Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Nothing like last minute shopping for a trip! Personally, I am THRILLED to be going to a warm destination where my fingers don't turn blue. I'm already tired of winter in the Midwest. Between twice-weekly physical therapy appointments and last minute shopping, I'm getting more exposure to cold weather than I care to have. I'm a cactus, I should be living in Arizona. I like warm, dry weather! Our contingent of CHA goers are busily emailing back and forth trying to determine what tools and supplies we're bringing and coordinating our last minute travel schedules. Saturday can't get here soon enough for me!

In the mean time, I am going to work a bit more on my organization project in ye old craft room, and gather my notes on all the booths I want to be sure and scope out while we're there! Then I'm going to read up on my new Canon compact camera (it's harder to use than my DSLR!) and make a few test shots of all the sleeping cats scattered about the house. Maybe even take a few more of the craft room. I moved some of my tables and now my DH is referring to my craft room as "the dance hall." OK, so it was a little crowded before. :-) Now that I have taken over the media room for more work space, I can afford to take down a table or two. heh heh heh Oooo, it doesn't get any better than this!

Monday, January 19, 2009


This post isn't so much about my crafting addiction as it is about my HGTV/DIY addiction, but they are both related, as you'll see in a minute.

Hi, my name is Vicki (Hi Vicki!) and I 'm addicted to HGTV. [Clapping in the background, murmurs, some head nodding and shaking, and a few slurps of coffee]

I have to confess, this addiction started over ten years ago when I moved to California for a job. I was living in San Francisco bay area by myself, working in a high tech, workaholic company. I was lonely, pining for my fiance back in MO, and as befits a lonely, single, Mac technodweeb with a bent towards art, I got caught up in something so innocent, so NORMAL, so secretly devastating, I can hardly bear to speak of it. The shame of it all. Yes, I subscribed to satellite so I could watch HGTV and DIY. [shocked murmurs, a few snobs, I mean sobs here and there] What had I DONE?!! Wasn't cable enough?

As each day turned into the next, coming home from work day after day with my head spinning full of Unix code, multiple platforms, and command line text, I finally broke. I couldn't take it any more. I HAD to watch more and more HGTV. I couldn't keep myself from it any more. Trading Spaces, Divine Design (who doesn't love Candace Olsen?), Designed to Sell (Lisa LaPorta, you ROCK), Oh Clivey, where are you? I was SMITTEN! I too, wanted to be out there redecorating America. It was my dirty little secret, my addiction to HGTV. I watched it morning, noon and night (nothing like working from the home office). Pick #2 you idiot, it has all the features you've been whining for! And what I confess to you now is downright shameful, despicable, and practically criminal.

When my fiance moved out to CA so we could get married, I (of course) had to drag him in to my secret, sordid addiction (my Mother told me it was good to share). I was hoping that since he was a bean counter, his common sense and money-twitching goatee could feel the danger and pull me up. Sadly, as it often happens, I ended up bringing him down in the mortar and mud with me. We never recovered. It wasn't long after we were married when we searched for and purchased our first house in California. Our HGTV addiction escalated. We sat for hours staring at "Designer's Challenge", "Landscaper's Challenge" and "House Hunters". We spent our spare time at Home Schelpo and Schmoes arguing over satin nickle verses brushed chrome. Were they same or different? We couldn't tell and those lingering questions hung in our minds as we were lost deeper and deeper into the abyss that is HGTV.

Unfortunately, my Lupus health issues got in the way if my 80 hour work week and it was decided that we needed to move back home closer to my family and a less stressful lifestyle. We needed to sell our house and sell it in a hurry. I was ecstatic! NOW was the time to pull out the stops and fish out my three-ring binders (yes, binders is plural) of tips gleaned from my fanatical worship of HGTV. When it came time to sell our house in Morgan Hill, it was quite evident that my HGTV addiction was going to pay off. There was hope, maybe I could actually USE what I had seen. There were s0oo many ideas, my head was spinning.

I staged our house just like Lisa and Clive advised, I mean we REALLY put on the dog, er, cat! I had the table set with china, candles burning, cookies baking, fresh flowers and I even cleared away the clutter and made a color brochure for those coming to the open house. We talked to our realtor on Wednesday to list it, had a realtor-only showing on Friday and scheduled an Open House for that Sunday. It never made it. A couple saw our sign and insisted on seeing the house on Saturday, so we scurried off to Lowes in San Jose. Who couldn't waste a day or two in there, eh? We were there about 30 minutes and my cell phone rang. The number on caller ID was OUR home phone number. Eh? It turned out to be the agent and he had an offer at our asking price written up and they wanted to know if we would sell it RIGHT NOW, while they were standing in OUR kitchen. Huh? Now? This minute? After I picked the bean counter up off the floor, we went straight home and signed the papers. It was on the market for a whole 4 days although it technically never made the MLS listing. We sold it for 40% more than we paid for it, and we only owned it for a year and a half. If THAT doesn't show you that satellite pays for itself, what does? A living testament to Do-it-Yourself living. So how does all of this relate to crafting...?

Enter Carol Duvall.

We arrived in Missouri and the house hunt was on, and so was the satellite. Again. You just can't break some habits no matter how hard you try. I just couldn't kick the addiction. While the DH hunted for a new job, we sat huddled in front of the TV. The only channels we watched were ESPN, HGTV, and DIY. My cats sat on the floor and learned how to vote for their favorite house and make Zen gardens in their litter boxes. I hang my head in shame at the thought of it.

As you know, if you have an addictive personality, it is not uncommon for addictified (my word, and I am NOT related to George Bush) people to find other useless things to become addicted to. And thus Carol Duvall entered my satellite orb. She crafted, I drooled, she talked and I was mesmerized. Horror of horrors, I felt COMPELLED to go purchase EVERY item she used. My stash was growing exponentially. What to do with all this new stuff? I already had enough computers and peripherals than most small businesses do. So much stuff and no room to put it in our rental duplex. I was getting desperate. I needed a fix-it fix, or more to the point, I needed to decorate something or I would self-destruct! House hunting became priority one. Who needs a job? Then, along came THE house. Not just any house, THE HOUSE. A house in frame, like polyclay in my hands. A house with a very large room that could be, would be [vacuum sucking noise here as I draw in my breath]...a CRAFT ROOM! My very own haven, my space to do with as I wished! Where's that Osterhouse carpenter guy when you need him? We bought it. That summer we put the "sweat" in sweat equity.

Flash forward to today. I got the itch again last fall to paint something. Specifically my craft room. It had languished in chaos crying out for organization and color! I went on a satellite binge (OK all that means is that I watched the repeats too). I watched it all, made my notes, collected my color swatches and procured my tools. I was driven. I NEEDED to have color, to mix those patterns, to pop in some bling, to light it up. I gave myself like a two-bit drunk to the task of creating order out of chaos. Here are a few peaks at the process, it's not quite done, but after reading this whole story, you deserve a picture or two. When it is finished, I'll post up the final shots. After it is all up, you can sentence me for my crimes. But whatever you do, don't separate me from HGTV! I can't take 16 hours of ESPN and the DH already took away my DIY!!

The first pic is of my closet in my craft room. It holds my wiring hub for all my CAT5 and QUAD6 cable and alarm system, all home-run as it should be, and all pulled and installed by myself and my DH. Our electrician thought I was nuts (he still pulls 2 pair in daisy chain--cringe!). Then he asked me to do a couple other houses in the same manner for him. I told him HE was nuts. :-) My canvas cubbies came from Hobby Lobby (they fold up when I don't need them). The gray racks were cast-offs from Staples. FREE!! This is a first cut at the reorg, more organizing to happen later.

The second pic is one of my light table that I rehabbed. I built the bottom half of the unit it get it to count height to make it more practical and it awaits final painting. The slat board behind it holds my inks and other supplies. I've already changed this arrangement some, so the final pics of this area will look different. I've put several of my projects up on the red shelves throughout the room. Mostly to keep them away from my cats. They really like my work. :-)

And that ends tonight's story of addiction and creativity. G'day!