Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gardening on my mind in Ellen's (round 3)

Ay yi yi!

Good news, Ellen's is on it's way to Andrea. I received several books all in a rush, so I'll be turning them around at the rate of one every 15th (on time, in other words) as long as they last. :) Also I now have the books to resume doing them in order, so Molly's should be up next, then Aya's and Ammon's.

Ellen's book, page 01

I started out working directly on the pages in Ellen's book, but the first full page I did, I completely wrecked. Like literally and structurally wrecked the paper. So I re-did the same piece on a separate piece of watercolor paper and pasted it in:

Ellen's book, page 02

Then the art gods smiled on me and gifted me a piece of trash in our lawn that I thought would make a really cool background for drawings:

Ellen's book, page 03

Ellen's book, page 04

Speaking of lawn...our yard has been a catastrophe since we moved in this house. It seriously bothers me to the point of keeping me up nights, it's so bad. I work on corners of it, but it has so many issues it's like one step forward, two steps back. Well, this hasn't gone unnoticed by the city. We got cited for being in violation of some city ordinance about not having, gosh, I don't know. Living green plants, or some such nonsense. :)

Anyway, the fine is probably no big deal, but I used this as an excuse to get a landscaper in once and for all to fix the front yard. Yes, in the middle of July they cited me. Like I can really do anything about all the dry and dead grass when it's 99 degrees out. Jerks. But luckily the heat broke a bit and we're having new sod laid and new planting beds outlined. So thus, I've had nothing but gardening on my mind. Like it's ever very far from my mind.

Ellen's book, page 05

Here's the beginning of a collab for Andrea. A while back she posted something she did around a photo of sky and clouds or powerlines or something and I really liked it a lot. Right then I thought it would be cool to give her two strips of photos and see how she connects them, so that's what I did here. I chose two totally different pictures in theme and in color. Can't wait to see what Andrea does! :)

Ellen's book, page 06


Moleskine Exchange said...

oooo, I cannot wait to connect those two photos! I am going to have to get out the fine, fine, fine point pens.

I cannot believe you got fined for not having a proper yard. In L.A! I have seen yards in L.A. Do you have a homeowners association or something?

That second page you posted in is quite lovely.

ballookey said...

Well, as bad as any yards you might have seen are, ours is probably on par. It's really bad. It'd be improved by being nothing but dirt. If we were actually in the city of LA, then yeah, they couldn't fine us. There's crazy water restrictions in LA because of the drought. They can only water like twice a week for five minutes so anyone who lives in actual LA probably has a half-dead yard or has gone to xeriscaping.

We're in Alhambra, though, who has their own aquifer and doesn't have to get their water from the same source as all the rest of LA. So they probably figure since there's no watering restrictions in Alhambra, then the grass should be green. Fair enough. But I don't think there's two blades of grass adjacent left in that yard. It's all these horrible weeds that grow up each spring, drop burrs everywhere, then die for the rest of the year. Watering won't help except to give life to the few patches of crab grass growing in there.

We were planning on tearing out out and re-sodding it ourselves in the fall which is ideal (and which would cost maybe a quarter of having it done), but since the city jumped the gun on us, we're having it done now. It's expensive and we're going to have to use insane amounts of water keeping the new sod alive in the summer, but at least it'll be done and I won't have to hide my head in shame when I go outside. ;)

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

OH! Those pictures are so much FUN!!! I love the watercolor you pasted in and the background--AND FOREGROUND of the junk art with the flowers! Very cool.

We got cited by the lawn police because our grass was too tall. It has to be loss than ten inches. I was in Slovenia and had hired a boy to mow it. I went out and measured the grass. It was four inches. Thatw as several days after the citation. I called the lawn police and they came over and pointed to a few fast-growing weeds that had shot up to over ten inches--there were like four of them. They were thin and hardly showed. I pointed tot he neighbors, whose lawn was much worse--and he said no one had entered a complaint. He asked me if I wanted to complain--he looked eager--so I said no. Someone blew me in for four or five stalked of tall grass. HELLO?

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I hope YOUR GRASS survives and gives you no more nightmares.

ballookey said...

I wouldn't be surprised if someone phoned us in and I really couldn't blame them. Our house and our neighbor's is in a highly visible location. Their yard is just as bad as ours, so it's a neighborhood eyesore, no doubt, coming up the street and having our two crap-holes welcoming you. ;)

It's just like, look, it's a crappy economy, there aren't any tax breaks, rebates, or any other kind of program to help people keep the neighborhood beautiful during these hard times. And it's freakin' 90+ degrees in drought conditions. Cut us some freaking slack and maybe wait until fall to start issuing citations.

Eh, whatever. I'm happy to get the yard into shape, really. I'm shopping all the nurseries and the Plant Delights catalogs to see what new things I want to put in the beds.

roma said...

Beautiful pieces, all of them. Love the contrast between the line drawings and the mixed media.

Drought conditions here, too. We do flood irrigation on our pasture, and it's several acres. My husband's only done it about three times this summer, to conserve water. It's kind of green yellow, not the normal deep green. Ah, drought.

This fall I'd love to do some landscaping in the portions of the yard closest to the house. But not sure we'll have the money to do it. Landscaping is pricey!! Good luck with your project.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

The line drawings are fascinating in their complexity and beauty!!!

Landscaping takes money, time, energy, water. Beautiful landscaping is . . . well--beautiful! And also difficult for busy people in a drought.

I wish you luck with it all.

We not only have lawn police, but also COMPOST police that come and check what yr putting in your compost and whether you might be attracting undesirable fauna. (eg: rats!) Our neighbors called us in to the compost police because our son failed to completely bury the compost.

Ellen said...

OMG! I love this!!!!

Something Different said...

I got ellen's book, this work looks even better up close.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Keith absolutely LOVES the line drawing, he oohed and ahhed over it.