Tag Archives: short stories

Never Give Up


It’s a strange thing when you can’t give up on something you’ve started. Is that a Type A personality? Determination? Stupidity? Or maybe a little of all of those things.  The hats I’ve worn are many, and I know things.  Just enough to get me into trouble sometimes.  But, if I don’t know something I research, read, network,  I get my information, and I get whatever it is done!

This is a little off the easel, but when my bathroom faucet started leaking, I foolishly thought it needed a washer. I’ll just run to Home Depot and pick them up.   Little did I know the newer faucets now have cartridges, and thinking about it why not?  Replacement washers are maybe 69 cents, while cartridges it turns out are $70.00 plus.  I guess I’m not keeping up with the times.

Anyway, when we remodeled the bathroom,  I put in all German Grohe  faucets. I didn’t think anything about metric. I loved the designs, that’s really all I cared about.  ……Now the fun begins.

After watching multiple videos on YouTube, it seemed simple enough to me.  I haven’t repaired any faucets or appliances in years, so this I knew I could tackle without any problems.   Are you starting to see where this is going?

We have a small bathroom with a vessel sink, and the faucet is nicely placed in the back corner.  On thee back of the handle there is a  plug covering a recessed  screw  with barely enough room to hold a small mirror to see what you need to do.   I however did get the plug  out easily.  The screw, well that’s another thing all together…

This is going to be a piece of cake!

Oh, I realized I needed  an Allen wrench to remove this screw, no problem, we have lots of those…….   I was sure we had the right allen wrench!

Several minutes later we are in the car headed for, yep…..Home Depot!

It was a good thing Home Depot was open on Sunday because that was my free day for projects.  Fortunately, Ron helped us and knew exactly what I was trying to accomplish.   He sold me metric allen wrenches, and just to be on the safe side I took his advice and bought a small can of Spray and Release just in case.   God bless Ron, he didn’t steer me wrong!

After spraying everything just for good measure, and waiting the proper thirty minutes for it to work.  I was able to get behind the faucet with a metric wrench that actually unscrewed, and allowed me to remove the handle.  We’re just getting started but so far so good.  Now taking off the handle…We decided to give the handle a spray since it had been everything  else had been difficult to undo earlier.  This time we had lunch, and gave it another quick spray for good luck.

All rested up and ready to go, I went into the bathroom to finish the sink, my husband following behind me with suggestions on how I should best tackle the next step.   I referred to the instructions which were conveniently written in German…..I had no idea what they were telling me.  The schematic was barely more helpful, but it did have metric measurements written on the parts, and that did help.  The handle finally came off with a little coaxing and tugging.

After  waiting two weeks for the part to be shipped from Grohe East Coast, the only Grohe distributor in the United States, I hated the thought of ordering another part from them.  I’m determined to find a metric wrench to get into the recessed area to remove the large hex shaped nut so I can actually change out the cartridge.   Les and I went all over, but then it was Sunday and the real plumbing stores are closed.

Monday morning after a cup of coffee, I started calling, reading, researching on the internet without any luck..   I even asked them, ” if they were installing this faucet what would they use? ”   No answer!  They had no idea what they would do, but I knew they wouldn’t give up the hefty hourly price they would charge me if I gave up and called them.

Last resort,  Amazon, Ebay, Grohe……  

I couldn’t find what I was looking for on Amazon or Ebay,  believe me I was disappointed, but I have a motto that says….“Never Give Up!”    The other motto is,  “Fake it ’till you make it!”  I’m not a plumber, but I’m determined not to pay  $100.+ for something I can do.

Finally, I went onto the Grohe website, and after searching all over I found the part I was looking for.   GASP!   Grohe wanted $50.00 plus shipping for this simple metric wrench.  What a rip off, it’s just a simple metric plumbers wrench.  After the shock wore off I went back to Amazon, this time finding a Grohe wrench at a slight bit more.  The price was a few dollars higher, but I could get it in two days.   Finally I put it in my basket, and waited before I purchased it.   I was still in shock, and admittedly angry.  Angry because I knew there must be something less expensive available somewhere I just hadn’t found it, or hadn’t thought of it.

I sat for a few minutes looking at my cart, silly me,  I don’t know what I thought would happen but before I pressed buy, I backtracked to look once more.   Scrolling down just for digestion purposes,  there it was …….  

Another option for the wrench, the wrench to install, and as an another option, the same wrench from Grohe.  Was I seeing it correctly,  Grohe was $50. the knockoff $14.99.  The Universe is blessing me with another option.

All the reviews mentioned,  they had used the less expensive wrench on their Grohe faucet, and it worked fine.  I’m still in shock, but I’m much happier.   With a satisfied feeling, I can now sit back and relax while waiting for the wrench to arrive.

Thank you Universe!

Thanks for stopping by to read Stone Soup.   It was a little outside the box this time, but that’s life!  See you soon.


Working With Cold Wax


Last year I bought some cold wax to play with.  A friend of mine uses it on her oil paintings, and being a rebel, I decided to try it on watercolor and acrylic.  I had no idea what i was doing, and couldn’t find any instructions for using it.  Maybe I just didn’t try hard enough, or….maybe the timing was off, and i really wasn’t ready for cold wax.  Either way, it sit on my shelf with all the other products that I had to have proudly waving at me from time to time, making sure I don’t forget the possibilities it holds.

This morning I was looking for something else on YouTube when I ran across this video.  After watching it, I now have a better idea of the possibilities, and I do love possibilities.  You know I will be experimenting with cold wax very soon, and maybe one of you will want try it, experiment with it, or even decide it is the perfect effect for what you are creating.

Either way,  I hope you enjoy the information, maybe try it out, and let me know how it goes.

Thanks for taking time to check out Karen’s Stone Soup.  See you soon…

Joyious Monday


Monday is a day I rarely leave the house. Instead, I paint, create in different ways, and yes I do make my bed! It’s a wonderful day that I have by myself, and without distractions if you don’t count the cat and dog wanting attention.

Last Monday was especially joyous for me. I was feeling so much peace, and tranquility. There was Hawaiian music playing in my living room, and Brother Iz was filling my heart with sweet sounds of the Hawaiian Islands.

We are all thinking of the volcanoes, and earthquakes the big island is going through now, but that doesn’t stop my heart from loving the islands, the culture, and the incredible joy I feel when I spend time there.

A long time friend who lives on Maui once told me to take off my watch, I was on vacation and didn’t need it. He also told me to make sure I put my toes in the water as soon as I arrived on the island. That trip I did just that, and I haven’t worn a watch since. Another trip I forgot to put my toes in the water at the beginning of our vacation, and you know I just wasn’t as relaxed as I expected. On the last day of the vacation, my husband and myself went to the water’s edge, and walked in the sand and surf. It was at that moment we realized what a disservice we had done to ourselves by not taking our walk on the first day there. That will never happen again!

I started a copper painting with all the things I could gather in my studio. A few ideas I took from the “Copper Workshop ” I had completed that Richard Hawk gave. I haven’t been able to purchase the supplies needed to work like Richard taught, but I still need practice. It also helped with that itch to create at any cost. So on a crinkled copper sheet, I started a painting that is my first alone. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.

What To Do When…..


Abstract face

You Don’t Know What To Do?

Since I’ve been so inspired, I can also get full of myself too.   In my hear this was just perfect, In reality, not so perfect!  But, while it didn’t turn out as intended, I also didn’t give up on it.   Letting it sit for a couple of days seemed like the right thing to do.   I needed to digest the painting, and think, let it talk to me and think about that.

So I picked out what was working first. Chuckling  as I thought, “not much is working.”  But, I liked her eyes, and even though I wasn’t finished, it was a positive.

The next thing is noting what wasn’t working….another chuckle,  everything isn’t working.  But, as I remembered my time with artist Cathy Carey I realized this painting was perfect for working in opposite colors.   At that point, I knew exactly what I would do with her.  And do, I did!

Sketching Each Day!


Abstract Iris

Simple?  Yes!  But each thing we do counts even if it’s so incredibly simple.  There are some days that we aren’t feeling especially creative, but we need to do something.  This was one of those days.

As I sat with my Diva Sisters wanting to do something, but not feeling very creative, I pulled out my iPad and did a little sketch of an Orchid that had been a gift.  Somehow, I hit a key that colored the picture, and this is the end result.  I liked it, so I saved it.  It’s a reminder of how simple things can be at a time when things are a little overwhelming.

Thanks for checking in on Stone Soup.  Always feel free to leave a message, and let me know what you are thinking.

This is What I’ve Been Doing…..


Recently I started taking abstract classes from Richard Hawk, and although I feel I have a long way to go, I also feel I’m on the right road.  My love is for “Figurative Abstract,”  and finally I’m experimenting with the subject matter and having fun doing it.  One of my art sisters decided to take classes with me, and together we go twice a month for direction and inspiration.

This video is of Richard Hawk.   I hope you can see why I’m impressed and why I’m growing as an artist.  If nothing else happens, I can tell you this…..I’m painting more often, I’m being more bold and less afraid while creating, and have no fear of what the end result is!   I have never believed that there are mistakes, only opportunity to learn and grow.  Richard believes the same.  He has me using pens, crayons, ink and all things are on the table in an effort to explore creativity.

It is one of the most fun things I’ve done in years.  Many articles have been written about finding inspiration, unblocking your creativity, and how to start looking at things in a way that sparks ones inspiration, and I’ve written several of them myself.  Richards classes have definitely taught me how to do that and more.

As the days and months go by, I plan on showing just how crazy I can get, and how crazy my art turns out. In an attempt to show all of this to my followers, my hope is that you can see growth in me as well.   I owe all this to my new mentor Richard Hawk the artist.

Thank you for stopping by and reading Stone Soup,  see you next time.