W: Weaving, Waxing, Waning

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W is for weaving. I’ve been playing with hand-tinting the looms of the round basket kits in spectral and hombré shades. I started with black weavers and rims, then went to a medium warm gray. After a few baskets, I thought the offcuts would make good banners or samples of the colorways, and then the idea was born for the Basket Circus + Exposition.

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Many thanks to Keli for participating in the totally legitimate focus group which determined this name.

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What a difference between black and gray for the contrast. I love them both.

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We’re getting to the glorious sunset colors time of year here in foggy-summer Pacifica. I remain in awe. Nature, you know she don’t mess around.

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Albie joined me a short time later on the front deck. This picture is significant because it answers the question, “What phase is the moon in?” Each September, my husband and I celebrate the anniversary of our marriage on the full moon. This year, it seems we have 10 or so days to go. (Hope we remember.)

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And finally — as if you’ve ever doubted — here is proof that cats can defy gravity. Even when they’re sleeping.

V: Vagary

V is for Vagary. Fluctuation, variation, quirk, peculiarity, oddity, eccentricity, unpredictability, caprice, foible, whim, whimsy, fancy.

I can’t think of a better word, or set of synonyms, to describe the new 1:12 scale echeveria kit available now over at MMS+S. There are no fewer than five leaf sizes and shapes that combine to make three sizes of a charming pointy-leaf echeveria. I’ve redesigned the build method, too, to start on a fine paper-wrapped stem wire (included in the kit), which is perfect for armatures (gnarly-armed structures) and general ease of shaping the plants.

Here is a bushel basket of prototypes, using both of the base colors — white or apple green — colored with alcohol-based markers. (If you want true reds and yellows — or blues and purples — order the white stock. If you’re good with more muted tones and want to spend less time coloring, choose the green :)

Possibilities of color combinations are endless (and fun).

This is a versatile kit, and a form to make a succulent wreath is available soon!

Let Scarlett’s tail and rabbit feet, seen here in complete repose, be your inspiration.

I recently re-found this unfinished Henri Rousseau-inspired collage panel, and glued it to the side back of the Modern Miniature Succulents + Sundries set.

The MMS+S set is in disarray, like many aspects of my life, but potentially still functional.

Zoom out now, please, to 1:1. The former owners of our house built this charming, funky wave-topped gate (seen here from the back). But, inexplicably, they painted the front of it the same dispirited brown as the rest of the decks, and completely ignored the back. For four years, it has *nagged* at me.

Yay go me. Here it is finished in four shades, by the light of the silvery security beacon.

Albie and I survey the change. You can just see that sad brown deck color peeking out under cat and mat.

This is the old hardware, atop the treacherous birdbath pedestel, for those of you/us interested in these things.

And finally. Keli and I have been challenging ourselves to … not let the bastards drag you down draw a random thing and post it on Instagram, until, for each of us, momentous events transpire. (For me, that’s undergoing replacement surgery of both hips, on 01 October, 2018.) I have chosen Crayola and ink as my drawing medium. We are #messy_k_enge and #curlymuenich, if you care to follow along (+also under our regular names @iseecerulean and @nancy_k_enge). We are expecting phat coffee table art book publishing contracts to swamp our respective agents.

How could they not?

 

A Surprise Mudroom, Keli’s Flowers

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The new year brings gifts of change, and gifts of gifts. I have scrapped the idea of a shower room in the Sea Rise Sea House Pavilion remodel, opting instead for a mudroom back entrance. Specifically, to act as a showroom for the gifts from Charlene’s legacy that Keli has bestowed.

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A mudroom fits right in to the spirit of the build, and believe me, these pieces from Charlene’s collection are exquisitely detailed and realized.

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I’ll show more detail on the actual pieces after I’m not so caught up in building the mudroom. Shown here are waders, completely handmade from very thin leather, paint and wire buckles. Tiny black seed beads for suspender fasteners. One of three (!) uh, two fishing poles, made of metal, wood, wire and magic. The tackle box will be the subject of its whole own post — there are tied lures with real feathers, and other stuff only fisherfolk know about.

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These are flowers realized by Keli from the EC01 Echeveria kit at Modern Miniature Succulents + Sundries. Wow, wow, wow. She made the leaves and sepals, and arranged them in a vase with microbeads.

They reminded me of proteas, and so now I’m all researching and sketching for a new kit. Thank you, Keli, for sharing the rich wonder of Charlene’s legacy, *and* for sparking a brilliant idea for a wonderful, waterwise flowering plant that plays very well with succulents.

04 May 2017

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Stormy is mortified that Zilly has taken up physical fitness, and insists on sharing his progress.

Also, many thanks to our readers who noticed the newsletter has not appeared :) It is late this month, sorry.

Sketchbooks Listed, Echeveria Eyecandy

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The sketchbooks are kitted and listed! Each kit makes three books. The pages are cream-colored and acid-free :) You have a choice of cover colors: black, Warm (orange, yellow and gray) or kraft. I went detailed on the instructions, and introduce a good vocabulary word: bifolium (singular); bifolia (plural).

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Here are three sketchbooks in Warm, before their bookmarks get trimmed.

I was shuffling around outside, pulling weeds between storms, and noticed this leggy echeveria on the shadier side of the yard is working on a flower display.

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Buds closeup:

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Love these colors. And just before it started raining again, (wind blowing, hard to focus) this closeup of a hen-and-chicks echeveria flower:

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Yum.

Honor, Office Essentials, A Sconce

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Earlier this month, I was delighted to receive an email from Uppercase magazine publisher Janine, saying that the Plastic Litter collage would be included in No. 33. Today, while flipping through a lo-res digital preview of the upcoming issue, I was astounded to see it was given a full page! Whoa and wowser. Above is a photo from her newsletter, with action shots of the printing process. Of course all of you are already subscribers, so I don’t even have to go on about how truly worthwhile and inspirational this publication is.

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I’m about three-quarters of the way through photographing and writing instructions, kitting and listing the four or five kits that comprise the new Office Essentials line over at MMS+S. Then it will be on to the wall sconce kit, which is through prototyping, yay!

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For my birthday, our water heater ruptured and flooded the under-house utility room for $1,750. Other than that rude occurrence, everything was lovely. Thank you! I’m getting back to work now!

 

 

Yikes

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The new issue of the newsletter Cut, Fold + Make just went out and I forgot to harangue you to subscribe, if you’ve not already done so. There’s a complementary 1:12 scale vertical file holder template, as well as some inspirational and obscure links of creative goodness. Don’t make my imaginary business coach scold me.

It’s chilly nights here in coastal Northern California— as is seasonally appropriate — and Scarlett is taking comfort as she finds it, in recently vacated slippers.

Colors

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It’s late, and the light is incandescent, but here is the first offering of 1:12 scale modern office accessories. There is a horizontal file holder, a vertical file or magazine holder, a cache pot (which means a useful container to catch all the loose things), a rubbish bin/trash can, and coordinating-colored file folders. The horizontal file holder can also be combined to form a two-level multi-purpose holder of things. The first colorway is orange, yellow and gray. Available over at MMS+S real soon!

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Scarlett has embraced the warmth and cubby holes of my husband’s music studio, at least in the evenings when he is home. For incomprehensible to me reasons, the noise does not bother her. She bites guitar strings and scales bass traps. And only occasionally chews wires. She’s such a good buddy cat.

Absent, Not Idle

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The Toto2 basket kit stalled when photographing the instructions, and underwent a minor redesign. Necessitating more prototypes and models, etc., as everyone who has ever been involved in bringing a product to market knows. At least I am my own boss and manager, and our production meetings are… relatively honest and supportive of everyone’s efforts.

Then I got distracted with designing some office supply products: a coordinated group of essentials, in different colorways. Here is the first, in gray, orange and yellow, that will eventually have a fashion name like Southwest or Urban Warmth. The kits will consist of a horizontal file holder, a vertical file or magazine holder (not pictured), a cache pot, and a trash bin. Oh, and coordinating file folders. The trash bins would also make stylish planters, given a coat or two of planter-style finishing.

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And then there was this development. One day I came home and noticed a small artifact on the kitchen floor… a tiny thing I knew was a prop from Argo Wool Works, which is next to the Sea House Warming Hut. Supposedly safely ensconced atop a six-foot tall cabinet, protected by a buffer wall of foam core. (Relegated there after the previous degradations on the work table.)

Breached. I knew not yet how. A day or so later, as I was working at the work table, I heard a thunk behind me and looked up to see Scarlett, atop the living roof. She is now agile enough to leap four feet in the air from the adjacent desk to plunder forbidden miniature worlds. And plunder and pillage she has done.

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I documented these first raids, then cleared all the stuff, and her, out. There have been many subsequent scruffings, even though she knows it’s wrong.

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The tiny shelves, once filled with wool products, are decimated. Her hopeful forays have been abated as long as I remember to position my Luxo lamp at an upward angle, blocking the leap from lower desktop to shelf top.