Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oxalis, shamrock day.......




I had planted my oxalis outside in the ground for most of the summer. Then this fall I transferred the two different plants into this granite ware pan.


It now gets to sit in the sunny window and keep warm. I don't know why I planted them on each side of the bale of the pan, but it does stand up on it's own now.



It did love the rainy, cool weather and gave me lots of blooms.

Have a great Sunday and thanks for stopping by.........later.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A B C Saturday........

Agapanthus


Fortunately for me the hard freeze was not so cold in town. I forgot to bring this and it's twin into the basement. It was cold enough to take out the hostas but not the petunias.

Bay window


The yellow birch leaves are all now on the ground waiting for me to chop them up with my riding mower.

Combine


When I was a kid, combines only picked oats and beans. The one above is taking out the last of the beans. Today's combines hook up to corn heads and pick and shell the corn right in the field. My dad had a two row corn picker all of his farming career until he retired in 1973 from farming. We have some fields of corn still needing to be picked. I would think they would be out there day and night to get it in.

Have a great Saturday........thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's findings.......


One more sunset photo, looking west of course. Can you see the jet air stream in the sky? We live in central Iowa but Offut Air Force base is in the Omaha, Nebraska area and we see their maneuvers most of the year. They are on the west edge of Iowa and they fly east to train pilots. In the middle of the night you can watch them flying east and separate in different directions as a commercial airliner is in the area. We also live where their is a major flight route going north to south that we are entertained with too.


One more zinnia for you to see. They are all going to freeze tonight with it being 27 degrees F. That is minus 3 C. I will go out tomorrow and gather more see.


Yellow kitty is soaking in a little sun even though it is cold. She has stayed in the basement for days at a time as she doesn't like the cold. She would prefer to sleep in the dirty clothes basket anyway.

I installed new light fixtures in four rooms yesterday and am seeing things becoming close to being done. Once all the work is done we will have to do a thorough cleaning with all the tools and extras moved out of the house. Today we are taking the day off from the house project and are getting work done here at home. I got my mower running so will be mulching leaves and grass. The wind is finally gone but cold weather has set in for now. I hope we can warm up again for awhile before the snow starts to fall. I can feel the snow from North Dakota and Minnesota down here as the air has that cold, crisp, wet feeling.

The weekend is ahead and I hope all can get some rest. Take care and thanks for stopping by......

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vertical visuals..........


Here is another view of my neighbors field. The power lines tend to bring us back to the reality that it is in town. That corn is now picked and probably in the bin.


My chokecherry tree lost a major branch off of it this summer but it seemed to give it a better form. My neighbor lady keeps hoping to get the fruit from it but I actually think it is a designer tree meant not to actually bear fruit, even though it does flower. The 60 mile an hour winds on Wednesday removed all of the leaves from this tree. It was tough driving on the interstate with the wind being that strong.

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Randomly posting hodgepodge.........


I am amazed of the sculptural forms of the weathered flowers. Some are sad and some seem to be majestically strong in spite of their condition.



While shooting pictures of jars set up in the window next to the fireplace, I noticed this guy with his pets. My wife has a collection of these types of figurines done in pastel glazes.


Button
Co-dependent dog follows mad photographer hoping not to be noticed.

I was out taking shots of the red maple tree and heard the escapee, killer dog walking in the leaves behind me. He had crawled through a large trellis area in our back yard fence. Normally the plants prevent him from knowing he could crawl through there but the plants have died down. I will have to put a piece of wood in there to block his way for the winter. He thought he was pretty smart following me out there to the front yard. The trellis fence is small enough that Barney sticks his head out of it to bark at people but he can't fit through it. Button was smelling everything he could find among the leaves.

Windy day all over the world. I brought plants in tonight as 32 degrees could freeze here in town with a wind. I left a few out to sacrifice to the garden gods as I just can't bring them all inside. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by..............

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Looking up......


My showy tree this year is my red maple tree. It has not been affected by all our rains and continued to have a normal color change of it's leaves.

Back side


Front side

A peek at my project for the winter. It is a hand built cabinet made out of a wood that I can't identify. It was in the kitchen of the old house my dad tore down. It still has the sweet and spicy smell of a bakers cabinet. It is a marvelously designed cupboard with adjustable shelves that are so unique in design. The carpenter back then was a specialist in working in detail. I will explain later.

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, monday.....


This has been my work for the last two years. My wife and I have most all things out of the house and we are on the final lap of finishing up things. The work left to be done are major things that will bring a buyer in view of it in good condition. Sometimes it is small and picky and other places we have had to make great renovations. There are new ceiling light fixtures to put up and final coats of paint on the back sun room porch. The carpets need to be cleaned and one carpet needs to be restretched and all of the thermostats have problems. Minor things that can't be left undone but we are getting close to the end.

The large tree trunk you see is the historic pine tree that was in front of the old Victorian house that was in sad shape and had to be torn down. The tree is majestic and helps to make the property a very special place.


I entered a photo contest and this is the one that I didn't submit. It is a close up view of the agatized wood that I blogged about earlier.

People and their concerns are far more important than things and we still have a few people in our lives with major health problems. Sunday was a hard day for us, but in the afternoon, we attended a concert. It was at a large church near Drake University and my brother's brother in law was the guest organists. He played four wonderful pieces. The first was by Bach and I will describe it as the song from Fathom of the Opera. You might as be familiar with it as it was used in the Frankenstein movie. Lonnie Liggett is an accomplished player and composer who worked with various Broadway works in New York and in London. He is a small town farmboy from Osceola who made it big in the music industry. He played the Bach piece completely from memory in this huge church auditorium. The pipe organ does the work justice.

My brother and I crossed paths for too short of time this week and he and his wife have left already to return to Mesa, Arizona. I actually think that their driving up here and going back was more days that the ones that they spent in Iowa.

I am blogging late again this day but thought it best to check in with you all. I hope everyone is well and that you have a great week. Thanks for stopping by..........

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I-35.......

Taking a drive on an interstate highway and snapping pictures is a very bad idea. I don't think I was being very smart. So don't try this in your own vehicle while driving!!!!




I am in an old Dodge truck that has a very dirty windshield. I am hauling more treasures to my house which I will share later. An old bookshelf that my dad a had made and a cupboard that use to be hanging in the old house of the 1800's. You will see more about them both.


On the way down to Osceola I take the exit where the gambling casino is in southern Iowa. Some majority voters allowed a gaming and race track in Des Moines many years ago and I think we are up to 24 gambling casinos in Iowa now. I am not proud of all of the foreclosures and bankruptcies that have taken place in this state but politicians will not address that issue that they created for Iowans.

On the only good side, is that this casino is owned by an out of stater and it is the only one of his casinos that is making money right now. It is called "Terribles" with a cowboy greeting you on this sign. Inside the door is this wonderful restaurant that has a Tuscany theme in decoration.


The ufo's are dirt on the windshield but this is our typical view along the highway.


You can see the corn is ready to be picked but hasn't been done yet. They are slower in southern Iowa as they didn't get their corn in very early because of wet fields.


An exist sign to Cumming, Iowa. It is a very little town that never grew even though they are near Des Moines. It also the town that our Senator Tom Harken was from before he moved to Wash. DC. He owns the house his parents lived in there in Cumming and that is his only connection to Iowa. Actually he owns a plane and lives in the Bahamas a lot of his days in his home down there when the Senate isn't in session.

I have been busy at the house and I do see the end coming in the finishing touches to get it ready for sale. It just had not been maintained for over 15 years and it is hard to bring it back to a good standard for sale. I have so many small things to do that all take time. My wife has been sick with a cold most of the week but she is better now. We are warmed up these past two day and storms are forecast for the afternoon and evening. We did finally get a light rain in the night. I hope everyone is well and they have a great weekend. Thanks........

If anyone is confused, I posted this on the photo a day site before realizing that I was too tired to know any better. Anyway, I have moved it over here to my creative zone.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's findings......


My neighbors have a wonderful collection of mums and here is a close shot of a wonderful colored mum. It almost looks orange.

Chen Keen Chee, Duluth Harbor

We finished remodeling the dining room a few days before Thanksgiving last year and now I have finished framing my print. I posted about Chee's artwork before and he has diverse subject matter. He has a wonderful set of prints of koi in which I own one. I need to get that framed also.

I dug up oxalis plants today to bring inside for the winter and also a succulent plant. I trimmed off the majority of my phlox in the back yard garden and raked up a few sticks and leaves.

I walked over to the mower of my dad's, hooked up the charger, and that machine did run. I think that it had to be flooded yesterday as it started right up as if nothing was wrong with it. The engine roared and was ready to go. I need to get it a new battery and change the oil and I think my rider is going to be fine, and I will ride back and forth in my yard and wave to all my neighbors.

Headed back to the house as it is suppose to be so warm and I can finish all the outside work. We are getting close to being done with a lot of small things on the punch list to do.
Thanks for stopping by.........

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Seeing red..........


Blooming red petals,



leaves dipped in red,



tasty delicious apples, shiny and red.

As I post this the night before, I always know who is going to read it first and who isn't out of bed across the ocean. I know when certain people are on vacation and I wonder how the strike in France is affecting my friends over there. It is amazing to be able to know so many and yet never have met them face to face. It is also interesting to know peoples habits and one can figure out who lives very structured lives and who are living for the moment. I find my own transparency to others has always been my trademark, but I do wonder what people are perceiving of me and my life as I trudge on with blogging.

Life is complicated and it does seem to take quite an effort to stay in touch with others, but it is so instant. If I fall down or lose a friend, people all over the world know it and care. If I forget to visit your site, it isn't on purpose as I seem to be on a strange schedule. I do find that if I catch up with all of your blogs, that I am glad that I tried to do it as I really don't want to miss out on people living their lives. It's not spying, it is enriching your own life by seeing all the other good qualities of people and their interest all over the world.

I do hope everyone out there is doing well and life isn't too pressing that they can take a moment to reflect, rest, and reward yourself to special things that life can bring.

Thanks...........

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wandering on Wednesday.........


Just another pretty picture. I have discovered that my Picasa storage is getting close to completely full. I also discovered that if I start throwing some of them away, that they disappear off my blog. The photos have to stay, so I will need to start paying them five dollars a year for a few more thousand spaces for pictures. It isn't a big deal, other than I didn't know how important it was to keep the storage space intact.


My dad quit making houses and his creative bug started taking off on him. He didn't make high quality crafts but his heart was in the right place. I love the halved walnut shells on the corners of his walnut clock. One of my sons is going to get this one as I think they need to remember their granddad.


I am not a mechanic. I fix computers and printers and scanners and can do a lot of fixing of a lot of things with wood but the combustible engine has surpassed my abilities. It is my dad's old mower and I have replaced both spark plugs, charged up the battery, and cleaned the air filter. I will change the oil soon, but it just won't work. My brother ran it for about 10 years, not maintaining it at all so I am trying to get it back to running. The air filter had not been cleaned out or replaced since it was purchased. Oh well, I will call the lad up the street who works on lots of machines and see if he can wave his magic wand over it.

It is definitely fall and I am getting use to it a little. Being chilled and catching colds is the next thing to happen. Leaves are starting to pile up so I need to get to it. Thanks for stopping in.......

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesdays thoughts.........


Chen Khee Chee is the artist of this print. He lives in Duluth, Minnesota and teaches at the University there. He is a watercolor artist. We have had the print for two years and soon it will be framed and added to our dining room.


One other of my straggling frame jobs since the shop has been closed is this t-shirt. Above is the close up graphic that shows the ten different versions that a man has painted on this large rock. He has done one every year for the past ten years. His name is Ray Bubba Sorenson II. This rock sits on an intersection on some gravel roads in central Iowa and he started young painting on the rock to honor the American soldiers.


I call it sandwich framing as you get the front of the shirt to be flat and then you squeeze in the rest of it in the back of the frame. I place a piece at the back and it all gets put together looking neat and clean. Never go in and look between the front mat and the back piece to see how it looks inside the sandwich.
Bubba was nominated by his wife to the Ladies Home Journal to be the sexiest husband and he did win. I think he was on the cover of the magazine. Look up The Freedom Rock to see the paintings that he has done. I don't know exactly where the rock is but I know it is south of I35 not that far from here. He makes the news every year on tv.


A guy that I knew from teaching school stopped in today to see me. Doug had three kids in school and I had them all in class one time or another. The past ten years he would stop in at the frame shop and have work framed and we became good friends. It is a different kind of friendship as we don't go do things together, we just like to talk to each other.

He came bearing gifts today as we sat on the side porch and talked. He and his wife have a cabin on Lake Washburn in Minnesota and they had been there all summer. He first brought me a stick that he had dug out of a stream. It had been submerged for years and the beavers had chewed on both ends of it. I will photograph it later, but he thought I would like to put it into my garden some way.

He had stories of the summer on the lake that I enjoyed. He helped a mother fox keep herself fed while nursing three kits. He had fishing stories and stories of getting the dock out for the winter. Then he went back to the truck, since I didn't laugh at his stick, he brought me the three pieces of amethyst from his collection. He had broken it up and wanted me to have it for display in the garden. It is wonderful in color and has quartz pieces, flecks, throughout them.

We talked about our cats and the loss of his dog. He and I just chatted along. I don't see him often, just a couple of times a year, but when we do, we just talk like a couple of elderly men who have know each other for years. One other thing he brought me was a larger rock that has split, a clean break, and it is mostly iron ore. On one end, the formations looks like a horse's head. He thought I was quirky enough to like it and I do.

It is a busy life and just sitting down and talking to friends and cousins on Sunday was fun for us also. It was a get together as a cousin and his wife were home for a few days. A close school buddy and his wife were there also. All three of us attended school most of our years together. It was good to just sit around the table and remember, or try not to forget. We had a great visit and will not see each other again for a year. I could go visit the one who lives in Arizona, but not this year.
Thanks for stopping by........

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday stuff.......


It is exciting to me to go into an attic or an old building to explore the past. This album is a lot like visiting the past as it was my mom's first photobook that she had a year before she married my dad and the next few years afterward. I imagine that the pictures were taken with an old box camera. The years would be 1939 to 1941 that the pictures were placed in this book.


Zinnia power is what it is all about. They keep blooming and I keep snapping the photos.


My new mandevilla plant is doing well in it's larger pot and the trellis is holding up well even though it could be doubled in height. It will be easy to bring it in for the winter. I am anxious to see how long that it will bloom when I do bring it in.

I am missing my family of two guys and their wives these days. I know they live so far away but it just as well be clear on the other side of the earth. I know they are doing ok and all is well. I guess I am feeling the isolation that winter will bring.

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

Saturday, October 16, 2010

One dollar............


Bromeliad plant

A plant hoarder can be sucked in on a sale pretty easily for a dollar. I was proud because I only bought one, even though I saw two more that would have been interesting to own.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What is it?




When a rock hound dies, what does he leave behind? A lot of rocks. A lot of big rocks and a lot of little rocks.
Fortunately or unfortunately my misguided brother sold out from under us a huge specimen collection of rocks. He told me later as a wise guy about it. He actually did me a favor as I would be trying to get rid of some of them right now. The good thing that he did, besides lining his own pockets and sharing a little of it with my mom, was to sell it to a man who was the husband of my first cousin. So it went to a rock fanatic guy, equipment and all. The bad thing was I would have taken a few pieces from that large amount, just for memory's sake.

This is agatized wood. It is in agate form which is much harder than petrified wood. My dad had a rock hound friend and he and his wife and my parents would travel all over the west picking this stuff up. NO it didn't come from a National Park. Mr. White was his name and he would read about places in Wyoming out in the desert where you could dig for it.
I went once with them to find fossils in rocks and a blue agatized wood rock. It was buried about six inches below the surface of the desert sand, laying in rows like fallen trees. I have one piece of that which I can share another day. It is one tenth the size of this big thing.


A standing tree, right?

This piece was out on the back sun patio area and it was so dirty and gray that I thought I had petrified wood. When I dipped it into a bucket of water, I was so pleasantly surprised. I am glad it wasn't out in the garage when the mother lode was sold.
I keep saying I am done bringing things home, but this was a beauty. There is a homemade glass shelving unit that displayed all of his finished, polished rocks that is still down there. I just don't know where that is going to go in this house.

A late night of blogging for me for Friday so I had better shut this down. I hope the weekend is going to be a good one for everyone. I am thinking about a friend John today and hope things go well. Thanks for stopping by..........

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday's things.........


The every blooming, late growing gourd is putting on quite a show. It looks like tentacles as it reaches for sunlight.


I have been trying to finish up some of the straggling frame jobs and I completed two more of them today. This friend of mine owns a wooden motorboat and when he found some prints, he begged me to frame them right before I closed the shop. He has three of these and the print is done by an artist named Darrell Bush. Each print has a different woodie in the painting and a Minnesota landscape or harbor. I remember years ago when he first entered the print market and he was painting fish jumping out of the water. His woodie theme probably has proved successful as my friend bought up these three and an already framed one once he had discovered his work.


My water barrel is always full as we have been getting enough rain that I really didn't need to water anything. In another month this will have to be emptied or it will turn into a solid ice cube.

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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not too creative today.......


I haven't the energy to go too far with the creativity today. I am in a rut. I will shape up and be more creative soon.


If I had the time I would buy up all the dollar mums on sale and plant them for next year. They would be ready to go for next fall's blooming season. Maybe I still will do it.


I am miking the zinnia's for all they are worth. I will show some different things tomorrow.

I brought home my dad's riding mower yesterday. It was a really good one in it's day as my brother bought it for him. It is getting old now and I will have to do some fine tuning on it to get it going. I really do need to be pushing a mower for the exercise so I will have to walk farther and faster to make up for the loss of exercise time. I have never owned a riding lawn mower so I don't know if it will fit my image. I will have to buy a new straw hat.

Have a good Wednesday and thanks for stopping in.............