Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pavers, Cobblestones and Cement Mixers

The Great Patio Project is nearing the finish. It's taken three summers, instead of the foolishly estimated "couple of weekends" (Curse you, DIY channel)...  We have only a couple more rows of paving stones to cast and place, and individual cobbles (?) to cast along the edges.

Would we do the same if we only knew???  Accorting to my beloved husband, uh - NO!  Would we be able to find anything that would be similar commercially, probably not. The patio is unique, and I really like how it looks, although we will have to come up with a solution for the edge, as I am not completely happy with what I used to edge it (composition board, like "Trex".)  

We will be celebrating our project's completion sometime after Labor Day (appropriate, eh?)  BB-Q fired up, meat on the grill, Bocce Ball and Croquet in the backyard. Hammocks will be hung, and chairs scattered under the trees.  Last days of summer...

Summer's Swift Passage

Summer is flying by, and we have only a few weeks to call it our own before the appearance of Autumn. I had the pleasure of taking part in a "Plein-Air Paintout" as part of the California State Fair here in Sacramento, where about 35 artists spent two days painting in public at the fair. We then presented our work in the art section for comment, ridicule, awards and general viewing. These are the pieces that I completed.  The top work is of the stairs leading to the Raging Waters waterslide, as seen from the Forest section of the fairgrounds. Kids haul huge floats up the wooden stairs, and then jump into a slide/tube, and scream until they come out the end, splashing into a pool. Fun... right?
 These are the view I chose for the other painting. The one on the left is the composition "test" I did after scouting the fairgrounds a few days earlier, and the one on the right is the one I did for presentation. Left is pallet knife, the right is brushwork.  I sat under the shade of huge redwood trees, at picnic benches, in a lovely setting.      
I was amused to find that the people who talked to me were generally kids, who asked: "What are you doing?", as if they had never seen anyone paint before, (a sad comment on the arts in schools, no?)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Roses and Apple - (oils/pallet knife ) Painting at Hildas

It's been a busy few days. Had a lovely painting session with an artist friend, worked on those pavers that have been hanging around for multiple seasons, set up some activities for August (a basket-making workshop with an incredible instructor) and did the normal household chores that are always around. Since I have a guest coming (actually two this month) I actually ironed pillowcases and freshened up the room. I can't believe I actually did that (ironing sheets), but Martha Stewart must have taken over my brain for a little while. I'll do an exorcism later to make sure she doesn't take up permanent residence.
We've had a strange summer with the garden, but are still harvesting green beans, those pale green scalloped squash, corn, some (small) tomaotes and zucchini.  The corn is so sweet when it's fresh picked and thrown into the boiling water.  I can eat 2 or more ears by myself. Nom nom nom.