Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One thing leads to another

I was searching the internet for ideas for quilting. Its been 15 or more years since I started my first Log Cabin Quilt, it's still not done. The poor thing is folded away in a box somewhere and I keep promising to find it and get it done but that never seems to happen. It got packed up when I moved to Cold Lake, AB. I have moved three times since then. I wonder how many more boxes never got opened?!?

Anyway it's fall, hubby is going to be busy with harvest for the next month or so and I need something to fill the hours between making lunches and running out to the field. I thought a quilt would be interesting to try my hand at again, or that is what I was thinking as I searched the web for easy and interesting ideas. I came across a 10 minute block pattern by Suzanne McNeill and that lead me to her blog blog.suzannemcneill.com. She was talking about something called ZenTangle. Never heard of it. So I googled it. Wow, jackpot!

Zen Tangle is doodling with a purpose. The pictures that the Zen Tangle artists were making were amazing, so detailed and intricate. I was intrigued and needed to try this. All I needed was a pen and some paper, I have that! I use some pretty nice Staedtler pigment liners in my acrylic paintings from time to time, so dug those out and picked up my handy, dandy sketch diary and started to doodle... or zentangle.

I needed to learn some designs and found another wonderful web site tanglepatterns.com Hundreds of designs are broken down into 4 or more steps so you can see how each is really made. Some of the most detailed become the easiest when you know how to start. I bought a note book with graph paper and set out to learn as many as I could. I think the ideas will be endless because now I see tangles everywhere and I can't wait to start designing my own tangle patterns.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Busy Summer

Well we are back at the farm to start preparing for the harvest. Keep your fingers crossed, it has not been a very good year for farmers, what with the late spring then all the rain, hail, wind and flooded fields. I am still trying to get used to a business where you take $300,000 and bury it in a hole in the ground in the spring and then hope that you can dig it up in the fall and find more $$.

Anyway, that is another story for another day. We left the cabin on Monday and it was a sad farewell. As we drove away Bernie and I promised ourselves and each other that we would do what ever it took to get back there in the fall before we left for Texas and our winter. We didn't manage to do that last year and really regretted not being able to spend at least a weekend when we could enjoy the crisp weather, the trees changing color and No bugs!

We did not get started on the "big cabin" like we had hoped too, it just didn't seem like a good idea until we are more certain that we will have a crop to sell this fall. Instead we spent our summer working Bernie's sawmill and making a small mountain of wood siding for the interior walls and boards that will be used for trim around doors and windows inside the cabin when we do get building. The plan is to have a contractor build the cabin, putting on the metal roof, installing the windows, doors, basically take it what they call the lock up stage. Then Bernie and I will finish the inside. That will include covering all the inside walls, floors and ceiling with wood. Hopefully wood that we have cut on our sawmill from the trees that came down to make the road into our property.

Working a sawmill was certainly a new thing for me but I'm game for new things and actually really enjoyed the physical labor. A pair of work boots, some comfy pants, t-shirt, leather gloves and a hat was my wardrobe. Bernie had a pair of coveralls. You know the kind, full sleeve, step into the legs and pull the zipper up to your neck. Well when we get to the Brownsville flea market this winter I'm going to look for a pair of coveralls for myself. I won't look pretty but I will be much more comfortable. You see pants and a shirt is fine but I get covered in sawdust, again that is ok until you have to make a trip to the biffy (aka outhouse). It is impossible to keep that sawdust from falling off your cloths and sticking to your hot sweaty skin. Boys don't have to worry about this problem as they never have to actually pull anything down to use the facilities, not that they would ever use the facilities, the world is their urinal after all, but us girls are not so lucky.

First of all the biffy is a long way from the sawmill so planning is pertinent but very rarely done. That means a brisk walk, well waddle if I waited to long and then getting those pants down as fast as possible once I'm in there. I never though about dusting off the sawdust from my back, I did the front, arms and knees, but who thinks of dusting off their back? I did mention that this was physical work right and, well, I sweat, really sweat, not a lady like kind of sweat but the kind that soaks into your shirt and runs down your back to catch in the waist band
of your pants sweat. The kind that soaks the band in your hat and then runs into your eyes sweat. The kind that leaves your whole body wet and the kind that sawdust likes to stick to.

Working with Bernie milling the logs that will eventually become the walls of our cabin is a lot of fun, working with Bernie milling the logs that will eventually become the walls of our cabin while I have sawdust stuck to my butt and itching me like crazy is absolutely not fun!