Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Imagine living right on the water

Just around the corner from where I live in Tennessee is a little colony of houses that sit directly on the water in a quiet cove off the Tennessee River. These are 'regular' homes with dining rooms, bedrooms and baths. Unlike a house boat, these homes have no motorized power and cannot be used for travel. But, you can store your boat in your floating house garage. Each house floats atop large blocks of foam. Two long steel arms anchor each house to land and allow each home to rise and fall with the level of the river. Each house also has its own gangway for access to land.

These homes are registered annually with the state's fish and game department, just like any boat or jetski. Permits are no longer being issued for new development of these types of homes.

I wish I knew someone who owned one, I'd love to take a peak inside any of them. I'm sure there are some funny stories from people who own them, imagine getting drunk and loosing your footing and going for an unexpected dip.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The hummers are here!

No, not the rolling gas hogs, but the lovely flying jewels that grace North America from spring until fall. This year marks the earliest arrival to our location in Middle/West Tennessee since I started keeping track of their arrival times in 2000. We had our first male Ruby-throated on the evening of March 26, 2009. The females have yet to arrive here. Right away I started cooking up a batch of hummingbird 'food' since the flowers that are their primary source of food in the form of nectar have yet to open. Small insects are another staple of their diet. I will continue to feed them throughout their time here, which is usually October.

I've never felt the need to purchase 'hummingbird food' but have always made my own. There is no need to offer them the artificial coloring that comes in store bought mixtures!! Here is my recipe:

Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil
Add 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
Return to boil and boil for 1 minute
Allow to cool then fill your feeder~simple and easy. Store unused mixure in the refridgerator.

Next time we'll talk about the proper way to clean a hummingbird feeder~NO SOAP, just hot water and bleach.

From the sky to the water with a detour to the polar ice cap

I finally completed my biplane project and soon it will be flying off to the buyer. I added some hand painted features near the propeller to give a feeling of 'movement' to the piece, not always easy to do when working with glass.

After working on a couple of small projects I felt it was time to recreate one of my favorite projects~a Koi in a water setting with lily pads and lily flowers. I've been dragging this one out it seems like. I started on it last Saturday, March 29. It took me two days to select the glass, a couple of days to cut all the pieces and now a week later I'm at the stage where I can start wrapping all of the pieces in copper foil to prepare for solder. the meantime, I got side tracked with another project. Its a stylized emperor penguin with its chick. This one came to me the way some projects do, doodling while waiting for pictures to upload. I'm not quite sure how it will turn out, my chick looks more like a chickadee! Live and learn, I say, the next time I'll be able to make some necessary changes to the design, but it will still be a cute.