The final stage.
The final stage.
Here are some of Liz’s wood block prints and her proof press. The toad demons are the newest, and I think she said they still have one more layer to go. The multi-color prints are reduction prints. After each layer is printed, subsequent prints/layers are made by carving away more and more of the original block. By the end, you just have your outlines/shadows. If you make a mistake, you’re just screwed. And once you’ve moved on to the next layer, that’s it–you can never make another print, ever. It’s crazy and completely awesome! I don’t know if I’d be capable of creating with that kind of abandon.
Liz is teaching a free linoleum block class this Sunday, and there are still a couple spots left. Details on registration are here.
The blocks she prints from are beautiful in themselves. You can see a print from the bear wood block (above) below. She carves both sides of each block. The reverse for the bear block is the woman below. The reverse of the man in the tie is the toad. The double-sided blocks make me unaccountably giddy.
This is my very sad old hay shelter,which is not long for this world. It did a more or less fine job despite its shortcomings. But a wicked winter wind ripped on of the posts right out of its concrete footing, and from there, it was pretty much a goner. As of this morning, the only thing holding it up was a ladder. By the end of today, it will have a total of 4 upright posts, and next week, the hoops will be gone and it will have a proper tin roof! Ed’s going to make it a little wider as well, and I’m hoping to fit the new mower inside.
In other hay-related news, I’ve got a date with our county extension agent next week to see what’s growing on our pastures and get some help with a management plan. Right now, I’m thinking of trying to establish some native grass for the future, but skipping a couple years of haying, and doing some winter grazing and buying supplementary hay for the mid-term. But we’ll see (more boring details about our pastures here).
We found this in the shelter. I hope it finds a good place to relocate. It’s current home is now just flopped over, off the posts, but it didn’t seem interested in moving. Maybe we can help relocate it when the new roof’s up?
Infrastructure was something I just took for granted in Austin, where people had the luxury of debating and whining about the pros and cons of frills like bike lanes and traffic bumps. In a small town in a sparsely-populated county, roads aren’t an entitlement or just part of the basic machine, but a massive expense. This is great news and an excellent effort by the city. Yay, roads!
One of our favorite games is planning our strategy for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse. You have to acknowledge that the farmers and ranchers will really be in the best position to hold them off.
In the pre-zombie universe, of course, it’s used for moving large round hay bales.
This mysteriously appeared out back this afternoon, which I can only assume means they’ll finally be haying tomorrow! Yay!
Last year I fretted about the hay being so late, and this year I almost fretted a couple of times but decided the grownup thing was not to obsess over stuff I can’t control, especially when the stuff is relatively inexpensive. Worst case scenario, I’d have to buy hay. And I’ve still got a good 20 bales from last year, so even if I got zero hay this year, based on last year’s 50 bales (and that’s over an unusually cold winter), even with a lot of waste from this being old hay, I’d still probably only need 35 more bales, assuming a normal winter. At $3-5/bale, the damage would be $105-175 if I got absolutely no hay. More likely, it will be somewhat shitty hay and they’ll just waste a lot more, but between it & the old stuff, we’ll be fine. The old stuff is not the best hay ever at this point, but they’re still eating it when it’s hot and they want a snack that doesn’t involve the glaring sun. See? Simple math has helped me avoid unnecessary stress. Yay, math!
In other hay-related news, Ed & Ron will be working on my poor dilapidated hay shelter tomorrow. I should probably suck it up and help, too, seeing as it’s mine. I accused Ed of always starting projects on the hottest days of the year. Normally, Ron would be at work, but the AC’s out at the shop, so free labor! Ed’s going to call tonight with a quote, and if we can afford it, we may go with a more permanent, tin-roof structure instead of the beefed-up hoop house I was planning. But with the possibility of Ron opening up a shop soon, we’re being more cautious with money.
The heat has also resulted in this Jayne’s new “lazy grazing” technique. For the last two afternoons, Jayne has been grazing laying down. He eats all around where he’s laying, gets up and relocates, then reclines and gobbles up the surrounding grass. It’s very weird, but he seems otherwise perfectly fine, not at all weak or reluctant to rise if you approach him. He’s always been kind of on the lazy side, the first to lay down & the last to move his ass, even as a big fat lamb, so I’m not to worried. But it is a bit odd, and something to keep an eye on.
Today I have a little Art Share PSA!
I’m excited to announce the Harveyville Project’s new artist in residence, Liz Runkle, is leading a block printing workshop for Art Share, Harveyville’s free community arts program. We’ll be carving linoleum block and printing on her fantastic old proof press! Space is very limited & participants must be over 13, as we’re using sharp tools. Call 785-589-2714 or email nikol @ harveyville project.com (take out spaces!) to register.
Later this year, Terry Yates and Nancy Land will be teaching some exciting community classes! Art Share’s KAC grant has ended, but there is some excellent volunteer support, and we do plan to continue offering free classes going forward, and we’ll probably have a few fundraisers as well. The plan is to join forces with other nearby communities to share the artistic skills of both visitors and our local people. Some classes will have a supplies fee, but we’ll do our very best to keep the art flowing freely! If you have any ideas or you’d like to lead a workshop yourself, call or email me!
And expect a deluge of posts this month, as I join NaBloPoMo. I’m trying to condition myself to post more regularly. This month’s NaBloPoMo theme is “green” which I’m taking literally today. Here’s Liz with Mr. Shivers:
The days may be long, but they’re flying by, as usual. Here are a few summer pictures from Cupcake Ranch (aka our little backyard flocks).