Truth, Andy Amazon, Epoxy Resin

This – There is More than One Truth

Imagine that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are far out in the English countryside in pursuit of a unique case involving an agricultural mystery.
They have settled down in their sleeping bags in a small tent for the night.
Just before dawn, Sherlock nudges Dr. Watson awake, and says,
“Watson – look up and tell me what you notice.”
Dr. Watson tells him that he sees the stars – that the clear sky means the weather will be good in the coming day – that the very faint light in the east says it is almost dawn. “What do you notice, Holmes?”
Holmes sits up. “I notice that someone has stolen our tent during the night.”
– Robert Fulghum, Now What? –

That – Shopping in the Time of Covid

If I find this mat on Amazon, I’m going to buy it…

The Car Guy calls him (though sometimes it is a her) Andy Amazon. Andy visits our house a few times a week. He/She has delivered everything from printer ink to kitchen sink taps… epoxy resin to tools… all the things that our local stores either don’t ever carry or  can’t get because of Covid caused supply chain issues.

The absolute nicest Andy was of Asian descent. He left a parcel at our front door, rang the doorbell, then headed back to his vehicle. I got to the door before he got to the end of the patio.

I opened the door and said, loud enough for him to hear, “Thank you!” He turned and… bowed.

Whenever it snows, I trudge out to the main road and shovel down to bare dirt so that Andy knows exactly where our driveway is. If Andy is just a few feet off the mark he/she could end up in the ditch. That would really mess up Andy’s day and maybe we would get a black mark next to our name and all the Amazon Andys would tell the dispatcher that they definitely don’t want to deliver the parcel to the house in the country with the really deep ditch that sucks your car in right up to the door handle.

Without Amazon, The Car Guy and I might go crazy… no, make that crazier…

Serious Lock Down Advice:
Everyone please be careful because people are going crazy from being locked down at home!
I was just talking about this with the microwave and the toaster while drinking my tea, and we all agreed that things are getting bad.
I didn’t mention any of this to the washing machine, because she puts a different spin on everything.
Certainly couldn’t share with the fridge, ’cause he’s been acting cold and distant!
In the end, the iron straightened me out. She said the situation isn’t all that pressing and all the wrinkles will soon get ironed out.
The vacuum, however, was very unsympathetic… told me to just suck it up.
But the fan was very optimistic and gave me hope that it will all blow over soon.
The toilet looked a bit flushed but didn’t say anything when I asked its opinion,
but the front door said I was becoming unhinged and the doorknob told me to get a grip.
You can just about guess what the curtains told me: they told me to ‘pull myself together!”
We will survive!
– Author Unknown –

The Other – When do you have Enough Drink Coasters?

Clear Epoxy Resin drink coasters with computer parts embedded in them

The Car Guy, Daughter the Nurse and gHosT the dog (who has posted on this blog a few times: gHosT the grand dog) get together once a week for a day of woodworking. For the past few months they have dabbled in woodworking AND epoxy resin.  One of The Car Guy’s first projects was embedding computer parts into the epoxy – in the shape of drink coasters. He has also embedded rocks, photographs, wood slabs and many other things. When we had answered the question “How many drink coasters does one house need?” the subsequent coasters left home and took up residence in the homes of various family members.

You might remember from a previous post that The Car Guy went through an epoxy resin glitter phase during the holiday season: Epoxy Resin Snow Flakes.

Daughter is cutting out intricate shapes with a scroll saw and filling in the holes with resin!

I am thankful that The Car Guy has embarked on a new hobby that challenges the creative side of his brain. I’m not saying woodworking isn’t creative, but the epoxy resin also challenges him to think more like an artist. An added bonus to this new hobby is that it is absolutely excellent daddy-daughter time and goes a very long way to keeping us ‘older folks’ from feeling very alone in this locked down Province.

gHosT wants to add this:

it was cold at the Red House. today. so cold no one. took me for a walk. but they put me in the fenced yard. i ran and ran and ran and borked. i smelled something. it was big. i think. it had a big smell. grandma said it was. moose. ive never met a moose. if i did. i would bork and bork. even more. the moose wouldnt know if it was a. friendly bork. or not. all my borks sound the same. even to me.

Scroll saw dinosaur with epoxy resin – by Daughter the Nurse

How are all you folks passing the time these days? Are you in some sort of lock down too? Are you feeling fearful or optimistic? Do you have things to do that make you happy? Do you have someone to share your life with?

Wonkey Weaving Gourd Baskets

I’ve taken three Gourd Art classes from a talented artist,  Margaret Sullivan of Rio Verde, Arizona.  In two of the classes we used very large gourds that we stained with leather dyes before we launched into the time consuming technique called ‘Wonkey Weaving’. The bare bones of the weaving is done with reeds soaked in water to make them pliable. The wonkey meant you were supposed to leave lots of odd shaped gaps to fill in later with wool or other pliable materials.

My first gourd had not become very ‘wonkey’ at all by the end of the class. I took it home and completed the rest of the weaving and added purchased feathers and beads.

At the second class, I achieved wonkey.

In the third class, we made a Totem Pole  from small gourds. We stained the gourds, etched them with a dremel, then decorated them with feathers, beads and paint.

Back in Canada, I could add feathers that I had collected from the grounds around our house. (In Alberta, it is legal to pick up feathers off the ground. It is not legal to do that in the United States, according to the American Migratory Bird Treaty Act.)

American Migratory Bird Treaty Act Reform – There is movement towards decriminalizing accidental bird killings. Federal Judge Edith H. Jones observed that the MBTA prohibits all acts or omissions that “directly” kill birds, but she also said that where these bird deaths are “foreseeable,” as is the case for all owners of big windows, communication towers, wind turbines, solar energy farms, cars, cats, and even church steeples, it seems unreasonable that these people or businesses should continue to be found guilty of violating the MBTA.

There are so many criminal and regulatory laws and regulations that no one can count them. It is estimated that the average citizen breaks 3 laws a day without even knowing it! Can you think what any of them might be!?

Knitting – Spare Time Crafting Stories

My mom was a knitter. She knit in her spare time – but she could knit in ‘unspare’ time too. By that, I mean she was a multitasker long before that term became popular. She could knit and watch TV. She could knit and enjoy the scenery on long road trips. She could knit and have conversations with friends. She probably could have knit and played bridge if Dad had built some sort of card holder for her.

green wool

My children are knitters too. Eldest daughter likes to knit in her spare time.

pink wool

Middle daughter likes to knit too. She takes her knitting on road trips (like her grandma). Last I heard she couldn’t multitask – she has to watch the progress of each and every stitch very carefully. If she doesn’t, she ‘drops stitches’ which is a knitters term that means a stitch got lost about 6 rows ago.

dog scarf

Youngest daughter knits, though I don’t think she has as much passion for that as she does for making lampwork glass beads (Beadlejuice Beads). The dog is a good model for knitted scarves, but not so good for glass bead necklaces and bracelets.

pantyhose craft
Me? If the love of knitting is passed down from generation to generation, it skipped mine. I don’t remember my mom even trying to teach me to knit. That task, which must have been an incredible challenge, was given to a no nonsense family friend, Norrie. Norrie tried to teach me European knitting and how to make Scottish Shortbread Cakes.

To Norrie’s and my credit, I did knit several sweaters. Bob, in the photo above, is wearing the first one I ever completed. I made it for The Car Guy while we were still dating. Bob has had the sweater on for just over an hour now, and that is the longest it has ever been worn. Enough said.

purple wool needles

knitting http://www.savagechickens.com/Over the years I did knit a few other things, but I can’t claim to enjoy it much. I like to buy wool, though. Sometimes I roll it into balls. Sometimes I even find a pattern and some needles. I might even think about knitting, but that is as far as I usually get!

Have you ever tried knitting? What do you like to do in your spare time?

This week’s WordPress.com photo Challenge is Spare.

This and That – Our Library, The Alphabet and a Good Crafting Intention

Our ‘Snowbird’ Community has a small Library. The volunteer librarians have developed a book filing system that theoretically allows them to house the largest number of books. The books are sorted by subject, then by size, then alphabetically by author’s name. This means that book cases with shorter paperback books have one more shelf than the taller hard cover book cases.

The problem with this system becomes apparent when the users want to find books by a particular author. Books by Stephen King, for example, can be found in 6 different locations – non-fiction, science fiction, fiction paperback, fiction hard cover, mystery paperback, and mystery hard cover. On any given day, the whim of the volunteer who shelves the book will determine where the book is.  This means that two hard cover copies of a single book will invariably be shelved in two different places.

Now and then, whole shelves of books will simply disappear. I’m assuming there were multiple copies of some books, and they were  donated to another little library. But in a system like this, it would be very time consuming to find duplicates. Suspiciously though, most of the books by my favourite British authors have disappeared…

This library really is an interesting example of how logic and good intentions can have unintended consequences.

Logic is a large drawer, containing some useful instruments, and many more that are superfluous. A wise man will look into it for two purposes, to avail himself of those instruments that are really useful, and to admire the ingenuity with which those that are not so, are assorted and arranged.
– Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon –

 

527-rudolphcorksI can appreciate what can happen to good intentions. Last Christmas I was going to make a whole herd of Cork Rudolphs. Their little bodies and heads would be etched with the ‘alphabet soup‘ of the wine world. Each little ungulate would be a reminder of  those special events when the wine flowed freely.

After many attempts, much oddly bent wire, and a bit of blood letting, a single reindeer was produced. Wine corks firmly resist any attempt to poke wires into them…

YOUR TURN: How do you organize your library? Do you alphabetize anything besides books?

This week, the WordPress Photo Challenge is Alphabet

Rubber Boot Puppies

Recycle old rubber boots by making them into these adorable puppies!

Rubber boot puppies or dogs

How cool would it be to have a few of these in your yard! Here are my thoughts on how to do this!

Instructions:

I haven’t been able to find any instructions on the internet for how to make these puppies, but this is what I surmise from the photo:
– you need 7 boots – 4 are used for the legs, one for the back and tail, one for the lower jaw and neck, and one for the upper jar/head and ears.
– you would use a pair of heavy cutting shears to split the legs of the boots as needed.
– maybe you would use a bolt to hold the upper jaw to the lower one.
– perhaps you would fill the legs with sand to keep them from falling over.

What a happy way to remember the not so happy activity of slogging through the mud in our flooded cabins!

Sewing – Story of a Bunny Pattern

My mom was a knitter and a sewer. (In retrospect, Seamstress looks better than sewer. Sewer suddenly looks like a place of waste management). One of her earliest projects (after I was born) was a stuffed bunny that I called ‘Baboo’.

sewing
I don’t get it – how could I have ‘Come from a pattern’?

The pattern in this photo is the one she used over mpffmp years ago. The bunny in this photo is Baboo 2. Baboo 1 was a much more interesting creature.  The first time Baboo 1 was washed, one of his ears shrank much more than the other one did. For the rest of his life, his short ear stood up at attention, and his long ear flopped down over his eye.

When Baboo 1 was about 20 years old, I carefully unstuffed him and gave him a good bath in preparation for his introduction to my first child. Once he was dry, I popped him and his stuffing into a paper bag and set him on a shelf in my mom’s laundry room. When I went to retrieve Baboo 1, he was gone. Someone must have seen the old bag of grungy stuffing and threw it out, not realizing that Baboo 1 was in there too.

I made a new Baboo, but he was never right. I used felt for his eyes, but I should have embroidered them. His ears were both the same length, and even when I stitched one down so it would flop, it just wasn’t the same.

I’m glad I still have the pattern. I think I am old enough now to make Baboo again, only this time I will do all the right things wrong, and all the wrong things right. Baboo 3 will be as imperfectly perfect as Baboo 1!

For more photos from this WordPress Challenge, go to Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Crayon Art – Melting

Last fall each of my grown children purchased new crayons and artist’s canvas, and it wasn’t for the grand-children to take to school. No, they used a glue gun, a candle and a hair dryer to create a merger of the crayons and the canvas. Here is what they made:

The result was my Christmas Present last year.  I’m hoping they will do the same this year. I loved the results! One daughter, the one who lives to cook, presented me with this beautiful bundle of vegetables. I can only imagine how long it took to melt the crayons with a candle, then plant each melted bit onto the canvas!

Another daughter glued black, grey, white, green and yellow crayons onto the top of a canvas, then used a hair dryer to melt the pointed ends so they dripped. Note the new colours that formed near the bottom where one colour ran into another.

The third daughter – whose husband rides the same model of Harley that The Car Guy did – chose a Harley Davidson theme and colours. She combined the melted dot technique to outline the Harley logo, then she used the drip method on the ends of the crayons.

The only consultation between the three girls was the size of the canvas they were going to use. It was so wonderful to see how different each piece turned out!

There are lots of websites that explain the process for these projects. Here is one:

Wingledings

Pottery – Long Journey in the Creation of a Jug

A while ago I wrote a post called I Tried Being Subtle. It tells the story of how I came to make the Jug that is in this photo.

Today – same Jug, different photo and a brief discussion about the word Create.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
-Steve Jobs-

I made this jug in a workshop taught by the famed potter, Michael Casson. The style is entirely his, but the jug is my creation.

I took the photograph of the jug. The camera was a creation of Panasonic, but the resulting picture is my creation.

I ran the photo through the FotoSketcher software that was created by a man named David in Lyon, France. The aftermath of using the Emergence effect is my creation.

I posted this photo in my blog, which is here because of the creative minds behind WordPress. But the blog itself is my creative home.

There is a gap of 20 plus years between when I made the jug and when I created this post. I would have done it faster, but I had to wait for so many others to be creative first…

Duct Tape – Product with a Million Uses

One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop.
– G. Weilacher –

How often have you observed people’s ability to take a perfectly ordinary utilitarian product and turn it into something quite extraordinary, or at the very least unexpected? You know, things like wine bottle corks that become bulletin boards, plastic milk jugs that are made into lamps… stuff like that. Another product that is very versatile and has been used to make all sorts of things is Duct Tape.

Duct Tape – I can’t picture a roll of it without thinking of The Red Green Show,  specifically the segment called  Handyman Corner. There wasn’t a thing Red couldn’t fix if he used enough rolls of Duct Tape. In one episode, he tried to duct tape the Ontario-Quebec border as a potential solution to Quebec separatism, (and who can dispute the fact that so far it has worked… )

The Car Guy and I got these wonderful duct tape gifts this year from the Middle Daughter and her husband. On the left is my shiny black purse, and on the right is his two tone wallet (complete with some Canadian Tire money.)

A quick search of the internet turns up any number of sites that feature Duct Tape Projects: Duck Tape Club and Duct Tape Crafts are just a few I found.

Personally, I will be making some sort of protective case for my new iPad2, perhaps with embedded magnets to take advantage of the magnetic properties of the iPad2.

Magnetism is one of the Six Fundamental Forces of the Universe, with the other five being Gravity, Duct Tape, Whining, Remote Control, and The Force That Pulls Dogs Toward The Groins Of Strangers.
– Dave Barry –

Metal Art – Forge and Welder

In true Martha Stewart style, I’d like to show you is how to make a few SIMPLE  pieces of  Metal Art with a forge and a welder… It is not inconceivable that Martha would have access to a forge and a welder, and would have “people” who know how to use such things, though she doesn’t seem to have posted any stories about this kind of project.

For one brief day, I had access to a forge and welder. Actually, it was a whole shop of interesting tools, and several barns of raw materials to choose from. So I started off the morning by collecting enough metal pieces to make two “critters” and one piece of garden art.

welded metal

welded metal

Once I had my designs figured out, I laid out all the pieces on the shop floor. Then I was shown how to make the coal in the forge glow bright red. This heat was going to be used to bend metal. I showed my Spousal Unit which nails I wanted bent to make some legs. (This didn’t seem to be a job that I had the strength or finesse to do.)  That is about all we did with the forge, other than stand around it and warm ourselves up – it was a cold day.

The next step was the welding. Again, a handy man was there to help me – while I held the parts in place, he spot welded them. Once all was cool, I headed for the bead blasting machine to clean everything up. (I did the bead blasting all by myself!) And that was it for the mosquito and the crab paperweights. Sounds fast and easy, doesn’t it?

The last project that day was a piece of garden art. It was a bit more involved because it used larger scraps of metal – rakes for the wings, a big spring and a length of rebar for the backbone,  a hinge for the beak, some nails for a tail, and some bits that I don’t even know what they once were, for the rest of the body. Once all was welded, I decided it was a chicken. I named her Henrietta, and retired to the house to help make supper. That left my two gentlemen helpers to clean up the shop. It also left them alone with Henrietta. They decided to make “her” a “he”, and added the appropriate hardware.

I didn’t learn of Henrietta’s gender change until the next morning, when I was asked to stand next to the chicken for a photo. Everyone else was smiling – well laughing, actually. I didn’t get the joke at first – but realized that it had to be something to do with my garden art. It was then that I saw the added nuts and a bolt”

In Other Crafting News

Apparently Martha Stewart has put together a list of what should be in the Ultimate Craft Kit. It includes such items as a glue gun, paper trimmer and cutting mat. While I agree that these things should reside in every home that has packs of paper in all the colours of the rainbow, I know from reading “Martha Stewart Living” that Martha is capable of so much more than that.

Have you ever read that magazine? My daughters left me a pile to peruse when they moved out. I attacked them with a pair of Martha Stewart approved scissors, removed a few good ideas, then threw the remains into the recycle box. The most fascinating part of the magazines, I thought, was Martha’s monthly calendar.  If I was to be as efficient as Martha, my week might look like this:

Monday – pick up all the pine cones in the “Four Acre Forest” for use in Christmas crafts; create pine cone centre pieces for 500 close friends.

Tuesday – clean house, wash windows, organize closets, defrost freezer, do laundry.

Wednesday – harvest garden,  mulch flower beds, rake the forest; make preserves.

Thursday – repaint all rooms inside house.

Friday – paint outside of house; buy groceries, and make dinner for 50 guests

In reality, by Friday I wouldn’t have finished Mondays task, assuming I’d ever think I should do those things…