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2013 April 14

where the critters roam!  Hi everyone.  Well, it was another event filled weekend here at the Harper household. My plan of “crafting time” was waylaid by a mother raccoon and her babies in our chimney.   We’ve heard scratching in the wall and since our house is over a hundred years old, I’ve been bracing myself that it could be mice.  Living in a small town, in the country, I guess it’s the norm (um, not for this city girl!!!!)  Then I thought it may be bats and started accumulating boxes because I was determined to follow through on my threat of “If I find a snake in the house/basement or attic, that’s it – I’m outta here!” 

Hubby came into my craft room Saturday morning just as I was finishing up on a project and told me to come into the basement.  “Do I want to?” and “This can’t be good” were my mumbled replies but I trudged behind him into the basement.  Oh yeah, it’s a spooky, old dirt basement – you know the kind they had a hundred and some years ago.  We get to the chimney and could clearly hear what sounded like puppies crying.  That shot my hubby’s theory of birds all to hell.  After getting the neighbor, it was decided that hubby would open the little trap door which was used in the old days to clean the coal out of the chimney and hope for the best.

Well, ever been charged by an angry momma raccoon?  Ever been charged by an angry raccoon in a dark basement?  Adult diapers recommended!  Of course I was at the far end of our property, as far away from the house and the basement door as possible.  I was NOT going to be anywhere close when any type of critter came out.  If you’ve ever watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, that’s pretty much how it was at our house.  Only instead of a squirrel, it was a raccoon.

And how funny is it that the project that I finally finished before the excitement was about Home, lol.


I stumbled across a  Claudia Rossi YouTube video where she creates an art journal spread, paper piecing the houses.  I loved the way it looked and CASED it.  Now Claudia uses water soluble oil pastels but I used my Faber-Castell Gelatos and fingers.  I also have some cheap (from a Michaels art kit) oil pastels and tried my hand using those.  I started out by applying Peacock Feathers Distress Stain in my Dylusions journal:


Then I used Mowed Lawn Distress Stain along the edge.  Next I dug through my scrapbox of papers and hand tore into house shapes.  Believe it or not, that was a lot harder than Claudia makes it look, lo.


Once these were glued down, I brushed gesso over all of it and then rubbed it lightly off with a dry paper towel.


Then I just painted each of the houses and started to play with the gelatos and the oil pastels.  I really love how that came out.  I generally do not use the Glossy Multi Medium, but I did this time.  I love it so much, that I think I’m going to re-create it on watercolor paper so I can frame it and hang it on the wall.








Only the framed version will have the sentiment either stamped or typed.  Well, that’s it for me this morning, after a weekend of cleaning up a mess in the basement (dust, debris and other stuff), I really wish I could get a ‘do-over’ for the weekend. But we now have a very spiffy clean basement, and a critter free chimney.  And no worries, hubby is fine.  Although I haven’t seen him move so quickly in a long, long time Smile.

Until next time……. have a fabulous Monday!

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6 Responses
  1. April 15, 2013

    I still say EEEEAAAKKK on being attacked by a raccoon!
    Love your home layout.  Ok…that's it.  I'm going to clear off a space on my desk and see if I can come up with anything that somewhat resembles a mixed media page!!

  2. nise who is NOT SPAM, but understands the ignorance of technology permalink
    April 15, 2013

    Oh, Micki!  Thanks for the chuckles! So sorry that your home got invaded by critters, but happy you & Chriss survived the problem.  Saying a little prayer that your place stays critter free — did you figure out HOW they moved in? Your houses here are adorable.  Glad you got a little art done and a spiffy basement.  I got a critter story, so you know you are not alone.  It has rained A LOT here lately.  While my basement isn't old and dirt (especially since it's 3 years younger than me!), it does leak some.  I went and grabbed a bucket from the attached garage and went to work mopping up the pools on Saturday afternoon. About the time I got 2/3 of a 5 gallon pail full of water, I decided I should empty the bucket.  I was going to put the water into the sump pump hole.  I noticed something floating on the top of the water as I started to tilt it.  Well, crap!  It was a dead mouse!!  It must have climbed into the bucket at some point this winter and succumbed.  I hauled that bucket up the stairs,down the driveway and dumped it into the ditch across the road.  And people wonder why I'm not enamored of those House Mouse stamps — yuck! Here's hoping we both have a good week!

  3. April 18, 2013

    OH MY STARS!  Look at you go girl!  This is AMAZING and SO ARTSY!!  I just started playing with Gelatos … looks like I need a few lessons from you!  FABULOUS creation Micki!  AND … so sorry to hear about your raccoon episode … they can be NASTY creatures … so glad you got them out of there!  Don't blame you a bit for being at the other end of the property … I would STILL be running!  LOL!  HUGS!

  4. April 18, 2013

    Soooooo sorry about the critters!  Just wanted to say I love your pages.

  5. May 9, 2013

    Glad all is sorted!!
    I loooooove your pages so much that I had to come and tell you..swoon….love doing houses right now as well!
    Big hug

  6. May 9, 2013

    First off, Micki, awesome pages. So inspiring to me, the newbie at art journaling. Now as for the raccoons, your story captivated me so much until I got to the "adult diapers recommended" part and lost it, laughing my butt off. We've had a squirrel in the wall here, but not a family of raccoons and a protective mother. Glad you are rid of that little problem now. Thanks for the laugh.

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