Sunday, May 26, 2019

Yellow Gloves, Yellow Dye

No, this was not staged. Yellow is a common color for rubber gloves and I just happened to walk into the tent when a students were working with yellow dye. I love the line of yellow hands. This moment happened at the Quilt & Surface Design Symposium a few years ago.  We no longer need a tent for "messy classes." The symposium starts tomorrow and I can't wait to discover what colorful and surprising scenarios everyone will stir up.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

May Roses

With so many flowers to choose from, I used to think that roses were a cop-out. Particularly the stiff-stemmed pointy-petaled almost scentless hybrid tea roses. Over the years, I met the rest of the rose family: untidy antique varieties that scramble up walls, David Austin-style roses shaped like teacups packed with petals, wafting heavenly perfume, and hardy neighborhood roses in neglected yards on broken fences, still determined to bloom. Five-petal roses like these pink ones often fall into the family known as dog roses. They are considered invasive in some parts of the world. This type of rose is what you see in heraldry. It represented both families involved in the Wars of the Roses; red for Lancaster and white for York. I'll take the pink ones and enjoy them while they are blooming.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mauve Pansies

After the daisy, the rose and the daffodil, what other flowers are children most likely to be able to identify? I'd say the pansy is a likely candidate, with their distinctive petals forming little faces. They grow in a vast range of colors, some dramatically splotchy and contrasty, others quiet and subtle, like this ravishing patch, in shades that would grace a Victorian lady's gown. How can sibling blooms sprung from the same seed show off so many different colors and markings? "Pansy" derives from the french "pensee." As Ophelia said "And there is Pansies—that's for thoughts."

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Bathing Bird

A bird bath nestles between the flowering shrubs in the Smithsonian’s Ripley Garden. It's a popular place. I watched this guy for a good five minutes, flapping his wings, ducking his head under the water,  splashing droplets in all directions. He knew I was watching and stopped a time or two to stare at me, with a look that said "This is MY garden and MY bath so Whatsitooya??" Then he flew off, leaving another shower of  shower of droplets in his wake.