Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Camille

Here you are when you were three weeks old.

A little less than a year later you were celebrating Halloween.  Don't you look like a cuddly bunny?

This was taken when you lived in Virginia.  You were three years old.

When you visited us in 2004, you had a lot of fun with the collection of realistic plastic animals.

When I saw you ride this mechanical bull, I decided you would make a good cowgirl.

You were braver than I would have been at the Renaissance Festival of the Carolinas.  You gave me this thumbs up just before the man hooked the bungee cords to the harness.  I smile to see the smile on your face.

Up, up and away!

Here you are with the flower wreath you wore at the Renaissance Festival.  The sun was really bright.

Now why were you smiling when you were washing that pan?  Maybe you were thinking of what you were planning to do later.

I hope your special day was a good one. 

Lots of love from Grandma

The Arrival of Fall

This is a minute of the raw footage that Tom took on October 10. You can hear the sound of his scooter and the crackle of the leaves on the boardwalk. He will use his Pinnacle Editing Software, take out the audio and replace it with music.

He decided to take the video on the tenth because we were planning a short out of town trip. If a strong wind and rain storm came up while we were gone, there was the possibility that the trees would be nearly bare by the time he was able to take a fall video.

But there was no no storm. And below is the raw footage of the same section of the trail that he took on October 24. Fall is a beautiful but fleeting season in our part of Ohio.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lilian Nichols, Polymer Clay Artist...Making Leaves

On October 23, Lilian taught four of us some techniques for making leaves with polymer clay. She showed us two of her finished necklaces, the one she was wearing, shown below in a closer photo and the one following it. One of the artists was wearing a third variation. I neglected to get a photo of that one.

We started with a stack like this one. We chose our own colors.

And here are some of the results.

This artist cut two more slices like these below, made them perfectly square and decided to turn them into earrings with backings she had at home. Won't they be pretty?

This is the temporary necklace I put together after stopping at Walmart for glass beads. It is not quite long enough. I will probably make a few more round beads. And I may come up with a different arrangement. I was pleased with my first effort.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary...October 10

October tenth was a beautiful day.  Tom decided it would be a good day to take video to turn into a treadmill video.  The treadmill videos are a set of DVDs that Tom is making so people walking on a treadmill can pretend they are taking a walk. People have discovered they exercise longer if they are "walking on a nature trail".

Here is Tom with the camera mount he rigged up. With this mount and his smoothly running scooter, he can get video that is steady.

Off he went down the trail. I followed after and here are some of the plants and other things I found.

This is White Snakeroot. If cows eat too much of this plant, they give tainted milk which can cause death. This caused the Milk Sickness that is believed to have killed Abraham Lincoln's mother.

Zig-zag Goldenrod. This is the goldenrod whose name I can remember. I always have to look up the other varieties in a field guide.

This seems to be a kind of Aster. I've always called it Woodland Aster but I don't find an aster by that name in my field guides.

I was surprised to find these. Puttyroot leaves are found throughout the winter but die and disappear before the flowers appear in mid May in our part of Ohio. It is in the orchid family.

Since finding the Giant Puffballs earlier this year and then the Dog Stinkhorn, I find myself looking for fungi. Here are some that I found.

Pretty little umbrellas.

These looked as though a woodland animal, perhaps a mouse, had been chewing on them.

These were tiny. If I hadn't been looking for fungi, I wouldn't have seen them.

I might have missed these, too. Below is a closer view.

There was no missing this one, a Giant Puffball. I was surprised it still looked fairly fresh. The ones at Charleston Falls have completely disappeared.

I found lots of evidence of leaf miners. The thought of tiny insect larvae so small they live between the top and bottom layers of leaves is mind boggling to me.

And Tom spotted this caterpillar. I wonder if it is some type of Tiger Moth.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Robert

I hope this day has been a wonderful one for you. Enjoy your dinner with your family. I'll be thinking of you.

I was pleased when I came across the photo below. You spent a lot of hours riding the Fisher-Price Scooter down Grandpa's front porch ramp. Twenty-four feet of fun.

You and your mom share joy at your third birthday party. Got milk?

Here is a photo of the cake Grandpa made to your specifications.

In 1999, you were your mom's escort to the prom. And you were a handsome one.

When you were in fifth grade, you made a big impression with your portrayal of Injun Joe in Tom Sawyer. Injun Joe's threats carried to the back of the auditorium.

It's been fun watching you from your debut as the Knave of Hearts when you were in your first Children's theater play to your parts in the high school and Troy Civic Theatre plays.

There was a time many, many years ago when I could play chess with you but by the time this photo was taken in 2004, I was no match for you.

Grandpa took this photo when you played as part of the Troy Jazz Band at the Troy Senior Citizens program. That was a pleasant evening. We heard lots of the golden oldies.

And here you are conducting the band at the Miami County Fair this past August.

Here's hoping that the coming year is full of wonderful experiences for you. Happy, happy birthday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Drawing Classes

I have been teaching children's drawing for over thirty years. These are some of the drawings done by seven of the eleven students in my five week class. These students were third, fourth, and fifth grade students.
Each lesson is a stand alone lesson so if students are sick or have a family activity, they can skip a week and return the following week.

The first week we talked about trees and how to show that some branches are on the front of the trunk, some are on the side and some are behind the others. I asked the students to choose a color other than brown, black or gray to do the basic drawing.

I took all the photos at the third lesson. Some of the students didn't have their earlier drawings with them. My little camera had difficulty with the artificial lighting. The drawings are all on white paper.

We discussed the general shapes of animals seen from the side in the second lesson and then drew tigers and lions from models.

Each student chose a dog from my collection of dog models for the third lesson. One of the challenges was drawing the model bigger than it was if the model was a small one. Another challenge was drawing the dog from the front. Before we started, I gave them balls for the head and paper cups for the muzzle to help them understand the shapes they were drawing.