Sunday, May 19, 2013

take me along journals

Sometimes I love working small, really small. Thanks, Elizabeth for the suggestion to make journals. Their title is Take Me Along Journals because they will fit in your purse or pocket.
© K O'Brien, a few Take Me Along Journals

Each is hand stitched and has an original collage - I love them! I am taking them along to my Art Sale Soiree at Lynn Thore's home June 28. More on that later!
© K O'Brien, a collage on a Take Me Along Journal

Saturday, May 18, 2013

to do or not to do...

Sometimes at the end of the day I wonder what I did (though I never stopped)  and why I did not cross off anything from my to do list. Well, "must catch Bee swarm" or "must gather Elder Blossoms" was not on that list.
© K O'Brien, Elder Berry Blossoms on the bush
Last year I planted an elder Berry bush so I could make Sambacus Syrup for colds. Figuring the biggest challenge would be to keep the birds away, I was surprised this (busy) morning to notice the blossoms were falling. 
© K O'Brien, Elder Berry Blossoms gathered
Since botanicals are a main component in my collages, I was thrilled to have a new kind to use, and set about gathering the wet from rain beauties. Of course, some blew away...we're working with gentle things here.
© K O'Brien, Elder Berry Blossoms ready to press 
Now comes the long task of placing them away from each other, after getting the dew off, on sheets in the phone book before they wither. This process from start to finish takes over 2 hours and more time to press and dry. So there is plenty of time to consider why I do this. 

In my art work botanicals represent and express the fragility, strength, beauty, intelligence and power of the earth. They are what I see and interact with every day.
© K O'Brien, Forget Me Not, Hydrangea & 4 Leaf Clover
on Belonging & Longing 2 detail 
Looking back, flowers have always held an important place for me from Flower Power, to making flower Essences, to Power Flowers, to growing many varieties on our farm for table and the Bees. In my opinion our very existence depends on things botanical.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lots of Lilacs

Every moment that I can, I hang out with the lilacs. This year they are surrounding us because the ones off the west porch are mature. Weather has been mild enough to keep the windows open. The whole house has that fragrance, appeasing me for times I must get some work done. This for me is the true meaning of spring fever.
©Kathleen O'Brien, East yard with lilacs, columbine, arugula, phlox & fig
This is how they look on the upper terrace from the east porch. They hide the driveway and greenhouse & barn. Of course, there is the ever present mower.

©Kathleen O'Brien, lilacs looking down on house + cute Corgi 'o mine
This is how they look from the driveway, and what greeted everyone who came to the giveaway yesterday. The event was a charmed one. Most everything went to good use elsewhere, everyone had a good time. People took home a potted lilac, Irises descended from Long's garden lineage, seeds, art supplies and other treasures.

One really nice surprise for me was selling this collage. Thank you, Laura, enjoy it for years to come!
©Kathleen O'Brien, Belonging and Longing 1, watercolor, drawing, hydrangeas combined into collage, 15 x 11"