Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Monday, January 16, 2017

Good Morning Ice World.........


Having been outside with Barney earlier today I can testify the it is dangerous out there.  The sidewalks and street are very coated with ice.  I was out on it last night when it was first accumulating  and the streets were impossible to walk on.  I did the ice shuffle as Barney insisted on crossing the street. The places where it looked like there was no ice, were actually places of clear ice.

Clearing and boxing up all the contents of cupboards like this goes  with the process of moving.  The antique toy cupboard was needing a cleaning and I may add some more shelves while it is empty. If you missed yesterday's blog, my wife and I are going to leave our old house and will be moving to a much newer house in a location closer to Des Moines. Getting the things packed and also preparing a house for sale can get to be overwhelming.  We don't have to sell the 110 year old house right away so that should take a little bit of pressure off of us.  I still would like to paint up a few rooms for a better look.  I have two rooms that will need major work which one of them won't get the attention until we have moved out.

As we dig through things, I ran across this plate.  I won't say that it will move with us but I will appreciate it for now for its history. We can't keep everything.  The couple named John and Iva were  close step relatives of mine. I mention them a lot in my blogs.   I guess they were great uncle and aunt by definition but they were more than that.  I have major pieces of antiques from their household.  This plate was one that my mom had  made for them when they had their 50th wedding anniversary.  A local neighbor ran a ceramics shop in her basement and my mom painted all the parts to the plate. On the back is written in gold, my parents names plus family. Their son is the one that I am still in contact with and I am sure Loren gave it back to my mom when he closed their house down in Osceola. They did live to their 60th anniversary but I believe John passed away in 1978.

Three nights ago I was out with Barney.  The moon was bright and the sky was almost clear.  The Sac Air Force jets had left amazing patterns in the night sky. It looked supernatural as the moon illuminated them and the lines were crisscrossed in the sky.  There was an X in front of the moon.

The streams they left seemed to be lower in the sky as they were larger and closer to the ground.  The very next morning, I shot this stream in the sky.  It was being made as I stood there and when I first saw it, the length of it was a tenth of what you see here.

The sky above us is the flight path to the Des Moines airport and it seems like it would be difficult for the Air Force base to use the same air space.  I suppose the jets fly at a higher altitude than the passenger plane.  The commercial jets are headed north and south while the Air Force is to the west of us near Omaha.






We are leaving some things out for now so we can live around some of our normal items.  This collection was put back on the mantle when the Christmas display came down. The Christmas stuff was packed for moving.

We will be in all day today as travel will be impossible.  I guess our watch actually is over by Tuesday noon tomorrow. We will find lots of things to do and the ice storm does call for some down time for a nap. I hope everyone is safe today and warm too.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Times........


The storage of these ornaments was in a tall glass jar with a lid.  Somehow, through the vibration of furniture as people walk by and gravity. the jar fell off the top of the table.  The jar did not break but I did loose about 5 of the ornaments.  These survivors are packed in a box now for safety reasons. Some of the ornaments are in bad condition and a select few are shiny brites. I have a few more of these in antique canning jars packed in boxes now.

The art gallery is not completely cleared but it is getting to be a lot closer than a week ago.  Maybe people are wondering why we are remodeling the room but it has been 30 years since it has had any real attention.  We are turning it into a family room.

We also have bought a newer home in Ankeny, Iowa and we are moving away from this old 110 year old house. Neither of us have ever lived in a new house and this one is only 13 years old. I can and will share more later, but we have a couple of months before closing.  We have spent the week boxing books and wrapping up art works.  We have only two paintings left hanging in the gallery now and I need to get a step ladder to bring them down.

We have been so disappointed with the weather as we were planning to go to Chicago for our youngest grandchild's baptism.  We just receive word today that the other grandson has stomach flu and the whole event has been moved to another date. Thankfully  the ceremonies are every two or three weeks in the church and all can be postponed. We feel so sad for our grandson being sick.  We can now quit beating ourselves up oner not being able to go today.

The buzz among the figurines that they are going to be put into a box along with all the other cheap ceramic pieces in the house is true.  My wife and I have a lot of collections.  Some things will have to be reduced in size. Others things may never be able to be taken from boxes, as newer houses have fewer places to stick things. My wife laughed yesterday about maybe we should leave notes in our boxes to our boys about the things we put in boxes.  Now that we are gone you may throw this away for us.

Grandma Bear and her kitty was a part of my mom's things.  I will move it and maybe it will be left in a drawer, but it will be moved.

As we work through these next few months we will be making a lot of changes in our lives. We will live in a quieter suburbia location and will adapt and create a new living place. The house and location is a very positive change for us. We are moving to a city though, that is growing by leaps and bounds. It is the third fastest growing city in the nation right now. I will have an Ace Hardware about  mile away from where we live. Life will be good.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I wish all will have a good day today.  Everyone please stay safe.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday........



It was still dark on Friday morning when we were invaded by garbage trucks.  I took this photo later after they were all gone.  A photo of depth resulted with my rock and yucca plant in the foreground.  The neighbor's fence, birdbath and recycle bin is in the back ground.  In the middle is a tipped over garbage collection bin.

I had contacted the garbage company and asked for a new garbage bin. The wheel on our old bin had lost it tire and only the plastic rim was being used to get it to the curb.  The also took information from me to remove an old couch and love seat couch from the curb. With extra pay, they pick up large items like that.  At one time we had a garbage truck there to take away the contents of the old bin and then also the bin.  The other truck was parked in the opposite direction and two guys were carrying away the two pieces of furniture.  A new bin was put out before they left. They tipped it over so the regular garage truck, which came an hour later with its magic hydraulic arm, wouldn't try to empty it.

We have decided that we can't go to Chicago tomorrow.  We could possibly make it out but we would not be able to return.  The state of Iowa will be shut down by Sunday afternoon. I don't think the Illinois side of the drive will be effected but that could change.

Weather forecasting can be so correct and when they say a temperature will drop at 6:00, it usually does do that.  But winter storms are harder for them to forecast.  We have been told many different time during the past few days as to when we will get hit with rain and ice.  I guess the latest time has been set at 12 noon on Sunday.
Whichever that it is, we are so very disappointed for not being able to get to Teddy's baptism.  There will be other special events that we can plan on doing with the family out there.


Our new camera is on its way.  It will be a new thing to learn all of its functions.  I am hoping it isn't that much different that our old camera.

I have missed some great shots of birds and perhaps that the rest of the winter will cause more snow.  The more snow the more birds that we get to see.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Good Morning....


The sunrise was a warm yellow and red looking one but it really is very cold out there. The weather continues to be a factor in making plans in our lives.  We are watching weather patterns that seem to eventually attack us with freezing rain and wind.  The weekend looks like a difficult one for travel. We need to get to Chicago for a Sunday event but we will have to wait and see what happens. Chicago may be having good weather but we can't get there if we can leave the state.

Our Christmas village was taken down a day or so ago.  I like the detailing of the bridge that we have with our village. All of the trees and people are packed in boxes and all the buildings are placed in their special boxes ready to be opened up again next December.



Furniture keeps being shifted around in the house as the emptying of the art gallery takes place. This is an old commode from my wife's side of the family.  We stripped off a couple of layers of paint from it when we were first married.  The commode's of the past was the sink in houses without running water.  A pitcher and wash basin would sit on the top ready for people to pour in water and wash up.  The piece originally had a decorative bracket on the top of it with a rod to hold the towels and washcloths. I am not sure that the towel racks were removed but I am guessing the change the function of it and removed the rack.


All the tidbits that are collected from various places end up in a container. The variety of things from a kid's toy,  jewelry with tiger eye stone (found at my parents home), and a glass piece intended to be put into an aquarium or glass vase. When you dismantle things, stray things in drawers seem to show up. While emptying the commode I found a silver dollar laying loose among lots of papers.

It is another busy day for us but we are trying to find easier things to do. We look forward to the garbage truck arriving  today so we can have an empty trash can in which we can fill it up again.

I thank you for stopping in today.  As I get busier with that room and other plans in our lives, I know the blog will get to be a lot slimmer. I hope to be a lot slimmer too.  As long as I have a camera handy and things to share I will still be here.  Ah yes.......tomorrow!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday All Day.......Burrrrrrrrr.


I moved the sound system out of the art gallery yesterday.  It was a sad day when I tried to get the turntable to work.  With a lot of forced spinning, I did get it back running on its own again.  The table hadn't been used for a few years even thought it isn't real old.  My wife bought it for me as a gift back before the new generation decided they wanted to explore vinyl.


I grabbed some albums off the top of pile to use to get the table to work again.  It is a fancy turn table, with the raising of the arm and placing the needle on the record, it causes it to turn on.  When it gets through the record the arm raises and returns to its resting place and the table shuts itself off.  I did have to take time to reconnect all the components of the sound system before I started.  Doing that task is so much easier that the modern computer and television connections.

The fish are shadows as they are have back lighting from the window. They were begging for some food. I am down to three, now large, goldfish and one algae eater.







I am thinking that these guys will become fish for some other owner, like the science department.  If I ever start up again, I would like to go back to a smaller tank with tropical fish.  The fish are in with the cockatiels and I bet the birds won't miss them if I give them away.

It is cold again today.  The wind chills really do help to burn the skin while outside. I know we are not as cold as some but I am issuing a complaint that I am tired of it already.  I know February in Iowa can be brutal,l so I guess I should just settle down for a while and suffer quietly.

We donated some great books to the Goodwill yesterday.  They rolled out a plastic bin and I  tossed them all into it.  Right away a young man grabbed up a dog reference book and was flipping through the pages, looking for his dog. I thought I had given everything given to him but then I found an art book that I had tossed into the backseat when we left.  I took it inside and three of the workers had their noses in the books.  We buy cheap sale books on art, photography, travel and animal books.  They are used for resource when we paint and draw.  After 30 years, one does want to look at different books so a lot of the old ones get to be gone.

Another busy day today.  I hope everyone is well.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Middle of the Week.....


While it was raining yesterday, the sound was loud from it falling on the skylight in the gallery. I don't think I have ever taken a single photo of the view through the hole in my roof but I did get this one taken. The old silver maple is framed in the opening. For an artist studio, the skylights have been so important in getting good lighting for working with color.  It isn't like paining outside but it is closer to having true light.

I had to install this one light because the old one shorted out leaving a dark area in the gallery.  This photo sort of shows what it looks like.  The paneling was a quick solution for the ceiling of the gallery when it was first built 30 years ago. The plan now is to take that all down and rework the ceiling. I have to see what is under there to work with before I make a decision.  When the paneling was new it looked really good.  Now the paneling is failing in places and it has to come down.  It is in 4 by 8 sheets so it will come down quickly. Taking the panelling down is one of the reasons the whole room has to be cleared. Putting down a new floor is another good reason.

Things will be coming down off the wall also. I took photos so we can remember the good old days as to how they were arranged.  When I hang artwork I usually shift things around and treat it like a picture puzzle. All of this work was painted by my wife.






This painting was done so well that the horse looks like he is watching me as I take things down.

It is Wednesday and it is going to warm up some more today.  I forget that we get a spring thaw in the middle of January.  I don't think it will actually happen but being above freezing for part of the day is a win, win situation.  We have errands to do today so we will be venturing into the big city.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesdays Things.......


The doorway from the living room to the office and gallery area has this little hallway opening. A chimney is on the left and a closet is on the right.  Barney likes the whole area but really likes laying on the cooler temperature floor in between the walls.  He is laying there looking through right now but when he gets too warm he will move a foot or so forward.  You can see he has worn off the paint as he lays there in his makeshift doghouse.


It is raining this morning.  Schools 20 miles north of us are closed because they have freezing temperatures. I hope we just keep the rain.  The waterfall is from the trough that collects the water coming down off the many roofed areas. The new extended porch helps send the water away from the house.

When I first took the photo through the door, I could see many reflections in the shot of the lighted room inside and the darker outside.



The day seems hazy with the rain. It seems almost foggy out there while  looking through the trellis.


A person who shares photos for the public to see on Facebook shared this banner that hangs on a building in the downtown Des Moines area.  It is the Meredith Building that creates many kinds of magazines.  The first one is Better Homes and Gardens. I was fascinated with the banner.

It is made of stylized images of glass ornaments that are all laying in a box.




I am not saying at this time that it was ever my image. What I am going to do is eventually find the photo of the box of ornaments that matches that image. I take a couple of photos of my boxes every year.  This year, I just happened to have my churches mixed in with them. I recognize the trains and other ornaments in the banner.  I guess I consider it a compliment that a photo of mine inspired the artist of the Meredith studio to create it. With the use of a computer the photo can have every part recreated as one Santa has an enhanced facial features.

 I know that I don't copyright things and that all my images are fair game to the public.  Once I had a women write me and ask to use a photo of an arched glass window from the top of an old school building in Maine.  I won't waste time looking for the photo but some day I will run across it when I don't have more important things to do.

Well it is raining and I have all inside work to do.  I hope to accomplish more things today in the gallery area.  Thank you for stopping by today.