Laughing Dog Arts

Monday, October 25, 2010

Harvest time

                                                                   Tomato Love
I hope you have your speakers turned on because I have a special song queued up to play in honor of home grown tomatoes.  We like to grow lots of tomatoes here, as in about 100 plants.  Chain saw man starts his plants in late winter, early spring, indoors under lights.  We have had ripe tomatoes as early as July.  Not this year.  With the cold sunless summer, our tomatoes didn't start to ripen until late September.  September!!  Luckily, our October had a lot of warm sunny days, even the nights were not cold.  We haven't had a killing frost yet.

We had plenty of tomatoes, they just wanted to stay green.  So in October, we began picking them and bringing them indoors to ripen.  We like the heirloom tomatoes.  These are  Brandywine and  Kellogs Breakfast are the orangy yellow ones.
We're talking a lot of tomatoes! The house is full of them.  Shelves and boxes everywhere!  But they are slowly ripening up.  We dry most of them, rather than canning.  Also there have been gallons of salsa made.  Chain saw man likes to give it away, he goes out and makes deliveries.  People say it is the best salsa they have ever had the pleasure of eating.
When we aren't dealing with tomatoes we have been dealing with the abundance of Chanterelle mushrooms that are growing wild out in the woods.  The weather has been very kind to mushroom growth this season.  I would advise no one to go out and pick these unless they have 100 percent confidence that they know what they are picking. 

We have confidence in our selection.  They need to be cooked before they are edible.  We like to cook up big batches in the cast iron skillet on the wood stove.  Once they are cooked to perfection and cooled we put them in zip lock bags into the freezer for winter consumption.  Delicious when added to stews.  Tastes like chicken.  

Just kidding.

Aside from harvesting the mushrooms and tomatoes, we have also been putting up other garden produce, such as green beans and picking the squash.  I like to make up big pots of dried beans, squash, mushrooms, corn and tomatoes.  That is a staple of our winter diet.  

That is why I haven't had time to blog lately.  Things are slowing down now.  I have more good things to come in future posts, thanks for hanging in there.

Be well.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Latest beaded heart and Dooleybobber#9

 I finally made a beaded heart for myself.  What better charm than a Pit Bull smiling face?  A Laughing Dog, in other words!  Thanks to Martha for the silver charm.
I tried my hand at making a beaded bead.  It turned out all right but if I were to make this particular bead again I would choose different colors.  It is called a Caterpillar bead.  I found the instructions in The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving, a book by Carol Wilcox Wells.  Lots of diverse patterns in that book, from easy to difficult.  This was fairly easy if you are a patient person and can work tiny.
Here is Dooleybobber #9.  It is about 6"x6"  Like the others it is needle felted on top of white wool batting.  Hand embroidered, beaded, embellished.  I love the combination of that bright orange and hot pink.

This section shows some buttons I stitched down surrounding a bit of beaded fringe that comes out of a copper washer with a flower shaped bead on top.  I enjoy doing beaded fringe.
That little golden guy was a gift from April.  It's cute and seemed to fit right in to this piece.  The round gold piece in the center with the leaf shape on it is from a wine bottle foil.

Above is a paper clay thing I made using a rubber stamp, then I painted it and poked holes in it so I could stitch it down.
I love the way the beads flow through this section.

Above is a little zippered cloth grocery bag I made.  Looks like you could maybe carry a candy bar in it.

Surprise!  It opens up to be this size.

Inside it is lined and has this little pocket for receipts.  Closes with a zipper. I bought the pattern from Studio Cat Designs.  I will probably make a bunch more of these and other bags to give away.  And to keep.  I like to use them while shopping, it is a matter of remembering to bring them into the store with me.  This design folds up so nicely, it can fit into a large purse.

I've been entranced with music by The Tallest Man on Earth recently.  Great lyrics and interesting guitar tunings.  Acoustic folk music.  The link will take you to his Myspace page and you can listen to his songs there.  If you listen, let me know what you think.

Until next time, I hope you all are enjoying some fine autumn weather as I am.  Be well.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blue House Cafe

I received a call from the proprietors of a cafe in a nearby town last week.  They have rotating art work on their large walls, and wanted to know if I would be willing to bring some of my art quilts in for display.  I have displayed there once before, so they were familiar with my work and really like how it looks in the cafe.
Of course I said yes!  As you can see, the space is more like an art gallery than a restaurant.  The ceilings are very tall, the walls clean and white with little clutter.  They also have live music on weekends, and wi fi all the time.  Do you see that door?  It leads to a vault, this building used to be a bank. 
Above you see the entrance to the cafe.  Finally a worthy place to hang one of my larger pieces!

This is the outside of the restaurant.  It really stands out in this small town logging community.
Here is my helper. Chain Saw man.

He insisted on snapping a picture of me.  I look rather tired after all that hanging and climbing up and down ladders.

 This is such a nice place and the proprietors are wonderful people.
I love how they have it painted and decorated.  
So if you are going through Vernonia, Oregon in the next month, stop in and have lunch, view the art work, say Hello to Eleanora, the woman behind the counter.  The picture I took of her didn't turn out.  Too bad, she is a lovely woman.
Be well.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dooleybobber #8 and surprises

Here is my latest Dooleybobber. To my eye it took on a slight river at the base of a mountain aspect, so I added the fish bead and the shell. Otherwise, pretty abstract. There is a smashed bottle cap under the flower. I love those little felted bobbles in the upper right space.
I cut up a little bit of lace and beaded it down in this corner.
Close up of the felted bobbles. I bought them on Etsy at Alchemy Fiber Arts.
close up of the fish bead and tiny Opihi shell. A bit of avocado netting in there, nearly catching the fish. The whole piece measures about 6" x 4.5".

On another subject, I have received some very cool things in the mail from blogging friends this past week.  First was this ATC I got from Susan.  I love it!  My favorite colors.  Susan does such wonderful work, always interesting.
Here is the one I sent to her in trade
Notice how similar they turned out even though we didn't set any theme for these.  Thanks Susan!!
Next is another ATC I got in trade from Lorna. 
I love the Angelina fibers she included on this lovely piece.  Again, my favorite colors.
Below is the the one I sent to her.  Thanks Lorna!  She likes trading ATC's, maybe she will trade with you.
Then I received a gift in total surprise from Gabie  
She read my comment on her blog about how much I liked her beaded spider so she sent it to me!  Isn't it cool?  I love it.  She also sent this postcard and on the back she wrote "I hope that this spider will find a nice place in your home.  It's trained and has a nice behavior."  It has a jump ring on it so I can attach it to a chain to wear if I want to.  I think it is the sweetest spider I have ever seen!  Thanks so much Gabie!  It indeed has found a nice home here with me.

Last but not least, I won a give away from Nicole
This Skelly girl cabochon!  Isn't she fabulous!  I will have to add her to some beaded project.  If you look on Nicole's blog today you will see what she has done with one of these cabs.  Nicole is a fabulous beader and is very generous with her knowledge and has give aways frequently.  She also sent me a little card that shows how to know what sizes beads are.  I had complained to her that I have trouble when ordering beads online figuring out what size they will be when they come in millimeters.  This card is business card size and has a little chart that will help me a lot, next time I am looking at beads on line.  Thanks, Nicole!

Well that is it for today.  It is back to some rain here so I am inside, listening to The Tallest Man On Earth.  You can check him out on NPR's All Songs Considered, they have a downloadable concert.  He's a great singer songwriter, just him and his guitar.  I had never heard of him before but I am very much enjoying his songs.  But now it is time for A Prairie Home Companion.

Be well.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Horror!

Sorry for the graphic photos, please don't view if you are faint hearted.
What's this I see?
Oh my! The bear has come!
It has attacked my goose!
Right in my own back yard this happens! Nature at its worst.
Be Ware!
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