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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Arts and Aesthetics’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Beadboard scrounge

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

It’s been a year since I’ve scrounged anything good from the woods. Then it was the foundling end table (which got improved and which Commentariat member Pat eventually dubbed “Doorway to the Sun”).

This afternoon I brought home a small heap of equally unprepossessing but potentially useful stuff I found in a newly dumped trash heap. To wit:

BeadboardScrounge_040715

This is tongue-and-groove beadboard from somebody’s old house. Depression-era, I’m guessing. Probably wainscotting from a kitchen or bathroom judging by the bits of ancient wallpaper clinging to it. This small amount isn’t enough for anything by itself, but I’ve got this ceiling project …

Last summer (you may recall all too personally, given that y’all were so involved), part of my roof collapsed. The fix involved cutting away large chunks of a beadboard ceiling. Which was bad because it was a lovely old ceiling. But which was good because working from inside made the roof fix relatively inexpensive. And which was also good because it gave me the opportunity to convert a formerly flat ceiling to a vaulted (well, slightly vaulted) one.

I just didn’t have enough interesting material to cover it. Could have drywalled it. But meh. And there was still a lot of beadboard left after the teardown, even if not enough beadboard.

Right now that ceiling is just bare rafters with insulation. Eventually I’ll turn it into a patchwork of the old beadboard, modern tongue-and-groove 1x6s, trim, and whatever the heck else might fit up there. The beadboard I picked up this afternoon is a different design than what I’ve already got and will enhance the patchwork effect. Remarkably, the tongues and grooves of all the different materials I’ve assembled fit together, too. Well, mostly. They will fit whether they want to or not. :-)

There’s probably more beadboard in the heap of construction rubble. I’ll go back and look later.

It infuriates that people dump construction leftovers in the woods. Aside from the blight on the landscape, the heaps are always full of rusty nails, sharp metal edges, and broken glass. I wonder if the creeps who use the forest as their personal landfill ever give a second’s thought to the excruciating death some animal might suffer, getting an infected wound from all those spiky protrusions.

The rubble heap this beadboard came from could have been left at the real landfill for about $7.50. But noooooo. Some cretin couldn’t be bothered.

If I ran the world, people who dumped dangerous junk in the woods would have to pick it up with their teeth. Serve ‘em right. Still, for scroungers, there’s occasional gold in the rubble.

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
  • Five simple ‘Net security tricks from a Google engineer. I’m already doing four and a half of them. How about you?
  • Don’t it just figure? Willie Nelson now has his own cannabis variety and hopes to open a chain of stores described as “the Whole Foods of marijuana.”
  • Fascinating. Twenty-five percent of people have an extra color receptor in their eyes. Hm. Wonder how many of those are artists or go into fields requiring good color perception?
  • So what do you think? Should this guy have been kicked off that plane or not?
  • On hiding cops’ identities, a governor does the right thing (although maybe not for the right reasons).
  • The war on geese. So funny I just had to steal it from Joel. Love the idea of a national border collie reserve, even if Kevin D. Williamson doesn’t know a border collie from a Lassie collie.
  • Moviewise, it appears that both the Jane Austen craze and the zombie craze may both have jumped the shark. In the very same film.
Claire Wolfe

I knit a dragon while attempting to stay sane

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

You know how last week I went off in a huff, unable to endure the stupid that blasts from the ‘Net these days like an old-fashioned Texas gusher?

Well, I decided for sanity’s sake to knit a dragon. This dragon.

Here it is on day one. That’s its head.

DragonHeadScarf-01_022315

And. I was back online an hour after I huffed away. Sigh. Can’t win.

‘Cause this dragon, though probably only of intermediate knitting difficulty, was beyond me and right away I had to look up how to do some of the stitches. (Books tell this, too, but I left the excellent Knitting For Dummies with Joel when I left the gulch back in ought-10.)

So much for offline resolve. It’s as Ellendra noted in comments: love the peacefulness, miss the resources. The Internet: can’t live with it; can’t live without it. Now double that for anybody who makes a living on line.

But anyhow, I got my dragon done today. Here it is.

DragonHeadScarf-04_Finished_030115

I’m thinking about giving it “fire breath” if I can find some flame-colored yarn. Could be a fun gift for a little kid.

And here it is being worn. Sorry for the blurry pic.

DragonHeadScarf-03_Finished_030115

Not quite sure what I’ll do next to stay sane.

OMG, what if I run out of sanity-maintenance ideas?

Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, February 27th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Midweek miscellany, cont’d

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Was up all night feeling creaky. Not actually ill; just too sour, achy, and generally uncomfortable to sleep. Useless today. But no doubt I’ll be brilliant (or at least brilliant-er) tomorrow. Would be hard to be less brilliant.

  • Lucy and Ethel speak for the U.S. Department of State
  • A letter concerning Muslim toleration.
  • Ronald Ritchie, felony murderer of two, still thinks his primary victim deserved what he got.
  • Oscar odds. Being mostly stuck with DVDs that aren’t out yet, I’ve seen very few of these films yet; probably soon. Looking forward to The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Birdman, and Kill the Messenger (based on the tragic truth telling of Gary Webb, who fought the fedgov and the major media and lost). Did see and loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. Everybody says Boyhood is going to win best picture, but the weird thing is that nobody ever says anything about it except, “Wow, they took 12 years to film it.” Anybody here seen it?
  • The Mountains of MIT and other images from parts east. Holy cats, people! Get with the program; it’s still 60 degrees hereabouts. What’s wrong with you guys back there?
  • From A.G. in comments: the beautiful typeface caught up its designer’s mini-madness.
Claire Wolfe

A Monday morning ramble

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Too much for just links, too little for one of my blogosauri. Randomish thoughts …

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Graveyard in fog

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Matt suggested in comments that the road painting I posted last night might have monsters lurking just around the bend. Actually, I’d seen that road as leading someplace cheery (with the sunrise and all). But Matt gave me an idea that my next attempt at art should be something very non-cheery.

I thought about old tombstones with long morning or evening shadows. This morning the sun wasn’t cooperating, but I got these photos. No shadows, just fog.

Not great photography, I know. But sufficient gloom to work with.

Graveyard-in-fog-05_SMALL_012015

Graveyard-in-fog-03_SMALL_012015

Graveyard-in-fog-02_SMALL_012015

And this final photo is the one I think I’ll try to work with. No idea how to capture that mist with colored pencil or pastel. But I’ll see what I can do.

Graveyard-in-fog-01-SMALL_012015

This cemetery is a place where the dogs and I frequently walk. In that final shot are two of the saddest tombstones I’ve ever seen (from a few weeks in 1902 and ’03). Definitely a haunted place, but that’s a tale for another time.

Claire Wolfe

Pictures

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I’ve been trying some new things with artwork. Click if you’d like to see.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, January 16th, 2015
  • Seems that Joel and the rest of the gunblogosphere aren’t the only ones who think Liam Neeson is even worse than the usual Hollywood anti-gun hypocrite. A company that supplied weapons for his films has a thing or three to say about it.
  • Ding-dong, Google Glass is dead. Well deadish, anyhow.
  • A simple explanation of what Swiss bankers just did. And a slightly more complicated one. I’m sure some of our resident money gurus will have views of their own. If you haven’t been watching, Switzerland threw the entire world into a financial tizzy yesterday. (Though IMHO, their real screwup was when they pegged their franc to the euro, not when they suddenly pulled the peg.)
  • “That Tree.” To help himself recover after an injury and to meet a friend’s challenge, professional photographer Mark Hirsh found 365 different ways to shoot photos of a single tree — with an iPhone — over the course of a year.
  • Finally, your awwwwww story for the day: cat saves abandoned baby from freezing to death.
Claire Wolfe

Patterns and trajectories (observation from the hermitage)

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I’ve finally reached the point of not tearing everything out.

CableKnitting-SMALL_112414

This is going to be a cowl (aka a neckwarmer), like a warm, woolly scarf but without the annoying dangly bits that fall off your shoulder and catch on things.

I’m not knitting to make things, though. I’m doing it for meditation.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Mundane things (and some not-so-mundane)

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Heartbroken artist with an empty house and a bull terrier gets creative. (JavaScript needed to view slideshow.)

—–

Some cool, fractal-like photography. (H/T SC)

—–

Local cranberry growers who lost their contract with Ocean Spray landed 20 pounds of their harvest on furrydoc the other day. What do you do with 20 pounds of cranberries? Furrydoc shared the bounty and instructions for drying.

I took a couple of pounds and they’re in the drier now, some unsweetened and some drizzled with honey.

I’m not so big on cranberries, but I do like the dried ones in salads and trail mixes. Good to have a few locally grown superfoods among the preps, too.

—–

Knitting today. Not only for the soul but this time, the body, too. Ready to start cabling.

Just as soon as I find those wandering third needles.

I was surprised and gratified the other day to realize quite a few guys hereabouts had knitted or crocheted. I am at this moment wearing fingerless gloves (aka arm warmers or better yet gauntlets) I made with wool gifted to me by one of those knitting guys.

AndeanTrekkerFingerlessGloves

(Pattern for that particular glove here. Many others here.)

—–

Finally, some things not so mundane

Saturday, December 13. Washington gun owners rally: We Will Not Comply with I-594. Over 6,000 already signed up.

(And here it is for those who don’t do F*c*b**k.)

Can’t or don’t want to attend but support the ideals? Bumper stickers and yard signs here.

And from the great Oleg Volk:
OlegVolk_lying_down_4355web

OlegVolk_kneeling_0130web

Claire Wolfe

Knitting for the soul

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Don’t be put off by the word “knitting.” Even if you’re not crafty (and I’m not!), even if you’re a guy who’d rather build a brick wall or try for a perfect grouping with your best rifle than (heaven forbid) knit. This is about that process common to so many things.

—–

You know how you sometimes open a book at random looking for guidance? For some it’s the bible. For somebody else, one of those Chicken Soup things. Could be Ayn Rand or Herman Hesse. But you hope if you just open and read there’ll be a message there, just waiting for you?

I have to laugh. I just picked up Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, not because I had real interest but because it’s one of those must-read books and this is a good time. I opened near the end to a chapter about self care and the art of just being still and listening.

Then I took my old copy of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience off the shelf and arbitrarily opened to a page that heralded the value of 16-hour workdays, but with the work so integrated with free time that you can barely distinguish one from the other.

Yup. And of the contradictory two, I must admit the latter appeals to me more than the former. Not, mind you, because I’m some virtuous workaholic. Far from it. I favor the latter because the former is harder.

« Read the rest of this entry »

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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