Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

i'm back..........

i didn't have a modum since sunday

and my sister in law is here

talk to you all later

Sunday, May 24, 2009

this is it

colleen arrives today
bernie is a wreck worrying about her visit
the house..............

is well.........

lived in

(apparently by pigs and packrats)

normally i clean and such for two weeks
i cook i fret and i do all the prep
this time between my back and other issues
i couldn't do much at all

bernie had to do it
he kept thinking i would

i told him i didn't think i would be able to

apparently i was right

i hope that with what i did do
i didn't throw my back out again
that lower back is feeling not only twingie
but also like it's about to twist again
i don't want to revisit that particular pain
if it's ok with the universe
to say excruciating is an understatement

and it seems to get much worse if i get upset

so now he is dilly dallying around
i have to finish my coffee and try and find the living room table
then do the bed for her

he has to run to get some stuff at the store to augment the greens on in my little deck garden for supper
he's sitting there working on a model car
i am just as bad as i am sitting here typing to you all

colleen better really really love us

if you don't hear from me
it's cause me and her have run off to the outlets shopping

i didn't get her gift basket done either

Saturday, May 23, 2009

busy busy

oh man this published before i wrote it!

colleen comes tomorrow
we aren't ready
she'll have to live in our real house instead of our 'for company' house

no raccoon that i saw yesterday
we are dumping the ducks ponds out before bed every night
i laugh when i hear people say

'trap them and take them MILES away and release them'

yup make them someone ELSES problem

ok anyway, i got the winter clothes/out of season stuff all done except for coats
i need new plastic storage boxes for them
i want air tight ones as i am going to put them in the attic i think
with the mice
and i hope some mice bait

i got almost everything i need to start color drawings of the duckies
except the paper
i would like a vellum finish but am going to do ink and light water colors i think
finished up with pastel pencils
i think
i am going to sit down and play
as soon as i get the paper

after the duckies,............ should i do chickens?
badger the lamb?

bernie tells me btw, that he intends on getting the duck house finished
i shouldn't laugh huh?
after all may 19 they turned a year old
and still no duck house
by the time the duck house happens
i think it will be only enough for three ducks and the rest will be living in the daylight basement with the chickens

in soon to be baby duckling news
the new duck ( WE NEED A NAME GUYS.......nothing so far has fit her)
appears to be setting 15 eggs
i may hold back one or two to raise as tame birds
to add to the outcross of the flock
if the girls like them

bernie is putting the ducks out for me this morning as you see
i over slept
since i didn't sleep last night
i went to sleep at 6am
and just got up a bit ago
no that isn't like me
but apparently, it's menopause me
that and excessive facial hair


Thursday, May 21, 2009

as my life flashed before my eyes

i went out to bring in the girls
i was a bit late BUT it was still LIGHT OUT
and they were extremely anxious to get in
when i got to the pen
i saw a RACCOON on top of the wire part
luckily he hadn't figured how to get in yet

i got the girls out and they RACED to the top of the path
(then greed got the better of them and they started to hunt wormies)

meanwhile i am sick at the thought of what could have happened to my beloved and darling precious little duckies

the ones i raised
the ones i tell you all about
the ones i photograph and draw daily

i am just sick

little chickens laying eggs

and occasionally forgetting to put the SHELL around the egg makes for an interesting egg gathering experience


the new pullets are still trying to 'get it right'

we had the typical pullet eggies, tiny, rough shelled.... oddly shaped
some double yolkers
then came the shell less wonder
it broke in the nest hay

as it didn't have a shell just a very very thin brownish membrane


it isn't as much fun as it sounds
i realize i don't talk about the chickens as much as i used to
the new pullets i am purposely not getting attached to, as down the road they will be stewing hens

and as to talking about the cats, well due to some really horrid people in the la perm world
i felt it safer not to talk about them
so for the most part you get to hear duck tales

maybe next year it will be turkey tales in addition to duck tales?
who knows what barnyard inhabitants will make it into our lives here

ok for the past few days, i have been doing out of season clothes, winter sweaters actually
(said just a day after 28 degree morning temps huh..........?)

as we don't have closets i am washing and drying and fixing to box them up for the summer
doing a HUGE amount of daily dish washing...... (someone PLEASE tell me WHERE on earth it all comes from?????????????????? there are only TWO OF US)

and drawing
and doing the studio

have you all noticed that the list doesn't include my main garden
i am heart broken
but maybe my wonderful and beloved sister in law will help me?

the salad garden on the deck is ok though thank goodness

oh shhhhhhhhhhhh can you all keep a secret???
i bid on and won a used set of rapidographs
as i can't find mine
the koh-i-noor ones
set of 7
for less then the close out price retail for a set of three
they are used, did i mention that?
i have to clean them
but that's ok as i am used to cleaning technical pens

yesterday afternoon, as a break from the endless dishes/laundry/cleaning

i took my girls out for a bath
three duckies in the pond
they didn't like the pond under the apple trees for some reason

"but MOM, we want the BLUE pond on the driveway''

and so since they were filthy again, and i don't LIKE filthy duckies
i filled the BLUE pond on the driveway and the duckies bathed

imagine having to either force a duck to bath
to bath the silly thing yourself

and how many times i have stuck duckies in the basement slop sink and washed them
i can't tell you

meanwhile the countdown is on for the new ducklings to hatch
they are all sold however
the second they hatch
that was the condition of setting this one up to nest

so that's my little world today
in a few minutes duckies will go out
i will get my day started
(drinking the last of the coffee now)

and please everyone
if you all have ANY ideas on how to organize and effectively store my art/craft supplies
PLEASE let me know
i am going out of my mind here

because of the woodstove things get dusty fast
so i need dust free
and i need to see it all
cause for me out of sight literally means it doesn't exhist




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

never too late for spring cleaning i suppose

(the driveway in color, see those SHADOWS?)

i am doing winter sweaters,

yesterday it was 28 degrees in the morning

and 71 in town in the afternoon.......(a breezy 60 on my deck town is much warmer)

so i am washing and putting up my winter sweaters

going through my summer tees and finding out what i can't wear, or need to mend

with no closets this is a twice a year thing, but last fall i didn't do it

i have to do winter coats too

i have to get a BIG plastic storage for them

so that is my day today, that and getting ready for colleen
til next time

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

cleaning ( huge groan) the studio now with pictures

ok today amoung other things i am to clean off the sewing table
i was trying to clean off one long workbench and one smallish bookcase

( which will eventually live on the long workbench, thereby freeing 12X24 INCHES of footprint)

hey every inch counts around these parts ya know.......

the arco box painting experiment is pretty successful so after i get more headway
i will prep the next one and get that sprayed up

when i woke up this morning it was 28 degrees out!
it's after our last date of frost
too bad it won't kill off the grass and weeds in my garden
BUT if i had planted cuc's they would have been toast right now

i also discovered that LONG duckie necks with LONG STRONG duckie BEAKS have been turning one of my garden beds through the chain link
RIGHT where i had planned on beans and cuc's

bad little duckie girls huh?
looking for worms

i swear right now the girls live for worms

it's a matter of 'mommy who?......... do you have WORMS? no........ move on then'

thems my girls

i need some ideas for storage for the studio,
i am going nuts
i don't want to buy too much that may not work well for me
i got the inks to store, and watercolors
my taboret which was a sort of homemade rigged one doesn't hold anything that is over 2" high as that is the depth of the drawers
actually if i can modify it and get deeper drawers it would work a LOT better
maybe that would be worth looking into?

in the mean time
i was thinking of the smallish clearish stacking plastic drawers
to hold inks and watercolors etc

i am going to have to use my old old desk from when my siblings were kids ( so it was from the 40's, or maybe the 50's )
i am however going to paint it (yup you guessed it.............) CREAM
and give it a topper of either glass or a drafting table covering
i can put most of the stuff for my drawing/painting area on that
including i think, craft i have been known to paint things like bird houses and such from time to time
( miniature and full sized ones with tiny english cottage gardens.... yup nuts but someone has to do it no?)
it;s 18X42 inches with three drawers under so it should be ok no?

well if any of you have any would be a good time to post them to me



Monday, May 18, 2009

ummmmmmm don't send an artist to the art supply store

without a lease, muzzle and a restraint harness.........

i went to allentown with vicki today
to dick blicks

first off it isn't where it used to be............
it's in the south mall now not at that dead end street
second of all it's not got everything it should


but it had enough for me to do a bit of damage to my CC

the kid checking me out said, 'did you find everything you needed today'

i said.........YOU MEAN, did i run out of MONEY YET....

which i had

i got

a drafting light, (my old ones are all crapped out..this was 15.00 so i got it)
a set of pigment pens
a cheapo set of watercolors, ( when i say cheapo it's relative, as the winsor newtons cost a kidney and i only had a quarter of a kidney to bargin with)
a basic set of transparent inks (six colors)
two pads of bristol board as i couldn't find the bulk stuff
and some drafting tape

i still need a few things but that should get me started off
i am hoping i can find my pastels and pastel pencils
as well as my winsor newton water colors
and some other supplie i had when we moved in here and haven't used in a while
the gouache is toast i think
i priced qouache today..... i would have to sell a lung for that
which actually may come up
but not right now

ok now that i broke my poor little credit card
i have to turn BACK into cindie by the fire and clean some more around here
but i just want to play on the board with all my pretty new colors

no pictures today
maybe tomorrow

thanks so much to vicki who went to town with me
i wouldn't have had the nerve to drive all the way down there and pay all that money by myself

she kept telling me
you know exactly what you want...... (i did but they didn't have some stuff)
you're here, get it

so i did

i love vicki

and now i owe her one big time


Sunday, May 17, 2009

rustoleum shell white is the right cream

i picked up two cans of rustoleum for plastic today at home depot
in color 211364 - Shell White 4.99 per can--- i got two cans to start
(primer 5.19 per can)
outlet strip for desk and drafting table 19.97 ( edited to keep a running total)

it's a cream color and the RIGHT cream for what i was thinking of
so i did the one poor little arco box
and i am going to start the plastic drawers as soon as i can
this week i also have to put seasonal clothing away which means wash and dry and bag etc
as well as try and plant my beans

however i am going to start studio updates here on the i remember when i finish (i hope i finish)

i priced stuff at staples and saw some really cute things at TJ MAXX, which i can't afford i think
so i will keep looking
i will try big lots and office depot and kmart and probably walmart (when colleen comes as she loves walmart.......)

but anyway, i started with the plastic painting

now while in the shower this morning, i was thinking of beidemier china
it had a sort of stripe of black/white then rose garlands
(at least i seem to think it was beidemier china, i could be wrong)
that may be a solution to one of my problems
i could ALWAYS paint the stripes and then cut out wallpaper borders
or even paint the whole thing!

so there is a fast studio update

one week to go

and colleen will be here (btw, that is part of my studio, with a drawing in progress on the board, you can also see my 'comp' which is the layout and photo refrences i am working off)

bernie did the heavy cleaning in the bedroom
he is to do the scraping of the ceiling in the bathroom so we can paint
i would like the living room and front hall painted as well but that isn't going to happen before colleen comes

meanwhile it rained yesterday so i couldn't finish painting the arco boxes for the studio.....
next i will do the green and blue plastic drawers

i have been looking at fabric patterns and wallpaper
i intend on covering a bookcase with either wallpaper or fabric, as well as lining my shelves with it and covering some storage boxes etc
i can't decide
i love toile
i would LOVE vintage laura ashley ( wild cherries in plum and FAVORITE)
i would also love a french stripe interrupted with bunches of sweet violets
or a violet patterned toile...( be still my heart)

and if that all fails some of the 1940's chintz patterned chintz?


now i have a red/cream/white toile for the kitchen, with BEE SKIPS on it
i wonder if i could get away with a toile in the studio
(and probably also the bathroom.........i really do like toile)

when i was 16 i 'redid' my bedroom
i had black and cream toile cafe valence curtains ( the awning type, with the two rods, not the flat kind)

over wood shutters (3/4 of the way up the windows)
cream walls
fuchsia ceiling and bedspread
and a country blue tile floor ( couldn't change the floor)

did i mention i really love toile?

i also love the romantic roses but i would rather have sweet violets

everything i do in the studio except the windows will be able to come with us
i don't want something too fru fru........cause bernie has a model building workbench in here too
and i don't want something that either me or the cats are going to trip over
so no ruffles or lace
but i am so tired of a hodge podge of castoffs in the studio
that's why everything is going to be painted white (actually cream........ cause cream is my 'white')
that will unify things a bit and give my poor beleaguered eyeballs a rest no?

and more storage with LABELS
i found a bag of glue sticks yesterday and can't find the glue GUN
and i have two of them!
this has to change

so today after we eat it will be off to home depot
i need an outlet strip that has an on/off switch and a long cord
some cream paint for plastic (and primer)
a storage container for the glue sticks and the guns (when i find the guns their home is waiting)
and hopefully a paper rack
but that may mean office depot as well

oh, i also need some mugs and some art supplies

i need to go shopping!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

just for you GREEN lovers out there

this is on the one side of our driveway,

i am typing this friday night

but you will see it tomorrow morning

so good morning everyone

bernie is on a road call down the parkway, exit 8

(down da shore for you jersey folks)

in studio news, i spray painted one of my arco parts cabinets white

it was a sort of gray that had yellowed over the years

so that is 4 more arco to do

and ten LARGE plastic drawers to do as well

then some bookcases to paint or decoupage

i am sorta looking around to find a rubber stamp that may work to stamp fabric.......i would like a toile type image

i am finding all sorts of stuffs in there ........oye......

i am thinking toile, ticking stripe and a small check for whatever soft stuff i need in there..... chair covers i suppose and maybe valances for the windows (when we get the new ones in)

the only thing i can't decide is the COLOR of toile

whatever color it ends up
it has to be on a cream groundi used white paint on the arco but i am going to overspray with cream
i can't handle the white

i guess it's a toss up between, purple, red, pink, blue or black toile
with i imagine the blue, black or purple in the running
i am thinking of skirting my workbench so i want it for that and for shelf liners
and i want it WASHABLE
i probably will go with ticking for the shelf liners

i can't afford a really really nice chintz with violets and lavender stripes (which i can't find anyway)

so ticking, checks and toile it will be
(if i EVER get around to it that is)

so i am doing a little bit here and a little bit there in the studio

now a week from this sunday my sister in law colleen (bernie's only NORMAL sister) comes from galveston
where they are STILL rebuilding her houses....
i love this sister in law
this one i figure is MINE............. the others are just bernie's relatives

i enjoy her so very much i can't tell you all
we laugh until we are hoarse
and seriously we lose our voices for a few days every time we get together

so you may not hear from me for the two weeks she's here
i will however try and sneak in and tell you what's going on
and post some pictures



Friday, May 15, 2009

calpurrnia and the drip drip drip show

this morning, i watched calpurrnia watch water dripping
she does that often

she stares at the drain in the tub and every few minutes a drop of water drips into the tub

she doesn't look up and wonder where the water came from
she is content to just watch it arrive at the drain

she sits right in front of the drain to do this

if you talk to her, she looks up at you with her big innocent blue eyes...........
and if you don't ask her to get out of the tub..........she just goes back to watching the drops hit the drain

she always makes me stop and think when she does that

it is a form of cat meditation?

thaddeaus and fawn don't watch the drip drip drip show
thaddeaus just drinks the water in the rim of the drain, and fawn rolls on the rug

such is a cat's life
*** the picture is of cleo, she got half in the frame
it made me laugh

Thursday, May 14, 2009

just when i watered the plants...

it's raining today, so i put this photograph up for you
taken yesterday of the driveway looking towards the street,
the light blew me's so mysterious in the dark area to the middle and right.........actually my van is parked there but i SWEAR i can see elemental spirits flitting in the dark

or at least it would be a good stage for them
i LOVE this photo
love it
and it will be drawn i believe

we got rain, overnight
so today i am just going to take the mighty hunter duckies out and then come back in
no pictures i think
because i don't want to get the camera wet
i am trying to decide on the color illustrations to go with my black and whites
well folks a lot of you asked me to write a book and it looks like it may actually happen
that's why i ask all the time about favorite stories
anyway back to the color work
i am seriously thinking of doing it in sepia ink drawings with watercolor washes over it
maybe a bit of pastel here and there
anyone that has any familiararity ( is that spelled anywhere near correctly?)
want to point me in the direction of some sepia ink pens that are lightfast and have different sized nibs
i can't find my rapidographs ( still.......damn and my set NOW, to replace would cost over 200)
i have to say i am enjoying this
years ago when working in the field, i can now admit i always felt in over my head with some stuff
it was just difficult for me........even after all the schooling and the experience
NOW it feels right somehow
i can't explain it but i think the time is very ripe for this
in fiber news
i am knitting a simple series of cotton placemats
peaches and cream cotton
just cast on 30-38 on large needles ........sized 10.5 or 11 or even 13
and just knit garter stitch until the end
i do need to start hats and mittens for the winter soon
and a few balaclava's
plus socks but that will be more towards end of summer
and i still don't have the garden planted
colleen i hope will help me a bit
it's not going to be too hard
am going to spread a lot of straw in the paths and just put in the beans and the cuc's
that's it for this year due to me messing up my back at the wrong time
don't get old

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

it is amazing what taking pictures will show you

yesterday i took pictures of the duckies.......
as you can see they are in black and white, the first one is their favorite grazing tree. that tree is an old apple tree with a luxuriant crop of poison ivy growing on it

the falstaff ( he needs his claws trimmed)

he is out to graze, and is looking at jackass neighbors screaming kids......... the duckies HATE the noise, it scares them

(i hate the noise too, it always sounds like someone is getting killed next door)

there are a few other pictures ( like 130 more pictures) of various parts of the yard and the duckies.......mostly all in black and white to be used as reference for the duckie drawings

i was most concerned with the qualities of the light and shadows and the light i can tell you, was amazing

i got pictures of the driveway with shadows so interesting that i am so looking forward to working on them

and pictures of the duckie day pen and the woods with a wreath of shadowy trees around a brightly lit center

and just because they are so beautiful.............i give you a nodding columbine

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

one shelf down

or should i say up?

i started putting up one of the new commercial shelving units from sam's club in the studio
boy that thing is BIG
in spite of having two of them for a partial pantry inside
i didn't realize how BIG they would be in here

and 18X23 foot room is just not that big these days
especially with a woodstove in the center

i think if i shift the furniture around
and edit the odd ball stuff i currently have ( like wire store shelves we spray painted white that hold molds.....)
i think i can get this all to work
the ethan allen stuff has to go however
it's not as hard working as i thought it would be
so it's going up into the second bedroom........ along with the soap storage
i think
i have the bases full of dinnerware, so they will have to have a new home then

does anyone have any ideas on HOW big a butlers pantry for tableware should be?
and if you do.......... could you help me figure out also how to STRETCH the rock walls out 25 feet......
we need a miracle for that one cause i can't afford to do renovations

i can't remember if i mention that i am getting to the point with the duckie drawings that i need to think of color for some
i am debating on which way to go so i may try a bunch of different stuff
i think i will probably go with pen and ink with transparent washes and some pastel highlights

but we'll see
i could also go with straight watercolor, gouache, or even oils
the only other ways i am thinking such as oil pastels or colored pencils are not in my opinion at the moment...... a feasible option for me

i will say that i am blessing my art school education more and more
i went to ridgewood art and design in ridgewood nj
my teachers also taught at pratt and parsons
this was the same art school that pauline campinelli went to
and i think there are more folks that are famous as well

i studied under joanne landis, richard protovine ( i can't spell his name)
and two painters jim and sharon
i think their last name was anderson
i always just remembered them as jim and sharon ( my painting teachers)
and monty was my art history teacher
ken was my airbrush and i think lettering instructor
i remember my etching teacher, ( she called me a babbling brook) but i can't quite remember if her name was grunelle or grunourer

joanne was my fashion illustrator and book illustration teacher
richard was my drawing and animation teacher

these folks were very highly instrumental
and i do STILL quote joanne often

if she ever stumbles across this blog
i will say this

i told her once i figured that at 50 folks had it all figured out
what i really learned is that by 50, you have acquired true charactor
or have become a true charactor

however these folks passed on a lot of learning about art, and life
some of the seeds they planted did take 30 years to come to fruition but they have appeared to have germinated now

i would love to say thank you to them all
( btw
last i heard, joanne was teaching at drexel)

Monday, May 11, 2009

morning has broken and it's green

the light if not the sun is coming up
i look out the windows and all i can see is spring green leaves
the studio is again a treehouse

yesterday right before i put everyone to bed,
i let falstaff out to graze
he's starting to get used to it
first off of course he has to run down to the day pen to check on the girls
but i herd him back and get him settled enough to graze

it does my eyes good to watch him
when the new girl finishes this hatch she is going to learn to graze too
(she does know how to graze but i mean learn to stay close to me while doing it.......for protection)

falstaff is funny, he's big but out of the pens he doesn't look as big as normal
since i been letting him out to graze he's calming down
and i make sure i touch his back every day when i go to take him out
he'll come around eventually, i am sure by end of summer

bernie has stopped work on the pens, partly cause of other stuff and partly cause of his sister coming, we put the money into stuff for her visit

we'll be back to it soon
we need a lot more 1/4 and 1/2 inch hardware cloth
some more wood and some plywood and the clear roof panels
i think it will be chickens going out first
since bernie cleaned them yesterday, and put fresh hay and some bedding
they made a nest!
and they are laying in it
so that's good
no one is sleeping in it
but we find the eggs

and i think lilli is laying again
one of them is
either her or phoebe
i think even cleo laid a tiny marble egg
i don't WANT cleo to lay however

she was funny last night
when i went into the pen to start to let them out
she came running up for her neck to be scratched

it's stuff like that which makes all the work worthwhile
all the icy cold days
the falls
the frozen buckets
who knew?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

wait wasn't mother's day LAST weekend?

ok happy mother's day everyone

are you SURE it wasn't last weekend?
you know........... maryland sheep and wool weekend?

we got two new commercial shelves from sam's club yesterday
for the studio
they went up 20 bucks
from 79.99 to 99.99
it doesn't seem like much but damn

however they are still better then the commercial shelves at lowes or any other place
and still cheaper

i intend on building my old workbench with them
(sort like a U shape, with the worktable at the bottom of the u and the storage on the arms.....the arms will support the worktable)

i need to start back to making dolls again
probably miniatures as well
my former wholesale distributor died about two years ago, i recently found out.
so i will have to either find a new distributor or distribute them myself

meanwhile i am still drawing
it's about time to start the color drawings
and i am trying to find my supplies
oh and i forgot to get the ammonia to wash the plastic drawers off so i can paint them
i HATE the green on them
the blue isn't so hot either
meanwhile i am sitting here writing this blog

as an aside
to anyone who does read this blog
are there any duckie or animal stories you particularly liked?
i have so far done the one with the duckies and the polar bears
the one with the duckies going down the hill to the day pen
the duckies in the bath tub
i am working on a general one of the garden and day pen
i imagine ( yes dorothy i didn't forget you) that the one where i fell in duck poop will make it into the roster (however NOT in color)

are there any other stories i should be thinking about?
even older ones like the woodpecker on the roof?
or ones about the chickens
or cats
there are almost 700 posts on this blog now
and i am overwhelmed at trying to find stuff
i wish i could figure a good way to organize the blog ( the style sheets are messed up...... so when i go monthly the type at the oldest posts is so small as to be invisible)

i am sort of thinking of redoing the look of the blog
because of this issue
i am kicking it around in the back of my head
any comments on that?
i am thinking of making it much cleaner and simpler
instead of the gramma's parlor look it has now
( although i love gramma's parlor.......and my house sorta looks like that)

well that's todays post i suppose
falstaff's wife is actively brooding eggs
the girls are laying
falstaff is getting tamer by the day ( one of my current projects is to get him used to being handled as i want to cut his toenails)
the young chickens are now cleaned ( bernie did it yesterday)
the old girls are retired and spending their days eating and talking to the younger ones

and the cats are doing cat things
thaddeaus naturally is always getting into trouble
and finally grew his fur back
he's a curly lambsie now

have a wonderful sunday you guys

Saturday, May 09, 2009

nightly bathtime for the duckies

if you've been following the duckies.......
you know already how reluctant phoebe is to bath a lot of the time

today i put the two wading pools up and filled both of them
one was out on the driveway by falstaff's pen and one just at the top of the little hill that goes down to the day pen

i let the duckies out tonight ( you all will be reading this in the morning)
and let them graze around for a while
cleo got in the hilltop pond
she had a blast splashing around and hopped in and out
in.....splash splash.......out .......nibble nibble

in again splash splash
lillianna was too busy grazing as was phoebe
but i snuck up on phoebe.......... and wisked her away to the pond on the driveway filled with warmed by the sun fresh water
and she bathed!
and bathed and bathed

you are taking a BATH!

yup mom, i don't like to bath with the others,
lillianna poops in the water and cleo bites me on the neck

phoebe, i am so proud of do your wings dear......

yup mom, i will do my wings..........

don't forget behind your ears too Phoebe, and then you have to preen......'

after 20 minutes of happy splashing..... a very soaking wet and dripping phoebe emerged from the now dirty cloudy water

meanwhile in the other pond
lillianna was splashing and having a grand time
while cleo hunted wormies on the driveway.......

'ok girls, time for bed now, get your last drink of water'

and the duckies follow each other into their bed

Friday, May 08, 2009

warning*** mature audiences only

age has a way of evening things out with the battle of the sexes i have learned
woman get beards and mustaches........
and men...........well

it gets so they can't pee a little

i was sorta up last night when bernie toddled off to the bathroom
the reason i was up was that i had just come BACK from the bathroom
where my bladder which is the size of a shriveled pea had convinced me and itself that it was attempting to contain lake high tide
i know that the noise i made was equivalent to niagra falls....
and it took me all of about 30 seconds or so

no sound
for like 5 minutes
enough so i got concerned
and ended up fully awake

now at about 3am, you will of course forgive me for laying in the bed........


mother nature FINALLY got back at the men......
(and it does apparently happen one man at a time)

for all the leaking, hot flashes, menstrual cramps, bloat, edema, and mammography we suffered
finally the men start getting something

they can't pee a little



i think we got robbed ladies

SOMEONE snuck this shit in ............ in FINE print

at a time when we couldn't even focus enough to KNOW we had toes

i think it is time for bernie to have the digital prostate exam again......
the blood psa test is one thing
but there is nothing like the smug look you can't wipe off my face
when i know he is FINALLY going to go through a 1/1000000000000 of what us ladies go through

here is wishing you ladies the knowledge that YOUR man will be getting his digital soon

i suggested taking pictures for the christmas cards.........
but he didn't think that was all that funny somehow
even though i told him i would tie it all up in a pretty red bow................

some folks don't have ANY sense of humor when the doctor is around


mammography anyone??

ps: don't blame me
the duckies are sorta boring right now
the new one is setting eggies

Thursday, May 07, 2009

and was summer

at least it about looks it out back
which reminds me
we don't have a lawnmower anymore

(don't ask)

ok i still have to get the blueberries and blackberry in
and the beans
i doubt that the cuc's will do anything with the soil temps under 60
so i will wait on them

we better start eatting this lettuce out on the deck soon as it is HUGE now
and i have to put in the summer varieties

one of the ducks laid a marble sized eggie

must be all them foraging for worms and grass and greens and juicey bugs
they forgot how to lay real duck eggs

i SWEAR that watching them forage is just like watching duckbilled dinosaurs
i can so totally see a dino body under those feathers
(it's easier with the muscovy due to the carunkling.... it SO looks reptilian)

i tell bernie that every night while we watch them

look at our little dinosaurs............

now watch...... the duckies will be complaining about T-rex out there next........

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

everyone is out of shorts

the rain is depressing the ducks even!
the only ones that are happy are the plants
the WEEDS in my garden are ecstatic

normally i like the rain
and this isn't the nightmare torrential rain that had me building ducks pens out of zip ties and lattice last season
but it is a cold rain
and the days are gray and dark
(which is fine in november, and i love it........ but not so fine in may)

thaddeaus doesn't take change of weather or prolonged rainy weather very well.
he's been not himself lately either
he always gets better however as soon as it warms up more
(or the woodstove goes on for the season)

the girls sleep through it..........actually calpurrnia sleeps through most stuff
she sleeps about 27 hours out of every 24 hour day.......

i have to juggle duckies in this rain...but at least they aren't getting flooded out of their pens

falstaff had his wife back for a day, and he ripped feathers out of her neck again mating her
she's back down in the A frame during the day and he's doing the reluctant bachelor thing in the small pen near the house
i am thinking i have to get him YET ANOTHER WIFE
so he ends up with a harem...........?
but it should take the pressure off the one girl
serafina never had these problems with him

i still haven't named her
octavia doesn't fit her
and yesterday let me tell you............ SHE TOLD ME OFF
just like the other girls do
oh man
she is fitting right in around here
only her little squeaks sound different from my girls


in fiber i am knitting cotton place mats out of peaches and cream cotton worsted
on size 10.5 needles 38 stitches cast on
garter stitch until done
use the sewn bind off
1 ball per mat

and i am spinning corriedale dyed in magentas, oranges, yellows and copper
with 'glitz' dyed in copper
the magenta single is without glitz and is wonderful and heathery and just makes my heart smile
but there isn't enough of it to DO anything with by itself if i wanted a two ply
so it would have be plied with something else
it was planned to be plied with the orange etc...........
we'll see

meanwhile i have been collecting studio/workspace/craft room organizational pictures and ideas
as well as color ways for yarns and fibers
(and of course....... a few random and fabulous kitchen pictures........ after all you have to remember the kitchen)

one of the best craft room studio ideas i have gotten so far is putting spice racks on the cabinet doors and keeping beads and pins and such in them
another one is those long power strips that are hardwired in........
one UNDER a shelf that is quite narrow, over a workbench
you can't see it but it's there and has outlets every 12 inches
i love that idea

one studio had an L shaped work table......... i have an L for the porcelain work and sculpting and i love it
i had an L for the office area, (actually in looking over.....i sorta still do)
and and U for the miniature work bench.....
but the BEST doll making bench i have ever had was a sort of a U/H thing
it was two metal shelf units parallel to each other about 5 feet apart or so
and a 24 inch plywood work surface connecting them
with 9 inch shelves above
that work surface was the very best
it looked like hell
the ply wood was all messed up but i WORKED on it
and i could REACH everything
there was also a few 2X4 over the top of this that i got to put lighting on
(flourescents and also incandesents)
with hooks for tools to hang etc
it had rolling fabric storage under it
and next to it
and plastic shoeboxes will stuff like shells and ribbons and marbles on the shelves themselves
i think i would like that back again
but maybe with a more refined (finished and no splinters from the plywood 'desk') look to it
i wish i had pictures of it
but i didn't have a camera then

actually that idea would be even better if i could have it say............. 12 feet long with different areas zoned for different things
the same idea i think would even work in a kitchen..........hmmmmmm

(i may get countertops after all this way huh?)

ok is spring going in YOUR world

who's got what coming up in the garden?
what spring spruce ups are you all planning?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

even the duckies sleep in

yesterday when it was time for all good duckies to wake up and smell the spring time,
the duckies wouldn't come out of their crate!


we aren't awake mom, we're sleeping in can't sleep in, it's time to go out
there are worms to hunt and puddles to splash in


yes duckies?

can you save us some worms? we don't want to go out side in the wet

sorry duckies, you'll have to catch the worms fresh yourselves, mom's eyes aren't as sharp as yours are

it took a while to get them out of the crate and out of the house
seems no one wanted out!

i put the new girl back in with falstaff who was overjoyed and proceeded to jump on her
by evening the entire back of her neck was bloody again
so she is solo in the small crate and falstaff is loose in the basement, where he spends his time between the crates of females ( so close and yet so FAR)
upsetting everyone


meanwhile, my laundry is taking forever to dry on the inside line
but the lettuces seem happy

i am spinning, drawing, and researching..........
cause i so have to reorganize this studio
i want to paint the old kitchen wood cabinets cream (they need to be sturdied up as well)
and stack them on little platforms with casters

i am going to make pretty labels ( that match the labels on my soap lines) for the boxes and drawers that i got all over, and put them into some sort of order on commercial shelving (with casters)

on my small desk that i do miniatures and polymer clay work on, i plan on painting it,
and adding a mat or something to protect the top, maybe a self healing mat
maybe Plexiglas or something, we'll see what's the easiest
and i am at a complete loss for the sewing area of the studio.......

we are hoping to replace the windows in here,
i am thinking we need plate glass stationary picture windows with an operating side window with screen
i am also hoping for a new ceiling....... this one is pretty but got pretty dented (it's that pressed fiber acoustic ceiling tile stuff......pretty but not for a studio)
i would like to be able to hang stuff from the ceiling and i would LOVE recessed lighting for at least the stone walls if not the entire perimeter
besides........this ceiling is nothing more then a race track for mice
don't ask

anyway, the rain is preventing me from painting these horrible green plastic drawers
and it's a very cold rain so i am not planting my green beans or cuc's yet

we had duck egg salad for supper, and tomatoe cheese soup
it's like normal egg salad only with duck eggs
it was wonderful!
it was so good i asked bernie 'why did we get new chickens?'

btw, one of the new pullets is laying double yolkers
she lays a HUGE honking egg as big as a duck egg every few days
and yup it's a double yolker

and that is a day in the life...........

Monday, May 04, 2009

every thing is so GREEN

after a lot of rain,
even the air is green
now THIS kind of green i love
the green of growing things

spring is really truly here

i am hoping to get some video of the chickens ( maybe not today however)
and some more of the duckies
hopefully the duckies in the bath

i have been talking to bernie about reorganizing the studio
and i keep thinking
'i need to buy this' or 'i need to buy that'
only to realize.......
i may already HAVE something that will work well

i have tons of plastic shoeboxes
all i have to do is label over where bernie wrote on the with permanent BLUE marker
i have a few chest of drawers
a taboret ( needs to be repainted, and the drawer fronts adjusted, but it's already on castes)
plastic stacking drawers, i plan on painting white, or cream
some shelves
i could use more
my drafting table ( i want to put it on casters)
my easel (which is around here SOMEWHERE)

i need to reorganize my porcelain workbench
i am wondering if it would be a good idea to move the pouring somewhere else
( but WHERE do i have space and good light?)

i am really hoping to start to sculpt again
since i am drawing daily, i think i need to sculpt as well
(besides i am dying to see what i've learned in the past few years and i won't know until i sculpt...i am amazed at what i learned while not drawing ABOUT drawing)

i have to reorganize my fabric storage

my old doll workbench i realize now, worked VERY VERY looked like crap but functioned superbly
now i want to have my workbenches look as good as they function
but allow me to wax a bit nostalgic about where i made most of the porcelain over the past 22 years

and of course when this is all done
i will have to restock some stuff
that means art supply stores (pearl paint here i come)
dharma trading for dyes
ordering silks
english viscose fiber
the ceramic supply.......... for slip

i could do a LOT of damage
bernie suggested that i test fire the kilns
i plan on it
if the kilns are damaged i am sort of screwed
as i don't think that small 'inexpensive' (500 or under)
kilns are being made anymore
and the big ones are too big........too expensive and require 'big' wiring or gas

i wonder if i can get elements for my old duncan?

i am hoping that when the studio is finished
i will have finally gotten the work areas back to what they used to be
only they will look as good as they function
i told bernie
we are going to be here a while it looks like
so may as well deal with it
(now watch, i get this place all straight........and THEN we move.....does it ever fail?)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

happy mothers day you all

yesterday bernie and i went to town
we got more stuff that we had on the list for when colleen visits

and we went to the outlets
i was sorely disappointed
not only is royal doulton gone
but pfaltzgraff is also gone, as is wedgewood/waterford/johnson brothers

soon it will be only clothes
and i don't carry how many designers names you put on them
they are mostly crap clothes

i just found this
this saddened me to no end

i was introduced to pfaltzgraff at that flemington outlet store
my pattern was yorktowne

i have many memories of my mom, me, bernie, colleen and others going down to the flemington outlets for the day
pfaltzgraff was ALWAYS the major reason to go

now onto my beloved royal doulton
there are two stores in america
one in nevada
and one in new york state

the website doesn't have the wonderful 'classic' collection teapots i used to get and adore
i have i think three of them

anyway, back to yesterday's shopping
bernie got the griddle of his dreams, for 25.00
and i got pyrex
4 loaf pans
two ovals
a pieplate
2 rounds and a lid
about 28 for the pyrex
bernie got a new pepper mill and salt shaker for 12.00
i was looking for mugs in pastel colors but didn't find any

i am also looking for 'earthquake' wax to hold my plates and that on the wall more securely then the plate holders alone

( yes i got plates on the walls, i have old calico RED, i have plates with sweet and wild violets on them, plates with roses and chinzt......... what can i say?)

we are planning on repainting the living room, probably the very same color which is a light magenta color ( raspberry sherbert )
when we do i want the plates UP and secured
i have been collectioning plates just for the walls for years and years, one there
they must be perfect ( the ironic thing is tiny chips are ok, but they have to 'look' right to my eye)
i think i have maybe 12 plates
finding the perfect plate isn't easy you know

i guess the living room could be called early english supper tea

it's not so frilly and fluffy in spite of the pink walls that men feel fact men seem to like it and tell me it reminds them of their gramma's house or favorite aunt
maybe the navy lamps, and rough brick fireplace has something to do with that?
but whatever it is
folks seem to like that room
personally it drives me nuts as it is just actually a glorified hallway, and we use it as a dinning room!


we are doing house stuff right now
and i have to plant some beans and cucs
my garden is not going to be what it was this year due to my health lately
but i will have my beans and cucs
and maybe
a cold frame for the winter

Saturday, May 02, 2009

time to plant the beans

it rained again last night

i was almost down here because i couldn't sleep
listening to the very heavy rain and worried we are flooding
but the rains mean it's time to plant
which is great as i love my fresh yellow pole beans

i want to reorganize the studio, i am so disgusted with it that i am about to paint EVERYTHING
that doesn't move FAST enough CREAM.........hear that bernie?
you don't move fast enough you will be painted cream
maybe with violets on top

i have to say
i got no energy lately
i don't know totally what is going on but i got no get up and go
it is highly annoying

and my SIL colleen is coming in like three weeks
i am not ready

oh and to thems of yous who went or are going to sheep and wool...........
i can't go again this year
which sucks
i am heartbroken but really i can't swing it with my SIL coming
good thing she is my favorite sister in law

meanwhile i will sit here...sniff................. knitting my placemats,........sniff
without any fiber therapy...........sniff........ and you all know who you are........sniff


meanwhile i am loving these new computer glasses
i can DRAW with them

this is a very good thing as i have to log a lot more drafting table time

ok off to juggle duckies

Friday, May 01, 2009

juggling duckies

falstaff broke his wife
he mated her so often and with such passion..........
he ripped the feathers out of the back of her little head and she was all bloody
she got a break and

HE got quarantined


he's in DUCK jail
(it's like lamb jail but with feathers instead of wool)

i put him in the A frame yesterday and her in the day pen against the house
today she is getting the A frame
and he is getting the day pen against the house
only i am going to MOVE the A frame over a bit to give her grazing

why should HE be rewarded for breaking his wife?
such is duck love i suppose but me the momma human decided to intervene

and i am cautiously guarded in stating that my duckies currently are without PMS
my lillianna RAN up to me to be petting wagging her tail
and then ate a bug

all appears to be well in our little duckie world

now the new pullets are laying better

i am starting to get my three eggies a here is a picture of one of them
it was taken through the poultry netting on the top of their pen, that's why it looks a bit odd
and no she isn't grayish
she is a buff orpington
but this photo was taken in Black and White
why you ask?
well it makes it easier for me to draw later when the original is in black an white
YES i am STILL drawing
and now with the new computer glasses, i can actually SEE what the hell i been far not too bad!
i need to give it a lot more time however
i am hoping for rain
i should go and plant beans
and if it DOES rain i just may
possibly cucs too
my garden is a total mess, between all the medical issues and then my back, and then the DROUGHT HERE
oh man
but the lettuces and greens up here are doing well so far
i think i need to get back to the chiro soon, i am still twingie..........
i haven't heard from carol for a few days
i have emailed but i am afraid of calling her cause i make her laugh
(it's like pavloves dogs......... only instead of hearing a bell and salivating....people hear my voice and start to laugh)
i am knitting cotton placemats, currently in peaches and cream cotton
the one i am using for this set is a pastel ombre in sort of dusky pastels
then i will do a set in bright pastel ombre
i have to do some knitted baby stuff.........IN GREEN
oh man what the hell is this with everyone wanting GREEN
i dyed tunis green for sandie
i am looking for a bright yellowish lime green for deb
foamy wants green for the new baby
why not a nice bright magenta?
i love magenta
especially when it's mixed with orange and yellow
i am spinning a nice deep heathery magenta that is going to be plied with a deep red/orange/magenta ply and a yellow/orange/copper ply
then knit into a neckwrap/scarf...........possible cowl for ME
for the express purpose of wearing coppery shawl pins
come next winter
the old and decrepid apple trees are in bloom
so it must be spring
morning everyone