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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Small Things










So many good things really do come in small packages, don't they?  I tore a 9 x 12 sheet of watercolor paper into 4 and am working small.  It's great fun, and feels much more relaxed.  It doesn't feel like such a great loss if only 1/4 of a sheet of expensive paper is wasted. If it turns out nicely, great! if not, no big whoop. The rooster sketch was inspired by a much beloved kitchen towel that is getting old and faded from use.  I  made this sketch to try to preserve some of the images before they become unrecognizable, and I like it so much, I'm now thinking of doing a larger version to hang in my kitchen.

I've included here a photo of the area that I am turning into a butterfly garden.  It's a little clearing down by the creek situated at the point where two streams converge.  I first envisioned a wild area just for wildflowers, but order and design seem to be creeping in.  Maybe you can see from the photo that I have broken ground for a roughly teardrop shaped bed.  What was supposed to be a bed of randomly scattered annual wildflowers is slowly becoming a perennial border.  Already I have put in some irises, oregano, verbena, ox-eye daisies, peonies, and will soon be putting in those calla lilies from the photo above.   The small tree in the center of the photo has a bed of ferns and hostas and daffodils at its base and a viburnum ('spring bouquet') is just to the right of it.  Going on around the corner to the right and out of view in the photo there are native hydrangeas and a bed of foxgloves that I started from seed last September.  Where will I put the wildflowers?  Maybe I can squeeze them in amongst the perennials!!

A new page in my nature journal is devoted to the lovely and diminutive partridge berry.  For years I thought this tiny evergreen creeper was called 'ground holly' because of its dark green, glossy evergreen leaves and bright red berries.  I still think that's a better name for it.  After a bit of research, I discovered that it's actually sold by growers as a terrarium plant, and I can see that it would be perfectly suited for that. It grows in shade along the creek banks here, and you have to look for the bright red berries to find it.  It forms a nice mat in areas that are swept clean of leaves and debris by the flood waters that frequently overrun the banks.  So, now I'm thinking of maybe making a little terrarium for the dining room table. Another small project to consider.

Small projects. small treasures. they all add up to a great happiness and contentment that doesn't seem very small at all. :)))

Blessings!
Starr

16 comments:

Tammie Lee said...

your tiny arts are quite charming, a joy to see each one.
winter is a nice time to dream up the upcoming garden. A butterfly garden sounds precious. I always have to consider the deer, until one day when i fence in an area.

DeniseinVA said...

They do say small things can be the best. Lovely artwork, lovely photos. I would love to plant a butterfly garden.

magnoliasntea said...

Beautiful artwork, Starr. My favorite is your partridge berry drawing as I love botanical drawings. They are timeless.

I see you're ready to start gardening. Me too!
Have a great weekend!

Valerie Gardiner said...

Love your little paintings Starr, a very good idea to cut down a large sheet. Eventually you could have enough tiny pictures to put together as a collage in a big frame. How lucky you are to have so much space in your garden to make new flower beds, I would love to make more but my garden is complete and very low maintenance now as we spend a lot of time away travelling.

Jules Woolford said...

Oooh! Love Mr Rooster, and tiny + paintings = happiness!

What a gorgeous photo of Kitty cat - she looks just like ours at the moment, curled up snug from the cold. More rain here again today, so I'm just going to garden vicariously through your new plants until it dries up:). The callas look scrumptious.x

Wynette Vass said...

Lovely paintings Starr! I do love seeing small framed art sometimes more than the large scale ones. Your fire looks so warm and cozy!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Beautiful cockerel! Lucky puss......it all looks very warm and comfortable at your place.

Have a lovely week!

Michelle said...

Your small watercolors are just beautiful.

Jeri Landers said...

I think your journal will be a real treasure and you are a lovely artist.I am so used to painting on a larger sheet of paper, usually a 12" square, that is a real pleasure to try something smaller for a change. I like the idea for your butterfly garden, and it looks like you have a good bit of sunshine in that area. I am sure it will expand ever larger and larger until the entire area is filled! That is what happened in the front of my house... every year, I took a little more land, a little more space.... and now , it is nothing but plants, bushes and flowers.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - I am always in awe of people who can draw or paint - my complete lack of ability in those areas made photography an easy choice!

I have to say I am looking forward to the kind of weather when we can have a fire at night here!

cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

David Gascoigne said...

I really like the page from your journal. I was always taught to make notes on my walks, but I think that many young naturalists don't do it any more and something has been lost. They have instant access to their electronic devices, but there is some delicate and personalized beauty to the kind of page you have created here. Congratulations.

handmade by amalia said...

These little watercolors are so very pretty, Starr. What a wonderful post.
Amalia
xo

JennyPennyPoppy said...

A lovely post with wonderful pictures. Your watercolours are beautifully done.

Barbara said...

I love your beautiful small water colors, and speaking of small things -- your decision to divide one sheet of paper into smaller quarters is genius. As a result, one of the things I love most is the the torn edge.

Barbara said...

Miss you, Starr!

Webmaster... said...

Glad to see you're still posting!!! Hope your clan is doing well. Thomas Glenn