Sunday

Eastward



When I awoke...






I was greeted...






... by the day.






... Good Morning to you too, World !!!









... photographs taken 6:55 A.M. Friday morning, August 22, 2008...

Tuesday

The Flea Market



Last week-end we went to the Giant Flea Market in Sussex, New Brunswick, held every year on the third weekend of August... 3 days (4 days if you go on Dealer Day) of peeking, searching, wandering, wondering, pondering, bartering.... and hopefully finding a treasure of some sort to take home....

More than 450 booths spread out across the large fair grounds... there was no lack of things to look at... antiques, junk, collectibles, books, car parts, tools, you name it... it was there... guaranteed! in good and bad condition... and everywhere in between... a deal could be had, depending on how much you had to spend or how much they wanted to get rid of it...

... scorching sun, pouring rain, traffic jams, tired feet, sunburned faces, soaked to the hide.. didn't matter people were there in full force... when a downpour happened on Saturday, one vendor sold out of his umbrellas in minutes! There was a silver lining in that cloud.. for him anyway...


... 10 years ago we had the good fortune or bad, depending on which day you ask John... to find the bits and pieces and parts of a 1966 P1800 Volvo Coupe there, the kind "The Saint" used to drive... in parts on a fellows table and in several boxes under it... and the rest were in another province in his barn... he agreed to put them all back together and sell it to us... it was in very sorry shape and we have been working on it for years... searching out parts, a never-ending task... with much perseverance and cursing, cause it was too late to turn back now... it finally has a coat of primer and the engine is restored, still more to do and far from perfect but it is almost road worthy...




Anyway, back at the Flea Market.... On Friday, John pointed out this old press which I thought at first glance was the top part of an old cider press... and immediately passed it by, thinking I really don't need another project to do just now, of trying to figure out how to make the rest of the cider press... so we wandered some more...

... soon I found an old beautifully patterned Silver teapot ... rather worn, and stained but had an essence I could not resist... and I dearly needed a teapot... Then a great hardcover book, " The Life, History and Magic of The Dog"... beautifully illustrated reference book... They both came home with me.

John found a big pile of salvaged window and door moldings, sides and tops... red pine 1 ¼" thick, from an 1867 house from Guysborough Co. Nova Scotia... even with John's very careful packing into our 8' long utility trailor, the beautiful moldings overflowed the trailor.... but he tied them on with my daughters old mountain climbing rope.... it was sort of a mountain of wood!! These will be saved for a future project... A starting point...   ( update  to July 2010 ... we are using them  here... interior construction)

Max found books, games and army surplus gear for his paintball tournaments...

... we were all happy... and tired... and hot... we were glad to be on the 45 minute drive home...





The next morning, we were talking about our great deals and the things that were rather interesting, that we left behind... and John again mentioned that he was surprised I hadn't shown any interest in the press... Well, I never really had a good look at it... only from a distance from across a crowded aisle... he said he had... and as he described it, I realized it was a Book Press... an actual Book Press... Oh no... Why didn't I walk the 10 feet in that direction and examine it when he pointed it out... ohhh... Foul word inserted here... Where would I ever come across one of those again... probably never!!!

I didn't actually need it.... but what a great addition to the studio it would have been... I started thinking up things I could have done with it.... for sure it would be gone now... it was probably gone 5 minutes after we passed it........... I think we should go back and on a wild whim of a chance maybe it would be there... noooo, it wouldn't...

oh heck.. we went back anyway... You know, Hope...

It was pouring rain!!! Buckets!!!

Couldn't believe it... The old Book Press (also known as a Nipping Press) was still there in the exact spot!!! It was in almost perfect condition for something that age... solid cast iron and not a bit of rust... It was a good size...With the wheel wound down it was 13" tall x 11½"wide x 21½" long... the platen has a 3" opening and was 9 ½" x 15". It weighed about 70 lbs. and had 4 bolt holes to anchor it down.

The dealer, Al Hermitage, from Rexton, New Brunswick who always has the best primitive antiques, was pretty surprised that no one had snapped it up... When I showed interest and asked about it, he said he could give me a deal... $45.00... Wow... My Lucky day! I more than gladly paid to take my prize home... Good thing John was there, though... It was heavy! I was smilin' for the rest of the day!



This is just a quick little pen and ink sketch I did of the new, old tool now in my studio, The Book Press... approx. 6" x 6" on textured drawing paper.

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Monday

Seth Apter... The Altered Page


Seth Apter... an artist of amazing talent and imagination... This fellow makes Art... beautiful abstract constructs on paper, books, photography, etc.... his work is always inspiring... lots of color, shapes and ideas to wrap your mind around... His whole blog is worth touring through for inspiration ...

As well, he has introduced me and hundreds, probably thousands of others to many other artists and what they do... Artists that are doing very cool work...

Today Seth will begin his 3rd and latest undertaking of The Pulse... "An Artist Survey" on his blog, The Altered Page... over 80 artists are taking part this time and his survey will run over the course of a month... I am especially looking forward to the sharing of the artists studios or where artists work... oh and all their insights too!!!


Oh... just one more thing..... My son, Max and I, both feel very lucky to be taking part in it!!!

...Sometime today it will begin....


If you would like to see where I work click HERE

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Thursday

The ABC's of Patterns....... GHI

...From a little book I made...

G for Geometrical... ornament based on patterns made of lines, squares, circles, etc...




I like that designs based on geometrics can begin with simple elements and become quite complicated with their repetition....




... I loved the geometrics in this 13" x 12" x 26" cabinet, that I found at a flea market... I use it for bead storage... I like looking at the repeating rhythm and knowing it is a functional object...



Simple triangular elements where color makes the pattern bolder... Although I love making quilts I found this one at another flea market... rather Amish feeling...




H for Hippocamp... mythical marine monster with a head, body and forelegs of horse .... tail of fish; ........Poseidon's horse.........




Sometimes referred to as hippocampus in Greek and Roman mythology... the ancients believed they were the adult form of the sea-horse...

...there is also a part of the brain referred to as the hippocampus... it is involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing.... It is particularly important in forming new memories and connecting emotions and senses, such as smell and sound, to memories.



Hippocamp-drawn chariot of Poseidon | Roman mosaic C3rd A.D. | Sousse Museum


... mosiac from Sousse Museum, Sousse, Tunisia... Imperial Roman Period, C3rd AD.






Poseidon (Roman Neptune) with trident in hand... drives a chariot drawn by four Hippokampoi through the sea... a floor mosiac from Ostia Antica, Rome, Italy





I for Interlacing... ornamental patterns of bands, woven or plaited together





Over.. Under... In ... and Out... ............That is what this is all about...




A appliquéd portion of a front panel of a vest I did representing interlacing, twisting, twining Zoomorphic bird necks... I love Celtic art and the patterns and designs created from that period...





..a few fringes of a striped blanket I spun and wove back when I kept sheep and Angora goats... I love the heft of these fringes and the flip-flop that they make when moving the blanket...

All of the colors were natural in this... no dying...The natural fleece was from my sheep... the colored fleece was from a friends..... we traded.... I taught her to spin and weave... she gave me some beautiful Border Leicester fleece... and her friendship...




...the interwoven canes of a very large, 24" across basket I use to hold lots of teased fleece. I keep it in a spot that I can't miss, so it will draw me back to it one of these days... spinning is so meditative and relaxing... if you have never tried it, you should... it really helped me to understand how threads, yarn and fabric were created...


...from my "ABC's of Patterns" book ... Click for the introduction of ABC designs....... and the DEF designs post...  and here for J

approx. 6" x 7" x 1"... ...handbound...
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Tuesday

Gratefulness



"As you wander through life,
whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the donut,
And not upon the hole!"


I do not know who wrote this little rhyme but I like it... it makes me smile...

These are old pictures from a poster, my son, Max made when he was much younger.... it was a little project of things that meant something special to him...

When Max was 4, we saw a butterfly sitting on a flower in the garden in late September... it just stayed there on that flower for several days... when we examined closer to see why it never left, we discovered it had a problem with its wings and could not fly...

As it was getting cold and rainy we felt sorry for the little thing, just sitting there, so we brought the butterfly and a bouquet of flowers into the house to our kitchen table... we fed him sugar syrup and watched his little tongue unfurl to sip it... it was very long! we let him live there and brought him fresh flowers everyday... sipping syrup for a month and a bit... till his life was over...

We were all sad when the little butterfly died... but we will always be grateful for the closeness, we had the opportunity to share.




Little dog Ziggy, who Max slept with every night since he was 2..... Ziggy was one year older than Max, and his favourite little play friend... Max had spelled out a birthday wish to him, in dog years, with dog kibble on the kitchen floor, that Ziggy promptly ate as soon as I took the picture...




Max also had this newspaper clipping on his poster.... from the Telegraph Journal, Saint John, NB. ... taken December 25, 1993... he was the Christmas baby that year...

He thought it was cool to be a Christmas present........... So did we!

...We even put him under the tree!
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Saturday

The Spotted Owl



The wise old owl perched high up in a tree,
She pondered most everything that she did see,



Her claws gently held the rough branch where she sat,
When suddenly... she spied something that looked like a cat...




"I have always liked cats", she said, with a wondering smile...
"but you're fur and I'm feather"........... so she flew one more mile.




Whooo-Whooo-....... Whoo-Whoooooo!!!!!!!




This simple little rhyme was written this morning but the watercolor/pen and ink, I did back this past spring, when things are slower 'round here... I almost wrote the line "you'll be lunch in a while" instead of "so she flew one more mile".... but I just didn't have the heart to have that cat on my conscious. Which line would you have used?

We don't have Spotted Owls but other species of owls fly through the night-air and sit on the roof-tops and in tree-tops, hoo-hooing to each other when we go for walks at midnight....

......fog, stillness, gentle waves and owls ............. sheer magic...

I can't resist returning their call... But I sure wish I knew what we were saying..


***



A beautiful owl skull I discovered online...




The Spotted Owl, Strix occidentalis... Long lived... nocturnal, woodland owl... average length 18"... weight 1 1/2 lbs. ..... round head... brown plumage is heavily spotted with white on the breast and belly...

Roosts in deep shade during the day... Hunting is done mainly at night, usually beginning just after sunset and ending a half hour before sunrise... They use the "sit and wait" approach...

... The Spotted Owl lives in old-growth coniferous forests in western North America....They prefer shaded mountain slopes and canyons over flat plateau areas..... is generally non-migratory...

Spotted owl pairs mate for life... They nest primarily in stick nests, on clumps of mistletoe, in large tree cavities, on broken tops of large trees, on large branches, or cavities in banks and rock faces.... Timing and success in producing offspring are strongly linked to the availability of prey, and not all pairs breed every year.... Old nests tend to be reused year after year... clutch size averages 2-3 eggs...



approx. 3" x 4"... watercolor, brush, india ink and crowquill pen on 140 lb. CP Arches watercolor paper.

Wednesday

Our Logo and the Dogs



 Our copper verdigris logo, "Becoming One", hand cut and patinated



 Pirate always picks the softest spot... such a hard life for a dog...


Looking out past the gardens and the Bay of Fundy... we use this area to practice our guitars when we have a chance... or when the mood strikes...



Tabitha and Toby seem to think this is a good room to sleep in too...

Mostly, I think they like to wait there, just in case a visitor (a new friend, to them) arrives... They never want to miss an opportunity to bark deafeningly loud and jump all over someones clean clothes... oh... lots of sniffing and licking too!... such well behaved dogs...

Sunday

Multiples of Edibles


Raspberry bushes..... 2 rows full...


Grew to the height of me..... 5' 7"....



Ready for picking..... 4 boxes a day



Into the freezer..... enough for 1 year...



52 pints for 52 weeks...



Raspberries... Rubus idaeus... cool season crop... grow best in sunny location in well drained soil, where there is plenty of moisture (I guess fog must count)... keep weed free in the beginning ... rows can be allowed to become about 3 feet wide so it is easy to reach the fruit, from either side of the row... permanent supports of post and wire, protect them from being beaten down with winter snowfall... my rows are each about 25' long...

My variety of raspberries grow fruit only on second-season canes and this was my first season to harvest my incredible edibles... in the fall all the old canes that bore fruit this year, should be pruned out of the patches; they will be the woody brown ones... so as to give the new first season canes room to grow; they will be the green pliable ones...

Be careful... raspberries will take over if they have half a chance...  Mow or whipper-snip around them to keep them where they are suppose to be...


... for now, time to gather up some raspberry recipes....

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Saturday

Quote .... Friedrich Nietzsche




"He who fights with monsters... might take care...






... lest he, thereby.... become a monster"




Friedrich Nietzsche..... controversial German Philospher... 1844 - 1900

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