Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lil' kins, lil' tomatoes and lil' dolls!

Good Wednesday Evening To You All!
Holy Cow! How on Earth did a week and a half get by me? I was thinking this weekend would be a week.....yeah, right. Wow.
Been a busy week and a half.....and I still feel like I haven't gotten a thing accomplished. Even though, now that I look around at the mess that is my studio, I realize I have.
Anyway, shall we get started?
Yes, yes we shall. :)

Let's see now.....
I think we will start with a BC&P update:
The larger plants have gotten larger. The smaller ones have grown some but not much. I took a couple of photos this past Sunday (which I will share in just a minute). I noticed today when I was watering them that I have the start of flowers. YAY! I believe there are two small 'nodes' that will become pumpkins if they can last through the heat and wait for the flowers. They are tiny, little things.
The broom corn is doing least on one side. I'm not sure why but one corner seems to be growing at a much better rate than the other. I guess at this point that only time will tell. *fingers crossed*

the plant right in the middle has two 'nodes'

the ones on the right seem to be growing faster?

I snuck next door this past weekend and took a couple of pictures of my neighbors pumpkin patch too! She already has orange pumpkins. They aren't very big and now that they've changed colors I don't think they will get any larger. I think she has a few more that are starting so hopefully they will get bigger!

Amy's pumpkin patch  :)

one of the lil' guys up close

Speaking of my neighbors, Barry gave me some cherry tomatoes a couple of days ago. They are yummy! I've been eating them just as they are and I put some in with my tuna fish lunch for work today. Thanks Barry!

garden fresh cherry tomatoes! tasty! :)

My batch of mead is still bubbling along. Ya know, a year is going to kill me! I think this weekend will be the first racking. I've been watching the bottom of the jug....the yeast husks are collecting nicely. They kind of remind me of sand at the bottom of a bottle. This stuff is going to be so good!

yeast husks on the bottom - one of the reasons for racking

This past weekend I made a trip to Tandy Leather. Yes, it's a trip....over an hour to get there. But it's usually worth it. And this time was no exception. I get a free stamp because of my membership. I also got a spool of lacing from the monthly coupon. Win - win!! I picked up a piece of leather for my hat. I also picked up a piece of suede for the vest/jerkin/doublet that I will be making. Yes, these are for DragonCon. Which is speeding at me like a run away train. Got to get moving on these projects! Good thing I have my manikin made already. I'm thinking a 'woodsy' look for the jerkin. I want to 'lace up' the side instead of sewing them. I have the idea for the hooves firmly planted in my brain now too. I just have to get them down on paper so that I can start making them as well. Yes, I know, that's a lot to get done. But, this being my first year at DragonCon, it has to be spectacular! LOL

orangey-rust suede and leather. waiting to become an
amazing costume!

I've been working on the 'Moxie Kit' that I got from Susie! First let me say that I have newly found respect for all the artist out there that work 'smaller'. Between fumbling fingers and being blind as a bat....well, WOW! I know understand why doll makers say 'if you can, sew before you cut'. I got one of the legs sewn and cut and thought I would scream before I got that far. Then my daughter's dog decided he liked it so much he would chew on it and add his touch to it. It took everything I had not to strangle him. I got two bodies sewn and stuffed. Some how I managed to get one that is shorter than the other. I have no idea how I managed it but I did - you'll see it in the photos. I have gotten the faces sanded, cleaned and the material applied -  they are drying right now from the watered down glue. Hopefully I will be able to get a coat or two of gesso applied tomorrow. The idea for my 'faerie' is becoming clearer. I came across a photo of an endangered frog the other day that just clicked. It was a pale green with even paler yellow throughout and white speckles all over it. I do beleve, at this moment, that will be my color pallete. I hope I can find the material that I want at JoAnn's! The other is kind of still creeping around the corners of my brain.....haven't gotten a good look at her yet! She keeps hinting but nothing solid yet. You know how some dolls scream "that's me", well this one is whispering. Maybe I will find the right material and it will just fall into place. Hey, I can dream! LOL

one leg, that is no more

two bodies. cut at the same time and yet somehow
one is shorter than the other. can you see it?

the faces part way through the material application

I have to squeeze in some Wee Stuffie time this coming week. They are starring at me in disbelief. Like I've somehow forgotten them. I have not done any sculpting this past week. I just haven't had the urge to do it. However, I am feeling a definate artistic surge coming. Do you get those? I will end up running aroung like a fool doing a hundred things at once. Don't get in the way, cause I will run you over. LOL
I think I will organize everything into little 'groups' so that when this hits I will be ready. I will let you know how that comes out. :)

I guess that's all for this post. Perhaps in the next post I will have a few things completed! Yes, I know, it sounds like wishful thinking but I think I may actually be able to pull it off!

til next time....
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!

this is post 116. I seem to be stuck at 33. :(  oh well, there's always tomorrow!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Drunken Pumpkins?

Good Morning All!
Hope this post finds you all well!
Hope you all have had a productive week. :)

I think we shall start with a....
BC&P Update:
It appears that 10 of the 12 pumpkins that were planted have managed to hang on. It would have been nice if all twelve had survived but I guess I will have to be happy with ten. I am hoping that the two that didn't make it were two different ones and not two of the same type. I planted 4 "sorcerer" - standard pumpkin, 2 "cotton candy" - small white pumpkins, 2 "cinderella" - squat red pumpkins, 2 "jaharadale" - a blue variety, and 2 "silver moons" - mid sized sliver/white pumpkin. My planter tray got turned around while I was putting them in the I'm hoping that they were 'spread out'. *fingers crossed*  They are doing well though. There are four (the sorcerer, I think) that are doing very well and have gotten big. Only time will tell. :)
My broom corn is doing well. It's growing like a weed. And at this point it still looks like one too! LOL! I've got many plans for this stuff, so here's hoping for a plentiful bounty.
I want to thank everyone for the positive comments and well wishes for my pumpkins! Hopefully all the positive reinforcement will help them grow big and strong. :P

pumpkins - week 3

broom corn - week 3 (minus the pine cones)

I have gotten the hands on my Scare-Me-Crow changed out and they look great! However, these new hands have a little more weight then the last pair. So I think I'm going to have to add a little more wire to the arms for support. I used wire so that they could be posed. But they just don't want to stay up now. I think if I wrap another 'braided' wire from the shoulder to the wrist it should give it enough support to be able to move them around. The size looks great! And he seems to be happy with them. I am as well! LOL

before - they seem so small now

after - the perfect size

And now for something quite amusing......
Adventures In Mead Making.
Last Sunday I finally got the fresh fruit for my mead. So I embarked on a year long journey. I prepared everything. Got things lined up, separated and ready to begin. I then cleaned all the utensils that would be used with a bleach solution. Cleaned and prepped the fruit. Warmed the honey to make it easier to pour. Heated the water, prepared the yeast.....Then I began following the directions (from Storm the Castle).
The water was heated and the honey added. The fruit, blackberries and blueberries, were added to the gallon jug and then the water and honey were added. Let me tell you, shaking a full gallon jug for an entire ten minutes was a chore! Ten minutes is an eternity! LOL! Then the yeast was added, then a gentle swirl of the jug to mix it up. And then the 'bubbling apperatus' was added. YAY! Completed. Whew - everything went smoothly and I didn't even have a big mess to clean up. I then wrote everything down and taped it to the's important to keep track of everything. It needs a cool, dry, dark place. So it was placed in a box and covered with a small kitchen towel. About thirty minutes later it started bubbling. I was very pleased with the experience.....up till that point. I went to bed after checking on it one last time - still bubbling (like it's supposed to). At 3 am my dogs (my daughter's dog to be exact) decided I should be up to let them out. So I stumbled to the kitchen and let them out - no lights as they weren't needed, so I thought. When they came in they all went over to my baker's rake and stood there. So I reluctantly turned lights on - WOW! That was a mistake. Some where between 11:30 and 3 my mead exploded. Now even with the mess it made I was still impressed. I have 18 foot ceilings....guess what was on the ceiling? Yep, blueberries and blackberries. As well as the baker's rake and everything around it. Apparently, a blueberry was sucked up into the hole in the rubber stopper and the pressure continued to build until it popped the lid. So I cleaned up and then took the jug to the sink to clean it up and clear the airlock. Guess what happens when you release the stopper from a bottle that is fermenting? Yes, the second 'boom' of the night. All over the sink, counter, wall, curtains, the no longer clean dishes in the drainer. So again, I cleaned everything up. Got everything unplugged and removed some of the liquid and closed it all back up. Back to the baker's rake. Tucked in and bubbling away. The rest of the week has gone along without any other issues - thank goodness! Next weekend it will be time to rack the mead for the first time. That's simply siphoning the liquid into another jug and letting it continue to ferment. In my haste to complete the mead I forgot to take a reading to measure the alcohol content......I have no idea how potent this batch will eventually turn out to be. This will be an ongoing post....a live and learn experience. :)  Wish me luck and patience! LOL!!

equipment / ingredients gathered

ready to begin the fermenting (notice how high
the liquid/foam is? this is pre-explosion)

wrapped in a plastic bag for 'darkness'

boxed - just to make sure it stays dark

Yesterday my grand daughter came to visit (translation - spend the night). While I was mowing the grass I had her water all of my plants. It was so cute. She took it so seriously. I gave her my watering can and put her to work. Nanna had to help since the watering can holds two gallons of water. Then Nanna figured out if she only put a little water in it Shaylor could do it herself. I have a lot of plants (my mother would be so proud) and it kept her busy for well over an hour. :)

Shaylor and the little red watering can :)

**RANT** Consider yourself warned! LOL
Sometimes people just irritate me to no end. They are rude and just don't think. And when artist do this it just really pisses me off.
Last weekend my wife, daughter in law and a close friend went to the 'baby expo' here in Georgia. They had a good time and got a lot of crap. Apparently they have vendors there that run the 'artistic' venue. My wife stopped to look at the jewelry that this woman (couple?) had to offer. My wife spoke with her at some length and told her how I was an artist and on and on. Now, when I go to shows (galleries, exhibitions, craft shows, etc.) I like to get business cards from artist's that I like. I also give my card out. My wife knows this and collects cards for me when I'm not there. She also passes mine out, which I really appreciate. Usually when you hand someone your business card, especially another artist, they give you theirs. Well, not this woman. My wife had to ask her for one. Even after the semi-lengthy conversation they just had this woman looked at my wife and said "I'll give you one only if you don't copy my work". I looked at my wife and said 'what'? At first I thought she was being funny...but my wife assured me she was being serious. My wife was shocked and didn't know how to respond to the comment. She simply left and put it out of her head. So I told my wife that if she ever found herself in that situation again she should simply retrieve my business card and walk away. Now I understand the 'I don't want to share cause it's mine' attitude. I had it for many years. However, being an artist I finally realized that by sharing with other artists we all learn something and make our own work that much better. I would never steal some one's ideas but to have someone say such a thing just really grinds me. It's really a shame too....I've looked at this woman's jewelry and she has some really nice pieces. Too bad she has a crappy attitude to go along with them. I am not posting her name or website simply because I refuse to promote people who think that this is acceptable. I am seriously considering whether I want to contact this woman and tell her how disappointed I am with what she said.
Ok, I'm done ranting now. Am I the only one that feels this way? Or have any of you had a similar experience? I'd really like to know. Let me know what you think.

Just wanted to share this......My buppies waiting for me to finish cleaning up the mess my mead made. :)

That's all for now. Next time I'll update the Wee Stuffies, The Moxie kit and everything else I'm working on that I didn't get to in this post.

Have a great week!
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!!

we're at 115 posts...seem to be stuck at 33 members though.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rainy Dragon Tattoos

Good Sunday Morning To You All!
Hope this finds you all well & happy. :)

It's a rainy Sunday morning here in Temple. I think all of my plants are happy with the rain. It's supposed to be soggy all day. No sense in complaining about it.......we need the rain. So I guess we'll move on...

I want to thank everyone for the well wishes for my wife. She says thank you as well. The surgeon sent her for an MRI since he believes the issue with her toe is cartilage related. So Friday evening we made the hour + drive to have it done. She now has a shinny new CD (DVD?) for the doctor to look at. We won't know about the surgery until after her next appointment. He wants to do both at once if possible, which is what my wife wants. Get it all done together.

IT CAME! IT CAME! YAY! The package from Tasmania was in the mail when I got home Friday! I've read through the material several times already. This came from Susie McMahon. It's a 'kit' for her Moxie doll. I love it. I do hope that Susie realizes that this poor doll will look nothing like the photos in the kit. LOL! I have so many ideas running through my brain. You can do a little girl or a fairy. FAIRY! You can get the kit too from her Etsy shop. Go here to see it. Or her dolls!
I know, I're thinking "another project?" Well.....Yes! I normally have several (hundred) things going on at one time. It makes my wife crazy but that's just how my brain works. :)  LOL!

"Moxie" - all the way from Tasmania

My Broom Corn and Pumpkins are looking good. They've come along wonderfully in the past two weeks. There is one row of pumpkins that have gotten quite large already. My neighbor's cousin showed up yesterday to mow the yard. I am glad I put up the little fence around the broom corn....I spoke with him and he did think it was weeds. I feel like I'm behind....I have seen so many posts - blogger and facebook - where people have their pumpkins growing. But, I started too early last year, so I just have to take my time. :)

pumpkins - week 2
this was yesterday, they are even bigger this morning

broom corn - week 2
on the left (pumpkins on the right)

I transplanted my kale as well yesterday. They were in Jiffy Pods but they weren't big enough to put in the ground. So I moved them into the bigger Jiffy Pots and moved them outside. I'll give them a few weeks to 'bulk' up and then I'll put them in the ground. Hopefully that will be long enough for them.

see how frail they are? there are twelve pots with
two plants in each one

I thought I was going to have to drive to Huntsville Alabama - 3 1/2 hours away - last night to pick my daughter up at the airport. But 20 minutes before I was to leave she decided she was going to stay longer. I'm glad she's having a good time - she deserves it! It's so quiet at the house....well, except for her dog and cat. LOL! 
So I decided I was going to rent a movie - my wife went out with friends. I picked up "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". All I can say is OMG. I don't know what I was expecting but I was not prepared for what I got. WOW. There was a woman in the grocery line that said the movie was 'really good, starts out slow'. It did start out a bit slow but then it was high drive from there. I think I'm going to have to find the book now. I haven't given any details, just in case you haven't seen it. The ending is STUPID! I really, really hate it when movies end like this. When it ended I was like 'Are you kidding'. Anyway, it was a good movie.

very intense movie

I think that's all for this post. I'm continuing with the Wee Stuffie work and I'll be working on the Moxie kit from Susie. Now that my daughter is extending her Maryland stay I will have to squeeze the Halloween panels into the mix too. And I have to seal and attach my Scare-Me-Crow's hands. And I have to get my butt busy on my DragonCon attire. Wow, looks like I will be busy...again (or still).

Have a great week!
Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!

we're creeping closer to the giveaway - 33 and 114  ;)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Tasmanian Dreads in a Tiny House

Good Wednesday Evening All!
"Brick House.....She's mighty, mighty, just lettin' it all hang out!"
Sorry, radio interruption!  :)

Hope your week has been far. It's been a typical, crazy busy week...and it's only Wednesday. yay. Not going to work tomorrow. Have to drive my wife to Atlanta to see a foot surgeon. More fun. :)  She has a bone spur in her ankle and looks like one in the joint of her big toe. On the same foot. We will find out for sure tomorrow. And then they can schedule surgery. She'll be off for at least two weeks. Could be 4 or 6 depending on how things go. Hopefully everything can be taken care of at once and she'll only have to go through this once. Finger crossed!!

"Somebody's gonna hurt someone before the night is through....."
More radio interruption.......hhhhmmmmmmmm. Maybe I shouldn't blog and listen to the radio. Nah, gotta have some tunes to help glide things along. LOL!

Ok, let's work backwards......
I just realized that it has been a week and a half, not just a week, since I last posted. Man, time sure does fly by. This year is almost half over. Wow. The first of next month I will have been in my house for 11 years. Doesn't seem possible that I've been in one place for that long. Whew! Ok, now that I've side tracked myself again....

Did anyone see the Venus Transit? I wish I had had the equipment to view it personally. But I didn't....mostly because I found out about it the day it was happening. Story of my life. Don't know anything until it's happening. Anyway, I saw it on video, it was pretty cool. NASA has their own site that showed it in real time. I think they said it took seven hours to complete. They said it was discovered in the 1700's. I'm curious as to how they knew a little spot was crossing the sun......things that make you go hhhhmmmmmm. LOL! I think I must be in music mode today. :)  MSN had a piece on it too. You can see that here if you missed it yesterday. It's pretty cool. But then again, I like that kind of stuff.

I found my retirement home on Monday. It's from a FaceBook I'm sorry I don't have the link. It's from the 'tiny house' blog I believe. But I love it! It's kind of in the same vein of the last tiny house I posted about (do you remember that one?) Here's the photo....
ain't it cute? LOL - crooked lil' house

The weekend before last we went to The Mill. It was to see Houdini! No, not the dead one. :)  It was his great, great (great?) nephew. He was pretty good. He gave this huge speech about how he was doing a better job of his uncle's 'tricks'. He should have just left it at "I'm his nephew". His tricks were pretty good, however, his stage presence needs some work. He, unfortunately, comes off like a cheap magician. I had to leave in the middle to run my daughter home. I got back just in time to see him do the straight jacket escape. I watched him 'pop' his shoulder against the brick wall. And listened - he had a microphone on - that was one of the nastiest sounds I've ever had the displeasure of hearing. He then squirmed his way out of the straight jacket. It was pretty impressive. You could tell he was hurting afterwards though. It showed in his face. But the only thing that stuck with me was the terrible thing he did to his new son (2 months old I think).......He named this child Amadeus. Yes, Amadeus Houdini. Why on earth would you do this to your child? He has guaranteed this child a lifetime of ass kicking. Yes, I know, it's sad that that is what stuck out of the whole show. Here's some more info if you're interested.

My pumpkins and broom corn are doing great! It's been a little over a week and they look fantastic. They seem to like that side of the yard. I can see 11 of the 12 pumpkins I planted. I think I may have seen number 12 poking out a little today. Won't know for sure until it comes up a little more. I had to put up a little fence, I was afraid my neighbor's uncle, nephew, cousin (not sure) would try and mow my broom corn. They do kind of look like weeds at the present moment. Can't wait for them to start 'growing up'. Yes, I'm being impatient. That is nothing new. ;)
pumpkin plants....this was yesterday afternoon

broom corn at the end. i left an 'empty' spot between
the broom corn and the pumpkins (brown area)

I did some more work on my Scare-Me-Crow's hands. They are looking pretty good, even if I say so myself. LOL! I think with my Halloween lighting (and the blacklight I want to get) they will be over-the-top! :)
"We are family. I got all my sisters and me"!   Couldn't help! Had to do it!  :)  LOL
bony lil' spider fingers - bawhahahaha

My Wee Stuffies are coming along great as well. I've been working on the ones that have been poured. I have two 'faces' done. Now I'm working on putting them together. So far I am happy with the results. I just finished a 'neck ruff' about an hour ago. I really like the way it looks. Particularly with this face. Here are some of the progress pics I've been taking along the way....
2 coats of black gesso. 2 coats of white gesso and 2 coats
of white acrylic paint - and my poor palette, full of paint :)

the first face. the eyes and mouth have a gloss coat -
that's what the weird white spot in the left eye is....
a reflection from the light

face pinned in place. it is attached now

really bad pic- this face has 'black glitter'
all over and then an 'orange glitter' on the
mouth. the glitter around the eyes was a
lighter 'orange glitter' but for some reason
it turned blue when it dried on the face.
my wife called this one 'jailbait' - made me giggle

here's the neck ruff that i just completed.
it's two separate layers of ribbon that i sewed
in pleats and then attached the two together

an 'over' view so you can see the colors
of the ruff - the top one is multi colored
flower motif, the bottom is a satin-y black

What else? hhhhmmmmm......
I am waiting for a package from Tasmania. I'm trying to be patient but it's SO HARD!!! I'll share the contents with you when it arrives - or as close as possible to that moment. LOL! I haven't worked on the Halloween panels in the last week. My daughter insists she going to do them. She's in Maryland this week visiting. Spoke with her today....she seems to be having a good time. She likes it there. I knew she would. Being from DC and all. :)  I hope to get some sculpting done this coming weekend on the next Wee Stuffie. I've gotten a couple of ideas sketched out to work with. Now I just have to make the time to sit down and do it. Easier said than done. Time is a commodity that I seem to be running short on here lately. :)  Oh yeah, I've been reading up on 'Dreads'.........more to come on that one later. heeheehee.

I guess that's all for this post. I hope the rest of your week is great!

Be Good, Be Safe, Be Happy!

we're at 33 and 113. the countdown continues.......

Damn! just read that Ray Bradbury passed away today. What a bummer. :(