Sunday, February 27, 2011

O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Well, when last I wrote I was heralding the onset of spring, blah, blah, blah. A little setback here. We have had snow and really cold weather, and brutal winds, and tonight it has warmed a bit and it is snowing again. Spring will come It must, but we are a ever anxious for its face.
Friday evening we were treated to watching a doe and last summer's twin fawns lapping up the sunflower seeds James has been scattering for the birds. All three look in lovely sleek shape.

The opening of the show at the Temp was a huge success. James' piece sold almost immediately and will find a good home with the couple who bought it. A number of other large pieces sold that evening: a mixed media collage by Brandy Dyer called "My Life" which will hang in the offices of Mental Health here locally, a number of wonderful stone carvings and more smaller works. The show was a great success for the week it lasted. It was classy all the way. The lions share of the show's organization was done by Maggie Leal-Valias with the expert assistance of Sandy Kunze in arranging and hanging it.
I have finished redoing the forms for this year's ArtWalk and we will be stuffing envelopes this weekend.
This week in our Self Employment class we will be studying Quick Books. The young would say "Kill me now." 
I have also signed up for another class at Beadazzled making a bangle bracelet and that will be my reward.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

James has just finished this sculpture for the Contemporary Sculpture Show at the Temp Gallery on Canyon St in Creston. The show opens Friday night at 7:00 pm  and will continue from 11 am - 7:00 pm Feb 18 - 24.

  Detail of sculpture by James McDowell. 
The sculpture is 25 in X 25 in X 5 in and is for sale.

I am putting in an arrangement of crocheted flowers and tea cozies in an installation I'm calling it "All the Flowers in my Garden."

Down here in Creston's sunny south (I haven't seen the sun in a few.) spring really is on its way. Most of our snow is well on its way to gone. James has seen red winged black birds, the robins are out, and a friend tells me she smelled the unmistakable odour of skunk the other morning; the sure sign of spring.
With winter waning I'm looking at the yard and thinking of our son and his fiance's wedding this summer. Much to do. Much to do.

My class continues. This is week 6 of 12. It is a huge commitment of time at the time of year when we should be getting ready for this summer's sales but as I hammer away at a business plan things in my mind are clarifying.
I have decided I will not bake for the Farmer's Market this summer.
I love making people happy but it takes 3 hard days of baking - without air conditioning, I might add! - and then another day at the market and then it takes the other 3 to recuperate to start baking again. I would rather make birdhouses, or jewellery, or cards, or tea cozies and when I'm baking I have no energy to do those other things.
We do plan to do the market but will be selling cards and jewellery, birdhouses and tea cozies, and some of James' lovely garden produce. 
Today in the mail I just received 3 wonderful books from on jewellery making: Steam punk, Soldering, and Cold Joins. I am more than thrilled. Last week I took an evening's class on wire wrapping and I think I am in love!
I think the summer will be busy enough.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pine Grosbeaks

This winter we have not been using the regular bird feeder since the bear came by and bent its pole in half last summer. This is not an altogether happy thought: neither the bear, nor the lack of the feeder.
We have been throwing seeds out under the bushes and on the lawn and getting whole flocks of Juncos, lots of chickadees, various finches and today we were blessed by a Pine Grosbeak. I borrowed the picture. He is a bit bigger than the finches and with a heavy grosbeak beak.
We've never seen one here before. I've seen them across the valley in West Creston and my girlfriend about a mile down the road had some earlier this year but here on our hilltop, this is the first we've seen.
Winter progresses. Ours has been milder than many years and open for the most part. Even though we've had it easy we are very ready for spring and planting things. I was SO very tempted to pull the grass off the spot my snow drops grow the other day but fortunately caution prevailed as it has gone back to freezing hard again. Usually the snowdrops are under a big drift of snow off the roof but this year we don't have that.
James has been keeping busy in the shop and studio. He has built himself a 16 inch band saw, mostly of wood, inspired by a YouTube video.
This week he was creating a wooden sculpture for the Contemporary Sculpture Show that will run at the Temp Gallery on Main street  from Feb 18 through the next week as part of our month long Spirit Fest.
I plan to show a grouping of my tea cozies.
My class progresses and I am getting more of a handle on our business but sitting "thinking" from 9:00 - 3:30 5 days a week is a big change after all these years. It takes a different kind of stamina than working with ones hands.
James and I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary today by watching the Super Bowl. I like both teams that are playing and it should be a good game.