Month: February 2010

Our First Featured Artist Preview

Josh and I are currently working on a website where we will feature a variety of artists from our blog and then display their work in an online gallery.  Each month, our blog will feature another artist and over time, the online art gallery will grow.  While we are still in the building stages of this venture, we wanted to share our idea with you and give you a sneak peak of our first featured artist…  

Let me introduce to you a very talented and amazing lady; this is Cristin Zimmer.  She is currently pursuing her MFA in sculptural ceramics at the University of Utah.  Cristin has bravely agreed to be the first artist featured on our blog.  This is just a sneak peak of her work.  Next month we will do a detailed Q&A with Cristin, exploring the inspiration behind her work, her favorite artists, and what inspired her to return to school.  And of course, we would love to show you some of her body of work.  For now, mark your calendars for the evening of May 12th. Cristin will be having her master thesis show in Salt Lake at the gallery located inside the University of Utah’s Art and Art History building.  You don’t want to miss this event.  Cristin’s art is unique, expressive and truly one-of-a-kind; it explores the feelings and emotions associated with being a female artist.  For those of you who don’t reside in the Salt Lake City area, no worries, we will be displaying her work online so that you too can be a part of this great event.  

Happy Bees and Spring’s First Flowers

And then today, out of the dead leaves, flowers emerged, and like me the bees were very happy. 

Another Snowy Morning

This morning I was saddened to see that again it had snowed…

but then the sun came out….

and by noon all the snow was melted.
(Note: Don’t you love the rain chains my husband made?)
Way to go sun! Way to melt that snow!
Now Spring, I need to have a talk with you. Could you quit procrastinating and maybe arrive a little early this year?

Embroidery Birds

My quilt top is almost done. I’m currently using embroidery tread to add in the final details of the birds. I had someone tell me that the applique technique I used, while not traditional, was similar to the broderie perse method of applique. Is anyone familiar with this method? I’d love to learn more about it, other than what I can google on the internet.

Originally, when designing this quilt pattern, I wanted to make it appear that the birds were walking off their fabric and fusing with the other fabrics of the quilt. What do you think? Did I succeed?

The First Winner Is…

As our fledgling blog grows, we have received comments from over ten people and are proud to announce the first winner of our 10×10 giveaway. The winner receives a $10 gift certificate to the Artists’ House Sales site as You should also know that there are nine more giveaways to go, so keep those comments coming. For every tenth commenter we will randomly chose the winner of another $10 gift certificate.
And the winner is…
Kristin, author of the blog “Running On.”
In an effort to be completely transparent and to avoid any bad press, such as Toyota is currently getting for trying to grow too quickly and losing sight of quality, I must disclose that Kristin is family. However, she is an in-law and not blood related so it’s almost like she’s just a casual acquaintance right? If anyone disagrees with my logic, thinks Kristin should be disqualified, and/or is offended by the comment I so callously made about in-laws, please leave a comment below and you may be the next winner in our 10×10 giveaway.
Please also remember that we are having a second giveaway of $100 to be awarded by randomly selecting one of our followers once we officially have 100 registered followers of our blog.

Monet, Being a Ham in the Kitchen

Monet was wide awake and ready for the day, bright and early this morning. I hadn’t yet had my morning coffee and was struggling to embrace the day as gracefully as Monet had. As a result, I plucked Monet from her crib and gently plopped her directly on the kitchen floor. From there, I quickly looked for the first item that resembled a safe toy. I handed her a spoon and told her to go at it.
Her she sits, still in her sleep sack and dirty diaper, content as can be.

Monet had a grand old time, rolling around on the floor with her trusty spoon. In my defense, just the other day I cleaned the kitchen floor with the Shark Steam Mop. I think it kills something like %99.9 of germs.
The end result was I got my coffee and Monet, well, she got a spoon.

Miranda July Teaches Us How to Make Buttons

I love buttons. Often they are the final perfect touch to a project. I have been known to buy something at a second hand shop with the intention of just cutting off the buttons for keeps when I get home, and discarding the rest of the purchased item.
When a friend of mine mentioned this YouTube video, I instantly checked it out and was smiling ear to ear. You must follow this link to see Miranda July’s “How to Make a Button Video”.
I think this is just what we need to lighten things up on this stressful Monday. Let me know what you think.
(Note: We are just two commenters away from our first giveaway. You can read about it here.)

The No Cry Caulk Solution

When we finished remodeling our bathroom two years ago, I must say that we did a pretty darn good job. With some great designing and a little help from from the Swedes (Ikea), we were able to squeeze the maximum amount of useful space from the single bathroom we have in our tiny 1920’s bungalow. We removed a clunky vanity and squeezed two sinks onto one wall. We popped out the back wall of the shower to create a bench and added a tall narrow cabinet into what used to be an ill-thought-out shelving area crammed behind the toilet. We also added some great opalescent blue glass tile that brought our tub and shower out of the early 80’s and into the new millennium.

However, there was one black spot in our otherwise gleaming remodel. A bad caulk job stood out like a fresh scar. I’ve learned that caulking can make or break a project, and in this case something was definitely broken. The wavy texture of the glass tiles made the gap between the wall and the tub difficult to fill. I had the bright idea to use some caulking tape that would fill the gaps but I ended up having to finish things up by hand because of the textures. With as much patience as I could muster, I finished the job as best I could. As you can see below the results were less than stellar and all the little gaps were prime spots for water to stand and dirt and mold to build.

Fast forward, it’s now two years later. An idea pops into my head while Im making my twice weekly trip to the hardware store and notice some long right-angles strips of aluminum. Why don’t I trim out the sides of my tub in metal and use clear caulk.

The aluminum did a great job of framing in the tub and filling in the inconsistently spaced gaps. It did take a little work as I first had to dry fit the aluminum, then lay down a bead of caulk to set the frame into. The next step was to fill in the gaps created behind the aluminum due to the wavy tiles. I may have gotten better at caulking in the last two years, but the clear caulking is much more forgiving of mistakes than the white.
If you want to try this on your own tub, you can find the aluminum strips at your local home depot in the hardware section right next to all the nuts and bolts. It is relatively easy to cut down with a hacksaw, and using a miter box to make perfect angles. I also recommend rounding the edges on the outside of the tub with a little sand paper. I won’t say that it was necessarily easy but the results where well worth the effort.

Saying Good-Bye to Our Beloved Charley Harper Quilt

Nursery with Charley Harper Quilt
Well, it’s official, Monet and I have decided to say good-bye to our beloved machine appliquéd Charley Harper quilt for a short while because a local quilt shop called Pipers has asked to display it.
Charley Harper Quilt

Working in the Mud and the Yuck

It was 50 degrees and sunny in Salt Lake City today, absolutely gorgeous, and I just had the best time working in the yard for the first time since fall. It might surprise some people that I enjoyed myself so much. Did I mention we have a dog who is rarely walked and our yard is only about 500 square feet? And did I mention that I haven’t worked in the yard since fall? Ok, maybe I’ve painted too accurate of a picture now. On top of cleaning up over 50 dog messes, I also shoveled compost, that came in all degrees of decomposition, into the gardens. Then I began turning the beds, mixing in our compost along with a few shovels full of organic turkey manure. I bet some of you think the previously stated enthusiasm was sarcasm. Sincerely it was not. Oh my goodness! This is the exact conversation I had with one of my middle school students today.

Why was I so enthusiastic? I don’t know if it was the sun, the smell of spring, the worms, or the anticipation I felt inside knowing that soon little seedlings would be sprouting out of the ground. Whatever it was, I genuinely felt like I was in my element.
Unfortunately, after about an hour of work, my baby girl woke up, and I was pulled away from my playground of decomposing food and dirt. I ran to calm her cries, and while normally I don’t keep her waiting, today I felt it was best to tidy up just a bit before I plucked her from the crib. I figured she would not appreciate the mud and the yuck all over my hands and clothes as much as I did.

Moments later, Monet and I were playing on the floor, and soon the room smelt a bit like what I was dealing with in the garden. Sure enough, Monet gave me another mess that needed cleaning. Unlike our dogs 50 individual piles, Monet’s mess was of a much grander and more unified scale. Good thing Daddy was home, this was definitely a two person job. You see Monet only poops once a week while Snickers goes once or twice a day. You can choose for yourself which is worse. I’m still undecided
Through all the mud and the yuck, I still had a smile glued to my face. That’s what playing in the sun, the dirt, and with my baby girl does to me.
(Follow the link to see more of our baby Monet)