Wednesday

Flowers... Crystals... Silver...


During the summer I try to keep fresh cut flowers in our little shop... So many are blooming now it is hard to choose...

I had just finished creating a few new pair of earrings and thought what better background with the late afternoon light...





I loved the silhouette of the berries on the sprigs of feathery asparagus.... and the delicate hues and shapes...





The Crows kindly left me a feather
to display my earrings in a row....




The flowers are all perennials or self-seeded annuals... they have expanded in their beds and become established and now don't need much care... except for the pleasure of picking them...

I always hoped for this ...

Flowers in the bouquet include...Yellow Lily, Galardia, Scotch Thistle, Hosta, Pink Mallow, Black Eyed Susan, Calendula, and Bachelors' Buttons.




approx. length of earrings 2¼" on Sterling Silver shepherd hooks.... $35.00 pr ... more designs on my web album...

Available... if interested in DESIDERATUM Art Jewelry, please contact me, Thank-You.

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Tuesday

Max



A quick sketch of my son, Max, after a day of biking 'round the village.





Most often... not without his red hoody...





....always... tousled hair astray...



...his set of wheels...

and a hot, hazy, breezy July afternoon.......




approx. 8½" x 12" ..... uni-ball vision waterproof pen in ringed sketchbook

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Saturday

The "Gras" Knife



Recently, after posting about "Asparagus", I received a lovely letter detailing several interesting facts and this wonderful picture of an Asparagus knife. They came from Annette who lives in the Vale of Evesham, which I was excited to learn is famous for growing Asparagus. As a matter of fact, this was her husband's grandfather's actual asparagus knife, used in the field for cutting the lovely delicacy... at least 100 years old!!... and still going...

She tells of the wooden handle being worn smooth and serving its owner very well for many years... that it has a hand shape at the end of the blade... and that over there across the ocean, asparagus is known as 'gras...

I like that this tool was designed to do a particular job and that it did it well... That is good design and must have been a pleasure to use. How wonderful that it had been treasured enough to be handed down the family line... quite a functional artifact!!






Annette said that the 'gras has a season from late April to mid June, depending on the weather... and on warm nights she has heard it said that you could watch it grow, several inches a night!!!.... oh, don't I wish we had that kind of weather here!

The asparagus is cut, carefully by hand and tied with string into bundles, called "rounds".

During this season, all around the Vale, roadside stands spring up ready to sell the 'gras, which in her area has a distinctive, almost sweet, earthy taste and some people reckon that they can tell where each "round" was grown...


There is even a local pub called "The Round of Gras" which serves Asparagus suppers.... I can only imagine the lucky people attending them....




Annette shared that they love to eat it with grilled bacon and baby new potatoes with liberal dots of butter!! Although she says her favourite way is to put hot asparagus, straight from the pan, onto a plate with thinly sliced brown bread and butter, then go into the garden and sit on the grass and have Hot Asparagus sandwiches!.... Heaven!!!

Wish I could join her!..........Thank-you Annette!!




Next year I'll be having the first harvest of "gras" from my garden.... Now I can't wait!!

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Friday

A State of Fog




I have been entranced by fog lately...



...here is another of my favourite crow family.... on another foggy day...
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Tuesday

Revel in the Ordinary


The Fog drifted from the sea over the welcoming countryside...




...gently dropping its moisture filled air on the trees, grasses, gardens and ...
our up-turned faces...




...clinging to the graceful, feathery branchlets of the Mary Washington Asparagus...




Shimmering droplets covered its lacyness... like jewels...


...Stopping me in my tracks...






Asparagus, Asparagus officinalis... a long lived perennial, belonging to the lily family... loves sandy, well drained soil... may bear from 12 -20 years... Enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans who transplanted the wild asparagus into there cultivated plots...

...mine were planted as "crowns" or year old plants with masses of dangling roots... it likes to have shallow culivation and a yearly topping of compost in the spring... do not harvest the first year or the second if you can let it be, but full harvest may begin in the third and may last for 4 -6 weeks... for best flavor pick 6" shoots just before cooking...

As the asparagus matures, the 7 ft. tall, ferny top-growth, produces food for the shoots below... so for this reason, asparagus foliage should not be cut down too soon in the season, but allowed to wither naturally... but once in a while during the season I snip some of the feathery fronds and slip them into garden bouquets...

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Sunday

The Sun and Moon


The Sun... its golden rays out-reaching...


"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You'll never know dear, how much I love you.

So Please don't take my Sunshine away."




I will always lovingly associate this song with my father, who used to sing it... when he thought no one could hear him...
It always makes me happy... but makes me miss him.




The Moon ... the suns' glowing successor... to guide us through the night..





... a bit of textural detail of the sun and the sunflower...




Part of the process: The suns are laid out on the soldering board... the flame of the torch shows its distinct color gradations signifying different temperature fields ...

The difference between the bright colored suns and the darkened suns, shows the oxidation after they are soldered... caused by the extremely high heat of the flame that can reach temperatures of 1,640° F.




Then into the "Pickle"... as it is called for short... It is actually a warmed acid bath of Sodium Bisulfate, which is used to clean the metal of surface oxidation from the fusing process ... no fingers in here, please...

... Only Copper tongs are used to dip into this solution... no iron or steel either, as ferrous metals may contaminate the pickle.

As soon as the jewelry pieces are rinsed well in water, which neutralizes them... they can easily be touched by our hands again... for filing, doming, drilling and final polishing...

...the blue-green color of the pickle shows that copper has been absorbed into the solution.






The finished pair of our "Sun and Moon" earrings... photographed in my garden on one of the many varieties of the Perennial Sunflower... Helianthus spp. ... The blooms are not large... not more than 4"... but they are profuse... They will continue blooming through the summer... and ever afterwards in the summers to follow...



approx. sizes of earrings... Sun, 1¼" long in Sterling Silver and Copper..... Moon, ¾" long in Sterling Silver... both on Sterling shepherd hooks, Limited Production ....... $25.00 pr

... more designs on my web album...


Available... if interested in DESIDERATUM Art Jewelry, please contact me, Thank-You.

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Wednesday

Quote by C. Vann Woodward


  

"The history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom... the right to think the unthinkable... discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable...


To curtail free expression, strikes twice at intellectual freedom... for whoever deprives another of the right to state unpopular views... necessarily deprives others of the right to listen to those views."


C. Vann Woodward, American, 1908-1999... Pulitzer Prize winning Historian, of the American South



from a little art and quotes book I created a few years ago...

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Saturday

One Foggy Morning


The Fog couldn't stop her... She knew what to do...




For along side the driveway.... the wild strawberries grew...



The reminder kept sounding.......



Caw..... Caw.....Caw...



Baby is hungry...



There's a job to do...



I could not resist these crows in the fog the past morning... They come everyday... searching through the grass... and up and down the driveway... picking their breakfast, dinner and supper...

They really never bother my garden... we co-exist perfectly... they seem to know where they shouldn't go...



This picture, I enhanced so the red of the berries in the mama crow's mouth could be seen a bit more clearly...

They were both soaking wet...


American Crow... Corvus brachyrhynchos... very intelligent birds... incubation 18 days by both sexes... stay in nest 28-35 days... brooded by female... fed by both sexes... 1 brood per year...

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Wednesday

The ABC's of Patterns....... DEF

...from a little book I made...

D for Dragon... a fabulous creature representing spring to the Chinese and Evil to the Christians



The symbolic meaning of the dragon is sharply divided in Western and Eastern cultures. In the Orient, where it is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac... the dragon is seen as a positive symbol... with connotations of joy, health and fertility... protecting man from evil spirits...

In Western tradition, however, the Dragon shares the negative, satanic symbolism of the snake, representing destructive power, the defiler of innocence and the guardian of hidden treasure.
.......Sometimes winged, with a scaly body, lion's claws and lungs of fire... the Dragon's hybrid form symbolizes a primal unifying force...





E for Eagle... this is an ancient Mexican version representing power and victory...




With its majestic appearance, soaring flight and acute vision, the Eagle is a universal symbol and represents the all seeing sky-god. It also represents courage, height, thunder and storms...

As king of the birds, the Eagle is an emblem of royalty... an association developed by its status as the most popular heraldic symbol...

To the ancient Greeks and Romans, it represented the victorious Roman Empire on the banners of the foreign legion..

In Native North American cultures, the Eagle's feathers symbolize the suns rays...

Many states have adopted the Eagle as a symbol of nationhood and sovereignty, including the United States... where the Bald Eagle is the national symbol.





F for Fleur-De-Lys.... a stylized lily ... an emblem of the Virgin Mary...

...as it depicts a triple lily, it also represents mankind's body, mind and soul...




Also spelled Fleur-de-lis... meaning "flower of the lily" in French... a much used floral heraldic symbol signifying perfection, light and life... and traditionally represents the kings of France...

Its resemblance to a spearhead also links the Fleur-de-lys to masculine martial power...


Here in Canada, the Fleur-de-lis is the symbol for Quebec and they have 4 of them on their provincial flag... showing their connection to France...

It is also the symbol of Florence, Italy, known as the "City of Lilies"...

International Scouting uses the Fleur-de-lis as their main element in their logo...representing outdoors and the wilderness, which is the major theme of Scouting....




Each one of these designs have numerous meanings and symbols... I listed just a few...

...from my "ABC's of Patterns" book ... Click for the introduction of the first ABC designs....... approx. 6" x 7" x 1"... ...handbound...

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Saturday

Tabitha



Always watchful,
never still...
Tabitha came to live on the hill...




A little black dog
with white on her chest
Tabitha jingled wherever she went..



A fun little dog
that stays by our side
and loves to chase waves rolling out with the tide...




.........Look Out Rabbit!!...where you are, she knows...
Where her nose does goes...
................so goes her toes!!




I did this watercolor not long ago, of our dog, Tabitha.. sitting on a knoll behind our house.... at the time she was watching for a critter in the woodpile...

We were not sure what kind of dog Tabitha was when she came to live here... as she and our other 3 dogs are all second hand... the vet told us she was a Basenji cross.. and she does seem to have many of their characteristics... alert, intelligent, graceful, athletic, tireless, affectionate, demanding, energetic and curious... a tightly curled tail... to name a few.... and ..... I almost forgot... she likes to climb...


She has lived with us for about 3 years and we all hope for many more!!!


approx. 5" x 5" on 300 lb. CP Arches WC paper with some pen and ink
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