Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

I was supposed to be watering the potted plants on the deck....... ★★★★★

Then I saw the sky above, below my dampened feet.

Then lo and behold, a fountain appeared

And the wind blew

and suddenly it all came clear.

Summer is running its course

Soon the Fall will be upon us.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And now, from the NE Pacific Inland Valley Region

Summer On The Famous Oregon Beaches
Oregon has really crowded beaches, and it is very difficult to find a place to lay one's blanket or towel in a nice and quiet area, without having a kid run by (with their dog) kicking sand all over as they try to catch an errant frisbee that sails past.

And now, a walk through the garden:

One of the causes of much angst, sniffling noses, itchy eyes, lumpy throats and for some of us; the need to keep the inhalers in the jacket pocket.

We decided to trim back one of our 4 huge photinias in order to shed some light on our deck, and to clear some room for our greenhouse that will soon be constructed there! The photinias were in full bloom, but 3 were left; much to the bees happiness and their need for pollination. Well, by then the 3 remaining photinias decided to pass out when the cutting started. The next morning there were leaves dropped all over the deck under all the photinias, as though they were crying for their newly shorn partner (now all wood).It will all happily grow back to crowd us once again. Just wait until it is time for all of them to get their trims, now that the flowers are spent and the bees happily off to a new flavored pollen.

Separating the backyard from the front yard.

Our Banks rose, now 3 years old.

This was a Father's Day gift for Danny, all growing from an 18" 1 gallon plant that Sarahbushka gave him. He planted it in one of those desert-dry strips of clay soil that extends along the edge of the driveway, next to our fence and directly in line with the gate when it is open. Ha, it never gets opened all the way, as it is an RV drivewayand opens the backyard to the frontyard, and we don't have an RV, so this gate has become a perch and a catwalk in which one of our kitties uses to view her world.

Our Banks rose, perhaps a little too close up.

Under the Veil

We even have a hidden Rhododendron, the best one we have. Our others are not nearly as pretty as this one who stays hidden under her green chiador of sorts only allows herself to be seen once a year.

A Hebe and a weedOur Happy Hebe.

We love Hebes. They are such a uniques group of plants, and I believe that most people ignore them as though the were some itchy juniper or a nondescript arborvitae. But if one looks at them up close and personal, expecially some of the larger leaved varieties, they might see some really interesting plant growth, like say, perfectly aligned and alternating leaves that grow in a beautiful pattern. These hebes are golden green and have a pretty growth pattern, then once a year, we get surprised with gorgeous little white flowers. This only happens when they are very happy.

Our now well known red Japanese Maple freshly laden with seed pods.

There is always that "one" the crowd

Some of our Bearded Irises.

The "Stand Out" in our crowd It's always interesting to see which of our bearded Irises
will bloom. It seems that every year our Iris patch has a new and varied display.

We didn't see the white and gold violet mix this spring. Our red/violet/gold ones also were quite shy. Our bright yellows always flourish, but this gold one (above) was a nice surprise mingled in with our violets and white/violet mixes.

The Ripening

Korean Dogwood - done to Medium rare

My birthday present from Sarahbushka this year is a Korean Dogwood.
In May, when I received it, the flowers were just barely opened, and they were green with little stamens and pistals showing. Later, they became almost pure white, just before they started to tinge with a bit of pink.


Korean Dogwood- done to medium


Korean Dogwood, well-done

my favorite variety of Violas

Thanks for walking through my yard with me today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

They're Baaaack!

The bad news first: Those that read this blog might remember about 1 year ago, we noticed our Mugo Pines being attacked by European Sawfly larvae, which we found to be voracious consumers needle by needle (actually many needles simultaneously) until more than 1/2 of our beautiful pines were scarred. We found them by accident one day.

Luckily I had been shooting images of these same mugos only one week or so before, and they were not noticed at that time (nor any evidence in my images), however, at one point we started noticing how measley our pines were beginning to appear.
Once we actually looked at them closely, we realized that they were looking back at us, and they were all snapping their bodies at the same time (perhaps in an attempt to drive away a predator). So after researching them (This is how I originally met Deb (Garden Author)), we decided we had to eradicated them, right then and there.
Afterward, we notified our local Extension Service about our infestation (in addition to furnishing them with images). It was then, that I became aware of the extent of their damage and later, it got to the point where I started to notice other mugos in town that had been happily chomped upon. It was a learning experience, for me.

Well now, this year I have been noticing that our mugos have been setting their candles (now about 1" high) and I figured we would have to start inspecting them again. This very afternoon my husband came in with a long face and said "they're baaaack..."

So I grabbed my camera and went outside to see them.
Notice their formation at the dinner table.

A classic attack, note the yellow tan spots on the needles.
This is where the eggs were laid last Fall,
and the larvae can be seen with shiny black heads.
On the image below, note the white circled area, and just remember it, for the time being.

The good news: We caught them early, very early, quite possibly their very first day.
I shot images for you to see.
They ate well for their first (and last) meal.

This image and the image below shows the larvae having eaten a needle all the way to the base. Note how they work together ringing the circumference while consuming the needles.

Comraderie gets the job done.

Now for the white circles. Get your mojo hat on for this one, if need be. I did, because I found it a bit creepy (literally).

In the first image with a circle (above, image 2), note the little black spot within the circle. This item is another angle of view from the bottom circle below.

I am so glad I am as old as I am and need my reading glasses for everything, because if I were able to focus on this, I would have had the creepy crawlies all night.

In the images below and right, the circle has become 3 circles. These circles are showing the processing of hatching and eating through the pine needle, and emerging from the the edge of the needle. (top circle shows the head just below the surface, the needle split open, middle circle showing a slit either just opened or the larva just emerged. In the bottom circle the larvae's head is poking up, perhaps getting its first view of dinner.)
Here's looking at you!
They're gone now...
But we'll be keeping a vigilant watch over the remaining tan spots on those needles.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Taking a Moment ~ To Cross Promote

How can anyone say No to this?
Can you?

If this isn't the cutest thing I have ever seen. I almost want to go out and buy or even borrow a dog, just to have a chance for it to wear one of these "chic" cowls.

I found them at Tarja's shop at, named EmmaCharlesPhotoPlus and Tarja has a passion for art whether it be yarn art (as shown here) or digital art (which is also shown here) in her listing's picture. She has these cool, chic cowls in other colors, too.

So check out her shop, and I would like to take this moment to wish Tarja a big Happy Birthday on April 6th (coming up real soon now).

And Tarja, congrats for placement on the daily email:

"Etsy Finds: Fashionable in Fur"

That's "Fur," as in the fur of our fourlegged Pet's. It's a Pet Parade! Of all 9 items in this wonderful emailing, Tarja's cool neck cowl certainly was the schizzle!

Tarja and I have something in common, too. We both shoot with Nikon D60's. YaY!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The World Awakens

Sneaking Out For The Newspaper

Yesterday morning we took a quick drive to get a newspaper. You know the type of drive, its the one that happens in the early morning when you think everyone else is still at home asleep. It's when the sweat pants that are too short for the uneven tube socks and slip on turquoise mocs, are actually worn in public for just a few moments, because more than likely the chance of running into anyone I might know is at the lowest point. It is also the time of day when I am wearing the holey sweat shirt that should now be in the hamper; and my hair resembles plumage as opposed to bed head. Both of us, my daughter and I, were a sight hopefully not seen.

And yet, I completely forgot about cowering behind the wheel, watching for anyone that might look vaguely familiar, the moment I became acutely aware that things were changing outside the safety zone of 'my own little world' inside my car.

It was as I was driving down the street that I started to notice that there was more growing on some of the trees than the regular winter moss and green algae-type stuff that collects on the wet damp branches when the leaves are absent.
I was beginning to see whitish pink! All over.

Now, the daffs have been out for some time, as have those regular early bloomers that can fool us into thinking that winter is past, sometimes to be fooled themselves. I have learned that daffodils, snow bells, and crocus, just mean the Spring arrival is imminent, not that it has officially arrived.

But right on schedule, the plum blossoms were opening after days of rain and followed by a bit of sunshine.

It was a beautiful trip, and I never even noticed whether or not I was seen by anyone.
Who would have known that all of this was just right there, at the local Car Wash, just waiting to be seen by me and my car cam.
Another Volvo mini tour brought directly to you from the 5 min of sunshine we experienced yesterday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Mini Trip! Trees~ A Spring Challenge of Creativity- and My Wanderings To Get Where I Need To Be.

This article was copied and rewrittien on my other blog (House of Tor)
on 8/31/2010to be in its home location, even though I will be leaving it here
where it was originated.
Thanks for reading and visiting!
How I Work My Brain

For some time now I have had a project in the works at my other venue, Wires ’n Pliers ; a project that has one of my beloved elements included into its makings. And that is Abalone, AKA Paua (Maori) from its New Zealand native location.

Paua is a mollusk that is found in tidal zones on every continent other than the warmer Atlantic Western seaboards and its central coastlines. I remember as a child having Abalone steak and loving it, though later it became politically incorrect to eat it due to being over harvested.
Abalone (Paua) nacre is unbelievably beautiful due to its rich and dark patterns, unlike pearl nacre, which has its own grace and beauty. Today it has reemerged with great popularity, especially in the Southern Pacific waters, much to the angst of some localities who must now police the harvest with due diligence, once again, due to over harvesting.

Unlike the Oyster mollusk’s nacre, or pearl, the Abalone pearl nacre cannot be judged on its roundness nor does it require processing, or to be bleached or buffed. It is a favorite item used for inlay, and its beauty has been recognized and used throughout history, as jewelry, ornaments and more, especially in the coastal zones.
Once you see it, you will remember it. When I see pieces that I especially like, I buy them, saving them for later.

Recently, later became now, for me...

I finally decided what I wanted to do with some doublet*(see below) beads and a huge pendant piece that I have had for several years. I finished it, excepting the clasp, which I will forge later; but still, I had no name for it. So it has been in the unsorted file as "Paua" for a while now.

How it all came about:

I am in a Jewelry Guild at Etsy, a Global Street team (an Etsy sellers networking system), and we have Seasonal Challenges, which are always fun. In our weekly chats we decide what we will focus on for our challenges; then poll readers of our public blog (eJAG), to choose the winner. The prize is a Featured Artist article in our blog and our team site too.
All fun, no pressure.
This spring our Challenge is titled “Spring Fling” and the rules are: "Trees"
Any type, any shape, any medium, anything…but it must be worn on the body. Our goal is to see what vision and inventiveness can grow into a jewelry item. We want to see where one word like tree(s) will take a person in their creative mind.
Ok, so those who know me well…need I say more?

I am usually on the fringe of normalcy anyway, which keeps me busy at my hairdressing job, but when requested to click the creative button in my mind, the box I am usually outside of, then becomes hard to keep my grip upon, just my fingernails remain hooked in to the fluted cardboard corrugations that connect me with my Earth.
So, to come up with a “spring fling” idea, in the tree arena…with my favorite medium, copper wire; the box that I so tenaciously grip; I had to soak in water, to soften the edges for me. Is that metaphorical enough for you?

Here is what I came up with:
4 & 14 gauge raw copper wire
Becomes this:
Which ends up being this:

"Barren" – "Sticks and Stones
Can break our bones,
But our words, come back to haunt us.”
The end of the growth cycle.

This necklace may ultimately find itself
in my Misfits Etsy shop due to the fact
that I consider this a prototype
and created in a flurry of excitement
resulting in crimps that I consider
to be less than optimum in appearance.

Well now, THAT got me looking at THIS: (Because it is in the same photo file, and I had to scroll down past it)
And I started seeing all kinds of things in this:
clockwise- 1."Anaconda Eats Capybarra"~~~~ 2."while Capybarra Drinks From Pond"~~~~ 3."White DoDo baby"

Which ultimately took me here:
clockwise - 1."Warrior worships Sol" ~~~~ 2. "Angry Man" ~~~~ 3. "FishMask"
Which led me full circle, back to the very top and finally, a name for my Paua:

"Eve, The Many Faces of; "

This necklace will be placed in my Signature Series file in my shop, because until today, I had never really taken a close look at my saved New Zealand “catch.”

So I am glad, and peace reigns over my computer once again.

This concludes today's Mini Trip.

Thank You for coming to visit Claybritt images, and please return soon. It has been my pleasure to swoon you off your spot today.

So, if you happen to find yourself in the neighborhood of our Ejag blog between March 15 and March 31st, you are more than welcomed to vote, in fact we want your vote!

When given free reign, it is amazing to see how one gets from here,
to there.
I love to view the width of a span.

*doublet- these are beads that have a thin layer of shell or paua, oyster nacre, even opals mounted upon the top and bottom faces of a base bead, then sealed, so that it may be used as a bead. Triplets (two layers mounted) are also seen in the marketplace. This is done because of the softer nature of certain stones and nacres that cannot withstand the drilling or wear and tear due to their molecular structure.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Goyle File: for GardenJoy4Me

Lone Survivor
I saw this on my way out of work recently. This lone leaf was the only survivor left on the bare tree in the throes of winter; after snow, sleet, rain, ice, wind, and our sometimes drippy fog. The sun actually broke through one single afternoon. So I drove home and came right back with my camera. I swear it is the only time in my life where I have actually returned to work after leaving for the day! But this type of image, I can rarely pass by without capturing it, if possible. And of course, I did good, because the very next day the rain was back and Sun hasn't been seen since. (just kidding we have had Sun on one other occasion) :o)

I recently e-met a new friend of a friend: GardenJoy4Me, through Garden Author, and her great Blog, of which I am a follower, amongst approximately a million other followers.

I was elated to find that not only does Joy (of GardenJoy4me) desire to be part of the SETI program (of which I actually knew some people once associated with it, from back in the NASA days), Joy also has some funny felines like us (probably like everyone whose felines allow human to share their habitat), and Joy has Goyles, too! That's Goyles as in Gargoyles

So I am here to introduce my Goyle to her Goyles:

Full Glory Goyle (say that 6 times quickly in a row)

Goyle (in pose), for his thoughout-the-year-modeling job:

"Fall Goyle"

with 6 legged male friend that lost his legs in a fight for the ladies.

Snow Goyle

Day Snow Goyle

Over Snowed Goyle

Night Goyle

Thinks shes a Goyle...

Thinks she's a sex kitten.

This posting has been brought to you by the Goyle file from Claybritt Images.