Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trip to Arcosanti

Last weekend I visited Arcosanti. This "urban laboratory" had cool architecture, an interesting background story and a peaceful natural setting--and the great weather during the visit made the experience all the nicer.  

Stairwell of Visitor Center with Soleri Windbells

Looking down into the dining room

One of the apartments (about 100 people live on-site)

Arched ceiling  in the "town square"
(the color is added through the silt construction process)

Some of their agricultural land
The Agua Fria is at the tree-line in the distance

The office center?

This fun roadtrip had another stop, I'll post about that deliciousness later.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rampant Shelf-ishness

Sometimes that "measure twice, cut once" mantra works, and sometimes it becomes "measure once, file down some edges for a long time..." 

I like the look of floating shelves that wrap around corners, and using some easily assembled Target shelves seemed a quick way to do it in my master bath--especially because the 24" shelf was the exact width from wall to wall over the toilet. Cue premature "hooray" now. Evidently walls are not exactly flat or exactly the same width apart all the time (of course I knew this, everyone knows this, but I didn't let that knowledge prevent a perfectly good and frustrating experience!). I wish I got a few photos (or video?) of me struggling with the shelf in between the walls of the toilet alcove--I'd get the shelf into the space about a foot, then the walls would narrow and stop my progress. Then I'd try to angle it up or down to find an area with more leeway...about 40 minutes later I was left with a shelf wedged about a foot directly above the toilet at a 45 degree angle. Yep, that half-bath by the front door definitely comes in handy. After a day-long sabbatical from the fiasco, I revisited it with back-up support, unwedged it, and whittled down the edges enough that it fit into the space like a glove. Putting up the other shelf was a comparative breeze (although it is difficult to match the planes exactly, so strategically placing items on the seam proved helpful).

So, I have more visual interest and some extra open storage (for prettier bathroom items), which may come in handy depending on future bathroom sink and vanity alterations...

I think I need to get a print or 2 on the shelf, too--so I'll be on the lookout for something that fits the bill.

The master bath is still not a finished project, but it's getting there with the shower drapes/curtains, closet organization (I'll have to post more photos of the space later), towel bar, and dresser. (And this is after the massive sunken tub/shower/closet/door/walls reno--I'll have to unearth some of those photos, too!)

Should I put the hook I got earlier (photo at this link) under the shelf on the side nearest the curtain? I'm leaning toward yes...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stone . Paper . Metal Giveaway!

A few months ago I posted about the fantastic earrings I received from Emily at Stone . Paper . Metal. She's doing a giveaway on her blog for some amazing chalcedony earrings and I'm being nice enough to tell you about it, even though it hurts my odds of winning!

Good luck! (she's taking entries until the 19th)

Visit Emily's etsy store, too!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Food puzzle solution

I got home the other evening thinking I'd have to assess the contents of my fridge and run to the grocery store to fill in the gaps so I could make a sane person's dinner. Imagine my delight (really, imagine it) when I realized that I could make dinner from the food stuffs I had on hand. I've attempted to organize the thought and activity process that preceded the discovery that I didn't have to leave the house...

1. I need to use up this tofu
2. These vine-ripened tomatoes are really good and there are three left
3. I should have used this mozzarella sooner (trash)
4. The only vegetables I have are carrots and spinach leaves
5. ugh, I don't want a salad
6. What did I get these green onions for, again?
7. I have a lot of pasta and rice...
8. ooo, there's a frozen pie I need to bake (turn on oven)
9. Freezer has some corn, stir fry veggies, edamame and frozen dinners
10. Don't eat a frozen dinner, that constitutes food puzzle cheating!
11. What do I do with this tofu....? Already had stir fry and I don't love big chunks of tofu (search recipes on web and found this recipe for tofu fried rice!)


I changed a couple things from the recipe--no cashews, added stir fry veggies and chopped baby carrots (precooked the carrots so they wouldn't be disproportionately crunchy), added garlic, used this nonsense instead of soy sauce...

I forgot to take a photo of the pie until the remaining quantity was embarrassingly small. But there was pie.

Any other tofu successes? Has anyone fried tofu? That's what I want to try next.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Going, going.....SOLD

I went to my first auction last week.

It was pretty intense and the definition of controlled chaos. There were 3 auctioners roaming through piles of items in a relatively small space and everyone had to follow them around in order to bid. If someone was interested in things that were in the path (or potential path, since there didn't seem to be a definite way of navigating) of more than one auctioner they had to be vigilant and run in from one mob of bidders to the next to get involved in the bidding for all the things they wanted.

I was outbid on a telephone switchboard (it was pretty cool, don't ask). Fortunately, dinner from the independently owned burger place across the street helped ease my pain.
This auction house runs weekly, so I'm sure I'll visit again soon... to the auction house and the burger joint, that is.

FYI--Be sure to factor the taxes and auction house percentages into the limits you're giving yourself for your top bids--those can really add up!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

The fam and I headed to my aunt's for Easter dinner and I splurged on a $5 bouquet (it's highway robbery out there for Easter!). It was a little too diverse for my taste--daisies, lilies, carnations and filler with bright yellow and soft yellow, bluish pink and reddish pink--so I did some extreme editing to get it to similar flowers in a punchy color category.

Using a jar is a perfect repurposing solution (and you avoid the potential awkwardness of "did they want me to return the vase or keep the vase?") and I used some of the filler inside the jar to distract from the unevenly cut stems. I added a little more pink by the green flowers after the photo--and added water, too!

Yay for sunny springtime!
Remember to apply sunscreen!