Tuesday, October 09, 2007


The desert is full of textures: spiny, prickly, feathery and every other texture you can think of. Can you tell this thing is taller than I am?

There was a cactus garden behind the inn with wonderful variety. I had bought some wonderful cacti at the end of last summer, with great hopes. They died. What a nerve! I finally got something I didn't have to water too often and they didn't have the good grace to survive. Bleh. Now I am stuck with a big bag of cactus potting mix in my garage. Maybe I'll check the garden center again to see if they have any left this summer that are half price. Am I a glutton for punishment?

Here is another of the cacti growing around the inn.

Below, a pomegranate tree. Did you know that pomegranates grew on trees? I was so tempted.

Just before 5:00 on Saturday, as all of the shops were closing, a few of us wandered into a leather shop. Bev Snow and I each bought a bag of -- textures!!! Perfect for printing, rubbing, and who knows what else. What a deal! Today I was in again, working on deadline pieces - except for a trip to Whole Foods so we could have something in the fridge. I mean - I did not have ONE vegetable. Not even a rotten carrot. Can you imagine? I have two carrots now - really, they sell loose carrots at Whole Foods. And pomegranate juice.

Tomorrow I am having lunch with my friend Tim. We worked together in the early-to-mid '90s when we were both working for an outplacement firm. He is a psychologist who saved my sanity more than once, working for the boss from hell. We've kept in touch sporadically but last time I saw him was at his wedding a couple of years ago. Recently, a colleague of ours died unexpectedly; someone dear to both of us. We had each had the "let's have lunch when the schedules clear" conversation with our friend -- but during the past year, it never happened. Tim and I decided to make time for lunch with each other - so I'm meeting him between (his) clients tomorrow to catch up. Life is too short.

On another subject: see this?? Builder's almond formica. Door below the sink does not close. Drop-in sink is chipped around the edge and I have cut myself more than once.
Timer for the self-cleaning is broken and they don't make 'em any more. Upper oven burns everything. Lower oven's pilot light goes out unless the temp is 450 degrees. The almond tile floor gets dirty five minutes after it has been washed. Hopeless.I need to announce to my children that I am not doing Thanksgiving this year. I have found a cabinet guy and am waiting for the contractor to call me with some numbers for doing the whole job. Meantime, i continue to be obsessed with tile floors, backsplash, countertops, and all the rest. Well, it keeps me out of trouble.

UH - to keep this art related - I hope my sense of color and texture will help me as I'm picking out all the new stuff.


TALL GIRL said...

Cacti do seem to flounder in non-desert environments! We had lost several and then last year brought a saguaro toddler home from Tucson and it is now a foot tall. Ignoring them seems to be the key to success.

Sorta, kinda wish I had bought a bag of the leather scraps, but seriously... I have plenty of tools already.

Judy said...

Rayna, I have EXACTLY the same cabinets and mine don't close anymore either! We are in the planning stages of a kitchen redo also, but I think you'll probably be done before we get started!

Russ Little said...

Honey, that's not a kitchen. It's a museum. You're right. It's time to move on.

Have you considered glass tile for the backsplash? It looks really sharp and it's easy to clean. Don't worry about the grout lines getting dirty. You can put on a couple coats of sealer and never have a problem. I think it looks especially good against honed black granite counters and light-stained or white cabinets.

Regarding floor tile. Dan and I used 1" hexagonal porcelain tiles--white with a line of back ones outlining the room. It drove the tile installer crazy hand setting each of those black tiles, but it looks great. My only advise about any porcelain/ceramic floor tile is don't use light colored grout. I thought that off-white would look nice because it would make the whole floor look almost uniformly white. The fact is that the grout on the floor (compared to the backsplash, sealed or not) gets dirty and stained. I scrubbed it once on my hands and knees and couldn't walk for a week. The housekeeper laughed at me when I asked if she would do it! Dark gray, but not black, sets off the tile nicely and doesn't show and discoloration (aka dirt).

Good luck with the decisions. I love talking about ideas for other people's house projects that I don't have to manage to completion.

Rayna said...

Russ - want to come up and go shopping with me?

jane dávila said...

What Russ said about the grout! My hands and knees are still complaining about the ONE time I scrubbed (and scrubbed, and scrubbed) the new white grout in one bathroom. The other bathroom got tan grout...

Lara Berch Tutorials said...

Hi. My name is Lara Berch. I have just launched a new website with step by step art tutorials. I was wondering if it's possible to exchange links with you. http://www.laraberch.com
Thank you very much for your time.

Linda Branch Dunn said...

Kitchen reno is a pain but feels so good when it's over. AT least if you make good decisions. So take time and get all that good I-ve-been-there advice.

My kitchen is going on 15 years old. Yup: same cabinets as yours. Hardwood floor, though, which is very forgiving when it comes to dirt and dog fur.

When you post the Finished pictures, we shall all be green with envy.

Anonymous said...

In love what Russ said. I am a kitchen snob and I can't wait to see your's transformed. You deserve it!!

soup weather in June and a little more

DISCLAIMER: Blogger is giving me grief tonight, which you will see by the varying sizes of the type. Ye p, soup weather and it's ...