Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Infamous Ladder is Completed!!

You wouldn't think there would be much trouble finding a wooden ladder, sans hardware and metal.  Just your run-of-the-mill, old fashioned wooden ladder, albeit a little taller than normal - about 12 feet high.  That's what I thought when we first started looking for one to access the two loft areas of the Studio.  We were quickly proved wrong!  First of all, they don't make wooden ladders in large quantities like they used to, so naturally they don't exist in places like Home Depot.  You'll find plenty of wood and metal ones, but mostly metal ones, with all kinds of neat little gadgets and safety measures and Heaven knows what else - all designed to last forever (yeah, right!) and keep the individual climbing it wrapped in the most heightened safety measures possible. 

Look, I said, all I want is wooden ladder!  And no, I do NOT want one that has round dowels for steps.  That doesn't sound very comfortable to step on!  And no, I do NOT want to spend upwards of $1,000.00 to have one specially made just for me, using the latest technology and eco-friendly wood!  So what's a lady to do?!?!?!

Call Nigel Fursdon to the rescue - that's what!!

Now this may look like an ordinary wooden ladder, but it's quite the opposite!  True to Nigel's abilities, it's not only sturdy and very well balanced, it's also highly functional and easily moved from one side of the loft to the other and, even better, moved to the opposite loft just as easily!  All this - and it's just plain beautiful!  It's a work of art, even if I say so myself!

Of course, Nigel will laugh to see such a description, but it's true nonetheless and I write it here as an affirmation of his mutiple and substantial talents. I'm truly and wonderfully blessed!! Blessed beyond measure!

It has two metal hooks at the top which, when the bottom of the ladder is lifted, allows the whole to be slid along the metal bars fastened to the fronts of each loft.  And when the ladder is lowered, you can tell before getting on it whether it's balanced because of the slant he's given to the bottom side pieces.  All ladders these days have this, but it's nice to have it done in wood rather than metal!  To get it from one loft to the other, you simply pull on the top part to stand it upright, then turn it around and place it on the metal bar of the opposite loft!

Isabel thoroughly enjoys "perching" mid-way up (she discovered what "perching" meant just today) and made the following comments regarding Grandpa Nigel's talent: 

"This ladder is great Gummy, because Grandpa builds things really good.  Just look at this roof.  It hasn't fallen down yet!  And now we've got the ladder too!"

Then, almost in the same breath......."Gummy?  When can we paint it?  Can I help, cause I want to paint some too!  How long do we have to wait till we can paint it?  Can we put hearts and butterflies on it?"

Yes, we are going to paint it!  After numerous hours of vascilating between the merits of a "natural" look that would be stained lightly to allow the beauty of the wood grain to shine through, or painting it a particular color to coordinate with the rest of the studio, the final vote was for .........better yet, you're just going to have to wait, because you'll NEVER guess what I've decided to do with it!  But I will guarantee this - there won't be another one of its kind in the entire world!!  Unless of course I have a twin!  Egad!!

And there you have it folks!  The Wacky and Wonderful World of Fursdon House Studio!!

A Topsy-Turvy Spring Day!

Hi Everyone!
Well, it's certainly been an interesting day, that's for sure!  Isabel and I went to the airport (Grandpa Nigel is at work today); we had the grand idea of getting Mommy (my daughter, Laura), whose itinerary plainly stated she was to arrive from Afghanistan on 10 April 2011, at 9:43 a.m., at the Huntsville International Airport!  Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the airline!  After waiting almost an hour, I took the chance to call her on her cell phone.  For those of you who are familiar with talking on cells phones internationally, you'll know that it costs about a million dollars a minute!  And I honestly wasn't sure she would have it on anyway.  But luck was with us and she answered with:

"Hi Mom, I'm just leaving the hotel in Dubai for the airport! I can't talk long because it's outrageously expensive but they've messed up my itinerary completely and have me coming into Huntsville on 10 April at 9:43 a.m.  Is Izzy there?"  I did interject with the fact that it was 10 April 2011, and 9:43 a.m. had come and gone.

Then, after a quick explanation to Izzy, who seemed calmer than I was,  she told me,

"It looks like I'll be there tomorrow now.  It's the 10th today, right?  I've got to run.  I don't want to be late.  I'll try to check what went wrong.  Give Izzy hugs and kisses for me.  Love you Mom! Bye."

Well phooey!  Nothing like a let-down, so I took Isabel to McDonald's for a pick-me-up (AKA:  chocolate milk shake for her and a Coke for my sinus/lack of caffeine headachey self!)

Oh well, it's a beautiful day, even if the pollen is thick enough to literally write your name in, so I decided to post my latest photos.  By the way, you know it's spring when you're washing sweat pants and shorts in the same load of laundry!!  Yesterday was lovely though, mid-80's, and I spent the majority of the time in the Studio.  Here are the photos!

I thought I might put another piece of peg-board on the front of the desk, to give myself more "hanging space", but I think I prefer it open.  The cross-stitched piece on the left was given to me years ago by my former supervisor and dear friend, Mary Jane Reumann.  She's such a sweetheart!  She's the one who hired me away from being a "receptionist" at what was then our hospital.  We're now an outpatient clinic, but I've from there, I've never looked back! 

On the right is Isabel's fish!  She made it at school about 2-3 years ago and is quite delighted that I've saved it all this time (as if I'd do anything else!)  The little plates are from a trip my daughter Elizabeth made, to a city in Hungary called Papa (at least I think it's in Hungary!).  Do you see the miniature Gumby and Pokey figures on the desk?  When we were little, my brother had Pokey and I had Gumby.  Mom got me the set for this past Christmas - at my unabashed urgings!  I love them! Of course my brother would probably think I'm NUTS, but that's okay.  Nuts are good!

A neat place to put my thread racks, don't you think?

The fun part is being able to "decorate" the studio, as opposed to organizing and cleaning it up!  I've had so many things stashed away over the past several years, and now I finally get to see everything out in the open.  Well, most everything.  I'd need a studio twice as big to see everything I have and, quite frankly, we don't have that much garden left! 
Good Grief!  Rabbits, rabbits everywhere!! And there are more elsewhere!!  I have to admit - my favorite is the "chocolate" one!  I know that shocks you, but it's true!  He's my very favorite!  He reminds me of the chocolate rabbit we children would get at Easter all those years ago!  And the ones in foil - simply scrumptious looking!  Every now and then we'd get one like these - though much smaller of course, 
all wrapped in the most beautiful foils!  Lovely memories!

Such sweet little nests!  These "nest trees" came from T. J. Maxx about two years ago, but would you believe it - they were painted black!!??  I kid you not!  I couldn't believe it, and yes - they were designed for Easter!  Oh well, it isn't as if I have an opinion on the matter, but......well, perhaps I do! Ha Ha!!

Regardless, I felt I had to rescue them (AKA: buy them, that is) from such a gloomy fate, which of course I did, obviously.  And then I set about freshening them up with paint and lovely bits of grass and sweet little birds.  Now they're much happier!  I know, I'm crazy.  But there are far worse things than being crazy!!

Then - this past year around Christmas time, I found the candelabra - also painted black!! Once again my powers of healing were called upon to spare a lovely piece of art from a dismal future!  I've painted it all white for now, but I have visions of painting the flowers and leaves in their natural shades of muted pastels.  But for now, it's lovely and restful to look upon.  Of course, I can just imagine someone else reading this and thinking, "YUCK!! Pastel?  She should have left it alone!"  And that's what I call the absolute FUN and JOY of having a mind of one's own!!

And finally, the lovely pressed glass candy dish (which does NOT contain any chocolate whatsoever, but rather has pieces of pastel Sweet Tarts inside!) (Now that is YUCK!!)  Anyway, this candy dish came from a thrift shop last year and I bought it, very nicely priced I might add, because it reminded me of one that Gran had when I was a kiddo.  I always loved the idea of having "a candy dish" sitting around (filled with candy of course) because it seemed like such pure extravagance!  We didn't have much when we were young.  Of course, now I can say it certainly didn't do us any harm because it made us creative and self-reliant.  But at the time, I assure you I felt quite differently! 

You know, I was thinking earlier about how I've let you see only the lovely things I've put around the house, or the pretty decorations I've put up for the holidays.  I don't show you the chest as it was a few moments before the photo, all cluttered with papers and an odd canning jar, a camera case and three magazines destined for the bin.  Or the dining room table as it is now, with me at the laptop in scruffy shorts and a top, with no make-up and unbrushed hair, with scattered glasses and bottles on place mats left over from breakfast, and travel mugs that I'm donating, and the camera and its case, and everything else I've just moved from the chest so I could take a "decent photo" of the Easter vignette.  Or the cat food bowls on the floor at the base of the chest, with half-eaten bits of food still stuck to the sides in places.  I guess my point is that appearances can be so deceiving!  I remember years ago I made a mental note to myself that people couldn't possibly live the kind of life the beautiful pictures always portrayed.  And they don't.  Neither do I.  We put on "shows" or stage little vignettes for others, while we hide behind our facades and observe what others' reactions are.  People are such silly creatures, aren't they?

Well, that's it for now! Have a lovely rest of the weekend! It's certainly glorious outside here!

Hugs and Blessings, Jan