Friday, November 30, 2007


Things are chuggin along on my latest project. The tree panels take about three days each to complete, and sometimes this sort of production work gets , well...boring. I'm standing there waiting for a piece of steel to heat. I'm staring into the fire, listening to the roar of the blower. It is almost trance inducing. That's when I feel the urge to draw, or doodle on my work table. Or the floor of the shop using a piece of soapstone chalk.
Usually it's birds, horses, trees, little scenes from nature.
Like the wolf over there on the left.
So I think that the waiting trance opens up my mind to being able to just draw. Without any self criticism, or worry "it's not good". My chattering left brain shuts up long enough to let the creative right side have at it.
Sometimes when I sit at my drawing table with a fresh sheet of paper laid out before me, I choke up. Mind foes blank, I get fidgity, can't come up with a thing.
I once read that this was called "Fear of the white page", something artists and writers both experience, it seems to be a part of the creative process. Pain in the butt is what I think.
It's just so hard to set aside a time to draw for pleasure. If it isn't for work I somehow feel guilty at drawing just to draw. Iam happy for my spirit, my heart, for my sanity the art comes out anyways.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yuletide cometh..

Yuletide is coming, the days are short, dark by 4:30 ish. We have had plenty of frosty nights, and even snow. Okay it didn't stick down here by the river, but it did show up long enough to get me excited about the season.
I love Yule.
Yuletide for me is about tradition, family, and ritual.
Ritual is important to me , especially the culinary rituals of holy days.
Take Christmas pudding.
It is so simple yet so involved. I gathered all the ingredients, figs, cherries, almonds, etc..weeks ago. I beseeched my favorite butcher for his best suet, the good kind. The hard white suet that is almost fluffy when you grate it.
I bought organic barley wine and thick black stout. I gathered everything together along with the biggest bowl I own, then I asked my dearly departed Grandmothers for guidance and got started.
It all went well, the Hubby came in and gave it a good stir for luck. We shared a big smooch to add extra oomph to it. Then into the pot it went to steam away. After coming in to check on it every so often it seemed done, at the appointed time.
So now it's all cooked and wrapped up neatly, awaiting dinner on the big day.
Next up are all the German cookies..chocolate pretzles, hazelnut spritz , crescents, shortbread...
But tommorrow is more smiting of steel..baking is later this weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2007


The full moon is enormous. Last night was our Thanksgiving day dinner, so my best buddy Mdm. Sandra was over to share in the orgy of food. She has just recently moved into my town, and so we are once again neighbors. Moving is not easy, but she needed the change, I for one am thrilled she's here, even if she sometimes wonders "What in the hell have I done!"
Anyways, right at sunset we stepped outside to call the Hubbinator in for dinner when we both saw the amazing full moon. Or near full, as tonight is the actual big event.
The sky was lavender, and blue. Pale and cold. The vapour of our breathe hung in the still air, all was quiet.
There in the sky, silvery white hung the moon. We stood there together for a moment, awed by it's glory, in a silence of shared joy.
Then we both began to get cold.
But before we trotted back into the warm house, I told her how happy I was that she was there to share in the moment, and she agreed. We hugged, and got all choked up like the sentimental ninnies we are.
We laughed for being so sappy, but it really was cool moment.
We have known each other for almost 20 years. Maybe it is more than twenty now, I forget. Being able to share in a silent moon gazing is one of the many reasons why she is my best friend.

I hope everyone is enjoying this glorious full moon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


We love the turning of the seasons here at Weisshirsch forge. Each season brings with it specific events that we look for.
Spring =the hops come up, Ospreys return to nest.
Summer=The berries ripen, and the hops keep coming up, and up..
Fall= Harvest the hops. Ospreys leave for Mexico, the Norway rats move in.

I was standing at my welding table, preparing to lay in a bead when a movement caught my eye. I turned my head and watched as a rather bold Norway rat sauntered ever so casually across the shop, and ducked behind a pile of sheet metal. Bold as day.
Oh great!Either it's sick, or has been around here so long it's unafraid of humans. Either reality is not good. I walked over to inspect , and could not find the rat.I did see a hole. This means they are moving in for winter, in the walls, between the sheetrock and the metal siding. All that nice, warm pink insulation to burrow in. A lovely cafe/compost pile outback, the odd snack left out on the work bench. Rat heaven. It's like going to a fancy lodge in Aspen for the winter.

A few weeks ago we suspected there were rats moving into our basement.
The cats had begun staking out the cupboard under the kitchen sink, and the compost bucket was looking a bit rifled through.
So Hubby went into the crawlspace/basement and left poison packets. He also blocked off the gap around the sink pipes so any rats could not get back into the compost.
After a few days the cats stopped holding vigil at the cupboard,so we figured the rats were no more. The draw back is that someone has to go into the basement and fish out the bodies.

So they are also setting up home in our shop, and this is not okay.
We can kill them off, but there are a million more out there waiting to take their place. It's more like keeping them at bay.
Time for a good terrier.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Worky worky work..

Work! I don't sit down to blog much, and the main reason is work. That and my back killing me if I sit. Oh did I mention the back injury? Well, it seems two of my discs are trying to eject themselves into my spinal cord. That explains why Iam in pain 99% of the time. Degenerative disc disease, which is a nice way fo saying I'm wearing out.
Oh well, life goes on. Work eats up my energy, and at the end of the day Iam too exhausted to write, or rather to be clever.
What's new? Iam currently building/sculpting hazelnut trees. Big 8 foot long trees, for the handrails on a porch. 12 panels of them.Due by the first of December, they are lovely. BUT the deadline looms...
I dream about them, or rather not meeting the deadline, and awake feeling a dreadful terror..and my back hurting like hell.
I have net hard deadlines before. I can only do my best.
One thing though, this fall has been gorgeous. The trees are amazing, I stand in my shop door and am in awe of the trees, the sunlight pouring through the yellow leaves, the red maples , all of it. They lift my spirits, and I forge ahead.