Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Self-organizing Landscape

Photo courtesy Flickr

Construction is happening on a corner of the lot, and it will be necessary to remove a chunk of fence and dig up several hundred square feet of the garden. I’ve been tending that corner of the yard for a long time, and now it’s covered with native plants. When it’s time to put the area back together, there won’t be anything to do except stand back and let things recolonize.
This approach might not work in every neighborhood, but close to downtown, I find it refreshing to spend my time in a patch of native woods.
More after the jump.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Photo courtesy Flickr

Much of my youth was spent leafing through the pages of glossy shelter magazines and coffee-table design books. Most of it was just eye candy, but now and then I learned something practical, like the history of the sofa.
As I recall, the sofa is Turkish in origin, a flat padded surface with fairly large-diameter cylindrical cushions along the back and sides. Some typical Victorian upholstered furniture echoes those shapes, but the original looks to me like bedding rolled up for the day. Wrestling with sleeping bags may have taught my arms to understand the form.
We’ve been improvising a narrow daybed using a memory foam mattress on a base, and the arrangement’s a natural for bolsters. I had a large remnant of the cover fabric and a clean synthetic comforter lying around, so I rolled the comforter inside the remnant, zip-tied the ends, and covered the plastic with short lengths of linen bookbinder’s tape. Instant bolster and easily reversible. I could substitute Velcro tape for the zip ties if I decide to use the comforter every day. 

Note the curtain tie in the illustration. I use a similar device with bamboo blinds, threading bookbinding tape through the splints.
 -30-   More after the jump.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Mayfly

Photo courtesy Flickr

One of the 1910 houses on the block is to be demolished to make room for an apartment building. A salvage crew has been going through pulling out architectural details. I’ve looked at the place for decades and know a fair amount about the many generations of the family that has lived in it, but I was astonished to realize that the house became history the minute the pillars on the porch were replaced with rough-cut four by fours.
That one simple change signaled that particular dream is over and new ones are on the way. 
-30-  More after the jump.