Thursday, July 20, 2006

Painting the roses red

Every time I get a paint brush in my hands, a song comes into my head .. the one from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland where the guards paint white roses red.

Yesterday I started painting tent poles. Next week we go to Decorah, Iowa for the big Vesterheim celebration.

This is the Norwegian event of the year! People from all over the world, especially Norway, come Last year we were honored to be asked to come demonstrate. Norm took his shave horse and worked on spoons; he sold more spoons there than anywhere. He even sold a pair of Scandinavian butter knives to a Norwegian gal who took them home for herself and her mother!

In talking to the Organizer, he mentioned that there would be spinning and weaving demonstrations in the museum; we decided, between the two of us, that I would spin flax.

Flax, when spun, is called linen. The Scandinavians used linen and wool; cotton did not grow up in the North countries. Few people spin flax nowadays. I am not fantastic at it but I do it well enough to show the process. I also have a small loom that I have warped with commercial linen and use the homespun for the weft to demonstrate what it looks like before washing.

Back to the poles, however. When we bought our marquee tent five years ago, I found some wonderful period correct flowered material to use as a privacy curtain; this enables us to open the front part of the tent yet have the bedroom part hidden (sort of). The material has a lot of blue in it, so Katie suggested I paint the tent poles blue to highlight the blue in the flowers.

Katie loaned us (would not sell) two single bed frames so that we can have ‘real’ beds, not cots for camping. The mattresses out of lightweight foam are made and Norm has been making the slats. The beds are blue, so that encouraged me to paint the poles.

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Hence the “Painting the Roses Red” song. I will finish them today and we will have nice blue poles to brighten up the tent.

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Lil is helping paint!

For those of you who don’t know, when we demonstrate, it is “period correct” … we generally run around the 1870s, but sometimes move to the early 1800s or pre-Civil War. Nearly everything we have is as close to correct as possible. Our new beds look like ones made back then (except the metal rails, and those are hidden). The tent is made like back then, as well. Marquees were very popular for families, Officers’ tents during the war, and any one else that had large amounts of people or things to move. We have a commode that is a copy of an antique, a wash stand, and cooking pots, as well. We are organizing the camp set-up more, since we have only camped for a few days at a time, but are doing more camping now that we are “retired.” (Our modern pop-up trailer that Katie and I bought is for modern camping.)

I am so excited about the beds, because we have been sleeping on modern cots that are NOT comfortable, are narrow and tip over easily. Also, they are low to the ground and I have trouble getting up or down without support when something is that low.

I will take pictures in Decorah to show our setup.

We had threats of storms yesterday, but only got a wet driveway with the rain. East and south of us had hail and tornado warnings, but we missed most of that. Nothing like Carla Lynne had these past few days!

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This was at 3:00 in the afternoon!

My volunteer sunflowers from the bird feeder are starting to bloom. You can see the seed heads starting to form on this picture. I am tempted to plant a bed of sunflowers for the birds, not just depend on the volunteers!

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One thing (of many) that I love about summer is open windows. Nearly every window in the house is open 24 hours a day and it smells so fresh and outdoorsy in the early morning!

It looks to be a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day.

1 comment:

The Unusually Unsual Farmchick said...

Oh how exciting! Please do remember to take pictures when you are allowed. That sounds like so much fun. You do so many exciting things with your husband. I hope my husband and I have intereting lives as you two do when the children are grown up.