It’s Ornamental, Watson

pink candy-cane kitty, the other side

I’m not making excuses but I have not been blogging much. Maybe that’s okay since it is DECEMBER and NOT November. Man, when did December get to be such a busy month? And I’m not even talking about holiday plans. We haven’t even gotten to those yet.

I’ve been busy with the shop. Hooray for the shop! I had no idea that was going to keep me so busy. I’ve also been out at my Mom’s and if you know anything about hanging out at my Mom’s, you know there’s always something going on. Never a dull moment out at the sticks.

Unfortunately, it’s been rather cold out here so I’m not taking pictures outside. Also, my mom’s house is so dark and unphotogenic, it’s impossible to take pictures inside. So if you were judging my business by activity on my blog or flickr account, you would think it was nothing but dullsville.

Not so! NOT SO!

I’ve been busy busy busy. We started things off with five hundred loads of laundry and then there was the giant task of reorganizing the complete and extended collection of outgrown clothes that my mom houses in her garage. That would be seven or eleven or so giant Rubbermaid totes full of clothes from my nieces and Baby Bug. We never throw anything out. Baby Bug and any other kid I might ever have after her will have hand-me-downs until the end of time. I wish I had pictures…

After the Olympic clothes-sorting event, I decided to take on an ornament-painting project. This was a journey to failure and back. Long ago in November I decided it would be fun to be part of OMSH’s super-fun swaparooni project. For the month of December it’s an ornament swap instead of the usual color-coordinated loot. I figured it wasn’t that much of a commitment. Surely I could manage to get one ornament in the mail before a deadline. How hard could that be?

Obviously this was before I opened up the world’s most popular flash card shop and before I was struck down by the flu. The deadline came and went and I got squat in the mail. Boo-hiss for me and my internal over-achiever. It was really hard to take actually. I hate missing deadlines, even though I do it nearly every day.

I decided it would be very fun and exciting to paint an ornament. Paint! Let’s paint! My mom never needs to be talked into going to Michaels. You say, let’s go, and she says, “How high?” or something like that. My mom loves crafting as much as I do. So off we went Michaels. I don’t know why I am drawn to that crazy store. It’s jam-packed with so much tacky awful stuff. (Sorry, not talking about anything you bought there of course!) Maybe I go there because there is nowhere else to get supplies around here.

Of course I had to walk down every aisle and get sucked into every little pre-packaged idea of how to amuse myself with stuff that I probably already have. But hey! It’s right here in a box so maybe I should just buy it and not bother looking for it when I get home! I hate that trap. Thankfully, I wised up and put most everything back before I got to the check-out counter but I did manage to buy two baskets (to hold all my crafting crap of course!) that WERE NOT fifty percent off like they said they were.

I hate it when that happens. Since when do baskets cost 50 bucks each? I had to turn right around and take them back the minute the receipt finished printing. What a hassle.

Michaels is totally guilty of up-marking stuff so they can discount it later. I know. I priced them way back when I was buying up canvasses for my Dog Days of Summer project.

winter bear

But anyway, I was talking about the ornament painting. It didn’t go so well. At least not to my standards. Now that I’m lurking around Etsy all the time these days, I’m starting to think I’m some kind of professional crafter or something. I was sorely disappointed with my painting strokes. The paint we bought (that is specifically for glass) was messy and goopy and showed every stroke like nail polish. I think it was nail polish, actually. If you put on more than one coat at a time, it would pick up the layer underneath.

It was just a mess and a headache and definitely not a project for someone with a toddler who gets into everything and/or wants to “help” all the time. I barely got two ornaments painted that I’m happy with and I still have a whole table full of paint and brushes and glass ornaments that need to be filled with paint on the inside (because I don’t like them when they are clear for some strange reason). I’m just over it.

So I moved onto something I’m a little more comfortable with:

paper transfer ornaments!

Iron-on transfer paper! I’ll have to share pictures of the results tomorrow.

A spooky ghost story (sort of)

jack o lantern row

There I was on a dark and stormy night, doing dishes by the light of the moon. Tree branches cast long shadows across my countertops and scratched their long bony fingers across my soapy hands. Dish after dish, I soaped and rinsed. I set them beside me on the little rickety wooden dish rack to dry.

From time to time the water in the sink would stop draining properly and a pool of murk would rise up from the depths below. Dried bits of cheese and broken spaghetti noodles would swirl and swish in the dirty water. This didn’t scare me. Our plumbing is bad and I am used to drainage problems.

Just a quick surge of power from the garbage disposal would be all I needed to grind up whatever was blocking the water from draining and I’d be back in business washing dishes and hurrying off to bed.

It was getting cold and my warm bed called me. I could feel a chill creeping up from the linoleum floor, across my bare feet and up my night dress to the little hairs on the back of my neck. Brrrrr. I hated doing dishes at night.

I leaned over and flipped the switch of the garbage disposal and immediately a loud grinding gurgle errupted from below the sink. A giant bubbling mountain of gray water shot from the drain towards the ceiling. The dish I was holding flew out of my hand and shattered on the floor. Cups and saucers clattered and broke in all directions. I staggered backwards, blocking my face from the spray of warm greasy water and tried to get away.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not escape. The floor was slippery. I lost my footing and fell, nearly knocking myself out on the corner of my red refrigerator. The water continued to spray out of my sink and soon I was drenched to the bone.

A voice spoke from beneath. It seemed to be coming from behind the cupboard where the garbage disposal itself was housed. The doors rattled and my windows shook.

“I am the ghost of your garbage disposal,” it cried in a high pitched whine. “I have come to vipe your vindows!”

Wait. That’s not how it went. Scratch all that. Scratch everything except the part about where gray water shot out of my drain. That really happened. I wasn’t doing dishes at night and it didn’t shoot all the way to the ceiling but this did really happen to me and it scared the crap out of me.

Apparently, our pipes are old and there is a giant clog. When you try to run your garbage disposal with a giant clog, it repels all the water in the opposite direction. This may be the direction of the person who is washing dishes. It can be quite frightening to someone who is not expecting it.

Our sink is out of commission. It’s been that way since Saturday. Toby dumped some very strong super duper plumbing chemicals down it and all that did was skunk Baby Bug and I out of the house. At this time I am at my mom’s in the sticks because the smell of sulfur was so strong, I couldn’t go five feet near my kitchen. I was afraid for poor Baby Bug’s brain cells. We are staying away until it is fixed.

Toby spent all day yesterday negotiating with our landlord and I think things will be fixed by tomorrow. (Toby is my hero.) From what I hear, they are ripping up the kitchen floor and replacing great lengths of pipe. This could be exciting for us since I am inviting my whole crazy family to my house tomorrow to go trick or treating.

I’ll let you know how it goes.