Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Fair gone by

The 2008 Nevada State Fair is over. Mim and Becky have reported on it already. The Spinners and Weavers tent and demonstrations was a great success, thanks to all the many folks who donated their time and effort. Here are a few photos taken around the fairgrounds. (Click on them for bigger images.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Friends in my Garden

Sadly my work life has recently been overshadowing my home life, thus I haven't had much to blog about. This weekend I managed to break away a bit and spend an hour or two in the garden. Although the lavender blooms have faded a bit with the 100 degree weather, the garden is still abuzz with bees. I dug out a few ginormous weeds that had taken advantage of my absence and added a few rocks to the nascent wall.

When I look at my garden I am reminded of some special folks. When I first moved into my house, Linda gave me the yellow Potentilla. She said all desert gardens should have potentilla. I am embarrassed to say that I nearly killed it twice before it settled in and grew back. It is a spunky little survivor.

The lemon thyme is blooming. It reminds me of my friend Laura, who had it growing in the front yard of the little house she renovated, before moving out to Red Rock, and ultimately to Oregon.

One of the enthusiastically overgrowing Russian sage along the front of the garden was given to me by Sharon, who dug it out of her own yard. The Russian sage, along with two more varieties of lavender, have grown into a fragrant hedge. The ground around them is deep purple, covered by cast off blooms.

And of course the lavender reminds me of my mother, who loved the fragrance and the exotic culinary touch of herbes de Provence that could be made from the dried blossoms.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


It is always gratifying when you can rescue something from a future in the landfill and find a new life for it. We are having a grand clear-out at work since we are moving to a new building. One of the items that would have been tossed was a 1950s-era wooden base that would have held a brass nameplate. The engraved plastic nameplates of today do not fit the narrow slot. Wooden objects within my general vicinity are all subject to fits of... er... improvement via burning tool and paintbrush. I decided to rescue this chunk of wood from an ignominious fate and turn it into a nifty photo holder to add individuality to my new office.

First I sanded the old finish off with my Mouse palm sander (I love that tool!). I also chipped off the lumpy petrified felt from the bottom. Still a bit stuck in a design rut, I penciled on a pattern of snakes and vines. I know I have already used this pattern several times, but I still like it and it is fluid and fun to draw. The wood was pretty grainy, so it did not burn very evenly. I pressed on anyway. Then painted the design using acrylic paint with plenty of matt medium to let the woodgrain show through. Three coats of satin spar urethane later, I now have a new desk accessory. This was a super quick project, conceived yesterday and completed today.

Now, what else can I burn?....