Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013 and a Spooky Story by Emily Carroll

Spooky Halloween from foobella

Just a little spooky fun with photoshop using only the tools available within the program. 

I miss decorating for, and scaring the trick-or-treaters.
We don't get any here in the sticks, so I don't do much for the occasion.
Though, I do have some candy just in case the few kids in the neighborhood come by.

Halloween Collage

I also wanted to share a web comic with you from the amazingly talented Emily Carroll, called Out of Skin.
I love everything she creates. Her illustrations are amazing, as is her storytelling.  Click the image below to read the story. It's wonderfully dark and gruesome, and a perfect Halloween treat.

Out of Skin by Emily Carroll

A safe and Happy Halloween night to you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Painting Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

(Update: see the completely finished cabinets here.) 

We are finally getting around to fixing up what needs to be fixed up in my condo, starting with the kitchen cabinets.

When I first moved into my condo a few years ago, this is what the kitchen looked like (above). Laminate cabinet doors with solid wood "handles". No knobs or pulls. I hate them, as do probably most people. 

laminate kitchen cabinets

The first thing I did when I moved in was to tear off the laminate surface, which is just a thin layer of off-white plastic. I hinted about it here. I would rather look at the particle board surface than the white laminate doors on wood cabinet bases. And I lived with that for far too long. 

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

This is what we did this weekend. We took down all the doors and started painting the cabinets, and I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. It is so much easier than I thought. Well, Jason may not feel that way, but I do.

I dreaded the idea of sanding the cabinets, so instead, we bought some liquid deglosser from Lowe's and I just wiped it on the cabinet bases and then wiped it off with a damp cloth. So easy, and no worries about removing everything from in the cabinets and getting dust all over the place.  This product takes the shine off the surface so the paint will adhere. Jason started sanding all the doors outside. Since they had the laminate on top of them, which I had peeled off, they had a texture from the adhesive, otherwise, we would have used the deglosser on the doors as well. 


I waited about 30 minutes after deglossing, and then I painted my first coat of Olympic self-priming semi-gloss paint in Eiffel Tower. Jason says "it's gray" and blah, but I love it, and it was the second paint chip I looked at. I liked it, and that was that. I wasn't about to waste time looking at colors, hemming and hawing. It's nice and neutral, yet warm.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

You can see from the false drawer front under the sink what the particle board fronts looked like without the plastic laminate. Jason has yet to sand this board, that's why it is not yet painted.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

You can see the "handle" of the door to the right in the picture above. I actually bought some brushed silver knobs to add to all the doors and drawers because I so dislike those "handles".  This is not my ideal upgrade. I'd love to replace the doors completely, but we are going for the least expensive fix with the most impact, and paint it is. I have no doubt it will look 100% better than before, so I am not sweating it. (Yep, I still have a tube TV. And I have a record player and cassette player, too. What can I say? I'm a child of the 80's and I just can't part with any of them.)

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

I painted the first coat on the upper cabinets Saturday and the second coat Sunday. The bottom cabinets so far only have one coat. I think the trick is to let it dry completely overnight. I know people get antsy (as I usually do) to wait a short while and then put on the second coat the same day, but I think waiting overnight, at the very least, really helps it to adhere to the surface.  

Also, I found that using a brush on the cabinet bases worked best, while Jason used a small foam roller for the doors. We used the cheapest we could find and it worked well for us.

For the smallest spaces and to get the inside edges of the cabinet bases, I used a small flat artist brush.

painting laminate kitchen cabinets

Jason put one door back up so we could get an idea of how it will look. Not bad. I can't wait to get them all done and put the new knobs on. We are also using this color in both bathrooms, which have one coat of paint so far. Jason sanded and painted all the doors. So, just one more coat on the bottom kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and all the doors. Then, attach the knobs and on to the next project; the kitchen and hall floors.  

I must say, getting started on a project like this is the hardest part. Once you get going, the momentum just carries you along, and I found I actually enjoyed it. A lot. I found it very relaxing, and I was excited to get back the next day to continue painting.  At least that's the way I feel. Jason might have another opinion. ;)

Of course, I'll be back with more pictures when it's done. 

(Update: see the completely finished cabinets here.) 

Friday, October 25, 2013

40th Annual Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife

The first weekend of October was the 40th Annual Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife. 
I look forward to it every year.

If you are a regular, you just call it the Fall Festival, and it takes place in our beautiful shady (thankfully) Newport News Park, one of the largest city-run parks in the United States.  

It was really a perfect day. In the shade, that is.
I remember the last time I went a few years ago I had a jacket on.
Not this time. It was in the 80s.

First stop?

The animals, of course. 

I made us miss the Virginia State Fair this year, so I asked Jason if this made up for it. 

I think he said no. 

But, does the State Fair have remote control boats? I think not.

cute produce truck.

Cutest camper I've ever seen. 

Here's a look inside the camper. 
Jason's feet would hang out the door if he tried to lay on that bed. 

And you can't see him, but under that tent there is music going on provided by Bob Zentz
According to Jason, he plays pretty much every musical instrument in the world. 
Not really, but close. 
I certainly enjoyed him, and looking out over the reservoir while listening to the music wasn't bad either. 

Lots of fun craft vendors and hobbyists participate in the marketplace. 

There are also Juried Crafts at the Fall Festival. 
I didn't get many pictures as I was having too much fun looking. 

This man made cool sculptures and windchimes, etc. out of old air tanks.

Felt. I love felt.

This was not only stained glass, but the artwork within the frames was colored glass bits somehow melted onto the surface to make each scene. They were so pretty in person. 

I'm sure you've heard of scherenschnitte, right? It's paper-cutting. 
I only know the term because I took German in high school. ha

This crafter from our town of West Point was representing with some very cool, and very tiny paper cuttings. 

There was also this guy with a monkey on his shoulder. 
He did magic tricks, card tricks, breathed fire, etc. 
Made bad jokes. He was fun. 

Of course, you can't go to any kind of fare without eating fare food. I wish I'd taken a picture of our lunch, which was an amazing chicken kebab with some kind of yummy spicy rub on it. Ok, so it took the drunk girl (no lie) half an hour to get us our lemonade, but that chicken was worth it. 

funnel cake

And for dessert. Gotta have the funnel cake. No fruit on mine, please. 

It was a gorgeous day. Yes, it was hot, but in the shade it was perfect. 

Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

6th Annual Worldwide Photowalk - West Point, Virginia

The 6th Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk was a few weeks ago, and Jason and I led a walk for the first time. We chose the quaint old town of West Point, Virginia, which, coincidentally was having it's 31st Annual Crab Carnival on the same day.

Here is a picture of our small group of walkers.
worldwide photowalk West Point, VA group via
photo by: jason b. copes

Not a bad turnout for our first walk in this small town. I was holding my breath right after sighing up to lead this walk. I was afraid no one would join our group at all and kept thinking I would be happy with at least one walker joining us, so three was a success in my eyes.   

It was a surprisingly hot day for October. I'll tell you more about it soon.

Oh! and I also have to tell you about Pirates Pack the Park! No, we did not break any records, but it was an amazing turnout. More to come!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tis the Halloween Season

Happy October!

We all know what that means. 

In celebration of what always feels like a very short month of fun with ghosts and goblins, here is a collage I made of my husband's Halloween office party from last year. 
The theme was a circus freak show but to be more PC, they went with CarnEvil.

click the image for a larger view...if you dare...
Halloween CarnEvil Office Party Pictured from left to right starting from the top left: What looks like the little shop of human body parts; peep show of grotesque images; talking sculpture of doom; hall of mirrors; more body parts in jar; bloody hand print; shrunken village; skulls galore and more; creepy veggie meat platter clown head; a human sawed in half with guts and all; tattoos; and balloon darts game, where I won a prize on my first throw! 

Tis the season to be scary!

p.s. collage made in Picasa
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