Thinking about Spring

Lindsay-Obermeyer-Peony-Garden-Spring

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. — Claude Monet

Groundhog’s Day is around the corner.  If it’s sunny, Mr. Groundhog will see his shadow and tuck in for another
six weeks of winter.  Fingers crossed for clouds, because I am done with winter.  St. Louis hasn’t been hit as hard
as other parts of the country, but I’m not real thrilled with my fingers going numb and white from the cold.  

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Banners of Hope

©2014-Lindsay-Obermeyer-Banners-of-Hope

Hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of shattered dreams. — S.A. Sachs

The Fabric Arts Council of the Craft and Hobby Association has launched a new charitable project titled Banners of Hope. Each 8” x 12” banner will be on display at the upcoming trade show and then travel to the Charity Wings Art Center where it will be featured in their 24 hour crafty online fundraiser before traveling to hospitals and other health centers around the country.  

When offered the opportunity to participate, I leaped at the chance.  This seemed a no brainer for me.  Much of my work centers on the concept of hope often with a medical theme.  But I will be honest, this project proved incredibly challenging. 

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recipe :: fried green tomatoes

©2013-Lindsay-Obermeyer-Fried-Green-Tomato

...No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.
 --  Julia Child

Fried green tomatoes are entrenched in my memory.  Every fall Gam would head over to the farmer she befriended and pick up a bushel or two.  Most of them went into making her famous green tomato pickle, but I always begged that a few be reserved and fried up.  For me, they equal home, the hearth, memories of carefree moments. 

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Designer Crafts Connection :: Sticky Sticks Blog Hop

Stickysticks5

The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.  --  Robert Leighton

My mailbox is overflowing with catalogs tempting me with beautiful blossoms.  As daylight hours diminish, my thoughts turn to
spring.  Daffodils, tulips and hyacinth - this is the time to plant bulbs.  As I can't possibly grow every flower from every catalog
in my possession, I decided to make a few daffodils of my own.  Here is a trumpet daffodil, a daffodil with multiple petals, and
a classic white narcissus with orange center. I can almost smell their heavenly scent!

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recipe :: cherry rhubarb jam

   Lindsay-Obermeyer-Cherry-Blossoms

When we first moved into my home, I planted a sour cherry tree. I nurtured it and soon enough it was fully mature and producing thousands of cherries. The annual harvest begins around the 4th of July and lasts a few weeks. 

This year we had a bumper crop, so neighbors came to help.  We’ve been making jams, ice creams and pies, sharing recipes back and forth.  This is my recipe for cherry rhubarb jam. It’s low in sugar and full of flavor.  I love it with corn bread, but I bet it would go well with vanilla ice cream or even a slice of cheddar.

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Designer Crafts Connection :: Rowlux® Illusion Film Design Challenge & Blog Hop

Lindsay-Obermeyer-Rolux-Design-Challenge-Bracelet2

Color is the fruit of life.  --  Guillaume Apollinaire  

I'm a magpie.  I love shiny objects and rich saturated color.  When a sample packet of Rowlux® Illusion Film arrived in the mail,
I instantly fell in love with the product.  These 12" x 12" sheets are perfect for a multitude of projects.  Inspired by the roses in 
my front garden, I made this bracelet.  The colors shift with the light, hot pink, light pink, magenta, deep red, fire engine red.  The 
illusion of depth and motion is the result of thousands of tiny parabolic lenses that are molded into the surface of both sides of
of the material.  These lenses create a pattern of light reflection and refraction resulting in stunningly brilliant optical effects.  

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art :: more from the glass prairie

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Goat s Rue ©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Wild lupine

Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.  --  John Ruskin

Slowly the Glass Prairie grows.  Here are two more flowers - Goat's Rue and Wild Lupine.  
Each flower is made from hundreds of seed beads and wire using the French beaded flower technique.
I made each flower and leaf part separately before assembling them.  

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A Garden + Children + Paint = Magic

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project
"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist
once we grow up."  --  Pablo Picasso

Can you imagine a more magical place than a garden filled with sunflowers that reach the sky? Every where you look there is a new to explore.  

This fall I've been teaching a children's drawing and painting workshop at the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse.  We are ready to begin our culminating mural that will educate visitors to the wonders of this place.  We've studied how leaves come in different shapes and sizes, wondered at the patterns of a butterfly wing and have been awed by a seed sprouting.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project
 
©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Mural Project

The joy in teaching comes from watching their excitement as they discover how to use watercolor pencils or see tiny hairs on the surface of a stem.  They are becoming keen observers of their environement and want to share what they are learning.  The mural will be unveiled in February, a perfect time to look forward to spring.  

"This project is supported by a Neighborhood Arts Program grant
 from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events."


Designer Blog Connection - Handmade Holidays - A Terrarium!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Terrarium
 "The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."
--  Hanna Rion

Every year there are always a few people on my holiday gift list that prove to be a challenge. You know who I mean, that person who is on a diet, doesn't cook, is allergic to most essential oils and perfumes and has enough holiday ornaments to decorate trees up and down the block.  I love to knit and crochet, but I don't have the time this year.  So what to do????  Terrariums!  They are quick to make and can be personalized with plants and miniatures specific to the recipient.   Add a little Santa or gnome for that holiday touch.

You will need:
horticultural charcoal
gravel, pepples or marbles 
potting soil
fishbowl or glass jar of any size and style
plants of your choice (African violets, ferns, ivy, coleuses, small palms, baby tears, moss or lichens)
decorative pebbles
miniature figurines
small hand trowel
kitchen gloves
scissors
newsprint or brown paper 

Let's create!

1.     Protect your work surface.  Cover your table or counter with paper.  This will not only protect the surface, but make for easier clean up.  While you are at it, protect your hands and put on your gloves.

2.    Clean your jar or bowl in hot, sudsy water and air dry.  I supported my local charity shop by making container purchases there, but you could just as easily raid your recylcle bin.  Mason jars are also a cute touch.

3.   Add a one inch layer of gravel for drainage.  I used glass pebbles, but you could also use small rocks you've collected or even chips of broken crockery.

4.   Add a 1/2 inch layer of horticultural charcoal.  The charcoal pulls the impurities out of the soil and improves drainage.

5.   Add a 3-4 inch layer of potting soil.  Start fresh with a new bag of potting soil.  Have fun with it.  Make small hills for different viewpoints within your terrarium.  

6.  Planting time!  Arrange your plants in the terrarium until you have a composition you like.  Dig holes in the soil with the trowel (or fingers if your trowel is too large).  Snip off any dead leaves on the plants and then carefully remove them from their pots.  I bought a selection of miniature violets I couldn't resist!  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Terrarium

7.   Create a scene.  Add ferns and a few plastic dinosaurs for a Jurassic look. I wanted something a bit more whimsical and went for a gnome garden.    Add a few decorative stones or moss.  If using craft moss, water the plants first or the moss may turn yellow.

8.   A few growing tips.  Terrariums are easy to keep, even the blackest of black thumbs can manage one.  Add a card with a few tips.  Don't over water.  Touch the soil with your finger and if damp, hold off another week with the water.  Use filterd water at room temperature. Most water systems contain chlorine.  Chlorine dissipates in the air if you leave a full watering out overnight.  Trim plants if they grow too big.  

9.   Deliver in person. Call ahead as this is not a gift that can linger on the front doorstep in cold weather.  

A small bag of potting soil, gravel and charcoal is enough supply for 3-4 terrariums, so don't forget to make one for yourself!

For more handmade gift ideas, checkout the work in the Designer Crafts Connection webring wherever you see this logo.

Each blog in the hop is written by a designer associated with the Craft and Hobby Assocition.  We each have unique styles, so be sure to hop through to see what each is doing with this month's theme!


urban wildflower walk

 

Wildflowers3


Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.  
~Chief Seattle, 1855

While not as common as hostas and geraniums, wildflowers manage to hold their own throughout the Chicago region and are a primary source of inspiration for my Glass Prairie series.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Virginia bluebells

These lovely Virginia Bluebells grow in profusion in a small woodland strand of wildflowers next to the Evanston Art Center.  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer purple cone flowers and black eyed susans

While walking last summer through the Ravenswood neighborhood, I came across this gorgeous collection with purple coneflowers ,black eyed susans and prairie blazing star.

©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Purple Coneflower French Beadwork, photo by Larry Sanders
Here's my own rendition of the purple coneflower made from beads and wire.

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Blackberry Lily

The blackberry lily isn't a native wildflower though often seen in wildflower plantings.  It was introduced to the United States from East Asia and while it produces lovely flowers, it is invasive spreading by seed and rhizomes.   

A walk through an alley last summer brought this surprise, a great mullein at over 6' feet in height growing through a crack in the cement. It's another non-native wildflower, this time from Eurasia.  The plant spreads itself by reseeding.  If you have one in your garden and want to keep if from taking over, head it before it seeds.  The seeds are hardy and can last in the soil for several decades before germinating! 

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Great Mullein

Of course, wildflowers are as beautiful when fading as when in full flower.  These last two photos are from an mid-autumn walk through the Skokie River Nature Preserve in Lake Forest, IL.

©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Wildflower fall
©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Skokie River Nature Preserve