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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Some Color in the Bleak Season

In my garden, this season reveals a lot of things that are hidden or at least partially hidden by foliage during the summer.  I look forward to rediscovering some old friends  even as I mourn the annual passing of foliage.

In the summer, the blue gunnera leaf casting that I made years ago and the buddha (off center since I last cleaned the pond filter - an easy fix) are totally obscured by the foliage of a magnolia.  I leave it there because the spring show of magnolias against the leaf and buddha is lovely.

Some of my Judi Hook creations really stand out as stars now, especially when the sun hits them.



The collection of "fiddlesticks" by Barbara Sanderson  seem even brighter in the dim light. 

Instead of gardening in the evening, I get to play with glass a bit more.  Mostly, I've been teaching evening glass classes at Mandarin Stained Glass but have also had time to make this year's snowflake. Here's the first batch on the kiln shelf ready to be fired.  I'll post later what they look like finished but this  group has already been given away to coworkers. 

The snowflake thing has become a sort of tradition with me; this being the fourth year of  making them as gifts.  I always use the same colors but a different pattern each year.  Here are some previous flakes:




I've also made the large paper snowflakes for the 16 windows in the sun room at my school.  Here are a few of those.  I've started saving most of them from year to year now as it takes a while to re-make  so many 3 foot snowflakes but it's such fun to see what they look like after making a bunch of random cuts.  Amazing what a little repetition can do in making a design.






This is a brief post as it's a busy time of year and I only had a few minutes to throw it together.  Hope you are enjoying the delights of this dark time of year.  Dark delights...chocolate...hmm..easily distracted. Happy weekend!

30 comments:

  1. I've admired your glass snowflakes for the past couple of years that they've featured on the blog, but wow! Those paper snowflakes are really amazing--what a gift to the school community.

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  2. You do have a lot of color "hidden" around, don't you? Love that third Judi Hook ball (brown with white). Also, that's *exactly* how my paper snowflakes always turn out. And by "exactly" I mean they're nothing like yours -- they're childish at best compared to your intricate beauties. How did you get such detail? Fantastic!

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    1. I get the detail by cutting a lot of weird wavy lines and taking out more paper than is intuitive.

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  3. Happy Weekend to you too Peter! I've been experimenting with making things out of book pages lately, maybe I'll do a post. Love your huge snowflakes!

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    1. Thanks! Just saw your post about your paper "Craps" today. Beautiful!

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  4. Thank you for sharing. I LOVE all the color. YOU have made me very happy this morning. EYE candy to gaze at. ;-)

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  5. "a bunch of random cuts"...I think not! Birds, angels, trees, fleur de lis, hearts, crosses...those are amazing Peter.

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    1. Well, the fleur de lis was from a pattern that I found in the recycling at school the snowflakes were also planned but hearts, crosses, trees, et cetera, while planned, were cut freehand. It's really very simple once the paper is folded. I can show you how to do it sometime if you want to make some.

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  6. Oh, no. "Bleak Season", "mourn the...passing of foliage"... am I the only one who feel positively giddy? I rediscover the garden, clean it up, re-imagin...
    All of Judi Hook's ornaments are sooo cool. Letting them shine in Winter is a bonus, no? Your friends who receive a glass ornament each year are very lucky indeed, building up a fine and cherished collection.

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    1. The garden with less foliage does have its charms and as everything looks so full and heavy in late summer/early autumn, I look forward to seeing the cleaner view of the garden. I enjoy making the ornaments. It takes a lot of time and would be even more enjoyable if I did them earlier instead of waiting until the last minute. Oh well...

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  7. All that sparkle and color relieves any bleakness that threatens your garden. Lucky co-workers must look forward to adding to their collection of snowflakes year by year. What a nice tradition. I had a client that gave me a new Margaret Furlong porcelain angel each year and I think of her fondly as I unwrap them.

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    1. Now that I've been home for a couple of days, and have seen the garden in the light a bit more, and with a bit of sun, I feel better about it. Only seeing it for a short time on wet gray weekends makes the sparkle all the more welcome. I remember seeing your Margaret Furlong angels in one of your posts and hope that the recipients of my flakes use and enjoy them!

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  8. I love that with each season different things appear and disappear. The glass art in your garden is wonderful. Your snowflakes are lovely both glass and paper ones!!!

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  9. You are so talented! I really like the glass ornaments hanging in the window--the way they catch the light.

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    1. There's just no beginning to my talent! It's hard to make anything out of glass that doesn't look great with a bit of light shining on or through it!

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  10. Both you and your friend Judi need to market your creations beyond the confines of the PNW!

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    1. Judi should market her creations farther afield. The snowflake patterns that I've used for the last couple of years are not my own but created by the extremely Lani Neil who has been gracious enough to let me use her patterns for gift purposes. She markets them in her etsy shop, TheWoCo.

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  11. Those cut paper snowflakes are exquisite!

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    1. Thanks Linda. They've become part of my school tradition and since they're just snowflakes, they get to stay up until February.

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  12. Just love your paper snowflakes, they are fantastic! Also your glass snowflakes are so beautiful, lucky people who have a collection of those!

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  13. I love your glass snowflakes. Judi Hook's art certainly livens up a dreary day.

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    1. Thanks, Jason! Judi's work makes me smile.

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  14. It's fun to see your glass art take center stage during the quieter garden months, Peter.

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    1. Crafts give me something to keep me busy when the ground is too soggy to dig.

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  15. I never, ever thought of making snowflakes with color. Blue snowflakes are breathtaking.

    We had frost this morning.

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    1. I'd always made them with white paper before but this school has white blinds sandwiched between two panes of glass that can't be pulled up so the white flakes sort of disappeared on those windows so I went to the blues and the play of light with the heavier colors works really well.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.