Thursday, April 29, 2010

is it friday already??? WARNING photo intensive

ok so i have to tell you, it's actually thursday afternoon as i type this, i may add more tomorrow but right now....thursday
now yesterday we got that daniel smith is the first box as i opened it, and there is half & full watercolor pans, that are empty and waiting for colors
and palettes, as they were 3.00 each i got 5 of them, regularly over 9.00 each.... i may give one to bernie for his models if he can use it. ( i don't know how the pictures are going to show for you  folks so bare with me ok?) then today i ran and got the small screws to attach the casters as well as another set of casters that may work on my drafting table which would be good......although i most likely will fall over as i lean when i work.  they didn't have mouse traps so i have to go out again tomorrow.
then in honor of fixing or muddling that shelf thingie into a cart thingie.... or a sort of half ass taboret of sorts (my old taboret was all drawers and that is next for a makeover) i CLEANED part of the studio..... ahem..... except the floor...... and the cobwebs (which i like to think makes it halloween all year, as after all i DO halloween stuff occasionally too.......)
then i arranged some stuff on that half assed cart/taboret..... and i have the pictures to show you folks. please excuse the mess ok?
i mean what is a few cobwebs and some papers on the floor between friends right? you guys ARE my friends right??? this isn't going to appear on america's most messy artists show right??????????????? oh man
now the first picture is a terrible side shot- i have another shelf to add to the bottom which i need some help cutting as the saws vibrate too much for my bad shoulder to hold them and the wood.
i am also going to spray paint the entire thing cream as soon as the weather is a bit more predicable anyway there are some of those little plastic drawer unit thingies. top shelf has watercolors in tubes, and the clam shells with cut watercolor paper in it (quarters if anyone is interested), my humidor for the working rapidograph pens, and that turny thingie with brushes, pencils and stuffs like that
 second shelf has palettes with watercolors, sponges, tapes, the other rapidographs, some of the intense pencils, old brushes, pastels (not many, and the drafting brush tucked in between the two drawer thingies
the third shelf (there will be a fourth eventually) has office type stuff as well as my india inks (center thing) with the full set of intense on top.. saral paper, ballpoint pens, cutting things, tools, small note pads etc.  THE FOURTH shelf shall hold heavy stuff to keep the cart/taboret thing from being tippy, so that gets gallons of glue, bulk stuff that's heavy (possibly the cut paper clam shells if i get a few metal ones....that stuff is HEAVY) so there you go......that is what i am working on in the studio at the moment
how about THAT?
any organizational suggestions would be most appreciated btw, i keep the refrence drawings in manilla envelopes in my magazine files that i made..... cool huh?
edited to fix some spelling and to tell you that i have been tweeking that area so it functions a bit 'cleaner' i'll do the floor later i suppose

5am and i am stoking the stove

isn't this like..........almost may?
ok i had some interesting dreams.....old boyfriends! some of which are dead (where not dead in the dreams but didn't hang around long enough for me to realize)
the first one was jon and bob hiking TOGETHER over the mountain to jon's mountain cabin....i checked his cell phone battery levels and they were almost i told him to get a 'solar wrist recharger' before they left so if 'anything happened' they could call.......even though bob would have his with him

then i dreamt of another bob.....bobby, who died very very young from aides
i dreamt we were in what at first glance was an art supply store but really had a ton of musical instruments laying around.......i asked him about french horns but he picked up a sax and asked me to pay for it as he had to leave..... actually he asked me to just stand on line as he had an account with this place (he was in real life a highly gifted musician, on the keyboard...organ and piano) he had to leave for a gig with a symphony.... but as the checkout didn't know ME, they got his grandfather out (after i waited forever) and suddenly it turned into a drug store with the grandfather raving about how he needed to reform from being homosexual......(bobby was gay, and just starting to come out when he died-he was very very young, i don't even think he was 25 yet) before it killed him (back then no one knew how to prevent aides and it was a 'gay' disease)

it was the weirdest two interconnecting dreams. forward to this morning where i am contemplating the taboret of sorts i made yesterday
i took a shelf that was useless as a bookcase, and reinforced the legs that bernie said couldn't be done....
then i got casters out....but i don't have screws to put the casters a trip to the store i suppose today is in order

my daniel smith (edited cause i got the name wrong, oye) art supplies came, they took a bit longer to ship then blick but they are wrapped so much better..... in fact i am keeping one box and going to cover it with paper as it is so nice.
that was the order of palettes and empty watercolor pans
in looking at the water color pans, i am wondering if it would be cost efficient to make them in porcelain here in the studio?
i COULD make masters in wood and just pour in white porcelain and clear glaze them....hmmmmm
that would be a lot of work however.

in other art supply news, the more i think about it the more i am thinking pigments are going to be coming home to a study near me....
dry pigments
lots of them
i realized that i have made my own paints (duh, i always made my own china paints) and if i have pigments i can make egg tempera, watercolors, oils, pastels.....and if i bought acrylic medium....i could make that too..... as well as casein and milk paints, white wash etc......
before i do that i want to have a cabinet for them and the jars for them
but the egg tempera thing hasn't gone would take about 3 weeks for me to do an egg tempera....well isn't that about how long it takes me to do a blk/wht?
(which i got another one on the board now...phoebe with her wings up-we'll see how this goes)

this weekend is maryland sheep and wool but we aren't going.....we ARE going to put two more beds in my garden, both of which will be 8'X4' (then two weeks after that will be another two foot bed and a cold frame, and possibly the framework for a greenhouse out of a shed hardware kit, and greenhouse plastic)

meanwhile bernie is exhausted, (also why we aren't going to sheep and wool) he isn't sleeping and he's working so hard. which is part of the reason i decided that i would do that little bit of rough carpentry on my own. he (and i ) forget i can and have used power tools, i'm the one who taught him to
i wish we had a table saw though, as it would make some things a lot easier.....and a power miter saw would be nice too
then i would build my own damn computer desk and my own really nice taboret with paper drawers and paint drawers

i am still struggling with the after effects of that fall(so i get out power vi, real smart)..... my knees are now hurting right knee feels loose.......and there is pain in the left one
so today when i get changed i am going to put my tie shoes on.......really i should also go to town today and get some odds and ends...mouse traps too....and use that gift card before it gets a service charge
and one day soon i need to get to the provisioner and get chickens breasts for canning and freezing......(summer salads here we come)

***ahhhhhhhh the first sip of a fresh pot of coffee......oh man that feels good****
really i should do some mop up shopping today or tomorrow
we haven't run errands in a while so i haven't been out of the house really for a bit.... and also small stuff hasn't gotten boughten like mouse traps...... and a diverter thingie for my hose- stuff like that you know......and a short round of the dollar type stores for small cheapo stuff you didn't know you wanted or even needed (and most you don't need but occationally you find something you can't do without- i got my canning tools that way)
i would really like to find a nice set of happy colored summery dishes etc to take out on the deck. in hot oranges, magenta, yellows, turqouise and maybe lime far nothing strikes me as perfect
it would really make bernie happy to have deck stuff like that.
(said while stoking a woodstove ....and it's MAY just about)
ok now the sun is coming up sorta kinda....i hope to have pictures of my frankenstein taboret and maybe my daniel green order either later or tomorrow
mean while i am going to finish this first cup of coffee........ debate on stuffing the boneless chicken legs with ham and cheese and rolling them in bread crumbs for supper (and making a light mushroom sauce for them with the mushroom concentrate i made and canned) what do you all think of that?
morning everyone
have another cup with me ok?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

good morning everyone, we got the woodstove on again

this is april? it got cold last night so i lit the woodstove. i brought wood in .....(not the best for my shoulder) then bernie brought in wood for the night and today.

it's april huh?
soon to be may?
i am starting to really lean towards making my own paints from ground pigments.......i am thinking that with an investment in pigments, i can make watercolors, oils, pastels, and egg tempera.
make sense???
now explain to bernie how i need to find storage for a whole 'nudder bunch of art supplies................?
anyway i have been dangerously close to ordering pigments.......lots and lots of pigments....with the rational that it would save money over the long term... ahem..... (but i just HAVE to have that cobalt blue you know.........) anyway it's better to walk away for a bit..
i flipped that shelf unit over yesterday, and yes it will do what i want it to do......bernie has resigned himself to it as well.
i may also have to add to it and make something else.........
i think he is trying hard to stem the tide of work coming out of the studio.... cause that means even more stuff (like storage for finished work etc)

knitting updates: i am almost done with the second repeat on the leg of the first sock, i am knitting very slow because my arm is hurting so much..but it is an enjoyable knit....i love this yarn from spirit trail (sunna)

MDSW: we most likely aren't going. that would delay the garden by another week....... as bernie won't do anything sunday..... (he'll be too tired)

shoulder: still hurts, aches, burns......all the way down my arm into my hand and fingers so there is some impingement going on i am pretty sure

duckies: momma is laying, lilli is bitchy, phoebe......well phoebe is content to play in her water bucket (sorta like calpurrnia with a leaf in the corner)

cats: thaddeaus is taken to sitting on a pillow behind my chair so he won't be tempted to jump on the budgies...he doesn't like the results when he does that- fawn has taken to sitting ON my drafting chair while i draw.....and of course calpurrnia is calpurrnia....... and the only one who comes to bed when the woodstove is on...thaddeaus and fawn tend to stay and worship the woodstove (you didn't know that the woodstove was a deity did you? you know)

chickens: new baby pullets are getting big, but not laying yet.....soon though very soon (i can't wait)

budgies: ok mrs fezziwig is mature now.....her cere is a brownish tan and captain cuttle's is a nice bright blue..... maybe babies? they fight a lot though. the easter budgies are not named yet.... i don't know for sure if the little bluish one is male or female...... and they have one more month of quarantine to go- which allows me another month to figure out where they will go in the studio to get everyone used to each other (although i am seriously thinking of bringing them down and putting them on the other side)
i have them a kabob toy to chew but so far they are acting like it's a budgie eating kabob..... such is life with budgies

did i miss anything?

i am going to get another cup of coffee, as it isn't too bad this morning, and i am not too awake this morning
anyone care to join me?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

sleep glorious sleep

i took two arthritis pain and two aspirin last night, and guess what??????????? YUP i SLEPT
not all through the entire night but the most sleep i got since i fell last week.
so then i overslept

oh man

in knitting i was also able to pick up the sock for jen at spirit trail, i can't knit long on it, but i can do about 2 rows then put it down
same sort of progress with drawing
slow but steady
this fall took a lot out of me, it was one of the worst ones i have had yet. normally i fall out back in dangerous conditions, ice, snow, blizzards.....and i stick to the fence or can't get up....(ok so i also fall in 'duck mud') but in terms of getting injured, this was the worst.

it isn't raining here today....amazing huh? maybe my clothes on the line that have been rained on for three days will dry now? or just what? grow mold?
i brought some of them in and hung them on the inside line but without the woodstove on they didn't dry much

now i can't delay much longer, i have to re-pot the seedlings that are huge..........HUGE, did i mention that?
there aren't many but i haven't got pots !
although i think the impatients can go right into the planter i have waiting for them... the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes just need to be moved on to larger
i wish i had a green house and some cold frames
i am going to order impatient and begonia seeds online, as i realized i could start them any time, and keep them as house plants like i did with my 1$ begonia i got at the end of last year.... i cut it back and rooted the cuttings and now have a nice little plant.... i got 10 plant at 1$ each, i got flowering maple, scented geranium, begonia, and coleus.......i lost one scented geranium
the rest all prospered and i am going to put them outside this summer again, and try again next winter to winter them over in the house
cool huh? meanwhile i think i will again take cuttings from them
now if i had a warm greenhouse attached to this house.......... i could never have to buy any of them again, just take more cuttings!!!! hahahahahaha
(really it's the challenge of doing it)

supper last night: smothered pork chops, mixed grains with garlic, green beans...... wow it was GOOD...i was able to cook, and bernie was pretty happy about it
i am thinking i need to make sauce today......if i find chopmeat in the freezer

this saturday is MDSW maryland sheep and wool festival......down in friendship md....
i haven't been since the year the ducks came
i would love to go
i am not sure if we can as planting is so close and that saturday would get me two more beds in the garden.... if we go i have to wait another week and that will delay planting
although i am tempted to go today and hoe out where the beans are going......... but at the back of the raised beds i am also going to put a row of beans on a trellis.......

meanwhile, i am sitting here having my coffee, and yes i am late today, i slept!
tomorrow i should go to town, but i most likely won't.......
the birds could use a few new toys (the easter budgies)

ok everyone have a wonderful day

Monday, April 26, 2010

soon finished.....sniff

almost finished- there is a certain sadness with an almost finished peice, so much time spent with it, a thousand tiny decisions, so much actual physical contact that when it  is beginning to look done, there is not only exhileration, but the knowing that this is now about to exhist in the world. almost like a child. (althought i am looking and thinking it needs more darks in the mid/lower left side)   i am sort of on to the next, as i toned some watercolor paper with sienna, colbot, and a mixed lavender (three seperate sheets)- remember the momma polar bear and baby? that was sort of toned paper. these are delibertly toned. i am going to cut a bit more and tone them as well. these are 1/8 sheets of water color paper for fast studies in one color and gouache --- like that polar bear, since i really found that interesting (and given how lazy i can be- very fast) now in other artsy fartsy news, i ordered an out of print egg tempera book. i am determined to at least try egg tempera.....(no i didn't forget, but sometimes things take years to come about, so if it is only a few months, that's like instant around here) there is another one online that no one can find in print for less then 100. (like that's going to happen, right........)
Rainy sundays are dangerous around here......i research and spend money
i did however get some more drawing done, as much as i could stand. even thought i am right handed, and it's my left shoulder that's all messed up........ sitting at the drawing board hurts
i didn't sleep either last night, up most of the night in pain. i got some actual sleep when bernie left this morning as i was able to move to a comfortable position without fear that he'd roll over on to my arm

it's raining now here, yesterday too, i am going to be bringing in the laundry that's out there. one or two things at a time
i wish i had been able to plant beans out, or at least garden peas but that didn't happen yet.
bernie has also been trying to haul my water buckets out for me
so all i have to do is ducks and feed pans

i am going to have to make that ortho appointment again i think. this arm is really bad again.
rick if you are reading this, i did put your books both the shoulder and the neck book in my cart at amazon, and i hope to make an order in may

in knitting, next week is maryland sheep and wool festival, most likely i won't be going.
that sorta sucks as i wanted to go this year, it's been about 5 years since i've been able to go
i don't really need anything, but it would be nice to see jen and the others at spirit trail, and maybe pick up a kit or something ( i been lusting after her brightly colored/pastel hats for years, actually ALL her stuff........ but i always say no.......i can't afford it)

meanwhile back here in the studio....thaddeaus is driving me nuts, he's up by the birds...over by the knitting, over by the newly toned water color paper
just generally a PITA.............(*** Pain In The Ass)
i am just trying to drink my morning coffee, and write to you all....... sometimes i just want to kill that little curly cat, but then he comes up to bed and taps me on the face to come lay in my arms.......and i melt
but he is a bad boy

in duckie news....momma is laying again......FERTILE EGGIES........woohoo!!! my cousin nick is going to get the 'bator out and we'll be incubating eggies.....
i could also use a bator of my own, and a hatcher.
i got a list of stuffs i need
lists and lists
  • i need a bigger studio
  • a house with closets and on one level
  • more property and ag zoning
  • a barn
  • a few sheds
  • a greenhouse
  • more art supplies
  • a real kitchen
  • a summer/canning kitchen
  • a bigger garden
  • the body work done on my van
  • my shoulders to stop hurting so i can get more work done
  • more and better poultry pens
  • another laperm
  • a hole in the head
  • a conservatory!!!! ( i just added that)

ok listen all of youes, get another cup of coffee, i know i am going to right now......
we should sit around and listen to the rain and imagine how cool it would be to be sitting around drinking coffee together in a conservatory!!! surrounded by wonderful flowering plants ( i like orchids, begonias, impatients...... violets..... ferns)

wait let me go back to that list and add a conservatory!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

raining, sunday, morning, shoulder pain

it IS raining, which also means that the laundry is not drying out there....but it's getting rinsed again
a lot of bernie's socks are out there, good thing i got him new socks 22 he'll have socks either way

meanwhile i woke to shoulder pain
it's settled to a sort of 'level' of pain, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better overall, i have some times of less pain when i've put heat on it (like yesterday's hot shower)
but even the aspirin isn't really calming it down much
it's not that sharp acute pain, but it still stops me from moving
and then i get stabbing pains when i move certain ways
(i move my arm with my other arm though, i don't want the shoulder to freeze)

so this morning already, i have eaten ( bernie's sunday eggies) thrown DA BOY in cat jail ( the little shit jumped off my shoulder onto the budgie aviary- take your pick on which is gotten him in more trouble)
looked at an amazing egg tempera video, which i still want to try btw.
and found out that i broke yet another toenail in that fall
can you believe this???

i mailed a small token of thanks to a friend of mine (ok so bernie took it to the po)
which i hope arrives intact.
and i am about to see if i can go back to that blk/wht drawing this week

oh and bernie took my darlink ducks out

we finished (ok ok, so HE FINISHED) another raised bed in the garden.
i would have taken a picture for you all today if it wasn't raining, and if i hadn't woken up in pain again
i convinced him to make the next bed 4' wide......
he'd make them all 5 inches wide if i didn't watch him....... so i said to him,

'you know, i CAN reach these beds from both sides..............soooo making them 4 FEET wide is a good thing as we will save a bit on hardware and YOUR arms'

this of course was said while he stood there sore from making the beds and filling them.... can you say GOOD TIMING VI........? i knew you could

so then next we will make 4'X8' beds....which will save us some money as instead of two small beds for like 75.00 we'll get two LARGE beds for like 80.00.....not bad really
we are making the beds slowly climb the side of the garden, so after the two large beds comes the cold frames for against the fence at the north end...... then we'll start the center row of beds,.... those will be 18-24 inches deep for root veggies i believe
i would like at least 6 so i can rotate
or a movable topper so i can rotate..... that is a pretty good idea i think.... no?

let's see, i think i hear bernie cleaning duck pens but i'm not sure
i got one fertile egg from momma yesterday, which i hope he didn't hurt
(he's incredibly stubborn about things....... amazingly so sometimes)
and he's pissed about the duck eggs in the night crates, as i got hurt the day i normally clean crates and i didn't do it (ducks mess up pens and crates at a furious rate)
anyway momma started to lay again so i am collecting the eggs for nick to hatch
i may take a drake out of there if i can't find any others
bernie is going to be upset but lilli needs a husband, and i think phoebe isn't going to get a husband but she is going to get fertile eggs to sit on maybe, so she will have company eventually- but the eggs will be lilli's or momma's

ok i am going to post this now as i know i'm late
we'll resume our regular schedule tomorrow i think

Friday, April 23, 2010

6 plus hours

at the hospital is not how i planned to spend yesterday.
the emergency ward said that the 'xrays show no rotator cuff damage'
xrays will only show a total seperation tear of the rotator it is soft tissue and we all know.....xraysseparation are for broken bones
(cleaned off drafting table)
so i am going to rest it and then go to the orthopedic
(ants eating 'terro' ant bait on the craft table in the studio-they're all gone now)(lettuce seedlings out on the deck)
now i got a pile of dishes
cause i didn't do them the day i fell nor yesterday

I got my art supplies- i still need to get some .......... after that it's just gouache and brushes, then i think i am done again until i need more paper. i can't wait to get the gouache.......... after that it's just odds and ends, color replacements, occasional color additions, paper and bristol replacements.. etc.
i got a few empty half and full water color pans coming, with some palettes. i am still going to get more of the porcelain palettes but i picked up some cheapo plastic mixing palettes to hold me over

due to my injury from that nasty fall on wen, i think bernie is going to have to do the mucking of the pens for me. we got one bed finished in the garden but not moved into place yet..... we'll also do that and most likely the second bed as well tomorrow
i hope so

so right now not much of anything going on
everyone at the hospital said 'you have DUCKS?' when i told them how i fell
doesn't anyone have chickens or ducks anymore? or is it just my friends?

they all also had to see what i was reading (cokie roberts 'ladies of liberty')
yeah, seriously every single person that talked to me!
it was the most surreal experience
anyway, yes i am hurting bruises are coming out
new strains and pains etc, and i am relatively sure i am going to live
now let's have another cup of coffee, and some cheesecake
(which i don't have in the house, sniff)

and we'll get on with our day no?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the midweek hump?

so far both nights this week bernie's come home (late as usual poor guy) and helped me with the first raised bed in the garden.
i got one together now......weighs a ton.
i need to put the hardware cloth under it so no moles or critters decide to dig under.
we discovered last night that we ran out of the corner thingies...... so i have to get 4 more, and 8 L angles for the tops
i am pretty impressed!
i am more impressed that after a very hard day, bernie is coming home and doing that for me.
that i think is love, true deep and mature love. i know he's exhausted.

ok i took a bit of a break from that black and white drawing, and i may also today. my hands were hurting so bad, then my shoulder.
i have to get back to it so maybe tomorrow
meanwhile i canned those pullets.
started the sock for the spirit trail booth sample (btw, that sunna is amazing, however, if you all get it-please make a shawl or scarf or something that can be SEEN with's that amazing)

i also gave in to tempation (and another sale) and picked up some palettes for 3.00 each, these are for gouache, and some half and full empty water color pans, (that link shows a nice box from france and the white things lined up like farmhouse sinks are the half pans) i am thinking of trying to make a watercolor paint box/palette/storage thingie.......
they were quite cheap so it is doable i think
(i think?) then i can use the actual palettes for paint mixing instead of paint holding
this like everything else will change often i think

i checked my deck plants out yesterday and i have to thin the spinach.....sniff, all those pretty little spinach seedlings need to come out.... ( i dropped some seeds, and of course 6 times more then i what i dropped germinated) so the chickens, ducks, and budgies will all be getting a treat

oh and i may have located a drake or even a pair of silver muscovy if so, lilli gets a husband!!!! and we're going to need another pen
(you all knew THAT was coming right?)

oh and we didn't get the easter budgies down to the studio yet.....but soon

now who's going to join me in another cup of coffee?

Monday, April 19, 2010

where is the rain when you need it?

the forcast was for rain.....all rain all weekend.
so we sort of did things that would require water after
like putting the cardboard down for lasagna gardening
figuring the RAIN would wet it, which is a good thing as the hose doesn't reach.......
so it spit at us
icy stinging tiny needles of drops here and there
no where near what we needed
we also were afraid to hang the clothes out, but then the sun came so we did
now today
since it didn't rain
and we didn't raise the beds in the garden
i am sort of behind yet again
all i needed was one board cut in four peices...(3 cuts total) that most likely isn't going to happen until the weekend delaying me yet another week in planting out
we got metal thingies to hold the boards together
and the boards are 12'' high by 2'' thick......and 8 feet long
no it isn't enough but maybe it's a start?
i may finally be able to grow beets, turnips, kolrobi in the garden?
for the 5 boards we paid $74.85 which is about 34. and change per bed
that is worth it i think for beds that i can grow stuff in for years and i can put a hoop on them or wire box
and the hoop can be remay, or plastic....... so i think it's going to be a good thing
i think some of the other beds will be 8'' and then the back beds will be 12'' and we can add a cold frame topper.
i think that the small beds of 8'' should be for pole beads
now the one thing i am concerned about is the crop rotation.....i will of course rotate, but should i plan on longer?
we are also most likely going to enlarge the garden (i would love that) i would like enough space for the equivilant of 100' of beans or 100' of sweet peppers

there are two huge maples out i think is a swamp maple and the other i am not sure..... they are HUGE as tall as our big sugar maples.....and drop a very abundant crop of winged maple seeds in my garden every single may
i am hoping that by putting the raised beds i can cover them for the annual drop and then just compost the seeds.....
and since we are also hoping that we can top flight the garden so the chickens etc can run around free in there to eat buggies......and offending grasses and weeds ( i know i need a weeder goose) -- i am thinking that the raised beds will protect (i hope) the veggies
if we enlarge the garden enough......eventually it should include a screen house to sit and watch the birds, and a small pond with fish right?
that better be some STRONG fencing to keep the bears out...

i am wondering now if we will ever leave here- so under the wisdom of blooming where i am planted.... i intend on it.
of course the second we get it all nice, and the house gets an addition etc.........THEN we'll be able to move.. and sheep and goats and cows will get me out of here.....

ok my art supplies are enroute to philly, they are scheduled for tomorrow to be delivered......
my hands and shoulders still hurt, in spite of the aspirin, ice and ligament massage that my PT (remember her? i used to call her mengela) showed me.....but they aren't screaming in pain like they were.
i want to finish that black and white i been showing you all before the other stuff gets here but i may not
i got some samples of good paper in that order, so i am going to see if it will hold up to what i intend on throwing at it

everyone, i can't decide..... should i order 6 muscovy ducklings from oklahoma? they would be the all white, blue eyed meat strain like my ducks, or just get a drake from one of my friends....i need unrelated
either way would be unrelated. for a non meat strain duck i would prefer cream or light gray not the dark colors as we do eat the drakes. (what else am i going to do with them? no one wanted them as pets)
i do have to get a fresh drake that is unrelated.
falstaff tries but i don't think he's getting anywhere.
at least with an unrelated drake, i can have lilli be a mommy as she so wants to be......phoebe no as her eggies are way too tiny
and i can put him on momma duck without worry either...i would prefer to put him on momma either way as she is a bigger duck visually.....(but lilli weighs more!)
oh and lilli is broody.....and got pms.....and the squeaks.....which crack me up.... at least when i call her she squeaks back at me

another fast thing...jen asked me to go to allentown with her tomorrow, i think i will as long as i can get to the post office
i know catherine posted, as did flicka recently, and bonnie, sandie, angie (ty angie, i posted those links within that post) garilynn, and of course susan.... i know i am missing some folks......donald hasn't said anything for a while, i hope he's well and his computer is also.
who am i missing?
i always am missing someone - i don't mean to..... (dorothy yes there really is a for sale sign next door)
we didn't get the easter budgies down from the bedroom yet..... a lot of stuff didn't get done
bernie is home but the poor guy needs some time to recover.
i need an old fashioned handy man.... some retired person, who's wife sells butter and eggs and he does odd chores around. for a reasonable rate and coffee
when i was a kid, all the neighbors helped as well as all the relatives.... stuff got done with many hands and a lot of laughter....(and bbq sausage and peppers, trays of lasagna, bowls of sauce and meatballs and bottles of homemade red wine)
it isn't like that for me sadly...... but that is life

Sunday, April 18, 2010

i dreamt..........

of knitting last night
i dreamt we'd gone to a yarn store and i finished a color knit hat (just wove in the last end) in knitpicks palette...... and showed it to someone then lost it!
we couldn't find it anywhere!
all that work
in the search for the hat we ended up at a relatives house........ wandering through their backyard by their pool (full of teenagers) and then on to a DMV to reregister the car
then to a car of one of my friends to see her new dog
still looking for that color knit hat...... which was in shades of melon, cream, mint green, tan...... and had a row with slightly darker coral dots in squares of cream out lined with tan, that were worked in duplicate stitch

the dream before that was that one of my friends had died leaving her husband and two small children motherless...... that one scared me as that has happened to a couple of my friends
so that person is going to get a phone call from me today

now as to the actual in THIS world activity yesterday
we cut back brambles that had encroached on my garden and taken over the back fence of the veggie patch.
we cut back i think about 35 feet wide by about 20 feet deep or so
could have been 40~60
out back there what you think is ten feet turns out on a tape measure to be 20 ......personally i think there is a vortex of measurement out that as it seems to fluctuate

we also moved my good black homemade garden soil back and put cardboard down on the subsurface.
we are going to build beds over that so that we have hopefully a lasanga garden....... i am going to layer my good soil with hay and leaves etc...... to build up into the wooden raised beds
i am hoping that by doing this i will have the following
  1. easier for me to take care of by myself
  2. i can put mini hoop houses over
  3. no more mole/vole damage
  4. chickens and ducks can run around in the garden when we top flight it
  5. weed free paths
  6. warm up earlier in spring
  7. winter gardening and wintering over made easy
  8. neater more appealing looking garden
i just need some help here.......i envision (i should draw it for bernie i think) an arbor on the north side that has grapes or something on it..... and a pretty little rustic arch with morning glory
i see strong wooden posts holding 8 feet tall fencing, with flight netting over the top....... and a small greenhouse on the back as well.......add a bird bath and extend the garden to include a tiny elizabethian knot garden...... with flowers as well as about that???

now last night after supper bernie got to watch his newest harry potter...... the half blood prince, and he didn't like it at all
so that's two of his birthday presents he didn't like
i have some hope he will like avatar.......if not oh man.....did I SCREW up his birthday

now this week, i need to clean the chicken pens......clean the duck crates and the a frame pen along with the temporary pen
damn........ i got ALL the pens to clean i think!, i need to get the blueberries in as well and i would like to put the beans and the snow peas in if i can
i have to transplate the veggies seedlings, as well as the impatients i grew from seed
gee i got a lot of stuff to day

did you all notice drawing isn't on that list?
although art supplies will be here tuesday i understand

how's everyone's weekend so far?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

upon reflection

I hope you folks all go HERE and watch this, as i think she's got a good point
i wondered today how many twists and turns have led all of us to where we are now?
i know for me, as a kid i wanted to be an artist on a farm
art wasn't easy for me, as there wasn't any place for me to actually make art, to paint or such
i had to find a way around that
it wasn't encouraged much
actually a lot of the time it was discouraged as my father wanted me to be a secretary.
my mom's uncle issac who also was an artist however DID encourage me. (and i recently found his only grandchild, my cousin candi)

when i finally landed in art school, my instructors (all working artists ) told me i was good, and with a live model or from life, really really good but i was uneven
and i knew they were right
i didn't know what to do about it however.
it turns out time was the answer as it is for so many other things
all this time doing other art, first graphics, then dolls & miniatures, then package design for my toiletries company.
all the while my eye was maturing, (yes bonnie NOW i do have a good eye, when i was younger it was there but at times it was obscured)
when i went back to my illustration roots last year, i wasn't sure what i had matured into.
i figured i would be rusty and need to loosen up my hand/eye so to speak
i am almost there
but i discovered a mature artist that i really like! i didn't expect that.
i didn't expect to be able to see how a drawing is progressing and when to stop
or where it needed more. i can do that now and it blows me away after i realize that i made a conscious decision to add darks here or leave off there......because it is WHAT WAS NEEDED
the fact that now i know
i remember not having a clue when i was younger
i wish i could go back to my younger self, and say......
'look, you have a lot of living and looking and 'seeing' to do..... life has to beat you up a bit and soften your edges so that you can understand how to make it all work'

it's the coolest thing to look at what i've done and say 'it's good but the darks need to be developed'
and i realize it!
i ask you guys for opinions, but a lot of the time, it's just validation of what i already know (and sometimes you folks don't answer me, but i keep going)
LOOK at how smart you get when you age! maybe it's cause all the perky shit needs to fall out of the way so the smarts can get in?

anyway, there is a benefit to aging, that i didn't expect and this is it.
now that isn't to say i don't suffer bouts of artist fears, oh boy do i
i got through periods convinced i am a no-talent hack but on a level a bit different then a lot of folks
and what gets me through that is remembering
i am doing this all for fun
and if nothing comes out of it
it was still fun
i learned stuff
when you have to draw something i think you see it much differently. i know i do
i can't draw something unless i am really seeing it
i have to somehow feel it in my bones
then i can draw it

i think that deep seeing is some of the stuff that keeps an artist hooked (that and always the thought, 'i CAN do better then that')
each time you start a drawing or a painting is the opportunity to learn more, to connect more.
each time you learn more you are anxious to see what you can do with it

when i did those ducks with the leaves, i did it a few ways.....first the ducks themselves
then the ducks on an abstract faintly leaf shape (still my favorites of the color work) then the ducks on a 'real' leaf then the black and white
i settled on the blk and white as the way to go but that abstract leaf shape background was a go also, if i wanted to go in that direction
the fun was seeing how the idea looked in all the different expressions
and it WAS fun for me
so much so that i am attempting (as you all saw me fail miserably ) to do with the polar bear one..... the original black and white is very sparce but i think visually wonderful
(i can't get a good scan of it as it's too big for the scanner bed) i am going to do it again a few more times in color.... and maybe once more in black and white and see
i still have the original one with the killer whales which is sparce like the original polar bear drawing
this is what i mean by being rusty and loosening up......... i literally ran through all the ways i drew from when i was drawing actively and went beyond it to what i am probably going to be doing for this section of drawing life.
*** i can't WAIT to see what i will sculpt like now as well....... i imagine larger and with a ton more soul***

i am also thinking of doing some still lifes (even though i don't really enjoy them ) as i want to relearn how to *see* glass and water...... (and goldfish)
and instead of thinking
'groan.......damn i don't want to have to do that'
i am thinking
'how freeken cool is THAT to revisit sunlight on glass and water...... or even gray light THROUGH glass and water'

ok i told you all mine.......... now
what brought you folks to your present state in life? what is your learning? how do you see things differently as you have matured?

Friday, April 16, 2010

progress but i have to wait to work on it until my hand is better

ok here are the two 'big black & whites' how do you all think they compare?

not quite alive...... but not quite dead yet

first off i didn't sleep, between thaddeaus sneezing on my head and BERNIE snoring...... yup up watching the clock.
then my hand is still killing me, my thumb is a bit better but my wrist is not happy, and the whole hand is swollen
no drawing today

since i couldn't draw yesterday i read the book 'the immortal life of henrietta lacks' (amazon has it for like 15.00 or so) this is the new one.
and i would recommend everyone read it
then imagine this lady as your mom or sister or daughter
this story does need to be told
i know PERSONALLY of two people who have worked with the HeLa cells....hands on so to speak.
and we all know of the advances in medicine since the 50's
all due to these cells
read the book

bernie's second dvd of his three part bd present is at the po, and as soon as i finish my coffee and my blog post i am going to go and get it for him
thankfully my mongol queen book is in there as well.

i have to say, i am a very very fast reader, and i always was- voracious is more like it.
i tend to devour books.
when i was sick in bed,(too many times over the course of my life)  first my dad, then bernie would get me books by measuring how thick they were.... 2" for a paper back would hold me about a day or so
and it didn't matter to them after a while what the subject long as it was thick and in english
that's how i ended up reading all of dickens
anyway, i have to tell you.......... i had sort of given up buying books, as we ran out of space, and we couldn't afford it..... folks would give me books here and there, i reread what i have (my personal library actually fills the entire house......don't ask as it is embarrassing) well lately, i have been buying books again....
it started slowly, mostly used books ( there should be a 12 step program for bibliophiles)
but now i have been getting books at borders and b&n, both online and at the stores....and amazon as well.
( i don't like the new owner of the used book store that i used to go to so i don't frequent her anymore)
so to be able to have not one but TWO new releases (although i blew through the first in a couple hours) is actually a luxury for me- HUGE luxury.(so is this jamacian coffee, thank you again susan) i had a couple of 5.00 off certificates and that helped a LOT
i still don't have any ROOM for them all though

anyway, on the henrietta lacks book.......... pick it up at the library, don't wait until it comes out in paperback. but read this book.

let's see, the small amount of art supplies i ordered at the huge sale are on their way to philly to be sent north to me ( i am so weak, i couldn't afford them either)
i track them daily
i have another order i need to put in but won't get to it until the next big sale..... which is good cause i blew the art supply money on books and dvd's (and just as well with my hand right now)

ok the chicken stock made out of the BAD pullets is very good- i had a bowl last night.
today after the po, i am going to finish the chickens pens and if i still have energy, i am going to start in the garden
we'll be needing a new hose for out there too
bernie said that tomorrow we are going to be doing my garden...... so i have to make sure we got the water out to do the lasagna layers
and tonight i need to skim the books over outloud for him
as soon as the beds are prepped i'll be planting peas and beans.....late i know
oh man......
the garden is going to be a lot smaller then it was in previous years but at least i will have one, not like last year
ok i just gave the 'old' budgies their bath tub, so i am going to enjoy watching them bath
i hope you folks all have a wonderful day
(someone pass the milk i need another cup of coffee)

Angie said...

Here are two URLs with titles. The first one has some of the Thornton W. Burgess books (like The Adventures of Danny Fieldmouse) among others, and the second, scroll down for the Newbery Award winners; I read The Windy Hill by Cornelia Meigs, and also It's Like This, Cat.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

today is not starting out the best of days

i wasn't doing too well last night, i was exhausted at 8 pm
i didn't do much yesterday at all, i went to the po, brought the ducks out, cleaned the stove (what a mess) plucked the last of the feathers off the pullets that the wiz bang missed when they were processed and started soup from them.
i did do dishes but that's an almost every day
i drew
i read
i couldn't wait to go up to sleep
i had forgotten until late to bring wood up (i did it after i brought ducks in)
i started the fire at like 8:30 last night
we went up earlyish..... (considering how late we've been the past couple weeks)
9:30pm and i was reading and fell asleep by ten....
and woke up at almost 8am
i normally am up by 5
or at least 7
but 8?
and now i am in reverse- and not in the best of moods

i hurt my thumb yesterday doing pinfeathers, it's still feeling a bit numb
i think it is actually from drawing so much
since it's my right thumb. and drawing is a tight and very controlled motion
actually it IS swollen!
ok i better ice it

now today after ducks, dishes and drawing......i most likely will have to can the chicken stock and the meat from the pullets
i was going to see about running up to the farmers market and getting some greens to tide us over but forget that
good thing i mailed the taxes yesterday
and we are having soup tonight, actually i have ham too, and maybe..... with all the dried veggies.....hmmm
maybe minestrone? i dont' have little meatballs though, i didn't make them lately

i like to keep small meatballs in the freezer.....i usually make a batch and brown them up or even bake them and then freeze them for soups and fast sauces.
i really need to get to the packing plant or b&m and get 10 pounds of chopmeat to do that....i also need to pick up a couple cases of chicken breast at the purveyor and can them, as well as batter/crumb them and freeze them
maybe in a couple weeks? oye
and i am hoping to get some energy back cause i really have been not quite as productive as i would like
i realize i am not 20 but gees....

i am trying to figure out a better paint taboret/table/station....
i can't afford nor could i really justify those expensive ones, even if they were absolutely perfect, which they aren't
i need a U shape, i would like a couple of drawers for paper, (not under the painting area as i am a bit sloppy with the washes) storage for paint, area to hold porcelain palettes and trays, and brush storage.....i would like brush storage where the tips hang down instead of stand the moisture doesn't run down into the handle, and the brush will last longer........
mmmm (that would mean silicone and wire no?)


i am thinking if i can find something that starts out with a cabinet and wheels... i could maybe add a second top that has swing out arms....and a drawer thingie for paper, then some area for the plastic drawers i already have?  then where would i put the drafting table? i admit that the drafting table is huge..... actually too big for the space, but it's been my drafting table since..........i think i was 14.
i can't find my easel either (bernie 'organized it' in the basement somewhere)
anyway i am going to need to be doing something SOON
as what i have isn't going to work really well for some intensive color work
it's ok for blk/wht and the occational color painting but not for anything steady

ok i am going to post this
sorry everyone, i am a bit out of sorts today
i should be ok tomorrow
i think if i massage my ligaments in my right hand with ice and rest it a bit i will be ok

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5am, and stoking the stove

(apple blossom off one of our trees, i found it on the ground)
wait wasn't this finished last month?
nope as it's cold again so i am working that stoke again.
at least i got an early start.

bernie watched part of his dvd 2012, he sure didn't like the beginning of it- but just as we decided it was late and we were going up, it got exciting, and he was reluctant to turn it off
does anyone know how to book mark a place on a dvd?

now today, i have to run again to the po, as i forgot to mail the taxes yesterday. then wood, then dishes, then ducks.....possibly not in that order. with stewing some chickens and drawing on the side.
i really should be working on the planting, but i am going to believe bernie and see if he helps me over the weekend.....
we also need to remortor the side of the house.....stone houses are like that.
this should be, ahem........... FUN.......oye

we are going to be looking into a shed for the tax return, if i can squeeze out a greenhouse kit as well- that would be great or at least a cold frame........maybe some of that recycled never rot lumber for raised beds as well?......ok who am i kidding, that refund just isn't that large.
but maybe with really careful shopping?

btw, has anyone thought of any names for the new baby easter budgies? i think that the pastel blue/gray/lavender one IS a boy..... the yellow one is most certainly a girl.
they are doing well but i hate this quarentine in the bedroom. i just can't spend enough time with them. i may bring them down and put them in the studio at the other end......not that we actually have space mind you.....but i think we have to DO something as i think they need the stimulation

in duck news.......well there isn't really.....not anything new and earth shattering. still trying to find out where the hell momma is laying her fertile eggs (at least i am hoping they are fertile, but falstaff is really really old)

thaddeaus slept on my head again, as the fire died down overnight he naturally decided that he needed to sleep on my head..... oye
and fawn started to lay in bernie's lap first thing in the morning while he's getting dressed (or trying to) for work......she is so happy to greet him, that's really the only time she gets to see him
calpurrnia does her little wander around thing......
i did tell you all that calpurrnia caught a mouse the other night right? hahahah she said OOOOOOOOOOO and the mouse jumped in her mouth........ she ran inside startled and lost the mouse in the living room......we set the trap and we caught it sunday night.
good thing that little calpurrnia is very pretty and so very loveable.......cause if she had to earn a living catching mice........well.......... hahahahahaha

ok i am going to poke up the fire a bit more, and sit down at the drawing board.
i did get a few art supplies at the sale...( i couldn't RESIST the sale, come-ON, 30% off? and free shipping) they say that they are due on the 20th but they could come as early as saturday, depending.
that would be nice, although until i am finished with this current drawing there won't be ANY playing with new colors. (that will give me time to stretch the watercolor paper and hope for the best)
i need more palette space...... and i could use a decent taboret for watercolors and supplies that also holds the palettes at a height i can use... pre made are very expensive...... (as much as a shed AND a lawnmower- so that ain't happening unless i suddenly become world famous and very rich)
HERE is one taboret that's nice and HERE is another one that i like.....
and HERE.................. this one HERE holds water color paper! now if the one that holds the water color paper would get together with the one that swings out for "pastels" (cause i like the U shape, it works for me) i would be selling my socks to try and afford it.........
but since that isn't in the cards right now that i know of........i am going to attempt to rig something up
what i have now sort of works but doesn't hold the palettes.
and how can you work without access to the palettes with the paint on them?

ok it's starting to get light out and i am thinking that i want to draw a bit until it's time to put the ducks out
i have knitting to do for my friend jen at spirit trail, she needs booth samples, i have a pair of socks and a scarf to do for her so my knitting is going to be socks...... now normally i can do a pair of socks in a week but these have patterned legs so we'll see

flicka, i am a bit lazy lately for me. i have a lot to get done, and i am not getting it done. the house is a mess, (dishes are done though) the garden isn't planted, and the winter clothes all need to be washed and put up. not to mention that the old chickens need their pen cleaned (and of course the sloppy duck crates that get cleaned at least weekly)
i am having to take on more and more of bernie's chores so i really need to get more done- not to mention the cooking, canning, baking stuff

don, you with us?
vicki, i couldn't help myself, i can't seem to stop drawing on this....... so i am doing it
catherine didn't you pipe up a bit? i thought i saw a comment

ok folks i am so sorry if i forgot to answer you, i do sort of think of us sitting here drinking coffee together
(and i am drinking that coffee susan sent me for my bd, i think she's spoiled me for all other coffee)

i keep thinking if i would just better organize my day........ oye

i have to ask everyone......... my friend deb in wa state said that i DO have a farm........abit small one...but i grow food, have ducks and chickens...... and she says that is a farm (tiny farm but a farm)
what do you all think?
i don't think so.
i think a farm has zoning and you can have roosters and lambs and a cow
could i have opinions?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

and it is raining off and on

my violet's are blooming!!!!! there are two more that have buds on them, i am so excited so i had to post again to show you folks (i showed facebook)
and flicka, really for me lately, i HAVE been lazy.
now today i got the ducks out, and brought the ash bucket down (it's way too full for me to carry but i got it down there) i got a load of wood waiting for my second wind out front,........i'll bring that in shortly, then water and feed the chickens. i had to start a fire this morning.
i SHOULD throw some hand washables into soak and maybe after i do the dishes i will. but since you have read this blog for a while, you know that these are lighter days for me lately
all because i can't stop drawing......
btw, i see a for sale sign or what looks like a for sale sign on jackass neighbor's house
woohoo!!!! FREE AT LAST

i realized this morning, we are starting to get everything we've ever asked for....... bernie's job is good and he's happy but tired
we are financially in a bit better place (but still have debt, which i hate and am trying to get rid of)
there are a couple of other things i think i would like, of course the farm, but deb in WA pointed out to me on the phone this morning, actually i do have a farm, a very small one
i would like a larger one with a bigger flatter garden, an orchard, and room for the sheep and goats (and a milk cow please) one zoned for roosters too
i need my van fixed too, as i love that vehicle......i can reach the peddels, i can see over the stearing wheel and i can get in and out of it easily....
i don't want a new van i want THAT van, fixed and painted
and a larger house with closets, not too much larger, AND A KITCHEN ... that is nice and efficient and works well.......and is pretty and has a greenhouse off it............ ok so make the next house 1/2 kitchen and 1/2 studio, put a bathroom on the studio side......... my woodstove in the center.......and a bedroom/closet wing. have a cold pantry on the kitchen side and a real old fashioned butlers pantry..... with a green house to grow my stuff over the winter and start the garden plants ( and we can eat in the

doesn't that sounds HEAVENLY........???
although i do like my second story deck in the trees.........
well lookie at this
two posts today
all cause i wanted to show you all the violets

busy busy..........goofing off

yesterday i should have: brought in wood, cleaned chickens, canned chicken, baked something, planted, washed hand washables.......... did some gardening,...... instead look at what i DID do ( bernie does think i am lazy, and i am beginning to think he's right) but i am really starting to get excited about how this is coming along. now TODAY i will have to bring in wood and go to the po and do something with the chickens, as really i can't take too many days off as things stand now. IF the garden was straightened out, and the chickens were in an outside pen (ditto the ducks) then life would be a lot easier for me but that isn't reality right now, so i need to actually do something around here..........ahem.......unless it RAINS today..... (checking the weather thingie....) HHHHHHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMM the weather thingie says RAIN TODAY, maybe i need to draw some more? i mean if it rains i can't work the garden, or clean chickens right (but i do need wood in as it's to go below freezing this week) i may however have to clean the woodstove which will put a bit of a cramp in my plans unless i can figure how to carry the overly full ash bucket out to be dumped.

anyway, let's see what was for supper last night, .........ohhhhhh chicken, sort of a sticky chicken kinda sorta but not really.  i took a fryer and baked it in the oven with ketchup, mustard, honey and garlic..... breast side down in the mix and then flipped it up
it was moist and really pretty good. we had it with left over potato salad and spinach.
now today i should bake, snickerdoodles and peanutbutter chocolate chips
i got duck eggs but i think until this drawing is done i won't be doing too much of anything else

i looked through the duck drawing the other day, and there are a LOT, now that being said, there isn't enough of any one 'style' to do a cohesive story book. now a gallery show on 'the muscovy of vi's house' yup there is enough.........
and now i am working on these 'big' blk/whts
so i am at my wit's end now with this, i tried to redo some in color, and some in the more child friendly blk/wht, and there are so many in my customary style (which is what i been showing you all) so i am still faced with a delemia of where to go with this
 but i keep drawing and figure eventually i'll either end up with something or even if i just have a lot more of the same........ at least i am still drawing
now this would have been posted early but terri a chicken friend called and we talked about (what else???) chickens and ducks!
so i am going to post this now, as i have to grab a fast shower and get to the po for bernie's bd cd
(2012) and my book (the immortal life of henrietta lacks)
he's got avatar and harry potter 6 coming and i have the secret life of the mongol queens coming
but that will be next week i think

ok ttyl
everyone wanna sorta check in so i know you are all ok?

Monday, April 12, 2010

tricks & musings on art, knitting etc....

 on the right is the drawing as you would see it if you were in my studio, on the left is me flipping it so i can see how it's flowing.
my verdict? ...... i like the way it's moving along. i think at this point it isn't as powerfully quiet as the last big black and white, but i think when it is done it will be just as interesting.  in fact i actually like the flipped version, and if i hadn't been so far into it now i most probably would flip the composition of that drawing. i still have a lot of work to do on the ducks and the top and sides.
and i am still not sure if i am going to work this same idea in color yet, we'll see.  as to some color work, i intend on doing some still life over the summer, IN COLOR, just because i want to remember how to render glass and water, i used to know, and i want to see if i can still do it.... i imagine i could in oils, but it's been a real long time for a watercolor so naturally i have to try it. oh and next big art supply sale is going to be for gouache, paper and brushes..... oye, and most likely technical pen ink. everyone is having huge sales right now (tax return season so they want a peice of yours) i did end up having to put in a small order, as i am about to run out of bristol that i draw on so since i think i should continue to draw, i had to get more, i got two pads of it--- a plate and a vellum.

plate is extremely smooth, vellum has a slight roughness called tooth to the surface. i got the 100% cotton rag archival bristol. i don't think there is a better longer lasting bristol available, if there is i don't know about it.
i haven't drawn on plate in a LONG time, the surface of the last two black and whites is vellum, which has a slight tooth to it. i may not like plate for this stuff, i used to like plate for a lot of line work ........

now the knitting part, i am knitting another gaenor, which is because i am lazy, and i wanted to just KNIT and not think or design or anything, but i am planning on finishing this, and the emily dickinson, then doing a couple of easy lace things (small shawls or really large scarves) with just lace stitches out of the books i have almost all of the spirit trail yarn club yarn is going to be made up that way

in household stuff, i need to wash the winter stuff and put that all away, freeze the woolens for two days prior to putting them up
pull out and freshen up the summer stuff. i wish i had one of those small hand cranked non electric washers but i am sure that they will kill my shoulders.

so my new chore list is as follows
  • clean the second chicken pen
  • wash all the winter clothes and store
  • freeze the woolens
  • inventory the canning shelves
  • clean the dehydrator
  • work on the garden beds
  • plant the garden
  • studio reorganization continues
  • decide on the color palette for the qouache
  • decide on the size brushes and where i'm getting them (there are a lot of options)
  • construct a cold frame
  • make a temporary duck pen on the lawn
  • order ducklings
  • empty and refill the deck planters with fresh soil
  • plant the blueberries
gees, no wonder i'm tired, i really need to get my assets in gear here...... and today i have to roast them pullets and then make soup out of them! that also needs to be canned as i don't have room in the freezer.
hey what am i doing sitting here sipping coffee? i got too much to do!!!!!!!!!!!!

talk to you all later

Friday, April 09, 2010

& the rains come down

naturally, as i left the Aframe uncovered!
ok well i needed to muck that pen anyway.
***progress on that drawing it's not done but i think looks pretty good...maybe i won't entirely finish it!***
now a glance back to yesterday:up extra early and drawing in the morning,  i got the mail, then socks both for bernie and i, (heavy cotton work crews for bernie, light fun ped type summer socks for me....12.00 for 12 pairs)
i got wasp spray, as well as work boot inserts,  and got home just in time to SQUISH a giant hornet in the studio before thaddeaus got nailed.
then went BACK out to get bernie's icecream cake, and a few other odds and ends
with a bit of chicken pen cleaning....... then up to start cooking bernie's supper for his bd. ( beef cubes in wine sauce with garlic, mixed grain pilaf, and spinach)
he got home relatively early for him, ate his supper and opened his card.....
he had a terrible terrible day yesterday.
he said after he ate, 'i am so happy to be home'
we had his icecream cake on the deck under the icycle lights in a very nice breeze..

i think that underneath it all the 'i am so happy to be home' is what has always kept bernie and i together all these years through the ups and downs.
even though the house in spots is a mess...... and a big, ahem.....cluttered (no closets remember) even though there are times when it's all so overwhelming, the bottom line is
for us where ever the other person home
and there is no place like home

we both sort of know that but it's good to be really reminded of it.....
(he had a REALLY bad day....... REALLY BAD)

now today, i have chicken pens again, i hope to get the baby pen finished, and then start the old hens-i don't actually have daily layers anymore but who needs chickens that eat the eggs? and then teach the OTHERS to eat the eggs?
i also need to get a decent tractor for these guys to go out to 'free range with protection' i may need to pick up an Xpansion pen. i would love them to go out permanently as long as i can safely get out to water them and feed them.......
i will miss birds in the basement so i would imagine that i would bring in silkies or something small to live in the basement...(and go out to forage)

i also have blueberries to plant ....i should do that today in the rain, as it's good for them
we'll see how much i get done
meanwhile this coffee is good (thank you again susan)
and i am taking my time today, since it's a bit gray out i can sort of fool myself into thinking it's still early.
i opened the back door to get some breeze in but had a wasp come in, so killed that and shut the door.....
i have to do that nest tonight or bernie has to do that nest tonight as it's on the deck....... RIGHT over the table plus they ALWAYS seem to get in the back door when it's open......i think i need to get a new cheapo screen door for that back door too. (the back door isn't too good either i got it taped together)

ideally if we can't move, then we need to add on.....and move a door and woodbox onto the north (lower) side of the studio..... which would mean an addition and closets, and a cold food pantry..not to mention northern light to add to the studio.
when we bought this house, we thought we could go up over the studio. and had planned on a master suite and storage. but found we couldn't do that with the foundation that is under the studio.
anyway an addition of about 44 feet down the side of the house..... as wide as we can get it (i think it could be 12 feet wide) would help some....... as would moving the front door.....(that would help a ton too)

ok i have to start my day, i think i am going to draw a bit then start my chicken pens

Thursday, April 08, 2010

one pen down and happy birthday bernie

today is bernie's birthday, he is 55
i have known him since i was 15 and he was 17, give or take a driver's license and a few months
we've been married 33 years through ups and downs and all arounds
let me tell you, he sure doesn't look like what anyone would think a 55 year old guy looks like- but aging actually is agreeing with him, which it does a lot of times with men.
me, i am aging like entrails in the hot august sun.......basically sinking in and putrefying

the pullets are in the fridge, i was going to stew them but i am wondering if they would be ok to BBQ?
maybe not- they are 16 months old.
anyway, i started to clean their pen, and got that finished yesterday, i will move the old hens over do their pen and then do the new pullets pen

i also had a half a glass (with a ton of ice) of some home made  hard apple cider up the hill at georgie's house-
now i don't drink, and also with the pcos and the 11b it's really not a good idea for me to all PERIOD
this was a big first for me for the most part
i won't make it a habit but let me tell you, yesterday afternoon i needed something

i hurt all over, i think that i can't haul like i used to, menopause seems to have affected my strength, as i age i am getting weaker and weaker, even though i am trying to increase the load bearing work so that i stay strong- i just am not staying strong
it could be a cumulative effect due to the illnesses, they do mess with hormones big time-
i am taking on more and more of bernie's chores in addition to mine, and i am falling more and more behind in a lot of stuff.
if i do the wood or duck or chicken pens, really all i have time for after is some drawing and maybe start supper
i am going to have to see if i can start work at 5 am i think and work until bernie gets in
bernie's average day now is from 4:30am to 9:00 pm........ me, i fall down at about 4 pm
i've pretty much had it
if i push it much beyond that i start getting shaky

( and i don't get a whole lot of sympathy really from anyone, i keep hearing how 'i work ten times harder' not only from bernie but from a LOT of men either my age or young young women!- huh? anyone remember, i am actually a SICK old lady?)

so i am wondering if i need to make some decisions? now i won't give up the poultry, and i want my garden, and canning. so something has to give here.
i can't give up my drawing.
housework i think i can live without
and if i can just get poultry coops that are either easier to clean OR tools that make it easier maybe that would help.
i thought my wood cart would help but during deep snow it's not useful-
so i need to figure some stuff out
maybe a door on the 'low' side of the studio to bring wood into......
(maybe how about we move to a more user friendly house and neighborhood?)
anyway, this just proves that no matter what...... life is always a balancing act
(or that the more money we seem to make, the harder i seem to have to work physically......HUH? how'd that happen?)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

duckie doings & chicken chores

here is a fast update on the latest drawing. i guess it's a good thing to show you folks my progress.
when i was an art director, i had built in check points, i would send work up to be proof read, and i would have other graphics people around.
i have to say that seeing the work up on the screen helps me a lot with decisions on which way it needs to be worked- i like seeing how the ducks start popping out from the background
and i also like how the deep forest is sort of working like a bit of a frame at that area of the drawing.....
i now pronounce this drawing really really interesting.
and a whole lot of fun
just remember............... degas had dancers, monet had i got ducks.....seems fitting somehow doesn't it??

ok now tomorrow is bernie's birthday, i plan on baking him a cake....... chocolate know it's love when you bake someone a chocolate cake, and you HATE chocolate..
i need to get back to town today as well and pick up my meds and chicken parts.... (my chickens are getting processed tonight but that won't help me for dinner, as they have to 'age')

if bernie was to get home early enough i would grill but he won't be home until 8:30 or 9 at least
and i need to plant the summer lettuces---yesterday it was 91 degrees on the deck, i didn't sit out but that's why i came in from town and basically flopped. i did check the lettuces and they had all sprouted but they are the winter types so i don't hold much hope for them.
the spinach most likely will bolt as well.
i will most likely thin the spinach and give the thinnings to the birds. i also got them french wholewheat couscous to mix up some cooked foods for them. i have to chop and dry carrots, but can't find my chopper thingie! cause i want it minced.
maybe i'll dry the spinach thinnings too?
i need to put together a bunch of this food for the birds for later, a mix of minced dried veggies and couscous plus some herbs in there like parsley and dill..... i should add some garlic too.
i got used to that 'beak appetite' and so did the birds but they don't make it anymore as the company went out of business, so we'll make due

now with the duckies...... momma jumped all over poor phoebe last night, so momma got put in repeatedly with falstaff. now speaking of falstaff, i don't think he is able to fertilize the ducks anymore.
i watched a bit while i was cleaning ponds and buckets and there wasn't any actual mating going LOOKED like there was but there wasn't.
i think he's way too old now.
that means i really DO have to get a new drake  and also then i won't have two lines like i wanted to.
thank goodness the FWS regs are being rewriten, as i am so going to need to get another drake.
i dreamt that i had lavender self diluted muscovys .......they looked like a very light lavender purple!
actually i wouldn't mind that on my girls
or a nice diluted cream
ok i got a late start as i had a late night
so i am off to start my day

i hope you folks all have a wonderful day
and that the weather is good too
(btw, where is flicka?? you around dear?)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

chickens and more chickens

yesterday we went to hinkle's poultry farm
jen got 7 hens and a roo
nice ones......related to my sussexXbuff orpingtons
woo hoo.......i so love me some chicken expeditions.....
it was wonderful to see charlie and jody again. they never age..........the rest of us do but they don't
and i like to see their place........all happy birdies all the time

so i never did get to town for bernie's birthday card
now today i need to get there........meanwhile i woke little linda up at 6:30 am this morning....... which means i got up at 3 am
so i wouldn't forget
i am actually pretty tired
i would have gone back up to bed but it's already light out
now in easter budgie news.....the little ones are coming around slowly
also last night i let the cats into the bedroom as soon as i knew the birds were asleep.......we had one minor problem but other then that fine
however during the day.......NO CATS in the bedroom and the door is shut to keep the birdies safe

i need to get bernie cards, seeds for the budgies, socks for bernie,
a water tube and cuttle bone for the budgies.....maybe i should go before i put the girls out?
maybe i should have coffee before i fall asleep again?
bernie got home at 9pm again last night
he better be putting this down on his time sheet, his boss left him that option.

i am working on that drawing in drips and drabs ............ 10 minutes here 15 there.... so it's growing but slowly
and i am taking a picture here and there so i can compare progress.
i really need to think about a better camera......and a better house
ok i am still tired and i think i am going to lay down for 1/2 hour