Sunday, October 30, 2011

My $70 a Month Heat Bill

 Everyone always wants to know how we can have a $70 a month heat bill in the dead of an Iowan winter - in a 1905 Victorian house - well this is how we do it.  NOTE the house is 1105 square feet.

We keep the house at 65F during the day and 58F at night or when we are not home. Caulk around the outsides of every window, door, etc. and do this every few years, oh and LOTS of insulation! We use mortite on the inside for the windows, the windows are original except for two modern windows and it's the modern windows that leak like a sieve. 

Winter 2010

Make sure to change those furnace filters too.  Another tip is to put insulation behind outlets and switches that are on outside walls, these are also major draft stoppers.  Repair any storm windows with new spline and the fuzzy insulating stuff every 10 years or so.

It also helps that we are on budget billing, and the gas company keeps bugging us to pay the new rate which is $59 a month but John keeps refusing.  November is our reconciliation month, and by paying the $70 a month we don't get a "suprise" spike in our heat bill.

edited to add:  The orignal builder insulated the house and big time, way back in 1905, he filled it with woolrock from the basement all the way out the attic rafters.  We're thinking he didn't like being cold. The house maintains and beautifully, it's been 65F in here for two weeks now.

Rivers and Trees

Getting ready for my upcoming solo show at the Grimes Farm Conservation Center, Marshalltown, IA.  I will be showing my Ghost Trees Series and my Blood River Canyon Series.

Paint Update 103011

Caulking around the windows.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Scaffold Shuffle

The top two towers have been removed, so we can paint the area between the windows

Setting up another four stage tower, I'm too tired to explain it I'll take pictures tomorrow.

Paint Update 102511

Now with some color!

oak leaf vats

It's time to start thinking about putting these oak leaf and acorn vats away for the winter.

Paint Update 102411

working one section at a time, slowly but surely the painting is getting done.

Paint Layer No. 1

In progress new deep face frames for my artwork.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's Orange

New garden tub, soon to be filled with weeds, leaves, and other compostable yummies.

New Frames - In Progress

John set up some stations for me, with lots of clamps, so that I could sand the frames and quickly.  Tomorrow they will be painted, right now he's sanding them with 220 grit paper for the final finish, I sanded them earlier with 120 grit.

11x14x2.75 inches each

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting Plastered!

Am streaming live tonight at 9pm Central -  Plaster, Earth Pigments, and if I have some time will add some wax to some of the pieces.  Come on by and chat a bit while I experiment in my studio!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Sale

As I finalize my new studio space, aka the former living room in our house, I am unpacking the last of the boxes.  In those boxes are left over books from my retail shop I closed a few years back.  Over the next few days I'll be listing these books for sale on a new page I created here on my blog, see the "Products" tab.  I also have a few knitting needles left and I plan to package those up into lots and sell them by the lot.

If I can get it all figured out I'll be adding PP buttons!!!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Solo Show Hung

Hung my solo show in the "Ding Darling" Gallery at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge Center today.  It looks great, there will be info sheets hanging between the large panels.  It took us, Doreen and I, an hour to hang these panels.

I can see I need to work on my hanging mechanisms, it's picture wire on the back but for some reason they really lean forward.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Neutralizing Rust Dyed Fabrics and Fibers

I'm in the process or updating my rust dyeing information - the part about neutralizing. Substitute out Baking Soda for the salt!!! I thought I had done this about six years ago, but apparently forgot to do so. So use 1-2 tablespoons of Baking Soda per gallon of water and upwards of a quarter cup of baking soda to 4 gallons of water.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Knowledge and Sharing

Knowledge is for sharing but remember some of us work VERY hard to provide this information so please give credit where credit is due!