The Minstrels of May
We have arrived…Spring sprang back in March, but she really doesn’t get going until May, does she? This is the time of year, that Mr. Al and I work outside more than we work inside. It is just so dang pretty and the air smells so fresh. Last weekend was our first Deck Date Friday, where we hang out on the deck, watching the birds get used to us being out with them while they feed as we survey our little domain.
This month’s little “One of a Kind” is this big old bull frog. There’s one living in somebody’s water feature on my walking route. I love hearing his croaks. He goes silent when my walking buddies and I approach, but if we are quiet, he will start up again. Gotta love this harbinger of summertime.
I have also uploaded four new prints of paintings I’ve been working on over the winter, and I will continue to be adding more and more original paintings to that website’s category.
Speaking of our website…we finally feel finished with our new look. Really happy with it and really happy it’s done. Now I can turn my attention to playing in the studio. I want to experiment with new mediums…push my comfort zone…make mistakes and learn.
Before I turn you over to Mr. Al, I wanted to thank those who took the time to write a review. It is so appreciated. Not only that, your generous praise has both humbled and inspired us. We sincerely thank you. People like to read reviews so they know what they’re in for. I know I do.
And for those of you still deciding if you want to leave a review (we still love you whether you do or don’t,) it is pretty easy. Just go to the Home Page and click on the blue “reviews” button on the left-hand side. WAIT...LOOK! There's a button right there to your left! Can it get much easier than that?
Now here’s Mr. Al
MA here. This is my favorite month, it always has been, actually. Not only because it’s my birthday month, but it's also the beginning of new life after a long dreary winter. The beginning of new things.
And speaking of new things, I am going to break a cardinal rule of mine for my next carving. 99.8% of all my carvings are entirely by hand. Chisels, gouges, dental picks, sandpaper, and steel wool are usually all I use. My next carving is going to be different. I plan on carving a petroglyph Bryn, and I saw at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah a few years ago.
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to know what was being depicted here. Whatever the messages were, they were important enough for the original artist or artists to spend the time to record them for posterity. Meaningful to say the least. We love to wonder at them and seek them out whenever we travel.
My next carving is going to be my attempt to try and mimic this design in the Manzanita root I’ve carried with me for years. As this was done in sandstone, it was pecked with a harder stone or bone tool. To try to replicate the image, I am going to use my Dremel tool with a rounded burr cutter. It really does go against my moral judgment, but I think this will do what I want.
Traditionally, I try to use only use hand tools in my work for a couple of reasons. I don’t think any mechanized tool can achieve what the touch of a mortal hand can. Secondly, most power tools are quite frankly, scary! One false move, and instantly one less finger! I can’t justify risking a limb just for the sake of speed. We already move too fast as it is!
Fortunately, the Triquetra carving was able to be completed during the extended cool, wet early spring, and didn’t have to share time with outdoor activities. The new one will be required to have patience as it has finally warmed up and the grass is growing faster than a cat-lapping chain lightning!
Huldufólk Haven developments (there are many): construction will soon begin on the new Dryad brothers’ home. Nobody knows when or how it began, but many years ago they decided they just couldn’t live together anymore, so they had two identical houses. In a devastating windstorm last fall, both of them were destroyed by a tree branch. In ongoing debates, talks, discussions, and drinks during the long winter at Huldufólk Haven Hotel, the Dryad brothers have finally decided to bury the hatchet and try it again. The commission has granted them a building permit for a large single building that will become their new abode. Every effort will be made to try to reuse some of the minute details from their former houses. It will be under one roof but still have two distinct living quarters.
A bushel of moss has been collected and saved for use in and around the Haven in general. The pond will undergo a major repair project to prevent the leaking experienced last summer. A wildflower meadow has already been planted just outside that gated community, and everyone is waiting for the seeds to sprout!
All in all, it will be a busy, busy summer!
FYI, every Friday, I have been posting progress reports—little 15-20 second reels—of what Mr. Al has accomplished that week. People have been enjoying them, so you’re invited to follow us on either Instagram or Facebook. No doubt, since the weather is so lovely, some of these reports will be out in Huldufólk Haven. It will be fun to watch the Dryad Bros build their new home.
And with that, we will let you go outside and enjoy this beautiful month! See you in June!