An update! I’ve still been having fun with my camera. Here are a few new shots. I feel like I’m getting better in terms of composition for artistic photos, but the ones for my recent projects were a bit blurry. Like this one and this one. More to work on, yes, but peep this progress.
These are growing right outside our front door. Just hanging out being lovely. All by themselves. They’re white already, but I thought b/w was appropriate to draw out the contrasting shadows. Cause I’m hella profesh.
Another black and white. I stopped in at Lighthouse and couldn’t help snapping a picture of their bulletin board. I love when they get used by the community and I love how the symbols of each business card the catch the eye. Sexy!
Okay, this is where it gets artistic. I couldn’t resist playing up the blues in the background. It looks like the inside of an Edison bulb got loose in Greenwood. The washy tree silhouettes make my soul take a deep breath.
I call this one Pulse. I reminds me of the zoomed-in images of music when Honeybee is editing. Of course the twelve-year-old boy version of me would say huh, looks like a sun sperm.
Oh, the subtle wash. The looping ribbons of red. I can’t help but love this one, too. I call it Blaze. I’ve been practicing with form and composition, yes, but this one was definitely an accident. I saw that my shutter speed wasn’t what I wanted after I’d already snapped. Realizing my error, I went for the artistic light show. I had no idea it would move me. This feels like something that could only happen with traditional cameras, but it came to life via DSLR. Cool.
I made a heart! But I made it upside down. Switching the orientation made the skyline appear to be a reflection. That’s deep, yo.
Home, get it, it’s where the heart is. Eh? Corny? Shut up.
And finally, because I know you missed her, Pokie:
My darling kitty. She’s so damn cute. Right now, she’s in a similar position, but totally passed out. I swear, I put on the Simpsons and it’s nap time in kittyland.
Well, there you have it, y’all. Am I working it? Would you buy a print of any of these?
All of a sudden it’s sunshine and rainbows outside. It’s so hard to resist the temptation to just soak up the sun like a lizard. But, you know, somehow I have. *wiggle-butt happy dance* I’ve Value Villaged, Good Willed, and Fred Meyered already.
What to do next? I think it’s time to soak up some sun. Yes.
Did you think I forgot?! I could never! I would never. No, see, this is why we have deadlines at Sunshine Press. Else I would get nothing done. I originally intended for us to Meet: Matt in February since it’s the month of love and whatnot, but it was also the month of my birthday and a whole heap of schoolwork. That didn’t work out.
When I started this blog back in 2009 I didn’t know where this adventure would take me [still don’t], I was just committed to documenting it here [still am]. So, actually, you were the first to know when I met Matt, now known as Honeybee. Do you remember? I’d seen him a few times, but things clicked when he came out from behind his checkstand and hugged me when my friend died. I don’t necessarily consider it love at first sight, but I do recall that when I first saw him, I distinctly wanted to talk to him. And when I
finally worked up the courage talked to him I simply had to know everything about him. He’s addictive that way. But how weird is it to formally introduce someone to your blog-life? Is that even a thing? Let’s make it a thing.
It’s a thing now. And this tardiness allowed for the proper celebration of his birthday, St. Patrick’s Day [which is also the anniversary of his proposal]. I’ll admit, another reason this Meet: is late is for the simple fact that I underestimated being so close with my interviewee. Matt’s an all-in sort of guy so as I asked him questions he’d be looking ahead at the next question. I’m all like, hey, mind yo business!
Ultimately it was a very worthwhile challenge. Why? Because there’s more to Matt than dreamy boyish good-looks. And it seems that he’s in it for the long haul. This guy wants to marry me, blog and all, y’all. So, everyone, Meet: Matt.
State your name for the record please.
My name is Matthew Tyler Wray. I was born March 17, 1977 in Walla Walla, Washington. [See what I’m saying?! Who says that? Tell me you wouldn’t have a follow up question?!]
Do you know why you were chosen as this month’s Meeting?
I suppose I’d have to say no. Because I’m an interesting person? Maybe.
Aside from the nature of our personal relationship, we’ve worked together for three years now making music, yes, but we’ve also collaborated on paintings as well as other projects and I want you to know that terms of professionalism and work-ethic, you’re someone I look up to.
Can I touch my interviewer?
You can touch me. Later. Where did you get your amazing work ethic from?
It’s been a bit of an evolution, but my dad has always been a hard worker. And my grandma. And you never want to disappoint people you love, so you imitate those you respect most.
Where did you study?
I went to Shoreline Community College for digital audio engineering. Before that I attended Walla Walla Community College for pottery.
Tell me about some of your pieces. What were your specialties?
Bowls, plates and vases. What’s left around the house are the pick of the litter. I would love to do more pottery and sculpture.
So at this point just now what are you itching to produce?
Besides music? I have my bag of tricks. I’m working on traditional Native masks.
You’re working on a traditional Native American mask? You make those?
I did make one and I attempted to make another but the wood was bad. I want to create art across all media.
Agreed. Let’s! In the meantime, tell me about your day job.
I work in a grocery store in Fremont, Seattle.
He works at Marketime. And it’s locally famous.
Yeah it’s a nice place. I enjoy working there. It’s definitely a day job, but I enjoy the people I work with.
I think everyone enjoys you working there. You were in the I Saw You section of the Stranger as Marketime Matt by an admirer who called you dreamy! And I know you thought that was me, but that was not me.
I looked at every customer for while wondering who it could be. It’s a complete mystery. But it doesn’t really matter, there’s only one person in my line who gets checked out two ways. 😉
This interviewer will not ask who that person is but I’m sure she is lucky and gorgeous.
Yes, she is. Gorgeous, I mean.
[See? This is what I’m talking about. Focus! Bah!]
What does creative mean to you?
Making order out of chaos. Be it something you look at or something you hear, you’re taking that chaos and focusing it into something different that everybody can appreciate.
What is your pattern, or trademark that makes Matt-sculpture versus Matt-music versus anything else you would create? What is the thing that makes it yours?
I just have my way of looking at the world and it translates into everything I do. I’ve just finished one big project [Super Plaid’s second album End of Daze] and I’m feeling out what’s next. It’s a process.
You’ve been at it a while, right? How many albums have you put together so far?
Officially ten. And there’s a whole slew of unofficial mixes.
Then there’s at least a series worth of paintings I’ve seen you create.
Yup, but music is my favorite. Standout hits are: It’s a Chupacabra Christmas, Jericho, Lando System, and the G. I. Joe Theme Song. But it’s a mood thing, too. At this point I have a category for every mood. Or a mood for every category.
Who are your top influences?
The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Beck.
What would you do if you were at a table with all those guys?
Spontaneously combust. I’ve never met a celebrity before [outside of work]. Do you just avoid asking them questions about their fame? Just talk to them like a friend? I don’t know. What do you do?
Well, that’s the thing. Actually that’s one of the reasons I invented Meet: because I feel like my friends are famous people. They’re, like, famous people that people don’t know about yet. I always wanna hang out because we’re friends. But then I also wanna be like, so what’s inspring you right you now? What are you thinking about?
So, what inspires you?
You’ve mentioned before that creating music for you is a means of creating a legacy, why is it so important?
It’s not really important to have a legacy of music or even to have a legacy. But, I suppose I’d prefer to be remembered, not forgotten. Like a forget-me-not. Perhaps down the line my great great great nieces and nephews will hear my music and maybe it’ll change their life.
If there’s one thing you’d like the world to know about you, it would be?
I’m rich, bitch. Um…nah.
Well, I suppose I’m out of questions.
Does that mean it’s dinner time?
Yes. Feed meeeee!
Well, there you have it folks. You’ve officially met him. He’s uncommonly kind and clean. He’s a hard worker and dreamboat. What can I say, he’s my kind of guy. He doesn’t get to hang out as often as he’d like due to crappy mid-shifts at the Market, but he’s always down for a jam. He can play almost any instrument [guitar, mandolin, cello, bass, drums, piano, lap harp, clarinet, tenor banjo, harmonica, penny whistle, glockenspiel, and the dryer to name a few] and he’s got great hair. Eh?
[Ladies this one’s taken, but he’s got a single brother. Wha-WHAT!]
First listen to this song:
Then imagine a plain, boring dresser [cough, cough looking at you IKEA Goliat]. This piece, like my dresser, was inherited when Butterfly went overseas. It’s a particle board ordeal, so I didn’t want to risk sanding so I removed the hardware and primed it like so.
It took me all of three minutes to decide that deep, sexy, plum was the color of choice here. But for some reason the paint wouldn’t stick in a few spots.
Weird, right? I went over a couple more times until it was perfect. After it dried it was time to attach my beautiful new fixtures. Unfortunately [meaning I cursed for a full five minutes] the moment the new handle touched the paint it scratched off. And, to add insult to injury, I screwed them in and then they magically just wouldn’t screw anymore. No mas!
This upset me, but like the song says, I just won’t be defeated. So I got out my gorilla glue. I wish I could say that I didn’t know what would happen, but I’ve used it before. I know gorilla glue expands three to four times its size. But, no, these handles were going to stay. Look at this mess!
Bah, I say! My sexy vamp purple goddess was not gonna go out like that. I yoinked a razor blade from somewhere and got to scraping. I got most of it off, but there was no hope for a clean-looking finish. My next best hope was for a good distraction. Enter lace.
I used spray adhesive to make it stay and cut wee slits for the handles to slip through. Boom. Picking the accent color was harder. I have a great lilacy purple that would’ve played up the purple, but I ultimately went with black. This is, after all, a distraction technique.
Isn’t she darling?! I’ll tell ya. The lady is a vamp. She’s a vixen, not tramp. She’s the top of the top she’s the best. Yes!
[Minus ten cool points if you know what song I’m talking about, ha!]
But that’s not all folks. Like the dresser, I lined each drawer with black self-adhesive contact paper so each drawer is smooth and crisp. I only did the bottom, though, so I could still peep my stickers.
Sorry for the blurry pictures. I swear they looked better at the time. Granted, at the time there was a metric fuckton of sawdust everywhere. So…you know.
Oh! You love, yes?
Success? Can you tell? You can tell? I can tell, too. But, I don’t care. It ultimately looks better and like I said, I just won’t be defeated.
Oh hello there, hi! How are you?
Mine? It was FRIGGIN SWEET! I approached, tackled and defeated the beast that is my dresser. LOOK!
See, what had happened was: this neighborhood cat named T peed on it! Like two years ago. I know. Gross. Luckily the dresser was stained and polyurethaned so it didn’t seep into the wood.
I took off the existing fixtures which were breaking like little antiquish jerks. Someone had glued and screwed these things on. Ugh. I unscrewed. I beat them off with a hammer. Problem solved.
Then I grabbed my Makita and got to work. I started with grade 80 sandpaper to get the ugly off. Then 120. Then 220. Then 320 just on top. Then matte finish polyurethane to protect my work. This stuff covers like some kind of magical butter that isn’t made of fat.
When doing a project like this I suggest buying those fancy safety goggles and nose protectors. You don’t want to end up with sawdust nose hairs like me. I swore at the hardware store that I wouldn’t pay $5 for one and that I could use a bandana. Got home and couldn’t find my bandana anywhere. Um yeah. Bad news for my nose and ears and lungs. Good news for the dresser, though. So that’s something.
Sanding wood down to its natural finish is like unwrapping a present carefully and slowly while also doing a million reps with a shake weight. [My arms are sore.]
But it’s worth it when you find sweet, sweet wood ripples like these. I fell in love!
Then the staining began. I used Varathane’s Weathered Gray [and the same brand matte poly].
I was worried that it was looking it bit too blue with the first coat. But I could already tell that choosing stain over paint was the right way to go. Look how that grain shines through!
Not too blue, definitely gray. And ooh!
Putting everything back took some time. I went through all the jewelry on my tree and kept only what I wear often. At least three were made by the lovely and talented Jeri Mack.
I recently procured this IDEAL candle dish from IKEA to wrangle all my stuff. Our teeny bathroom is too small for getting ready so all that get done at our individual dressers. These items are either very often used or too tall to go inside the drawers [which explains why I want the PS so bad, it’s got room for tall items].
Now I walk in the room and my eye goes from the duvet cover to the dresser and back and forth and I smile like a fool every time. 🙂
This was my successful project. Next I’ll tell ya about the not-so-successful thing I did…well tried to do…but, damn it, did.
Project Sourcing & Pricing
Drawer pulls, IKEA SATTA Knob [when I saw them on the website I thought they looked cheap but when I saw them in store, it was love. They have a great weight to ’em and they’re hella inexpensive!] $1.99 x 2
Varathane’s Weathered Gray Stain [it’s like fancy driftwood] $8
Varathane’s Matte Polyurethane $8
Various grit sandpaper, $15
BAM $35 holla!
This last photo is an experiment to see if my cell phone takes as good of pictures as we thought. Meh, but there’s definitely not as much light going on in this room in this corner this morning. And this is with the flash on. More on that later!
Things don’t necessarily work out the way we plan. As it turns out we didn’t get to jam the other night. One of our jammers ended up admitted to the hospital after experiencing some blindness and pain. An MRI revealed that there may be something. That’s all I know. Our hearts dropped, Honeybee’s and mine. We couldn’t do anything or say anything, really. We just sat in silence, sending our love.
Update! It was scar tissue, not a tumor. Phew, but also, gasp. More prayers and more love just to be sure. ❤
No jam left me with extra time to make my hardware store list extra thorough. I had to do something to keep from being sad [without just cause]. So, with any luck, I’ll be:
Staining My Dresser
Why? Because all these damn wood tones in this room are making me feel like I’m in a bad lodge. Also, because [back at the Burrow] a neighborhood cat, T, peed on it. Gross. Also-also because the fixtures are breaking apart and weren’t very comfortable in the first place.
Painting My Nightstand
Why, well that wood tone thing I mentioned before, but this one especially because it’s a blonde wood tone. Bleh. I’ve seen an IKEA hack on this very piece. They went for white. I don’t know if that would work for me, but I also don’t have another particular color in mind. This is my wild card project.
Staining That Amazing Round Antique Table
Okay, I’ll admit if any one project gets out of my reach, it’ll be this one. I want to practice my staining skills on the dresser before I take on anything so lovely as this one. I’m also unsure about stain colors. I’m hoping the hardware store will woo me. Especially one of these gel stains I’ve been itching to try. We shall see.
Sketches for a New Series
Yup. Can’t wait!
Happy weekend, y’all!
I suppose I thought this quarter–the one with the classes all online, would be easy peasy–would be different than all the others. Nope. No matter what. There is a one to two week period every quarter that even the best laid plans must be brushed aside in the frenzy of finals. But the final final is finished, y’all. [Still waiting on grades, but I’m feeling pret-ty dang confident!] It’s spring break. The break of spring.
If I were in Florida right now I’d throw on a bikini to make it offiical, but I’ll just go ahead and enjoy this unexpectedly sunshiney Seattle day with a shirt. It’s sunny, but it’s windy! But there’s a million daffodils and tulips and the cherry blossoms are just starting up.
Of course when most people think “break” they probably mean chilling with cute little umbrellas in their drinks. You and I both know that’s not what I’m about. Well, I do love a good cocktail, but if my life were a bumper sticker it would read: I’d rather be DIYing, painting, breaking something or making something. Today is my planning [favorite] day wherein I’ll make the official lists of how much productivity I can squeeze in a week and what supplies I’ll need to get ahold of. Tonight me and the boys are gonna get together and jam and then tomorrow I’m high-tailing it to the hardware store. And maybe Joann’s. Ooh!
Meanwhile, at Sunshine Press, I’ve missed my own deadline for Meet: Sad panda. But I promise it’s for good reason! I had a surprise for February and then the time sort of melted and it was March! Don’t worry, there’s a Meet:ing or two on deck. They’re just awaiting their final bits and bobs and edits. Stick with me! Don’t be upset!
You want more to look forward to? Well, a certain little someone just happened to cross something off her Life List! Yeah. See? So there.
And wedding updates! And new afters! And more befores! Oh, you just wait, kids.
Meanwhile look at this birthday card I got from Mama Sunshine today! It’s sheer brilliance makes up for its tardiness easily! Like, no question. It starts as a box.
And it’s cute all on its own. Then you open it and folds down into an incredible card with little lovenotes everywhere and pictures of me when I was [cute ass] baby!
And in the middle is another mini box with a pearl necklace and matching earrings. My mom is a genius.
Where did February go?
Got ghost-faced schwasted at Molly Maguire’s with friends!
Got an amazing array of handmade cards from Mama Sunshine. She makes them by hand!
Visited Seattle Art Museum with my art history class. We were there to study Greek statues, but I ended up visiting Rembrandt’s self-portrait and fell in love. They wouldn’t let me take pictures of it, though. I can show you this giant painting. Pondering the positioning and the play of light and shady, then a couple passes by me and the guy says, “whoa there’s a fish in her crotch.”
I also got this shot of a beautiful produce lady. I asked if I could take her picture and she said yeah, but then thought about it and clarified, “you mean you want to take a picture of me?” Yes! “But, why?” Because you’re beautiful. She gave me a face like I was full of it, but then a guy behind me agreed. He said, “honey, you’re gorgeous,” and she broke out in the most wonderful smile.
Hosted a killer jam session. Not only were the grooves just right, we all had the chance to switch instruments. The shadowy figure near Big Bird Lamp is Jared. Scott’s on drums there. Honeybee’s on guitar and Kevin’s in the right corner, killing the bass.
Another, less fun, but still fun thing I did this month was vanquishing the last bit of debt from my previous marriage. The balance on this credit card had grown to $697 [which, I know, isn’t a lot of money for credit card debt to most people but I’m an extra broke college student lady so $697 looks like $10,000 to me]. Anyway I talked them down to a settlement for $353 and paid that shit. Woot-woot! Best birthday present to myself ever. I’m working toward a goal of debt free-ness on my life list. Now all’s I’ve got is my current student loans and a good chunk to Butterfly who helped me for the first few months when we lived at the Burrow together. I’ve only just realized how much that debt’s been affecting me. For example, I went and got myself some shoes at a massively good deal. They were marked down like 60% and then they made em buy one get one free. I spent $40 and I got two pairs of comfy boots. That is a crazy good deal. It took a crazy good deal to get me to come out of my shell. I’d been wearing those from my ghetto light box project that I got at Goodwill. They looked cute before [and still do] but the entire sole has come off and I’ve even worn down the cork underneath. The nails were sticking out and clicking on the ground, catching on carpets and leaving little cork trails wherever I went. Why did it take me so long to get some damn replacement shoes?! Cause until then I hadn’t been able to make any headway toward repayment, so I felt like a poop head all the time. I was undeserving of new shoes. So I came up with a plan and I feel much better.
I’ve also been getting things together for the wedding. There are so many little fun projects! I’ll have pictures soon!
Did you notice what I didn’t do this month? There was no Meet: article. Fail. Well, there is one, but it’s still in the editing stages. I’ll explain! Promise! Don’t be upset!
The last few weeks have been a blur, but more sunshine is in the forecast!