Saturday, February 28, 2015

"If saving money is wrong, I don't want to be right!" ~ William Shatner (with fond memories of Leonard Nimoy)

In my previous post, I showed you these two prints unframed. you can see now that they are framed and hung! This was a bit of a frustration, but ultimately successful!

We had made a third trip to IKEA to pick up drapes for the living-room and frames for pictures and prints. We met with success on some counts (drapes and some frames), but were unable to find frames that fit my mermaid prints.

Next - armed with a 60% off all framing work at Joann Fabrics coupon, I set about selecting frames and colorful matting for my lovelies. The woman behind the framing counter was most helpful. I chose three different colored mats along with a modest frame. She calculated this combination for each print. WITH the 60% off coupon, the cost would have been $340 a piece! I'm not kidding! I stood there, mouth slightly agape, and repeated the price she had given me thinking that I simply must have misheard. Um, no. I asked her to recalculate. Um, no. I thanked her profusely for her time, took my prints and left.

I phoned Bruce and told him what had happened. He responded with something like - uh, that's not in our budget. No kidding! I told him that I was headed to Michael's to see what I could find in prepared frames and that if I was not satisfied, I'd take the prints with us when we head north and have Burt frame them for us. Those from Cortland know exactly who I mean!

Once in Michael's, I hunted through frames and ultimately came across something that I thought would work. The frames were originally dark brown, but I purchased some gold paint to lighten them up. Armed with the paint and a sponge, I feel really, really happy with how they came out (the right one looks darker in the photo, but is actually identical to the left).

The end result - happiness, and $62.00 including paint for both, in comparison to $680.00. I still have to believe that the young woman at Joanne's miscalculated - I know that custom framing is pricey - but that was a bit much!

The Bank of Bruce and Tracy is officially closed!

PS - The lovely mermaid lamp on the right was one of my birthday gifts from Bruce last year. She has finally found her home!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Mermaids don't lose sleep over the opinion of shrimp." ~ Pinterest

This past weekend we went to the 25th anniversary of the Stuart Arts Festival. It was a beautiful day for it. Bruce and I had a mission as we perused various vendors. We were looking for some additional wall art for the condo. 

A couple of years ago, Bruce got a print for me at an arts festival in Dunedin, on the gulf side. The same artist, Janet Searfoss, was at this one. Janet creates incredible batiks, many with wonderful stories, or the beginnings of stories as a print accompaniment. In spite of the hectic festival crowd, Janet took the time to explain the batik process to us, and how she enjoys adding the stories to her art.

I must say, I could have dropped some serious money at Janet's booth, but Bruce and I settled on two beautiful mermaids. The one on the left, "Flame Entrapment", begins with....

       "She is beckoning her admirers into her magical space that has walls made of fish."

The one the right, "Sirius Starlight", begins with.....

       "She is sitting on a deck or a bridge. She is accompanied with heron guardians on either side of    
        her. She has a 'serious' look as if she holds the secrets of the sea within her."

They are so gorgeous, and we can't wait to frame them and hang them!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"I just wanna make nice things, and get enough sleep." ~ Pinterest

OK, it's cold here. 33 degrees when I got up! I know that there is not much sympathy from up north, but it's cold! Fortunately, things are looking up, and by the time my sister and her husband arrive next week, I think that we will be approaching 80. That should be a welcome change for them from the temperatures they have had in Vermont this winter!

I have managed to fit in some DIY projects while down here. The first two pictures below are of a Florida tablecloth that I got off of Ebay probably close to 20 years ago. I did not have a Florida condo on my mind at the time, but I'm glad I saved it all of these years (perhaps if I were to buy a Cape Cod vintage tablecloth, something similar might happen ?!). This particular one is pre-Disney (1967), though I don't exactly how old. Before I began this project, I checked online to be sure that I wasn't sewing into something that could be worth big bucks! No such luck.

I borrowed the sewing machine of a neighbor, and after pinning it to batting and backing, I stitched around the scalloped edges, the state boarder, and portions of the palm trees. I then added some seam binding.
The edges are a bit wobbly, but I love how it just fits right in.
 Another project that I have done is with ceramics. There is a nice little studio here in town, Stuart Ceramics Painting Studio. I have done this type of thing in the past, but not for a long time. Back at home we still use the butter dish that Alex did many moons ago! Anyhow, you start with the white, unfinished piece, paint it, then they glaze and fire it. It is very relaxing and a lot of fun!

Here is my fish after I have painted it (still awaiting glaze and firing).

Here it is, completed and siting upon a shelf in our condo.
I'm glad that I can still do some hands-on projects (other than knitting) while we are here. It's a good feeling and I love to be surrounded by things that I have done - it's comforting somehow!