Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Window - Thanks to the Bees & the VandeKamps

The story of our new window:

The first picture here shows four 'windows' which are mere sheets of glass caulked and framed into place. Not the best for insulating against our hot summers and 'cold' winters! Below the windows is the seating area. The bees were under the the seat area to the left. This is all changed now, but I haven't finished the inside, so those pictures will be added later.

Here, I've poured the foundation below the existing window and am nearly finished with the framework around the new window. New window...That's a neat little story. I was at Lowes looking at windows for this front, and there was a custom-sized 6' x 5' return window and it was discounted at $85. I paid for it and figured on picking it up the next day with Al VandeKamp, a retired friend who has been invaluable in helping me with so many projects on the house. I gave him a call to tell him of my good fortune in finding such a bargain, and he in turn tells me he and his son, Lowell, just removed a 6' x 5' window from Lowell's house and were wondering what to do with it. Ends up I got it for free! Thanks Lowell & Holly!! And Al, of course!

I was able to build this front in front of the existing window, so I didn't have to remove anything until I was ready to finish it all and wouldn't have to leave anything open to the outside. Wouldn't have to, unless I dropped my cordless drill into one of the windows and shattered it into the living room. Ooops! Only a couple more days til I got to walling the whole thing in, so no major big deal.

We were able to remove the old front and set in the new window without much trouble. We used the old sides, shored them up to the foundation, then put in 8" lag bolts from the front into the sides for stability all around.

Went right over the old panelling with new and tied it all together. The inside will have a toy chest down to the foundation (a bit of insulation and plywood over the foundation). The outside will have some trim yet and paint.

Unbelievable how much quieter it is already. That, and the room isn't closer to outside temperatures in the morning. Still have to do the boys rooms with new windows and the dining room which are all single pane windows (at least they are real windows!). Oh, and the tiny side 'window' next to the front door, which is currently not even glass but that plastic textured 'glass.' Talk about lack of insulation!

Friday, January 25, 2008


What's all the national uproar about bees missing from their hives? I had more than plenty living in my house. Of course, being a ranger I figured we could live in harmony with them. They weren't Africanized after all. I could walk right past them and they hardly noticed me. In fact they kept bumping into me if I stood in their fligth path. Well, it doesn't take a genious to figure out the next part of the story....I get stung. OK, the bees have to go.

I spend two days spraying gallons of soapy water on them - killing large numbers - each time thinking I've done some major damage. They kept showing up in full force the next day, and this while it is still cold out, so they probably aren't out in full force. So I try to stop up the cracks where they were getting into the area under our living room windows. That just got them mad. All the angry buzzing scared the boys, so it became clear it was time to call in the big guns.

OK, the bees are gone for good. At least they aren't alive anymore - they're still inside the wall there. Well, the windows were just two very large sheets of glass. Hardly what anyone would call a window. They needed to come out anyhow. Plus the window unit comes out from the house, but doesn't go all the way to the ground. There is a seat-type area inside. Time to take it out and remove the hive before the warm weather comes and the honey drips out of the hive and attracts insects or other bees. I've got pictures of the rebuilding of the window area and the new window - I'll put those up soon. This is how thick and large the hive was. Fortunately, the honey hadn't leaked all over. The combs were about 2 or 2 1/2 inches thick and as deep as the space allowed. They filled the first space entirely before starting into the next space...The comb inside the next space shows what the combs looked like. I had to use plastic grocery bags outside my gloves to pick them out, and I still got my gloves all full of honey. It was a mess, but not a horrible mess. And it gave me another project to do (like I needed that right now).

Monday, January 21, 2008

Another Colored Pencil 'Painting'

Just finished this one. I took these images from different pictures I took when in Hawaii WAAAAY back when. Actually, that was a pretty cool story, too. I won a week trip to Hawaii going to one of those vacation packages. I had gone in figuring on winning a night in Vegas as a highschool buddy was coming for a visit and wanted to go to Vegas. I pulled out the one envelope with the Hawaii package in it! Anyhow, I had in mind to do this painting after getting my prints back and finally got around to doing it. Into Deeper Waters - we all must go. I think I can do much better with it by going larger, and painting it. When I learn to paint. And have time and space to do so. Anyhow, this one will come up again in the future. I'm not sure of the size on this, 9"x12" or 13"?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Poke'mon Picnic

What to do when the weather turns nice as it so often does here in the 'winter?' Why you go to the park and have a Pokemon picnic, of course!

They are easy to please and seldom complain about having to eat pinecones, flowers, pieces of bread or pretty much anything the boys find laying around.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Also Rans - Drawings that Didn't Get in the Show

For one reason or another, there were many drawings I have done in the past four years that didn't make it in the show. Some newer stuff isn't framed, and some I didn't think 'fit' the show. I was going for 'Arizona' stuff for the gallery, but when there seemed to be more room than I first thought, I took some old pencil drawings that I thought showcased my older work (and ones that I still have in my house!). Here are most of my other works, from newer to older - roughly. I won't bother trying to name them or otherwise label them as the other ones took forever and still didn't come out right on some people's monitors.

Hope you enjoy. This is what I've been up to the past four years...

Of course, many are for sale if the price is right!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Show Pieces

OK, there's probably a way to make this into a slide show, but I don't have the foggiest...You'll have to suffer scrolling down to see everything. Add the crappy monitor and I don't really know if anything I'm posting is even decent. So, because I believe a few pictures to be blurry, I will show the gallery shot - framed and then the scan - unframed.



The Glory of Fall - 16" x 20" Framed
Pen & Ink [stipple]

In HIS Hands 11"x14" Framed Colored Pencil $1250

Christmas House Ruins 11"x14" Framed Pen & Ink plus Colored Pencil $ 1350

Phoenix Zoo Koi 11"x14" Framed Colored Pencil $500

Tribute to the Night 11"x14" Framed
Pen & Ink [stipple]

Hunger Pains 11"x14" Framed Pen & Ink [stipple]

Collared Lizard - Mate Wait 8"x10" Framed
Pen & Ink [stipple]

Reach for the Sky 14"x11"
Pen & Ink [stipple]

Little Begger 8"x10" Framed
Pen & Ink [stipple]

Havasupai Falls 14"x11" Framed Pen & Ink [stipple] Not For Sale

Santa Rita Prickly Pear Flower 11"x14" Framed Colored Pencil on Black Paper $350

The last Ebony Pencil drawing I did was in 1996 or 97 for Erik. This is the Durango - Silverton Narrow Guage in CO.

This is crazy King Ludwig's Bavarian castle. Interesting story behind this and his other castles. Anyhow he was committed as insane but not before he spent most of the family's accumulated wealth. I don't know how that got underlined, and I don't know how to undo it without retyping everything. It was done with Ebony pencil and white Prismacolor pencil on blue paper.

This is a harbor scene I really liked. Well, Karen really liked it, too. The first one I did of this one I gave to Phoenix Christian Gradeschool for an auction. This is the second one of the same scene. It was (they were) done with Ebony pencil and white Prismacolor on grey paper.