Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Criminal Rat

I wouldn't know what to do without critters getting into trouble around here. This Winter we had our first pack rat in the garage. He sure caused mischief! Expensive mischief. I ended up having to kill him, and I sure don't like doing that.

We all have our place on this planet, but our garage is not the place for his home. He sure was a cute rascal, though. One tough rodent, too. Mouse traps and poisons had no lethal affect on him. He could crawled up all shelving. He could chew everything but metal into shreds. The whole garage was his kingdom, and he laughed at me freely. . . until I corned him with an old broom handle. May he R.I.P.

On another note, last weekend I noticed a dead vole in the tiger pit (egress window well) and mentioned it to Wilma. She HATES voles because we think they are the ones eating all her flower bulbs. I thought she'd be happy. WRONG! She says they're cute and was sad to lose one. . . go figure.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

To The Printers

Our girl's getting married and I'm taking on the invitations! I've dabbled in calligraphy for years and love it. My first big project was twenty nine years ago when I addressed envelopes for our wedding. I have a standing offer to my nieces and nephews that Uncle John will address their envelopes as a gift. Some have taken me up on it, and they were rewarding to do. Being of German descent I really enjoy writing out some of the traditional names. They look sharp in calligraphy.

For Amy I wanted to do it all from scratched. I pitched the idea after coming up with comparative costs to commercially available offerings, and they "gave me the job". Amy went with a pocket fold format, with individual cards for RSVP, Reception and Map. With invitation they are folded together in a pocket fold envelope. She had the idea of the owls, so I came up with a simple sketch after looking over the Internet for sample owl sketches. I needed to find out what "makes an owl" with minimum line work. All my work is done large scale and scaled down by the printer. I've gone with an off-set printer (good stuff) because my dad was an off-set pressman and I wanted it done in a way he would be proud of, since he's not here to see the event.

The last picture also has a mock-up I made to illustrate the concept. I'll have more pictures later of the finished product.

PS: I finished the roto-tilling this weekend and didn't blow my cool once!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Be Patient, Doofus!

Sometimes things happen that seem bad initially, but have some merit in the long run. For example, this bruised fingernail. It will take months to heal, and is a constant reminder that patients is a nice virtue. Every year, before the snows come, we like to till the garden with organic matter so it can rest the Winter. I had problems with the roto-tiller (again) and I worked myself into a frenzy. Slamming that nail between a flying strap buckle and the utility trailer rail came along to refocus my attention.

Tomorrow I'll rent the roto-tiller again to start the new growing year. The weather is going to be nice and Wilma says it's time. Not even going to try the old roto-tiller. I'll see if I learned anything from a few months ago.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Broken Borders

Wish I could say my absence was because I was abducted by a space alien and I was just returned home after months of human experiments. But nothing so grandeur. I just fell out of the habit due to a splash of activity and never got back in the saddle. There is probably a deep seated psychological explanation, but I'm not smart enough to figure that out. I do know that even though I wasn't sketching, I was viewing the world in terms of what would make a good sketch. I'm addicted. So here I am again.

Border's Book Store is going under. That's old news to anyone not living under a rock. As a family we like to shop book stores. Each of us may have a favorite but we like them all. In most towns in Kansas we don't have multiple choices in each city of the BIG book stores. Take out a BIG store and it changes things like family traditions. When we visit Lawrence, we usually hit Border's. Guess now we won't. We'll still have our independent book stores, but things will be different.