October 31, 2010

Mimicry...


An odd word, mimicry.  Doesn't roll off the tongue very well.  And what I'm doing with it here, in stitches, isn't rolling off the needle very well.  Frustrating but I keep going.

Thought I'd see what would happen if I tried to imitate the "feeling" of fabric pattern with embroidery thread. Maybe that's an echo and not a mimic?


Works a little better in some areas than others...


Helpful to pull back, see it in a photo...some of these stitches need to be carried clear across a few bands of fabric rather than be kept contained in little areas.  I'll send some off to wander wildly like their patterned cousins.


Really not sure what is going on with this one.  Went a bit *swooney* when I saw this post over on India's blog.  I thought she was posting some very fine examples of Australian textile art but as I read on, nooo, they were contemporary indigenous paintings. wow. 

Could that feeling, that pattern play, be translated into stitches I wondered.  Someone can probably do it but I'm not sure it's me.  Can't get this anywhere near where I'd like it to be quite yet ~ may even start over.  May stop.  Still, the process has been worth all the effort so far.  I've had quite a few conversations in my head with whoever this artist is...I want to know WHY they made those marks the way they did.  Maybe then I could better understand why they speak to me so loudly and why I feel the need to stitch them.  Maybe then I COULD stitch them.

Mimicry...defined as "the act or art of copying or imitating closely."

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, my friends ~ now go mimic some ghosts & goblins!

The Old Hall, Fairies by Moonlight; Spectres & Shades, Brownies and Banshees
~ John Anster Fitzergerald, c. 1875 ~

October 19, 2010

Her garden...

'Her garden'
~ by Catrin Welz-Stein ~
All Rights Reserved

The hazy idea for a post about my garden was brewing for a few days.  You know how that is, when you can't quite pinpoint what it is you'd like to say - or how.  I keep a bookmark called "Inspiration" for just these moments and that's where I went, looking for some clarity.


The image above, 'Her garden,' wowed me the first moment I saw it.  And there it was, safely bookmarked, wowing me again.  I immediately wrote to Catrin Welz-Stein to ask permission to use it as the lead photo for my garden tale.  Such a metaphor for so many things.  Hauntingly beautiful...perhaps a tad disturbing...breathtaking...definitely otherworldly.  A world of bounty revealed.  Or so it is to me anyway.


Have a look for yourself - for more of Catrin's amazing digital art, see it here.  

*  * * * *
Disclaimer: the following post is written from
the viewpoint of a confessed flower floozie.
Continue reading at your own discretion. 

Autumn, and the garden is winding down.  As it readies itself for a rejuvenating winter's sleep, I've been taking stock.  There's time to think, tending to the multitude of late season chores and I've been remembering the bountiful displays and all the joy my plants  brought this season.  

So I thought a little pictorial celebration might be in order in honor of this, my first garden at my first home.  Assembled here are a few of the pretties that, well, how shall I describe it, put on their best dresses.

Camas lily 
Camassia leichtlinii

Last fall I planted several patches of these bulbs - they came up splendidly in June.  They naturalize when they're happy so I'm keeping fingers crossed the little colonies will multiply.  Native to the island where I live, they are no longer a common sight due to all the usual environmental reasons.  Once an important & abundant food source for the Native Americans, they are now hard to find.  Trying to change that at Chez Sweetpea...

Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'
Rudbeckia hirta

Fell in love with this little redhead!  I'd never met her before but I'm definitely having her back again next year...she was a knockout. Bloomed her silly head off the entire summer.  And she's not entirely gone.  There's a tidy little packet of snipped redheads tucked into the freezer drawer awaiting a dye day.

Heirloom sweet pea 'Marion'
Lathyrus odorata

Oh, the scent from these beauties was indescribable!  Grew about 16 plants on a 4' wide by 6' tall willow teepee and what a sight they were, what with their delicate purple edged ruffled-ness.  Growing to EIGHT feet tall, the mass of them was positively intoxicating.  My nom de plume...

Coneflower 'Tiki Torch'
Echinacea

Planted some Tiki's in front of dark purple salvia 'Caradonna' - they were good companions, showing each other off in that opposites-on-the-color-wheel way.  With so many new coneflowers on the market these days in an ever widening choice of (bizarre?) colors, I was charmed right up to the checkout stand with this one because Tiki is -- are you ready for this -- f-r-a-g-r-a-n-t.  Sweet, like honey & citrus.

Pincushion flower
Scabiosa 'House Hybrids'

One of my cottage garden faves and an outstanding bee magnet (so important in North American gardens) ta' boot, this House Hybrids selection sort of blew me away with their stature...we are talking flowers atop three foot stems!  And it's the middle of October and they are still blooming.

Hummingbird fuchsia
Zauschneria garrettii 'Orange Carpet'

What an orange carpet this was, a non-stop bloomer for the entire summer and every hummingbird within miles must have dropped by for a swig.  The House Hybrids are at the top, peeking out just to right of center. This photo was taken at the end of August, when the variegated Sea Holly was also in her full glory...

Variegated Sea Holly
Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost'

'Jade Frost'...now wouldn't that be a tantalizing name for an ace female detective in a Miss Marple mystery? 

Poppy 'Black Peony'
Papaver somniferum

Excuse the underside but is this poppy not *magnificent* from under here?!  The color was somewhat like burnt grape juice -- a purple/red so dark it truly was almost black -- with blooms about five inches across, what a statement.  In tandem with those glaucous-blue stems & leaves, these petals stole the show...however briefly.  Almost ephemeral, no friend to wind, the windfall blew right into my freezer  :>}

And one more, the brightest beacon of my fall garden...

Dahlia 'Orange Hybrids'

A species dahlia that needs no staking and gets no mildew and greets you every morning with a very loud, "HELLO."  Did I mention the foliage is bronzey?  If you think you might not be able to live without one, Annie's can send you one of your own.  

I used to work there back when dinosaurs roamed the earth so I can say these things...

So if you've made it this far, I thank you for joining in the celebration with me.  And thanks again, Catrin, for inspiring with your beautiful work.


October 2, 2010

The shift...

stitching takes a turn

nature makes some marks

wanderlust

shameless rest

maybe all paths look like this.