Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28 work in progress

I'm just going to tease you a little with a closeup, because the whole thing is in kind of an awkward stopping point.  I've been working on this for a while, I did a monogram on the back.  More pics as it progresses along.

And since someone will probably ask, yes the ivory is cracked.  It came to me that way, and I'm doing my best to cover and blend the lines into the design.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

scenes from today


It's hard to beat that view. This on the neighboring parcel, I was on my own today and went wandering to see what the cows were up to. There is an incredible view of the valley below, and Mt. Lassen in the distance. 

Yes, cow, I actually can still see you... ;-) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

bunny scrimshaw

I imagine this must be true with any job, but sometimes the "funnest" projects are the ones you do just because you want to do them.  :-)  This is a little thank-you present I did to surprise a friend who did me a big favor recently.  The subject matter is a long story which would take way too much 'splainin' so let's just say the recipient is quite pleased!  And thus, so am I!

This was originally a round cross-section of tusk.  It cracked through the middle, so I broke it in half and polished up this nice half-circle.  Stupidly I forgot to photograph the side view (duh) but it's about 3/8 of an inch thick.  The markings you see around the rounded edge are "Schreger Lines."  This is the cross-grain of the ivory tusk, I did not create that pattern.

multicolor scrimshaw on pre-ban elephant ivory
entire piece is 1.25 inches along the bottom, rabbit is 5/8 inch from nose to tail
by Katherine Plumer, © 2013

not for sale, private collection

Pictured below is an extreme closeup.  The area shown is about 3/8 of an inch wide.  Like what you see?  I do custom work.  :-)

Monday, February 18, 2013

chicken romance, and recent shenanigans

Two shows in two weekends is a lot of work.  And while I'll REALLY miss my friends when show season is over, like I said in an earlier post I've got that "aaack I need to stop traveling and get stuff done" feeling.  The weekend of the 9th I was in Ferndale, CA, for a poultry show.  I'd never been to Ferndale before, the show used to be in Eureka, and it was a pleasant change to a quiet little dairy-cow town.  The weekend was so much fun I'm pretty sure that it must have violated some sort of rules.  Good friends, good times.  :-)

And the birds are doing well this year.  To my amazement, I got Best RCCL with one of the BBRed cockerels at that show.

And everyone sang Happy Birthday to me at the banquet.  Awww!  :-)  That may have been my best 29th birthday yet.  ;-)

Indy got a new lady friend when he was in Ferndale.  This is Stella, she's a Thai Asil like him (well, he may be a mix, who knows).  I don't plan on raising these beasts, they are difficult to house, but the two of them are pretty much joined at the hip now and I do plan on selling eggs.

This last weekend was another poultry show down in Fresno, and another omg-so-much-fun couple of days.  One of my BBRed cockerels took Best of Breed, beating out some nice Black pullets.  Yeah!  I took Indy to the show too, because they have a very large and well-respected Game Fowl show there.  He won his weight class, squee!  And yes I'm immature enough to think the plaque is HILARIOUS!  Insert jokes here...  ;-)  I'm sure he's proud.

Here's Jen and I with our boys (I'm in the plaid shirt):

So there is just one more show that I will be attending this season, and that's at the very end of March in Red Bluff, which is only about 45 minutes away.  I am hoping we can get the breeding pens done within the next few weeks so I can bring up the rest of the birds and start setting eggs.  I'm going to give myself a 6-week window in which to hatch eggs... whatever I get is what I get.  But I want to be done by June, and as you know... time flies.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

a portrait of Buddy

Sometimes I just have to create something for someone.  Maybe someone did me a favor that I didn't know how to repay at the time, or maybe it's just a spur of a moment for-the-heck-of-it gift.  And sometimes these are the most enjoyable things to work on.  But it means keeping things tightly under wraps, in this digital day and age when I'm connected to almost everyone I know, lest the secret get out.  I'm working on another "I need to do this for someone" project right now, which I won't show you until it is in the hands of the recipient (about another week and a half).

Buddy the pit bull passed away a couple of weeks ago, and I had to draw him for a good friend of mine.  :-)

"Buddy" (Pit Bull)
graphite and charcoal on velour paper
copyright © 2013 Katherine Plumer
8 by 8 inches

Monday, February 04, 2013

introducing Indigo

Oh boy... Okay, let me start at the beginning.  About a week and a half ago, just minutes after my arrival in Reno, a text and phone call came from a friend of mine down in Wilton, my former next-door-neighbor.  There was a rooster on her doorstep, and what on earth should she do about that.  And not just any little rooster, a big ole game rooster.  I suggested she either turn the hose on him and run him off, or wait and see if he'd leave on his own.  Goodness knows where he came from, he just kinda fell out of the sky.  I don't know anyone in that area who raises those particular birds.

So, by the time I got back from Reno, the rooster hadn't left, and she didn't want him hanging around.  I agreed to catch him, take him to an upcoming show, and sell him.

He greeted me by attacking my leg.  Oh great.

I brought him up to Oak Run with me to figure out what to do.  And in the last week I've gotten to know this very interesting bird.  He has pretty well endeared himself to me.  He's not the slightest bit aggressive, he's very calm and curious.  I think that first day when I, a total stranger, walked right up to him and made a grab at him, he freaked out.  This makes even more sense when you factor in that he's partially blind (iris-lens adhesion in his left eye).  So, given that I think he's rather cool, and that he's half blind, I can't sell him.  I'm just a pushover when it comes to animals (well, to an extent anyway)...

So I'm keeping him.  His name is Indigo.  "Indy" for short.  He's an Aseel, about six pounds, solid as a rock, a big meatball.  No doubt he came from a pretty rough life... a fighting bird, no doubt.  He's got some scars, and his blindness is likely the result of head trauma.  I can't send him back to that life.

I have to make a pen for him, which is the thing I'm least thrilled about because the show/breeding bird pens are still not done, and the last thing I need is to be spending time and money and this big brute instead of on them.  But there ya have it.  I'm scrounging scrap material and should be able to assemble something that doesn't break the bank, though it might not be too pretty.  At the moment he spends the day in the aviary that Olin normally gets to use (Olin stayed in Wilton this month, I'm gone too much and he doesn't like to be alone), and he's stuck in a crate at night because the aviary isn't very predator-proof.

Anyway, he's pretty cool!  I'll be taking him to a couple upcoming shows and putting him in the game fowl class.  I figure his presence somehow compensates for my peafowl having run off and left me, or at least that's some justification for keeping him.  But no more animals!  My whole goal here is to keep my animal flock as manageable as possible.  I don't have the time (or interest, for that matter) to be taking care of critters all day, and as much as I am on the road for one thing or another I don't want to leave any extra work for anyone else.  I'm sticking with one horse, a cat that goes where I go, and chickens that ought to be ridiculously low-maintenance once the coop is all done. :-)

Note, at the time of writing this, three of the pics are failing to load.  I'm utterly at a loss as to why that is, seems to be something wrong with my domain, so maybe by the time you read this all nine photos will be there.