Category Archives: How-to-do-it

Make a bumblebee nest from a flower pot

Bombus terrestris cp1

Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) Western Canada. By Calyponte via Wikimedia Commons

Note: It’s always with great joy to post this story, as it means the year has rolled around to this point. Soon it will be spring! Here, in SW British Columbia, snowdrops and crocuses are blooming and tulips are coming up… It’s time to begin this project, as authors from some of the links below informed me that queen bumblebees nest in March and April. — Jan

—————————————

My neighbor, Jean, likes bees and when I am around her, I like to hear of her ‘bee adventures.’ She is also my ‘go-to’ person whenever I have a question about bees. Several years ago, she told me how to make a bumblebee nest using an ordinary clay flower pot. Based on what she said, I immediately started saving dryer lint, which she uses as nesting material (inside an upside down pot). Since I posted about toad homes, this post is a natural followup. Click here to learn why it’s important to attract bees and to find out how they can benefit your garden. I have yet to see my first bumblebee this year, but it’s still only February. I’m sure I’ll soon see a big bumblebee motoring along slowly along. Now is the time to place your nests, though, so they’ll be ready to attract a queen bumblebee! I have listed some lovely sites which will show you how to make your bee nest. It’s so easy! Remember: an upside down pot and lint for stuffing. I am sure there is a bumblebee out there somewhere who will move into the abode I will prepare for it. The bumblebee is an important pollinator and its slow sojourns take it over quite a territory. If you want to attract more bumblebees, grow plants they like. Click here for a list of plants that attract bees…very important. And what post about bumblebees would be complete without Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”? Below these links is a video of Croatian Maksim Mrvica’s thrilling version!

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 1 – a how-to about building the nest

How to build a bumblebee nest – part 2 – a how-to about nesting material and placing your nest

Plans for bumblebee nestboxes – how to plus diagrams

How to make a bumblebee nest – the BBC gardening site’s how-to

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust

1 Comment

Filed under Featured Artists, Fun, Home and Garden, How-to-do-it, Videos/Photos/Slides

Lark Books 500 series: Artist Call for Entries for new book on beads

Note: I just learned of this notice but still want to pass on the news. If you have completed beads you’d like to submit, there is still time to enter your submission for consideration for Lark Book’s new 500 series book, to be published in 2014. The following comes from the Lark site, source link here:

Deadline! By Craig Sunter from Manchester, UK via Wikimedia Commons

“Showcase 1000 Beads: new Call for Entries with deadline of Feb. 14, 2013!”

January 10, 2013, 12:09 pm  Posted by Ray Hemachandra

“We thank you for sharing this call for entries promptly with all appropriate colleagues, professional groups and associations, message boards, schools, students, and beadmaking communities:

Lark Jewelry & Beading seeks excellent photographs of original, contemporary beads in all materials to publish in a new juried, international collection in our 500 Series of books: Showcase 1000 Beads. This book is scheduled to be published in January 2014. The book will be juried by Kristina Logan.

We welcome and encourage submission of photographs of your handmade beads in all materials (glass, metal, polymer clay, metal clay, ceramics, paper, fiber, plastic, wood, stone, etc.) and design styles. All work must be made no earlier than 2010, and the more recent the work the better—we’d prefer to see your 2012 work over your 2011 work, and your 2011 work over your 2010 work.

We strongly prefer images of beads that have not been published previously, and please do NOT submit images of pieces that have been published in any Lark book. We can accept only high-quality digital images. Artists will receive full acknowledgment within the book and a complimentary copy. Artists retain copyright of their work. There is no entry fee.

All submissions must be submitted electronically through Juried Art Services. Note that there is no fee for using Juried Art Services. The entry page can be found at the following link: http://bit.ly/VTfT6E or, the full URL,  http://www.juriedartservices.com/index.php?content=event_info&event_id=614.

Entries must be submitted by February 14, 2013. We strongly encourage early entries.

All visuals submitted must represent work that is original in design. Please choose work that reflects the book’s concept. A maximum of four entries per artist is allowed, so please submit your best work. An entry may consist of no more than two visuals: an overall shot and one detail (or alternate view); the detail shots are not required. The primary images you submit should each be different designs. For example, do NOT submit four variations of very similar beads; instead, submit one bead from each of four series.

Important: Lark will only publish photos of entries containing images and text that are free of copyright or for which the artist (or approved institution) holds copyright.”

Leave a Comment

Filed under Articles and Interviews, Current Events, Fun, How-to-do-it

Inspirational quotes and images uplift and set the tone

To read the inspirational quotes and to launch the slideshow, click on the first box. — Jan

Leave a Comment

February 1, 2013 · 4:10 pm

Book Arts: Writing on Stone(ware)

Monument for the Neolithic Tartaria tables, Tartaria, Romania

Monument for the Neolithic Tărtăria tablets, dated to 5500-5300 BC and discovered in 1961 at Tărtăria, Alba County, Romania by the archaeologist Nicolae Vlassa. The clay tables are associated with the Turdaş-Vinča culture and the Vinča symbols on them predate the proto-Sumerian pictographic script. The monument has been created near the discovery location. By Țetcu Mircea Rareș via Wikimedia Commons

We know the act of writing on clay tablets is an ancient practice. To date, the oldest that have been found are the unearthed at neolithic sites in modern-day Romania and Hungary. The three Tărtăria Tablets have been radio-carbon dated to 5500 BC and are thought to be evidence of proto-writing. For me, today’s post, is exciting to work on…for several reasons. Having been involved with Book Arts since the mid-1980s, it is high time I combined this art form with my favorite medium, clay. (If writing on clay interests you, check out Tom Trusky’s Idaho iPods, about a project based upon Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets.) For today’s post, though, I’d like to first unveil Forrest Snyder’s Ceramic Books, a beautifully designed and enticing site. He creates loose-leaf books which are presented as stacks, hangings, and objects. Pages overlap or drape over shelving and chunky cubes are stacked. Snyder’s pages are adorned with letters, words and images, and the ‘ink’ is a warm brown, which works well with the cream-colored clay. The pages may be stamped or printed; I’m not quite sure how it is done. Print appears on different portions of the page. “My books contain poetry, prose, and related images spanning many pages,” he states on his website. “I try to enhance my thoughts by the choice of materials and methods, the firing resulting in permanent artifacts, and the conditions of their existence – pages change over time,” he continues. These images of his ceramic books are breathtaking and it is such a pleasure to view his slide show. Another approach is shown on Chris Skinner’s Lestaret’s Blog. Here, you’ll find slipcast and slab-built book covers with very fine finish work. Skinner makes rubber moulds of old, embossed books, then replicates them in clay, highlighting textures, print, and designs with stains. The work must be painstaking and the results are

Plantin letterpress

Plantin letterpress type. By France3470 via Wikimedia Commons

perfection. Actually, I have a project I hope to begin working on in the near future: a porcelain book. The idea has been in the back of my mind for about a year and I’ve thought of it while I’ve made other things. I want to roll out thin sheets of porcelain, cut to size (maybe), tear a ‘deckle edge’ (definitely), dry very, very slowly (weighted), write with an underglaze pen, fire, then bind. The idea of writing on clay tablets thrills. The Book Arts field covers much terrain and there are many ideas to explore and projects to create using different clays and techniques. When I gave a workshop on bookbinding several years ago, I made a tiny book and I think I will also want to experiment with tiny clay books. If you would like to begin such projects using clay, too, you have many means available for writing on your ceramic pages. Underglaze pencils, pens, crayons and trailers are among the tools you could use. If you subscribe to Ceramics Daily, read this article by Robin Hopper to learn how to make your own. If you want to write or do detail work with gold, Kemper Tools sells a Gold Pen. The possibilities are endless and timeless.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Ancient History, Articles and Interviews, Featured Artists, How-to-do-it, Videos/Photos/Slides