June 26, 2010


Okay, I'll just admit it .... I seem to be quite hung-up on the major time waster of a game !

June 23, 2010

Donation towards the Cure

I've often thought about participating in the Susan G Komen, Walk for the Cure, however, the truth is I just don't have enough friends or family to meet the Sponsorship.  A lousy excuse, really. 

This year I received a note from Carolyn Flood indicating that she had made a goal of raising $2300.  And, not only is she walking, but she's also participating in a variety of fundraisers and was looking for donations.   She asked if I could help with a couple donations and my answer ... Absolutely.   I admire her resolve (on behalf of her Mother) and commitment. 

I had her select three items from my shop on a gratis basis, and I added in another two. 

If you any of your art items to spare to a good cause, or a couple dollars, I encourage you to check out Carolyn's link.

June 19, 2010

Other than Padillies, A Wasted Week

When we returned from the last Road Trip, I'd received a Jury Duty Summons.   I suppose it was about time; it has been about 6 years since my last visit to the Jury Pool.   So, Monday, exactly as requested, I made my appearance and dutifully sat around all morning.   I was assigned to a Jury Pool starting Wednesday.   Tuesday, Beau and I completed a whole list of chores, which have been patiently waiting, and then, again on Wednesday, I returned to the Jury Pool, only to have the plaintiff plead out at the last minute.  

Then, I was happily strolling back to the car, when, for no apparent reason, I fell off the edge of the asphalt (which sits a couple inches higher than the easement) and severely sprained my ankle.   Ouch.  I inched back to the car, made it home and hence, have been mostly sitting on the couch, foot elevated, every since.    Talk about boring.   Why is it that sitting around doing little to nothing can make one so tired?    I've watched television (of which I' not that fond), work on the computer, read and sew on a Padilly.   Oh, and yes, sleep and eat; way to much of the later.  

But, I did make some good progress on four Padillies.   These are in stage 4, now missing only beads and accessories.   
The current plan is they (12 total) will be combined into two wall hangings, which will be called Padilly Family Tree.  I'll also write a story page for each of the characters, along the Family Tree theme.  That will be, I'm sure, quite awhile down the road. 

The ankle is make good progress; the swelling is coming down and it no longer looks like an extension of my calf, but still very bruised and tender.   Tomorrow I plan on moving off of full time couch duty and perhaps, assume a schedule of 1 hour on, 1 hour off.    I'll have to see how it goes.

Hand Painted Placemats - Four Sets

I finished the painting on the placemats last Sunday, and here and there, in very short sessions, complete the stitching over the last couple days, as well as applied my shop stamp and a coat of poly acrylic to the backs.    Lined them up this afternoon to photo and ... well ... the photos did not come out real well; a bit of glare coming in the windows and I'll start over, perhaps tomorrow. 

I like how these turned out.

June 12, 2010

Painting a Few Placemats and the final Garden God

After a two week wait, I've finally got around to pulling out the paints. 

To begin, Beau drilled a hole in the last concrete Garden God so we could hang on a tree (the hook didn't appropriate setup in the concrete) and asked that I go ahead and paint it.  
I don't think he's going to give him a name. 

I decided to warm up by creating a couple sets of table placemats.  I'll perhaps, put a couple in my shop and one set I want to send to a niece who is getting married in August.    (After here, I plan on moving to the 3 guitars that I've picked up recently).

Creating these placemats is a multiple step process that I've been working on over the last couple days.

  • Cut  4 strips that are 72" x 20" from the roll of artist canvas.   
  • Paint the front of the canvas with acrylic paints (with a couple different techniques).
  • Apply a wash to the backside of the canvas. 
  • Apply layers of spray paints
  • Add writings .. some freeform, a Lancelot Poem, etc. 
  • Add stampings in a variety of colors
  • Two coats of Polyacrylic to seal.
I like to work the canvas all in one piece, versus cutting down to placemat size for continuity.  I'm wanting these unplanned.  The same patterns and ideas on each placemat, put not in specific order ... like graffiti on a wall.

I should finish up on the painting phase tomorrow.    Here's a couple examples so far. 
1st layer of acrylic paint and 2nd layer of spray paint
3rd layer of stencils, stamps and doodles.   I decided to leave the writings out of this set.

Here is one of the canvas that is complete.

I'll be working on these more tomorrow.

June 11, 2010

I Seem to Have a Serious Procrastination Problem

I've been trying to transfers one or two project posts from my old Bellsouth Personal Page Calender each day in to my Blogger Archives.    This is like a stroll down memory lane.     Or, perhaps, I should call it a stroll down Procrastination lane.

Case at hand, I just finished adding a project that I completed in September 2002, which I referred to as Spring Garden Stool

As I was transferring the text and pictures, I was thinking about how this piece of functional art was still sitting in its box in the attic.   I obviously haven't touched or thought about in since late September 2002.

There was that time between 2001 and up to Hurricane Katrina, August 2005 that I was totally absorbed with experimenting and creating with mosaic and concrete.   I constantly had multiple projects going on simultaneously.  When I finished one, it typically either went to the yard if it was designed as yard art, on my walls if I created for myself, or was packed into a box where it went into either a closet or the attic.    Although I have listed a couple piece of mosaic work in my Artfire Shop, for the most part, it is still all tucked away in closets and the attic.

Seriously, I'm going to try and start pulling these pieces out and make decisions this year.    At least, I hope I will.

June 08, 2010

Concrete Garden Gods, Sculptural Masks

Back in early January I sculpted four concrete masks using a sand technique.   Then, they were wrapped up in a plastic bag with water to cure.   I checked on them early March and moved them to the back porch, where they have been keeping a watch on whatever it is that goes on back there.

Well, since I've a variety of things lined up for painting, I moved these to the front.    Originally there were four masks, but on one of them, the hook did not properly embed in the back.   I started to throw it out, but Beau put a claim on it.   He's going to drill a hole in the forehead for hanging on a tree.

For the remaining three ... painted them with a base coat to seal the concrete, and then painted on some personality and sealed with polyacrylic.   These guys weight between 2.4 and 2.12 pounds and are roughly 7" wide and between 8 and 11" tall.

Proudly presenting the three newest Garden Gods. 

Blueberries from Country Fair Farms, Franklinton, LA

In early June, here in Louisiana, the strawberries have expired from the heat and we are beginning blueberry season.  We are great fans of the blueberry, so, of course, we take appropriate action.

It was in the upper 90s yesterday, with a humidity to match yesterday.  (You always know it's more than humid when the outside of your windows fog over).  So we got up at 6:30 am, had a quick cup of coffee and was out the door by 7 a.m.    Our favorite blueberry place is Country Fair Farms in Franklinton, LA.   This is a pick your own kind of place for $1.50/lb or $8.00 for a 2-gallon bucket.  This is a big increase from last year, when the price was $1.00/lb, but still an incredible value.   Country Farms has 15 acres of Blueberries.

This is the earliest in June that we've been and I'd say they were about 25% ripe and ready, so picking took a bit more time.   In previous years, when the percentage of ripe was much higher, the blueberries almost jumped off the bushes and dived towards out buckets.   But, this year we had to select.   Next year, we'll wait until the 15th or so to go.

We picked up 6 buckets and selected a row for picking.   About and hour and a half later, we emerged with full  buckets !  We are not discussing how many we eat while picking.  And no, I'm not worried about eating them without washing.  We then pour the blueberries into plastic bags and place them in the scales.

And the Grand total came to 30 pounds of blueberries.

Once home, we transfer them to freezer bags, and yep, you guessed it, put them in the freezer.    Each week, we'll transfer some to a bowl to defrost and we'll use them on our breakfast cereal, in muffins and, my favorite, mixed in with chocolate pudding.
I love the summer months ... first strawberries, then blueberries, and any minute now the watermelon will be ready.

June 05, 2010

Back to the Beach Festival

Each year the Lake Pontchatrain Foundation. puts on the Back to the Beach Festival and, as long as we are not on vacation, we attend.  This is the 21st year; perhaps our 5th.    It poured rain for the few hours leading up to the event and we were pleased to see the sky clear and the sun come out.     We arrived at 6pm, right in time for the first act.     This is one of those typical events where, at the beginning, the crowd is quite light, and by the time the headliner takes the stage its quite crowded.  
So, I was sitting in my chair, sipping a diet Coke and stitching on a Padilly, when I noticed that we (the crowd) were largely a 40s plus crowd. ..  upwards to 70s.   I mentioned this to Beau, and he suggested that was because the groups were largely playing 70s and 80s music ... that generation that are now in the 40s to perhaps 70s.   (Like I should have known that !)   All those younger folks were at the places the younger folks go.   So, here we are at the start of the Festival ... just another member of the aging crowd.

 The music at this festival is primarily local bands.   We heard the Blue Meanies, and then Rockin Doopsie Jr, who was our primary draw for the evening.

If you've never heard zydeco music, or seen a washboard in action, here's a peak from a YouTube Video of Dopsie at the Louisiana Music Factory.

We enjoyed the sun setting on our beautiful lake.    Typically the banners for the event all ready 'Save or Lake' and this year, the additional banner of 'Save Our Gulf' was added.   Lake Pontchatrain empties to the Gulf where there is alot of back and forth flow.   We are optimistic that we will have this same crystal clear, and beautiful view, next year.

 Save our Lake ... Save our Gulf ... Mexico ... The East Coast ... etc. etc. etc.

We will probably head back to the festival on Sunday for some more music.

Yard Sale Saturday, June 5, 2010

The first yard sale this morning was just up the street.  At the entrance was this young man.

He was so cute, I had to stop and take his picture.   He then followed me back to his house, where he and his brother, maybe a year older, were manning the fort for Mom, who woke up not feeling well.   The brothers are going to be fabulous salespeople some day, they showed me just about everything on their tables and tried to talk me into all of it.    Then, this young man insisted that he follow me back to the front of their section so I wouldn't get lost, but, of course, I was going to have to drive slow.    Which I did.

Made 6 more stops and then, headed back home for some much needed coffee.

Finds:  Two Chain type necklaces and a chain hook thingie that goes on pants or purses.    I thought I was over collecting pieces of chain; apparently I was wrong. 

June 04, 2010

Fabric Fireplace Cover : Third Time's a Charm

Round 1 :  Last week I started this Fireplace Cover.    The stitching on the quilt top took me a two days to complete.   And, since the the backing board (which I'd kept behind the screen and was reusing) was a tight fit, had Beau cut an inch off the top.   I attached the quilted cover to the cut MDF board, and then, with great anticipation hauled it to the living room to put it in place.   And, uh oh .... it's too small.   I put it in place and it just falls back out ... a gap almost an inch at the top.   Quickly determined cutting an inch off was way too much; should have just been about 1/3".      Damn

Round 2:  Beau suggested we go about to The Box and buy a new sheet of MDF, but sometimes I'm just too cheap.   So, we took it apart for me, and located the 1" strip he had removed.    Using a bit of Gorilla Glue and Water Putty, I reattached the 1" strip and let it set up overnight.    Then, I reattached  the quilted to the patched MDF board, and then, with great anticipation hauled it to the living room to put in place.   And, uh oh .... it's too big.  Well, of course it is.   What was I thinking.   If it was tight before Beau cut the board, and I put the board back together at the same size, plus about about 1/3" of fabric ... well, of course it is too tight.   Wouldn't even fit into the opening.   Damn

Round 3:  Beau took it back apart for me and while he borrowed a planer from a friend, I went to Ace for a new supply of upholstery tacks.    Beau planed 1/3" off the top for me and I reattached the quilt top to the cut, patched and then planed MDF board, and then, with great anticipation, hauled it to the living room to put it in place.   And, it fits perfectly.   Thank Goodness. 

I'm quite pleased with it and I'm hoping to stay that way for a good three or four years.

June 03, 2010

Free Stitch Samplers

For the last couple of weeks I've been wanting to paint, but have needed to finish off a couple things (you know that  fireplace screen and large light box).   And, of course, there is always that constant cleaning involved in trying to keep a defined space under control.      I have several goals for the month of June (and probably running into July).  

  • Experiment with a variety of fabric collage techniques ... mixed media
  • Paint up a few sets of the graffiti placemats (one which will become a wedding gift for a niece)
  • Paint and design the three art guitars brought home from yard sales last month 
  • Paint the concrete God Masks (4).  

Yes, that should keep me occupied for awhile. 

So, I started this morning with a couple of simple collage samplers.   I've never done any free stitching and decided simple was the best place to start.

  • I cut two pieces of around 9 x 12" lightly patterned white fabric, as well as backing and stitched them together.
  • I pulled out a couple small containers of acrylic paint and dappled some on to each piece, here and there, and let it dry for a short time.
  • Tore a couple small pieces out of Beau's morning newspaper and added them randomly to the fabrics using gel medium.  
  • Threaded up the machine and randomly stitched.  

There was not overall plan, just an exercise to get me to thinking about possibilities.  I'll probably hang on to them for a few days to consider and then pass on to ..... I don't know.