Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mandala Monday: What's still alive in my flower garden

Either I'm the worst photographer in the world, or I can't take photos, or my neighbor's very, very expensive camera I used to take these photos is worse than mine.  Witness the fact I'm once again creating my mandala for Dawn at Girl Unwinding's Mandala Monday on my dining room table, but this time I actually stood on a chair.  Not one of my dining room chairs, but one from my kitchen that I can actually stand on.

Of course, when I actually stood on the chair, I accidentally moved the bottom leaf, which moved the lovely flowers, too.  Add to that, I didn't notice until after I had taken the photo, one of the leaves was missing.  You can see I've added it in the top right photo below.

Let me walk you through what I used, then allow you to peruse the mosaic below.  The four spokes are iris leaves.  The smaller green leaves that sit on top of the iris leaves are hostas, although not the same as the variegated ones I used a couple of weeks ago.   On top of those are the same small flowers I used last week that Helen identified, but I forgot to look up to confirm.  The four leaves between each of the spokes are also hostas, an even different type.  A Rose of Sharon sits on top of each and baby's breath sits on the stems, while those same little flowers sit under each hosta leaf.

Radiating out from the center Rose of Sharon are what's left of the rose petals I showed during T last week.  Directly outward from the rose petals are leaves of lemon verbina.  Even further out are some leaves from my Rose of Sharon, although one is missing above.   Please feel free to peruse this mandala, even though the photos are really horrible.  To think I almost let my friend Sally talk me into buying a camera like this one (at around $350.00 US dollars, no less).

These rather lousy, off color, out of focus photos were turned into a mosaic at BigHugeLabs.  All were taken in natural daylight, with the exception of the final photo on the right when I accidentally turned the flash on.  And yes, I used another napkin ring to hold the center Rose of Sharon upright.

Since the mosaic cropped the photos, and even though the colors were all wrong, I fell in love with this photo.  I thought the pink and green blended nicely with the grain of the table.  It reminded me of newsprint you couldn't really read.  I can see someone might want to use it in their digital art.

Some of you  weren't sure what I meant by my cane chair seats last week, so here's a photo.  Look closely and you'll see they are solid wood, as is evidenced by the carved piece the spindles sit in.  They and the table, which has four outer columns ending in hand carved claw feet, and a small center column you can barely see in the photo, are quarter sawn (also called tiger stripe) oak.  Unlike most claw foot tables that have a single center post, I was very lucky to find this one while browsing in an antique store in Missouri. 

And in case you are interested, wood can be cut two ways: radially or tangentially. Tangential cuts run straight through the timber, thus producing plain sawn wood with straignt grain. Quarter sawn timber means the log is quartered before being cut. This way of cutting produces the beautiful tiger stripe in the wood.  According to Wikipedia:
In flat sawing the log is passed through the blade cutting off plank after plank without changing the orientation of the blade or log. The resulting planks have different annual ring orientations when viewed from the end. The relative angle that form the rings and the surface go from almost zero degrees in the external planks to almost ninety degrees at log core.

Quarter-sawing gets its name from the fact that the log is first quartered lengthwise, resulting in wedges with a right angle ending at approximately the center of the original log. Each quarter is then cut separately by tipping it up on its point and sawing boards successively along the axis. That results in boards with the annual rings mostly perpendicular to the faces. Quarter sawing yields boards with straight striped grain lines, greater stability than flatsawn wood, and a distinctive ray and fleck figure. It also yields narrower boards, because the log is first quartered, and is more wasteful.
Bet you didn't think you'd get a history lesson, a furniture lesson, or a wood cutting lesson along with a mandala when you stopped by today.  And to keep you around even longer (grin), note how the cat toys always find their way under this table.  I guess we all know who puts them there!

Please don't forget to visit Dawn for more inspirational Mandalas.

10 thoughtful remarks:

voodoo vixen said...

So glad you still have flowers to play with in making your mandelas. Love your cane dinign chairs... I have a single Edwardian bed at home with the same cane on the head and foot boards. I love that final photo with the pinks and greens and wood grain...

dawn said...

I LOVE your mandala, it's GORGEOUS!! Look how pretty all these colors look together and against the wood table. LOVE IT!!

You are too funny about the pictures, they look GREAT to me!! You show us different angles and close-ups too which I enjoy. Wishing my yard had more pretty flowers in it which I talk about a little bit in mine today.

Of course you shared a history lesson, I'd expect nothing less!!

Beautiful chair to stand on to my dear! It looks sturdy enough and that's what counts.

Oh and I meant to mention about the calendar post. Using file folders is a great inexpensive way to practice painting on. A friend suggested it to me since she uses them too. Like you said it's like having 4 pages/canvas in one. I use them a lot just to play with or mix colors on for a background. So it's nice to see you use them too.

Have a great day and see you tomorrow for some T time!

Sharon Fritchman said...

WOW! Your mandala is absolutely gorgeous! I can't even tell you how much I love hwo you used the flowers and greens to make it! Simply beautiful! Oh, and I love the cane chair, too!

Anonymous said...

Love that photo where IT DOES look like newsprint you can't's like the color spilling off the flowers onto your table. Nice, really nice oak the grain that can be achieved with the quarter sawn oak and other woods.....xox

Nan G said...

Lovely mandala again! Playing with cameras can be fun....not. They are a pain to figure out but when we do, oh TH efab pics we take. :) Thanks for the history rewind. I grew in a family of carpenters and loggers, so quarter sawn was the only furniture/cabinetry we had, because it finished up so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

The beauty in every mandala, for me, is the natural opps that occurs when things are made by hand and not manipulated by computer graphics etc. Nature herself does not grow a perfect bloom and it is in that tiny blemish that the individual is born.
You didn't know that there would be acrobatics involved when you began this fun project, did you? hahaha.
Happy Mandala Monday to you!!

Krisha said...

Great post Elizabeth! Love your mandala and your cane chairs. Having worked in a cabinet manufacturing shop I learned a lot about wood cuts and how to order them. The same really applies to natural stone too, like marble and granite.
Have a great day!

~*~Patty S said...

Lovely mandala with so many parts to enjoy with perfect pinks and greens...
your photo collage is very nice E... I too am drawn to the "rose" wood photo ;)
We have oak table and chairs that we bought when we got married 32 years ago...something about that wood that is so pleasing...your pieces are lovely!
Lots to learn and take in this morning in your post = oh my :)

Hands On in Sicily said...

So creative - what a beautiful idea! this is something I will definitely be trying.

Dianne said...

I've been enjoying the last days of summer and not on my computer much...catching up with your posts. What a beautiful mandala!...I agree, the photo with the pink reflecting in the table top is gorgeous, I love it! and that's a wonderful old chair too...thanks for a glorious mandala to brighten my day!