Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Exploring My New Neighborhood

The first comment I got on facebook about our moves was Albert Einstein's quote, "The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library."  The first thing that John and I do when we move to a new state is get a new licence, the second thing I do is go get a library card.
Now I have all three.
Well, I found the library and it is spectacular.  It is the Central Library branch for San Diego and it just opened at the end of September.  It has nine floors, and with the exception of two floors that house a charter school, all of them have books!
You can see the library dome here on the far left.
The dome on the top of the library is 143 feet in diameter and made of 1,500 aluminum panels.  It shades a reading room on the 8th floor (with a series of bright turquoise furniture in it that has to be custom) and from the ninth floor, the center of which is open to the dome and sky, you can hear the panels sing.  The wind moves through them in a way that makes it seem like the whole building is trying to speak to you.
With the exception of the ninth floor the library is, as all libraries should be, very quiet.  In fact, walking the fourth floor was the first time since we moved to San Diego that I have experienced true silence.  I think I will be going there at least once a week for the silence if nothing else.
Beyond its structural significance, this library is very welcoming.  Unlike some other urban libraries I have frequented there is a feeling intention to learn.  This may just be the difference between a city where people go to the library to keep warm and one where it is sunny and beautiful every day.
Something else that I thought was clever about this library is that it has a dedicated teen space.  Now I don't mean a YA department, but a space where teens can go, read, spend time together, and feel like the space is theirs.  They even have a sign.
The view of the Coronado Bridge and what I think is one of the Laguna Mountains (correct me if you know I am wrong) is pretty spectacular from the upper levels.  I think I took these pictures from the 7th and 9th floors, respectively.

The library is right on the trolley line and located near the convention center and Petco Park.  To learn more about the building and verify my facts, check out the Central Library website.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New House Organization

As our new home is considerably smaller than our last place, it is really important to keep things tidy.  To be successful in this task, I made myself a dry erase board will all my daily and weekly tasks.

I used a large picture frame, glued some fabric down on the cardboard backer and then added a calendar template I made from paint samples and a couple of lists.
I separated my cleaning tasks into daily and weekly and then assigned a weekly task to each day of the week.  I find that just having these lists up makes me more conscious of clutter and helps me to keep our apartment tidy.
What do you do to keep up with your daily tasks?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Companion Cube Ring Box

So the wedding plans move forward.  Now that we are eight months out it is actually reasonable for me to do all the planning and crafting I have been doing all along.  My most recent wedding related craft is a box for our rings.  As you may have suspected from previous posts (see Christmas Decorations) John and I are a bit geeky.  We love video games, comic books, science fiction and fantasy in print and on the screen, and of course, tabletop games of all types.
When it came to creating something special to hold our wedding rings, I turned to our geekiness for inspiration.  John loves the Portal games and I had a good bit of fun playing the first game before getting a bit overwhelmed by the motion (I have some trouble with queasiness).  I love the dialogue and the characters in both games.  The AI are especially amusing.  Anyway, what better geeky icon that is shaped like a box than the companion cube.  You know, this guy:
Anyway, after a bit of fussing with little pieces of wood, I got a bit frustrated.  Looking around for alternatives, I decided to go the Sculpey route.
 I got this little ceramic box at a Michaels and proceeded to cover it with Sculpey.
 I then scraped the engraved lines in the sides of the box that don't join.
 Then came adding the sculptural elements of the box.  I found using a template and eyeing it from there to work well.
 Once the piece was completely built, I baked it and started to apply the acrylic paint.
 I took breaks to let the box dry between sections.
 Once it was painted I sealed it with a clear spray coat.  While it doesn't have a perfect finish, I love the idea of our rings living inside it for a while.
I still have to make a little bag for the rings, but there is our companion cube ring box.  We probably won't have the heart to incinerate it when we are done with it.