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Friday, 6 January 2017

A Few More UFO's, UFO'S No Longer

I put together half a dozen "crystal" candlesticks, and two ewer-and-basin sets, two covered chamber pots, and a soap dish, all Chrysnbon left-overs I picked up from the yard sale table at some show years ago. The blue pieces still need to be painted; there is also a set of men's shaving gear with this set. Once I decide which project to use these in, I can decide on the colour. Right now, I'm thinking ivory with gold accents, which would fit just about anywhere.

While looking at this photo, I realized I didn't like the door step into the Japanese vignette. So I did something about it.

I designed and made a small step-up platform, following a photo in the Japanese book I'm working with. This will have "cement" footings, gravel underneath, a fence on one side and a bamboo plant in a small raised bed on the other - as of now! In front of the step-up I plan to place a flat "boulder" or perhaps a rock-studded paving stone, I haven't quite decided yet. The granite rocks on my patio won't be accessible again until April or May because of the snow, so whatever I use I will have to create.

I'm also going to add a sliding door panel, as I feel the opening is way too big. On Pinterest I found a photo of a very nice one, from The Guys from Texas, designed for their tea-house class. It will have a solid bottom panel with trim, and a 3 over 3 light window in the upper part, and be fixed behind the right-hand wall to look as if it has just been slid open.

Then I have to design the gate; this is a huge affair with 2 sliding doors, a slatted window in the peak, and a central thatch roof as well as two smaller side thatch roofs. For the thatch or straw, I will try garden raffia, sewn on the sewing machine to an interfacing backing and then decorated over the sewing lines with embroidery to mimic twine tying. This gate will have to be pretty much free-standing, as I can't fix it in place until the courtyard landscaping is done.

The landscaping is, after all, the focus of this vignette. There will be a Japanese maple, the  bamboo, hydrangeas, hostas, possibly an iris if I can figure out the Japanese version, which has a much looser ruffled petals, a small water feature, and a stepping stone path, with bamboo fences here and there and pine tree hedges on the edges. Now is the time to see if post-Christmas, I can acquire some in-scale looking pine stuff for the hedges and perhaps, a cloud-form tree.

The book I'm using is in Japanese, which I can't read, so I am going by measurements given in their sketches and what I think they used to create the scene. It's kind of a hit-and-miss process, as I'm guessing at all the small measurements. Somewhere, I know I have the instructions for a boulder water barrel with a bamboo dipper and pipe, which would work very nicely in this scene. The hard part will be to create a serene setting, so I have to practice self-control in regards to the garden plan.

I will have to put something in the interior of the house, probably a tokonoma niche, and perhaps a shoe rack, to give the idea there is a whole house behind the brown wall. I'd kind of like a sleeping cat on the step, too....

I really am trying to finish some of my many UFO's!


  1. The plans for the Japanese garden sounds fantastic! I can hardly wait to see the finished product! I love your plants and flowers anyway so I know together they will look incredible! - Marilyn D., Oromocto, NB

  2. Un precioso comienzo,la idea de verte hacer un jardín japonés,me entusiasma!!!!