Monday, October 19, 2009

Do no wrong!!!

Okay c'mon could you ever think that face could do anything bad?
This is Emma, one of two pugs that we started taking care of last Nov. in our apt. and has been living across the hall since June with their owner, Mike. We are taking care of them for two weeks while he is in Chicago taking training classes. The dogs are so cute!!
Nice day today( especially after that snow yesterday!!!! Yikes!!!) Hung out with Mom in the morning, had a simple lunch at home and have been working on the computer since. Working on some pumpkin paintings later to get ready for next week's Oct. 29th Fall/Halloween art opening in Haverhill. I'll be posting a preview of one of the pieces I am creating later!!! Take care for now!

Monday, October 5, 2009

yikes almost two months!!!!

Well it really has been a long time!!! Sept. came and went and so did our friends that stayed for a month and left for CA this past Thurs. morning.
Brittany and Jeremy and their two adorable cats, Pearl and Luna, had been in the downstairs apt. and Otis staying upstairs. (That is when he is not visiting downstairs terrorizing the other two. But for the most part he has been getting better. )
They began a long drive to CA and will look around and see what part of CA they want to live in. Who knows where they will end up but we wish them lots of luck when they figure it out. Of course it means giving them their cats back when they do decide......hmmmmmm
Speaking of cats by the way we have officially adopted Otis!!!! Who by the way in the pic above is sitting in front of the radiator we got back wonderfully powder coated!!!!!
So now we have an official pet besides the turtles, and the raccoons, and the squirrels, and the mice that live in house!!!!! (well at least we bought the turtles!!!)
Work on the house is progressing as well and we are gathering materials to fix the back part of the house. We will be doing that soon.
Also my art projects are slowly coming together, I finished four paintings of puppies for greeting cards that I hope to put in a shop in Andover called Little Lulu and Dot, that sells adorable dog toys, jewelry , art, collars and a bunch of other very cute things. I'll let you know if she takes the cards.
With fall coming I also wanted to share these photos of a flowering vine I have been planting from seed for the past few years but this is the first time I have had real success. It's a type of Morning Glory I think, called Cardinal Climber and the flowers are small but very bright. What really attracts me though are the leaves. Very odd shape and they change colors so often it's almost better than waiting for Fall. Here are some pics..........

I am getting some Fall/Halloween art together for a show in Haverhill at Angles & Art Gallery and Framers. The reception is on Thurs. the 29th of Oct. from 5 to 8 pm so please do stop by if you get a chance!!! That's it for now, off to work!!! Di.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Away so long!!!

Well hello!!! Sorry it's been so long since I blogged!!! Lots of things happening around here!!!!
Since my last entry We have finished painting the downstairs bathroom ceiling and base color for the walls, painted the downstairs hallway ceiling, and organized the studio to the point that it's almost workable!!! We haven't decided on a pattern yet for the walls in the bathroom which is why the stripes are different sizes. I started gathering information about some things for ebay and will be listing them soon. I did list a doll of Mom's for her so I hope that sells. (ITEM # 170371455655) We hired someone to chip up all of the brush in Mom's yard and cut off a few huge branches that are much too high up for us to reach in my yard. It will make the yard much larger!!! We had my niece and Michael's nephew over this weekend and they got along wonderfully!!! He is 10 and she's almost 14. It really was a fun weekend. And the biggest news is that we have taken in a foster cat named Ottis!!!! He's an adorable 4 or 5 month old long haired orange tabby that a now ex-coworker needed a place for until he finds his own place. Hmmm...sounds like another cat we had for 7 months..........also began with an O.........hmmmm.
Well anyway he's very very cute and everyone loves him. I don't know how long he'll be here but as usual he will be very spoiled while he is. We also have two more cats, (and maybe their owners!) coming for the month of Sept. And the cats will be here through the month of Oct. as well due to the owners going on a road trip to California to try and find a place to live out there. Ah..... Diane's house of lost people, cats and whatever else comes this way........
Well anyway.....that's enough for now !!!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Busy lumberjacking!!!

Well this past weekend was devoted to finally cutting up the huge Mulberry tree and very large Maple branches that fell in my Mom's yard in December. It took A LOT of work and many glasses of water, ice tea and lemonade but we finally got it all cut up. And all of the wood taken away by Monday. Now we just have to either chip up or have someone chip up the smaller stuff. Here is a photo of me in full chainsaw gear! Not that I actually cut anything with this monster. Just for show. Afterwards I saw this Scarlet Tanager behind my house and Michael made this wonderful Lebanese dish with Hummus, beef, tomatoes and chick peas. Yum!!! Saturday I am going to Ogunquit, ME for two art receptions and then we are off to Ikea on Sunday morning to pick up stuff for the office and studio. Ah Ikea!!!! The downstairs apt. hallway  got it's first coat of Kills stain blocker paint tonight with about two more coats to go before the actual ceiling paint. Then we fix the downstairs bathroom ceiling and then.........the outside very huge under the overhang project up on scaffolding begins!!!!! Yikes!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


           This cool fish rug came from Florida in March. Hmmmm..guess where that's going!!
      A painting of my cousin's Bull Terrier that passed away a few years now. I need to finish it!!!
    The pic below it is how the studio looks now that I have cleared some of the office stuff out.

These are two Asian symbols that my friend Harmke gave me for Christmas. They are going in the office.

Hello all!!! Sorry I haven't blogged for a while, been busy taking care of the two pugs that live in the house and working. Well we are in search of a long, low bookcase to fit on the white wall of the office and will be putting some decorations and final touches up soon. I have been doing pretty well cleaning up the studio and have some ideas lined up for the benefit for cats event in Lowell. It's juried show so I hope I get in!!! Also Michael has been in a music studio polishing up his demo CD so when that's ready  I'll be sure to let you know. We are cutting up a ton of wood in a week or two in Mom's back yard, getting ready for a yard sale soon, my niece will be staying here for a weekend, and we are also planning our annual huge end of August cookout. Lot's to do!!!! And signing up for the house swap website!!!! Anyway I will let you know how it turns out. Oh, and a friend of mine Elaine, does a blog giveaway once in a while and I thought I'd try that on the six month anniversary of the blog. Perfect timing for Christmas!!!! I'll let you know what it will be at some point. Take a look at some of the pics and enjoy!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Done Done and Done!!!!

Well we have finally finished the office as far as construction, painting and trim work. Got some furniture in and the computer set up and we can move on to the studio and A LOT of outside projects at my house and Michael's house. Still haven't put anything on the walls yet but that can wait. Here are some pics of details of the office, hope you enjoy and !!!! Art projects next!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Finished things!!!!

Well we finished a bunch of things this week!!!! Here you can see the final design for the windowsill after all of the tape came off and one of the four points of the stencil we put on the floor. We will either put a true Fluer de lys or a variety of one in the center. The trim is done and the only thing left is to apply the acrylic finish to the floor and arrange the furniture!!!! That should be done by next Friday and I can start getting into the studio and working on some serious projects!!! We also cut down a tree of mine that fell in my neighbors yard during that ice storm in Dec. There is a HUGE project outside as well regarding the sofet (sp?) (roof overhang) out back that is rotting away due to the old gutters getting clogged up for years. But that will not interfere with art projects. Anyway..will post more when the furniture is in and I am hopefully going to enter an art competion called "Herding Cats" a fundraiser for homeless and feral cats in Lowell at the Brush art Gallery. Bye for now!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Hey all!!! Well the windowsill is looking good, and we almost have the design for the floor done. (we are staining a simple pattern on the wood. ) So I would say that the room will be done by Friday!! Also I heard back from Harvard and they want the bird!!!  So Michael and I will be heading there sometime this week and will also get to see the skeleton of the Blue Heron we donated 11 years ago. LONG story........ So anyway the next post will be Friday and wait 'til you see it all put together!!! Thanks!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Windowsill in progress!!

More pics than words  this time. After we decided on color placement for the blocks I took some pics of Michael preparing and then spraying the windowsill that will be a checkerboard pattern with hand painted details. Will post the finished product later in the week!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On the Side

So today brought two surprises that although not pleasant, reminded me how important that everything  you can hold onto and treasure , you should because you never know when it's going to leave. Driving to work this morning (unfortunately) there was a beautiful coyote that had been hit, lying in the road. If I had had time I would have moved it out of the way but I couldn't. I thought about it off and on while at work and how it was too bad wild things had to be around things they didn't understand like cars.  And then while at work someone noticed an adorable sand piper looking bird which turned out to be an American Woodcock running around outside. I checked on it and it was not flying away and one wing seemed to be at an odd angle. I brought it inside and later Michael brought it home to hopefully give to someone that was qualified to help it. Unfortunately it passed away soon after so something must have hit it earlier or it was sick. So I painted this quick watercolor of it and will try and donate the bird to the Harvard Natural History Museum. The point to this post is that although we have this plan in place to go to France in a year, it is also a good reminder to relish all of the things that are around now and not just live for the future. You never know what's not going to be here later.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ah progress!!!

Today started off wonderfully with going to a great breakfast Diner near my house!! Ah pancakes and bacon!!!! We then went back home to load up the steam radiator that needs to be powder coated an antique cream color that will look great against the red wall. At some point I'll post the one we had done  with a wonderful copper color a while ago for those of you who haven't seen it in person. What a great find this place was!!!! He only charges  $10.00 a section for radiators!!! Anyway here is a pic of Michael SLOWLY lowering it down the back stairs on a dolly.  It has to weigh about 300 pounds. Then we took an old washer and dryer to a salvage yard and got a whole $5.80 back!!!! Yay!!!! Money towards the trip!!!! I know I know, money earned is not equaling money spent yet, but just wait 'til we start finishing things for sale!!! Michael will  be playing piano for an hour this Sat. so that is a small gig and then there are other things coming up. So he's moving along well with that. I have someone possibly interested in a painting in Haverhill so that might work out. So off to some painting on the trim and then my niece graduates from the 8th grade!!! That's it for today kids!!!! 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day One!!!

Well day one is over and we got a great start!!!  After I got home from work we worked on the office that will help us organize the rest of everything.  The walls, lighting  and ceiling are done, and the trim is next. After that the floor gets a light coat of varnish. This will be our "central hub" for life in general and for the trip. So as soon as the office is done, the studio will be next, and the projects can begin!!!!! I have a lot of paintings, fimo clay beads, and jewelry things that need to be finished and put up for sale on my page. Michael has some wonderful Boutique amps that he has built that we are going to work on selling. And he has gigs coming up at the Strange Brew in Manchester NH. So-here we go!!!!

It Begins!!!

Welcome to our blog-France or Bust!!!!!  We have one year to clean up our houses, finish as many house repairs as possible, and finish and sell as many of the art/music projects that could help us finance the trip as we can. Including dates Michael has booked for gigs and art shows for me. House swapping with someone in Paris for one month!!! As soon as we make an agreement with someone it will be posted here. We will be keeping a log of what we get done, things in progress, things for sale and anything else that comes along.  Not sure how much it's all going to cost but we will be pricing airfares and cost of living and we will get to that later. So thanks for looking and keep watch!!!!