Thursday, January 10, 2013

Copies, Pictures, and Pets--oh my!

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you've been really productive and then when you look back on what you've accomplished you haven't actually done much?

I woke up around 8:00 this morning and felt really good about that since I've been embracing my last week of not needing to set an alarm.  Somehow, by 2:00 all I'd done was run up to campus to copy my syllabi (which turned into a two hour fight with the copier!) and eaten a PB&J.

Barley and I walked almost 3 miles after that (I think we're in trouble when February roles around and we have to beat this months mileage!), but we only walked that far because someone was acting like she'd never been on a leash before and clearly needed more practice and to get rid of some energy.  There's a horrid brown dog--it looks like a boxer mix--that I dread walking by; it stays in it's unfenced (invisible fence?) yard, but she barks and runs circles around her house--there is a path that circles the house where the grass has been worn away by her circles!--and she continues barking even after we've turned down another road and is usually still barking when we circle back around to go home.  Most of the time, she's not out, but today she was.  Luckily, the weather's warmed up enough that the sidewalks are just slush now, so there wasn't the slippery factor.  Our usual game plan when we see the beast is to cross the road and walk on the other sidewalk, which is what I tried to do today, but a certain border collie mix lost her mind.  Instead of sitting on the curb while I checked for traffic, she jumped, twisted, and flung herself off the curb.  Thankfully, we live in a relatively quiet town and there's rarely traffic on that road.  Didn't I just say that she instinctively knows (aka has been conditioned) to sit when I stop while we're walking?  I guess we'll be working on reinforcing that one--I wouldn't handle a pancaked dog very well.

My only real accomplish was my pet art wall!  My sister got me awesome border collie art from Krista Brooks at RetroPets.com for my birthday and it's been hanging above my bookshelf since October, but I've had plans to add more to the wall.

See, Krista Brooks is from Santa Fe and when I lived in NM I found a greeting card she'd done with a little white cat on it.  I bought one with the intention of framing it one day.  Needless to say, I moved across the county and it stayed in a box with other cards for 3 years.
My ravenous cat is currently knocking food cans off the counter to tell me he's ready for dinner.
I also had another sweet cat card that I had forced my sister to get me and send me when I moved into my new apartment.  It had also been sitting in a box for almost 3 years waiting to be framed.
All cat cards should have white kitties with pink noses
My awesome border collie art was the perfect motivation!  But I am not a handy person or a math person and these cards were not normal sizes like 4x6 or 5x7, so when I went to look for  frames I was lost.  I took them to my parents over the holidays because my mom is the handiest, craftiest person I know.  She solved all of my problems, by figuring out what size frame we needed and matting them on black paper to fill up the extra space.

My sister got me more awesome border collie art--a picture of a border collie printed on a encyclopedia? dictionary? page with descriptions of various famous Elizabeths--for Christmas, too, so I had even more material for the pet wall.  Since I am a little obsessed with taking pictures of my pets, I figured I should actually do something with them--besides fill up Facebook with 1,000,000 pet pictures, of course.

So, I had 9 frames that need to be hung and look good next to the original border collie art that was already on the wall.  As I said, I'm not handy.  I have four framed New Yorker Dog Calendar pages in my dinning room--in order to get them evenly spaced and level, I did a lot of nailing--there are about 4 holes in the wall behind each picture (luckily, I do know how to spackle!).  I figured that if I did that with 9 frames that would be much closer together I would not have a wall anymore.  Lucky for me, my brother's sweet and brilliant girlfriend visited over break while Mom and I were framing things.  She reads a DIY blog and had seen a post about making a photo wall and was nice enough to share the ideas with me!  She suggested cutting out paper in the size/shape of the frames, hanging that on the wall with tape (with a mark where the nail should go), then you pound in the nail and pull the paper off and put your picture on.

Kate may have overestimated my ability to cut on a straight line
Now, this sounds really simple.  And for most people it probably should have been.  But, I'm pretty sure my sister's kindergarten students can cut better than I can.  I have NEVER been successful at cutting on a straight line, but my brother's girlfriend reassured me that as long as things were close it would be ok.  I won't lie--there are a couple frames with more than one nail hole behind them . . . and there are still some that aren't perfectly where I want them.  But this project turned out much better because of the paper templates!  In addition to not having to pound in nails extra times, it also helped me see how things would look on the wall instead of just hanging things haphazardly.  The left side took a LONG time to get right.


The two horizontal pictures on the left still need to get pictures put in them--the ones in there now are vertical (why don't I take any horizontal pictures of my lovies?) and I just couldn't find an organization that looked good with two more vertical pictures, so I had to print a couple new ones.  My new printer (yay no more pee printer!) cautioned against framing photos before they were completely dry, so I went ahead and hung up the frames just to get a feel for the finished look.  I'm pretty much in love.

Close up of the Christmas border collie art
While I was in the hammering spirit, I went ahead and hung up Barley's CGC certificate and ribbon above her crate.  It took me a while to figure out where I should hang this (even though this was one thing I did frame immediately!), so it's just been sitting on a chair in my spare room for months.


I know it might seem silly--and maybe even a little pretentious--to frame this certificate, but it's a good reminder of how far we've come in our two years together.  Especially on days like today when my Barley girl makes me a little bit batty.  It's good to remember that we have accomplished a lot with our training, even if we do have little relapses here and there.

1 comment:

  1. Whatever, it's totally fine to frame her certificate! Barley has come incredibly far!

    Thank goodness for Kate! Your wall looks great!

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