Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Garden 2014, 2

Summer is close so I better finish up my spring posts. Here's a general view of my East patio. The exterior wall (to keep dogs out) features planters.

Everything seems to be blooming

I placed some plants in the bird cage that sits on a Roman rock.

The Roman Rock plant table is looking a bit like a jungle as well.

I did have some fun one day by making another low plant table. The recipe: two cement-filled cinder blocks and one piece of broken wrought iron fence...

Then add a broken Roman Rock (notice that nice right angle and smooth top). Plus a wall tile to place on top of the fence.

Such a beauty holding up my pots and plants. I just love those roman rocks!

The general view of my new plant arrangement right under my bedroom window.

Sometimes, no, often, things happen serendipitously. A cement tube was installed around a water faucet to protect it some 30 years ago. I planted it with a small succulent that now gives quite a show in the spring, like a royal cape.

My spring time gate viewed from the kitchen door has been subject for sketching recently, just because it's right there.

Classes are over, the spring has been pleasant, the citrus trees are flowering, the bees are making honey, and the birds have been chirping and singing enthusiastically...and I'm back to working on the Pomegranate Tree Quilt...the blessings are many.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Garden 2014

As spring warms up to summer, a flurry of activity in the garden will keep me busy for the next couple weeks. This week the "nursery" plants clamored to go out into the adult plant world, so I extended a number of areas in the kitchen patio.
I still haven't got lions at my gate, however, I added small plastic pots of succulents to fill things out.
The view that greets me every morning from my kitchen door:
On the left side, I added more rocks and an old filled cement block. This side requires plants that can resist high temperatures. The afternoon sun in the summer is deadly.
I am pleased to say that the plant table looks like a jungle
 and the bidet has all but disappeared.
The Rock Family has a new stack-of-stones-kid (on the right).
Ma Rock holds Baby Rock and the 3 stack-of-stones-kids are lined up. Bibi comes along and knocks off their heads occasionally. 

On the exterior patio wall, more heat-resistant plants. The hot pink geraniums like to show off their brilliant blooms to irritate the succulents, I suspect.
New additions along the staircase include a filled cement block with a pebbly effect, rock stacks and new plants in soda bottles...waiting for transplants to mosaic pots (someday).
Another view.
Going up the steps, I've added small pots in between the big pots which are not yet very visible. I do love that lineup of mosaic pots.
And out in front, my babies, my pomegranate trees, are decked out in spring green and getting ready to blossom. Most of them are now six to seven feet (teenagers). 
So, although my mosaic production has been limited, my garden keeps growing, keeps me busy, and provides me with exercise...and pleasure.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Proctoring Midterms

I have a new appreciation for Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialist philosophy, and The Absurd. It is the end of the semester and I was finally given a date for midterm exams (all sections have to do them at the same time, I can't decide this alone). Go figure.
So I squeezed in some stitching between classes and some fast sketching. I have a few prepared pages in my planner (about 3"x6"). 

The nice thing about having my planner/sketchbook always in my purse is that sometimes I record interesting bits of life that would usually be forgotten. Case in point (during exams):

"Doctor, Doctor. My father is calling me. 
    Can I go out and take it?" 
"How do I know you won't cheat?"
"You can come and listen." [What?]
"And why isn't your phone off?"
"It's on vibrate."
"ABSOLUTELY NOT! [howling rage of the professor who is turning beet red in the face and frothing at the mouth] This is cause for going in front of the disciplinary committee!"

Shoot me!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Into the Big City

As a visit into Tunis could not be avoided, I took along some stitching and my purse sketchbook. The weather was sunny and warm and the 15-minute walk to the bus stop pleasant. However, just as I approached the bus stop, Number 26 drove by--I missed it by 30 seconds. Out came the sketchbook and a ballpoint pen while I waited for the next bus.

Yup, the entrance to my town...Sketches always appear better than the dusty reality. [And don't think because of the slanted street lights that I took the photo crooked--people keep crashing into them.]

Then I attempted some of the interior of the bus...toughest thing I've ever tried--the angles were impossible to figure out as the bus jostled me up and down. 

The sketchbook went back into the purse as nausea overtook me...breathe, breathe.

[I finished it at home with colored pencils. What do they say? Color hides the drawing mistakes? I'm counting on it.]

After I took care of business, I went and bought cotton fabric for the back of the Pomegranate Tree Quilt. I suppose the cost was reasonable (about $12/meter), but, for Tunisian salaries, it's excessive. 

I bought 8 meters, knowing that I'll use the fabric for other backs as well. Ouch. A hundred bucks slithered out of my wallet. Oh, well. I'm not going to piece a back for this huge art quilt--I need fabric that is on-grain and stable. [By the way, what is the one appliance that is hard to find in sunny Tunisia? A clothes dryer.]

Then I went to my favorite notions store, the Tunisian version of Ali Baba's cavern, and bought 10 meters of batting so I won't have to return to Tunis for awhile. 
The problem? Garbage everywhere--and this dumpster's looking relatively clean. Will garbage invade my artwork? 

I'm surprised we haven't been hit by an epidemic of the bubonic plague. Thoughts of Camus' La Peste (The Plague) come to mind.

And yet, across the street from the dumpster in a modest neighborhood, I spot a surprise.
A garden in a small space on the corner blooms.
Like an oasis in the desert.
Maybe there is hope...