Thursday, January 28, 2010

i need more walls.

ohmigoodness. "our circle is vicious" by j. bannon, and available in silver or gold. each is embossed, screened and signed by the artist.

as if the design of the thing wasn't lovely enough, mr. bannon graced it with glittery hand mixed metallic paint. the generosity! there are simply not enough gentlemen making posters in the world.

do yourself a favor and buy yourself one (or, at the very least, buy ME one) here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the marvelous patience this jenny hart must have.

do you know about jenny hart? she embroiders all sorts of wonderful things, from portraits of the divine ms. edith below to embroidered comics with gary baseman. what an amazingly flexible girl she must be. she's also the brilliance behind sublime stitching, which is what happens when you take a homesteady craft and mix it with sugar, spice, and a bit of sauciness.

i didn't know about her until my love for you is a stampede of horses was kind enough to interview jenny, which you are welcome to read here. and if you wanna see more embroidery, please do! its here and here.

wanna learn how to make a terrarium?

so, painting has been a little slow lately - but plant dorkiness is in full force. for some reason terrariums and bell jars have become an unhealthy obsession of late.

first things first - find yourself a container. this is one of the last jars in my house that doesn't already hold a plant. i had to dump dog biscuits out of it. no container is safe anymore 'round here.

this is a one is a little small, but it'll work. it's about the size of a big jelly jar. it has a lid, so it'll hold onto its moisture longer. that means a minimal chance of me forgetting to water it and then murdering the thing, so that's good.

here is the fun part - go find yourself some plants. not any plant will do, though; it's gotta 1) like humidity and 2) be small. midgety small, even. ferns are good. moss is too. extra points if you wanna put carnivorous plants in there, because that means you gotta feed them bugs by hand. it seems a little cactus would be awfully cute in a little jar - they're awfully gonna be awfully damp and awfully dead before long. don't do it.

now for the planting bit. put down a thin layer of charcoal, so the whole bottom of your container is covered at least 1 piece of charcoal thick. you can be fancy like me and buy horticultural charcoal ($4 for a decent sized bag!) or you can fish around in your fireplace or you can rip open an extra aquarium filter and use the charcoal in there - it's all the same stuff. it'll sweeten your soil, which is just another way for me to say it'll keep your soil from getting too acidic.

next you're going to want to add a layer of crushed rock, about 1/2 an inch thick. this adds a bit of drainage to your terrarium, and separates the charcoal from the soil so the charcoal doesn't decompose too quickly.
you know what else works for this? pea gravel! tiny chunks of broken glass! little bits of cement! if you find little bits of cement aesthetically pleasing, that is. i won't judge.

next - time for potting soil! soil from your backyard is not going to cut it, since there's all sorts of molds and microscopic critters out there that are gonna get antsy living in a jar. you should pour at least 2 inches of soil on top of your gravel layer, and then make little pockets to place your plants.
this terrarium is too teensy to hold more than my lil polka dot plant, but if you haven't used up every big jar in your house yet, you have the fun of creating a little ecosystem! mix tall & short! fluffy & needle-y! light green and dark!

please don't be the kind of person who takes plants out of their plastic pots and just plops them in the dirt. you're going to end up with roots that are too afraid to venture out into the new dirt, and they end up circling around themselves until it starves. no one wants that. gently massage those suckers and tease the roots apart. take out some of the the old dirt from in between the roots and spread out the roots when you plant it. let them know that it's okay to try new things.

last - water! it doesn't take much, just until it's a bit moist. you're going to find that you won't need to water it much if you've got a top on your container, since the soil will just absorb from the enclosed air the water vapor that the plant transpires. smart little beasts, those plants.

you might need a critter or two...

alright. now go out there and remember to only use your new-found terrarium powers for good.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Naoko Ito's "Ubiquitous"

very apt bit of art for my first month of botany PhD-dom.

you can see more of her art (cherry blossoms in jars!) here.

The Magnetic Fields' 69 love songs, illustrated

There may be no grander artistic feat than this collection of illustrations inspired by all 69 of the Magnetic Field's Love Songs.

by tom humberstone (chicken!) and julia scheele (skivvies!)

via how fucking romantic.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1. yes, i am alive.
2. grad school is great! thanks for asking!
3. no, i don't have time to blog.
4. see you soon, though.