Friday 30 May 2008

Old blue dairy window 1

This is my idea of perfection. I could spend (I DO spend) hours photographing flaky blue paint.

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Hanna Hedman + Sanna Lindberg

Hanna Hedman: Jewellery 2007-2008. Photography: Sanna Lindberg

Sanna Lindberg shot these striking photo's of great jewellery by Hanna Hedman which Karin showed on her Flickr pages of the 2008 Degree Show at Konstfack. Karin blogged about her visit. Read what Hanna says about her work here, also shows a really good photo of her work in 3d sketch form.

Touches of red

LA Trip, March '08, Venice parking sign

LA Trip, March '08

I've no internet access until Tuesday so I'm scheduling photo's for each day I'm away.

Monday 26 May 2008

Grey blues

LA Trip, March '08, Venice

I've no internet access until Tuesday so I'm scheduling photo's for each day I'm away.

Sunday 25 May 2008

Beside La Brea Tar Pits

LA Trip, March '08,
Planting around La Brea Tar Pits, colour in the soft evening light

I've not internet access until Tuesday so I'm scheduling photo's for each day I'm away.

Saturday 24 May 2008

Blue signage

LA Trip, March '08

I've not internet access until Tuesday so I'm scheduling photo's for each day I'm away.

Friday 23 May 2008

Mirrored glass

LA Trip, March '08, Building across from Paramount Studios
I love the reflections and the stonework

I've not internet access until Tuesday so I'm scheduling photo's for each day I'm away.

This building was beside Paramount Studios. We weren't going in for a tour, he just wanted a photo of himself by the sign. Of course, I had to take the photo, which involved standing on a street corner opposite the entrance/exit with a huge camera (he has good kit, big lenses etc) looking like some lone paparazzi who got the wrong day for a celebrity snapshot. We were there long enough to see George Lucas (I didn't know it was him, too busy trying to get a shot of my Brother) and Bill Paxton coming out. Another box ticked for 'things you must experience in LA'.

For me, the best part was when we needed to turn the car around and thought it would be easy to drive into the Paramount visitors parking lot, turn and come back out on the road we needed... but Bro got flummoxed and forgot to drive on the right. Even when the lady in the parking booth said "you can turn around and go out the right way" he still didn't realise until I squealed. It was very funny because it was in a safe place. Less funny was when he did the same thing doing a U turn on a a tight corner on a mountain pass and I nearly grabbed the wheel when he started to veer across to the left into what might have been oncoming traffic (blind corner). He was in a panic because he'd suddenly realised we were driving miles into the middle of no-where with an empty fuel tank!

Thursday 22 May 2008


LA Trip, March '08

I have no internet access until Tuesday so I'm scheduling photo's for each day I'm away.
This has reminded me that I've not said how much I've enjoyed Chelsea Flower Show this year, lots of calm, restful, contemplative gardens that are what I feel I need just now (though I still love colourful flowers and less hard landscaped gardens).

Of the large show gardens I think I most loved Andy Sturgeon's Cancer Research Garden because it had that calm green planting and water that my mind needs just now but also the most fabulous sculptural 'thought wall' made from waxed steel. It was like an architectural version of my paper and felt hangings and looked amazing on such a huge scale.

I also liked the thinking behind Cleve West's garden for Bupa, the paths curve around everywhere because people with dementia don't like dead ends (I never knew that). I like the section where he has the large sculptural ball with the angelica plants nearby, I still have a gap where angelica is meant to go in my garden near the fennel, i want the yellowy green kind people know well, but also the gigas variety with the maroon coloured heads, I think they would both look wonderful with the soft fennel foliage.

As I hoped there were also more examples of green walls and green roofs.

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Rain chain + reflection

LA Trip, March '08, Venice rainchain and light reflected onto a wall

I've not internet access until Tuesday so I'm scheduling photo's for each day I'm away.
I loved this rain chain, though I still can't get used to the fact that such things are now needed in LA. When we were kids proper rain was so rare in L . I can still remember Michelle, the girl at the end of our apartment block, coming out to see what we were all dancing and laughing about. When she walked into the torrential rain she was terrified and ran back into her apartment in tears! I never imagined someone could not have experienced rain. As homesick Scottish children we were squealing with delight.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Too much

Too much is happening, mostly not nice. I will post when it's all a bit calmer tomorrow. The positive thing is Mr P having a day off for his birthday (though actually he had to do marking all morning). The sun shone till lunchtime and he enjoyed 1/2 an hour sitting in the garden with the cat, the dog and a cup of tea. Nice meal planned for the evening.

Saturday 17 May 2008

Sun through the leaves

New leaves in the garden 7th May

Hey Jill, Great to hear of your functional desires in the garden, that's very much where I'm at with my sunny border (and by border I mean 4 slabs lifted). For years it had a mix of fennel, flowers, jerusalem artichokes and shrubs. It always looked pretty good and bushy but since the neighbours shed was built it's now the only full sun area left so I'm keen to devote it to things I can eat like goji berries (seedlings finally popped up, they are minute), gooseberries, herbs and perhaps some beans against the wall.

I've not got catmint in this garden, it died in my old garden but may fare better in this one, or round at Mr P's, so thanks for the reminder. I also used to have lemon balm, such a great smell. I had so many mints in my old garden, they really liked it there, but many went astray or died (from neglect!) when I moved, pineapple mint was my favourite for scent though it always looked a bit straggly and small. I think now I only have peppermint, spearmint and Eau de Cologne mint all needed to be placed somewhere more permanent.

Melted cat

On that really hot day (7th May) the cat, who had been rolling around baking in the dust outside, came in looking dazed and melted onto the bed in the shade. He was more asleep than I have ever known and didn't wake or even move his ears as I spent 20 minutes crawling around him taking photo's. He stayed like that, without moving for at least 1 hour. Hot happy cat.

The weather turned colder this week and today it's raining, but as always, I'm happy for the plants that will enjoy the water. I'm wondering how many of you are gardeners? I love how even a few pots or a window box with the right plants can bring as much pleasure as a large garden. I've still never found anyone willing to break up the vast areas of poured concrete in my garden so a lot of my plants have been surviving in pots, or carrier bags (now disintegrating) for 5 years. The hostas seem best adapted to bag life and never fail to perform, in spite of mass attack from slugs. What pests do you wrestle with? I know many of you live outside the UK so your pests could be very very different from mine.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Sheds & National Work from Home Day (UK)

Just accidentally deleted most of the images and links for this post! Here's what is left...

Ukrainian architecture found via microscopic

What an amazing building, I'd like that as a home office. Here in the UK it's
National Work from Home Day today which I discovered this when browsing the great blog Shedworking. I've been wanting to use waste pallets in the rebuild of my mobile home as well as for fencing and I've spent months trying to find examples. I was very pleased when I strayed upon Shedworking (I'm a true shed lover) and lo and behold, they had this post about a pallet built temporary shelter for refugees but it can be adapted for permanent use.

If I lived anywhere else I would have been testing all my house plans by building sheds (goodness knows I can never have enough storage space) but wooden sheds are now forbidden where I live, we are only allowed to put up metal ones, though luckily a wood one was already in place when I bought the house (and a metal one, I love having 2 sheds) and the rules only apply to new additions.

On the subject of sheds (and work), I was watching
The Apprentice last night. What has the Apprentice got to do with sheds you ask? Well, according to this post on Shedblog (yes, another shed blog) contestants Michael and Lindi were carrying on in a shed in the garden of the house this year before Lindi was fired. UK readers probably already knew, but that is quite literally the only piece of gossip I have heard in months. If I got a man into my shed there'd be no nooky, I'd have him fixing a cross-brace to the back wall because the shed is slowly but surely tipping sideways on the sloped ground!

My current plan, for when I'm well enough to tackle things again, is to build a dog house for Lucy to stay cool in on hot days, a hedgehog house (he/she currently has a little leafy corner but it's not weatherproof) and some birdhouses... all with different types of
green roof. Here is a link to another black lab called Lucy sitting outside her green roof dog house.

Sustainable Pet: Heart cat house (found via groovygreen)

Sustainable Pet: Birdhouse, bluebird

This will be my way of experimenting what will grow well because I really hope, one day, to have a green roof on my house extension. That is a very long way off, but it seems a good idea to start getting some practice with the plants now to see what survives best where I live.

I'm planning 3 tests. One with grasses, one with succulents and one with mosses. I suspect a combination of mosses and succulents will best suit the final roof, given that parts are in the shade (mosses) and the rest is nearly full sun. I like grass roofs, but I think it would cause too much trouble with the neighbours if it got straggly and I wouldn't be up there cutting it, though perhaps a loan of a rabbit would work.

Gallie Craig Coffee Shop, Drummore, Scotland.
Architect: IB McFadzean

I started the experiment a few years ago by putting broken bits of succulents on the nearly flat garage roof that backs onto my garden. The rain washed a lot of them away (it's not my garage so I can't build a retaining lip on it) but there was moss up there already and it held some in place. They are now doing quite well, though a lot is lost due to birds always pulling out the moss. On a proper green roof the succulents would have something to root into so I could pre-grow areas before putting them on the roof. Blimey, I didn't expect to witter on so much, but I never get to talk about my building passions these days with everything on hold.

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Lichen, slate, stone

My first attempt at a scheduled post, the answer to my prayers. You will have noticed I go through periods of frantic multiple posting then have a blog drought. If this Blogger scheduling works I can stack up finish posts to self publish instead of overspilling, or worse, getting lost in my now enormous backlog of draft posts.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

73,000 Clustr hits

Clematis on stone, only 4 flowers this year :(

A big thank you to all of you who visited, linked to and commented on Cally Creates in the last year. My Clustr Map has just archived and it says there were
73,000 manual hits since 11th May '07. Amazing. I never imagined it was possible. It has cleared the picture now and started a fresh set of red dots on the global map which is nice because I can watch it fill up again and see if the pattern of readers has changed since last year. I've really enjoyed seeing where you all live, getting excited each time a red dot appeared in a new country, or became a bigger size, and now I can have that excitement all over again. Already I see there is quite a nice fresh sprinkle of you, like new Spring growth. Very seasonal.

Thank you all for still visiting, even when I'm not so well and can't vary the blog as much as I'd like. Can you believe I STILL have a load of white posts from Jan/Feb that I haven't got round to fixing the links on. On the bright side, if I don't get them done this year I can just do another White theme next January.

Did you have good weekends? We had thunder, lightening, rain, mist and cold winds, but I was glad because the plants needed the water and now my water butts are nice and full for what looks to be another week of sunshine, though not quite the heatwave of last week. The sun is out today and it's clear that the sun rain sun has really boosted the plant life outside, more amazingly speedy growth (by Scottish standards).

I'm finally able to see where the sun and shade are in my garden, and Mr P's garden, since the new house,fence and shed were built
next door and the hedge removed. It's quite a drastic change and neither garden has any private space now, so no sitting around in my knickers doing my skin brushing! About 50% of my shade loving plants are now in sun and 30% of my sun loving plants are now in shade. I'm so desperate to dig them up and replant but I know that I'd be asking for trouble health-wise. I did a very minimum bit of moving to get the strawberries and ferns in better places, and then I got carried away and spent 6 days very slowly digging a hole to replant a clematis (a white one). I felt dreadful after that, completely worn out and aching from head to toe. That clematis better love it there! The upside of all the change is that there are less places for slugs and snails to hide. Now they have to go where the hedgehog can get at them. Midnight lunch munch.

Thursday 8 May 2008

Bleeding heart

Editing my flower photo's as I watch Grand Designs Live. I really liked the one last night with the guy who did lots of inventive things. He's the sort of bloke I've been looking for all my life so make my ideas a reality. He had made this brilliant running wheel in the garden for their dog, and the dog loved it. I'd have made one small change, I'd have it hooked up so the dog was generating electricity while running. I wondered if anyone was making wheels commercially and found this, not on sale yet but I will be keeping an eye open. It's presumably not as unique as the home-made one, but handy for those with no carpentry skills.

Lilac and bluebells

Spanish Bluebells and White Lilac in the garden

Daffodils and poppies

Faded Pheasant's Eye Daffodil and Welsh Poppy

A shady place to sleep outside

I was wrong, it's not Spring, it's SUMMER!
26ºC yesterday. Today, it's 24.5 in the shade with the North breeze cooling in a nice way. Heavenly. Lucy is having a tail wagging dream just now and making whuffy noises, I bet she's dreaming that she's been left alone in the house with all the cat food. She's stolen his food twice recently, wee bizum.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

22º c in the garden

Biplane over LA

Roadside plants, maybe wildflowers, as we drove through Malibu

Meanwhile back here in Scotland, it's 22ºc and it's not even lunchtime!
I got back on the bike today. First time in ages because my wrists and my balance were both bad for a few months there. I'm only doing 10 minutes by the house but it means I can give Lucy a really good fast run before the day heats up and then walk her more gently in late afternoon when it's cooling a little. Gave her a cold water rub soak when we got back because she was so hot from the run. She's outside drying off and completely fast asleep in the shade. I'm going to join her and do a bit more yoga. Mr P returns late tonight so I'll get my camera back for some Spring photo's.

I'm still not visiting blogs just now, I need to make the most of the sun to recharge my body after last year's non-summer. They say we will have a summer this year, but they said that last year. I'm taking no chances. There is rain due at the weekend so I'll do some blog reading then if I get the chance (Mr P may want to use my - ahem - I mean, his computer!). Happy days to you all. xxx

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Spring is really here!

LA pictures above and below, Mr P has my camera so I've not been able to take any of the fine things around here this week but let me tell you, Spring is really here!

We've had two days of proper hot sun, and suddenly hundreds of shrubs and trees have burst into green growth. The path which, one week ago, was just bare branches and low winter grass is suddenly alive with birds, and insects. The grass, nettles and wildflowers have grown at what seems like miracle speed and the bushes that were light and airy are suddenly all lush and creating their lovely shadow filled covered pathway once again.

It's quite astonishing. Last week the lilac was just tight buds. This week it has leaves AND 3 inch long flower stems almost ready to open. I can hardly believe it. Wonderful. No more thermal long johns under my trousers, no jackets, no jumpers. I was out with a little vest top on doing yoga in the garden, with Lucy and the cat sleeping in the shade beside me.

Welcome home Spring, we've missed you.

Monday 5 May 2008

Tunnock's in the sky

I was watching 'In the Shadow of the Moon' recently and took some photo's of the TV screen. I can't believe I never noticed this before, it looks like the moon landings, or rather, the return landings, were sponsored by Tunnock's Teacakes! See for yourself...

Imagine a GIANT teacake floating towards you. I'm getting the munchies just thinking about it. Teacakes have even got a page on Wikipedia now. I'd love to see a Tunnock's parachute, I also think a Tunnock's hot air balloon would be quite in impressive sight.

* Update: for anyone who's not from the UK, here's what Wikipedia says about Teacakes:

Products similar to the Tunnock's Teacake include the "Mallowpuff" (sold in New Zealand by Griffins Foods Ltd), the Israeli winter confectionary krembo, the Whippet cookie and Viva Puff in Canada the Negerkuss in Germany (more politically correct: "Schaumkuss") and mallomars in the United States.

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