February 21, 2008

Moon Watching

Most of you probably heard talk of the lunar eclipse that happened last night. DS and I stayed up to watch it, and I even convinced him to drive me into farmland so I could get better pictures without the light pollution of civilization. I didn't have a telescope, but it would seem that a 10x optical zoom on a digital camera wasn't half bad. In fact, zooming in on Saturn shows what I imagine are rings, though it's hard to tell.

The image below is zoomed out, and the light has been tampered with to find the stars not quite bright enough to be seen in the photo above. There was only one star missing from the constellation Leo! (at least, in my photo; you could see it otherwise, but my camera couldn't quite catch it)

How cool is that? I was so fascinated, and even Winston and Felix spent quite a bit of time staring out the window (they're copy cats).

*The smudge of white to the left of the moon is a reflection caught in my double-paned windows.

February 17, 2008

To Do: Finish Table - Check!

I finally finished the mosaic I was working on for the top of our coffee table. This table was a hand me down (several times over I believe). At one time it had a glass top, but it was broken before DS became the owner. It wasn't the nicest table in the world, so it made a good experimental surface for trying out a new art form.

Never having done mosaics before, but knowing something about general tiling, I headed to the hardware store for tile adhesive. The grout I picked up at the craft store because it came in small amounts and different colors. The tiles were bought from the seller cocomo on Etsy, who finds really sweet ceramics and cuts them up for tiles.

Lesson #1: Unless you're doing a small project, do not do all of the tile adhesive work first. Despite needing a week of drying time before grouting, it will lose its ability to hold tile much faster.

Lesson #2: You should probably do this on days you can open a window. That stuff stinks, and is a great headache causer.

Lesson #3: If you're going for a cohesive look, you should probably plan it out ahead of time. And make sure you have enough tiles in the colors you like.

Lesson #4: Grout is dusty. Also, it looks a lot better if you let it sit for a while before doing the wet sponge part. A "float" helps too.

Lesson #5: Despite all of the other lessons, chances are you're still going to end up with something much cooler than your original ugly table.

I tried to do a series of little scenes rather than try to plan out one big one. See if you can figure them out. (Don't worry if you can't, DS couldn't really tell what they were without explanation either.)

Close up Left

Close up - Middle

Close up - Right

February 05, 2008

Anyone have some grout?

So the table isn't finished, but not for lack of trying. It took a lot more grout than I anticipated, and I've run out. DS tried to get more for me the last time he was running errands, but the store was out too. So, now I have a half grouted table top. Hopefully they'll more in stock this weekend.

It rained slush all day yesterday, and I was able to see actual road again for the first time in a long time. (I don't know if you've been keeping count, but I'm pretty certain I haven't seen actual ground since Thanksgiving.) Of course, now we're in the middle of a winter storm warning expected to dump 6-10 inches of snow by tomorrow morning. So bye-bye roads again. It's a good thing Wisconsin drivers know how to drive in snow, or we'd all be screwed.

But yeah, I think the 10-day forecast has snow from now until next Monday. Probably not straight snow, but snow that many days in a row none the less. I'm pretty excited about it. There is talk among my friends of going snow tubing this weekend! I hope it pans out. (Come on Cathy, ask for a snow tubing party for your birthday!!)