Sunday, January 31, 2010


Blue Garden Muse - Acrylic on Canvas - 12x18 By Mary Maki Rae - 2010 (c)

The Blue Garden Muse - Reminding Me of the Blue Skies of Summer - Green Meadows - Flower Gardens - and the Sea.
Inspiration enough for the colors of this beginning Quilt Block of Blues and Greens.   ( A beautiful & Green way to put to use all those fabrics you've been saving all these years-!)
One Centerpiece - (A small Flower Swatch - with a touch of embroidery)
Two Patterned Fabrics - (I used Three)
Three Solid-Colored Fabrics - (I used mostly Cottons & some Silks) 

Dance these Colors and Patterns around the edges of the Five-sided  Centerpiece.  Around & Around - Clock-wise & Counter Clock-wise - creating varied rectangles, trapezoids, & triangles - until yours Eyes are pleased with the Balance.

NEXT STEP: (Which I have yet to complete)
Overlay with Ribbons -  Laces - or trims.
Then Embellish with Brilliant-colored Threads in hybrid combinations - Buttons -Beads - & Bows.  Will All this Work-?  I 'll Post the results - when Completed-!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shades of Blue

Today- I'm not only Thankful for My Ankle being back to Normal -- I'm also feeling Blessed for the Roof over my head - Water to drink - and Food to eat. 
Living here in the Northwest - so close to a serious Earthquake faultline - on our Pacific Coast - the Quake in Haiti could have happened here.
Our hearts go out to the Haitian people who are suffering the aftermath of such a Catastrophe - and Hope that their AID Continues for their basic needs - Needs that We in America can so easily take for granted.


 I'm thinking why not in the Garden - a theme of just Shades of Blue and Lavender-?  Pictured above is Clematis x jackmanii - a Violet-colored Clematis - one of the best known of all the varieties. Below are delicate Lavender Plants and violet Pansies.

A Beautiful example of a Herbacous Border of Soft Lavender, Violets, and Greens that so charmingly enhance this Garden Pathway

The Candle-like flowers of Purple Loostrife (Lythrum salicaria) rise up over a fragrant carpet of Lavender (Mustead) with the round flower heads of Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) linking the two.

A Lush herb Garden where Blue-gray Sage is set against Purple Sage & Gray Artemisia - Note the free-flowering deep Lavender Catnip - growing so profusely - on each side of the Lutyens Bench.

A Superb arrangement of Violet & Magenta anemones beneath a clipped Bay Tree. In the background - Tall deep blue Delphiniums-!

A Sweet little Blue Garden House - to store Garden Tools. Or a great Get-Away Place for an Artist or Writer to relax with a Glass of Iced Tea - and to observe the Garden in Bloom.
All Images above from these Inspiring Books:
"Glorious Gardens" by francesca Greenoak - 1993
"Fabulous Flowerbeds" By Gisela Keil / Jurgen Becker - 2003
Each day you didn't enjoy wasn't yours:
You just got through it.  Whatever you live 
Without enjoying, you don't live.
You don't have to love or drink or smile.
the Sun's reflection in a puddle of water
Is enough, if it pleases you.
Happy those who, placing their delight 
In slight things, are never deprived
of each day's natural fortune-!
                     Poet - Fernando Pessoa

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Garden Plans

"Bouquet in Vintage Coffee Pot" 30" x25" - Mary Maki Rae - 2010 (c)
I have been taking a break to recuperate from a painful sprained ankle.  While resting - I started to read C.Z. Guest's Garden Book - "5 Seasons of Gardening"(It's actually quite good - I highly recommend it-!). She always had a continuous stream of fresh flowers for indoors - through all seasons - including that gray one called Winter. How did she manage this?
Quite simple: two gardens - two greenhouses- acres of plants and shrubbery on her estate - plus the helping hands of her staff. However - for us mortals - in her book she reveals quite a few great ideas for Flowers in Winter - even if one doesn't possess a Greenhouse Etc.-!

One of the Best Ideas is for Paper White Narcissus:
1. Start Potting in October - November. they take about 4-10 weeks to flower.
2. The simplest way for forcing: use a commercial prepared mixture of: sphagnum, peat moss, perlilte, & vermiculite. ( This mix is clean and nurtures healthy roots and tops.)
3. Stagger bulb plantings every week or so - then they will bloom continually through the Holiday Season. (Thanksgiving - Christmas - New Years - Etc.)
PLUS: Pre-cooled Bulbs of: Paper White Narcissus, Amaryllis, and Crocus will bloom whenever You wish and last several weeks. Just water every day or two.
(Remember: If pre-cooled bulbs are not available - Ask at Garden Center how long a cool period is required before potting indoors.)

"Spring Planting" - Watercolor - Mary Maki Rae - 2010 (c)

From C.Z.'s Book: Some House Plants You can grow indoors from Seeds:
African Violets - Aloes - Cacti - Cinerarias - Fushias - Geraniums(Pelargonium) Gloxinias - Impatiens - Kalanchoes - Primroses - Wax-leaf Begonia
Potting Mixture for House Plants:
1 Part sterile potting soil - 1 Part coarse vermiculite - 1 Part sand - Plus small amount of dry fertilizer.
My Tentative Garden Plan for 2010

Flower Bed in Front of House:

Row 1: Michaelmas Daisies, Phlox, Delphiniums, Rose, Dusty Miller
Row 2: Lillies, Cosmos
Row 3. Achilleas, African Daisies, Cransbill, Ladys Mantle

Three Planters:

Large: (in Center) Stargazers, Dahlias, Zinnias, Phlox, Marygolds, Foxgloves
Small:(in Shade) Begonia, Pansies, Lobelia
Small: (in Sun) African Daisies, Marygolds Lobelia
(Watercolor Art by Mary Maki Rae - 2010(c)

C.Z.'s BOOK: C.Z. Guest's 5 Seasons of Gardening - By C.Z. Guest - Bulfinch Press - 1992 - It's Great-! Buy It-!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Garden Muse Fabric Collage

"Garden Muse " Fabric Collage - 12"x12" (Original Size)
By Mary Maki Rae - 2010 (c)
Sometimes You can look at a Piece of Art and be inspired to create a whole room around it - This happens to me often-!
I thought this Fabric Collage would work great as a Pillow - And then - as an experiment - I thought it would be enjoyable to conceive of a perfect setting for her.  So - following are three ideas for surroundings in which - I think she would look best:

That beautiful Scandinavian Look - with lots of White (Mirror, Dresser, Armiore with Hand-Painted Florals - And Under those Gingham Covers - Red Patterned Sheets from Anthropologie

A Mostly Blue-Patterned Room with a few Daring Red Accents - Like an Antique French Red Velvet Loveseat

Garden Cottage Style - with Romantic Patchwork and Vintage Furnishings - Many real Garden Flowers and Plants
(Which would You pursue - just curious)
Background Images: FABRICS-The Decorative Art of Textiles-By Caroline Lebeau( House Beautiful - February-2010

Christmas Presents from Two Beautiful Souls