La Pina!

It’s done! Huzzah!

Imperfect, but beautiful–and it sits nice! I’ve learned a lot during the process of designing and building this and I’m already planning another special chair for next semester using what I’ve learned…

I’m pleased with the finish I devised for the ‘leaves’ of the chair: I made a very dilute yellowy-green solution of milk paint, sparingly applied one layer and then applied one layer of wipe-on poly, which darkened it slightly. The seat and legs are finished with Watco Danish finish, which I use a lot because you can still feel the wood after it’s applied. The seat back is cypress and the seat and legs are hickory.

have a seat…

Actually, neither of these is quite done, but in the next two weeks, they should be ready for some action. The one on the left, “La Piña,” just needs some more sanding (I’ve been giving it some dimension by carving and sanding “leaves” on the back), some staining and some fastening down. The other chair is also nearly done; staining, some final sanding, leg leveling and then the padded seat and back, which I will cover with fabric commercially printed from an old monotype I did.

colors of the fast fading summer

the colors of my  summerAs I prepared to take my clothes off the line this afternoon, it struck me how pretty the colors were and that these were the clothes I’d worn most in my ‘off hours’ this summer (including my pj.s). It’s early October, and it’s still pretty hot (and my neighbors are mowing their lawns, non-stop, STILL!), but autumn is undeniable, so this may be one of the last times these clothes make an appearance on the line this year…

post-storm

We have been unbelievably fortunate up here in the mountains of WNC–we had one day of steady rain during the storm, no real wind and, although the streams and creeks got very high, overall, it was not bad. The heavy rains we’d had a couple of days prior did more damage locally than this storm that is devastating so much of the Carolinas.

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These plants are doing better than ever (and the pollinators are undiminished in number), due to the pre-storm trim. We have been incredibly lucky.

Hurricane Florence in my neighborhood, so far

flowers at the from of the house

I live in  Western North Carolina (Southern Appalachia) in the US, and out here in the mountains, we’re waiting for the storm to slowly arrive…On the coast of NC and inland in the East, there’s horrible destruction that’s not anywhere near over, but out here, the sky is a deep sky blue, the Post Officer just buzzed by in her jeep and a moment ago, I pulled some dry laundry off the line. It’s quiet, but the breeze seems to be building into wind and it’s also a little eerie; I feel a sense of expectation and anxiety in the air.

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Here are the flowers around the house; they’re already a little disheveled from a heavy rain yesterday afternoon, so they’re not looking their best. I’ve decided to heavily trim them so that they won’t be killed by the vagaries of the predicted steady 40mph winds. I am reluctant to do it because these blossoms feed a lot of pollinators every day. However, it’s a small sacrifice and I will be greatly relieved if the self-imposed damage is the worst the neighborhood suffers.

 I will post pictures of the flowers next week, to show how they were affected by the storm.

I wish everyone in the path of this hurricane well (and, good luck to the people in the paths of the storm in the Pacific!).

stuff i did today

These are the things I worked on today in my woodworking class: Yet another acorn! I finished it by drilling a 5/16ths hole in it, which really seemed like a beauty mark, or a dimple–it really amped up the appeal! Super cute! On the right is a self-portrait; I gave myself 30 minutes to create a piece with just glue (and a little sanding) and here is the result. Me! On the lower left are the main components of “La Piña,” my pineapple-inspired chair. Actually, aside from some sanding and waving stuff around, I did most of the work on the not-shown (and unlikely to be seen much when finished) supporting structure…that’s still on my bench. I was a little disappointed in my accomplishments today, but looking at this, I have to think, not bad.

Workspace

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This is my current work space, at least some of it. I do a lot of work at the kitchen table, the sketching, the carving, the laying out, etc, but the inking and printing I do on these mobile carts. The inking cart is a rolling delight I designed and built in my woodworking course and my little press is currently resting on a metal tool cart I got a few years ago and have since dedicated to printmaking. The shelving on the right is half storage and half art supplies; I often use the top shelves for drying prints.  I can roll the carts into the kitchen when I start getting sloppy and when I’m done, I can roll them back into a corner of our small living room (which is actually devoted to storage and studio space). The setup is imperfect, but it works.

==>I really enjoy looking at other peoples’ workspace–I happened across the site Hyperallergic and their occasional entry “A View From the Easel.”  It’s helpful to see how other people find ways to be be successful in seemingly less-than-ideal spaces.

 

straw bale gardening

We put a few straw bales up against the house and treated them with fertilizer and watered them the way we read you’re supposed to and here they are as of the end of summer. A few pepper plants really took off and two tomato plants did, too–they’re the plants that fell over the side. Otherwise, the greens and the marigolds just haven’t worked. About a month and a half ago, I found some seeds for 2′ high sunflowers, something I’d never seen before, and thought there was enough summer left to try them; on the right, you can see how well they did! More for the pollinators!

the other end of summer…

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This is the view out our kitchen window, mid-August, 2018. I know I am lucky and I treasure this view every single day…but I can, even now, sense the fleeting nature of summer. Every day is a little shorter and those trees I look out on are already displaying the-more-than-occasional yellow leaf. Everything comes to an end, but I’m taking great delight in the meantime.

poppy t!

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Here’s my response to the lovely poppies crowding my tomato plant–a t-shirt! I did a quick stencil screen print and hope it’s dry enough to wear to my woodworking class tomorrow. (The shirt is from the thrift and I made the stencil from some old cut-price Contact paper. Worked okay.)