Saturday, May 12, 2007

when bamboo fight back

I never thought i'd say this with absolute certainty, but plants have a mind of their own. it all started 9 years ago...

we have been members of the missouri botanical garden for years..there's nothing as soothing as walking almost endless acres of carefully tended gardens, intoxicating perfumes from blooming native & exotic flowers. everyone smiling, greeting hello to strangers. it was this feeling i wanted to capture. with that in mind, we set to work. evenings...weekends spent digging, weeding, tilling..finally, planting...we were proud of the end result...a small, shade japanese garden with a basin & a shishi odoshi...on the opposite side, a gravel pathway, bordered by uneven heights of logs, a pond with koi & goldfish lazily swimming away...chasing the bubbles formed by the waterfall cascading. our little heaven on earth.

2007...everything is mature, cherry trees blooming profusely, pink & white..flowering almond shrubs, orange quince, junipers, mugho pines, yews, hostas, water lilies orange, white, red...fountain bamboo arcing gracefully over trickling water...and...the other bamboo..bamboo..everywhere. what??? that's not supposed to be there...what, it's in our neighbor's yard, too!?!?! wait..this is supposed to be CLUMPING bamboo..NOT running...checking to read the label (which i've kept all these years for care purposes). yes, CLUMPING. i have this impending feeling of doom...someone, a trickster, a disgruntled employee...probably switched the bamboo & shipped it, with a huge smirk..."running bamboo, they would never know the difference when they look at it". heart beating fast, i leaned over the side of the that??? no! a single bamboo shoot has pierced through the pond liner- the same 45 mm EPDM liner, with the 20 year impervious-to-anything-mother-nature-can-dish-out liner!! with a sinking feeling, i walked around the pond...and sure enough, there were even more bamboo shoots growing..where they were never planted! i looked sadly at the bamboo..not quite understanding how something i have lovingly tended could turn on me so spitefully. i felt a sense of betrayal. with trepidation, i walked around the fast-forming grove..and saw shoots coming up..far, far away from where i originally planted it, those many years ago. counted 43 new shoots. this won't do! it was either the pond of the bamboo...

armed with pick-axes, shovels & loppers, my husband & i set to first, cutting the shoots to about a foot from the ground. with a sinking feeling, we dug, intricate maze of runners, crisscrossing. after hours of working laboriously, we cleared almost all of the spreading menace. high fives all around, glass of ice cold coca cola to celebrate...and made a solemn vow..unless it comes without roots, no more bamboo!

Friday, May 11, 2007

and more purses

been busy again with purses the past 2 months. seems like spring=gimme more bags/totes/purses...just too bad i don't make shoes, too! everyone seems to be pregnant, know someone who is, will be..not that i'm complaining...i enjoy the challenge. it tickles me to run into someone with a "steff" purse. the first time was at a mall 45 minutes from it was pretty exciting. i felt like a star for about 5 seconds, before i felt a tug at my son, grant, with ice cream on his shirt. oh, reality check!

i've started resin jewelry again, and working with beads, as well as kanzashi. having short attention span is the pits! i can't seem to commit to one project alone. hmmm maybe there's some pseudo-freudian claptrap to be pondered there, ja?

anyhooo, i've had my assistant (and i use the term generously), jason, helping me..since i'm sadly lacking in any drawing skills (though i manage to communicate my ideas well...good thing he understands squiggles & sticks)..well, jason's been my draft technician. it's a prestigious position, really, practically thankless. he's been great about making patterns out of my rambling gestures & vague sketches.

i've been equally blessed in my friends, too. my friend, melissa, has my purses displayed at her shop windows..right in front of the county courthouse. not too far, as it happens, from my friend, dana's bookstore..where my purses are lovingly displayed, too. dana gets the older, more conservative crowd=simple totes & bags. melissa's salon (karma) caters to the younger clientele, i've got the hobo's, the granny bags, the french shopping bags. glitters, buckles, faux stones, the works. either way, it's always a challenge to try to come up with ideas, color combinations. definitely no time to snooze!

i will be..branching out, as it were, at summer's end. i have sketches of aprons, headbands, tops, bibs, layettes, etc. i don't want to burn out doing the same thing all the time..knowing my propensity to be distracted & derailed when i get bored, i had better make sure i have enough variety...or i'd be in a catatonic stupor before long!

i have yet to set up my etsy shop, too. ok, i have it set up..just have nothing in there to sell. zippo. there's so many talented women in there with all the wonderful work they do with purses, i think i'm a bit intimidated. one of these days, i will have extras in hand to be able to, i would really like to have more than just purses, though. i want a veritable orgy of choices! (one can dream). for now, i'm content with what i have..a small, but thriving enterprise (i like the sound of that!). my plans for the future currently on paper...rather, there's a number of haphazardly sketched designs. with luck, and a lot of hard work....