Crazy about irises!

My mom loved irises – they were her favorite flower, and I share her passion for them.  George finds me the most wonderful assortment of different irises, and many of them just started blooming. The tall bearded irises showed themselves first.  Here’s one of the pure white, just starting to open.

Bearded iris

Bearded iris

And voila! The luxurious white petals are fully open, just a tinge of yellow on what I recently learned is called the beard, hence “bearded iris” (or one official source I found called it “the fuzzy line”) …

The yellow bearded irises started opening next.  Oh, I have to tell you that these bearded irises have the most interesting scent. George and I think they smell a bit like Pez candy. It’s not overwhelmingly sweet, a little powdery and with a tinge of bitterness.

Bearded iris

Bearded iris

And a closeup of the interior petals, intriguingly striped, and the fuzzy beard, a more saturated yellow.

A very tight closeup side shot of the wonderful beard – have you ever felt one? They’re so soft!

Next the Douglas Irises started blooming.  They’re natives and are much smaller than the bearded irises.  This is one of my favorites, the purple and gold leaves are very distinctive.

Finally, this dutch iris is still bundled tight.  It’s a cold but sunny morning, so maybe it will warm up and I’ll be able to show you the bloom later this weekend.

Dutch iris

Dutch iris

Whoo-ha! It bloomed, and so here it is ..

Some more photos to add! This is one of my all-time favorites, it’s a Pacific Coast Iris.

The outer petals are the most amazing rich burgundy color, with veining of dark gold.  Here’s a closeup of the flower.

Any irises coming up in your garden?  Tell me your favorites!

Advertisements

Garden Delights Arts and Crafts Open Studio!

I’ve been happily scrambling to get my messy workroom presentable for my holiday Open Studio and Gift Sale.  And amazingly, it was pretty much all in place by the time the first visitor showed up!  My friend Pam always comes on my first day, and gets her pick of the calendars that I print using my images.  She took most of the calendars I had made, I’ll need to do some printing tonight.  There was a lull after she left, so I kept busy taking photographs of the spruced-up studio.

This is the view when you come in the door:

The card rack is to the right.  You can see some of my framed mandala prints hanging to the left above.  The table to the left is in the middle of the room.  This is what’s on that table:

My mixed-media doll “Wings” is in the center.  Pet collars to the left (kitty collars hanging from the Lars stuffed animal).  My fabric-covered light switch plates are displayed in front of the doll.  This is a closeup of the pet collars display:

Just to your left inside the door is a shelving rack:

The top shelf has a night light, a transparency print in a frame and one of my fabric vases.  The second shelf down has a display of ornaments, including glass balls with mandalas and other designs printed on backlight film or transparencies, along with a dusting of glitter, some mandala sachet ornaments with pearl hangers, and my stuffed animal ornaments – some with squeaky toys inside!

In the photo above you can see what’s past the center table along the back wall — a hanging display with several of my purses, t-shirts, scarves, and baby onesies.  To the left, a rack with a fabric vase, my bowties, mixed-media handmade books, my Kaleidoscopes book, some coffee mugs I ordered from my Zazzle store, and a tile box.

Above is a closeup of that rack.  The piece at the bottom is an accordian of watercolor paper, with four of my abstract collages printed on lutradur and mounted.  I strung pearls across the top and bottom.  The bowties are jauntily hung just above that piece, on a jewelry bust.

The table above is to the right just past the card rack.  From left to right: purses, wooden postcards, fabric bowl, buttons, fabric vases, fabric postcards, and some night lights.  I love to use vintage pieces as displays.  On this table I’m using two old silverware boxes, sturdy wooden boxes lined with velvet.

To the back wall again, above is a display of the different kinds of boxes that I make.  First, the blue – I printed my mandala of a blue girl rose onto fabric,  quilted it and placed it into the recessed top of a wooden box.  The box to the left of that is one of my favorite tiles.  It’s a kaleidoscope design in rich deep browns, very craftsman style.  I make most of my own work, but some things I do have printed professionally.  This is one of the tiles that I have Tony at Changeyourart make to use as the tops of wooden boxes that I get at Aftosa.  The two small tiles in front of the blue girl rose box are ones that I made myself using lazertran on tumbled marble tile.  It’s a hard technique to master, and I often end up scrapping my creations, but I love how these mandalas turned out.  To the left of those tiles are some glass slide pins I made using my photos printed on velvet fine art paper or canvas, and encased in microscope slides that I outlined with copper tape.  Behind the brown tile box are two more boxes I made using lazertran.  The front one is a kaleidoscoped photo of a calla lily, and behind that is my kaleidoscope design of a fern arching.  For that box, I encased the top edges with copper metal.  To the left  is another tile box of my Lisianthus Flower design. Finally, the box at the far left is one of my favorite pieces.  I used the double exposure photograph that I took of myself and adhered it to the box using a heat transfer.  I embossed some copper and used the strips at the top and bottom edges.  I also made a dangle from pearls and glass beads, and with metal brads on mesh spelled out “treasure”.  Inside the box, I printed the same double exposure image onto silk and used batting to make it a soft pad on the inside top.

Past the boxes is more jewelry.  I have some hanging displays for earrings and bracelets.  Before I began my photo arts work, I used to make jewelry from pearls and beads, and I still love to do that.  The vintage jewelry box at the front right holds my lutradur butterfly earrings.  I take the photos of butterflies that my husband and I raise and release, and print my designs from the photos onto lutradur that I’ve coated with Digital Grounds.

Next a view of the other side of the middle table.  At left, a pile of my tote bags, which I make by printing my images onto fabric and sewing them onto the totes.  I used to make them with iron-ons, but I much prefer the fabric.  Most of them I back with batting and then do some free-motion quilting.  To the right is another vintage jewelry box that I’ve piled with my original design fabric jewelry.  There are fabric bracelets with snaps and buttons, sachet-lets, and my sculptural braided fabric bracelets.

Turn around to see a plush pile of my pillows:

Next, a view of my barely disguised supply shelves.  I don’t really try to turn it into a display, I usually just put some of my work in front of the supplies:

And finally, I covered our washing machine with a delightful vintage fabric, and used it to show off a variety of things:

The soaps that my husband George makes are displayed in front and in the basket at the top left.  He makes the most wonderful soap from natural ingredients using an assortment of molds.  His most popular is the mold of a curled-up sleeping kitty, and close favorites are a butterfly and hummingbird.   He makes a variety of soaps, both cold process and melted.  To the right is a basket of sachets that I make from my fabric, which I fill with heavenly lavender flower buds (and some with rose buds).  The backs of the sachets are gauze, so you can see the flowers.  Behind the sachets is a  basket with catnip bags.  I use the strongest catnip I’ve found, Cosmic brand, and put various fun animals photos printed onto fabric on the front.  When I do Open Studio the cats are forbidden from coming down here, because they’d make a beeline for the catnip bag display and wreck the merchandise (yes, I know this from experience).

Tomorrow if I get a lull I’ll take you on a tour of the art that’s hanging on the walls … Come on by to see it yourself if you’re in the Bay Area!

Open Studio and Gift Sale 2010

Okay, I know it’s early to think about the holidays — I couldn’t believe that they already started airing Christmas ads on TV.  So think of this as just a “save the date” post.   After five steady years of holding Open Studios twice a year, I skipped last year.  But I have so many new wonderful gifts and creations to share with you, I decided to resume and I will hold my Holiday Gift Sale and Open Studio the first two weekends of December this year.   If you’re in the Bay Area, come on by for some yummy treats and good conversation — December 4-5 and 11-12, from 10 am to 5 pm.  You can email me for directions or if you have other questions.  I have a wide range of  my handmade gifts (for yourself or for friends and family), at all different prices – many under $20.  And if you follow my blog, you know I have some special new gifts for your pets!

I’d love to send you a postcard reminder – just email me your mailing address.  If you can’t make it this year, I have a lot of work to share with you in my new Artfire gallery, or check out the new ornaments and other things (t-shirts, totes, sneakers, ties, etc.) with my images on them in my Zazzle gallery.

California Native Plant Society – 2010 Native Plant Fair

Bay leaf mandala

Bay leaf mandala

The East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society presents the 2010 Native Plant Fair at the Native Here Nursery, 101 Golf Course Drive in Tilden Park, Berkeley.  Fair hours are 10 to 3 on Saturday, October 16 and noon to 3 on Sunday, October 17.

Come for  a wonderful selection of local native plants, seeds and bulbs, lectures, books, posters and gifts — as well as to see the local photographers and craftspeople with their native and nature-related arts and crafts.  Free admission!

Trillium chloropetalum  in redwood sorrel

Trillium chloropetalum in redwood sorrel

I will be there both days — please stop by my table to say hello.  I’ll bring a great selection of my original nature-based arts and crafts works, including many prints of native plants, butterflies and insects, my fabric art, tile boxes, and much more!  I also have a new series of mandalas and mandalas that I created from my photograph of the California native Bay Leaf.

Bay leaf mandala

Bay leaf mandala

This event is a major source of funding for the East Bay CNPS.   Over twenty people volunteer regularly at the Native Here Nursery, open year round to benefit the chapter through sales of local native plants.  Click here for more information about the Fair, including a catalog of plants that will be for sale.

Art Quilts & Fabric Hangings : One-day workshop

Workshop taught by Heidi Rand

Canyon Trail Art Center, El Cerrito California

Saturday June 19, 2010 – noon to 4:00 p.m.
$50 + materials

Lars quilt

Lars quilt

Further adventures in the exciting new world of fabric printing!  Offered for the first time — a hands-on workshop where we will explore printing your fabric and designing a small art quilt or hanging.  Even if you’ve never made a quilt before, this workshop will teach you basic art quilt construction.  We go beyond quilts used for bedding, by adding embellishments and mixed media elements, and framing or hanging options.   Basic inkjet printing and sewing knowledge is helpful, but not required.

Golden butterfly art quilt on canvas

Golden butterfly art quilt on canvas

I’ll show you many examples of the kinds of art quilts and hangings you can make using your inkjet printer and sewing machine. You’ll get lots of new ideas about what to do with your images and designs, and the knowledge to go home and start making your own personal fabric-art piece!

Lavender rust quilt

Lavender rust quilt

Bring a flash drive with your images, or letter-sized images to scan.   If you want to begin sewing your piece at the workshop, bring your sewing machine and some possible backing fabric.  Pre-registration required.   Please email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com

Upcoming workshops:

Saturday July 17, 2010 noon to 4:00 p.m.  Inkjet transfer techniques. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday August 29, 2010, noon to 3:30 p.m. Photo Art : Altered Imagery. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday September 19, 2010, noon to 4 p.m. Beyond paper : inkjet printing on alternative surfaces.  El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday October 24, 2010, noon to 3:30 p.m.  Exploring lutradur.  El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Sunday November 21, 2010, noon – 3:30 p.m.  Handmade gifts with your inkjet printer. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

Have questions? Interested in registering?  Please email me

If you can’t make the workshop, I also have an ebook to teach you to print on fabric and online classes at CraftEdu

Saturday June 19, 2010, noon to 4. Art quilts and fabric hangings. El Cerrito Canyon Trail Art Center

This Sunday! Celebration of Old Roses

Is your garden exploding with roses like ours?  We have the most intoxicating roses climbing the fence (Sally Holmes), draped over the trellis (Ispahan), peeking around the orange tree (Double Delight), trying to hide from the deer (Blue Girl), climbing up the willow tree, and just blooming gloriously (Graham Thomas, Butterscotch) …..

Blue girl rose kaleidoscope

Blue girl rose kaleidoscope

So timing couldn’t be better for the yearly Celebration of Old Roses, sponsored by the Heritage Rose Group, and held the Sunday after Mother’s Day.  This year the Show will be this Sunday, May 16th from 11 am to 4:30 pm.  It’s at the El Cerrito Community Center, a few blocks east of the main drag in El Cerrito, San Pablo Avenue.  The Center is at 7007 Moeser Lane, cross street is Ashbury.  The event and parking are free.

Butterscotch rose

Butterscotch rose

The heart of the event is the hundred-foot display of roses — everyone from expert cultivators to garden-fanatics to hobbyists to people who just have one rose bush in their yard bring cut roses to show. They are grouped and arranged, and the result is an intoxicating display of scents and colors. So pull out your shears,clip off a couple of your best roses, and bring them by!  Have a rose that you can’t identify?  Bring a bloom in and get an expert’s opinion…

Sally Holmes rose

Sally Holmes rose

In addition to the roses, an array of arts and crafts and rose-related products will tempt you — just view, or  purchase if you can’t resist!  My favorites include a vendor who sells rose and nature themed books, and two vendors who offer rose flavored jellies and jams and  locally-produced honey.

Garden Delights display

Garden Delights display

I have had a booth with our artwork and crafts at the Celebration for the past five years.  This year I’m going to be in the main hall again, competing with the rose display for attention.  I’ll bring the work that I make from my original photographs, mostly rose and flower-related, including jewelry, scarves, tiles, boxes, vases, sachets, and much more!  Go to smell the roses, then stop by to say hello…

If you have any questions about the Show, please email me at HeidiRand@gmail.com

Native Orchid Hike – Mount Tam

My husband is an orchid lover, and I get the benefit of his amazing green thumb and extensive knowledge by having so many beautiful and unusual orchids to admire and photograph.  He’s also an expert on native plants. The intersection of these two passions leads us to take a yearly hike around this time to Mount Tam, to find a few of the native orchids that bloom there in the springtime.  The first flower we found on our trek along the Matt Davis Trail was this  iris, though.  We’re not sure whether it’s a Douglas Iris or another species.

Iris

Iris

Our next sightings were almost simultaneous.  George saw a calypso orchid, also called “fairy slipper” not far along the trail.

Calypso orchid

Calypso orchid

I had walked a bit ahead, right by the calypso orchid — I missed it because the flowers are so small, their blooms being only about an inch.  If they weren’t so brightly colored, it would be easy to miss them completely.

Calypso orchid

Calypso orchid

Then I made my own discovery – right before he called out to me to come back to see it, I spotted a gorgeous coralroot orchid (Corallorhiza).

Coralroot orchid

Coralroot orchid

The one on the right is in full bloom, and larger than most of the ones we saw here last year.  The flowering portion was about 3 to 4 inches.  These coralroots don’t produce chlorophyll, and have a symbiotic relationship with fungi to survive.  Here’s a closer look at the bloom, with a little bug resting on it:

Coral root

Coral root

This is a spotted coralroot (Corallorhiza Maculata) – you can see the little spots on the flower.  Most of the coralroots we saw on our hike were like these.  Here’s a stand of them that hadn’t bloomed yet.  They were far off the path and I didn’t want to disturb the hillside, so I couldn’t get too close.

Coral root stand

Coral root stand

We climbed up one side-path and found a wonderful stand of calypso orchids.  We had seen many lone calypsos scattered along on both sides of the trail, but this grouping was unusual.  George said they probably bloomed in this same spot over many years.

Stand of calypso orchids

Stand of calypso orchids

George’s next coup was to find another species of coralroot!  This is a striped coralroot (Corallorhiza striata).  He took this photograph because I didn’t want to climb up the hill to get a close shot.

Striped coral root

Striped coral root

We also saw a wonderful tall stand of fritillaries, but they were on the down-hill side of the path and in a place even George wouldn’t climb to get a photograph.

Fritillary

Fritillary

Okay, I had to include a photograph — I took this one of a fritillary blooming near the same location two years ago.

It was a very successful trek. We laughed about the robust youngsters zooming past us on the trail, missing the amazing native orchids and other treasures just off the path.  We were also happy to meet some wonderful people who were extremely interested in our finds, and who shared with us their knowledge about bird calls and other plants.  We have some of the GPS coordinates for the orchids, email me if you want to know them.