Wednesday, May 4, 2016

more wax work and trying something different


Well, I'm still on hold on the A&M small animal hospital job. Apparently the woman who has to approve the compositional sketches and renderings is VERY BUSY and can't be bothered to spend the 5 minutes it would take to just say OK. Fine, whatever. It seems my joke that when they first told me it would be a November install, they meant November 2016, may come true after all. Even if they got me started again today we don't have enough time to complete the job before I leave for Scotland late June. And once I get back, it will be summer for real which means less hours available in which to work each day due to how hot it gets in the shop and sandblast booth.

So, as mentioned previously, I've been working on wax models. I showed the leaflet and bark waxes here, and they are now waiting to have the molds made, but I've also been working on some others.

I'm trying to use some old waxes that have been hanging around forever. This moonflower model was supposed to adorn the top of the moon box but I didn't like it there and set it aside for future use. That was years ago. I've been sprucing it up and got an idea how to use it for a hanging piece or in a stand. In a stand I think but it will have to be custom made as I don't think any of the commercially available ones will accommodate the thickness.


The leaf plaque it will rest on (before polishing), approx. 6" x 8".


Or rather, float above.


Also made the first base for the 6 panel series of the moon. I want to make a reproductive mold of this so I don't have to carve the disc of the moon each time. We'll see how that goes. This piece is 8” x 8”. It doesn't look like much now and except for one which will have a layer of leaves across it, they will all be just like this with the color applied differently. This series will actually be a big departure for me for several reasons, one being I'll be using opaque frit instead of transparent.

    

And I have also got the blank for the first of four panels of feathers on the beach. These are 10” x 10” which will be the biggest I've done so far.




I know, not much to look at right now and who knows when they will get cast.




Sunday, May 1, 2016

birthday and May Day


So, I'm officially 66 now as yesterday was my birthday. I tend to connect my age with the year so mentally, I've been thinking I was 66 for 4 months. Then I'd have to remind myself when my age was brought up that no, I'm still 65. But now, it's official. 66 is OK, still my mid-60s even if on the downward side. The 60s was a hard decade for me to absorb but last year, I finally felt good about it. Not that I had much choice. I mean, I was here regardless of how I thought or felt about it so might as well get on with it, accept what can't be changed and make the best of it. Life is actually pretty good here at this point in my life.


Birthday selfie caught by surprise by my device camera that seems to take pictures of it's own accord. The 3 second live photo settled on the third second.

Here's another, better, sort of, the flash seemed to think it was too dark.



We went to the movie and out for dinner which is our standard celebration for every event we celebrate...birthdays and anniversaries. Since I'm a big fan of fairy tales and myths we went to see The Huntsman: Winter's War, martinis and dinner at Greek Bros. Bar and Grill. 




The garden club plant show and sale was yesterday. I took my little plants for the sale and came home with some different ones. 


I did not take a single picture. The plant show was small this year though they said it was bigger than last year but even so not even half as big as the show was when my sister was in charge of it. And it was too polished. Everything looked like it had been professionally done, so perfect, too perfect, boring. 

I've been model making the last two weeks so until I'm ready to post about that and since it's May Day, here are some gratuitous flower pictures.

This enormous magnolia bloom is 14” across.

The easter lilies are filling the house with their perfume.

walking iris

lizard tail

queen anne's lace

Cardinals are nest building in the mock dogwood.




Thursday, April 28, 2016

bluebirds on the wing


Late March I noticed that bluebirds were nesting in the birdhouse on the bunker wall over at the shop. 



I got a shot of the eggs and then kept an eye on it.


By April 3 the babies had hatched.


April 6


April 7


April 9


April 11


April 13


Then I sort of forgot about them, had a rainy day, absorbed in the postcard and didn't check again til I got home from work at the antique store the next Saturday.

Gone!








Tuesday, April 26, 2016

one never knows what one is going to see


Yesterday, I was sitting at my work station and heard a raucous cry. I looked up to see a peacock walking parallel to the road across my neighbor's yard.


Grabbed my device and ran around to get some shots of it as it moseyed on down the road.


About 20 minutes later I looked up to see it in my side yard headed for the front. Again I dashed around to get some pictures.





It's not everyday you see a peacock strutting down the street in front of your house.




Sunday, April 24, 2016

a few things happened


There was the flood, which I went and checked on at Riverside Park for the last time Thursday about noon when the river was at 47.81 feet, creeping up to the sidewalk along Elm St., and then lost interest. The SW side of town did flood and I gather some people did get water in their homes this time. I don't know how many or if those troop carriers carried anyone anywhere. The Buckee's and the Nan-Ya plastic pipe plant and the Los Cukos Mexican restaurant on the river bank got water on their grounds but not in any of the buildings. It did not ever spill over into Elm which runs parallel. It crested at some time at some height and is now receding.


Besides that and obsessing over the yard all week, I went to get a bone density scan. Now that I have Medicare, I can do things like that. Not that it matters since I'm not planning to take the medication but it is good to stay on top of things. It's probably been 10 years since I last had one and yes, they say I have osteoporosis, then and still. I don't take the meds because they don't work and have heinous side effects. What those drugs do is prevent your body from breaking down old weak bone which prevents it from building up new strong bone. I'd rather have strong porous bones than weak dense ones and I do yoga for strength and flexibility. I got the results and again declined the medication. I asked for a copy of the report which said I was at high risk of a fracture but the summary further down gave a 12.5% chance of having an osteoporotic fracture in the next 10 years with a 3.1% chance of it being a hip. I'll take those odds especially since almost two years ago I fell hard on the concrete on my hip and wrist with no fractures.


And it was Earth Day on Friday. This is the first year I've missed posting on Earth Day. The theme this year (I hadn't realized it had themes) was trees. We need more trees. They are the breath of the planet. They are sentient, just like all life on Earth. I may do a belated post.


And I finally pulled out all the tomatoes and squash and beans I had planted one week before that frost in March. They stopped growing and never recovered. Five weeks in the ground after the frost, the root ball had not grown one iota. In fact the zucchini was smaller than when I planted it. I left in the peppers and the Japanese eggplant because they seemed to be recovering but now I think not. I replanted the tomatoes and the squash and beans.


And, of course, Prince died. When asked how it felt to be the greatest guitar player in the world, Eric Clapton supposedly replied, I don't know, you'll have to ask Prince.  Below:  Prince plays the blues


And a squirrel knocked the tea cup off the hanger...again and broke the saucer...again. I haven't fixed it yet since I need to find a new saucer.


And I hauled everything over to the shop and set up to photograph the magnolia leaves.  



And finally, tired of waiting on this job (yes still waiting again after having just gotten started, it's been a week and a half now), I got out my model making stuff and am making another stab at the little leaflet for the pink flower, you know, the one that turned into the alien geode. I'm making it a little different this time, flat and more stylized. I also started getting the bark waxes set up for casting.

    



















Friday, April 22, 2016

and now Prince


Another amazing talent gone. The world is getting much poorer this year. Prince has died. Much too young, much to soon, much too unexpectedly.



Fly high Prince

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

here we go again


Once again Houston and environs got hammered with copious amounts of rain in a short period of time and the city is flooded due to urban sprawl and gentrification of all the old inner city neighborhoods. It's all wall to wall concrete now, a veritable sea of concrete. All the farm and ranch land is being bought up for more subdivisions as Houston spreads outward covering it all in concrete. There is no where for the water to go, no land to soak it up, the bayous can only hold so much. Areas are flooding that never flooded before during the same type of events. It's becoming a yearly thing.

just one of many parts of the city under water

Last year over Memorial Day weekend, the Colorado River flooded and crested here in Wharton at just over 44'. Low lying areas where the banks of the river are not steep and/or deep got flooded but it did not exceed it's banks at Riverside Park downtown. I posted about that here and here. Now we are facing a similar flood.


This year the powers that be have decided that the river's going to flood and we're all going to die so they have eight army troop carriers, a truck mounted crane, and several jeeps waiting in the Civic Center parking lot for rescue operations.

When I took these pictures at 2 PM Tuesday, the river was at about 35'.




Noon today it was almost 42' and they expect it to rise another 6+ feet cresting tomorrow.




Might be time to pull out the canoe and locate the paddles.


Just kidding. While we are technically in the flood plain, we are high enough so that if the river does spill over it's banks, it shouldn't affect us surrounded as we are by farm land, though the old timers here say this area has flooded in the past.