Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Filling in the Squares

The key to keeping the family from being over-committed is PLANNING. In our house, if the event is not on the “family calendar” it ‘aint ‘gonna happen! The “family calendar” is the gospel of events, appointments and scheduling. We all can use the calendar and it hangs on the side of our refrigerator among our favorite magnets and photos. I keep all of my business/personal appointments and to-do’s on my MacBook Pro laptop using the Entourage Calendar (which I only discovered last year and find it wonderful-easy). The little squares on our family calendar are filling up quicker than usual which must mean its back to school time. 

Daddy-O reported back early this morning to help get students registered for high school today and tomorrow. We got our youngest registered yesterday and even managed to get school shopping done. Back to school day can be one of my FAVORITE days but I don’t look forward to the rush of busyness 

that precedes every mom’s favorite holiday. I always think of that Staples back-to-school commercial where moms are happily pushing the shopping carts through the isles leaping and dancing with joy as they buy their kid’s school supplies. August is also a two birthday month in our house, so we’ll throw in a couple of Birthday BBQ days (oh, I need to buy the Mentos Geysers supplies for Gus’ Birthday!), along with football practices, football games, elementary and high school starting, university class schedules getting shuffled and housing plans finalized. Kristen is home for the week after her adventures on the Bering Sea research vessel and she reports back to UAF for Grad work this coming weekend.

The Saturday, August 15th calendar square is filled in with my last G Street Artist Fair. I’ve been busy making some fun new sculptures for that show in between keeping up with special orders. I mad

e a large, new Garden Chime after being inspired by birds nests I brought home from our trip. While we were in WA, my grandma gave me two birds nests that were in her hedge. She lives near a beautiful community park with fishing pond and was able to watch the baby birds, hatch and fly away. Both nests had fishing line intricately woven throughout the twigs and other nesting material!  I’m sort of a seeker/gatherer and have a lovely collection of abandon birds nests, interesting feathers and other unique natural treasures in my studio. I find a lot of inspiration in all things Nature. To make the steel birds nests, I start out with strips of plasma cut steel that I form around a bowl shape. I weld each strip into place as I form the nest to try and 

look as natural as possible. I also will weave and wrap wire around the form for additional texture. The large copper pipe I use for the chime component is reclaimed copper pipe I buy at Alaska Metal Recyclers. I cut the bottom off at a 45 degree angle using my chop saw, clean off all of the burrs and string with heavy duty chord from a new fishing Swivel and jump ring. Inside the copper pipe hangs hand welded washers to a small piece of rebar for the sound. The exposed clapper is usually an artful piece of copper in the shape of a leaf that is easily moved in the wind to make the chime sound.

There was a surprise in my garden this week. One of the Dahlia’s my mom sent was supposed to be yellow but when it bloomed this week it’s a deep burgundy, almost chocolate. Isn’t she pretty –I love garden sur

prises like this one! Sorry the image isn’t better, we’ve had a downpour of rain the last day or two. Not nearly as bad as Jim as having in Kentucky, just disappointing since we’ve been having a perfect 65 degrees and blue bird skies. Hopefully the weather will improve because I just filled in a couple more squares on our calendar –we’re fitting in a trip to Homer to go halibut fishing this weekend! I have a gift certificate to use at Two Sisters and was inspired by Vicki getting to go to Homer! Thought it would be a great way to welcome Back-to school time.




Linda Starr said...

Gee, you're so busy I am worn out reading your post with all you're doing. Love the new bird's nest sculpture and the dahlia is beautiful. Have fun fishing.

cindy shake said...

It did sound kind of exhausting didn't it?! It's really not that bad, just kid stuff (especially when all three are in different age ranges) tends to be a bit demanding -even when I'd rather be artmaking all day :o)

ang said...

way cool stuff going on with the birds nest, you took me back for a minute i made one once with pva glue wash and pine needles.. smelt great,..
love the chime piece too the branches are great really capture the movement..

cindy shake said...

Thanks Ang, and the chime sounds good too. If I adjust the inside piece too high or too low, it can sound too tin-like and not deep and calming. My dad taught me how to make the chimes -the branch formations are from me staring at a lot of trees -ha!

Ooo, pine needles would be great nesting material!