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Archive for September, 2014

While the fall supply of raspberries is always a thrill, rasp we have been a bit frustrated the last couple of years with the pest problems associated with them. Last year there were huge numbers of ladybugs that we had to fight with over them. This year the picnic beetles were just being awful. We’ve always had a few of them around but this year, even with my going for a complete no tolerance policy on them, (any that are found are killed, not just brushed off) they were still causing a lot of damage but seem to have stopped almost completely as soon as the temperature dropped. Even better, they didn’t reappear during the warm stretch! Now we’re just losing a few to the earwigs and birds but we’ve still got quite a bit coming in. It does look like we should get our biggest haul yet. With the warm weather this past week it’s been close to 2-4 cups a day! There are enough that mother is even letting some get used in baked goods, but not many. I’m amused by how many fresh raspberries she can manage to consume!

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Culture Days are happening this weekend and I’ll be taking part in the “Artisans in the Tent” right here in Shakespeare, tomorrow the 27th. It’s at the Perth County Visitor information centre, right as you come into town. (the Best Little Pork Shop is in the same driveway) The gallery will still be open and we are close enough that if anyone wants to do some framing, I can make it back to the store! (but it would be best to let me know in advance, if you’re planning on swinging by)

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One of the things we really wanted to have done Exif_JPEG_PICTURE in time for the Medieval show last weekend was a period suitable outfit for Dad. I’ve had a selection of mixable pieces for myself but we were starting from scratch with him. Mother was working like a fiend on the sewing machine to get it finished in time but succeeded. We’re describing the finished look as a “merchant with aspirations”. Considering that my outfits are not quite as high end as his we figured that his character is reaping the rewards of our labour and moving into the middle class while his hard-working daughter still dresses mostly like a peasant. We’d done well, finding the fabrics so the shirt is a fine linen and the pants/hat are a mid-weight wool. The brocade that makes up img_5909 the tunic is also not too heavy and close enough to period that we were really happy with it. We’ve got some plans for additions to the costume, but a few of them will take a while to get done. I’d like to incorporate more aspects of the mutant stuffies. For now, all he had was this itty bitty demon bear, accenting his hat.

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I’ve got a number of shows I’ll be attending this fall Quetzalcoatl and have been working on some new stuffed creations. One I’d wanted to do for a while is a version of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. When we found this lovely, large snake, I knew it was a perfect base and got started right away. He’s all done and is ready to be shown for the first time this weekend! We’ll both be at the Royal Medieval Faire in Waterloo on Saturday, the 20th, so stop by and say “Hi!”, if you’re there. The gallery will still be open, if you’re coming through Shakespeare, but I won’t be there to do framing consultations.

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Over the last few years, we have added quite a number rosebed of plants to the property. Some of them have finally established enough that it was possible to split and spread them around a bit. We have two varieties of shrub roses and both have firmly established themselves and keep striking out for new territory. Since some of that territory is already spoken for, it made sense to set up a whole new bed. Along with the shrub roses, there was another, older style high bush rose that had come through the east fence and was struggling in the shade. Along with those we also had a low, creeping white rose and a trio of miniatures that had survived going into and out of the teapots for the past couple of years. All together, there were enough for us to set up a whole bed of roses. We cut into the lawn at the start of the path and that gave us borders on two sides. I like where it is and while it’s filled with more tomatoes, this year, than roses, it should be looking more like it was intended by next spring. I’m also a bit amused that all the roses, whether they were bought, volunteers or were just survivors, have turned out to to be white or just slightly off-white.

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Once the frame was all rebuilt, repaired and refinished, silmirrphoto 2 all that was left was deciding on the mirror. While we considered going with an antiqued glass, it was decided that the ornateness of the frame didn’t need any more going on so we went with a plain, flat mirror. The large amount of variance in the widths of the inner frame lip, as well as trying to avoid any possibility of future strain on the frame, were why we didn’t go with a bevelled mirror. The lip widths were as wide as over an inch in some areas but the typical ¼ inch in others so even a deep bevel would be mostly covered in spots. All together, with it’s new finish, the mirror is now hanging in it’s new home. The darker tones tie to the slate front of the Victorian marble fireplace it sits over and the silver leaf co-ordinates with the rooms chandelier. I also love how the Persian carpet in the room features similarly shaped birds. A fitting space and a new life for an beautiful old frame! The photo of it in it’s new home is the work of Dave Kimmel. You can see more of his work on his website.
The rest of my posts about this project: part 1, part 2, part 3

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Up to now, all my spiders were done using bears. img_5758 They were the most likely to have suitable fur and body shapes that fit well to the adaptation. I also need a matched pair for them and early in my experiments in mutant creations, using any pairs for twins was a safer option. At this point, I’m more secure in my spider -building abilities and when I recently got a pair of red-eyed frogs, I figured it was time to try expanding into other species. It helped that the stash had four buttons in the perfect red, to match the eyes! This was also the first time I was able to salvage the eyes from the second donor since they were set into sockets that could be taken off and re-attached. I chose not to alter the body too much, it was just rounded out a bit in the back, to better accommodate all the legs. The legs seemed especially suited to the spider look and I love how the magnets in them attach to each other and metal things. I was tempted to take a picture of her climbing the map case, in the store, but resisted.

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