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Oikos Archipelago August 20, 2007

Posted by barn owl in collage, ecosystems.
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Back when I was more active in the mail art community, I started creating an alternate world called the Oikos Archipelago. Each island in the Archipelago would represent a different ecosystem, ruled or protected by an appropriate animal. I started to carve print blocks for the ruler of each island ecosystem, and to develop faux postage for mail art swaps.

Well, I didn’t get very far…only managed to carve the print blocks for Halcyon (a Kingfisher) and Lichen (a Caribou). I did finish the collage for Halcyon, and sold it to a colleague at the university art show:

halcyon kingfisher

I have a drawing finished for Pinch (a Fiddler Crab)-perhaps I should transfer it to a block and start carving again. Lichen the Caribou makes a nice Winter Solstice card image.

Crocheted Dorid Nudibranch August 11, 2007

Posted by barn owl in crochet, molluscs.
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I’ve made several of these dorid nudibranchs, using the hyperbolic crochet technique to produce the waviness; they don’t correspond to any particular species, but rather provide a way to experiment with different types of yarns, color combinations, and beads. Most of them are about 8″ long. Because of the colors, I call this one the Mardi Gras Nudibranch-the multicolored yarn is Mosaic Twist rum raisin, from Yarn Bee (on sale for $0.99 at Michaels!).

mardi gras nudibranch

Price = US$15.00

One and a half hours of Iyengar yoga this morning, with lots of different poses and work on breathing into different regions of the back and ribcage in each, as preparation for pranayama. Followed by a light lunch, and then swimming at the natatorium for 1.0 miles, alternating breast stroke and crawl. Now it’s time to tend to the whole wheat pizza crust dough, which I plan to top with fresh tomatos, basil, olives, red onion, and goat cheese.

Fish Dish Towel August 10, 2007

Posted by barn owl in embroidery, fish.
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My friends A and G in California have a Hawai’i/tropics theme going on in their kitchen/living room area (yeah, at least a few of my friends eschew giant energy-gobbling showcase houses, as do I), so I embroidered a couple tropical fish on a dish towel for them. Just simple chain stitch, with several strands of colorfast (I checked) DMC embroidery floss:

Fish towel

And I am so incoherent after 5 hours of hunting trochlear nerves and explaining those-who-exit-from-the-jugular-foramen that I think this post will have to end. I’m surprised I could even copy-paste a Photobucket link.

Passionflower Vine August 8, 2007

Posted by barn owl in energy use, gardening.
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My AC condenser unit was inconveniently placed on the west side of the house, so we built a screen to shade it in the afternoons. I’ve trained a passionflower vine around the latticework, and periodically it produces dozens of baroque (and rather louche, I think) flowers. Not surprisingly, the southwestern US was not as heavily populated before the days of AC. This year has been unusually rainy, but in a typical year this region is semi-arid. I’m working on xeriscaping parts of my backyard, but of course the lawn can be pretty water-intensive (looks like crap when it dries out too-I’ve tried that).

passionflower

Recycled tote bags August 6, 2007

Posted by barn owl in crochet, recycling.
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Just a quick post before going off to teach anatomy lab (difficult dissections today: contents of vertebral canal, suboccipital triangle). Good thing that one year of Iyengar yoga practice has improved my posture, opened my shoulders, and reversed the overpronation of my feet, else I’d be a wreck after a few hours of teaching.

I’ve been crocheting tote bags from yarn made with strips cut from plastic carrier bags and newspaper wrappers. People are happy to donate their stashes of plastic! Two bags are shown below; they work great for holding produce picked from the garden.

Recycled Plastic Totes

Sea Lemon August 5, 2007

Posted by barn owl in coral reefs, crochet, molluscs.
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Sea lemons are dorid nudibranchs which may sport colored projections, or tubercles, on the mantle. I’ve encountered the Pacific or speckled sea lemon (Anisodoris nobilis) in tidepools along the Oregon coast, and there is also a Monterey Bay sea lemon (Archidoris monteryensis). The dorid nudibranchs are named for the Oceanid Doris, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.

Pacific sea lemon, crocheted from golden acrylic yarn and fuzzy pale yellow baby yarn, with wooden beads to represent the tubercles. Photographed with the coral sea lettuce, crocheted using hyperbolic method, from variegated acrylic yarn:

Pacific Sea Lemon