Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lost and found.......


I was searching through our spare bedroom closet and I found a few things that I forgot were in there. When we cleared out the room that our sons had for a bedroom, we had put away their quilts. This one has the story that involves the John and Iva Horton connection.   John and Iva were step relatives that were more like grandparents to me when I was growing up.  They would make quilts together and this particular set of blocks did not inspire her so she gave them to my mom.  John and Iva did quilts with many small pieces so to have a large block didn't interest them.


The cloth they used for the blocks were Iva's old dresses and the background cloth was old when the put the pieces together. It never was a clean looking white because of it's age but the camera makes it look a lot more yellow that it really is.  John was the one who sewed the pieces together on their old treadle sewing machine. 


I find the patterns of the materials of her dresses to be unusual.  One can date material by the interests and personal desires of the woman who were buying the material at the time.


My mom had taken the pieces and placed them in this red and blue grid.  The quilt was on our youngest son's bed during his  younger years until we replaced it with a serviceable bed spreads to save the quilt from destruction. My oldest son had a more Amish looking quilt that I will share later. There is always a story to go with them and this Amish one has an interesting take.

I also found a star burst quilt that I forgot that I had  along with the quilt that we are going to now send to my youngest son.  It was made by my mom for his graduation from high school and we saved it to give to him after he was married. The truth is that I couldn't find it and that is why I was in that closet. I will blog those next as I can't use up all my blogging material up in one day.

I have shared before that my mom made a lot of quilts and my grandmother and great grandmother also made quilts. I have all of those in the house and I now know that I am going to have to share them with the next generation.  All of my nieces and nephews received quilts for their graduations so I am not hoarding them from her grandchildren. Actually I have them because I am the only left that knows they are a historic work of art.  My great grandmother made works of art and my mom did the same but my grandmother Brooks made substantial practical quilts that were filled with blankets to keep people warm. I have two of those to decide what to do with and the patterns are plain block designs.

It is the weekend and we plan to go somewhere to hang out for awhile. No vacation yet in our lives so we will go shopping, bookstore browsing and pick up a sandwich in order to get out of town for a break. No rain today for a change.   Thanks for stopping by..........

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eggs, cactus, and sulphurs


My Easter egg plant put on a second egg this past few days. I could almost see it grow as it went from purple bloom to this.


My rescued cactus has done well this past year.  I found pieces of it tossed in the alley way by a neighbor who throws everything in the alley.  The choices things are the fish wastes from his cleaned fish.  The cactus spent the winter in my basement so it is a pretty happy plant.


When I was a kid on the farm, these yellow butterflies were very abundant.  They would line up along a muddy water area in ditches. There would be dozens of them drinking.  I really have not seen many of them for the past 20 years.  I can not get a handle on the name for this butterfly. From what I can find about the butterflies of Iowa, this may be called a sulphur.  The white one that looks similar is actually called a cabbage butterfly. I have seen the cabbage butterfly in my yard but he is flitting about too much for a pose.

We went to the art center today and had a great lunch and looked over the art.  The Iowa Artist Award Show was an interesting one that was judge by someone who liked people putting found objects together to make art.  The whole selection was too far out for me as it lacked traditional standards for art characteristics.  The lady who took 30 photographs of herself in 30 different old sweaters with shinning decorations on them is one example of work in that show. One person won a chance to bring a complete set of four of five tables full of common items, one could use to create crafty art.  You could walk in and around it all, lots of stuff, and view it without the artist being there. There were 100's of entries but these 30 or so were the winners according to this judge.

We ended up at the bookstore today and I found  one book that really fascinated me about sea glass.  I will return and look at that again.  Maybe I will even buy it.  I will give an old fashioned book report about it on a later date. If you are curious about sea glass, do your own search ahead of time to see what I found in this book.

I did buy a book about raising chickens..........yes, I know, I live in town where I can't raise chickens.  It is a neat book about all the different breeds of chickens and I think I may go into a painting frenzy, painting roosters with attitude.  Maybe I will put sunglasses on them, who knows?  

It was nice to have a day off.  I will go mow in Osceola today and am looking forward to my older brother's visit from Arizona on Sunday.  He married a local girl from Osceola so he and his wife and granddaughter will be visiting his wife's father.  I will make a few trips down to see him as it has been over a year,  maybe two since I have seen him.

Everyone have a good Friday and thanks for dropping in........

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Willow trees in a ravine..........


A blurred photo of another southern Iowa scene.  The willow trees spread naturally through the landscape.


I will never get this one made but I collected the idea for others who would like the idea for building it.  I found this in a front yard in Indianola, Iowa.  It would be nice to have it recreated and it is all yours, my fellow bloggers,  as your inspiration for your yard or garden to build.

Headed to the Art Center today and getting away from it all for at least a half day.  Thanks for stopping in.........

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Susans and more.......


They seemed so sickly and then they all bloomed at the same time. It really is a splash of color with bees flying from flower to flower.


This is another photo of the Chicory that I posted earlier on my Photo a Day.  We went to Osceola and painted walls in the house and on the journey down the wildflowers are really showing their best.
The Coneflowers are doing well and the Black-eyed Susans are everywhere.  Chicory is all along the roads and the Queen Anne's Lace is every where. Unfortunately they were mowing ditches in different areas.


This may be a reposting but I have it growing in two different areas. I can't tell which one it is but the colors are great.  The lilies are just about all done now.  I have a few stragglers that still look really great.

We worked on the house Tuesday and it seems like we are getting so much closer than before to being finished. There is a whole lot yet to do, but a 30 year old house getting a new coat of paint on it's inside walls makes it look new again.  We worked on a small utility room and the two of us were rolling paint like mad.  It was oh too dirty to explain and now it looks oh so like new when my dad built it.  New floors are in order for the kitchen and utility room and three bedrooms are yet to be painted.  Minor work on the spare bathroom, no plumbing, no big changes, just fix things that look really old. My mom's last 10 years or more were just survival mode so nothing was done to refinish the interior of the house.  They were in it almost 30 years and even a new house needs to be maintained.  We are very pleased with the work we have done and will be so glad to see an end to it. 
It is too hot do doing anything outside these days. I am glad I mowed on Monday as I would have a heat stroke in this weather.   The heat should slow down the growth of this green stuff, but it hasn't. 
Thanks for stopping by.......

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday's tattle.........


On my way to Osceola last week I stopped and took pictures of Chicory and of the landscapes there along I-35.  We are much greener than normal so the green really does glow among the golden colors of the grassland plants.  Queen Anne's Lace in the foreground is always a great addition to the landscape with it's bank of flowers.  No cows in the photo but I am sure there were some around the other side of the hill.


The phlox is doing well this year again for me.  I had trouble for years in getting it established and now I have plenty and it keeps spreading.  This is a much lighter color of flower than the deep pink or magenta that we had on the farm when I was a kid.


My zinnia patch is just starting to take off so be prepared for hundreds of macros,  as they are such a fascinating flower.  I used seed from last years bed and I can see genetically they don't stay pure. I have diverse colors from a red variety of zinnia. I will be blogging about the genetics of apples and clematis on a later date.  That darn PBS taught me something about genetic impurity in certain plants and I know you will find the who thing interesting.  Johnny Appleseed will be a star of that blog.


My wife and I are still remarking to each other as to how we don't miss that six foot square mural sitting around the house.  The mural is gone and you can see this wall again. Della has gotten a couple of great paintings going since it's departure.  A close up painting of a rose and also a Maine Coon cat.  I actually went out and mowed the orchard today where the grass had grown to a foot high.

Thanks for stopping by...........

Monday, July 26, 2010

The parade continues........


Our town had three different firetrucks in the parade and a neighboring town brought over their yellow firetruck.  I didn't get a picture of that.  That yellow truck was famous because the Mayor of Bouton told the firechief at that time that he could build a new firehouse but he would have to sell the yellow firetruck.  The two got into a fist fight about it and it made all the national news stations when someone put the fight on the net. The mayor was my neighbor lady's son.


An all school reunion was being held and the class of 1952 drove this old automobile in the parade.


The class of 1951 sat in a little trailer and we all got to view them going down the street.


The town of Earlham was represented by this train.  The bank company must have had it made to do parades throughout the area.


Another firetruck in the parade. I didn't know they had this one, but they keep buying up used trucks from the large cities so they can have a very large fleet to use for fighting fires.


The big green machines were represented with this oldie.


The red tractors were represented also.  My Uncle Bill had the M Farmall while may dad had a B and an H Farmall.


A block away from us they have their fireworks display.  My wife and I traded off holding the dogs while we each took turns taking photos.  My point and shoot is pathetic to my wife's bigger camera.  Her streams of light didn't look like worms.

That concluded the Friends and Neighbors parade in Woodward, Iowa a town of 1400 people.

Our mural was suppose to be a highlight of the day in the depot, but when they went to serve sandwiches they ran into a hitch.  The door that covers up the mural on off times, had to be closed almost completely so they could get to an electric outlet. The cooking equipment need to be plugged in to keep the pork cutlets hot.  Well there goes the good planning.  It did get opened up for view after the lunch was served.

Monday is mowing grass on every corner of our property.  It has been doing so well and it does need a very good trim.  Thanks for stopping in and viewing the parade highlights.........

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A simple parade.....

Our town has a yearly celebration and as the generations change, the enthusiasm for such a thing has diminished.   They have a parade to start off the festivities and that has become too small and too simple.


All parades start with the flying of the colors. It is always nice to see, but there is no band to follow them anymore.  The high school band has dwindled in size and students really don't want to make an effort to be involved off school season.  Apparently the band director didn't make any attempt to round them up for a march.


A traditional entry in our parade are the Malones with their Cadillac.  A little background you need to know is that they love Elvis and Mr. Malone wore his hair in the same style most of his younger years.  Now it isn't happening as it is getting too thin.  So at each years parade they drive their Cadillac and Mrs. Malone throws out Elvis trading cards for the public to have for their own. This is their parade car as it  is just used for parades. I love it.


I will only share three shots for today and more will happen in the future. Most of the parade was firetrucks and tractors.  This photo was of interest to me as this hunting dog could not contain himself being in the parade.  He kept wanting to jump out of the truck.

We finished our Saturday evening with fireworks that were just a block away.  The sound was loud but I got some great shots of the lights.  My wife took turns with me going out to see them as the dogs hate the fireworks and the baby dog has to be held.  It would help if we didn't live so close to them.  We are cooling off for Saturday night to 68 degrees, that will be great.  We were not cooling down below 80 degrees at night for quite a while.
Have a great Sunday and enjoy the day.  Thanks for stopping by........

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Saturday Single........


The neighbor across the street has moved to an elderly apartment situation, as I walked by her house I just had to steal a shot. I will behave myself and not spade up any of it, but if son in law is around I will go swing a deal that he can't refuse.  I can give him many starts, just for one of these.

Floweraholic, I heard you say it.   Have a great Saturday.  We will have another hot, humid one today. Last night it got down to a low of 76 degrees and that was cool for us.  The city parade today has been rerouted to go right by our house, so I guess we will go out and watch the parade go by.  Thanks for stopping in...........

Scattered ideas of not so creative thoughts........


I found this in the garage at my parent's home.  I at first thought it was a perfume bottle as it was so greasy and dirty.  After washing it in hot water and soap I was taken back at how great of a design the bottle had and the cap was so great.  Once cleaned,  I discovered it was this Seagram's bottle.  The photo does not show you how small that it is but I think that the photo you see now is the actual size of it.
 Bottle with a quarter shows the size of the bottle more accurately.

To solve the mystery of it all I need to explain things.  My dad liked to drink but my Mom wouldn't allow it, so my dad was always sneaking stuff in the garage. We as kids knew he was being sly but my Mom was not too sharp about that stuff.  I am surmising that this particular bottle was given to my Dad from my brother Rex who would fly a lot on his job. He bought it or got it on a first class flight just to give to him.  I am sure that Dad would be very happy to receive it.

The thing that fascinates me is that I do remember the ads back in the late 70's or early 80's when the magazines would advertise this bottle.  It was the full size bottle taken against a dark background and I was even then impressed with the bottle design and that gold, crown cap. The special lighting on this could really create a bottle that on would appreciate in spite of what was inside. To go to the bother of making a miniature of the bottle really impresses me.  I guess anything to promote a product.  Once you had a small bottle of it maybe you would actually buy the larger version.


This is my blue willow cat.  She is my feral cat from the neighbors who is almost tamed.  My wife touched her back the other day and I have yet to do that.  She comes to the porch and asks me to feed her.  The other day I hurriedly grabbed a dirty dish from the sink and placed a handful of dry food on it. I carried it to her just to see how close I could get to her.  She ran back three feet and when I set the plate down and stepped back a foot, she came to eat.  I can work all around her out in the orchard and she just lays still in the shade of the tree.  The day I get to pet her,  I will post my picture with her being petted.  Oh yes, I rarely to never take good dishes out to feed the cats.  She has an old microwave plastic tray out there that I usually use. It was just one of those days.


I could show you the picture of the skeleton of my one koi.  The tank gets so full of water from all the rain that it must have leaped out on it's own.  I have had that problem with koi in aquariums and this guy committed suicide.  He was a tasty dish for a cat or a raccoon as all that I have left is a head and the backbone of the black and white koi. I swore I would never buy another one and I am more certain than ever about that resolution but my gold and black koi does miss having some other koi to swim around with him in the tank.  He has little 26 cent goldfish in there with him and he is not impressed.

We had a 90 degree day yesterday with a heat index of 104 degrees. For all my friends across the seas that is 32 degree C. and heat index of 40 degree C.  The humidity is oppressive and continuous.  I find working outside almost impossible, even tough I did sneak out yesterday and used the weed eater in the shade for a little while.  I spent some time with my coneflowers also taking pictures of two kinds of butterflies of which I don't know their names.  When I find out what they are called I will show you some neat photos.  Thanks for stopping by........

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I am not a garden blog, yeah right...........not today.....

Filthy Dirty Books

Just to get out of the blooming flower rut, I have some dirty books for you to look at for now.  I will show the covers another day.  I brought them home to look through before I made any rash decision that I would regret.  I found a whole suitcase full of these country school books while cleaning out my dad's garage.

Filthier Dirty Jars

Speaking of dirty, here are some more dirty things for you to look at in their au natural state. I see there is a rubber ring inside one of them.  I am going to let the rainstorm that we are having late in the night wash off the first layer of crude. If one gets broken I will just clean up the glass mess.

I brought home a 6 inch cast iron skillet today.  My parents had used it for camping. I can use it to grill onions and peppers in butter while cooking the meat.  We use aluminum foil normally but I thought the cast iron skillet would do well.  I have been watching a pbs show where the guy cooks up a cobbler in a skillet on a grill. May have to try that sometime. I could heat pork and beans it for fun too. I could give them that true smoked flavor.


Filthy Dirty Ash Tray that has been cleaned.

All of you sixties collectors should be so envious of me now.  I have my own bowler's ashtray to enjoy.  My dad used it  so many years ago and I found it in a box of junk today in the garage.  I almost threw it away and my wife is saying" yes do throw it away."  I will keep it for a while and then it may see  its final resting place in the landfill. 

I mowed grass in Osceola  and it was getting so that a third of it isn't growing anymore. It does that in Iowa as it slows it's growing the more we move into summer.  It was soaking wet and was having a hard time drying out in 78 percent humidity from the rain the night before then.  I went ahead and mowed it leaving wet grass windrows behind me.

Thanks for stopping in today...........

Hey I just checked the speller check about how to spell a while or awhile and I see there is a growing battle brewing!!!

Rain, shear winds sort of, and more.........


I didn't get this staked this year and the moisture and wind has turned it into an octopus.  I know somebody out there needs rain and I am sorry that you are dry.  We have had the wettest summer ever here in Iowa.  A town in southern Iowa received 7 inches of rain last night.  They received the same amount of rain the week before that.  We have been getting a daily rain but a few nights ago we had very strong winds.  It was recorded at 70 miles an hour, 30 miles south of us, we had branches down everywhere but didn't loose trees.

I spent the day staking my tomatoes, hollyhocks, zinnia plants and coneflowers.  The wind was so strong that it drove the rhubarb plants flat.  I put little sticks next to the zinnia patch plants as I didn't want them to grow vertically while their base was horizontal. I have more coneflowers to straighten but I am going to do that another day.




I have decided to move this plant this fall.  I mistakenly planted two roses on each side of it before the lily had come up so things now are just too close.  I think I will separate it too.  It is my large yellow lily that keeps on blooming.




Mr. Obama and Michelle with kids and the dog visited Mt. Desert Island last weekend. My wife and I are now making plans for a trip to the same place. My son and his wife live 7 miles from Bar Harbor and work on the Island. It will be good to see them both as it has been exactly a year in August since we last saw them when they were married. We are still a little numb from all the summer deadlines but I think it will be exciting to think we are going someplace for a vacation. It will get more exciting the closer to the date of departure.

Thanks for stopping by........

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Egg plants and more......


My neighbor lady is into these novelty plants.  Last year she had seed that was actually called an Easter egg plant.  It put out various colors of eggs on a plant that looked like this one.  She ordered this one from a catalog and gave it to me. The foliage really does remind me of an eggplant that we eat, and this novelty one is suppose to be edible.


These are my starts from the last years variety, the Easter egg plants.  They like a lot of sun, heat, and a lot of water, which has worked out well for them this year in my yard.


As was requested by one of my blogger friends they wanted to see the two daylilies that I dug from my parents home place.  I bought these plants for my mom years ago and I noticed that I didn't have either variety.  I dug a large chunk from each plant and it didn't seem to phase them.  They will do well next year in my garden.


Some of you, who have followed me for a while,  may have remembered me buying this pot and this plant that went into it.  It grew well in the house over the winter and now I have it outside.  Since then I have read about this particular variety of succulent in one of my Garden Design magazines. If it were planted in the ground it would grow four feet tall.

I will plant it in the ground soon but I will have to bring it in this fall. As you can see the rains keep the container filled with water and there is no drainage hole. These succulents grow like weeds in California outside like a shrub. 

I will put my new mandevilla plant in the oriental looking container.  I bought the mandevilla on a sale at Wallymart for under four bucks as they are dumping products fast with our very hot weather.  It will need another larger pot next year but for this year it will fit in this one and I will bring it in for the winter.


It is a long blog today and maybe you read it all and maybe you didn't, that is ok,  I understand.  I hope the pictures can fill in where the reading gets long.


Thanks for stopping in today...........

Monday, July 19, 2010

The big bale story.........


For the sake of all my blogger friends all over the world, I investigated this large bale.  I posted earlier how the bale was made with the baler and yesterday I walked out in 93 degree heat to take a closer look.  The field had enough hay to make five bales.


When I was a young guy in high school we made small square bales so I really never ever checked this out before now. I have seen them before but have never been close to them.  They are big.  I am 5 foot 6 inches and the bale from my body height seems to be five foot high. Can you see the coating on the outside of the bale to help protect it from water.


The material is put on the outside of the bale as it is turning in the baler.  The farmer stops driving the  baler and waits for it to string it's coating, then it drops it out of the back of the machine. Eventually a farmer comes with tractor and a fork and picks it up and places it in a row along a field or on a trailer to be carried away from the field.

As a side story I noticed Sunday that a farmer in another field along the highway had made a lot of these bales and they were on a hill.  One of the bales was dropped out and it apparently rolled down the hill taking out a wire fence as it was siting in the ditch next to the highway.

I hope this gives everyone a closer view of the modern means of farming here in Iowa. Thanks for stopping by............

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another deadline has been met.......






I had done two sets of these back in March and now my wife and I finished doing five more sets.  The mural was due Wednesday and we deliver these today.   Great heirloom items of a mother's quilt pieces which were created by her as a teenager.  The mother had passed away many years ago.