Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crazy Snow . . .

 Crazy.  We don't usually get this kind of snow until January or February.
Eddie is all snug in his shop getting the BobKitty ready to push snow for us and our surrounding neighbors.
 The farmette - snow was just starting late in the afternoon.

My front porch!  There is an equal amount of snow on all four of the porches of this house, the wind is blowing so hard! Usually one side gets it all but this time, the snow is equal opportunity.
Yeah.  I need to shovel off the hot tub first, for sure.  I have a feeling it will come in handy by the end of day. 
Oh I really should not have opened that door . . . 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Copper love . . .

Okay, this was pure fun.  I started out not entirely sure where I was headed but with a 3"x6" piece of 20ga copper and lots of heat, I created this monster cuff that I love.  This sweet, edgy cuff is my very first attempt at fold.forming and I'm quite pleased with myself.

With a little more practice, more trials and more errors, and a lot more fire, this will translate nicely into sterling silver.  More.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Azurite Malachite . . .

Again, a stone that has been sitting on my bench and tossed around in my big box o' rocks for such a long time.  I'd get it out, play with it for a few days and put it back.  Not happy with any ideas and it wasn't speaking to me - in clear terms, anyway.  

My problem?  I judge myself by the work of others and think mine is too plain so I sometimes have a tendency to overwork pieces but this time, I resisted and let the beauty of the stone do its job.

Happy that the cutaway bezel worked to showcase the bubbly, rolling, drusy interior of  this beautiful stone.  Nothing could have been better.

Love this completely.

Simple.  Modern.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trust me . . .

That giant owl was there a minute ago.

I swear.  Headed out to the barn this frosty cool Halloween morning when we heard the hoo-hoo-hoo, looked up and saw a HUGE owl on the peak of the barn roof.  Startled (as if you could startle something so huge), the owl spread his 747 wings and glided to the top of this tree.  We stood there open-mouthed for a minute all sizing each other up and I slowly moved back to the house to get my little point and click camera.

Too late.  He was as big as a fat cat, pointy ears and all and I swear, he was right there.  Maybe tomorrow.

*For tonight, my little goblins, Happy Halloweenie*

Saturday, October 27, 2012

For a short time : Montana Agate . . .

Birds on a Wire
 Blessed with a handful of little slabs of Montana Agate this summer and I finally got the chance to sit down and polish a few and o.m.g.  Gorgeous stuff.  So gorgeous that it's hard to decide where to cut to maximize the beauty.

Love the minimalist designs in each slab - they really speak.  Above is 'Birds on a Wire' and below is 'Lightning Strike'.

Lightning Strike
The little lozenge with a tube of Montana Agate swinging underneath is simply 'Reaching'.

These pieces are intended for a gallery show in late November but for a short time they will be on sale in my etsy shop beginning Sunday morning, 27 October and will be removed if not sold by 27 November.

I would love to see these little gems off to a good home where their beauty will be appreciated for the glowing goodness and worn each and every day.  They only get better with time.

I will be cutting and polishing more of the little slabs of Montana Agate but for now, I offer you these.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bench cleaning . . .

This should look vaguely familiar to at least one of you out there.  Well, the fish fossil embedded in limestone should, anyway.

I've been so remiss in not posting anything here for, oh, I don't know . . . months? that it feels strange to post anything at all.  Like out of sight out of mind, helloooooooo, does anyone out there remember me?  (Well THAT sounds self-absorbed!)  So let's begin again.

Doing some serious bench-clearing by using the pieces I have laying on top of sketchbooks and miscellaneous pieces of paper with rough ideas drawn on them.  One of many projects trapped in my brain, now oozing out like Elmer's Glue.

This bit of limestone with the fishy fossil is something my friend Lisa sent me last winter (I think).  It was to be a test piece for a larger piece that I already finished and sent but when I came across this in a little box, it happened to fall out onto the piece of Picture Jasper that perfectly matched it.  Add to that that I wanted to try some wire backing and simple prong settings, copper in abundance on the bench and voila - a winter brooch.

Completely handformed, I cut the copper for a bezel strip, wire from a house project (I shouldn't tell you it was scrap) and a bit of Picture Jasper that I cut and polished some time ago.  This piece measures about 3" long, has wonderful movement and will look great on said friend's winter coat.  Sent Priority Mail on 24 October - can't wait for her to get the box.  (Please love it.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Triumph . . .

Me and my 2004 Triumph Bonneville T100
No, I could not resist.  After posting the pic of me on my new bike on facebook, I could not pass up one more opportunity for people to comment on my complete and utter awesomeness.  I apologize in advance.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bats, we got 'em . . .

Before I get a collective 'ewwwwww' from everyone, let me say that bats are not blood-sucking rodents that attack cows and people and grow up to have teenagers swooning over their washed out and pale good looks.  Those are Hollywood Bats.  What we have are what we have been hoping to  attract them into our barn all summer.  Here's the deal.
15 feet up - here batty , batty

A couple of photos of the bat house we installed that is designed to hold 50 bats or more (I know! jam-packed!) and we're reeeeaalllly hoping they take up residence.  Please, please, please.

From the Bat Conservancy website in Austin, Texas (where people gather every evening at the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats), bats will eat an unbelievable amount of mosquitos, garden and farm insects every day.  A good thing around the farmette.  

Bats are NOT birds - they are little flying mammals and give live birth to one little pup a year that weighs nearly what they weigh - imagine that, moms.  Take a moment and ponder.
Cute bat : what we have

For the bug thing alone, we've been hoping for bats to take up residence in the barn and a few nights ago, we were putting some things into the old stable portion of the barn when a bat flew in, made a couple of laps around the  light, a few laps around us and off he flew!  We were so excited that we were nearly giddy!

By the way, do you have any idea how hard it is to find cute pictures of real bats?  Completely unphotogenic.

No worries - we don't have nearly this many

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Trying hard not to complain . . .

The depths of the drought are worse for the farmers than they are for me but, like most people here in the rural Midwest, we've given up on beautiful grass and lush plantings for 2012.  Unless, of course, you are willing to risk a dry well and most would rather sacrifice the green for the ability to take a shower or a drink once in a while.  Easy trade.

The possibility of sounding depressed is imminent but I must share some photos of the Bowes Farmette from this 4th week of temps over 100 and no rain since mid-June.  Bear with me, please.
with rain in May

without rain - August
with rain earlier in the summer
When you hear of the drought being hard on farmers, believe it.  It's bad.  Corn is damaged beyond even silage with low to no moisture content so this doesn't just affect your plump cob of sweet corn.  It means that cattle will have little to feed on, produce fewer calves which, in turn, affects milk production.  The list goes on.  Soybeans - same.
without rain - August

Sometimes blogging is for no reason than to chronicle everyday life and this is one of those times.  We can't be pink sunshine and happy rainbow thoughts day in and day out as life has a way of intruding.  Rain.  Pray for rain.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Working through it all . . .

Not that you asked, but I have some serious artist issues to work through right now and something tells me that I'm not the only one.  I call myself a metalsmith when anyone asks what kind of art I do but maybe that's not fair to me.  And to say that I do a lot of 'stuff' isn't fair, either.

Lately I have found that my hands are itchy for something different.  Maybe to get back to what I started doing a gazillion years ago when a drawing instructor gave me such high praise that I started believing that what came from my hand and eye was, well, good.  Not worthy of having my name on the front of my work quite yet (and that's another story - the lesson of which is to be careful what you tell students as it lasts forever) but certainly worthy of hanging for critique and learning to accept praise from peers.  Whew!  Was that a lot of 'heaviness, man' to work through for an 18 year old art student!

So here I am feeling pressure from a gallery or two that new metalwork is needed and old metalwork has to be exchanged for the new.  What I 'heard' is that my old work isn't worthy anymore.  Ridiculous, no?  I internalized and brooded for a while and then began to work out some old issues and found that it's time to take a break from the hardware and metal for a little while (I'll come back to you, I swear) and to get back to the satisfyingly soft work of drawing and color.  This weekend I took up a few colored pencil drawings that I had started (I'm ashamed to say) a few years ago and I began slowly finishing them.  I began to work with more intensity and fervor and, believe it or not, JOY!  My eyes are seeing things fresh and my hand is translating as well as ever and, can it be?, I'm excited to sit at my drawing table surrounded by pencils and toothy paper and just freakin' draw.

As I work out some issues, I'll be back with brilliant insight and a few more completed drawings.  I'm not begging for praise here but am satisfied to show the world that I'm more than metal.  What is an artist?

And what kind of an artist are you?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Loading up the shop . . .

It's an experiment.  I am sending out six gift certificates over six consecutive weekends in giveaway bags.  These bags are going out as prizes at a local racetrack and as a 'thank you' to fans and supporters and will, of course, contain more than just my gift certificates.  In fact, people will be encouraged to pass along what they don't intend to use and I'm hoping these certificates will eventually get into the right hands.  So today was spent taking new pictures and listing listing after listing on etsy.  Fingers crossed.  We'll see what happens next. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

If Minnesota was always like last weekend . . .

 I'd move there, I swear.  However, I understand they get a little snow so I'm not convinced the temps will always be in the 70s during the day and 50s at night.  Still, a temptation . . . 

We had a wonderful airshow weekend in Granite Falls with our friends Rob and Janie (Rob is the chief pilot for Fagen Inc.).  Ron Fagen now owns my gorgeous old airplane, my 1941 PT-22 and I had the chance to fly it in the every-other-year WWII airshow.  What a weekend.  This time, hubby Ed flew it - winds were stiff - but no matter to me as I had the chance to take these pics against an unbelievably blue sky.
taxiing out

Just look.
fly by - just look at that grass runway
like carpet
okay, not particularly flattering but Ed's and my reflections
in the baggage compartment skin

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And so it begins . . .

Yep.  Daylily bloom time once again.  Rather, daylily bloom time FINALLY.  Lots of things are in bloom at the Bowes Motor Speedway Farmette right now and the green things are lush but nothing, no nothing, beats daylily bloom time.  srsly.
Mystery Daylily and Oprah
surveying her domain

I'm only posting one here so as to not distract with other lovely daylily blooms as this one outshines all of the rest and will likely be moved to a showcase spot for 2013.  (Oh my, did I say 2013? Too soon, too soon.)

I bought this daylily fan from someone I 'friended' on flickr in one of the daylily groups and I'm sure I started a stampede.  He said it did not have a name and was a volunteer crossbred plant - not sure what its lineage is but just feast your eyes on this heavily veined beauty.  Colors are exactly what you see here and the veins are beautifully prominent.

No further comment required.  Behold.