Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Giant DIY Project

I'm going to try to turn this:

Into this:

casa murillo house plan

After months of being paralyzed by fear of failure and by taking on a project TOO large, I am finally through to the other side and am feeling positive and energized. I'm the owner/builder without a general contractor. I will blog about all the joy and sorrow involved in such an undertaking. So far, the only thing I have decided on are the house plans. This is it. Hundreds of hours of searching house plans online. I'm going to have a draftsman make several changes to the floorplan (which the house plan websites say is typical) and then it's off to the city for permits.
The house is called Casa Murillo on the website where I ordered the plans. My family and I have renamed it "Casa de Manana" (house of tomorrow) because sometimes it feels like it will never happen. I ordered the house plans in CAD format. My draftsman (I found a local guy, online, who answered my email questions instantly {within a minute!!} and knowledgeably) says this is a simpler, quicker, and less expensive way for him to make changes. I ordered the plans from here, but I found the same plan on many different websites that sell house plans.

This is about what the house plan websites show you before you order the complete set of plans.

Your actual plans will actually have over 10 pages that look more like this:

And after a few hundred hours of staring at this foreign language, you WILL understand it.

Summer 2012 Pictures (Northern Arizona)

northern arizona mountains

hummungbird, hummingbird in arizona, hummingbird and flower

lightning, lightning in arizona

old barn, weathered barn

puddle of water

sunset, arizona sunset

stacked rocks

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Friday's Photo

Be Still

the moon, moon photo

"No thought, no action, no movement, total stillness: only thus can one manifest the true nature and law of things from within and unconsciously, and at last become one with heaven and earth."
Lao Tzu 

Happy Friday P52ers!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Friday's Photo

A Great Leap

This was the first thing I thought of when I saw the prompt:   A Great Leap.

Feet firmly planted. 
Because I don't take great leaps anymore. I used to be a pro at leaping. Now......not so much.
After a lot of stress, over-thinking, and second guessing...I hop. Once I hop I think about how maybe I shouldn't have hopped. Maybe I should go back? This was a bad move! Why did I hop?! I should've been satisfied with where I was.

It's a lot of nonsense. I must get back to LEAPING!!! I know it's in me somewhere.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday's Photo

Cabin Fever

lock and key

I interpreted this week's theme of Cabin Fever to mean being locked in. This is a photo of an antique lock and key. Obviously an antique... when was the last time you saw a pretty key? I wish keys were still like this one.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Friday's Photo

two peas in a pod

   True Love

A pod from a bottle tree and two peas from my freezer :)

Have a great weekend my P52 friends!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Friday's Photo

Drink Up!

drop of water, water drop

 Here in the United States it was Super Bowl weekend. Lots of drinks and drinking up. So many opportunities to photograph some sort of drinking up, but I photographed water. I've been wanting to work on getting a photo of a drop of water and thought this would be the perfect time and theme. I got totally lost in getting these shots. I took over 400 pictures of water drops. Only a few turned out. Here are some. I did not edit these. The blue changed intensity as the sun moved throughout the day. I spent so long looking at these water drop photos that they started turning into some kind of psychedelic solar system to me. 

water drops

water drops

drops of water

drop of water

Some of my favorites.

And because I'm always a sucker for spoilers, here's a photo of the un-magical technique I used to photograph these drops:

photographing a drop of water

Sunlight, medicine dropper, blue folder, and a Pyrex dish full of water.
Thanks for visiting. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Friday's Photo


My favorite time of year is winter when the sun is low in the sky and casts some spectacular shadows both outside and in my house. It is the best time to be in the Arizona desert.
It's actually the ONLY time to be in the Arizona desert.
If you've ever experienced an Arizona desert summer you, like me, have probably wondered what crazies would create a city in such an unbelievably hot, horrid place.  I spend about 7 months of the year rejoicing and admiring  the beautiful weather only to curl up and whimper through the remaining 5 months of  the hotter than hot summer average of 100+ degrees. Wikipedia compares our weather to Baghdad, Iraq.    Lovely.

The light and shadows from the evening sun:

white flower petals

Panning back:

Exact same picture after the sunlight left, and without zoom. Not very interesting anymore.

Thanks for the visit and cheers to a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recycled Bottle

recycled bottle, diy phone holder, diy docking station, shampoo bottle phone holder

Recycle soap/shampoo bottles to hold electronic devices while they charge.

recycled bottle docking station

1. Cut the bottle to the shape you want. I used scissors and an exacto knife. I really liked this shampoo bottle especially because the label peels off in one nice piece (huge plus!!) and it cut like buttah. I used patterned stationary paper to decorate it. You can buy it by the piece (about 50 cents) at most craft stores. Cut your paper to fit where you want it. I did a rough trace and then just trimmed away until I had the shape I wanted.

2. Mod Podge the back of your stationary paper onto bottle.

3. Trim away any excess or overhanging paper.

4. I added 3 coats of Mod Podge over the top of the paper to protect it.

If you don't feel comfortable having the plug or USB device support the weight of the devise, this idea also works well as cord control and storage with it sitting on a counter.

The excess cord stays curled inside the bottom of bottle.

From this...                                                           to this.

Especially great when traveling!

These were two other re-purposed bottles by Inhabitat and Make It and Love It (she decorated hers with fabric).

Click on image to go to link.

I found that my plugs were so bulky that they blocked the opening of the pouch where my phone rests, so mine is attached at the USB port. I experimented with a few different types of bottles until I found the right size.

Now...just try shopping for shampoo without seeing it's hidden potential as a phone holder!