Day 7 of the 30-day Challenge

Okay…today was not a good subject selection. I decided to paint a tangerine wedge, and all I can say is that it was a true challenge.

Here are some of the pictures, the first picture is the still life and the other two are the painting in progress.

Final painting with another photo of the subject.

Not too happy with the results, I also rushed through it and did not take into consideration the colors and lighting reflection.

Well, tomorrow will be another day, I will definitely take some time to decide what I want to paint. See you tomorrow for Day 8.

Day 6 of the 30-day Challenge

As promised here is day 6 of my 1 a day for 30 days. This one was clocked for 1 hour, I did have to get up a few times but I did manage to get something decent, at least I think.

I did a still life of a fresh lime from my garden I think if I had allowed myself more time I would have really gotten more into realism painting. This one was fun and I enjoyed the challenge of getting the right greens. Could still refine my color skills, but I am happy overall.

See you tomorrow for Day 7.

Day 3,4 and 5 of the 30-day Challenge

Day 3 and 4 of my 1 a day for 30. Were definitely challenging… life happens and things don’t go according to plan. I did try to do a quick painting yesterday for Day 5 which I am posting now and later I will post my day 6. Day 5 was all about depth and color, frustrated with it all I did cut it short to a 45-minute session. Again… I have to remind myself that it’s all about sharpening my skills.

Day 5 – A simple rose

Day 2 of the 30-day Challenge

Day 2 of my 1 a day for 30. Once again the canvas size for this one is 6×8, it was a bit challenging once again felt frustrated from the beginning and not clear on my objective. I tried my best to stay focused on the general aspect of painting, color, lighting, and proportion to scale. As I was painting I tried to remember not to paint the object, focusing more on the color and lighting of the object. I double-checked my proportions a few times using my trusty Derwent scale divider, as listed below. Since I hadn’t painted for a while, I wanted to ensure I was measuring my space correctly.

So today I did not do a video and limited myself to 1 hour and took pictures of my start and stop time, which is 5 minutes shy of an hour.

As I proceeded to paint once again I tried to paint loosely focusing on color and light. The painting came out somewhat muddy, not what I had envisioned.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back tomorrow for day 3. I will continue my journey and will be looking over some of my reference materials to refresh my skills.

Day 1 of the 30-day Challenge

Day-1 of my 1 a day for 30, I’m keeping these paintings short no more than 2 hours, and the canvas size is 6×8. The goal here is not to have a perfect painting but to get reacquainted with painting and to get back into the groove. It was not easy but let’s see how I progress in the days to follow.

Okay, this was more challenging than I anticipated, I felt as if I have never painted. I was uncomfortable and had no idea what to paint, I putzed around cleaning my pallet that had dried paint for several months. Then I just said to myself I’ll pick whatever picture I have saved from the past. I found this watermelon on a plate picture and I figured I paint only one of them, I was feeling intimidated. I did 2 small time action videos (short snips – first time doing this) and a picture of the final painting. This painting was finished in 1 hour, staying true to my challenge not to exceed 2 hours.

Here’s the picture.
Starting the painting
Part 2

Here’s the final picture, not what I was hoping for but nonetheless it’s completed.

Watermelon wedge

Come back tomorrow for day 2, and support me through this challenge. 🙂

Loving Laundry…

Wow, it’s been some time since I’ve sat down and had time to blog. These days though school is back in session my paintbrushes have not been touched, I have found myself trying to keep up with my garden beds which I have to weed and mulch (I’ll give an update on those in my second post), and doing laundry, lots of laundry, Covid19 really has flourished my need to do laundry. I do love freshly laundered clothes, the smell of laundered clothes is the most relaxing smell, so much that there are candles with that scent. However, I hate doing laundry and my laundry room was a complete mess with the wire shelves, no laundry sink, no cabinets, and no style. So the first thing was to get a sink in there, I have never installed one, and had no idea how to go about it. I came across… House Doctor Ray on youtube, this was the best video explanation to install a sink :).

I started shopping for a laundry room sink, it was already pre-plumb and it was a priority. I wanted something nice with a cabinet but not too expensive, I came across one online at Home Depot with free delivery. So, I ordered it and all the components that I needed based on the youtube video. A few days later the cabinet arrived and it arrived like everything else, with “pandemic delivery”, damaged. Now, I had to shove it in the Suburban and take it to Home Depot, I exchanged it with no problems, but could have purchased it at the physical store from the get-go. I was trying to avoid the cumbersome process of going to the store. So, now that I had the cabinet at home I was able to visualize the space.

Now I felt that a laundry room complete makeover had to happen, I wanted it to be cozy, something that felt like me. I had ordered some tiles that were on clearance, 16 – 8×8 tiles for my front door threshold, they were ceramic tiles made to look like the cement tiles with the design that were or are a fad, these were made in Turkey and have a nice weight to them, but anyways few arrived broken and I would not have enough.

I was stuck with these tiles and I knew I wanted to use them because I really loved the look and besides I still had a good amount to use. I started searching the web for ideas, I originally wanted a white laundry room but all the pictures on the web made me realize that they kind of looked like a mental hospital, a little too sterile for me. I needed an environment with a little color but not too much, one that I would feel comfortable, and happy to be in. Not being sure where to start and went back to Home Depot to look for tiles for my original project, and sure enough, I found more cheap tiles. These were really cute, I had to buy them, they were sheets of small white matte hexagon tiles, I purchased 10 sheets. I brought them home and was stuck again with tiles that I had no idea where I would use them. Oh, I forgot to mention that prior to the purchase of the Turkey tiles I had purchased some glass tiles, 6 boxes – 10 in a box because they were a buck and some a box. Okay, so here we are with this collection of tiles…

So, for about a week I stared at pictures on the web and stared at the tiles and no ideas would spark in my head about how to use these. So, I ended up putting the tiles aside and went ahead and managed to install the sink and cabinet combo. Then, I had to run out to Lowes to buy some bare wood cabinets and a board as pictured below.

Laundry room sink

I decided to add a small counter to be able to place stuff on and the cabinets I ended up buying were upper wall cabinets that I stacked, they fit the size specs that I needed. I started playing with the tiles again to figure out the placement.

I stained and waxed the cabinets with Annie Sloan Wax and got more brilliant ideas :).

The shelf goes up with the help of my husband, the board weighs 45 lbs, I never want to do that again.

Tiling begins and I’m on my way it was a long and tedious tiling process but, I managed to complete it. Here are some of the highlights of the process.

The tiles are up except for a few little ones, but I began grouting because I became impatient. I had not grouted for a while and did end up with some sections that I was not too happy with.

Don’t do this! Don’t grout more than you can remove at a time, it will dry and will be very difficult to remove. :/

Well, anyways I survived this project, and here’s out it turned out.

Additional finishing touches…


Nun’s Orchid-

I’ve been meaning to share some pictures of the garden, but have been caught up with other things. Here’s one of many of my Nun’s Orchid aka Nun’s beard, Nun’s cap, but whatever you may know them as I think we can all agree they are truly beautiful, these flowers have been open for about 2-3 weeks and release an amazing perfume when you walk by them. This particular one has been in this pot for 2 years that plant several years old and I have replanted the offspring’s around my garden beds. I will post updated photos of the garden beds in the next day or two.

Undercover…raised bed crop coop.

If you live in a suburban and/or rural area, perhaps you have dealt with rabbits or deers eating your lovely flowers and greens. I have substantially added several raised beds to my garden. However, some were being chomped up by the deers and a beautifully fed rabbit. I have tried every deer and rabbit repellent in the market, and also added blood meal around the garden. The stuff I was using worked, but I had to reapply. That was okay for my roses, but when it comes to my lettuce, chard, onions, garlic, asparagus, and others, I can’t see myself reapplying the stuff every day. I saw some beautiful crop coop on the website. However, I needed 3, and I needed specific sizes. Though they are beautiful, I need 3 -3×6 and 1- 3×3. I thought about making wooded frames and adding chicken wire just like the ones everyone is posting online. I found the gardener’s supply company aesthetically pleasing but, they are expensive, and as I said, the size is not compatible with what I needed. I started thinking about making a frame and then wrapping it with chicken wire, but I became frustrated, and I didn’t see it as cost-effective. Then, it came to me. What if I purchased some of those mini-greenhouses that you put together with those tubes and cover with plastic.

Available at Amazon for $34 with an additional 5% discount

I purchased 3 of these 3×6, if you click on the link, it will take you to Amazon (non-affiliated link), I love this particular brand because they even came with the garden u-shape stakes. I purchased an additional one from another brand because it was cheap to reconstruct it into a 3×3, but that one did not come with the stakes. In addition to the greenhouse, I purchased chicken wire ($68.99 – at the time purchased at Amazon) and stainless steel zip ties ($13.99 – at the time purchased on Amazon).

MTB 20GA Galvanized Hexagonal Poultry Netting Chicken Wire 36 inches x 150 feet x 1 inch Mesh
Chicken wire 36″x150″
Stainless steel zip ties

This was all still worth it because I could make the perfect size for my raised beds.

So, here we go… easy peasy, assemble the frames and save the plastic to use for the winter months when you need a greenhouse.

Once, assembled it’s time to cut some chicken wire and start wrapping the frame-up. I used velcro plant ties to hold the wire in place. Once I got them even, then, I tied them down with the zip ties.

I worked on covering the ends first. Then, I used 2 pieces to drape over the other section.

I had some copper wire and decided to make some handles for easy lifting. I made 2- 3×6 fully covered and 1- 3×6 with some openings on top for my asparagus bed, and I made a 3×3 for my lettuce and garlic bed.

The first one came out wacky but then I got the hang of it.

Just make sure those tubes are fitted correctly before wrapping them with the chicken wire.

Here’s what they look like in the garden.



They look clean, and it protects all my veggies. It is also easier to maintain the beds; all I have to do is lift them, set them aside, work on the garden and place them back on.

Turmeric beginning to end.

Strolling in the garden, I notice a flower on one of my ginger plants. I wasn’t sure what type of ginger it was, however looking closely, I realized that it was the flower of a turmeric plant, Curcuma Longa, pictured below. In the Summer of 2020, I remember placing Turmeric Rhizome that I had purchased at the store throughout different garden beds. This particular location was facing North, close to the house, and it is an area that the soil is quite wet and a bit sandy. I did not take care of it or paid any attention. I was more concerned about the neighboring Awapuhi Ginger that I had planted there a while back.

I waited till the plants leaves started to turn brown to dig and see what was underneath. I started digging this quite large root with my garden fork and boy it was quite large.

The last picture is only half of the amount I dugout. I planted back the most predominant root and still managed to transplant some Rhizomes with growth in other areas of my garden. I didn’t know what to do with all the Turmeric, so I added up mailing some to my inlaws and mom. The rest I washed in a bowl with water and some vinegar, leaving it to soak for 10-15 minutes. After that, I used a small vegetable brush to scrub any dirt from the nooks and crannies and gave it a good rinse with cold water. I placed them on a towel to dry for a couple of days. I’m saving a few for fresh use, but the rest I am starting to dry in a dehydrator.

You don’t need to peel them if you cleaned them properly. I did peel some just because of some ugly parts. Slice the Turmeric thin and placed them in the dehydrator; it took 6 hrs at 140 f. After that, you will have these beautiful shriveled up slices of Turmeric ready to grind.

I used a coffee grinder that I use for just grinding spices, and this is what you will end up with…

You will end up with the most amazing fragrant Turmeric you can get!

All you need to do is jar it up and add it to your spice collection and enjoy!

Building a desk.

This desk was actually made in November.

Yes, I built a desk, not sure why but I needed a desk and could not find anything that attracted me and that was within my budget, and besides, we had Covid downtime :). It was also a way to use up plywood sitting in my garage leftover from my pantry build. I also had a wood biscuit cutter that I purchased for Xmas in 2019 and still had not used it. So, I figure I would give it a try and the only additional heavy ticket item that was purchased was a Ryobi cordless nail gun from HD, it was a good investment for future building projects and picture frame making. So, I got to work and drew some sketches, a little rusty but I got down the basic concept and created a cut list from the drawing. I figured that I would build the following:

Cubbies were built with 3/4″ plywood, top was with 1/2″ plywood.

2 cubbies measuring 12″x 8″ x 28″– open facing to the front, these would be place in front of the desk and back wall of the cubbie would be the side of the back cubbie.(I hope that makes sense)

2 cubbies measuring 10.5″ x 8″ x 28″ – open facing to the sides.

The top would measure 45″x 24″ (1/2″ plywood which later I decided to glue to 1/2″ to make a top 1″ thick)

The platform was originally designed 12″ x 45″ x 6″ with three openings. I changed the measurement because I was going to lose too much work space, the final measurements are 8″ x 45″ x 6″

Once, I had my cut list ready it was time to set up my sophisticated cutting saw and table.

I cut all the wood and used the biscuit cutter to cut out joints, my assist and I brought all the wood to my art studio where it was cooler.

I started assembling or trying to, and it became a trial and error with redo cuttings but I got through it. I also started having fun and collecting all the scraps glue and nailing them together to utilize it as a drawer front, drawers were not in the original plan but I could stop playing with this nail gun.

The 3rd picture I have one cubby completed.

It started to move along, and I was able to see some progress. I did run short of plywood for the top of the desk but ended up gluing 2 cut pieces to the bottom of the single-piece top, clamping, and leaving for 24 hours. I wanted the top to be thicker, and I didn’t want to spend any more money. I didn’t take any pictures of that disaster, but after sanding, it worked out.
While the top dried, I began assembling the pedestal top. In addition to the original cuts for the pedestal, I added a backboard 4″ height for stability but placed it with a gap on the top and bottom so that I could run cables through. That is not a bag full of rice in the background, I upcycled the bag for storage of my painting rags.

So, not bore you any further he is the finishing of the desk.

I think it turned out pretty decent considering that I have never built any furniture and the only tools used were a circular saw with my hilarious setup, a biscuit cutter, a drill, and my trusty cordless nail gun. I think if I had a table saw and a chop saw that project would have gone smoother and perhaps easier.

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