Wednesday, June 30, 2010

teeny steps

Okay, I can see I'll have to slowly ease you into any changes I make on the blog. You're attached to it, I know... I won't change the title, for now...

Monday, June 28, 2010

cooling off, Angus-style!


It's that time of year! I'm making jam and taking orders for anyone who'd like some.

1) Last call for strawberry!

2) The apricots are ripe right now. Thought I had a little more time but the 107 degree weather seems to have instantly ripened them. Let me know ASAP if you'd like apricot! I am doing that today!

3) Peach and nectarine will be ready in about a month. Slight chance of plum, but best not to count on it.

Everything is $5 per half pint. I'll gladly ship them (w/in the US). It's expensive because each jar is about a pound. I can put 6 in a box for $12. Want less or more? Just ask and I'll figure it out for ya!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

stinkin' hot

I would be perfectly happy if we could go straight from spring to fall. Like, let's have spring through July and fall starting in August, and just skip all this silly hot weather. And yet somehow all the fruit could magically get ripe anyway even if it never went over 80 degrees?

Sigh. I HATE the heat. It was 107 today. Even the cats melted.

As everyone likes to say here, "at least it's a dry heat" and having recently been to the part of the country where I stepped out of the gloriously air-conditioned 75 degree car long enough to gasp the moist 90-something degrees air and say "eww" I agree, thank goodness it's not humid here. I don't ever in a million years want to live in a hot and humid climate.

I finished the first lion knife tonight (the one I showed in progress last time). I will attempt to shoot some good pics when both are done, so I think I'll just leave you in suspense until then. I'll start the second one tomorrow. It'll be in color.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24 work in progress

Okay, the fact that I just wrote June 24 kind of freaks me out, because it doesn't feel like it ought to be late June. It feels like early June. Because I went away in late May, so it should now be early June. The 16 days of time warp kinda messed with my internal calendar. That also freaks me out because when I stop to consider the major out-of-town family things that happen before my next show, I have TWO MONTHS to get ready for Jackson Hole. And that means I need to be cranking stuff out in addition to commissioned work. Egads.

Right now I am working on two knives. These came in right before Blade Show. They are admittedly not "high end" knives, but they more than make up for that in sentimental value for their owner, and often times that seems to be what matters most anyway. Both knives are already scrimmed with the owners initials on the opposite side. Since that was done by someone else, I won't show it to you. These blank sides were done by someone else too, but not to the client's satisfaction, and they were sanded off and now are in my hands. They are both to be scrimmed with African Lions, and minimal backgrounds. I really took some time to figure out the best composition for each knife. One will be in color, one in b/w. One will have a whole lion, the other will only have part of a face.

Having done a bunch of color stuff just before Blade, I decided to do the b/w knife first for a change of pace.

Slowly the beast emerges. Geesh I love doing scrimshaw! Oh, and this is more than one day's progress!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

just a typical day

I am making efforts to get out of bed earlier than I would prefer. Because I need to walk the dog before the road is a gazillion degrees. I really ought to go to bed earlier... this isn't easy, I LIKE working really late at night. But I've gotten into the habit of morning doggie walks. Having a hard time with this.... I can't ever turn into one of those bloggers who tells you every mundane thing I do every day. Because my days are pretty mundane. Take today, for example, just a very typical day other than having a meeting this evening. In summary:

got up , but not as early as I intended
walked Angus 2.5 miles
rode Shylah for... ?... an hour? maybe a little less?
early lunch
took truck to mechanic to install new driver's side mirror (it had fallen off, oops!), done while I waited
baked 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes (for tonight) and 1 chocolate cake (for Friday)
made new vanilla frosting recipe
hated it, threw it out
made old faithful vanilla frosting recipe
frosted the cupcakes, froze the cake
fed animals, gathered eggs, etc.
found cat barf on floor of bedroom
cleaned it up
art club meeting/potluck tonight
got ice cream for Friday's ice cream cake
came home
scrimshaw? crap it's late though

Ooooh, blogger has some new templates... I keep thinking again about changing the title of the blog. I just can't decide what to change it to. I have a few things in mind but none really grab me. But let's face it, even though I'll always be the chicken lady to a lot of people, it's become a lesser part of my identity than it used to be.

Monday, June 21, 2010

scrimshaw: hippos on hippo

This is one I did in May, before I left for Blade Show. I have to give major props to the man who commissioned this, because he is one incredibly thoughtful guy! His wife collects hippos, and their ivory anniversary (14th I think?) was in early June, so he wanted hippos on ivory! And what better type of ivory to use than hippo tusk. This was the first time I'd worked on hippo tusk ivory. It came to me polished and ready to go (yay!) and I had no problems with it whatsoever. It scrimmed just fine, didn't seem any harder or softer than usual.


It's not very big:

The back side was left unpolished:

Sunday, June 20, 2010


And just like that, it's chick season. Okay, so I'm a few months behind everyone else. It was the best I could do. I couldn't have chicks around when I went to GA (because they're high-maintenance in terms of care, I won't subject anyone but me to that routine). Plus I was selling eggs early in the season, that works better than now when it's hot and they aren't laying as well. So, first batch of chicks hatched on Friday. Last batch of eggs went in the incubator today, because, of course, I can't have chicks under 6 weeks old by the time I leave again. This is really the only way in which my world still slightly revolves around chickens!

With the ones that hatched Thursday and the ones that a few other people have hatched for me, I have probably 55-60. I'm expecting maybe 40 more, so that's actually more than I'd planned on hatching anyway. It's all good.

This goofy schedule and my plans to not show at all in the fall (because I can't, the birds won't be ready) really make me question (again) what I'll do next year. I guess I'll figure it out when the time comes. If I get some good BBReds this season, since that's the major focus, hopefully that'll really help me figure out what to work on with the birds.

Anyway, here are some pics for your enjoyment. Angus thinks they're fabulous. He licks them. And likes them too. But his enthusiasm borders somewhat on manic, so I'm extremely careful with him and sure as heck would not leave him alone with them. The dog likes to chase things. But, so far so good with the little ones. This is so much easier with puppies versus an older dog...

Oh, side note here. Angus officially got weighed the other day when he needed to go to the vet (minor ear infection). He's 104 pounds. Mind you, he's lost significant weight since he got here, thanks to 2.5 miles of walking nearly every day (works for him, not for me, grumble). Anyway, so much for him being 90lbs as the rescue group claimed! I think that's funny. :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

easing into normal

It's been a weird few days, as I swing from exhausted to restless, joyful to sad. I think I'm caught up on sleep! But I miss the excitement of going somewhere new every day. I REALLY miss it. I didn't think I would. I can't say enough what a great trip that was, I LOVED it. But I miss my engraver friends so much. Thank goodness for the internet, eh? :-) I can't wait til the next show (January). I've been invited back to Kansas again this year, in August. I had a great time last year but I just don't think I can swing it this time, I'm pressed for time already between now and September, and already have a couple weekends taken by a wedding and then a family reunion. Arg. I'll think about it, but I don't think it'll work for me to go.

There are still some odds and ends of luggage strewn around that I haven't quite managed to deal with yet, but it was back to work today. Lots of correspondence to catch up on, price quotes, and sketches. I will be starting work on another knife tomorrow, and I'll tell you more about that later. I have quite a few commissions lined up, but also need to crank out a lot of work for the Western Visions show. It's under three months until I leave for Jackson Hole. I know how quickly three months went by before Blade Show! I have to say I'm excited about another road trip! Yes, I'm going to drive there too. I can get there in two days, and I'll need a car anyway since I plan to spend some time in Yellowstone. I'm still game for taking someone with me... so far no takers and that's okay too.

For your entertainment, here's Olin sitting in a hole, probably wondering why a cat can't get any privacy around here. Guess who had to go to the vet while I was in Atlanta... Guess where Olin had a foxtail sticker lodged in his body... think the worst possible place for a boy cat, a place that makes you think "how is that even possible?" Yes, up there, ahem. The vet had never seen that before. My poor little boy!!!!!!!!!!! He's fine now. Criminy, that's just awful!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Cross-Country Adventure!

Okay, the pics from the trip are up! If you think this is a lot, you'd be amazed how many I didn't post. I tried to pick the best and most interesting shots. The story is all in the captions. Feel free to comment! You don't need to log in to see the pics, but you do need a google account to comment. Enjoy! Click the pic below to view the album!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm back!

We got back yesterday mid afternoon from 16 days and over 6000 miles on the road. It's really strange to be back, that's about all I can say. It was cool weather when I left, 100 degrees on my return. I woke up at 7am today, ready to drive hundreds of miles again (and crashed for a 2 hour nap after lunch!). It was kind of a let down not to be out on the open road today. I'm easing back into my routines, trying hard to catch up on photos (I took SO MANY in Colorado and Utah!), and just trying to catch up, and come down off the high that was my trip across the country. It was awesome, just totally awesome. My head's still spinning. I hope to be caught up on the pics by the end of tomorrow, and I'll tell the whole story in the captions.

Friday, June 11, 2010

no really, I am alive...

But tired! I went into this with the best of intentions to update the photos daily. Ha ha. That won't be happening, I won't catch up til I'm home. I'm in Moab, Utah tonight. The network and my computer don't get along at all, so I'm writing this quick blog from Jan's computer just to let you know I have not fallen off the face of the earth, or into the Colorado River (though that wouldn't have been difficult today!). Anyway, pics are up through the 8th so far, you can get there via the link a few posts back.

I have sooooo many pics to post! And so much to say! But I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

yes I'm alive

Sorry for the lack of photos and blog postings, I just haven't had time! The show went pretty well, could have been better, but everyone said it was pretty slow, so all in all it was okay I guess. I made a lot of good contacts at the show, talked to a lot of people, gave away almost all my business cards, etc. And I had a GREAT time, both at the Blade Show and the Engrave-In. I will go into more detail at some point if I ever manage to catch up!

I am in St. Louis tonight. It was hard to leave today, I already miss my friends. I met a lot of new people and made some great new friendships.

We're going to try to leave super early tomorrow to beat rush hour, so I'd better call it a night.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Day 4: Amarilllo to Little Rock

Well, about 600 miles of ground covered today. We're way ahead of schedule, and trying to figure out what to do tomorrow... The rest of the story is in the photo album.

The Cross-Country Adventure!