Thursday, January 26, 2017

Pretty slipper

Here's a pretty one-

Paph. Hsinying Alien ((Paph. Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Paph. Raisin Pie 'Hsinying') x sib}

This is a tropical lady's slipper orchid, a hybrid Paphiopedilum.  Its full name is...

Paph. Hsinying Alien...

and this plant is specifically from the cross (Paph. Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Paph. Raisin Pie 'Hsinying') x sib

...but I just call it gorgeous.

Paph. Hsinying Alien ((Paph. Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Paph. Raisin Pie 'Hsinying') x sib}

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Curtain update

Great progress on the hardanger curtain! I gave one end a quick press to be able to see the design better and evaluate where I am.  I'm designing this as I go along, so I needed to check things out.

Hardanger curtain 1.25.17

I have finished the bottom diamonds, I have finished the middle zigzag.

On to the upper part of the design!

And then... cutting and filling!  The super fun part!

Hardanger curtain 1.25.17

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I couldn't help it.

I was at the store and there were plants and they were so pretty and it just followed me home and it's not my fault and really it's OK because it's winter and we all need color in winter.

Oncidium Twinkle 'Sunlight'.

Oncidium Twinkle 'Sunlight'

This is another Oncidium Twinkle variety, like the white one I posted a little while back.

Orchid crosses are funny things.  Because this has the same grex name (Twinkle) you know that this plant has the same heritage as my white version.  Both are the offspring of crossing the species Oncidium sotoanum (which is pink) and Oncidium cheirophorum (which is yellow).  Any crossing of any two individuals of these species by anyone anywhere in the world will result in plants named Twinkle.  However, because of natural variation, a wide variety of colors can result.  There are Twinkles that are white, yellow, pink, and red. 

The cultivar names ('Sunlight' and 'Fantasy' in the case of my two plants) are how particular individual plants are distinguished.  Once a clone has been identified and named, only it and it's vegetatively propagated offspring can carry that name.  Therefore, every Oncidium Twinkle 'Sunlight' on the planet can traced back to one particular plant, which has been subsequently divided or mericloned.

Anyway, I've wanted a yellow Twinkle for a long time.  They're so cheerful!  When I saw this one I had to get it, even though the blooms are fully open and the display won't last super long.  It'll bloom again.

This is a well established plant, too, with six spikes! Like the white one, it's very fragrant.  This yellow one doesn't smell like chocolate at all, though.  This one smells like fruity vanilla.  I love it.

Oncidium Twinkle 'Sunlight'

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Amaryllis number six!  This is Joker, a miniature double amaryllis.  The flower is only about three inches across, but beautifully ruffly and streaked.

Amaryllis Joker

This is another new bulb, and still unrooted.  The bulb is looking a little stressed, but hopefully it will grow some roots soon and plump back up.

It's a sweet little flower.

Amaryllis Joker

Friday, January 20, 2017

Those who do not learn from the past...

I wonder if there are an unusual number of time travelers present in the world today.

I wonder if future historians and rubberneckers and other morbidly curious folk have come back to see this day in history, as perhaps time-tourists also visit Sarajevo in 1914 or Hispaniola in 1492.

"Today," they are saying to each other in despair, "today is when it began."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


A red-tailed hawk just swooped across the street into the flock of Bohemian waxwings in the mountain ash tree by my house. They scattered everywhere and one flew into the window.

Emma and I went out to look, and it was lying in the snow gasping. I picked it up so I could move it to a non-snowy spot to recover. It gaped its beak and shivered for a few seconds, then gave a little shudder and died in my hands.

Bohemian waxwing

It was so sad and more than a little humbling to be witness to the actual moment, that sudden stillness, when it was no longer a beautiful live creature.

Bohemian waxwing

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Amaryllis number five for the year is Evergreen.

Amarylis 'Evergreen'

This is the first green amaryllis I've ever bloomed.  I do have another, Green Dragon, that I got last year, but it was a very small bulb and hasn't bloomed for me yet.

This one was a request from Emma, who was enchanted at the thought of a green flower. And it really is green!  Sort of a pale chartreuse lime, shading to darker in the middle. Very pretty.

This is one of the Cybister varieties of amaryllis so the flowers are fairly small, about 4 inches in diameter.  However, there are nine (NINE!) flowers on this scape, and another scape on the way.

I like it very much.  I'm a little worried about the bulb, though, because it hasn't grown any roots yet and two floriferous scapes is a lot of stress on an unrooted bulb.  Depending on how much the bulb shrivels, I may cut off the second scape to let it recover.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Curtain progress

Still going on the hardanger curtain!  I finished quite a bit over the weekend as I hunkered down during the blizzard.

hardanger curtain in progress

As you can see, I basted in some temporary guidelines to help with the counting on that upper row of zigzags.  It's all too easy to get a thread or two off when you're working at a distance from the row below, and unless everything lines up perfectly exactly, you're in trouble and just have to pick it out and start over.  In the cut-out areas of hardanger, there is no "almost right."

So the hour and a half it took to put in those basting lines and double check that they followed the exact same thread all the way across the curtain was time well spent.  Now I can do the second row of kloster blocks and the eyelets, with no worries that things will be cattywompus when I get to the cutting-out part.

And just for a reference scale, here's how big the curtain is!  (With a little extra fabric around the edges, of course.)

hardanger curtain in progress

Friday, January 06, 2017

Truth in Dreams

I spent all of last night dreaming about trying to do impossible things.

I was trying to run upstairs but the stairs never ended.

I was trying to put grubs in a bag and tie it closed to take home (not as weird as it seems, I have a bearded dragon who eats grubs), but the grubs kept multiplying so fast that they filled the bag and overflowed before I could tie it shut. I had to keep getting bigger and bigger bags but they just kept multiplying faster and I couldn't keep up. If I could have just tied the bag they would have stopped multiplying, but I couldn't get ahead of them.

I had to pick up Emma from school but I was on a work trip and didn't have enough time to get back to La Grande before school was out. I kept trying to calculate the travel time but the clock was running too fast, ticking over one minute every second.

I was trying to shovel the driveway but it kept getting snowed in again right behind me.

I was washing dishes but more and more kept appearing on the counter.

I was trying to count the pretty pebbles we found at the beach in August, but I kept spilling the jar and having to start over.

I was hiking and every time I got to the crest of the ridge and thought I was at the top of the mountain, there was another slope up in front of me.

I don't usually remember my dreams this clearly, at least not so many per night. Twice during the night I woke up gasping for breath and drenched in sweat. I was exhausted this morning when I finally got up.

You think I'm maybe feeling a little overwhelmed by life at the moment?

Monday, January 02, 2017

Remember this?

Way, way back in 2015, I started making hardanger curtains for my bedroom.  I had to go back into my blog archive to see when I last updated this project. It was March 2015, and I had just finished the bottom row of klosters and eyelets.

That was a long time ago.

I worked on it off and on for the rest of 2015, but then abandoned it.  I made a counting mistake and had to pick out a lot of work, and I just got bogged down and frustrated with myself.  Things weren't lining up properly and I kept making mistakes while trying to fix it.  I put it aside with only that bottom row and about half of the matching second row done.

But on December 22, 2016, after nearly a year's break, I picked it up again!  I fixed the mistake (without making more mistakes this time!) and am currently cruising along again. This doesn't look like much progress, but when you consider that the curtain is 46 inches wide, and this is 32-count fabric, each row takes a lo-o-o-o-ng time to finish.

Hardanger curtain progress!