Monday, October 29, 2012

Upload Problems

For some reason, I am having trouble bringing up photos for this blog.  Tom is working on the problem.  Hope to be bringing you photos again before long.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Camille

It's nice to have an up to date photo of you. That's because you came to visit us in August. I didn't read to you when you were a preschooler because you were five hundred miles away but I do know something you like to read now because you have told me you like this series.

This manga book was created by Erin Hunter, written by Dan Jolley and has art by James L. Barry.  The copyright is 2011.

I bought the first one for you because I had been buying manga books for your older brothers and I know that you like cats. Also, I remembered that when I was your age, my sisters and I enjoyed spending afternoons reading comic books

Your mom has told me that you like the traditional books in the Warriors series, too.  By traditional, I mean the old-fashioned kind of book I read when I was young.

   I hope your birthday was a happy one.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

23rd Annual Ohio Renaissance Festival, October 21, 2012

Tom and I didn't get to the festival this year until the very last day.    Although the morning temperatures were in the forties, by afternoon, the temperatures had risen to the sixties. The sun shone all day. The crowd was in a festive mood. As usual, there were costumes to buy or rent near the entrance.  You can see one of the entrances in the background of the picture below.

Little shops  sold everything from clothing to jewelry to blown glass objects to books and hair ornaments and swords and armor.

The queen and her courtiers strolled on the green.

Musicians sat here and there playing and singing songs of the Elizabethan age. Others performed in the ale house and on stages.

There were lots of opportunities for children and adults to become part of the festivities.

There were rides.


At noon, there was a parade of all the actors and actresses, and also the tradesmen who were selling their wares at the festival. Here is our granddaughter, Samantha, waving at us. 

 Later, Megan, left, and Samantha, right, joined the visitors at a picnic table and played a game of chess, using mustard and catsup packets for the men.

Pretzel sellers roamed about selling several different flavors as well as the standard salted ones.

After lunch, Tom and I went to the Pirate Comedy Show.


The Spanish Princess shown with one of the pirates showed up later at the Human Chess Match. The outcome of the chess match determined her fate.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Robert


             Grandpa took this photo this fall.

Below is a picture of you when you were three, almost four.  You and Grandpa are picking apples from our red delicious apple tree.

Back then, one of your favorite books  was this one, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, story and pictures by Virginia Lee Burton.

The story is exciting. Will Mike and Mary Ann, the steam shovel, get the cellar for the townhall dug in a day?


As it turned out, Mike Mulligan and Mary Ann had an even bigger problem than digging the cellar in one day but a little boy helped them. Sometimes, when I was busy I put this tape in so you could watch the story on the television.

Now you prefer your car to a steam shovel.

I hope your birthday is a wonderful day.

Love, Grandma

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Fungus Among Us Workshop

I was surprised to see that this is the first blog I have posted about Aullwood. I try to take one of their Adult Classes each year. This class was held October 13. Robb Clifford from the Darke County Parks was the instructor. His wife, Angie, helped him out. She knows a lot about fungi also.

After an introductory slide show, we headed out to find fungi. Here are a few that we found. I am using the common names as I remember them. I don't have a field guide to fungi although I ordered one online so I will have one soon. Robb recommended the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms which he said was the one recommended by his professor at The Ohio State University.

                                Fresh Artist's Shelf

                              Bottom of Artist's Shelf.
                              This can be drawn on.

                           Robb called this Chicken Fat.  
                           The underside is bright yellow.

                              Dryad's Saddle.  
                              Supposedly wood nymphs sit on them
                              when they are tired from dancing.

                            Pear Puffballs, a small puffball.

                                       Shaggy Mane

                                  Turkey Tail

                                 Violet-toothed polypore.
                                 Toothed refers to the gill shape.

The edge of the bottom side is violet when fresh and gradually darkens as it ages. Robb and Angie told us lots of other facts about fungi but I'll save that for another day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Portrait and Figure Studio, Oct. 11, 2012

As usual, we started with a few quick warm-up sketches. I am working with Atelier Interactive artists' acrylic. These acrylics dry slower than traditional acrylics which enables me to do mixing on the painting in a more leisurely fashion.
Five minutes...8 inches by 11.75 inches
Three minutes...5 inches by 11 inches. I added the raised leg after the three minutes were up but didn't add the chair she was resting it on.
Four minutes...8 by 11

This is the model posing. Since she holds the pose for a half hour without a break, we encouraged her to find a comfortable position.
Here is the painting after the first half hour. I've blocked in the primary shapes.
After the second half hour...I've refined some of the shapes and added a little detail. I added a bit of background, also.
Another half hour...I continued adjusting and adding details. I darkened the back wall so the model's profile would show up better...and decided I didn't like the results.
It was time to pack up for the day so I decided to spend one more session with this painting at home. I played around with the background and the floor, adding the shadow on it. I printed off an enlarged photo of the model's head and shoulders so I could add a little detail to her face.
This painting is painted on a canvas panel, 12 inches by 16.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall in Our Neighborhood

We are lucky to live in the eastern United States where the deciduous trees are a wonderful array of colors in the fall. Last weekend, Tom and I took a drive.  We discovered that the trees were close to fall color perfection.

Yesterday I walked around our neighborhood and took these photos. There was a brisk wind so leaves were falling. One really fierce storm and a lot more of them will fall. A couple fierce storms and the trees will be bare. I took a photo of this tree across the street but Tom took a better one so this is his photo

The yellow tree and the red Burning Bushes (Viburnum) are in another neighbor's yard.

This tree is yet another color.

I remembered a little about why leaves change colors from hearing naturalists talk about it. The Chlorophyll which gives the leaves their green color and is one of the key elements in the process of photosynthesis, the tree's food making process, breaks down in the fall, allowing other colors which have been in the leaf all along to show... the yellows, oranges, browns and reds. I also remembered that a layer forms between the leaf and the branch it is attached. When that layer is complete, the leaf falls.

I went to a couple websites to learn the technical terms again. Carotenoids produce the yellow, orange, and brown colors. Anthocyanins produce reds and purples. That layer that forms between the leaf and the branch is called the abscission or separation layer. Different trees  have different concentrations of the color producing chemicals.

Tulip Poplars (Liriodendron tulipfera) tend to have bright yellow leaves.

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) leaves turn orange-red.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lilian Nichols, Polymer Clay, Faux Abalone

Our September project in Lilian's class was making Faux Abalone. She showed us two examples that she made.
The technique reminded me of that of Mokume Gane. We made stacks in a similar way. The difference was that we used pearl clays, not translucent clays, and cut the stack using a ripple blade, not the usual straight blade.
Here is an example of a cut stack. You can see the layers of the stack at the top of the photo.
Here are some of our pieces.
UPDATE...November 4. Sally wore the abalone bracelet she made to our last work session. Here are two views of it.