Saturday, June 29, 2013

Building a stairway today....

 I picked my first lettuce crop last night!
Citrus Mint and Thai Basil from the garden too, I added it to the chicken and made a delicious salad....
About a month or so ago, I put up a picture of a overgrown weed mess and said I would trade art for weeding my lower garden area, no joke, nobody answered so we tackled the job after dinner last night...
it's a large area that is our septic drain field so planting anything permanent won't work, I'm planning to have an additional, larger vegetable garden planted here in the next week.
Those are my child labor workers, working hard!
Here's it finished, it looks SO GOOD!
In addition to the clean up, I built some steps today leading down to the lower garden area, it's about a 4ft slope,also covered in weeds...
 this little black and white striped spider was helping me....

more of the process....
Below are finished steps, they look a little wonky, I'm going to do a final leveling of them when I get the ground cover that will be planted in between the steps and covering the bottom platform.
The concrete square covers the pipe that leads to our septic tank, so it has to stay. I also added the rock drain for excess run off from the upper yard, it will help slow down the run off and keep it away from the house, again it won't be so prominent when the plants get in..

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dip Dye Bag -Thursday Tutorial

There's been a huge trend this year for a technique called Dip Dye
Anywhere form clothing, housewares to hair it's very popular, I've enjoyed seeing all the products offered in the market with this art form of dye. I remember going through a faze of dying everything black...
Apparently it wasn't a faze after all...
Today, I decided to dip dye some of my natural, canvas totes,
Here's the tutorial on how it's done, it's real simple and any age can do it.

First you'll want to gather your supplies:
* I used natural 100% Cotton-Canvas totes
* Trusty Rit dye in Black
* Rubber gloves (optional, if you don't want to get your hands colored)
* Salt (salt water makes the dye deeper and hold better)
* A place to mix the dye (I used my double basin sink) you can use a bucket

I mixed the Rit dye with HOT water and salt in the smaller basin
I laid the bags halfway into the mix with the handles sticking out onto the counter top
I let them soak for about 15 minutes a piece until I liked the color
Using a plastic spoon I made sure to really soak the fabric and push it into the dye, lift it out and let some of the dye drip out to determine if you need to let it soak more
I moved each bag to the larger sink to let the excess dye drip out and dry out a bit
I decided since I had a whole sink full of black dye I'd better dye some clothes too! ;)

 Here's the finished bags hanging out to fully dry
Once they dry I will put them in the washer with cold water (no soap) to rinse out the excess dye,
Once they are washer rinsed and air dried they will go to my printers and get my logo silk screened on the them!
Have you done dip dye yourself? What do you think of this trend?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

NEW works on paper available

I've added some NEW works on paper to my site and a whole new page devoted to them!
to see the whole collection

Friday, June 14, 2013

Spring Color Shows and Friendly Local Faces

The succulents are really showing their colors this spring

more flowers and my first wild strawberries coming in, my Canna (bottom right) finally decided to sprout

Water Hyacinth is blooming purple with my two fish in the water garden

 and some friendly local folk I met today
"Dolly" the Cockatoo was quite lovely!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adventures and my Secret Garden

I'm slightly.... okay... I'm obsessed with my gardens...
I guess now that we bought our house and the yard is ours it makes it more important and meaningful. I want the best garden in the neighborhood, full, luscious and bountiful, a garden to relax and reflect in, to have a get together and BBQ, my very own secret garden that I can share with everyone.
 I can never have enough plants in my life, when I was a kid I loved exploring what nature had to offer me, following creeks to the river, adventuring across the farmers fields to their ponds, catching frogs and salamanders, climbing trees or ending up in nettles, it was always a great adventure that I enjoyed.. 
I dreamed of having a house with real grass carpet and moss walls...full of plants and animals, with a hammock strung up between two trees to sleep in, the thoughts of visiting the Amazon jungles would haunt my imagination everyday, I wanted to live in the jungle and live off the land...
I still daydream of it, maybe one day!

and now back to reality.....

So, while out grocery shopping...
I found some Cannas in the garden department, they were discounted because they were not very attractive with their ripped leaves and stubby growth. I bought all three and they are doing wonderful,almost doubled in size already! One is in my small water garden/pond/wash bin/ the other two I put in pots filled halfway with water on the front deck.

Small veggie garden is now planted:
 clockwise: Peas, Lettuce (two types) Thai Basil,Citrus Mint and Tomatoes (5 types)
Flowers are now blooming from the bulbs I planted!
clockwise: Sedum, Wild Strawberry, Lupine, 
-----can't remember the little purple star flowers name--- and Hosta

 Succulent, Iris and Daisy
I decided the (concrete) stone walkway in the back garden needed a good scrub on the the top and in between...
finally got all the dandelions, moss and grass out of the cracks, I power washed the tops and am very happy with the result. It's about a 30-40 ft path, I used my trusty hand hoe and elbow grease, it took about 2 hours, not bad... next is going to be a concrete brick wall covered in moss...yikes!

a little.... er... I mean BIG visitor..
and after a long days work I turn into a bunny jungle gym....
"Olive" is my dwarf, lop mix, she's really little, she LOVES feet, clean,dirty, hairy, stinky, barefoot or socks she'll take them and love them and bite them. She jumped back and forth, over my legs for about 20 minutes. It seem to wear her out as she flopped over when I put her back in her cage after she bit my toe, it's really hard to get mad at such a cute creature...

Oh... and I promise I'll write a post on the Beverly Hills art show I did a few weeks back....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spring Garden,Eggs and Babies....

it looks like I have dropped off the blogging planet for a bit,
Good News!
I'm back!
I've been busy with all sorts of Art, Gardening, Kids, Animals and just general life!

First off, all that planting I did is paying off, the bulbs have sprouted and the plants are growing like crazy!

Here's the Wisteria in the backyard next to the aviary....
and mention of aviary....
yep.... The Peacocks were getting busy while we were in Beverly Hills 
(Beverly Hills post coming tomorrow)
Look at those eggs! 
Here's "Peanut" the Peahen laying on them
this is how "Piper" the male Peacock swoons his lady...
and trying to swoon me...
 More Birds and Babies!
A family of Black Capped Chickadee's have made their home in our front house in the cedar tree.
I Welcome them to my yard! They have such sweet songs!

 New plants...
I fell in LOVE with the Agave and Aloes while in California, so I snagged some to bring home for my garden
I met my neighbor finally, she is a wonderful woman that happens to be a Horticulturist
She gave me Hostas,Succulents and much more for my garden... so I gave her a Buddha statue for hers..
Here's some highlights of my garden...

I added a small water garden in the front and hung the Prayer Flags in the Cedar
All for now!
More tomorrow!