thoughts about life, art and color


Yellow Sunshine!

After weeks of rain, rain, rain, we finally had a week filled with sunshine. I wonder if people who don’t have rainy day after rainy day can fully appreciate the feeling of warmth and happiness of the sun shining on their face.  Hmm, I wonder; I know I can. Anyway, I loved all that sunshine this week and it made me think of yellow. So let’s celebrate yellow. Yellow represents happiness and optimism. It’s stimulating, it’s hope when things seem down, it’s cheerful and oh so positive. It can’t help but make us feel good.

So this week…close your eyes and pretend to skip down the yellow brick road. Or you can bop your head from side to side while singing “We all live in a Yellow Submarine” while you look up and enjoy the warm sun on your face. I’ll bet you smile. Enjoy this week’s pics, they’re YELLOW.

We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine……

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This week I saw a garden that highlights creativity, determination, and most of all, frugality. We learn about these characteristics our entire lives, but we don’t always follow through unless we really want something badly enough and we’re willing to show up and do the work. These folks showed up.

They were able to plant a garden filled with goodies without spending any money. They live in a plot that is about a 45 degree drop and enclosed on both sides by other houses. No backhoes in here! They also made the decision that they didn’t want to buy dirt so they brought compost, dirt and manure from another site by carrying in bushels. (My grandmother would have been proud. Buy dirt?!) They carried those bushels until they had enough dirt to provide them with a workable planting space. They’ve also made the most of every square inch by planting in between, underneath, and rotating. Now here’s the best. They started their plants from seeds or cuttings. So, think about this. You have a really good heirloom tomato for dinner tonight, save the seeds, dry them, protect them, and then start new plants for next year’s garden to enjoy a bunch of tomatoes. Take a look at what can be accomplished if you just work at it. Hats off!

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Mary, Mary

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With yarn and paper and chachkies of course,

How about yours?

This garden like all others is a work in progress. So like all gardens, it requires testing, watching, tending, and in this case, its own method of planting – creativity seeds. I guess it would be considered a community garden because there’s more than one gardener and ideas are bouncing everywhere. This is an “ooooh, what if we try this” and “aahhh, that’s awesome” kind of garden. This girl is truly the queen of “urban gardens”. I was so surprised at my own reaction of how happy I was to see my contributions added to the mix. Because I work in paper, it’s time to watch and see what Mother Nature has in store for my flowers. I’m a latecomer so I guess we’ll see if I can stand up to the elements like the others which have survived beautifully. I’m now working on that black line that needs added; as I said, a work in progress. This is way too much fun to be called work. Oh, and the bonus – lunch and a beer afterwards. You can’t beat that!

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Ribbons and Yarns and Pizza Pie, Oh My!

I had so much fun visiting the Osborne Elementary gARTen. Osborne’s principal, Barbara Mellet and her associate, Erin Dierker, were so enthusiastic about this project it made me want to pick up a shovel and dig.

Osborne’s gARTen is a collaborative working garden that provides food for an annual pizza party, smoothie day, and enough greens to share with a local food bank. Parents are heavily involved while the children are learning how food actually gets to the market. By working in the garden they become a part of that process, a win-win for sure. The children’s art surrounds this beautiful, healthy garden and it is so uplifting to watch the ribbons blowing in the wind, hearing the chimes and seeing the ripple of the crocheted ropes. Ms. Mellet told me that they, like many gardeners in Western Pennsylvania, have had an ongoing battle keeping deer away from their garden. After a few failed attempts with other methods, they were inspired by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh’s Knit the Bridge project which covered the Andy Warhol Bridge in knitted and crocheted panels. The good news….it’s working. The deer are staying away and the plants are thriving.

Why don’t you take some inspiration from Osborne and tie some colorful ribbons around your garden. Even if the deer still come, you’ll love watching the ribbons blowing in the breeze. This was indeed a very special gARTen!

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