Saturday, September 06, 2008

Beans and Stuff

Hello! I'm a little behind on posting this week. It felt like one of those weeks where we were constantly on the go, although looking back, it is also one of those weeks where I don't feel like we actually accomplished much.

The sad news first . . . Our car is toast. The second shop we took it to called yesterday to say that the motor was not fixable, and a new one would cost $3500, just for the part. This has left us in sort of a quandary (ok, I admit that I'm not totally sure if that is the right usage for the word "quandary" but I'm going to use it anyway, because I feel like it should describe our situation.) We only paid $2500 for the car in the first place, and we only bought it almost exactly a year ago - not exactly a good value, in the end. We aren't really in a situation to buy another car at the moment (or to fix the one we have!) but over the last two weeks, I have put $70 of gas in the truck, when I would have put $20 in the car. So we can't really keep that up, either. Hmmmmmm. Yup, quandary. (Maybe.)
Anyway, on the postive side, my beans are done! This is a giant bowl of the beautiful black beans that we grew in the garden. It's probably only enough for one or two meals, but it was just a small patch of the garden, and they were so much fun to grow, and harvest :) The kidney beans are coming along, but they aren't dry enough yet. Mmmmm - home-made garden chili. I can't wait! Plus we have been enjoying all our home-grown watermelons. It's amazing that something so juicy came out of our garden!

We finished scraping one side, and most of the back of the house, so we finally got some primer on. Then it rained for a week (still raining as I type) so we haven't gotten any further on it. That is a HUGE project that we are still hoping to finish this year, but it's starting to look a little iffy. They say we are about to get the remnants of Hurricane Hannah, so I think we're in for a little more rainy weather.

We did get a little work done in the shop. Jai has been making more tops (of course) and some pens that were a custom order.

And I played with bandsaw boxes, finally. I never was able to get 4" poplar, so I had to get 8/4, and glue it together. It's a bit of a pain, but in the end it works just as well. This is my first finished box, and I'm hoping to make more soon.

Also, still busy making books. I finished up this walnut one:

And my friend Jo gave me my first custom order for a book with this amazing picture of her father to draw on the cover. I started it already, and really love how it looks. I'll post pictures when it's done. The whole process of working with these old photos is just so enjoyable.
I also started a book with some cutout silhouettes in the cover. I had done several of these in the old style of book, and they were always popular, so we'll see if the same holds true or not. I started with a cutout of some maple leaves, in a birdseye maple book, and it is coming together nicely, so far.
We've got one week till the NSDCC (Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council) jurying. I will be taking three products that are representative of what we make, and submitting them for a judgment from peers. Wish us luck! I'm not sure yet which three products to bring, but I have to decide soon, because there is pages and pages of paperwork that has to be done on each one. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Have a great week!


sherrieg said...

Wow, your beans look great! And you're probably the largest watermelon producer in NS! :) That's something I've never tried to grow. Too bad about the car. :( I hope it all works out.

jai and Lauren Soloy said...

Thanks Sherrie! If you guys want to come back up for another visit soon, we'd be happy to give you a few watermelons for the road :) It looks like we won't be down your way for the next little while, at least. But one day, when our car troubles are over....

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren and Jai,

I was just talking to your mom! I must admit that I am thinking about you guys...and all that 'Hanna' water coming your way. Hopefully it will come and go without major puddles/leaks/flooding. Reports say that you, in the valley, may get more than others...up to 80-100 mm.! I'm sorry to hear about the car. Crummy timing in the big picture of things. The black beans are beauties. I can imagine a beautiful veggie chili already. Good luck with the jury process next week. You have many choices to consider--but I would definitely suggest your marquetry work (even Abbey's urn :) You will have to let us know what you decide to take for this event.

Hope you both have a good week.
Love A. Janet

Anonymous said...

hi Lauren and Jai - great beans - could be a prospect for my line of greeting cards! My vote for pieces was initially meditation bench, book, turned bowl (or box) full of tops ... but then I too started to think about the marquetry pictures and of our T-Ling box - we'll loan it back if you want to submit it. Too many choices (which is, I guess, a great problem to have)! So far Hanna has been pretty calm for us - warm in a weird way ...wish I could grow such good watermelons! Love you! See you soon! XOXO Mom/Joc & Errol, the girls, and the Spirit of T-Ling! Hi Jan! John, Connor, Brett, Michael, Courtenay, Christie, Candy, Debbie, Tracey, Cynthia, Dave, A.Gen and all the others who read the blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi all in the Soloy household. Have just come back home from Deer Lake and have hispeed internet again -- have not been able to read your blog all summer. You have been very busy - garden looks great and all the pickling and preserving I'm sorry that we may not be able to sample some. Don't know yet if we will be able to come visit this year but will talk to you later. I know this comes after you jury in Halifax - so- congratulations on being accepted, I never had any doubt. Now the work begins. Sorry I woke you up last night - wasn't thinking about the time difference. Talk to you soon. Mom