January 29, 2012

We're moving!

Okay. We're not moving in the literal sense (we just bought this dang place!) but I have finally made the move from the Blogger platform to the Wordpress platform. What's that mean for you? Well, it just means that you can follow this link to my new blog-site and everything will be there waiting for you! If you're following me in your GoogleReader or through an RSS feed or through email notifications, make sure to add my new address to it so you don't get left behind. Other than that, nothing (except for some minor layout stuff) will be any different. It's still just me and my blog and my random DIY projects.

So head on over and check it out! Twentyonehouse.com is live!

January 25, 2012

Snowmageddon 2012

 Okay. So picking up from my last post which was so cute and happy and sentimental over the fresh powder and a snow day at home with my honey...well, let's just say that I'm so over it. At first, the snow was pretty. I admired the intense blue-ness of it out our kitchen window as night set in and I loved the whole cozy-cuddle factor it inspired. And then...excuse my language...sh*t went downhill rapidly from there. First of all, approximately an hour after snapping this blue-snow picture, the power went out. Which was okay...at first. I'm from the country, yo. I can deal with a power outage. Instead of griping about it, we simply made use of the hot water still in the tank by taking our showers by candlelight, then called it an early night.
 But in the morning, we woke up to this. Notice something wrong? Yeah, my butterfly bush (which wasn't my favorite plant, I admit) looks like Mike Tyson beat it up somewhere between 10pm the night before and 8am the next morning. It's so sad! And since we STILL had no power, instead of tuning into the morning news to see what was going on, we were forced to entertain ourselves by heading out to inspect our own damage.
 Overnight there must have been some pretty terrible freezing rain because Denny's truck looked like someone had replaced it with a rippled glass version. It was entirely encrusted in ice.
 (FMF is a race brand, by the way, and Denny's subtle rebellion against having to drive a Ford.)
 And Denny's truck wasn't the only thing totally covered in ice. Check out our poor Japanese maple and our arborvitaes. Then, the day continued to get worse, as more freezing rain moved in (still no power, by the way). Our trees went from iced-over to iced-obese.
 What started out as a couple of centimeters of ice quickly turned into an inch-plus!
 Branches began dragging and, in the case of our Baby Tree (which is what I call the rowan we planted this fall), the entire then practically bent in half.
 As Denny worked in his office, I kept myself busy by carefully breaking all of the ice off our Baby Tree. Of course, it wasn't that hard because entire chunks came off at once, sometimes retaining an oddly branch-like shape.

 By the time I was done, both the Baby Tree and the maple looked so much better. I swear that I could practically hear their whispery, little tree-voices thanking me.
 As the day wore on and we still had no power, we did the best we could to stay busy and to feed ourselves. You never realize how much you depend on electricity for good food until it's gone. As it was, we made do with sandwiches for lunch then soup heated on our barbecue at night. Oh, and hot chocolate, of course.
 I cannot even express to you how freaking cold it was in our house. Eventually we retreated to Denny's office since it was the smallest room and thereby the warmest. A couple of groups of candles provided light and Denny and I sat down to read for a while until we thankfully retreated to bed (where we slept under a total of six blankets and still froze).
 We woke up early the next morning to (still no power and) what sounded like breaking glass outside. The wind was kicking up pretty good, but we were really grateful to see that none of our windows were actually broken; it was just ice falling from the trees and shattering on the ground like broken bottles. Nice, huh?
 We were actually pretty lucky. Wait...make that extremely, incredibly blessed. Because while we did lose some pretty good-sized branches off of our trees, we didn't incur any major damages. The two large branches that did fall missed both Denny's truck and our large window, and nothing damaged our roof. Also, our trees actually survived the storm, which it turns out was a miracle in and of itself. Because as the roads began to get less terrible and we began to get more cabin-fevery (three days of snowed-in, power-out-ness will do that to ya), we both ventured out of the house. After working to de-ice his car for nearly an hour, Denny left to go to his real office and I left to charge my laptop and cellphone at the nearest Panera (and to eat hot food and have real coffee, let's be honest). 
As I drove down the road, I was sad to see sights such as these EVERYWHERE. I think most people's houses made it through in one piece (not counting all the fridges full of spoiled food, of course) but the trees took a major beating. It looked like some nasty giant had gone around and just stripped all the trees of their limbs. Looking at the damage that was done to everyone else's trees, I feel incredibly blessed that ours (which we were just gushing about a few days before the storm hit) survived. 

Anyway, this was all to say that Snowmageddon sucked. And to say that LA (you know, the one in southern California where the worst weather conditions include incessant sunshine and the occasional sprinkle?), and which had the nerve to call us "clueless wimps," can suck it. Hear me, Los Angeles Times? I'm personally inviting you to make a trip up here and SUCK IT. 

Ahem. That is all. 

PS: We did eventually get our power back. After living without warm food or water for three days in a house that never got warmer than 44 degrees, we're very grateful for it, too. It makes us much less grouchy. -A

January 18, 2012

SOPA, Snow, and A Small Project

Okay, so anyone who's been on the internet today has probably already seen the whole thing that's going on with SOPA and PIPA. But in case you haven't, here's a really, really quick explanation: SOPA and PIPA are two bills that are going before Congress with the aim to stop online piracy. However, these bills are doing much less of that and much more CENSORSHIP instead. It's a scary proposition for anyone who values free speech and as a result much of the internet is going on strike today (even Google and Wikipedia are in on it). Now, I've done my part to sign the petitions and add my name to the list of protesters, but...well, this might make me a bad American and a worse writer, but....a girl's gotta write when she's got the chance, and since today was a snow day, I've got a little free time on my hands. So...uh, do as I say and not as I preach. Resist SOPA and PIPA! Oh, and in case you aren't taking my word for it, here's a link containing more information. Now....onto the blogging!

As you can see, we got a whole whopping 7 inches of snow between yesterday and today! And, honestly, it was probably more than that considering I didn't even get out my very old NFC ruler until it'd already settled and even rained a little bit. But, I digress. SNOW. Lots of it (for Seattle, at least). Which of course prompted me to make....

A snowgirl! However, she ended up being considerably less cute than my normal snow creations and a little more, uh...creepy Kewpie-ish. See what I mean?

Yeah. Not my fave. 

However, that didn't stop me from getting down there and having my picture taken with the ol' girl. After all, she's the first snowman (I mean, snowgirl) at our new house. Now, let's see...we've covered SOPA, snow, and...oh, yeah! A very small project! Well, here's how it started.

See this scabby looking cork board? It'd recently been rescued from a previous life as a school project (mine, of course). But, alas, life as a school project is hard work and it had many war-wounds to show for it.

See all those bare spots? That's where I'd taped things to it and then attempted to...um, un-tape things. It didn't work.

So I decided to cover up it's multitude of blemished with some pretty fabric. I laid the fabric down, laid the board down, then snipped carefully around the edges, leaving enough room to staple them down.

Next, I ironed the fabric to give it a smooth appearance...

Then simply began stapling that puppy together! I didn't do anything special except to make sure that it was pulled taut on all the sides. 

And then, of course, to make the corners look as nice as I could.

Ta-daaaaah! Mission Staple Fabric complete. 

I hung it up (using my new best friend the two-foot level)...

And there it is! Much less ugly and still fully functional. Oh, and you probably haven't seen this yet, have you? This is my studio as it slowly gets more moved-into. See that desk? It was a kick-A deal (aka: free from my Mom's work). I haven't had much of a chance to use it yet since we just finished it a couple days ago, but I already love how I have tons of little cubbies to store my knick-knacks in. Oh, and what's that hanging from the ceiling, you ask?

Why, my pink Rockstar light. Don't you have one? I guess not, since it's a one-of-a-kind original made by my Mummy for me for Christmas. I love it. Not only is it funky and PINK, but it also casts light into that otherwise dark corner. And speaking of corners...

Here's the other end of the studio. Yeah, it's less neat and organized. Well, I guess that's not necessarily true, since it's actually very organized. It's just less pleasing to the eye, I suppose. There's all kinds of stuff huddled over there as you can see, including a lot of things that you can't. Like a box of paper flowers, two containers of yarn, half a dozen dried gourds, some un-assembled Adirondack chairs, and...oy. I could go on. But I won't.

Anyway, if you've made it through this long, rambling post: I thank you. I promise I'll get a little more cohesive as I get back into the swing of things. But until then, damn....it just feels good to be writing again.

January 16, 2012

21 House's First Snow Day

 Well, we got snow! I know that's maybe not the most exciting thing to report on as I get back into blogging-swing-of-things, but it's pretty exciting to me, anyway. It's not even that much snow, or that much of a big deal (like last year's massive and unexpected snowstorm that ground Seattle to a halt for several days straight). But as we begin to spend a little more time in our home, there are so many firsts. Like our first Christmas, with our first pretty not-so-little tree, our first time having company over, our first snow. It makes me kind of sentimental (okay, okay, pretty heavily sentimental). So here are some snowflake-framed pics of our first snow.

 Here's Denny's beautiful fence! Look at how sweet the little snow piles are on the "hats." Denny wanted me to point that out, in particular. :)
Oh, and that? That's our shed! Okay, so it's not really, but it will be. Denny and his dad have been working on it for a couple of weeks. It's going to be beautiful! We're hoping to get it all assembled and put together this weekend. I'll definitely report back once it gets constructed. See? Look at me writing for my own sweet little blog? This is definitely a good start to the new year!

January 7, 2012

Hello, Blogosphere! Remember me?

Alright. So this is a little awkward. You know, since I haven't posted anything in...oh, roughly a month and half or so. Maybe longer. And I should have given some kind of indicator to you all (assuming there's still anyone reading this blog) that I still exist. However, I am not in the least bit kidding when I say that the past two months have been so busy that I have barely had time to sleep, much less write anything for my own lovely little blog. Between countless school projects, working two jobs, making most of my family and friends' presents by hand this year, and attempting to do normal things like spend some time with my husband, it's been kind of crazy.

But I'm back now. And I just wanted to let you know that although I may not be reporting in as often as I used to (you know, before I fell off the face of the planet), I'm going to start writing again. My goal? One post and project a week. Because, you know, sleep is way overrated anyway.