Archive for garden

Critters What Linger

Posted in food, gardening, nature with tags , , , , , on August 6, 2011 by darcyarts

They are still here, turning beigy-brown and having moved onto the bamboo sticks for cover.

There are two. they have changed so much I do not recognize them from the pair – large and small — I first spotted in the garden.

These grasshoppers seem to have limited themselves to the sunflowers. The face of the small sunflower was partially nibbled when the pair of invaders were growing.

The face of the big sunflower remains unmarred. It seems only a matter of time. The second grasshopper hangs out inside an inverted plastic cup I’ve used to corral the bamboo stakes in one planter box.

On closer inspection (the head is facing downward) I think I see some gnawed parts.

Dang you, grasshoppers! I’m going to have to chocolate coat yur butts

They have nibbled up three or four sunflower leaves and also dotted the down-turned head with waste material. Nice.

The busy little bee/fly creatures haven’t been back to the sunflower face. At least not that I’ve noticed.

The big black bumble bee has taken his fill of the catnip blossoms. I guess the sweet fresh pollen days have waned.

The fruits of the garden are readying.

Spring Yard

Posted in gardening, nature with tags , , on May 12, 2011 by darcyarts

The green of spring has busted out big time.

The catnip, tomatoes and basil are getting a good misting. Everybody looks good. There was evidence of critters digging about in the fresh dirt inside the boxes. Chicken wire is in place to keep out the squirrels. Was it  our feathered friends ?

Early morning shots of the sky, white clouds and trees made for cool silhouettes.

Ah! Nature.

Chuck B. My Favorite Blogger

Posted in Art, design, gardening, nature, writing with tags , , , on November 8, 2010 by darcyarts

Chuck B. blogs about gardening and about his environment which happens to be  San Francisco, specifically Bernal Heights. Chuck is very bright, multi-talented. He takes wonderful photos wherever he wanders and shares the most interesting places, vegetation, landscaping, art and architecture with us.

Right now he’s posted wonderful photos from an amazing trip to the Albany Bulb, north of Berkeley.

Check out his blog My Back 40 (feet). But I warn you, it’s addictive. Beautiful work, Chuck.

Dreaming of Winter Caps

Posted in gardening, nature, plush critters with tags , , , on June 5, 2009 by darcyarts

Ah, a lovely gray day in June. Redding, CA? It’s true.

HydrangeawRaindropsCan you see the raindrops on the petals of the hydrangea?

What a lovely site in June.


The garden is growing. We’ve had lots of lettuce. The tomatoes, dozens of them, are just about to turn red.

Bruschetta, fresh tomato and spinach prima vera topping for macaroni, sweet ol’ tomato sandwiches.

There are little green chilies, and the first cucumber. Tra la!

We got them going early enough this year.

The Chimp train is chugging along.


Took a little break, mid-chimp cap, yesterday to try a cap of my own. It gave me lots of ideas for the crop of caps/hats I have planned for winter ’09.

CapPrototypeswEmbroideredGnomeI’ve got the basics down and am on to imagining striking embellishments.

Maybe Coco Channel will visit me in my dreams.

Start Growth

Posted in esoterica, etsy, nature with tags , , , , on March 19, 2009 by darcyarts

img_6885They took their place in this year’s garden on a gray day in March. Then three days of steady rain and in the last hours of the storm, a real pounding that left a small lake in the low spot on our long driveway.

Frank always reminds me that plants are made to  withstand wind and rain.  I still flinch remembering the ranuculas (renuculae?) that got hammered by an April hail storm.

After a good few days of sun the veggies are just fine.

newgarden09They are now girded against invasion. The first bucket that received the chicken-wire fix was the catnip.

Big Orange, a talkative feline with a goofy face, was getting too friendly with the new plants.

Then the squirrels began hiding their nut-stash in the pots. Sloppy little diggers abused one tender Early Girl tomato so we did all the pots in chicken wire.

This morning, on my way back to the computer, I took ghosty shots in the window glass that reveal the layers of domesticity in which I exist.

meinkitchenwindowglassInside and out blend together. The kitchen curtains, the hedge, the blue pots, the sky blue material I used to make the chimp hat, candles, the green fuzzy leaves of an african violet and the radio antenna that cuts a diagonal across the image, are all elements of my current experience.

Near my heart, through the glass, you can see part of a picture on the kitchen wall.  Above a folk-art image of a flying  angel it reads “Bless this Home”.

toysinkitchenw16jessWe have been at this river house  for three years.  Frank and I have grown together and feel settled. We  have done good work here. We feel safe and calm.

There are unseen elements in every life that shift and change and eventually necessitate a rearranging.

Change is relentless. Still, I know that feeling of safe and calm is  internal. The waters can be stirred but they always settle back to placid.

A trip to the Beadman, to pick up sage oil and amber resin, gave me a chance to slip into the Discovery Shop.

I try to remember, while spending the days enjoying the things that take up physical and psychic space in my life, that life can and does eventually come to a sudden halt.

I am always reminded of this fact when I find treasures and trinkets in my favorite thrift shops.

You will see, on certain days, a new influx of items that have an stylistic unity. They represent a particular taste. It becomes clear that these are things that once filled the home of someone I’ll never know. When their time here was over, family passed these trinkets on for others to find.

I found these kitchen wall plaques. They are probably from the 70s.

The back-to-nature, avocado aesthetic is evident.

fourI listed them at DarcyArts.

I imagine a long-haired woman creating simple still life sketches in her kitchen. She worked up nice backgrounds for each in checks, stripes and paisleys.

Each basket is different. I like them and thought others would, too.

I also found owls at the Discovery Shop.

fullgreenowlCute speckled owls.

They have holes in the top of their heads. Something to do with the firing process? So they don’t blow up?

The bigger green owl has a face on each side.

img_6940img_6941I may list these on Etsy tomorrow.


I am enjoying this “free” time, after finishing the proto-chimp, and before a response comes requesting one or two more. I’ve been sewing since December on one project or another.

It’s time to paint!


Posted in Art, etsy, nature, television with tags , , , , , , on August 1, 2008 by darcyarts

It’s Friday. My one vacation day off this week.

I’ll have an extra day off each week, giving me four, until the middle of October. When I return to work tommorrow it will be a Saturday. very mellow people-wise. Fewer editors, less noise.

I got started today checking out the vegetables, green and cool, bursting with life.

Ah, fresh little buds are developing on the squash plant.

These will become flowers and then fruit — zuccini or yellow crook neck squash. I didn’t check the tags too closely. We’ll find out eventually.

Or will we?

As I snapped a shot of the youngest plants in the container garden, going in for a supa-close up, I noticed something.


The tiny little things creep about and blend perfectly with the plant. This is the the most developed of the three sets of plants in this tub. Two kinds of squash and lemon cucumbers.

I read that water laced with chili pepper juice will deter the aphids. I loaded up a little spray bottle and let them have it.

Tommorrow I’ll check and see if the environment was made sufficiently inhospitable by the chili pepper.

I have failed to observe ahimsa.

The yellow blossom is the crook neck squash. The little orange-red specks are the chili powder. I could have used some of our chilis but so far none of them are hot.


This week I continued to draw, cut and print blocks.

In keeping with the nature and hindu vedic theme this morning I share this new piece.

Ganesh, the Hindu Vedic deity.

Last Friday I went out to Ellis Art to purchase a new set of cutters and I also bought printing ink in brown and black. These are the first two images I pulled from the block.

The ink was very thick compared to what I have used in the past. It is water soluable so I can thin it out.

Next time I’ll try that and see how it works.

In all things I freely admit to borderline incompetence. I want to get my hands into the process right away. I learn by doing a particular thing. I’m impatient.

It was a small miracle to reach the point where I was willing to risk failure! But now I say bring it on!

The ink I usually use is a high quality, acid free stamping ink.

This is a proof done in that ink.

 The symbolism connected with Ganesh is very cool.

The large ears = listen.

The little axe = cut off all bonds of attachment.

Big head = think big.

One tusk = keep the good throw out the bad.

The mouse represents desire. Desire can cause havoc. You ride the desire and keep it under control not the other way around.

The large stomach represents a peaceful digestion of life’s good and bad.

I love the floating lamps in the background of this image. In the future I want to do figures with large elaborate aura areas around the heads.

I want to do some straight decorative designs with lots of curving, circular elements.

I really like to add rhinestones to portraits. I may or may not. I do want to get into the elaborate thing I see in the Hindu and Tibetan portraits of deities.

I kinda started my aura paintings with my Elliott Smith portrait.

I wanted to put him in the realm of a bodhisattva, an enlightened soul who chooses to return to earth to help others.

His sadness was so heavy but his music touched so many people and was undeniably beautiful.

 I loved the juxtaposition of the common northwest wool cap, a necessity to protect against the cold, and the red aura, the third-eye bindi and curly clouds that represent the higher plane.

Frank has suggested I do a portrait of the fabulous southern psychic, Chip Coffey.

I do my best work when I am really moved by someone and I love Chip. We decided, Frank and I, that since I get such a warm feeling from Chip he must have some Taurus.

Chip is a Leo with Moon in Taurus.

Frank is a Taurus with Moon in Leo. So is my son Brian.

Maybe Chip will be the first.


Posted in Art, etsy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by darcyarts

Most of the art work, and especially the portraits I have created come from a sweet festering obsession.

I write here today because while browsing through the treasuries at etsy I stumbled upon a gal who has put her obsessive tendencies to work and come up with a really impressive gift to mankind.


Miss Pin Productions is a Rhode Island team. The female among them has been making Ramones dolls for 25 years out of sculpey clay. Too cool. She has a very big selection and has honed her craft to the point that she can capture the features of Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy with minimal facial formation. I bow to her tenacity. Joey is my favorite. I love Taurus folks.

Another nod this day has to go to etsian nouveaumotley of Oakland. Among her finely crafted treasures, which include very nice “quote” badges and unique neck charms and images, she makes the most wonderful solid scents, with vegan-friendly ingredients and natural scent-bases, and then sends them to you in a beatiful hand-decorated little tin with a screw on lid. You get a half an ounce of smooth sweet solid oil that will last you a very long time.

I have just purchased my second little tin. The first was ambergris, a scent I had been searching for for a very long time. The new one is oak moss, a scent i only fanticized about having as a perfume. Ever smell oak moss? It grows on the many oak trees that grow here in Redding, CA. It really is enchanting. Fresh from nature, babies.

If, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, enthusiasm is the engine of success, then I must say that the best thing about etsy is the possibility that you will find something very unique and right up your alley. Anything I promote is done with the most sincere admiration for the creator.

There are alot of imaginative, good-energy folks selling their wares on etsy. Etsy appeals to our longing for that village sensibility, nostalgia for the mud, one might say.

Yes, sometimes it feels that there are hoards of people trying to make a buck, but most of those I’ve checked in on are creating out of a deep desire to make something useful, beautiful, amusing or challenging. or better yet a combination of all those ingredients.

I get a little testy when there is an overload of pretty and “appropriate” stuff drifting through on the Buy Scroll but I understand that it is a free country and capitalism demands that product be provided for everyone with a fist full of dollars (that don’t go in your gas tank).

MANIFESTO = Let’s walk more, ride bikes and grow our own veggies so we can spend more money on the fine, charming and surprising work of etsians!! Never, ever go to the fricking mall. Wear any kind of neck charm you desire.

Shake it up and buy yourself a meat tray from the gloriously cantankerous Hellray77 from Boone, North Carolina.









MUSHROOMS = Lastly for this rant, my Bitty Pix Boy with Mushrooms got put into a treasury assembled by artgoodies.

 How would you describe the look on his face? What is he thinking?

I have a new hand sewn work that is ‘shroomerific.

I liked making it so much I’m going to make others.

You can’t stop me.


This puffy mushroom is almost six inches tall and I stuck a weight into the base so it stays upright. It is decor or you can use it as a pin cushion.

Disclaimer = Amanita Muscaria is poison, people. Spare your liver. They are only food for gnomes.