Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Is Old

I've been keeping scrapbooks since about 1997, with ideas that I clip from magazines and newspapers.  There are hundreds of pages with images of interior design stuff, as well as clothes and hair and such.  Here's a picture I took of some of the pages:
Scrapbooks are a really good idea, or even just folders of clippings if you are working on some kind of home renovation project.  Even if I really just like a color combination in a photo I'll cut it out.  The books I keep them in are the large blank sketch books with the black pebbly covers, but you can use anything.  These particular ones are pretty heavy now and don't fit upright on most shelves, but they hold the larger images very nicely.  As you can see my aesthetics are all over the place.  Maybe someday I'll put in some photos of my living room or office to give you an idea of what I surround myself with.

The "secret" project I mentioned in this post is done, at least my part of it.  I did a design for a friend's bathroom, which hasn't been renovated yet, but I wanted to use the drawings for my portfolio.  Also, the end design is going to be different.  So, what you are seeing here is my portfolio page layout.  I think I need to look at it tomorrow when I've had some sleep and see what I think.  I deliberately took out the name of the person whose house it's in, but maybe you can guess?!
I will freely admit that my InDesign skills need polishing, and that I realized as I was wrapping up for the evening some things that would improve a few details.  But overall I'm pretty happy with it.  The drawings were done in AutoCAD, a drafting program, then rendered in Photoshop.  A village of software programs made this 11x17 page.

Most of the work I've been doing in my own house has started in my imagination and then led to massive amounts of furniture being moved.  I did a little sketching for the office but I really just visualized things as I went along.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A bear in my basement

I put on my to-do list to put things in my car that I'm selling at my mom's garage sale.  It's not until the weekend but I think I'll just get some things out of my sight for a while and out of my footpath.  I'll get things done ahead of time for once!  Win-win.

Here's an example of something I'll be trying to sell at the sale.  It's a footstool:

Just like a food pyramid, there should be a pyramid of methods of getting rid of things.  At the narrowest part of the pyramid, where the sweets and fats would equate, is the landfill.  At the widest bottom part is giving things to people who will treasure them.  I'm trying to hit somewhere in the middle of the pyramid, with yard sales and giving to nonprofits.

Now that my bedroom and the office have switched places I find myself making wrong turns to go and use the computer, or get something to wear.  It's been over a week now!  I am soooo happy with this change.  I love going in my new room.  It's not completely done but it's very comfortable now.  I even took my (polyfill) comforter to the Belmont Eco Laundry to get it fresh for the new year.

 I'm starting a new volunteer job at the art museum this week, and perhaps I'll have another job interview in the next day or two.  An agency I have worked through in the past is setting it up.  Every week I think my job schedule could change so I have to do as much as I can to complete my goals, to use my free time well.  That's why I got my room painted and arranged in such short order.  I don't recognize rooms in my own home as a result, where I've lived for the last 9 years and more.

I kept thinking about this skit this evening. I guess it belongs here. THANK YOU SATAN!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Moving On Up

I stopped into the new location of Village Merchants, which I first mentioned in this post a while back.  They are my favorite thrift store in town, which I thought might change after they moved, but they are even better now if that can be believed.  They are now on SE Division & 41st, about 7 blocks from their old building, which I heard I going to be torn down to make way for a new building.  Village Merchants is now bigger and better!  I mean, wayyy bigger!  They even have an upstairs!  There's more parking too, not that that was a huge problem before.  Now it'll be easier to lug bags of stuff I want to sell inside though.  Whoooppeee!!

Today was half great and half "Huh?"  I had dim sum with my friend Ann at a great place called Ocean City on SE 82nd.  We both had a feast with hot tea for under $20!!  After I ran a couple errands I took a long nap without meaning to.  When I woke up I thought it was only 6pm but it was 7:30!  I watched Twin Peaks with some friends and came back home.  I hope I get more done tomorrow, when I went to bed last night I couldn't sleep until about 4am so I think I just need a fresh start.

I've been thinking a lot about where I was last year with mental health and such, and how far I've come with managing grief, anxiety and depression.  Whoever tells you that there are these stages you go through to get to a healing place are full of crap.  The phases come and go.  I really am in a much better place but I've accepted that I'll be dealing with many of these issues for years to come.  This time last year I was having anxiety and panic attacks everyday, so bad that I went to see a doctor to make sure my heart was working properly.  I still have problems but I'm learning how to manage them instead of hoping they fade away someday.

That said, I couldn't help but notice that the blog post with the most hits was the one tagged with "mental illness".  Ha ha ha!!  Sorry, no big revelations there folks.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beep beep

I forgot to mention a couple thoughts in my post yesterday, not that anyone's missing much.  When I go to places like the antique show I was at yesterday, it still surprises me a little that people are willing to deal with me on an adult level.  I'm saying this because I grew up going to antique collectors' swap meets and such, and my dad used to sell old toys at them, so I'm used to browsing on an epic level.  When you're a little kid and looking through Beatles memorabilia or 80-year-old teddy bears, no one expects you to have money in your pocket, but no one thinks you're going to steal either (which I never did, it's like cursing yourself) so I was pretty much ignored or indulged.  I usually had about five to ten bucks that my dad would give me but I would wait until the last minute to buy anything if I could afford it.  So when I go to these things now I still expect the same treatment.  It's a little weird when people aren't shocked that I'm going to try to bargain like an adult.  And I'm a little surprised that it's ok to do it, and that people don't act like I must be broke.

The other thing is I wanted a nun's bedroom more or less, it's funny but that's how I pictured it before I put it all together.  I just wanted the essentials back in it.  I once saw a picture of Marguerite Duras' (NOT a nun) bedroom and thought, that's what I want.  Just a bed and a chair and a dresser.  It's like what I mentioned before about my friend who didn't want anything in his room that didn't belong in it.  I've been waking up for years surrounded by stacks of CDs, books, clothes and furniture and I want no more noise in my visual field.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sleep in heavenly peace

Today was an anniversary of sorts and I didn't even realize it until it was almost over.  I spent part of today with my dad at the Clark County Fairgrounds walking around an antique show.  A year ago I was at this same antique show and I began thinking how fun it would be to do a blog about thrifting and the old stuff I use to decorate my apartment.  A few months later Fitzrovians was born.  As I think I've said before, this was going to be a different type of blog at the start.  I'm glad it's come as far as it did!

For now, the basement is just a basement and I'm using it to store stuff while I work on the rooms upstairs.  It's been so cold, I don't even like going downstairs for long.  The time I've put into my bedroom and office have paid off and here is a look at my new sleeping space, before and after:
The perspective makes it look cramped, but it's very comfortable.  You can't really see it but the walls are a very pale yellow now.

A peek at another corner:
I proudly showed a small group of friends around, partly to explain to them why the living room and kitchen are such horrors.  They were very appreciative, but after they went home I noticed I had left a box of feminine products on full display. ¡Estupida!

You'll be very interested to see what I got at the antique fair: this fabulous cuckoo clock made of solid ceramic.  It doesn't tell time and frankly, the cuckoo doesn't even look much like a bird.  I got it partly because I thought it looked like a moray eel shooting out of the door.  If you have ever seen Robert Altman's movie Three Women, you will understand why it's perfectly appropriate to have these items together on my bathroom wall.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Last post before...

...I take apart my computer system and move it out of the room.  It's showtime!  I am cleaning the walls tonight and painting tomorrow.  I may have a super busy work schedule happening this week so I want to get my new bedroom ready to move in.

I spent some time today moving a rack filled with comics shortboxes to one side of the room, then out of the room altogether into the living room.  It's a fucking disaster zone once again out there.  The living room is the new defacto storage space, now that I'm repurposing the other rooms upstairs.

Just to be clear, I have a (large, unfinished) basement and then there's one floor that I live on, no second floor.  I have a two bedroom apartment, and one of those rooms has always been an office.  I might make it sound sometimes like this is bigger house.  It's why it gets so messy, I have to play Tetris with all of this junk.  My bedroom is full too.  It's hard to believe that it's much less stuff than it was a year ago, or that I've bought very little to add to the decor.  The only new piece of furniture that I purchased (that I still have around) is my bed.  I was gifted a lot of furniture from my mother-in-law a year ago but I found places around the house for all of it.  Mostly by getting rid of stuff I already had.

This evening I got the paint I'm using, it's a warm white with just a hint of orange.  You have to use a warm color to offset these Northwest winter grays and cold sunshine days.  Also, my new bedroom window faces the north so I don't think I'll be having a lot of direct sunlight in here.  I can't wait to see it all come together!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Basket Slips

I put some slips of paper in a basket with some ideas of things to keep me busy when I think I've run out - it's not like I ever do, but sometimes I need something to spur me to the next thing.  I can't seem to get my head together since before Christmas.  I think it's the SAD, I can't make myself do anything until it's getting late.
The slips say things like "clean the kitchen floor" or "frame a picture".  I am just so dulled out in my mind these days.  I wish I was perkier.  Coffee is doing very little to help.

I got a haircut today at Bella Institute over on SE Division.  My stylist was from Paris!  I wonder why she'd come all the way to the humble reaches of Portland?!  She did a great job, her name is Natacha if you need a new look for 2013!

Last night I tried to gather things that I'm going to bring over to my parents' house when they have their garage sale.   I have a spot in the basement, out of view of the photos you've seen, where it's all going.  I hope the sale will happen in a week or two.

I am working on clearing out the room that will become my bedroom.  It is unrecognizable from the way it was about a month ago.  I need to clean and spackle the walls but first I will have to take apart my whole computer setup that I use everyday and move it out of the room.  I've been dreading it and putting it off, but I must work fast in case I get a temp job soon and have to put it off more. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012: A Retrospective

I just returned from a few days away visiting relatives, back to a home still a little messy from a party I threw the day before I left.  I had to go on New Year's Eve, which meant that I have not had a chance to work on my home since that day.

Last year was like living five years in one.  At the start of it I was not in a good way, though I was managing.  Now I feel much more like myself.  You can laugh, but the day I spent with friends at Enchanted Forest was the day I think I knew I was getting better.

So many things have happened, though of course it's never enough. This year I hope to relax and focus on some creative goals I have, as well as long-term goals. I told my sister that I am going to do everything this year. I'm starting with some design projects including the one in my own house!

Here are a few things I want to take on this week:
  1. Clear out the ex-computer room, spackle and prep walls for painting
  2. Give large white bookshelf another coat of paint
  3. Complete a secret project I started a while back.  Don't worry, all will be revealed soon!
  4. Clean the bathroom for real, floor and tub included.
  5. Make a pile of things that I can sell at my mom's upcoming yard sale.
Now that I know what tags are for on blogs, I want to go through my previous posts and add them too.