Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beautiful Stonework Cross

This Chimney was crafted by the same couple who's Bear Paw design we borrowed for the sunburst stone base we used for our wood stove (see earlier post). It's quite large and very impressive when seen in person. The special creative touches lend a meaningful aire to the stonework pattern. Notice the stakes representing those that pierced Jesus' hands and feet, and even a rusted barbed wire wreath to signify the crown of thorns that was placed on his head...

They have built many outdoor stone walls and fences, a large porch and the inside fireplace as well. Seeing their projects inspired us to try it for ourselves and we've found it very rewarding and enjoyable, yet tiring, work. We hope to plan more stone structures ourselves. 

“The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Visitors

Suddenly it seems Dragonflies have come up the hill from the stream near my Studio and are descending on our main Cabin area. They are all over, where we seldom noticed them before. All different kinds and sizes. This large one, about 3" inches in length, got trapped in the cabin and made a loud ruckus in the window until I rescued it by placing a scrap of wood near it until it landed on it and then slowly transferred it outside. Upon investigation into Autumn behavior of Dragonflies I've found that they migrate much as songbirds do. Apparently migrating every couple of days, while resting in between or on windier days, and then moving south again. I read that they migrate only in the day after two nights of successively lower temperatures. I guess I'd never thought about what happened to them as winter approached. I found it interesting reading and assume that their visit to our cabin must have been their first push to the south. Though they may have been visitors from other parts, since our stream is south of our cabin. Perhaps they have spent the summer on the ponds just over the rise north of us. 
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.
~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon

The Dragon Fly

In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs. They could not understand why none of their group came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water.

They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to her.

Soon, one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface. She rested on top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation that made her a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain she tried to keep her promise - flying back and forth over the pond. She peered down at her loved ones below.

Then she realised, even if they could see her they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number.

The fact that we cannot see our loved ones or communicate with them after the transformation, which we call death is no proof they cease to exist. ~ Unknown

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stone Wall built for behind Woodstove

The rocks and mortar have been applied to the wall above the sunburst stone mosaic base (see earlier post) for the wood stove at our cabin. The rock used was native rock from our land, held in place with Thinset and then filled in between with mortar. It turned out great! Though we won't see the final result until tomorrow when the mortar has dried to a lighter color. Each time we complete one of our projects, my honey keeps saying that he and I are making our dreams come true...just what we have both always wanted... 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recycled Telephone Book Kite

Decorative Kite created from an old telephone book, with each page folded into 1/2 of a kite shape. Used pop cycle sticks were placed to look like a kite frame, and then added old wire with used plastic bag and marker tape pieces tied on for tails. There are actually 3 tails on this kite, which hang down in front of the window. But the sunlight is bright and the tails are only visible mostly at edge of window since these photos were taken with my cell phone. The body of the kite wasn't painted or colored, it is just patterned by the print on the pages of the phone book. I liked it that way because it reminds me of the kites my Dad used to make for me out of newspaper when I was a kid - they flew better than the regular store bought kites everyone used to have...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mayo Jars Reused

I'm saving mayonnaise jars to use as storage containers in my studio. To keep them organized and out of the way, I used two screws to fasten the lids to the ceiling above my workbench. The low ceiling is under the small loft, and I am situating the jars on the back side of the beams which support the loft floor. The above photos show them from the back, but from the front they are much less noticeable. Those shown are the small size jars, but larger jars work well too. Just unscrew the jar from the lid, to take it down and add or remove items and then screw it back up into the top when done with it. The clear plastic jars make it easy to see what is in them, and they are more or less air tight when closed. Great way to store odds and ends, and smaller items that could get misplaced easily. Keeps them near your workspace and right at your fingertips. Both inexpensive and a good way to recycle that plastic and help the environment. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tagged on #Creativity Daily

Happy to see that one of my recommended links on Twitter made it to be a top story for  #Creativity Daily. Comic Creativity appears in the Art & Entertainment Section at
Nice to know that someone besides me found the recommendation interesting, and enjoyed reading the linked article. Thanks #Creativity Daily I appreciate the added exposure!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunburst Pattern Stone Work

We decided to create a Sunburst Pattern in the stonework base for our wood stove at the cabin since the building was constructed in accordance with the sun's rise and set, the strategic views and for sunlight from southern facing windows. The sunburst is historically known to represent Truth And Light. The stove will be supported by the four bricks placed in the mortar at the back half of the base. There will eventually be a full stone wall behind the base and wood stove. The stone mosaic was made from native rocks gathered on our land, and was purposely constructed with a rustic rough style. The mosaic was laid out within a deep wooden base with support beams throughout and a false floor built a few inches deep for the heavy rock and mortar placement.    


We incorporated the Bear Paw design shown in the earlier post below as well as the ancient symbols of The Eternal Spiral Of Life And Nature, and Drops Of Change. These symbols were found in many different tribes and cultures and are represented here using more common materials that we had on hand, namely copper pennies and nails strung together with wire for use in a nail gun. The pennies are dated 2010, to reflect the year we began work on the cabin. These ancient spiritual symbols generally stand for the continuation of life's spirit and the ripples of change that affect life and nature. Our initials, the date that we bought the land and a few small shadow designs were also carved into the wet mortar. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bear Paw Design

We are in the process of doing the stonework for our wood stove at the cabin. We recently visited friends who had incorporated a bear paw design in their natural stone fireplace. They had created theirs from a small horseshoe, while using a second broken or cut horseshoe as the toe/claw marks. Which they inbedded into the wet mortar. We used things that we had readily on hand to recreate their idea. Part of an old tarnished muffler clamp and various sized rusty nails accomplished the look we were after. We actually included several bear 'prints' into the mortar between the rocks in the base platform for our wood stove. The Native American Bear Print Symbol stands for 'Good Omen'. A pleasing rustic touch to our overall design which will include the base and a full stone wall behind it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Wrap-Around Deck

Our Cabin is only one floor, but since it is built on a slope the deck we planned is mostly 12' off the ground. We designed the strong railing so that it is easy to see the view and watch the wildlife that wanders nearby. We wanted the look of a nature sanctuary, and facilitated this by using framed steel fencing in green, in place of a spindle construction. The color blends in beautifully with the surrounding foliage. And since this main deck is off the back wall of the bedroom on the East end of the cabin, it is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise while enjoying our morning coffee. We'll be able to enjoy the afternoon sun here, but by dinner time the sun has moved around to the other end of the building so that it is comfortable for our evening meal. We are very pleased with the way it turned out.
From the main deck there is a 4' wide walkway that wraps around the back side and opposite end of the cabin. This far corner, especially, has the feel of a tree house. The deck is wide enough to place a couple of folding chairs there among the close branches and take advantage of the cool shade they provide in summer. This deck also serves as an alternative escape route in case of fire or other emergency, since there is only one other door at ground level.  

Around the tree shrouded corner the deck spans the West end of the cabin and leads to what will be the closed in front porch. Built with storm windows all around and storm doors at the front and side porch entrances with an access door to the connecting deck, it will provide a screened in area when the windows are opened in warmer weather or a sun room in cooler temperatures with the windows closed. A perfect spot to watch the sunset any time of year. The enclosed area will surround the corner of the building nearest the front door and ground level windows, to discourage intrusion when we are not there. The rest of the deck and windows are in-accessible from the ground without a ladder. 

The closed in porch will be just to the left of this photo, with the door there to access the west end deck. We hope to eventually build a slightly lower level deck off of this side with a couple of steps leading down to a seating arrangement of built in benches surrounding a fire pit. A gate will be incorporated into the existing railing where the steps descend and the added deck would still be 8'-10' off the ground with the same style railing completely surrounding it so that possible access from the ground would be discouraged.