Spring Color Combinations

Posted on April 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm | No Comments


The Japanese Maple’s leaves have an interesting bluish undertone that complements the Chocolate Chip Ajuga’s blooms. To see these colors better, click on the photo for a much larger version.

I get a kick out of looking at my Japanese Maple when the sunlight is at a level where the light passes through the leaves. At that moment their red is fiery, but when the leaves move into shadow a blue tone cools the color. The Chocolate Chip Ajuga’s purple blooms are the perfect foil to the maple’s quieter tones. After two years of seasonal setbacks, I am hoping the Ajuga will recover and spread. The latest reversal is the result of several long weeks this winter in which the foliage was smothered in a frozen snow mixture for extended periods of time that burned back the evergreen leaves. And now there’s a new layer of compost and mulch covering the foliage that did survive. Hopefully the blooms are a hint that the green creepers will soon follow, and the plants will be at least the same size if not larger than last year. But I won’t be holding my breath.

Dog Windows

Posted on March 30, 2014 at 8:34 pm | One Comment


Since the neighbor’s dogs weren’t outside, I had to entice my dogs into posing with scattered treats at the base of the fence. Only Bertha showed me a profile, while the twins were inhaling mulch.

Something had to be done to stop the noise and destruction. While Brewster was working out his jaws on my custom interior and exterior painted woodwork, Beulah was busy ripping out the neighbor’s fence hoping for some face to face social exchange with the two dogs next door. Every time I or my neighbor blocked up a hole, Beulah would start afresh somewhere else along the fence. In the above photo you might notice the chewed up wood. After four large holes, many starter holes, and an entire length of fencing covered with jaw marks, I turned to my contractor Bert Watford to help me implement a plan for repairing the fence, creating three windows, and covering the lower third of the entire length with hardware cloth. The hardware cloth and windows were my idea, but I needed help working out the details. Thanks to Bert, in one long day the entire job was done. Now the dogs can see each other, and the noisy violence has subsided.

At The Reading Room

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 11:29 am | No Comments


Nicholas G Miller, FilmSoundMacro, 2013

Common Sense
Nicolas G Miller
March 15 — April 13, 2014
opening reception 3/15 from 6 to 9 pm

The Reading Room will present Common Sense by Nicolas G Miller (Marfa,Texas) March 15 through April 13. Common Sense is an installation involving sound and sculpture that deals with ideas of communal, aesthetic experience and its relationship to moral judgment. The “soundtrack” for the exhibition is derived from Low Frequency Effects tracks of Stephen Spielberg films. LFE tracks manifest as low rumblings that give a bodily sensation and are used to “fill in” the sounds of thunder, explostions, crashes, etc.

Miller lives and works in Marfa, Texas. He received a BS in math and physics from the University of North Texas and studied music and art at CalArts. In 2013 he received a Dallas Museum of Art Kimbrough award. Miller is known for his musical compositions, including the opera APOTENTIALLYGOODEXPERIENCE, and his artist’s editions project Recondite Industries. His work has been shown at Marfa Book Company and The Locker Plant; and he was an artist-in-residence at Colpa Press where he produced a limited edition publication.

Pink Buds of Hope

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm | No Comments


The sun may be out, but so was the wind, making focusing impossible.

My two Flowering Quince shrubs (Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Toyo-Nishiki’) are the first to show obvious signs of spring. For almost ten years, these two had been in a dark back corner of my front garden where the expanding tree canopies had completely blocked out the sun. Since their transplantation during my front garden’s makeover two years ago, they have recovered and are currently thriving in their new spot next to the sidewalk. Now anyone passing can easily see and enjoy these two showoffs.

Auntie Mame (1958)

Posted on February 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm | 3 Comments



Glamorous hints of what’s to come.

“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” As one of the most, if not the only, influential design films ever created, Auntie Mame is long overdue for a spot on this blog. In a Wall Street Journal story a few years ago, Jonathan Adler was quoted as saying “Watching Auntie Mame is a right of passage for every aspiring interior decorator.” It’s a bona fide cult classic among us design aficionados.

Art director Malcolm Bert and set decorator George James Hopkins created six types of décor—Chinese, Twenties Modern, Postmodern Neoclassical, English, Danish Modern, and East Indian—to parallel the plot’s story lines. And every one of them is a feast for the eyes. Out of a total of 291 captured stills, I chose 115 to showcase here. To see them all, click on the link below. Once there, you have the option to click on any image and start a manual slideshow of the large scale versions of all 115 stills.

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