of change; every autumn for 17 years it was back to school time. like spring, a time for new beginnings; you looked forward to it, to making new friends and meeting up with old ones, having parties and going for walks, it was so social! then suddenly, once college was through, there was no back to school, friends scattered- moving back home or to a new home altogether, the old college haunts were suddenly 4 hours away...fall became just one more season you worked through, no big "ta-daaaah", it was same old same old. for a few years after college, i was getting that autumn feeling of expectation, an anticipation of good things to come, only to be disappointed that the only things that were changing in my life were the leaves.

but one autumn day, as i was taking a detour on a road i'd never been on, through the country, i had an epiphany; before me lay a hay field in need of a mow to one side and a pumpkin patch to the other, behind both were trees in the most vibrant of colors with dark mountains looming distantly over and the sun...that glorious october sun setting in the most breathtaking array of pinks and salmons, purples and golds. suddenly, something clicked inside me. it was less of a verbal "well this means this and that means that" kind of epiphany but more of a visual, internal, everything falling into place, relishing the change happening in nature epiphany that filled me with such happiness...that i cried. the disappointment was shed, the blinders of misery were gone. it was like seeing something so spectacular for the first time, and in essence, i was.

i realized it was up to me to take that autumn anticipation and turn it into something fun, rather than letting it pass by without celebration! now, i have lists of things i want to do to celebrate fall! collect fall leaves, carve pumpkins, decorate with gourds and cornstalks and hay bales, quilt - oh but this is the best time of year to quilt! - bake bread and cookies and country chicken pie, pick fresh apples and make apple pie, stoke up the fire pit outside and breath in that wonderful scent of wood smoke, watching full moons near halloween - halloween...mmmm....i have a huge smile on my face right now, it is my favorite! it's not the tricks, it's not the treats...i can't explain it. there is a happiness linked to it that stems from childhood. it could be that it's a time that encourages young and old to dress up and make's...i can't put my finger on it, but now i'm yearning for it.

"oh bright moon, oh goddess of the night, bring on the change, those autumn delights"

i'm ready for it! are you?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

doin' the happy dance!

yesterday i was swamped at work (still trying to catch up from last week) and then had a bit of a family social butterfly night where my sister, mother and brother converged on me one right after the other, whether in person or via the phone. you'd think it had been ages since i'd seen any of them! it was 8:00 before I got to eat dinner and look at the mail.

in the mail was the adult education fall course guide (which i love to look at because they always have interesting crafty courses to take). i leisurely flipped through it, then stopped dead on page 15 and became awash in happiness.

they are offering drawing classes again!!

3 years ago they offered a class that filled up within 2 days of it being posted and i missed out. i was so bummed! so i vowed to call as soon as they opened today and register. i was in luck! there was still room left! yippee!!!! and when i talked to my mother about it, she said she would go halves with me on the cost of the 2 courses as a birthday present (since one starts in november). double yippee!!

i have wanted to take a formal drawing class forever! in high school, art classes conflicted with my english classes - which i needed to graduate - so i lost out on art and went on to major in english lit in university.

i've always been able to draw to an extent...but i knew that i needed structure and instruction. my drawings lack life, lack dimension and it frustrates me because i can see how i want it to look in my mind, but trying to translate that down my arm, through my hand and onto paper...well, something gets lost.

there are 2 classes: the introductory "drawing for the true blue beginner" starting october 3rd and running for 6 weeks, then the continuation "drawing for the almost true blue beginner" starting november 14th (2 days before my birthday) and running for another 6 weeks! i cannot wait!

the classes are being taught by artist helene farrar of artdogs studio. her works are just so vibrant and alive with color, she's amazing! and she will be teaching me! so again i say, yippee!!!!!!!

oh, in other good news today, i received my letter of notification that i will get my 1 year step increase at work starting in october! so hooray for more money to pay my bills and fund my increasing list of projects and home renovations!

today i am so doing the happy dance - i really hope it's a happy dancin' sort of day for you as well!

Monday, August 21, 2006

home where my thought's escaping, home where my music's playing

ahhhhh, it's good to be home! oh what a crazy time nashville was! so many people from every state...tons of really interesting many social booze and free food as far as the eye could see...freebies from different companies from every state! it!

and the resort and convention center was "oh my god!!!" amazing! when you walked into this place, you were greeted with "welcome to the gaylord opryland, where it's always 70 degrees and sunny". the rooftop was glass and housed a climate control system with a simulated breeze to keep you perfectly cool, which was much needed as the temp was in the mid to high 90's all week with crazy humidity. i've never been so thankful for air conditioning in all my life!
there were also cascading waterfalls, magnolia's and jasmine in bloom, an indoor river that you could take riverboat rides on! i was so relaxed walking through this hotel, but i swear i walked 15 miles just in the hotel! it. was. huge! all the workshops spanned throughout the many levels of just the convention center, then there were 4 or 5 different registrations for guest rooms (and i don't know how many rooms, tons!).

i went to a country fair outside the country music hall of fame, where there was a live band, game booths, tons of beer tables, a "cosmo/appletini" booth, tons of fair food and on to an intimate concert in the ford theatre by a singer/songwriter named james dean hicks. after that it was back to the convention center to top off the evening with a party being hosted by a group of canadians (chocolate fountain and mountie martinis - which had lime juice and i think a fruit punch mixed with gin - very interesting combo).

on wednesday, the texas delegation held an event at the wild horse saloon that was ah-maze-ing! the food was an unbelievable mexican feast (best guacamole i've ever tasted next to my friend melissa's - which i could eat by the bowlfull!). it was really fun and myself and two others got to ride down to the saloon with a member of the texas senate and his wife. very nice people (even though they are republicans)! especially to offer a ride to 3 complete strangers from maine - and his wife was just a kick! wonderful people!

it really was a great trip and all my fears were for naught! never missed any flights, never got airsick, got lost in the hotel plenty of times, but at every corner there was someone willing to help. i'm really happy that i got to go. my only regret is that i didn't get to wander downtown nashville more. it was 30 to 45 mins away from the hotel and there were no shuttles to drop you off down there or pick you up unless there was an event, but those were mostly at night and i was not about to wander around a strange city, alone, at night. next time, i'm bringing someone with me, just so i have a familiar face willing to pal around with me. the next conference is closer to home (boston). and despite all the fun, i'm so glad to be home! i was beginning to feel like all i was doing was going from hotel to hotel and airport to aiport, all the while living out of a suitcase. the best part about traveling is coming home - it makes you see home in a whole new light and makes you thankful for the familiarity of it!

anyhoo, i have a ton a ton a ton of blogs catch up on, as well as a ton of work to catch up on in the next 4 days before i go on vacation...again...for 11 days (this is my fall clean-up vaca - i put in for this long before i knew about nashville) and i have a fairy project started at home to get a jump start on christmas (i was doing mad dash marathon fairy making until the week after christmas because so many people ordered them from me here at work - i promised myself that this year would not be a repeat and that i would start making bodies now and would only have to dress & bead them later)

check out the rest of the tennessee photos here. i got some great sky shots from the plane!

Friday, August 11, 2006

"well my bags are packed, i'm ready to go..."

"i'm standin here outside your door
i hate to wake you up to say goodbye"
(i love chantal kreviazuk's version of this song!)

well, okay, i'm not packed just yet, but i have started putting things together, figuring out what outfits to put together to maximize wardrobe potential while minimizing actual stuff to bring with me. this is proving very difficult; i have to dress business casual to meetings being held in air conditioning, while the outside temps range from the high 80's to mid 90's all week. and sadly, all my business casual is black. black dress pants, black dresses...i'm trying to temper them with light weight shirts.

i know i know, i'm obsessing about clothing when i really only have 3 days of meetings and 2 days of flying. but, as i always am before doing something i've never done, i'm nervous (less about the flying and more so about the being in a city i've never been in). my brain is playing the "what if" game whether i want it to or not...."what if i miss my connector in ohio?", "what if my luggage gets lost?", "what if i can't find my hotel, the hotel where my meetings are or meetings rooms within the hotel because it's huge?" then i calmly and rationally answer myself, "you catch another connector, you're packing a small carry on with a change of clothes and there are shuttles and taxi's to take you where you need to go, as well as a ton of hotel staff to ask questions to." i'm still nervous.

well my friends, this is goodbye for a week. since i don't have a laptop, i don't forsee myself getting online at anytime while i'm away. i have my camera and will try to take as many pictures as possible! i hope you all have a wonder-filled week and i'll be back with "tales from tennessee" on the 21st!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

so much to do!

i'm starting to get nervous. i fly out of portland on monday for a week in nashville and i feel like i have 800 million things left to do! not to mention the whole "airline terror" sending the u.s. into red alert with super crazy heightened security and the fact that i haven't flown anywhere since 9/11.

see i had this plan, since i was only going to be there from monday to friday, i was only bringing one bag that i could put in my overhead compartment (see i've mastered the art of travelling fairly light!). every thing in one bag that wouldn't have to be checked and wouldn't have the potential to get lost when i switch planes in ohio (where i have an hour delay for a 10 MINUTE FLIGHT on to nashville). i've always had a fear of losing my luggage and getting stuck somewhere with no clothing and with my budget, buying a new wardrobe is out of the question!

so now i'm making lists, mental and physical. i found out that the meetings i'm attending are business casual, so i've been doing my own clothing remix - pulling out long sleeved button down dress shirts to make them 3/4 sleeve and summer comfortable. i'm googling different places i'd like to visit (the zoo, the local harley shop for birthday and christmas gifts for my brother, the local fabric shop to look for different things than what i get in maine, etc. etc.)

i'm very excited and just very nervous! for the most part, it will be me, no friends and no family accompanying or meeting me there...pretty well me alone for the first 2 1/2 days. and at that, i'm the only staffer going, the rest are legislators. no one to really hang out with till my boss shows up and even then, she'll be in meetings and events that i won't be. so i have to make my own fun, do my own exploring and traverse nashville on my own...scary and exciting, all at the same time!

must go home to finish remixing shirts now. my day is over!

have a lovelylovely evening!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

corners of my home - an ode to the porch

last night was so quiet and peaceful. the muggy day faded into the mid 60's with a breeze. it's so weird how quickly the weather has really shifted gears around here. autumn feels and smells like it's just around the corner.

i threw on a pair of jeans and a hoody, grabbed an old book and a cuppa with the earl (an aromatic cup of earl grey, that is) and headed for my happy place, my sanctuary...the porch.

my porch is a place where wind chimes gently sway in the breeze, where christmas lights shine and rosemary and lavender scent the air. it is also the place where many nic-nac odds and ends go that i don't want to let go of just yet.

my porch is my window on the neighborhood. where i can listen to the crickets and peepers; children, distant tv's and radio's; dog's barking, bird's singing and phone's ringing. sitting in my old papasan chair, out of sight from the street, hiding away from the bugs in the summer, wrapped in a quilt in the autumn, decorated in christmas greenery and red berries in the winter even though it's too cold to sit out there.

it is my happiness, it is my place of relaxation, it is my porch.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

walking the dog

sun through trees
Originally uploaded by faerytreecreations.

so i actually remembered to take my camera with me the other day when i walked sadie.

here are the shots.

i would post more picts in this post, but blogger obviously doesn't want me to!

it hasn't been very exciting around here and i have a ton of stuff to finish before i leave work, so i'm letting my flickr pictures speak for me today!

enjoy the evening all! (it's only the beginning of august and already autumn smells and feels like it's in the air!)

Monday, August 07, 2006

WIP to done

from this:
to this:

to this:

and "grazing" is done!

i'm feelin' a sense of accomplishment right now.

have a wicked evening, folks!

Friday, August 04, 2006

the friday five - in no particular order

waking up to the soft pitterpat of rain hitting the porch roof
sleepily walking the dog on soaked streets
gravel and sand underfoot with contruction equipment looming overhead
seeing lilies in bloom, catching their heady scent in the mildly humid but definitely (thankfully) cooler air
low hung, rain soaked tree branches showering little drops upon my shoulders
the noise of cars, trucks, vans passing by on their way to/from work
the euphoric smell of coffee brewing mingling with the sweet taste of that caffeine-y goodness
a quick sip of chocolate milk from a real glass jar with a smiling cartoon cow printed on it bought at a farm stand in waldoboro maine (and bought solely for the glass jar - but it's maine milk and very good!)
feeling a sense of accomplishment for finishing a very belated thank you gift for a friend
planning a menu for dinner this evening with my oldest friend (we've been together since we were 14 and seen each other through the best and worst of times) and then figuring out which movie will we go to see tonight (probably "lady in the water")
smiling with the knowledge that there is a possibility to go horseback riding this weekend (for the first time in 22 years!)
today feels like a lazy friday, but it's moving faster than i expected.
i hope everyone's weekend is relaxed and filled with things you enjoy doing!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

ewwww...but wow, too

Lake Spider up close
Originally uploaded by faerytreecreations.
i have a death fear of spiders. not daddy long legs or the little ones. i can deal with anything smaller than my fingernail (legs and all), but when their bodies are the size of my fingernail and they have huge long legs like wood spiders, i freak. this guy fascinates me and terrifies me all at once. i've seen it (and it's predecessors) over the years, always huge (seriously, it's body is bigger than my thumb and it's legs rival the length of my pinky), always scary.

but i can't help starring at it. i try not to kill spiders as i know they are very beneficial creatures. they take care of the flies at my house and i despise flies! but we have this agreement, the spiders and myself; if they stay out of my territory (the house and garage), i won't relocate them. if i find them anywhere in my bathroom, they're dead meat! they tend to stay in the garage, but even then, they like to cover the inside of the garage door with their webs, which means i have to unlock the garage door quickly from the inside, then go outside to open it (so nothing drops on me when the door goes up) and take the
broom to them!

in the picture, if you look behind the spider, you can see the baby spider sack. it was writhing when i took this picture. soon enough, there will be hundreds of little versions of this spider spewing forth from it! the thought gives me chills!

i have to stop looking at this picture. maybe someday i'll get over my fear...but it's not today.

have a great day, all! and sorry if this gave anyone the creeps!