Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

Innovative Garden Ideas From Sonoma

Friday, February 10th, 2012
 
 

Hi all,

I can’t seem to maintain any sort of posting schedule since moving.  I feel stretched in too many directions.  I did finally upload a bunch of pictures from my phone.  I’ll try to translate them into some more regular posts!

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Sonoma since moving.  There is a lovely complex there called Cornerstone, which has some really beautiful, creative stores and galleries.  It also has a wine tasting room (of course!)  It  has show gardens from various landscape architects.  Definitely worth the trip, if you’re ever in the area. 

Here are some of the show gardens.  I wish I’d noted the landscape architects and artists, but I’m afraid I didn’t
 

More Beautiful Gardens

 

 

Show Garden

 

Show Garden

 

 

Creative Vegetable Gardens

 

More fun with veges

 

 

Beautiful blend of garden and art

 

Garden Structures

 

More vege beauty

 

 

 And some gorgeous Garden Decor from Potter Green:
 

Garden Decor from Potter Green

I am madly in love with Artefact Design and Salvage.  Here is a planter made from a Strangler vine:
 

Garden Decor from Artefact Design and Salvage

 
and more fun stuff from Artefact.  They have TONS of things.  Some have been made into finished pieces; both furniture and art pieces and some are raw materials.  Love this place!
 

Ornate trough from Artefact Design and Salvage

 

 More pictures to come!
 

 

 
 
 
 

Hitting the Restart Button

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Hi all,

I am back.  Our move out to California has had a much longer settle in time than I would ever have imagined possible.   My life was pretty much in a holding pattern for the first 3 1/2 months out here.  Among other challenges, I was never able to fully unpack and my dyeing workspace never materialized.  I don’t want to dwell on the drama of it, but we have moved for a second time.   We are now in a great place, my work areas are functional and I am ready to get on with living and making some art.

 

I had been working on cave pieces prior to all of this life upheaval, but am feeling very drawn to making things with nature images right now.  Making things that reconnect me to a feeling of peace seem just right.  I am busy screening pieces with vat dye and will steam my pieces at the end of the week.

 

Maine Pond (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

I have been spending time at a great local studio:  A Work of Heart and took a resin class.  I’ll be experimenting with using this new resin to incorporate mixed media into my pieces.  I’ll post pictures.

 

Dragonfly (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Thanks for sticking with me!

 

Tracy

Gardens!

Friday, October 7th, 2011

One of the really neat things about California are all of the gardening possibilities.  We are a zone 9 or 10 out here and that means you can grow just about anything.  I am particularly intrigued by all of the xeriscape or low water gardens out here.  Water is definitely scarce and it is the responsible thing to do.  I am inspired by how beautiful they can be!

Here are some gardens that my pooches and I pass by on our daily walks:

I love this one.  This is about as low water use as you can get!

Xeriscape garden!

 

This one is really nice as well:

Xeriscape garden!

 
An another:
 

Xeriscape garden!

This one is at the other end of the water use spectrum, though probably less water use than a traditional lawn.  Really beautiful:

Tropical garden

I have been working on my vege garden as well.  Beds are set up, landscape fabric is laid and I put down straw for mulch betweeen the beds.  The soil comes Tuesday.  The straw is a big hit with Lucy:

Lucy makes herself comfortable

 

 

Fine Art of Fiber at the Chicago Botanic Gardens!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

My fabulous guild, the North Suburban Needle Arts Guild is having it’s incredible annual show, “The Fine Art of Fiber” is happening at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.   I will have multiple pieces in the show and have work for sale in the boutique.

The show will run the following hours:

Thursday, November 4, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Friday – Sunday, November 5 – 7, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Come and say hi!

Door County Art Crawl

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

 

I am currently in beautiful western North Carolina, but was in Door County for a few days last week.  Door County is small, but they have a really high caliber of artwork in the galleries there.  There are enough tourists with an eye to buy to support the area’s galleries.  I visited some of my favorite galleries while I was up there.  Unlike my previous visit, this time, I had my camera! 

My favorite galleries not only have stellar artwork, but the owners have created these beautiful spaces to showcase art; often utilizing old barns or outbuildings and creating beautiful gardens to surround or display the artwork.  The use of space is as impressive as the roster of artists.  For me, they are a haven; a place of peace.  I step out of the car and I feel myself immediately quiet and pay attention.

I hope to create an artist space of my own as imaginative as these galleries in the future.

My gal pal Nina’s husband, Richard Edelman had a beautiful sculpture exhibit going at the Woodwalk Gallery.  It’s a great space and they had a gorgeous setting for his work:

Richard Edelman

 Here are some shots of the gallery space.  Here’s a converted corn crib:

Converted Corn Crib (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Here is a shot of the ceiling:

Corn Crib Ceiling (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

 My favorite gallery of all is the Edgewood Orchard Gallery.  First of all, they are the sweetest people on the planet.  All of them.  The owner, Nell, is an absolute peach.  They have a beautiful space with a series of gallery bulidings connected with patios and a beautiful sculpture garden:

Edgewood Orchard Gallery"s Sculpture Garden

The converted barn serves as the main gallery:

Edgewood Orchard Galleries

here’s another shot:

Patio leading to additional gallery space

and here is some of the incredible artwork:

Sculpture by David Valentine

and a beautiful piece by William Jauquet:

William Jauquet Sculpture

and a lovely piece by James G. Moore:

James G. Moore

Here are some other great galleries I would recommend:

The Blue Dolphin House for great garden art,  K Allen Gallery for glass, and the Fine Line Designs Gallery for both sculpture and indoor art.

I will post NC pictures when I return to Chicago.  I can’t seem to get them off my camera!

Taming Dragons and Layering Screens

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

I know I haven’t posted in ages.  I’ve been absorbed in revamping my garden.  I downsized my big pond to a smaller one that requires less upkeep.  It involved moving tons of flagstone in the summer heat.  I wasn’t really feeling too creative afterwards. 

I fished this dragonfly out of the pond and he seemed quite content to dry off on my fingertip:

My Pet Dragonfly

Here’s a shot of the new pond.  I dismantled the waterfall, but have water bubbling through this millstone:

New Pond (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Three of these cute green frogs moved in the new pond.  So far, my big frogs haven’t returned.  This guy likes to hide in my lotus plant:

Green Frog with a Personal Umbrella

Here’s a couple of shots of parts of my garden.  I have gone heavy on the grasses and shrubs because my Great Dane and other big mutt mow down anything much daintier:

Tiger Eye Sumac, Hibiscus and Grasses (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

and here’s more grasses in front of my garden shed:

Garden Shed (C) Tracy McCabe Stewart

and a shot of my old pond:

Fish! (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

and I did manage to put multiple layers of screening on my latest piece.  It combines both regular and metallic paints:

Screened Layers (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Here it is with hand dyed silk organza over it.  I like the look; a bit more subtle:

Layered Piece (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Great Blue Heron Visit

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

We have had a Great Blue Heron either living, or at least perching frequently, in a tree behind our house.  We are about 2 blocks from a pretty big lake; I’m sure it’s good feeding.  We have a pond with goldfish in our back yard, but with large dogs running in and out all the time, I don’t think the heron ever felt safe to fish our pond. 

I had the dogs with me in my work room this morning and looked out my window to see a really large swoop of wings headed for the pond.  The blue heron decided to risk the dogs.  He flew off before actually fishing, but I’m betting he’ll be back.  The goldfish have to look like a mighty easy lunch.  I had to take these pictures through the screen, so forgive the quality.

Heron invasion!

Travel Bug Continued

Monday, May 17th, 2010

In my current urge to travel, I have been visiting some interesting sites.  There’s a great site called Daily Bute featuring a daily picture of the Isle of Bute, Scotland as well as pictures from some other locations in Scotland.  I’ve posted about the Isle of Bute before (look at my Scotland posts);  it’s where I got married and one of my favorite places to visit.

Click on the link above to see some lovely shots.

Here’s one of mine:

Rothesay Castle (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Travel Bug

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Linville Falls (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

I am usually someone who goes on a trip and doesn’t want to travel again for months.  This time, I found myself starting to have an itch to travel again about 10 days after leaving Japan.  I am unusually restless.  The good news is that I have some travel coming up in the near future.  In the next month or so, I will be traveling to one of my favorite places on earth:  Asheville, North Carolina.  It’s been a while since I’ve made it down that way.  I couldn’t be more excited.  Here’s some pictures from previous visits:

Blue Ridge Mountains (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

 

Rhododendron Tunnel in Craggy Gardens (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

More rhododendron formations (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Spring fern (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Great Post on Leslie Avon Miller’s Blog-Getting Clear of your Inner Critic

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Mt Fuji (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

I am back from my fabulous trip to Japan.  I had a lovely day getting myself mentally and physically back on this continent:  loads of laundry, grocery shopping, walking my dogs, seeing what’s coming up in my garden and spending some time reconnecting with my husband. 

I checked the blogs I read tonight and came across two really lovely posts from Leslie Avon Miller’s  blog  “Create Your Best Life Coaching”  Her post is about getting back in touch with our power and our dreams.  after just having spent the last ten days taking some risks and fulfilling some dreams of my own, I especially appreciated this.  Check it out here and a really good short video here