Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Saikei Deconstruction // Wiring

Regular readers may remember that way back in the deep, dark past (i.e. New Year's Day of this year) I created my first saikei. This is what it looked like when I first put it together.

This is what it looks like now:

The pickle plant really took to its environment, and grew steadily until it took over most of the pot. Perhaps I should introduce it to Crazy Potato! The Japanese Box just sat there looking surly for many months. I don't blame it really. I did cut off half the root ball after all. I finally noticed some new growth on it a few weeks ago, so I thought it was time for it to graduate to its own pot.

Prising the plants out of the pot. I don't know what all this white stuff is. ...Anyone?...
I decided not to take my gloves off halfway through like I normally do.

It was hard to separate the two plants. The roots were very entangled, but I think most of them belonged to the pickle plant.

I put the Box into its new pot first. It only just fitted but unfortunately I had no bigger pots, so this one would have to do for now. The mossy stuff that I'd dug out of the garden didn't fit, so I pulled it off and stuck it back in the garden where I'd originally found it. It'll be interesting to see if it survives.

I decided to re-pot the pickle plant back into the same pot, as I didn't have any other suitable ones. I left the weed traveller plant with it, as it was so entwined with the pickle plant and I didn't want to damage it trying to separate them. Plenty of 'pickles' were already falling off as it was!

Then I attempted to wire the Box plant.
Ergh. Unfortunately the average noob bonsai enthusiast doesn't get much of a chance to wire trees, and I drew a blank as I was sitting there. I also only had one roll of wire -- a fairly thick one -- so I only did the thicker branches.

The next day I had a change of heart and re-styled the branch on the left until it was nearly vertical again. I figure, if tree survives, I'll have plenty of time to correct any regrets later.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

My September

In an effort to post more regularly, I've decided to start a, sort-of, monthly update. There's no official name for it yet.

What I've Been Making....
I don't think I've yet introduced my GrannyLand blanket. Or it could be called Granny Galore. I'm not sure yet. I probably should decide soon -- I started it back in March. Granny squares are just so easy to work on, and I deliberately sized them so that one ball of wool would make 4 without worrying about running out of a colour. Two reasons why it's the project I work on when I'm tired and it's hard to bring myself to do anything else.

What I've Been Drawing....
This is my Leftovers Journal. It's A5-size, half the size I normally work with. I bought it as a place to put all the 'leftovers' -- the smears of paint, bits of collage paper and images that don't fit anywhere else. I don't view it as a 'real' journal, and its come to play an important role. All the new techniques, colours and shapes that I want to experiment with seem to appear here first, before trickling their way down into my other journals.

The other thing I've started recently is 60 Things. It's inspired by Diced Imagery, which is in turn inspired by Rory's Story Cubes. I roll dice (a D6 and a D10 -- yes, I have some geeky tendencies!) to determine which of 60 pre-listed topics I will draw. This day I rolled the number for dinosaur, and just happened to have a figurine handy (more evidence of geeky tendencies). I'll show more drawings in my next update.
And yes, my dining room table is half art-journalling station and half plant-nursery at the moment!

What I've Been Growing....
Meet Crazy Potato. He's shy at first, but when he gets to know you, he shows his affection by suddenly attempting to take over your whole house. I swear, as soon as the daytime temperatures hit 18oC and above, this thing began to grow at a rate of about 20cm per day! I'll show you Son of Crazy Potato and more growing exploits soon.

What I've Been Reading....
I'm afraid my reading habits have been rather shameful lately. Blogs and Wikipedia articles have been my standard fare for most of this year. I blame the internet for my shrinking attention span! A few days ago I started reading a book -- an actual one, with paper and covers and all. It's been both challenging and refreshing to sit down and concentrate on one thing for up to an hour without the temptation to switch to another browser tab after every few sentences.
The book I'm reading is The Chinawoman by Ken Oldis. It's a true-crime/history piece about the murder of a high-class prostitute in Gold Rush Melbourne and the relationship between the police and the local Chinese community. I'm enjoying it so far.