Sunday, May 3, 2009

brought to you by the letter B...

As always, life here has been pretty busy. Last weekend I took some time off and headed down to the convention center to check out the big annual Ceramic Showcase event. I have a great appreciation for handmade pottery, and usually end up adding something small and delightful to my home. Last year two wasabi dishes that ended up becoming artwork for the bathroom wall. But this year, nothing in the huge hall of ceramic artistry called to come home with me.

I wandered over to the glass section, where I discovered Highland Beads. Jennifer Millsap is a most talented and creative bead artist. My eye was initially caught by her particularly well-shaped acorn beads, but my heart was captured by the beads with Pacific rim northwest imagery. In this 1 1/4" bead, one side had the image of a flying bird, and the obverse has a snow-covered mountain. (other beads also had our iconic northwest conifers) Jennifer is somehow able to use the thinnest black glass stringers to create images on her beads that have the delicate grace of sumi brush painting.
As I headed home that evening, with my tiny bit of bead art safely tucked away, I realised that I had some beads that would be a perfect complement. The white raku and black matte glass were formerly part of a different piece, created to commemorate and ease a transition in my life years ago. (that necklace had all the white beads on one half, and the dark beads on the other) I've since passed that pendant on to a friend, but the beads, reconfigured, are still symbolic. Now the bright raku, with its spiderwebbing cracks adding to the subtle beauty, is dispersed throughout the necklace, reflecting the beauty that I notice throughout my day. With age comes a kind of internal freedom I never expected.
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In the middle of last week, I was surprised to see Bill arriving on my doorstep! He brought me some 2 x 4's for the soon-to-be-happening porch roof project. And since he was down here with the big pickup truck, I was able to persuade him that a trip to Mr Plywood would be a good thing, and we returned with three sheets of plywood for the porch roof decking. Still figuring out the actual roof configuration, but I'm hoping that before summertime there will be a pleasant shaded place to sit. (almost all the materials have been acquired, I still need the actual "roofing") Bill also took a look at my fruit trees and I've done a good job on their pruning...
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My new dwarf pear tree has the tiniest baby fruit, swelling behind where the blossoms were a few weeks ago. My apple trees still have blossoms, though many were blown away in the big storm we had yesterday. The currant bushes have tiny green baby currants, the tiny blueberry has cream colored flowers, and my persimmon tree is starting to have a few leaves. I dream of the day when there will be tasty fruit here at Acorn Cottage, (if I want tasty veggies I'd best get more busy with my garden beds...)
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I've been looking for someone a friend with an open-back pickup truck; I want to get some soil amendments for my garden, but most of my friends use their trucks for SCA transport, and hence have nicely enclosed trucks or vans, not suitable for dirt and manure and compost. My neighbor Mary Ann and her family have been using their little truck for just this activity, the pickup cap sits on their lawn while their expanded garden is looking much nourished. So I bravely went over and asked if I could borrow their truck one morning to get leaf mold compost. While we were chatting, I asked about the new structure in their backyard...they have just added a beehive! This is great news for the neighborhood. Not only will their family (hopefully) get homegrown honey, but all our gardens will benefit from the added pollination. I love my neighborhood...
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