Posts tagged ‘DC’

May 12, 2012

Weekend Walking::US Botanical Gardens

by heatherkp

While I was up in the DC metro area I played tourist a couple days and did the expected amount of walking.  On this particular day I went downtown to meet my dad for lunch. Since he works only a few blocks from the US Botanical Gardens I knew I would have to pay a visit to the gardens right next to the Capital building.

It was a really beautiful day (which I can’t say was true of every day I was there, the weather was a roller coaster with temps ranging from the 50’s to 80’s!).

I knew I would catch some spectacular blooms but due to the early warm temps I was lucky to find the roses were in full bloom along with Peonies (which don’t do well in the south:(), clematis and many other late spring early summer bloomers.

I also found these baby ducklings (only 1 day old)!

My favorite were the tropicals blooming inside the conservatory though.  I found some unusual Hibiscus, many orchids, banana and other tropical foliage plants.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time now you have probably noticed my love of floral/foliage photography.  I was in my own little oasis on this walk through the gardens.  Much like a walk by the ocean, walking through a garden takes away all my worries and I am truly brings me joy.  The beauty of flowers is one artistic muse I just don’t seem to ever tire of.  Where have you walked this week?  Did you find your muse along the way?

July 22, 2011

Friday Field Trip::Tudor Place

by heatherkp

While I’m away in NC I’ll leave you with one more post and a field trip my Mom treated me to a few weeks ago.  Tudor Place is right in the heart of Georgetown, just blocks away from the shopping and dining district.  Even though I’ve lived in the DC metro practically my entire life I can’t say I’d driven by or even heard much about this little jem of a museum.  This is a private museum with both house and garden tours available.  The garden tour is free and open to the public almost every day.  The house tour is the real treat though.  What is amazing is that all the items in the house are family heirlooms and antiques of origional provenance to this family home.  The home was built by the grandaughter of George and Martha Washington, Martha Custis Peter, and her husband, Thomas Peter.  It was lived in as a private residence by several generations of the family for over 180 years until it was turned into a museum (by family trust) in 1988.  If you like history and historic preservation you will want to see this museum home.

I couldn’t help but sneak in one little picture inside…

and I might have pinched a small bit off this stunning coleus that I’d never seen before.  Have you seen this one?  Apparently there are hundreds if not thousands of cultivars of coleus!

I’m not sure of the provenance of the garden but it seemed to contain many plants that would have been used in the historic period of the homes use.  I wish I knew more about this plant which I’d never seen before.  It smells heavenly, like Jasmine and the flowers open a beautiful deep lavender and fade as they mature to white, isn’t that different (it seems that colors in plants usually intensify)?   I would love to find this plant but I don’t think I could maintain it indoors without having good light or a green house.  Have you ever seen Brunfelsia astralias?  It comes up under rare plants!  What a joy to have seen and smelled it in bloom.

April 22, 2011

Celebrating Mother Earth

by heatherkp

Happy Earth Day.  Today I am grateful for the rain that mother earth is providing for all the beautiful spring blooms, buds, all the seeds I planted this week and the overflow from our roof that’s going into our rain barrel!

As I reflect on Earth Day, I have to say thanks to my HS Environmental science teacher for so passionately sharing his love of the environment with me.  My parents did their fair share too but if it wasn’t for Corky I might not be an avid composter, Master Gardener and recycler today.  I remember the first Earth Day I celebrated in DC in my senior year of HS.  A couple of friend and I skipped classes and headed down to the mall for the big Earth Day celebration, concert and vendors etc.  Any excuse for us to get out of class was a good one come final weeks of senior year!  It was so hot that day that many people waded into the reflecting pool by the Capital to cool off.   We would surely have been escorted to a cell if we tried that sort of thing today!  Ah, the good old days.

Never the less, I did stop and reminess upon this day as I was downtown yesterday taking in all the gorgeous spring blooms around the mall.  There are so many beautiful gardens in DC.  Some are right out in the open and some are meandering between the many museums.

I’ll be celebrating Earth Day tomorrow when the rain clears up by heading to the local park I hike in and picking up trash.  If you are in DC this weekend (or wherever you are!), do enjoy all the beautiful April showers and flowers.  This is also the last weekend of the annual Orchid exhibit at the Natural History Museum.  This year they did not dissapoint!

What will you be doing to celebrate and honor Mother Earth?

January 21, 2011

Field Trip Friday::Oasis @ The Textile Museum

by heatherkp

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

I went to check this show out last week with a friend.  We had also intended to go to the Phillips Collection which was FREE to the public last weekend to celebrate their 90th, but alas the line was insanely long so that didn’t happen!  It was okay because I’d had this exhibit on my to-see list for way too long.  I admit that sometimes I take the Textile Museum for granted and don’t get as excited about some of the more traditional exhibits, boy was I wrong about this one!  I just thought it would be another nice Ikat exhibit (right~ you know I’m a textile designer when I say that) but it was so much better than I had anticipated!  Look at the COLORS, wow!  No wonder they called it Colors of the Oasis.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

This exhibit showcases 19th century Ikats from central Asia.  The collection (of over 200 Ikats but not all are on view was donated to the Textile Museum by collector  Murad Megalli.  This is the first time this collection has been on view for the public and many of the pieces were beautifully restored.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

They chose such a fantastic color for the walls to offset this collection.  I can’t say I’ve ever really noticed the walls at an art exhibit but this color really does the collection justice.  These warp ikat designs are characterized by vibrant colors (with a lot of primary’s used) and bold, rather large scale motif’s with quite a bit of contrast.

Colors of The Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)

I would love to really be able to study the motifs and color combination’s used more closely, it was so inspiring.  It’s no wonder these magnificent textiles were a sign of prestige and status in the Oasis towns of Central Asia.  Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)The exhibit also featured a small display and video explaining the technique and process used to create warp Ikat designs.  These were contributed by students at MICA’s Fibers department.  The exhibit is also accompanied by an in depth exhibit catalog (that I would LOVE to have!).  I’ve been a member of The Textile Museum for the past 5 years and I’d greatly encourage you to donate or join if you are inclined to value the research and exhibitions in textiles that this world class museum provides.

September 20, 2010

Great things coming this way!

by heatherkp

Literally!  If you live in the DC Metro area there are some exciting events related to craft coming our way soon.

First, on October 2nd is the 7th year of Crafty Bastards in Adams Morgan.  I am not sure I will be able to attend this year but I’ve enjoyed all the vendors in the past several years.  Here are a few shots from some of my favorite vendors over the  last couple of years. 
The Small Object

Carlybird Weaves

Biggs and Featherbelle

In addition to great vendors there are always some fun DIY craft projects to get your hands on as well as music, b-boy battles and other great entertainment.

The second event coming to DC in October is the “Crafting A Nation” conference at the Smithsonian American Art museum.  This event is FREE and it’s in conjunction with American Craft Week 2010.  There is a great lineup of speakers and discussion panels and this event will be going on over 2 days so you can attend one or both days.  If you can’t make it to the conference check the website out for events in your state.  This event runs October 1-10 and there seems to be something going on in practically every state.

The last event I’m going to mention is the Sugarloaf Craft Festival at the MD State Fairgrounds on October 1st-2nd and the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on October 8th-9th.  This festival is always fun for me to attend (even though I won’t be going this year) because I grew up in the area and have attending this event many times and I have fond memories of dreaming of becoming a crafter one day.  Dreams can come true!