Winter Wonderland

Yesterday it snowed. All day. When I looked at the pics I took while shoveling I thought I had mistakenly filtered them to black and white! Or maybe more like grey and white because it was cloudy. Had the sun come out it would have been overwhelmingly bright.

Black and Grey
Making tracks.
Looking up-river.
No biking today.
The prettiness makes up for the shoveling.
A patch of colour.
This kitty seems to think this path was shoveled just for him.
Meet Pullover, my neighbour’s cat.

© Judy Parsons

Concrete Sculpture Day 7

The final day. Thank heavens. My hands are sore, my back is stiff and I’m ready to move on. But that said, it was worth every second. My husband often says that the biggest compliment I ever allow myself is “I’m not dissatisfied.” Today I told Ivan, our teacher (I took to calling him sensei by the end of the day) that I was more than happy. I never really expected to make anything that was more than just representative of a mermaid. Whoohoo. Here’s the final piece. Some of the concrete is still damp so things might sag a little over the next few days but you’ll get the idea.

It’s hard to see the rock she is sitting on because it is the same colour as the plastic from all the run off and my seashells are a little on the large side. She has no name as yet and her hands are empty. I was initially thinking bird food but then I worried that she might end up covered in pigeon poop. It remains a work in progress.

Here are the pieces of the other participants. The lady who made the garden feature also made a big smiling toad and four little garden stools like tree-stumps but she left with them in a hurry this morning when the heavy snow started.

Woodland creature with crow
Garden feature

I hope you enjoyed my little journey in the land of concrete creations. Now I wonder what I can get up to next.

© Judy Parsons 2021

Concrete Sculpture Day 6

Yes, we’ve officially gone into overtime so I hope you are not tired of looking at mermaid pictures yet. Here she is in her current state.

I’m not the only one unfinished; two other participants will be joining me. I’ve left the hardest until last so tomorrow will be a stressful day and hopefully the final one. Working in concrete is so much more crude than working with fondant. This project is about twice the size of the one I had planned so I am cutting myself a little slack tonight but if it goes on much longer I might have to sell my soul to Ivan.

© Judy Parsons 2021

Concrete Sculpture Day 5

This was supposed to be the last day of the workshop but there is still much to do so several of us have chosen to have an extension. There’s no point in rushing through at this stage of the game. Progress has been made.

She’s becoming quite the lass.

© Judy Parsons 2021

Concrete Sculpture Day 4

And so she starts to take shape.

She is obviously from the land of very large starfish.

Today was spent building up the form with one walnut sized chunk of concrete at a time. There are other very large things to follow, wink, wink. I had hoped to complete the torso area today, it being Dolly Parton’s birthday, but I didn’t make it that far. I had one very discouraging moment when an hour’s worth of work fell off in a slab. But all in all it was a good day and very satisfying to see things begin to take shape. There remains a lot of work yet to do and I am very anxious that the face turn out at least somewhat realistic. Cross your fingers and toes and your fins for me, please and thanks.

A side of snail.

© Judy Parsons 2021

Concrete Sculpture Day 3

Progress has been made but things are going to get ugly for a while.

I have an icky gooey mess right now but it will be set up and solid by tomorrow and then the real detailing can begin. No, don’t worry, that’s not the final size of her head! I’m suspecting she’ll be short and plump, a lot like someone I know. There’s also some seashells in the works.

© Judy Parsons 2021

Concrete Sculpture Day 2

Well, on first glance it doesn’t look much like the better part of a day’s work, but there is much fussing and tinkering and adjusting going on. Today I reinforced the bendier bits and across the shoulders and arms and into the hands. A long length of rebar was placed and fastened in the middle of the sculpture.

Then the base was placed and filled with mushy concrete though little windows cut in the wire mesh.

The next step will be to fill the entire cage with concrete. Once that is dry I’ll be ready to build the head and build up the details of the body. Let’s hope it doesn’t sag too much overnight.

© Judy Parsons 2021

Concrete Sculpture Day 1

Every winter Ivan Higgins of Cosby’s Garden Centre/Concrete Creations empties out a greenhouse and hosts a concrete sculpture workshop. This year the group was markedly reduced due to Covid restrictions and I was happy score a place.

The greenhouse.

The first day was spent cutting wire mesh pieces, shaping them, and binding them together with plastic zip ties to form a kind of skeleton.

It’s hard to work wearing thick gloves but if you don’t your hands are shredded by the end of the day. The zip ties will remain in place to be covered in concrete.

By lunch-time I had just a torso. It’s fussy work and the wire needs to be trimmed as well as cut.

A torso. The concrete blocks are not part of the piece.

The challenge is not just getting the proportions correct but getting the wire cage just the right size so that it is not over-sized when the concrete is layered on.

It’s easy to stay focused when you are enjoying what you are doing.

By the end of the day I had a body with arms, tail and neck and a rock for her to sit on (not in picture).

She’ll need a few more nips and tucks before the concrete is added.

It’s difficult to photograph the wire cage without a contrasting colour behind it but all should be more clear by the end of the day tomorrow. I went home and crashed and now my hands and forearms are aching just enough to remind me that they worked hard today. I’ll sleep well tonight.

© Judy Parsons 2021

Monkeying Around

…..or What’s More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys?

Gambling, that’s what. While Ken was off taking care of business, there was plenty of monkey business going on back at the lean-to.

The monkeys were betting their bananas on the video lottery and games of Hungry Hungry Hippo
.and buying in on hands of “Monkey”.

They were betting big bananas on the fights:

Mojo and JoJo
versus George the Giant Killer

Yes, indeedy, it was a real zoo. Ken is going to have a real monkey on his back when he gets back to the lean-to (which the mischievous monkeys have renamed the Monkey Motel)


©Judy Parsons 2021

click on pic for larger view

Christmas 2020/21 – Day 12

On the twelfth day of Christmas….

….my true love gave to me…

…twelve bags of storm chips.
Haven’t heard of storm chips?

Well, in the advent of a storm here in the maritimes, the busiest aisle in the supermarket is the chip aisle. A CBC host, in the act of storm-prepping, once tweeted “Success!#stormchips”and it caught on like wildfire. One enterprising chip company latched on to the idea and created their own brand of storm chips: a combination of dill pickle, ketchup, salt and vinegar, and barbecue flavours. Haven’t tried them myself but they sell them by the pallet at Costco if you’re looking.

“Hey Steve, did you hear about the guy who walked into the corner store” said Ken “and asked for helicopter flavoured chips? They told him ‘Sorry, we only have plane’ ”

If Steve could roll his eyes he would but he just keeps on reading, relieved to have arrived at the twelfth day of Christmas and that he doesn’t have to venture out in the snow to buy snow-day snacks.

© Judy Parsons