Friday, August 30, 2013

Bathroom woes

Tuesday morning we got a call from our building maintenance guy Franny.  He informed us that there is a leak coming from our condo unit and it is leaking into our downstairs neighbors place.  Turns out there is a leak in my bathroom, but its behind the wall.  Our maintenance guy shut off the water (now I have no shower or toilet and have to share with Ed!) and wait for the plumber to assess the damage.  The Plumber came by Thursday and talked to Ed at length about what to do with the bathroom.  At one time Ed and I were discussing removing the bathtub and putting in a shower stall now is the time to do it, since the plumber is already having to remove tiles to get into the walls.  

We have decided to go ahead with replacing the tub, but Ed and I are disagreeing on what to do re: shower doors.  Initially I was considering using Bath Fitters to install a shower.  They apparently do it in one day, but after doing some research online I found a lot of bad reviews for them about how they use a lot of "high pressure" sales tactics to get you to buy their product.  They basically offer a "free"estimate.  They send out someone to come out and measure and then you have to sit and listen to the sales pitch until you cave!  One woman claimed that she had a bath fitters sales rep in home for over 2 hours, and that he refused to leave until they signed the contract!  No Thanks!  The other thing that sort of bothers me about them is the fact that they just put the shower unit OVER moldy tile, they don't replace while your shower looks great....underneath all that mold and mildew is still there eating up your wall!  Gross!  So now Ed and I have decided to go with a tile surround, which is what the plumber recommends....apparently he hates Bath Fitters too!  The only place Ed and I are disagreeing is what to do about doors/no doors for the shower.  I feel that we should create a step up into the shower and then use a shower curtain in the opening.  Ed wants to go with sleek glass doors. While the glass doors look awesome, I'm constantly thinking of all the work involved in keeping them clean.  Naturally, Ed does not consider this, since I'm the one who does most of the cleaning.  Ed's shower door currently has a half inch layer of soap scum on it, and at this point, the only way to clean it is to just replace the damned door!  We are planning a trip to Lowes this weekend to see what kind of tile we want to use.  I'm thinking of just plain white tile or subway tile to contrast all the gray tile covering all the walls in the bathroom.  I would also like to use an accent stripe of tiles in an iridescent gray color too, to add some visual impact.  Ed is having a hard time envisioning what I'm talking about, so I figured a trip to Lowes would help us both out.  I have to admit, having a glass door would definitely make the bathroom feel less enclosed....but I will miss my lovely West Elm shower curtain.

  My tiny bathroom that has floor to ceiling gray tiles. 

 Ed and I both like this, but we really need a sliding door rather than one that opens out, since the space is so small.  I like the idea of the stripe, but not crazy about what they used in this photo...I was thinking of something more like these tiles choices for the stripe:

I'm really drawn to these iridescent tiles.  I'm also considering colored glass tiles too.  Will be interesting to see what we find at Lowes this holiday weekend. 

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cicadas and carpet conundrum

Last week as I was walking to the train station on my way to work, I spotted a large bug on a tree that appeared to be dead.  I took a photo of it and then Googled it.  Turns out it was a cicada in the nymph stage.

They normally shed their nymph skin and emerge as adults, with their full wings.   I wasn't sure if the adult had already emerged or not, so I figured I would check it everyday to see what happens.  In just a few days I had my answer....

I captured this image on my way home from work.  I was incredibly surprised to catch this one as it was emerging!  Came back the next morning and it was gone and only the nymph shell remained.  Nature is totally amazing!!

On another note, we got a free rug over the weekend.  One of  our neighbors in the condo where we live was getting rid of a rug, so we decided to take it.  Nothing beats a free rug!  Right now I have it in my dressing room.  Not sure if I prefer the old rug or this new rug though.   I figured I'd give it a try for a few days to see how I like it.

New rug in a bright orangey-red!  The color of the rug is really bright. and the photo does not do it justice. It is also a little smaller than the rug that was there previously. 

Here is the rug that was here previously.  I don't know...I still like this rug too! 

Not sure which one stays and which one goes, but I think I'll keep the new rug in for a few weeks to see if I like it.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dali Atomicus

Dali with his pet Ocelot sometime in the 60s.  

Salvador Dali was one wacky guy, from that crazy mustache to his mind bending artwork.  In 1941, Phillipe Halsman met the surrealist artist and they began to collaborate in the late 1940s. The 1948 work Dali Atomicus, which was featured in LIFE Magagine, explores the idea of suspension.  The title of the photograph is a reference to DalĂ­'s work Leda Atomica. What they ended up with was pretty amazing.  Dali appears to be suspended in mid-air along with a stream of water and cats jumping from the opposite direction into the stream of water.  The chair, easel and canvas appear to be suspended in mid air, but in reality they were either being held up by an assistant or piano wire.  In the photo below you can see the assistant holding up the chair, but in the final version the hands were removed along with the visible piano wires that you can see in the photo below.  Apparently there were about 28 attempts made, which amounts to 84 thrown cats. The cats would scramble and hide after each take, so I can imagine how many hours it took for them to do this....poor kitties.....but from what I've read, they were the ones who had it easy!  

In this photo you can see the assistant holding up the chair and the piano wire holding up the easel and the canvas.

What many people don't know is that Dali's original idea for this photo was truly disgusting.  He wanted to use a duck, not cats...and instead of water being thrown, he wanted to put explosives in its derriere and have the poor creature explode while he jumped in the air.....pretty disgusting huh? Thankfully there were many objections to this idea, so it never came to fruition and they ended up with the idea of the cats and water instead.  Here is a snippet of a quote of Dali discussing the idea, I believe this is just a small portion of the conversation re: the ducks, but it does make for humorous reading (cannot imagine Dali giving up his argument so easily though!):

Dali: “I know what the picture should be … We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture.”

Halsman: “Don’t forget that we are in America. We will be put in prison if we start exploding ducks.”

Dali: “You’re right. Let’s take some cats and splash them with water.”

Makes me like Dali a little less because he was willing to sacrifice the life of animals for the sake of art.  Reminds me a little of the story of the Oval Portrait by Edgar Allen Poe, where a beautiful young woman marries a painter and agrees to be painted by him.  He becomes so absorbed in his work that he doesn't realize how it affects his bride's health.  As he paints, she becomes weaker and in the end, when he finally finishes his masterpiece he finds in horror that his young bride was dead.   Seems like Dali was willing to sacrifice whatever it took to create his vision.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Time for another edition of....

Back in the 70s my parents had this enormous mod cityscape sofa print in their living room.  It was yellow and orange, to go along with our orange printed sofa, orange curtains and orange shag rug...yes, orange is a favorite color in my family!  Around 10 years ago I had spotted a similar framed print at a vintage store, which was green and blue, but they wanted $200 for it, which is outrageous!  I'm sure that my parents only paid around $20 bucks for theirs!  Sadly, my parents ended up selling theirs at a yard sale when I was in college.

This is the best photo I had scanned of the sofa painting.  Sadly, the scan shows a white mark, but you can see that it is a modern cityscape.

While researching I did come across Carlo of Hollywood who did a number of paintings in this style.  Not sure if this is a print of one of his works, but it looks quite similar.

Sadly, there is no way to confirm whether or not my parents had a Carlo print or not because its gone now, and the photos are not clear enough to show any signature. My research continues....