March marched on and April has been a bit of a fool….

I think March did a double-time march and I blinked twice and it was April! I really haven’t been fooling around much in April, just trying to get the rest of the backyard work done, stitch, get a few chunks of wood underway, and such.
Now I approach May and realize I am really getting older, year 72 of my life is about to start! Only one joint is reminding me daily of age and I have hopefully trained my brain to listen to my body about my age. (far too often the brain wants to be back at 40 or 50 and do stuff the body no longer can do.) On the flip side, I am enjoying “retirement” such as it is. No time clock for meals or naps or such.
So that is life in a nutshell for today.

Garden progress Feb 2022

I have been busy building trellis, starting seeds and filling planters for this year’s garden. Yep, here in Arizona, I am actually late on the carrots, lettuces, and beets. I really like container gardens for most stuff here… the ground is really hard. I do have one ‘raised’ bed but it is a battle keeping neighborhood cats out of it!

In the first photo there is a small Mexican (Key) lime tree on the left side and the raised bed is behind the tree. I have tucked in a small greenhouse on the back of the house and it is full of plant starts now. I have fingers crossed that the garden grows well.

Plants planned, started, growing: bush beans, pole beans, Salsa garden tower, tomatoes, ground cherrys, lettuce, carrots, boc choi, beets (several colors) squash (three types one of each) lots of herbs, okra and sunflowers. Will post updates once a month on this project.

The tiny pistol

A tiny (about 5 inches long) cap pistol from my youth.

Sorting thru a bunch of stuff and found this tiny cap pistol. I have had it for well over 60 years. But sadly it had no grips or holster. Jef took up the challenge to make grips and a holster for it. (he is not only a gunsmith but leatherworker of great talent) The day after I let him have my little pistol, he came over with new grips and a hand tooled and hand-stitched holster to fit! I remember using the little rolls of caps with this pistol and getting in a spot of trouble with my Dad (Rusty Fought). I quickly learned that you NEVER ever aim even a toy pistol at another person. Yep, got a paddling and had the pistol taken away for a time. He did explain that you only aimed at what you intend to kill and even if it is a toy, it still was not to be aimed at people. (The dogs hated the sound so they ran off to the woods when we played with the cap guns.) Ah, good memories and some not so good but at least I have the little pistol and the memories!

Dust drops in the house

Dust mote snow storm 

I was laying on the couch one morning mostly watching birds outside when I noticed the sun causing little bits of glitter in the air.  Aha, dust!  From the Afghan on the back of the couch perhaps…. Yep.  Smack the top of the couch and what a storm of little gray bits glinting in the sun.  I tried blowing on them,,, they floated in crazy circles.  Ok, must get photos.  Not as easy as I thought but did get a few good ones and one that was definitely a ‘snow storm’.  I did take the Afghan out and shake it but it probably should go thru the wash… don’t even remember who crocheted it for me.

So goes my very wild life in Arizona…

sunlight coming thru glass door

At war with WordPress pages

today like at 2:25 am, I attempted to post a bit of my poetry.

If you want to view it… since it did NOT show up on this main page…

click on ::: Short Stories by Nancy and that should take you to the correct page.

|From now on I will just put on this main page my meanderings of mind 🙂

Evening walk 16 Jan 2022 Apache Junction AZ

A beautiful evening walk in the neighborhood. (did little over a half-mile according to Runkeeper)

A bit of a breeze, overcast sky, and a very large moon up above. By the time I got home, the moon was showing signs of wet weather coming, but out here in the desert, that may or may not happen. As the sun vanished, the temperature began its downward trail…  (Ok, so from 65 to 60 F wasn’t that much drop)

There are about 350 or so houses in our neighborhood, and there were people sitting outside chatting, kids scootering down the street and a father-son team on the basketball court in the park. It gives me joy to see people out enjoying life. (Quite a few of our Canadian visitors own homes here, and many appear to be enjoying warmer weather. Garage doors were open, many with workshops inside and windows open to the fresh air. I will try to walk everyday this time of year, in July to Oct I can only walk at dawn (5 am-ish) ‘’’’’ I might ride my bike after I get an air pump for it next week””””

Life is going on as God planned, and my little family here in AZ is doing well. One flying, one cooking, and the other is sewing. I am concentrating on the garden aspect since it is one of my joy things. 

Here is hoping you smile and have a good Monday… every day is what you make of it… so make it good!

Sunrise Glory

Out my window this early January morning.

Fri  Jan 14, 2022, blog  

Oh, what a glorious day to see with the sun peaking around my tree!

Two Hummingbirds, probably Costas, are zipping from spot to spot to grab a bit of breakfast… A very silly (yes, they are silly) Curved beak Thrasher hit the green top feeder before the sun was even up.  He was insistent on an early breakfast. Due to the overcast sky, the bees are not out yet, but the temp is in low 50 (F).

Positives for today:      SMILE, ignore any little irritations… and boy, are there a lot of them out in the world.  

{{{{{   for those of you new to reading my blips… I love ellipsis…  and hate to try to spell (Thanks to Grammarly my writing is not as bad as it could be)  I also don’t give a flip about runnnnnnn on sentancesssssss…   THIS IS NOT AN ENGLISH PAPER…….. DO NOT PLAY “TEACHER” AND TRY TO CORRECT MY WORK ( I will block you if you bug me)

Sanity Plan for 2022

Well, 2022 is off to a screaming start… Really good for me but then too… I have been on Prednisone for a few days… to total out at 2 weeks’ worth so I am getting stuff done, feeling no pain, and driving everyone else nuts… don’t sleep much either.I have made the wise decision not to go back to college… I prefer to do my own thing at this point and the driving, studies, trying to get what I want to do done around the schedules of others is way too much of a pain in the ass. Life is too short to waste it on such stuff.   And I have learned many skills, especially in the woodworking that I want to pursue… and no way am I training to go out and get a JOB !   Don’t need the money anyway… (Thank you Chuck for providing so well for me, never thought life would be like this.. am in lap of luxury but I do miss him very much ☹ )

So here is the plan for the new year…

NO complaining about shit I can’t do anything about anyway…

Wake up happy that I wake up at all and thank God for every minute.

Watch the birds out my window or from my patio

Plant plants for the joy of good food, great colors, and knowing I am able to do it.

Read at least, or listen to, 3 books a week.

Play in my little wood shop… I am really having fun making bandsaw boxes.

Write in this journal at least 4 times a week,,, and pop some stuff into the blog.

Keep blog (WordPress) updated weekly or so with sculpture, notes etc

            Life in Arizona, wood, ideas etc… all positive stuff

KEEP NEGATIVE SHIT OUT OF MY LIFE

 Get stuff organized:  Stitch books, pantries, yard, kitchen, stitch room, art area, woodshop, eBay, MY LIFE!

Get eBay store up running better and sort all the crap in it…

Keep filling the Mall of Peddlers booth and cabinet with the stitch and the tiny stuff I need to clear out of the house.

Walk

Lose a few more pounds… see walk above 😊

Watch clouds go by

Draw

Paint

Stitch.. finish a few projects

Sew… learn to use the big machine and get some clothes made!

Start transferring writing from journals into the computer by both scan and retype (stories for retype revisions)

Sort photos on the computer and put them into correct files and names so I can find shit

!!!!!!!!!! well, bumped the computer table, turned everything off! And yea… autosave kept it for me… got to love technology..

I have found,,, this am sitting here typing… I have a very very good spot now to type in… quite comfortable, good posture etc   I have not had this good a setup in eons!   (Thank you Torrie for the enablement at Staples to get a good computer desk, and chair… and to keep Black Cat (my desktop computer) flying along.  Gaming equipment really is worth the money even if you don’t ‘game’!

I do feel like I have turned a corner in life and thanks to Torrie and my VA counselor, I am going to try to stay this new course… I am a stubborn cuss so If I let myself settle then all will be well.

So to all who waded thru this bit of chatter, thank you and I hope you have a wonderful start to your new year also… It has been a wild ride the last few years but we can each make it better by focusing on our own priorities, not everyone else’s (since we can’t do anything about them anyway even if we think we can) and SMILE at the world and sun shining down… YOU COULD BE DEAD after all 🙂

                                                                                              

Woodworking and Boxes

One of the two wooden boxes I made this past fall (2021) in Wood I at ASU. I used the Bandsaw Boxes book for instruction and inspiration.

This box is made from maple and mahogany. Originally two pieces of wood, I laminated them together, then did some bandsaw work for the basic shape. I wound up using what I cut off the top to make the bottom stand. Much sanding later, since I tried to use electric sanding machines at first, I learned the value of saw blades, sandpaper types, and not to get in a rush. I used multiple coats, very thin, and sanding between to get the finish. I used a Tung Oil Varnish from Old Masters and a hand-rubbed finish. The little drawer pulls out to reveal a small space for special items.

This is actually my first box, Zebrawood, and Walnut. It is not without a few mistakes but doubt if anyone will ever catch them (except Jef Rice) This box was finished with several coats of a lacquer base and hand sanded between coats also. Shown with drawer open so you can see how the inside looks.

Both boxes are about 8 inches wide by 5 inches deep and tall. Prepare for many more boxes… I have 5 set up ready for cutting later this month (Jan 2022)

Somewhere in Computerland, I have more photos but not up to the search tonight. (that is also one of my goals this new year, get photos lined out in better order!)

Seasonal Fibers Tree

Title:   Seasonal Tree of Fibers

Materials:

  • ¼ “ hot rolled steel rod
  • Copper wire, 1/8 to ¼ in diameter, recycled from construction electrical wires
  • Fibers
    • Fall – animal protein fibers (wool overdye, Angora, Wool, and silk)
    • Winter – metals  (copper, silver, gold)
    • Spring – synthetics ( rayon, metallics, metalized polyester, viscose, nylon)
    • Summer – plant proteins (linen, cotton, flax, bamboo)

Manufacturers used: DMC, Anchor, Rainbow Gallery, Kreinik, Excella, Caron, House of Embroidery, Weeks Dye works, The Thread Gatherer, Renaissance Designs, Edmar Co., Glisten Gloss.

  • Wood base from a tree limb
  •  Alene’s leather glue, clear drying
  • Old Master’s Tong oil
  • Clear acrylic spray

Techniques:

Rolled Steel rod was cut into 4 pieces of 25 inches each, cleaned on wire wheel and initial bends made using vise, and hand bending.  Then the four “trunk/limbs’’ TIG welded together.  This was later reinforced with more welding to give additional strength so the upper parts could get more bends.  Welds were ground down on grinder belt and smoothed with sander.  Wood block was sanded and old bark removed then the wood was oiled twice with tong oil and left to dry for 24 hours.  The base metal was bent to form a ‘’rooting’’ similar to the tree I used as inspiration. Photo # 1.  Four holes were drilled on drill press using a 9/16 th inch drill bit. (Original plan was to use epoxy to secure base in the holes but the fit was perfect.) Base legs of tree were inserted in holes and the upper tree was bent a bit more, by hand, to give better shape.  Metal was re-sanded at this point by hand.   The copper wire was stripped of plastic (very difficult to do) and select lengths were wrapped around the upper tree limbs. Then tree was sprayed with clear acrylic spray to help avoid direct metal contact with fibers.  After another 24 hour dry time and buffing with soft cloth the fibers were attached.   Attachment was done with half hitches of fiber bundles and then they were lightly glued to insure they stayed in place. The metals were not glued. Lastly the threads were steamed to get out most of the wrinkles and then trimmed with scissors to give uniform length. (except the metals)

Successes: 

The entire tree looks finished and the fibers color shift worked well.  The wood block gives the needed stability to the project and overall it looks colorful.

Failures:

The initial idea of more welds would not help the overall design. Also the use of brazing copper wire to limbs to make the copper stay in place did not give enough spaces for the number of fibers I wanted to use. (this was tested on scrap metal to verify if idea would work)  And the idea of adding weld buttons to top of each limb to hold the fibers would have taken away from the smooth shape I was going for.

This project continues my exploration into trees as a theme for my art.  The openness and the smooth lines of this sculpture help keep the simplicity of design.  Use of recycled wire, left over fibers and rescued wood show how nothing is going to waste at my house!

(for detailed fiber as to color code, mfg, and color name please ask… it is in my original sketch book)