Monday, September 30, 2013

Syd Had A Hissy Fit

Meet Dusk.  On Saturday while I was finishing up my painting, my neighbor Curtis brought this kitten to my door.  I think it is a female, although it is hard to tell when they are this young.  Dusk does not know how to use a litter box as you must be wonderful compared to the dark damp dirty basement that she/he came from.  No sign of the mother.  This kitten is not old enough to eat solid food yet.  They have combed Curtis's basement, and can not find any conceivable way this kitten got in there.  For now, Dusk is safe with me, Syd is not real happy about it, but we are adjusting.  My painting is finished...I think...I really do:)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Knowing When To Quit

 I confess that I don't know when I am finished with a painting.  I am pre-posting this on Friday, thinking that I may stay home Saturday morning and truely finish.  Trouble is, in trying to finish this painting, I started like 3 more...and the mailman finally delivered the rivets I needed to finish my knife sheath.  So many things to do, and so little time to do it. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

That Time Of The Year

This is a photo from 1961 for a black cat audition (Alfred Hitchcock).  I am mindful of Syd this time of year (Halloween) and only let him out when I am going to be home.  The night before A Day Of The Arts show (March 2013), I got a text message "I am coming for Syd, and I am going to bomb your house".  It was hard to go to the show.  I worried the whole time I was gone.  There are lots of people out there who love black cats, and there are lots of people who hate black cats and are superstitious of them.  I am not taking any chances.  Had Syd been around in 1961, I feel confident, he would have been picked for this movie.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blast From The Past

One of the knives that I have made in the past is this boot dagger for Bonnie B.  This has an Ash handle because Bonnie wanted a white handled knife.  I made two of them originally, and didn't finish the second one.  It would be very easy to just finish mine, but for some reason I have not been able to bring myself to do it.  I have all the pieces.  It would be as simple as hammering in two rivets.  I haven't seen Bonnie since then, and I forgot the superstition in relation to knives.  Supposedly, a coin should be involved in the trade.  While I am waiting for my rivets in the mail, and while I am searching for a real brass hex bolt for Brian's knife, maybe I will finish my own boot dagger.  It is my hope that my friend Bonnie is doing well, and that the ash handle held up.  I have not seen one knife handle made out of I am skeptical. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another Tree Painting?

I don't know what it is about tree paintings.  So today (Tuesday), I was working on my sky and needed to practice sky on another canvas and I don't know what came over me.  It was like I was possessed!  Another tree painting emerges from the depths that lie below.

Yule Tree is hopefully safe and sound with my sister Francheska.  I painted it as a Christmas gift to her.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Finishing Up This Week

How's that for a frame?  I will be working on this painting this week and trying to get it ready for an upcoming exhibition.  There is still so much to do, and only a few days to do it in!  I will be coming in late Tuesday, and hopefully this gate will have a brand new coat of paint.

post script:  My girlfriend Hapi does not think I should paint this fence gate.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Spirit Of Weegee

I saw a film last night called The Public Eye.  I think it was based on a photojournalist from the 40's nicknamed Weegee (it was supposedly a fictional character by another name) that we studied in History Of Photography in the 1980's.  This guy was on it!  He had the uncanny knack for arriving at a crime scene before the police (go figure).  I can only imagine what he could have done with a digital camera.  Certainly, he wouldn't be held up by a sticky shudder as I am.  I conjure Weegee to get the images I matter what...for the good of all, according to the freewill of mote it be!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ohio Black Walnut


I have to admit a new love...the Ohio Black Walnut wood.  If I can't afford exotic wood, then black walnut will have to do.  My exotic wood was stolen from my truck during my move.  I didn't discover the theft till March 2012.  It has crippled me in that I had planned on using the coca bola and the ebony on future knives.  It is highly unlikely that the theives would know that the pieces of scrap wood in the box were valuable.  They would only be valuable to someone who would use them to make knives and handles for tools.  I hope they felt empty in their theft.  My concentration on Licking County things (art, and art supplies) in terms of art is coming together.  I want to move back to Columbus, but until then, I am exploring anything and everything I can find in my home county that is walnut is just one of those things.  I miss the Columbus cut off bins.  But fate has blessed me in spite of being a victim of theft...I was given a bunch of black walnut from an absolute stranger!  Yesterday, the mailman delivered my black walnut knife scales from eBay.  But before that, a librarain mentoned my knife making to an old woodworker, and he had a stash.  I marvel at the way the universe is always on purpose.  I will be seeking out a real brass nut and bolt which is harder than you might think as all the hardware stores have is brass coated...not solid brass.  So I will be pursuing an antique It seems, as I am not willing to use a substitute.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Wild Goose Creative is housing an exhibition called HomeMade.  I am working on trying to get this painting camera ready by next Saturday.  The exhibition explores artist's definitions of home, how we examine the relationship to a home space through our art work, and how the concept of home effects our process and product.  Most everything I do and make is home made...but in this instance I have to believe that for me, home is where my cat is.  That could be my truck sometimes, and has been.  I am running short on time today, so I won't be able to write any more about this.  The painting is now called Everything's Peachy "Cause Home Is Where My Cat Is.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Going Stag

Recently, I was gifted some deer antler (stag).  I am working night and day on my knives.  This piece won't work for what I have going right now, so I put it on an eBay auction for sale.  I really could use the money, and there will be more antler in my future.  I have given away much of what I have aquired as I don't have the right kind of knife in the works to use it.  I don't like to waste materials, and I don't like materials just sitting around in storage not being eBay is one way of getting the material to the one who is supposed to have it.  I also put one slice of my reconditioned turquoise up for auction on "the bay".  It will make lovely knife spacers someday, and I have plenty.
  My pictures are getting better, even though the shutter still sticks closed.  I was able to get this shot by putting my finger over most of the flash.  I will be coming to the library late Friday (so this is preposted), as I have a customer coming by in the morning.  Christmas gift making is starting early for me this year....thank the goddess.  If you go to my website, there should be a hotlink to my eBay auctions.  I haven't tried this for awhile, so I am not sure how it all still works.  Let me know if it takes you to a dead end.  I will make the necessary changes.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ohio Eighth Annual Online Visual Artist Registry

With a day left till my deadline, I was finally able to access the site and submit my metal quilt to the upcoming art show.  I have seen this show that is at the Columbus Library several years ago.  It is impressive, and if you haven't visited the Ohio Online Visual Artist Registry, that too, is impressive.  If you are an Ohio artist, you should register and submit your art.  Who knows what could happen.  The Quilt Of Elizabeth Brim has been submitted for the Registry show.  There is prize money.  I sure could use that.  I am working hard, learnings lots, and content with my projects.  I am still looking for the opportunity to move back to Columbus where there are more options and opportunities for artists...and I miss my drum sisters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Education In Hobby Lobby

I gave this lady a ride to Target yesterday, which is right next door to Hobby Lobby.  These places are located near the mall which I try to avoid at all costs, as there isn't anything there for me.  Hobby Lobby is one of those stores that has replaced my old favorite craft shop on Mt Vernon....I think it was called Du Lots.  This was way back even before Odd Lots, so lots (pun intended) has happened since the days when I went a few blocks away from my house in my neighborhood to buy art/craft supplies.  Back then, I was making candles in addition to cutting stones.  My needs for glue, beads, grommets, rivets, and all the bells and whistles that go with getting serious about my art are greater than Hobby Lobby can provide.  The store was nearly revolting to me, as it reminded me that we have outsourced virtually everything to China.
Still, there was a whole education in actually examining the items that I have seen in books, but have had to improvise and make my own....or just find a way of doing without.
I was not able to locate the rivets I want to use.  Hobby Lobby had rivets, but I would have been downgrading to an inferior quality if I had purchased them there.  Main Hardware didn't have an employee that knew about the mechanics of rivets, nor did Home Depo.  I had almost decided to make my own rivets out of cut off screws and nails (not recommended in the books because of the rust factor), when I remembered eBay.  You can find any kind of rivet in the world on eBay, so without too many minutes "surfing", I found plenty of what I was looking for in the rivet kingdom.  I will be waiting by my mailbox in the next few days to hopefully get the needed supplies to finish the knife sheath and move on to the next project.  Meanwhile, more neglected knives are coming out of their hiding places to join the ranks of projects on the bench.  One of the librarians brought me some beautiful black walnut.  It was a very nice surprise, and the timing was almost perfect.  I had already purchased knife scales for Brian's knife, but only need to wait for them to be packed and shipped.  The new gift of black walnut may solve the age old problem of what to put on the blades Lorelei made for me 18 years ago.  She made twin blades from Damascus steel which I believe is probably the finest steel on earth!  Lorelei's daggers are nearly identical, and I wanted them to have an exotic wood handle like ebony.  My exotic wood collection got stolen when I moved from Paul Drive, and I have been grieving the loss.  But what is a person to do, weep endlessly about everything that is lost, stolen or out of reach?  Not me....or not me, for long.  I can't stand that.  It waste's time.  I move on to the next thing and hope that my "higher power" will replace those things with something better.
Every tool in this picture is a tool that I supposedly need.  My ancestors made their own, and I am making my own.  I learn a lot from stores like Hobby Lobby.  Mostly, I learn that I can get around the item, make it, or just plain skip it.  There is a deadline on Friday, that only a miracle of God will get in my hands what I need, then the pictures to support the entry.  The show is the Ohio Artist Registry show.  It is a good show, and I had high hopes to enter it.  This year, it seems it is out of my reach.  There is always next year!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Is It Snap Time?

Yesterday, I sewed my first leather.  It only took weeks to get the glue and the black sinew for this knife sheath.  I now need 4 silver colored rivets.  I don't have any, and I don't have the metal to make them.  Hopefully, I will be able to find something that will work at the hardware store this morning.  Then it will be snap time:)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Modification Is The Key

Brian chose his knife style because he liked my meteorite knife.  His knife right now is almost twice as long as mine, so I will have to cut it down.  Also, I found a nicer, thicker piece of brass to use as the blade guard.  I won my eBay auction, and will be getting his black walnut knife scales in the mail or UPS in a few days.  Black Walnut is a good choice as the ebony I had left from the meteorite knife was stolen when I moved from Paul Drive.  I have been trying to get over all that, but it seems like every time I turn around, I find something I need that was stolen, or ruined by that whole situation.

I decided to sharpen my own scissors, and woodcarving tools, as I am sharpening the knives of my friends.  The woodcarving knife works perfectly for trimming up my leather sheath.  I found a rusty old leather needle that I cleaned up, and will use for some of the stitching in the sheath, and I found my beloved Arkansas stone!  I don't seem to have traditional leather working tools, so I am improvising and using what I already have.  I should be well on my way to having the cable knife finished and photographed by mid-week.  There is a Friday deadline for the Artist Online Registry show next Friday.  I am having difficulty with getting into the system in order to apply, and have contacted the folks who set it up to troubleshoot the process.  Since I am writing this on Sunday, to be published on Monday, I may be on my way to another artistic opportunity.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, I am working hard, and having the time of my life.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Charging Up My Camera Batteries

I am presently charging up my camera batteries, so I can not show you the progress on Brian's knife this morning as I had planned.  Nor can I show you the makeshift saw table I made this morning.  I have needed shelving in my basement for several months.  I have guy friends who pretend to help, but don't.  My girlfriends, are helpful, but are busy right now.  This morning, I reached a point where I decided I would do this without my guy friends, and before my girlfriends even got out of bed.  In fact, I cut my shelving just as the sun was coming up.  It was scarey...but I am tired of waiting.  I didn't take any risks.  I clamped my boards down to my kitchen table.  Someday, I will build saw horses.
The camera batteries are charging in a port on the public computer.  In absense of a picture of any thing I am doing, or have already done today, I will show you a dagger that is very much like the one I am making.  So please imagine this dagger without the copper rivets.  In fact, the black walnut handle is so pretty, that my rivets will be hidden, and inside the handle. Also, imagine both the pommel and the blade guard in brass instead of steel.  I will be contacting Brian today, to find out if this knife is to be carried as I believe it is illegal in Ohio to carry a knife any longer than 4 inches.  It would be a shame to have to cut Brian's knife if I don't have to.
I don't like to put the cart before the horse, but lately it has been necessary.  I believe I will be back here on Sunday, to check on and pay for my eBay auction, but I don't know for sure.  At any rate, I am prepublishing this blog on Saturday, so that if I don't make it in on Sunday, there will be something to look at.  Certainly by Monday, I will have the camera charged and new pictures to share.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Black Walnut Knife Handles

As of Friday afternoon, I was the high bidder on an eBay aution for some black walnut matching wood pieces.  I will be checking back in the library late Saturday, to finalize my payment, should I win these.  I like to handpick my wood, but in order to find something this nice, I would need to drive to Columbus to the Woodworkers store.  I don't want to do that right now, so this is the trade off.  Hopefully this eBay seller is upfront.  I know how hard it is to sell on eBay, as I used to do it.  The money I made last month doing surveys is headed towards my paypal I should be able to pay for this without too much trouble.  I will probably buy local, from now on, if I possibly can, and I will be going for recycled materials...if I possibly can.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Resting My Wrist Today

I woke up this morning with an inflamed wrist (I worked it too hard yesterday), so I am taking the day off till I can use it.  I know from previous experience that to try to use it when it hurts will result in many days of recovery.  If I can get my wrist in shape by this weekend there is an art show that I would like to enter.  Unfortunately, this painting is not quite finished yet, and it needs framed.  I will give it my best shot though, as I believe the subject matter in this painting is relevant, and a powerful message.
If I don't make the next Friday deadline, then I will more than likely find another show, that is calling for an enviornmental theme.  As you might guess dearest readership, there are many shows and exhibitons calling for enviornmental subject matter.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Break Down

I was in the middle of grinding and polishing Brian's dagger this morning when my grinder seized up.  Instead of taking it to the repair shop (I couldn't even venture a guess where in Newark to take it), I took it apart and found that a screw had vibrated out, and stopped the grinding wheel.
It cost me a half hour, but I am glad I went ahead and tried this myself, as I am not sure that someone would not have tried to tell me I needed a new grinder.  Happens all the time.  I have had this grinder for almost 20 years, and it works like a little charm:)
There is a light gouge near the tip, that needs some more work.  I began work on it yesterday, and I profiled the blade today.  This blade is the first of hopefully many Christmas orders.

Last Days Of Summer


Syd the cat is enjoying his "outside" (he knows that word)!  He didn't stay outside much last summer as he was still too traumatized by 3 moves and all the upheaval.  I have a hard time getting him to come in at night this year.  Sometimes, I have to go get him and carry him in.  It is 91 out today, and I am guessing he is under the shade tree somewhere.  I am writing this post on Tuesday, in case I decide to stay home Wednesday and work on knife projects.  If I work at home, I check on him throughout the day.  I like hanging out with him.  If I were a little younger, I'd climb that tree with him.  I used to climb trees often.  I'd say my tree climbing days ended in 2002 after my home invasion and subsequent beatings.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Build a pair of simple sawhorses

This guy makes this look easy.  I think I am going to need a set of saw horses soon.  I gave mine to a friend who was working on his house.  Mine would have been in storage for months, so it seemed like a good idea to put them to use elsewhere.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Getting The Hang Of It

It is not official yet, but my bead exchange idea has been approved for this library.  I am hoping that this thing can be tweaked.  I am also hoping that after I start this project, that someone else will step in and take it over.  I want to rid myself of beads I am not going to use, to make room for needed art supplies.  The other reason that this may be fun, is that I will most definately meat fellow beaders and artists.  Bartering is a powerful method of exchange...damn near it revolutionary.  WTSHTF bartering will be the new fashion...maybe the only fashion.  I would like to be better at bartering than I am.  It takes practice like anything else.  Lets trade dear readers, fellow artists, and friends.  Right now, I got beads...and I could use some cocobolo as mine got stolen 2 moves ago.  Yesterday, I took a VCR/DVD unit to a friend who didn't have one.  It was like Christmas morning.  I love doing things like that.  And today, I read in freecycle that somebody wants manniquins.  Well who wouldn't?  LOL.  I will keep you posted as the got beads project gets nearer to being scheduled.

Monday, September 9, 2013

got beads?

I got an OK from the library to schedule a bead exchange this coming November.  I am trying to get a flyer together for it.  Bartering is something that I do, that has become part of my survival process.  I am hoping I can share the beads I have, and aquire the supplies I do not have.  I will be in and out this week.  The library is now open on I expect to be spending some more time here.  As I pulled beads out for this photo, I realized that the definition of bead, is expanding.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hot Times Weekend

It feels like I am being pulled every which way this weekend.  I took a commission on Thursday for a Christmas present.  So my Christmas business has officially started.  That is a good sign.  I wish I could hang out at Hot Times Community Festival this weekend.  Who knows, I may end up there yet.  Tim's Cable knife is almost finished, and getting pictures taken...before the sheath is done, and before the final sharp.  I look forward to the next one...and the next...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mounting Grandads Horseshoes

I may not make it back in to the library on Friday to I am posting it on Wednesday.  I have been very busy making knives, and trying to get my grandfathers horseshoes mounted and up on the wall.  I really just need them out of my way, so finishing them up and hanging them will be the best coarse of action.  My workspace is small, so.....I just have to keep everything moving, or put it away till I can finish it.  I don't want to put these away.  They have been boxed up for too long already.  They were nearly ruined in Nesley's basement....I feel fortunate that I moved, and saved them in time!  These are going to look so cool when I get them finished.  Be back Saturday morning dear readership.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Art Of Rubbish

Today (Wednesday), I entered the metal quilt into another show.  I am not sure how that might work.  I am fairly certain my patron won't mind if the quilt takes a detour to Aurora Colorado on the way to it's permanent home in Michigan.  The show is called The Art Of Rubbish.  I couldn't resist! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thursday Appointment

I have a Thursday appointment with a prospective knife customer.  I am hopeful that I can find all my various supplies and materials, rivets, and blade blanks to show the scope of what all I can do.  In the meantime....many of my knives and tools have gotten a coating of rust on them from being stored in a damp environment.  Now is a good time, to get them cleaned up, sharpened and ready for business.  I may be delayed for a few hours on Thursday...but will try to post a late blog with a progress report.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chip Off The Old Block

It occured to me that I had started a couple knives of my own design... awhile back.  Here they are, on top of gramps shoes.  I may have to make a shadow box just for them...and hang them near his smithwork.  My great grandfather (Alan Robinson) would probably not be supportive of a grandaughter becoming a smith.  Times have changed though.  I, for one, am glad...glad that I was not born, back in those times...his time.  I have benefited from the "womens movement" for sure.  Even had I been born 20 years before I was, it would have been difficult to become a smith.  As it was, I had enough of a hard time not getting pulled down by "christian" attitudes, beliefs, and predjudices for very long.  It doesn't take long for a church to show it's true colors!  I have been so blessed, to not be subjected to all that constant backbiting ridicule that my church experience has taught me.  If I had to be born woman, then thank GOD I wasn't further crippled by a religion that would hinder me and keep me tranquilized.  I never did much like tranquilizers....whether it be in the drug form, or the propaganda form.  I can honor my ancestors, and thank GOD I wasn't born in their time.....can't I?