Thursday, August 21, 2008

Weed trimmer disaster...

So last weekend, Saterday to be precise, I decided to mow the lawn. I mow the lawn every weekend and besides for the more or less humid and sticky weather, nothing was out of the ordinary. Although it was against my better judgment, I decided to wear my lounge shorts with sneakers instead of the regular jeans and a t-shirt "dealy" since it was so muggy out. I went about my routine of first picking up all the dog doodies, removing the solar lights, and finally mowing the lawn with my electric mower. Back and forth, monotonous, repetitive, yet something I enjoy doing every weekend. I look forward to the smell of fresh cut grass, a doodie-free lawn, and two white dogs with grass stains on their paws. Once the mowing of the lawn was complete, as usual, I pulled out our electric weed trimmer. I trimmed all the overhanging grass around the fence, the house, the deck, and under the deck stairs. I reached the sheds at the back of our yard and decided I would trim a little around them as well. Almost done and sweaty, I tripped and my reflex quickly ended in a blunder. Zzzt! Zzzt! Zzzt! Zzzt! Zzzt! My uncovered ankle was already bleeding before I realized what I was doing to myself and released the trigger. The first thing I could think to myself was "I'm an idiot" and I ran to the outside tap and let the water run on my raw flesh. It strangely wasn't painful till I was in the car on the way to the hospital. Not that I needed to go to a hospital seeing as this wound was clearly only on the surface, but it was already too late for a clinic and I figured that I should get a tetanus shot just in case. En route it began to burn a blaze! Ouch! Thankfully the hospital visit was quick and only involved a shot in the arm, a saline wash for my misfortune, and a bandage job which was all accomplished under 45 minutes - and people say our health care is slow! I returned home with no new knowledge, but instead with a tweeked ankle, a tube of polysporin, and a promise that from now on all yard work shall be done in jeans!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pet Portrait Charms!

It's no secret. I am an animal lover. I'm a visual art major. I am also a Pitbull owner in Ontario, Canada - essentially "no-man's land" for these dogs. So I've combined my passion for these things and decided to offer pet portraits on a smaller scale using good ol' fashioned colored pencils, shrink plastic, and a quality sealer. When I first finsihed up my major in Visual Art, I was a bit put off by anything related to drawing or painting. This may have had something to do with the fact that I was producing at least 3 pieces a week which was creatively exhausting. When you are forced to pour out works that usually aren't interesting to your right brain, you get tired of it pretty fast. Drawing pets has really helped me rediscover that visual artist that I thought was either dead or suffering from some kind of depression deep down inside my mind.

The great thing about these pet portraits is that you get to wear them close to your heart as a pin/brooch or on a necklace. Your child can bring a little momento of fido to school attached to his backpack zipper as a charm. Better yet you can even get a portrait of your pet for your keys or your rearview mirror which I can assure you will leave you guilt stricken whenever you leave the house and leave your furry friend behind.

I've also decided to donate a portion of each sale of these to the Dog Legislation Council of Canada's legal fund which has been established to fight the Pitbull ban in Ontario, Canada. To date I have been able to donate over $127 solely through the sale of these. It may not seem like much, but it's definately something!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Soldering: They key is to not touch the hot part!

It has been raining a whole lot lately. Rain and creativity have always gone hand in hand for me. That might have something to do with the fact that I don't much feel like going out on rainy days so I would rather stay in and make something! So I decided that this weekend was the weekend that I would try my hand at soldering jewelry. I fired up the soldering iron, cut up my copper foil tape into strips, clipped a few sticks of solder, and got my flux all ready to go. I had my spot all set up like a pro. Then I very clumsily ran my hand into the smoldering hot tip of the soldering iron! Ouch! Regardless, the show must go on and so it did. It was jolly good fun but here's an important tip for those of you who are thinking about trying this out at home: Don't touch the iron because it sizzles your skin like eggs on the pavement on an August afternoon! Yikes. Another great tip is to head on over to your local Canadian Tire (if you're Canadian eh?) and check out the clamps section in one of the tool isles. They sell this really neato little clamp with a suction cup at the bottom which is perfect for holding your piece as you solder. They'll run you about $2 CAD.

I also went ahead and tried soldering around some etched mirror pendants I was dying to get started. It was a great success! High five!

I even got so bold as to dable with textures such as little droplets of solder on the seahorse, the fish, and the ship pendants. I see much more of this kind of stuff in my future.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Adventures in pet photography...

About two years ago I bought a digital SLR. I quickly discovered that owning a decent camera is very much like being a decent mechanic - everybody and their mother wants some of your time. I am by no means a professional, and I've never once thought of doing this for a living someday, but it would be nice to get a little compesation for my work now and again. Then again, I don't always mind volunteering my time and creative energy. Sometimes the experience is worth more than money. This week my dog's obedience trainer asked me to take a few photos of her dogs. Her 13.5 year old German Shepherd has not yet been able to steal a few of her cat's nine lives and it is quite clear that she is on borrowed time these days. I, being a crazed animal lover, could not say no. Forty-four photographs later, I called it a day and all of her eight dogs seemed content that I did so. What did I learn from all this? That sometimes doing things for free can be rewarding and that taking photos in the bright scorching hot sun can be difficult. Regardless, it was a good experience and my little Jack Russell, Ozzy, got to come along and visit a few old friends.