Friday, February 22, 2013

Ahhhh, who needs a man anyway.

It was reported a total of 14 inches, but it really didn't seem like that much once it was done.

Until I started shoveling. And then it seemed double that.

BUT..... I shoveled!!!!
I did!
All by myself!

Okay, I had a little help from my friend, The Captain, 
And a neighbors shovel.
As I forgot to get one before the snow was dumped on us here in the MO.
But I did remember extra toilet paper, coffee, water and of course, the rum.
Now, I can curl up with the kiddos for a nice 4 day weekend and pizza delivery!
Be safe and warm, everyone!
Peace & Prosperity,

Monday, February 18, 2013

What a Deal!!

I love all people of different ethnic groups.
 I appreciate the differences in cultures and see the beauty of each person as a soul with potential until the day they die. I appreciate the traditions they have brought to this country and feel it is on the backs of these people that this country was built. 
America is a wonderful land that has welcomed, sheltered and harbored those repressed, enslaved and endangered by those in power directed by greed. I do not want to keep anyone out and I am willing to live with less so that others in need are comfortable!!! (I am hoping you will teach me how to make authentic naan and tamales though cause those are so yummy!)

But this, THIS is ridiculously unfair;

Becoming Illegal
(Actual letter from an Iowa resident sent to his senator,)
The Honorable Tom Harkin 
731 Hart Senate Office Building 
Phone  (202) 224 3254 
Washington DC , 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.
 My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for only three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2008 and 2009.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as 'in-state' tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me, given that I still have college age children driving my car.
If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent, (hoping to reach 'illegal alien' status rather than just a bonafide citizen of the USA ) 
Donald Ruppert 
Burlington , IA 

I am looking forward to hearing your opinions on this but I will not tolerate racial slurs, hate filled writings or non-factual accusations.
God Bless America, even those who choose not to believe in Him.
Peace and Prosperity,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Preparing Raw Die Cut Copper

Even if you are using pre-formed copper or brass shapes to treat with patina, chances are you are not going to be able to jump right in and start coloring like a kindergartner with a new box of crayons.
Cutting your shapes from sheet metal is very fulfilling in that the shape is uniquely yours: sketched ahead of time, scribed onto the metal, sawed or snipped out, filed, filed, filed, planished, textured, domed or what have you.
But if you have a for sure seller, like the weathered cross, you can save time and work on your hands by using a die cut copper shape in 18 gauge which will make it more affordable to your buyer.
But please let me share with you that you will not receive a ready to go piece and there are a few steps to take before the metal is patina ready.

They arrive heavily oiled and often stuck together.

So place the stuck together metal back into the bag.

And use something flat to wedge in between the copper shapes. I am using a broken file cause that's what was in reach. The plastic baggie is helping me not carve up the surface of the metal so badly that it shows up under any texturing or patina work.

For the cleaning, I use baking soda and vinegar. This is how I clean my pipes and it doesn't leave spots on the raw copper like the industrial metal cleaner from a head shop that I was using.   

I fill a glass jar with distilled white vinegar and add some baking soda until it foams and bubbles up like the volcanoes Christian and I made when we were homeschooling. (I throw in whatever else metal-y that needs cleaning.)  

This can also be used for "The Black Plague of Tumblers" that happens every once in awhile. 

The time spent in the baking soda and vinegar solution seems to depend on the amount of oil and dirt that was present on the copper. I check on my erupting jar every 10 minutes or so, pulling out the foamy metal to check and see if the copper surface is clean. Once I see no more dirt or slick oil spots, I rinse, pat the metal dry with a paper towel and brush over it with fine steel wool.
Now where's my colors!?!

 has all sorts of die cut copper shapes for sale and even some brass pieces that take the patinas really well.