Friday, May 29, 2009

Drinks Aplenty

Amongst our friends and family, we have the largest house, the coolest dishes, and our pool is the envy of the neighborhood. And to top it off, Quinton is the best cook of anyone we know.
Yes, we are truly blessed. As such, everyone likes being entertained in our home.
Some of our guests even invite themselves over. But they always bring something to the table. Usually food. And drinks. Lots and lots and LOTS of drinks. With all the wine, soda, beer, bottled water, and wine coolers provided, nobody ever goes thirsty here.
And then there's the food: chips, salsa, queso dip, fresh fruits and veggies, hot dogs, buns, and all the necessary fixin's. Between that and all the food we provide, there are always leftovers.
And when the party's over, it all gets left with us. Our pantry contains items that were never even opened. The refrigerator is packed full drinks, watermelon, and other barbecue fare. But all is good. I have a teenager to feed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Samples of my work

Hand-drawn trim mouldings

Travel banner. Marker and pencil

Loft conversion space plan in AutoCAD

Hand drafted floor plan

Hand drafted house elevation

Fireplace elevation, inspired by the fireplace of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Eric Brown House.

Elevation and floor plan with shading and color gradations. Marker and pencil.

Bedroom remodel. Marker and pencil.
Pendant lamp. Quick sketch pencil drawing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daydream #432

Finding a Bertoia Diamond Chair at the Goodwill. Even if it's one of the low priced reproductions, I would find a place for it in the house--a house that has way too much furniture already.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Goodwill Tour

Today was half-price day at all central Arizona Goodwill stores. We hit six stores in north and northeast Phoenix.
Our first stop was the 16th Avenue and Happy Valley store. I visit this store the frequently because it close to home. It also seems to have the best stuff. Most of the Goodwill Fiesta I find comes from there.

And today was no different. I found five mugs--1 each in Juniper, Cobalt, and Plum, 2 Periwinkle, and a Cobalt dinner plate. I didn't want or need them. But like Siamese kittens in a shelter, I couldn't just leave them there. Besides, the mugs were only 35 cents each and the plate was 50 cents.

I also found a Sunset book about patio design (many pics of cool modern architecture here) and a pair of Lucky Brand jeans. Luke netted a heavy duty baseball tee.

Our second stop was 7th Street and Union Hills. Here, I found 2 books on American architecture and residential floorplans.

Lucas encountered this rack full of office phones. We estimate there were close to three dozen of these same phones in all. What's pictured isn't all of them. They were scattered all over the electronics department.

The third store was the 7th Street and Dunlap location. Long time Phoenicians know this place as the old Liquor Barn store. I like this particular store not for the offerings, but because the building is an example of true modern architecture (click on the above photo to view larger). In a city where everything older than ten years old has been torn down and/or given a Mediterranean or Tuscan-style facelift, this place--save for a paint job or two--is mostly original. Definitely a rare sight.

I didn't find anything here. But Q got a supplemental pack of Trivial Pursuit cards for $1.

Stop #4 was Cave Creek and Cactus. The closest thing I saw to Fiesta is this sauce boat and undertray that looks like a bad copy of the original. It wasn't marked or stamped. In fact, the paint job looked like it was done at one of those paint-it-yourself pottery places.
No, I didn't buy the sauce boat...or anything else, for that matter. But Lucas did find an A/V splitter for his old school video game collection. I have no idea what it is, but he was sure excited about it.

Our fifth stop was 19th Avenue and Thunderbird. Again, I didn't buy anything here, but I was regaled by the grab-bag format Goodwill uses to sell items that are too small to be placed loose on the shelves.

I scanned through these bags and found little odds and ends like shoelaces, votive candles, dental floss, hair rollers, shower curtain rings, pacifiers, etc. In fact, this was how my
Fiesta napkin rings were packaged. One of these days, I will find one of these plastic grab-baggies full of Harlequin nut dishes. Oh yes. It will happen.

Lucas referred to this shelf display as Keyboard Heaven. If you didn't already know, this boy loves the electronics department.

By the time we reached 19th Avenue and Bell, we were all running out of gas. Even so, I found another floor plan book (I really love reading those things) and a Star Wars book for Kyle.
Pat (Q's mom, who's visiting from Oregon) found a bunch of stuff too, including clothes, plastic dishes for the grandchildren, table linens, knitting yarn, a utensil organizer, and a hard-sided suitcase.
We arrived home with a very full trunk.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I borrowed this from Craig, who borrowed it from Elaine. And I'm sure one or two people will borrow it from me.

1. What is your salad dressing of choice? Honey Mustard
2. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Cantina Laredo
3. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Chocolate and peanut butter ice cream from Baskin Robbins
4. What are your pizza toppings of choice? Yellow pepper, carmelized onions, mushrooms, and olives
5.What do you like to put on your toast? Butter and cinnamon sugar
6. Any vegetables you don't like? Radicchio
7. Do you eat seafood? Yes

1. How many televisions are in your house? Five, but only four work
2. What color cell phone do you have? Ice blue with a pink cover
3. How long would it take you to look up who invented the Rubber Band? Probably about 10 seconds.
4. Have any idea how may Megahertz your computer has? 1.73 GHz (I just checked because Q told me how.)

1. Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right
2. Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Babies
3. What is the last heavy item you lifted? A very large box of blankets, sheets, and towels that needed to be taken to Goodwill.
4. Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Does general anesthesia count? If so, yes.

1. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? Probably not
2. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? Probably something that is common enough for people to spell correctly on their own.
3. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? That depends. If it's one of those vinegar-based sauces like Tabasco or Mexi-Pep, then the answer is no. If it's a tomato-based sauce like Pico-Pica, then yes.

1. How many pairs of flip flops do you own? I have one pair but I never wear them. I don't like the feeling of that little hard strap thing between my toes.
2. Last time you had a run-in with the cops? Not really a "run-in" but I was pulled over for speeding. He let me go with a warning.
3. Last person you talked to? Either Lucas, Quinton, or Pat
4. Last person you hugged? Lucas

1. Season? Spring
2. Holiday? Probably Christmas
3. Day of the week? Saturday (every other Saturday is half-price day at Goodwill).
4. Month? March (best weather month in Arizona. Plus, it's my birth month!)

1. Missing someone? Yes
2. Mood? Relaxed
3. What are you listening to? My iTunes library in shuffle mode. Current song is "See You When I Git There" by Lou Rawls
4. Watching? Q and Lucas playing catch in the back yard.

1. First place you went this morning? The gym
2. What's the last movie you saw? Star Trek
3. Do you smile often? Sometimes

1. Do you always answer your phone? No
2. It's four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it? Probably the same spammer who's trying to sell me insurance "for $3 per day".
3. If you could change your eye color what would it be? Blue to match the rest of the family.
4. Do you prefer cold or hot? That depends. I like my Pepsi cold and my soup hot.
5. What's your favorite gossip magazine? None
6. Have you ever had a pet fish? Yes...we had a little tank of guppies when I was a child.
7. Shoes you're currently wearing: Brown suede Birkenstocks
8. What's on your wish list for your birthday? Well, since my birthday is almost 10 months away, it's hard to say. But you can never go wrong with Fiestaware or anything pink.
9. Can you do push ups? Maybe one or two.
10. Can you do a chin up? Yes, I can do A chin up.
11. Does the future make you more nervous or excited? Excited
12. Do you have any saved texts? Yes
13. Ever been in a car wreck? Yes
14. Do you have an accent? Nope
15. What is the last song to make you cry? "The Goodbye Girl" by David Gates
16. Plans tonight? Playing the Trivial Pursuit Family Edition game with Q, Luke, Pat, and Kyle if he makes it downstairs.
17. Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom? Yes. Three years ago when I thought I was going to lose my husband.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Nothing yesterday, but today I bought an Under Armour gym top, and a baseball bat for Lucas, and a impulse tin of mints to make the first two items coupon eligible.
19. Have you ever been given roses? Yes. And they were pink!
20. Current worry? The effect that the C in Art History will have on my GPA.
21. Current hate right now? I can't discuss this one without pi$$ing off a few people.
22. Met someone who changed your life? Yes.
23. How will you bring in the New Year? Since it's more than six months out, I can't say for sure. But if history is any indication, we'll probably spend it at a neighborhood block party.
24. What song represents you? "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" by The Alan Parsons Project
25. Name three people who might complete this? Craig already did it. After that, I don't know.
26. Would you go back in time if you were given the chance? Yes, I think that I would.
27. Have you ever dated someone longer than a year? Yes
28. Do you have any tattoos/piercings? Piercings: 1, Tattoos: 0
29. Does anyone love you? Yes
30. Ever had someone sing to you? Yes
31. When did you last cry?? Two days ago
32. Do you wear glasses or contacts? No, but that might be changing soon.
33. Do you like to cuddle? Yes
34. Have you held hands with anyone today? Yes
35. What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school? Disco, Motown, pop, adult contemporary, and 80s new wave.
36. Do you like pulpy orange juice? I don't like any kind of orange juice

Weather Report

It's raining outside. It's been raining all night.

My husband made it happen. He washed the car yesterday afternoon. The rain began about an hour after he finished.

It doesn't rain very often in the Phoenix area. In fact, we almost never see rain in May. This is a stark departure from normal, considering that it was 107 degrees earlier this week. It's now 65 degrees outside.

I am loving this weather. I hope it doesn't let up anytime soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Dishes: Stepping Out on Homer

A few months ago, Q and I were cruising through an antique mall (the same place where I found my blue Fiesta comport) when this gravy boat caught my eye:

It's obviously not Fiesta. It's not even from Homer Laughlin. In fact, it's somewhat of a departure from the solid colored dishes that have taken over parts of the house. But I was fascinated by the cool atomic/tiki vibe. Plus, the shape reminded me of the dishes we used when I was a child. There is a tiny chip on the rim, but at $5, I had to have it.

I brought my gravy boat home and the research began. I knew the maker was Taylor Smith & Taylor (Luke thought this was a law firm). And based on some Internet digging, I was able to narrow the pattern down to either Cathay or Jamaica Bay. I just don't know which. Both use the same decal. I haven't seen an example of this gravy boat on eBay or anywhere on the Internet since.

During the course of my limited research, I discovered other equally cool TST patterns and pieces. This coffee server in the Adagio pattern.

and this relish boat.

I have a feeling this is only the beginning. I'll definitely be looking for more TST at conference.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For The Rest of Us

I got this from my friend, Chantel's Facebook page.

Tired of all of those surveys made up by high school kids? Here's questions for the people who are a little older...(Not sayin' we're OLD or anything!!)

You know what to do. Copy and paste into your own note, then answer the questions. Finally, tag your friends. But only if you want to.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most? Toss up. Either the mortgage payment or electricity bill.

2. Do you miss being a child? No, not really. As an adult I get to choose what color the walls are painted. I hate having that decision made for me. But I like making it for other people.

3. Chore you hate the most? Scrubbing soap scum out of the shower. The toilets are no fun either...especially the one in the boys' bathroom. My kids will NEVER be marksmen.

4. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner? Probably PF Chang's with Q last Wednesday night. Any dinner without the boys in attendance is romantic.

5. If you could go back and change one thing what would it be? I would have bought a house with more architectural character.

6. Name of your first grade teacher? Mrs. Rosenloff at Sunburst Elementary.

7. What do you really want to be doing right now? Walking through an antique mall filled with underpriced Fiesta, modern Bauhaus-era furniture, and mid-century dishes and accessories.

8. What did you want to be when you grew up? An architect.

9. How many colleges did you attend? Two.

10. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now? Because it's pink and matches the pants.

11. What are your thoughts on gas prices? I have gotten WAY too comfortable with under-$2 gas. But just as long as prices stay under $3, I'm good.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning? Since Jango IS the alarm, I figured it's time to get up and feed her.

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night? "My head is killing me"

14. What famous person would you like to have dinner with? Owen Wilson

15. Have you ever crashed your vehicle? Yes.

16. If you didn't have to work, would you volunteer? I already do.

17. Get up early or sleep in? Definitely get up early. Especially in Phoenix in the summer. I like to get as much done as I can before it gets too hot outside.

18. What is your favorite cartoon character? Woodstock

19. Favorite thing to do at night with a guy/girl? Stay up a cheesey to 70s music...other stuff.

20. When did you first start feeling old (but never too old for this $#!@)? Four years ago, I took a sociology class and I was clearly older than ALL the other students AND the teacher.

21. Favorite lunch meat? Londonport roast beef.

22. What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart? Laundry soap, Windex, a toothbrush, and Chapstick.

23. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? No, but I don't think most people don't take it seriously enough.

24. Favorite movie you wouldn't want anyone to find out about? Promise not to laugh? Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas

25. What's your favorite drink? Mango Mantra smoothie from Jamba Juice. But this is quickly being edged out by Oreo milkshakes.

26. Who[m] from high school would you like to run in to? Pretty much anyone.

27. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now? Q drove it last so probably something on the AM dial.

28. Sopranos or Desperate Housewives? contest.

29. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back? Since I can only pick one, I'll make it a blanket statement. Many of the fights Q and I have had that were banal and pointless.

30. Do you like the person that sits directly across from/next to you at work school? It's different people in different classes and the answer is yes to all.

31. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purposes? Nope.

32. Last book you finished reading? The Ranch House by Alan Hess and Noah Sheldon

33. Do you have a teddy bear? I'm married to him.

34. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth? In the car.

35. Do you go to church? No.

36. How old are you? 36

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Great Day!

--Lunch and shopping with Mom and Meredith. We had sushi.

--New, cute summer tops for everyone!

--Mom let me drive her little Pontiac roadster. Nice car and REALLY fun to drive, but visibility is rather limited. You know how when you're moving and you load your back seat down with so many boxes that you can't see out the rear window? Yeah. It's like that. Except in this case, there were neither boxes nor a back seat.

--Q and I went to the D-Backs-Nationals game. Killer seats. Sucks that they lost, but at least we had ice cream.

--Harvey's package of yellows arrived safe and sound in today's mail

--Kyle vaccuumed the edges and corners of the stairs for me.

--Lucas put his clean clothes away without protest.

And it's not even Mother's Day...yet.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Today's Work

My current project is to create a bathroom perspective using Google Sketch-Up. Here's what I came up with:

The photo quality doesn't do this piece justice. I took it with my cell phone. The glass tile surrounding the bathtub is quite a bit brighter.

For the second part of the project, we had to copy our Sketch-Up creation using marker and pencil. Here's what I have so far:

It's nowhere near done. I need to add texture with the colored pencils.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

This Week...

Another week has past. Here are a few of the highlights and the lowlights:

--I registered for the fall semester. I'll be taking classes in kitchen and bath, codes and regulations, and professional practices. I'm also taking a math class in the summer. I should have my associates' degree in December.

Fiesta large comport is coming to live with me. This one is yellow and will look fabulous on my kitchen table. I'm adopting it from Harvey, a good friend from the CMG message board. I also bought his yellow Harlequin individual creamer.

--Q left his cell phone at the gym. The next morning, I went back to look for it. I was shocked to find it still in the cup holder of the leg press machine...right where he'd left it.

--Lucas and I think this swine flu business is being over-hyped.

--I made my flight plans for July's
HLCCA Conference. I'll be flying to Indianapolis, where Craig will pick me up. From there, we'll drive on to Pittsburgh for the conference. I'm really looking forward to this trip since I'll be visiting a part of the country I've never seen before.

--I finished watching my Knots Landing season 2 DVDs. Even though I'd seen it dozens of times before, I had to have the Kleenex box handy when Sid Fairgate drove over that cliff.

--I'm more than a little miffed that Facebook changed its Friends page so users can no longer see their friends' status updates. That was one of the best parts of FB!

--I have NO papers to write for next week. Even though I have a few projects to work on, they're not going to consume the entire weekend as they have in recent months. We are taking the boys to the
Star Trek Experience exhibit at the Science Center today.