Ginkgo Leaf in Fog

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This month I chose to depict a gingko leaf.  This is my first non-native leaf, but I think that millions of years ago they did grow here, so it almost counts!  I remember my grandfather pointing out this tree to me years ago and telling me it had grown when the dinosaurs were alive.  This fixed it in my memory and when I met my fiance I learned that he too shared a fondness for gingkos!  Since John (my fiance) has his birthday in August I chose this ancient tree for this month.  He also has a fondness for bunchgrasses, which I depicted (rather abstractly) in the lower left corner.  The right is a fabric following design of ocean colored beads in tribute to the fact that the Bay Area this year has had an unusually cool August.  I've enjoyed all the fog rolling in off the Pacific, so I beaded a representation!  I chose the fabric color to match the colors of the year right now - Summer-dormancy shrouded in fog that awaits the rain.

Elder Leaf for July

Sunday, August 1, 2010

As the dry season settles in we still can find some green in Sambucus mexicana - the blue elderberry.  This project is pretty simple - a leaf, some flowers (upper left), and green, not yet ripe berries (lower right).  Right now most of the elders have green berries, but a few are already a deep ripe purple, and some are even still in flower!  I chose the elder partly because this fabric's colors reminded me of it.  In fact one of the reasons I used few beads was so I could still see the fabric's lovely hues!  The elderberry branches are used by indigenous Californians for clapper sticks and flutes so is associated with music here.  But of course this little tree has a lot of history and mythological associations in Europe, also, and I found out recently that the European and Californian elders are now considered to be the same species!  This much revered plant is one of my favorites so it was nice to represent the elder in beads.  You can see a leaf from one of my garden elders in the first photo!
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