Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Art at Home entry

We love it when customers and friends sort of blend together. Sometimes old friends decide they need some of our work to grace their home... we are honored. Sometimes total strangers walk up to the booth, and become friends. A very nice couple bought the two dancers above, but with the impending birth of their daughter, Dad felt a bit left out I think. He contacted us for a third figure. He claimed to not be a dancer, so he picked the guy on the right above. Their daughter has been born - I think she is about 10 days old now? She will grow up with our work in her home, and she and my mom share the same first name. I think there will be a lot of dancing in this house --- Dad may need to learn some steps!

Monday, September 29, 2008

New uses for old space

For about 30 years, The Toycrafter made toys in this room. It was several different things over the years we had this space, but mostly this was the print shop where we pad printed a few million toys - yes - really a few million over the years. We even pad printed easter eggs for the White House Easter Egg Roll for a few years. Before that, John Habersett made wonderful trivets, puppets, and turned wooden vases in this room. Before that, Beechnut Foods made various kinds of canned goods here.

It is now the studio/practice space for a band --- The Edge of Jupiter. In a closed space like this, they are very loud.... they were quite pleased when I told them they were louder than the CNC routers we used to run. Loud as it was, I found the music quite interesting. A check of their web site revealed that they have three albums, and all of their music is available on the web for listening or download. Go check them out!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

You've probably seen this image before. It is my favorite picture of us. 23 years! That's all I need to say besides of course "I love you, Cheryl".

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Yard Tree

Yard trees are trees that no self respecting sawmill will tackle to make lumber. Growing in the yard means they may have nails, clothesline pulleys, fencing, etc. embedded in them. Sawmill operators don't like that because such things can take out individual saw teeth, or sometimes the whole blade! This one was huge. Located in an old city neighborhood near our studio, it reached probably 100 feet or more. Somebody will haul away these huge trimmings, hopefully to a place where they can rot and go back to mother earth to nourish more trees!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tomato Sprouts?

This tomato seemed odd from the beginning. I bought it about 6 weeks ago - almost ripe, it should have ripened in a couple of days, but it stayed pretty much exactly in the same semi-ripe state until tonight, when I gave up and sliced into it for inclusion in our dinner. Imagine my surprise when I saw tiny tomato seeds growing inside! Maybe this is not unusual, but it sure surprised me. Like always, I must experiment, and see if I can get these to grow through the winter? Maybe I can get a couple to grow and get Dad to put one of them under his grow lite.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Honey in the making

While I love my sunflower/daisies, they are clearly also loved by the local honey bees. While not full sized sunflowers, they are quite large among the blossoms of late September/October, and are undoubtedly a treasure trove of pollen and nectar. A look at those huge pollen bundles on the rear legs of this lucky hunter - detail below - is proof of that! Also click on both pictures for a bigger view! Notice the shadow of the bee's wing on the yellow flower in the lower middle! - bottom detail picture.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And I complain about having to get my hip repaired?

I talked about my friend Dave Halter the other day. Just in case you were skeptical about my story of a 72 year old one legged contractor ----- here he is --- on the roof. Almost done with the basic replacement of about two thirds of the deck boards, and about a quarter of the structure below. I've got a feeling this roof will last longer than the original! There was evidence of about 15 layers of roofing, and at least two other times that large portions of the deck and structure had been replaced. Dave has had about two thirds of his left leg replaced - about 2 years ago, and while most folks would consider this a chance to sit back and relax, and perhaps complain quite a bit, Dave is up there on my roof hammering away at what he does best! He did take an afternoon off last week ------- to go canoeing!

I think I'll just go ahead and get that messed up hip joint of mine replaced, and go on making stuff! Sitting on a roof looks like a lot more fun than sitting in an easy chair!
Thanks Dave --- for the roof and for the lessons!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A little bit of history?

While cleaning out the old office space that used to be occupied by The Toycrafter, the guy doing the work found the above picture, and passed it on to me. A lot of thinking ensued about where this could have been taken. I've been doing my spinning top show for a great many years, and this show is being done on a wooden table I built with a green cloth hanging around it. For a long time I have used a Sears rolling tool chest to carry the tops and to demonstrate tops on, so this rig is pretty early. I didn't recognize the location, or any of the people. Since I'm not really good at labeling pictures, I never looked at the back until Cheryl pointed to it! The picture was probably taken by my old friend Jim LaVilla Havelin, who at the time the picture was taken was the head honcho at the Cleveland Children's Museum.... being more organized than myself, he had labeled the back.... no date though, but a search of an information recording program that I have used for years, revealed that I sent Jim a note in late 1993. So that would make me 47 in the picture!

I'm impressed that Jim actually has a Wikipedia entry! He is currently the Director of Young Artist Programs at the Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio, Texas!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Long wait

A few years ago I bought what I thought was going to be some sunflower plants. Expecting some small potted plants, I got a couple of bags of dirt that had some pretty much dead looking roots mixed in. I figured I'd been had by the internet garden sales folks, but after finding one tiny (and I do mean tiny) green spot on one of the roots, I stuck them in the ground - basically figuring it couldn't hurt? While these small flowers ( on very tall stems) don't appear till around mid September, they are very nice, and as the sort of last hurrah for the season, they are quite welcome. That little bag of dirt and roots, will produce over 50 of these beauties this season if the frost holds off. If past experience holds, there will be over 100 next year! This is fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


A lone snail on my orchid cactus. Not as many snails this summer... Last summer I talked about the dozens of snails that climbed the large thistle in our yard, wending their way through hundreds of spines in quest of something higher? Not so many this summer, but this one found it's way about 5 feet off the ground in a hanging plant?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blue Light

Spotted an odd blue light on the branch of the lilac bush. Lots of other bright blue areas too. A nice side effect of some of our blue bottles on one of our bottle trees! Got to be there at just the right moment in the sun's arch.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dad's Green Thumb

Not sure what he feeds them, but these Canna Lilies definitely did very well.
The cherry tomatoes look good too --- they taste even better!
And a wide variety of gourds climb the fence, and way up into the top of the bush!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sensitive Blossoms

The Sensitive plant is very cool --- fern like leaves fold up before your eyes - the stems even fold downward! They fold up at dusk every nite, and move quickly if you touch or even blow on them! I never saw the one at my grandparent's house blossom, but mine is putting out lots of these tiny little puffs of pink -- today there are actually two of them! Not sure how fast they come out, but there they are each morning, and they are gone (or at least very bedraggled) by evening!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Maya Wednesday

Maya at the playground! She seems to love it, and her grandparents do too! Video on the swings below! Click to enlarge as usual (not the video of course) Click on the Picassa link (then click on the Maya album) to the right for more Maya at the playground stuff!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Garage progress??????????

We had our garage re-roofed not long after we bought this place, but leaking began again not long after, and we put off repairs too long! Turns out we had about 15 layers of roofing on there, including somebody putting another whole layer of plywood over about 12 layers and then going on from there???? All the layers trapped moisture, and a lot of the garage tried to return to nature via the rotting process. Dave Halter (of Dad's new porch fame) and a helper are doing the work.... can't wait to get the bill? Did I mention that Dave is 72 years old (give or take a few) and has one good leg, and another one made of plastic, metal, and other miscellaneous stuff. The other day he asked if I had a screwdriver around to put his "kneecap" back on. It gives me the willys to watch him go up and down the ladder --- I make it a part of my daily schedule to not be here at the beginning and end of his day on the roof! I'll post pics of the results later, and maybe a pic of Dave and his cool leg!

Another tree behind the booth!

Again not sure what kind of tree this is --- sort of a pretty big "weeping" something. Very cool curves!

Monday, September 08, 2008

This one's for Anne

Not sure what kind of tree this is. Looks like an evergreen, with some pretty odd "pine cones"? The really odd thing is that only one branch seemed to have these.... might even be a seperate tree? This seemed like it might be a seperate trunk arising at an angle from the base? Whatever it is, it is very interesting. Oh --- this was right behind our booth this weekend.... I'll post a picture of another tree behind the booth tomorrow. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


A cold (for September) weekend, cloudy, threatening rain. Not a lot of actual rain, but enough to make the tents wet for teardown. The pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow did not seem to be at the show, but we did OK. The rainbow made folding up the wet tents a bit more tolerable --- I hope the feeling lasts through tomorrow when we have to set the tents up in the back yard to dry!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Some new figures from Louise's Daughter. Cheryl's Dad used to call her "Legs" in honor of her long skinny legs. These figures seem to capture that youthful skinny legged girl, full of energy and excitment.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Exciting Day

My neice! First day at Phillips Exeter Academy! How cool!

I'll get out of the family rut soon?????? but I love them all.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Barbasol - after and before

I love this shot --- I thought I was going to Atlanta, NY to photograph the wind turbines, but my best shot was at my feet! Click to blow it up bigger --- I love the shiny stone that looks so brand new against the rusty crushed can.

I didn't even know Barbasol was still around ---- of course I haven't shaved in 40 years!

Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma

My Mom, Dad's Wife, Casey's Grandma, Maya's Great Grandmother - WOW!

Monday, September 01, 2008

First Day

The traditional "first day of school" picture can't happen on the actual first day this year. Maeve is off to Exeter for her senior year ----- Wyatt off to High School, but still at home. Probably there is some internet magic thing that could take a combined picture of Exeter, NY and Cohocton, NY, but we don't have it, so here is sister and brother in Rochester, just before Maeve and Anne take off for NH. We wish all the best to Maeve, to Wyatt, and to Anne! They all face life missing one of the major daily components of the past 14 + years.

We love you!
Just a reminder - as almost always - click on image to enlarge.