Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary - 5 years!

Our happy day - September 18, 2005
Five very happy and eventful years... 6 weeks after we were married, there was a big fire next to our house which changed our lives, helped us divest ourselves of a lot of "stuff," and understand what was really important in our lives - to be safe, and to have each other - and the cat, of course!

We moved into a tiny studio - the "teacup" - and learned to live small and snug with a tabletop oven and a hot plate. We had a disturbing absentee landlady and noisy neighbors,  and ended up breaking our lease and moving out 2 months early.

Our next home was Cloud Rest, a sweet and funky 400 square foot cottage in Moloaa, one large room with a hip wall on one side. We lived there for 3-1/2 happy years, next door to our good friends. It was a sweet property, many fruit trees, and really good energy on the land.

Our current home is small, but has many neat features: storage, closets, a full bathroom, a full kitchen with a stove and full-sized refrigerator, a bedroom with walls and a door that closes. The back door does not enter into the bathroom... Plus room for Matt's woodbench - and now the beadio, too.

Tablecloth spread out on king-sized bed and doubled back
We had a lovely morning, celebrating with breakfast at Ono Family Restaurant, scene of our very first date. Then on to Home Depot for potting soil and lacquer. When we came out of the store, we were addressed by a young man who offered to fix our trailing front bumper and buff out one of the most ragged spots and primer it. He had everything he needed to do the job, and did it well. We thought we'd been blessed by a car angel. When I got home and told Abbie and Jack, the roofer, about it, Jack said that there are a couple guys on island who do that, some of them not so honest or good. This one was good and he did a good job on something we hadn't gotten around to fixing for almost 2 years.

I did some potting in the flowerboxes over at school and then came home to play in my beadio. I got the curtains entirely done! It was sweet sewing in the beadio for the first time - making curtains out of a tablecloth we used for our wedding, on our anniversary.

Matt reflects as Peggy sews
Making curtains
It took most of the afternoon, but they were done and hung right after dinner. I'm not sure what the round light spots are - orbs? Or spots on the lens? Not in any other photos. Will have to examine the curtains themselves in the morning to see if there are actually round spots on them.

They make the window a lot softer

It felt very snug, private and peaceful in there with the curtain closed. And then we went down to town and got cake and ice ceam and sweet rolls for breakfast tomorrow morning. What a great day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beadio Before and After - It's All Progress

At the beginning - light stacked against the dark wall
People always say, "It's all a process." As if that makes it easier to make all the steps! Sometimes it's comforting when that process is taking longer than you'd like it to, but I think I'd rather say, "It's all progress."

It's hard to remember how dark it was in there before the pine went up. At Christmas, it had just been sanded, and the old shelf unit sanded down to bare wood. You can see how beat up the white wall was.

The "winter" scene with a foil lake and train on a siding
We set up a table in the middle of the room and 6 of us celebrated the sacrament of sharing Christmas dinner together. Definitely a cozy meal! I had so much fun looking at the Christmas photos that I just can't resist including these 2, too.

Elf available - will work for cookies and milk
Elf available - will work for chocolate
It's Christmas all year 'round for some of us! It was Christmas again yesterday (and maybe my birthday, too!) when I went to get the final pieces to complete the beadio. A fan is essential, it's so hot in there in the afternoon, and AC is just a fleeting dream. A power strip, for plugging in the sewing machine and the glue guns. A floor lamp, to complement the small bench lamp. They are both "daylight" fixtures and produce a very bright, white light that is perfect for beading.  Between the 2 of them, I will have good light and will postpone putting in fluorescent fixtures over the workbench area. And finally, 2 spring-loaded curtain rods for the window.

Whew! That was a lot in one day, even though I had set specific money aside for it, money I earned doing an extra computer job that involved a lot more development time than paid time. I learned a lot, anyway! And I could see that lamp and fan and curtain rods hanging out there like a ripe, juicy carrot on a stick.

I am actively trying to be frugal, although it seems to go against my core nature. When Matt says I was a princess in another life, I think he may just be right! Maybe part of noblesse oblige is not squandering what you have on frivolities, but I doubt it. A princess is obliged to live as well as she can, for the sake of others who can't. My "very well indeed" is pretty humble compared to some of the studios I've seen in magazines, but I know the SECRET OF LIFE.

It may be simple and pieced together (like this photo), but it's a palace to me
It's not the size of the room, it's the aloha there. And 6 coats of fresh paint!

I haven't had to buy a container yet! I am using what I have, which is many, of course. When we moved from Cloud Rest I went out and bought a lot of coordinating plastic tubs, because I wanted some long-term storage. Paper boxes don't work in the tropics. They mold, can't be cleaned, and insects love to eat them. Yum, the glue is particularly tasty. The rectangular tubs on the top shelf are actually the drawers from a flimsy 3-drawer rolling unit that collapsed under the strain of a sewing machine and other things stacked on it for too long. The stucture had no integrity anymore, but the drawers are just fine, and serve to corral my ribbons, and small blue tubs of doll parts and other interesting bits.

I dream about getting 2 rolling tabletop island units with shelves and drawers underneath. They could roll right under the shelf unit, pull out to be used as tables when needed, and store everything I currently have in tubs and cheap plastic drawer units. It's good to dream! In the meantime, I will continue to use what I have.

Fabric sorted and stored in a dark corner
I've had these tall narrow containers with blue lids for years. If I had 8 of them, they would stack up to the beginning of the peg board, and lie fairly flat against the wall in a rainbow of colors. Another simple dream. I sorted all my fabric by color, and this amount doesn't seem unreasonable for 35 years of collecting. I have purged it many times, especially after the fire next door in Wailua. I like having fewer things. I think I still have a lot. It's great to be able to go into a cupboard and find something you stored against a "rainy day," or in my case, a big dinner party.

I love linens, and have kept far more of them than is justified by our lifestyle. Some things are harder to divest than others. French linens call to me and comfort me. I feel happy looking at them, I like to touch them, I like to feel the grandmothers that wove them and embroidered them a century ago.

It makes sense (almost) to have 14 bath towels when we each use a fresh one every day. It doesn't make sense to keep tablecloths that are 10x16 feet, when that is bigger than the largest room in your home, even if they are the most beautiful blue cotton damask ever. We used this particular cloth before the wedding. We set up 2 banquet tables end to end in the garage and covered them with this one humongous table cloth and then laid lace on top of that. It stayed up most of the time and we ate all our meals out there. Only in Hawaii have I ever seen people party in their garages like this.

They will be beautiful blue cotton damask curtains. All those happy memories will radiate into the new space.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blessing the Beadio - 13 months later

After the blessing - before the incense burnt a small spot on the newly painted shelf. The doll represented my ancestors - who were doubtless looking on, scoffing and tutting.

 It's September 1 already. Pre-Christmas panic usually sets in around now - or at least it used to, when I started making things in July, except that I didn't really, and so by September 1 I'd start to feel just a bit worried. Now I don't even pretend to make all my presents, so I don't have to worry. God Bless AMAZON.

(No, they don't pay me to say that. After reading blogs for a couple of hours, I feel like every one has a disclaimer somewhere. And I wish I was one of those artists who are somehow subsidized by craft companies to play with their resin and stuff.)

The shelf wall with the new oven
Matt photographing the beadio and getting himself in the picture
It was really a happy day on Sunday when we blessed the beadio and I began to move my stuff out of the back closet into my own creative space. I got up at 8 and cleaned it thoroughly and then put on a clean dress for the blessing. Our intentions are for creative energy, new ideas, a space to be alone and a space to be together.

The whole room is 64 square feet. Compact. Still, roomy compared to the 15 square feet of cupboard that has been my studio for the last 18 months - along with my lap, of course.

It has great acoustics. The pine paneling creates an air pocket that makes every voice sweeter. Or maybe we're just sweeter when we're in there because it's such a honey of a room. We go all gaga in there because we put a lot of love into making it, not to mention time and money. I know I am going to spend many happy hours in there.
The sofa bed      

Cupboard studio - beads are in bags on cookie sheets and trays
I wanted a sofa bed or something off the floor that my sister or other guests could sleep on. I don't like sleeping on the floor in the tropics, or anywhere else, for that matter. This is a tiny sleeper loveseat, that folds out into a single bed. I will have to take a nap on it before I decide if it's comfy, but we can always put a futon or some feather beds on top of it. It's a comfy loveseat. It has a black plastic "leatherette" - ha - cover, which is washable. It will soon have a quilt over it - I even found one in all my stuff as I was moving it - the perfect thing to make a slipcover out of.

Heresy of heresies, I am thinking of cutting up a quilt I've had for 40 years. Well, parts of it are shredded already. It was my bed quilt for many years and covered other chairs before this sweet little loveseat.

So with the loveseat and the shelf wall, that's about it - the bed folds out to the opposite wall with about 4 inches to spare. I have already started moving stuff in there and there is a lot of it.
So much stuff - what is in all these boxes that I haven't played with in 18 months?!
I unpacked most of the stuff that was in cardboard boxes, because I wanted to get rid of them. They are a prime roach heaven, but there weren't any. They must have all been in the kitchen cupboards. Towards the end, I was just staging boxes on the table, pulled out to the window wall. I still had to get everything else organized, dusted, and back into the "back-of-beyond" closet in the bedroom. I still can't believe we can actually walk back there. Or we could, anyway, before we put Matt's big saw back there!

This weekend we will work on his wood-working space together - it has become the repository for a lot of rubbish and everything I didn't want in the beadio, plus the new lumber for the expanded work bench and wood loft.

I finished up about 9 and was too hyper to relax. At 10:30, I went out for lemon cookies. As soon as I ate them, I was ready to sleep.

This one last picture is probably the best one of the day - one of 2 happy geckoes that live in the room. Matt took this one, and most of the others. When we laid this tile down on the concrete floor, it really became a ROOM.