I’d be lying…

…like a politician if I told you how much fun the past few days have been, but so much has been accomplished, my feeling of satisfaction trumps the aches and pains!

I mentioned previously that I would try to finish everything but the studio and then begin redecorating.

Yep, I did it!

Even the windows and blinds have been washed, some badly needed weather-stripping put in place, and a few paintings have been hung.

See for yourself!

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All my mismatched, second-hand furniture now looks great, although it took three coats of paint to get it right!

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If you think that was hard work, the tree specialists arrived Thursday morning, and put it four solid days work clearing the land next door, which began like this…

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and ended like this, taken early this morning:

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Here are the in-between images, arranged sequentially:

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Tree Cutters-4

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This is the 'high man', whom I complimented the other day as he returned from lunch. He is an expert and works quietly because he directs his men with hand signals, which I found pretty amazing!

This is the ‘high man’, whom I complimented the other day as he returned from lunch.
He is an expert and works quietly because he directs his men with hand signals, which I found pretty amazing!

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Tree Cutters-9

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Tree Cutters-12

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This industrious crew should be applauded for their work, executed in what I consider a very short amount of time!

They kept me busy at every short break I took, and I’ll say I was truly awed, watching all these un-cared-for trees come down, seeing all the dead limbs, and listening to the sound of the chipper as I continued my little (?) paint adventure!

Word is that construction of the parking structure will begin before the end of the year…you can bet I’ll be at my window (and, on the ground!) covering the progress!

The Last of Summer

How happy I am that this Summer is at an end!

The final moon of Summer, taken last night at 9:12 PM (CDT) from my studio window.

The final moon of Summer, taken last night at 9:12 PM (CDT) from my studio window.

The last sunrise of Summer, taken at 6:33 AM (CDT) this morning, also from my studio window.

The last sunrise of Summer, taken at 6:33 AM (CDT) this morning, also from my studio window.

Autumn…ah, the quiet of Autumn…arrives officially at 9:29 PM (CDT) tonight!

It’s been a horrid Summer for me, what with the invasion of bedbugs which required so much extra labor I never got much of a chance to enjoy relaxing along the shore of Lake Michigan. nor did I get much of a tan.

Every day was work, work, WORK!“think like a bedbug” and caulk and patch every single crack and crevice one could find–only to discover there were severe ‘mistakes’ (shortcuts?) taken by the carpenters who rehabbed this building some years ago, leaving HUGE gaps where moldings did not join walls and floor.

Noise from morning to late afternoon, as the gas company workers dug up streets to replace ancient gas pipes, followed by water department workers who dug up other parts of the street to replace ancient water mains.

Oh, it has been an ugly Summer for me!

I welcome Autumn with the lens cap off, clicking then processing each image, relishing the beauty of the season.

Lte Summer Grasses

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Sunflower Underside

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Fading Hosta-1 Diffuse Glow

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Autumn…so very welcome!

Just one of those things

At about 3:00AM Thursday morning, my desktop made a grinding noise and shut itself down.

After four hours of sleep, I figured out how to open it and spent the bulk of the day cleaning the inside and trying to get it up and running, to no avail.

The internal power supply had “died”, which I found out from my computer guy downstairs is a common occurrence after a few years.

So…I dragged out my very old Toshiba laptop, hooked it up, and surprisingly, remembered my password…but, not only is it VERY slow, it just ‘puts itself to sleep’ at any point!

At least it has a working copy of Photoshop (TM) 8, so I could process the images!

The new power supply will be installed sometime on Monday, according to my computer guy, so posting until then might be a bit sparse–please accept my apologies for that!

The resident copy of Nikon Transfer would not do its job, nor could I uninstall then reinstall, so I had to figure a way to transfer my photos taken during a wonderful walk yesterday afternoon.

I accomplished that, but have been interrupted quite a few times re: the intermittent ‘falling asleep’ problem, which means I’ll have to go out later and make a trip to “The Patience Store” to pick up at least TEN pounds of patience!

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Earlier in the week, I purchased a manual food chopper for the reasonable price of $7.99 (plus tax, of course!).

I thought you might like to see it.

Nice, isn't it? I haven't used it yet, but I can tell you the blades are REALLY sharp, and the entire piece disassembles for washing. However, I had some trouble releasing it from its packaging, which to my mind is a bit 'wasteful'!

Nice, isn’t it?
I haven’t used it yet, but I can tell you the blades are REALLY sharp, and the entire piece disassembles for washing.
However, I had some trouble releasing it from its packaging, which to my mind is a bit ‘wasteful’!

I think the designer went a bit overboard with all the folds and inserts!

I think the designer went a bit overboard with all the folds and inserts!

Here's the inside view, which makes it easier to see the intricacies of the design. Ah, well, into the Recycling Bin with that!

Here’s the inside view, which makes it easier to see the intricacies of the design.
Ah, well, into the Recycling Bin with that!

The Lowly Dandelion

Yes, most people consider the "Daisy-dine" (as my youngest son called them so may years ago) a pesky weed...

Yes, most people consider the “Daisy-dine” (as my youngest son called them so many years ago) a pesky weed…

...any loving mother, whose toddler has presented her with even just one...

…any loving mother, whose toddler has presented her with even just one…

...will feel she's received the most beautiful flower in the world!

…will feel she’s received the most beautiful flower in the world!

I know I did!!!

I know I did!!!

From my window: Of course it’s Spring…

…isn’t it?

Last evening, at 7:19 PM (CDT)...a short snow squall!

Last evening, at 7:19 PM (CDT)…a short snow squall!

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This morning at 5:04 AM (CDT)--yes, I've been awake for several hours!--one tenth of an inch of SNOW!

This morning at 5:04 AM (CDT)–yes, I’ve been awake for several hours!–one tenth of an inch of SNOW!

Yet another “sure sign of Spring”…here in Chicago!

This morning

After being abruptly roused at 4:30 AM from a not-long-enough sleep by a “flash/boomer” directly overhead, I reluctantly got out of bed to check if there had been a power outage.

Thankfully, NOT!

Rain poured down loudly against the windows, accompanied by continual flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder.

Later, the morning looked like this:

Not a hint of the thirteen story Farcroft building just a block and a half away...

Not a hint of the thirteen story Farcroft building just a block and a half away…

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...nor the highrise of downtown Evanston!

…nor the highrise of downtown Evanston!

I walked in what had by then become a light rain to the bus shelter…

...where this was the view of Loyola Park, and proceeded to my appointment--which I eventually found had been cancelled.

…where this was the view of Loyola Park, and proceeded to my appointment–which I eventually found had been cancelled.

Lots of flooding in and around Chicago this morning–five or so inches of rain made for a hellish commute, with many underpasses holding several feet of water…and a few cars!

While walking back home (the rain had stopped and I need the exercise!), puddles were everywhere, such as this one, where heavy equipment is parked:

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Closer to home, even the  Daffodils suffered the effects of the heavy downpours:

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Poor, sodden little things!

Some may be wondering…

…what a former Holiday Designer might use to decorate her own space…so I took a few shots.  As you approach my apartment door, you’ll find this spray, which is new this year:

I've incorporated a few of the 'faux' leaves I created.

I’ve incorporated a few of the ‘faux’ leaves I created.  Silver, ivory, and champagne-color, with three red jingle bells!

On the inside of the door, I’ve placed a copper and silver spray which I put together in 2007:

Those little things at center are not pine cones, but some sort of seed pod, which I gilded with copper leaf.

Those little things at center are not pine cones, but some sort of seed pod, which I gilded with copper leaf.

I really have no room for a tree, but I do have two large, 36″ wreaths, which I change every few years…next year, I’ll tear them apart, wash them down, and design something new and different!

This is the Blue and Silver, with some large silver leaf-gilded pears and silver balls (from the Dollar Store, no less!).

This is the Blue and Silver, with some large silver leaf-gilded pears and silver balls (from the Dollar Store, no less!).

And...here's the Red and Green on another wall.

And…here’s the Red and Green on another wall.

I have several glass vases filled with glass gemstones...this one also contains gilded glass rocks.  Iadded some miniature gold gilded fruit, and a few pine boughs I found after the Christmas Tree Lot people shut down.

I have several glass vases filled with glass gemstones…this one also contains gilded glass rocks. I added some miniature gold gilded fruit, large partially-gilded seed pods, and a few pine branches I found after the Christmas Tree Lot people shut down.

Here’s the other vase:

Glass gemstones, gilded river rock, and a pear ornament I gilded Christmas Day morning with blue variegated leaf...plus a few small pine branches.

Glass gemstones, gilded river rock, and a pear ornament I gilded Christmas Day morning with blue variegated leaf…plus a few small pine branches.

Here’s what the pear ornament really looks like, as I had to ‘play’ to get some color in the image above:

I bought about two and a half dozen of these six years ago at Renaissance Works for a dollar a piece...some silver/gilded and most gold/gilded!  I got tired of the 'commercial' gilding, and covered this one with blue variegated leaf.  The little leaf at the top has also been painted with a metallic pale, soft light green.

I bought about two and a half-dozen of these six years ago at Renaissance Works for a dollar a piece…some silver/gilded and most gold/gilded! I got tired of the ‘commercial’ gilding, and covered this one with blue variegated leaf. The little leaf at the top has also been painted with a metallic pale, soft light green.

I think I’ve had to make ‘Christmas’ every month of the year in the past…whether it was decorating hotels and restaurants, painting and designing store and mall displays, or designing television commercials (in March!)…it’s normal for me to celebrate with decorations all year ’round (and to be forever vacuuming up little pieces of glitter!)!

My current bedtime partner!

I have read much Twain, but not “The Innocents Abroad”.  It’s a quite riveting and funny tale subtitled

“The New Pilgrims’ Progress;

being some account of the steamship Quaker City’s pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy Land;

with descriptions of countries, nations, incidents and adventures,

as they appeared to the Author.

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I’ve been a bit slow with this one, as I only read before I go to sleep…I’ve been so busy of late, that some night I can only make it through five or six pages!

“The chief enemy of creativity…

…is common sense.”

Pablo Picasso, as photographed by Irving Penn

The Picasso, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago

Newspaper columnist Mike Royko, covering the unveiling of the sculpture, wrote: “Interesting design, I’m sure. But the fact is, it has a long stupid face and looks like some giant insect that is about to eat a smaller, weaker insect.”

Royko did credit Picasso with understanding the soul of Chicago.  “Its eyes are like the eyes of every slum owner who made a buck off the small and weak. And of every building inspector who took a wad from a slum owner to make it all possible…. You’d think he’d been riding the L all his life.”

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Personally, I feel this sculpture was Picasso’s self-portrait.  Here’s what he drew in 1972:

Picasso Self-Portrait, 1972

When viewed from the sculpture’s left side, half way to its back, this is what I saw many years ago, when studying the Picasso for the first time…

…an obvious male profile can be readily identified.

Typical of Picasso’s later works, the sculpture, when viewed from directly behind, is asymmetrical…again reinforced via the 1972 self-portrait.  The themes of gauntness, elongation, curves and recurring lines evidently anchored themselves in Picasso’s brain as he aged.