i’ve been making lots of miniature objects & silhouettes in preparation for some dioramas (coming soon)!

i really like the fit and color of this shirt, but too often i passed it up because it was totally plain.  so i added some stars to it!

i’m working on this sweater for my wife, amy (progress of my sweater, top), based on the sweater hugo cabret wears in the movie ‘hugo’ (bottom).  i’ve finished the front and back of the body and am just beginning on the sleeves.

i’ll post a new post (and delete this one) when i’ve finished the whole sweater.  i’ve been working on it for about 2 hrs a week since december.  so if i keep it up, it should be done just in time for … summer.  :P

so i’ve finished removing everything from the door opening except for the single stud that cuts midway through the opening of the door.  i’m not going to cut it until i run to the hardware store and get the pieces for my header.  the header, in case you’re curious, will abut against the bottom edge of the middle stud (which will be cut to create an unobstructed door opening).  since i’m only removing one stud, it’ll be a pretty small header.  in bigger projects, you’d use two 2”x12” boards.  in my case, i’m going to use 2”x8” boards.  you cut a piece of plywood the same size as the boards, and sandwich it between the 2”x8” to give you proper thickness, then it spans the distance between the two studs that will now frame the door.

it won’t just be floating there, though; directly alongside the outer studs, there will be an additional stud, each of appropriate height to hold the header up so it pushes up on the portion of the stud i cut off for the doorway—so the ceiling will be supported a similar distribution to the original structure (especially important so we don’t get new unintended cracks in the plaster nearby).  in larger projects, it is best to add a few more small stud pieces above the header (this is called a “cripple wall”) and i actually might do that since cutting the studs that will hold up the header will give me pieces that i will otherwise have no use for.  it’ll be the teensiest cripple wall over the teensiest doorway.

oh yeah, that’s the other thing.  in order not to take away valuable interior wall real estate in the closet and also to avoid chopping into two studs, the opening (due to a built-in in the hallway which bisects the right-hand side of the middle stud) will be a mere 20” wide, and that’s the widest it can be.  this relies on me using really nice 2”x6”s as my header support studs, and sanding the heck out of them until the surface has a finished quality to it, so i can attach my face trim right onto that.

yeah, it looks like i’ve gotten a lot done, and i have, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.  the most precarious step is the one i do next: adding the header support studs and the header itself!

here’s the basic anatomy of the doorway when i’m done:

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i’m an overzealous bottle collector.  when i took this, the house was being painted, so there was a thinnish, slightly waxed kraft paper over all the windows, which made for eerie, interesting lighting indoors for a week or two.  2010.

lots of noms this week!  okay, attempting to do this from top left, clockwise:

  • 1 lb shrimp in a from-scratch marinade
  • 3 large filets of some sorta white fish in same marinade
  • (in the smaller jar) cooked down tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, and onion, for the homemade guacamole i’m making later
  • (in the larger jar) homemade marinade with lime, lemon, 3 types of dried chiles freshly ground, onion, garlic, cumin, tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapeños, and TONS of fresh cilantro
  • 3 tomatillos in 3 different greens
  • 3 key limes with a big lime on top
  • 5 avocados
  • super spicy dip for chips & tostones, 1 part crema to 2 parts salsa (made fresh daily at my local market, from scratch, and SO good)
  • 5 plantains which will soon become tostones
  • seasoned rice, enough for both of us to eat with two meals, or maybe 3 depending on what else we’re eating with it

now don’t tell me you don’t wish you were coming over to my house for food this week, because you know you’re wrong.  and also i spent ALL DAY making what i’ve made so far.  why no jar lids?  because i’ve lost them, sadly.  but saran wrap + rubberbands does the trick, even if it’s not as earth-friendly as using lids.  i need to buy more stuff that comes in jars and replace these ones, though, because two of them have chipped rims.

these two shots are of the front yard.  we’ve had these bricks for almost 3 years now, and i only today finally put a path full across the yard.  previously it was halfway done, and the part that was done (also about 3 yrs ago) was completely overgrown with grass and clover ad really tough roots.  so i spent ~2/3 of the time on this project just weeding.  then the rest of the time was spent washing the abundance of spiders off and out from between the stacks and stacks of bricks, then laying them down until i’d covered the second half of the yard.  eventually we’ll put steps down the center of the porch, so we consider this brick pathway a permanent idea, with a temporary implementation.  the porch steps may require the bricks to move away from the porch a bit.  still, a very satisfying day’s work!

the arbor over our main entryway burst into bloom a couple of days ago with tons of lovely bunches of white japanese wisteria.  you can see, though, that there are far more just waiting to bloom.  this is a *really* prolific and dense bloomer.  we’ve got a blue japanese wisteria that is just a teensy thing so far, and we’ll be lucky if it blooms this year.  but next year, i’m going to be in wisteria heaven!

at amy’s work (dimg/disney internet media group) they gave us (mickey) vinylmations to paint and then return for display in a glass case on her floor.  probably about 40 people participated.  we kept it simple and paid homage to miyazaki by making ours a totoro.  we were really happy with it when it was done.  we just wish we’d had more time, and then we might’ve added the leaf (sculpey or some-such) on his head like the scene at the bus stop before satsuki hands totoro the umbrella.  ^__^

here’s a long view of the hallway.  on the near left is the mini music center where hangs the electric guitar, above which is situated a suitcase we keep guitar tabs & music books in, as well as a tin box with all the pedals, capo, slide, picks, whatnot.  at far left (barely visible at this angle, is the hallway shelf-cubbies-hooks thingy where knick-knacks sit up top (such as the terrarium with the bird nest inside it), plush hats are in the cubbies, and several stiffer hats like fedoras hang from the lower hooks.  on the ceiling is an explosion of chinese lanterns.  the round yellow ones light up w/ battery-operated lights built into them.  the green glowing light on the right hand side is one of my earliest vintage finds.  i rescued it from a burned-down house when i was a teenager, rewired it, and have always used a green bulb in it.  i love it, even if it is colonial revival and nothing else in our house is.  at the end of the hall, you see the fridge, with blue duct tape arrows which point into the kitchen.  where i’m standing to take this photo is with my back to a hallway built-in linen cabinet & drawers, office door immediately on my left, and bedroom door to my right.  our house is sufficiently small that i can vacuum the whole house with the vacuum plugged into just one outlet right in the middle of the hallway.

here’s a long view of the hallway.  on the near left is the mini music center where hangs the electric guitar, above which is situated a suitcase we keep guitar tabs & music books in, as well as a tin box with all the pedals, capo, slide, picks, whatnot.  at far left (barely visible at this angle, is the hallway shelf-cubbies-hooks thingy where knick-knacks sit up top (such as the terrarium with the bird nest inside it), plush hats are in the cubbies, and several stiffer hats like fedoras hang from the lower hooks.  on the ceiling is an explosion of chinese lanterns.  the round yellow ones light up w/ battery-operated lights built into them.  the green glowing light on the right hand side is one of my earliest vintage finds.  i rescued it from a burned-down house when i was a teenager, rewired it, and have always used a green bulb in it.  i love it, even if it is colonial revival and nothing else in our house is.  at the end of the hall, you see the fridge, with blue duct tape arrows which point into the kitchen.  where i’m standing to take this photo is with my back to a hallway built-in linen cabinet & drawers, office door immediately on my left, and bedroom door to my right.  our house is sufficiently small that i can vacuum the whole house with the vacuum plugged into just one outlet right in the middle of the hallway.

a batch of photos taken with my phone of some of the results of the house-wide re-bottling and labeling project as seen from the bathroom.

(a few more that wouldn’t fit on this page: ammonia bottletokens tin, army-men scissors holder)

this, if you can’t tell, is the lid of the toilet tank.  the red stuff is duct tape.  the ashtray is just filled with salt to stand up your incense matches in while they smolder away.  i don’t know why, but i just love the red stripes on the tank lid, and it doesn’t even matter that they don’t match anything else in the bathroom!  ^__^

this is actually a couple years old, but i know one day the very cheap paper upon which this oddly adorable kittens-in-hats-design is printed will crumple, rip, fall apart, whatnot; so when i came across it, i figured phone-cam quality documentation is worth doing b/c i may never get around to documenting all kinds of tidbits i’ve got mentally queued to keep record of.

these pictures show part of the reorganization efforts i’ve been working on around the house (all taken with the camera on my phone).  click thumbnails for higher res w/ caption.

containers & shelving are super necessary in our tiny house (850 sq. ft) with almost no closet space.  (all pictures taken with the camera on my phone)

click thumbnails for higher res w/ caption.