Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Life is just a bowl of All-Bran
You wake up every morning and it's there
So live as only you can
It's all about enjoy it 'cos ever since you saw it
There ain’t no one can take it away.

Thank you, Small Faces, for your lyrics! I bought their album “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”, a psychedelic fairy tale, back in 1969 when I was all of 18 and T-Man and I were already together. My album is long gone but I’ve been singing this little ditty ever since (in a really bad East London accent too). I think there’s a Universal Truth in there. OK, I know! It’s terminally silly. But work with me here. The world is too darn serious sometimes. Especially on Election Day in BC. Yes, of course I will be voting. Just waiting for T to come with me. If you don’t vote, you can’t bitch! And I’m suspecting some serious bitching will be in order as soon as the election is over since none of the parties have got it right to my way of thinking. But I digress.

I had a lovely time with the grand-beasties yesterday. My! Small children are exhausting! Noisy too. Even worse with my hearing aids on. We played Play-doh and built houses/cages/tunnels for the little plastic people and animals. Then there was some mad running around the coffee table and other hilarity. I managed to bow out of that exercise though. Stargazer’s leg is much better and he’s barely limping now. Princess Pink gave me a lovely weed…er, wildflower bouquet for Mother’s Day, tied with her very first knitting:

PP Knitting Of course she had a little help from her mom. (OK, a lot!) But I’m hopeful she will eventually become A Knitter. The rhyme about Jack does work! Oh, and here’s the rest of my bouquet:

PP Bouquet Or the top of it at least. It was nearly as tall as the giver. Came with its own earwig too! I’ve since evicted him to the great outdoors.

In answer to the comment from Suzanne yesterday: I’ve got 4 kinds of tomatoes. My usual Juliet, which are medium-sized cherry tomatoes but oval-shaped like a paste tomato. These have been very reliable for me over the last several years. I cut the final trusses off at the end of the season and let them ripen on the kitchen counter. We ate our last (rather dried-out) ones in December in soup. This year for variety I decided to try a combo pack of 3 heirloom varieties: Brandywine, Marvel Stripe and Green Zebra (which is apparently not really an heirloom). We’ll see how well they do in my greenhouse which sometimes gets too hot in August for good fruit set. BTW, you’re definitely welcome to a couple of my extra tomato plants, if you like! I always grow too many seedlings. There’s especially lots of extra Green Zebras because nobody seems to want them, poor things.

Going back to last week, I’ve been meaning to show you some detail photos of Jane Kenyon’s work that I took at her lecture last Wednesday. Took me long enough. Here’s Jane when I tried to take her photo:

JaneKenyon1 And here’s Jane when I finally got her to hold still for a moment:

JaneKenyon2 She’s such a sweetie! Jane’s designing begins with photos, paintings and mixed media pieces that she further manipulates in Photoshop until she gets an image she’s happy with. Common themes are stones, lichens, leaves, and graffiti. My photography (taken with her permission) doesn’t do her work justice at all, but here’s the middle of one piece that I totally love:

JK CreviceCrevasse It’s one of the Crevice/Crevasse series and also includes another favourite subject, lichen. Here’s a detail of another piece so you can see the individual stitches:

JK Detail Remember, Jane’s recent work totally consists of free-motion stitches and nothing else – except a label and hanging sleeve on the back. The cloth is surprisingly soft and flexible in the hand. She creates it completely on the sewing machine using heavy soluble stabiliser which is washed out at the end. There are two rayon embroidery threads in the needle and one in the bobbin. She changes colours constantly and layers the stitches to get this painterly effect. Here’s a larger view of the same piece, one of her series on palm leaf silhouettes:

JK PalmLeavesI couldn’t get far enough away for proper perspective because they were lying overlapping on a table so I apologise if this is somewhat distorted. Unfortunately I haven’t included the edges of the pieces which are gently wavy. Each of these particular pieces is about a metre square, just to give you the scale. It can take Jane several weeks of 10-hour days to stitch each one. And no, she doesn’t do housework! Just art. Sigh.

Paper knitting time! Gotta get the darn thing finished asap. Gee, now I’ve got a really persistent earworm stuck in my head. (No, not the earwig. He’s outside in the garden.) For your own personal earworm, see the Small Faces goofy video on YouTube here. Can you imagine modern bands having so much unselfconscious fun? Sadly Steve and Ronnie died in the ‘90’s, Steve in a house fire and Ronnie (aka Plonk) of multiple sclerosis. “It’s all about enjoy it” – ’cause stuff happens…

Give me those happy days toytown newspaper smile
Clap twice, lean back, twist for a while
Well now we've got the hang of it
There's nothing we can't do with it
And now we're very into it we can't go wrong!


yarnpiggy said...

What exactly *are* Green Zebras? How big are they supposed to get? I am tempted to claim one plant...I sooo miss having garden space! The owners of the house recently cleared away a bunch of ferns right outside my door, and I figure I could stick one pot out there...

Suzanne said...

I would love a Green Zebra, Louisa! YarnPiggy: Green 1½ - 2½" fruits with various shades of yellow to yellowish-green stripes, sweet zingy flavor, indeterminate.
I have grown them before , love them. great tart flavor. So far, I have 2 Juliet (!), 2 Green Grape and 2 Cherokee Purple. Still missing: Gardener's Delight, Sungold and other heirloom that may jump in my basket.

Louisa said...

Thanks for answering YarnPiggy's question for me, Suzanne! I did think they were determinate but you're right - they're indeterminate (which means that ALL my tomatoes this year are indies. (Gonna make a jungle of a greenhouse!) I think the problem is that folks have a harder time telling if they're ripe or not because they are green either way. But I don't think it's difficult. You both are welcome to a plant!