Archive for December, 2005

Another Art Project Snafu

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

In an earlier post (6/12/2005) we complained about a large, chain custom framing store that messed up several times making the frame for Roger’s Steadman print. Their 10-day turnaround turned out to be more like four months. So, you’d think we’d turn to someone else for the even more complicated job of shadow box framing our five newest pieces. Well, think again and, strangely, just about the same thing happened - but worse. Go figure!

First, we got a call from the manager saying the framer had “a little problem” while trying to mount our artwork. Turned out he drilled holes for the mounting screws through the FRONT of our two favorite pieces. They were trashed, so we had to get replacements. Then, one frame had to be replaced THREE times due to big gouges in the frame. They tried to fill them in with black Sharpie.???!?! Another 10-day job that lasted for months. But, we’re over it, because they came out beautifully.

We have this huge blank wall space above the island between the kitchen and living room. It’s the first thing your eye catches when you walk in. We had our friends Carolyn, Kristen and Larry (an artist, conveniently) over for dinner and Larry suggested a few pieces that might look nice in that space. We saw them a few weeks later and loved ‘em. They are ink drawings on paper which are mounted on multi-colored wood blocks and the whole thing is laminated with epoxy. The coloring is pretty subtle, so we got this idea to put them in shadow boxes to make them “pop” out from the wall. The black interior of the boxes with anti-reflective glass accentuates the colors too. The pieces are centered above the island (not the whole wall) and weighted toward the right, which draws your eye up the two-story-tall wall in the living room. Looks cool.

The Wall:

The Right Box:

The Center Box:

The Top Box:

Preview

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

Believe it or not, Roger is actually getting close to having the vacation pictures ready for viewing. He’s using iMovie to organize them with a bit of musical accompaniment. So, they should be ready by the time we come home for Christmas. Meanwhile, here are a couple photos some friends we made on the cruise took of us. They’re from the island of Capri, just off the coast of Italy and a short hydrofoil ride from Naples. It was like 85 degrees that day… gosh I miss Italy…

And here we are at about the same spot. Roger doesn’t look so happy to be there, but we did only have like 2 hours of sleep and many, many cocktails the previous evening. Get used to this excuse, you’re going to hear it alot when you finally get to see all the pictures.

Anyhow, got lots of errands and a Christmas party to go to tonight. Then, we’re having some people over for dinner tomorrow night. It’s our actual 10-year anniversary on Sunday, so having at least one cruise picture on the blog seemed appropriate.

More Pictures

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

You seem to enjoy pictures, so I thought I’d post a couple more. The first one is from my trip to Copenhagen. It was pouring down rain and about 1 degree (Celsius, that is) pretty much the whole time I was there. I ventured out to find the quintessential symbol of Copenhagen - the Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen is from Denmark). It took forever to find her and I was soaked to the bone. She’s a little anti-climactic since she’s pretty small. At first, I wasn’t sure it was the real thing, but a couple tour buses showed up, so…

Back to our day at the beach. We saw this poor fella laying low on the beach with a big shark wound in his side. We were pretty worried about him, but in a typically California way, by the time we walked back that way the Rescue Dude has posted signs around him to warn people away and gave him a check-up. Apparently, when they’re wounded, they get tired of defending themselves against the sharks and beach themselves to recover. Dude assured us he’d be OK in a few days.

Another beach beauty shot:

And finally, an underwater close-up of a cool looking starfish:

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

Christmas. Well, Christmas in California anyway…

Not to make all you people back East feel too badly, but we enjoyed a beautiful, sunny Saturday hiking the beach. It was only 68 degrees, so that Winter chill is really in the air. We hiked to Maverick Beach, which is where the famous surfing contest is held each Fall. Then, we drove into Half Moon Bay and had a nice seafood lunch.

Speaking of Driving: After talking about it forever, we finally broke down and did it - we bought an SUV. We were tired of having to rent an SUV every time we wanted to venture up to Carolyn’s vineyard (the 12-mile gravel and rutted dirt “road” ordeal). Plus, our other cars are wholly impractical and no good for the little things, like going anywhere that requires trunk space or oceanside hikes. Our friend Kristen made us a deal we couldn’t refuse on her ‘98 Ford Explorer, the Eddie Bauer edition. It’s in fantastically good shape and loaded with options. She took really good care of it too.

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Nope, still no vacation pictures…

But, we hope everyone had a peaceful and joyous Thanksgiving with lots of family and friends around. As usual, Roger proved himself the gourmet and put on quite a feast. The menu…

-ARUGULA SALAD WITH, ORANGES, POMEGRANATE SEEDS, AND GOAT CHEESE
-PORCINI-RUBBED TURKEY WITH SHIITAKE-MADEIRA GRAVY
-ARTICHOKE, SAUSAGE, AND PARMESAN CHEESE STUFFING
-ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH THYME AND MARJORAM VINAIGRETTE
-CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH ROASTED SHALLOTS AND PORT
-HONEYED CHESTNUT CORN BREAD
-FENNEL-SCENTED MASHED POTATOES
-PUMPKIN AND PECAN SEMIFREDDO WITH CARAMEL SAUCE
-VINO, VINO, VINO

Did we mention vino? As usual, our very good friend Carolyn dipped into her amazing cellar and graced us with several lovely wines. One of the wines she brought was among the best, if not THE best, we’ve ever had. This is no small claim, given we routinely have 70+ bottles in our wine fridge and spend an embarrassing percentage of our take home pay on wine and trips to Napa/Sonoma to seek out really tasty wines. We say this not to make you jealous (well, maybe a little), but to show just how much Carolyn loves us. It was a 2003 Flowers Grand Bouquet Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. To our great sadness, you can’t buy it anywhere. It was a gift to Carolyn from the Flowers’ themselves (they’re neighbors).

Another good friend, the other half of the “faux dates”, Kristen, came to our house directly from the airport. She was back from her umpteenth vacation to Europe this year. Despite the jet lag, she hung there with the rest of us winos all night. Last, but by no means least, a couple we met on the cruise joined us for dinner too. Shawn and Randy live near LA, but were taking a week’s vacation in San Francisco. They mentioned this to us on the cruise and we thought it would be fun to have them over for T-Day. To our delight, they showed up!

Anyway, onto the pictures. Here’s one of the table before the crowd showed up. I picked out the tablecloth all by myself. I’m very proud.

table

And speaking of the crowd, here they are. (From L: Randy, Shawn, Kristen, Carolyn and Roger (showing off his purple wine teeth)):

But don’t think all I did was drink wine, take poor quality photos and eat. No! I was on leftovers patrol:

After all was cleaned up, more than a few 007 movies were watched on the Bond-A-Thon (love that Spike TV), and the hangovers slept away, we got in the spirit and decorated the “Stairway to Christmas”. It looks pretty festive. But, the coolest thing is that, due to the double-height corner picture windows in our living room, you can see the purple glow at night from like three blocks away. The fresh pine scent is kinda nice too (it’s 35 feet of pine garland if you can’t tell from the high quality photo).

Anyway, I’m leaving Saturday for Denmark for a weeklong business meeting. Roger’s gonna be a bachelor that week, so somebody better keep bail money handy…