Bow Ties for Dogs??!! (Straight out of Portlandia)

I have written about the food cart “pod” that is a couple of blocks from our house.  It is an amazing gathering of carts that serve gourmet quality international food selections on the cheap.  We love it, both for the food and the low prices, as well as for the diversity of the crowd that gathers there.  In addition to the food carts, there are also a couple of cool shops, one in a double decker bus.

My daughter, Sarah, her daughter, Ingrid, and I took a stroll there over the weekend just to see what was going on.  They usually have music on the weekends and sometimes jugglers or acrobats or other types of free entertainment that Ingrid loves.  This week, we met a nice guy named Josh who had his sewing machine set up at a little table and was making bow ties for dogs.  Said he makes enough to support himself, which you have to admit, is very cool.

See?  This is what I love about Portland.  When people are broke, they don’t just sit around and complain about the economy.  They invent ways to make money.  This is my own way of thinking.    Here is a little video that I shot of Josh.  You’ll probably get a kick out of it.  Looks like a scenario straight out of Portlandia:

 

WaspLark

Today, I finished the wasp nest bird sculpture that I wrote about a few weeks ago.  This was one of the most challenging pieces I had ever done.   The huge wasps nest was teaming with live wasps when I received it from New York.  It was very dry, broken and crumbling….but I managed to work a little magic and to transform it into this weird creature that I have named “WaspLark”.1waspnestbird

The piece is going to my friends Scott Cohen and Anastasia Trania who found the big nest in upstate New York.

scott and ana

It was a difficult process and even a little creepy, handling the wasp nest, but I somehow managed to fashion a piece of art out of it….albeit a very strange one.

3wasp

It is very rustic, but, as is customary for me, I did manage to add a touch of bling here and there.

2wasp

Sometimes, an artist just has to allow the materials to dictate the piece.  In this case, I had no other choice.

Day #8-Young

5:56 a.m.

 

#fmsphotoaday, #littlemomentsapp

Using Diffusers to Get Rid of Mice the Humane Way

You may recall the post I made the other day about using diffused essential oils to aid in concentration.  I promised to write more about diffusers, but today, my friend  submitted this story about her own experience in getting rid of mice without killing them.

Getting Rid of Mice the Humane Way

This is my first autumn in this century-old cottage, which I am renting in a woodsy area in the middle of the city. One of the agreements I made with my landlord was that I would accept the house as it was, including the formerly mouse-infested basement.

I agreed because I love this little house a lot.

This was the most disgusting job I’ve ever had to do and I wasn’t sure that I had the gumption to tackle it myself. I thought about hiring someone to do the job for me, but I was only procrastinating… I had to clean this shit up myself.

basement

With the help of a borrowed shop vac, gifted steam cleaner, shop towels, bleach, and lots of elbow grease, I thoroughly cleaned that basement so that I finally felt safe enough to start moving my basement stuff down there.

The wooden shelf above the utility sink was the first shelf that got scrubbed and then covered with contact paper. Perfectly clean and easy to wipe down.

white shelf

The nice contact paper shelf at eye level also made it easy to spot mouse droppings one day last week, when the temperature dropped down into the 50s. A mouse! I must get rid of it!
I knew there must be a natural way to repel this mouse so I did my research and learned that mice hate the smell of peppermint. I happened to have peppermint oil in stock and so I put some peppermint oil drops on some cotton balls and shoved these into crevices and corners near the site of the mouse-dropping.
It worked for a couple of days… then on the third day–rats! He was back. Not as many mouse droppings as before, but still… I want him entirely gone.

I pondered to myself… “How can I keep a perpetually consistent smell of peppermint going in this corner?
AHA!

1aromafier

The SpaRoom Aromafier that my friend gave me to try!

The diffuser is about the size of a computer mouse (how ironic!) and it comes with a USB adapter. I happened to have an AC adapter on hand (it also runs on batteries), so I plugged it into the wall near the dryer vent (where I think the critter sneaks in), and I aimed the diffuser fan at the suspected entry point. I put about 8 drops of peppermint oil on the pad, and it’s quiet as a whisper so I’ve been running the Aromafier 24/7 and great news…. no more mouse droppings! It’s been over a week now, so this method works.
I found that I have to replenish the peppermint oil about every other day (every 48 hours). It smells nice and no more mousies!
The Aromafier is around $25, which includes a bottle of peppermint essential oil. You can order it here.