Hike and Laguna Lake

March 27th, 2017

Just returned home from 3 weeks in Maryland. Went on first hike this morning. The hills are covered with grasses and wildflowers. While I was on the top of South Street Hill, I noticed Laguna Lake is filled with water. Unfortunately, the filled lake does not mean the drought and water restrictions are over.

Laguna Lake

Laguna Lakebed

Photo of Laguna lakebed taken September 1, 2014
by Sam Larkin

SLO Rainfall

University of California Cooperation Extension, San Luis Obispo County


Trump Could Learn A Lot From Eleanor Roosevelt and Descartes

March 24th, 2017

In Eleanor Roosevelt’s Book of Common Sense Etiquette she writes about Descartes’ Discourse on Method.

“There are four simple steps by which we learn to think logically and thus communicate clearly.”

The first step–

Accept as true nothing which you do not clearly know to be so; avoid hasty judgment and prejudice.


Trump Could Learn A Lot From Eleanor Roosevelt

March 23rd, 2017

I am reading Eleanor Roosevelt’s Book of Common Sense Etiquette. This quote seems particularly relevant.

Perhaps even more discreditable is the practice of asserting as “facts” matters which have not been proved, or using as ”evidence” something that is the product of illogical thinking and the drawing of an invalid conclusion.

Wiretapping Tweet


It is Not a Pod…

March 19th, 2017

I am currently staying with my sister’s family in an old farm house in Maryland. When I took my morning walk, I noticed something odd. The fir trees at the edge of the property had what appeared on first glance, some type of pods.

Fir Trees

When I took a closer look it became clear that the “pods” were made by insects.

Bagworm Pods

Bagworm Pods

Bagworm Pods

So, who made them?

According to the Penn State Dept of Entomology it is the work of the bagworm moth,Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Haworth).

“This insect is most easily recognized by the case or bag that the caterpillar forms and suspends from ornamental plants on which it feeds. The bag is made of silk and bits of host foliage. These materials are interwoven to disguise and add strength to the case.”


It is unfortunate that the bagworm is destructive. The structures that they build are so beautiful. Apparently, it would be a good idea to remove them from the trees to prevent an infestation.

The description of the bag incorporating the surrounding material brings to mind Tinea pellionella, commonly known as casemaking moths.

Casemaking moths are very small. If you are not looking for them or not aware that they even exist. They can be mistaken for a bit of lint.

They are definitely not something I want in my home and studio since I am using natural fiber in my work.

Casemaking Moth Damage

Casemaking moths ate a large portion of the fiber stitchwork of a work in progress.

Casemaking Moth

The photo was taken with my iPad. It is difficult to capture something that is so small,
but it is an example of a red case.

Casemaking Moth

Casemaking moth that was found inside one of my garden clogs.


Living With Bunnies and Birds

February 22nd, 2017

When you share a home with bunnies and birds, you must make loads of compromises. Bunny proofing means protecting or removing anything that can be chewed that is up to approximately 3 feet high, unless the bunny likes to climb on furniture. One of our bunnies runs laps on the back of the sofa.

It is incredibly difficult to bird proof a room. Removal of plants and anything that they might want to tear and shred is a given. But don’t forget about the thin iPad/iPhone power cables. They love to chew them.

One of my See a Penny pieces has been hanging on the dining room wall since I completed it in March of 2013.

See A Penny

Completed See a Penny piece prior to hanging in dining room.

Today I found one of the pieces of mirror on the floor. When I replaced the mirror, I noticed damage–

See A Penny Damage

and certain the culprit is either The Bird or Bob.

The Bird

The Bird

Bob

Bob

They both love landing and perching on the piece, but I didn’t realize chewing was involved.

I could attempt giving the birds a misting with water as a deterrent. Probably would not be a deterrent for Bob because he frequently takes a bath in Big Baby’s water dish.

Big Baby

Big Baby

Haven’t decided if I will be moving the wallpiece to a different location. Repair will be time consuming, but doable. The squares are constructed of roofing felt, tree wrap, mirror, hardware cloth, and cotton twine.

See A Penny

See a Penny, Squares Used for Code–Spacer, Dot, Dash

Slipping in a new square of tree wrap won’t work. They squares were perforated for ease of binding with the cotton twine.

So, what is the solution to prevent Elliot from chewing my shoe laces while I am wearing the shoes?

Laces

Repaired laces with embroidery floss.

Elliot

Elliot in the studio.


New Addition to My Terrarium

February 7th, 2017

My niece made a terrarium for my birthday. I have cared for several gardens, but this was my first garden in a jar.

The end of January I moved the terrarium to a new location for a bit more light. When I opened the terrarium Friday morning I discovered a new addition.

Terrarium Interior

Terrarium Interior

Fungus Detail Interior

First glance I thought it was mineral deposits.

Fungus Detail Interior

Sent a couple of images to a friend who works at a botanic garden. Best guess from the images was a fungus.

Removed Ferns

I removed the ferns, cleaned their roots, and potted them up.

Terrarium Interior

Terrarium Interior After the Removal of the Ferns

Curious how the fungus growth will evolve. It brings to mind textural, lichen-like glazes I used when I was working in clay.


Unknown Plant Update and New Planting

February 5th, 2017

Seeds

Unknown Seeds

Seedlings

Unexpectedly, within 5 days there were seedlings.

Plant Update

The plant looked like this 31 October 2016.

Then so much went wrong. The plant was eaten by a furry one, and then it had bugs, it was eaten again…

Eaten Plant

and then it began to die.

Dying Plant

The plant currently looks like this.

New Planting

Sensing that the plant is sure to die, I planted another pot of seeds 4 February 2017.

Now I wait.


Hawthorne Piece Progress

January 29th, 2017

The coded Hawthorne quote used:
Words – innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.

Frame of Stitched Squares

January 11, Frame of Stitched Squares

Stitched Squares

Layout of Stitched Squares

Stitched Squares

January 24, In Progress–Squares in Each Row Stitched Together

Stitched Squares

January 28, Rows Stitched Together


To Do List:
Bind and Stitch Cotton Rope Border
Stitch Paper Backing to Piece Without Perforating the Paper


Rescued Cactus Update

January 28th, 2017

I rescued some cactus bits that had fallen from this plant in June of 2016. The plant was confined by the fence.

Cactus

Shortly before the plant was confined by the fence, it had several large and lovey white flowers.

I potted up the bits–

Cactus

And now it has loads of new growth–

Cactus

Actually, I recently removed a few starts to make more plants.

A couple of detail images of new additions to its growth. I like that they look sharp and pointy.

Cactus Detail

Cactus Detail

I suspect that the sharp pointy growth is for self propagation.


Seedlings and Growth

January 18th, 2017

I planted Hard-shelled Birdhouse Gourds (Cucurbita lagenaria) on November 6th. Four gourd plants emerged December 14th.

Gourds

Since I am still dealing with the squirrel and the weather has been cold and at times rainy, the plants are living in the bathroom. It is the room with the best daily light.

Gourds

The tendrils needed something to grasp onto so I attached some cotton twine to a wallpiece above the gourds. When the time comes for the plants to be moved to the garden, I can snip the twine and use it to attach the gourds to the garden fence.

Will the artist care that I am attaching something to their piece? Nope, it is one of my See a Penny… pieces.

Gourds


Western Peonies (Paeonia brownii) grow on the mountains on the California Central Coast. For some reason the plants are not readily available for purchase in the community nurseries.

I have attempted to grow them from collected seed, but never had success. That was until today. Well, apparently the plants were growing, but I did not realize the growth until this morning.

In early November I placed 10 seeds in a plastic bag with damp vermiculite. I also placed a few seeds in a pot of soil. The seeds in vermiculite have not shown any growth activity.

Peonies

Since I had not anticipated growth in the pot, I wasn’t paying attention. Unfortunately, the pot was in my studio, not very much light, so the seedlings are leggy. I moved the pot to a location with more light.


I found this little something in one of my garden beds in late December. Couldn’t identify it, thinking that it is probably a lily. I planted it.

Unknown Bulb

This is what it looks like today.

Unknown Plant