26 May 2015

Envelope, Book, Dollies and Planting the Field

Hello Readers!

The muse is still quite fickle these days. Slow going in the art department!
These two characters went Newfoundland, Canada a few days ago. Sometime last week. I'm having a devil of a time keeping my days straight right now. The fibro fog rolls in and I'm lucky to remember my name, let alone what day it actually is!

I painted the envelope some months back. I added the words and some of the little stuff with the cats the day before it went postal. I hope Cecile likes it!

I haven't really painted anything for ages! Unless we count the brown paper I painted another shade of brown this afternoon. We'll visit that endeavor some other day. A painted brown piece of paper is rather boring at this point. I need to pretty it up a bit first.

I made a couple of glass vial dollies. This one has ball chain for arms and legs. Her arms also include a screw back earring back and a brass clip of some sort that I stole out of brother's brass bucket out in the garage.

Another glass vial dolly. This one with copper wire arms and thighs. Her lower legs are eye screws from an old piano. The butterfly is a lone earring I removed the post from. Both glass vial dollies have plastic beads with brass bead caps for heads. These two need a jump ring in their heads so they can hang around somewhere.

I may have already shown you all this one. She's made with a glass vial also but she has a different head and she's clothed in a white leather dress. Her arms and legs are copper wire and her head is a glass Christmas bauble.
All the glass vial dollies are about three inches tall.

This is Darla the Dragonfly Queen and her sidekick 'Stork'. Either she is a giant or Stork is a mini! (Real storks are about 4 feet tall!) Stork is a plastic cupcake topper with his stick removed. I started her on Saturday and finished her this morning. Her body is a fingernail polish bottle with the cap still attached. She has a couple of tiny sea shells for boobs, her head is a styrofoam Christmas tree bauble. Her hair is thick yarn. She's dressed in the plastic bag my new glue sticks came in (petticoat), some black lace hem binding, various different black ribbons and yarns and some sparkly black material that was once a blouse. Her legs are a ballpoint pen I took apart. Her legs are attached to a milk bottle cap that is attached to the bottom of the fingernail polish bottle. I painted her legs with acrylic ink to cover up (mostly) the blue writing on the white plastic parts of the pen. Her feet are a pair of Barbie boots that I painted with fingernail polish to better match her outfit. They were light blue in color. She doesn't stand straight so I had to attach her to something that would help her stand. I covered a metal juice can lid with green fabric and then glued Darla and Stork to the green fabric with hot glue. I added green glass beads (tiny, holeless beads) with tacky glue. the colors are a tad off on my monitor, but the green glass beads pretty much match the green fabric. I gave Stork some bling with a bit of chain and a wooden bead. Her big D with the angel used to be a key ring. Her crown is an oval shaped earring with a stamped brass dragonfly added. The dragonfly was broken, had no rear end, so I added some glittery puff paint to make it look like it had a rear end all along. Darla stands about 7 inches tall or so. I made the wire and fingernail polish flowers and leaves over a few months time. I put the bouquet together this morning while having my first cup of coffee.
I make wire and fingernail polish flowers every now and then. I keep them on the shelf in the kitchen in a block of styrofoam till I need them. At the moment there are about a dozen flowers, 8, maybe 9 leaves and some wire frames that still need the fingernail polish treatment. I like her!

I made a book today. This one has flocked wall paper for a cover. I glued two sheets of it back to back so the inside of the covers look the same as the outside. This book is about 3 inches square, though it isn't actually square. The colors are all off in this picture as well. I sewed it together with green embroidery thread. It has five signatures of different kinds of paper. I just used the little scraps of paper that were cluttering up the shelf by the paper cutter. The button is plastic. I should have given it a different closure. This one is hard to get opened and closed again.

That's all the art I have for you all today.
I'm still cutting fabric yarn. I think there are about 18 balls ready to start crocheting something with. I haven't decided just what that something will be. I'm thinking a rug for by the front door, but it may end up being something entirely different. I just don't know what the fabric yarn will end up as. 
And as usual, I have 'fifteen' other projects in the works as well.

As I was working on Darla and Stork this morning, I kept hearing a vehicle. I kept looking out the kitchen window to see who was here. Wasn't anyone here each time I looked. I should have known what I was hearing was in the field.
I didn't get a good picture of the truck spraying that god awful smelling stuff he was spraying on the field. I stepped out on the porch and the smell gave me an instant headache! 

Then later this evening...it's now almost 11 pm... the green tractor showed up around 7pm. He's still out there as I type! I do not know what he is planting. I was going to go out there to the field and see what kind of seeds were going in the ground, but when I went out there at 9:30, he was still out there, plugging along in his John Deere, planting with the headlights on. 

Sun's going down. 
I tried to download a video of that green tractor, chugging around that field. I apparently do not know how to do that as I couldn't figure out how to download a video to youtube so I could download it here. It's taxing my brain way too much to figure it out today so you all will have to wait to see the video. 

Instead you get this fat cat brat, Lola. 

With her wonky eye! She laid in front of that fan for almost three hours in that same position, taking a nap till Fred dog came along and woke her up.

I wanted to show you all the video I took of Fred last Saturday when I had a house full of people. My sister Linda put a tiara on him. He was none too impressed but we all thought it was hilarious.  But yet again, this machine thwarts my efforts at entertainment!

Tippy is none too happy with all the racket that big green tractor makes when it comes to the south end of the field. That's way too close for her comfort!

I took a walk out to the pear trees to take a good look at the baby pears. There seems to be a nice number of pears on one of the trees, but the other is rather sparse on the pears. They're looking pretty good for the time being. Now if we can get through the next three months with no major wind storms, I might end up with some pretty good pears this year!

I do not have similar hopes for the plums. The plum bushes never produce a decent crop of plums. I have four plum bushes and not a one of them has more than a dozen or so plums that I could see. They are a beautiful color of green at the moment though. 

That's it for me today!
Thanks for hanging in there!
be good to one another!
It matters!

15 May 2015

Here I Am Again...

Isn't that the name of a song? Here I am again on my own....la la la la....it's a fleeting small voice running through my head at the moment. I may still be delirious ..... Haven't felt right for weeks!  I will be singing that song in my head until I figure out the rest of it!

Hello Readers!

I really haven't been feeling right since the bout with pneumonia mid April. The creative endeavors have slowed down considerably! I'm still making things, but I'm sleeping more than normal and as I've always said, "Oh how I wish I could create in my sleep!" 

The calendar says today is Thursday. I could have sworn it was only Wednesday. I've lost a day somewhere along the line.  

For the last couple of days I've been making fabric yarn from different garments I took out of my closet that I never wear anymore.

13 balls and counting. I'm saving the larger pieces of fabric that couldn't be turned into yarn also. I'll use those smaller pieces in art doll projects, fish pictures or something else. 

I've also been making a major mess on the floor by the recliner where all this disassembly of garments is taking place. 
The fly swatter is a necessity. I killed a June Bug with it earlier this evening. Then Fred promptly had a snack of June Bug. I told that silly dog that when June Bugs are eaten, and there are people who eat them in the world, they are usually cooked first. Fred didn't care about the cooking part, he likes them raw apparently.
Eventually, once I get enough seams gathered, I will make something out of them. Last box of seams I had, I made hot pot pads out of them by weaving them all together on a circular hoop. 
What I really want to do with them probably will not happen. I'd like to sew them all together into a fabric and make monsters. I don't relish the idea of sewing them all together by hand. And beings I can't seem to get along with a sewing machine to save my soul, the seams will probably end up in another weaving project.

I spent a couple of days making more pistachio flower magnets. All of these pink ones are a different shade of pink.

These were made a couple days later than the pink ones. Two are 2 different shades of blue and the other four are four different shades of purple.

Here's a 'naked' pistachio flower, before painting. 
Easy peasy things to make! I'm almost out of pistachio shells. Note to self: Buy some pistachios, you need more shells!
I really do like making these flower magnets!

I drew some paisleys one evening. And dragged out the conte crayons to draw a cupcake. When I got done with the cupcake, I said to myself; "You could probably do something a lot better than a cupcake with the conte crayons."

So I attempted a bird. I like how my Western Meadowlark turned out! He's the state bird of Kansas and I see them frequently in my yard. His tail is cut off cause I didn't have enough room on the paper for it! I cut the bird out and it will end up on an envelope, I think.

Then we have this cute little rubber coated glass bottle that I painted with acrylic inks a week or so back. I have 20 of these little bottles. I bought them because they were CHEAP and because I thought they were a lot bigger than they actually are. That bottle is only three inches tall. There will be more of these in future posts. I'll probably paint the others. Maybe some landscapes, flowers, animals? I don't know! Whatever the muse says when the time comes to paint them, I guess.

That ends the art part of this post. Perhaps the muse will get her crap together soon and the art endeavors will speed up a tad!  Lord knows there are enough projects in the works to keep the muse busy! I don't know what the heck she thinks she's doing running off on vacation without me!

There has been activity in the soybean field!

I was sitting at the kitchen table four or five days ago, working on the pink pistachio flowers when I kept hearing this awful noise! The fourth time I heard it, I got up to go see what the heck it was. It was this guy zooming all over the soybean field, spraying something.

Thankfully the wind was blowing to the north and all that dust and whatever the devil he was spraying blew away from my house. 

He really was zooming all over that field! Just guessing, I'd say he was going about 40 miles per hour. He wasn't dilly dallying at all!

I don't know how many acres that field is but it didn't take him more than hour to cover that entire field!

He went all around the field, six or seven passes, and then started going in lines across the field. I guess he just wanted to change things up? I have no idea what his reasoning was. 
My brother says he was probably spraying the field to kill musk thistle. There isn't anything except soybeans in that field though. I have no clue what they're doing in the field. I'll keep you posted.

These next pictures were dated 6 May 15. It rained that day.
It didn't rain at home though. We had to go looking for the rain. Ma came over and said, "Let's go for a ride." I seldom say, "No." to my mother so off we went down the highway to the east. 

Lots of pretty clouds. Lots of green grass, wheat and cows. Brown cows! We say some black cows too but they were too far from the highway to take their picture without stopping to do so. The brown cows were photographed while going down the road at 55mph. 

We found the rain about 17 miles east of home, in the next county over. It was raining so hard we HAD to pull off the highway. 

Back at home, the rain was all to the south of us. Raining like crazy in Natoma! The dark cloud center picture is about 25 miles away. Give or take a few. All we got out of that storm were a few sprinkles.
It has since then, rained cats and dogs here at home. Last three nights it has been rainy. Nothing severe thankfully. Rain is quite welcome!

When I got up yesterday, this cat was sitting by the empty food bowl, scowling and yowling to let me know it was indeed empty. I told Miss Lola cat that she would have to wait until I made a pot of coffee before her bowl would be filled.

She went and got reinforcements. She's none too happy about that bowl being empty! What the heck was I thinking, not filling it before I went to sleep? 
If looks could kill, I would have never got to make coffee that morning!

You all will be happy to know, the food bowl was filled and those three felines ate till their bellies were full and then they all went to my bed to take a long nap. 
I only fill that huge bowl about once every four days or so. 

That's about all I have for today.
Thanks for hanging in there to the end!
Remember....be good to one another!
It matters!


01 May 2015

Back in the Grind of it All

Hello Readers!
Long time, no see! :)  I'm back amongst the living. I've felt pretty good for a few days now but just getting around to taking pictures of finished projects.
I went on a short road trip earlier this evening and took some pictures while out and about. I'll tell you about that later and show you some pretty green wheat fields in my neck of the woods.

Better get you a cuppa somethin' and settle in. I've been away for 20 some days. I slept a lot of those days away and not a thing was accomplished on those, other than my old body trying to rid itself of pneumonia. We fared well! I think the side effects of the antibiotics were actually worse than the pneumonia. I won't tell you about those side effects because it simply was not pretty and I don't care to relive them for you all! LOL Let's just say, "Whew! Glad to be over that!"

I really didn't get a whole heck of a lot of projects done since I was here last. I wasn't near as productive as usual but I did finish a fair number of little books and a few other things.
Let's take a look at what Donna's been up to:

Now that I have downloaded the pictures, there are a very fair number of little books to show off. While I was under the weather, I did try to work on at least one thing each day. That didn't always work in my favor. 

This little book is about 3x4 inches. It has drawing paper pages. Fifty pages or so. It's sewn with blue embroidery thread and has a blue cloth covered button for a closure. I really like the color of this leather. It's a bronze color, shimmers in the light. It was once a jacket.

I sewed it in the long stitch so it would lay open flat.

Ma and I were on our way home from town a couple weeks ago. My cupboards were bare and a trip to town couldn't be avoided regardless how awful I was feeling. On the way home from town one day, Ma and I stopped at the dumpster by the electrical supply place at the edge of town to pick up a ratty old metal chair that was sitting there. We looked in the dumpster and found some other metal bits and pieces for the junk pile and a box full of these boxes that light covers of some sort came in. I saw book covers!

And darned if they don't work beautifully for book covers! I covered this one with some brown kraft paper that I had painted with acrylic inks. The finished book is 8 inches square and about 1/2 inch thick. I put thick drawing paper in it. If memory serves me correctly it has 6 sheets of paper, sewn in the long stitch so it will lay open flat.

Where the opening in the box was, I had to reinforce it with some chipboard. In the next book I make from these boxes (I got about a dozen of them.) I will put a larger piece of chipboard to cover the entire surface of the cover, not just over the holes in the center of the covers. And I will use heavier paper to cover the covers so the chipboard does not show through the paper.

I sewed another postcard cover book together. The pages and covers were all ready to be sewn the day I finished this book. It's 4x6 inches with 3 signatures of copy paper. 30 pages.
I painted the covers some months ago. They are matboard painted with acrylics.

This is the back cover of the book in the picture above. The insides of the covers are painted with flowers as well. No picture of the insides.

This one too is a postcard cover book. I made the collaged postcards back in 2010 and the pages were already cut when I put this one together. It's sewn in coptic stitch, has 3 signatures of copy paper, 30 pages.

Ma brought me some raisins one day last week. Six tiny boxes of raisins. I ate the raisins and then made a little book out of one of the boxes. I covered the inside of the box with scrapbook paper. The book is about 3x2.5 inches and about an inch thick. It has about 60 pages of copy paper. It's a right cute little book and a perfect size for a pocket or purse. 

I should have shown these books after the ones that follow these. These are all matchbook notebooks made from remnants of painted newspaper and painted chipboard. With the exception of that one with circles on it. That one is chipboard with marker doodles all over it. These are little books. The tallest of them is only 3 inches and they're either an inch and half wide or two inches wide. They all have copy paper pages. I didn't count the pages in any of them. I just picked up a stack that wasn't too thick to put a staple through. Somewhere around 20 pages in them though.

I told you all about the painted chipboard I made some weeks ago in the last post I made. I've turned five of those pieces of chipboard into day books. They have scrap paper/junk mail/one side used paper for pages. Each full sheet of paper was folded into a little booklet with 8 pages and seven of the little booklets make up each day book stitched in that lazy stitch I don't know the name of. I use one of these each week for my journal/daybook. I keep track of my daily things in them.
I get 8 pages for each day of the week. That works out great for me.

I made another embroidered wool ball. I took Mel's advice and did the embroidery in only shades of blue. I love how it turned out! That bone colored background wool looks wonderful with blue.

Not sure why those two naked balls look bigger than the embroidered one but they are all pretty much the same size. The two naked ones had their covers sewn on in the last two days. I'm planning on sewing a few more covers on balls before I embroider any more. 
I think the next few I embroider will have one color on them like the blue one has. I have an over-abundance of some colors of embroidery thread and that will be a good way to use up some of it.

I have a few different crochet projects in the works. I started this brown bag this morning. It will be a small bag with a long strap. I'll bling it up a bit once I get the bag itself crocheted. This brown 'yarn' is about the ugliest yarn I've ever laid eyes on. It's some kind of nylon string. It feels like nylon stockings. It's not too hard to work with but it snags up on the hook occasionally. And no the hook doesn't have anything to snag on to but this yarn seems to find the tiniest nicks in the hook. And as you can see that hook has been used quite a bit over the years!
You'll get to see this again sometime in the future. Shouldn't take me too long to finish it.

I started a plastic bag basket before the last post and ran out of bags to continue on with it. My brother did some rearranging out in the burnt house the other day and found all the other plastic grocery bags I couldn't find when I looked, so that basket will commence again soon as well.

I was dragged out of the house last weekend to attend my sister's birthday party at Ma's house. I drew her a flamingo duck hybrid for her card. He's done in markers and the background is acrylic ink. (I do LOVE the acrylic inks!) It was right after I woke up on the 18th that I drew this bird. He's not a pretty thing but sis loved him. She loves flamingos. Even wonky ones, apparently! 
I would be doing more drawing but I can't find the markers because they are buried under a pile of other projects sitting here on my desk. 
I keep telling myself someone needs to clean off this desk. 

I started these six pistachio flower magnets yesterday and finished them early this morning. Better make that yesterday morning. It's 2 am Friday right now and I've been awake since 7:30 am Thursday. These are made from a round of chipboard, hot glue, pistachio shells and fingernail polish. These aren't technically magnets just yet. They still need their magnets glued on the back.
They're about 2.5 inches across.

I planted some milkweed seeds on the septic tank mound this afternoon and then took a stroll around the yard. I don't often take many walks around the yard. My feet give me a hard time when I walk too much and the old body rebels big time so I avoid it mostly. It was such a beautiful day though and I was out there anyway. This is a picture of the yard man my grandson built for me last August. That little tree he's standing by hasn't leafed out yet for some reason. It has buds on it though. That red ball behind the yard man is a bowling ball. There's a large wooden post behind him and another wooden post behind it. The white speck across the road is my mailbox. The last time I showed off the mailbox it was black. Ma thought it needed a paint job. I woke up one day and it was white.

I had visitors one evening when I had the front door standing wide open. I thought I'd check out the capabilities of micro photography with the iPhone while they were here.

They weren't really welcome visitors but I made the most of their time here.

I was minding my own business, sitting here watching something on this pc...youtube, hulu, something. I don't remember what. My watching preferences have been mostly natural disasters of late. This little brown moth had been in the deskroom for two days before I took this picture of him sitting on the handwritten quotes taped to the bottom edge of my monitor. I love his antennae!
I'm not sure what kind of moth he is but I do know if he's on a tree, he will disappear because of his coloring. Well, this one won't be sitting in any trees. He went behind the desk and I haven't seen him since. I'm betting if I got down on my hands and knees and got under the desk, I'd find him on the floor back there. I won't be getting down on my hands and knees to see though, so we won't know.

This is a crane fly. I don't know if this is a female or a male. They look like giant mosquitos. This one had a wingspan of about an inch or so. They live world wide and are considered agricultural pests in Europe according to wikipedia. This one landed inside the lampshade above my desk and hung out for hours. I should consider myself lucky this one came to visit. They only live 10 to 15 days. Sometimes when these things get in the house they are a nuisance. They'll dive bomb you and drive you nuts! They're harmless, just annoying as all get when they do that. I usually catch the ones that are being a nuisance and send them back outside.

Then this guy came to visit. I looked at hundreds of moths on google images trying to figure out what kind it is but I was unsuccessful in that search. I don't know if it's a male or a female. It was about an inch and a half long. I wanted to pet it, it looked so soft!

He was a mighty handsome visitor. He was a nuisance. Dang thing kept dive bombing me while I was sitting here in front of the computer. He kept landing on the wall beside me where I captured his image. He was a flighty little thing. He'd fly across the room every time I tried to get ahold of him. And then he'd come flying back and run into me before he got his bearings and landed on the wall again. He's probably dead on the floor behind the desk too. I never did catch him to put him outside. It wasn't from lack of trying though.

I captured a yellow jacket in a peanut butter jar this afternoon and put his hide in the freezer. He was buzzing in my kitchen window. My brother is allergic to wasps so that mean ol' yellow jacket had to go. I put him in the freezer cause I intend to put him to use in a project. I'm uncertain just what that project will be but something will come to me. And others that come in the house will get the same treatment cause I don't want them building their mud nests in my laundry room like they have done every single summer! I have no one to blame but myself for mud nests in the laundry room. I leave the back door open and they just come on in.

The yellow jackets really are a pain in the patootie. My microwave died and I had to get a new one. (Thank you, RW!) The old one was a built in model, above my kitchen stove. My brother took the old one out earlier this evening. Back behind, attached to the cupboard wall was a mud dauber/yellow jacket nest with six chambers. That's a pretty big nest. It didn't have any little wasps in it thankfully. It appears they laid their eggs but nothing ever hatched. All the holes were still sealed and the little wasps were all dead. I crushed it to make sure there weren't any babies in it. I had no clue wasps had taken up residence behind the microwave! Those babies probably didn't develope because every time I used the microwave, they got nuked just a bit?

Fred dog gave me instruction on planting milkweed seeds. The whole time I was out there, he was barking at me like he was the boss. He's standing smack dab in the middle of the septic tank mound. Someone mowed all the tall weeds from last year. I'm glad they did! It was much easier to plant those seeds in short grass than it would have been in weeds three feet tall! Now it needs to rain so those seeds can grow into monarch butterfly food. The septic mound doesn't get mowed in the summer. We just let it grow wild. Less to mow and I insisted it didn't need to be mowed! It's my weed garden.

I took this picture of the soybean field on Monday. We were in a severe thunderstorm warning at the time. I loved how the sun was shining on the far side of the field. All pictures get bigger if you click on them.
Ma and I were sitting on my front porch that day and we saw a flock of pelicans fly over, headed west. We discussed how cool it would be if they all landed in the soybean field. They just kept on flying west. It has, at this moment dawned on me that pelicans eat fish, not seeds! LOL
I don't have any idea what the farmer will do with the ground this year. I'm still hoping for sunflowers. Sunflowers usually get planted in May, so there's still hope.

Pear blossoms. Not many blossoms on the pear trees this year. Doesn't look good for a decent pear crop.
 The forsythia bush didn't even bloom this year. It usually puts on blossoms before leaves. We got nary a yellow flower on that bush this year. 

Ma came over this afternoon to bring me two new coffee table books. Both of them about cats. We were sitting in the livingroom talking and she said, "What's that white tower over there on that hill? It wasn't there the last time I sat here." She was looking out the front door from the sofa. Sometime in the last couple days an oil derrick went up about 1/2 mile down the road, as the crow flies. We got in her truck and went to check it out. The sun was in the west so we couldn't see it very well once we got close enough to see it well. Everything was in silhouette, black as it could be. My youngest son, RW, works in the oil patch as a chain hand. I wanted to see if the rig going up was owned by the same outfit he works for. I still don't know that it is. 
But we had a nice ride in the countryside. We drove roughly four miles. Out my driveway to the east, turned north at the first mile road. The oil derrick is about half way down the north road. Then we turned west at the next mile road, which is G Road. We stopped at the old rock quarry on G Road.

An old stump at the entrance to the quarry.

This is the hill next to the quarry. Actually the top of the hill the quarry is dug out of. 

A burnt log at the old quarry. All those rocks are chalk rock. It's used to surface rural roads in my neck of the woods.
We walked around at the quarry to see if we could find any junk to bring home for the junk pile. Last time we were there, couple years ago, people were using it as a dumping ground for all kinds of crap. Someone's been there and cleaned it up a bit. There's remnants of old TVs, computer monitors and such but nothing like it used to be. People go out there and shoot guns. They've used the junk as targets. So the junk is in bits and pieces! There was very little metal junk to be found. We did bring home a few aluminum cans and couple of other random pieces of metal bits.
That burnt log has been there for a very long time. It was there the very first time I ever went to the quarry some 15 years ago.

A big old cottonwood tree on the right. Not sure what kind of trees those little ones are. Everything is a vibrant green out in the country.

This a rolling field of winter wheat. We saw a herd of cows on a field of winter wheat on this drive too but I didn't have the camera out when we drove past them. Darn it. I think this is looking north. The picture was taken about 7:30 p.m.

This is my most favorite color in the world! Beautiful!

Looking southwest over another winter wheat field.

Thanks for hanging in there. It was a long one! I hope you enjoyed the wheatfields, especially. I'll be back again soon with more adventures, creations and rambling!

be good one another!
It matters!