Friday, August 21, 2009

the after and before of the old teabox

Sooo. I picked up this teabox at a second hand shop in Kamakura, for about 1000 yen, or about $10. It was in good shape although there was glued on peeling paper all over the outside, and a bit dusty. The inside is lined with tin. I had this eyesore out in the living room holding bits of material for my various craft projects, and its roughly the size of a good lamp table also.
After living with this fellow as is for several months and moving him to San Diego, I decided it was time to have a little fun with it.
One thing that has been nice about being back home is that I can finally read labels when we go to the hardware store. So, I picked up some sandpaper, a scraper, some primer, some water-based paint and a water-based stain, and finally a nice matte finish spray on water-based finish for over the whole mess.
Cricket helped. Ha.
Whilst the boys were at school, I tried to peel off some of the paper. Too much elbow grease. After a while, I tried sanding it. Too much elbow grease. Finally, I tried spraying a bit of warm soapy water on it and then it scraped off easily and cleanly. Since the wood was unfinished underneath, I tried not to use too much water. Luckily as always, it was sunny, breezy and very dry in the backyard so this helped, and there was blessedly no warpage!
After stripping off the paper and drying it totally, the next day I sanded it just a bit and put on a coat of primer. By the end of that day, a coat of paint. That evening, I brushed stain over that and tried to be a bit artful about how I applied it, so it looked kind of grainy. Ha.
Anyway, that took a couple of days outside in the warm and sunny patio. After that, I used spray adhesive to position 4 cut up and trimmed grass placemats from Target, that I had cut up to fit around the thing, and quickly realized that a few staples were called for as well.
Taa daa.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

casa de Gomez

So, this is our house in San Diego. It is a pretty nice house with a big master bedroom and 3 other teensy tinsy little bedrooms. At the end of the block is this walking path, which is watered by the fabulous "reclaimed" water (wash hands after contact). I was relieved to hear that we are not wasting the city's precious freshwater supply on keeping a facade of greenery in the middle of the desert.
Can you believe that we are expected, by the various housing associations that beplague us, to have sprinkler system which uses our water, to keep a ridiculous green carpet in front of the house, while at the same time we are importing much of our drinking water from the Colorado River, since there isn't enough to supply the city?!?
There, I've had my soapbox. And it was a run-on sentence too.
Another thing. I have gotten a call about a part time social work position at a certain hospital, on a certain beautiful island which I love, doing exactly the kind of work I have loved in the past. The hours would be flexible and so I could be home for my boys after school most of the time. I am soooo excited for this interview and keeping my fingers crossed about it.
In the meantime, starting the Spanish class at night next week.
The boys are doing great - they both say that they like their new schools, and they both seem to be making new friends already. Yay!

fabulous dark and moody path

Doesn't this path look moody and mysterious? There is some undeveloped land near our house, which the dogs love to walk around on - and it has great views of the mountains. While the sun is setting, they start thinking it is going to be walk time, and I start thinking this too. It is quiet, peaceful, and much cooler. There are also some most interesting holes all over as we get up to the top of the hill - they are deep, and about as wide as a fist. We are all wondering who is living in such arrangements, especially Miss Peach.