Friday, March 28, 2014

Lilian Nichols, Polymer Class About Bargello Effect

Karen brought projects she has been working on, lots of them made from scraps from the two classes I missed in January and February.  It's fun to play with the scraps.

The reason I've started with this photo is because we only made the bargello cane in the March class.  I expect that next month, all of us will bring projects we have completed using the cane.  I'm sure we will find uses for the scraps, too.

Here are some sample pieces Lilian brought.  The two small blue and green pieces are baked and ready to become brooches or earrings.

Lilian gave us a handout describing three ways to make the bargello cane but we spent the entire time, using just one of the choices.  I can see using the first steps when making other types of canes as well.

If you have a graph, it is easy to cut the fifteen squares of each of three colors in equal quantities.  Be sure the starting slabs are of equal thickness by running them through the pasta machine at the same setting.

Here are all of my measured squares.  There are 15 of each color and 45 of the white which will be mixed with the colors.

Here is the first mixing array set up.

Stack each row from left to right so there are five stacks, each stack with a different number of color and of white.  The first stack is five orange and one white, the second stack is four orange and two white.  Continue stacking the other rows.

Here are Mary Ann's  stacks after they have been blended using the pasta maker.

The different color selections make a wide variety of canes.

After stacking the three layers of colors, Lilian cut off two thin slices and laid them side by side.  Another way to get this effect is to cut the entire stack of three colors in half and laying the two stacks on top of one another.  Here are some resulting stacks.

                                       Karen's stack.

We have two Karen's in the class.  Here is the second Karen's stack.

Below, Lilian shows us how to use the straight blade to make a staggered pattern.


Some designs using the straight blade.

Then she showed us what can be done with a zigzag blade.

A combination of straight blade and zigzag blade cuts.

All zigzag blade cut.

I am eager to see what we create with our little stacks.

Update...April 26, 2014

Karen brought the results of her Bargello experiments to class.

The circles are left over scraps that Karen rolled with the pasta maker.

These circles and squares were cut from bargello effect left unrolled.

Most of these will become pairs of earrings.

This is a pair I especially liked because of they feature raised strips and twists.

Karen is wearing a pair of the earrings she made.

Close view of the earrings.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hobart Urban Nature Preserve, March 21

Hobart Urban Nature Preserve was once an eighty acre farm.  It is in Troy, Ohio, surrounded on all sides by the city.  The barn in this photo is the original barn, now refurbished and being used by the park district.  The barn is off-limits to the public.  The rest of the eighty acres are accessible by trails.

The prairie grasses are shades of tan, rust, and other browns.  Here and there I found Milkweed pods.  The yellow-orange interiors were bright compared to the surrounding foliage.

The park maintenance staff has planted many trees of various sorts.  They are growing but it will still be years before they are mature.  Many birds are building nests in them already.

The main trail is a circle around this pond.  Originally, it was just a low spot on the acreage but it has been deepened and extended.  It is big enough that migrating ducks stop in.  Tom took the following pictures.

(Aythya collaris) Ring-Necked Duck, male on the left, (Aythya affinis) Lesser Scaup, male, on the right

Ring-Necked Duck, male, on the left, Ring-Necked Duck, female, on the right

Here are our old friends, a pair of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).  Mallards are here all year around if they can find a bit of open water.  We see them every time we look for ducks.  The males are so brightly colored, I never get tired of looking at them.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The St. Marys State Fish Hatchery...March 17, 2014

March 17 was a beautiful sunny day though the temperature only rose into the lower 40s F.  Tom and I decided to drive to the St. Marys State Fish Hatchery.  This is a good place to bird from the van.  It is not a place to hike since it is a working fish hatchery, not a park.

Because we have had a cold winter, most of the fish-rearing ponds still have a lot of ice covering them.  The last time we were at the hatchery we saw the staff opening up areas of water close to the shore of several ponds.  Tom's guess was this was to provide oxygen to the fish.  We also saw another machine whose purpose seemed to be stirring up the water which would be another way of oxygenating the water.  Whatever the fish hatchery reason, the result was that there was open water for the migrating ducks.  The open areas were close enough to the paved drive that Tom got some good photos.  Because the sun was shining, the iridescent feathers were gleaming with colors.

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) Length 13 -15 inches; Wingspan 21 inches

This year was the first time I ever saw the green and purple sheen of the feathers on the head and neck of the male.  That's because this is the first year I've ever seen the bird in the sunshine.  Usually the days we spot them are overcast, and  lots of times the day is misty or rainy as well.  The Bufflehead is Ohio's smallest duck.  We see it in migration but it does not nest here.

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  Length 16 - 24 inches; Wingspan 24 inches

This is the first time we have seen this bird this close.  It was, perhaps, three van lengths from us.  Usually they are on the far side of any pond or lake when we spot them.

Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) Length 15 - 18 inches; Wingspan 25 inches

It was fun to see the beautiful blue-billed lesser scaup.  It, too, has an iridescent head that shines beautifully.  This bird is a regular migrant in large flocks but does not nest in Ohio.

I am happy Tom got the following photo.  I feasted my eyes on the beautiful heads of the male Redheads.  There is part of the Lesser Scaup flock in the photo also.

Redhead (Aythya americana) Length 18-22 inches; Wingspan 29 inches and Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)

I cropped the photo above to enlarge the cluster of Redheads.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chair for Take a Seat Auction Completed

The chair is finished and delivered.  I took this photo with the freezer door in the background in hopes that the cream color of the chair would be more noticeable.  The color is called Golden Mushroom.  The paint is Semi-gloss Latex.

Here is the original chair.  In 1963, Tom and I bought it from a couple who had recently celebrated their fiftieth anniversary and were in the process of downsizing.  At the time, Tom and I had been married a little over a year and were furnishing our first house.  Now we have passed fifty years of marriage so the chair is probably over a hundred years old.

Tom reglued a couple joints, rubbed it down with a deglosser, and applied two coats of spray primer.

Then I took over.  At this point I wrote a blog about the project.  FarSideofFifty suggested cream and deep red.  I had been thinking about using pale turquoise but when I went to the fabric store I kept returning to the two fabrics below.

I decided if I were decorating the chair for our living room, these colors would be my preference.  Thank you, Far Side.  I used the deep red to reupholster the seat pad and used the colors in the pattern as I created my design.

My original thought was to paint a causal design up the back and across the top.

I drew a lot of flower sketches from photographs Tom and I had taken.  I ran off copies in several sizes using the computer.  After trying a variety of designs, I decided that I preferred to have the design only across the top.

I also chose only two of the sketches that I had drawn.

Bleeding Hearts which I drew using this photo for ideas.

This photo is of one of the Asian Lilies in the driveway flowerbed.

The first time I put them together, I came up with this.

But this is the design on the chair.

These are my painting supplies.  When I bought the fabrics, I bought craft paints in what I thought were the "right" colors.  However when I began painting, I did a lot of mixing.  The various mixes are in the small covered plastic containers.  That's being a fussy artist.  The color can't be almost right, it has to be right.

The resulting chair is one that I would be willing to use in my house and that was my goal.

The chairs will be on display in various shops in downtown Tipp City in June and July.  In August, the chairs will be taken down.  They will be auctioned off on August 23.  The money raised will be divided between Tipp-Monroe Community Services and The Tipp City Area Arts Council.