Archive for the ‘Observations’ Category

New Addition to My Terrarium

Tuesday, 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.


Happy Holidays, Bob, and The Bird

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Happy Holidays Bob


How I rescued the lovebird, who came to be known as Bob–

1. Opened upstairs bathroom window, removed screen, placed towel over window frame.
2. Placed The Bird, our cockatiel in his travel cage, placed cage in plain view in the bathroom.

The Bird

The Bird enjoying our tree. Yes, his name is The Bird.

3. Played a Youtube video of Lovebirds singing.

Then I waited.

The lovebird flew to the window and looked in. Then he flew back to the top of the birch. Then he perched on the window ledge. He would not come in the bathroom.

After a couple of hours, yes a couple of hours of him flying to the window and hovering, I had an idea. I turned on all of the lights in the room. Immediately he flew into the room and landed on our cockatiel’s travel cage. John was home by then, he closed the window. Success.

What did I learn? The towel on the window ledge was a good idea for the bird to grab onto and enter the room, but a really bad idea for closing the window. Patience is a good thing to have. The entire rescue took only 4 hours.

Why is his name Bob?
It took a long time to name him. We noticed he has a habit of bobbing up and down before flight and when he is attempting to escape from his room. The bobbing is funny, almost dance like. So, Bob he became.


The frames and text applied to the photos were an easy peasy couple of clicks in Snapseed.
The Snapseed app is on the App Store.


What is it? Sugar and Rodin Quotes

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

“To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.” Auguste Rodin

When I started to clean the oven after a baking mishap, I paused to look at what I scraped up.

Burnt Sugar

It is burnt sugar from an apple spice cake. At fist glance it looks black, nearly ash. On closer inspection it has a lovely texture of holes and craters.

Burnt Sugar

In the past I used sugar as a stiffener and in molds. There is a history of folks using sugar as a stiffener for crochet. I had been using microcrystalline wax, shellac, and varnish to stiffen and age my work. Wondered if sugar might work as a substitute.

Sugar Twine Vessel

This is my first test piece, made in 2006. It is constructed of cotton baker’s twine. I immersed the cotton vessel in molten raw sugar. The sugar impregnated twine collapsed. I wrung it out and place it over a foil covered coffee can taller than the vessel. Placed the lot on a plate to collect the sugar run off.

The piece is still strong and not in the least bit sticky. And no insect activity.

I also made a series of cast sugar vessels. I used several recipes for sugar glass. One recipe was 3 1/2 cups of raw sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 2 cups of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar. I used a silicone mold for the casting.

Melting Sugar Cup

Clearly I did something wrong. Raw sugar rather than granulated. Possibly the thickness. Temperature.

But it was fun to watch the sugar cup melt.

Will I try it again? Sure. Will I have success? Maybe.

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” Auguste Rodin


Unknown Plant

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Still unable to identify the plant. I visited one of the local nurseries and asked two Master Gardeners and they were stumped.

We know that it is not a variety of plants by ruling out what we are certain it is not.

Unknown Plant

10 October 2016

Unknown Plant

31 October 2016

Unknown Plant

24 November 2016
The leaf, while growing larger, has changed.

Unknown Plant

24 November 2016
The flip side of the leaf.


Some of the things I have learned from gardening–

Gardening teaches patience.
Gardening teaches respect for nature.
Gardening is a process.
Gardening is an adventure.
Gardens are ever changing and never finished.


What Happened?

Monday, October 31st, 2016

I was looking through some work in progress and thought this looked odd.

Casemaking Moth Damage

The last time I saw this piece the stitchwork background was completed. The plan was to add another layer of stitchwork with fiber and seeds with the code, A Fragment of Memory.

When I opened the graph paper I found this–
Casemaking Moth Damage

And this–

Casemaking Moth Damage

So what caused the damage?

Casemaking Moth Damage

Casemaking Moths.

I have a weird fascination with the critters. They totally creep me out. And yet they are rather interesting the way they become active with a bit of light. And how they carry their shelter with them.

It is frustrating to have work destroyed. Even if it is work in progress.

This is a image of the damaged alpaca lace piece and a piece that is stitched with bamboo.

Casemaking Moth Damage Comparison

They were on the same shelf, right next to each other. Does this show a fiber preference? Or maybe the difference was the alpaca piece was partially inside of a piece of folded paper. That would make for a darker more protected environment for the casemaking moths.

I have written about casemaking moths in the past here, here, and here.

The first time I wrote about casemaking moths was March 2012, the last time was in September 2014, well until now.


Bunny Ornament with a Purpose

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Bunny Ornaments


A Little Rain and…

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Mushrooms, Moss, and Hellebores

Mushrooms

Moss Growth

Hellebores


Lovely Mold Growth

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Interesting that the mold growth is not just circular. Unfortunately I will not be able to document the progress of the bit that appears to be a cylinder. Someone disposed of all of the moldy ones.

Mold Growth


Agave

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Agave

Agave has narrowed in width and has more of a tilt.


Poinsettia Leaf

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Gorgeous Colors

Poinsettia Leaf