Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26 work in progress

I started this in January, I worked on it while I was at a show. And then I didn't touch it til June, when I took it to Blade Show and worked on it there too. Now I need to finish it by the end of the day Thursday so I can enter it in a show.

not yet titled
11 by 13.5 inches
graphite and charcoal on velour

these strange June days

Edit: this was supposed to post the night of June 25h but the internet was down so it's posting the morning of the 26th. It was really hot not too long ago. And then in a matter of about a day, it got really cool. I love this cool weather! It's raining tonight. I do not expect to be wearing jeans and a sweatshirt all day in late June, and yet today I did. Not complaining, I'll take this over the horrible heat any day! The horrible heat will get here soon enough...

 I went exploring this evening for a little while. Walking is not the same without a dog. I miss Angus. :-( There are several dogs here though, so I will start taking one with me as a walking buddy.

Does "X" mark the spot even when it's just cow trails?

Monday, June 25, 2012

bitchy mares

Whew, it is very hard to find the time to sit down and blog, much less to sort through photos.  I've got the bulk of the unpacking done, now just little stuff, rearranging, trying to find things I've lost, etc.  I gauge my "doneness" by how willing I would be to have a visitor come over, and I think "eek, no, not ready for visitors" so I'm not done yet!  Soon...

My horse Shylah had been living by herself for a few weeks here.  She got new roommates the other morning.  They spent a day across a fence line from each other before they went into the same pen, but there was of course still some bitchiness to be dealt with...  No horses were harmed in this photo series. It's an odd dynamic.  Shylah is ranked #2.  The huge mare Kaylee rules the roost.  The little mare Lia is on the bottom of the pecking order.  Kaylee is very protective of Lia, so on this first day Lia kept wanting to get close to Shylah but Kaylee would not allow that to happen.

Run Shylah run!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

hello from northern California

I'm still alive!  ;-)  Things are busy, and things feel strange.  Does this feel like home yet?  Nope.  Right now nothing feels like home, and I totally knew that would happen.  I have unpacked a lot; still have a long way to go though.  It's tough figuring out where everything will go.  And remembering where I packed it.  And remembering where I unpack it!  ;-)  I'm not actually living up there yet, I'm in the guest room of the house.  Still just a few more dusty/dirty jobs to be done in the loft as far as construction goes, and I hate to unpack everything only to battle more dust.  One of the interior walls (leading into the tack room area) had been open til just about a week ago, so needless to say there is a lot of dust accumulated on the floor/walls/all my furniture, and every time I turn the fan on it blows it around a little more!  My cute little vacuum cleaner is getting quite a workout.

I'm definitely not ready for visitors yet!

I desperately need to get back to studio work.  The immediate next project is a drawing I started a few months ago, now on a deadline and must be done within a week.  So you'll be seeing pics of that pretty soon.

The chickens are still down in Wilton and will be there for... at least a few weeks?  Timing to be determined, but I've got them set up so that they are extremely low-maintenance.

The peafowl are not settled in at all.  Nara, who as you recall has a broken leg, is confined to a large dog crate within the aviary with Omar and Jovi.  She's very calm and handling confinement well, but it's just too soon to know how well her leg will heal.  She's going to be confined for a long time.  That wasn't supposed to happen like this.  :-(  Omar and Jovi are both still pretty worked up.  They did both eat out of my hand the first night I got back here after being gone for a week and a half, and that put a big smile on my face, but they are both still pacing and nervous and definitely not the way they were.  It'll take time... longer than I expected.

I know I need to post some pics.  Heck I need to explore the property and take some pics!  I will, I will...

Friday, June 15, 2012

craptastic planning

I try, I really do.  I try to get things all organized and sorted out but more often than not my little plans go awry.  Here's an example: I shipped a box of stuff (artworks, portfolio, display stuff) to Blade Show (because it's easier/safer than taking it as luggage on the plane).  And then I shipped it back, thinking, as I packed it up, "I don't need any of this stuff for a while."  It's coming to Wilton, the address where it shipped from a few weeks ago.  I'd planned to be up in Oak Run by the time it arrives.  No problem, nothing I need in there any time soon, right?  Oops.  As I was almost asleep last night, I realized that actually there are some things in there I need right away.  Like the drawing I was working on at the show, for example.  Right now, that's looking like it'll be my only entry in Draft Horse Classic (entries due July 1).  And it's not finished, which means I need to finish it ASAP.  Meaning, I need to get my hands on that thing the moment it arrives because that's going to give me about a week to finish it.  Hmm, maybe I can come up with something else to enter too...

Sigh.  Didn't think that through too well, or I could have put it in my other suitcase and brought it back on the plane.  Sigh, so then I had to wonder well do I just wait around Wilton til Wednesday, or should I head up to Oak Run for a few days.  I'll head north, I need all the unpacking time I can get, and besides since I'll only be away a few days I'll snag the minivan and take a bunch of stuff I wasn't planning on taking til well on down the road some time.  Silver lining?

I have absolutely no idea where I put the change-of-address things I got at my new PO Box.

I have absolutely no idea where I put a lot of things.  I hope they surface pretty soon.  There are only so many places they could be (ha ha, I hope!).

Until I learn how to use Dreamweaver, my websites won't be getting updated.  I think that means my websites won't get updated for a while.  I was really very fond of GoLive, I hope I can figure out Dreamweaver as well as I figured out GoLive.

It's hot, too hot.  Summertime is yucky.

Yes, I'd like some cheese with all this whine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

so I went to Atlanta, and now I'm back...

What time zone am I in?  Where am I?  Requires a bit of thought lately.  ;-)  I left for Blade Show in Atlanta GA on Thursday of last week, and got back late last night.  Hmm, actually, it was technically this morning.

I don't do a lot of shows, nor do I particularly want to do a lot of shows.  A few a year is fine by me.  This was my third year at Blade (the biggest knife show in the western hemisphere, I think is what they say).  It's huge, seriously overwhelmingly huge.  And the question everyone asks after the show is "how did it go?"  Well, time will tell, we'll see who actually calls or emails.  :-)  I do find myself wondering if the exposure is worth the expense, and whether I actually *need* to go, but aside from that I know that it's good for me to spend some time around other engravers/scrimshanders.  Seeing friends is good, swapping stories is good, seeing others' work is inspiring.  I haven't committed to be there next year, but I probably will.  I think it all just seemed a little extra crazy and disconnected this year because of the timing, happening in the middle of moving.

After Blade Show I went to the Engrave-In in Monteagle, TN.  This is always lots of fun.  It rained a lot this year, which may have put a damper on people's travel plans, but I think I preferred it to the usual hot and humid weather!  I feel like a real fish out of water down there in the south, for a lot of reasons, but that one evening every year that I eat catfish and alligator for dinner and then sit and watch the fireflies... well that's rather special to me.  :-)  I know some darn good people, and enjoyed meeting a few new ones, and getting to know a few old ones better than I did before.  It's been a good week...

I deliberately did not take photos, I knew I wouldn't have time to go through them any time soon.

Flying makes me long to take a road trip.

So, I'm in Wilton for a couple of days, doing more packing and whatnot around here.  Actually, today I was totally dragging all day and didn't get much done.  I'll go back up to Oak Run in a few days and unpack and try to get settled in.  I need to be in one place for more than a few days...

Well, I think my eyeballs are still on eastern time zone, so I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Nara needs some well-wishes

Catching the peafowl at night to move them, as was suggested to me, turned out not to be the right thing to do.  In hindsight, I think they would have handled that much better in daylight when they could have seen that it was me, but I was trying to do what I thought was easier on them.  Talk about backfiring.

Nara broke her leg that night, and I feel terrible about it.  Totally breaks my heart, and I feel like it's my fault.  It was awful catching them that night, they were terrified, they all shot straight up into the air and crashed down hard.  I didn't know until Saturday that she was injured, and I wish I had simply caught them in the morning instead when they could see their surroundings and see that it was me.

They are in a nice big pen in the shade of an oak tree up in Oak Run now, and understandably freaked out.  I have to keep reminding myself that they paced around a lot when I moved them the first time, months ago.  I left Nara alone for a couple of days, hoping she would start to improve, and not wanting to stress her out more by catching her again.  But this morning I felt that she was looking more lethargic, whereas Omar and Jovi are ceaselessly pacing (actually, they were starting to calm down a little by today, particularly Jovi).  So Jen and I cornered and caught Nara, which was a good bit easier than I anticipated.  She does indeed have a broken leg.  It's not in a place that can be splinted (up high on the "drumstick" near the thigh joint), but I was worried that she was just getting too stressed out having to move around to get food and water, and getting bumped into by the other two.  So we went ahead and put her in a crate with easy access to food and water.  I have to say that once she was caught she was extremely calm.  I checked on her before I left there today (I'm back in Wilton right now, gotta get some rest, do some laundry, and get ready to leave for Blade Show early Thursday morning) and she looked totally serene, sitting in the crate looking out at the other two birds.

It will take some time for them all to settle in.  They are like different birds again, won't get near me.  The timing is terrible, what with me not heading back up there for over a week.  They're very sensitive as to who they know and who they don't.  They are in excellent hands with "Dr. Jen" but my poor Nara, so sad!

She has a long recovery ahead of her, and they won't be released to free-range for a lot longer than I had originally planned.  Send some good thoughts her way!!!


Monday, June 04, 2012

moving in

Normally I would blog at night, not first thing in the morning, but by tonight I think I'll be too sore and exhausted to do anything but go to bed!  ;-)

I've been moving in for a few days, up here in Oak Run.  Does it feel like "home" yet?  No, that will take some time.  In fact I'm not even living in the loft yet, I'm still hanging out in the guest room of the house.  The loft still needs an east wall and a front door, and besides that it's a jumble of boxes and the bed's still wrapped in plastic to protect it from things that are still being built, hung, painted, etc.  It's a work in progress!  I'm not sure what to call "home" right now.  But I feel much better now that I'm up there.

I still have a ton of work to do down in Wilton.  There are still a lot of things to bring up here... fragile stuff that would have gotten in the way right now, etc.  The furniture didn't fit as well as I had planned out on paper, so I've had to make some changes and I'll have to see how that affects some of my storage plans (had to put the flat files under my bed, for example, instead of in the living room).  It looks really nice up there though, or at least I can see potential for niceness once it  doesn't look quite so much like a dumping ground for furniture and boxes.

I fly out for Blade Show at the crack of dawn on Thursday.  Oy vey, it feels like such an afterthought this year.  I could use a vacation though.  ;-)

A few days ago it was 100 degrees and miserable.  This morning it's cool and raining.  Okay.  I have a lot of heavy stuff to schlep up the stairs today, so I'm fine with that!

The peafowl are up here too, and it's going to take them a while to settle in.  Poor things, I feel really bad for them out there pacing around.  They are like different birds than the friendly beggars I've been enjoying.  Nara hurt her leg quite badly, probably when I caught them late Friday night.  Keep your fingers crossed that she makes a full recovery.  I don't know what's wrong because I don't want to catch her and make the trauma worse.

Okay, I'd better go schlep.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

moving sucks

There's just no other way to say that, moving sucks.  I'm not good at this.  It takes me WAY too long to pack up, and I don't know why other than I'm trying to organize things BEFORE I get there because there  is so little space available I have to be really selective.  Thank goodness it's "close enough" (185 miles) that it's not all THAT big of a deal to drive up and back, and since I'm going to be around Wilton a lot anyway (like next week, because I have to fly out to a show) there are a lot of things I didn't even bother to load in the trailer tonight... fragile stuff that will just be in the way right now, and can totally just go in my car next time I'm heading north.  Winter coats, warm boots... won't need those for a while!

So despite my best intentions to get ALL my stuff packed and the house totally cleaned and Mom's furniture totally rearranged... that definitely did not happen... at least not yet.  It's a disaster in here.  I'll have to deal with it next week.

I have to give a huge shout out to my amazing friend Wendy, who is a lifesaver (not the candy) and who I could not do this without.  Not only did she haul my round pen panels up there a few months ago, and my horse last week, but she's taking my furniture tomorrow.  There are not enough baked goods and art in the world to thank her for all this... but I'm trying.  :-)  And I'm incredibly grateful.

And while I'm at it, I have to give a huge shout out to Jen and Don, for building the loft above the barn, and making it mind-bogglingly awesome, and inviting me to come live with them.  I feel like I don't deserve that, and I'm never really sure what to say and it usually comes out wrong but I know they'll read this here so you guys...  I can't possibly ever thank you enough, I don't even have the words, but you are truly amazing friends...  I hope I don't drive you crazy.  :-)

Anyway, the furniture and most of the "stuff" is going up tomorrow, as are the peafowl.  I caught them tonight and it was incredibly traumatic and horrible, I don't ever want to do that again.  I've spent a long time making friends with them and earning their trust and I hope they forgive me for it.

This is the start of the in-between period, where I'm going to probably feel lost and like I don't really live anywhere.  I likely will not actually be sleeping up in the loft for a little while yet, I'll still be camped out in the guest room of the big house.  Most of my belongings are packed, except for the things I didn't get to, the things I might need for Blade Show (oh yeah, talk about bad timing!) and whatever else I forgot.  And all the chickens, they'll probably be here another month.

So yes, I'll be back, probably fairly often in the next month or two, and less often as time goes on.  In fact I'll be back in a few days, and then a week after that, and then who knows.  And all you doubters and nay-sayers out there, I understand you.  I've had my moments of feeling like I'm making a huge mistake, feeling like I'm about to barf, and wondering what the heck I've gotten myself into.  And then I stop and think about a few months from now, all settled, in the routine, getting work done... ah yes.  It will be good.  I'm just having a tough time with the right now part, and I'm told it's normal to question one's own ability to survive in the world, right?  So be nice, give me some enthusiasm and some faith, goodness knows I could use it right now.  I'm not good at this.  I don't know how people do this.  And I can't for the life of me understand how it is that I don't remember the last time I moved.  How on earth could I forget??  I know this won't be the last time I move but by golly I won't be doing this again any time soon!

To my friends here, don't forget me.  We can still do lunches, and breakfasts, and ice cream, and doggie dates, and dinner... it'll just take some planning.  :-)

Well, okay, I have to get up in a few hours, so I'd better stop.

By the way, I always thought I didn't have much "stuff"... until I had to pack it up.  OMG.