Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Even more fishes

I'm thinking of a fish-mobile with these type of water color cut out fishes. I cover them with self-leveling gel which gives them a funny plastic feel. I've done two already.

This is one side...

and this is the other side

Whadda ya think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Animal Wednesday - Beaver Dams...(Damns?)

One of the reasons to go kayaking on Sunday was to see if we could see signs of the recession while on the water. I was particularly concerned about Beavers - as I know that the recession has hit builders hard.

These two were "beavering" away - and it looked like all might be well for the river beaver.

The first place we saw was a bit small and somewhat unprofessional looking. We were told that it was a starter home and that he and she had built it together. No kids yet, but the community was waiting to see what would happen next.

Here's the same place seen from afar, it does look kind of disheveled doesn't it?

The second place was a bit more impressive, with a more modern look - see that decorative element of the vertical branch? This couple has been in this lodge for a few years, and have had time to settle in and express themselves. Our guide was a bit snobby about this place, and snorted about "new ideas" and "young people" but we thought that the place showed originality.

The third place was a well established lodge, with a few generations living inside (or so we were told) It's been in the family for years and is well set up for a nice size family, with room for visitors.

The last place we saw was the beaver mansion at the far end of the river. This place was GORGEOUS and was swimming distance to a nice avenue thru the reeds. It was HUGE and showed evidence of recent additions.

Best of all, this last place was very close to the ever important dam, which is a community project but is considered a benefit to live close to. This family has direct control over the dam, and can raise and lower the water in their house as they see fit. It was the best lodge on the river! Since no one was home, we got a quick tour of the inside and I did a quick sketch to show you what it looked like inside. I left out the furniture, didn't have time to draw it, but the decorations were enviable. Fresh greenery grew on the inside and outside walls - allowing for snacks whenever needed.

We also got a tour of the lumberyard - where you can see that there is no shortage of raw materials.

There is a speciality grocer near the big mansion lodge, so I took a picture of the produce section. Doesn't look to me like anyone is going hungry on this river, don't you agree?

So, I feel comfortable saying that the recession doesn't seem to have hit the beaver population very hard, and the builders are keeping up with demand. We didn't see any foreclosures, or abandoned lodges, and certainly didn't see any homeless beavers. Everyone on the river seems to be "busy" - so we left with light hearts.

That's our report for Animal Wednesday - have a good day all!

Kayaking on the river on a Sunday Afternoon

We went kayaking on Sunday. I looked at my list of chores which included: laundry , and changing winter clothes to summer clothes closet, and some clean up and gardening. DH suggested kayaking on the river, and since he does all the hard work of putting the kayaks on the car and getting all the stuff together - I said Sure, ok.

It was glorious. I always forget how calming it is to be out on the river, watching wildlife and paddling along with no destination. I bring my little point and shoot camera and take one picture after the other. Some are wobbly as I drift by with no focus, and some come out glorious.

This one is just a river reflection, I was actually trying to take a picture of that little red leave thing.
A quiet inlet

The hill - which in summer is totally green and in the fall is glorious green, red, orange.
Mr Box Turtle stayed on his perch long enough for me to take his picture.

You can't really see the vibrancy of these green leaved bushes, but they are all wild mountain laurel - they'll be gorgeous and in bloom in a few months.
This old sign post caught my eye from across the pond, and as I got closer I noticed the face like coloring. What do you think? It is a sign from somewhere? Joe the Farmer or someone higher up in the world, or other world. ?
When we got home this Tom was pecking up insects in our yard - he ran away and fanned his tail a bit and I didn't want to chase and stress him.
lovely hot summer like Sunday.

NOW the chores....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

California blog-friend

Miss Lolo, the ever practical, ever dreamy, loyal friend, creative genius sweetie did this gorgeous painting for her blogger friends. It's for all your blogger friends who uplift you with their generous words...practical advice...and just plain Being There. Isn't this an awesome painting???

I'm passing it on to bloggers and non-bloggers, to all and especially to

Lynn, Teri C, back to Lolo, KJ, SB, Marianne, Jude, Cris, Deb, Rebecca, Katie Jane, Rebecca, Kate, Mary, Kerstin, Fern, Maxine, Judy, Andrea, Karen, Miss Muse, Suki, Teri, Lisa, Margo...and I'm probably going to forget some important names of my friends, - PLEASE don't be offended - I love you all!

See if you can see my ATC's on Flickr - most are available for trade but I do admit that I'd have to go thru them again to make sure. I'm new to Flickr so am not sure that I have the link right, but give it a try!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Post Ride

I'm back. I'm exhausted. It's WAY hot here today, they had us in the sun at first learning things - then a ride up hills that were WAY steep. I'm not shy I walked up one or two. I simply couldn't keep up with the others who were in their 20's or so. One woman was a bit older - but she did Triathlons!!!

I think I got the instructors worried with my red face.

But...I'd do it again. I'm now dead set on doing that trail again too.

Hey - I'll trade ATC's with whoever wants them. Here is my page on MondayArtDay ATC - I think you can see it - but I'm not sure if you're not a member. to the showers

Six Word Saturday

"I hope I don't get hurt!!!"

This is not an emotional plea - it's a serious hope for no bodily harm. I am taking a "introduction to mountain biking" class today and I'm seriously hoping that there is someone more chicken than me in the class and that the 20-somethings who are teaching it have pity on me. DH signed me up for this, he took it last year or the year before and enjoyed it. When he took it - it started at 9:00 am, they had a lunch break, and were done by 1:00. Mine goes to 3:00 PM. I'm expecting to be tired, noted above...and am hoping to come home in one piece.

Last night I realized how long it had been since I worked on some artwork down in the basement, so I went down and started to clean up and fool around. I made some ATC sized paper and started to play (thought of you Teri!). Here are some quickies...

This fish was pretty crisp looking but then I added some acrylic medium - and must have added it too soon, as the WC smeared around. A lesson - LET YOUR WATERCOLOR DRY BEFORE PLAYING WITH IT!!

This fish one is my favorite.
Have a good day everyone - and think of me out in the hot day trying to keep up with other biking wanna-be's

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - New York City Views

For more Postcard Friday go here!

I was in an antique store recently and found some new postcards. I couldn't believe that I bought more postcards, but they are such lovely little pieces of history! I bought these three, but am thinking of going back and seeing what else is available. She did have two big books of postcards - $350.00 for each book (yikes) and wouldn't break apart the books to sell individual cards. It makes sense I guess, but I'm not about to spend money like that!!! The ones I bought were loose, and were $1.00 each.

Here is St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC - always one of my favorite places in the city. It was cool and calm and if you went there at the right time, you could hear the organ rehearsal. St. Paddy's is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York. History from various Google sites says:

While her cornerstone was laid in 1858 and her doors swept open in 1879, it was over 150 years ago, when Archbishop John Hughes announced his inspired ambition to build the “new” Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

Ridiculed as “Hughes’ Folly,” as the proposed, near-wilderness site was considered too far outside the city, Archbishop Hughes, nonetheless, persisted in his daring vision of building the most beautiful, Gothic Cathedral in the New World in what he believed would one day be “the heart of the city.” Neither the bloodshed of the Civil War, nor the resultant lack of manpower or funds, would derail the ultimate fulfillment of Hughes’ dream and Architect, James Renwick’s bold plan.

Through the generosity of 103 citizens who pledged $1,000 each and the collective “pennies” of thousands of largely Irish, immigrant poor, Hughes’ vision became a shining reality.

A more modern view shown below -

One of my favorite sites in the city is of course, the large lady in the water. I remember climbing up as far as you were allowed to go - I was about 4 with a ton of energy and my poor Dad climbing away behind me. I don't know if we went to the head or the hand, but it was WAY high - and Dad was afraid of heights. I don't remember him being paranoid or anything, but I do remember that he held my hand very tightly.

When DH and I got married, we had our reception on a boat trip in New York. Of course we went around the Statue and as we got close we mentioned to his Grandma that she could go outside to see the statue. Her comment? "I've seen it already" . Grandma was about 80 at the time and she had seen the Statue of Liberty when she came to this country at 14. Nah...she didn't need to see it again. (!!??!!)

Another picture of her head

And her arm and torch displayed at the centennial in Philadelphia - 1876.

(Has anyone read Jack Finney's book "Time and Again"? It's one of my favorites - a time travel novel - and he has a picture of the arm and torch in Bryant part in NYC in the 1880's. Wouldn't I love to have seen that!)

The last one is a nice colored picture of what I first thought was the Flat Iron building but is really a hotel in Times Square.

I was looking on line to see if this hotel was still there, and found a postcard listed for $14.95! I paid $1.00 for this beauty! Here is what is says about this hotel:

Series 27994 New York's most centrally located hotel. Only a few steps from the world's greatest theatres and shops. Rooms are light, airy, and cheerful R. C. A. Radio in every room. 1,000 Outside Rooms. Single with running water, $2.00 per day. Single with connecting bath, $2.25 per day. Single with private bath $2.50- $3.00 per day. Double with running water (for two) $3.00 per day. Double with private bath (for two) $3.50-$4.00 per day. Combination of two rooms with bath between (for four) $6.00-$7.00 per day. No Higher Rates.

And yes, the hotel is still there - I think it's a Hilton hotel now - wouldn't it be fun to go and stay there? It certainly would be more than $2.00/day,

Happy Postcard Friendship Day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Animal Wednesday - and ATC's

With all this talk about ATC's I thought I'd post some of my Animal ones today!

HAW everyone

ATC's are fun and easy to carry around....animals LOVE to be on ATC's

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Knitting project AKA Frustration

I decided to make a sweater out of some lovely wool/silk yarn that I bought on sale last year. It looks a bit too bright in this picture, but is really a lovely rusty orange. I was knitting it at Seans basketball game, his mom loved it and the color is similar to the school colors - so it quickly became hers. Which is great with me, I love to make things for other people. So far it's going fairly well, I've only had to rip it out once when I thought it was too small (she wants it big). I am working on the sleeves and since one of my frustrations is matching the sleeves to each other, I decided to knit them both on one needle. It's actually working fairly well! I'll show you the finished product - which should be ready in a few weeks. My only concern with this sweater is that it's pretty plain. I was thinking of adding a pouch pocket, or some brown (same yarn type) embroidery - what do you think?

The back

Sleeves under construction

I also decided to make a little dress for Isabella, my 2.5 year old great-niece. I had this lovely tencel/cotton yarn which seemed perfect (it's actually pinker than in this picture, don't want you to think I have an orange fetish). First I started it without the white trim - got halfway thru the back and didn't like the way it looked so ripped it out. I also thought that it was coming out too loose, so I went to a smaller size needle - got halfway thru the back again and realized it was going to be WAY too small. Ripped it out again.

Isabella at Passover Dinner - love those curls!

Started again last night with a nice white edging, and size 8 needles. It looks like it might work, so I'm continuing on. I called my niece last night for Isabella's measurements and we were laughing as we discussed "chest - 15 - hips - 15" - seems silly to measure a baby but she is tall so I want to make this long enough for her to wear for a year or so.

Back under construction

I hope it comes out nice. They are spending the summer in Italy, at her husbands country house - and all his relatives will be there. I'd love to have Isabella wear a knitted summer dress that her American Aunt made for her.

Have a good day everyone! It's raining here but I guess we "need" it and they promise summer temps this weekend. DH signed me up for a mountain biking class that he took last year - so I will be doing that on Saturday. I'm hoping I can keep up!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Work Space

I've never really had an "office" for myself in the house, I never needed it. But now, with the computer projects (blogging, photo's, making books) I found that I really needed something a bit more organized.

This is my old desk. I've had this little wicker desk since high school, and it was an antique then. I love the way it looks, its so cute but it was not an efficient desk for working at. It only has one tiny drawer, and all my other supporting stuff had to be stored in cubbyholes. The keyboard was on my lap and things were never to be found, or were falling off the table.

So, after much to do, I bought a new desk. DH was reluctant, because it wasn't cheap - but I went with the cheapest I could find. And because our space is small, I had to buy a child's version of a desk so it's narrow and not too deep. It works in the space. It has three drawers, and shelves and cubbyholes. I got it yesterday and spent the night filling it up with my junk.
See all the cubbyholes filled with my papers and office stuff? And please note the beautiful painting of Samson done by the talented and oh so generous Ms. Lolo. Something I will look at every day.

I'm going to put some cork board behind the computer monitor so that I can post artwork, pictures, notes.

It'll actually take me awhile to get used to this space, how to sit...what's the most comfortable. And because of the orientation, I now have to sit with my back to the window, but a quick twist of the head and I can see the driveway and street.

For some reason I see things in photos that I never see in "real time". Right now I see that the walls need some color - we've stayed with safe "Navaho white" for years and while it's peaceful, it can be a bit boring right? I've got terracotta tiles in this room (well, imitation terra cotta) so maybe a nice green?

Off to Saturday chores and fun. Have a good weekend my friends - and thank you for all your wonderful comments on my last post.