Monday, March 29, 2010

We turned on the A/C last night for the first time. We had severe thunderstorms, and unseasonably warm temperatures. The day opened with clouds and heavy rain, with temperatures in the mid 70's. Jess & John got off at about 10:30AM. By than most of the rain had stopped, or just turned into a light drizzle. However, the trip to Key West on a Harley turned out to be a wet one. By the time the front moved through at about Noon, the temperatures began dropping and, by 3PM were in the mid to lower 50's F, with winds out of the North at 15mph.

"The Depot Pond at The Fisheating Creek Camp Grounds"
"The Ortona Locks & Dam on the Caloosahatchee River"We had to make a run into the Hardware Store for some plumbing supplies. On the way back to Palmdale we detoured on SR78 for a stop in Ortona at the Locks on the Caloosahatchee River, and the Indian Mounds Park. The Locks were a real education, as the river has an 8' vertical drop at this point. We watch one Trawler from New York State pass through heading west, and saw several awaiting their turn east. The Indian Mound Park is also very interesting, as this is a collection of Ceremonial Mounds, spread out over a 5 square mile area (the park is less than 1 sq.mile). The most interesting aspect of this park, is the canal, hand dug by the occupants, and is the largest surviving Pre-Columbian canal system in North America. They stretch from the Caloosahatchee River to about one mile inland. This allowed the Natives safe sanctuary, a fair distance from the river.
We saw a family of Sand Hill Cranes. The chicks are still fluffing out. Adorable.
We finished off the afternoon with a trip to the Depot Pond at The Fisheating Creek Camp Ground. It was extremity cold, and the kids only stayed in the water for a short time. Once back home, I put the chair swing back up in the Live Oak while Sherry and Killian squeezed oranges. Later we took a walk around town, and came back home to a wonderful steak dinner prepared by Sherry. Tomorrow, Busch Gardens!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Light crowds this morning. With rain coming in, the Director came around and offered up the option to close down early, as thunderstorms were predicted to arrive by 2PM. I packed up and came home, as I was anxious to see the grandchildren.

Once in Palmdale, Killian and I baited the live trap for the raccoon. Now we wait for the morning. Severe storms tonight. Tomorrow is anyone's guess. We hope for great weather, as Jess & John are off to the Keys, while the kids, Sherry & I are going to have a day at the Depot Pond!
Sunrise on Lake Wales, with a nice flock of White Ibis making their way in to feed. Hopefully, the weather will hold fast, for another big sales day at the Art Festival.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I started the morning at 4:30AM, completing my set up. It was a little chilly this morning, with temperatures in the mid-50's F. The day dawned clear, and warmed to the upper 70's. Crowds were steady throughout the day. Sales were moderate. I missed Sherry terrible. I never really know just how much she does for me, until she is absent. I am a very luck man.
After the show closed, we headed on over to the downtown district for a Mexican dinner. A car show was in town, on main street. Some really nice looking restoration work here;
Old fashioned and antique autos of every make and model imaginable. All made in the good old USA!

Larry & Donna, Mark & Cathlene, Pauline, and Cheryl all getting to load into Larry's van, to make the trip "downtown".

After dinner, we returned to the RV's for some ice cream and fresh Plant City Strawberry's. Tomorrow is the day at this show. I can't wait. The sooner it is over, the sooner I can be back home with my girl!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I got the call from Tom the Cabinet Maker at 11AM telling me that the second coat of sealer was dried, and the panel was ready to go. It was worth the wait.
I arrived in Lake Wales at around 1PM. checked in and set up. It is a beautiful venue, right on Lake Wales, which has a wonderful park that surrounds three sides of the lake. The reception was great. It is in an old Spanish Architecture Catholic Church, with beautiful Dalle de Vere windows. Unfortunately, the windows are falling to disrepair, and need immediate work, or will be lost to gravity.

The Old Church makes a great reception hall. The food is the best, and the deserts are out of this world.

There is a path around most of the lake, for walking and bike riding. Folks are out for a stroll this evening, pushing prams, walking their dogs, or just strolling hand in hand. There are a few kids down on the lake, fishing, which causes the shore birds to take wing. It is a beautiful spring evening here in Lake Wales, Florida.Tomorrow, the weather is to be wonderful. I have set the alarm for 5am. I really miss Sherry.
Woke up to a light rain this morning. Temperatures in the upper 60's. Rain predicted throughout the day. I will finish packing this morning, for the Lake Wales Art Festival. I am anxious to get up there, as I applied very late (and was luck to have been allowed in) and fear that I will not get my regular booth space. If I get up there early, I am be able to finagle my booth space. Of course, much of this scheduled leaving depends upon Tom the Cabinet Maker's schedule. If he does not get here before 10AM, I doubt that I will be able to "finagle" anything, and will likely end up on a dead end in The Park. This is the thing about putting your schedule in someone else's hands. Oh well, we will see what happens. No need to worry after things that you can not control. Best to just move along with the current.

For now, I am off to finish up the last minute packing for the trip, and chores related to the kids arrival. I am sorry that I will not be around when they show up on Saturday morning, but duty calls!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It dawned a beautiful day! Lows last night were in the high 60's F., whiles Highs today were in the upper 70's F. I got up pretty early, and start polishing the Number 9 in SI100K. Once I had it polished, I took it over to Tom the Cabinet Maker for framing. Tom's middle son Roy was there. He is over from Ft.Lauderdale building Morris Chairs. in his fathers' shop. Tom said that he would bring the finished panel back this afternoon. I had to leave Tom's in a bit of a hurry, as I had the Bowman's coming for their panels at around noon, and they still needed to be polished.

I returned home to find Ethan there ready to weed wack the grass, which he set to immediately. He is the most serious, trustworthy, reliable 11 year old I think that I have ever met. He doesn't seem childlike at all. He is mature, far beyond his years.

I went after the Bowman commission with a vengeance as there was much to do in preparation for their coming. The panels polished up nicely. They were wrapped and the cabinet frames taken out, cleaned up and wrapped likewise.

The Bowman's arrived at around noon. We visited briefly and I presented them with the panels, which they liked very much. They paid up and were on their way. They have two more cabinet door that the would like commissioned, and promised to contact me in November, to begin the process.

Ethan finished up the weed wacking, and I set him to work weeding 'round the citrus trees. The citrus takes a tremendous amount of attention. As Ethan is eager to learn (and he is a quick study) I am more than willing to teach him. Additionally, he knows he can make good money in the summer, tending my little grove in my absents.

He finished up his tasks, put all the tools away (without being told), discussed a fair price for his work, and was on his way with money in his pocket, and a smile on his face! He is a very hard worker, that one.

Freed up now, I went to work on the second Number 9. This one in opalescence glass, designed as window art. It went quickly, and by 3PM I was finished the panel, and began setting up to photograph the work. Tom showed up with Son Roy, to show me the Brazilian Cherry Frame, and ask about the stain color. We selected the color (a dark stain that makes the cherry go almost to a light mahogany). Tom and Roy left, and promised to have the panel complete by tomorrow morning. ( I hope so, as I planned to be in Lake Wales by Noon, so we shall see). In either case, it will be a beautiful piece, once completed. Now I have to figure a fair price for it.

I began to clean up my outside studio and put everything away for the weekend. "A Place for Everything, and Everything in its' Place" as Granddaddy George would say. I started polishing up Sherry's work, tagged and bagged all of the inventory, and loaded into the truck.

Sherry got home at around 4:30PM. She had been out for the day, collecting all things necessary for the Kids Coming. I helped her load everything into the house. I honestly don't know how she does it. All of the shopping, and the whole way into Ft.Myers.

After all was loaded into the house, I separated the Murcott Tangerines into several bags, and hung them for juicing, once the kids arrive. Sherry wanted to go for a walk, but I suggested that I get started on the raised beds behind the studio. She agreed and decided instead to go for a bike ride, while I worked on the raised beds. This is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time! It felt great to get started, and to finally see the large pile of lumber in the back yard, be whittled down some.

The Photo below is the 1st. of 5 raised beds. One bed for summer veggies (tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, onions, carrots, beets, pole beans, bush beans, etc.), one bed for Cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, etc.), one bed for greens (spinich, kale, collards, etc.), a small bed (4'X4') for strawberries, and a small bed (4X4) for herbs. This style bed is nice. It is 4'X8' X 1' and lends itself to being raised further, by simply stacking on more ties. It will be a great joy to get them in, get them filled with good soil, get them planted and mulched, and watch them grow. All in good time!
Sherry brought home a good load ($9.00) of Murcott Tangerines. These are excellent table fruit, but also make wonderful, deep colored orange juice. The best thing you can take in the morning is a tall glass of cold fresh squeezed orange juice, and a couple of bananas.
This is Sherry's "Elegant Egret", just finished yesterday. Sherry sold this panel last week in Coral Springs, and built this one on Monday/Tuesday of this week. It too will sell.
Above and Below are the Number 9 panel under different lighting conditions. A very nice panel indeed!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Up early this morning, in order to get the Bowman Commission out of the way. The weather was very nice, with a low of 59F and a High of 79F. The commissions got finished early, and called the Bowmans. We will meet at the Studio tomorrow, and do the hand off. I have to get the old gleass back into the cabinet frames, and package the glass for pick-up. I started immediately on replacement inventory, Number 9. This piece is done in clears, and will be delivered to Tom the Cabinet Maker tomorrow, to be framed. This is something I really want to get into inventory, as I think it will sell.
Sherry continued work on replacement inventory, completing several Nautilus Shell, and a Dragonfly. Additionally, she started the Connor Commission. She has taken this commission from her first meeting with the Client in Sarasota, through meeting with the client at our studio, through glass selection, preliminary design, cost budgeting, through construction. I am very proud of her.
By late afternoon Sherry was feeling under the weather, with a bit of a cold coming on. I closed down the studio, and came in to fix a dinner of baked chicken, yellow rice, and field peas. A large red sholdered hawk landed in the live oak, just outside the kitchen window. The hammock is full of migratory birds now. Black & White Warblers, Yellow rumped Warblers, Blue Grey Nat Catchers, Cat Birds, Pine Warblers, Palm Warblers and many I can't identify. In addition, the regulars are here in force; American Goldfinch, Painted Buntings, Cardinals, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker just to name a few. I love the bird life here.

Tomorrow I polish the panels and get ready for my meeting with the Bowmans. I have to take the Number 9 over to Tom for installation in a frame. Sherry has to go in town to show in preperation for the Kids and Easter. I have to tag & bag, mow the grass, and prepare for Lake Wales. Big day tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two "Number 9" panels laid out and ready to go to foiling.
The panel on the right will go into a frame currently being made by Tom The Cabinet Maker, the panel on the left will go directly into inventory.
The dichroic tiles were fired just for these panels, and they turned out to be perfect. The Organ Blossoms are in full bloom on our Valencia Orange. The Honey Bells and the Satsumi Tangerine are in bloom, as is the Buddha's Hand. The air is perfumed with the scent of orange blossoms!

Up early this morning. I started foiling the Bowman cabinet panels at 6AM. Weather was beautiful with lows in the middle 60's F., and highs in the mid-to-upper 70's F. I foiled until 9:30AM, after which I went outside to empty and refill the bird feeders, volk oil the citrus trees, and raccoon proof the rat traps. We purchased three more bait stations, and they require raccoon proofing, and the coons with drag the bait station into the woods, never to be seen again, if they are not coon proofed. I placed one under the grapefruit tree, one under the studio, and one under my deck.

Jimmy & Connie L. came by for a visit, on their way back from Florida Southwest International Airport. They took Connie's Mom over for her flight back to Indiana. Burrrrr. They are on the way to Georgia to drop off the RV, and than they will return for next weeks show.

I finished out the day by completing the solder on one of the Bowman Panels. Tomorrow I will finish off these two panels, and begin preparing for the show.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Woke up late to rain. Chilly, with lows in the upper 50'sF, Highs in the low 70's. The rain cleared around noon. I laid out two Number 9 with dichroic tiles I fired last week. I foiled until 5PM, and which time we decided to walk around town. We saw Jeff the EMT/Fire Chief (and previous Owner of the Endangered Species Park). He told us that our friend Milton was thrown off of a Cow Pony on Friday Evening, and suffered a broken hip, broken ribs, and a pretty mashed up shoulder (where the horse stomped him). He told us he took Milton to the Florida Hospital in Sebring. We returned home immediately, and prepared to leave. We got to the Hospital at around 7:45PM. We have Milton a fruit basket and card, a Hunting Magazine, Bert's Bees Lip Balm, and some hard candy. He had his hip replaced on Sunday, and appeared really uncomfortable. At 66y.o. he is a pretty tough old cracker. They will move him to a nursing home in LaBelle Wednesday next, so he will be closer to home. I doubt that he has ever been still for more than 8 hours in his entire life.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just got in from Coral Springs (I am posting this late Sunday night). I started this morning at 8AM, setting up, and getting ready for a possible rain day. I gave a friend (Terry Andrews) a hand getting his top back on, and then set up the display to allow for easy cover in the event of rain. Sherry got over to the show at about 9:30AM. I went back to the Scamp and installed a new set of running lights. Once that was complete, I returned to the booth (and light sprinkles) and moved some of the older inventory into the truck. The day went by slowly, with few sales until after 3PM. In the end, we did about 30% more today than Saturday.

The trip home was uneventful. Light sprinkles on the way up SR27. A mass of bugs (a real bloom) going through the Everglades. They really make a mess of the window shield! We stopped in Clewiston for dinner at the La Hacienda. Pretty decent, and really clean. I think we will go back again. Wet when we crossed the Caloosahatchee River going into Moore Haven.

Time for bed. All-in-all not a bad show, but I do not think we will return. This coming week, Bowman panels, build inventory, and get ready for the kids! Yahooooooo!
This beautiful Hyacinth Macaw showed up at the the show yesterday afternoon. The prettiest I have seen to date. Someone, at every Florida Art Festival, always shows up with a Macaw, or Parrot. You would think that it was mandatory! We began the day at 3AM for set up. The morning dawned bright and clear with a slight breeze coming in off of the Ocean (you could still feel the salt, even this far inland). Temperatures in the High 70's, with Lows in the lower 60's. Our set-up displayed really well, as we had ample room both behind the booth, and to the side. I love it when we get a corner! This festival is set up in an area of Coral Springs referred to as "The Walk", which is a mall like setting, with shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Tom's frames really set off our glass, and we had a number of comments on the effect of the black backing in relation to the dichroic glass. Sherry went to the green market and picked up a Ponytail Palm and an Orchid, which created a bit more of an interior wall design.
With all of our work, we still could not close on a big sale. Crowds were on the light side and sales were, for the most part, thin. Sometimes, when the spring weather breaks, as it has here, folks do the yard work thing, go to the beach, or head out on the water (not to mention the golf course), so you never know.
After a long and hard day, Sherry & I (and The Bluedog) headed out to a nice meal at local restaurant, where Sherry had a Cobb Salad and Dirty Martini, while I enjoyed a burger w/fries, after which we had a Kilwin ice cream (for The Bluedog, of course). There our evening ended.

So I will head over now, and set up again. Maybe some of the folks who said that they would go home and measure, will return today and purchase.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Great Day! Very cool this morning, with our low today being 48F. Our high only reached into the upper 60F. We started the day getting ready to take off for the East Side of the State, when the truck would not go into gear. I fiddled with it for a while (which is not good as I am a-mechanical) and finally figured out that it was an electrical problem. As I had just had a tail light worked on (yesterday) I thought that this may be the root of the problem. I caledl my mechanic Randy, and he walked me through the problem.

After we got on the road, I stopped in Moore Haven and picked up a new trail light assembly, than traveled over to Wellington, Florida where I met the Dooley's. There I picked up the "Comet" panel and moved it back into inventory. The Dooley's order two "Starz" panels in lieu of the Comet, as it did not match the Starz they already own.

Following my visit with the Dooley's, it was off to Miami to deliver a door to Arleen. This went off without a hitch. Arleen has a beautiful Penthouse on the 25th floor of an Ocean Front high rise. What a view of the ocean, the intercoastal, Joe Robi Statium and Downtown! She loved the glass, and is a great patron of the arts.

After we left Arleen we headed over to Coral Springs. We found artist parking, unloaded the camper and headed off to shop. We found a Pet Smart where we got The Blue Dog a nice squirrel squeaky toy, some treats, and Frontline medication. We went shopping at Publics for some snacks, and than to Ross for curtains behind the two new wall hangings.

After we returned to the RV, we headed out for a walk with the Blue Dog, and to find our space for tomorrow. We found our space, and a Kilwins Ice Cream. I got toasted coconut, Sherry got Pralines & Cream, and The Blue Dog got vanilla in a bowl, with a sugar cone on top. (She is getting pampered today, as she is still a little shell shocked from the hand gun target practice yesterday. Sherry & I both think that she went temporarily deaf for the day, as she would not respond to any commands, and seemed to not hear us when we walked up on her from behind. She seems better now, although still a little disappointed in us both, for subjecting her to the noise).

Back at the RV now, and all is right with the world. Time to hit the sheets, and get ready for that 3AM wake-up call. Set up will be a walk in the park on this one. Tomorrow, we sell sell sell sell glass!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Great day, today! We began with a record low, High Temperature, 66F. This is the lowest high temperature on record for today, March 18. The average high is closer to 80F. It was colder here than in Southern Maryland. The low today was 55F, which was pleasant. I started the day by removing the rondells I cooked last night from the kiln, washed them, put them through the grinder, washed them again, selected one, foiled it and soldered it in place. After all solder and touch-up solder, I applied the zinc kame. Then I washed, patinaed, washed again, wax, and polished the piece.

Once this was done, we went into town to pick-up the truck, which is running nicely now. However, I am going to have to get the front end aligned.

Once back home, I loaded Arleen's Door, the door panel and trim and headed over to Easy Street, to collect my frames from Tom the Cabinet Maker, and purhaps get some help with installation of Arleens Panel.
Tom did a great job with the frames. He utilized 8/quarter stock, onto which he cut a cabinet door profile. On the back he rabbited a receiver for the glass panel, followed by a rabbit for the mat-black backing (Masonite). For purposes of hanging, Tom was going to cut two key-holes. I thought this was too restrictive, and so requested a groove be cut along two sides, so the panel could be hung vertical or horizontal. Tom cut a dovetail groove along the two sides, which proved to work wonderfully. My criteria was ease of installation, economy, andan attractive frame in which to display the glass as wall art. Tom did it all! One frame of Ash into which we installed the Starry Night in Blue Ice Dichroic with SI100V Spectrum Iridized Vit surround glass, and one frame of Poplar into which we installed the Starry Night in Pink Gluechip with SI100GC Spectrum Iridized Gluechip.
Very nicely done! This could be a really big part of our inventory from here on out. We did the installs, and than moved our attention to Arleens door.

I built the panel about a quarter inch smaller, so I needed to get an eighth inch shim all the way around. Tom cut this, and than installed the trim. I packed up everything, said my good-bys, and headed home. Tom has the tools and the know-how to get the job done. I am very impressed with his work.

Once back at the studio, I gave Sherry the bill. She immediately took payment over to Tom the Cabinet and paid up the bill. She is really good about getting the little chores done immediately. That way they get out of the way, and we can move on to other, more pressing chores. While this was going on I took the two finished panels into the house, hung them on the walls, and started taking photos. I think they look great, and have no doubt that they will sell.

After all of the photography work was done, I put all of the tools, lighting and props away, and started to work on replacing the RV refrigerator. This was a bit of a chore, but had to be done. Sherry plugged it in, and we were off again with an ice box. Now we have a new microwave and a new ice box in the RV. This will make life easier.

Last, a note on the Palmdale Big Cats. In the town of Palmdale we have two wild animal businesses. One, Gatorama, is located on the south side of The Fisheating Creek. This is an alligator farm, and wild animal preserve (mostly reptiles, and some mammals). On the north side of town is the Vanishing Species Wildlife Preserve. This preserve has mainly mammals and exotic birds. The birds have been moved in town, just down the street from us. The large mammals, are still located north of town. Apparently, the Large Cats are in season. This is suppose to be what is drawing the wild cats out of the wildlife management area along the creek, and to the north of town, to the Vanishing Species Park.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Really nice this morning, with a low of 56F. and a high of 76F. Light rain this afternoon, as a cool front moves through. I got all of the rondells out of the kiln this morning and installed them in Arleens' door panel. Another one fractured during soldering. I removed it, and fired three more. I think that the dichroic glass is contaminated with a non-compatible C.O.E. glass. I put the rondells in, and shut down the studio early, in order to take a ride over to Port Charlott, to the Wolf Gunworks, where Sherry is taking a Conceal Carry / Firearm Safety Class. While she took the class, I went over to Tim Millers "Glass Station" and watched him and Rich blow glass fish. He was gaffing for Rich, who was blowing. It was quite an experience. I watched them for over two and a half hours. Very educational. I really have an great appreciation for blowing glass now. They offered to let me blow, but I begged-off, as I did not want to get in the way. I don't want to actually become a blower / hot glass artist, but I do need to know the mechanics of the process.

Earlier in the day, Tom the Cabinet Maker came by with a finished frame for approval. Very nicely done! He will stain this one, and finish another one made from paintot grade Poplar. They will both be completed tomorrow, at which time I will go over to his shop and install the glass and the backing. We really think that this is going to be the next thing, and are very excited about this latest product. We can't wait to see the finished product hanging in the display.

Tomorrow will be busy, as Thursdays always are. I have to pick up the truck in LaBelle, load it, and finish Arleens door panel, as well as get two panels installed in Tom the Cabinet Makers frames. Busy busy busy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

50F. this morning for our Low. 73F today for our High. I got a bunch of filings done today, and started on soldering up Arleens' door panel. Tom the Cabinet Maker came by today with a prototype profile of some trim molding. We decided on an Ash that is stain grade. He promised delivery by Thursday.

A Plamdale resident (Linda) came by to report a Panther sighting. Apparently, there is a female with some cubs wondering around town. The Postmistress claims to have seen the Big Cat cross between us and the post office, moving from the Hammock behind us, across Broadway, towards Miss Molly's. This is the second time this year that we have heard first hand accounts of a sighting. Big News, that.

I took my truck into town for tires and an electrical correction issue. Sherry followed me in, and we went shopping. When we got back home, there was a big old Tom Turkey in the yard. He had quite a long beard. These are Osceola Turkeys, indicative to Florida. This will be the first Turkey we have seen in town. We have spied many along the creek, when we are in the boat, but never here in town, much less in our back yard. This is one for the book!

As an aside, during the soldering up of Arleens door panel, three of the four rondells fractured. I do not know why this happened, but it costs close to four hours. I had to cut and grind new rondells, clean out the kiln, pound up some dichroic frit, arrange the rondells, and begin the firing process. In addition to all of this, I will have to break out the fractured rondells, clean out the foil, and begin all over again. And so it goes...Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday was a great day at the Jupiter Art Festival, with sales equal to Saturday. Load out was a test of endurance, but we were out by 7:30??PM, hooked up the RV and headed back to Palmdale. We stopped in West Palm Beach and had dinner at the Outback, and got home by midnight. I was so jumped up on caffeine that I did not get to the bed until after 4AM . I was able to finish two letters to commission clients, close out the job, and enter items sold.

I was up by 9AM, finished a letter to L.Simon on the cancellation of her commission number 030809-131, and mailed off a letter to Silverman on his copper turtle. We received acceptance to Gosport in this mornings mail. I fired up Arleens rondells, laid out Bowman, and cleaned up my work space. At 6PM I went over to Tom the Cabinet Makers shop on Easy Street and did the work up for our next project, a framed Starry Nights. Tom is really good, knows what he is doing, and makes a great cabinet. We will see how this one goes.

I returned home to a wonderful meal of roast pork, cleaned up after dinner, and took a walk over to the south east side of town.

Tomorrow, the big push is to complete Arleens door in preparation for delivery this Friday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We left Palmdale at 10:30 this morning, on our way to Jupiter Beach for the Jupiter by the Sea Art Festival. We left at 10:30AM so as to time a visit to the Banana Man in Clewistown. Just south of the Sand Mines on Rt. 27 we saw this automobile accident. It had just happened. Sherry saw a young Hispanic kid in the scrub, and he appeared hurt. We stop and, while Sherry called 911, I went and talked to the boy. He seemed dazed and confused, and whether he spoke English or not, I could not tell. I kept asking him is anyone was in the car. He had blood on him, and blood was pooling around his eyes. I did not touch him for fear of doing more damage to him. I could not see anyone in the car, but at that time it was fully involved. The boy had apparently not been wearing his seat belt, and had been thrown from the car during a roll. He was very lucky. If anyone was in the car with him, they did not fair so well. The police came after about 5 minutes. While the officer attended to the kid, I gave him my name and phone number, a left the scene, as there was nothing more I could do to help. Sherry was quite shaken by all of this, and kept repeating, "...poor kid...". I think the kid was exceptionally lucky. Had he had his seat belt on, or had the door not come off of the car during the roll, he would not be filing a police report. He would be getting prepped for an autopsy. The car was a Toyota.On our way once again, we made it to the Banana Mans' by Noon. Several telephone calls and we were able to locate him. We purchased two bunches, snapped his photo, and were on our way to Jupiter Beach.
We arrived without incident, set-up the Scamp, and proceeded to our location at H1, near the North end of the festival. It rained buckets during the set-up process. I erected the EZ-Up tent first, to have some place for dry storage. After the Show Off tent was up, I began off loading and setting up the stands. Sherry showed up with a snack for me, and we finished about 5PM. A quick trip to the Grocery Store, back home for dinner, and off to bed. 5AM tomorrow I have to finish set up, for all of the big sales tomorrow!
Torrential rain this morning. We have rain cooled temperatures. Currently we are in the low 60's, predicted to go into the mid-70's. The Blue Dog is staying close to heal, due to the booming thunder, some striking very close, and being very loud! We still have to finish polishing up the glass produced this week, and load it into the truck, so it looks as if I will be getting wet this morning.

I have opened an "ETSY" account for Classic Glass Studios. This is an on-line shopping site for artist and hand made crafts. A potter turned me on to this site, I checked it out and was very impressed. The potter does about 2K a month off of the site. As everyone seems to want to shop on-line now, and I have been toying with a shopping cart for our web page, I thought that I would give this site a shot and see how it goes. I just ordered business cards, and post cards, and included our ETSY address on the stationary ( So we will see. Time to load up. I would like to leave in time to get to the Banana Man on the way over, so we better get rolling!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Two "No.9" in Gold Chinchilla Dichroic started and completed today.
These panels will be entered into inventory for this weekends Jupiter Art Festival.
The Bowman cabinet door #1 in lay-out.

Up really early this morning. Nice weather. Really mild, with a chance of rain throughout the day. Highs in the upper 70's, Lows in the lower 60's. I spent most of the morning unloading the truck and stacking lumber. I ran another 8 tiles in the kiln, and completed two "No.9" in Dichroic panels, start to finish. Sherry continued on inventory, completing one MKB222 in Blue/Green Water glass, two 6X16 contemporary's, two card holders, and another bunch of 3/2 dicro diamonds. At about 6PM Warran Slocum stopped by for a visit, on his way over to the Jupiter Beach Art Festival. Sherry fixed a really nice dinner of Split Pea Soup, Fresh Corn Bread, and a very nice garden salad.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wow! What a day! Where to start? The weather first. One word...Beautiful! The day opened clear, with mild temperatures in the Low 60'sF. with a light breeze out of the southeast. Afternoon temperatures topped out in the Low 80'sF. with partly cloudy skies. All -in-all a beautiful day. I began early, by unloading the kiln with the last of the Bowman dichroic tiles. That's 18 tiles in all. I loaded the kiln with more tiles for a replace "Number 9" panel, and began the layout for the Bowman project. After lay-out was completed, I started cutting up boarder pieces and grinding them down in preparation for tomorrows layout. All the while, Sherry continued work on inventory replacement. This is a really critical aspect of our day to day operations. It is not at all very sexy, and is for the most part, drudgery production work. It is however, very important, and necessary for our survival. This is what pays the way. We have to replace what sells. If we don't, we won't have the inventory necessary for the next show. So I really appreciate her efforts. She put up almost 40 of the 3/2 dichroic sun catchers that we have been foiling up over the past several evenings.

I departed at noon to meet G.Booher in Punta Gorda. Gary and his wife purchased the "Circles & Arrows" panel, and exchanged their custom "Wright Transom" and cash for the panel. We occasionally do this with clients. They purchase a panel, get it home and find that it just does not do what they had hoped it would do. In these rare cases, we take the original panel back, and allow the purchase price to be applied to another panel, or towards a custom commission. In this case, the Wright Transom they returned was a custom panel, 10 X 42, in blue. It will be a little difficult to move, but this is the guarantee that we give our clients, and we must stand by our word ( and our work). Gary already had the replacement Circles & Arrows panel (He and his wife picked the panel up at the Venice Art Show on Sunday). He has already installed the new panel, and commented on how magnificent it looks, particularly at night!

After I left Gary, I stopped at the Home Depot and picked up some supplies for The Fisheating Creek Egret install, along with some Jack Chain and water filters. We go through about one water filter a month. The filters cost us about $1 a day. Time to get a real filtration system.

Next stop was in Bonita Springs to meet Mr. Katz, and deliver a C66 in Seafoam Green. This was one of Sherry's project. I was just the delivery boy. The hand off went well, and I was on my way to Naples, and the installation of The Fisheating Creek Egrets.

This installation could not have gone any better. It was a breeze. The panel is slightly smaller than the opening, not at all a snug fit. Nan has arranged to have her foreman inspect the project, at which time they will determine if they need me to remove the panel during the trim installation process or not. If they do determine that I am needed, we agreed to do this trim out during the time I will be in Naples for the Simon Transom installation, sometime this month, or purhaps early in April. A word here about Nan. She really is a wonderful lady, and a great patron of the arts. She supports a number of artist, and their work is displayed throughout her home. As for this current work, it is a rare thing to have someone give you the financial support, and the artist freedom, to create a work of this degree. We very much appreciate her trust, and support. She is a wonderful lady!

I departed Naples at 4:30PM and headed north on Interstate 75. My next (and last) stop was at the Home Depot, where I had to gather the materials necessary to build the stands and lay-out tables required for the 12' long Simons Transom Commission. While gathering the necessary components, I found 8' landscaping ties on sale for $1.97 apiece. I had mentioned in an earlier posting that I had in mind to build several raised beds, for vegetables and herbs. Well, I can now make that happen! I purchased 40 ties, enough to build 4- 4'Wide X 8' Long X 16"Deep raised beds. I will work on this a little at a time over the next couple of weeks. I need to get some really good soil from Todd, for the bottom layer of soil. The top 1/2 of the beds will be filled with good potting soil. One item I must get hold of is a composter. So much to little time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Very pleasant this AM. 50F. Today it reached a high of 81F. I finally got The Fisheating Creek Egrets polished and packed in the truck, ready for delivery tomorrow after 2PM, in Naples, Florida. I have made arrangements to deliver three panels tomorrow, everywhere from Punta Gorda, to Bonita Springs, to Naples. My first appointment is at 1PM in Punta Gorda, so that gives me most of the morning to finish Arleens rondells. I finished firing all of the Bowman tiles this afternoon. When I get up in the morning, I will take the last load out of the kiln. I will load Arleens rondells (clear with clear frit) at that time. I should be able to get those two projects (three panels) laid out and ready for Sherry. Tomorrow I pick up the lumber to construct the tables for the Simon transom. But today...Sherry put together some half round bevel/cut glass fan lights. Todd came by and invited us to come over and look at the new kitchen. We had a nice walk over. On the way we bumped into Evellyn & Gator. They are going to re-list their house and the rental, and are looking for some place with lots of acreage. We wish them luck, but Palmdale would not be the same without them. The Prevatts kitchen look greats. Solid maple cabinets. Todd just finished the floor. They are a great couple, with a beautiful family. Gavin is really talking up a storm. Back at home Sherry fixed a great grilled chicken dinner with pasta and field peas & snaps. I continued to foil dichroic bevels for sun catchers. We have close to 90 foiled up and ready for the soldering iron. Sherry foiled Nautilus Shell panels while we watched the news. I just opened a account for Classic Glass Studios. A potter friend of ours says that he has good luck with internet sales as a result of Etsy. As I am ordering new business cards, it will be good to have this address to use.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Well, I did not get all that I wanted done today. I did get the Venice cashed out, and opened three new commission files. I did some work on show filings, and ordered materials from Rainbow. During work on the computer, I noticed someone poking around my orange trees. It turned out to be a Citrus Field Surveyor. Her name was Denise, and we walked the entire property inspecting our trees and discussing dooryard citrus. She said that all looks well, I should not use as much fertilizer as I am currently applying. However, she did say the trees are free of Greening, black spot, blight, and any number of other pests. She assured me that at some point in the near future, my trees will get the Greening. This disease is carried by a small flying insect. Once the bug bites the tree, it is only a matter of time before the tree produces a sour, bitter, mis-shaped fruit. It takes years for the disease to manifest itself, but once it happens, the only recourse is to replace the tree. She said that they are trying to develop a tree that will not contract the disease, but that is far away. For the time being, I am safe. What I do not understand is, I have some very old trees that are perfectly fine. By all rights, the trees are so old and beyond their prime that I should replace them, but I do not because they have been around for so long (long before I got here) that I feel as if it is my place to care for them in their old age. What I do not understand is how these old, sad, worn out guys can stand up against all of the diseases that inflict the newer trees. It is a mystery to me.

Sherry went into LaBelle, and I stayed in Studio doing prep work for the warm glass inclusions needed for commissions and inventory. I cut up all of the dichroic squares, and began firing. I can run 4 tiles at a time, and when in full production, I will be able to do three or four runs every 24 hours. At this rate it will take me the better part of two weeks to complete all of the firing I have scheduled.

Once all of the warm glass prep work was done, I began grinding dichroic bevels for 3/2 suncatchers. When completed, I have 220 bevels ready for foiling.

Sherry got home, we put groceries away and started dinner. All in all and great day.
The Low last night was in the high 30'sF., but the High today is predicted to be in the lower 70'sF. Maybe spring is finally here. Today we polish The Fisheating Creek Egrets, and begin firing dichroic tiles for the Bowman cabinet panels. Additionally, Arleens' rondells have to be fired, but they will not be needed until next week, so I will move Bowman to the front of the line.

First things first. I have to close out Venice, open three new commission files, update my filing calender, and order materials. I have design work pending for Derik that has to be done within the next week, as delivery is due at the end of the month. We have a TON of commission due, and only 9 weeks to do them. I better get started.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Finally back home after a long weekend at the Venice Art Festival. The outdoor shower was hot and strong. Much needed after a long day of hard work. Even though the outside temperature was only in the low 50'sF. , the water felt wonderful. It is always such a good feeling to come home.

Good Show (not great, just good). Certainly worth doing again. We did well on direct sales, and picked up some nice commissions. I think that before the week is out, we will get some more commission work.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wow. Am I beat. We just got in from a grueling day at the Venice Art Festival. It started this morning with a 3AM wake-up. Set up was pretty easy. Usually you can not get on to the Street until after 5AM. This morning we were allowed on at 3AM. This gave me the entire morning to get set-up. Pretty heavy crowds by mid day, with moderate sales. Some really good commission work came out of the show on Saturday. We will see what Sunday will bring.

Friday, March 5, 2010

We finally got The Fisheating Creek Egret panel completed. All that is left is to polish and clean the panel, crate it up, and deliver it to Naples. I will be much relieved to have it completed. It has been a hugh project, and I am glad that it is finally (almost) finished. "No job, big or small, is ever done until you've done it all". When the egret body broke, I was more than a little distressed. That set me back a full day. Now that it is done, I like this egret body better than the last. I guess there is reason for everything.

Once we completed all of our packing for Venice, we headed over to Tim Millers "Glass Station" in Port Charlotte, for some industrial dichroic. They were blowing, so it was a real treat to watch them work. In these photos, Barclay is working on some vases. He said that he has'nt picked up a blow pipe in 5yrs. and is happy to get back into the furnace. It the first photo, Barclay is throwing the glass, at Richard's direction. The rod holding the glass is called a punt, as opposed to a blow pipe.
Here is Barclay putting heat back into the vase. The glass has to stay hot, or it will crack and break. If too hot, it will fall off of the punt. It is continually put into, and taken out of the heat. This is furnace is called a "glory hole".
Here Richard is working a piece of glass while Barclay (outside of the photo) is blowing air into the glass, causing it to expand. Notice The Blue Dog looking on...
In this last photo, Barclay is rolling the hot glass on the maulving table into glass frit, to add color. It was great fun watching these guys make glass objects of art. We love to watch them work. You can really appreciate just how much effort goes into a simple vase, after an afternoon at the Glass Station. As you can see in this last photo, The Blue Dog is really enjoying herself.
We finished off our visit with a nice load of industrial dichroic glass. Enough to complete the two commissions for The Bowman Project. The plan now it to get this turned around within a couple of days, so we can deliver it in Naples when we are in the neighborhood with The Fisheating Creek Egrets. Sherry purchased a beautiful signed bowl, to add to our collection. This is our first "Miller", and is a really superior piece. I knew when Tim showed it to us that Sherry was going to want it. The thought no sooner crossed my mind when she turned to me and said "I have to have it". And so it goes. She asks for so little. In addition to the bowl and all of the dichroic glass, Tim throw in bottle of homemade star fruit wine that Sherry says she is saving to share with Jessica at Easter.
We departed Tim's. stopped at Walmart for batteries for the camera, an SD card, and odds and ends, and headed off to Venice for the show. Weather looks like it is going to be great. Our fingers are crossed for a good show. We are due!
This is an abandoned cracker house we found years ago. It is located way out in the scrub, on the north east side of town. It is apparently pretty well know, as everytime we go out there, some other plants are missing, mostly the ones we want. This appeared to be a nursery operation of some sort, with overhead irrigation strung throughout the hammock. It looks as if orchids might have been the big crop. However, there are also palms, bromeliad, and other exotics. Sherry likes "shopping" here, because the plants are all hardened to the conditions here in Palmdale. There are also good sweet citrus trees. We found about 6 of them. You can tell that they are good by the number of rat eaten fruits on the ground around the trees. The rats are an invasive species, imported from South East Asia back in the 60's. They have overtaken Florida. They are arboreal rats (live in trees), and eat fruit, citrus mainly. They are tenacious, and destructive. We had these rats during the last drought. They did over $1000. in damage to the plumbing, chewing through the pipes to get at the water. I don't like them, but when you are in the wilds, and you want to locate a good citrus for eating, look on the ground for signs of rat damaged fruit. They will only eat the best fruit. We ended up with a nice yucca, some ferns, and the rest of the good oranges that we could reach (the rats only eat what falls on the ground). The oranges were delicious, navel and velencia's.

Back home we foiled up Arleens project, along with 4 boxes of dichroic bevels, for suncatchers.

Today, we pack up and head over to Venice for a Howard Allan show. On the way we are going to stop at Tim Millers Studio, and collect so industrial dichroic for inventory, and the two panels we need for the Bowman Project.