Category Archives: Art & the Garden

Creating the Greenwoman Doll – Part III

I didn’t have to wait long to see if Bee could make our girl’s somber expression brighter.

Two days later, on May 7th, Bee wrote:


“Great article Sandy, love how it’s all coming along.

I’ve shaded two more layers and nearly finished the face; she has a smile now and looks much happier. I will be doing at least another 6-7 more layers of shading to the body, so a ways to go. I use Pan Pastels for the shading, fixing each layer with a non toxic UV Matt varnish spray which needs at least 30 mins of drying time in between.

Here’s a couple of pics of the progress so far . . .

I’ll be adding more and more green to the tattoos. This is the base shade and her eyes need more green too.”

She’s smiling! And looking so close to what I imagined!

I was thrilled!

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Zora and Lily loved her too. Both commented: “Who does she look like?” Lily (who has a film degree) said a combination of Angelina Jolie and Faye Dunaway. I just think she looks like herself. 😉

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Superhero power stance! (Notice Bee’s cute bee-themed fabric/ doll styling center wallpaper.)

Now I was holding my breath. We were at the final stages. I was happy, but what would the final doll look like? What would her hair be like styled? Would the tattoos look awesome? I was shocked to hear that it took so many layers of coloring. A truly labor-intensive project! A labor of love. I told Bee how happy and grateful I was. I also mentioned that I’d researched the USPS (United States Postal Service) site after seeing one Etsy artist comment on international mail experiencing big delays. On the USPS site I read that some deliveries to Europe were now taking as much as 4-6 weeks as there were fewer air carriers and much of the mail was being transported by ship! I told Bee I wasn’t worried; that this pandemic has been a lesson in cultivating patience.

Bee wrote back:

“My dolls are actually getting to their owners with in 2-3 weeks because I send them via International ‘track and sign’ post. They are also insured so I think that it’s just Standard shipping you’re looking at maybe for the long delays?

I’ll be finishing your doll over the next few days and will send it to you on Tuesday the 12th, after our bank holiday. I’ll send you pics for your blog after it’s all completed.

Have a good weekend.” ^.^ 

Two to three weeks would be fantastic!

And then . . . four days later (May 11th), the final photos.

Bee wrote:

“Here she is all finished, apart from glossing the eyes and lips. I think she looks amazing, especially up close, so much detail. Hope you can see it all in these photos. I’ll wrap her up and send her to you on either Tues. or Weds. next week.”

 

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The back design was all Bee’s creation. Again, excellent!

 

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I love these garden photos!

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Gorgeous.

And, last but not least, the creator’s hand at work . . .

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My response? I was a tad excited:

“OMG. SHE LOOKS SO EFFING COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m over the moon!
Thank you so much!!!!
I know it’s evening there, so I will write and gush some more tomorrow.
She’s really beautiful and it just looks fantastic.
I cannot wait to show her off to the world!”

Our Greenwoman is now on her way. We just have to wait for her to cross the Atlantic Ocean, go halfway across the United States, and arrive, safe and sound, in Colorado!

Then the real adventures begin!

Stay tuned for the naming contest!

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

—S. K.

P. S. Thank you again, Bee. You have made a dream come true. There’s still magic in Cornwall and throughout the world. You’ve proved it. ❤

 

 

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Creating the Greenwoman Doll – Part II

Last week, as I was writing the first post on the Greenwoman doll/mascot, I was also learning a little about our doll’s creator, Bee Hale. When I told her I’d be writing two more posts about the process of creating this doll, I asked if I might share a little about her and her life. I asked a few questions: how she got into creating dolls, what it’s like to live in Cornwall—and if her real name is Bee!

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Bee and her Mini-Me

One of the first things I noticed when I looked at Bee’s Etsy site, Bee Real Dolls, was that Bee was from Truro, England. Truro, I discovered, was in Cornwall. I’d heard of Cornwall, the rugged southwestern tip of England, with it’s wild moorland, hundreds of beaches and towering cliffs, and, maybe most famously to some of us, the home of the legendary King Arthur. So romantic! I’ve not had the privilege to visit (it’s on my list of dream vacation destinations), but my daughter Zora has. She attended graduate school in Dublin where she met her Irish husband, and during their courtship they took a trip to Cornwall. You see, Zora grew up with plenty of mythology, fairy tales, and legends, and she really wanted to see the birthplace of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle.

When I learned Bee was from Truro, I asked Zora if she’d visited there. “No, we wanted to but didn’t have time.” Then she added, “You know that’s the town in Poldark.

(Ah, PBS Masterpiece‘s Poldark—the riveting story of Ross Poldark, a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War. I loved that show! Maybe If I wasn’t so distracted by the dashing, I-will-fight-for-my-people Ross Poldark, the name Truro might have stuck with me. Alas, it did not. But I digress.)

Zora loved Cornwall. She was surprised and delighted by the mystical vibe, telling me, “There’s a lot of hippie/Earth worshipper stuff there.”

What a perfect place to create the Greenwoman doll!

I visited Bee’s Facebook page and saw more of her artistry. She’s created dozens of one-of-a-kind dolls, including a custom Prince, Spock, Daenerys Targarian, John Snow, and a David Bowie. She also up-cycles secondhand dolls and says she enjoys using all her skills (sculpting, painting, and creating clothing and accessories) in one project. She says it’s “pure delight working on my dolls as their individual characters come to life,” and that she loves transforming “these little discarded toys, from head to toe, into the true and REAL beauties they deserve to be.”

On May 5th Bee wrote:

“I’ve made a start on the body tattoo and the doll’s face, still needs a few more layers on both to make them pop.

The little bra and skirt also made, pictured next to the doll. How short do you want the skirt? I’ve made it to come above the knee but can take it shorter.”

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Wow,
I thought, lovely. I was so pleased by how it was coming along, but . . . there was a problem. Her expression wasn’t the fun-loving smile I was thinking of. When this doll’s out on her Instagram adventures, I want her to look like she’s having a great time!

Within minutes I’d figured out how this happened. Bee had created her exactly like the logo, with a serious expression.

Bee hadn’t been able to read my mind.

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I saw that I’d failed in describing what I wanted with the tattoos as well. While Bee had beautifully recreated Mike’s design, I was imagining colorful filled-in tattoos, like the Pict images in the last post. I hadn’t shared that information with Bee either, and she’d drawn outlines, exactly as in the logo.

Oh, no, I thought, I really messed up!

I sent her a longish letter telling her about my mistakes and apologizing, asking if she could make changes, telling her I’d be happy to pay extra. We also decided we’d prefer a little shorter skirt, mid-thigh.

Bee wrote back within an hour:

“Hi, yes, this is the early stages so can make those alterations. Giving her a smile and raising her brows slightly and was going to ask you about adding shading to the tattoo, so good to know that I can do that.”

She said she’d soon get to the questions I’d sent her too.

She added:

“I’m excited working on this project with you, it’s right up my street.”

(So cute! It’s “right up my alley” in America.)

I breathed a sigh of relief and sent her a couple of images of tattoos, just to be clear this time.

tribal tattoo green and brown

tribal tattoos green and brown

Two days later, Bee sent me a message sharing a little about her life:

My actual name is Rebecca but everyone, including my family, calls me Bee. I didn’t like Becs or Becky so chose Bee when I started a new hairdressing job with someone else who worked there called Rebecca. So ever since, Bee has stuck, besides it suits me and I adore Bees, even if I am allergic to their stings.

I am also a freelance hairdresser specializing in vintage hair for weddings. [That business is called Beehave Hair. Adorable!—S.K.] Thank goodness for my doll business right now, keeping me in pocket whilst this lock down is in place ^>^

Here’s my FB shop page link if you’re interested- www.facebook.com/www.beehavehair.vpweb.co.uk/

As far as my dolls and art, I’ve always incorporated some form of art in my life, from making glass panels, stained glass, drawing comic books, sculpting, painting and the list goes on . . .

As a young girl, I have always felt that I could not relate to the dolls I was given to play with, so I would end up making my own using Plasticine or clay. In my creative works, later on in life, I have added clay to fashion dolls to enlarge them in my “Barb Plus More” art projects in 1996. I was part of quite a few art installations in London with my pieces—I would cast their reliefs onto walls in plaster or mold them into silicon rubber to make fuller figured dolls. These projects focused on the subject of the “Body Beautiful” and what was accepted in the world we live in.

So in 2015 a new movement to repaint dolls to be more suitable for young girls hit the circuit, which I jumped on with gusto. I got a big mention in Bored Panda and coverage on our West country ITV news and in the papers. I haven’t looked back since, my business is growing and growing, with inquiries everyday. Most of them become commissions, so busy busy Bee ^.^

I’ve been living here in beautiful Cornwall for seven years now, had to break away from the smoke of London. We love it here, so lucky, we can actually see the sea from our window, facing east, so the sunsets are amazing every day.

I’ll go a head and start filling in the tattoos with shading using greens and browns. I’ll update you with pics over the next few days. ^.^

I loved learning about Bee Hale! How lucky we are to be able to do this project!

I’m looking forward to the next step.

—S. K.

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Creating the Greenwoman Doll – Part I

It’s been the best of times and the worst of times to start a new business.

I’d been working on my new venture, Greenwoman Market, all through the winter. It is a a business that promotes earth-friendly Colorado businesses (you can read about it here). The launch was set for March, with the first big debut event scheduled for Saturday, March 14th.

Tragically, Colorado had its first death from COVID-19 on March 12th. Events were cancelled, one by one, in rapid succession.

My launch would not include gardening events and farmers markets; it would be via emails and social media.

Like many businesses owners I had to come up with new ideas, fast, and put my faith in “it’s all figureoutable.” Two weeks ago, I found myself chatting (well, Facebook messaging) with my sister-in-law, Sally Cato. She had seen the article mentioned above, and we were discussion marketing. When I mentioned that I couldn’t wait to visit some of these Colorado businesses and take photos for the new Instagram account I’d set up, even if I had to wear a mask and gloves, she asked if I had a Greenwoman statue that I could take with me to use in the photos.

“What a brilliant idea!” I wrote. I thought of those kidnapped globe-trotting gnomes that were a sensation in the 1990s. This is a fun idea! But no, I answered, I didn’t have a statue. We brainstormed; searched for appropriate figurines on Etsy and eBay. We considered a Mother Earth/Gaia, a green fairy . . . nothing seemed right.

Sally then suggested that I create something unique, something that couldn’t be easily copied. I agreed; that would be the way to go. That afternoon I messaged artist friends and learned how creating a one-of-a-kind small statue or figurine is not hard to accomplish these days. You could adapt something already made with air dry clay and you could create a resin mold. I was thinking that it could get expensive, but I was already committed to the idea—at least in seeing what the possibilities were for now. Maybe I could figure out what I wanted to do and save the money to do it before this summer.

As I puzzled over how to move forward, I told my daughter Zora about it. She said, “Why don’t you do a Barbie?”

Two brilliant ideas in one day! I remembered seeing an article about an artist who personalized dolls, stripped off their face paint, and repainted them to look realistic, changed their hair. This could be easier than I thought! This could be do-able now!

I looked in Etsy and found an artist, Bee Hale of Bee Real Dolls.

I really loved her work. Here’s what she did with a Made to Move Barbie, transforming it into Meghan Markle.

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Jeann Cope added a photo of their purchase

I wanted my doll to look like the Greenwoman logo.

A little backstory: Greenwoman Publishing’s logo was inspired by antique drawings of the legendary Picts—Celts who painted their bodies before going into battle. The images of these women warriors resonated with me; their bodies displayed natural and celestial designs, their vibe both lovely and ferocious. Here, I thought, was a female who could represent Greenwoman!

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Fierce, and a blue body (dyed with woad). Late 16th century, John White.

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Another interpretation, A Young Daughter of the Picts, by Jacques Le Moyne, circa 1585.

Jacques Le Moyne’s illustration, the all-over floral, was purely from his imagination (Le Moyne was a student of botany and ethnology). The first version is undoubtedly more accurate, but no one knows how much is lore, how much is fact. There’s almost no written history on the Picts, and some accounts read more like gossip.

(It didn’t matter; I loved the concept.)

Colorado Springs artist Mike Beenenga of Artistic Gold Creative Concepts created the Greenwoman logo. (The sword replaced with something mightier, the pen!)

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This winter, Mike created the Greenwoman Market logo.

greenwoman logo thumbnail

Could Bee translate these logos into a doll? I felt she could. I took the plunge and commissioned an order.

Bee recommended a Made to Move Barbie (very pose-able, which would be perfect for photo shoots). We both knew she had to be a more realistically proportioned, curvy Barbie!

The first question had to do with the bust size. Should I go for large breasts like the full-figured logo? Motherly breasts? My instinct was yes, and Sally also thought she should be round like an Earth Mother. I learned that Bee could make these modifications.

Should I or shouldn’t I?

More of Bee’s work. A custom figure, a là Kim Kardashian!

I ordered a bigger bust line.

Then my daughters, in their 20s (and not mamas yet), disagreed. They said the mascot, which would basically be an Instagram model, should be “cuter,” less voluptuous, more family friendly. We looked up the Made to Move curvy Barbie and they liked the shape. So did I.

I wrote Bee telling her I’d changed my mind and didn’t want additional body sculpting.

Within a week, Bee (in England) had received the doll. She sent some photos. She re-rooted her hair, making it longer, right away. I loved the body shape.

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Here she is!

Bee offered to make a bra top and skirt from some small print leaf fabric she had. I said that would be wonderful.

We decided the foliage tattoos would be earth tones, brown and green. When seeing the doll with more fabric samples, I thought that another leaf print (that I had okayed before seeing the doll with the prints) might turn out to be garish. Bee agreed, saying the colors of the tattoos and fabric could clash. I left the decision of what fabric to use with Bee.

My daughter Lily said she had to have green eyes. I was thinking brown. Lily has green eyes, so I jokingly said that’s why she wanted the doll to have green eyes. But then Lily pointed out, “She’s Greenwoman, that’s why her eyes should be green.”

Again, I agreed. Green they should be. I sent another note to Bee.

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Our mascot and some fabric samples.

Her face, body tattoos, and clothing are coming soon! (Then I have to wait for her to arrive from England).

I played with Barbies a few times as a child but I never owned one. When I was at the age when I wanted them (ages 7-10), we were poor and couldn’t afford them, and by the time I was 11, and earning my own money through babysitting and chores, I had outgrown dolls. Now I find myself very excited to see what comes next! I’ve even ordered her a few outfits and a couple of inexpensive flower crowns. (I couldn’t resist!)

I am excited to see what Bee creates.

I also discovered that our mascot will have to have a proper name. That will be a fun contest down the road. For now, we wait for the next step . . .

Which includes, in the next post, finding out a little about the artist! ❤

Stay tuned!

—S. K.

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The Goddess Flora as Crone

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The Goddess Flora as Crone by Lisa Lister

Several weeks (at the beginning of our Stay at Home Orders in Colorado) I “met” Lisa Lister, Flora as Crone’s creator, via email. This happened through friend/poet/mother/ librarian/more Jessy Randall. (Thank you, Jessy, for, as you put it, introducing one “green woman” to another!) Lisa and I corresponded, got to know one another. Aside from being taken with her painting of Flora (a perfect fit for a Flora’s Forum post!) I learned we had connections as far as our vision for the future of gardens. We were both at a place where we were more attracted to “re-wilding” than gardening! More on that later; for now, enjoy Lisa’s creation of a broader and wiser vision of Flora!—S.K.K.

The Goddess Flora as Crone

Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and fertility is overwhelmingly depicted in imagery as a youthful, innocent-looking, yet voluptuous maiden. (Hmmm…I wonder how many of those artists were men?) As she represents spring, it is, perhaps, understandable that Flora has been primarily represented as young. But why, I wondered, shouldn’t she be seen as growing old, a natural part of life? Shouldn’t we uplift not only the radiance and energy of a youthful woman, but also the seasoned and vibrant being of the same woman, but aged . . . an elder, a crone?

I envisioned the woman in my painting “The Goddess Flora as Crone” as sage, with many decades of experience. She helps usher in and oversees spring, protecting blossoms and assuring the seasonal abundance of flowers. I wanted her to exude the confidence of a woman in her full power, yet with a slightly impish and all-knowing glint in her eyes.

In this context, I have also reclaimed the word “crone” which, unfortunately, has degenerated to mean a disagreeable and ugly hag with malicious supernatural powers. Not so! I choose to define a crone as a wise woman, ordinary and yet extraordinary, one who has absorbed the energy of the green and growing earth, season after season, and who uses that abundant energy for good.
—Lisa Lister

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Lisa with elf ear one Halloween

Lisa Fay Lister spent her childhood in Kansas, where vast open skies and wild thunderstorms soothed her soul, even as a young girl. In her gypsy-like twenties, her vision was to live in a peaceful, inclusive and egalitarian world. Her life journey has been joyfully circuitous, but she still holds fast to that utopian vision. Lisa is a retired academic librarian, and now paints in her backyard studio, surrounded by a yard that is slowly rewilding.

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Happy Halloween!

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Late last week I had the wild, last minute idea of creating a postcard to give out for Halloween. (We always get over 100 trick o’ treaters on our street, and I haven’t missed a Halloween since we moved here in 1993!)

I found an image on the Internet (by searching “chick in witch hat”) and tracked down the wonderful artist on Etsy. She had sold the painting but offered to let me buy a license for a very reasonable cost to print a few hundred postcards with the image. I did that (all at the last minute, through Vistaprint), and received the cards yesterday, just in the nick of time for All Hallow’s Eve!

Actually, these cards are for the parents we’ll meet, a little advertising gimmick, but a cute one I think! The kids will get organic lollipops and Halloween stickers, and “oohs” and “ahhs” on their costumes.

I discovered that the artist (a gardener!) has sold a few licenses of her artwork to Trader Joe’s, for cards. That thrilled me because my family knows how much I LOVE Trader Joe’s greeting cards; I buy them all the time. Far too many of them.

The Etsy store. 4WitsEnd, with the artist’s other lovely work.

Here’s the back of the card:

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I hope you’re having a creative and fun Halloween!

With loving thoughts to all,

Sandra

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Orange Monsters*

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“The morning of the Weigh-Off. Carefully lifting a giant pumpkin.” Taken on October 1, 2010 by David Politzer, via Wikimedia Commons. This photo was under the categories: “Giant Pumpkin exhibitions,” “Agriculture in Ohio,” and “Fairs in Ohio.” 

(*No, the title is not a reference to our president.)

I’m going to be crotchety today. Since Halloween is on the horizon I thought I would post about kids and jack o’ lantern carving (with super-cute photos, if you don’t mind seeing kids with knives, which I don’t), but then that seemed too “ordinary” so I thought I’d do a little research on giant pumpkins.

What I discovered is how much the idea of “giant pumpkins” has changed in recent history. It used to be, if a baby could fit inside of a pumpkin, that was one big pumpkin! Now the pumpkins have to be picked up by forklifts to qualify as giants. Now, at pumpkin competitions, the pumpkins lie there like beached whales looking all flat, deflated, and, to me, forlorn. 

I think it’s gone too far.  

Sometimes when I’m at the gym, I see that “My 600-lb. Life” is airing on a few of the dozen TV monitors. (Yesterday, it was “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.” Hmmm. I sense a theme.) When I see “My 600-lb. Life” playing, I feel a little heartsick. Some days (most days?) it seems that our whole society has turned into a freak show. Affliction as entertainment.

Maybe it’s crochety-ness, but I thought of “My 600-lb Life” when I saw these pumpkins–and I can’t help seeing them as another affliction. They make me think of the madness of over-competitiveness and about obsessions, especially obsessions with all that is

BIG.

But mostly, with these pumpkins, I thought, Where does it end?

Last year the largest pumpkin in the world (grown in Germany) was 2,624.6 pounds. Congratulations go to  Mathia Willemijn, the prize-winner, who seems to wear a very satisfied look that says (to me, anyway), “Look at me, I am the KING of pumpkins!” 

I blame Howard Dill, in part. Dill’s famous ‘Atlantic Giant’ seeds are what really got the super-sized pumpkin competitions going. Dill patented his seeds after breaking a world’s record in 1981 for a pumpkin that weighed 493.5 pounds (rather petite by today’s standards). I found it interesting to note in the description of the seeds for sale: “These pumpkins aren’t suitable for much but novelty, though some do attempt to carve them, they make a spectacular and fun addition to any garden (if you have enough space)!”

Aren’t suitable for much. As a gardener, I always think of the water it takes to grow one of these monsters. (Yes, another bah-humbug! Apologies to all of you who love the idea of giant pumpkins.)

As to,”Where does it end?”–more research took me to a Smithsonian article where I learned that the potential for size (for a round pumpkin) is 20,000 lbs. You read that right, twenty thousand pounds. The article also explores one grower’s desire to mess with the DNA to go even bigger.

Now that’s scary!

Here are some, IMHO, ugly giant pumpkins for your contemplation, all found through Wikimedia Commons.

(If you have some thoughts on this issue, I’d love to hear them in the Comments!)

I would name this photo “Gee, Those Porta-Potties Look Small!”  Another by David V. Politzer – “A view of the line-up at the Weigh-Off, pumpkins at an Ohio county fair,” October 2, 2009.

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“Giant Pumpkin,”  by Alex1961, dated October 8, 2004.

“Twin contestants at the Weigh-Off,” October 3, 2009, by David Politzer.

 “Pumpkin Exhibition, Jucker Farmart in Aathal-Seegräben (Switzerland),” October 13, 2002, by Roland zh.

 

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“Giant pumpkin fan and Weigh-Off spectator’, October 2, 2010, by David Politizer.

“A giant pumpkin in the patch, early morning,” David Politzer, October, 2, 2010. (I have to confess, I LOVE this photograph.)

A Twist:
After posting the photos above, I discovered that David Politzer was not a farmer (as I had assumed after finding the first photograph) or simply a man obsessed with giant pumpkins who takes great photographs.

Nope. David V. Politzer is an artist in Houston, Texas, a photographer obsessed (for a while, anyway) with the monsters. I agree with critic Kelly Klaasmeyer, who describes Politizer’s photographs as capturing “views of ‘nature’ that are decidedly unnatural.”

I love it. 

 

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“Documentation of David Politzer’s ‘Heavyweights’, an exhibition of Giant Pumpkin photographs at Houston Center for Photography,” January 12, 2018.

My daughter Lily, who just read this post, thinks I am a party pooper. She also argues that pumpkins-as-monsters is fitting for Halloween!

I guess it depends on your point of view.

I hope you all have a fabulous “Pumpkin Day”/Happy Halloween on the 31st.

— SK

 

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Simon’s Snowdrops (with a poem)

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Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus nivalis forma pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’, by Simon Garbutt, March 2006, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Snowdrop

by Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

 

Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid,
Ever as of old time,
Solitary firstling,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid!

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I love this upbeat end-of-winter poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Just what we need (or, at least, just what I need!) on a grey February day.

I found the image on Wikimedia Commons this morning. The gardener/photographer writes:

“This is a direct scan, which I made myself, from bulbs of two different common snowdrops; the normal Galanthus nivalis and its double-flowered version, Galanthus nivalis forma pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’. Both are common in gardens throughout Britain, and are also found naturalised in woodland.”

Thanks, Simon, and Lord Alfred, for sharing your work, your flowers!—SK

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Jack Frost Mystery

Jack-Frost

 

A couple of weeks ago Virginia Gambardella sent me a few lines of this Jack Frost-themed poem (below). I “Googled” the stanza and found the rest of the poem in an old textbook. Then I found this image (above) on Pinterest. The strange thing is that I haven’t been able to find the artist of the illustration or the name of the poet. Hence, “Jack Frost Mystery”!

How fun it is to read the poems during grandma or great-grandma’s time. Can you imagine how magical it must have been to read classroom books that featured poems and stories about  fairies and Jack Frost?
—S. K.

The Little Artist

Oh, there is a little artist
Who paints in the cold night hours
Pictures of wee, wee children
Of wondrous trees and flowers;

Pictures of snow-capped mountains
Touching the snow-white sky;
Pictures of distance oceans
Where pygmy ships sail by;

Pictures of rushing rivers,
By fairy-bridges spanned;
Bits of beautiful landscapes,
Copied from elfin land.

The moon is the lamp he paints by,
His canvas the windowpane;
His brush is a frozen snowflake;
Jack Frost is the artist’s name.

(From Essentials of English: Lower Grades by Henry Carr Pearson and Mary Frederika Kirshwey, copyright 1921, American Book Company)

By Angela-Marie-from-NRW-slash-Germany-via Wikimedia Commons

“Ice-Crystals II” by Angela Marie from NRW/Germany, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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The Monthly Museletter—September 2017

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“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Karla sent in her September newsletter two weeks ago and I’m just now getting the green bits to you today. So sorry for the delay! It’s a list of goodies with a focus on the soulful, the beautiful, the green. Again, thank you so very much, dear Karla, for sharing! —SK

P. S. If you’re local (Colorado Springs) and would like Karla’s full newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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Eco-brilliant: These portable, inflatable, solar-rechargeable lanterns were invented by a woman and help folks who have no electricity. You can also put one on your car dashboard to recharge your phone as you travel! Buy them directly from luminaid.com so some of your money will go to help those who can’t afford them.

“There’s no problem so awful you can’t add some guilt and make it even worse.” —Bill Watterson

Being used as a college text, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, was written by a host of experts & edited by Paul Hawken. I never buy a book I haven’t read, and only buy “keepers” — this one I knew right away was a keeper.

And one more book recommendation:
“Faery energy, the Gaian presence, the Goddess, Mother Earth: every culture has had a name for this awareness of the Life Force in Nature.” (p.17) “Water is an optimist . . . always willing to take on the more powerful positive structure of thoughts and intentions. It wants to be healthy, strong, and beautiful . . . even a small quantity of positively charged Water [can] communicate with and transform a large area or body of Water.” (p.54) —from The Garden Awakening by Irish wild-gardener Mary Reynolds. Illustrated by Ruth Evans. Here’s a short film about the book:

Mama Moon is NOT dry—there’s a water-rich interior & polar canyons! Check it out here.

Are you drawn to Ireland? (So am I!) Watch Ireland’s Wild Coast for free.

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Causeway Coast, Antrim, Northern Ireland. View looking west towards Giant’s Causeway. Image via Wikimedia Commons

It’s the Bees Knees! Check out Chicago’s airport – it hosts beehives!

Raise food on the roof of a grocery store where you sell it—that’s called “hyperlocal” GreenCityGrowers.com

Think Small! “Nothing is more responsible than living in the smallest space you possibly can.” —minimalist F. Marcia

Have you heard of “ABEEGO”? it’s a re-usable beeswax wrap that lets food breathe. “Keep food alive!” says our friend.

A Beautiful Gift Idea: A RESIST BIG MONEY IN POLITICS stamp to put it on all your dollars, even on the $20 White House! It’ll let those who you do business with know your values!

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Going Places: Check out this electric walking bike which has a treadmill instead of a seat—you can exercise AND get places fast!
and . . .
Volkswagen electric vehicles are on the way!

Women Chief Judges of two west coast tribes are the center of this POV film TRIBAL JUSTICE. Their Native systems focus on restoration, not retribution . . .

Word! “2.4 billion people lack sanitation: more people have a cell phone than a toilet.” —Matt Daimon

And, to end on a fun (and admittedly political and not green, but I couldn’t help myself) note: 

wife_power

Clowns in wedding dresses confound the loud KKK with silly WIFE POWER! This is a brilliant story and shows how laughter can be more than medicine—it can be the perfect way to ridicule Nazis!

 

 

eclipestages

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Filed under Art & the Garden, garden writing, Great Scientists, Monthly Museletter, Power to the People

In the Flowery Garden With My Calico Cat

 

Pechán_In_the_flowery_Garden_with_my_panelvourite_Cat_1899 (2) József Pechán

József Pechán, “In the Flowery Garden With My Panelvourite Cat”, 1899 

 

I discovered this József Pechán painting browsing Wikimedia Commons. I could not find that the word “panelvourite” translated into calico, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? Of course, I could be wrong.

I loved this painting – the colors, the happy woman and kitten, and that aloe! We all love our gardens.

József Pechán was born on February 21, 1875 in , Dunacséb, Hungary (so he was 24 when he painted the above painting), and died on March 6, 1922 in Verbász. Both cities are now in Serbia. This was the only painting I found with a garden-theme, though I didn’t do a thorough search.

I found the history on where he was born and died, Hungary, interesting (and sad) [from Wikipedia Commons]: “Hungary’s current borders were established in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon after World War I, when the country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship (1947–1989). The country gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became again a democraticparliamentary republic.”

So, there it is – is a little art for the soul, and a history lesson.

On a personal note: I hope you are all doing well. I received an email from a reader/contributor wondering about me, because she hadn’t seen a Flora’s Forum post in a while. There have been personal issues going on (an illegal two-story house has been built next door to our home and garden that has stolen our privacy, and we’ve been dealing with that, read about what’s going on here, if you’re interested), but as far as health, I am fine and dandy! I hope you are, too!

XO to all,

—Sandra Knauf

 

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