Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where did the time go?

The weather has been very nice lately and I've been outside - starved for some sunshine and warmth! It is only a bit warm directly in the sun or if you are really working out there, but I don't turn into a popsicle in just 5 minutes, so outside a bit everyday to absorb some vitamin D...

Dale and his daughter came down and stacked ALL the wood. He want to get another trailer load for me and then he'll be happy! Yeah, me too...

I will be beading hat bands for the next Black Powder Shoot on April 23, 24 and 25. I have been perusing the internet for patterns, whole or in pieces parts that I can put together to make my own, or just ideas to make my own. I have two patterns, one head band and working on my second.

The beading is finished on the one above, but I need the leather ends and ties. This will be good for young girl or teenager with the purple-ish beads. The pattern will be made again in rust, charcoal, gray and white - I think that would appeal to a rough mountain man a lot better!

The next pattern is put together from pieces-parts of many patterns. The background color on the pattern is blue and the beads used are a turquoise.

I am much further along than what the picture shows. I'd like to get it done in the next 2 days, but we'll see how my back handles sitting hunched over for long periods of time. The beading process is meditative as long as I don't have to let a cat in or let a cat out or the dog, or a cat/cat fight or a dog/cat chase ... it does give my back a break when I have to get up, but I don't want to get up every five minutes - 1/2 to 1 hour is good!!

You can see the beginning of the pattern above and compare it to the pic of the beaded work. I make my patterns using an excel spreadsheet with the color fill function! I make the cells 1 pixel wide by 10 pixels high - makes a near perfect square. I then use the fill function to get the colors in place - much easier than graph paper and colored pencils!!!

There are 15 beads (length) to the inch, so that tells you how many beads I'm using to get 18-10 inches of hat band!

The pattern making / "putting pattern together" takes quite a bit of time. I'm never sure I have things just where I want them, or should this go there, or maybe change colors there ... I can drive myself nuts with this "maybe" and "what-if" thing. I need to just do what comes up first. I want my work to be very nice and professional, but do I really need to agonize over the placement of every bead when I'm dealing with 3,300 beads!!!!

Back to beading, I need inventory ... and I need it now!!! I will keep you posted as I progress with more hat bands or whatever else I do.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Let's try 'er agin ... Early wood cutting

I think it's working, I think it will be a go. Woo Hoo!!

I have no pictures of the actual bucking and splitting, buy you all know it for what it is - WORK! A friend of Dale's brother is letting us onto his property to scavenge the piles of downed Juniper for usable firewood. It is a private ranch not more than 5-6 miles from our house. The gentleman is having a lot of trees removed to make room for future pasture for his cows. There is every size of wood you could want and a lot of brushy stuff too. Dale brought the splitter along, so all the mess was left there!

My poor little (Ha!) Jeep has lost her home for a few days. There has to be someplace to keep the wood dry in case of a rain storm.

Doesn't really look like a lot, but that starter stack just to the left of the blue tarp, was from this load too. There are 2 pick up loads laying there. Might not look like a big deal - until you start stacking it ... Don't forget that the small stuff that doesn't have to be split was just laying where they cut it, so we had to walk around cow sh*t and over lots of branches to get to it... slipping in the mud.

All those stacked rounds come to about 2' tall.

Oh goody! Two more really full pick up loads later. I have to stack it ... in the wood shed as this stuff is ready to burn. Wonderful, wonderful Juniper - burns long and hot!! Last year we did not get our first cutting until August! This year we are way, way ahead of the game as this is for 2010-11 winter. There will be two more trailer loads coming within the month. This trailer is 8x10 feet with sides 2 feet high. Two of those, and I will have some wood left over for 2011-12!!!

There is a bit of punky wood under the blue tarp and some horribly distorted pieces under the green tarp (4'x6'x2 ricks). We will now also have enough to grab some to take camping. Can't camp without a fire now can we?? Summer evenings can be cool by the lake ...

Ok, I need to go to the PO, store, and then come home and start stacking for today. Don't know how much will get done, but some will.

I'm sure you've had enough of my ramblings about firewood, but it is just so exciting to know you won't freeze your butt off next winter!!!

Hugs to you all