Sunday, August 28, 2011

Garden Wish List

Last week I wrote about how the local garden centers lacked the type of Arts & Crafts items I want for my backyard.  This week I went shopping on Etsy and created a Garden Wish List Treasury of items I feel would work in an Arts & Crafts style garden.  Please click the link to view the individual items.

How refreshing to see the artists creations in metal, glass, wood and stones for different objects from bird feeders to toad houses.  I prefer simple geometric shapes in earth tones that compliment the plantings in a garden.  How fun to imagine these in my garden!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bill Collins Garden Art

This time of year I check out the garden centers for good deals on perennials to add to my garden.  It's nice to use my purchases as an excuse for business expenses to create new card art.  So I've been cruising the places in Southwest Minneapolis and checking out the plants and garden accessories like trellises, pots and sculptures.  Much to my dismay, there weren't many that fit into an Arts & Crafts style landscape.  I know the trend for such gardens are Japanese influences but I'm looking for something different.  Bungalow owners, you don't want victorian or  shabby chic, do you?  When retail fails, check with local artists.

My favorite local garden sculpture artist is Bill Collins.  He created three pieces I have in my yard including this diamond marker that repeats a red diamond shape on our house.  The stained glass is wonderful when the sun shines thru it and it ages beautifully.  I also like how it looks great in the winter, too!  Since we have such long winters, it's important to have something that can stay out all winter and add to the landscape.  Bill's website is here and his Facebook fan page is here for you to check out his wonderful creations.

I want to hear from you if you have an Arts & Crafts style garden artist you want to share with me.  I also want to hear if you are like me and feel there's a niche to fill in Arts & Crafts style garden art.  What would you like to see?  I'm thinking of making an idea notebook and sketchbook of items.  Maybe patio pieces that use my fabric?  Stepping stones or garden markers with my graphic florals?  Let the fun begin!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Newly planted Lavender
I planted Lavender for the first time this year. My investment was just one plant to make sure it liked my border spot.  I had lost two perennials and some annuals earlier not due to the bunnies but heat, stress or in the case of the sunflower seeds, the perennials in front blocked the seedlings from getting enough sun and they withered.

My other reason for trying to grow Lavender was to create a new card design.  Melissa at The Linden Tree where I have cards, prints, fabric and rugs on consignment suggested it to go with other Lavender groupings in the shop.  I can always count on Melissa for great suggestions and ideas for future illustration ideas.  Her shop is
dedicated to Handmade local artists and specialty fabrics for your sewing projects.

Thank You card design
So I took some photos of my plant, brought some up to my studio to study and sketch.  The stems are quite long so I drew 3 stems in a consistent wave for repetition and drew the seeds with repeating ovals over and over.  The leaves had a fun looseness to them so I didn't regiment them.  I chose a soft lavender color and played around with the cropping. The one long leaf just seemed to point to an empty space and was perfect for the message 'Thank You'.

The card is always the starting point for my designs and I may extend the lavender into a print then a repeating pattern for fabric.  But first I will drop these off to Melissa this week at the Linden Tree.  Check the link and stop in to see her shop!