Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mother in Laws Tongue.........Sansevierias


I tried to destroy this plant last year by taking it outside.  The Garden Design magazine had theirs outside but the climate must have been mild.  I sunburned a lot of the leaves and they died back.  It didn't take only one afternoon.  So one and a half years later I have it almost back to good health.


This is a smaller variety the I really enjoy.  It likes to put out new plants readily so I have to keep potting it up into a large container.

Thanks for stopping by............we may get snow today.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Plant stand........


When I was a freshmen in high school I opted to take industrial arts instead of vocational agriculture.  My cousin and I were the only two guys who took it from our class and it was a brave thing to do being a freshmen being placed in a class with students of all ages.

I was serious and shy back then so it was not an easy class for me as the instructor really enjoyed just messing around with the guys.  It was a struggle to get instruction.  I had this plan for a plant stand and my instructor did help me find some wood to make it.  I was artsy back then too so I picked birdseye maple boards.  It is a great looking wood and I made this plant stand.  Today, I would like to take it all apart and shrink it in size plus get the joints glued together more accurately.   Where was the instructor when I glue this together?  I haven't a clue.  I really could have had a better product.  It still turned out good enough for a 14 year old kid.

I inherited this from my parents before they were gone.  It was too large for the house they had move into and my mom had quit growing violets probably five years before I  brought it home with me.

The violet plant light must put out a different form of heat as you can see that the camera picked up a reddish color.  I leave the light on night and day and the birds don't seem to mind too much.  We will see the results of this new light when the violets actually bloom.

I started this  blog yesterday and here I am finishing it today.  It was a day in southern Iowa for me today. Thanks for stopping by.......

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Two old quilts......I didn't throw them away.


The one quilt at the bottom was created by mom back in the late 1950's.  I know because she has incorporated some of her 50's cloth scraps with older pieces of cloth.  She was not doing fancy work back then as it is a basic set of blocks in a pattern and it is a tied quilt with embroidery string.

The other quilt could be her's and yet it may be my grandmother's.  I did not notice until I started taking photos, that it is a crazy quilt.  There are blocks sewn together like it was to be a patterned quilt then all of a  sudden random pieces are placed in a various  design.

Both quilts are made by necessity to keep people warm in bed.  They would layer old sheets or light blankets between the top quilt layer and the bottom flannel-like material. The top quilt is layered with so many blankets that it it is heavy to carry around and it is pretty worn.  In a house where the heat is shut down at night when you go to bed, it would be a welcomed thing on the bed.


The crazy quilt is made of material that is much older than the 50's quilt.  The patterns are so different with larger flowers or even southern plantation scenes.


I am always interested in decorative design and how it was created through the years.  The above piece was probably a sugar or flour sack while other pieces like below were bought at stores who sold cloth from bolts by the yard. I would assume that a lot of the cloth is left over from shirts and dresses that were made with the material. Cloth was purchased at a dime store or a JC Penny store in Osceola, Iowa. The country stores were gone by the time I was born.







My mom loved the modern new cloth designs and somewhere in my piles of pictures I have a photo of here wearing a straight lined dress in the red polka dots.  She bought an electric Singer sewing machine in 1954 and made shirts and dresses with it besides sewing the curtains and quilt pieces.



I suspect the cloth was designed with Haley's comet as an inspiration just like glassware was during that era.

I need a bigger house to hold all of this, or at least a house with an attic.  The quilts are not great to look at but they hold a lot of history.  I really did leave these two quilts laying around on the floor in the house until I was forced to bring them home as I needed to clean the carpet.  We are bulging at the seams and I have turned a downstairs room in to a store room.

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Eggplant, novelty species........



My neighbor gave me the seed for this novelty type plant called an Easter Egg Plant.  I had minor success with them and I have now harvested them and destroyed the plants.
I was given a regular eggplant this year from another neighbor and I believe these little guys are from the exact same family as they have the same kind of leaves.


As a last minute effort, I had to throw the door away but I wanted to save the knob and plate.  I found my circular saw made fast work of it and I now have the whole thing ready for me to reuse on my antique front door of my house.

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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Impressionistic Pointillism........


I am sharing a photo today with you that has special effects. It was a tad out of focus so I transformed it into a painterly image.
The corn has been picked, the leaves are gone and the ditch is full of dried grasses.  The posts have aged with a rust colored tone on the top of each one.  There is a  hint of green grass and the cattle are still grazing on it.  

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Three projects.......


An old photo that needed to be cleaned and also needed nails and backing to get it back into shape sits at left. I was told that it was a young family member lost and they didn't really know who it was, but she wanted to keep it hanging in her house just like her mom had most of her life. One of a set of photos from London that I framed recently is in the middle of the photo.  A  P. Buckley Moss print on the right of a garden in Ames, where the person  having the framing done was married under the arch.

We are extremely cold today and no snow so far, but it won't take long to have it happen.  Yesterday Arctic air was on the northwest corner of the state and it was 79 degrees on the far southeast corner of the state.  No tornadoes reported but there were warnings up there.  It has been five years since we had a tornado go through town because of that very same kind of weather condition.

Thanks for stopping in........keep warm wherever you live in this world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grow where you are planted..........


This is the last of the saved old jars from my parent's home.  I have them placed in a flower box outside my shed window.  I need to clean them and bring them in but not for a while as I am busy doing so many other things.   There is an old liquor bottle in there and also an old milk bottle from Flynn's Dairy.  I see there are a couple of zinc lid still hanging around also. 

Thanks for stopping by.........I have been too busy to visit many blogs but I will catch up or rejoin you all in good time.  I am having a mental, physical slow down and I will get things straighten out soon with some patience.  If I can get photos taken,  I will keep the blogs up and going.......thanks again for visiting.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One year anniversary..........




It has been a year since we replaced the window and ended up reworking the entire dining room.  It is great to have this room done and it is good not to remember all the rubble and mess we were in for so long. 
I made two more trips to the landfill on Friday and I never can ever really describe the experience in words.  You just have to be there, to drive to the top of the heap, to smell the rotting food, and to view continue growth of this dump site. I found some new things in the garage and I will share later.
It is getting close for us that live in the United States to take time and think of our blessings.  We take so much for granted and we do need to be more introspective about our lives.   I hope you have a great Sunday and thanks for stopping by.......

Friday, November 19, 2010

The weekend is coming.......



I hope everyone is doing well out there.  Thanks for stopping in..........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An abstract day in the creative zone.......



This is what it would look like if you stuck your head in a bush to see how the world would appear. Abstract composition and yet reality is everywhere. Thanks for stopping in........tomorrow!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Highgrading the junk..........


The mouse is gone. The bead lingered for a while in my hand and now it is gone.  I have so many drywall screws that I don't save them anymore either.


Where does this kind of stuff come from in the world of manufacturing? I will send it on it's way also. I just wanted to do some show and tell.
Gone in the garbage already!!!


I will save the lures as they came from my dad's tackle box.  It was almost empty as my brother saving illegal things in it.  I did throw that away down there but these few lures may end up in a shadow box with the rest of the fishing lures that I have.

Tired, achy and glad to be home after a long day at the house.  Thanks for stopping by.........I am getting behind on reading blogs but I do try to catch up and will.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A late post of the fall finale........

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum 'Summer Snowflake'.........

As you can see by my background I am destined to photograph dead things only in the near future.  I drove through snow today on the highway, that had fallen off of a car or truck.  We didn't have any but not too far from us they got dumped on with a foot of snow.  It was strange seeing a pile of snow on the highway.  I am at a loss of what shrub this is as it was a blog mystery for awhile to get it identified.  If I research it and find it on my blog I will give you that name of it.  The leaves all turned red or deep maroon in color. I did find the post and the name of it and I edited the blog.
It a quiet day here and we are all moving slow and are tired. The wind has stopped blowing and the rain is done for a few days.  Thanks for stopping by........

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sage green and firetruck red..........


My sage did not die from the freeze so I will harvest it soon.  It is getting a free washing from the rain and I will cut it and hang it to dry.  It will make great sage dressing for Thanksgiving.


I have so many photos of the burning bushes that I have to check to see that I am not repeating a post. The other bush in the background is orange in color for some reason. 

Spent the day yesterday trying to fix a bad carpet installation.  It was installed many years ago but it was not done correctly.  They didn't stretch it enough so a large wrinkle or ridge forms right down the middle of the living room the past ten years.  I detached the edge of two sides and preceded to remove all the excess on the edges so that it can smooth out.  With special tools I pounded it back flat with just a hint of the ridge left.  I will return and get rid of the hint but I need a few days to rebuild my old body from such a job.  Working on the floor is not easy work and reworking others mistakes is frustrating.  I will have to redo a two seams which will be difficult but I don't back down on  a challenge.
We are having the kind of weather that keeps us in for the day, maybe even tomorrow.  Winter weather is fun only once in a while.  Thanks for stopping in and have a good weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Memory Lane......


Do you remember when the resin made products were so popular.  I remember when the industrial arts classes taught young students how to mix up the resin with hardener and made cast items. I don't know if it is done anymore as I think the fumes were a health threat.


I made this one when I was in high school.  I was probably 16 years old at the time and the molds were made of glass.  Once you mixed the resin and added the colorant for one color  you poured them into the molds and sat them so they wouldn't roll of the table.  After I had created three different colors for this and they all dried with their wire stems stuck in each one,  I had to break all of the glass molds to get the finished grapes.  The grapes are wired to a piece of driftwood from the Pacific ocean. 

I brought it home yesterday even though I was really leaning towards tossing it in the trash.  It is impossible to dust and you can see I didn't get the one lower green one cleaned.  They have been sitting in the sewing room for years and that is the dust I  brought home on them.
Thanks for stopping by.............the weekend is near.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Found a little bottle......

I found a little bottle but then I realized you wouldn't believe me when you saw the photo.  So I took the picture again with a quarter laying on the shelf by it.  It is a neat little glass piece.

It says on the side:

Lowell's Syrup Pepsin
MFD By
Pepsin Syrup Company
Monticello, Illinois

I wondered if it tasted like pepsin gum, and I wondered if it was a one dose product or if it was so strong that you could only take a small drop of it at a time.
Research for this will have to be another day.  Wednesday was a day of comedy of errors and I never did make it to the dump.  I will have to wait until the truck gets fixed and the predicted rain and snow dry up.  Lost some keys yesterday, took a sliding glass door apart to get into the house, found the keys that had fallen out of my winter coat and was interrupted by a neighbor to keep me from getting much work done.  I finally just loaded up the car and came home disgusted but I will make it.  Going back on Friday.  Everyone have a good rest of the week and thanks for stopping by...........mad and sad is a balance of being way too happy, right?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Merry Christmas.......


When my parents sold their farm and move into town, they bought a stereo to play records.  I had a large pile of old records to sort through and I kept a few.  My mom bought all of them in 1974 and never bought any others after that.  In fact they played the stereo for maybe ten years and then it was not used anymore.   I think TV became a predominate part in their entertainment so it all sat by the way side.  I tossed the stereo as it was not of any quality and it was very outdated.  It may have had an eight track player on it, that would have been the trend back then. I tossed a lot of the records but kept a few, which I may share as time passes.   Those of you who are groaning, I really threw away some really bad stuff.  I am sure they were a dollar on special and I am not sure some of them were any good from the start.  In defense of the tossing,  my wife and I combined two large collections of vinyl records when we married.  I think the stack is at least three feet tall.

This one record looks good and I will play it on my turntable.  If it is good,  I will keep it.  If it is not so good, it will have to say good bye.  It will be fun to go through the small pile and play them just to see what I have.  Firestone use to sponsor live performances on TV and I suspect they perked people's interest by issuing records.  My mom was into honky tonk piano music and I saved it just because of the memory.  I may send it to my brother as he was moaning nostalgically about it all. 

Going to the dump today, I hope for the last time.  It will be a little cool but it won't be raining or snowing.  I don't want to drive up into those garbage hills when it is slippery as clay roads are slick when wet.  I will be closing my eyes on some things and just let them go.  I have to remember but I don't  have to have all the materials that bring those memories.  I have already brought too much stuff home.   I have an aluminum pole vaulting pole of my brothers and an old baby bed that was mine to make a decision on as well as a wrecked remote control air plane.  I have so many large antique chains that dad used on the farm to pull things with the tractor.  I don't know that I can take them to the landfill, but I really don't know what or who will help me out with them.

My wife vetoed the throwing away of a homemade glass display case that my dad had made.  I had talked myself into making it disappear, but she said that I saved every quilt so I had to save the display case.  He had used it to show off his rock collection.  I have that collection sitting in containers in the spare room which will eventually go to my youngest son.  Dad said Aaron was the only one of his grandchildren who took any time to look at any of the rocks.  Grandpas do notice those things. I may convert it into a case to display some of my wife's doll collection but it will need to be restyled and refinished before I will bring it into the house.

I had a day of rest yesterday so I am fired up to go get the job done today.  I am leaving my wife at home as I don't want to expose her to the truck or the landfill.  She is ok with that I am sure as she would rather paint on one of her commissioned art works.  The dogs will be glad she is staying home.

We have had two great warm days and today will be ten degrees cooler.  Thursday and Friday will be a sharp contrast and we will be back to normal fall weather.  Take care everyone and thanks for stopping by.......can I send you some chains, you pay the shipping.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This is what it is...........




Aunt Mamie Stevenson's shipping barrel, now a rain barrel.  The barrel was shipped from Madagascar to the United States filled with things from  her experiences as a nurse and missionary.  She was our boys great Aunt who served over 30 years over there working to help many people.
The barrel contained a replica grass hut, a very sharp spear, an old blanket, many woven items, a dried turtle and a quilt.  It was a red and white quilt that I assume someone had sent her as a gift while she was working over there. The dried turtle was a beautiful thing and a science teacher, thief, that I worked with borrowed it and never returned it.  I have forgiven her, the thief, but will always remember she stole borrowed my turtle. It probably is sitting on her coffee table right now in Madrid, Iowa. I guess I need to give her a call. 
Thanks for stopping by...........the turtle would have been the prize for the person who guess correctly what this was, but I don't have it anymore

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weird wacky world..........


A view from inside a fading burning bush.  It's not what you see in front that counts, it is what you see beyond.  Click on the picture and see what I mean. It is like a Alfred Hitchcock movie scene only it's in color.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Red maple review.....


I posted a couple of these before but I had not posted this one.  The weather has changed a lot since I took this photo and there are just a few leaves hanging on right now.  Have a restful Sunday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What is it??????


I am running out of photos as I have been too busy to shoot newer pictures.  This one is a texture photo that I shot for a contest.  I will tell you later what it is, but you can guess if you would like.

I see you can now view the entries to the contest on the blog of a friend of mine,  The Retirement Chronicles.  Check it out for some great texture photography.

Oh, I almost forgot, it has been a hard week, thanks for stopping by.........

Friday, November 5, 2010

Token picture and it is blurrrrry.......


The wet weather kept this alive all summer. Normally by the time it freezes the impatient  plants have had it with the hot, dry weather and they are dead.  I will keep it on the fireplace area for awhile but is is already leaning towards the window.  The mandevilla keeps blooming and I will move it to a cooler room eventually.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mystery textures and no bird.......


I took this photo the other day while trying to get pictures of a goldfinch. I found it to be a strange thing the the camera picked up with all it's little pixel power.  I will share it today as my Thursday's tease.

Thanks for stopping in and have a great day.........

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wandering through Wednesday..........


It was almost a year ago when we finished remodeling the dining room. It hasn't taken long for us to fill in the space in the window with plants.  This winter when the snow is covering the ground we will be sitting at the table and looking out, drinking coffee of course.
I am still amazed as to how the replacement of the old drafty window has changed the behavior of the furnace.  The thermostat is in this room and the furnace ran so much more as it just couldn't get the room heated.  Now the rest of the house is a little cooler because it heats it and shuts down, just like it is suppose to do.


Surprised success is all I can call it.  I divided a violet into two parts and I really did think this part was not going to survive.  It lost all of it's dirt when I started to transplant it and I could not see many roots.  It has survived and looks like it won't loose many outside leaves.  I will move them into another room soon as the winter sun will come in strong on them and they won't like it. I bought a light for them but that is still not set up as of yet.  My wife and I transplanted all those starts that I had a month ago and  every single plant seems to be surviving.  Fall and winter becomes my farming time inside as I just move inside and carry on with it.


We lost a Manx cat that didn't survive the syndrome over a year and  half ago now.  We  happened on this garden ornament that looked so closely like Nala and also had it's tail bobbed like the Manx that  has just a stub of a tail.  She is buried under the apple tree and has been joined with two of the neighbor cats who have met misfortune and died in my yard.  That is another story of what or who is causing early death of our cats in the neighborhood.

A day of rest doesn't mean we don't have things to do.  It just means that we don't have to saw, hammer, paint, or clean today.  We have errands to do this afternoon so will be out and about visiting stores to buy printers ink, mat board, boards to make a beam on the porch, groceries and maybe books and coffee. It is suppose to be a very windy day as the jet stream is shooting from Florida all the way up through Iowa today.  It may be going from Canada to Florida instead, I could have that confused.  Either way, the wind doth blow long and hard today.
Thanks for stopping by...........I hope you are all doing well today.