Category: Chit chat

Gardening for the Soul

I never thought I would like gardening as much as I do. I mean it’s full of dirt, bugs, too much sun, and a lot of labour. None of those are big pluses for me. Somewhere along the line though I realized it’s also simple, productive, occasionally a little magical, and peaceful. Life can always use more of that.

The bunny above is the neighbourhood rabbit and fairly tame. He’s as big as my cats, digs up whatever (garlic on this day, in one of my side plots), and is generally super cute. And well seasoned. Between the bunny and the slugs, I mostly container garden my annuals at the house. I also have pots of flowers at the shop because I have a ton of really boring concrete drive way and parking lot. And I have a few rows at a friends huge farm plot. I’m trying beets there this year along with the potatoes, onions, and carrots.

If I pay attention, my plants usually do well. Which is pretty much a whole life lesson.

Caturday: Cats and Renos

We’re currently in the second weekend of doing a kitchen renovation. Last week there was a mix of old cabinets and new pieces in my kitchen and the cats were a little confused and stressed out. They dutifully took advantage of the situation though.The braver of our cats wore herself out climbing in and out of every box, shelf, wrapping paper, and nook. Chasing every dropped screw and discovered toy. Slinking into every uncovered vent and duct she could find. Good thing cats have a few extra lives and a lot of luck.

After a cursory inspection, the less brave of our cats went back to the quiet bedroom and hid.

Week 9: Tulip Variations

If you make polymer clay canes and you’ve made rose canes and variants on the multi-petal canes like chrysanthemums or dahlias you’re familiar with the very cool effect that Skinner blend shading can give your canes. Those canes are made with two colours of clay, generally, and all detail is arrived at with careful placement of the shaded blocks, like you do with painting. It’s sort of an art form to make complex, effective designs with the simplest of combinations and materials.

Backing up in time a bit, I’ve made tulip canes a few times and they were clearly tulips. They weren’t great and they relied on “outline” or drawn elements to establish that yes, these were tulips. The shading was there but not used for definition.

I decided to tweak that a bit this week and, starting with the crocus, did a “drawn” or outlined flower to get the shape right. Then I, using roughly the same design, went with tulips using just the shaded blocks to get the definition and it worked! I got tulips out of it.

My mildly clay nerd week for you.