Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hunkering Down

If you've watched any of the Hurricane Sandy coverage you know that the number one thing you should have been doing to prepare for the storm was hunker down. And, indeed, that is what I did.

Sandy resulted in two days off of work for me. While I spent a majority of my time watching storm coverage, watching the lights flicker, checking the basement for leaks, and just, overall, being on edge, I found lots of time to catch up on stuff around the house. Aside from the hurricane going on outside, it was actually quite pleasant.

In addition to washing all of our dirty laundry, I worked through some art projects that I've accumulated. Eventually I'll share the finished result of each. But both are for other people, so I want to make sure each reaches their respective person first. :)


I also came to the realization mid-day yesterday that my hobbies are so... shall we say, "traditional"... that I could actually do them without electricity. And without other people. I'm not sure what this says about me.


We never did lose power. I'll have to pull the plug on my bathtub full of water. But I'm okay with that!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Doors for Charity

I was asked to paint some doors for a local charity gala. I wish I could say that my contribution for this  event would directly be raising money. But it's not. This is more of an aesthetic donation... a sitting-in-the-background-and-being-pretty donation. Decorations are important too :)

The doors I was working with were these old closet doors. Their purpose is to hide some unsightly items.


I was asked to paint them in a Japanese theme. Things that come to mind are: bamboo, cherry trees, and other nature-like things. Like this:


Selfishly, I didn't want to spend more than a few hours on this project, so I went with a simple cherry tree theme. Here's the little sketch I drafted up. Yes, there are all sorts of copyrighted images. I get it. But this is for charity. It's cool.

First step was to paint the doors black. Luckily we had plenty of black paint left over from the garage project. And it was glossy. It was pretty much made for this project.


Before starting I debated with myself if it would be easier to start with a black canvas, or sketch out my image and then paint around it in black. The black canvas won. However, I knew I was going to be in for a couple layers of the white paint. Luckily they make paint for that purpose. It's called primer. And we have lots of that too!


And so i started painting away. It's actually quite fun to paint on such a large canvas. I need to do this more often. After one coat, my painting was looking as expected: streaky.


But a few coats later: success.


Step two was to add a bit of color. I rummaged through my paint box and found some paints to do the job.


Oh, wait. Backup. I did go back and prime out some flowers. This helped the red color pop more than it was doing directly on the black. And here we have it. All done.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

PicMonkey: Halloween Edition

Two back-to-back posts. How unlike me!

I often use the free photo editing capabilities of PicMonkey. I especially like them to create simple photo collages, which is something that's more tedious to do in Photoshop. Anyhow, they have some Halloween filters available to get you in the holiday spirit.

Introducing.... Meatsie the Vampire. No need to turn myself into a vampire when I have a dog readily available.

Seriously, hours of fun.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Garage Glitter

We've been in the new house for about a month and a half now. Of all the projects we decided to tackle first, it was the garage. Who doesn't want a nice looking garage?

This project started with a gifted box of leftover RustOleum Garage paint and lofty dreams of transforming the garage from the dirty, bug graveyard that it was, into something... clean. We would paint the floor, paint the walls, and then put up some nice shelving and organize. And then we realized that all of this would be easier to do before moving in all of our tools and usual garage items. Like they say... there's no time like the present.

This is what we had starting off:


Obviously, the serious issue was the bugs.

So we pulled out the Shop Vac and did some heavy cleaning. The transformation had begun.

Here are a couple more before pictures as we started to paint.


Multiple weeks later we were done. Yes, multiple weeks, all for a garage. We spent a weekend prepping the walls. A weekend painting the walls. Weekends started to blend together. Then the floor had to be cleaned with a warning label-ridden concrete cleaner.

Finally, we got to the point where it was time to paint the floor. Mike painted while I sprinkled the glitter (or as Mike calls them, more plainly: flakes). This was the highlight of the project. Picture me tossing these flakes in the air like I was showering someone with rice at their wedding. It was a great time!


After some drying time and what seemed like entirely too long to be spending on a garage..... we finished. Hooray! We haven't parked the cars in here yet, but we'll get there.


Another one of my favorite features is the black trim. I've always wanted to try out black trim but have never been brave enough to do it inside the house. So we did it outside. Eventually we'll add some trim around the windows too. Details matter!


 One last picture of the glitter:


Of course since finishing, the stinkbugs have emerged in full force. We are trying our best to keep the infestations to a minimum. But it's difficult. They are some tricky little fellas...