Saturday, August 27, 2016

Great Performances: Shintokiwa Cucumbers

I'm not really that fond of cucumbers, but have found Shintokiwa cucumbers to be the best. In fact, I even like 'em. And because they are so prolific, I can like 'em and still have plenty to share. Last year after I had picked 80 cukes, I stopped counting. And this was from only three plants.

I grow them from seed - I doubt that you can find baby starter plants at the local nursery, although I've never really looked. It's pretty easy and since they are open-pollinated, you really only have to buy seeds once and then save some for the following year(s).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August Fun: Community Mosaic Mural

I completed the "H" and began the "O"
Willard Middle School Mural





















If you can spare a few hours on any of the remaining weekends in August, and don't mind wearing old clothes and getting a little dusty, then the Willard Middle School Community Mosaic in Berkeley would welcome you.

Not only will you be helping out, but you also get the chance to practice your tiling and mosaic skills. Rachel Rodi is heading up the effort, and the team is doing a fabulous job. When I was there this past Sunday, there was a large crew of parents, teachers, friends and students (boy, had I forgotten what young teen chatter was like. Somehow I doubt that it has changed much over the past forty-plus years) just working away.

And if your backside gets tired from sitting on an overturned bucket, it's OK to wander off for a cup of coffee or a snack.

To sign-up, click here.

Willard Middle School
2425 Stuart Street
Berkeley

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dreaming of Egypt



Not Completely Tiled
Covered in Grout
Last year, we seriously considered visiting the pyramids in Egypt - hardly anyone else was going, so we wouldn't have to worry about the crowds, right? But somehow we just weren't comfortable with the level of security required for the trip. It's not that we were scared for our own safety as much as I really didn't want to be escorted by armed guards and protected behind metal detectors while on vacation. As well, knowing that this insecurity is what the Egyptian people face every single day, sometimes even from their own government, well, somehow we just didn't go.

Grout Mostly Removed
Instead, I went out to the garage.

It's not that I consciously intended to imitate an Egyptian-esque design; sometimes these things just build themselves. I wasn't even too aware of how it was shaping up until the project was underway. I think it's in the colors mostly, that suggest desert sands and starry night skies. But as I was working on this piece, I did have time to consider ancient glories and clouded futures.

Ready to be Sealed