Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oliver, The Articulated Man

Oliver is an articulated man who is about 20" tall.  He's named after my next-door neighbor's dog, Oliver, who likes to come visit me when I'm working in my garage.

For the record, here on Day 29 Susan has faithfully filled up bag #29 with Stuff. This time it was a lot of beat-up old kitchen stuff. Do we really need 3 sets of measuring cups? The frightening thing is that she's promised me once she finishes her Day 30 with bag #30 she is going to start up with a new set of 30 bags in my garage workshop. Help!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I didn't know what they were. Did you? Answer at the end of this post.

All this is just Stuff. Stuff I have to have, stuff I've bought from people who probably fished it out of their Grandma's trash can. Stuff I have no idea what to do with but have to have just in case ...

So what is 30-30? It's something to do with Stuff. Grit your teeth and consider this:
You have too much stuff. Too many clothes. 
Too many books (Ackkk!!!).
Too many dishes and kitchen things.
 Too many pencils and pens and old towels and just stuff.

So gather up 30 bags, preferably the small sort you get at the grocery store for vegetables, or those T-shirt bags that everyone hates but they are handy.  Mark them with 30 numbers, beginning with your start date number - for example, if you start today, the first bag is #23, the second #24 and so on, following #31 with #1 as you head into February. You need to have 30 bags for the next 30 days.

Put the bags in a prominent place where you can't ignore them. Each day you pick up the appropriately numbered bag and fill it up with Stuff to either give away, donate, or throw away. For example, on our first day we went through all our miscellaneous junk drawers and put in all the old pens and pencils and highlighters that didn't work. Did we really need 11 pencils in the kitchen drawer?  No, and they didn't fill the sack totally up but that's not the idea. What did happen is that we deliberately took care of eliminating some Stuff. The theory behind the small sack size is that it doesn't seem like such a monumental job to do when it's just one small sack, every day, for 30 days.. If you get to gathering up old clothes to donate you'll probably need a bigger sack but that's OK, it's the action that counts.

Today Susan is filling up the sack with cookbooks she really doesn't use anymore. She's thumbing through them to see if there was one stunning recipe she remembered and she'll make a copy of that. Then the sack goes off to Goodwill.

So is any of the Stuff shown on this post going to go into a 30-30 sack? NOT A CHANCE! These are treasures. Shown above is a very special treasure that was gifted to me by a talented, interesting friend, who now has me thinking about my favorite five (later).

Top picture? Old hair curler rods.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Susan speaks: Don is finally back in school. Yessssss! A quiet house to myself, no one wondering when lunch is, no one asking if the mail has come, no one tracking clay dirt into the house, no one drinking all the coffee in the pot.

Nicho above was sold at the Student Art sale.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Books - REAL Books

We are Book people. Above is what we gave each other for Christmas. Books. What else do you need?

This video is terrific! I reduced the size so you can see it here in the blog but if you go directly to YouTube and search for "Joy of Books" you'll be able to view it larger.

As for the Kindle or Nook... is that something you want to take in the bathroom with you?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bamboo Pot and Cranky Consumer Complaint #2

This piece is about 14" high and the inside has a crackle glaze. I call it "Bamboo" because it sort of looks like that. I'm not sure if I will make anymore like this or even if I can, but the crackle effect on the inside intrigues me. In the picture below it sort of looks like an elephant leg but trust me, it really does look better than that. The gash in the side lets you have a glimpse of the crackle.

Here's the latest blow to the long-gone concept of "Customer Service":
Vendors keep costs down by using FedEx SmartPost and you think your package is safely in the hands of FedEx.  Wrong!

FedEx passes it over to USPS, as in the United States Postal Service.  You know, the one that is out of money and tells you soon a letter will take several days longer to be delivered. This is not a big deal in other countries but here it is has been thrown out as a solution to the budget problems. What you might not realize it that the USPS has been doing that slow-down already.

Here's proof, shown in our package tracking (below):

1. The order was placed Wednesday, Dec 14.
2. The package shipped FedEx out of Ohio Friday, Dec16.
3. The package arrived in Houston, TX,  about 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec 18.
4. The package left Houston FedEX about 10 p.m., Sunday, Dec 18, to go to the USPS.
5. The package left Houston via USPS for Austin about 9 p.m., Monday, Dec 19.
6. The package arrived in Austin about 9 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 22.
7. The package arrived at my location, directly across the street from the US Post Office, about two hours later.

Here's the interesting part:
FedEx: Time = 60+ hours, distance = 1100+ miles
USPS: Time = 60+ hours, distance = 165 miles

Slow delivery from the USPS? Get used to it.
Think FedEx is better?
Only if you are getting "pure" FedEx, not FedEx SmartPost.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Start Your Year Off With Eye Candy

When we were in Washington DC at Thanksgiving we made sure to set aside time to go to the Torpedo Factory. There we were lucky enough to find time to visit with an old friend, Susan Finsen (above). She had moved to a different (better!) space in the Factory and was sharing with a new (to us) artist, Laura Edwards (below). The two women use very different color palettes but their works seem to enhance each other. We had a distinctly enjoyable visit to their space and are in awe of the work they create.  Check out their websites and you'll see what I mean.

Laura really was praying in this picture, she was saying "Please, please let these pictures be hung straight."