The problem with a garage workshop…

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The problem with a garage workshop...

23″ of snow in the past four days. A 4′ mound of snow against the shop-side garage door. Temperatures today in the mid-30s. While the garage floor is pitched well, the melting snow has no where to drain, and is backing into the garage. Tomorrow I’ll carve a channel for the melt in the driveway, and Monday I’m rearranging the shop, anyway, to put the bench away from the garage door. In the meantime, I’ve got the one leg hoisted out of the water. Not good to rack the bench thusly, but it’s not moving tonight.

I’m ready for winter to be done.

Ahhh – 8×10!

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Okay, I’m starting to remember what shooting large format is about. 4×5 is not large format. 8×10 is. There’s a completely different set of operations, and concentration, and focus. For me, anyway. YMMV. But for me, there’s a world of difference when I step up in format, and it surprises me how quickly I lost that.

Anyway, far from art, but I sat Maddie in front of the Eastman today. Trying out a Voigtlander lens I got with the camera. She’s far too giggly for large format – always has been – but I like how this turned out.

Carciofi!

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Carciofi!

My kids are certifiable artichoke fanatics. Have been since they could eat solid food. And they come by it naturally: My parents had me eating them very young. The ‘chokes we get here are artichokes in name only – desiccated, brown, disgusting shells of what were once little packages of deliciousness. A number of years ago we grew our own, very successfully, here in southeastern Pennsylvania (a claim which was discounted by the local horticultural society as “improbably”). We were able to over-winter the plants for a year as well, but haven’t grown them since.

Last year, I placed an order with a California grower for a number of 1-year-old plants in hopes of having fresh ‘chokes for the summer. She never delivered, though, and we were (again) left with the drech at Redner’s.

In December, we ordered a few packets of seeds, determined to have viable plants this year. The seeds were planted last week; today we have our first sprouts! About four of the ~20 Violetto seeds have sprouted. I’ll check the Imperial Star pots when the kids are home.

Summer, here we come!

Ash box…

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Ash box...

Started this box for my son when he was about 3, as a sturdy rock box. He turns 14 this week. Yow.

As a rock box, I was more interested in resiliency that appearance; I was making a bench at the time, had a surplus of ash, so I planed some down. Mitered the sides, checked the fit with band clamps, then got distracted. The box has sat, in the band clamps, ever since. Planed some walnut a while ago for the top and bottom, summarily lost the pieces, and put it on the back burner again.

About a month ago I cleaned out the garage. The shop’s usable again. Decided I’d finish this box. Found some more walnut, but wasn’t really excited about it. One afternoon, napping, it occurred to me that the box should be entirely ash (I love ash), and I should find some figured ash for the top. Woke up (seriously) and found a 4×4 chunk of a bench leg that’s been sitting on the bench as long as the box had been. Resawed it, reverse diamond matched the pieces, and the top was born. Resawed a plank for the bottom, got after it this week, and today it’s finished.
My son has long since moved on from his child’s fascination with garden rocks. The box is destined to be filled with Hershey Kisses and Wint-O-Green Lifesavers, and will perch on my desk at work.

So, all ash, splined with ash, finished with lacquer. Knock another off the long-term project list.