I’m sorry to do this

But Blogger is not treating me well. It takes about 10 minutes for a page to come up for me. Whether it’s doing the same to other people is certainly a concern, but the bottom line is that I like to be able to see what I’m doing when I make a post or change the formatting, and it’s definitely keeping me from doing that.

So I’m pretty much abandoning this forum. From now on I’ll be limiting my blogging to LiveJournal, where I’m Dargie, and Facebook where I’m MJ Walters. If I find a forum I like better in the future I may move there, I may not.

Thanks for reading.

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Knitting for the soul

I got word that the gal on Ravelry who was collecting caps for troops with brain injuries did get my package of hats in time, so WOOT! She collected 50 hats which are on their way to Walter Reed this week.

I also got some email from a neo-natal nurse, who is a friend of a friend. She told me that hats are great, but they also need other things, and gave me a list. It’s surprisingly exciting to think about knitting booties. *g* I have a to-do list a mile long but I really just want to sit next to an open window and knit or read today, and maybe watch the McTwittersons drive the starlings crazy.

Finally, an idea!

I’ve been fretting and fretting over what to do about the changes I’ve been wanting to make around here. The place badly needs painting and in fact Glinda said yesterday “White walls getting on your nerves, huh?” which is about as true as it gets. I’ve rearranged the living room and the bedroom and dragged the office rug into the former space because really, who needs a rug in the office when the living room floor is bare? And I’m happy with the new arrangements and don’t have any other rooms I can similarly disturb just now, so it remains for me to start doing some substantial decorating or remodeling.

I’ve been wanting to install crown molding in three of the rooms, but given the money situation I’m not entirely sure I want to do that now. I’m going to have to replace a LOT of windows this year, which is going to eat up a good chunk of money. I do need to paint and because I’m really not up to climbing ladders to get it done, I’ll probably get Charles’ guys to do the big rooms. The sun porch and bath Glinda and I can do. But that still leaves some changes which I’m really determined to make at some point. My kitchen island never suited me, so I’m wanting to get a new… something in its place. It needs to have ample storage either for my baking stuff, or for dishes. I’ll happily store either in it depending on what I get. And since a local antique store owes me money/goods-in-trade, I may just go on over there and see if I can’t find something that suits me.

I have GOT to have a new sink and countertop in the kitchen. That is an absolute. I just don’t know if I can afford to do it right now. I’m going to sand and test stains on the inside of my cabinet doors and that should tell me if I want to change them or not, but I can’t help but think that with new hardware and a new countertop, the cabinets will look wonderful and won’t need any other changes.

The bath is kind of a problem for me. It’s small. Not as small as some I’ve seen, I admit, but it’s smaller than I’m used to which is a bit of an issue since I definitely want to move the cat box in there. I want to put it under the sink, in the cabinet, and cut a hole in the side for Caddy to come and go. There’s ample room in there for him; I don’t anticipate any problems except storage. So now I’m trying to work that out by shifting stuff around and tossing anything I’m not sure I’ll ever need again. The tile in the bath is… well it’s not my taste, it’s badly installed and the grout is coming out on some of it. I’m hoping that if I just regrout it’ll hold, though, since I can’t really replace this stuff any time soon.

I’ve known for a long time that I’m going to paint the vanity and mirror, but one thing which just drove me nuts was the countertop. It’s cultured marble. I loathe cultured marble. So my choices are: 1) Live with it. 2) Replace it or 3) Find some way to make it work.

I’ve spent hours contemplating all three and can tell you that the first is simply not an option. The second didn’t seem like one since I’d have to buy a new bowl as well as a new countertop, but the other day I hit upon the notion of having Charles’ guys cut me a piece of plywood that I could tile myself. That would mean buying a new bowl, of course, and the tile, but the bulk of labor would be mine and that would be a huge saving. It was a good idea, and I liked it, but it did require a certain level of expense, and running around looking for a new sink, and the tile and all the rest.

I had thought about doing a mosaic or a decoupage on top of the marble. This could work, particularly if I used silicon-based adhesive for the mosaic. I’d have to coat everything with polyurethane once it was finished but that’s not a huge issue. Except, I wasn’t wholly sold on the idea since I couldn’t really tile or decoupage the basin. Now it wouldn’t be so bad having just the basin in the cultured marble but there was something about the look of it I didn’t like and until last night I didn’t realize what it was. Then I saw something which not only made me realize what the problem was but how to fix it.

I was leafing through some books on mosaic work, and came across a group of button mosaics, and it hit me that my issues with the tile-and-cultured-marble look was that I was dealing with very different materials. Cultured marble is essentially plastic. You can tart it up with a fancy name and fancy additives but in the end, it’s pretty much plastic. I didn’t really want to mix glass or ceramic tile with plastic; I just didn’t see that it would look right. But a button mosaic would let me do a piece which would be its own thing, which would work in terms of materials, in terms of the over-all look of the piece, and which would be completely waterproof and really quite cute. It would have humor as well as a practical value.

So I came back to the computer and went on eBay, and I found a seller who had plastic button lots for so little money I nearly wept with gratitude. I bought something like 10 lots in the colors I want to use for about $20, and if that proves not to be enough I know I can always get more. I think I’ll have enough to do a button back-splash and some ornamentation around the mirror. And the buttons are just wonderful. Good color, good shapes, and some are even themed! I’ll adhere them to the marble with E6000 and I should get a look which is exactly what I’m wanting.

See, I have this theory that if a bath can’t be sumptuous it should be whimsical. And my bathroom will never be the former, not at 6×8. So whimsy is the order of the day, and buttons are the answer. Now I can’t wait to get my package and start laying out the patterns.