Tuesday, July 30, 2013

being 15

You might remember that my 15 year old granddaughter talked me into going to the beach for the day while she was here. It's only an hour's drive and the day was going to be fairly mild, meaning low 90s, so we threw some towels, water, and watermelon in the truck and headed out.

The wind was a little high and constant but it kept us from feeling too hot. It was high tide so no looking for shells or shark's teeth either. This time of the year is also when the sargasso seaweed floats in and covers the beach so we cleared a spot and spread out an old sheet, pining it down with our straw bag and shoes.

My granddaughter, in her cute little bikini, put on some sunscreen and then went for a swim while I loitered at the surf line. I hadn't planned on going in the water and was just wearing nylon shorts and a t-shirt so I went back and sat down again.

There were 3 or 4 other groups spread out along the beach and the one nearest us was a fairly large group of all ages including two teenage boys. It didn't take the two boys long to 'drift' down in front of us and start showing off on their skimboards.

Slightly annoyed, Autumn, who had been sitting at the water's edge digging in the sand, returned to the sheet and sat down next to me.

'That's for you', I said nodding in the direction of the boys.

We enjoyed the sun, the wind, the sand, the sight of the ocean, the smell of the salt water, the stink of the seaweed. Ok, maybe not that last one. Eventually she got me in the water anyway and as we were drying out on our sheet, one of the boys skimmed back in front of us for another try at attracting her attention.

He must have finally made eye contact with her because he gave her a subtle little wave down by his hip. And then he looked over at me to see if I noticed I guess. So I gave him a subtle little wave back. Yes, I noticed.

'Granny, he wasn't waving at you', she tells me.

I know sweetie. Believe me, I know. It's been a long time since a teenage boy waved at me. I was just acknowledging his presence, acknowledging youth, the first tentative tries at attracting the opposite sex. Sort of a thumb's up.

It was all very cute and amused me but you could not pay me enough to be 15 again.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

back in the saddle

Well, the visits from the grandkiddos are done and so I've been back to work this past week.

After that relatively pleasant week during the last visit, highs only in the low 90s, it's back to being summer out there. Hot sun, hot wind, short forays outside, the AC has been on non-stop lately instead of turning it off for a few hours every morning so it's been easy, or rather, easier, to stay indoors and attend to work things.

I wrote two proposals last week, revising one after getting more feedback. The first, we may or may not do. It's a budget request for a dividing wall and a wall mounted piece so the agency that made the request may not even have the job yet.

The second one, though, I think we have a good chance of doing. This is for the glass wall and doors of a conference room and jobs from this design professional usually do happen.

I also finally got the pattern drawn, an oval, for the glass for the current commission, a wall mounted piece of their logo for a local bank. We did a couple of them about 7 years ago when they first opened. Now they have a new branch.

We've also been preparing the next four 'boteros' for casting. Three molds are made and the last wax is set up for the mold. Hopefully we'll be casting those soon. Today I plan on doing the volume measure on the molds so I know how much glass each one needs.

Still need to finish the peach box. I've made a new latex reproduction mold for the peach pit feet because I wasn't really satisfied with the waxes I pulled from the first one. The main hold-up, however, is the casting of the peach inlay. I only get one shot at that and I want to do a test or two with the colored powders and frits so I need to make a couple of quick clay models roughly the same size and shape.

OK, I can see everyone's eyes glazing over now.

Friday, July 26, 2013

a visit from the fairies

A fairy ring appeared in the yard earlier this week in response to all the rain we had last week. Well not exactly our yard but in the empty lot adjacent to our yard and near the property line.

Here's a closer look.

See the fairy peering out of the big one on the right? Hint: sideways

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

that might not have been true after all

It's been brought to my attention that I have a couple of retractions to make.

First concerning a picture of these flowers:

These are not arum lilies. They are crinum lilies. Arum lilies are calla lilies.

Second, alas, I am not descended from Danish royalty after all. You may remember this post, you can just call me Princess from now on. It seems, after further research by my sister, that the fourth generation forbear, Eadnoth 'The Staller' of Somerset, was not a son of the King of Denmark but rather the guy that was married to the king's illegitimate daughter. Which also makes the three generations before him not my forbears. Poot. That was pretty colorful.

While I am still a part of the nobility, still have the castle (though I never got around to the third post on my progenitors and the castle), I am not a princess. Darny darn darn.

So, not a princess but something even better, though not a direct line.


Fast forward to 17th century Virginia, same family line (the Harding name begins with Eadnoth's son), to a many great uncle. William Harding was charged and convicted of sorcery* and was whipped and banished from Virginia** (though not before he pays all his debts and court fees). It's then that the family name changes from Harding to Hardin.

Edit: it has been pointed out that I am still related to the danish king even if from the wrong side of the sheets, so I suppose the 'princess' still holds.

*I found this footnote***: 'In Northumberland County in November 1656, David Lindsaye, brought accusations against William Harding for “witchcraft, sorcery, etc.'

** http://www.examiner.com/article/william-harding-convicted-witch

*** “Under an Ill Tongue”: Witchcraft and Religion in Seventeenth-Century Virginia by Lindsey M. Newman. Page 74, footnote 217

Sunday, July 21, 2013

granny camp 4

When I told Autumn I was going to take four days between Jade's visit and hers so I wouldn't be all tired and cranky when she was here, I had no idea how important those four days would be.

This girl kept me busy.

Autumn, also 15 this year, does not stay up all night and sleep half the day.  She doesn't want her sleep patterns reversed so that when school starts she'll be sleepy all day.  Admirable and smart but it also meant she was usually up not long after me.

We had lots of fun though.

Her first full day here, I worked at the antique store so she busied herself practicing drawing from her new book and working on bracelets and flower headbands.

We shopped the antique stores.

Autumn gets pickled.

She played with fire.

She painted and then rummaged through all my dicroic scraps, jewels, and bits of colored glass to decorate an A.

We went to the movies and saw Monster U. (All three girls wanted to see animated films so I've seen Epic and Despicable Me 2 as well. The boys wanted to see WWZ.)

She talked me into taking her to the beach for the day.

She made strawberry ice cream.

She painted jars with glow in the dark paint but the glow only lasted a minute or two in the dark.

She painted clothespins to display photos of herself and her family.

I signed her up for 3 sessions with the local art teacher and she did two paintings...a watercolor and an acrylic. The teacher was so impressed with her that he sent her home with a watercolor pad, a set of drawing pencils, and a set of watercolor pencils.

And then it was time to take her home.

Monday, July 15, 2013

postcards from the country house

We are in the middle of our last week long grandkid visit so here's a few pics from the yard:

this big anole was hanging out in the arum lilies

along with these two little hatchlings.

I have seen far too few butterflies this year.

hairstreak on okra

monarch on zinnia



emerging bromeliad flower



Thursday, July 11, 2013

the Lee Littlefield comes home

You might remember the post I did several weeks ago about the passing of one of our local artists, Lee Littlefield. We bought one of his outdoor installations 7 years ago and at the time of the post, it was in for repairs.

Unfortunately, Lee's outdoor work is not permanent being made out of natural materials. Even though they are sealed and painted, the rain and the heat eventually get to them and they need repair.

When Lee called to tell us that it was repaired and ready to be delivered, we were in the middle of the mountain wall and were still undecided about where we wanted to put it out here at the country house so we put him off for a few months.

And then he died.

With the help of his gallery representative who facilitated the return of our sculpture, it was delivered and installed yesterday by another local artist who has helped Lee and worked with him in the past.

The pictures just don't do it justice.