Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One Project After Another

Cedar Raised Garden Beds, Pittsburgh, 2015

For whatever reason, this summer has been one project after another.  On Sunday we're suppoed to have a 'day of fun' where we'd kayak and then go for a swim in the lake, but I mentioned building raised beds from cedar fence planks, and, well, that was that.  We ended up building 2 - 6'x3'x1' beds, that then each required 14 cubic feet of dirt.  THEN, to top it all off, we decided to get pine straw to line the outer edges between the beds and the fence.  At least the latter was free, since it's in abundance beneath my mother's white pine trees.
Now I'm sore all over, but really glad that too that an idea was brought to fruition.
The last project on the slate is painting the awful 1970s kitchen cabinets.  If that ends up looking like crap, then after we repave the driveway and replace the retaining wall, it'll be a kitchen reface.  Love this money pit...I think.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Woman Walks Into The Sea

Meagan Abell Photo Collection

Found images, the photographer, subjects, and dates unknown.  True wonderment for the present day viewer, as the images convey a profound despondency - why else would a woman fully clad wander into the sea?  Is it dawn or is sunset?  Never does she look at the camera, only at the water, or the retreating horizon in an infinite distance.
A photographer in Virginia, Meagan Abell, discovered a box ( a treasure trove, really) of unprocessed slides while thrift store shopping in Richmond, VA.  She has since posted the images she unearthed online in the hopes of identifying the photographer and/or the models.  You can learn more about this story here.
So very haunting.

Friday, July 31, 2015


Years ago I was perusing the shelves and bins at Appalachian Rock Shop when I came across an oddity.  There was a chunk of a clear-ish, somewhat milky mineral that when placed over top of something, particularly noticeable on printed words, seemed to bring the image to the surface of the crystal.  The owner told me that it was ulexite, a natural fiber optic.  I was intrigued and a bit giddy, so I bought a couple of pieces and took them home to impress my friends.  Of course my friends weren't impressed ("It's just a rock."), but I was, and still am.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Re-Imagined American Beauty

American Beauty Barbie, Pittsburgh, 2015

I wanted to pay homage to the movie American Beauty but didn't quite think that the roses and bed of rose petals was, how shall I say...quite right for representation of female genitalia, or even passion, despite what red roses are supposed to represent.  No, I contend that lilies are much better suited to be strewn over a nude female form.  Just behold the voluptuous nature of Georgia O'Keeffe's masterful handiwork with the lily as proof.
I used dried Purple Prince Orienpet lilies that I plucked from a clutch of them growing in my mother-in-law's yard.  A perfect fit.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Digital Miasma

Milkweed With Butterflies Miasma, 2015

Sometimes when I have a shot that is really out of focus, I'll tinker with it, manipulating it digitally before I decide whether to keep it or not.  I get rid of a lot of shots on my hard drive.  Not because I don't have enough memory to preserve them, but because I don't want to have to look at them any longer. Be gone, you sad affront to the eye!
I pushed this failed image to both its limits and mine.  Except for that small white mass right of center, I like the pic, to me it brings to mind Van Gogh.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Lady Is A Frog

Frog in Bikini, Candle $5, Pittsburgh, 2015

Perhaps it takes a lipsticked, bikini clad bullfrog rendered in wax for one to fully appreciate the challenges facing an artist bent on being original.  Or, simply, one more oddly sexual anthropomorphic creation that begs the question:  Why? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dried Herbs

Dried Heal-All, Prunella  vulgaris, Pittsburgh, 2015

Perhaps because of the cooler temps than normal, and all of the rain, we've got a bumper crop of Heal-All this year.  So far I've got two 1-quart jars stuffed with the dried herb, and am working on a smaller jar just to have out in the kitchen.  Though Heal-All is kind of touted as a panacea, I tend to use it as a preventative tea.  We started off drinking a cup of it everyday to keep colds at bay, which it did, all winter long.  Now I drink it everyday because I prefer it to green tea.
Now is prime time for collecting Heal-All.  Get out there and keep yourself healthy!