Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

You might have thought that staying home with the cats while my husband and his daughter went south to visit his Mom I would be spending every waking moment knitting and watching Turner Classic Movies.  But you would be wrong.  Oh, there has been knitting, and watching of movies on TCM, but mostly I have been doing projects around the house.  I started this past Sunday.

After getting Bruce and Amy off, and then having to run down the road to a gas station to bring him his brief case which had his Kindle and his puzzle magazine in it, I stopped by work to send off a couple of emails that I didn't get to on Friday, and still forgot to set my out of office.  I realized that as I was driving away and just didn't feel like turning around.  I wanted to get home and start on the projects that I had been planning.  First up - rearranging the living room.  It was cluttery and had become hard to clean.

The first project was creating this shelf for books and DVDs.
Previously it had been on the opposite wall and was just made up of the book boxes that form the vertical supporting structure.  Many years ago my Dad and I had converted almost all of my book shelves into book boxes, and then made a bunch more.  The ones in this photo are made from 1 x 10 boards in two sizes, 12 inch cubes and 18 by 12 inch boxes.  They are backed with half inch plywood so they form their own book crates when I move, which I did a lot of in my younger days.  I have lightweight tops that I tacked on.  When I first built them I stacked them like bricks in towers two boxes wide and six boxes high.  These sat on deeper boxes made from 1 x 12 boards, two boxes high.  I had expanded them so that they rested on the edges of the box, instead of closed up, which gave me more book shelf space, but for this project I decided to really open them up.

The daybed that I use for a couch used to sit on this wall.  The blanket draped over the chair is for Jasmine.  She likes to curl up in that chair and when she does I pull the blanket down to close in the front making a tent for her.  The small chaise in the background I picked up at an antiques store in Philadelphia when I was living there.  Bruce's cat Pouncer used to sleep there, but since Pouncer has passed I sit there while beading, using a small folding table for my work space.

I spent all Sunday shifting furniture and on Monday I headed into town early, and picked up the boards.  I splurged and bought some nice clear pine boards - five 6' boards and four 4' boards (actually two 8' boards that I had cut in half) and picked up some natural stain.  By Monday afternoon the boards were stained - I worked in the garage, which had plenty of room with one car gone - and Monday evening I put everything together.  I only did a single coat of stain.  I didn't bother with any varnish or polyurethane finish.  I used to, but book shelves see such light use I have found that they don't really need it, and it is a lot of work.

The book boxes used to be on this wall.  That's the kitchen in the background - how I would love to redo it...
The boxes on the shelves to the right hold most of my extensive CD collection.  Those shelves used to be rotated 90 degrees to the right, sticking out from the wall, and my "table" loom used to live between them.  But that was cramped, and I couldn't watch TV while I wove, and I sure as heck couldn't get a vacuum cleaner in there to get up all the cat fur from Jasmine.  I was growing a whole 'nother cat under there.  So now the loom lives where the book shelf on the left used to live.
The light in the corner is to give me enough light for warping, and I have a piano stool coming to sit on while warping.  That is Firefly playing on the TV.  I've been running a Firefly marathon, which doesn't take long, given that there were only 14 episodes.  Such a great show.  Joss really has a way with characters and dialog.  The room isn't quite finished, I'm waiting for a smaller coffee table to put in front of my daybed.  Once I get that I can finalize the room arrangement.  Poor Fred was horribly confused by all the commotion of rearranging furniture and I don't think he has fully adjusted yet.  I also took away his step (a cardboard shoe box) for getting up on the daybed and replaced it with a small wooden box, but he hasn't figured that out yet.  On the plus side, he has taken to jumping up on to the daybed, which is a first for him, so maybe he is finally getting his strength back.

The next project was putting together a jewelry cabinet.  I purchased a Best Craft Organizer cabinet when they were on sale and it arrived last week.  I have purchased several of these for my bead stash.
I had already bought the earring organizers.  I lined the drawers with craft felt.  The JoAnn web site called the color gold, but in person it more closely resembles hazard yellow.
I may have to get a second cabinet for the other corner.  I waited until last night to put it all together because I wanted to vacuum the spot I was going to put it with my new Dyson vacuum cleaner.  I've been wanting one ever since I first saw them and seeing as how we recently gave our old vacuum to Amy I needed a new one.  Last week I picked up a factory refurbished one on Amazon for half the price of a new one.  It came yesterday, although the tracking web site indicated that it was delivered today.  I must be caught in some kind of time warp.

While I was writing this a squirrel came up on our deck to snag a piece of celery.  We had some that was going bad so I threw it out on the deck for any interested parties.  Sunday night a possum came up on the deck and right up to the sliding glass door and looked in before snuffling up some cranberries that I had tossed out there because they too had started to go bad.

Merry Christmas.  I know that it is not politically correct to say that anymore, because it might offend someone, seeing as how it has the word Christ in it, but seriously folks, get over it.  The holiday existed long before Christianity did under a variety of names.  It is a natural celebration of longer days after the long dark night of the Solstice.  It is a celebration of the coming spring and the rebirth that spring represents, just as winter represents death.

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