Sunday, August 28, 2011

Climbing the Sleeping Giant in Montana and never trust a Cowboy!

When you visit or drive through Helena Montana, as we do every year, the mountain range to the east is called the Sleeping Giant. This year we had the opportunity to get on to private family ranch land and hike up to his nose! Their are several family ranches next to each other, this one was built in 1900

Fannie Sperry Steel a famous woman bucking horse rider lived here, on my husbands families old Hilger's ranch

After passing through many gates, we find the final gate to get to our destination. We note a skeleton on the gate and wonder what it could be?
( a llama )

Enter cowboy Wes, he owns some of the land and informs us of the way there, or where that pesky trail could be.

Yup, its up there. He discovered an "easy" way up many many years ago after a night of drinking! So easy, and yet.......

First step, we jump a fence, we couldn't risk a spark from our truck starting a fire. There's a homestead built in 1908 after a big flood, a women homesteaded with 7 kids, I applaud her, it is many miles from town, they lived hard lives.

My son and daughter ready to find the trail, not knowing what lay ahead

Nicole paused and his face looks deceptively close

A skull tied to a tree with barbwire on the way.

Signs on the way, we didn't see any horses, but wild life is definitely around.

The climb up, and up and up. Our truck is just behind the black willows brought from Minnesota in 1860. It still amazes me to have direct descendants who know the history of the land. The trail was hard to find and very steep, shale rock. We soon realize that the "easy" hike was definitely done by horseback, and us pedestrians were feeling a little under prepared, pant pant.

( Hence, cowboys being so rugged are not always the best judges of distance or trail difficulty, but otherwise CAN be trusted! )

Uncle Gary enjoying the view of the Missouri river ( he'd rather be fishing for Walleye), that part is called the Gates to the Mountains, named by Lewis and Clark

My son Jason striking a triumphant pose at the top. There was an old bell at the top. A jar used to be there with a pen and paper to sign dating from the 1920's many names signed, it is now safely ensconced for a future family museum.

Nicole second guessing her decision to pose on a ledge for a photo op. Something about the big steep cliff under her!

Nicole and Uncle Gary showing how the hike turned into rock climbing.

Me on the way down, which was slow going

And finally my view of Dave who led the way, A great trip, short and sweet this year. I got a few more shots to share. He headed out the next morning on his motorcycle to Sturgiss and we headed home. Can't believe summer is fading, I'm still hanging on tight.

Lots of projects and deadlines heading into Fall!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Tale of two Globes & the Seattle Weekend Report...... or the one that got away

It started Thursday with a trip to Plucky Maidens @ Edgefiled with friends, so much good stuff.

Right off the bat. I spot a huge 24 inch Globe, it was metal on a very sturdy stainless steel stand and spun both vertically and horizontally, I was smitten but was cautious with the 78$ price tag, no discount...hmmm I decided to wait, if it was still there later I would get it, well it was gone. The gal selling said a guy snapped it up and mentioned they were rare had seen one priced much higher elsewhere.....
So much too see , and with full hands, I didn't get good shots of my shopping partners.
On to the next morning

We headed to Seattle for a 48 hour shopping and eating trip, and since Anthony Bourdain said Salumi is a place to eat before you die we didn't argue. There is always a long line and with very limited hours & closed on the weekend, it was our 1st stop . We were not disappointed...

Love the address & the mix of wood brick and metal.

For dinner, we were progressive and dined at The Palace and Dahlia's, with a night cap at the Hotel Monaco where we stayed. All was good, but I agree with anyone whose has had them, the hot sugar donuts with vanilla marscapone and apricot dipping sauce are a highlight....

On to pike place for breakfast, this mosaic mural caught my eye......

But I just hope this guy is not shaking the baby, or possibly the baby smells? and their in a hurry. Funny and odd, right up my alley

Nicole got the required flower bouquet, so many to choose from

This bee on the sunflower assured us of freshness

worthy of mention a slice of geoduck with melon from Dahlia

Back to Pike place, we again waited in a line, this time for the famous perogies, ours was stuffed with potato, mushroom and onion. we tried some cheeses at Beechers and had a hot donut, then to full to eat, had to pass on a recommended pastry time. Decided we were to tired to find Tilth for a late brunch instead went back to shopping

Day two: Ballard was our favorite area, having hit up Freemont and downtown the day before.

So much goodness, this little guy caught my eye

Spotted on the streets, a "City Witch" herbal ailments, it's good to know

Always captivated by the decor, Pink ceilings and paper pompoms

This store really captivated me "Curtis Steiner" antiques , but so much more, everything displayed so well, jewelry over vintage book pages, with a few fossils and coral mixed in.

Just a few modern pieces in the mix

A taxidermy owl watches over the proceedings, of old Milagros, select furniture & Santos

And then in the window, a special GLOBE, only $1200. identical to the one I had seen Thursday for $78 ( cue the tears), Alas the one that got away!!

We did manage a strawberry cupcake at Royale. And could not find the elusive Walrus and Carpenter restaurant, we'll find you next time, the Garmin be dammed. Got home late Sat

In time for a early Sunday ride with friends, to Detroit lake, the hottest day of the year.

I need a nap!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meet Juggling Girl, a wood sculpture how to

Just finished her yesterday, and delivered her to Guardino Gallery. She stands 22 inches tall and is carved from a solid piece of wood. She decided to wear a blue dress with yellow polka dots, and red boots are always in style

First she was sketched out

Then she was chiseled and chiseled to find just the right shape.

This process takes a lot of time . But it's worth the effort, finally seeing an image emerge from the wood.

Juggling girl didn't want me to mention, but she is wearing red underwear.
That matched her shoes.

I attached her arms separately so they would be movable, she raises her arms up

And then down, she's pretty good at juggling.

I'm still deciding if there will be more of the "girl" series. "Pet Bee Girl", "Bravo Girl" and "Heart in a Cage Girl" have all gone home with private collectors. I'm considerding other subjects....

Also keeping her company is Socrates, he measures 29 inches, his face is carved from a old tool, and his body is fashioned from found objects.

He insisted on wearing his hat for the photo

I held him up to take a bow, I still may string him like a puppet so he could either hang from a hook, but for now he sits. I wasn't quite ready to part with him. So on to some more carvings......

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to make a Puppet !

Zippy is a 38 inch marionette, you can kind of make out the eye hook on his top hat, tied to another eye hook on a stick and then again on at his shoulder.......

Here's a closeup of the two new guys I talked about, in the last post , "Zippy" and "Mr. Sparkles"respectively
Zippy can also sit independently. The sticks he can hang from are at his side.

Mr. Sparkles isn't a puppet. I mounted his carved head on a old tool box
but since I made them at the same time,
I didn't want him to feel left out

They started as a old wood fishing float and a large finial respectively, I carved them with both knives and a power carver to shape . I have some inspirational photos out.

I then started painting them a off white color. For Zippy's nose I doweled and glued in a old green handle for his nose

I put the bright white on their eyes and teeth, and fill in some red for their lips and features. I dry brush their faces leaving some of the wood expose, don't want them to look to new and loose that vintage/ creepy factor.

I audition various items from my wood scraps, in this case, table legs, baseball bats, drumsticks etc. for limbs, and figure out what will look good, just eyeballing what seems to work, not worrying to much about scale, which I think is more interesting

Having chosen a body and legs, I then carve out a niche for the legs to sit in, that way when bent he can either sit upright by himself or hang.

I keep checking to make sure the legs sit nicely and carve out till they fit in flush when sitting.

I then drill a hole through both his body and arms, a hole the same size as the wire, to thread through. I roll the ends with a pliers to hold in place.

I do the same for the legs. Drill a hole in the legs and body. Here you may notice his hat, a cut table leg, that I will stain to unify the color where the cut was.

He's starting to come together

A close up of threading the wire in the leg.

Here is Mr. Sparkles, I'm working on his accessories.

Mr. sparkles head was then but on a tool box and two staggered wood pieces

I build up the box with old moldings and if you go back to the 2ND photo I added old mirrors and wood cut stars for a little pizazz. These can currently be seen HERE @ Flutter until Sept. 9Th.

......Next up some vacay pics from Montana