To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

On Woodsheds and Wild Hairs

Just in case you were wondering about that crunched woodshed...here's a picture of the damage again, and following that is what we did about it. Well, what DAN did about it. I mostly watched and applauded. (click on pictures to see a bigger image)

The sun came out, so Daniel came up that very afternoon with his trusty chainsaw and worked some wonders. At first I had thought the whole tree was lying on the shed, but then I spotted the 30' tall Mother Tree "stump" standing nearby.

Dan said the winds on a nearby hillside had been clocked at 55mph. It wouldn't surprise me if gusts had funneled down my canyon at a pretty good clip, because the top 2/3 just broke off the Mother Trunk and sailed through the air to land 40' away on the shed. oh MY! (that's the Mother Stump in the middle of the tree picture at left.

Dan walked around it, pondering for a few minutes, grinning while I muttered about hoists and block-and-tackles and sky hooks and ladders and such. Then he started up the saw, walked all 6'3" of himself over to the front end of the tree (see the picture), reached up and started sawing off firewood-length chunks.

When he'd gotten the weight off the front end of the shed, he climbed up behind the shed to work on the back end of the trunk, sawing off the same length of chunks, although these will need splitting to get them into my woodstove.

As he cut, I rolled them around the shed and down to the level driveway so they can be split later on with a maul. Earlier, Dan's son and the nursery crew came up to split the wood I'm using this winter. I used to be able to do this, but it's more than I can handle these days and I'm happy to let the young bucks show off their six-packs. It was quite a scene last summer with four young men whacking away mightily at 18" rounds in the driveway!

In a short time, Daniel was taking aim at what remained on the roof, and soon only a 6' section lolled up there. From inside the shed, he craftily peeled aside the broken paneling, stuck the saw up through the roof and sawed it in half, then went back up on the roof and heaved the final piece off over the front end. WOW!

Now we could tug the madrone branch off my warehouse and survey the damage there. While Dan lifted from inside, I climbed up top with a hammer and whacked away at a bulge. We got most of the bent metal tucked back up under the ridge, and for our final number we tied a tarp on to keep rain off the roof. To my anthropomorphic mind, my warehouse now looks like a little old lady in a dust cap! I should paint a face on the doors....

As for the the repair, the slanty 2x4 across the front of the woodshed should be level, and you can see the broken/bent panels. But I can prop the front end back up, scab a couple of 2x4s in next to the broken ones and screw them together ~ then just nail on a new panel over the broken one (I may have to tear out broken/misshapen panel sections first).

It's definitely not as bad as it seemed, especially with a great guy like The Daniel who shows up like a white knight to rescue the female in distress.

**************************
1.) I mentioned in the last post that I was doing some Serious Thinking. Just a little over a year into Elderhood, now, I am having serious Pare-It-Down Urges. Consequently, I put out a notice on the BotanicalArt Forum that I am giving away a goodly part of my nature/art library. It's on a first-come, first-served basis, and I'm sending out a PDF with the available books to each person in turn who has replied to my offer. So far I've disposed of 28 books and I'm looking to find homes for many more. It's not a straight give-away, actually, since I'm charging $2/book (with a minimum of ten per person), but that pays for my labor in packing and lugging boxes to the PO, plus the shipping charges. Lots of the books are $15-$25 books, so it's a pretty good deal.
This is just the first wave of changes.

2.) In an earlier blog I was talking about how workshop registrations have fallen to almost nothing in this area, and I'm considering (well actually, I've just about decided) that this is no longer a feasible venue for me. But at the same time I've been getting requests for the workbooks I use in the workshops from people who can't afford or are too far away to attend the workshops. How can I let them down?

So this week I've been reworking my Nature Sketching Basics into a downloadable e-book to offer on my website. There's some work involved, because it has to be usable without my personal workshop guidance. So I have been checking my class plans which I refer to during the workshops and adding pages of instruction for what usually happens in the classes in addition to what appears in the workbooks.

I normally combine the beginning Right-brain instruction with Natural Landscape Basics, but I think I want to make the Landscape materials into a separate workbook. That one is going to take more time since I'll need to fill it out considerably so it can stand alone.

I nearly have the Nature Sketching Basics done and it looks as though it's going to be about 20 pages long (the original was 15). I'll convert it to a PDF, and it can be downloaded and used just like the workbooks.

So what should I charge for such an e-book? Would you pay $9.95? I'd love to get some feedback if you've taken the class, but especially if you haven't. I've been selling a similar e-book "How to Draw Raptors" for $9.95, and quite a few have sold so far, so maybe that would be doable???? Should it be more? Remember, it's an e-book!

There are other plans spinning about in my head as well. More about them later.

8 comments:

marbran said...

Irene

I'm interested! Keep me posted on the workbooks!

Marlene (Kodiak)

Oma3 said...

Me, too and the price sounds right to me.... e

Irene said...

Thanks for the input, ladies, and I'll post the info as I finish them and they're ready for you to download.

Put your email into the little box in the right-hand panel that says "Tell me when this blog is updated." That way you won't miss it.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

ELDERHOOD??!? And yes, I love getting rid of things...

Thanks for the update on your woodshed disaster! I had them with bridges, at the cabin. Finally decided Mother Nature didn't want a bridge there..."Something there is that doesn't love..." a bridge!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Oh, and yes, I think e-books may be the wave of the future, AND I think you could teach online workshops, as I do. Works great...people don't have the travel/gas/flight/lodging expenses, so I don't seem to lack for students. It's a ton of work, yes, but it's worth it...

Irene said...

Hi Kate,
Well, I'm not ruling out the online classes, and in any case, making the class workbooks into eworkbooks is a perfect step toward the possibility, since the students could just download the workbook as part of taking the online class.

"Elderhood" is my name for that period in one's life in which one reaps the benefits of having paid into Social Security all those decades. I consider it a badge of, well, not necessarily "courage," but at least of accomplishment. And to tell the truth, I'm delighted to have a steady income at last. It frees me up for all KINDS of things (we artists often lead a patchy life where income is concerned).

Lyne said...

Hi
I'm in the UK, so e-books or downloadable DVD are the only way for me to get US art tuition.
I think $9.95 sounds ok although not quite sure how much that is in Sterling.

Irene said...

Hi Lyne,
It's likely a good deal for you, since 1 British pound = 1.6144 U.S. dollars.

Irene

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