Archive for May, 2012

May 26, 2012

Morning Glory is up

Mary’s favorite invasive species: morning glory (bindweed).

I collected some along the lanes of Kitsilano last week to take to an Eco-Arts Salon where we were designing bee lanterns. Now I see it everywhere.

I’m a gardener so I don’t always love it when it invades, but as an art medium for crocheting and sculpture, it’s lovely. (Just make sure to put any leftovr parts into the city yard bin, not your regular compost or garden – or you’ll have more growing.)

Here’s a rather charming, positive view of morning glory from My Skinny Garden.

I wish I was more like the bindweed.  A fierce competitor refusing to go down without a fight.  It is efficient and beautiful, growing fast and effortlessly. No matter the conditions, it gets by.  Without fail, its delicate white flower opens every morning, its vines crawl along the the garden not caring what goes on around it.  And when I have ferociously yanked every visible piece of it out, it does not get discouraged because its very deep roots give it the foundation to persevere.  It simply does what it does, keeping with the rhythm of life, maintaining its focus, growing.

May 22, 2012

Free Librairies

I just heard on Rick Cluff CBC show about a new free library in East Vancouver.

Here are some links:

Lovely little library holders including London red phone booths.

Here is where you can download plans to build your own.

Gresham, Oregon

Looking for contacts about:

there’s one at Lakewood & Charles and another in the alley west of the York Theatre

(Thanks, Lani, for giving me this information.)

Official map

two in Vancouver listed:

Last Updated by d-spitzer on Apr 16
550 East 26th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V5V 2H7 Canada
Cheryl Shizgal, Steward –
cheryl shizgal@yahoo.comFront Yard: Design from Old TV StandGPS Coord: 49.24752, -123.0930519
Last Updated by d-spitzer on Apr 6

1707 East 4th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Corey Wilson, Steward –

In Memory of Ferris, Klaus and Rattles
“Rats & Reading”

GPS Coord:  49.267160, -123.0693411

May 13, 2012

Art with Invasive Species

It’s not entirely fair to call forsythia an invasive species, but it certainly fits the “abundant” category. I’ve offered to prune the forsythia at the Unitarian Church and a friend said: what will you make from it?

So I have googled “art forsythia” several times now and come up with lovely little water colour paintings and how kids can make paintings by blowing brown paint, dabbing yellow with corks and then adding tissue paper. (switch to pink and you’ve got cherry blossoms!)

So today thought, maybe if I just google “art invasive species” I’ll come up with some new ideas in general and then try it out with the forsythia.  (Note to self: next year, prune early and let people have some forced yellow blooms in doors so they have a purpose. Then they may even root if they want a plant themselves.) Along the way I also learned that forsythia is a Chinese medicine product, although nothing I found indicated how or if I could make my own concoction.

I didn’t find what I wanted, but… found some interesting things.

Do you do printmaking? papermaking?  Try this one:

Seth Goldstein: With my wife Paula Stone, I create sculptures out of Oriental Bittersweet, a non-native invasive vine which we cut down from trees on county parkland. Images of Omar the Camel, and Dude are shown.


“One day I was pulling a weed, and I realized there was a little grain of hostility there toward this invasive plant,” said Washington, D.C., artist, Patterson Clark, in an interview with National Public Radio. “And I stopped and thought: I don’t want to be this way in nature. I don’t want to be in an adversarial mode when I’m in nature. How can I change my attitude to make this more of a positive experience? And the word ‘harvest’ came to mind.” Patterson shifted his perspective and began turning weeds into resources – brushes, inks, and even paper.

Turns out Patterson is alienweeds (see above) and was given the first F.E.A.S.T. (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics) award. The VisArts Exhibitions Staff honored Clark with his award as well as a straw-fiber F.E.A.S.T. sash.  Clark invited guests, volunteer weed pullers, and interested members to an introductory class that he will be teaching  called Prospecting for Materials from Invasive Plants,

Is this where Vancouver’s East Feast evolved? or a coincidence?

(Love acronyms!)

May 12, 2012

Happy World Migratory Bird Day – May 12

Last night I was checking my facebook postings and saw that Vancouver Parks Board Chair Constance Barns is reading a proclamation at 9:30 this a.m. in Stanley Park and then there are free events around the city.

Just went to the posting to see that the poster illustration by Taryn Cheremkora is very reminiscent of my piece with a crow and a speech bubble/nest called Corvid Speaks. Cool.


May 7, 2012

Incubating Poetry

I am working on a new series of mixed media pieces.

Nests -made of dictionary pages.

Magnetic paint under nest so as to be able to add magnetic poetry.

Most have eggs with words on them – ready for poetry-making.

Some might have eggs made from dictionary pages with haiku written on them and then covered with tissue or rice paper and gels.

(this week’s thought – haven’t tried it out as yet.)  Stay tuned.

May 7, 2012

Writing and Desire

Do you find this to be true?

The desire to write grows with writing. Desiderius Erasmus

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