Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Day, New Year.

 The first real snow of the year called me out early for a walk to the pond.
 A world transformed into a classical chinese painting.
 The moon played a game of hide and seek,
 catching in the bare branches,
 and finally flying free,

fleeing the fire of the sun rising over the trees.
  the brilliance of dawn on a new day

Happy New year everyone

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Room of My Own

I am lucky to have a space to work where I can spread out my thoughts and let them play. It even has a view of the Bird Garden.
While I was experiencing that intense nesting stage last spring I spent some time rearranging it and I invested in a big table that we can fold up if we have guests and need the space.
I arranged it as a spiral.
At the heart of the spiral is the large work space where I can lay out bigger projects; then the corner computer table; a couple of file cabinets under the window; a sewing/beading table; the closet; and finally the design wall.
I like the way I can tuck into the space now.
It took me awhile to really start inhabiting it, experimenting with a daily practice gets me in here every morning, and now is creating a dynamic with the space, it is my 3-D sketch book. 
The design wall and the large table are used not just as work surfaces, I find myself making arrangements, dioramas, alters, displays...
Little ideas and experiments sort of set up house near one another.
Post it notes with small sketches settle like leaves here and there.
Some of the itinerant stones wander about. 
When I start feeling stuck I spend some time rearranging.
Putting things into different contexts, and sorting them physically gives them new voices or perhaps just starts some new conversations.
I've begun using trays to group things
Raw ideas:
  Finished thoughts:
 What is next...

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I follow Carol Anne over at Threads Across the Web
I am captivated by how she carefully forms these beautiful embroideries
She is commited to perfecting her craft
 something I aspire to but is also a bit of a wrestling match for me
and she dedicates a little time each  morning to that practice
something I am trying to do these days
Daily work
It adds up
makes mental leaps happen

Connect the dot
Connect the thought

Sunday, November 18, 2012


 Auditions were held, nine were needed and found.

They seemed to want a little something extra.

Moustaches, or whiskers!

They seem to be playing a sort of game, but the rules are obscure.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The commission is delivered (they loved it).
I am taking a deep breath and starting some new pieces.
This one reminds me of an abacus.
I have a number of new ideas to explore and designs to try.
I have started getting up earlier to work on these before the day gets going.
It helps to put it first if only for a half hour.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


My first commission is completed.
Tomorrow I will deliver it.
I am nervous.
Perhaps that is why it took so long to finish.
                                                                          (Ya think?)
Every step of the way its teaching me something.
about value, how subjective it is
about tribes, our similarities and how we find each other
about letting the materials speak, and listening to them.
about uniqueness, we are each different
thus we are all the same again

Stuff to think on as I start the next ones.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Getting back into the studio has been proving more challenging than I thought it would be.
I have been weathering storms, very caught up in the political battles being fought all over the country; drinking too much wine; finding new feminist literature to read; procra-nxietying on some financial chores; and a bit of a blow from Sandy. We got off very easy, no bad wind damage or flooding in my neck of the woods and only 24 hours without power.
My heart goes out to the people who got hit so much harder.

I'm feeling a bit windblown.
Soon Bri will be here for a visit and that will take precedence.
I'm having trouble reestablishing the habit, or I should say making the habit a priority.
I'm not sure if this is a moment to push or a moment to drift.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seasons End

I finished the transplanting and cleanup on all of the gardens a couple of weeks back. Many plants have been shifted from other parts of the yard to the new beds. I concentrated on woody perennials, evergreens and grasses. Those will form the backbone of the plantings and next year I will work on filling in with perennial flowers.
Now I can get back into the studio...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

bird garden

bird garden
Originally uploaded by alsokaizen

I've cobbled together a panoramic picture of the bird garden as it looks now in its overgrown state. I've begun to list all of the plants to be relocated into the new bed. This particular area is giving up a few hydrengeas (sp??) and maybe a few other things. I will be moving some other things around too... looks like another busy weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Amazing- Janet Echelman

This past 3 day weekend I finished the edging. Here it is in its panoramic glory!
I am really pleased with it.
That is one big job finished... now on to the transplanting. 
I will be relocating many of the plants from the original edging (you can see them hugging the big retaining wall there) as well as a bunch of things from some of my other overgrown gardens.
I'm trying to do this with some foresight as to how big things are going to get, so I won't have to do this again.
It will be a little easier this time since many of the things that are going in are closer to full size than they were when I first put them in the ground.
I have a better idea of the plants that survive under my brand of benign neglect too (I don't water, drought tolerance is necessary)
All of this work has bumped me off of the 60 days. I'm still poking at the project I have going on but getting this gardening done before it gets too cold is taking precedence.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

51/60 - More Stones

It has been cool and wet here. I am hauling, digging and stacking rocks rain or shine.
The back border is growing longer.
My other gardens are overflowing.
Soon the transplanting will begin.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

49/60 - Odd Thoughts

Still finding tribes
Seeing the individuality within the tribes
Finding the organization
A game board, discovering the rules as I go

Sunday, September 23, 2012

46/60 - Garden Projects

I have been grabbed by the garden again.
I think it started a couple of weeks ago when Lar started this:
We are hoping to get some shrubbery established in the parched, weedy area next to the driveway. He did a nice job on it. I'm not sure how he wants to plant it he is still looking and thinking.
I understand how that process can take some time...
As mentioned, I have started remaking the back border. I've been staring at it for 2+ years deciding what that will entail and how best to do it.
I finally decided how wide it needed to be and got it rototilled back in the spring.
This was the back border back in March prior to clean up.

and here it is after being rototilled
I have finally started the new retaining walls for the terraces. I'm trying to get it right this time I really don't want to have to redo it again.
I want the terraces to make sense visually and when it is planted I want it to have a stylized waterfall look.

so far so good.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

45/60 - Micro Macro

I'm spending some time in the garden looking close and digging large.
I've  been reclaiming the rototilled back border from the weeds that took hold over the summer as I dithered on the project.
Today I trimmed the edge into the line I will be following as I establish all of the terraces.
There will be many.
I may need more stones.

many more

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Life has been busy but I think I have a plan for this piece now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

42/60 - Collecting Rust

Still plugging away at the stones, I'm a little hesitant as I need to be sure that the frame I plan to use will work depth-wise, Its time to get one and check before I go too far along.
I've been wanting to try some rust dyeing for awhile.
I just downloaded Compost Dyeing and Other Fermentation Techniques by Kimberly Baxter Packwood to my kindle, and I've started collecting bits as we walk the dogs.
Industrial parks are wonderful sources of rusty bits and pieces
Perhaps I will try a rust dyed ninepatch!

Sunday, September 16, 2012