09 June 2017

Driving Lessons and a touch of art

Hello Readers! 

Not a whole lot to show in the art department today. I've been busy with driving lessons instead of doing art. That and the old body doens't want to do art these days. I'm trying to enjoy going out everyday to do the lessons but making art has suffered because of it. Nine more days of driving lessons and I'll be back on my own again. 

I like my solitude. I've liked having my 18 yr old niece Allison here since around the 28th of May. We've had some adventures! 

Lets get busy with this and let me ramble through the pictures which blogger put up any ol' way they wanted. It will seem somewhat disconnected, but go with the flow! I find 'going with the flow' is sometimes the sanest option.

I was digging through a box the other day and came across this unfinished little blank book. What you see there is the caterpillar stitch done very badly. It still looks really cool tho! I need to finish sewing the caterpillar on the cover, through the page block and on the back cover. This actually appears to be the back cover so just reverse everything and you get the idea. This book is about 4 inches square. The cover backgrounds are painted newspaper on game board. It has copy paper pages. I'll show it to you all again when I get it finished. Whenever that is.

It has been awhile since you all saw the wheat field. It's the yellowish patch in the far distance. I have no clue what  kind of trees those are, except for the one in the foreground that you see a tiny bit of its trunk. That one is an elm three. I think the others are hackberries but don't hold me to that. 
The big clump of grass is pampas grass. The clump of unmown 'grass' left of the pampas grass is a stand of wild garlic being taken over by bind weed. You can't see it too well, but dead center, about a fourth of the way from the bottom is a baby evergreen tree with a wire fence around it. My brother, who does the yard work around here, has been babying that little tree for going on three years now. It has a cage so he doesn't run it over with the mower is what he says. I'd think knowing it was there for as long as he has known it is there, he wouldn't need to cage it. I could be mistaken though!

This picture was taken a few days ago. I'll get a picture off the front porch in the next couple days and show you how it's slowly changing from my favorite green color to a lovely shade of golden yellow. They'll harvest this wheat late June/early July. I hope the wind is blowing north when that happens! 

This is Dennis, the Bulldozer! He's a huge boy, sweet as treacle, quite entertaining and a mess of a cat! You see him here on the tote I use as a table when I'm sitting in my recliner. He's cleared the top of all the big things in his way and snoozing quite comfortably.

He's rearranged atop the tote and is working on knocking everything off the tote to the floor.

I found him laying on the keyboard the other day, stretched out like he is in the picture. I pulled the keyboard out from under him and he barely budged. Look at the monitor. He's managed to turn everything on the monitor upside down. I gave him a good talking too....not that it helped in other areas, but he's not been back to sleep atop the keyboard again. 
He plays the lava game. You all know the lava game, yes? The floor is made of lava and if you touch it, you're dead-out of the game. Dennis wins the lava game! One cannot be mad at Dennis for long though. He loves cuddles, headbutts and talking. He has a lot to say! Anytime he hears someone talk, whether you're talking to him or not, he will have something to say. 
He learned headbutts from my youngest son, RW. It is rather sweet when Dennis wants a headbutt. He'll get up in the your face and stick his forehead on yours and bonk you gently. He's a funny boy.
Mo and Lola have mostly come to terms that Dennis isn't going anywhere so they might as well stop fighting it and just embrace the new addition. Dennis acts like he doesn't even hear Lola's low growl as he walks by nonchalantly. Mo has decided he doesn't mind another friend even if he is a little indifferent to it all. So long as Mo gets his fair share of pets, he's happy. 

Toby dog hasn't arrived as of this writing. Soon though I do believe.

This granny square bag is the only artful thing I've done since the last post. It is the smaller of the two granny square bags I've made thus far. I ain't overly crazy about it myself.  It was an easy project and I already have another one this size in the works. I have 7 granny squares out of 13 in various stages of completeness. The new one is red white and blue. I ain't crazy about it either. It will get finished in the next few days or so.

Driving lessons are a chore. I volunteered to be the instructor and I have given it all I have to give most days Allison has been here. We had to take a week off when the hose in the engine blew and grounded us. The longest lesson lasted almost 4 hours. We average about an hour and a half each session. Her driving doesn't scare me usually. She takes direction pretty good and gets away from the edge of the road when I tell her to. We've not driven in town at all yet. Not Stockton anyway. She's driven Woodston a couple times. They have wide dirt streets. She didn't do so great on her first drive in Woodston, but we made it out alive and no new dents on the old blue beast.  She drove #9 highway from Woodston to Kirwin yesterday and did a darn good job. She needs to work on her parking skills,stopping and starting, keeping her speed steady and perception. She needs lots of practice with making corners. She does better with left had turns than with right hand turns.

We go driving out in the middle of nowhere on the chalk roads. We don't generally get much more than 30 miles from home. We've been north a few times, east a few times, south a time or two and west, but only a few miles to the west. I don't know that country very well. The picture was taken just south of the Ellis county line (if my reckoning is correct). We were lost. I had no clue where the heck we were. I knew 183 highway was somewhere in front of us, but I had (and still don't) no clue how far south we had traveled. It was beautiful country!
That big hill, not the one in the picture, about done me in. There were huge ruts on the downhill side and the girl hit every stinking one of them! I thought the car was going to fall apart! She bonked her head on the roof, I held on for dear life while hollering, Hit the brake! Hit the brake! She did a good job getting us out of that mess. She refused to drive much farther after the fact though. She knew I didn't know exactly where we were and we'd had a nail biting experience with a tanker semi on one of those roads 15 minutes earlier. So I drove until we found Plainville. Then she drove us home on a road we'd visited several times.
She's making progress. We've done some parking lot driving at the ball field and the fair grounds also. I guess her mama is just gonna have to suck it up and teach the girl city driving or send her to driving school. 
We didn't go out at all today. My old body said, "NO NO NO NO NO!" I hurt from the top of the my head to the tips of my toes today. Tomorrow we will get back at it again.

I started some paper mache birds a week or so ago.

Newspaper wrapped in masking tape

Here they are with their first second coat of newspaper and glue, waiting for their wings and tails to be attached. The wings and tails are cut from dog biscuits box chipboard. 

All but three of them have wings. They all have their tales. The painting muse hasn't shown up to proceed with these. As soon as she arrives, the last three will get wings and the others will get some paint. And everybody will get legs.

The little wires at the bottom of the picture are all their legs. 

Things I should do:

Start taking pictures of all the scenery on the driving lessons!

Finish the paper mache birds in a timely fashion.

Do some laundry.

Have more fun!

Write every day! Not necessarily here at the blog, but somewhere!~ Be it my journal or 750words. 

Thanks for hanging in there for this one. That's all I got today.
be kind to one another!
it matters.

02 June 2017

A harrowing Tale, A New Cat, Some Crochet and a few little birds

Hello Readers!~

It's the first of June.
I got a no seat belt ticket in Plainville on Saturday. Dang it! He caught me red handed. It is the law to wear your seat belt in Kansas and I do understand the reasoning as to why it is law. No one WANTS to peel someone off the roadway. I don't like wearing my seat belt. Had I been wearing my seat belt when my eldest son and I rolled four times through a barbwire fence, I would not be here to tell the tale. Therefore I sometimes don't wear it. I'll pay the $10 and try to remember that I could of used that $10 for some new art materials instead of being obstinate!
I truly wouldn't be here had I been wearing the seat belt on Christmas Eve of 2000. There was nothing left of the front passenger's side of that Bronco. That's where I was sitting when the boy, he was 17 at the time, hit black ice on the highway and we went spinning into the ditch at an intersection to a dirt road off the highway.  We plowed through the stop sign, over the culvert, hit the grass, rolled, taking out seven fence posts and landing on the wheels, much worse for the wear.  I remember rolling four times, might of been more. I was in the back seat with my head stuck halfway into the plastic panel on the back passenger's door. Knocked out. I came to with the boy hollering, "Mama! Mama!" cause he wasn't sure where I was. I could not move at all. I was face down on the back seat.  He held on to the steering wheel for dear life throughout that terrible ride. He was on his feet, but he was hurting. He had dislocated his shoulder not a week before. A car came by quite quickly and RJ flagged it down. The lady was a nurse so I was in good hands till an ambulance arrived, along with the fire department to cut me out of RJ's mangled, beloved Bronco. They were 14 miles away.  We were about 75 miles from home, on our way home from dropping the other son off in Oberlin. RJ wasn't badly injured, but I wasn't doing so well.
All turned out as it should have though. I'm still alive and kicking. I will try much harder to remember to put my seat belt on, even though I won't like it.
I need to stay out of Plainville. I've only gotten 2 tickets for driving in my entire life and both of them were handed to me by a Plainville policeman. The first one was for speeding, I was doing 40 in a 30 at 6 in the morning. I was late for work, not cause I got a ticket, but because I slept through my alarm that morning. I would have made it on time if I hadn't had such a lead foot that morning. That happened almost 20 years ago!

I got a couple of new pets since the first of May. Another will be arriving in a few days. Toby is coming to live with me cause he's not a city dog. He is way too protective of his people and RWson is afraid he will end up getting into trouble with his over protectiveness. So he's gonna live in the country with me instead. Toby is a cross between a beagle and golden retriever. He's a sweet boy and should do fine with me. He's always been a country dog.

This is Little Turtle. His name was Donnatello when I got him. He has no name at the moment. I think he might actually be a she though. At any rate, I now have an aquatic turtle. He's a red slider. He's about 3 inches from front to back. I acquired him while at my eldest son's house one week ago. He was in need of a new home so I said, "Sure. I'll take him home." He came with all the equipment needed to keep him healthy. I hope he stays healthy. I've never owned a turtle before.

This is Dennis. He and Toby know one another well. Dennis came to live with me for the same reasons Toby is coming to live with me. Well, except for the over protective attitude. Dennis could care less who shows up. He's always been a country cat and RW didn't think he would do well in the city. And besides that, they have two other cats and another dog. Darlie is a tiny little Chihuahua. She'll do fine in the city.
Dennis is a big lush. He likes giving head butts, sleeping on my keyboard when I'm not using it and sleeping on the empty spot on the shelf behind my desk. He and the other two, Lola and Mo, have come to terms and the yelling, yowling, bitching and moaning have ceased. Everybody gives everybody a wide berth and they seem to get along just fine. Dennis hasn't earned a spot on my  bed yet, but I am sure he will claim a spot eventually.   

I found the picture of the baby spiders leaving the egg sack. I do hope the majority of them survived.
I made 8 little books yesterday.
Matchbox book with accordion pages.The pages have cancelled postage stamps from around the world with animals on them. Both sides of the accordion folds have a stamp on them. I painted the box with gesso and then sprayed it with two different colors of dye.

I had never made an accordion folded matchbox book before. I made another one with flower stamps. The box is covered with flowered duct tape.

this one is made like the one below, with sewn pages. 18 pages in each of 3 signatures. The book cover is made from chipboard and scrapbooking paper. Along each edge I put some copper foil tape. 
There are actually three that were made this way but I forgot to take a picture of one of them. 

They each have different papers on their covers and in the bottom of the box.
Allison filled all the pages in this one with pencil drawings. 33 little drawings.

I chose a few randomly to show off.

This one isn't too good on the photography end of things.

I like the right one.
The matchbox books are tiny things. They fit perfectly in the matchboxes though.

This book is about 4 inches square, though it's a tad taller than wide. This one and the next one were made from boxes that prenatal vitamins in. The mustaches are duct tape. It wouldn't stay closed on its own so I sewed on a plastic gold button and some skinny elastic.

This one is exactly the same as the mustache book except it has painted newspaper scraps for its cover decoration. 
I made another one from a box that smoke bombs came in at Independence Day, back in July. It's roughly the same size as these two, but it has green glitter tape and copper foil tape on its cover. I forgot to take a picture of it.

Twinchie on cardstock. Feather

this was supposed to end this post!  The north field at sundown a few nights ago. The wheat is growing nicely. I had hoped the late snowfall in early April wouldn't kill it. The farmers were a tad worried about that snow storm. The wheat was at the stage where the heads start growing and a hard cold spell could have been its demise. Thankfully it wasn't. The loss of the midwest wheat crop would have caused baked goods to go sky high. 
I'll take a walk out there tomorrow and get a picture of it close up so you all can see what wheat looks like when it's almost done growing. Harvest will start in about 3-4 weeks.

I crocheted some.  this is one side of the hot pot holder I gave to Ma this morning.

Here's the other side. I crocheted this a couple days ago.

Another hot pot holder. It's the same on both sides. Gotta have two layers of acrylic yarn if you want a hot pot holder that will not burn you while in use. I crocheted this one early this morning.

After I finished the pot holder, I made the beginnings of some paper mache birds. I see only 7 in this picture but there are 9 of them laying on the table on the front porch covered in newspaper strips and watered down glue, drying overnight. Tomorrow, they get wings and tails. And maybe their legs too. I forget if I should put the legs in before painting or after? Saturday, they get painted.

I guess that's all I have for the time being.....
Thanks for hanging in there till the end.

be kind to one another,
it matters!