Sunday, May 31, 2020

We're All In This Together



A friend made that super fantastic title for me the other day and I decided it needed to be the feature of this page about the award that my son received from Civil Air Patrol. I also decided to use a piece of plastic that my son gifted me after he dismantled a key board. I thought it was only fitting as the award was for the Air Force Assocation's CyberPatriot competition. They got first place in NY State for the service division and there wasn't time for the ceremony before Covid hit. So, a couple of months later when the Cadets really needed a lift, they got an award presented to them at home. 


It's super hard to believe that the kid that started CAP when he was just a youngster now is old enough to grow a beard and fly a plane. 

Yes, that's right. He's flying these days. A scholarship from our local Experimental Aircraft Association has him lifting off a couple of times a week in hopes to obtain his solo and ultimately his private pilot's license. He's taking ground school as he goes. It's a pretty useful pursuit this summer. A summer where a job isn't a thing as the place he normally works isn't open yet and we're not even sure what phase that place will fit into or whether they will even need the extra staff. 


It's good for my soul that he's getting to do something worthy. I, like every other parent on this planet during the pandemic is worried that her kids are not getting enough. We're embracing the small things here, but right now there are some fairly large things looming on the horizon that are scaring our socks off. 

It's all a little too real to me at the moment. Generally speaking in our quiet little spot, democracy is something in the background. On Friday it was in my head all day. My office at work is above the police station and was one of the many places throughout the country with protesting. All day there were horns honking in support, chanting, and squealing tires. Normally I can work through just about anything but all the cacophony coming into the third story of my building was distracting. Despite my best attempts at calm (it was peaceful after all) I could not relax. By the time I got home my head was pounding. Other places aren't so lucky as we've seen fires on the news and some of those places are a short drive away. 

Escape with a book, some cooking & crafting were the small things that helped bring my head back into a good spot. Add in some sunlight and a historic SpaceEx launch, I'm ready to head back into the thick of it with a little wind under my wings. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

When Bad Things Happen to Good Transfers


Picked this little dresser up off Facebook Market Place. It met all of my criteria. It needed to be cheap ($35), close by, and ugly. Since it was previously white and pink and not the nice shade of pink and in my town, it all worked out. Don't believe me on the pink thing do you? Alright, hold tight.


The owner had it stored in the garage and it had kinda picked up a bit of a funk smell to it as well. The first chore was cleaning it off & spraying it with Lysol. I'm not entirely sure that actually worked or it just aired out on it's own. Anyhow, the intermediate step was to get rid of that pink which really wasn't all that easy to cover, even using gray chalk board paint.


About three coats later, it had a nice gray tone to it. Sadly the drawers weren't all that excited about closing firmly so after the paint job there was a lot of sanding to get things to fit happily back together. I then ordered the Prima Transfer "On a Voyage" from Amazon. I really was excited about the ship and the compass and I thought with the curved top it would look like a sea chest...or at least have that theme.


Since this was in the very middle of Covid, shipping of the transfer took forever and even was delayed. Finally, I got my hands on it and that very evening began working on getting it transferred onto this dresser. The first piece went on really well. The second which had the ship was horrible! I've seen transfers pick up the paint instead of transferring onto the piece, which is bad paint adhesion. This was very different. It was like the bottom layer of the transfer that was sticky went on but the top layer with the image refused to budge. I think to be honest it was old and I learned subsequently that it had been discontinued. If I had ordered from a distributor, I could have asked for a new one or at least gotten my money back. Amazon wanted the whole product back and two sections of it were already on the dresser.

 I kept at it and it turned out to mainly just be the second drawer up that didn't work out so well. My options were to order another transfer and sand the drawer back down or come up with plan B. I decided I wanted roses and to make this look like the inside of a trunk. Enter a second transfer. This one was a water slide transfer and required the whole piece be mainly finished.


After a bunch of brown glaze rubbed on, gold paint dabbed in various places and then a coat of clear, I was ready for the blue rose water slide. That can be found on Ebay and was shipped super quick and worked effortlessly. It definitely made me much less sad about the places that didn't transfer so well. There is so much detail in this piece now!

I'm not sure yet what I'm doing with this piece. It's up for sale, but mainly because I made it for fun and to pass the time during the no fun Covid. Might be a donation piece, we'll see.






Saturday, May 23, 2020

Orioles and Buffalo





































I was pretty emotional Mother's Day morning. NY weather had been flirting with us where one weekend I got a sunburn and the next all the plants were covered in snow and ice. I bring a lot of potted plants in for the winter and some of them have been around since my first house which is pre-kids. So, around 20 years. They had all headed back out of the heated porch and had been basking in the sun. I knew better when I heard it was getting cold, but the volume of plants to bring back inside was A LOT. Some of them really didn't look good after their cold night out in the snow and it felt like a big ole stomp on my heart on top of all the rest of the shizz going on. One cannot possibly have to deal with a virus AND snow at the same time....

I went for a drive, hid some rocks in a local park and came back home. That head clearing session did give me some perspective. I could mope the rest of the day and go to bed angry and sad, or I could rally the troops.

The troops had just gotten up. See Pratt Inc. has first shift and second shift. Second shift has just wrapped up the last semester of in person, on line, extra break weeks, messed up college. How anyone managed to get decent grades at all in such a rapidly changing messed up situation was beyond me. Both kids have taken a little time to smell the roses so to speak or in this case stay up all night playing on-line games.

Anyhow, by the time I stomped back into the house, they were all just finishing showers. An offer of Arby's for whatever meal immediately follows cereal at noon and a trip to the Buffalo farm was on the agenda with ice cream for dessert. While I was negotiating this trip out, my first visitor to the orange and grape jelly feeder arrived. He was cold too but stuck his beak into the jelly and orange like a rock star.

Add in orange birds & buffalo babies, it was a pretty rock star day. Most of the plants are recovering with one probably a goner. I'm OK with that. Shizz happens. Here's to Mother's Day 2021 with no snow and better yet no virus!


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Snooze for 30 Days


Moved the kid out of college last weekend. I do not possibly think a more f-ed up semester was had. From the week and a half off due to water issues (somebody damaged a fuel supply line accidentally which in turn ended up migrating into the Town aquifer ) to an extra week off on top of Spring Break for Covid so the teachers could transition classes to electronic, to on-line everything even finals. We signed a contract with John for a room in the Haunted Mansion on the hill for the whole semester which meant that she still had to pay rent, including this month for three days, so she headed back down after Spring Break to social distance in New Paltz. We moved her out in a cloud of pot smoke. The remaining kid in the house was smoking a bong at the time. Made me wonder if Code Enforcement should require vent fans in each room in college towns. Dear me we had quite the sore throat at the end.



Anyhow, she's back and moved in. I have passed off all my orchid duties, which was pretty extensive back to Lexi. Most of them decided to bloom so it looks like a green house in her room these days.  We are all enjoying the birds at the feeder, an extra hand with the dogs, and wishing that both Pratt Inc. kids had the benefit of real college vs. this on-line mishmash that everyone is making the best of. I suppose in the scheme of things, it's not like they are in the middle off WWII after college like Grandpa Ham. Grandma Skip lost her fiance to the war and then ended up marrying a flyboy who was my Grandpa. Major life things right there that dictate the course of a life.

Anyhow, speaking of flowers, cupcakes, and art...all those little things that make your day just a little bit happier, let's talk about social media. I think the majority of us tune into places like THE BOOK as a palate cleanser, or at least I do. Being an election year here in the States I was prepared to see everything go political. Add in a Global Pandemic, we have the addition crunch of conspiracy theories, opinions, more opinions, and stupidity. At times I have found myself wondering how the particular person posting gets through their life with the serious lack of science and common sense that they are displaying by hitting share. I try to be careful what I share. For one thing, I try to read/watch/double check it all. One time I posted something about a broken window in a business, without checking to make sure it was Corning NY and not Corning, California. I was thankful somebody alerted me to the fact it wasn't local to me and I deleted the post.

It's making me increasingly angry to see all the stupidity. I've taken to actually posting content that explains why their hysterical conspiracy theory video was actually harmful. So harmful that Facebook was taking it down. One of the answers to that link was less than satisfactory, so instead of getting angry, I hit the unfriend button without remorse. A group of us came up with a good plan the other day on THE BOOK. If you wouldn't eat lunch with the person in real life, why are you friends with them? If you'd eat lunch with them but the things they are currently saying piss you off? There is the Snooze for 30 Day Option. Hopefully when they are out of your time out jail, the opinion du jure has passed and they are back to posting flower photos.



Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A Tank on 86





































Recently my son popped out of his room around 2:50 in the afternoon and asked if I had a minute. He then adjusted his shaggy hair in the mirror and tweaked his collar. Working from home, sure I have a minute. My coworkers used to just yell from the other room. Now they snore on the couch and occasionally pop out of their rooms in a college induced coma. I miss the old ones. The new ones are cool but I have to make lunch for them and listen to them bark about the squirrels.

Luke wanted a photographer. A photographer for yearbook photos. Photos that were due in ten minutes. I signed, stopped what I was doing and put on some slip on shoes and trudged up the hill. A clump of daffodils would have to do. I took a ton of photos until he was happy and then gave up my phone so he could take the ones he wanted & color correct.





































He also has a license for Photoshop on his computer so he added a few things. In one photo, he added a tank tooling down Interstate 86 that you can barely see in the background. Now, these little Easter Eggs are way too small to see in general, but he knows they are there.

What a crazy time and crazy year. Who knew I'd be a yearbook photographer at this stage of my life!

A quick shout out to Tanya Leigh Designz who created those cool little tabs. I actually was pretty excited to work them in, even the little germ Covid which looks better in blue! The one bright spot too all this social distancing is that there has been an increase on the crafting side of things for me!

Have a Happy Tuesday!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Seriously Snow!


Who knew that you could play with sculpty clay ON a bottle? I discovered that a few posts back and then I wanted to try another bottle with round two. My plan was to glaze the bottle first and bake. Then add clay and bake again. It's hard to see the glaze, but it's a shimmery glaze. I used an opalescent one with some thinner. I haven't yet come up with a technique so you don't see the brush marks, but I don't doubt I'll eventually figure it out.


I worked on this while watching the last Star Trek Discovery Season 2 finale. CBS All Access offered a free month and I hopped on that band wagon so we could watch since it's still chilly here and alternating snow with rain. I have suggested to the weather that it would be much easier to quarantine with nice weather as then there is gardening and all that, but so far my appeals have resulted in more snow. THE MAN has purchased an old lady tv table for me to use and I've been making good use of it while watching tv in the evening. I'd rather be planting flowers, but I'll make them out of clay for now while waiting patiently for winter to actually be over.


I find that working with my hands in the evening keeps me off my phone. How one multi-tasks while watching a show, I don't know, but I seem to like to do it. Social Media is completely no fun these days and I've got my fill of virus related news/fake news/opinions on virus/opinions on (insert political party here) by breakfast time and perhaps even earlier if the news is particularly stupid. So, I'm thankful for that little table. And thankful that I am a craft hoarder and lots of things to play with.

Looking forward to Saturday when we do a virtual crafternoon! Who knew such things existed!

Happy Friday!






Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Virus Interruptus (It's Latin, but Probably Spelled Wrong)





































So I took a trip out the other day because I had to find a FedEx drop box. I haven't left the house in....oh weeks. Probably about three. It coincided with the fact that a local Cupcakery (another good word) reopened and I had heard through the grapevine that their cupcakes were heavenly. So in a show of support I put my big girl panties on and put on my N95 and went in to pick up my order.





 I decided a couple of days back that pretty much if there isn't much to look forward to, maybe it was time to start enjoying the little things.


I really enjoyed looking forward to this cupcake today with an afternoon cup of tea. In a similar fashion, I was hankering to play with some vintage papers. I didn't even have a photo in mind but I found one from the stock pile of vintage granny photos that worked perfectly. I was in luck and Grandpa Ham was in it too! Love it! Makes me smile!

I am proud of myself for three big reasons this week. The first is that I got a training class out of the way for Civil Air Patrol. It was five hours on both Saturday and Sunday and I holed up in the camper and participated via webex. Then on Sunday, I cut THE MAN's hair. About 20 years back I cut his hair when we were first married and it did not go well. I did not wish to cut hair so I did it badly and consequently I freed myself up from years of haircuts. On Sunday, I wished to cut his hair. He has been going into work sporadically so I did not want him to look terrible. Patiently he let me cut his hair for about an hour. Smart people would not have tried to set up outside where it was windy. We both ended up wearing a lot of his hair but I can report he does look good. In fact, he was so impressed that he said it was a better haircut that he's gotten from his barber at times. This in a way is nice, but sometimes his barber who also does flooring gets distracted and misses a little. If he had said a better job than my hair person Kristen, I'd probably have fallen over. She's never missed a hair with her scissors no matter how distracted she gets.

My last thing that I am giving myself a high five over? It's really little and I feel silly to say. I was super nervous about going out at all much less going out in a mask. This is why there was a cupcake involved. Plus I ordered them so there was no backing out. In the ten minutes I wore a mask I almost forgot how to walk, talk, and breathe. But I did it and it was glorious when I got to take that mask off. Dear Lord how to do those medical people do it? I've worn those same masks for sheet rock (which is why I have any at all) and I already knew how much it would suck. Yup, sucked just as bad only I was more scared that I got some covid on me. I mean, sheet rock dust washes off....

So, more little things on the horizon for the rest of the week. I have a bottle to play with that I used some shimmer glass glaze on and a project plan to write with the boy, and more hostas to move into the new hill garden. Onward and upward over the Hump Day into the second half of the week!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

So Hot, Sticky Sweet





































Sheer boredom the other day prompted me to keep the syrup container out of the recycling after a french toast breakfast. Cute little bottle, but getting that label off was a bitch. Anyhow, I had this theory that I could play with some sculpty clay and molds and then bake the glass. Next trick is to use glass paint before and then the clay, but that is round two.


I wanted a way to test to see if you could just bake the clay on the glass and it wouldn't shrink too much and then fall off. So that clay is pretty much just pressed into the glass. After baking I used some metallic paint pens I had and some gold to accent. A coat of clear spray on the outside in matte and then gold spray inside.





































I'm happy with the results. A worthy experiment from the recycling bin! Next bottle gets some glass paint (getting the spray paint to dry on the inside took forever) and then some clay.

I find that keeping my hands busy makes a little less manic these days. I can't even fathom how we get back to the daily routine of things & keep people, but thankfully that puzzle isn't mine to solve. I can just do what's been asked and stay on my hill.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

I Forgot I Had A Car





































So, the other day at lunch, we were talking about cars. I had forgotten I had one. Well, I mean I knew it was out in the driveway, but I haven't driven it since a Monday about three or is it four weeks back when I got the big pile of snow hurled at my windshield. I've walked past it a billion times because we've been working on our carport. (On a side note, a big plus of being home is eating lunch with your family instead of by yourself and with your phone at work. So, there is that...of course I also have to make that lunch...)

Anyhow, Luke and I were on our way back from Guthrie Hospital in Sayre because he needed to complete his FAA Physical for his private pilot shenanigans this summer. Despite what the weather app said about the weather of the day, was snowing heavily when we left. That would not have changed going out there as the application was time sensitive, so we had a lot of wet heavy slippery snow to deal with. I was driving like a snail because we passed cars off all over. As we headed under an underpass on the highway on the way back, whompppppP! A snowplow pushed this onto my windshield. As the snow fell from above, I thought oh, not again.



One of the places you don't want to go during a virus crisis is the hospital and the second thing you don't want to deal with is car crap. Lucky for me THE MAN has glass coverage on our vehicles as this is the SECOND TIME I've driven home with glass shards on my lap. The upside was that this time they were very minimal and not in my hair. On a side note, the windshield replacement was super easy and quick, with the exception they were not going to vacuum out your car due to the virus crap, which sounded like a decent policy to me.



Anyhow, taking about cars reminded me that I still needed to vacuum out my car after the incident. I was in luck as the snow from the previous day was all melted and it was actually kinda warm outside. THE MAN was wrapping up work on pulling the electric through conduit so we can get electric back into the carport so we hung out in the driveway together. It's only been say four years since we took out the lights & wiring but due to building the back wall, we were now able reinstall. The back wall was necessary so we could bring the wire up the back in conduit. 




So while he worked on that project, I merrily vacuumed and wiped down the interior of the car. It was a bit of a time capsule. There was the concrete dust I wiped out of the back from when I ran those bags of concrete up to the Knoll so this dude could wrap up working on a storm drain. A flattened penny from the penny press at Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, which immediately brought me back to the Christmas party...and then, there was the thing under the seat. It took me a minute to identify it as a tomato from this past summer.

See, I had this big idea to grow tomatoes and to donate the extra to the food bank. I'd bring big baskets full to Civil Air Patrol because one of the Senior Members there runs the food bank in the Heights. I imagine that the offending tomato rolled there after some cadet was "ordered" to run out and grab those tomatoes from Lt. Pratt's car and transfer them to the white Chevy truck. These kinds of things make Cadets nervous because it's sketch, or so my Cadet tells me. So anyhow, I am sure in the swoooooop of the transfer, a tomato was dislodged and then subsequently lived under the passenger side seat for six months. Back this summer, my commute to work was five minutes and we had some nice hot weather, so it pretty much baked into a golf ball sized dried tomato in no time so it was more of a nice memory that I hurled over the bank and laughed about.

THE MAN was not impressed, but generally speaking after this many years of marriage he just shakes his head.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Shabby Knobs and Sympathy Pears


























Easter is sneaking upon us, one flurry at a time here in the Twin Tiers of NY. I woke up to snow on the ground and the wind is whipping around. Good thing we can stay here all cozy with our slippers and play with the materials we have on hand. Who am I kidding. I am climbing the walls and wishing I had a huge painting project to play with. Also, I'm done with cozy, bring on the daffodils and outdoor grilling!


Anyhow, before I clear these off the work bench for another project, I have been wanting to try transfers on knobs for a long time and I had some spare knobs from the last dresser I worked on since I replaced them with some black ceramic ones.


Yes.....let's take a minute to appreciate that dresser that is older than me and now has some lovely new knobs, a new transfer, and some new clear coat.

Anyhow, back to the knobs...

I sanded the old worn down knobs and painted them white. I added some Lindy's Stamp Gang Milk Chocolate Brown Starburst mist to soften the white while they were still damp. Once they were dry, I then applied Prima Paris Garden transfers. The transfers were Amazon Prime and I picked the option to send them to me later as obviously art supplies are not a priority during a Pandemic.


One was still a little wet so the paint flaked off, which was perfect, adding to the otherwise shabby look!

I can't wait to find the right piece for these...when we're able to go back to hunting furniture & junkin!



As far as Easter goes, we are sheltering here in place at Pratt Inc. We sent some yummy Harry and David pears to the 'rents. Since I decided to do something nice a week before, I had to settle for the fact that everyone else probably had done the same thing. The only thing that would get there in time was Sympathy Pears! I decided that probably did fit the bill! My Mom reported they came with a big fancy sympathy card but it made them laugh just a little, which is cool. Laughing is good.

Stay safe friends!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Juicy Rainbow Rocks, Big People Words & Probably Whining


Holy sheep shit batman, it's been a long week. To be honest, it felt a lot more like a month. Everyone is getting used to working at home which while working at home always had it perks like wearing slippers, it's not as much fun without the right accounts, right equipment and a system to communicate. Our conference call system we use at work is enough to drive one batty as everyone is using it and the quality is horrible. For someone who wears hearing aids, nothing pisses me off more than not being able to understand someone. So, despite every other day check ins, it feels lonely.

To amuse myself, one night I painted some rainbow rocks. I outlined them the next day in between things. Turns out outlining is like fussy cutting something. You have to pay attention and you can't think about horrible things like what's happening everywhere with the virus. I follow at lot of rock groups on Facebook and this lady in Maine uses these super awesome pens for outlining so I got some months ago. I finally got to try them out for outlining on rocks and they do work awesome! The trick is multiple coats of Modge Podge to make it easy to glide over the words. I used glitter.



So, rock groups aren't the same as Rock Groups, fyi. People paint rocks, especially in arty little towns like ours & hide them for the kids to find. Well, and adults. I've found some myself and had private little happy dances. That heart one up there is a keeper. I found it on my anniversary back in February when you could go to stores. So, anyhow those rainbow rocks are hidden around a local park for the kids to find. I scooted out to grab some take out food yesterday afternoon and the park was on the way so "hid" them in plain sight. Speaking of arty little towns, our town has this ginormous glass building.




















Corning Inc. just rehabbed B Building this past summer. For years they spelled out "NOEL" during the Christmas season by an elaborate system of leaving lights on in some offices and not in others. Since they went with glass windows that adjust to the light outside, the building itself has programmable glass and now can spell out whatever they can fit on the building. It was all over Bookface last night that they had switched it up. A local took this photo! Shout out to Carmen J. Narde for the great photo! We love our little town & it's shout out of hope.

Anyhow, it's time to get this rainy Saturday started. I can and will continue to use any words that have to do with bats in an effort to be funny and less bitchy. Let's hope it works. Stay safe friends!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Everything is Fine

Dear Lord that escalated quickly. By virtue of having New York City in our state, we're watching our numbers climb of infected people and county by county have cases. It's not looking good elsewhere either in the US either. What that means for me is that I've got two college kids home full time for the foreseeable future, I'm "working at home" without a work at home account on my personal pc but making it work transferring emails from my cell to my home email and trying to keep the grant I'm working on going. At some point things will eventually roll along to where we're actually administering it so I want it ready. I'm actually also really thankful to have this distraction of work and that we're all calling in a couple of days a week to stay connected.

THE MAN is holed up in the camper atm on a Saturday am conference call. He's been late getting home all week and due to the critical nature of what his plant makes, they are business as usual. Well, if you call screening people before entering the building for sickness, fever, etc. and a whole slew of prevention measures to keep people healthy at work normal. In the couple of times I've ventured out for critical type stuff, it appears we're not taking it seriously here. Aside from seeing parking spots on Market Street during the day, parking lots and streets appeared full. Freaking stay home already people!

I've already jumped up on a soap box here at home about that, yelled at my Mom who went out for a meeting, and I woke up at 4 am thinking of ways to decontaminate THE MAN before he comes in the house after work. Lexi says I need to chill out and rolled her eyes. I'm trying kid. I'm chill for big chunks of time. And then I'm not.

During one of those not good times yesterday I fussy cut a fairy. I cannot freak out during a fussy cutting fairy session and the brain calmed. So, today I thought, let's dust off the blog since I'm home talking to the dogs and holding down the fort. What, you thought I'd be talking to the kids? They only emerge for our new normal, afternoon tea. It's at 4:30 and involves actual tea and usually cookies. We watch the birds from the kitchen window because for some reason they are super active then. We've witnessed epic battles between chipmunks and our two doves that hang out. It's early spring, so the woodpeckers have temporarily converted to seed eaters and it's always exciting when one shows up and perches precariously on one of the little pegs. They are skittish so you have to be careful to not move around too much. We've even had a little "action" outside as it is springtime, which is also love time and make baby time. We've told the cardinal to "get a room" but he's still proceeding to fluff around to the point where he can't actually stand up. Typical man though, he's still trying to stuff his beak as he shows off. The lady cardinal isn't even sparing him a glance as she stuffs her beak. Some things never change.


So, anyhow back to art making and fairies. We had a quick play this last Sunday. It was a crafternoon because most of the guys were bowling and the girls needed something to do. We knew we were on the hairy edge of full blown staying at home and it might be one of the last times we could hang for quite some time. Teri provided the canvases and paint, I bought mac and cheese and we had a crumbly apple pie with ice cream. Comfort food and company.


We have been saying "everything is fine" a lot in our house lately. We've gone from a kid with two weeks of spring break who was supposed to go back to campus for lab at the end to a complete shut down. The other one had the same thing happen only his was overnight. On-line everything. One minute we're reduced down to a 50% work force, then 75% work force, then 100%, and then only essential business. It's rapidly evolving by the day, minute by minute, and one press release at a time.

I'll be hanging here for the foreseeable future and probably ramble on blogger every now and again. Don't hesitate to leave me a comment...it's a little quiet and it's nice to have a shout out now and again from a friend.