Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Welcome to my new readers and followers! I had intended to put up a post after linking over to Lily's Quilts' Small Blog Meetup, but time was against me on that. I also just got your lovely comments today as my phone has decided not to update my e-mails lately. Why are they called smart phones again?

Anyway, on to more important things. Both classes and work have kept me busy and instead of having a relaxing long weekend like many, Chad and I spend Labor Day weekend in Rollag, MN at the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion. Or, I should say, we went together last year and also this year. I spent a couple weekends there growing up, but it wasn't until him and I started dating that we decided to make it an annual thing. They run a feature every year, usually alternating a larger, well-known company with something smaller, like focusing on women's activities. Last year, the feature was Allis Chalmers, and we brought along a tractor to show. This year, the feature was Avery, a company that has been out of business for many decades and produced large steam powered equipment. We don't have an Avery, but brought along a Farmall tractor to show, and will be bringing the same one back next year, as the feature is International Harvester.

I'm sure not everyone out there is as excited about this topic as I am. Hell, if you asked me five years ago if I would be excited about farm equipment, I would have said no. That was before I started learning about it and being around it. I have always loved a good steam engine though, and WMSTR is all about them. In addition to tractors and threshing equipment, there is a steam engine train that takes tours around the grounds, steam powered construction equipment, a steam carousel, saw mills and many large and small engines just doing what they do. They also have an area dedicated to real horse power and demonstrate how team horses worked on a farm and host tractor pulls, which Chad participated in for the first time on Sunday.

We spent two days in Rollag and I have many photographs to share (yep, took my digital along instead of film) and even a couple watercolors I did. I would have done more, but the wind was working against me. I will be sharing the experience (minus the sounds, which really makes it better) and some inspiration I found over the next few days.

So enough of my rambling for today and onto the photos!

I'll start with my watercolors. The first, of a Minneapolis thresher, I tried to do in 25 mph winds. And coupled with my lack of experience with watercolor (I'm getting there!), it didn't turn out how I wanted. I had to give up because of the winds.

The second is of an Oliver tractor. Much better than the first.

Watercolor of a Minneapolis thresher

Watercolor of an Oliver tractor

After practicing this weekend with the medium, I feel better about my skills improving even more in the future. I had purchased awhile back a watercolor kit that comes with a water pen that makes traveling with it much easier. This weekend was my first time using it and I will definately be bringing this kit and a watercolor book with me where ever I go. I don't have it in front of my right now, but if anyone is interested, I will post more information on it in the future. It's going to change my life a bit, I believe.


Kelli said...

The thresher looks pretty good considering the circumstances. And the Oliver tractor looks great. I found you through the small blog meet the other day. Nice to meet you. :)

kristastitched said...

oooh, i love watercolor! i think they look fantastic :D

Katie said...

I think that they look really cute, especially Oliver the tractor - just like something out of an illustrated book. Hi I'm a Katie too from Aus - doing the small blog meet, ironically I did a bit of textiles at uni too lol in between arts and architecture... I'd love to hear more details on that water pen!

Katie said...

Thank you everyone!

Katie, I am planning a little post on my watercolor supplies this week. The water brush is by Koi.