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Archive for August, 2013

The hunt is always one for suitable spider bear components,

Small spider bear

Small spider bear

but they have been scarce lately. Eventually I was able to find a pair of smaller bears that still have the great, slightly broken coat fur that works so well for the spiders. One of the good things about working with bears of a similar type is that I have figured out some consistent ways to achieve the look I want. So at least it’s a bit easier to both round out the body to a more spidery shape as well as knowing where all the extra limbs are going to go. Each face is a bit different though. Figuring out what eyes fit best with it’s existing ones and where they’ll go is something that changes every time. The palps also need to be a bit different on each spider too. This one got a pair of slightly longer and narrower ones since they better suited her narrow muzzle. Even after to long wait for me to have a new one I can’t say that I’ve now got her around since she’s already headed off to a home across the border. Oh well, back to the bear hunting for me!

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There are some books that speak to the heart, they stick with you.

framed Velveteen Rabbit

framed Velveteen Rabbit

Some of the best ones for that are children’s books. One of the classics is the Velveteen Rabbit. There are many different versions of it but one of the best illustrations of it, in my opinion, is by Donna Green, done in the early 90’s. The paintings, that go with the story, are beautiful and so well done that when I found a copy a while ago that had a damaged cover, I decided to frame some of the pages. I selected a number that I thought were both beautiful and could stand alone as art. Two were of a facing pair of pages and they were carefully spliced together, to recreate the single image they would have started as. Only one, in the group, has writing, but it is the scene where the fairy comes to make Rabbit real and not only is the image one of the prettiest, but the words are a distillation of the whole book. There is quite a range of colours in the images and I wanted to keep options open for the group, so mixed the frames as well. All of them are from a discontinued line of rustic burlwood veneers in a flat, square modern shape. It came in two widths and I loved that line of moldings. I think that there is enough of a cohesive look to the finished set that they could all be hung together but any can be hung on their own, as single works of art.

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The blackberries are starting to ripen and they are huge!

blackberries, August 2013

blackberries, August 2013

While I had hopes of being able to make up at least one batch of my favourite blackberry crumble recipe it looks like they are going to do a slow, extended run of production. (there are even a few flowers still setting) So far, we’re getting a few daily and disposing of those is no hardship at all. It’s possible we’ll get at least one large group at the same time, but I’m not sure. For the moment, it’s mostly a matter of trying to beat Dad to the patch for the days supply!

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In the heat of summer, sometimes it’s nice to be able to just sit in the path of the fan

watch case necklace

watch case necklace

and work on something small and fiddly, like the jewellery. There are times when a design will almost make itself and then there are times when part of an idea sits, unfinished for a frustrating length of time. I’d had part of this necklace in the “incomplete concept” point for longer than I want to admit to, but pulling it out for this round let me finally figure out what it should be. It was so tempting, with the vintage ladies watches to make delicate little pieces, since they are so small, but I wanted something with a bit more impact. Having the pair of cases accented by the glass eyes gave a great look, but still felt like it didn’t have enough strength to stand on their own. What worked, in the end, was adding more of them. A total of five make up the neckline as well there is the draped “beak”, that falls below, so it has a great deal of presence without much weight. It’s not a piece for the unassuming but also not so dramatic it won’t work with a range of styles/outfits.

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The space around the sign is slowly getting filled in with plants. yarrow We’ve chosen to go with perennials and small shrubs. One that we put in late last year, was a yarrow. It was more than a little bedraggled looking, and last years drought meant the conditions stayed a bit harsh, but we expected it to survive since they are one of those perennials that are practically weeds. Unsurprisingly, it came out strong in the spring and has continued to develop into a large patch. It put out a bunch of yellow flower clusters and they are almost 4′ high and some are almost as big as my palms! It has compound blooms that have an attractive texture, from a distance but are more interesting up close. The flowers give a great punch of colour and considering how well it has done, we think we’ll be able to split it as soon as next spring. I’m not sure if we’ll extend it’s space in the same bed or put it in a new spot. At least we know it can hold it’s own through rough conditions and it’s been densely packed enough that no weed has been able to get close to it, so we won’t have to worry much about where it goes.

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