Strange Days

Life is still full and has been... interesting lately. I haven't done any enameling work since my last big push before I had to send everything down for the show. I ran out of flux in the process and since starting to use it again and do everything right, I'm not about to waste materials and time on an inferior result. I find myself missing it even though it's been stressful.
It's been nice though, I worked long hours at home to finish everything in the past couple months and to make time recently for gardening, house cleaning and general sittin'-on-ass has been wonderful.

Things that have also been wonderful in the past week:

1. The change of seasons. Fall equinox came and went and somehow in North Central Florida, this meant an instant change in weather. The breezes are cooler, the evenings are mild and this morning I had to wear a sweater because it was 56 degrees out. This is particularly awesome because it was the exact same weather pattern the year before for our wedding weekend. How coincidental for our anniversary to come each year with the most glorious weather imaginable.

2. Collin and I planned and installed an invisible trellis for our flowering vines on the backyard fence. The passionflower is still growing like crazy but ran out of room in its little corner and started to spill over into the neighbors yards. Woops. Hey, at least it's pretty. We've been meaning to help out our little yard for weeks now but with working on the show pieces and the incredible heat it just wasn't happening. Pictures soon, although it's "invisible" so they're not as awesome as you might imagine.

3. Also fixed up the front yard some more and replaced some of the boxwoods and flowers that had died since putting them in this spring. Thank you Lowe's for having a 1 year return policy on potted plants. I will never pay for one again this year.

4. Because it is so nice out we were able to walk Early down to the Northeast dog park this week. She and Smokey had a blast and it was fun to see more of our neighborhood that I had yet to discover. Something that makes me want to stay here forever. I need to take a photo tour of our area and show off the picturesque homes we have.

5. Cooking up a storm for Collin and myself. First it was the need to get in the last of the late summer meals. The bbq and burgers and salads (like we won't be eating that kind of thing all winter or something). Now I'm suddenly struck with the urge to bake casseroles and roast pork loin and winter squash. I can feel the knit sweaters and hot cocoa now.

6. Kara came to town! I was able to see one of my best friends (even if just for a few hours) meet her sweet boyfriend whom she's been dating for a year now and catch up. Something about our wedding - Anna and TJ, Kara and Ben and Meggan and Ben all started dating just before then and are still going strong, Rachel and Nick are engaged even. Am I some kind of good luck in love charm or what? We had good times at The Top and a delicious brunch at a new place in town. It's not close to our house but it's right by the interstate which will make for a nice meet up spot with the family in the future.

There were a few things this week that weren't so good.

1. Timmy, the beloved cat of our neighbors at the Fat Tuscan Cafe, was hit by a car and killed this past Saturday morning. This was the same little boy kitty we found and were feeding under our house. I'll never forget the first day we met him and coaxed him into a carrier with some wet food. Man he was pissed. I was crying with laughter at his pitiful little growls he was trying to make while still eating. Grrrnomnomnomrrrnom. So cute. It shouldn't have happened - but it did - and in many ways the situation unfolded in the best ways possible. Whoever hit him was kind enough to move him over to the grass near Eve's driveway. She also was out of town that week. This kept her and Timmy's owners from having to see him first thing that morning or lying there in the road, worse off. Collin and I were able to move him onto an old towel and cover him up (we were already wearing gloves and working in the yard) before getting and telling his owners. I took his collar off for her too, that way if she didn't want to look at him, she would know for sure who it was. This was... hard. I haven't had a reason to cry like this in so long. Collin had the hardest parts of moving Timmy onto the towel and going to tell his owner. I couldn't thank him enough for being strong that day.

2. While we were in the front yard later, working to keep our minds off of it all, our upstairs neighbors cat escaped and sprinted past us into the next door neighbors yard. OMFG are you kidding me? Right after we are emotionally drained by sad kitty issues, we're chasing a cat around a giant yard hoping he hasn't found any of Timmy's pass-throughs. Now I don't mean to brag, but I was the one who was finally able to sprint and catch him - half his body already over the fence - by the tail and the scruff. I carried him back to his home and he was so scared! This one is definitely not an outdoor kitty, and after seeing Timmy that morning and the stress of chasing his own little one around outside, our neighbor has no plans to let him live outdoors.

3. Our new landlord is awesome and helping us in a million ways by fixing up every problem we have with our place and then some. She is however starting to rub me slightly the wrong way over little things like storing items in the garage that we - not she - cleaned out. So we can store our stuff in there. It's silly, and I can't imagine it would ever be a real issue, but Eve and I were talking last night and both were a bit taken back by how she seemed to think that it's in any way cluttered at the moment. Maybe I need to show her some photos of what cluttered really looks like.

4. I took photos of all the last pieces I made for the show and promptly forgot to load them on the computer. By the time I noticed, Collin's sister had already taken her camera home and erased half of them. Boo. My fault entirely, but I hope she can find them in her recycle folder!!

Tomorrow marks the start of October and it means I need to boogie down and get some Halloween plans started. I want to decorate the house and porch this year, carve pumpkins and figure out a costume that requires minimal effort and money. And one I can easily eat/drink in and doesn't require a wig or face paint. I'm thinking we may make animal masks or costumes and wear them with our regular clothes. Eh?
October will kick off this weekend with a wonderful start.
Thursday night is Ladies Night and then Islands are playing at 1982. Done.
Friday Collin and I are going to the salon to get his hair cut and my nails done. My yearly manicure - what a treat! Then we'll drive with Early Girl down to Sarasota for the gallery reception and hanging out with our friends Matt and Janelle and their dog Toby.
Saturday we have plans to go to the dog beach for Early's first visit with dinner later that evening to celebrate the one-year anniversaries in the family. Also that night, more catching up with old friends and visiting our favorite Sarasota eateries. Including Muncheez 420 Cafe - a spot close to the bars that was recently featured on the Sarasota episode of Man vs. Food.
Sunday we'll pick up freezer goodies from Granny on our way out of town before driving back for a quiet evening on our real anniversary. Maybe a movie in with some popcorn and, weather permitting, a cozy fire.
Then, it's back to the grind. If only it were like last year and I had next week off and we were looking towards vacation in Savannah.




I can't stop listening to the new Metric album.
No really, it's been on repeat for a few hours. It's burned to a cd and tomorrow morning will be put into my cars player. I'm going to guess it won't come out until Collin ejects it to put in something heavy.

This is one of those bands for me. One of those bands whose albums I know I will love before they come out. Take this as my recommendation (not that you think I have any taste in music) that you go get it somehow. I say this fully aware that I am biased entirely. Almost every part of my adult life has a metric song that goes with. Freshman year college parties, to late night city walks in Boston, heady love and heartache in Sarasota, early morning driving on I-75. So much more. It's all there.
Somehow this band ended up as a soundtrack of sorts. I wouldn't have guessed until tonight. Not until I got this latest album for myself. It's new but sounds like all the songs that push old memories right to the front. I would have listed a dozen other bands before Metric - and they would still be appropriate - they all have the same effect. Really, it makes perfect sense.

I'm excited for this - to make new memories to these songs and mark this time in my life so vividly. I know it will happen like the rest. I know that a few years down the line I'll dig this burned and scratched up copy with pink sharpie scrawl from the depths of my Ford Focus and I'll wonder, "What number is that one song with slow intro I loved?".
I'll rub it on my t-shirt to clean it off.
I'll turn up the volume.
I'll roll down the windows.

I'll remember it all.


photo dump

Today I borrowed Meggan's camera (because it is amazingly better than mine at macro shots) after we hit up Michael's for a few fun things. I needed to take photos of all the work I will be sending to the show in Bradenton in a few weeks and also take good shots of the pieces I'll be putting up on Etsy soon.

I think the swords may be my new favorites.

(or maybe the spring oak leaf is my favorite for real)



A few weekends ago, the night we took photos of our work for the art show, Meggan, Ben and I drove one of my armchairs and a small table and 100 feet of extension cord down the block to the Thomas Center gardens. We were there to take photos of Meggan with her fabulous anthropologie inspired birdcage chandelier and get a few sister-shots while we were at it. Thankfully we were familiar with the setup of the grounds and knew right where the electrical box was (and how much length we'd need to make it into that tree). Sometimes you just get the itch to set a scene and make it happen. I want to do something similar again as the bike tire chandeliers Meggan makes were my original inspiration but she'd just sold her only currently finished one. When you have the inspiration, the perfect location and a sister in law with talent and a great camera - why not?

We set up, opened some wine, and played around with scenes and backgrounds until dusk really settled in.

Here are my favorites:

Ben took all our duo photos and I took a few of Meggan by herself. She even sat me down for a couple shots at the end of the night. You can really see the difference in lighting between the two group shots and the portraits of me. I love the blue cast - it's all Alice in Wonderland nighttime glow.

We both fell in love with the blue evening light and tried for a few more photos together. Some were alright but the light fades much faster after the sun sets and before long we both had ghoulish shadows making us both look less than attractive. Without wanting to mess with any other light source or flash we called it a night and packed up our things. Ben used his skillz to drive in reverse back to the house with the chair and all the other goods.

Without getting all sappy - I love these photos. Not just becuase they're photos with my new sister whom I am so lucky to share so many interests with, but because they once again show me how in love with our neighborhood I am. In love. Never a day goes by that I am not aware of how lucky we are to have found a safe and beautiful home, in an area with neighbors who care and gorgeous public spaces to enjoy as we please.