Friday, January 6, 2017

Snow Days


I don't much enjoy snow anymore.  It's stressful to drive in and I live at the top of a steep hill.
But there are some little pleasures that come with having it snow and stick around.

Foot prints.  Pictured here are squirrel prints.  I've also seen raccoon prints this week and possibly a bobcat.  Bird prints are pretty cute too.

It's fun to follow them and see where they go.  A lot of them are focused around the bird feeder and the water hole.

It's very cold here this week, not the norm, but it does happen.  Personally, I look forward to the rain returning, but until then I shall enjoy scouting for foot prints in the snow.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 - It's A Wrap!

Huckleberry hollow underwent some major improvements this year.
To recap, here's an overview, follow the links to read the full posts.

Back in April of 2016 I decided to redo the bathroom - again - and it really turned out nice.  New paint, trim and floor paint.  You can read the full post here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/04/bathroom-make-over-again.html .


All Spring and Summer a friend helped me install a new 6 foot cedar fence along my property line.  This was labor intensive!  Together we cut the labor costs and although it took us several months of part time work, we were able to finish it in time for some outdoor deck sitting - with privacy.
You can view the complete post here: https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/07/fence-me-in.html .


In the middle of the summer I started working on new ways to skirt the mobile.  I love Pinterest and get a lot of my ideas there.  I found some great ideas on alternative skirting concepts and used two of them for around my place.
One was a row of concrete blocks placed just under my addition, leaving about an inch of air flow space.  Another was to use cedar fence boards like pickets, around other sections of the home.
Two posts covered this subject and they are here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/07/skirting-issue.html .  And here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/07/skirting-issue-part-ii.html .



By the time summer was winding down and had a little more free time from work, I decided it was time to tackle the mud room and front deck issues.  There was dry rot and leveling that needed addressing.  Again my friend helped me with the leveling and I replaced the top deck boards last.
That post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/10/restructuring.html .
 You'll notice some additional upgrades to the paint around the place too.


After that we transplanted 2 of my very large bamboo into 4 bigger pots, as well as dividing them.  They are 12 feet tall now and have occupied those pots for about 10 years.
They add the perfect privacy screen above the new fence!
That post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/10/bamboo-transplanting.html .


By then the weather was changing and it was time to focus indoors.
I needed to finish working on a back bedroom that needed some odd repairs, not pictured, but not interesting in photos anyway.  The goal here is always about insulation and sealing, while still trying to maintain aesthetics.  It's not a pretty place, but it is very functional.
I also worked on the other two little bedrooms, carrying on the same theme with new paint.

I also revamped my first poetry book, Poetic Zen, with new color photographs.  The post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-book.html , with a link to ordering it.

After the fallout of 11/9 so many of us were devastated by the news of a new leader that when I finally regained some optimism, I decided to pull together some artists and writers and publish a book about hope.  It's called Messages of Hope and the post is here:  https://huckleberry-hollow.blogspot.com/2016/12/messages-of-hope.html .  You can order from the links there.

I wrapped up the year by reopening my Etsy shop and diving back into metalsmithing.  I purchased a new domain name for it as well, you can visit it here: www.jgray-design.com .
My goals this year are to increase my work-from-home income with finished jewelry pieces as well as supplies for other artists in similar mediums which lead to a second shop just for supplies at https://etsy.com/shop/jgdsupplies  .

So the smallest bedroom has been converted into half storage and half art studio.  Upcoming posts on that as I try to squeeze another work space into an already tiny space!

Thank you all for following along with me on my journey to remodel my life.  :)
Farewell 2016, and hello 2017!  May we all prosper and find joy.