Friday, July 09, 2010

We're Moving... Virtually, this time :o)

We're moving! I've wanted to have my blog as a page on my website for a LONG TIME now... and finally it's come to fruition. This will be my last Blogspot/Blogger post, but don't leave me! lol. I'm now at this address: http://jenniferzalewski.com/blog/blog.

Please change your bookmarks/reader address and follow me at my new virtual digs- I have new pics of the pups and gardens up, and will be posting photos from our recent camping trip to the mountains. The art studio is almost up and running, and I'm sketching out a new linocut. Lots of exciting stuff... don't miss it! :o)

See you soon!
-Jen (and Cliff & Jack too, of course)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Our New Home!

I had a dream the other night about my first blog post after moving into the new house. It was a slow-motion video of me and the dogs running through the backyard, to the music of Barry Manilow, "Looks like we made it." DON'T WORRY, I'm corny but not THAT corny. I have no idea where that dream came from, so weird lol.

Anyway, without further ado... some pics from our new place! These were from Day 2, so nothing was unpacked yet... and while I'm 80% unpacked at this point, the place still looks like a disaster. :oP I hope I never move again... ugh.. so stressful!

We'll start with the bedroom. It's rather boring. It DOES have a walk-in closet and attached laundry room, though. I already re-arranged the furniture. Think I'm going to repaint the walls purple. Furniture is mish-mash at this point.


This is the living room, or what the previous owner called "The Adirondack Room." It does have a distinct AKD feel, with the laid wooden walls, ceiling and ceiling fan. I'm kind of baffled about how I'll lay this room out...it needs help of some sort!


This is the main room, a living/dining combo (or "Great Room" as they call it)... it is going to be my art studio. Aren't the windows fab?? The red wall to the back left is the brick chimney. The door goes into the bedroom. There is a hallway off the left that goes to the front door and bathroom.


Studio from the other direction, looking towards the Adirondack room. The little kitchen is off to the right (you can see a bit of the cabinets there)...


Another view of the studio from the loft (yay! I have a loft!). It's billed as a second bedroom, but I'm going to use it for my paper storage, drying racks etc.


A view of the backyard from the northwest corner...


The boys exploring the backyard on Day 2- 1/2 acre surrounded by privacy fencing! They LOVE the house. Jack magically bumped back to his old self... no more cowering, no more refusing to come inside (although he's still paranoid about flies lol). I don't know what it was about the boondocks house we stayed at... maybe because it was empty and echoe-y? Made him nervous?  I'm SO glad he's comfy again. Cliff, of course, is always happy! :o) No worries about that boy.


Cliff exploring the flower gardens on the west side of the house. I'm not sure what is weed and what's flower at this point... I'll probably wait through the summer and see what blooms before I start yanking things out...


This is a little fenced-off garden paddock off the back of the house... really cute...


Another photo of the boys in the backyard, with the garden paddock to the right. That's O-Hill in the background.



Closing off with a house sparrow... we have several that have been visiting our feeder. Cute fellas!

We are still in a state of chaos, but at least semi-settled. The new fridge arrived, sattelite TV installed (I've always had cable so it's taking an adjustment - and this DVR thing? I don't get it!)--I found a great, affordable contractor who installed the dog door; our internet and phone are turning on next week (I'm posting this remotely, NO fun!).

Living on a busy main road, and on the "south tail of the 'hood", has been... different. I'm absolutely paranoid about the dogs getting out, and hit by a car. I've installed latches and paddlocks on the yard gates (all by myself, so proud lol); I wanted to install springs on the doors too, so they snap shut whenever you let them go, but couldn't figure it out (any tips?). A babygate has been installed in front of the front door, so there is no chance of bolting. I'm very watchful on our walks for loose pits but so far have only been charged by a loose chihuahua (thankfully Jack didn't eat it). We've met a lot of friendly people who are fascinated with the boys- and living in a diverse neighborhood again is fantastic. It reminds me of my time living in Queens. So far we are having a great time... will post more photos soon!

Jen

Friday, June 18, 2010

And the Beat Goes On...

Quick lunchtime blog post:

  1. The Kodak Easyshare Z981 Camera: It arrived. I tried. I disliked. I mean, the color and zoom are great, but SUCKS with action shots. I boxed it up, sent it back, and ordered a Canon SX20. God Help Me, this camera better be awesome because buying a satisfactory camera has turned out to be more stressful than buying a house.
  2. Gorilla-brand Duct Tape:  It may advertise that it's better than regular duct tape and has better stickyness, but it's not. I know it's not an advertised "use", but it won't stick to the bottom of Cliff's paws. To cover/smother his corn. Shouldn't duct tape be usesful for EVERYTHING? It's so disappointing when it's not.
  3. Jack: Poor Jack. He's having a horrible time adjusting to the new temporary house. He's become a totally different dog than a month ago- he's scared to come inside, refuses to come near me, shies away from me, phobic of flies (!!), very uneasy in the new surroundings, won't settle, lays at the door constantly, waiting to "go home". Our home we don't have anymore. I feel so badly for him.  It's difficult to even think about this. Ugh.
  4. GroundHog: The one good thing that happened to Jack since we moved to the country: He almost nailed a groundhog last night. I would have felt bad but it was so nice seeing him happy and excited again!
  5. Getting Old: It's SO depressing to hear "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi and "Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith on the Oldie's channel. I mean, seriously?  :oP
  6. Art: Experimenting with monotypes. Have a new linocut that I really liked, but kind of muffed up at the end- need to try to fix it this weekend between tending to the boys and my 15th high school reunion tomorrow, talk about oldies, holy crap-!
  7. OUR NEW HOUSE! We have a closing date! Friday the 25th! I'm sooooo happy. But now I'm kind of nervous because --what if Jack hates the new place like he hates our interim housing?? What do I do? We can't move back to our old place, it's done and gone. Closed on. Sold.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

We Survived...

...We survived our temporary move to the boonies. Barely, LOL. Jack had a very difficult time the first 48 hours, but made it. And Cliff seems to have strained himself a bit with getting in/out of the car the few times- he's been extra-gimpy. He's getting TLC.

I received my Olympus SP-800UZ digital camera in the mail, but am returning it.  The panoramic zoom is fantastic and color really good, but the lag time between clicks is horrible, even on the continuous-shoot action mode. The boys were romping around the yard but all I got was one photo (because the screen blacks out for several seconds between shooting, the shows you the photo for a couple seconds, and by the time you can take a picture again... the action is over).  I guess this is the type of camera to get for still-life and landscape shots... not running greyhounds and birding! On another note, I was also suprised that I missed the Viewfinder hole... you had to find your subject and focus on it solely using the LCD screen. That's great, but when I zoomed in on a young finch in the sycamore, took a photo (and it blacked out, then showed me the picture, then went back to ready-to-shoot mode)... by then, my hands had shook a bit and I couldn't find the bird on the LCD screen... so I had to back out of the zoom, find it in the branches, and zoom in again. I always despised the viewfinder hole because it left smudges on my glasses when I pressed up against it... but maybe they aren't such bad things after all?

I exchanged it  for a Kodak EasyShare Z981. I really hope it gives me what I want! I suppose I couldn't return this since I already returned something, right? They would probably think I was scamming them or something. I'm not sure about Kodak quality or reputation when it comes to DIGITAL cameras, so I hope it's okay. I've always had Canons myself but the best point-and-shoot Canon had only 20x zoom (which is still equivalent to a manual 560 mm telephoto, so nothing to disparage, but why get 20x when I could get 26x or 30x?)?

Last night I set up my temporary art studio in the empty dining room. I have a folding table for my carving and sketching, and then my printing table to hold my bottlejack press and inking plate. I've done some life sketching of the boys (drawing them from life, not photos) which has been FUN... I haven't done that in about a year. Jack's oddly-shaped roman nose is hard to get- but I've mastered Cliff. :)

Next to our temporary housing is a hobby-farm. They have a young Komondor, which is interesting because they are SUCH rare and unusual dogs. I've never been a huge fan of mops, but she is so striking (even without dreadlocks yet), I can't help but stare at her. The first time she charged us while we were walking, I yelled at her to back-off and shook my poop bag at her. The second time she saw us coming down the street, she turned tail and ran like hell towards the back of the farm, LOL. They are supposed to be pretty fearless livestock guardians, so I'm surprised she was so upset to see us (unless she telepathically knew that I was training for my Tae Kwon Do yellow belt?? LOL). Speaking of which, is SO MUCH FUN. I mean... it's a workout... but it's a fun workout, much more satisfying that sitting on a stationary bike or treadmill.

Well, this post has bored me to tears, I can't imagine how anyone else feels. Hopefully next time I'll have some photos, which I can put on a CD at home, then bring to work and post on my blog during lunch hour.

Jen

Friday, June 04, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya Tomorrow--!!

Tomorrow I score my U-Haul, pack it to the gills, and begin a month of Bohemian living with no TV, no internet (I do have access at work, so I'll pop in during lunch hour, I promise) and a laughable pay-per-minute dinosaur cell phone. All in the lovely country splendor of the Cayuga Co boodocks. Fun stuff.

The greyhounds are very anxious. This last week of packing has made them very clingy (that is, until Jack sees a squirrel out the window, flies through the dog door in pursuit, with Cliff scrambling after him to keep up. Or until Jack has decided, 'hmm, it's been 3.2 minutes since my last meal, let's go outside and raid the strawberry garden, shall we?' Again, with Clifford tagging along like a befuddled and curious puppy-'What is he doing? Why is he doing that??').

In case the move tomorrow does me in, I will leave you with a few tidbits:

The house I bought? That I'm moving into at the end of July? It's a few blocks away from this Thursday occurance. LOL. Now I knew I'd see a lot of "wild- life" in the city, but not REAL wildlife!!

20 Ways to Reduce Your Dependency on Oil   <--- Necessary reading for every American, especially in light of the BP spill! We are oil pigs and need to reduce, reduce, reduce. Let's try.

 Learning to Tell Your Story as an Artist/Craftsperson.  Luann Udell has the most thought-provoking, wonderful blog on being a creative person. Check it out and bookmark it!!

Can I get a dog that lives to 17? PLEASE???*

And I think I've decided on my next camera: An Olympus sp800-UZ. It's a nice hybrid of DSLR and point-and-shoot. Check out the zoon on that baby!!!!

Lunch break is over, so back to work. Happy Friday everyone!!

Jen

*My Rudy lived to 16, but that's still not as good as 17. I WANT 17!!!! Or 18. Or 19. Or...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Holy Schmokes! Today is....

... CLIFFORD'S TWELFTH BIRTHDAY!



Hard to believe, I know. He's a bit slower, a bit spacier (B&T- no laughing!!), but still my joyful, happy guy. Hope you enjoy the video*, since my cameras are still in NYC. :)

Jen

*Somewhere in there I say Jack is picky, and I have no idea why I said that. I mean- the dog would eat rocks if I put them in his bowl. I THINK I meant to say that I add a lot of water to his soup to fill him up more without adding the calories. Who knows, lol.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art Update

Just a quick update during my lunch break.

North Viele Pasture, one of my woodcuts, made it into "A Celebration of Block Prints" Etsy Treasury.  Yeah, thank you Milatropolis!

Three of my linocuts (White-Breasted Nuthatch, Stripes, and 'Watch'Dog) were all accepted into a staff and faculty art show here at the University where I work.  To cap it off, White-Breasted Nuthatch was chosen to be shown at the Everson Museum of Art this fall. A real museum- holy cow! So excited I could pee my pants-!!!

No other news. I'm pretty much done with packing all non-essential stuff in my house. Two more weeks One more week before we move to interim housing in the Boondocks. My cameras are still in NYC being evaluated. My art supplies are all boxed up. My books are all sequestered away in storage. Ick!! It feels really crappy being in an "in-between" transitional stage, but I started a Tae Kwon Do class which is great at relieving the stress and frustration of it all. And the boys, Cliff and Jack, have been great. Jack DID break into one of my moving boxes, pulled out all of my large tabletop candles (I have them for cases when the electricity goes down) and eat them. All of them. Sigh. They were scented, so he probably thought they were food.... I guess?? Ugh. Oh well. Other than that "mishap", packing has been seamless.

I have some great plans for June, while living TV-less and internet-less in an empty house in the Boondocks: work on some linocuts. Experiment with Monotypes (Monoprints). Work on the sketchbook. There will be no distractions other than my two pups and some rednecks living next door. Woot, woot!

That's it for now, I guess. Happy Thursday to everyone-

Jen