Showing posts from April, 2015


... For the last few summers, Robb and I have collected the Anise Swallowtail caterpillars that we find on our fennel, and raise them in our pantry.  This keeps them safe from hungry birds, and other predators.  The caterpillars eat voraciously, and form chrysalises quite quickly. After that, it's anyone's guess how long it will take for the butterflies to emerge.  Most come out in a few weeks, but some overwinter.  We need the space, so we don't keep a tank of chrysalis-encrusted twigs in our pantry all winter.  We stick them in a flowerpot in the garden, and hope for the best. On March first, I was watering my plants when I noticed this butterfly, freshly emerged from it's cocoon.  It was unfurling its wings and gaining strength.  It was a lovely surprise on a beautiful spring morning. *  *  *  *  * Blog readers who haven't abandoned us must be wondering when Robb and I are going to emerge from our blog-stasis.  In truth, we've been hugely bus

Wrapped in the Flag

.... If there has been a lack of activity on the blog of late, it is because I've been so inundated with work.  I've had virtually no life. I work thirteen hour days, and then pass out on the couch, watching British gardening shows on tv.  Apparently, I find watching other people work very soothing. Here's what we did, the week before last. On Friday March 13th, we drew a series of rectangles on the paper that covers our studio floor.  We spread the massive backdrop fabric out, and then carefully stapled it inside the boundaries of the boxes we'd drawn. You'll notice that we go pretty much from wall-to-wall.  There's about two feet between the fabric and the wall on the left side of the photograph. On the other side, the fabric goes right up to the concrete floor of our spray booth -- not so easy to staple into that. I cooked a batch of corn starch, and sprayed it onto the fabric.  This "sizes" the fabric, making it easier to paint.