Books in harmony, two…

I wrote about Chris and Lorna’s books in the most recent newsletter. I just found the blog post from January 2016 showing the very first rearranging of books by color. Click here.

With the newly added shelving, the books now go down the entire wall which is at least 16′ long. Nearly all of the books had to come off the shelves so that new books could be placed in the appropriate color space.

There was a lot of dusting going on. And deep thought.

There are a lot of books with whit/cream spines. I think they sorted those first.

It almost makes me wish I had this many books. Instead I have a kindle with a nice cover…

and an interesting stack of quilt and art books.

Chris and Lorna’s books are way prettier. And more fun.

I, however, have less to dust :-).

New Cat has a name!

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. I liked many of them but, as I said, I was not the decider. Honestly, I might have named him Snert, but last night at a gathering of family and friends someone suggested James Tiberius Cat… Jim for short. Steve said that was it so Jim it is!

Jim already has an Instagram account because Elanor was here to set it up. You can follow him at james.tiberius.cat. I’m sure there will be times when Belle joins him there.

Jim does not hold still for pictures. I have to catch him in between pounces.

He spent the night mostly sleeping with me. When I got up in the middle of the night, so did he. He knows where the litter box is and how to use it—oh happy day! One less thing to worry about. He did want to play before going back to sleep but got over that pretty quickly.

Jim is curious. He decided to smell my coffee this morning before I could stop him, but decided on his own not to try it. Probably a good thing on all counts.

Belle doesn’t love him.

She hisses and spits and puts him in his place if he gets too close but so far, no blood. Jim has demonstrated that he has the good sense to run and hide as needed.

Both cats want to be where I am, or where Steve is when he’s home. It’s odd… I’m used to cats choosing their spaces independent of where I am, mostly because I move around the house so much during the day. Now I have a furry parade in tow a lot of the time. That’s OK except that then everyone has to settle back in when I stop.

As I type this, Jim is sacked out on the desk next to me. He really wanted to be on my keyboard but that is a battle he is not going to win.

It’s amazing to think that a little more than 24 hours ago this cat was a flea-ridden stray. I’d love to know how he is processing this sudden change of fortune inside his little cat brain.

Yes, the universe appears to be listening…

After our older cat, Dave, went to heaven Steve said one cat (Belle) was enough. But then I asked him what if an orange cat shows up at the door? I had to ask because we both have a long-standiing soft spot for orange cats. Our first cat, Booboo was orange and maybe our best cat ever.

Last night over dinner with friends the question about cats came up again and he said, OK, an orange cat would be fine but I could not go out and get one on purpose. The orange cat would have to find me.

This morning on our usual walk, Laurie and I heard meowing. Lots of loud meowing coming from (you guessed it) a small orange cat who ran out to us and would not go away. That cat walked about a half mile with us and that was that.

I called Steve (who was out on his own walk) to tell him this amazing news and he was not entirely happy… until he met the cat. I wanted an orange cat but I do think that this is really going to be Steve’s cat.

We took him to the vet where we found out he did not have a chip. The silly cat was covered with fleas and had just about every parasite a baby cat would have. Happily, he didn’t test positive for feline leukemia. So, in short order he got a bath, shots, and medicine to kill the fleas and other stuff.

He tolerates the cat carrier which is good. He’ll have to spend time in there when I’m out of the house and Belle is inside.

Belle is not entirely thrilled. She’s keeping an eye on him most of the time. She’s hissed and spit (normal) and chased him once or twice. I’ve told her that she’s still my cat and this new guy is probably for Steve. Not sure if she believes me or not.

New cat is sleeping off the excitement on my desk right now… dead fleas are falling off him like crazy. That makes me happy!

Belle is perched on the other side of the room, considering this disruption in her life. She probably doesn’t remember that she showed up out of the blue herself, starving and in need of a home. Emma and Dave didn’t love her at first either but Dave at least got used to her.

So, new cat needs a name! It’s not totally my call… Steve will have the final say. But feel free to offer suggestions. Soon, before ‘new cat’ sticks :-).

What do you do when you have a day?

I got to answer that question yesterday… paint was my answer. Specifically, paint the living room, and then the studio, and then the inside of the front door.

This came as a surprise to Steve. I hadn’t talked about painting and he can’t read my mind. I’ve wanted to change colors for a couple of years, I just never had time. These are older pictures that show the green walls in the living room and yellow walls in the studio.

My sofa is dark gray now, two chairs are covered in black and gray fabric, plus Mom’s black leather chair. And there is a lovely gray area rug that anchors it all. The green was not doing it for me.

So on Saturday I got some paint chips and on Sunday we painted. Steve helped a lot! I did the cutting in, he manned the roller.

The yellow in the studio didn’t look good with gray, we had time, so we painted there too.

Each room got 2 coats. We had to move the furniture and then put it back. Both rooms, all done, in 6 1/2 hours! I’ll have to get a good picture of the studio to share, but I’m too pooped to go take one right now :-).

This morning I painted the inside of the front door the same shade of gray, but in a semi-gloss. The walls on either side of the door are white, but you can see the gray on the header wall that is at the edge of the living room, looking toward the front door.

The color is Polar Star by Valspar. It’s a gray that changes with the light. Sometimes it’s a little blue, other times a little violet. It’s not dark, but in shadow gets darker. We are very happy and I don’t have to think about new paint for a few years.

Turning junk into treasures…

I got to spend one night with my new friend and fellow quilter, Debbie Fisher. She and her husband, Jack, have a house way up on a hill overlooking the Cumberland River near Nashville. Debbie invited me to stay with her before flying home from Kentucky. Their house was peaceful and quiet. I loved the wind blowing through the trees.

Debbie’s background is in floral design, but what she does is way more than working with flowers. She credits the man she worked with for teaching her how to turn junk into art but can I just say that she has a whole lot of talent on her own.

Objects that I would (and have) thrown away can be amazing when handled well. Look at this light fixture…

Silver plate holders for casserole dishes, flatware, and the bottom from a pressure cooker combine to make a really great chandelier over her breakfast table. Debbie uses family ‘junk’ most of the time and she knows where the flatware came from.

And the family cheese graters make a fantastic light fixture.

Debbie’s mentor made dolls from junk. Maybe I don’t get out enough but I’ve never seen anything quite like this…

If you have a drill with a ceramic bit and wire, you can do this too. I am not personally a fan of porcelain dolls but these made me smile. If I ever do make one, mine might be creepy on purpose.

Debbie makes junk dolls that are a collection of the stuff you would find in a junk drawer. She builds an armature from heavy wire over a foam cone. There is a doll’s head on top, with a pretty collar. Then she hangs family junk on the doll.

She knows where everything came from and the story behind it.

I wish I had kept more of my family’s junk but I still have some and I am going to make at least one of these. Not with a doll’s head (again, creepy) but something else on top.

But wait! There’s more! Why oh why did I make the silver plate ice bucket we got when we got married go away?!

The table was Jack’s dad’s work bench, cut down to fit the kitchen. And the rolling pins are perfect below it.

I used to hang plates on walls. Why did I stop? Who knew that more could be better? Could it be that I’ve made too much stuff go away? Maybe I need to go antiquing!!!!

Lastly, the fairy garden in an old wheelbarrow. I have one of those and this could happen in my yard, soon-ish.

There you go. You have now been inspired by Debbie too. Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your art with us all!