Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Stuff on Saturday......


Can you find the rabbit?  I am downstairs tightening all the joints of a glider rocking chair.  I finally found every single loose connection on the rocker.  I sat it up and tried the chair to see if it was sturdy again.  I rocked in the chair for about 20 seconds and out the window I see this furry creature crawling out from the bushes.

I have no way of knowing this rabbit is the little one that we had a month ago that was hiding out there under the pine tree and rhubarb leaves. We have not seen any rabbits for weeks. There was a mother rabbit out there which was much larger than this little one.

I can see that these guys would be a pest during the time that new vegetable plants were sprouting but these days he was out there eating grass.  I am good with him being in my yard. I have a neighbor that is not good with it any time of the year.








I had been questioned by one of my blogger friends about the white coneflowers. It made me question that if what I had was coneflowers and not white daisies.  It made me blink but yes here are the white coneflowers. I have yet to plant my new red coneflower.  I am waiting for it to cool off a little bit. We are so grateful for the rain a day ago.  The inch and a half of moisture was a blessing. On the negative side, the rain was a hard driven one and the petunias were really messed up from it.  I am hoping that a couple more days and the will regroup and bloom normally.



I changed the basement painting recently as the one hanging there before leaned out away from the wall.  The wire allowed a space to be there and this framed oil painting does fit close to the wall. There won't be anything sticking out as one walks by it. We changed paintings all of the time in the old house and I just change two painting in the group adding the son's portraits, done by my wife, into the wall arrangement.

Many different things to do this morning. I am debating the need for watering plants. It is so hot that I think I should do it even though the humidity is so high.  I wish everyone to have a great weekend.Thanks for stopping by today.


Friday, July 21, 2017

The End of the Week......


Evening sunlight helped give these coneflowers. a special lighting effect. The bright light to gradual shade is viewed across the natural bouquet.


I was 14 years old taking a shop class my freshmen year.  My mom ordered the plan from the newspaper of a plant stand she could use for her African violets. A grow light was installed under the top piece to project light down on that shelf.  I should of probably used plywood but the instructor allowed me to pick out a hardwood, birds eye maple, to use for the project. I think back now that Mr. Coleman  wanted it to be made as a fine wood piece of furniture.

Because it was made by the maple boards I had to glue boards, side to side, to make up the width that was needed when I followed the directions.  The three main long pieces were glued boards and the end pieces were glued boards.  No wonder I almost didn't get done with the project in that semester.  Today, when you glue to boards together, side by side, you would have a planner that allows you to even out the surface.  I had an electric sander that I used for hours to even out the faces of each piece.

The top was complicated as the top table part fit into slots all around the top. The front pieces had to fit up against the side pieces. You can see that I didn't get it glued together tightly and 40 years later the glue failed and it has opened up.
The good thing with this corner is that all of the slots were cut correctly and everything almost fits into the right places. I didn't have any help at the glue up time. Now 40 years later, I know that I should have done a dry fit first before I put glue to the joints. If I had I would have know the table top piece should have been cut about a fourth of an inch smaller.
















The Gorilla glue did not hold it as I squeeze this end all back into place with my twelve dollar clamp.  I had to reglue it a second time and I set a finishing nail to get it to stay together.  I did sink the nail in and wood filler covered up the hole made by the nail.

























It looks better now.  I never had that right back when I was 14 years old and until I became the owner of this piece I didn't think about repairing. The whole stand seemed to be like a "white elephant" as my mom got older.  My dad was jealous that she was so successful raising violets and it was a center of contention for years. When my parent moved from the farm it became less used for plants and eventually my mom just wanted to get it out of the house.

I have one more corner like this to fix but wood clamps are not going to fix it. I am going to have to cut a slim piece of wood to fit into the gap and then glue it back together. That will happen in the next few days. If you don't remember in the story that I was going to take my skill saw to this piece and use the wood to remake something new.  I am glad that I didn't do that.

A folk art piece that I saved from a box in the basement was this stagecoach and horses. I like the hand carved horses that were in the kit. The block was sort of sawn into a good shape so I could round out by carving the legs and head with ears. My blogger friends who carve beautiful pieces can laugh at what this 12 year old kid did for his first and last time carving job.

We had a good rain last night and I didn't have to water flowers this morning. The rain is harder on some of the flowers than my garden hose watering process. I need to plant a new rose somewhere on the property.

I have to fix leaks today under the windows in the other bedroom. I am disgusted that the siding that was applied 13 years ago when the house was built, was improperly  installed under the
windows. Being the third owner since it was built makes it harder to get back to the siding company. I do think that I will talk to the original contractors first as there is sheeting damage under those windows.

The day is not going to be much better today.  The temps may be a slight bit cooler but a heat index of 103 degrees F. is not good. I am hearing my friends everywhere are having similar hot weather.  I wish everyone to stay safe and cool.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday's Bother.......


Tuesday evening I had seen some insect damage on my zinnias. We went to Menards for many things but I asked for the best spray for Japanese Beatles. I returned home from the store and found myself unloading a lot of the spray on these larger marigolds. They were not there the night before but they sure were the next morning.

The news was sharing that people had swimming pools full of these and others had whole trees shredded but I really had not noticed them before. So far zinnias and this one kind of zinnia was all they wanted and once they were sprayed they were dead. This time I was at the right spot at the right time.




The moon is almost gone.  I could see this morning that the sliver of a moon and the sun were very close together.

I buy a red cornflower and then the off spring sprouts are not red. I do hope that they turn red. I am hoping that the hot weather is messing with its growth patterns.  I haven't plants this yet but will once we cool down. Things seem to not be working well today so as I look at this flower I just figure put it on the list.



I planted morning glories twice and finally I have two seed that have started to sprout. I used brand new seed and didn't get a start.  I then added some old seed that I harvested from the old place. I can't imagine them ever maturing soon enough for blooms as this is late July. I was just thinking I needed to take the flower box back to the garage so I could use the dirt for potting soil. I guess the seed heard me thinking it and hurried to sprout. I have blogger friends in the south who have loads of vines and hundreds of blooms of morning glories right now. This is really sad what I see here.



The pot of oxalis are finally adjusted to the new place. The were inside all winter and taking them outside this spring did give them a shock. The move was easy but I haven't been taking good care of them. Now they are downstairs on the patio and I hit them with the garden hose once in a while and they seem very happy. I have had to water things every day now. I missed watering the front planter of petunias by a half day and they sure did take a hit from the heat.  I won't skip anything every again.




The front planter is doing well and these little filler petunias are taking off.  Once everything is planted I could see my wife's garden needed to have a few extra plants to fill spaces.

I bought a rose this morning as it needed to be rescued from the nursery.  It is sitting in the kitchen sink right now soaking in water and some air conditioning. I don't have an idea as to where it should be planted but I will dig a hole somewhere. Its shape is really bad but the rose itself is a multi petaled one, which I have never owned before. I know that once I can get it happy in the ground that I can trim it into a better shape. The tag says it can turn into a three foot tall and high rosebush.

My radio in the truck is giving my problems. I look up things on the internet and found that at the time the 2008 Tundra trucks were sold that an unusual  number of the radio volume knobs went bad.  A malfunctioning knob when it was brand new.  I won't have any warrant on this so I will be buying a new radio for the truck some these days. The radio did start working this morning but sometime during the trip it had to kick out.  Later it was back on again.

I am trying to fix my birds eye maple furniture peace and the Gorilla glue is not working.  I have had to reclaim it now and put a nail into it to help keep the gap closed.  I counter sunk the nail and will fill the hole over the nail.  If this doesn't work I am not sure what will work.  I will have pictures when it has been repaired.

I have a couple of other things that seem to be contrary to repair. I won't continue whining about them but if I figure out their repair I will share. Our heat is so high that I didn't bother to go work at the old house.  I may go up early morning tomorrow and not stay for long as things keep needing to be done.

I wish you all to have a good rest of the day.  I hope you are able to stay in a cool spot and not be outside. Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Late, Warmly Created, Post for Today....


The hidden box has been freed from all of the junk on it. The box was filled with Christmas angels.  I was glad as they did not have to be unloaded.  The container was stacked away in the basement storeroom with all the other Christmas things. The round leg with the threaded end is the fifth leg to my grandmother's walnut table. When the table is extended for boards there is a leg in the middle to support the extra boards.

The desk lamp is an old one. the base is cast iron.  The rest of it is made of different metals. I have to yet decide where it will be placed in the downstairs room. The things on the chest of drawer are still on temporary hold until I find the drawer in which they belong.



The black eyed Susans are opened up now and putting out a great yellow in the front garden. As all of the different perennials open up and branch out I have no room for the new coneflower.  I will just have to plant it somewhere else.


I did get this for a low price as it is in the middle of a hot summer and prices are dropping. I will find a special place for this.  I am interested in seeing if the breeding of these gives me all consistent red flowers.

I spent a couple of hours at the old house this morning. It just got too hot for me to be outside and I had to come home. I am trimming up all the spare free growing trees that should not be there.  I had a truck load of things from last week and a nice guy came by and took them to the tree dump for me. I created another large pile today.  I did give him a fixer upper riding mower and I told him he owed me nothing, but he is glad to help. I know that he helped me a lot as I just don't have all the time I need to get the place cleaned up.

I hope that this heat is not everywhere.  I do know a lot of you are having some of it.  We all have to stay inside and stay safe.  I left a full unopened pop in the truck and some time over the weekend it did explode. The mess is minimal but the floor mat needs to be hosed down to clean off the initial splash.  Thank you all for stopping by today.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fifty One Snaps......


My first zinnia shot for the summer. When I planted the seed I did not know if things would turn out. I succeeded in taking the one crowded row into transplanted two more rows. I will be having a large volume of shots of zinnias for a very long time.


As I walked out into the humid evening, the camera immediately fogged over causing this special effect. As hot as it was, I ended up taking 51 different shots last evening.  I think that is a record number for the shoot except for the 71 taken at a hot air ballon show.  Anyway,  I edited out 37 photos to share from that pile of 51 photos.

The three are so bonded that I could never separate them. They enjoyed their time outside while I power sprayed, garden hose, the bottom of the cage. When I do that, I lightly spray them with water and they really like that.  One of them intentionally came towards me trying to get more water. I guess I should put a bowl of water in there, if it is possible so they can splash once in a while. They were tired from their outing and immediately took a nap after the experience.



I have various sizes of sunflowers growing. I keep transplanting the smaller ones into a fine straight row. The high humidity seems to be what they want  as this one plant has doubled in size the past week.  If you have followed me for long, you know that I have to count them to know how many I have. I think there are seven of them but I had some late starters come up the past week.



The flowers surrounding the tomatoes and herbs also liking the hot weather.  I am watering them every day now and they do respond to good treatment. I never expected this planing of the box to turn out so successfully.




I have decided to not go to work on the old place today.  The heat index by mid morning will be 103 degrees F.  What I need to do is outside trimming and mowing. I may try to get up there tomorrow very early morning. We are suppose to have a new roof put on the old house but that seems to be delayed as I doubt the company can work on a building, shingling, in the high heat.

I appreciate your stopping by today.  I wish everyone to have a good day.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday's Minutes from our Meeting.....


I watered the plants this morning while it was still cool.  Cool means that it wasn't in the 80s. These pear shaped tomatoes are a lot like the small cherry tomatoes.  They don't get large and I think they may be yellow in color. It may be the first variety that I have that can be eaten.

This is a ceramic bird house. I had the students make them  as a way to foster some creativity in working with clay. I made something different every year.  This one was not over worked as you can see as I didn't smooth out the coils.  I have lots of them having made one each year that I taught. Most of them are made from flat slabs of clay like when you build a gingerbread house.


Today's sunrise was similar to yesterday's but this morning it was better. It was a lot pinker when I discovered the good view but by the time I got the camera out and going it was not so pink.  It keeps being like "the size of the fish that got away thing" part of my story. The radiant light is the eye-catcher I guess even if there isn't any pink.

I spent time planting a couple of day lilies that I had lifted starts from, on Saturday.  I had to dig things for my cousins and I thought that I would treat myself to a couple of more plants for the new place.  I spent the rest of the morning in the lower level, basement, working at putting things away and cleaning bird cages.

I took the cockatiels outside and really washed out the bottom of the cage.  They like getting splattered on and one in particular kept coming at the stream of water wanting for more splashes. I have one zebra finch, male, who has lived by himself most all of the time that I have had him.  He would get nervous around other birds and pluck his neck feathers out.  I keep him by himself and his cage next to the cockatiels.  Books tell me that they birds are compatible and the finch does seem happy to have his cage next to them.  The zebra finch got a new bigger cage today that I had brought from home.  I had to sit the old cage with open door next to the new cage and just walk away from him. He eventually went into the new cage to eat the birdseed I had place in the cage. He seems very happy in his new bigger home.

While rearranging furniture and throwing things away, I found one more container of glassware to empty.  I really had it covered up with art lights from our old stdio and I ignored it.  I have yet to get into it but I may later today. I was placing my art table in place this morning and found one of my art lamps and attached it to the drawing board. I have another to go on the other side but didn't get to it. The more I unpile, the more things will be put into place.

I spent a lot of time in the basement and it looks better down there. I don't know when it will look finished but I know that it will someday.  The goal is to have a family room set up at the one end of the room with the studios and displayed artwork at the other end. I have a desk, office area right in the middle on one side.

Well I had a busy morning and now it is time to just rest.  I could work some more but resting sounds like a better thing for me.  I hope everyone is having a good Monday and all are well. Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Stay Inside...


I know that I had noticed the half moon earlier this week but for some reason it now is visible in early morning. I don't understand all of the night and day appearances of the moon.  I went to get the camera this early morning and of course the clouds were covering it.  I waited and then snapped it as quickly as possible, forgetting to zoom it in, so it could be viewed easily. You have to click on the photo and you can see it is a half moon.


At the opposite side of the house, this is what we were seeing. It was a lucky shot as it quit glowing unless that a few minutes.

Switching subjects instantly, I found this marking on the back of my wife's mother's dishes. They were made in Ohio, and they are definitely made by union workers. My wife has only a few of these saucers and a few plates. It is good she has some of her mom's things in which  to remember her .









Switching to another old thing is the wooden box.  It held various small jars and cans of furniture stains. It came from a old furniture store from Aplington, Iowa.  It is a long story to tell so I won't as to how I have it. I have always wanted to restore the box.

















The inside label does tell the story of its purpose.  I tossed most everything out of the box a few years ago but I do have two things kept from it.  I don't have available photos of them at this time of posting.

The weather is the subject by all as the temps are either very high or the humidity is overwhelming with high percentages. Barney doesn't waste any time of choices of place, laying on top of one of the vents that is blowing out cool air. It jest seems to have caused our lawns to all go dormant in the past two days.  The neighbor in the southish directionhas been watering his grass and it didn't keep it from going brown.

It is late in the day but I did get my post done.  I hope everyone is safe and has had a good day.  Thanks for checking in on me today.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Saturday Stall......


I chose to go work at the old place this morning and take advantage of the cool air in the morning. It did pay off as I started getting way to warm by the time I needed to come home. I thought I could get the blogging done later.  So here I am, heads in the clouds, wondering what to share.

The morning went well but I have more work to get done than is possible for one old man.  I mowed the orchard area and started trimming out sucker trees. During all of this, I took time to box up some plants to send to my first cousin, who lives south of Murray, Iowa.  She and her daughter had been begging people on Facebook, for starts of the old fashion ferns that people plant along foundations of housea.  The ferns went in the box easily.  I then got creative and sent her an iris, I think it is a cemetery iris.  I also sent her starts to the large red day lily and a start of a new larger yellow day lily.  As I type this, I now am reminded that I forgot to bring some of the flowers home.  I did bring the bulb-like things that will allow me to have them at the new house.

I have decided not to bring phlox to the new place unless I can decide on a place to put them and they don't invade the whole property.

I don't have to dig coneflowers either as the new place already has this one and a white one.  I am watching an orange looking coneflower at Walmart and am thinking I will be buying one of those.

Our place in Ankeny is so dry.  The grass is going dormant.  The place at Woodward has had so much rain that I had mud coated on my mower wheels when I returned with its in the truck. The rain just isn't happening in our area.











I don't really have much to report on my sedum today.  It is better in the new back yard than where I had it at the old place. The different colors comes from it being in the sun. I have an antique ceramic foundation block that I am now going to bring to the new place.  I think planting different kinds of sedum in the holes of the end of it would work very well.

Our old town issued notices to many people that the tile that was used for the sewer system, which is like the one you see in the photo, will have to be replaced. They had given out 182 notices to people that they coming to get them. I didn't get a letter as I remember the new sewer line to the house back in 1976 had been put in right before we bought the house. I had to deal with the indented soil in the yard as to where it had been put in.

Having the feeling of the Saturday stall also means I will probably not have a long blog today.  I am going to rest for a while before I start on another project this afternoon.  I am watching a neighbor and his dad building with wood across the way and I am so jealous. My wife want to know what I am going to make and I really can't think of anything. I guess I am stuck just unpacking.   Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday's Things.......



On the downstairs patio, sits a sculpture that really shouldn't be outside. During the moving process things were taken down the hill outside and left at the sliding glass door.  I had the guy with his rabbits sitting on the patio table for a while. While watering all of this, yesterday, I realized that I should get the guy and his rabbits moved inside soon.

The granite enamelware water basin in the background came from an old house where my Grandmother Brooks lived. When she moved out, back in the sixties, to a house with running water, she left the basin behind. About 25 years later when my wife and me  stopped in to see the deteriorating house, the basin still sat in the dry sink just as my grandmother had left it. Most of the floors were rotted away so it was a challenge to get to it.  She had water that would be pumped by an electric pump from a well. It would come into the back porch.  She would carry all of the water that they used, including drinking, in from the porch. We washed our hands in that basin when visiting and sometime she washed small amounts of dishes in it.


Newly displayed photos of the grand boys sit on the mantel. The youngest one is almost walking. He has this walking devise that we gave him at Christmas and he now uses it like a modern walker, running and slamming into things as he goes. His dad says he can stand in one position for a while but still likes to hang on to things. They both have grown and changed so much this past year.
The continuous report on the progress of my zinnias and sunflowers continues. All things were planted too late but the first row has started to set buds for flowers. The sunflowers survived and escaped being snapped off but the birds but  I still may have a gap in the row. Maybe that will make it look more natural. People who raise sunflowers in Iowa for bird seed are in full bloom already.  I did see yesterday cornfields in Iowa with tassels and small corn starts with silks. The corn is growing well at our old place.


First coat of varithane is on the unit. I like how varnish brings out the markings in the wood.  When it is wet it makes things look three dimensional. I will be adding at least one more coat to it.  I plan to buy a clamp to fix two hanging chads on the piece. I will explain that all later about the trials of a 14 year old putting this together.

I have the planting of a couple of day lilies to get done today and some spot mowing to do. In a drought, it really isn't necessary to mow unless you want to cut down the few stray tall sprouts of grass.  I think I will also move some flag iris from the temporary garden to a corner garden. It is full of asparagus and no real flowers.  If the lilies and flag iris crowd it out, I won't be sad.  I do like eating asparagus but its foliage really is not a flowering foliage to look at for the entire summer.  We have errands to run and will be in and out all day.   I wish you all to have a good day today.  Thanks for checking in on me.