Friday, July 31, 2009

Tree Mallow

It’s too bloody hot to do much of anything. It was even too hot for craft night. I did manage to glue half of my Kusudama together last night. It’s been epic trying to find the right glue- glue that sticks with some tackiness, actually holds paper together and doesn’t take three days to dry. And dries clear. I went to Michael’s and there was a bewildering array of glues, many of which just had the most basic information. I took a wild guess and found one that is adequate. Does anyone know of a great paper glue?

Here’s a picture of a Tree Mallow (Lavatera arborea). We have a botanical garden at work and it was plucked from there. I cleaned off the dead flowers when I put it in water and all the unopened blooms opened over the next three days. This is a spectacular plant that holds up well in a vase. A few people asked me if was fake.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wreck This Journal

Have you heard of the book “Wreck This Journal”? I saw it at B&N about 2 years ago. The title is the kind that compels you to pick the book up. I flipped through and thought it was the stupidest thing ever. The book commanded you to “chew on this page”, “fill this page with circles”, take it in the shower with you…Take a book in the shower??!! A book!! Dumb and destructive and juvenile. Who would write such a thing? Who would publish such a thing? I dismissed it.

I have no idea what really changed my mind. But I really changed my mind. 2 years later (almost to the date) I insisted that Kelly stop at B&N when he was in Medford and BUY this book immediately. I must have it.

Now I’m an addict. I love this book and I can’t entirely articulate why. The best I can say is that I’ve always struggled with the process of creation. I want a perfect, finished product every time I set out to do something. You can imagine how far I get with expectations like that. But this book has changed the game. I’ve been pulling out art supplies that I haven’t touched in years and I work with abandon because it doesn’t matter! I meticulously drew circles with markers and metallic pencils and then afterwards, someone, who shall remain nameless, threw the book in a creek. The materials weren’t all water soluble and the circles pretty much disappeared. I was annoyed for a bit but then I realized that’s the whole point. Create. Destroy. Play. Detach. The book has some character now that it has warped somewhat. I keep reworking pages and tossing the book around everywhere and well, it’s really fun and oddly freeing.

There are groups dedicated the art of wrecking. Here are some of my pages. What are you waiting for? Wreck! Wreck! Create! Create and Wreck!
Cover this page using only office supplies

Compost this page. Watch it deteriorate. I threw it in my worm bin. Updates to follow.

The Craft Group playing Hackeysack. See it on the right?

The stain log. I've used flowers and herbal tinctures. Pretty!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Crochet Patterns- Free to a good home

As promised, some posts ago, here are the crochet patterns that I have available, for FREE. Please drop me an email ( if you are interested in any or all of these. They are older patterns, mostly in good shape. Some are really beautiful and timeless and some are dated. I'll be happy to provide details. I have more than what is in the pictures, let me know if there are certain kinds of patterns (ie, dolls, doiles, etc) you prefer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Illinois River Craft Night

It's been hot in southern Oregon. So, crafts be damned until it cools off a bit. We went "swimming" instead. "Swimming" consisted of finding the deepest spot in the rather shallow summer Illinois River and splashing around. The deepest place I could find came up to my knees. Still, we cooled off and played frisbee and just had an all around excellent time. We started with food, of course. Excellent Sangria, yummy bruschetta, fritters, stuffed mushrooms and plates full of cheese and crackers. Topped off with baskets of fresh berries. Here we are right before the feeding frenzy:And here we are splashing:
We set up camp on a little island. Please note the blue umbrella. Cece brought that. Just in case we got too much sun.Wish you could have been there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Craft Night July 9

We broke from our traditional craft night format of chat n’chew (with perhaps a craft somewhere in sight). Well, actually we did the chat n’chew part and then we went for a hike. We helped Paul carry the last of the boardwalks up to a Darlingtonia fen. Paul has been working on a trail through a Darlingtonia fen. I believe he just needed these few boardwalks carried in and placed to complete the trail. Here’s what Darlingtonia (aka Cobra Lilies) looks like: We spent some time hiking around the fen and then beyond it into serpentine soil. There we found the Mariposa Lily:
It’s not a common plant as it prefers the harsh serpentine soil. It won't grow anywhere else.

We tried to get a group shot (sans Erin in this one- she was running back when the shutter went off):
There was nowhere great to prop the camera so we hung it from its strap on a tree branch. Not the greatest of photos but here we all are!
We attempted one more time to get a good shot and the camera swung away from us as we posed. We tried to jump in the path of the lens - Andrew didn't make it:Lastly, we saw a Common Nighthawk. It was flopping around so we suspect we were getting too close to its nest. When we backed off it roosted:
It was difficult to get a decent shot but we saw it flying and it is a difficult bird to ID wrong when you see the obvious wing bars. It was a great craft night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Lunch Break Well Spent

I wasn't hungry at lunchtime and a co-worker mentioned that our company garden was filled with Swallowtails:The Swallowtails seemed to roost for a long time on the Echinacea. Noticeably longer than on any other type of flower. I wonder why? Certainly not to pose for me.

Here's a snap of another gorgeous little moth/butterfly in the garden:
Does anyone know what this critter is? I also don't know what the flower is. It's very attractive and all over the garden in clumps. Probably something medicinal - I'll ask around.