Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Wednesday morning and there is a suggestion of a sun shining behind those clouds.  Rain is sort of predicted in places in the state but clouds will prevail.

This is a work in progress.  The nook will be an antique spot in the lower level of the house. I haven't really yet cleared and stored the items on the top of the dresser.  Taking the photo at an angle sort of helps make it look more junky than it really is. The calendars on the side walls are shown below.

I rescued some old calendars that have fine prints attached to them.  The year was 1922 making them 92 years old. The quality of the print is great and a remarkable kind of printing process. I really should put them in a shadow box to protect them but that is another project of the future. I don't have any of my framework tools set up like I did when I had the frame shop at the old house.

This calendar is older, being 104 years old. I am not sure what bible story is being depicted here but again the kind of print is done so well for the process available back in 1914.  The picture is made separately and attached to the calendar. I really don't understand why someone had placed masking tape over the dates but I am assuming they wanted to keep the picture on the wall after the calendar expired.

Another visual is framed in a metal frame with a gold mat. It is another shepherd watching the flock. I really do not know where I attained this piece.  It may have been in my dad's stuff that he removed from an old house that he later tore down.

The former owner of my truck was so certain that the back wheel had bad bearings.  He had the part for me and sent me to a company downtown Des Moines to have it repaired.  The Axel company said there was absolutely nothing wrong with that truck on either side.  They didn't want to charge me for the time but the office woman said the guys really liked Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen.  So while on an errand today, I will buy some boxes of Dilly Bars and drop them off.  Life is interesting and I think it is kind of fun. My good will of Dilly Bars makes everyone happy and I didn't have to put out more to work on a truck that didn't need work.  The more I think about the former owners concern about the sound coming from the truck actually it is probably the clunky tires that they have on it in the back.

It is the middle of the week and I have stayed away for the old house now for two days.  I am hoping that when I return on Thursday that the house will have a completely new roof. It is looking so good and the color that my wife picked out looks so good on that house.  I have lots of things to do everyday and I just have to pick out which ones I want to do  Thank you for stopping by today.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tooooooosday Morning......

As much as he fluttered I was privileged to capture somewhat of an image.  He is a giant swallowtail. I had to look him up to know which kind of swallowtail that he would be. He looked like a bird flopping around out there when I first saw him.

I just took quick, blind shots as I couldn't wait to see if it was focused. It flitted in and out so quickly. I had dozens of painted lady butterflies on the zinnias during the warm part of the day. I watered the flowers last night knowing that it doesn't take much for flowers to shut down when there is no rain.

While watering plants last night I noticed that I could officially start harvesting tomatoes. The larger one is the first for me from that variety.  It was low near the ground and I almost missed picking it with all the foliage. The pear shaped ones are really a sweet tomato.  We do need to buy some bacon and lettuce.

I am going to get this plant into the ground this morning. I am tired of trying to keep it alive because it isn't planted in real soil. I need to find a protected area for it, and yet I see that someone has planted rows of the off the main street north of us along the vast open ditch area.  Maybe any place will do.

This small piece of land in next to the garage and the hosts really are struggling there. I am suspecting the heat of the cement is too much.  I may get a daylily in there and move the hosta out of there. The large rock is a giant agatized rock from our family farm in southern Iowa The glaciers must of drug in down there as that is not a naturally formed rock in our area.  My dad brought it to town when he moved away from the farm and I now have it.  I think it even has a slice sawed off of it with him trying to get agate jewelry stones form it.

I have time today to go work in the store room.  I still have a few things to unpack and a lot of things to get organizes. You can see with this still life that things are just being set randomly on shelves until some organization can be found.

I am staying away from the old place for a few days to let the shingle guy do his job.  He consented to finish up some of the damaged areas on the front north side of the house for me and I am just going to not do it anymore. Joel is very good at what he does consented to fix the roof an porch roof connection before he shingled.  I will have to return to get busy but for now I am going to let the guy do his magic.  The new sections that are done look for really good.

We are out of sync today as we took down the truck to downtown Des Moines today, early morning.  It needs to have a bearing repair on one axle and the place is down in the older part of Des Moines.  It sits near the Meredith Corporation where a lot of home and garden magazines are published.  You are familiar with Better Homes and Garden and probably have seen a lot of other magazines that they print out. It is a very old part of town and there were streets closed for new buildings being erected,  making our caravan trip an interesting one.  My wife said that she had never ever driven downtown before but she did very well following the Tundra truck to our destination. The front of the building is  modernizes some but the building is an old 1900's garage.

I am taking more pictures than I can manage to share.  I will just throw in zinnias visual whenever there is space.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bone Dry......

We really do need rain. We are drought stricken after having a very wet spring. I try to water every day or day and a half to keep flowers and melons alive.

There was an opening in the clouds this morning.  I didn't have a clue that we would break into  a rain  session but we did.

The rain really doesn't count if it doesn't last over 5 minutes. The line of showers in Iowa was north of our I-80 and they did get good amounts of water. We had a sprinkle that did wet the deck for a few minutes. It should be done for the day now.  Sooner or later we will get back to normal rains in our area.

Barney is so much better.  I have been hinting to some bloggers that he was down, with his back legs giving him problems.  He refused to walk or get up on his back legs for two days.  In the middle of the night or early Sunday morning I could hear the patter of four feet working on the bedroom floor.  I got up at one o'clock in the morning  and immediately took him outside without any problems. He still favors that back leg but nothing is as bad as it was.  He has done this at the old house for a few days off and on the past couple of years. It is so difficult to work with him when he is like that.

Down the street after the slight sprinkle I can see the clouds that are gong to clear. We were at the bottom of that front and it is to be gone in another hour.

I am headed to the old house today. The front porch has some problems that I can help with in repairing but some of it will just have to be done by my roofer. My shingle guy is a former student of mine. We have known his parents the past 30 years and he has been in the business for 15 years now. I believe he foresaw the repair work on that porch roof and made the adjustments in the bid to cover it, but I do feel I need to do some work where I can do it. The newer parts of the house that are newly shingled look so good.

Summer is going by so quickly for us.  We have had a busy life and it seems we are so far behind with the old house. I remember when we worked on my parents house that it reached a certain time when we just said,"this is done." I am sure getting the house ready will be much the same way.

I hope everyone had a great day today.  Thanks for checking in on my post.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunshine Today.....

My volunteer morning glories are meager in number of vines but the blooms are glorious.  Having not know they were there and having not weeded out the area, I allowed them to grow.

The photo was taken while looking down form the deck. I keep wondering how tall will they grow. They were planted late in the season but they seem to be doing just fine. The birds are hitting this area for a number of reasons.  The larger birds seem to be working picking off the bugs from the leaves and flowers. The finches seem to find parts of the flower to eat.

The patterns of the painted lady and the fuzzy body of the butterfly helps to make my photo to seem very blurry. The painted lady butterflies are flocking to the zinnias.  The zoom in quickly and leave quickly so having one stay still is rare.

I thank you for checking in on my post today. I hope everyone has a great day.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday's Stuff.......

The photos I could have of birds, butterflies and bees would be plentiful if I were to sit all day out there and waist.  The goldfinches are pulling something off of the zinnias to eat.  When they land on the flower the whole stem and flower swing up and down like a carnival ride,

The sun was too bright and the butterfly would flitter around making it almost impossible to capture his photo.  They do stay put once in a while to soak in the warmth of the sun so I was able to get this shot. The painted lady butterfly seems to be doing well this year as I have seen a lot of them in the garden. I think it has been a few years since I took any photos of them as I had to look it up on the net to check its name.

My moss rose is doing well in its graniteware pan but I can't seem to get a good photo of it. I need to try taking a shot of the blooms on a different time of the day. I have traditionally planted the moss rose in this pan for a lot of years now. All of the plants I bought this year seemed to be in a definite color scheme.  No reds and yellow flowers in this batch.

My garden hose is too short by about four feet to be able to reach the far side of the raised bed.  I shoot up into the air with the hose and get this side water less than I should . I  found the one tomato plant on that side was suffering from the droughts so this side got a lot more attention these past few days.  The surrounding flowers really did respond.

The large marigold seem to be the Japanese beetles favorite flower next to the zinnias. Even though I have kept them killed daily their visiting the blooms really has cause the blooms to die. It is like they left a poisoness residue on them.

While at the old place yesterday I noticed many dead leaves in the yard that had been eaten by the beetle. I still had plenty of maple leaves on the trees but I also had a thick coating of eaten up leaves on the yard. My neighbor at the new place has a set of roses bushes out on the corner of our adjoining lots where the beetles showed up in a day and devoured the leaves from the roses.  I found them first and sprayed them and he returned later to spray them again.  I noticed them as I could see them having in my apparatus fonds.

I bought this for a few bucks a couple of weeks ago and it is now blooming for me. I had this variety at the old place and maybe moved some down but I am not certain.  It will  be great to see it blooming next summer.

The zinnias give me too many chances to get great photos.  I really don't get them all shared as I think I am saturating my blogs with them too much. If  you are a regular follower you know that I didn't have a single zinnia growing anywhere last year.  It is like a kid getting to have candy after a year's wait.

There are normal Saturday things to do for today.  I am glad to have a day off from working on the old house. My body definitely tells me I am too old for the kind of work that I am doing.  I wish everyone well and to have a great weekend.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Final Day of the WEEK.....

The old house is getting a new roof.  It was getting to be time to be done , whether we sell it or not it. I think it will be better to have a good looking set of shingles on top. Our pastor friend wants us to turn it into a museum of history but I just smile at him and shake my head no.

A paint job will be next on the agenda once all the siding is ready to be painted.  I am having to do some fixing of some bad, worn our siding before I think about calling the painters. I am running into some trim work that I have to get done while the shingle guy works on the other side. It will be nice to have the exterior all caught up in appearance and then we can focus on the insides a little bit.

My wife's studio is up and working well for her. She does think it is a better fit for her than the one at the old house. The flooring is great for quick cleanup and the double windows seem to be adequate for good natural lighting. An artist always has a couple of lamps hanging around over the drawing table anyway.

My parents loved having New Guinea impatient plants in a hanging planter every summer.  I bought one for the memory of them.  I found a quality of clay pots in the basement that had paint on them.  I see it is popular to show off antique clay pots so I had to join in with the fad. They are kind of neat but I would not pay big bucks for them just because they were old and painted. This New Guinea has to be watered every single day.  If I miss one day I have to take three days to get it back to looking good again.  They wilt down in the hots sun so easily.  I think my parents hung their impatient planter under an eave of the house so it was always in shade and close to the garden hoses.
This is  my blurry picture of a project that I just can't seem to get finished. I made it out of white laminate shelving that were extras from my wife studio cabinet. It was difficult to get a perfect fit but it did turn out pretty good.  I have some rough edges that I will have to paint.  The rollers are not on yet.  I ended up calking the top piece down to the cupboard just like they do when they attach counter top.  I didn't want to sink any nails through the smooth white top of the cabinet. Maybe wheels will go on today.
We met with a missionary couple for  a meal out last night.  They are on furlough and spend a lot of time visiting friends who they have know in our church for a long time.  They meet with those too who are contributing to their work to give them feedback of the progress of the work.

Swaziland is the country in Africa in which they are working for Childern's Cup Missionary.  Jerry and Karen have been there for ten years now and will return for another year in a few weeks.  One of the gifts that they gave us it this wonderful wooden bowl.  It has some zebra graphics inside of it, decoupaged I think.  Things like this ware made and sold to help with the people of the county who need work. One time they gave us a hand carved lion, made out of native wood that I could not recognize.

Thank you for stopping by today.  It is Friday and I am ready to take some time off for a change

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Good night.....

It is an impression of the moon that we saw Wednesday night.  It looked like this only better on someone else's blog but I won't steal it to show you. I have had too busy of a day to blog today but maybe tomorrow I will be back.  Have a good Thursday night's sleep.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

As the World Turns.......

The moon was among the clouds last night peeking through with a lot of bright light.  I was surprised to see it still up there this morning but located closer to the western horizon.

The sunrises at the opposite end of the earth  is giving me a true pink sky. I guess I should buy a three story house so I can see more of the horizon.

I shared on my other photo blog of the surprising bloom on my back patio post.  It is a volunteer vine that didn't show up until a few weeks ago.  One bloom a day so far but maybe today I will have two blooms at the same time.

My Minnesota rock sits on the table as a decoration from nature. The sculpture is suppose to be hung but it hasn't been done yet.  It may just stay there until winter.

I am headed to the old house today to check in on the start of the shingling job going on there.  The heat wave slowed down the roofing company so they are a few weeks late getting started.  I will be glad that in two days the old house will have a respectable-looking good roof. I still have a building project going on in the basement.  I am making an art taboret from some leftover shelves of an art cabinet.  There were more shelves than needed to store my wife's artwork so I had to make something with them.  They shelves were laminate white and will work good enough to make me a work station next to my drawing table.  Photos will come soon as I am close to being done with it. We will be running an errand this afternoon and stop by for "free pie" day at Baker's Square. Life really is good when the pie is free.

Thanks for checking in today.  I hope all is well with my blog friends. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Reach for the Sky....

The sunflowers keep growing and eventually we will see buds and blooms.  They were planted late but there seems to be plenty of season left for them to bloom.

The variety is called "mammoth" and they really do get large.  I will dread getting rid of the debris after if freezes, as now I live in a tighter, restricted city. I could have burned them at the old place. I will have to saw the stems up into two foot pieces and send off to recycle or garbage.

When we moved, we tried to keep track of everything by labelling boxes. My wife's art easel was taken completely apart by me and now I need to put it back together.  I had to look up the item on the internet to get a visual of what I was doing.  I ended up, with my wife's help, got it all together.

It really does look good again and all the joints are tightened up more than in the past. It doesn't wobble as much. Two of the vertical boards did end up being switched but they are the exact same board. One can see the wear and tear on the connection now with them switched.

This is a squash boom as I have seen yellow and green squash on the vine.  I have never grown or eaten any of that variety but I bet they all taste the same. Bake it in the oven with brown sugar and butter and it tastes really good.

More projects seem to pop up as others are finished. I have a small building project of using recycle wood to make and artist taboret. I don't have a pattern so I have to figure it out as I go along.  We are having a pleasant day today.  Thank you for stopping in today.