Category Archives: Uncategorized

Life on the Yucca Farm

Here’s a snap shot of my house right now, plus some before and progress shots.  Working on a different computer type than I’m used to, I don’t get to move the photos into the order I wanted.

Master Bedroom progress:


Kitchen before:

McKBefore Kitchen now:McKCabinetsMaster bedroom progress:

McKCeilingDriveway now:McKDriveway Front Yard now:McKElephantHallway now:
McKHallCurrent Heap in the Studio:
McKHeapofStuff Front Yard Now:McKHome Kitchen Progress with Judith:McKJudith Kitchen Now:McKKitchen Kitchen Progress:McKKitchenBefore Backyard Now:McKLatticeStructure Laundry Room Now:McKLaundry Laundry Room Floor Progress:McKLaundryFloor Livingroom Progress:McKLayers Living room progress with Melissa:McKLivingroombefore Living room now:McKLivingroom
Master bedroom now:McKMaster Master bedroom progress with Alex:McKMasterpaint Living room progress with Alex, Judith and Richard:McKMcSaslows Living room progress with Melissa and Stella:McKMelissa Milo!  King of the Heap!McKMilo Master bedroom progress:McKMud Office now:McKOffice Master bedroom progress with Sarah:McKSarahBack yard now:
McKTree Living room progress:McKTrim Backyard now:McKYard Yucca now:McKYuccaBlossoms Backyard now:McMcKPottedPlants  As you can tell, I didn’t stage or pretty up any of these photos.



Yucca Farm

We got a house!  We’re in escrow now for new house and for selling this one.  Life is crazy with packing, inspections, filling out forms, and dreaming of all the wonderful things we get to do to make this new house our home.

Here’s a peak at our yucca farm:

HouseThat bit in the bottom photo on the right… that’s yucca.  And it wraps all the way around to the side yard.  We’re going to fill the green waste bin more than once with this yard.

We’re also going to be able to fill a dumpster with cheap wood paneling and wood shingles in the kitchen.  The kind of wood shingles that go on the outside of a cabin in the woods.


You don’t get to see the shingles in the above shot, but you do get to see the green plaid wall paper that goes with it.  You also see the previous owner had our love of colors, but didn’t do it quite as well.  Note the highlighter yellow hallway.

I do, however, love the huge studio space in the picture below.  It has nice sliding doors out to the back yard.


Moving day is scheduled for August 31st.  I promise to take more pictures.  The video I took is neat, but darn if I can upload it.

I hope your life is going fabulously!  See you soon.




Have You Looked at my Blog Lately?

Have you looked at my blog lately?  Probably not, because I haven’t been posting much.  I did, however, do a lot of work on it and my website.  With the help of graphic designer Chelsea of Chelsea McKenna Design it’s looking pretty fabu.  She does really “clean” work.  Which is perfect, because as much as I love bordello chic in my design and decorating, my web presence needs to be a platform for my work.  It shouldn’t compete with it.  An overly fru fru design would be too much.

I love how she took my input, my love of quatrefoil, and all of my little, “Well, how about this?”  and went with it.  I love how my free weebly website and my free blog have the same look.  A viewer doesn’t feel like they’ve taken a wrong turn on the internet.  It’s more consistent.  Even my FB cover photo and my Etsy shop headers coordinate with my websites.  I’m feeling pretty spiffy.

SaslowFBCover-NewRed-01Spiffy, right?

Attaching Bits to Things

I was discussing with my friend Melissa (check out her blog, Forgotten Skills) my love of gluing bits to things.  Her husband didn’t have a clue as to what I meant.

It isn’t just gluing, per say, but attaching in any way.  Be it with glue (E- 600, two part Epoxy, or Hot Glue), my trusty Staple Gun, or some sort of string (yarn, monofilament, thread, whatever).

These methods of attachment cover a multitude of craft projects.

Recent examples are:

Reupholstering a previously VERY ugly little chair thing.  (with Staples)


Gluing Dominoes to a shallow box. (Two part epoxy)


I will be painting the inside of some now red drawers gold, but the application of paint isn’t really attaching.  It falls into the whole other category of “If it holds still long enough, I will paint it”.

Recent examples of this are:

The same said ugly chair thing getting it’s nasty brass self sprayed glossy black.

The previously mentioned drawers being sprayed red.  When they were blonde wood they looked too country charming with the heart cut outs.  Now they are going to be boudoir fabulous in red with gold and who knows what else I add to them.


Now, Melissa and I also like to discuss the merits of “Zombie Apocalypse Crafting”.  Scrap booking is NOT a Zombie Apocalypse Craft.  Making jam and canning is.  I like to think reupholstering is, because you can get more use out of a good piece of furniture.  I admit, spray painting a little cubbie of drawers isn’t a ZAC, but it does make me happy and make use of something that I otherwise didn’t want.

Do you like to attach bits to things?  Do you have a useful Z.A.C. (or a non-useful craft confession?)

My Work as a Seamstress

Madame Saslow is also a seamstress!  I’ve taken up work from the En Garde Fencing Academy.  Fencing safely requires a lot of gear, gloves, uniforms, underarmor, etc.  When those items get worn, fought in, and washed all the time, they end up needing some TLC.   I took a fencing class from Moniteur Jim at SSU, so I’ve worn the gear for fencing personally.

Image Copyright En Garde Fencing

I can only take a few pieces of gear at a time, since they are constantly being used.  Mostly it’s just the velcro closures on things that need replacing, but a few items need other pieces re-attached or patched.

This venture came about at a friend’s birthday party.  One of the guests, Joey, works for En Garde.  We were chatting and I mentioned my laundry soap.  It was decided that laundry soap and fencing were a match!  En Garde really does take better care of their equipment than a lot of places.  Jim and Joey are washing gear all the time.  They are excited to be supporting a local business person by buying my laundry soap, and that it’s a environmentally low impact product.

What all this means for me is that I am making my business work.  I have been putting out roots, making paths, and working.  It’s paying off.  Even when I am mending and making laundry soap, I’m MAKING something.  I’m creating, crafting, doing.  I work my own hours, I’m my own boss, and I’m making it happen.  That is so satisfying.

Thank you, En Garde!

The Definition of Handmade- A Hard Line to Draw

“I had it all. Even the glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous peoples of… wherever.” – Narrator “Fight Club”

Image Source

The Definition of “Handmade”, according to




made  by hand,  rather than by machine: the luxury of handmade shoes.
What is authentically handmade can be hard line to draw.  I don’t make my own yarn.  I buy it in a store from companies that make it with machines, sometimes from synthetic materials.  I don’t make all of my own beads.  Some are glass, some are plastic, some metal, and other materials.  I LOVE finding things that have already been made, used, and sent to the thrift store to “upcycle” into something fabulous and new.  Is what I do handmade?  I’d say yes, absolutely.
Fabric made in China (with people operating machines) and sewn on a sewing machine (that was made by other people operating machines) makes a wonderful HANDMADE dress or pillow.  An artist using laser cutters to make wooden flowers she designed for earrings she assembles is also handmade in my book.  That same artist would still be a handmade artist ordering designs of her wooden flowers from another company.  How could she be less a handmade artist than me?  I don’t make my own beads.  I just find nice ways to combine them.
How about if someone buys something like a cross stitch pattern and takes the time to fill it in?  Is that handmade?  Yes.  Is it art they should be able to sell?  No.  It wasn’t their creative output.  It required some skill and patience, but for me it’s missing the artistic spark.
How about someone that designs furniture and has it made in another country by people without machines?  Is that handmade?  Yeeessss……  Do I want it being sold in a market that claims to be handmade?  No.  Maybe because the product is built by someone else.  If i wanted furniture like that, I could go to Cost Plus World Market.  If the wooden flower earring maker designed flowers and had them cut by someone else on a machine and then sold them I wouldn’t call them handmade flowers.  If the furniture designer had furniture made, then stained it herself or upholstered it or SOMETHING, I’d be okay with calling it handmade, by her.  Maybe because she would be adding something to the final product…
There has been a big issue going on at Etsy over a featured seller.  It’s led me to evaluate what I consider handmade, what I want out of Etsy.  I’m disappointed that something I don’t consider appropriate for the handmade market gets to be there, but Etsy is not my business.  It’s a tool for my business.  I choose to use this tool.  At this point, I’m going to continue using this tool.
I guess the only thing that can be hoped for is that customers continue to raise their conscienceness, to be aware of where their purchases come from.  Be informed, find out about the process of creation.  This should apply to all areas of consumption, really.  Know where your food comes from, how it’s made.  Know about the goods, processes, and people you support with your money.

See How My Garden Grows

Spring is at my house and in my garden, full force!  I’ve been planting tasty things to eat.  This is the first real yard of my own I’ve ever had.  When we first moved in, July 2010, I simply planted the bits from pots I already had and stuck in what my Mother in Law dug out of her yard for me.  It’s beautiful, lush, and jungly, but I want more tasty plants.

I have egg cartons turned into little seed beds to get things started.  I’ve got bush beans, cucumbers, and some spaghetti squash seeds in one; turnips and more bush beans in another.  I just started some peas, I’ll need to get little poles for those later.  Little pots hold yet more cucumber (it’s a good thing Alex and I both love cucumber!).  Outside I’ve got swiss card that’s been doing well for awhile, some spinach and basil that’s just starting, kale, my awesome herb pot with chives, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.  I just cut the thyme WAY back, you can see it hanging by lovely orange ribbon from my hanging baskets.

The very cool thing I’ve just set up is my filing cabinet turned planter.  That little patch of yard has hardly any dirt, maybe only 4 inches from the fence, so this has created so much more dirt square footage.  The file hanger from in the drawers are now a cage for the beans I’ll plant there from my seedlings.  Cucumbers can hang down from the second drawer and more beans can grow up from the bottom drawer.

I took so many pictures, I’ll let you browse through a slideshow at your leisure.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.