Monday, August 31, 2009

Has it been a week since I posted?

Doesn't seem like it! My 7 day work weeks seem a blur. There are 12-13 hours at the job, add an hour of commute time, and then about 5-6 hours of sleep(sometimes 7) and then the time leftover is spent doing the miscellaneous things you have to get done, like shopping, errands, fixing food for meals, etc, etc. Then my off week flies by! I've had to spend some of it working in the chicken house to help Kerry in the place of his Dad who's not been right since his knee and back surgeries several months ago. Of course housework gets behind when I'm working and then I help Mom some at least one day a week. So here I am whining, but only to explain why blog posts aren't too frequent presently.

On a pleasant note, we did take time to visit Thomas on Saturday(well, Emily and Craig, too, lol) and then Emily and Thomas followed us back home from Tuscaloosa to spend the night and Sunday visiting. They attended our church with us so we could show the baby off and then visited with great-grandparents. My Mom,who will be called Great Nana since Craig's Mom wants to be called Nana and my girls already called my Mother "Nana", was especially thrilled to get to see little Thomas since she's not been able to make the trip to Tusacaloosa.

I hope to get into the art room tomorrow to at least work on the other 2 pictures I have to get done for Thomas' nursery. I've been mulling over moving my art room out to the garage, but not sure yet if I will. We have a 2 car garage which is presently being used as a storage shed. It is a big mess of boxes and stuff! Each time the girls moved, which has been probably 10 moves since they left home, all totalled, something came to live in Mom and Dad's garage. Then Kerry and I have a booth at a flea market. We actively went to auctions for a couple of years, though not last year or this due to time constraints. So items that have not made it out to the booth are also stored out there. The booth has been really slow for a while due to the economy, so not much turnover. We did have 2 booths, but cut back to one, so back home to storage for some of what had been for sale. Then there is your usual garage junk, like paint, tools, Christmas decorations, etc.

My thinking is to maybe use one side for the art studio because my husband's truck won't fit in there anymore. When we built the garage, we built it just a little bigger than the vehicles we had at the time, but didn't really allow enough room length, I guess, because we were trying to save money. Now Kerry can't park in there anyway, but at the very least I could my car if we got it organized or even just moved the junk to one side.

I've been going back and forth in my mind over the pros and cons. The worst cons I can think of besides all the work it will take are the dampness and then the lack of heating or cooling. Would have to get a window air conditioner and/or heater and possibly a dehumidifier. If I did this, then it would free up a room to fix up as another guest room and then put all my hubby's Nascar crap, I mean valuable collectibles, and other sports memorabilia. Maybe, we could even find room for the exercise equipment we own in one of the guest rooms if I got MY crap, AKA art supplies, out into the garage. Finding the time to do all this is also a con, though if I would just manage my time better, maybe cutting back on my internet and blog-browsing, and do just a little at a time, it would eventually get done.

Will go ahead and post this without pics, but am going to be adding some when I get on the laptop which has them uploaded on it. Oh, yes, that brings me to another point which I'm excited about. I found a wireless device from Verizon which is working pretty well and so have gotten rid of my dialup! It works great on my desktop, but the laptop is a little picky about getting connected sometimes. Otherwise, I am thrilled to be able to visit blogs and websites and actually see the photos! Before, on most blogs, especially those with a lot of pics, it was pretty much impossible to ever see all the pages.

Ok, pics have been added. Right below is my Mom, Thomas' Great Nana. The other's are probably self-explanatory.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time for another baby picture

Ok, there may be more pics of Thomas than art related posts for a while. Some due to lack of time for art and also just have to show you how cute he is! I've not seen him now in over a week. Today's photo is one that Emily took of him as they had him dressed up to go see his other grandparents(insert frowny face here). I'm glad THEY got to see him, but sad that I didn't get to. This is my work week and Kerry was out of town for a couple of days this weekend while attending the race in Bristol, TN. We had 2 tickets, but I couldn't go since it fell when I was working and I hated ask off again this soon after being off for Thomas' birth. Kerry took a friend in my place and since we were both away from home, Craig's parents were the first ones to be honored with a visit in their home from the new grandson. Oh, well, guess someone had to be first. They will be coming to see us next Sunday, but I may just drive down before then since I will work off Wednesday morning. It will depend on what I need to do to help Mom and also to help Kerry here on the farm since his Dad is not totally recovered.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tutorial for effortless unmounting of wooden rubber stamps

I thought for a change from baby photos, I would offer up a tutorial today. Some of the key requirements might be a little hard to find, but I might be able to help you out. These days those unmounted clear stamps seem to be all the rage and I've seen others offering advice on how to unmount your old wooden block rubber stamps so that they can be stored more efficiently. I accidentally happened upon a method I thought you all might be interested in. Here is my step-by-step tutorial.

Step 1. Have your rubber stamps stored and displayed very neatly in an over-the-door wire shelf organizing system, especially one whose bottom shelves are only a foot from the floor.

Step 2. Accidentally leave the afore-mentioned door open when you leave the room.

Step 3. Walk to another part of the house to take care of household chores.

Step 4. Own a small hyperactive dog like this one.

Step 5. Realize that you don't see the sweet little creature you have taken in off the streets, provided with a comfortable home along with plenty of food, water, and legal doggie chew toys.

Step 6. Start searching through the house only to startle this doggie in your bedroom with a piece of wood hanging out of one side of her mouth and an innocent look on her face that says, "What?!? I haven't done ANYTHING! Why are you looking at me like that?"

Step 7. Remove the wooden block from your pet's mouth, wipe the slobber and splinters off it, and locate the piece of rubber that has become detached from the wooden block with totally no effort on your part. See how easy-peasy that was!

Advantages to this method: Very little to no work involved for you. You can take care of other things while your artistic helper unmounts the stamps.

Disadvantages: You do run the risk of varying degrees of damage to the wooden block or rubber stamp depending upon how long it takes you to get back to your dog, how sharp her teeth are, etc.(See photo below). Also, you may find that it is very tedious picking the now-embedded pet hair from the part of the mount with the still-sticky adhesive. This might not be as bad for you, depending upon how well you keep your carpets vacuumed and/or how much your pets shed. If you find your doggie is not as adept as Maggie as the stamp removal, that is where I might be able to help you. Call me. Depending upon the day and how much damage has been done, she might be for rent!

No irony at all in the word on the particular stamp my lab assistant chose to alter for me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ok, another baby pic

Emily took this one and sent it to Aunty HaHa who is then forwarding them to me. Thomas is already picking up his head and putting it on his arms. He also is already trying to turn over from his back. Of course, these days they aren't supposed to lay babies on their stomach to sleep due to SIDS risk, so they put him down on his back with one of those things with the wedges on either side of him(don't know what they are called). Emily says he still tries to roll over to his stomach over the support thingy. He had a visit to the doctor yesterday and is doing well. Is now 22 inches long and almost 9 lbs. They are changing formula to see if he'll spit up less with the new one. He's got his nights and days mixed up as they say. Sleeping more during the day and staying awake a lot more at night, but he is not really a fussy baby, so that is good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thrift store shopping today!

Took some time to hit a couple of thrift stores, meeting up with a friend, Becky, a former coworker from Woodland who is an avid yard-saler, thrift store shopper, and couponer. We would shop bargain stories at work, so now we have to do it by phone, Facebook, or meeting up to talk or shop. So far there have been several opportunities made by the Woodland Lab gang to get together. I hope we are able to continue doing so as it is nice to keep up with these friends. Becky and I went to the Salvation Army in Cullman where we had pretty good luck and also to a new thrift shop, The Loft, being run by one of the local churches. This new store was very clean, had reasonable prices, just not as much merchandise but we still found a few deals.

Top photo shows most of my finds from the S.A. As usual, much there was over-priced, but if you keep digging there are bargains to be had. Got 2 Tupperware bowls, like new, for $1 each. A new Hallmark card organizer was $5, a tad high for my thrifting taste, but it included 3 new cards, too. I hope this will inspire me to organize my cards. Other deals include a bamboo tile placemat at $1 to be disassembled for the tiles, 2 pretty fabric wall-hangings of roses for $2, pretty photo album also $1(for baby pics you know), and this crazy fabric patchwork curtain that was $3. The curtain is a bizarre combination of odd-sized fabric pieces of various time periods, but it reminds me of some of the fabric artwork being done presently by Pam Garrison and Rebecca Sower. I'm thinking it could be embellished in the fashion of their work to be a cute table runner or even still used as a curtain. At the least, for that price, I can cut it up to get the various vintage fabric scraps to use in smaller pieces some other way.

In the bottom photo are the clothing finds of the day. The light purple blouse was from the Salvation Army and was cute, I thought for $3. Not showing up at all underneath everything is a navy pair of blue cropped pants, Caribbean Joe brand, that were $5, but in very nice shape from the church's shop. The shoes were all from the Loft and include: brown suede slipons for fall/winter $2, gold comfortable sandals $2, and the rhinestone flipflops were just 50 cents. Needed some dressier-looking flips as my black ones were mistaken for a chew toy by Miss Maggie!

It was nice to get some "me" time in the midst of the busyness that has been my off days this time. After being down in Tuscaloosa, then we were busy with a couple of church events. Monday I worked all day in the chicken house to help out Kerry and my inlaws. I got to sleep late today and then spend some time thrifting. All in all a great day for me. Of course, in the mean time, the housework still looms as does laundry and other household chores. But, what the hey, those never seem to get caught up anyway! As my friend, Kim, says, "these are highly over-rated!".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Latest art and baby stuff

Sorry to not have blogged anymore, but I've been gone. Shown above is one of the reasons for my absence. After working off Wednesday morning, I drove down to Tuscaloosa with no sleep. Needed to see that grandbaby again, you know! Also wanted to help Emily out with a few things and see Holly a little bit more before she headed back to Texas. Wish I had gotten to see her more while she was visiting. It just didn't work out so well for that. As it was, though, she was able to help Emily on the days that I had to work. I had to take Holly to the airport on Thursday afternoon. Sad to see her go. This is Holly making a sad face right before we had to leave to go to the airport.

After seeing me blog about my experiments with combining photos with a painting technique on canvas board, Holly requested the 2 fall-looking ones. I really wanted to do a little bit more on making a hanger for them, like maybe with a twig and fibers, but since Holly said she liked them like they were and I didn't have a lot of extra time, they just ended up with a simple ribbon hanger.

I also got one of the 3 collages done for Thomas. I hesitate about showing it here, as I was totally inspired, shall we say, by someone's work on Etsy. I did make it my own by adding the sun and the letters, but the turtle is done much like hers. Decided to go ahead and show you, but link to her work and give her the credit for the inspiration. Her shop name is Kate Endle Collage. Clicking on the link will take you to her etsy pages. Her work is so wonderful. Being on a limited budget means you have to make your own sometimes. Emily had asked me to make some pictures for the nursery. She had seen something similar to these, wanting some art to bring more color into the room to bring together the bedding and other furniture pieces and toys. Went ahead and took this one on down, but still have 2 more to finish of an elephant and an alligator.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thomas Jeffery Nolen

Arrived in the world, Tuesday, August 4th, at 10:22 am. He weighed 8 lb., 11 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long. Emily had a c-section due to him measuring by ultrasound to be over 9 lb the week before he was born. The doctor was afraid to let him get too big and Em was having no changes at all as far as dilation, etc. As it turned out, it was a blessing. They found the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice, so they may have had to do an emergency c-section if there had been a normal labor.

Of course, just sharing a fraction of the photos on this post. There will be more. Trying to get a post in before getting ready for work. I was able to take a couple of nights off at the beginning of my week to be down there to see Thomas and help Emily some. Holly flew in from Texas Thursday and will be staying with them a week. I got to see her, too, which was wonderful! Just sad that I had to come back home Friday afternoon to go back into work Friday evening. Would have loved to stayed longer, of course. I was so wishing that it would work out that he was born during my off week, but then there were reasons that it happened the way it did. It can't be all about me, lol! They got to come home on Friday and are doing pretty well. Emily is very sore and Thomas is jaundiced. His bilirubin was 9 something the morning they left, so not too bad. Will have to go back tomorrow for bloodwork.

Craig is working 3rd shift now, too. Bless his heart, he had to go into work Friday night, as well. He's only been at his job a short time so he didn't have any leave built up. So it was Emily, Holly, and Thomas last night. Talked to them once about 1 am and Thomas had been awake since 9pm. Didn't hear anymore, so not sure how it went from there. He slept most of the day yesterday after being up all night Thursday while they did tests and worked with him in the hospital nursery to get hime ready to come home.

The new Mom with Thomas the day he was born.

The shot above was him in the nursery bed the day he was born.

This is my hubby, Kerry, also known as "Grampy" now.

Thomas at home on Friday. Sorry got my pics out of order when uploading. He had been asleep and the sound of the camera made him wake up just a little. Just enough to peek at the goofball that kept taking pictures.

The goofball and Thomas at the hospital.

Aunt Holly just in the door from Texas. She flew in Thursday. Her first time to fly and all by herself at that. Kerry picked her up at Birmingham airport. Emily came up with the name Aunty HaHa for Holly. Very appropriate!

From the left above is Uncle Blake(Craig's brother), Craig(the proud new Dad), and their Mom, Glenda, who wants to be known as Nana. We may have to say Nana Glenda since my daughters call my Mom, Nana. Craig's Dad, Jeffery, had to leave to go back to work, so I missed taking his photo with the baby.

Well, there will be more pics to follow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thomas will be here tomorrow!

Emily just got out of her doctor's appointment. No changes, so she is going in tomorrow morning, Tuesday, August 4th, for a C-section. The doctor doesn't want to wait any longer since Thomas is measuring so big. So, tomorrow we'll be holding our new grandson! Can't wait to see him. Just pray that everything goes ok for both Mom and baby.

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