Sketchbook – Fancy arbor

photo 1

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Plant combo – planter addition

planter combo

Lysimachia nummularia and a Coleus hybrid with a deep burgundy and chartreuse foliage. This is a nice container combo for partial shade. I would like to see it in a larger pot so that we get more of the Lysimachia spilling over and the bushiness of the Coleus balances out.

Remember to pinch off the tops of your Coleus plant as it is growing to get a nice bushy shape.

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Plant combo

plant comb
Cotinus coggygria, Pityrogramma triangularis, Hedera helix – variegated variety

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Accessible playgrounds in the Bay Area

I want all children to have access to playgrounds and nature. One of the main problems I see with accessible playgrounds is that the designers lose site of the whole nature part.

How do we make sure playgrounds are inclusive of children of all abilities but still include all the the things kids need to play and learn?

How can it REALLY be done? Not just following the letter of ADA compliance that result in playgrounds with no nature and too much hot plastic surfacing?

I’m reading and thinking on this. Playgrounds can be crazy expensive. Natural elements might seem to imply too much risk, uncertainty and unrealistic upkeep needs. Why? And what to do?

Is no playground better than a playground some kids can’t access? Both scenarios are disheartening.

Some interesting resources:
Bay Area Accessible Playground Finder

Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, CA

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Pretty Landscaping Tile

Pretty Landscape Tile

This garden is in East Oakland and the
tiles are by

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Eyes on the road!

Well, I didn’t actually get into an accident while taking this picture and driving. I swear! I was stopped in traffic! I simple had to take a picture of this MONSTROSITY. Who decided on this as a good idea?

wtf? concrete front yard. ahahaha

In case you can’t tell, that is a concrete front yard with 4 holes for shrubs… a single shrub in each hole.

I get that planting what looks like a steep slope could be daunting but think of the heinous amount of runoff this landscape is producing!

This could so easily be solved with some hardy natives. Even just a nice carpet of ground hugging Arctostaphylos like Arctostaphylos uva-ursi would lessen run-off and be a fine weed barrier.

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Forest Dress

I finally finished the Forest Dress. I started sewing this dress about 5 years ago when my son was a baby.  The fabric is Timeless Treasures vintage lawn that I found in a thrift shop, or maybe I bought it at the Oakland White Elephant Sale. The black trim is an old black sheet that I repurposed into various things. The dress lining (skirt and front bodice only) is a really pretty black on black striped lawn.


I’ve not been slacking in the sewing dept. for 5 years. This just got wadded up and put in a box and I forgot about it. It’s more a testament to ADHD. I love to start things and once I have the basic idea out there I get bored of it. Details! Annoying, annoying details!

When I started getting obsessed with combining sewing and thinking about landscape design I remembered it and pulled it out. Since it was already started I figured I could finish it up real quick. Of course, that didn’t happen. I started 2 other dresses in the middle of it (again?!) and THEN… horror of horrors, I accidentally locked my cat in my studio and um… let’s just say that my cat destroyed the pattern pieces.

I (mostly) used McCall’s M4769 for this dress and since I have made other dresses with this pattern I was able to reverse engineer the missing pieces.

I can tell I started this dress right when I got my serger. I serged the skirt seems with elastic thread I was using to sew myself some bathing suits at the same time. ahahaha. WHY?! Probably I did this because threading elastic nylon thread into a serger is a huge pain.

Girl in Landscape - Forest Dress

Fabrics: vintage lawn – brown blue and black forest scene, old black sheet, trim: striped lining: black striped lawn
Notions: vintage pearly shank buttons
Pattern: partially McCall’s M4769, partially my own slopers, partial some reverse engineered/jiggered pieces
Time to sew: oh, about 5 years. :D
Theme: Vintage forests.

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A hike down the street

Plectranthus ciliates

Cute little Plectranthus ciliatus.
This Plectranthus is a South African plant often used as a ground cover around here. It likes shade but wants a bit of sun to keep the awesome red/purple underside. It is more shrubby right here, is in part sun, part shade and seems to be thriving with little water and on a steep grade.

This is our little road cut hike near our house. Actually, I can see the entrance to the path from my room RIGHT NOW. Mr. Who and I go there to inspect the state of things fairly often.

Snacks can be the best part of a hike when you are 5. Especially if you have carried them in your very own backpack.
"hiking" like 100 ft from our house on an embankment on the side of the road...

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Cutleaf Geranium – weed – sketch


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Sketching – From On High

A few sketches of the Bay and Oakland from vantage point in the hills.



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