Saturday, September 14

A Tree Grows . . .

There is a weed tree that pops up all over my yard and quickly grows above the things I've cultivated there. Ailanthus Altissima or tree of heaven, as it is commonly called, is native to central China and Taiwan, and like another Asian import, is known, in part, for its foul odor. 

It was introduced to the United States in the late 1700s as a beautiful garden specimen, but its vigorous suckering and foul smell quickly wore thin with gardeners. It also served as a central metaphor and subject for Betty Smith's book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn because of its hardiness.

I am able to overlook the tree's overzealousness, because it yields the most wonderful prints from the dye pot. 

"Let it be," I'll yell out to my HB as he eyes one of many, trimmer in hand. "I'll get it later."

Cuttings from my healthy tree of  heaven grove are pressed between the pages of phone books in my studio for winter printing, but I may have to thin them to ensure that these other lovely mark-makers aren't overcome.

The dogwoods offer up another favorite leaf of mine.

And the ninebark bush. 

And roses.

And I can't forget the oaks.

Happy dye season!

Monday, September 2

One Thing Leads To Another

In July I wrote about my love for Sophie Digard's crochet work and posted a photo of a handful of little flowers I'd made.

Two of those little flowers made their way into this little newborn headband.

 . . . Which led me to crochet the bands of several other delicate little pieces. 

They're for a newborn shoot I have scheduled this week. I can't wait to meet the new arrival!

Last month, I shot maternity photos for her beautiful family.

This crochet project was also born out of those little flowers I made in July. I thought it might take me a week or two to complete, but it took five. It was a learning process, but was very satisfying. I enjoy the feel of the yarn in my hands and in my lap as it piles up, and I have gained a new appreciation for every little crocheted piece of work I see. I hope the recipient enjoys it!

I also made some books last month. There are many more lined up on my studio table. Talk about one thing leading to another.

And I worked on my photography site -- after purchasing the domain name, paying the host and buying a template, I stepped away, as the task of setting it up seemed too daunting. I still have work to do, but stop over if you want.

Happy Autumn!