High gas prices = creativity in transportation

I really wish I had a welder here at home because I would like to make modifications to a motorcycle along the lines of this vehicle, only with more imagination.
Luckily there was no human or other living creature being transported in the passenger.. chariot?

I made a self portrait. Looks like me, no? I like the cheesy grin. Thank you to the Haagen-Daz Help the Honey Bee web page for this. They made a nice web site you should go check it out and if your speakers are on you can hear the birds chirp.

P.S. on the bird cage... no dice. Returned to the store unfortunately.

Feel my pain

Violet's new cage is here. If you have ever cursed an Ikea instruction set- take all that cursing back! This gem is way better worse. Made in China.. need I say more? Sigh, sigh, and sigh.

This part is particularly endearing with its backwards printed numbers. I may end up with a Picasso like cubist sculpture when I'm done but hey, that could be cool!

Hoof trim comparison- August '08

This horse was trimmed only 4 weeks ago. As you can see there is a lot of new growth and the feet are starting to self trim. Left unattended these hooves would look very ragged but they would probably chip back to a 'proper' length on their own. We have had very little rain lately and the ground is very hard. As a result my horse's feet are very hard and he has very little thrush in the clefts of his frogs. I took the hoof wall length down, beveled the edges and didn't touch the frogs or soles.

Sole view of Right and Left front feet before trim (top) after trim (bottom). Click on pictures to enlarge view.
You might notice that the heels on the right foot (left side of photo) are not the same length. I trim his heels down to the level of the sole and no further. If I were to make both heels even I would end up rasping his sole quite a bit which would cause him to be sore. If his feet were like cubes with even sides things would be easy, but his hooves are like tilted cubes with one side always askew. I do make sure to bevel the edges well especially if I see separation starting, or in the area where there are chips as in the case with today's trim. Beveling the hoof wall eliminates the leveraging forces that would worsen splits and separation.

Studying these pictures is very good for me because I am catching details that I don't notice while I am working. Looking at the hind feet I can see I need to bevel the hoof more at the quarters- inside and outside. The toe could be maintained more as well. My horse has difficulty keeping his hind legs raised for me so I usually work very quickly, and in compromised positions. I can see that working this way is causing me to miss some important things.

Hind sole view. Before on top, after on bottom:

I apologize for the less than perfect pictures. My hands get shaky with the exertion of trimming. There are more hoof comparison stories listed in the side bar. Thanks for visiting!

Primer time

This is a block of Aquarelle paper that I am applying gesso to. It will be an experiment on a smaller scale since I keep getting side tracked with my 16x20 canvases that I'm still noodling (obscure painting term) with. This small page will be a test run for my ideas. Along with making the paper smoother the gesso also adds a flexible durability to the surface which I like.
The gesso is already dry and since I can't tear myself away from this project just yet I'm going to start with a light wash of orange. Have you heard that orange is the new black? Um, okay I don't know that for a fact, but I do know that you don't come here to read about fashion :p Bye for now.


Mystery project day two

This morning two pieces of the mystery project are clear. The only things visible are the brush strokes in the gel medium.

I used the secret weapon for this piece, and as a result the surface is very smooth. I really like this effect quite a bit.

Flatlander gets off of floor. Evolution at the basic level is achieved!

Hi there! I'm working at a table now like most people normally do. I can't say that sitting on the floor was too bad, but it did make for some stiff legs after awhile. Anyway, here is the latest painting carnage:

First, something different. What is this mysterious, opaque something or other?... come back again later and find out what becomes of this piece
and this piece. I guarantee you will be surprised!
One of my new brushes- it's nice! Perfect for this acrylic medium.
New additions to the midnight episode 2 piece..

Close up on some details

Stopping here for tonight.

Loot & a coupon

Michael's craft store was having a 4 hour "madness" sale with a 25% off your total bill (if you brought in the coupon) including items that were on sale. I got two 2-packs of 16x20 canvas, some liquid copper, 3 synth. brushes suitable for acrylic, black acrylic, and an extender for my paint. I'm looking forward to some paintin'.

I forgot a few things.. tape for making curves. It's like pin-striping tape and I thought of ways I can use it on the canvas, so I got two; also a seam ripper that has a mini sewing kit stashed in the handle.

Here is the old Mars Black R.I.P. When I opened the lid powder poured out of the tube- she's a goner fer sure.

Here is my first hand made toy for you know who, whose name will probably be "Violet" unless we find another name that better suits her personality birdonality.

I found a few web pages that sold bird safe vegetable tanned leather, beads, and other knick-knacks to chew on and bought some stuff. Pet toys are expensive, and I'd rather spend the 40 bucks and make several of my own toys than spend the same amt. on maybe 3 big toys. Besides Violet isn't going to be that big of a bird and going the DIY route gives me lots of flexibility in toy making, especially once I see what she likes.