Archive for October, 2007

ATC’s

For those who don’t know, ATC is short for Artist Trading Card. These are small baseball card sized pieces of art that artists trade with one another. They are meant for trading and not for sale. Each one is unique and different even though they may follow a theme. They are quick, fun, and may be simple or elaborate.

I have come to know of them through QuiltArt, an online discussion group for art quilters and textile artists. Most of the ATC’s that I’ve traded with other artists are fabric based, though I have several that are paper or mixed media. So imagine my delight when we went to a local craft show recently and there was a lady there selling her photographs. They were all beautifully framed and lovely. What really caught my eye though was a little display rack on the table in front that said “Free. One per person”. She was giving away artist trading cards. Each one was a small photograph mounted on heavy weight paper and signed by the artist on the back. I was intrigued by some of her subject matter and the one I chose was a close-up of leaf veins with light coming from behind. The dark veins are silhouetted against a brilliant red and yellow field.

Artist Trading CardsWe had a lovely discussion about ATC’s and I told her I might just send her one in return. She “made” the craft show for me and I cherish my wonderful leaf. So I set about making some cards that I could trade, little landscapes like I have been using on my postcards. But when I looked on the back of her card, there is only an address to her photo files and no contact info. Alas, I’ll need to do a little more research before I can send her a card.

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I’m “it”.

Some time ago I was “tagged by Lesley. The idea was to list 6 of my unique traits (actually, she said idiosyncrasies) and then tag 6 other bloggers to do the same. I never published my list because I didn’t really know other bloggers to tag in return. Well, it seems that I’ve been tagged again , this time by Jane Davila and her tag requests 7 random facts. So I’ve decided to participate this time, even though I still don’t really know many bloggers. I read any number of blogs that are posted on the QuiltArt list, but I don’t know those people well enough to feel free to tag them. So here’s my list:

1. I like frogs (and lots of other crawly things). My two pets are frogs: Malachi and Clawdia, African clawed frogs who live in a little aquarium on my kitchen counter.

2. I sometimes catch flies and other insects for said pets.

3. My husband married me in spite of the box of rocks that came in the deal. (Well, maybe I forgot to mention it.) That box has moved with us each time we’ve relocated over the last 31 years. It contains specimens that I’ve found and they’ve come in handy on several occasions while substitute teaching in earth science. I’ve culled a few but I still have the ones I couldn’t part with.

4. Three years ago I ran a marathon – in Honolulu, no less. This is not particularly unusual, but I’m proud of it so it makes the list.

5. I’ve always thought it would be cool to be a park ranger. If I could lead two parallel lives, I might pursue that path.

6. I don’t like coffee.

7. My morning wake-up routine includes cereal, a sudoku, a crossword puzzle and a cryptogram.


Blog Birthday

It’s been one year since I started to blog. Who would’ve thought I’d still be at it, especially since I’m not a big writer with lots to say? It has been a fun exercise and I don’t plan to quit just yet. Mountain Vistas has been a wonderful vehicle for keeping in touch with family and friends and a great place to share my life, my art and my photos of things that inspire me and illustrate the narrative.

Thank you, readers, for visiting, especially those of you who have left a comment. It’s nice to know that people are checking in.

My Fall Garden

Here’s a sample of color from the garden: Maple leaves, Ligularia, Rudbekia, Aster, Winterberry, and Daylily

Maple leavesLigularia

Rudbekiaaster

WinterberryDaylily

“Class” Sock

class sockRecently I mentioned that I’m starting to knit a pair of socks. I bought a book recommended by the sock diva at the yarn shop where I work. In the book, the author includes instruction for a small basic sock that she teaches in a class, hence the name class sock. I decided it would be a good place to start before I set into the real thing. So with scrap yarn, I completed this sample. It went together fairly easily, even though I have a hole where the heel flap meets the sole (You can’t see this in the photo of course. It’s on the other side.) and I need some practice with the kitchener stitch which joins the top of the sock to the bottom at the toe. But I’m proud that I was able to fix a mistake I made in the ribbing and at least I have a pretty good idea what to expect when I knit the next one. I plan to use bamboo yarn in a variegated blue – so soft and supposed to be durable. I’ll post pix when I’m done.

Work days

We’ve been saving some tasks for when we have help, you know, the young, strong type of help. Our son and his girlfriend arrived last weekend. The idea was to chip the large pile of branches from all the trees we took down. I called the rental place several days ahead as they had suggested. No chipper available. Someone had rented it for a month! We could maybe get it for the day James was supposed to leave. So on to plan B.

We had had our chain saw tuned up and ready to go so we could cut up all those tree trunks we saved into log lengths, ready for splitting so we wouldn’t have to buy firewood for next year. The saw lasted a half day before refusing to start again. We had no new spark plug on hand nor the right tools for even getting the plug out. I’ll be taking the saw to Rutland for more work. On to plan C.

vegetable gardenThe excavator had left us a nice big pile of top soil so we could make a raised bed vegetable garden. We fired up the tractor, attached the front end loader and scraped away the grass. Under that innocent layer of green lurked rocks – BIG rocks and lots of them. We spent a couple hours digging those out and made a good sized pile to the side. We had thought that we would use lumber to raise the bed, but after taking in the size of the rock pile, we decided that we could build the sides up with a rock wall. Yes, insanity had set in by now. While I started on laying the rocks, James began moving the dirt. By mid afternoon we had a lovely bed all ready for vegetable planting in the spring. Hooray, something went off without a hitch. And yes, 95% of those rocks came from that little 20’x30′ plot!

The next task was removing an old TV antenna from the roof. Now that we have a dish, we don’t need it anymore – it received all of 4 stations. James – such a good son – climbed up on the pointy peak and removed said antenna with the help of dad sending up encouragement and tools as needed. Another job completed.

stage twoBut it wasn’t all work. We celebrated Roger’s birthday too and on Sunday we decided to try some geocacheing in the neighborhood. The first one was a multi-chache – a series of three. The first one leads you to the second which leads you to the third. We came close to giving up on the second one – we thought we had looked everywhere possible (hint: When this happens, switch looking to a different plane). But we eventually found them all – actually Ellie found them all, and she’s never been geocacheing before. We were struggling a little with learning how to use the new GPS unit – it’s tricky in the woods. We had the granddog with us, and after a little swim in the stream for her, we headed out to the second hunt for the day. This one took us to the top of Mt Okemo.

view from Okemo fire towerJames and Ellie atop the Okemo fire tower

While we were up there we decided to climb the fire tower since it was a fabulous fall Vermont day. The view from the top was spectacular (yes, we could see Mt Washington) and well worth the trip. Oh, and did I mention that Ellie found this cache too? I think it was all the excellent directions we were giving her. Or maybe it was just her eagle eye.

Progress 21 -goodbye ghetto garage

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about our construction. The painters are here as I type. They finally figured out how much acid to use to scarify the concrete so they could put down the epoxy based paint with some assurance that it would indeed stick. The third time was a charm, putting the acid down full strength instead of diluted like most of the instructions recommended. It’s going to look very nice but we have to wait for two coats and a long period of time before we can park on it. But, it’s been a year since we started this project. Another week or two won’t hurt.

ghetto garageThe excavators are long gone having prepped the driveway for paving as their final task on the way out. To do that, we needed to empty the temporary garage we had erected in the driveway to house all the stuff we had stored in the horse barn that we took down for the new construction. Our son James lovingly dubbed it the ghetto garage but it served our purpose well, even in the snow. We offered it to our builder to house the sand he spreads in the winter and he came with his trailer to haul it away. Fortunately he only needed to go about 2.5 miles on our narrow dirt roads. He had one of his workers precede him down the hill since he was a pretty wide load. There’s not too much traffic on our road and he only met one car, which kindly pulled into a driveway to let him pass. What a sight he was and a good thing it wasn’t windy.


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