Monday, January 21, 2013

January '13 Sketch Crawl

Time for a sketch crawl. This month's crawl was at Union Station in Kansas City. We met under the clock at noon thirty. Eight of us sketchers plus some spouses. This place was hopping with families. I love this old building! It's cavernous and has a mood all to itself. It's hard to believe it was abandoned for many years before life came back to it.Wilma and I have been here a few times for Amtrak or with kids for Science City.

We split up and sketched. Wilma walked around and hit Crown Center, using the covered skywalk. Several of us had nice chats with passerby's interested in what we were doing. I had kids and adults chat with me. It's neat to interact. After the sketching we ate at Harvey's.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Air Freshener For Car

Well, more rodent problems. However, it had a good ending and nobody got hurt. Same goes for deer hunting this year. Nobody got hurt, including the deer. It's a good thing we don't need the meat to survive. I haven't been a good food provider lately. The deer also have a mean sense of humor. Last week I scared off three deer from our front yard when coming home late one night. Salt in the wound.

Sketching this time I used my cell phone camera. I didn't have enough time to sketch the flowers because we were shopping when I found them. Left them in the parking lot. I got chuckles from a passer by. The trap was in use at night so I couldn't easily sketch it. The packrat was just released and paused just long enough for a picture. He was sure cute! He was in no real hurry to leave, either. Once out of the trap he slowly walked away and paused a few times to look around. We're buds.

The co-worker that loaned me the trap couldn't believe I just let it go. Her husband kills them after he catches them. They live in a similar rural area and have packrat problems, too. The irony is not lost on me that I can kill Bambi but I can't kill a rat.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Sketch Crawl

I made it to this month's sketch crawl! For the longest time there were time conflicts with other things, but the last two crawls have hit the calendar well. It was way too warm by statistical standards, but we really liked being able to sketch outside one more month. The Van Till business has added more landscaping since my last time here. The outside dining area had a fabric enclosure with window so we could still eat outside, too.

I loaded up my Noodler's Ahab pen with Lexington Gray ink. A few months ago I cleaned it up and stored it away, frustrated. Initially it was a great pen, but it was having an ink flow problem, and multiple cleanings didn't solve the problem. Today I decided to put it on probation. It worked! Today the ink just flowed and I was getting a responsive thick/thin controllable width. Fiber tip pens just can't match the joy of using a fountain pen like this Ahab on this day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Straight European

Never too old to learn. I thought there was one way to lace a shoe and one way to tie the bow. These are the way my Mom and Dad taught me. So when I bought these shoes a while back I noticed they were not laced correctly. I asked the sales person about it and he said it's a European lace pattern.

A little web search provides the answer . . . and then some. Check out!! The web owner, Ian, has the worlds best site with more info than I ever thought possible. This guy knows his laces, and my lacing pattern is the Straight European.

I found that the performance of the new (to me) lacing pattern is different than my traditional way. The bow sits lower over the tongue so it's protected more from things that can undue it, so it's more durable. It's also harder to untie, so it's a mixed blessing. The crossover on top does have a nice look that grows on you. That's why, after I replaced the old laces, I kept the Straight European. I'll be back on Ian's site, too, to play with some other methods. So much to learn on something I thought I know?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

An Open Mic

I was on business travel the last couple days in Tulsa. There a coffeehouse there that has an open mic on Tuesday nights. That's the night before my meeting so I had free time and took it in. It's a nice way to spend a night on the road.

With all the sketching of food on other blogger's sites I had intended to sketch my cheesecake. My problem is that it tasted too good. It didn't last long enough to sketch. At least the plates don't move fast.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

That Time Again

Time to carve a pumpkin. The kids aren't here anymore but I have the urge to carve one, anyway. I had quite a few years when the kids were teenagers when I didn't carve. Enough of that abstinence! Can't blame it on the kids anymore, either. It's just me.There's still a bit of pyromaniac in me, too, to enjoy just sitting and watching the candle burn. It's soothing. Then, to sketch it while I quietly watch it is just frosting on the cake!

I once taught pumpkin carving when we lived in Great Bend, at the Recreation Commission. Kids loved it! When we moved to Topeka, I offered to teach it at the Recreation Commission here. They turned me down, because they didn't see any reason to offer it. I don't get them not getting it.

So now it's just me, carving for me. And that's good enough.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scare for a Moment

We had a scare. For a short time we thought our favorite Asian food restaurant in Topeka had closed down. It wasn't until that moment that I realized how much we loved it and would miss it. Then I thought of life without Jade Garden. Was it possible? Ah, that's just plain silly . . . or is it? We have a few good Mexican restaurants, and three descent Italian restaurants. Between Topeka and Lawrence we have some good choices, but only one really good Jade Garden. That put me into a funk. You don't know what you have until it's gone.

Then we found it wasn't true . . . and I feel great!