Dabbling, not to be confused with Dabbing, the popular dance move.

You know that phrase, “Jack of all Trades”? Well, to me one must “Dabble” first before becoming a “Jack”. Dabbling to me, is when I start doing something new to me creatively.

I checked Wikipedia for the origins of “Jack of all trades” (because I am that person). Although now-a-days, I feel the phrase is a positive description, it started out as a dig to Shakespeare by the writer Robert Green in his 1952 booklet “Greene’s Groats-Worth of Wit”.

It wasn’t until 1962 when a version of it appeared in the book “Essays and Characters of a Prison” by English writer Geffray Mynshul. He most likely wrote it when he was imprisoned for debt. I assume he was not a “Master” financier.

Which leads me to the added phrase, “A master of none”. This part of the phrase was added later and it was meant as a dig in jest. I also found that there was also another phrase added on to that as well, which I like, “Jack of all trades, master of none, but still better than a master of one”.

I digress, let us get back to my dabbling. In between my musings above I gave you examples of my newest dabble. I am using paints now. I have always used paints but mostly spray paint and paint pens. I did even a brush now and then for furnishings and other upcycled projects. Now I have moved on to actually using brushes and sometimes, awesome vintage water color pencils, for art.

It all started when a dear friend, gifted a TON of art supplies to my 13 year old artist twin nieces. There was so much product, I kept some extra bits and parts for myself.

My talented nieces lived next door at the time. They came over with their now “tool” box filled of art supplies and we sat down to paint. Here are their paintings.

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Isabella’s

That’s a tough act to follow, so I thought about paintings I had seen in art galleries that I liked. I though Maybe I could do something like this Cézanne.

Or Maybe this Rothko…

Or Maybe not, but I tried.

And so, this is my first Acrylic painting!


I’m not sure it is up there with the greats, but I do so like it. I love the texture in it, that you can’t see here, but I laid it on thick. I love color and I am happy with this piece.

I enjoyed painting so much, I dabbled more. Here is my second acrylic piece. It’s called “Sand, Sea, Sky”, a subject that I have been obsessed with since we move near the beach on a Caribbean island.

It was based on a photo I took on an island off of Puerto Rico, called Vieques. It is a photo of what I love to call “island water”. It is that clear water with sea foam green slowly turning into hints of turquoise.

I played with those cool vintage water color pencils, that you can see in a photo up above, and created the piece below. I really like this one, almost love because art is so not perfect. I love how in some way the colors blend bleeding into each other, but then I also love how the green left stark lines above the yellow. I guess in a way I was trying to overlap the water over the sand like in the photo. The piece gives you an idea of the photo, but in it’s own way, separately, a piece of beauty.

A birthday card for my friend.

I already have another canvas set out for me to dabble more.

Who Knows…I may not even use paint. My other newest dabble, Sea Glass! I love hunting for it here where it is plentiful! I wonder often what to do with all the lovely of glass that has been softened into wonderful bits of art.

I am off to play with my photography now. I do dabble a lot.

Thanks for visiting My Gnome Little World. I never know will be happening up in here. Please come back!

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Cacerola Girl: See Below for Explanation    (Not my Graphic)

The realization that things go wonky when I am around, or not long before or after I’m around, is a bit unnerving. The wonkies are mostly of the weather/natural disaster types, but there has also been political uprisings, wars and/or man made disasters. 

Here is the timeline:

1986:  My first international trip was to Europe. I went right after I graduated University. I did a 3 month backpackers trip around a month after Chernobyl blew up. I even went as far East as Budapest when I was there.  I am not even sure I knew much about it back then, as I was in college in a tiny town, studying for my final exams, getting ready to graduate, packing or selling my stuff, and I did not own a TV.  I think I ended up ok?

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Chernobyl (Not My Photo) 

1989: I took off for a month in Venezuela by myself.  After visiting Caracas for several days, I flew to Merida which is a cute mountain college town.  When I got there I noticed something was a bit off, small fires in the streets, but not many people. I heard there were protests going on.  I planned a trip into the Amazon jungle for several days, and when we got back, cars were burnt to a crisp in the center of town, windows were broken and graffiti covered the walls, but again it was oddly quiet.  I did no know it then, but it was one of the biggest and deadliest protest in Venezuela happened when we were in the Amazon Jungle. It is known as “Caracazo”. The Protests were in several towns, with Caracas having the biggest one and probably with the most deaths. One day I was walking around town and saw a bunch of police turn a corner, so me with my camera, I wanted to get some shots of what was happening.  I started down the empty street until a young stranger pulled me into a doorway.  She motioned for me to cover my mouth and then I followed her running into a what looked like a shut down business.  It was a bar.  When running I realized I was breathing in tear gas.  It burned my eyes, my throat and lungs.  I didn’t even see the tear gas being set off, after the smoke, it is just clear as air.  People in the bar handed me a beer and a wet towel. I chugged down the beer feeling some relief in my throat, and I used the towel to wipe my eyes which wouldn’t stop tearing up.  I was too shy to use my limited Spanish, but thanked them with a weak “por favor”.  They ended up convincing me to speak with them, because they liked the sound of how I spoke their language…grammatically wrong and everything.  I am glad to this day, that I got pulled out of the action as over 250 people died in those protest around the country. I have some photos of the protest or aftermath, but they were on film and are in a photo album stuck away in storage.  So I borrowed this photo.

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The protests are now known as Caracazo were held all over Venezuela.  Over 250 people died when the protests got violent. Not my Photos

Also in 1989, The San Francisco-Oakland Earthquake shook the entire Bay Area. I was front and center for it.  I and other’s were still in our office just talking when the 6.9 earthquake hit.  Luckily, no damage to our building happened, just an intense rolling movement.  I was meeting with a friend to go watch the Giants in the World Series at a bar.  He had to dodge falling brick and stuff as he was already outside in a less solid ground area.  I met up with him, even though the power was out.  We walked up to Coit Tower after it got dark and that is when the damage really got to me. It was pitch black all around the Bay and in SF with Fires here and there in the Oakland hills. 

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Part of the on ramp to the Bay Bridge Collapsed (not my photo)
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Apartment Building in the Marina Squished like an Accordian. (not my photo)

After that the 90’s were, I guess, quiet…around me at least.

1999: Jump ahead 10 years to when I visited my friend in Virginia Beach, VA and when Hurricane Floyd came to visit as well.  I was supposed to fly out, but all flights were cancelled, so we spent the long day without electricity playing games and trying to make a drink called the “Hurricane” with limited options of alcohol.

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2001: There was that trip to Egypt where I flew there 10 days after 9/11. The trip was already planned.  Yes, I went to a Muslim country, where one of the 9/11 pilots were from, but had been kicked out of his country for Terrorism in the Past.  I am a Honey Badger when it comes to my trips, I was not going to let the terrorists mess it up.  There was definitely a lot more guns around the country so said a local friend I stayed with, but no danger at all and not many tourists as well.  I’m so glad I went, because I feel Egypt will never be the same again.

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This was crowded compared to what it looked like when I was there…with the Chief of the Egyptian Police getting a private tour. (not my photo)

2005: We were going to meet up with a friend in New Orleans, so she and her husband could meet my fiance.  It was planned for October, 2001…a month after 9/11.  We never met up.  Hurricane Katrina hit. And hit hard.

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Not my Photo

2008: We were driving across the country and we planned to go to New Orleans, as Jim has never been there.  But noooo, another Hurricane was going to hit down around there.  Gustav did not do much damage, but we had gone north to get around it.  So to this day, we still have not gone to New Orleans and when we do, it will not being during Hurricane Season.

2009:  We lived in Honduras for 18 months and during that time, there was not only an Earthquake of 7.3, but there was a coup d’état where the Army removed the President from power.  What is amazing, is that a 7.3 earthquake did not do much damage at all, where in, say, San Francisco, there would have been buildings down.  It happened in the middle of the night and I truly thought I was going to wake up to crumble all over town, but no.  There was some damage, in other areas though.

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And the coup was no different, like you think there would have been an uproar in the streets, nope.  Si Quire Dios, “as God wants” is not just words, it is a “Thing” in Honduras.  The Military Government in power used to announce curfews for 4pm like at 3:45, so there was chaos as people tried to get home.  Life went on as usual in the most part.  When it first happened, I thought we would have to escape, because I thought it would crazy dangerous there, but for us it was not bad at all.  There were some killings of people that tried to go against the new regime, but no protests near us.  I guess I would not protest either if I thought I would be shot dead.

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I don’t have a photo of the Coup, but I do have one of me almost getting run over by the man that was ousted, President Mel Zelaya

2011:  We lived in Southern Vermont.  As far as disaster goes, you’d figure a blizzard or something like that, but no, another Hurricane hit when we lived there.  Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage all the way through it’s path including our small town of Brattleboro.

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An art center built over the river had the floor drop out of it from raging rivers due to Hurricane Irene.

2015:  We move to Chicago during it’s 5th largest Blizzard in history.  It snowed 19.3 inches between late Saturday night and 6 a.m.  We all called it the “Super Bowl” blizzard, because it was the worse that day of the Super Bowl.  We crashed a Super Bowl party in our apartment building and watched the storm out of the floor to ceiling windows on the 30th floor.

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After the snowing stopped the sleds came out outside out building.

2017:  The Napa, California Fires, and so many more happened when we lived not far away.  That year was the worst fire season ever regarding property damage.  We lived just outside San Francisco, less than 40 miles away and the whole area was blinded by smoke and everyone feared the fire would never go out or spread even more. It was devastating for those involved.

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This is an old friends Winery in Napa.  The whole building was destroyed. I had many a good time in that building in the 1990s. (Photo by the Signorello Winery)

We were also in Florida for Hurricane Mathew that September. Not only us, but my sister and brother were there too, and we all hunkered down in my parents small house which is further away from the water than ours, and they have hurricane shutters.  We watched TV until the electricity went out and then we did a talent show to keep us entertained.  It hit while we were asleep that night, did not realize because we were in what I now call, Fort Knox.  Nothing but a lot of tree limbs, leaves, moss and branches down at both our house and my parents house, fortunately. We were super fortunate as a Tornado went down the backyards a whole block across the street.

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Five People locked Inside a Hurricane Shuttered House for like 5 Days…We Survived the Hurricane and Family!

2019: This is where the Cacerola Girl comes in and will explain her at the end. We are now in the middle of a political uprising, living in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  After a published long list of sexist and hurtful chats between the Governor and his Cronies, the people of Puerto Rico, and me too, protested for the Governor to Resign and he did!  Something protesters do here is bang pots and pans.  Cacerola means pan in Spanish. Men, women and children do it, not just girls.  They not only bang pots while protesting in the streets, it was happening at 8pm every night from front doors, balconies, hotel rooms, and even work, until the Governor resigned. I got a pot and I’m ready to bang it! The new Governor is just as bad as the last one.

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This is Cacerola Girl!  She, alone, is protesting at the long line of cops with her pot and wood spoon.  She is my Hero! (Not my Photo)
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There may be more protests, but let’s hope a Hurricane will not hit here this year. Cross your fingers for Puerto Rico, because they can’t handle another one.

I am sorry to everyone, if I really have had anything to do with any of them.  It’s probably just coincidence…right?

Thanks for visiting and reading about my bad luck!

Come back to see what I got going on next time.

GnomeWorldLogo

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Picking.    Picking as in finding things for a way low price.

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My super power is Second Hand Picking.

Got this on a cross country trip where everything I could fit in a good size box was $1.00. Not one dollar for each piece, but $1.00 for the entire box of stuff!

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My #1 Back Up Super Power is Making Things/Art/Decor out of old stuff.

Like my belt art above.

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My #2 Back up Super Power is the ability to fix things up.

I buy low, fix it up, and then eventually sell it for a handful more.

This the Vintage Homecrest set was all just my Super Picking Power. The price was so low, I got it even though at the time I did not have room for it.  I made room for it!

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Until I had to sell that too.

We move a lot. I use my Picking Powers to furnish yet another new place.  Shine it Up, Fix It, Use it and then Sell it.  I could make a living off of it, but we move too much.

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Ok, Some things I just pick because I think they are cool. I usually sell sooner or later before a move like at a yard sale, or the sometime Antique Fairs, or I have even been known to rent a booth in Antique Malls.

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We do have a home, so some stuff does get to live there, but this nice leather suitcase did not because we have enough vintage suitcases there.

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This would be one of my projects that I did not get to do.  I also do projects to sell.  Take a look see at a previous blog post about my Upcylced Bars:  https://ourownbigworld.com/2018/11/28/a-bit-bar-cart-crazy/

All this one needed was paint. I even already paid my nieces to sand them!

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This was part of my set up at an Antique Market.  I love stuff and glad I am not attached it all.  All above sold, even those funky Clown Shoes!

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These two I saved from selling and they now have a FURever home in our Gnomad Pad.

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In our last place, this was my work room, a game room and where most of the stuff for sale lived. It has all moved on now, living a 3rd, 4th or 5th life.

The only Picking I do now is from the beach.

20190301_191149Where we live, doesn’t have much for my Super 2nd Hand Picking Powers…so I am Relying on My Other Back Up Super Powers to Turn things like these into other stuff.

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If I figure it out, I will share with you.

Until then, thanks for visiting.

And just so you know, I get to pick a lot back where my Gnomade Pad is when we visit.  So if you are looking for that something special, ask me and I will keep an eye out for it for you!

____________________________________________________________________________________________Gnome

 

Making nature into what it isn’t.

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A Starfish Sea Urchin.

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Dead Coral Growing.

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Shells in the Sky.

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Sea Glass on Solid Ground.

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Sponge Flooring.

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Plated Turtle Food.

Nature doesn’t need me. I pluck it from its home and it bring it to mine.  I need nature. 

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As I am begging for inspiration, pleading for motivation, I cage nature.

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There is sits.  Mocking me.

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My mind rolls around these visions in my head as the sea rolls around glass, making it solid so you can’t see through it, you just see it.

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I stole from nature for my own pleasure.  To turn nature’s art into my own.

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Who was I fooling?

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Nobody can do better than this?

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But Yet I Try.

My Vintage Watercolor Pencil Version of the photo of nature above.

I won’t try to insult it by calling it anything other than “Sand Sea Sky”.

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Why I love Photography, I pluck it from where it is supposed to be yet keep it there.

Thank you for allowing me this musings.  I hope you enjoy and will visit again.


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No, we did not create the sea.

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We packed up whatever we wanted to keep, like kitchen stuff, tools and important stuff from our California Apartment, and Sold the Rest.

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We sold a lot furniture, my projects, some of my art, and much of our beloved vintage stuff.

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Then we moved, again, by airline with just 5 suitcases and some boxes.

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Although, we were lucky enough to go on many adventures with family while living nearby, this move was really hard, emotionally.

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All the other moves were just pains in our asses, but this one tore our hearts.  We moved away from family. It’s weird, we want to be close to our families, but we also want to explore and go on adventures.  Our married life has been all “This” and almost nothing but “This”.  We have accepted it is Who We Are now. We.Are.Gnomads.

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If it were any other place, I probably would have said no, but I couldn’t say no to where we are now. We live on an island, an island in the Caribbean. I could not say, “No” to that opportunity and the work is important to Jim.  We moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico so Jim could work on the project to rebuild the power system here, which is dearly needed.

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We have explored some of the island, and I am learning tons about it’s electrical system along the way. And Jim is making his way around bureaucracy, island time and the government to get his project rolling.  I am proud of him. He really wants to do this job, it is what the residents of this island really want and need.  Below is a photo of damaged windmills 18 months after Hurricane Maria which shut all the islands of Puerto Rico down.

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We have been fully since the end of February. We got our apartment the 1st of March and we are well on our way of settling into City Island Life.

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Old San Juan

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Our Beach, Ocean Beach

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Colorful Calle Loiza, Our Neighbor to the East.

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The Evening View to the West.

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We live on the 8th floor of  10 story building with a view west of the sunset over the neighborhood, and with a bit of a view of the Caribbean Sea to the North.  We get great sunset.

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We have explored a fair amount around the main island (as they call it here).

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We have also been lucky enough to have already gone to a small island off the East Coast of Puerto Rico, Vieques.

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We are just plain lucky and We.Are.Gnomads. And This Is OUR Gnome Little World.

Thank you for visiting it.


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A Bit Bar Cart Crazy

Posted: November 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

My recent love is turning things that were not bar carts into a bar carts.  I have made at least 5 and 2 in project mode, but will focus on the biggest one which took the most work.

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A Trunk Bar.  It has been done before, but not quit like mine!

The outside was a bit rough. It is made of wood, which is not true of a lot of trunks. I sanded it down and like the effect, so I kept it.  The picture does not do it justice.

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I loved the paper on the inside, but it did need some love, especially where the paper was and the damaged.

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I decided to put old drink recipes in the damaged areas on the inside.  I could not find a decent priced vintage recipe book, so I got a newer one with old recipes in it. I aged the pages with several layers of coffee and to match the orange hue of the paper I added a tad bit of orange paint to the coffee.

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I used the decoupage technique on the recipes as well as to secure the old brittle paper in the rest of the trunk.

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Then I put in shelves.  This took several tries and some extra support efforts.

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After the shelves where secure, I added leather belts (a common theme in some of my projects and art) to hold in items on shelves.

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I added wheels, a lot of them so it will stand secure open and shut and there you have it!

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I love the Initials and the original tag on it.  I used decoupage on the tag as it was falling apart and I felt it needed to stay with the piece.

And as an extra to whomever bought my Trunk Bar I made a leather-bound drink recipe book (on middle shelf on right side) with the left over pages of the recipe book.  I also aged the pages of it with coffee.

And then it went to market….20181014_170406

Where it sold for less than I wanted, but it went to a good home!

Next post will be my small bar cart upcycle rehab projects!

Thanks for visiting My Gnome Little World!


Gnome

Pop Up

Posted: November 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

Not the kind of “Pop Up” you think of these days though.

We got a Pop Up Camper and here are some photos of our adventure of the last year Camping!

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This is Our GoGo Gnomie Pop Up Camper.  We’ve Taken Him Here, There, but Not Everywhere!

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August 2017 We took our Niece to Wright’s Lake and it was So Nice!

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Dinner!

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The Hub Laying over Wright’s Lake!

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We all Split wood to keep warm and cook!

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Out in the Woods!

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We’ve been to Pinehurst, a friend’s family property, a couple of times for big group camping too!

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My nephew Entertaining Me.

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GoGo Gnomie at Night!

Oh and I Fixed it Up Some.  I kind of Retro’d out this 1990s Pop Up on the Inside.

Before:

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After:

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It’s so Cute and Comfy!

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And Our Subbie Tows it Perfectly!

It’s packed away for the winter…oh wait…we have a date camp date on the Coast in February.  But it’s in Nor Cal…so who knows what the weather will be like…but we are not afraid of the cold!

Come Camp with Us!


Gnome

 

I’mmmm Baaaack!

Posted: November 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

I am going to post a bunch of quickie posts, photos mostly, to pseudo catch up.

Between spending time with family, camping, picking and traveling, I have been having fun upcycling and making again!

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I Brought a Mid Century Base and a modern Wood Tray Together to Make this Awesome Side Table/Bar with a Removable Tray!  It has Already Sold!

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I Turned this awesome old trunk into a stand up open and close bar on wheels! And this has sold as well!

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I turned this 1970s TV Stand into an Adorbs Bar Cart…Sold Also.

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And I sassed up this old Step Stool. Sorry Sold!

I will post photos of some travel, adventures, picking, making, picking and selling. I promise!

Thanks for visiting!


Gnome

Equals Something I like to Call…

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The Gnomad Beach Pad!

Built in the Mid Century and Only Blocks from the Beach.

A Match Made in Style and Relaxation Heaven!

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It’s not just a home, its a vacation for you, or a great set for your filming production, or a nice location for a photo shoot!

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I mean check out the Sunken Living Room.  The Gnomad Beach Pad was Built in 1964. Old Stan kept great care of the house and we were happy to take it over after his death in 2012.  We honored him and his wife by not making a ton of changes.

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You can see in a previous post the changes we made: Our House Out House

I decorated the entire house with picked and found items.

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I went with the design theme of Mid Century, because, well, It was built in the Mid Century!

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I mean look at that original Formica counter top…

So we had to go all the way Mid Century in the Kitchen.

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Vintage Tupperware for any and all occasion or storage needs!

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Even Vintage Kitchen Appliances : Ice Crusher – Check, Milk Shaker Blender – Check, Mixer – Check, Juicer – Check, and even an Popcorn Popper – Check!

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Lovely Bunch of Lovely Vintage Bowls that I slowly collected by picking often and regularly.

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Now for on top of the super cute Formica counter top!

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Some of the stuff is just for show, and some for use, but love it all!

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And yes those are old Cosco Stepping Stools as seating at the very large peninsula counter top!  Perfect height, why not?

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Moving over to the Family room, the Hub of the House!

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One big giant room with a fireplace on ones side and the sliding glass doors to the patio on the other side.

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And a big TV, DVD Player and a Stereo for your entertaining pleasures.

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Let’s take outside before we go into…

The Bedrooms!

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Hammock AND Bocce Ball.  Yes…And So Much More!

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Easy Breezy Back Patio with curtains that go all the way around for extra privacy.

And get this…an Outside Shower with HOT water.

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The front and side grass covered yards provide enough area for a football game and croquet match to go on a the same time, if not more activities!

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So much room for so much fun!

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Now that I wore you out with all those activities…

Let’s go the rooms of rest!

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The Master Bedroom itself is a retreat!  Large, Light, Airy and oh so Comfortable!

And then there is the large En Suite Master Bathroom!

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The Shower Sliding Doors and Toilet Private Swinging Door are to Mid Century Die For!

And the Huge Sunken Tub is to Relax in!  It is a Mid Century Beachy Mini Spa Room!

And now the Guest Rooms…

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This is the “No place like Gnome” Guest Room.

Relaxing, complete with an adjustable bed, and a desk to write home on!

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A nice place we like to call the “Mad Men Den” Guest Room.

Relaxation up front and Worker Bee Desk on the side.

And the Ever so Cute “Mamie Roosevelt” Pink Jack & Jill Bathroom…

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It is as adorable as it looks.

Complete with vintage pink hamper and trash bin.  I could just live in there.

There is half bath too, but I have to leave something for your imagination!

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That’s the House and here is some nature.

Take a look at the cute wood peckers I caught on film in the yard.

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And here is just a bit of what we have seen nearby The Gnomad Beach Pad!

Indialantic Manatees

And if Technology and Space is your thing…

Check This Out!

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The Falcon Heavy Folks, which you could have seen from the front lawn!                              FeetatHiltonDeck

So get your feet on over to The Gnomad Beach Pad.

And Sink your Feet into the Sand or the Lush Sunken Living Room Carpet.

For Vacation Rental, Please Book Through:  The Gnomad Beach Pad

To Book for a Photography Shoot or a Filming Location Please Use: The Mid Century Beach Pad

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

And Here is to another “My Gnome Little World” Adventure!  Cheers!


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It’s the Little Things.

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I am doing a series of photographs of bits and pieces and the little things that make San Francisco, well, San Francisco.

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Guess which hood I was in for this series of photos.

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I’m trying to make it hard, but if you are in the San Francisco know you will be able to figure it out.

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If not, look again.

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Ten Photos.  Ten Little Things.

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If no one gets it from the 10, I will add more obvious hints in the comments.

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I had a blast seeing things from a different point of view, or even, seeing things I have never noticed before.

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I looked up. I looked Down.

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I looked inside and out.

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Even at Eye Level.

Can you guess?

Please reply in the comments!

And stayed tuned for the Answer, More Hints or the Next Hood!

———————————————————————————————————————————-Gnome