It’s Official!

Screen grab from my computer and lead article in local news
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We’re having a heat wave!

What else to say? We’ve spent the day watering EVERYTHING in between getting some work done. That might seem extravagant but our property is our outdoor studio and we can’t let everything die/wilt. We pretty much have three hoses going all day and our conversations are along the lines of “Are you done with the sprinkler on upper lawn because I have to do the hydrangeas” or “Can we turn the hoses off for a few minutes so I can have a shower?”

Nearly all the Stargazers are open now. I cut three today and have them in the fridge so I can enjoy them tomorrow. The ones in the garden I will leave and enjoy from the living room window, but I don’t think they’ll last through tomorrow in this heat.

Still, no complaints from us. We love the sun and the wonderful summer we’re having. The office is sweltering with all the heat our equipment pumps out so tomorrow I’ll probably relocate to the entry or living room. It’s too hot outside for the laptops.

I’ve been so busy on some rush design projects (now finished) that my photos have been neglected. We have a number of shoots that I haven’t posted or uploaded anything on including an heirloom rose garden and a medicinal herb garden I shot on Monday.

Oh, and I finished setting up our blog for Garden Photo World.

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Wildlife update:
In addition to the garden, we’ve been keeping our feathered friends cool by running fresh water in their baths twice a day as well as running the sprinklers which they LOVE. Especially the chickadees, who chitter and chatter non stop as they dive in and out of the spray.
(And…shhhhhhh, …there…is…a…Robin’s nest in the camellia.)
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– g

Stargazers



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The first Stargazer Lily opened today! That gorgeous color! That unbelievable fragrance! Yay! We have them right outside the living room window, which remains open while they are in bloom.

If you have smelled this flower, you know what I mean. If you have not, go right now to the florist and demand to! (But don’t get the yellow powder from the stamens on you or your clothes. It stains like crazy.)

I was once in a very upscale wedding where the bouquets, table umbrellas, flower arrangements were overflowing with Stargazer Lilies. This was just a few years after Stargazers were introduced to the public and they were EXPENSIVE. There must have been thousands of them at this wedding. The fragrance was intoxicating. I’ve never forgotten it.

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Another beautiful day! Clear and getting warmer. We’re to have a mini heat wave over the next few days. We’re watering everything in rotation.
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No badminton, it’s a bit too warm…
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Hope you are having a lovely summer day!
– g

An Artful Day

Handmade paper box by Hitomi Johnson

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Today we made our annual trip to the Bellevue Artsfair. It’s a summer highlight for us – we love to discover new artists and collect their work. I’ve been going to the Artsfair for four years and make a point to visit and purchase from my favorite artists each year, discovering new ones along the way.

I’ve been wanting to write a post on these artists for a long time. Maybe now I’ll actually get all the way through it!

HITOMI JOHNSON
To start off, this year’s discovered artist is Hitomi Johnson and her company is Washi Craft. She makes incredible paper boxes and wall decor from handmade Japanese papers. She doesn’t have a website but her phone number is 509-334-3135.

The colors and detail in her pieces are arresting – literally stopped me in my tracks! I bought a set of two boxes, one nested inside the other, for $29.00. I just adore the bright colors and patterns and that the top of the box looks like a beautiful mosaic. And so cute – inside the small box were two tiny origami tsuru (Japanese cranes). A lovely touch. (Not too prominent in my bio but when I was growing up we spent three years in a small coastal village in Japan. As I move toward more simplicity in life, the influences from that time resonate more now than ever.)

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DANIELLE DESPLANS
Danielle is a French mixed media artist from New York. I’ve been visiting her booth and buying her work for three or four years and it’s a special treat to see her each year – she’s such a lovely person. Her work is rich and evocative, with the colors and feel of a faded medieval tapestry. I just LOVE it. I’ve purchased quite a few of her pieces and if I was wealthy, I would buy everything! Here are some which I own:



Although I didn’t buy anything today, she made a gift to me of one of her early pieces which I find absolutely charming, called Paris:

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MARINA TERAUDS
I am in awe of this artist. She is from Latvia and now lives on a four acre farm in Michigan. She is a master craftsman in the truest and oldest sense of the word. I’ve already written about her in my January post about my birthday gift, and today purchased two more pieces. The detail and character in her etchings are phenomenal, and although I mostly collect her nature pieces, she does fabulous fantasy, fairy and mythological work as well. Here is what I got today:


That’s my art news for now. More to come!

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Badminton update: D: 18 matches G: 18 matches
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– g

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