Birthday Cakes and July Portraits

Below are images of Ruby’s third, fourth and fifth birthday cakes. All of them homemade from scratch by Erin and decorated by Claude. It has become a “thing” for Erin and me to get totally into the process of a) chatting with Ruby before her birthday to see what kind of cake she wants, b) scheming about how we might accomplish her wishes, c) baking the cake – Erin is the point person on that, and d) decorating the cake – I’m the point person on that. We make a good team and we can’t wait to see what challenge she comes up with for her sixth birthday.  Here’s a collection of photos of her third, fourth and fifth birthday cakes followed by a July portrait of Ruby.  She wasn’t much into making cake decisions when she was one and two.

Ruby's third birthday cake - complete with caterpillar poop

Ruby’s third birthday cake – complete with caterpillar poop

Ruby and Erin - July 2011

Ruby and Erin – July 2011

A cake inspired by the carousel scene in Mary Poppins

A cake inspired by the carousel scene in Mary Poppins

Ruby and Claude - July 2012

Ruby and Claude – July 2012

For her fifth birthday Ruby wanted a "garden cake"

For her fifth birthday Ruby wanted a “garden cake”

Ruby and Henle - July 2013

Ruby and Henle – July 2013

Earth Measure – July 19, 2013

A landscape view of the major elements of Earth Measure - 7-16-13

A landscape view of the major elements of Earth Measure – 7-16-13

Matt Weir early on a day of carving stone. 7-19-13

Matt Weir early on a day of carving stone. 7-19-13

Matt Weir has been hard at work installing Earth Measure at Bernheim over the past several months.  The work is a landscape scale collection of mostly geometric elements inspired by the life work of Barry Bingham Jr. who was involved in media, newspapers, photography and nature. That’s a short list. Before Barry’s death in April of 2006 he was a trustee of Bernheim.  Matt’s sculpture is a tribute to Barry funded by an anonymous donor.  For me, the project has afforded an opportunity to witness the creation of what will be a monument that will last far beyond anyone currently involved in the project.  Perhaps one day these pictures and the the stories they tell will be an important reminder of the beginnings.  For now, it’s a rare opportunity to be a fly-on-the-wall as stone is added and then chipped away.  The grassy lawn in the middle of the piece will make a great place for a party one day soon.  Since I’ve got keys perhaps there will be a late night shindig there sometime soon.

Matt putting straps on the bench stones to move them into place. 7-19-13

Matt putting straps on the bench stones to move them into place. 7-19-13

Looking through the lens to the prism. 7-19-13

Looking through the lens to the prism. 7-19-13

This is what your feet look like when you carve limestone. 7-19-13

This is what your feet look like when you carve limestone. 7-19-13

Progress on the stone dish facing the lens element. 7-19-13

Progress on the stone dish facing the lens element. 7-19-13

Matt still hasn't figured out how to levitate stone with his mind.  But when he does...

Matt still hasn’t figured out how to levitate stone with his mind. But when he does…

Garden Cake – Ruby’s 5th birthday

Ruby wanted a "garden cake".

Ruby wanted a “garden cake”.

Ruby said she wanted a “garden cake” so Erin baked this four-layer cake and made bitter chocolate icing. Two large layers and two smaller ones. Last night I made beans, carrots, sunflowers and greens to add to it. Some edible flowers were donated by a friend that owns a restaurant and we added gummy worms, jordan almonds, green sugar crystals and some spiral candles. As I was creating the vegetable and sunflower “props” I reflected on that night five years ago when miss Ruby was born. Erin and I really get a kick out of throwing a big birthday party for her every year. Twas fun.
Ruby wanted “orange poles” for her birthday. We had no idea what she was talking about and she kept saying, “you know…those orange pole things.” Later, driving down the road she pointed out traffic cones and said “like those orange poles.” So for her birthday she got a lot of them from various family members. Now we are waiting to see what she wants to do with them. Here’s a few pics from the day.
Erin lights up five candles amid the five sunflowers.

Erin lights up five candles amid the five sunflowers.

Ruby wanted "orange poles" which we finally found out were traffic cones.

Ruby wanted “orange poles” which we finally found out were traffic cones.

Ruby went to a thrift store with Honey and picked out this hat.

Ruby went to a thrift store with Honey and picked out this hat.

Independence Day

Happy birthday We the People. Our day was low key but quite fun. It rained all day so we made forts, created a witch costume (still not sure where that came from) ate gooseberries, had a cookout at the family home, watched the evening primrose burst open at just after 9:00 p.m. and then rode through Cherokee Park on the way home where we encountered a small group of teens shooting off about $30 worth of cheap fireworks. That is the perfect scale fireworks show for my tastes. And it’s fun to watch a gang of teens coordinate the simultaneous launch of two roman candles and three star bursts. Cheers yall.

Independence Day witch costume.

Independence Day witch costume.

 

Independence Day witch costume

Independence Day witch costume

 

Chas's gooseberry harvest being attacked.

Chas’s gooseberry harvest being attacked.

 

The evening primrose are about to burst.  9:04 7-4-13

The evening primrose are about to burst. 9:04 7-4-13

 

Baba and Ruby watch the primrose show

Baba and Ruby watch the primrose show

Worn Out

photo - Version 3I wore out a four (but nearly five) year old today. Just saying. It took a playground, a hike, bike riding, truck chores, swinging, running all through the house, playing a bunch of “mittens the kitten” and working in the yard. This photo is the result.

Seven Years Ago Today

David Sauter at Chris and Mandy's Solstice party - June 21, 2006

David Sauter at Chris and Mandy’s Solstice party – June 21, 2006

On the fourth of July, 2006 one of my favorite people and a friend close enough to be a brother passed away unexpectedly mid morning. Just thinking about him. Soon after he died I painted a canvas. Mostly to work through some things in the meditative state that my mind goes into when I paint. Painting is an activity that makes everything go away except for that one thought in your head. It’s an activity that, for me, allows me to keenly focus. Unlike almost every other painting that I’ve done, I wouldn’t change anything about it. Most of my paintings I could easily yank off the wall and paint right over. Not that one.

Memorial painting for David Sauter.

Memorial painting for David Sauter.


Memorial painting for David Sauter - 34 rusted safety pins

Memorial painting for David Sauter – 34 rusted safety pins