Sunday, June 30, 2024

Fading Hydrangeas

It is late in the season for hydrangeas. They've all had a rough summer, enduring a hot dry spell that left them with drooping leaves and curled-up florets, begging to be watered.  Now the bright blossoms are fading to a pale sky blue, then each floret outlines itself in cream. As the blue drains from the petals, the balls take on shades of silver, cream and palest green. They offer a more subtle beauty at this stage. Soon their original summer sky hues will be just a memory.


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Summer In the Pollinator Garden

 There are many communities where a garden such as this would not be allowed. Instead, tidy lawns and restrictions on the style of mailboxes are enforced.  But on this corner birds chortle and chirp as they perch on coneflowers and teasels. I hear the soft sound of their wings as they dart after insects. Butterflies alight briefly among the tall grasses that splay over the edge of the sidewalk. It may not satisfy some humans' needs for tidiness and order, but it's a little corner of heaven for pollinators.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Pink Yarrow

 Associated with healing as well as luck, yarrow has many folk names, including woundwort, staunchwound and nosebleed plant. It has a reputation as a love charm that goes back beyond Druid times. Look closely at yarrow and notice how the leaves spiral up around the stem like a staircase in a small room. The mass of tiny florets reject symmetry, acting as flat landing pads for the many winged pollinators that feed on it. For the rest of the summer, bees, butterflies, moths and beetles can find sustenance while I enjoy the show. 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

We've Got The Blues

 This past week at the Quilt & Surface Design Symposium, Sandy Shelenberger mixed up two vats of indigo for her students. Before anything could be dyed, students chose a color or style of bead as their identification and sewed one to the corner of each piece of fabric. Then they began to pleat, stitch, gather, wrap and clamp. Soon, striking fabrics covered the design boards. The variety of patterning seemed almost endless, all in classic indigo blue.  

Sunday, June 2, 2024

What A Mess

 Making art can be a messy business. This past week at the Quilt & Surface Design Symposium, students in Pat Pauly's class worked with thickened dye, screening, stenciling, scraping and squeezing layers of colors, creating patterns that move across the fabric. It's a labor intensive process. After all that work, the most difficult step comes afterward: cutting into those newly created fabrics.