Thursday, August 30, 2007

House photos

Finally some house photos to share! We drove over there today to take pictures and measurements. I've uploaded it all to a new photo album. This is my first time using so I can't vouch for what sort of service it is. I hope you get to see all the pics. LOL!

If you manually click thru the pictures you can read my descriptions below each image. If you watch them all like a slideshow I don't think you'll be able to read the descriptions. Just a little FYI. :)

The Hoff House

Friday, August 24, 2007

Adding new content

I managed to get a 3 column layout going here. I've never been super keen on the 3 column look, but now that I'm going to use this blog as my main communication webpage I have to adjust. :)

I added a link to my clay tutorials and transferred all the links from my "favorite links" page at over to the right column there. --->

I also have a page of recommended books I'd like to move here, but I'm not sure it's sidebar content. Maybe an individual post that I can then link to in the sidebar?

Anyway, please let me know if you click on anything that doesn't work. I found a nifty online tool that allowed me to create this layout and all the colors. I'm planning to tweak it with some graphics too. But this will do for now.

The sun has finally popped out today (been cloudy and rainy...YAY!!!). I need to get outside and take pics of some new skull beads while I can. Toodles!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey guess what?

They accepted our offer!!! Woohooooo!!!!!
Ho-lee crap. Aaron told me 4 hours ago and I'm still in shock. After all this waiting and stress they finally accepted it. Huge sigh of relief here!!
Because they answered so quickly we're going to try moving the closing date to the 17th. AND we're going to give our 30 day move out notice September 1st instead of October 1st. WOW.
This means things have to move smoothly from here on out or else we're in deep doodoo come the end of September. (Moving up the closing/moving dates is Aaron's idea, not mine. I hate cutting it close.)
Anyway, we've got it!!!!! Now it's just a matter of paperwork and under writers and all that closing hoo-haw. I've got butterflies just thinking about it. Man, I hope all goes smoothly. I'm still skeptical it will actually happen. I hope I'm proven WRONG. :)

Thank you all for thinking positive thoughts for us! I guess it's working! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Here we go again

That title makes me think of White Snake song. :)

Today we submitted official offer #2 on the house. It included all the necessary paperwork the bank wants to see (insurance and appraisal stuff). The deadline for their answer is Sept. 1. It really doesn't matter though. They operate on their own time schedule. (peckerheads!)
Anyway, IF this one works the proposed closing date is Sept. 28th.

That comp house we were waiting on...get this! It's an owner financed deal. The sale won't officially close for A YEAR! So the loan guy says we are going to continue on with the other comp houses and hope for the best. He "thinks" they should work. But if you've ever bought a house you know the underwriters can kill the whole deal. The comps are there to make the picky underwriters happy. Soooo......if you aren't arthritic yet, please keep it all crossed! :)

Oh, get this! Remember the pita selling realtor? It seems she and our realtor have been cat fighting over a totally different house. Our realtor has been given an REO home to sell in this same outer-metro city. Pita calls him and demands him to "hand over the REO home". According to her (who knows if this is valid or ego), she is THE reo realtor west of the metro and that home is hers to sell. Can you believe this woman?!?
Honestly, I don't know if her demands are valid. I'm just passing on gossip basically. (shame on me) But our realtor told her NO. He told her to produce papers from the selling bank that proves it is her house to sell. Otherwise she can piss off.

Sooooo....he pissed her off BIG TIME just before our #2 offer got submitted. Gee thanks Mr. Realtor man! However, he said (he said-she said) that when he submitted our offer it was prefaced with something like: "I am putting my ego aside and I hope you will do the same. This offer needs to be pushed through. If it is not (because of said cat fight) there will be repercussions." Good grief. Can this thing get any more dramatic??

Friday, August 17, 2007

Faux ceramic

Have you read Michael's faux ceramic tutorial? It is very very fun stuff. I am enjoying experimenting with all the color possibilities. This is only a tiny part of my experiments.

These are cute little beads that I plan on making more of.

All but one were made with pre-tinted TLS. I *think* they were tinted with oil paints but honestly I'm not sure. I bought them from another clayer some time ago. But I like the way they feel and look. The darker purple one (about 3 o'clock) I made with TLS tinted with metallic alcohol inks. The liquid clay is gorgeous, but I'm not crazy about it on this beige clay. Even with several layers of Future, it's still sort of grainy. Don't like that so much. I'm going to try the purple liquid clay on some different base colors. I'm thinking turquoise, pink, white, maybe silver? What do you think?

And I loooove this pendant. I've listed it in my Etsy store, but I'm not totally convinced I want to part with it! I wonder if I should take pictures of it on the usual white background? Hhmmm...

Anyway, this is what I've been playing with. In between skull beads that is. :)
1st round of skull beads

On a personal note

To start on a positive's a few pics from Lydia's 1st bday party back in July. We had family over for chili cheese hotdogs, cake and ice cream.

Now for the not so positive note. The latest ridiculous bullsh!t going on (or NOT going on) with the yellow house. Oh.My.Gosh. I am so frustrated and fed up with the entire situation. **sigh**
The appraiser wasted an entire week. "He could not find adequate comps in the area." The problem is this: Other same size/age homes in the area are either A) in bad disrepair and appraise for 30K less, or, B) are in perfect condition and appraise for 50K more. Neither of these will make for comps that the underwriters will accept. And the loan will be rejected before closing.
So after a week of waiting on appraiser #1, the loan guy gets help from appraiser #2. #2 wasted another 2 days. He comes back to loan guy and says "The house will easily appraise for asking price if they fix A, B, and C." NO!!!! The house is bank owned and sold as-is. That sort of appraisal is no good to us. So loan guy goes back to #1. Yesterday loan guy goes to #1's office and they work together to find the proper comps.

The final result: They find an almost identical house! And it's selling for 30K more. Loan guy says this house will work for us. YES!! But get this....the house is selling. As in not sold yet. It is in Sale Pending status. We can not use it as a comp until it sells. ARGH!!!!!!! Today loan guy is trying to find out a closing date on this comp house. I hope it's closing TODAY. Good grief. Now we're waiting on even more people! If this one comp house doesn't sell, we're basically screwed. Lovely.

I told my friend, Scott...this is either not meant to happen OR it's a huge life lesson in patience and perseverance paying off. I hope it's the latter. Life lessons SUCK while you're learning them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I got an award!

The very pretty Melissa of Bully Beads gave me an award! Wheee!! Thanks Melissa!

Check out her Etsy Shop. Lissa makes gooorgeous jewelry!

Friday, August 10, 2007

God bless the parents who drugged us.

As seen on Laura's blog. I think this little story is great! Aaron and I are firm believers that there is far too much Ritalin and time-outs nowadays. People always say to us "Your children are so well behaved. How do you do it?" Answer: We raise and discipline them like we (and our parents) were raised. Anyway...before I get on a soapbox, check this out:

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question.

“Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”

I replied I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profanity.

I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flowerbeds and cocklebur’s out of dad’s fields.

I was drug to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

God bless the parents who drugged us.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Good news!

Aaron just called with positive news. He and our realtor met with the appraiser. Come to find out, the guy was not there to inspect anything. He was there to get physical dimensions of the house so that he can run comps in the area. That's it!!

So he will run comps in the area and find they are valued for far more than the selling price of our house. Hopefully (crossing fingers) his comp report will give us the green light. Now we just sit and wait for the bank to officially accept our offer. Aaron will continue to harass our realtor so that he can in turn harass the seller's realtor so that she can in turn harass the bank and get an answer! And I'll update you guys as soon as I know something. :)

Thanks for all the positive thoughts! I appreciate it! I hate 2 story houses and the state we live in, but overlooking those two minor inconveniences I'm really excited about getting this house! LOL! I can't wait to get in there and take "before" pictures to share. Have I mentioned yet that I'll have a dedicated craft room just for me?! And that it's full of windows and built in shelves and cabinets?!! *insert giddy girl clap here*

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pitas everywhere!

Who knew there could be so many pains in the ass involved in buying one little old house? *big sigh* We are still....can you guess it? Waiting!! Come to find out, the selling realtor is not the biggest pita. The bank who owns the house is! annoying these people. I'm guessing they have never seen the house and are not local. I'm guessing the house is merely a file and data to them.

They have still not accepted our offer! First we had to show proof of insurance. We did that. Then we waited. Now we have to get it inspected and appraised and show proof that it passes all that before they will accept our offer. What the hell? Apparently the bank is afraid to accept our offer and take the house off the market. They think insurance, appraisal, and inspections will not materialize in the closing procedures and the entire deal will fall through. And during the time the house has been off the market, they will have missed a buyer. Gooood grief!!

On paper they see: the house is 87 years old, it has been in foreclosure twice in the last year, and the price has been dropped 50K from the original asking price. But the house is fine! At least it appears so. It's just in need of TLC. It is not falling down around itself. It is not in a bad neighborhood. It has not been vandalized or abused. It just needs all the PITAS to get out of the way so our little family can buy it!!! *sigh*

The appraiser is scheduled to do his thing Wednesday at 4pm. Aaron and our realtor will be there to show him the house. We see no reason why the house will not appraise for the selling price. But still, all this waiting has made us an anxious mess. Please oh please keep your fingers crossed for us Wednesday afternoon! IF the appraisal goes well and the bank finally accepts the offer, it should only be a matter of the usual paperwork after that. "If"....."should"......UGH!!!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Silver and clay belong together!

At least in my humble opinion they do. :) I am so excited that I now have my beginner metal smithing supplies. In the next month or two (sooner if I make some Etsy sales!) I'm going to add a jeweler's saw and some metal sheeting to my box of toys. Right now I'm working with wire and premade bezels. I'm practicing my soldering. It's getting better. Which merely means I suck a little less than last week. LOL!

Anyway, I sketched an idea and created it this week! The soldering even went well. I polished it and added come clay. YAY!!

The leaves dangle and move slightly inside their delicate frames. FUN! :)
I held several different styles of beads inside the frames. I foresee several versions of this one.

It looked better in my head

How many times do you say that after you create something? Oh man...I say it A LOT.

I have been wanting to make some flowers with skulls as the centers. In my head it was so cute and odd and whimsical. But this first version of the idea is 'ok' but not perfect.

Structurally the pendant is fine. But I'm not 100% pleased with the way it turned out. I think, maybe, the skull needs to be nestled into the petals instead of resting on top.

However! I do like how it kind of has that pirate's medallion look about it. The flower petals almost look like a compass to me. And the tiny swarovski rhinestones (Thank you my generous friend Scott!!) really sparkle in that fiery blood stone sort of way. :) Oh!! And the extra long headpin was made my ME. I finally found something I can do successfully with my torch. LOL!

Last nite I got to thinking....I may not be 100% happy with the pendant, but someone else might think it's perfect! We are all drawn to different styles and have different tastes.
What should I do with it? I was thinking about opening a discussion at the Etsy forums....asking others to share pictures of their "Not quite perfect" creations. And maybe, just maybe, potential buyers will fall in love with those creations and want to give them a good home. Because I think we all create things that are structurally and functionally good...they just don't appeal to the creator aesthetically. Kind of like when I'm sitting at a red light and say, "I'd drive that car if it were a different color!" But the car's owner loves the color. Am I making any sense at all? I don't feel like I am.

I guess I'm wondering: Should you only sale the pieces you yourself feel are aesthetically perfect? Do you withhold the not quite (aesthetically) perfect pieces? (Even if they are otherwise perfect in your opinion.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lucky me

I have had a recent winning streak of polymer clay items. Yes it's a short streak (of 2 wins) but it's a streak in my book! :)

Thanks to Lisa at Dancing the Polymer Polka, I am the proud owner of Lisa Pavelka's new dvd. Yay! I've never even watched a how-to dvd before...I'm excited. The moment it arrived I popped it into the player. Unfortunately I only got to watch the Clay 101 segment. I think I'm going to have to watch it after all my kiddos are in bed some evening. Aaah the joys of motherhood!

Anywho, I just wanted to give Lisa a little linky love. She has another giveaway going right now. You should check out her blog if you have not already!

Water vs. Wine

Thought you'd like to know ...

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichi a coli (E. coli) bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of Poop.

However, we do not run that risk when drinking wine (or rum, whiskey, beer or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Remember: Water = Poop
Wine = Health

Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.

There's no need to thank me for this valuable information; I'm doing it as a public service announcement please pass this valuable information on. :)