Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bees? Yes, please!

So I've been toying around with the idea of learning "bee keeping" and finally decided it was now or never.  (Since pre-spring is when you're supposed to be thinking about your bees anyway...because of flowers budding and so forth).

I've done my share of research...asked those I know that are into bee keeping a gah-gillion questions...and finally settled on where to start.

The beehive!

Sure, I could order one all pretty and painted and finished on ye 'ole internet....but why do that?  I found a local farm that builds custom bee hives.  Yeah LOCAL!

So after contacting them...and asking a few questions...I explained what I was looking for and I went and purchased my first bee hive and brought it home.

You can't tell from the photo...but there's some various working parts in a beehive...all of which are included here.  Except the bees of course...and they'll come later.

But first things first...I must paint my beehive.  I'm gonna wait for a sunny day to paint the exterior all white.

So...thanks to Toledo Craigslist and John in Perrysburg...I have completed my first step towards becoming a learned bee keeper...get the hive and all it's working parts!

In case you were wondering...initial investment here....$238.  From what I've finding...bees to fill said hive will run me around $130.  So yep...right on target to what I've found invest in your first bee hive...about 500 bucks. 

I still need that hipster white bee keeping netting to wear around my head...and a smoker...and a few tools to work with scraping off honey...and for lifting frames out of the hive...not to mention glass jars to put the honey into....but I have some time yet for all of that.

AND...I still have to find a source for a queen and some bees.

More to come on this project for sure!!!

New art!!!

Here's my latest art piece!

This is a male Rose-breasted grosbeak. Interestingly these birds are from the Cardinal family.

I have spotted a few of these songbirds around the bird-feeder this past summer. Beautiful and colorful and very fun to depict in a painting!

I've been wanting to try my hand at watercolor board.  This is a fairly new medium ...usually when you paint with watercolor it's on paper and you have to put it under glass (ie...frame it) ...which is kind of a debbie-downer in the original art cover your art with glass.

Someone came up with a clever way to allow for watercolor to be painted on "canvas".  This isn't exactly a canvas, rather this particular piece is on a gesso type coated 6 inch by 6 inch board that's 1/2 inch it looks like a canvas when it's hanging on the wall.

I would never claim to be a "watercolor artist" as painting with watercolor is VERY challenging to me.  I definitely prefer painting with acrylic...but sometimes is fun to stretch your skills and dabble in new things.  Watercolor definitely has it's place when it comes to mixed media.

I've always enjoyed watercolor that was very loose and included ink in the piece. So here's one of my attempts at achieving this.

Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.  Measures 6"x6" square and is watercolor on watercolor board, (and I did use pen/ink in this piece too) sprayed with a fixative so the color remains permanent.

Much more to come!

Congratulations to Isabella!!!

Rounds of applause and paint brush high fives to Isabella Summers! (Chris' 18 year old daughter)

Isabella recently received the "Outstanding Drawing" award for her piece titled "The Beholder" which was entered into the Black Swamp Art Council's annual High School Art Invitational.

To read more about this art show and the awards given check out this article in the Fulton County Expositor.

This year's art show featured 115 works of art from students representing 12 (Northwest Ohio) area high schools.  Awards were presented this past Thursday evening at the closing reception hosted by Northwest State Community College.

Below is Bell's piece "The Beholder" selected as this year's Outstanding Drawing....

Isabella is a senior at Pike-Delta-York High School and also received "Outstanding entry in mixed media" in 2016 and "Outstanding entry in three-dimensional art" in 2015!!

(click on each highlighted link above if you want to check those awards out too)

You GO Bell!!!!

Keep on creating my friend....the best is yet to come!

Friday, February 23, 2018

And who do we have here shopping at our local Tractor Supply store?

You never know who or what you might see shopping in the local Tractor Supply store.  For those of you that don't know...Tractor Supply is sort of like a Wal-mart for all things farming.  I often go there to purchase chicken feed for our birds.

I laughed out loud when I saw what this young couple was pushing around in their cart.  Who knew you could bring your pot-bellied-pig into Tractor Supply to pick out snacks?  He was quite the celebrity...drawing all sorts of attention.

Don't know why I didn't think to ask for his autograph.  Pfft, missed opportunity!

Life's an adventure...never forget that!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Remember the "surprise 14 baby chicks?"

Yeah, those surprise 14 baby chicks from September.  If you missed here to read my entry about discovering these newly hatched chicks back in September of last year.

Well, they're all grown up now...(after all, here we are 5 months later) and since I'm no good at telling females from males when they're chicks...all you have to do is wait until they're grown and you can easily tell the difference.

Look closely at the photo on the left...their are six roosters in this photo.

Can you believe....out of of them are roosters?!  Much to my dismay...ugh...who needs SEVEN roosters?  The undo stress that this many males puts on your females is ridiculous.

So...they are for a good farming home...for your flock of hens.....or...for dinner (they would be good eatin' because they're so young).

Black-beard (the daddy of this bunch) definitely influenced their coloring.  All are truly beautiful roosters each with their own unique coloring.

I've managed to sell two of them thus we're down to five.


Today (2-24) I got a phone call from a gentleman who came and bought all five remaining roosters...and wouldn't you know...AS SOON as these buggars were loaded up in his could hear a huge sigh of relief from all the hens in the chicken yard. gone. By boys!

Happy hens again.