Monday, February 29, 2016

Star Flower

It's the last day of Thingadailies! (And yes, I fully expect everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.)

I got home from work today and I haven't found anything broken yet. I was a little surprised that the new cat room now had a smoke detector installed in the ceiling. That means that someone was brave enough to go in there with the four cats and also dexterous enough to get in and out without Guido escaping. I'm impressed.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Test Mosaic

I finally spent some time doing the test mosaic, and I'll just start off by saying I'm glad I did a test like this first because I learned some things.

First off, I finally found my safety goggles (to be used when cutting glass tiles that fly apart at great velocity) in the very back of the junk drawer. Who knew that the most useful item I'd retain from all of my college years would be the five dollar chemistry safety goggles? Anyhow, they held back my hair really well until I was about halfway through cutting tiles and remembered that they were supposed to be protecting my eyes and not shoved back on my head.

The biggest lesson I learned is that my intended foreground and background colors don't contrast enough with each other. I think I might have been able to pull if off it I'd only used one shade of purple and one color in the background, but as it is it just all blends together.

I'm going to cheat and show you the picture I started with:

So having that in your mind, you might be able to see the cat in the picture below. The white stuff on the wood is glue. I suspect I was using too much but the nozzle made it hard to just have little amounts come out.
 Back when I was ordering supplies I'd decided to make the grout black. I got a little worried when I applied it and achieved this:
 But after I wiped away the excess after it had dried a bit, I ended up with this:
It's not exactly what I was aiming for, but I learned a bunch and I think I can do a better job next time. It didn't take as long as I thought it might. I still might sign up for the mosaic class that's being offered down the street, though. It could only make things better...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Another Garden Thing

I decided to spruce up the garden a bit more. Going from this:

... to this:

After I spent a bunch of time weeding and planting I finished up by watering everything only to find out that I don't have water in the backyard anymore. I assume this is related to the new pipes, but still. Maybe I should have just let Brandon fix the dishwasher the other day...

Friday, February 26, 2016

Starry Star

I've run out of designs in the book, so this time I went to my trusty friend Dr. Google and found this one. It needs a brighter light behind it to really show it off. I'll try again tomorrow.

In remodeling news, my general contractor Brandon replaced the tape holding down the corners of the cardboard protecting the floor today. Fifteen minutes after I let the cats out of the room this is what it looked like:
Ripley is contemplating his sins...

Funny story of the day: There's been a series of little things that have been disabled during the remodel like the internet and phone one day, the drier another day, and the washing machine on a different day, so when Brandon came in the house yesterday morning he laughed and asked me if everything was working that morning. So I pointed out that the dishwasher didn't work. He sighed and headed toward the kitchen.

I kept a straight face for almost two seconds before I broke down and admitted that the dishwasher hadn't worked since before I bought the house. The two guys with him were still laughing a few minutes later.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Shiny Star

When I moved back into my room from the spare room I got smart and cut the rest of the stupid fabric from the bottom of the box springs. That took Scooter's favorite hiding place away. Now he has to resort to things like this when he's hiding from me in the morning. It's a little sad...

Meanwhile, the bathroom remodel is chugging along, as you can see below. Today I learned that because they're replacing the old electrical panel (which is poised to burn down the house if I touch any of the sockets), the smoke detectors (or "smokies" as the professionals call them) have to be replaced with ones that are hardwired and all go off together. Since there needs to be one in each bedroom and one in the hall that will lead to four alarms going off within a radius of ten feet. Somehow I think that code was written for a slightly bigger house than mine. I'm just glad they don't need to install sprinklers.

Anyhow, I didn't get to the mosaic today, so I made another star. It has nothing going for it other than being made from different paper. It's very shiny.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Kirigami Star

Well, I actually did start on the mosaic today, by which I mean I opened the box and drew the design on the wood. I'm going to have to dig out my safety goggles first, though, before I start cutting the glass.

In the meantime, here is a kirigami star that showcases my inability to cut paper with scissors.

In remodeling news, I no longer have a old tub in the grass next to my front door. My internet and phone are working, and my washer is hooked up to the drain again. I'm not sure how life could get any better!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Rainbow Star In A Dichromatic World

My internet and telephone woes were solved this morning (30 minutes before the AT&T technician was scheduled to arrive) when Brandon suggested that maybe they had switched the connections inside the house. I stupidly didn't even think about the fact that they would have needed to get into the water heater closet as part of the pipe replacement. (And everything needs to be unplugged in order to open the door to the closet.) Oh well. I switched the connections and lo and behold the internet was again at my disposal.

Anyhow, I still haven't done my test mosaic. (My excuse this evening, if you want to know, was dog agility.) So I decided to make the rainbow star:

I realize that this doesn't have the traditional colors of the rainbow. This time it wasn't actually my fault. The kit only came with seven colors and I needed eight. I improvised.

Wednesday seems like a fine day to make a test mosaic...

Monday, February 22, 2016

Crimson Star and Crispy Wires

So I came home from work today and I had all new copper pipes (replacing the crumbling galvanized pipes) (woohoo!) and... no phone or internet. Mind you, this is the third time in three years the U-verse has gone out -- once was due to Scooter, once due to The Only Squirrel In Woodland chewing through the wires, and this time... I'm guessing it might have something to do with the pipe replacement. (We won't talk about how I'm connected to the internet to post this other than to say that they never told me I couldn't...)

Some of the insulation looks a bit crispy...

Anyhow, I didn't get to the mosaic again today. I think that's the real theme of the month. In its place I give you: the crimson star. Yet another sixteen point star. And again it has sixteen points!

Tomorrow I shall find a whole new way to avoid starting the mosaic. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Well, I didn't progress very far with the mosaic...

...which is to say all I did was pick out a piece of wood for the practice piece.

So in the meantime, here's a random assortment of points put together. Not exactly a polished piece...

Perhaps tomorrow will be the day I unbox the mosaic pieces.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mixing It Up

It's half a curvy star and half an open star and just a bit of a mess in general.

Tomorrow I'm going to make an attempt at a mosaic. I fully expect that to be a complete disaster.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Is That The Sound of Trumpets?

I finally broke down and made the dreaded sixteen point star.

And look, it actually has sixteen points.

There's nothing more to say. Clearly I've mastered the thing now.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


We'll just call this one "The Propeller".

On the remodel front, my new tub is in the spare bedroom, and the rose color on the walls is going to look awesome after I find the right decorations.

And on a completely unrelated note, if you watch a few episodes of Foyle's War and then walk around the neighborhood and see weird blow-up Easter bunny decorations in the trees, you might think the city is under attack by horrifying creatures parachuting down to the ground. Just for a moment of course. Just for a moment.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Clashing Star

Once again I decided to do my own thing. I think yesterday's was a bit better, but this one was still interesting.

I'm hoping for indoor plumbing soon...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Chaos Star

The second bathroom remodel started today, so Ginger spent the day in jail. She didn't seem to mind too much, at least while I was home.
For today's star I decided to skip the book and make my own. It's a little different.
I kind of like it.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Garden Thing

Today's project can either be seen as an attempt to do something useful, or as yet another way to avoid the sixteen point star. Either way, I spent some time outside during daylight for the first time in... a while.

My helper today:
I'd like to point out that this is the only one of about ten photos where she doesn't look like either a) I'm about to hit her, or b) she's having a seizure. People who take photos of animals recommend getting down on their level, but every time I did that she ran over to me and licked the iPod. And if I stood up and loomed over her, she flipped on her back. I even tried waiting until she was doing something else and taking stealth photos, but she didn't fall for that either. Oh well. Maybe I'll get someone to film one of our agility practices.

Anyhow here is the "pre-" photo of today's project:

 The garden has been a bit neglected over the past year. This particular bed is the one closest to the fence, so it's the first one people see as they walk down the alley. It's also the one that had everything I planted die over the last year. So I spruced it up a bit. Everything I planted is supposed to be drought tolerant and able to handle full sun (which this bed gets during summer).

 I probably should have bought the plants at the hardware store instead of the local nursery. They were really root-bound and come from the same grower that the hardware store uses anyhow.

I also extended the brick path to the garden fence, but that's not that exciting to look at. There's still a bit of weeding to do, but I'm sure that can wait...

Friday, February 12, 2016


After yesterday's huge success with the ten point star, I didn't have the heart to try the next one in the series, the sixteen point star. So I skipped ahead to the... tulip.

It's bit of a letdown after the increasing complexity of the stars, but there you have it. I do have tulips coming up in the garden, though, so at least it's topical.
 Ripley thought it was worth a sniff.
Of course, that might have been the glue...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Ten...Uh, Make That Nine Point Star

On a scale of one to ten, how funny is it that the star that actually names the number of points it is supposed to have is the first one I screw up on assembly and end up with an extra piece? (The answer is either nine or ten depending on how your mind works.)

Whatever. It looks fine. It just happens to be a "Ten Point Star" with nine points. I'm calling it artistic license.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


So Ginger and I came back from our evening walk, and here is chair number one:

And chair number two:

I had to go sit elsewhere. Today I made the pinwheel star:

I think this one looks the best both normally and especially when backlit:

As a side note, apparently the paste used in glue sticks is as palatable to cats as the paste used in kindergarten is to small children. I've caught two different cats chewing and licking the stars. This art is ephemeral.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Two-Layer Star

A seven layer dip sounds like a better idea, but that's just because I haven't been to the grocery store in two weeks and I have no food in the house and the Thai restaurant was closed today. Anyhow, here we have the two-layer star:

Even Guido thought it looked kind of interesting.