Our neighbor has a lovely collection of Iris in bloom right now. Cheryl has painted some of them with pastels.
Flowers are everywhere. My own dooryard is lovely.
Above is the back yard.
Patio viewed from the back.
I have five of these pretty old shutters, not sure what to do with them yet.
By the front door. Mexican Oregano is about to put on an extravagant display.
View of patio from the front.
When Jan B and my Jackie were both in their final year of life, Jan and Bill brought us a straggly young Little Gem Magnolia plant which Jan had intended to plant and never got in the ground. I did finally get it in the ground that fall and then the next May after it had come out pretty well, a devastating hail storm just tore it to pieces leaving only a forlorn stalk. Anyone else would have surely yanked it out and started over. But I could not and instead said soft things to it and brought extra water and acid fertilizer to encourage it. It is four feet tall three years later, and has the sweetest blooms. Now I want to make a painting of some.
My brother wrote: "Lovely story about the rescued magnolia. I could imagine a series of watercolors telling the story of "the little magnolia that could." From uncertain beginnings to devastating experiences onward to health, happiness, and strength through love and nurturing, which allows it to provide beauty and joyful scents."
I am trying to set up a still life with a huge pewter pitcher and some blooms from the little tree. The tree/bush is so small I do not want to cut it much. Cheryl is horrified that I would take any little branches off! The English ale jug or pitcher is an incredible piece. We shall see what I manage to do or if I manage to do anything. This jug is one of the first pieces we acquired when we began to collect seriously, it was from the collection of Elizabeth Lees in Ft Worth.
I love the worn old oriental rugs and the feeling they impart to a room full of early furniture. From paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries, we know that the rugs were many times used as table coverings, and not as often on the floor. The rugs I have bought over the years in sales and flea markets are mostly mid 19th century and later.
In handling one there is always a fine dust on my hands no matter how many times I have gently shaken it or washed it outside on the drive way. (Never vacuum one.) Always the fine dust is there if it is real and old and hand-woven. I said to Jackie one time that I thought this is just a residue of desert sand and camel dung for years and years before the rugs were sold to dealers for export. He laughed big and said these rugs were made for sale and never saw a tent or a camel!
I am not so sure about that in the case of the small pieces that were bag faces. A long woven piece was folded in half to make a bag for nomadic families to carry possessions on their animals. One half of the piece was never to show and was plain tabby weave or perhaps kilim weave. The half intended to show was the face of the bag, a lovely little rugglet. Today I have just opened a second package from friend Jeanie who has sent me some as backgrounds for my still life paintings. They are thrilling to me! Thank you Jean! Here are the beautiful little bag faces she sent this time:
They will enhance paintings I hope to do in the coming months. Can you see the shape we quilters know as Ohio Star imbedded in the design? Folk art world around echoes the same themes. e