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  So I was watching a National Film Board special about fabulous bridges in the world & how they were made...
  I learned a bit about cement...
  Here are two ideas I can use for my ferrocement sculptures...
1)Rocks...I can put rocks (thinking white marble rocks), on the ground under my Swanee sculpture to lift it off the ground & create water drainage...That is alot easier for me than making a giant pedestal & will look nicer...
2)Hollow...Hollowness works with cement structures because cement is very heavy, & if you make something solid the tension from the weight can cause its own kind of cracking...So aim for lightness in concrete sculptures...
 
 
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So, I was thinking the tubes could be copper pipe, maybe 1/2 inch diameter, M quality which are like $7.29 a 6 ft. piece at Canadian Tire...Wire could be copper wire, a large roll...(50 ft.)
  Fooling around still with Trumpeter swan House designs...Can be modified for other waterbirds...
  4 tubes attached by wire for floor level...3 tubes attached by wire for roof level...
  Two walls for wind protection...(could be fibreglass sheeting mesh, or chicken wire, either. covered in slurry admix adulterated cement mix...)
  Fill base with straw...

PIZAP.com is who I used to cut out the photo & edit, then iPhoto on Mac Snow leopard...
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Same design as above, but all shapes are round instead of square, basically...So round base, half-circle roof, & arc support...
or maybe, a round base, with a semi-arc top. with a semi-semi-arc to support it...? 
I like roundness for a waterbird shelter nest...Need some more practice materials to test for balance issues...Hairbands & cardboard aren't exactly the stuff of museum work...Well, maybe? 
Went from copper pipe, to galvanized steel rods, to reusing bird seed bags as support materials...From the sublime to the ridiculous...Funny, but most people tend to prefer the ridiculous...(Although the ridiculous is often the cheapest, so maybe that is it...)

Here's a tidbit: http://lifehacker.com/283088/share-your-macs-internet-connection-wirelessly My brother gave me an iPod for my birthday...But I didn't have a wireless router for my Mac, so I couldn't use the Ipod to surf the net at home...(Like in the bathtub where it is sooo important!)...So, I found this link today, after several days of looking...It tells you how you just go to your System preferences, & do a few more things, & boom, wow, you got your Mac to share with your Ipod- even set up a password so that others can't bootleg in your building...So now I totally have wifi on my ipod at home without spending a dime...Yay! (I thought I was going to have to buy Airport Express which costs $99 dollars...)

 
 
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How to get to Bluffers park...The red mark is actually a parking lot...Walk south from there to the water...The teeny little bay...trumpeters should be near the sloop...or swimming around the bay...they will come if they see you have food...Flap your wings to alert them you have food...Waggle your butt to say hello...Lifting one foot up indicates goodbye...
So you want to feed Trumpeter Swans this winter...November to April is the time...The Trumpeter Swan society has volunteers who do it & so can you...There are several locations where they winter along Lake Ontario if they don't migrate...(C17 was found in Bald Eagle Creek in Pennsylvania last winter 2010-2011...he is back up at Bluffers Park now...last visited August 2011 & fine...)
Here is one closer to Toronto location...If you go along Danforth, follow it as it is now renamed KIngston road, then turn right on Brimley & go slowly in your car down the steep hill, you will come to two parking lots...The first is only free after Sept. 30...Actually both are only free after Sept. 30, but the first you are more likely to be ticketed...It costs $3.00 until then...The Trumpeter Swans often hang out at the sloop of the first parking lot...So park in the farther away lot & walk to the first...If it is after Sept. 30, park in the first...Drive slowly in case the Trumpeters are actually sitting in the lot...They do that too...Wild bird seed is good because it doesn't cause the food fights that throwing bread does...Bread is fine- organic, grainy is better, try to hand feed it on by one instead of throwing it & causing fights...Fights are actually more aggressive than you might imagine...Hand feeding is nice & they like it & you will like it too...You can put a pile of wild bird seed down too & the waterbirds won't fight...There are other cool waterbirds who hang out at Bluffers too...Rare Bufflehead ducks- all white with a black patch- like a penguin a bit- they are shy diving ducks...Good luck getting them some food...The geese are very friendly & I have patted some...Most often the bigger waterbirds won't eat unless the smaller ones get food first...So that is how that goes...The park is absolutely beautiful so plan to take a stroll...There is a gorgeous beach on the far far other end, to the east...

Guaranteed tons of Trumpeter Swans at Lasalle park marina in Burlington all winter long!!! Like, alot! But it is a farther drive...bring lots of food...(wild bird seed is good)...
 
 
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"Magnolia" 3x4ft oils avilable, Tempesta 3x4ft oils available, Nest 15 rolls 1/4 inch Sisal design prototype, Swanee 70x30x30 ferrocement sculpture sold, Peyote Coyote ferrocement work in progress sculpture available when finished
  1.   What kind of work do you do? 2D, 3D, is it big or small, how small, how big, what is it made of, is it eco-friendly, where are those materials sourced from, locally or from far away, what does your work cost to make, how much do you sell it for?
  2.   Who are you? How old are you, what gender are you, what colour is your hair, do you think you are fat or thin or muscular or good looking, are you tall, are you old, are you a fringe person or are you in groups alot?
  3.   Based on questions 1) & 2) what part of the city that you live & work in has people who are amenable to your work & to you as a person? (ie: If you look like a punk rocker, do you think corporate locations will accept you & your work easily? Or is that the point of your work? To bring new life to stodgy environments?) This will help clarify your goals, who or what exactly are you trying to change or move with your works of art?
  4. If you are planning a show, how much time & money will it cost you personally? How much time & money will you get back from doing that show? (when I write "get back time" I mean, how much time will the people involved be giving to you, including the guests? Much can be learned from doing a show, so benefits are not only monetary, sometimes not at all...If doing the show will be educational for your career, note that...)
  5. What kind of result would make you feel depressed or upset or make you feel burned & that the show was a waste of time or not worth doing in the first place? What percentage likelihood is there that that will happen? What result would make you thrilled & happy? What percentage likelihood is there that that will happen?
  6. Is there another way to do the show or the thing? That is better? Cheaper? More fun? Different? Could you just to an online show? (Note: Exhibbit.com offers $30 dollar month long online 3 dimensional looking shows that are easy to build- what do you think about that option?)
  7. If you are going to do a show yourself, or with a gallery? Do you actually like the people at the gallery? Do you like the location of the gallery? Is the gallery right for your work? How much commission do they take? Does the commission split make you happy or sad? Can you negotiate a better split for yourself? Can you actually put on a show all by yourself? Can you afford to rent a studio space for a month? or a year? Or ten years? Can you show where you live? Legally?
  8. What brings you down or up? Do you have a helpful spouse, husband, girlfriend, mother, father, brother, dog, cat, bird who keeps you company & makes your work better? Do you have burdens that take up your mental time & happiness energy? Can you get more help from the good things or people or pets in your life, with your career? Would anyone of them finance a studio show if you gave them some art work in return? is there any way to make your burdens less?
  9. Where does your art work want to be? I have a sculpture of a Trumpeter swan that could go in several places...Where is the best place for it to go...Where would your art work be most happy? If your works are happiest in your own home why are you selling them? Could you make more money on your works of art if you held onto them longer rather than going for a quick cheaper sale? Do you want your work in an art museum someday or on the wall of a deli? If you want your work to be public art outside, can it survive your local weather? is it really archival?
  10. Is it possible for you to make your day job a creative endeavour if you have a day job? Is "doing art" merely eating into your income & depriving you of income? Are you forgetting that creative people can be waitresses, construction workers, taxi drivers & janitors? Do you believe that artists are only those engaged in traditional forms of art? Do you need to be prouder of the work you do in your "day" job than quitting it all to become a painter, sculptor, musician? Are you fooling yourself with the notion that you can actually pay off your credit card debt by selling your works of art? Are you wealthy enough already that you can afford to be an artist? Is getting a an arts degree, or another art degree just a way to spend more money & defer earning any? Are you ok with that notion? Do you want to teach art, curate, run an art gallery or do related art fields that are not actually directly involved with the creation of? Do you really want to design using textiles but need to learn how to sew or weave? Figure out what exactly what your specific field might be, & what technical skills you may need to learn, brush up on or improve to do that well or better...
  11. (bonus)http://transmediartistmarketing.org/wordpress/a-guide-for-making-artist-submissions/ Does your submission process need tweaking? I read the first ten pages of this ebook for free & already I am pushed to improve my presentation when submitting...Sometimes feasibility is just a matter of getting your foot in the door & sometimes that requires better shoes, metaphorically...This book & other online help might help tweak the little things that will make the big ones more feasible...
 
 
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Click picture to make it bigger...here are the plans so far for the Trumpeter Swan House Design Project...
Materials: Copper pipe, copper corner connectors, copper Tee connectors, copper 1/2 inch wrap (easy to bend, holds stuff together)...Chicken wire, Sari's Concrete Special Recipe Mix, love...
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/plans/hoop-greenhouse.pdf Saw this greenhouse arch design today...Deeply considering using PVC pipe instead-it bends so nicely!...Plus the clips that go on the pvc pipe to attach fabric are neat!...Must talk to the swans...
http://www.amazon.com/Latex-Concrete-Habitat-Albert-Knott/dp/1412039975 A quick look inside the book Latex Concrete habitats, free...Trying to decide why a hyperbolic paraboloid is better than a hip roof (pyramid shape)? Anybody?

  After much thought & looking at saddleroofs (hyperbolic paraboloids) & pringles chips, I think I may be going back to a more simple design...
Simple design: 4 copper pipes, attached with copper wire to form pyramid roof shape, then continue the copper wire to form a square floor shape with tension...The whole thing is collapsible...Then, maybe cover with a waterproof fabric...Including the floor...Makes the whole thing collapsible, like a tent...Sigh, am I just building a tent? Hmmm...
  But it could be neat then I could pop it in the back of my car...Turns into a temporary swan house, triage facility, warming station, feeding station...Could be modified by replacing waterproof fabric with chicken wire or fibreglass mesh then concrete latex mix...?
  Ok, I am back to my original idea...Why? here is an excerpt from the wikipedia on hyperbolic structures...My design in the pic involves a hyperbolic paraboloid...Here is the salient point: (from wikipedia) 
  "Hyperboloid structures are superior in stability towards outside forces than "straight" buildings..."
  Which means that a flat pyramid shape, with 4 flat sides, catches the wind more than the curved Hyperbolic shape...hence, a Canadian understands the choice...Hyperbolic it is...

Ok: After a walk to Global Pet foods for some more Innova cat food dry (on sale today & tomorrow-Sept.9-10), I realized (ok, chatted with Joseph), that I needed an acrylic/plexiglass oval for my skylight...After searching a little, I found oval domes online...Thought about that & realized I could use an upside down clear bowl as a skylight, & then I don't need to lean it...Then I saw cake covers, & thought a cake cover shape is even better than a bowl shape...Could use glass or plastic, not sure...Could make it removable...Sensing a trip to Spadina & Queen Chinatown for glass or plastic bowl or clear cake covers...

Further thinking: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Kettle-Moraine-Orange-Dome-Oriole-Fruit-Bird-Feeder-/390320910088?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae0f06f08#ht_500wt_922 I was looking at this red orange dome bird feeder thing...if the link expires, it is basically a dome in acrylic with a hole at the top, the hole has a bird feeder contraption hanging from it- maybe I could make something like this, so then I have a bright coloured skylight, plus hanging from it maybe a bowl to put wild bird seed in...Possibly too complex, & the bird feeder will get bumped into, but it is a neat idea for a bird shelter/bird feeder, now just to make it huge enough for a Trumpeter Swan???
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THE SALT SHAKER: Plans for a miniature version first...(using just one piece of 6 ft. copper pipe).
Here is a slight improvement to the hyperbolic paraboloid-saddle shell idea- I have  added a SKYLIGHT! I call this version The Salt Shaker!

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Ok I have improved the salt shaker to be a TILTED Salt Shaker...If I use 1/2 inch copper pipe, but use 3/4 inch Tee coupling, the Tee coupling will slide along the bar, allowing me to place two of the supporting beams almost to one corner (see far left corner)...because the distance from the middle of the bar is shorter than the distance from the corners, this will cause the salt shaker to tilt towards the corner...The tilt will allow the skylight to not leak...A tilted skylight allows the rain to run off...(Assuming each supporting beam is of equal length...) Another way to achieve a tilt is by shortening two of the supporting bars...Hmmm...
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here is an updated version of the Salt Shaker Swan Shelter: This one uses a clear acrylic dome as a skylight, possibly with a hanging pan for wild bird seed, a hyperbolic paraboloid design, one side wide open, & 6 feet across on all foor sides as well as 6 feet upwards...Covered in chicken wire mesh, then cover that with concrete mix...& the floor can be bare sand , straw, or filled in...Total cost , ahem, um,
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Ok, so I went through some more refinements: I was thinking, a square over a square- with the little square at the top having a roof made of a square dome ( a dome rising skylight with square edges)...Then I returned to a pyramid shape with the same square domed skylight...Then back to the pyramid again...Then to something completely backwards which was two large circles, connected 3/4 to form an open cylinder shape (made of recycled wild bird seed bags & wrapped in sisal-something I have done before but not on this scale)...Then I showed Joseph...He asked me what material my hyperbolic parabolid salt shaker swan house with square domed skylight was going to made of...I said concrete...he said you're not using concrete...I realized he was right...This was too big a project for me to use the very heavy concrete...Unless I was building on site, which I am not...So I have reversed everything back to zero almost...I am going to get a bale of straw, put it in my car, & scatter it out for the Trumpeter Swans to sit on in the winter...That is the best I can do for them easily right now...A house needs permits...I can spend my monies better just making sure they get tons of wild bird seed this winter to help them survive...A better expenditure of time & money than on red tape & permits...I have no taste for that...
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Ok, so try try again...The more developed sketch is the one I may try...Today I was reading that PVC pipe is actually better in cement than metal pipe due to freezing...So the design is basically two hula hoops of PVC pipe, connected to each other with 3 straight PVC pipes 4 feet in height, using Tee connectors on both hoops to connect them...Then I was thinking of weaving Sisal rope on each hula hoop, & on three sides of the nest house...For a very cold day in winter...Put wild bird seed on the floor when using...
 

Cats...bengal...

9/7/2011

 
Cats...Our ladies are both bengals...Different litters...Still intact...Couldn't bear to spay them...They get Balance (company name Phytopet) from a retailer in England called swallowhealthyDiet.com...Keeps them out of heat, as long as they eat their food...They both get baths & like water...Bengals are feisty, not for amateur cat people...If you like difficult people, then maybe bengals are for you...Completely humorous, very wild, too smart, talkative, emotive, like company, not for the person who is going to leave them alone...Excellent for artists, very good with their paws, dextrous, very creative, get into everything...We feed them Innova dry food, & Nutram urinary chicken entree in little cans, also chicken breast & other food groups, like sometimes tunafish, salmon, steak- they also both like Big Mac burger & Wendy's too...They get Taurine powder in their wet food once in a while for their hearts...Feliway spray once every 6-12 months if they are fighting too much- makes them nicer to each other...If they do happen to go into heat because they weren't eating their food with the Balance in it, we have to resort to pulling them out of heat in other ways...Not for the faint of heart...(It involves a thermometer)...Both cost intact about 2K each...(It is half that price without the ovaries btw)...probably the best decision we have ever made...laughter daily...Yes they play fetch too...
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B'Elanna, born Dec. 1st, 2004...Lady...Intact...Bengal...Cat... Watch for the flying paw with the sharp nails...Low growl, ears flattened back...Not a huge fan of Joseph...
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Jadzia...born April 16, 2005...Intact...Lady...bengal...Cat...very rascally, spends her days stalking B'Elanna...Watch for the powerful jaw & sharp teeth...Loves her daddy...
 
 
http://animoto.com/referrals/rtypzxco This is my referral link to Animoto-if you sign up for anything from this link, I think I get some free months(Animoto is a place to make cool short movies or slideshows with their music-it's free, but you can pay for greater length of movie-$3)...below is Calameo( a place to upload a pdf file that makes it an online magazine or catalogue-it's free)...Box.net is where I can upload all sorts of files & easily share them including music & videos-it comes out as a link then a download to your viewers...(it's free-or you can pay to get more features...) Evernote  is where you can write notes to yourself or others- good practice place...(mostly free)...

http://www.thebay.com/eng/mens-olympics-Adult_2012_Olympic_Mitten-thebay/199267 And here are some red mittens to wear when you go to feed Trumpeter swans this winter (take them off to hand feed, but the red will get their attention) Money goes to Olympic hopefuls...
 
 
Trying out different applications:

PhotoGrabbr: I was able to download all my Flickr photos with this application...(had to manually download videos though-but it was ok)...

http://socialphotodownload.com/: Social Photo Download is a Facebook application that downloads all your Facebook photos & mails you a link to them fast...


Cooliris: Cooliris express makes a wall from a stream,for example your Youtube Channel...see above...Click on one of the thumbnails on the white play arrow in the lower left corner of the thumbnail & a tiny video will play- click more & you go to the version on Youtube...
http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=118719 To get your Picasa photos to download onto your Mac, you need to have the Picasa Uploader for Mac...The link explains...

Why am I doing all of this? because when I was reading about DeviantArt, & Art4Love & MarkyourSpot.com, I realized that the people stealing the artists' images were very likely insiders...Think about it...The people who host all your art websites, photostreams, video channels, are the ones who might use your work without permission? Yes, I know, scary...Whether or not it was true, I had a hunch & decided to err on the side of caution...So I am cleaning up my online presence & am going to judiciously dole out images with watermarks(I have been using Impressions for Mac that works in iPhoto nicely to make a watermark copy of an image)...
 
 
These are photos that refer to references from archived blog posts that I moved from the GroveOntario site...I couldn't move them easily with the text, so I put them all together here...So if you are reading an older post & it mentions a photo, it is here...
 
 
Sari shows a quick demo on how to do the very very simple monkey chain knot using 1/4 inch Sisal and pink jersey gloves... From this, anyone can make an artificial bird nest, put straw on it or wild bird seed, lace it up into the crotch of a tree, and; help your wild birds to survive happily... (Note: the smaller the bird, the tighter the weave needed...)

 For a Trumpeter swan, I use a 43 inch diameter nest...Geese like it smaller, & ducks smaller again...Sisal rope the 1/4 inch thickness is under $5 at Canadian Tire for 50 feet, & I use at least 15 rolls for one giant nest...To start the nest, I weave two rolls of Sisal just as long chains, then attach them to my hula hoop with a thinner grade sisal (you could use string for this, whatever)...Tying the first chains to the hula hoop at regular intervals means that when you start weaving the nest it will stay attached to the hula hoop well & you will retain that nice circle shape...It is hard to weave a circle shape without the hula hoop, plus the hula hoop provides resistance...I got my hula hoop custom made on ebay (43 inch diameter) for around $43 dollars actually...(& yes it does hula too)...Hula hoops make great nest weaving tools! A fun class if you are an art teacher! I wear jersey gardening gloves in pink which were under $10 dollars & are necessary to protect your hands from the Sisal rope burn...One trumpeter Swan nest takes me two days to make with rest breaks & laziness built into that time frame...