Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cariboo and Buffalo

We have returned from our trip to see my folks in Dease Lake, B.C., which is about a 100 miles south of the B.C. and Yukon border. We normally take Highway 37 north but this time Gerry wanted a change of scenery so we took the Alaska Highway from Fort St. John to Watson Lake and then cut off onto Highway 37. It was a long drive, took us 2 1/2 days to get there but we did get to see some wildlife along the way, through Summit Pass we were so high we were above the clouds and there were Caribou (or Cariboo as the Canucks spell it) on the road, had to honk at them a couple of times to get them to move. Saw some Stone Sheep and 4 small herds of Buffalo, I guess someone brought some up back in the day and now they wander on their own. Gerry took a dip in the Liard Hot Springs, I don't do enclosed public bathing areas of ANY sort so I just took in the scenery, dousing myself in "people soup" is not my thing...yes, as a matter of fact I am a Princess, but I'm OK with that.

The Alaska Highway itself was not in the greatest shape, there was a fair amount of construction going on & lots of natural gas and oil drilling camps along the way. We had the camper with us, the RV parks were all closed so the stayed in Walmart parking lots there and back, I guess we can consider that training for our senior years when we have a big diesel pusher and do our "Tour of America, Courtesy of Walmart".

The cats fared very well, thanks to the excellent care they received from their Uncle Mike McMullen, I do owe him hugely for the messes I know he had to take care of. They are happy to have the regular wait staff/servants back and have been very clingy.

Spent the day in the studio today, getting more of my CD collection into iTunes, we listened to the entire contents of my iPod on the trip, 2500 miles and 1000 songs, need some fresh tunes. I don't mind country music (Gerry likes it), but I need to listen to something now where the wife comes back and dog doesn't die. Also played around with some new stencils and spray inks I had purchased before we left.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Attention Cat and Dog People!

Check out this amazing site, just answer a trivia question (right or wrong) and these folks will donate free kibble to animal shelters.

I put their badge on my blog, if you have a site or blog please help these shelter animals by adding the badge to your page.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Encaustic Collage

The Sparrow's Nest retreat was great fun, many wonderful pieces of art were created and some who thought they were not artist's realized that they actually were. Huge kudo's to Sherri and Tracy, who worked incredibly hard to make that event the success that it was. My teaching portion was making encaustic collage pieces, I had so much fun with them that I came home and made some more! The technique is simple, you collage onto a hard surface, in this case I used panel board. Fortunately Gerry had been covering the inside of his shop walls with panel board and there were lots of end pieces left, he and our good friend Mike were kind enough to cut them into my desired sizes and now I have a huge stack for future encaustic projects.

After collaging you brush encaustic medium (refined beeswax already mixed with damar resin) over the collage and fuse the medium to meld the brush marks together. I put a thin layer of gel medium over the collage to prevent the paper from darkening too much. While the wax is still warm but not mushy you can make a toner transfer of an image of your choice. Finishing touches are buttons, rhinestones, glitter and foil tracings.

I have at least 40 more boards stacked up under the desk ready to be worked with so I foresee more of these coming in the future.

The final major home improvement project of the year has been completed, concreting in front of the shop, garage and pad where the camper sits. It was a major project, but looks great, Gerry says he can't wait to wash his cars on his nice new driveway instead of in the gravel and dirt. Behold the awesomeness of Gerry's New Manly Driveway.....

It is very nice not having all that dirt tracked into the garage and then into the house.

Felines are doing good, Dana had to go the V.E.T this morning to have her butt glands expressed, totally NOT fun. I told her the night before she was going in the Magic Box to the Special Kitty Spa for her Treatment, but she's not stupid and she knew darn well she was going in the Evil Kitty Carrier to the Bad Place, where the Not Nice Man with the Rubber Glove messes around with her Patootie. She was super ticked off when she got home, she kept hissing at me, her brother and imaginary things I could not see. There has been liberal application of cat treats to take the edge off.