Saturday, November 22, 2014

What a day for a "Daisy" break.

So our little girl is five months old and she loves the kids in the neighbourhood. She doesn't mind the cold, if it's just around freezing and she adores shovelling the snow with her little nose. She's a little difficult to see here, but she's definitely out there. 

Today, while out for a mid morning stroll, the kids took a short time out from their street hockey game to stop to say hi to her.  I swear, if she knew how to hold a hockey stick she would play too. No doubt she could steal the puck in her mouth and could fend off the entire opposition if she was allowed off the lead. But that's not going to happen. 

She usually times her late afternoon outings to be in synch with the same kids when they're walking home from school.  She stands on her hind feet in our front yard watching for them turning the corner onto our street. They all yell "Daisy!" And she starts wagging her tail waiting for them to give her a little back rub. 

One more good thing...the kids play street hockey practically everyday for an hour or more while it's light out.  Since it's Saturday, they've been playing for nearly two hours already. Such a nice change from the run of the mill staying inside being occupied by video games as many nine and ten year olds are prone to these days.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A new beginning

So this is our new baby. She has been with us for three weeks now, and because she's just over four months, we've been kept very busy. The first thing I had to get accustomed to was that she could see. I was so conditioned into having to be the seeing eyes for Molly, that I actually did a double take when the little one, Daisy, narrowly avoided a corner by moving away from it. She's doing a marvellous job of going potty outside; but not such a great job of deciding which items are toys and which are off limits like the television remote. Hopefully those decisions will become clearer as the days go by.  She's growing quickly and is learning commands readily. She goes into her crate when I have to work on clay as she is so fast that it's impossible to keep an eye on her 100% of the time.  

I did manage to get a bit of claying done this weekend. Here's a sample. 

I have a couple of shows in November and December and am down to just one book so that inventory needs to be replenished.  I'm glad because books are one of my fave things to make.  Have the covers and signatures ready for a few more.  Just need to sit down and bind them. Hope I can tear myself away from the pup to get them done.  Wish me luck!  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Saying Goodbye

One of the most difficult posts...

On Wednesday, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Molly...I know I have written about her several times in this blog, but they were mostly about happy experiences, or at least ones that had a happy ending.  Sadly, this one does not. 

We knew that our little girl was fading, and that her health issues were becoming increasingly complex, but still it is terribly difficult to say goodbye to such a sweet and lovable girl.  She was such a cutie, and so nice to everyone.  She always had a smile for those who were interested in her.  Even in her golden days, as in this picture taken about six months ago, she looked like a cutie-petooty.

Over the course of her life, she faced many challenges and hurdles that she overcame.  From being tossed about from home to home over her first year, she fell into our laps and provided us with countless hours of enjoyment and entertainment.  From the first day when she leapt from the sofa to the loveseat, to her last days, where she modelled  her "Blind as a Bat Man" costume (two days prior to her demise), she was a bundle of love.  

She was an excellent travel companion, always ready for a road trip.  When we would pack up for an out-of-towner, she'd sit on a jacket or her travel bag (It said Princess on it), and we'd help her into her crate in the back seat.  Whenever we stopped anywhere, folks would always comment on how pretty she was, and there was that little smile on her face, as if she knew it was her people were talking about. She loved  our trips to Arizona.  She had plenty of friends there...and didn't miss freezing her tushie off in the winter! We always stopped in the same motels along the way; I'm sure lots of the clerks remember her. Even 'pee stops' were familiar too.  Despite her blindness over the past four years, I'm sure she recognized' that park in North Platte, just on the outskirts of the city, where we'd always stop for a picnic and say hi to the Canada Geese there.

We will always recall her beauty in the many pictures we have of her, but we are going to  miss her something terrible. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Big White-Out

So, it's the first day back at school for most kids all over...Sigh.  For me, it's a work day too, but not in the school of fish!  All my fish are done baking and the rest of my preparations for the Yorkton Sunflower Art Festival are tasks of putting together, sanding, buffing, staining, and other necessary finishing touches to make the work appear 'professional'.  Huh?  Well, maybe semi-pro!

That being said, I spent a while this morning typing up and printing some brochures on the home computer/printer/scanner thingy. 
Unfortunately, I cannot upload the brochure, but here's a little open fairy door just to give you a hint of what no-good I've been up to.
When I made the brochure, I did it on two pages, both landscape settings, and double columns each.  I started at the "end", which was column two of page one, (really the cover) which included a bit about my experience in polymer clay as well as a picture of my hands holding a finished object.  Then I proceeded to the other side of that page, which was actually the fourth page of the brochure.  On that page I wrote about where my art has been published, where it is available and contact information regarding special orders, classes, and related information. 
In the two page interior, I wrote about the nature of polymer clay, techniques, and what type of items I am currently featuring in my repertoire of compositions. For these two pages, I simply began in column one with characteristics about polymer clay and column two reflected the nature of items I make. 
Now, I digress a little.  A while back I mentioned that hubby was hosting a philanthropic fishing derby and he's been uber-busy (and a bit cantankerous) with all the preparations.  Needless to say, I have tried to be of assistance although my free time is very scarce.  For the last three weeks he has been trying to corral all the necessary information regarding sponsors etc. to have the materials like posters, brochures, and registration forms printed up.  A monumental task to say the least...and even after many hours of preparation  and effort, misprints and errors still happened. 
The above frustrating experience directed me to make my own brochures for the upcoming (and future) events in my own "show" cases.  I decided to make and print the brochures myself.  On my little Canon D-I-Y all in one.  I rely on it to print my sales tags, business cards...all the necessary doo-dahs that I include with my sale items.  To my delight and surprise, I had enough ink to print out one brochure, and saved the document to my little USB thingy, in case I need to print it and am not at my home computer. 
Two more things for all you back to schoolers...remember the orientation of the paper when you are printing stuff back to back on two sides of the same sheet.  And finally, save your first best hard copy for reprinting purposes.  On those sheets, mark them with a small dab of white-out.  . That will remind you that it's your "original", you will be able to see it, and the white out won't show up on the reprints. 
Hope this helps someone who is struggling out there. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Busy-ness as usual

Whew!  After having spent some blissfully idyllic days in the coolness of lake country, it was a bit of a shock to return to the heat and humidity of the city. 

The Sioux Narrows Arrs Festival, their 53rd, was wonderful and it was great to see a lot of my cottage country friends from the provinces and the near northern states.  It was also fun to reconnect with lots of my fellow artisans. Even Molly had a chance to see her pal Niko. 

The fall sale season is approaching fast and this year I have some new venues to add to my list. I believe I have one or two more stints at the Kenora Farmers' Market and will cap off August with  the Morden Corn And Apple Festival.  Then in September, I will be heading for Yorkton, a first for me, and then it will be two solid weeks of helping hubby prepare for his "walleye" fundraiser. I'll discuss that a little more as the date approaches. 

In October, I am scheduled for the Holiday Art And Craft Fair in Dryden and the sale at Headingley which I believe is the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving. In November, I will be at the Beta Sigma Phi sale in Kenora, the Christmas art and craft fair at the CanadInn in Fort Garry, a couple more little shows and the Gala of Gifts sale at the Brandon Art Gallery.  I don't have all the dates at my fingertips, but I will be there, with new "Best Fishes" ornaments and all the usual stuff. I believe I have one or two more shows scheduled in December, but more of that in another post. 
I made this cosmos vase and put a few of the colourful blooms in it. They're blossoming quite nicely and fortunately (for them), they're  too tall for the critters to eat. Much as I love the cute little bunnies in our yard, they have devastated my pansies and violas. They just love to put their front paws on the pots and nibble away at the blossoms. Yesterday I told Bunnyhoney to go away. He/she did briefly, but when I took Molly out a bit later, there he/she was again. Some bunny is gonna get a surprise when I out the containers of violas on a table later on today.  

But now, it's off to the clay table to invent some new inventions for my inventory. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Truite arc-en-ceil

Preparations for the Sioux Narrows art fair this weekend have kept me hopping and the ovens going into the wee hours the past couple of days. Here is my latest fish hanging in the style of most of my fish--two sided so that hanging them in a patio window allows bith sides to be viewed. This species is quite a bit more flamboyant than most of the fish in this area...maybe he/she'd feel more at home in some Caribbean waters. 
I am also in the process of making some other figures; one that has been studying lines to take a screen test; one a fishmonger complete with wire basket of fish, and the last figure has just what kept Neil Young searching for.  
The heart is suspended and is slightly's encrusted with what I think is pure gold pulver. My dad used to do decorative painting and after he passed, I found this small vial-like bottle of gold pulver amongst his other supplies.  It was a very small vial and it might be composition leaf-powder, but it's more than sixty years old so just maybe it's the real thing. 

I guess one could do an assay to determine if it is.  Or maybe not.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Swimming upstream

The last couple of days have been an emotional roller coaster for me, but this fish did get done...not fried but done. 
He will be heading for Sioux Narrows on Lake of the Woods, along with his joined at the hip (and other places) flip side below. 
Normally I have quite a few fish followers there so I am into high production gear this week. Fortunately, no fish were harmed in this process. 

Back issues continue to shorten my work days...but doing the best I can.

See you at the big lake!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The heat is on!

Here is the artist's journal I finished as a gift to celebrate my cousin and his wile's fiftieth anniversary. I will be sending it away soon, so gave it a quick camera shoot to prove I actually got some work done during the heat wave we are experiencing. The humidity has been pretty high so I've mostly worked in the early part of the day. Unfortunately, I've been having some back problems, but that, like our fleeting summer will soon pass. 
Here is the back view of the book.  I like the colours which are not very visible on the front side. But it was important to commemorate the occasion with a few transfers which I got from my cousin's daughter. 

Thankfully my back is quite a bit better now, just in time to prepare for the annual excursion to Sioux Narrows. I hope to complete a couple of new projects that have had to be put on the back burner due to other commitments. 

I plan on adding some new fish characters to my inventory; some small and some of the "master angler" least as far polymer clay is concerned. There are some restrictions to work around when working with of which is the size of the oven.  I do use my kitchen oven for more sizeable sculptures, but even then one has to be conscious of the distance from the heat elements.  Last week, I used my little convection/toaster oven for one of my stickmen, and protected the head in a sock to prevent it from scorching. Wouldn't you know that the cotton sock got just a little too close to the top burner.  Talk about smelly socks. Good thing I was close by and able to prevent serious damage. Just a reminder not to stray too far from the oven when things are curing!

And now it's back to the clay table for a few more hours. Tomorrow I will be at the Kenora Farmer's Market and am looking forward to a busy day. Just hope it isn't a scorcher!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fifty years and counting

I am devoting a good part of this weekend to a project that's been nearly fifty years in the making. On August first, one of my cousins and his wife will be married for fifty years, and although there's not a big hoopla, I decided to make a "book" that will have art pages inside for them to fill as they wish. 

Their daughter sent me a few pictures which I've cropped and had copied, along with the wedding invitation of 1964 that my sister found in a dresser drawer. I have integrated the  whole works to make the cover and then bind it Coptic style. I am miffed that we no longer have our tabletop xerox.  I had to go to the print shop and when I asked for a reverse image the gal made a "negative". Hmmm. But on the second try she got it right and the images transferred well onto the clay. 

Hope to post a photo of the completed book after it's done. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

True Confessions

Okay, so I feel like I am entering the Blog Confessional Booth, so here goes.

Bless me, Blogfather, for I have sinned.  It has been six months to the day since my last post. (OOOOH, that sounds dreadful!)

Here are my blogsins:

- I have been busy
- I have been working
- I have been claying
- I have been going to the Farmer's Market and doing other events
- I have had difficulty logging into this Blogger (they changed my name) and I've filled the air with blue words that frustrated me
- I have been using my 'technology time' learning how to navigate my I-pad Mini

Okay now, with all that out of the way, I will post a few of the things that I have  been up to.

First, now that school's out for summer, I have been able to  clay away.  One of the things I made on a rainy weekend, and there have been many this year,  was a group of fairy doors.  It took me three tries to figure out how to work the hinges so that the door opened fully. 

I had seen this on a tutorial, but of course I didn't follow the exact steps and changed it a lot, especially the way the hinges were.  Instead of using metal hinges, (which I have somewhere but can't find) I went with some black cording and put it through holes I drilled through the stonework and the door.  For the picture, I used an inkjet print that I lacquered on both sides, so that it would be waterproof (I hope)... 

The other doors that I made, are similar, but the doors only open part way.  You can still see the fairy scene inside, but I tell people that these doors only open wide enough for very small fae to enter, and to keep the big bad trolls out!  Works for me.

Since the 25th of June, each Wednesday we have gone to Kenora, Ontario to participate in the Farmer's Market there.  It's quite a drive (two hours) but it is a lovely one, with outcroppings of the Canadian Shield interspersed with lovely lakes.  Kenora itself is on Lake of the Woods, and is a beautiful resort area, although lots of folks live there year round.  Sadly, the originator of the market passed away two weeks ago, but the market carries his name and it is sure to carry on for many years to come. 

This is the actual site along the dock, which is right in the center of the city.  The big covering has sides that can close up should the weather become too inclement.  It was almost necessary to close the sides last Wednesday as I was located right by the dock.  The wind was playing havoc with my stands and we had a slight mishap with one of the Ikea metal folding screens tipping, but fortunately nothing broke.  The polymer is really strong and I don't worry about the hanging things on the screen, because they are actually meant to be out in the elements.
Here are a few of my buttons, and some light switch plates.
This past weekend, it rained (again) and the wind blew like crazy.  So, once again, I had a little time to 'play' seeing as how our planned barbeque was not going to happen.  While I was waiting for my hair to dry, I selected a random magazine from my collection.  It was the first edition of "Expression"...sadly that publication has ceased to exist.  In it, I found a project by Vesta Abel, and fortunately, I had the requisite supplies so I gave it a try.   Of course, I changed the technique to suit my style of claying, but I did use her suggested grape vines (which I had selected from our backyard vinery some years ago) and also this incredible handmade paper that I have stashed away in my paper room.  (You wouldn't believe what a paper person I am...that goes a waaaay back to when stationery had its own 'department' at Eaton's!)  Maybe that explains my infatuation with handmade books--it certainly isn't the reading part, lol.  In any case, here are two of the stick persons that I made yesterday:
 The above creation reminds me of Ringo...maybe that's why he has a 'starfish' (thank you Cindy Leitz) around his neck.
This one, I've called "ADAM", with apologies to our next door neighbour.  It's because of the position of the polymer leaf that's affixed to a certain region of this guy's anatomy, "EVE"n though he's fully clothed.  If a person were to hang these on a window, they are 'good' on both sides, even though I haven't photographed the obverse sides.
Well, I am hoping this admittance is an acceptable act of contrition...and hopefully, it won't be another six months until my next posting.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mamma's got a brand new...

So much for wanting to keep this blog up to date. Here is a sample of another little phone bag I made...the button actually sits straight, but I had to scan it to get it in here, and sometimes the scanner doesn't always co-operate. 
I'll hopefully be posting a bit more, but in the meantime, I'm off to take Molly for a walk in her new little stroller.  We decided to get her one, since she loves being outside here, and with her blindness, walks have been little more than a trip to the stones outside the door for her to squat and do her business.  Hopefully, I can upload one of the pictures or videos of her in her little Molly Mobile.