Monday, January 31, 2011

A Twiggy Trellis

Introducing my latest twig trellis!  I love this design because it allows me to practice my joinery, but since there are only four joints I can accomplish this much faster than a more complicated pattern.  It also allows me to recycle long plum branches from my neighbor's tree, pruned last Summer (thanks, Janet!)

I picture this being more of a room divider than a privacy screen trellis, with the option of leaving it as is or allowing a vine to traipse across its branches.  Perhaps since they're blooming now, I think a Dutchman's Pipevine (Aristolochia californica) would be pretty cool! 


Obviously, the twine and sticks will deteriorate before the redwood does.  However impractical that might be, I like the idea of being able to make a canvas which can hold a number of different looks over time. Many products are built for life in the name of sustainability- which is always good practice, but it's also important to remember the fickle tastes of the consumer!  I for one enjoy a change of scenery and am excited to create something that supports it without adding to the waste stream. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lovely Weather We're Having... Shoreline Edition

Funny how much time wedding planning takes!  I decided to take a little break yesterday, and armed with a chocolate milkshake I traversed to the MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline, one of my new favorite parks for its lack of people and abundance of birds and native plantings.  Imagine my surprise when I found the parking lot half full!  Apparently at high tides, the endangered Clapper Rail and other like-minded birds are displaced from their shore-side homes and take refuge at the end of the dock that extends into the marsh.  Birders of all degrees gathered on the edges with camera lenses bigger than the birds themselves, snapping photos and chatting.  Please follow me through a photo tour.

I'm so in love with the colors of this photo.  And the composition.  And how it takes a bridge and abstracts it into a series of lines and color.  Ok, I'm really proud of this one, even if it was just me documenting something interesting.

This is part of a disc-shaped sculpture- isn't the patina so lovely against the sky?  I wandered around the sculpture on a large expanse of lawn, admiring the new native plantings.  At the blink of an eye, a large bird emerged about six feet away from me seemingly out of no where and flew off to a distance.  The crowd of birders turned their tripods to me and this amazing creature and started snapping away.  "Is that...  an owl?!" I called over to them.  "Yes!"  Wow!  Sorry, Burrowing Owl to disturb you, but you were quite wonderful to happen upon!

Look closely in the bottom, left portion of the photo for the Burrowing Owl, sending me disgusted looks.  Obviously I don't have the sort of camera equipment that others at the park had...

A Crow (?) descends on a post, which for some reason is outfitted with an old satellite.

As I wandered around, I collected a few objects to assemble.  A large mussel shell, a leaf from a Salvia, and a downy feather found in a large, flowering Mallow among the Yellow-Faced Bumble Bees.  I loved it for the textures mixing together and the shadows the feather made on the shell.  It combined senses so well- touch, tactile, sight.  (I didn't feel like tasting was an option).

There ends our adventure!  How are you enjoying our respite from rain and gloom?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Where In The World Have You Been?!

Yes, yes- that was quite a blogging sabbatical.  I'm sure you haven't been worried sick about me, but I thought I might explain what I've been up to lately.

Foremost, leaves.  Oh, so many leaves.  Thank goodness for that last storm, battling them off their perches so we won't have to fight them again until next year.

Enjoying the views, from a picnic in Lake Merritt... sunsets right out the kitchen window.

Testing the limits of the amount of plants the truck can hold.  Turns out the answer is lots!

Hosting friends for New Year's.  We created a tableaux to attract various things we wanted this year- riches, travel, love, light, friends.

Mostly I've been occupied by fermenting in the kitchen (that's a positive thing, by the way).  I'm anxiously awaiting my first batch of sauerkraut, made with the traditional juniper berries and a little bit of apple.  I'm continuously surprised by how easy it is!

My second loaf of Sourdough came out of the oven last night and I'm learning so much about the alchemy of bread baking!  Did you know you can attract the natural yeast in the air with flour and water?!  Anyone want some starter?

So as the new year continues, many new things are just waiting to inspire us.  I'm so excited to continue documenting my inspirations here.  It's great to be back!