What Is A Succulent?

 This is a question I am commonly asked.  I am the first to admit that I am ‘no’ expert on these wonderful plants, but I did learn something remarkable about them last year in a college Biology class at my local extension college.  Mainly, the enzymes, proteins, and processes of the cells that are key to photosynthesis in succulents are actually radically different from the ones in ‘regular’ plants.  Thus, this makes them even more magical and special to me.  To read more about this, please read more here, copied directly from the Cactus and Succulent Society of America webpage.  Enjoy.  Continue reading

Potted Design

I love the blog that Potted – a pottery, plant, and landscape design store in CA – puts out.  There are lots of wonderful, modern ideas for decorating one’s outdoor spaces, as well as a plethora of really cool pots (and tons of extremely cool succulents inside them!)  Check it out!


These bamboo lights by David Trubridge are incredible.  Is drool bad for a keyboard? 

The Underwater World of Christine Cousteau

I dressed up as Jacques Cousteau for Halloween.. in COLLEGE.  Yes, I was *that* geekazoid, walking down Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado wearing what was more oft-mistaken for a Ghost Busters suit (matching backpack/ray gun assembly) than SCUBA gear.  But now you understand why this article made me so happy: 


How did I miss this new aquarium methodology?  How did it whiz right over my head, while I was harboring a pefectly good 20 gallon fish tank right here in my living room?  I’ll admit, my live plants never did as well as the fish.  (I credit my awesome filtration unit for the fish)  But I always secretly wanted to have this lush, green, almost (dare I say) GLAMOROUS underwater environment!?  To see these pictures by the amazing Japanese photographer mentioned in the article, one can envision swimming alongside manatees or barricudas in the tropical waterways and riverbottoms of such great rivers as the Congo and the Amazon.  What’s so lovely about this new concept in aqua-scaping is that one pays more attention to the plants than to the fish.  This results in a miniturized landscape, with hills and valleys and cliffs and dells…  the (tiny tetra) fish swoop up and over these like flocks of birds seen at a distance.  So mesmerizing.  So poetic. 




Fish are phenomenal

I cannot tell you how much I adore the underwater environment.  One of my memorable accomplishments was acquiring a really old fish tank from the 8th grade Physical Science home room when my teacher agreed to sell it to me for $10.  I had to first clean it out (let me tell you, years of neglect told in the strata of algae, fungus, and ultimately mildew layered into the gravel at the bottom of this rusty, square metal box) and haul it away.  I reminded myself that it was “character building,” and for once, I have my father to thank for this, it actually was. 

Now many years later, I’m still looking for ways to incorporate our fine finned friends into daily room-scapes, and I’ve come across this idea.  I call the Fish Abodes.  They are small homes for one beta fish:

Fish Abode with small denizen

 Some folks get these little aquascapes – some don’t.  I’ll admit they are a hard sell at outdoor markets, where the gusts of wind blow all of our stuff around and I cannot really set up and market my items the way I’d really like for them to be seen.  These sales are temporary – from four to seven hours long – and so we mock up one ‘fish abode’ complete with the fish, gravel, and sometimes greenery.  More often than not, if we sell any of the fish abodes, they are usually the models with the live fish.  And usually I feel it necessary to throw the fish into the deal, since there is usually a child involved who is attracted to the fish.  Seeing myself at this age, with this insane love of fish… there’s no way I can refuse.  Here’s another one: 

The neat thing about these is that you can hang them in a window, doorway, or any open space in your house – including a corner of your office.  For those who are working with feng shui, this can be a nice addition of color and life into a ‘dead’ space. 

More later, Chris

Self Control Much?

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I am trying to learn something new every day instead of slumping into a daze brought on by excessive heat and ennui.  I am trying to be like that 14 year old kid I remember (was that me?) who made a list of Classic Books to Read over the summer.  That was one of the few times I impressed myself with my own self control. 

So, to that end, I am forcing myself to get more involved with learning new technology. Since blogging is a rapidly changing technology, I realized I needed to concentrate some time and effort on getting this blog to serve my needs a bit better than it has been doing. Since my point in creating this particular blog was to engage folks to a deeper understanding of my creative process (especially vis a vis hypertufa/concrete items), I need to figure out how best to direct them to this little corner of the electronic community. I would like more feedback, more engagement, and certainly more interaction with those who might have found me out at a craft show and then looked me up! These folks are wonderful and fun – and I always enjoy my brief encounters with them. My goal this week, then, is to get more interesting images going up on this site, and then to drive more viewers to this site through all various methods available. Hope to talk to more of you in the near future! Sincerely, BloggerChris

The Owl and the Pussycat

Darn that Willy Wonka – now I’m on a sentimental journey!  Hopefully all of you had a chance to have some kind family member read this to you as a child; it’s a wonderful poem on its own, with a great message (interspecial love), made more sweet by the lovely paintings.  This was not the book I remember, but this artist does a great job. Continue reading

Pure Imagination…sigh!

Hold your breath… make a wish…. count to three.  This scene, from this movie, with this actor (ahem, sorry Johnny Depp)… has always been the essence of movie magic for me.  Enjoy. (you will have to agree to go to YouTube but it’s worth it!)  While you’re waiting for that to happen, check out these beautiful hand-made candy canes from a girl on Etsy I just came across;  http://www.etsy.com/listing/63639440/4-artisan-candy-canes-chunky-10-size?favorite_user_id=11702165&show_panel=true

More pictures of pots from 2010-2011

These were made in my backyard, sitting at the awesome concrete faux-bois tables and benches that some long-ago denizen left behind.  Considering our house was built in the 30’s, these might be very old indeed.  They serve a perfect purpose as the support system for yet more concrete adoration. 


Do you like modern pottery?

I think if you found my site, you must have at least a passing interest in modern, handformed, artisan tablewares.  After hours (days?) cruising craft shows and Etsy sites, as well as design blogs like DesignSponge, I would like to share these amazing folks with you now: 

Adam for Heath Studios:  http://www.atwaterpottery.com/21.html

Jonathan Cross: local Dallas/FW artist: http://jcrosscactus.wordpress.com/

This place is a shop in CA but love it:


I promise to post several more in the coming days, so check back!  Thanks.