Laughing Dog Arts

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer fun

That poem, written by my 12 year old nephew, Dawson, sums it all up.  "Out in the sun with all the people you love, That's all the fun you can get."

Here are 3 people I love, having some fun in the shade.  My two SIL's Beth and Robin and my step mom, Dottie.  I wasn't able to make it to Deb's party  
because I was at my family party.  No beer trucks but plenty of beer, great food and conversation.  Oh yeah, and the boozie smoothies didn't hurt either. Since I was the photographer there are no photos of me, but rest assured, I was having a wonderful time too!  Hope you all can say the same.
Be well.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hay Season

I haven't been blogging much lately, I hope you didn't miss me. Life on this farm is pretty laid back but during hay season everyone works. Above you can see my field before the grass is cut, and below, just after cutting. We had unusually cold and wet weather clear up until past the 4th of July so haying went on a bit later than average but it is a great crop, with most folks saying they had a bigger number of bales produced than normal.
After the hay dries out on top for a day or two or 3, depending upon the weather, next they fluff it and create rows, like below.
Here is the machine that does the fluffing and row making. It is called a tedder rake. I don't know why. Probably someone named Tedder invented it. I usually call it the fluffer.

Below you see the nice view (ahem!) of the newly baled field.
Above is a picture of Farmer Jan, bucking a hay bale.  They are about 60 lbs. I usually do my fair share of bucking bales (picking them up and putting them in the wagon and into the barn) and can keep up with the rest of the gang.  I can't throw them up high though, I leave that for the guys.  This year I hurt my hip somehow and had to refrain from heavy lifting.  I was able to drive the truck. 
Above you see the baler machine, raking the hay rows into the screw like mechanism, then into the magic box where the bale is formed and somehow tied up and
spit out the back.
Then it is time to stack the bales onto the trailer
and head for the barn.
I thought there might be some of you that had never have seen the process before.  You can see the land around my property is covered with forested rolling hills.  It is a great place to live and work.  I hope you enjoyed this little instructional journey.

Be well.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Key to life

"The key to life is enjoying the passage of time." That is quite a large statement and I'm not sure it is entirely true but it certainly has some truth in it. It is a garbled quote from a James Taylor song, in case it sounds vaguely familiar. James says "the secret to life is enjoying the passage of time". I created this piece when my friend Mary threw down a challenge, after giving 5 of us in the creativity group each a baggie of old keys and asking us to create something using one or more of the keys. We had 2 weeks to work on our projects. Yesterday at our get together we revealed our creations, you can see them here:
I used 3 keys in my mixed media piece, each tied to a rust colored ribbon and held to the background with some beaded stitches.  I long ago made some rust dyed fabric and thought it would be perfect to use some as the background.  Then continuing with the vintage look I used some old photos that Mary had also given me (no one we know) and put it all together using some tea dyed lace, scrim, felt, beads, bottle caps (behind the two smaller photos) and hand stitched it all together, frequently using beads to enhance some areas.  It was fun rummaging around through my collection of crap...I mean, my collection of valuable artifacts to find just the right bits to bring this all together.  As you can see if you have been following along on my art journey for long, this is rather a change of pace for me in its color scheme.  Usually I am all color, all the time.  I quite enjoyed the change.
I might even like to continue along this theme, but use some photos that have personal meaning to me.  I have lots of old family photos from both my mother's and father's sides of my family.  Maybe the theme would be "the key to life is starting with good genes".

My weather here has remained mostly quite cool for summer.  Cool as in the 60's, and wearing sweatshirts all day long.  If the sun comes out it does warm up but mostly it doesn't come out until mid afternoon.  The neighbors have cut my hay field down and we are waiting for it to dry so it can be baled.  With the cool damp weather, it was great for the grass to keep growing so this years hay crop has been much more abundant than usual.  I have been taking pictures that I will share when the whole process is finished.  I'll bet there are a lot of you who have never been involved with the haying process so maybe you will enjoy seeing it.  Until then, I will leave you with this quote:

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."

Slow down, be well.
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Beading Larson

Remember this beaded piece I showed you in my last post?

After I posted the picture and saw it on the blog, I was struck by how much it reminded me of one of those characters from a Gary Larson cartoon, most particularly, one of the women with a beehive hairdo and the cats eye glasses. Can you see it?

This one below is very much what I am talking about. She even has beads on her head. Doesn't she?? Bugle beads, maybe?

Okay, back to being serious. I finished the bead work on this today, tucked the edges back. Here it is:

Cats Eye glasses, what do you think?  I might put it on this black leather purse I picked up at a garage sale for $1.00.  It is brand new but a  bit of the webbing on the handle was coming loose from the bag.  That was easy to fix. It has lots of zippers and compartments and even a little pocket on the side for a cell phone.
I bought the bag, thinking I would decorate it somehow, and this just might be the ticket.  It will be difficult to attach it to the leather, but I know I can do it.
It is a gray day out there, we had a lot of rain yesterday and might get more today.  That's okay, it fits my mood.  Oh, I see I have hit 60 followers!  I can't believe it, thanks so much for following me, I hope you all enjoy the visit.  Leave me a comment and I will answer you somehow.  Some of my followers are German.  I have looked at their blogs, beautiful work being done by them.  Even if I can't read a word of it, the photos are inspiring.  I can use Babel to translate.

Hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.  See you next week.
Be well.