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Tag Archives: Animals

The Return of the Sea Lions

The Return of the Sea Lions

For a week I had been hearing a colony of sea lions barking across the Bay and although I had viewed them from the dock I also was eager to observe them from the water however the weather was not cooperating with my plan. The winds had been playing havoc on the waters and the temp was near freezing so I waited impatiently for the weather to be more agreeable for a paddle.

Yesterday was picture perfect!IMG_7837

The sun was shining, the winds ceased blowing, the water was flat and my kayak was beckoning.
Each year the sea lions come for a visit. They just inexplicably appear, stay for a couple of weeks and then depart as mysteriously as they arrive. I find these winged foot mammals fascinating.

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Top Ten Sea Lion Facts

• Sea Lions enjoy relaxing and basking in the sun
• The males are called bulls and the females are called cows
• Males are massive and can weigh from 1,500 pounds to 1 ton in exceptional cases and can also be up to 11 feet long
• Females are smaller with an average weight of 700 pounds
• Female Sea Lions become part of a harem with a male that protects them
• They give birth to pups, which are born on land and can weigh up to 50 pounds at birth
• A Sea Lion is able to dive up to 600 feet for food in the water
• They can remain under the water for up to 40 minutes before surfacing for air
• They can swim at up to 25 miles per hour but generally they only move about 10 miles per hour unless they feel threatened
• The average life span in the wild for a Sea Lion is 20 years1

A link to Pacific Ocean Sea lions:
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=pacific+ocean+sea+lions&qpvt=pacific+ocean+sea+lions&FORM=IGRE#a
Are you a nature lover? What excites you about the outdoors?

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!
An Example of one of the Carved Lintels

An Example of one of the Carved Lintels

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

Some years ago, following my urge to cut, carve and gouge, I became one of a group of apprentices participating in a Community Center Carving Project. The group project was led by George Norris, a celebrated artist, sculptor and wood carver. I longed to learn carving from a master and our task was to carve intricate details in broad wooden lintels that would be placed throughout the Community Center. George shared many insights, from his rich career of carving with the group, among which was an important lesson: Don’t bleed on the wood as it penetrates the grain and unfortunately there is only one way to remove blood stains from wood and that is by removing the blood stained area, hence the wood itself.

Carvings on Yellow Cedar Posts

Carvings on Yellow Cedar Posts

I learned this important lesson by experience while blood spurted wildly from a hand wound, caused by my ineptness with a lethal weapon aka the number seven carving tool. I mention that it was a number seven so that anyone who is aware of carving tools can appreciate how hazardous this tool can be in the hands of a beginner. Anyone who can’t imagine the damage that it can cause may want to check out my scar, a rather large one, to validate this.

Carving Exercise Block

As you might imagine I yelped a little when I stabbed my own hand, drawing the attention of the master carver who quickly came to my side to observe, not my wound, but the lintel where I had unknowingly leaked some blood. While I stanched the flow of blood as best I could, George quickly drew up a plan to remove the bloodied wood and in haste created an altered carving design to accommodate the removal of the bloodstain. There was no denying that my bloody wound came second to the importance of the lintel being carved.

Artists and artisans often recall with fondness the words of wisdom from a mentor and for me the words I remember most fondly as my first words of professional advice were

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

What words of wisdom do you recall from a mentor?

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Bits & Bites

 

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Two By Two

Two By Two

bright cut out animals
Have you ever wondered how Folk Art is created?

One of the Folk Art items I enjoy creating is Noah’s Ark. I create the Ark from reclaimed wood that I salvage from demolition sites or old homes. Along with the ark I include a number of small wooden animals.

Following is my step by step method of creating wood animals from reclaimed wood:

1. The first step is to design the animal on paper and then carefully cut it out and laminate the design for a tracer that you can utilize over again for future animals. That would be a practical thing to do.
Or you can do as I do and draw the animal directly on a piece of suitable wood, which is my quick and easy no nonsense preference. Each animal becomes a ‘one of a kind’ with its own irreplaceable character.

2. When the outline of the animal is drawn onto the wood it is essential to cut it out. I use a scroll saw; I love this little saw and have used it for many years.
It was a present from my supportive husband who recognized early on in our life together that I was not the kind of woman who cared highly for roses or bling, but one who would appreciate the value of a sharp saw or belt sander. I have cut through many a board with this little saw, broken many a blade and stained wood with my blood.

3. Once one of Noah’s animals emerges from the piece of reclaimed wood the next step is to sand the rough edges. You can use a medium weight sand paper and do this by hand.
I utilize a belt sander, another gift that thrilled me more than a mix master would have. Many a knuckle has been sanded and skin lost, during this procedure!

4. As soon as the animal feels smooth all over the fun of painting begins. I use old house paint.
This is an efficient and practical way to recycle products that could end up in the landfill. Fortunately I find painting the house, inside and out, a pleasant and meditative pastime, so I am never short of dribs and drabs of paint.

5. After a base coat I apply the appropriate color and once it dries I apply a second coat. A bit more sanding, then an application of varnish or stain or wood wax depending on the amount of distressing I might do.
Additional details such as some hemp rope for the tail and mane on the horse are added.

The finishing touch on all the animals is to add the eyes. This last step ensures that the animals come ‘alive’!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Tutorials

 

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