Monday, June 20, 2016

New Wood Floor and New Etsy Listings

The new wood floor - so nice not to have hills in the floor now
This past week mom and I had new wood floors put down in the living room and two hallways. A little over a month ago our water heater decided to spring a leak and water went everywhere. We thought we got it mopped up and fans going pretty fast - but it went into the hallway and damaged our wood floors. So, insurance was called, a run to Home Depot to figure out the wood floor color we wanted and then waited for the delivery and install.


While waiting for the call for the install - we had to move all the furniture out of the living room - and that meant unloading the Shrank (this is a solid German wall unit mom bought when we were living in Germany). Mom had it filled with all of our glass work we have purchased over the years, old photo albums, vinyl records, VCR tapes and DVDs. That was fun to unload. We then broke down and asked a good friend of ours if he could help us move it. I really don't think he will volunteer for anything ever again :)

Lily watching the fan
This past Tuesday the guys, who would lay the floor, came to the house - and of course after they pulled up the floor there were issues. So, there was some major clean up and then mom bought bleach and cleaned up the floor. So, on Wednesday they came back and laid the floors.


On Sunday our friend (yes, he came back) helped move the Shrank back into the house. Once it was in mom and I had to put it back together again - and boy was that fun. We will start putting the pretties back in this week - because it has to get done before we pick up my niece and nephew this Saturday for a two week visit. We really need to get the TV back in place so they can play the Wii.


Other fun things happening - our new George Burns rose bush (my other George Burns finally died) is blooming. Both mom and I were so excited to see the first bloom open up. Now he has about 10 blooms opened up and they smell so good.


After almost eight years of doing craft and art shows - mom and I finally bought a banner. Both of us are so happy with the way it turned out. LOVE IT!


On Sunday - while mom was cleaning - I was taking pictures of the metal prints that arrived on Saturday. I had to go on a scavenger hunt for the box - it said it was delivered but there wasn't a box on the front porch. So, went up and down our street until I found the box on our neighbor's porch. At least it got me outside to walk around - but there was a slight panic there for awhile.

Here is what got posted on Etsy:

Bee on Flower

Butterfly on Flower
Dandelion - for military children - this is my favorite image
since I was an Army brat for 12 years
Peony
Macro shot of a fire hydrant in Michigan
Macro shot of a fire hydrant in Michigan
Macro shot of a fire hydrant in Michigan
I hope you all had a great weekend - and a great start to the summer!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Flower Friday

Clematis in our front yard
I thought it would be fun to do a flower Friday - since mom and I have lots and lots and lots of flower photos.

Rose bush near our front door - her name is Gracie to go with George (who is
not blooming yet)
I have to say - I think spring is my favorite time of year. I love all the different flowers that are blooming and I am actually getting pretty good at naming them. I have even surprised mom a time or two with the name of the flowers that she didn't even know.


Peony - I had no idea that some of them had a pink center
I think this year my favorite flowers are the peony flowers that have been blooming over at the little hort park. They are just gorgeous!


And of course the daisy - such a simple flower - but can be so beautiful!


And I am finishing it off with one more peony. Of course they are now done for the year which makes me sad but at least I have something to look forward to next spring.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Busy and Productive Weekend


This past Saturday was the Round the Fountain Art Fair, which mom and I have gone to each year since I have been home. This year we bought four more metal sculptures to put in the area between my extension and the main house. This is our metal art area.

A hummingbird smelling a flower

A woodpecker

Two birds sitting on a plate

Two owls
Once we were done shopping it was time to work in the garage and finish up sawing, filing and sanding the special order leaf that was requested by a customer on Etsy.


While mom was filing and sanding the leaf pendants - I was working on sawing out a lot of pendants. If you haven't been able to tell - I HATE file and sanding. I love my mom because she does that for us - she is beyond awesome. She has some mad sawing skills and she is nice enough to do the stuff I hate :)


Here is mom filing and sanding a large leaf bowl. Once she is done with the sanding - I will heat it up so she can pound the copper into shape.


These are all the leaf pendants that she got filed and sanded. They are just waiting to go into the kiln.


Link to the YouTube video
The above is a link to the YouTube video I posted of mom pounding the copper into shape. Mom is very particular on the feel of the bowl. She will pound the copper for awhile and then hold it in her hand to see if she likes the feel of the bowl. She will continue to do this until she gets it perfect.



On Sunday I worked on enameling the leaf pendants and bowl. For three of the leaf pendants I used the colors the customer requested and the other three leaf pendants I played and experimented with color.



While I was enameling I had to kick mom out of her usual spot. So, she had to move over to where I usually work. Each of us have a different working style and we have to have our spots set up in a specific way. Yes, we are weird and I freely admit it.


So, mom worked on filing and sanding the pendants I sawed out. Next weekend I will enamel them and hopefully have pictures to share with you.


Mom also finished sawing out the eagle. Now it has to be filed and sanded and then we talk about what colors we will use to enamel it.


This is our lovely kiln going hot and heavy. You can sort of see the leaf pendant sitting on the trivet.


And here are the finished pieces after they have cooled off and ready for pictures.


So, Monday was picture taking day. I really love this new lightbox set up that we put together last month.


After pictures were taken - it was time to edit those pictures. I use Picmonkey - and about all I use on it is the crop and resize of the images.


So, I got all the pendants listed into our Etsy store - and shared the images with the customer who got us started on the leaf pendants. She picked the leaf she wanted and I listed the rest.

SOLD - Green Leaf Pendant
Dark Green Leaf Pendant
Yellow and Green Leaf Pendant
Pink Leaf Pendant

Red Leaf Pendant

Yellow Leaf Pendant
So, that was our weekend. Just a little bit busy - oh and plus mom worked in the yard a little bit on Sunday - along with all the filing and sanding. And yes, she is glutton for punishment. Believe me if I had known what she was up to - there would have been much yelling going on. Sometimes I wonder who is the mother and child :)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day - In Remembrance



Memorial Day -  is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forcesThe holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. (definition found here)

Many people mix up Memorial Day with Veteran's Day - and I sometimes get thanked for my service on Memorial Day. Now, the thought is nice - but I wanted to make sure people understood the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.


This is my great-Uncle Gerald. He was killed in action on 23 February, 1945 at Iwo Jima. Mom and I were lucky enough to borrow the letters he wrote to my great-grandparents and inside the box of letters was also the letter from his commander, the telegram of his death, a letter from the chaplain and a letter from his buddy.

Along with the letter from the chaplain he inserted a poem written by P1/Sgt. Michael Nuzzola, United States Marine Corp. (I may have gotten the rank wrong - the paper is starting to be hard to read)

At Iwo Jimas' Graves

Dear God, 'neath Iwo Jima's sky
I offer simple prayer, 
For these Marines who buried lie,
Please give your special care.

No weaklings, for they all were men,
They stormed the creature in his lair;
And let the world know once again,
That the fighter did his share.

In fullest measure they have paid,
The price of liberty.
For theirs has been a great crusade,
To make the whole world free.

And guide those men, who peace will make,
Whose price of duty's not so high.
Be sure this time, there's no mistake,
On why, these men did die.

So, please remember those who have given their lives for our freedom to enjoy this holiday weekend.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Fun Filled Weekend

Computer room cleaned up - and new location of light box.
This past Friday both mom and I took the day off to work in the house and outside. What we ended up doing was working in the garage - to clean it out and move all of the copper and sawing stuff back out there since it is warm enough to work outside.

After we got the garage cleaned up we then cleaned out the computer room and moved stuff around. There was a small aisle I could walk through to get to my side of the house - now I can actually spread my arms out and twirl around. Now that it is de-clutterd mom doesn't feel so claustrophobic in there. We also moved the light box around - so I have more room to take pictures.


This is the side of the garage that is setup for lampworking, enameling and sawing. As you see mom is in her spot sawing out a plate.

Gluing down patterns on copper.
On Saturday mom and I worked on sawing out pendants. Mom and I have a custom order we are working on - a customer, from Etsy, wanted a leaf pendant. So, we are sawing out six pendants so I can enamel various colors she wanted so she has a selection to choose from. Whatever ones she does not purchase I will put out in the Etsy shop.


This is a pile of pieces I am working on. I usually saw out the perimeters and any easy designs. Mom is the one who likes to saw out the intricate designs - no thank you!


This is a short video of mom sawing out designs on a plate.


This is a look of her hands after she has filed and sanded a pendant. Her hands are usually black and green from the sanding of the pendants. I am so glad she doesn't mind doing this part of the pendants. I really hate filing and sanding!!!!


This is the pendant I was working on sawing out - like I said - I like the easy designs to saw out! But it gives you an idea of the size of saw blades we use.


After I got done sawing - I went inside to work on creating a banner for our outside shows. I think I have up to five designs created. Mom looked them over and we both like the last one I created (which I don't have showed here). We both decided we didn't like the font that came with the design - so changed the font - and I changed the layout of the images. Need to make a couple more changes and then have mom look at it again to make sure there is no misspellings and we are both happy with the design. Decisions, decisions, decisions.


Sunday was working outside - because, well, the weather was just gorgeous! This is one of the plots in the backyard that mom wanted to re-do. We tore out three, very large, ornamental grasses. We also tore out this black cloth, that the people who created the plots laid down, and wasn't doing much of anything except making our lives miserable. We then put in 30 bags of dirt and planted flowers. The two lilac plants and the two large day lilies, to the right, are what were already in the plot - everything else is brand new.

So - a lot was done this weekend. I feel great and like we actually accomplished something.
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