Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best of Backwoods 2011

As this year is winding down to its final hurrah I am attempting to get a list compiled of what I need to accomplish (or would like to accomplish) in the coming months. 
This month marked the 1st anniversary of this blog.  My how time flies!  And do you know the most popular post of all here? 

The building of my studio..

It has been so popular that we posted the plans as others wish to build one for themselves.  These are not your run of the mill plans but a step by step for the novice builder. 


Many of you also enjoyed the inside look at my studio.  This is the tidied up version.  The before shot of this post is what it looks like a good portion of the time.


In third place was the building of the potting bench..


Not far behind was the transformation of a plain piece of linoleum into a Tuscan Floor cloth.

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But my favorite (which did not make it even into the top ten of my readers picks) is my Pottery Barn Clock knockoff..


I am currently working on some Farmhouse sign designs, it seems Farmhouse style is all the rage this year.  I have some vintage type fruit signs rattling around in my head and other farmhouse staples like Fresh Eggs, Farmers Market and all that..I need to get them painted up and listed on my website. 

  If you have any suggestions of what would you would like to see or may be a good one just let me know, I am all ears. 

Until next time…ta ta

Show and Tell GreenDomestically SpeakingTransformation Thursday

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More of our trip.

We are home refreshed and getting back into our regular routine.  I have been painting signs and getting ready to ship them while catching up on cleaning and laundry.

I have more photos to share of the Conservatory and a few from the Academy of Sciences.  It was difficult to get really good photos at the academy  but it really needs to be visited in person to get the full benefit anyways. 

In my last post I shared photos of the orchids primarily but the bromeliads were just as colorful and interesting.  The room they are housed in has a large pond centered in it and filled with aquatic plants. 


Bromeliads and carnivorous plants overflow tables, pots and hang from faux trees. Some have blooms and others have vivid foliage that is lovely.


A Pitcher plant..


Who needs flowers when you have fuchsia pink foliage…




Did you know that the Pineapple is a bromeliad?  The first ever cultivated or so the docent said.  If you look close you can see a pineapple growing in there.


So many interesting shapes of blooms.


And combination of colors



See the water held in the center?  In the wild frogs place their babies in there along with some extra eggs for them to nosh on as they grow, high up in the rain forest canopy.   The darker pink ring is actually the water line. 




This lily pad hanging from the ceiling is a casting of the one they have in the pond normally, right now it is dormant but they said this past summer it bloomed a least 15 times.  It is 8 feet across. 


You see the pink flower beside it?  When it first opens up it is white, then certain beetles land on it, it closes around them but does not harm them, and when it opens back up and lets them free it is then pink.  They do not know why. 

Some of the plants you may recognize as they are commonly as house plants. 


I know, you have had enough of plants.  Well, how about an albino alligator.  This was one of the decent photos I got at the Academy.  At first he just does not look real, you stare and stare at him until he moves.  An interesting critter.


The waxy green frogs are aptly names, they remind you of silly putty.



Nice big rattlesnakes.


And lots of butterflies in the greenhouse dome. 


You get the picture of how diverse the Academy is, an aquarium also filled with the most interesting creatures.  I found the sea anemones much like under water flowers. so bright and colorful. 

Well, that is all I have time to share this morning, time to get to work around here.  More signs to paint and I am finally getting around to building my painting table!  I hope.  At least it is on my list today.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

Hi all.  Today my husband and I took off for SF to enjoy the fine weather and a lovely weekend away. 

For those that do not know me well I am a plant nut.  I love flowers, gardening and plants in general so a trip to the SF Conservatory of Flowers was first on the list. 


The building is lovely on its own.  The weather was sunny today, and when we arrived was the only time we used jackets, the rest of the day was warm enough to just go in long sleeve shirts.   The tropical warmth inside the conservatories' Lowlands Gallery was heavenly.  It is a treasure trove of plants, many which are over 100 years old. 


This is Phil, a 100 plus year old Philodendron. He may not look impressive in the photo but that one elephant type ear leaf is nearly as big as my entire upper body.


They were transported in the Victorian era in glass boxes similar to this one below on ships.  This glass part comes down and acts as a roof on the wooden box. Inside the box now is a sweetly scented orchid.


Tons of gorgeous orchids were around every corner.


In many shapes and sizes, they seem to grow effortlessly in here.



I was so interested in listening to the docent explain so many interesting facts and historical tidbits that I did not get names of several flowers and plants that I would love to know the names of.


This one took me by surprise, it is an impatien not an orchid.  The flowers kind of reminded us of candy corn.


More orchids




A Victorian orchid case made from an unreal Brazilian hard wood that is 10 times denser than redwood and impervious to water damage and bugs.  It is also so heavy that equipment is needed to move things made from it.


This pergola is made of it and had to be brought in with a forklift.



Another shot of the Orchid Cases



This is just a fraction of my photos today but I will try to break it up so as not to overwhelm you with it all.  It was a very good day.  We also went to the Japanese Tea Garden today and tried out a local brewery/restaurant.  I do love a good brew.  All was good.

Have a great evening…
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