Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hill Rag Wall Art

Here it is the end of the month and I am posting the April edition of the Hill Rag that came out the first week. I have always enjoyed the cover and we use the magazine as rotating art in our TV room. Maybe it's because I am somewhat disappointed that I never heard back about potentially using one of my images on the cover or even on the inside, after a lot of first pass enthusiasm about my work. I know there is a long list of wannabe and real artists out there. And that is perfectly understandable. But what I prefer is an honest answer about the real or unreal possibilities. I can take it! Rejection isn't all that bad. I still look forward to seeing what's on the cover, but with a lot less enthusiasm. Maybe the rainy days are affecting my usually brighter approach to things in general. But I'd still love to be on a Hill Rag cover!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pipe Repairs - Stay Away From This One

As with most old buildings there is a tendency to require plumbing and pipe services, and typically without warning. Even though we have routine annual maintenance on our HVAC system, things break. And if you have upstairs neighbors, events are even more unpredictable. So we called upon this company for help, at the suggestion of the building management company. I understand that services rendered require payment. But this is ridiculous. The red flag should have gone up when the company required us to complete a form and provide a credit card number before even knowing what the issue was. But it became more irritating when they charged close to $500.00 for doing ten minutes of work, and the problem wasn't even resolved. They wanted to come back and charge another visit fee. My husband rarely gets ticked off, but he couldn't help himself this time. The phone call resulted in a reduced but still outlandish charge. He even helped the repairman do the work because it would have been possible to do alone. These are the times when I really miss having our go to repair guy in Milwaukee. He was there within five minutes and always managed to fix the problem, and didn't charge anything like this. My husband removed many an appendix for less than that!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Frager's, Sandbags, and Patios

"If we don't have it, you don't need it" is absolutely true when it comes to hardware and assorted items at Frager's. Living in a first floor condo has definite merits like not having to wait for an elevator, easy in and out access for transporting groceries, and it feels like we live in a real home like in Milwaukee. But it can be just dreadful if you have a patio door and a heavy rain is expected. We've had some humdinger rain storms and have gone through several sand bags. Luckily it doesn't happen that often. We wrapped the last batch of sandbags in black trash bags because they were leaking. And we kept them under the patio chair because they were too heavy to move in to the shed. So we thought we would trek on over to Frager's and get some new bags and create four smaller bags out of the two difficult to move heavy bags. And of course Frager's had them. So we shifted the sand over to the new bags. It felt like mud as it was still wet from being in all that plastic. I suppose that's why the real sandbags are made of breathable material so the contents can dry out once in awhile. I thought it might be a good idea to leave the bags outside to dry up, but remembered it is supposed to rain all week. So they will remain outside in the event we need them. And even though the orange color matches the pillows, they will be put back in the shed for safe keeping. They may be functional, but they just aren't very decorative.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Azalea Collection at the US National Arboretum

 It's three strikes and finally a win! We had out of town guests this month and thought we might get some great cherry blossom views at the Arboretum. Our timing just wasn't right and nothing was in bloom. I noticed in our neighborhood that the azaleas were really shining this week and figured we better check out the arboretum once more this Spring in hopes that we finally get there at just the right time. What a gorgeous day it was to walk along the beautiful azalea paths. It was simply stunning and beyond description. I took so many photos it was really hard to select just a few for the blog. I may need to do another Picasa web album or create a You Tube slideshow just to showcase and save the experience. There were a few places in Milwaukee we would visit to check out the seasonal blooms, and oftentimes traveled to the Chicago Botanical Garden as another option. I love walking outdoors when it's so nice outside, and this is a really fine place to visit.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Time Scaffolding, Backhoes, and Construction

You know it is Spring as soon as you start to drive around town - and it doesn't matter where you go. Right outside the House Office Buildings on Washington Avenue the street has been torn up and traffic diverted; all along Independence Avenue one of the Smithsonian Museums continues with the renovation that started over a year ago; the Washington Monument is almost completely covered now for what will be a long term project related to earthquake damage repair; along the Rock Creek Parkway the backhoes are blocking the way; the South African Embassy sign along Massachusetts Avenue says open in Spring - but I doubt it; more street problems in front of the Air and Space Museum; another big dig by the Nationals Stadium; and more scaffolding and traffic diversions by the Navy Yard. That was our route today. And a very easy theme to write about!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Persian Cat - Again!

Yesterday it was noted that my Zazzle Shop Persian Cat image randomly appeared on the front page of The Washington Post while I happened to be looking at it. Today I was searching for someone's name on the Internet and something familiar appeared again in the advertising section on the top of the page. There was that darn cat again - except this time it was all cat. Yesterday it was someone else's T shirts and one cat image. I'm not sure how it happens - I'm sure the computer just knows it is me. I'm hoping everyone else is seeing the same thing I am. The cat belongs to a friend of a friend who had the work commissioned. It's nice to know he can get the image in a variety of formats! That is why I like digital art so much, and I am pleasantly surprised when I see it keep popping up out of no where!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Washington Post Front Page Zazzle Ad

As most people do every morning, I was checking the news bits on a variety of on line sources when something caught my eye. On the upper right hand corner of The Washington Post front page is a space for rotating ads. Some are more interesting than others, and you really can't help but glance over and see them. This particular one was of special interest because it looked very familiar. It was a Zazzle ad for some T shirts but also for an IPad cover/skin. Zazzle has millions of products.  So when I saw my Persian cat hand drawn digital image on display I was taken aback, but also quick enough to catch a photo of it before it disappeared. I have a Zazzle shop - LIT Digital Art - that showcases my artwork on a variety of products. Never did I think any of them would show up on the front page of The Post - while I happened to be looking at it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thanks DCBlogs & Patrick For Noting Cherry Blossom Time Lapse

I have been very fortunate to have a few of my blog entries noted by DC Blogs. I'm never quite sure what might catch their fancy. On Saturday, we passed by the Tidal Basin where the hoards of visitors walked to see the cherry blossoms just 1-2 weeks ago. Now, everything is eerily quiet and green. That inspired me to go back and find all the images I captured over the last two months that were taken in about the same place along Independence Avenue. Because the Saturday entries may get overlooked, I forwarded the item to DC Blogs for consideration because they encourage folks to share suggested content. My husband really liked this one too. I was happy to see that it was noted today, and I really appreciate it! Thanks Patrick!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Capitol Hill Patio Planting Season

Since the bulb plantings are about done for the season it was time to start thinking about annuals and vegetables. The white multi petal tulips are withered and dried up and the daffodils are long gone. So we took a ride to American Plant. To our surprise the tomato plants were already out, but it's still too early for the cucumbers and peppers. The impatiens have some kind of blight problem this year so we were forced to make alternate choices. In the end we got three bags of mulch, 3 tomato plants, and a few odds and ends. Our little patio has a great southern exposure and it is well protected from the elements. Even though it is no where near the one acre lot of our Milwaukee home, my muscles and bones didn't quite like the exercise. I don't miss the upkeep of a big lot and several gardens, but didn't expect this tiny space to make me feel the same. The next plantings may be big stones and all perennials!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Yards Park Capitol Riverfront

We haven't taken a walk towards Yards Park since before winter. Things have changed a lot since we moved to DC. On the way over, a whole neighborhood of new home and apartment options abound. Restaurants are springing up, and shopping options are on the way. A new Harris Teeter has broken ground. The river walk along the Anacostia now takes you to Nationals Stadium. The azaleas are in full bloom. It was very peaceful and scenic as we headed toward the Navy Yard. Folks were out biking, walking their dogs, or having a picnic. The architectural elements are very artistic - the benches look like waves, and the bridge reminds me of the Calatrava Art Museum in Milwaukee. It's a big difference on a Sunday afternoon compared to the bustle and noise of the work week. Every direction from our house on Capitol Hill takes us to an interesting place. And this way is getting better all the time.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cherry Blossoms - What a Difference A Few Weeks Makes!

Over the last two months I have been taking photos of the same spot along Independence Avenue that shows the progress of the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin across from the Jefferson Memorial. I didn't really plan it that way, but when we passed by the same location today, I mentioned to my husband that its hard to believe its only been a week since the hoards of people were crawling around the city looking at the beauty that occurs this time of year. We had back to back guests the last two weekends and spent a lot of time driving around this area. One trip took and hour and a half to go about two miles. Now everything is green and strangely quiet. It prompted me to go back and find the same images over time, and think about the natural event that prompts so many visitors to come to DC. It is a beautiful sight, no matter how long you've lived here. I never get tired of it.