Thursday, June 25, 2015

Let me 'splain... no... let me sum up...

We have been busy folk, the gal and I, here in the Post-it Note cottage;  Spring held all sorts of adventure and travel and mess.

Summer promises more of the same... except much MUCH hotter.

It's entirely too much, really, to cover in one post, so I have decided, after months (and ahem... months) of deliberation and then impressive amounts of inaction, to split the posts into parts.

And so I give you... Summing up... Part 1:

The one in which I demolish the cottage kitchen or... When LIFE imitates ART

Once upon a time, before the Miss and I moved into the little Post-it Note Cottage, the kitchen looked like (brace yourselves)...




It was in a very sad state really, but on the UP side...  ripe for renovation!
I bought a fridge and moved my favorite center island in, but other than that,  PREEETTTTY much left it as is while we lived in it.  (Before any MAJOR changes, I like to see how I use the space... plus and also... the ol' piggy bank needed fattening after the purchase of the cottage.) 

SO we lived... and saved.

Then, as so often happens 'round these here parts, life imitated art.  In the late fall of 2014 I began work on a mystery/romance by Melinda Leigh called Hour of Need.

The heroine of the story renovates her old farmhouse... literally and figuratively as well.

The narration was progressing along just fine really until that fateful voice break where I ripped down the cornice thingy above the sink...

I just took a pry bar and hammer and tore that thing right out.

Then, because I was on a roll, and because if Ellie Ross (our gal extraordinaire from Hour of Need) can do it... so can I, gosh darn it all...  I turned off the main breaker in the house, removed the old lighting and installed two vintage industrial lights I found at a salvage store and the larger, center island fixture I found online and had shipped speedy-fast-like to the cottage door.

Before I knew it, voice breaks became very, very busy... and also EXTREMELY dirty.  Tiny slate tiles replaced the old linoleum backsplash and because the cabinets, while old, were custom made and in good condition, I sanded the varnish (and years of GROSS) from the top cabinets...

and went hunting the paint recommended by the folks over at YOUNG HOUSE LOVE (I seriously want to live with them) but was, instead, guided toward a cabinet paint by Muralo in TIMID WHITE (how FABULOUS is that NAME for a white that is almost but not QUITE white... a slightly blushing softer white... in addition to living with the folks over at YOUNG HOUSE LOVE, I want to name paints when I grow up).

After purchasing bare wood cabinets found at a going out of business sale in town, I found sorta' matching trim to nail to the sanded old lower cabinets and then one snow day, I enlisted the weather-stranded Miss and we painted those lower cabinets BRIARWOOD... a lovely sagey-grey color.

(We didn't actually reattach the cabinet doors right away because in my excitement, I failed to note that my particular type of cabinet back needed special hinges... so for Christmas dinner, I just sort of... shoved them onto the base... causing several to clatter, embarrassingly to the floor in the middle of the festivities... sigh.)

I know... for some of you, the weird trim and the top cabinets in one color and the bottoms in another is entirely too much AHHHHH! but for ME, I wanted very much to make sure that my kitchen redo looked as if it had always been... rather than newly renovated... so the mismatchiness of the cabinets was just fine by me.

We enlisted some manly help (thank you manly PAUL...) to build the "butcher block" countertops (and in fairness, to cut the mitered edges of the trim and hang the cabinets too)... the counters are not, by the by, butcher block... do you know how EXPENSIVE ACTUAL butcher block is for the LOVE of the CHINESE YEN?!?!  THESE counters are made from clearance unfinished hardwood flooring that is glued and nailed to the old counters, cut out around the old cast iron sink, trimmed with hardwood planking and finished with FAMOWOOD GLAZE COAT.

For Christmas, we were given a gift card and used it to contribute to the purchase of our new gas range... HOOHOOTY!

I really completely and totally LUSTED after and desperately wanted a soapstone countertop for above the washer and dryer... (it has to be said that I was terribly UN fond of the washer and dryer in the kitchen UNTIL I realized the absolute practicality and convenience of having them there... now I'm willing to sacrifice VISION for EASE)... anyway... moving on... )

Soapstone, even a DIY slab is UBER pricey, and so, when, while googling "favorite movie kitchens", I learned that the "soapstone" counters in the movie "Something's Gotta Give" were really chalk PAINTED furniture grade PLYWOOD finished with wax!  OH MY GOSH... I just did THAT...

The Miss and I popped some hardware on the cabinets (my favorite is the FORK drawer pull on the silverware drawer) and VOILA... Zee NEW KITCHEN!  It isn't perfect... but then... neither are we... ;)

NOW... if only I could get that SILLY AMARYLLIS to BLOOM, darn it... BLOOM!


A little BEFORE and AFTER action...





The audiobook was released in the beginning of December and I didn't finish all the everythings in MY kitchen until March or so... but there it is... How Melinda Leigh inspired me to renovate my kitchen.

Next up... Summing Up Part DEUX... or the one where I kidnap the Miss and DRAG her to California.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guess What?

Piece of news the first:  Several weeks ago I asked for assistance in deciding how to transform an old bride's maid gown into APAC worthy duds and offered a handmade reward for said advice...  Nancy Wolfson will be receiving a handmade something for her suggestion to split the gown, Angelina style, as is evidenced in the above picture... 

Piece of news the second:  I have been the busiest of busy things, recording 5 books during the month of June, June was audiobook month, and yesterday was the very last day of celebration, the entire month having flown by as I talked to myself within the little padded room. I will have to think of some way to make up for having missed the whole darn month!

    Piece of news the third (and most important-ist of newses):   
HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins has been released!!!  

You can hear a sample here and also on Audible by searching HEX HALL!

I am positively SILLY with excitement!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Magic... or the one where we make a silk purse from a sow's ear.


BIG news!!!  MASSIVE NEWS!!!

(today is also National Donut Day, but we are NOT going to be talking about how our gal Stink and I celebrated...
Okay... we had a donut... okay... fine... we had two... each... FINE.)

Right about now, I would just bet my smarty-pants phone that you are wondering what all of this has to do with you.

WELLLLLLLL.... just let me tell you, my friends...

Throughout the month of June, I will be recording the
New York Times Bestselling YA series...

by Rachel Hawkins

and YOU will have the inside scoop on ALL the HOCUS POCUS!

Videos, sneaky peeks, contests and giveaways!

I KNOW!  I told YOU!  


Monday, March 05, 2012

Staying Fit

Recently, on an online message board for Voiceover folk, a post appeared that asked "How do you stay fit?"

I thought about it for sometime - days even.

If that same question had been asked this time last year I would have reported, with nary a bat of the eye, "running and yoga... alternating".

But somewhere... sometime... between thence and whence, I went from just "running" to "running FROM".

(Those of you familiar with my thoughts on running... i.e. "you don't need to get there FAST... just get there" might guess... and rightly... that gradually, all those things I was running FROM caught up to me and I got lost in a whole PACK of them... a running, sweaty, panting pack of stuff I just wanted to get AWAY FROM!)


I stopped.

Not entirely... but mostly.

But this post on that Voiceover message board, coupled with a talk I sat in on way back during Faffcon 3, a Un-Convention for us speaky people,  had me thinking.  Thinking DIFFERENTLY.

What if "fit" didn't just mean combatting the sedentary hours spent talking to myself in the padded room and the orange sherbet with dark chocolate chips that I scarfed last night?

What if "fit" meant getting up in the morning with the dawn... excited to begin another day... CARPE DIEM and all that?

What if "running FROM" moved not just into "running" but actually "running TOWARD"...

And so this morning I set out on what was, just months ago, a regular three mile run...

It was cold-cold and my breath made foggy shapes in front of me but I was EMBRACING the DAY...  thinking differently, gosh darn it all, I was running TOWARD...

As a runner, I am the predictable sort... I have routes... mapped and charted distances that I run day in and day out.

But today, when I reached where I would normally turn RIGHT to run UP a ridiculously, horrendously long hill, I decided instead to turn LEFT... run DOWN hill, and perhaps see new things... DIFFERENT THINGS!

"Hooray!"  I thought, "I am OUT OF THE BOX!  I am thinking DIFFERENTLY!  I am RUNNING TOWARD!" and headed off on a new path... down a new road... had you been there, you might have noted a little bit of a spring in my stride even.

I was feeling QUITE the thing, actually, until this appeared...

"I am local." I reasoned... and kept moving... I ran for nearly 1/2 mile and around several bends until the road stopped.  Where once there had clearly been a bridge there was nothing... air...  no way across.

Dead End.

I stood there for a bit... waiting.  (Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what I was waiting for... for the sky to open up and shine, as if upon the GRAIL, on a way across... over... through?  I don't know... I just stood there.)

But in the end I turned around and headed back and across on the route I normally run.

The jaunty spring was gone... my doughnuts were frosted, quite frankly... I'd run nearly a MILE out of my way and STILL had to run up that HILL and now a din of high pitched voices were gabbling about in my head...  going on about failure and stupid and QUITTING.

Half way up the hill,  panting and spewing angry words, I began to walk... and then I stopped altogether and stood in the middle of the road... my chest heaving... my hands on my hips and I contemplated just giving up and turning around.

But something in my gut... a deeper voice from the basement of ME cut through the cackle in my head and urged me on... FORWARD to the purple mailbox near the top of the hill.

"Just make it to that mailbox"... it urged.

"Now... run."  basement voice said again... louder but still calm... so as to be heard over the din of trash-talkers chatting it up in my noggin.

And so I did.

I ran all the way home.

As I showered I considered the morning's feat... and the definition of "fit"...

Perhaps "fit" has less to do with dawns and CARPE DIEM and more to do with enjoying the new roads... even if they lead to dead ends... knowing how to find your way back... and listening to that guy in the basement... the one who calmly urges you forward... TOWARD... UP the hill... even if you have to walk until the going gets easier...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Talkin' Dirty

Find me talkin' a wee bit dirty on Romance University's guest professor blog...

Thanks to Kelsey and the rest of the gang at RU and to all of the fabulous folk who stopped in for a little chat-a-chat!

WHEEEEEEE! How FUN was that?!?