Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blessed be the ties

I woke up a few days ago with an idea. I remembered it later, and came up with the piece above. I've made 3 so far. It was sort of a surprise to see all the stuff inside a tie! I'm hoping after the fifty or so that threading the body/legs up (or down) through the tie will become easier?

We're off to see if we can sell some stuff this weekend ---- hope I can do some blogging this weekend too, but if not ---- see you next week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A new spirit in the air!

A customer goes home with an Obama Pin, and a one-of-a-kind "Spirits and Sparrows"

Reflected Sunlight

Perhaps the most spectacular light reflection shot I've gotten yet. Windows from an office building reflected onto the side of a parking garage. And those wonderful swirly patterns up at the top! Location - right across from our booth this of these days I'll post the ones that reflect off our studio building.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Drumming up business in Syracuse!

I've written about craft shows, and people's sense of ownership of their little 10x10 ft. piece of real estate and the conflicts that can arise, but this weekend, ownership of the air space became an issue. One of the joys of outdoor shows in particular, is the presence of entertainment. Some shows have particular locations with stages, etc. to present music. In Syracuse, NY this weekend, there was a wide variety of musicians, including some wandering minstrels, bagpipers, Morris dancers, Native American Dancers, belly dancers, and the above group of African drummers. While there were a couple of static location performances (the Native American dancers stayed in the food area for example - see last paragraph below the video), most of these groups wandered around, stopping here and there for a 10-15 minute presentation! Along with sunny weather (mostly), children's activities, and a lot of very nice customers, these entertainers made for a wonderful weekend. One folk singer utilized our stool in front of the booth to seranade us for several songs!

The exhibitor below however, seemed to find the entertainment a distraction from her ability to sell her wares, and in "no uncertain terms" told the drummers to leave. The young man listened politely - a woman from the audience gently guided her away - and the drumming continued. Video below.

Another conversation overheard among performers - I guess they have air space issues too! One of the Morris Dancers commented about the distant sound of drums from the Native American folks disturbing their performance -- Quote - "I guess they didn't scout out a place where they wouldn't disturb other performances like we did!" Replied another Morris Dancer - "They have been in that location for about 2 hours".

Monday, July 21, 2008

The other grandfather!

This guy is Maya's other grandfather! John Palmeri -- a great fellow, and I just love this picture! Maya has a truly remarkable bunch of relatives and friends!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Maya's Birthday

Of course Grandpa and Grandma had to make spinning tops for the birthday girl and guests! Greyson had a great time with his. And, if you have been following this blog for long, you've seen other pictures of our insect friends. The specimen below was not specifically invited, but seemed to enjoy the left over soda!
As always - click on pics above for a closer view!

Friday, July 18, 2008

You bet giraffe!

I've been a toymaker a long time, but I've never made very many one of a kind pieces. But ---- tomorrow Maya turns ONE! There will actually be two parties, and of course we made some tops for the events, but with a theme of giraffes, the above piece fits the bill, and lets grandpa start making toys for her!

Happy Birthday (early) Maya!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

World's Oldest Blogger passes on!

Olive Riley passed on a couple of days ago. 7 years older than Loretta Conwell, she loved to tell stories, sing, and enjoy life! Check out her blog - All About Olive - a very cool lady!

I will miss this remarkable young woman whom I never met!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another drugstore?

Years ago the empty lot on the right was home to a grocery store, with parking! Today there are almost no grocery stores in the city. Also, no car dealers, very few hardware stores, the list goes on. But there are a great many "drugstores". As I get older, I appreciate local drugstores more, but we really do have at least twice as many as necessary. Now if I could buy shoes, or clothes in the city, that would be great. The apartment building on the corner is being torn down this week.... it seems that what was adequate parking for a grocery store in the 1950's, is not adequate for the only drugstore within 5 blocks in the 2000's?

The crushed milk bottle on my dashboard (in the foreground)? A reminder to stop and get milk on the way home! If only there were a drugstore nearby?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where you least expect it?

While watering and working on my office plants the other day, I found these six very tiny snail shells. They are each about 1/8" across! How amazing is it that these little beings lived out their entire existence on the window sill in my office? Are their descendants still working their way slowly through the mini jungle that thrives in the morning sunlight? I'll have to find the time to look carefully..... how cool if I could find some live ones!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Enjoy July

The First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY is sponsoring a series of free summer concerts! The first one was tonight with bluegrass, etc. from Contranella. Three more to come! Jazz, Rockabilly, and Blues yet to come on Thursday nites in July. Bring a chair, a blanket, and a picnic, or a couple of bucks for lemonade and cookies!

Above a nice crowd, and below a much smaller audience member!

Also this weekend - a Blues and Barbeque festival, and and the Corn Hill Arts Festival.

We live in a pretty cool city!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Maya Wednesday

Maya wasn't too impressed when Grandpa Don threw a spinning top to the floor, but she found the string very fascinating! She spent about 10 minutes playing with it! She even knows how to carry stuff around now while crawling!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

And 100 years younger than Loretta!

Thanks to Dawn Knox for these pictures from the 4th of July at the Palmeri house!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Loretta Conwell - 101 and counting!

This woman will be 102 years old in September! She has lived through things that most of us have only read about. She remembers the first time she ever heard a radio broadcast, and she remembers that it was at a friends house, and she remembers the friends name, and she remembers what a strange experience it was to hear voices coming from a box, and she remembers not being able to shop in the fancy stores, and she remembers being able to buy the same coat from the window uptown at a much lower price downtown! And she remembers that when she finally got to go into that fancy store uptown, nobody would wait on her.

And I can imagine a world where no person anywhere could possibly see that wonderful face and not understand what God is all about! Thank you Loretta!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Old Friends

About 36 years ago, I worked my last day for anyone besides myself. I helped Chris and Ginny Gartlein work on their handmade house for one day! I had been running my own business for a while by then, but that day was the last time anyone paid me. I especially remember the floor in their wonderful home. Chris had been a woodworker for a while, and that floor was hand crafted from scraps left over from special jobs, boards milled from trees he had removed after storm damage, gifts from friends, etc. Chris knew exactly where every piece of that floor had come from.

Chris and Ginny gave me a plant that day. It was truly a quite ugly plant, but shortly after I got it home, it blossomed with a wonderfully large and beautiful blossom that was all the more remarkable for coming from that very plain place. Somehow over the intervening years, I only got it to blossom 3 more times. Always the hope of another blossom or two kept me from tossing it on the compost heap! The picture above shows the 4th time this plant has blossomed for me in 36 years! I am hopeful that I can get it to blossom more often now. Last winter - on the advice of a friend - I put the plant in our cool basement near a window with very little watering! This spring - two blossoms! The following quote from the web seems to agree with my assesment of this plant.

"The orchid cactus might be called the Cinderella of the garden world. Most of the year the plant, with disheveled, arched, trailing branches, is easy to ignore. But from February through June, magnificent flowers, some as large as 13 inches across, pop from the notched branches in brilliant shades of red, orange, violet, yellow and gold."

And, back to Chris and Ginny Gartlein, the cutting board I use everyday was made by Chris. Made in 1975 from a wide variety of woods, it has held up wonderfully.
A tiny split along one side has remained exactly the same size for many years ..... a truly beautifully made piece that reminds me of Chris and Ginny pretty much every day!