You may think that a broken-down studio roof in a rainy Pacific Northwest spring is about as a bad as it could get. But no! It gets worse.
Our beehive died.
Yup, that picture taken on Snow Day back in February is actually a photo of a silent tomb. Silent except for a family of well-fed mice which freaked me the heck out when I lifted the lid to look inside. I’m not mouse-phobic, but on that first sunny day when we opened the hive to find dead bees and live mice, I nearly threw up.
The Theory did the hive postmortem while I was at work and he said that when he tipped the hive over, most of the mice got away, except for those taken out by our cat Spot. I felt bad when he told me that the mom mice carried away the hairless baby mice in their mouths. Until The Theory reminded me the adults would probably eat their young, now that they’ve been evicted from the honey pot.
We think the bees have been dead since late November when we had a week or two of arctic weather. We haven’t had cold like that for years, this being the Willamette Valley and heaven on earth, except for the mud (and leaky roofs, but don’t get me started). The bees just couldn’t stay warm enough.
The inside of the hive was carpeted with dead, desiccated bees. We didn’t take any photographs of the devastation, so here is an image from someone else’s deadout. Ours looked exactly like this except for the mice.
The inside of a top bar hive. You can see a full bar of comb on the left. Photo courtesy of Kittalog.
I borrowed this image from the April 3, 2011 blog entry from Kittalog (http://kittbo.blogspot.com/2011/04/beehive-postmortem.html) which is a beautiful site with many great photos. None of which I will ever use again.
UPDATE: Undaunted, we installed another package of bees last week!
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Posted in Encaustic studio, Kassandra Kelly, Oregon City, Studio improvements, tagged Art studio, Encaustic, Encaustic art, Encaustic Materials Handbook, Kassandra kelly, The Hive Encaustic on May 9, 2014|
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The snow shown in my last post (February 7th)? That’s long gone! So many un-wonderful things have happened since that peaceful snowy day that I haven’t had the heart to post anything.
Where should I start? Oh, right. Let’s start with the money. My studio roof is leaking. Actually it is pouring, flowing, dumping and flooding. I have five buckets set up inside but the water is sloshing around on the floor, free-flowing and unrestrained. I had a scary moment when I realized that rain was actually coming in THROUGH the light fixtures. How did I know? Because I had just turned the lights on. Believe me, I walked carefully back to the light switch and turned them off.
We got a bid for a new roof. As you can imagine, this is the part that really hurt: a new roof is going to cost two bills. Let’s all join hands for a moment of silence.
Here are some photos:
OMG. There’s a quart of water in that globe.
Inside the studio. That’s my work table under the tarp. Wintering geraniums are in the back, getting lots of water.
Another work area with a water-catching device on top. My heat gun, torch and many jars of dry pigment are under there. Did you catch that? DRY pigment. Ugh.
For anyone who wants to get all sentimental, here’s a photo of my studio before the blue tarps descended from heaven to ruin my life:
Bet you can see the problem: moss. I thought it was picturesque!
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Posted in ebook tools, Encaustic art, Encaustic Materials Handbook, Kassandra Kelly, Laura Ross Paul, Writing Hive, tagged Encaustic, Encaustic art, Encaustic Materials Handbook, Encaustic supplies, Kassandra kelly, Laura Ross Paul on June 6, 2013|
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I don’t know how to reblog a Facebook page, but I wanted to share images of new work by Oregon artist Laura Ross Paul. Here’s what she says on her FB page: “The technique is oil and wax over watercolors, all done on the new Arches Hulle paper, which has sizing embedded.”
New work by Laura Ross Paul
New work by Laura Ross Paul
Laura’s work demonstrates a balance between beauty, wonder and technical genius. When I see her paintings in person, I almost never notice the material at all–just the work. In fact, I just learned recently that she uses wax. That’s how bowled over I get about her paintings!
Check out Laura Ross Paul‘s work on her web site, or go find her on Facebook.
Encaustic Materials Handbook update
The free promo week is over, guys. Now the price rockets to $7.99. I surely don’t want to stop folks from paying real money for my book–the royalty is equivalent to a mocha latte, which is heaven in this lovely summer weather. But there may be other promo weeks coming up. Amazon lets me do that occasionally. Sign up for email updates on the right and I’ll let you know.
But if you want me to have a mocha latte, go ahead and buy my book! Oh, almost forgot, anyone who hasn’t reviewed the book but still intends to (except for John who threatened to leave only two stars because his ancient, prehistoric Kindle doesn’t have color, and that’s somehow my fault) can still score a free review copy. Just let me know.
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Posted in ebook tools, Encaustic Materials Handbook, tagged Encaustic art, Encaustic Materials Handbook, how to make an ebook, Kaji Shakya, Kassandra kelly, Lee Kelly, PressBooks, Randal Davis, The Hive Encaustic on March 12, 2013|
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I spent most of Sunday trolling Google and asking “how to make art ebook.” I got 50 billion answers like this “Learn to make art with this ebook.” Clearly I haven’t discovered the right terminology yet.
I then went to the online publisher Blurb, where The Theory has created some nice p.o.d. (“print on demand”) books about my father Lee Kelly and my stepmother Bonnie Bronson. Here’s a link to one he did for Lee Kelly’s 80th birthday.
Lee Kelly and Kaji Shakya in Patan, Nepal in 2009. Kaji is a bronze caster who cast a number of small sculptures for Lee. That’s Lee on the right. Photo by John Failor.
Blurb also does ebooks. This link takes you to their $9.99 ebook production feature. Be sure and watch their twee video—like I will EVER have audio and video embeds in an ebook.
The Theory took a number of photos for the The Encaustic Materials Handbook to illustrate wax medium and various paint types and tool. I want to use them in the book at a reasonably large scale, say 600 pixels wide. And Blurb would do a great job—a lot of artists, especially photographers, use this service.But I’m not sure I need everything that Blurb does, since I’m not doing a p.o.d. book.
Stumped for an answer, I went back to The Great Google and asked “how to make an ebook.” Clearly I’d given up hope since I dropped the word “art.” All I wanted was a clue. And that’s when I found a link to a free program called PressBooks.
PressBooks uses the WordPress engine. (For those of you who can’t tell by looking, The Hive Encaustic is a WordPress blog.) I was immediately intrigued. Here are a couple of advantages to using PressBooks:
- It’s free;
- Uses familiar WordPress format;
- Outputs your book in pdf, mobi, EPUB formats, as well as a bunch of others I don’t care about (yet);
- Creates a great clickable Table of Contents;
- Handles footnotes and endnotes perfectly;
- Accepts your Word text and preserves most styles;
- Did I mention it’s free?
Unlike Blurb, it does not support a p.o.d. (print on demand) format although the developers are thinking about adding that to later versions.
Read more about PressBooks. And here are some review links I grabbed from a PressBooks newsletter:
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Posted in Encaustic art, encaustic blogs, Encaustic Materials Handbook, Encaustic Resources, Encaustic supplies, The Theory, tagged Encaustic, Encaustic art, Encaustic Materials Handbook, encaustic medium, Encaustic supplies, Kassandra kelly, The Hive Encaustic on March 3, 2013|
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Well, folks, I decided to write a book about encaustic materials. An ebook for Kindle or iPad or… well, I’m really not sure yet. Something electronic and self-published.
I’m calling it “The Encaustic Materials Handbook.” Although there are a lot of books by wonderful artists who are experts on technique, mine will look at DIY materials and offer cheap alternatives to expensive encaustic supplies. (Hello, encaustic industrial complex!) Also it’s going to be cheap in so many other ways too. For instance, I haven’t ruled out including nude photos of my cats.
The photo The Theory doesn’t want you to see! Our cat Eva degrading herself for the camera.
Creating a book for Kindle or iPad is really confusing. For instance, I want to include a lot of images but how do you format ebook pages so the images don’t get split between page breaks? Or what’s the difference between Amazon CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, anyway? Do I use their ISBN and their marketing machine or do I strike out on my own and market it myself?
What is an ISBN anyway?
And the other thing, it’s easy for me to rattle on about cold wax and gesso, tell stories about The Theory, or call our friend John a clown (which he is), but it’s much more difficult to promote my work or myself. I simply hate self-promotion. Maybe there are other recluses out there who can share my pain. Think of all the great art that could be exhibited if Damien Hirst and Jeff Koontz hadn’t sucked all the air out of the room!
But I digress.
So my plan is to blog about producing the ebook, since this is all I will be doing for a while, no studio time or anything (playing sad music, boo-hoo). And, I admit, putting it out there is scary. I’ll track my resources as usual and maybe we’ll all learn something. Or it will be me next time degrading herself for the camera.
Eva in repose. You can see her lovely odd eyes–one blue and one yellow.
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