Thursday, May 13, 2010
The past few weekends have been a blur of activity at our house. We ripped apart a wooden deck that had been 8 X 10 feet bordered by two "after thought" gardens. Believe me, the two little gardens were kind of ugly, difficult to tend and bordered by broken & leftover patio stones.... not my idea of a garden.
Once the deck was dismantled and the rocks and stones removed, we had a good idea what we had to work with. We easily doubled the deck demensions and designed two privacy walls for either ends. (Our neighbourhood is densly populated.)
The ground under the original deck had to be levelled and allowed to drain. It had been a soggy mess in days of old. (Now perhaps there will be fewer mosquitoes??)
We reused the wood from the original decking and bought enough to double the size that had been there.
Last night, we finished staining, added some solar lights to the wall posts and put our round table in place. WOW!! It looks like a piece of art.
Now, from our bedroom, we have a large deck, over a well-drained foundation with all the focus on our larger, well-planned garden. It was a lot of work, but I appreciate seeing the simplicity of the larger deck area and fewer 'piece-meal' gardening areas.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Does anyone know which colours are supposed to be "in" for the summer of 2010? I used to follow the designer recommendations but lately I am just wearing whatever is in my closet.
I like to wear blue and sometimes red. If they are not in fashion this year, well, I'm just outta luck. I am supposed to wear blue and black at work, but my coworkers are often in all black. By tradition, black seems to be an important part of every fashion season. So I guess we will be "in" while we wear our "uniform."
Today I stepped outside the box and bought some fabric so that I may sew an outfit for my sister. I am trying to encourage her to keep doing her exercises to free up a frozen shoulder AND keep inspired through Spark People. (She was the one who told me about this site.)
My sister was remenicing about a bubblegum pink satin dress she used to 'visit' at an Oriental boutique back, back, back in the teen years. She never purchased the dress but she remembers it being embroidered with a dragon or phoenix and thinking it was the greatest garment. You've seen these dresses before: mandarin collar, deep slit from hem to the knee, little cap sleeves and a combination of snaps and frog closures (they look like knotted cording).
I have this same sort of long dress called a "chemongsam" in red satin, and I used to lend it to her if she had a fancy Christmas banquet to attend.
Do you think I can find a hot pink one for her? An embroidered one at that?!? Nope.
... and that's why I visited the fabric store. I found the bubble gum pink but rather than a satin, I chose a shantung which is matte with a bumpy 'slub' on the fashion side. It is satin finished on the 'wrong' side. Hmmmm. Dare I sew this fabric inside out so that it shines? I am thinking not.
Also, instead of making a full length gown, I am coaching her into being happy with a Chinese-styled jacket with the frog closures. (You can get SO much more wear out of a jacket....)
Anyone buying this arguement?
Turns out the Oriental satins come to the shops nearer to holiday season and there is no guarantee that hot pink will be in the collection. But I digress...
I bought enough pink shantung for a jacket, 4 black frogs and black piping to highlight the mandarin collar and cuffs. For good measure, I bought some black shantung to make a little black dress too. I plan to add a few pink features up near her face on the bodice area.
OK, it's no chemongsan but:
1) it doesn't have to be dry cleaned .... once it is sewn up and worn.
2)There will be no embroidery either. Couldn't find a dragon or bird applique for my creation. sigh. I figure it will be fancy without being over-the-top.
3) Pair it with pants or a long skirt and it could take her to a dinner function, a date, party or wedding.
Let's just hope, when I sent this two piece outfit to my sis, she will love it just cuz she once used to drool over a favourite bubble gum pink satin dress.
Call it Sister Logic!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
At my new job (almost 2 months there now) the company tests vision and hearing. If people want us to order them, we will get them set up with glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids.
Today, I went through all the steps in the process to order a pair of glasses for a customer and then for myself.
Both pairs were progressive lenses, so there are going to be 3 powers within the lenses: top= distance, mid = computer screen and the bottom = reading area.
I still have many questions about the variety of lenses out there; yes, they are plastic but some are polycarbon, some are thick and others are indexed to be thinner and lighter. I ask a lot of questions... many times the boss thinks I should have all this stuff memorized already, but I would rather ask and get it straigh in my mind, rather than guess.
Learning is a tiring process. I read my notes but it is the DOING and the PROCESS that makes the most sense to me. The way I learn is hands-on!
When the glasses arrive, I will have to post a photo. "See" ya later!!
Monday, April 19, 2010
This weekend was very... strange.
We drove away from our home on Saturday to volunteer at the go kart track. That part is normal. But we failed to close the garage door behind us.
The garage was open for about six hours-- bicycles in the open, tools quite obvious, and let's just say it is full of stuff because we do not park the cars inside. When we came home, it appeared that nothing had been touched. So far, to our knowledge, we were protected from being ransacked. What a blessing.
You would think that would put our mindset into some sort of protectionism mode wouldn't you? But it did not.
Last night, we left the car locked but the truck unlocked... the driver's door was not latched (just pushed 'to' ) when we got ready for work. THIS TIME we had been robbed.
Small change, probably under a dollar was gone. A pair of binoculars in a console have been taken. The sunglasses are missing. A knife has disappeared. Groannnnnn.
We had spoken of this exact topic this weekend. Our vehicles in this neighbourhood have been vandalised in the past. But we were not thinking last night, I guess.
It the scale of everything, we were blessed and protected all Saturday while we were far from home. The looting of the truck is small potatoes to what could have happened.
Folks-- lock up. It could happen to you!
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