Keyboard Malfunction and Solution

March 19th, 2018

I have a MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016). Since I took it out of the box I have had a difficult time using the keyboard, especially the spacebar.

Thisis anexample of what happens whenItypeon this keyboard.

A couple of weeks ago it was so bad that I scheduled an appointment at the Apple store. The Genius rep cleaned my keyboard and asked me to type something to see if the cleaning solved the problem. It didn’t. The charge to repair the keyboard is $475. We discussed using a bluetooth keyboard, a new one would be approximately $60.

The Genius rep explained that many people did not adjust to the new keyboard design. I used and still use my 2009 MacBook.


A few nights ago I noticed that when I hit the keyboard exactly where the tape is, the spacebar worked. So, approximately .5″ of the 3.75″ of the spacebar works.

Spring Planting and Folded Paper Pots for Seed Starting

March 19th, 2018

I recently read through all of the seed planting recommendations for plants that I plan to add to my gardens.

Most of the seed will be planted in Plantel Plant Trays from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.

Plantel Plant Trays

It is recommended that some of the seed be planted in biodegradable pots, to prevent disturbing the roots of the seedlings.

Rather than purchasing peat or coconut fiber pots, I decided to use the Yellow Pages that have been piling up in my studio. Does anyone actually use printed paper phone books?

I viewed several, how to fold paper pot tutorials. DIY: Newspaper Pots for Seed Starting/Cuttings on Youtube is the best tutorial I found. The instructions are clear and easy peasy. Before beginning to fold a sheet from the Yellow Pages, I removed a strip from the side to alter the proportions.


The pages were torn to 4.25″ x 8.5″

The strips will saved for use when working in clay.

Folded Paper Pot

The finished folded pot is 1″x1″x1″.

Whenever I learn a new skill or technique, I always think about how it can be used in the studio.

I have made loads of boxes in the past, but rarely a square. This is a square box, roughly 3.5″, that I never quite completed. It is tree wrap with some dried plant bits and twine.

Not Quite Completed

Paper Pots

49 Paper Pots Ready to Use

Pleasant Surprise

March 11th, 2018

Several years ago I purchased a Solandra maxima from a fellow at the Saturday Farmers’ Market.


April 4, 2013 Bloom

It became a 12 foot long plant on a trellis. Numerous cuttings were taken to make more plants that are growing in a numerous locations in my gardens and gardens of friends.

Last year after the annual bloom, the plant lost all of its leaves. I meant to remove it, but just couldn’t find the time.

This evening I was photographing the Brugmansia growing in front of the Solandra maxima.


To my surprise I found that the Solandra maxima is leafing out.
Solandra maxima

Don’t know why it was without leaves for nearly a year, but I am glad I didn’t remove the plant. Maybe it will even bloom this year.

After the Rain

March 11th, 2018

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

New Cactus

New Cactus

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive?

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina 5 February 2018

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina Today

New Plants for Succulent Gardens

March 10th, 2018

I have been looking at the little iron bunny in one of my succulent gardens. It seems to disappear into the soil. Had thought that laying a bed of flat grey rocks for it to sit on. Today when I was visiting the neighborhood nursery, I saw this plant.


I have a rule when purchasing plants. They must be planted the day they are purchased.

Today was unusual because it was and still is raining. Rainfall on the CA Central Coast is a bit of an odd occurrence.


I slipped on my seldom used raincoat, pulled the plants out of the pot…


Eight aloe and a cactus.

…and popped them in the garden.


Placed one directly in front of the little iron bunny with two more plants in an imperfect triangle.


Three aloe in a previously open space in the garden.


Two small aloe juxtaposed with some plantlets in the making, all near the memorial bunny.


The volunteer cactus could use a dusting.
Tomorrow when it is no longer raining, I will remove the soil from its spines.

Don’t Give Power to Charlatans

February 27th, 2018

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Nature at Its Best

February 25th, 2018

Frost Dane’s Car

Washington State University Alumni Magazine

February 6th, 2018

I received my MFA from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. While there, I was using cuttings from trees and plants in my mixed media work. I became a bit familiar with some of the folks in the Horticulture Department when I was looking for potential sources for art materials. Not only did I find great materials, I also found starts of numerous plants that I grew in my studio.

While I was traveling over the weekend I read the Washington State Magazine Summer 2017 issue. The magazine is full of interesting information about folks at WSU and alumni. Since I have been caring for Monarchs in my gardens, I specifically wanted to read the article about Monarchs.

After reading a number of interesting articles, I read an article on the Newsmedia page about Linda Chalker-Scott’s book, How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do (Science for Gardeners).

How Plants Work Book

I read the excerpt available on the amazon site and decided to purchase the kindle version of her text. Even though I love books, especially beautiful Timber Press books, I didn’t want to wait 2 days for delivery.

Linda Chalker-Scott also posts on the Garden Professors blog. After reading a couple of posts, decided to subscribe.

Patina Gone Crazy

February 5th, 2018




After a short time this occurred–




What was the patina used for? I strung together 3 kinds of shiny steel washers in code for a 3-bunny gravemarker.

Memorial Piece

This is what the washers looked like when they were removed from the solution.

Memorial Piece

And now as part of the grave marker–

Memorial Piece

Memorial Piece

Eventually the piece should become rustier, more aged, a bit more similar to the oxidized bunny marker.

This is another memorial for a bunny burial space.

Mr Smith Memorial Piece

Used the same washers to make the coded memorial piece. I suspect that they have oxidized because the area of the garden gets watered frequently and the little inlaid ceramic cup does not have a drainage hole.

How many bunnies do I have buried in my courtyard? Eight. That sounds like a lot of bunnies. Eight bunnies have lived with me during the past 25 years. My oldest bunny lived a long, but not long enough 13 years.

The simple rust promoter formula found online.

Patina Formula

Sweet Essence of the Magnolia and Brugmansia

February 1st, 2018

The small Magnolia in the back garden is in bloom. Last evening I noticed the fragrance of the Magnolia was combining nicely with the delicious fragrance of the Brugmansia.

Magnolia Bloom

Magnolia Bloom with Bee

Magnolia Bud with Pod

The tall tilting tree is actually a Brugmansia.

Brugmansia Tilt

The Wisteria covering the deck was quite heavy last year, casting shade. So the Brug is growing toward the light. When the flower cycle ends, I will cut it back.

I grew the Brug from seed several years ago. I have taken cuttings and harvested seed pods to make more plants.

Brug Pod

A recently harvested Brugmansia seed pod.

I remove Brugmansia and Datura pods to prevent anyone from snagging them to use inappropriately.

The Brug was grown from seed purchased from The site has seed for a variety of plants and a great place to find seed for unusual plants.