Tree plans and not-yet-organized chaos

Almost forgot the Saturday blog… it’ll be a short one this week.

The heat has arrived and that means watering duty is back. My dad’s been helping me rip out weeds, but there is definitely a need for me to get on track with laying down cardboard and mulch in the garden beds, as well as getting some more groundcovers going.

I think I’ll go with edibles so I’ll be slapping strawberries in wherever I can to get the two-fer effect (fruit and groundcovers).

I was also thinking today that I need more trees. There’s a brutally hot stretch of cement patio in the back, and I noticed the flowerbed closest to it has a space just big enough for the trunk of a tree right at the edge of the concrete. And that spot is about 15′ from the corner of the covered patio’s roof, and maybe 12′ from the fence with the neighbor and 12′ from the semi-dwarf cherry tree.

In other words, I can put a medium-sized shade tree in there.

I’m thinking a silk tree of some sort, because they get 30′ tall and about the same wide, and they grow fast and are pretty and seem to do well in my area. They also have tiny leaves and therefore give dappled shade, which is ideal. So, I will head to the nursery on Tuesday to fetch one and get it planted.

This got me on a roll thinking of other spots where I can fit in some more trees. I found 4 spots in the backyard where I could install some dwarf fruit trees (and I need to prune the two I already have) for a bit of a backyard orchard.

I was also already thinking of getting a couple figs to plant against the north fence. And there’s a spot in one of the front flower beds where a mugwort no longer returns. It’s equidistant between the water and sewer lines and between the house and the front fence. I can’t put anything too big in there, but perhaps either a golden rain tree or a narrow but tall magnolia would be nice and shouldn’t get big enough to fight with the redbud I planted a couple years back that’s taking its sweet-ass time to provide much in the way of shade or flowers.

I’m kinda even thinking I might get 2 or 3 really narrow Japanese maples for the south side yard to give some eventual shade there. I had had one there before but transplanted it when we were worried about how the squirrels were getting into the attic last year (and we found out this year the little shits were coming along the power lines after all other access points had been blocked)… it died in last summer’s once-in-a-thousand-years heat dome when I opted to not be insane enough to spend an hour watering my garden in the 40+ degrees celsius heat, but if I can find that same variety again, I might well put ’em back on the south because I need something over there to deal with the brutal summer sun.

On the other hand, they’re so skinny it might not be worth bothering.

Anyway, those are things I ought to plant ASAP to get a jump on growth, though the dwarf fruit trees might have to wait til fall or spring to be bought bare-rooted.

I think next year I’ll get a greenhouse and cold frames as well.

So, in a couple years I should have nice concrete garden paths, a new seating area in the front where the pond now is, some quirky DIY garden sculptures, a greenhouse, and the start of some shade. AKA a big improvement over the current situation.

What else…

The Nick White Show will have a new episode posted on Monday night or Tuesday morning. I’ve had to tweak some of the FX filters because there’s a part I want to look like it’s on a really bad old VHS, but not too much of a really bad old VHS. And every time I’ve tweaked the settings it takes 3 hours of rendering to see if I got it right yet… but I think this time it is.

After this, I’ll be doing shorter and simpler mini-episodes to try to keep them going more regularly.

All I’ll say for now is that Nick really ought to realize there’s a reason Pádraig only charged him 5 bottles of Irish whisky to film Nick’s “visit” to “Ukraine” video.

Also, Nick really ought to use the Google more before making videos about things.

On the art side of things, there’s been more planning and organizing of materials. On Sunday I went up to Nanaimo to fetch a couple carts and a little drawer unit from Michael’s and then on Monday or Tuesday I got them set up and filled:

There’s Nick, sitting on his ass doing nothing instead of looking up whether or not the IRA are operating in Ukraine like Pádraig told him they totally are for that one scene.

The aqua carts have sculpture materials in them.

Not pictured: 4 more wooden mini-drawer units I brought over from my dad’s that I still have to organize stuff into… they might actually find their way to my desk. They might also end up housing doll clothes, which are currently scattered amongst various little boxes on my shelves which makes them awkward to find when I need them. We’ll see.

Aqua drawers have tubes of acrylic paint semi-organized by color family.

The beige carts are old ones I have from IKEA that I store painting and printmaking supplies in, and I have a silver one that has all the various drawing materials.

And I’ve been acquiring more supplies this week, which are still in bags as they were brought home in and not put away.

So… still chaos in here but slowly crawling along towards being organized chaos.

I also have plans to convert the upstairs spare room into an art storage space as I start building inventory and working towards getting stuff together for exhibitions down the road. This will require taking apart the spare room bed and leaning its components up against one wall so I have more space for shelving etc., but honestly I almost never have guests and to the extent that I do, there’s always the spare room at my dad’s place 20 minutes away since it’s usually family visitors anyway.

Anyway, that’s a project for in a week or two.

In terms of actually making art, outside of my art journal which I’m not going to photograph, I’ve started a 24×24″ canvas for one of my series:

I had actually started painting backgrounds on a few canvases in 2020, I forget for what, but this pink one spoke to me. I want some tiger referencing, so I added some rough stripes, and from here there will be various layers added. I’ll pass on saying what it’s going to be until we get there, but it’ll be done soon because I signed up for 2 courses at MISSA this August, and one is the critique class, so I need to get this and a couple other works done ASAP, lol.

I mean, I have older work but why bother taking that?

And it forces me to have a deadline. This painting should be done in a week or so, I will also be taking that leprechaun Bono statuette I’m working that I mentioned last week, and I have a textile piece planned to round out my 3 works for crit class.

(It also forced me to order a damn easel like a reasonable adult instead of finding big boxes to lay under canvases and precariously balance on the dining room table or on my desk. Time to get better painting ergonomics when working on bigger pieces.)

The other course I’m taking is a printmaking class, aka, the cause for even more art supplies to enter my house, lol…

In other art, I did another sketchbook cover, collaged from some lace scraps, stick-on “gems,” glitter, ribbon, and gel medium, which is almost dry but not quite in a few spots (hence the white areas):

And that’s kinda it. I forgot to take any pics in the garden today but it kinda looks like last week’s pics.

Instead, let’s have a shot of the editing on this week’s upcoming episode of The Nick White Show: