Cynthia St. Charles Store

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cell Structure Images

 As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I am obligated to create a quilt of certain specifications related to the element ZINC.  This element is essential for life in both plants and animals.  As I think about imagery for this piece, I decide to Google search images of cell structure.  Here are a few of my favorite stock photos of cell structure.  Most of these are plant cells.  Animal cells are more disorganized - visually.

I am going to play around with these images a bit and see if I can come up with anything that will work for this piece.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Zinc - My Radical Element

 I was happy to be selected as one of the artists for an upcoming SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) Exhibition called Radical Elements.  For this exhibition, selected artists are expected to create a vertically oriented piece - sized 22 x 36".  Each artist has been assigned an element from the periodic table and mine is Zinc!   I was pleased with that because I wanted an element that is essential for life......I had an idea I would create something using some of my block prints or screen prints - some living thing - since zinc is essential for life for both plants and animals.  The artists are being asked to stretch the definition of a quilt by using alternative materials and techniques but to include layers that are held together somehow - it doesn't have to be with stitches.

After I received my assignment of zinc - I looked around online until I found a 25 foot roll of 3" wide 99.9% pure zinc.  I ordered it and have been pondering how I will use this in my "quilt" for several months.  With the deadline looming - I had to force myself to start playing with the stuff to see what I can do with it......
I tested it with Mistyfuse (above) - which does work quite well.  The bond between this screen printed silk organza and the zinc strips is quite sturdy.  Then, I tried collaging some zinc rectangles together using aluminum duct tape to hold it together (thinking I could print over the top of the collage as I do with fabric collages).

 Both of these ideas seem workable, but I am stymied with the dilemma over shipping. .....The quilts will be traveling for several years and they are all the same size and will all be traveling in the same crate.  I am concerned about how the very thin strips of zinc will hold up.  It would be easy to dent or bend the zinc by accident.  Furthermore - the zinc has sharp edges - it might damage someone else's piece.

Because the zinc came on a roll - it continues to curl after assembly - so I am also concerned about how this thing will hang......?

Well, I have made a little progress with my experimentation, but really - this all just leads me to more questions....

Another Reblooming Iris!

I am pinching myself!  I have two iris that are reblooming right now!  This one is called Pagan Dance and it bloomed in the spring.  Actually, I have had this iris for a few years, but this is the first time it has bloomed for me in late summer.  So nice to see them in the yard this time of year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reblooming Iris!

Did you know that some iris are genetically programmed to bloom more than once in a season?  They are called Reblooming Iris.  This is one that is currently blooming in my yard.  It is called, "Remember Spring".  Interestingly, this iris was planted about one year ago and it didn't bloom this past spring.  There are 13 buds on a single stalk and I see another stalk coming up!  Horray!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My CanaanDog!

We have been without a dog at our place for over 2 years - ever since our 17 year old mutt died of old age.  We recently had an opportunity to adopt this 6 year old spayed female Canaan Dog.  I was not familiar with this breed, but it is a guard dog from Israel.  There are only about 1200 of these dogs in the U.S.A.  The woman who was looking for a home for her had too many dogs and this dog is happier being the only dog.  That works for us!

Her previous owner called her Jackie.  I have a sister named Jackie - so I don't feel like I can have a dog named Jackie!  I believe her given name was Jackal or  Jacko.  Either of these are OK with me, but it would be fun to find a really cool name for her.  I have heard that a dog will easily adapt to a new name that rhymes with the old one or sounds similar as far as syllables, hard and soft sounds, etc.

This dog is very oriented to me and within just two days is already guarding me and parks herself in front of whichever door I am closest to!  She has barked at the mailman already, too!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Craw Fishing

 These pictures were taken at Lily Lake in the Beartooth Mountains.  It is a lake you can drive your car to, so it gets a lot of visitors.  I have no idea how the lake got full of crawfish, but there are a LOT of them!  Along any area of the shoreline you can see them crawling around.  We ran into a family that was catching these things and we struck up a conversation with them.  Their method involves wrapping bacon around a stick and placing it into the water to attract the crawfish.  It does not take very long for them to crawl over and grab onto the bacon.  Then, it is easy enough to lift them out of the water and drop them into a bucket or something.
 They were kind enough to allow me an opportunity to try it and yes, even I was able to catch a few of these creatures.  Apparently this family was planning to take them home live and boil or steam them for dinner!  
The few I caught went back in the water after we got good pictures of them.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Campfire Fun

 This is one of my favorite pictures from our campout last week along Rock Creek.  Airus, age 7 asked me to take a picture of his marshmallow.  I love the way he fades into the background of this image.

Grandad Joe with his two grandsons.  He is the best grandfather a boy could ever have!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rock Creek Play Time

 As I mentioned yesterday, we took our two grandsons; Airus, age 7 and Breckin, age 4 to the mountains last week for an overnight camping trip.  This was Breckin's first camping experience.  Breckin and Airus are step-cousins and three years apart, but they really enjoy being together.
 It was a lot of fun watching them enjoy themselves in the cold clear water of Rock Creek.

I was glad I remembered to bring shovels and buckets for their entertainment.  Airus caught a small trout fry in his bucket!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dragonfly Encounter

 Last week we took our two grandsons on an overnight camping trip in the Beartooths.  Good thing we did that when we did, as the area is now in the midst of a forest fire. 

Anyway, while we lounged near Rock Creek, allowing the boys to play in the water - a large dragonfly visited my shoulder and stayed for a while.  Joe was able to get some very good pictures of it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Daisy Pass and Lulu Pass Jeep Roads in the Beartooth Mountains

 The Daisy and Lulu Pass jeep roads connect high in the mountains and both require a high clearance vehicle.  Our 2005 Honda Pilot gets us around on these roads quite well.  These pictures are all from our drive over these roads in a single beautiful afternoon.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Granite Peak view from above Daisy Pass

 We were really delighted when we realized we had a rare view of Granite Peak (Montana's tallest mountain) from this knob we climbed above Daisy Pass.   It is located above my head in both these pictures (above and below).
 Below is a better view of Granite Peak.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pilot and Index Peaks in the Beartooth Wilderness

 Pilot and Index peaks are two very popular landmarks in the Beartooth range.  They rise up dramatically above the valley and are easily seen from the Beartooth Highway near Cooke City.  These pictures were all taken from near Daisy Pass - a jeep road near Cooke City.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Planting Iris

 Earlier in the spring, I shared my progress as I built up retaining walls and added terraces.  Those areas are now being planted with iris rhizomes.  I have ordered from a number of big national iris growers and have gotten many from my neighbor and the local iris club.

 We are still hauling rocks from the mountains every chance we get - using them for dry stacking for the terraces.  I have put down the drip irrigation lines and plant the iris rhizomes along them. 
I look forward to some colorful iris blossoms next spring!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Waterfall in Midsummer

 I've had to reconstruct this waterfall several times to get it working properly.  It is finally at the point where it does not leak! 
 Some of my water plants are doing well....others have died.    I started with about 30 little feeder goldfish and now have about a dozen.
We really enjoy the waterfall and fish pond.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Views of the Retaining Wall

 Since I am showing pictures of things around my place - I thought I would show you a view of the back retaining wall with some of the plantings starting to fill in.  The deer have been nibbling here a lot and I am disappointed that many of the plants remain short due to frequent trimming by deer.

Later in the fall I will scatter some wildflower seeds around the walkway and above the retaining wall.   I have planted quite a few iris and am hoping they will be blooming next spring.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rudabeckia in Bloom

I am really enjoying the rudabeckia this summer.  I have it planted many places and the flowers last a long time.  The deer do not seem to eat it.  The leaves, stems and flowers are all quite prickly.