Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Betsy's back for another post!!!!!

As you guys have probably guessed.
I've been busy working on my fabric line., 
I'm starting to get the hang of it.
I met with Josh last week, and it really helps to have another set of eyes and another brain looking at a design.
Designing in a vacuum just doesn't work.
That's why I have a house keeper!!!!!!
Josh is the absolutely gorgeous studdly young man that owns the showroom I work with at the Boston Design Center.
It's called Studio 534, and I've been involved with it from it's birth.
He calls me his "design mom", as I think of him in a sonnly way.
You know, like a son.....
sonnly....
I'm making up words in my solitude and wacko fabric studio.
(commonly referred to as my study)
I've known him since he was 23 and working as a sales person in another showroom.
Even as a youngster like that (he's just turned 40!!!!!, I can't believe it.....), he was amazingly organized and capable. 
So when he told me he was opening his own showroom in 2007, I was more than eager to help him.
Studio 534 officially opened in 2008.....
talk about GOOD TIMING!!!!!
But he persevered, 
even through the recession,
 because designers love him so much, and like doing business with him.
(But he keeps assuring me that I'm his favorite.)
(He's a man, so I'm sure he only says that to me.....)

Sooooooo......
that was just a little explanation of the guy I am hooking my star to.
( that's because I am way to old to be hooking.....)
( my jokes are just getting worse and worse....)
(NOW aren't you glad I haven't been blogging?????)

Anyway.....
I am down in Florida for a couple of weeks, so I thought I would take a break from my fabrics, and write a blog post.
It has absolutely nothing to do with the comments I started to receive about how long I've gone without posting.
You, my lovely readers, have no power over me, so don't start getting any swelled heads.

Since I hadn't been in my Florida house since last season, there were lots of surprises waiting for me.
Last year it was rats.
This year it is Palmetto Bugs, the largest @#$ roaches I've ever seen.
I saw two in the kitchen square dancing, and immediately ran out of there hyperventilating.
After I girded my loans, and stole back into the room, they had made like a magic act and disappeared.
Well,
 you know, as well as I do, that if you see two roaches,
 there are bound to be a gazillion more 
that's probably all you have in the house!!
AND DON'T FORGET THE MEALY BUGS!!!!!
Who knew they liked sugarless gum????
Heaps of bodies under the gum.
heaps!!!!!
I arrived in Florida Sunday night,
and had the exterminator here by Monday morning.
I've had to throw out all my food staples and wipe down my whole pantry.
Don't get me started about the dead beetle bodies crammed into the ribbed rubber gasket along the top of my freezer drawer.
GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS

I've gone through a whole roll of paper towels.
And my wireless printer only works if I connect it to my computer with a cable.

YIPPEE!! I'M ON VACATION!!!!!

Now, let me tell you about my computer....
I thought it would be a good idea to replace my old laptop.
The CD drive no longer works.
One of the USB ports no longer works.
The battery no longer charges.
I have to tape painters tape around it when I travel, as it no longer latches shut.
And it is SLOWWWWWW.....

So I thought "Betsy, why don't you buy a new computer?"
So,
I started doing research.
For my work at the computer designing fabrics, I use a touch tablet from Intuos.
I can "draw" this way on my computer.
But it needs to be connected to my laptop, and it is just like a big silver touch pad that uses a pen stylus.
Well, I won't get into the particulars of what I bought and why, after reading lots of reviews, 
(because if it's boring me to type it, it must be boring you to read it.)
Let me just tell you that I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 3.
Surface Pro 3
I bought it from Staples.
I bought everything but the monitor from Staples.
Most of what I needed they had to ship in from their warehouses.
I had to go to Staples once or twice a day for the whole week.
(Sometimes, I would get an email saying the stuff was in the store when it wasn't)
(So I would drive over to get it.)
(And it wouldn't be there yet, just on the truck.)
(And I couldn't call because there was something wrong with their phones.)
(Everyone at that store knows what I look like and the sound of my voice......)

Soooooo...
After dealing with Adobe trying to get Photoshop and Illustrator downloaded.....
5 @#$ hours on the phone over the course of two days.....
I finally had everything up and running.
And there I was, sitting on my sofa, working on the details of one of my fabric designs.
I used it for two days.
I HATED IT!!!!!
The Photoshop menus are so small, that on a 
12 inch screen it was near impossible to click on anything.
And I didn't like the way it felt to draw.
Or the way it worked as a drawing tablet.
SOOOOOO.....
after the week of torture, I am returning EVERYTHING.

There went my fantasy of having a light carry on piece of luggage because I wouldn't need to haul my big computer around with me.

So, I packed up my trusty old laptop, and came on down to Florida.
BUT!!!!!
Since the battery no longer charges, I left that in Massachusetts, making my load just a little lighter.

I promise to write about decorating while I'm down here taking it easy.
But today's post was to catch you up with the glammer filled life of a fabric designer.

On that note,
Later, Gator
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Friday, October 10, 2014

It's ME, betsy!!!!!
Did you miss me????? Do you remember who I am?????
In honor of the fact that I am finally writing the next chapter of the adventure of redoing Kris's porch.....
I TOOK A SHOWER!!!!!
sooooooo
take a deep whiff, and let's get to it!
(don't you wish this was one of those scratch and sniff thingies?????)

We left off at this point in the transformation.
Kris had a fantasy
 (that has now been fulfilled by the designer genie....Betsy)
 to spend lazy days on the porch spying on watching the people of the neighborhood walk by.
In order to do this,
SHE NEEDED A PLACE TO PUT HER TUSHY!
So we went place putting tushy shopping, and chose outdoor wicker by Lloyd Flanders.
There's a convenient shop near where we live that sells all sorts of garden stuff.
It's called Seasons Four and is in Lexington Massachusetts.
Kris did a lot of in depth research.
Placing her tushy all over the store.
She's a reference librarian, so she's very good at research.
She be workin' hard!!!!!
We chose the Nantucket style as it was appropriate for the period of the house.
I was able to stuff in do a floorplan that accommodated plenty of seating for Kris's family and friends.
I placed a sofa and chair on one side of the porch, and three rockers on the other side. 
We used the dining chair for the seat perpendicular to the sofa, as the porch wasn't deep enough for the width of the lounge chair.
I also liked that the back pillow was small, allowing the open weave to show.
There was room for four rockers on the other side of the porch, but we were worried about it looking like an old folk's home.
(even though she and her hubby ain't the young chickens that they once were.....)

We then dove into eBay and Craig's List looking for old tables to finish the floorplan.
I have yet to take the final pictures, as I was waiting for the last table to arrive.....
and then Kris had to go on a trip to the southern tip of Africa.
She is very inconsiderate of my readers.

OY!!!!!
I just remembered that I told you guys that I would write about finding the antique carriage wall sconces in this post.
It was going to be a really go one too.....
Soooooo...
I'll do it next time.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Next Phase of Kris's Porch Renovation

Sooooo....
We were talkin' about what's up with Kris's front porch.
I had shown the house before we started.....
After we pulled off all the old vinyl siding on the front, any rotten wood that was found was repaired.
In New England there are two kinds of houses: 
Those that have termites, and those that will have termites.

But first.....another shot of my guy Nigel.
Once again, let me remind you that he's my contractor and you can't have him.
He be very cute!
Don't tell him I said so though, we don't want him getting a swelled head.
Now, look away, 'cuz you can't have him!!!!!
Isn't demoing the most satisfying part of construction???
Or is it just me, that I'm a warped pathetic old bag????
It was so great to see that horrible railing come down!!!!!
The porch felt better right away.
Why the old building inspector wanted such a high hand rail is a mystery that's right up there with the possibility that aliens built the pyramids!!!!
We didn't like the ceiling light, so we replaced it with sconces flanking the front door.
Soooo...
here she is with her front done.
I helped Kris choose a warm melon color, since who needs a white house with all the snow we get in New England????
The sides will be done next year.
This construction stuff ain't cheap ya know!
Notice how blurry this is?
My hands must have been shaking with glee.
We will be hanging some wonderful wood shutters in a dark green.
None of this screwing to the house, they will be properly hung, overlapping the window casings.
The porch ceiling was painted the classic sky blue.
I love when porch ceilings are this color.
We chose a soft dark mossy green for the doors, old storm window frames and floor.
The wall sconces are old carriage lights that we bought from Yankee Craftsman, a local antique light vendor in Wayland Massachusetts
We discovered them in their humongous barn, and they restored them and wired them for us.
I will show you guys our trip to this wonderful place in my next post.....maybe.....
Kris and her hubby, Keith, wanted ceiling fans, as they plan on sitting on the porch in all kinds of weather, spying watching the people go by.
They are big time porch sitters!!!!!

Here's the difference between the before and after!
I must say.....I am very good at what I do!!!!!
The house is very happy with Kris and me.
It likes it's new look.
We've found, bought and had delivered all the furniture for sitting on and stuff like that....
I'll be showing that off in the next few posts.....
CLIFFHANGER!!!!!

On that note,
Latah Gatah
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

All Right Already!!!!! I'll Write a Post!!!!!

My god, you people are pathetic!
It's so nice to be missed!!!!!
I thought I could slip away into the night and work on my fabric line without anyone noticing I wasn't writing my blog.
WELL,
 it worked for a while.... 
but then you smarty pants started to realize that you weren't being annoyed by my banal ramblings,
 and started to send me winy, needy, get-a-life comments.
Begging, pleading, imploring, beseeching,  requesting me to not abandon you  continue with my pithy posts.
Not to be confused with pissy posts!!!!
Although.....I guess they could be both pithy and pissy.....

As to how I'm doing on designing this line of fabric from hell....
let me just say that I don't know what the #$% I'm doing....but I have a year to figure it out.
We were discussing when we would launch it.
Next spring or next fall.....
I assured everybody that next fall was WAY BETTER!!!!!
That gives me six extra months to fake that fact that I know what I'm doing.
I am starting to get a handle on it.
My main goal in my designs is not to embarrass myself.....
Not to make a lot of moolah.....
Not to do stunning designs.....
just to not look like a total and complete moron.
I have high aspirations!!!!!! 

Sooooooo....
let me catch you guys up on some of the stuff I've been doing that doesn't involve sitting for hours at my computer manipulating graphics programs, 
or watching Don't Be Tardy on TV.
OK, confession time.....I love that show.....
Isn't AJ the cutest brat?????
Pure light hearted entertainment, without any nastiness.
Although....don't get me wrong.....The Real Housewives of New York City ROCKS!!
Shows like "Ray Donovan", "The Bridge", "The Good Wife", "Masters of Sex" are very entertaining.....
BUT YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE PLOT!!!!!
With shows like "Don't Be Tardy", if you miss something in the show, 
doesn't matter!!!!
you can just keep watching where you picked up!
My idea of TV nirvana self medication. 

I told you I was going to go over the floor plan of my little cottage on Cape Cod.
I wanted to show you guys how to manipulate tiny spaces into what felt like a larger area.
But that's not as much fun as showing what Kris and I have been up to on her front porch.
Sooooo...
Because I'm a girl that's all about fun....
Here's what her porch looked like before we started the attack.
Because she lives  within a New England town, all the telephone and electric wires are strung from poles.
I've become spoiled, as both my houses are in neighborhoods that have them under ground.
But she lives  in a neighborhood that's over a hundred years old, and they didn't have shovels back then.
Some previous owner thought it was a good idea to clad the house in vinyl siding.
Oy.
All that does is hide any water or termite damage from inquiring eyes.
To top off the insult to this lovely old home, when Kris had to replace the porch railing, the town building inspector made them install one that was 42 inches high.
This was not the town code, it was his own personal idea of safety.
  Not to cast aspersions on the man.....
but what the @#$?????
To finish off the assault to the appearance of the approach to Kris's home.
A previous owner thought that white shutters on a white house was a good idea.
Well it isn't!!!!!
No visual contrast.
None.
Nada.
Here's a view of the porch to the right.
Here's a view of the porch to the left.
Kris is attacking the exterior one side at a time, as it ain't cheap to replace and restore the look of original siding.
She chose Hardy Plank as a good solution to resisting the extremes of New England weather.
It's a composite board that looks like wood but is made from wood fibers as well as cement.
First we had to strip off the vinyl siding.
I would like to note at this juncture, that when I write "we", I mean Nigel, my fabuloso contractor.
If you think I'm hoisting a pry bar, you've lost your tiny minds.
The destruction continues!!!
As well as new siding, we were installing new, more energy efficient, prettier windows; as someone in the past had replaced the original ones with crappy vinyl, or aluminum, or something.
Here are the guys!!!!!
That's Nigel on the left.
He's mine, get your own stinkin' contractor.
This is what was under the siding.
Rotting in hidden glory,
This is Nigel's lunch.
This is a thoroughly documented story. 
So that's it for today.
Next post will show what we've done to make the house beeoutiful!
It's takes a long time to write this crap, you know.
So, you'll just have to wait.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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Friday, August 29, 2014

An Epiphany of Mind Blowing Proportions!!!!!

This week I realized something that should have occurred to me  
years and years ago!!!!!
Although I love me my fake flowers.
(You guys who have been reading me for a while know this.)
I have no shame when it comes to using fakes.
I've repeatedly made the joke about how women love to fake things.......
(wink, wink)
I mean....
look at how lovely these look after 10 years and counting....
and these.....
and THESE!!!
And what I did for my niece Miriam......
Sooooo.....
this week I decided that I would take a vacation.
I admit,
I lied to you guys!!!!!
Yes I did, I have not shame, I'm a big fat fibber.
When I told you I was just lazing around, when I didn't post my blog for two weeks,
 I was actually working like a dog on my fabric line.
I'm still trying to figure out what programs to use.
I feel like I'm caught between the Scylla and the Charybdis!!!!
Photoshop or Gimp?????
Illustrator or Inkscape?????
OY VEY!!!!!
I am so out of my element.
I wish there was a graphic arts class for old farts who don't want to leave their home, and sit in a classroom with a bunch of younguns.
And while I'm talking about classes....
WHY ARE ALL THE GOOD ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES AT NIGHT?????
After 5:00, I don't feel like goin' nowhere, nohow.....

Where was I.....
I always go off on these tangents.....
hmmmmmm
Oh yeah, taking a vacation!!!!!
So this week I gave myself permission to just do whatever I wanted,
which meant sitting out on my back patio looking at the sky
 and reading my books.
Getting in my two mile walks every day so my hips don't freeze up on me,
 and playing stupid computer games.
If I don't take breaks from creativity periodically, 
I shut down.
I need to recharge my batteries.
This involves doing nothing long enough that I get bored, and then I'm glad to get back to work.
An indication of this, is that I'm writing this blog today!!!!!

Sooooooo.....
I was talking about my epiphany......
I was looking out into my side yard where I have my grill and little table.
(below is a picture from a few years ago, before everything went to hell.....)
And it was a big fat mess!!!!
Everything was overgrown.
There were so many flowers that I could barely walk by.
Below is a picture AFTER I cut some off.
I have tons of white hostas too that get in my way when I grill.
I hate cutting pretty flowers. I like to leave them on their mother plants to keep looking gorgeous!
BUT
these were in the way.
AND IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT I COULD CUT THEM, AND GET THEM OUTTA MY FACE ALREADY!!!!!
So,
for the first time in 10 years of living here, I made a bouquet of fresh hydrangea and hosta flowers.
They were really pretty.
And now it's easier to grill my dinners of healthy low fat stuff.
BUT
it hasn't even been a week.
And the bouquet of fresh flowers looks like @#$.
It's all drooping and dropping pollen and making a big fat mess.
So,
I tried the natural, organic, local produce.
And I'm sticking to the polyester fakes!
But I just might try me some of my knock out roses.
They sure are purddy.....

@#$!!!
what was the point of this blog?????
I was trying to make a point.
AHHHHHH!!!!
never mind.
Pretend you didn't just wast a minute reading this.
Have a nice weekend.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Rant #547

HELLO KAMPERS!!!!!!!

Yeah, I know, it's been another couple of weeks with me playing hooky.......
WELL, IT'S SUMMER!!!!!!

I've been busy doing lots of nothin'.
This is something for which  I am eminently qualified.
I have had a LOT of training, so for those of you at home, it may not be safe to try this yourselves.

I have discovered the world of paranormal writing.
Vampires...
Werewolves....
Witches.....
Fae.
Demons
Ghosts.
the list goes one and on.....

Sometimes it's just great to get away from anything that is remotely real.
The Newspaper is enough for me these days, and I read two.

But one thing I don't like in my books is lots of gratuitous sex.
I find it boring and jump ahead to when it's over.
After all, at my age.....
been there, done lots and lots of that.
It's not boring to the participants....
but it's very boring to me to read about it. 
The author just needs to write:
"the sexual tension built, and then things took their normal course of action....."
The dot, dot, dot, is where the reader can add all the juice she wants.
That's just my editorial opinion.
The thing is; 
if I'm reading a book for sex, then this stuff is great!
But if I'm reading a book for plot and character development; 
this stuff is just filler,
 unnecessary 
and uses up good pages that could be telling me more cool stuff, 
like there are all sorts of dimensions all around us with walls thinning in places where the inhabitants are sneaking through!!!!!
 They look just like us, but can't talk because in their universe they use telepathy!!!!!
Stuff like that.
That's good stuff!!!!! 

Although I'm Jewish, and not big into any religion.....
I find I LOVE the Mormon writers.
They love to write supernatural stuff, and they add a little romance, but leave the dirt at the door.
Now don't get me wrong!!!!!
I used to be a very dirty girl!!!!!
It's just that in my old age, 
IT BE BORING!!!!!!!

It's like living a life of eating ice cream sundaes.
Loving ice cream sundaes.
Trying all  different kinds of ice cream sundaes,
By the time you're in your 60's, 
you really, really don't need to read any more about ice cream sundaes.
SOOOOOO
if you'er reading a book with a real fun plot, 
and the heroine is checking out an ice cream sundae.....
all the book needs to say is that she REALLY liked that particular flavor and felt great after eating a whole bowl of the damn stuff!!!!!

I don't know how I got to this.
I was going to write about creating a better floor plan for a really tiny house.
I'll write about that next time.
In the mean time,
If you have any authors you love that have aliens or supernatural characters within their pages, please let me know!!!!!

Another thing I need help with is.....
What to name my fabric line, if I ever get it off the ground.
I was thinking: Betsy.
'cuz that's my name.
Any ideas?????

On that note,
latah, gatah
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