"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Okay, I'll freely admit to being one of the few who like cozy mysteries as a genre but who just totally disliked this book (so much so I never read the rest of the series). After seeing the scenery and characters in the commercials for this HBO version, I decided to give tonight's pilot episode a shot.

Am I ever glad I did--the show is awesome! Very true to the book's storyline, this is a novel truly suited for adaptation to the small screen. What feels like a chopped up conglomeration of short tales when read are integrated much better on TV and the scenery is truly breathtaking. Jill Smith brings the main character Precious to life in such a believable way and the secretary is a true hoot! I may never go back and try the other novels, but the series is getting set into my DVR reminder/record list.

Network Nightmares

I am sometimes convinced that if there is an easy way to do something and a hard way, my genetic makeup will pick the hard way every time LOL! I recently crossed another item off my bucket list and replaced my laptop that had been stolen in 2005. Instead of a second TV for my apartment, I now have upgraded my home network to wireless and added this great HP G60-235DX laptop. You would think I would just unplug all the ethernet cables from the wired router and plug them into the wireless one, right? Not hardly.

Don't ask me how, but I managed to tangle almost five feet of three different ethernet cables into a knot when they were first installed last year (mind you the walls are back to back with only the width of the studs between). So, pulling them back into the office when relocating the router from the living became a much more involved task. Gratefully I had extra ethernet cables; when all was done, one cable had lost its end connector. But, most important of all, the network is up and running.

I cannot seem to get the printer/laptop connection using the desktop as a pass-through to work. For the time being, anything that needs printing from the laptop can be dropped to a flash drive or memory card and I can then plug into the desktop and print from there (much cheaper than a new printer or a print server).

What should have taken an hour at the most took over five (didn't talk about the fact that the file cabinet and 6 boxes of archived materials needed to be relocated in order to access the wiring and the hole in the back wall of the closet where I had passed the wiring through)....

Now maybe I can get back to organizing the studio half of the space?????

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Font are You?

This is a really cool little quiz...I'm a font collector, so when I found this I just had to share. Some of the questions were a bit weird for me, so I just picked the best of the bad and ended up being Helvetica (one of my least favorite fonts, believe it or not LOL!)

Hope you have fun and enjoy your font!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Countdown

Lisa Vollrath has done it again. Daily freebies to use in St. Patrick's Day projects, all with a distinct vintage feel. Go check them out; they don't stay around long after the holiday is over, and they print out beautifully.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Clutter Chaos aka Craft Studio Run Amok

Anybody ever find that to clean up and organize means to mess up more first? I must have been insane to agree to help a friend re-organize her studio last weekend. I had torn my living room up the week before because of assembling my new elliptical and needing to rearrange the room to accommodate it. See, I know me--I will not exercise if I don't have a TV to watch while I am doing it, and since the only TV is in the living room, that's where the elliptical had to go.

So, crazy work schedule + torn-up living room (which also meant stacks of books in the bedroom and dining room while moving the bookcase) = a totally chaotic mess, which I left for a full day to help a friend. Started off by falling in the tub and banging my knee. We did get much of her room done and I did get a wonderful steak dinner from Texas Land & Cattle (a totally terrific steakhouse). I even got to stop and get my shelving unit plus two bookcases and a lamp (using various Walmart gift cards earned through my job).

The problem was, by the time I got home and got all my stuff into my upstairs apartment (banging my bad knee on the stairs in the process), I was way too beat up and tired to do my own studio. It has been relegated to fits and starts/bits and pieces. The shelving unit is up, the lamp put together and in place, the studio bookcase is in place. Some of my embellishments have been reorganized (thanks to sorting and winding while watching a PBS Lawrence Welk retrospective and remembering how much my grandparents loved that show).

Won't post pictures here of the living room or bedroom bedlam, but to give you just a hint of what I am facing in the studio, here are a few "before" photos.

You can't tell here, but there are dowel rods on the wall (see the stringy things hanging down at the top of the picture?) They hold my ribbons on spools, but are overcrowded and a bit off-kilter. I have purchased cafe rods that I am going to mount onto 1x3 boards and then mount the boards on the wall; same basic idea in the same basic location but will look better and stick out just a bit farther to allow the ribbon to spin better.

The white shelves holding my ink pads are Ink Pad Palaces from Mother Rubber http://motherrubber.com/ and I absolutely love them! They ship fast, put together easily, are stackable and wall-mountable, and as you can tell with one of them, drawers are available. Yes, they are white corrugated cardboard, but they can't be beat for the price!

This is my new shelf unit from Walmart. I was quite surprised to get it home and find the black uprights are actually plastic. (what should I expect for under $30?) My "good" sewing machine (for quilting, etc.) that was given me by a friend of a very good friend (they were de-cluttering, yippee for me LOL!) is on the bottom shelf. Eventually, I want a toaster oven on the shelf that sits table height (setting on a heatproof mat)--I'll use it for polymer clay, shrink plastic, etc. My melting pot is also destined for these shelves once the chaos is cleared; that way it may finally get used. Currently, the little rolling file under the table holds various magazines, but it will be repurposed soon for cardstock and specialty papers. Eventually, the white wire shelves in the corner will be moved on top of one of the short bookcases on the other side of the room; they can then serve as a hutch for my other tabletop. This table will then be cleared off to hold my everyday sewing machine in such a way that I can begin to use it at the drop of a hat--set up and ready to sew on cards, altered art, collage, etc. I should also have space for a small pressing board for techniques requiring a craft iron (I certainly don't have space in this room for a full-sized ironing board).

Okay, can't justify lengthening this post anymore. Time to stop talking about organizing and start doing a bit more. This was a nice rest at the PC, but back to work for me. I'll post part two later...