Monday, July 4, 2016

And Then There Were Deadlines

I'm really just waiting for a time when there are no deadlines and no drama.

My basement still isn't done and it's in part my fault for being in a hurry and not taking the time and doing research to find a better contractor because the one that's doing the work either has no standards, is completely blind, totally lazy or just doesn't have any pride whatsoever in his work. He's a really nice guy though, and is perfectly agreeable every time I complain about his shoddy work (I don't actually use those words).

So as part of the sewage mitigation they cut away the bottom two feet or so of affected/wet drywall and the contractor had to replace it by cutting more drywall to fit and then nailing it to the existing studs and mudding and sanding and painting. I can't figure out why he thought it was perfectly OK to have a wall which isn't even slightly smooth - it had a huge berm-like bump all the way down the hallway.  He redid it twice before it was more or less (mostly less) good enough.

Then there's the carpet.  I think he was super-cheap and through he'd calculate it EXACTLY except (as I know because I sew and the usable width of fabric is almost never exactly fifty-four or forty-five or sixty inches so you ALWAYS NEED MORE YES I'M SHOUTING) he was short about half an inch in both directions, so the joins were (actually, still are) hideously visible and have a gap wide enough to comfortably cradle a pencil. 

We're waiting another two weeks for more carpet and meanwhile he's on vacation or something because he shows up in the morning but when I come home from work he's gone and nothing seems to have changed. I live in fear that he'll just disappear.

The basement area affected is two smallish rooms and a rather large area which is my studio, so most of my beads are in my dining room and living room, my workbench is piled high with containers of fiber stuff which was moved out of the way - it's been this disaster for two months now. With one week for the mitigation (and the bill is another nightmare that luckily my insurance agent is fighting) the restoration was supposed to take. Two. Weeks. TWO WEEKS.

Meanwhile, deadlines wait for no contractor so I'm working on class samples for October through January and I've made some progress.

Unfortunately the doodad from last time really didn't work as a slider because it wouldn't square up properly and started getting annoying, so it's only going to be a pendant (or earrings).
Moving right along, I started noodling about with a rivoli with a triangle in mind and instead, I had three rivolis which turned into this:
I'm not unhappy with it but I really wish that Lady Bug Beads still had 18mm rivolis because that size scales up nicely and the difference in sizes would be even prettier in the necklace than three the same size.
 This pendant really didn't photograph well but I'm kinda excited about it even though I'm not really a weaver.
This is about as close as I'll ever get to combining fiber and beads - and it's not really fiber, but a fiber technique. An extremely simple realisation of a fiber technique. There are four strips of "fabric" woven inside a frame, and each strip is wide enough to incorporate some sort of patterning or more interesting colour than shown here.

I like this because the beading techniques are pretty straightforward (as long as you can do peyote stitch and cubic right angle weave) but leave a lot of room for playing with colour and pattern.

Last weekend I went to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (check out the link. Do yourself a favour) in Bentonville, Arkansas. My first time in Arkansas but I suspect Bentonville is not typical. But the museum is fantastic, well worth the five-hour drive. 

The architecture of the building and its setting are absolutely stunning, and the grounds are filled with more art and lovely walking trails. Even the museum restaurant is supposed to be pretty good: I had a lavender-peach smoothie which, um, yeah. Really good.

And there's a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house which I would happily live in if it were more conveniently situated and had a basement. It's exactly the sort of downsizing I've been dreaming of.

The museum is a Walton family thing, and is supported by Walmart so that it is altogether free which is rather lovely if confusing to me because Walmart. We saw wedding preparations in progress and agreed that it must be a perfect setting for a wedding or other function.

The town itself is the closest thing to Main Street Disneyland that I've ever seen in the wild. Everything is spotless and neat and clean and in good repair or in the process of restoration and it's charming and pretty and Stepford as all hell but we did find a pair of killer cocktails and a delicious meal so it isn't entirely awful but I have to say that the Walmart grocery stores that looked just like Whole Foods creeped me out a bit. Why does every other Walmart have to be a soul-sucking confluence of everything that is sad and awful when Bentonville gets the Whole Foods treatment?

I'm off to watch a movie while the rest of the country watches fireworks.

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