Hostas Up and Coming

In the world of flowers, hostas do well as faithful border plants, returning each spring and spreading- blooming innocuously in the shade. Nothing much to write home about.

I truly discovered hostas, one in particular that’s featured on several Paola Pillows, and developed a whole new respect for them, especially the Blue Mammoth. Large, heavy textured leaves mysteriously let the sunlight shine through as they display sun kissed droplets of water. hostasThey work well as a backdrop for the fascinating, unruly, invasive spirea bush.  I’ve become a huge fan of both!

Still, a hosta plant doesn’t just choose itself from a million others, become a great image and go viral (after morphing into an artfully sewn soft, colorful, washable fabric over hypoallergenic down). I’m sometimes curious about what people think manufacturing is really about. I’ve learned and continue to learn daily. Something art school offered little insight about.

Designers taking a product to market become humbler in the face of an exacting and challenging process that demands change- even as it gobbles cash.  There’s a thrill though, in seeing the work of your mind realized in new, repeatable ways.

hostasSo, here we are in the beginning of hosta season. Every day, the hostas grow bigger and stronger- growing ready for photo ops. So many hosta, so little time. That little white one? A brand new albino-struggling to thrive. We’ll have to see. The one on the left is the origin of the pillow called Palma.

Serenity Re-Finishing

The Serenity repair work continues. I try to break it up because I get impatient to finish and remove him to the garden again. hostasYou can see from the patchy wood that there’s a ways to go. I balance between getting very impatient and being a perfectionist by nature. Luckily I’m not bringing him to a client or I’d risk not being ready till summer, 2018. The only good news is that I think we caught him just in time. The bad news, we caught him just in time. Many years out in the rain and sun have taken their toll.

Various glues, wood fill and sanding bouts later, he’s still sitting on his perch in the basement.  Each time I walk away, I discover another patch I can’t do without. I think the sacrifice will come at the end when so much of the mahogany grain will be gone, I’ll just have to finish, knowing that the structural and surface repair are what’s important. I’m hoping the stain and varnishes will help even his colors out. He’s only a garden decoration…right? To be continued next time…

Musician Natalie Merchant and I appear to have some things in common. For starters, growing up- no TV till noon, a mother who loved opera and, a vital interest in gardening. You focus on other things- like  creativity.

Wonder, from Natalie’s album Tigerlily, was written about a child born with a congenital disease – a set of twins she’d known personally. I very much enjoy the inclusiveness of this video. What do you think? Complete lyrics here.

Natalie was born in 1963, in Jamestown, NY and joined the alternative folk rock band called 10,000 Maniacs. She left and began a solo career in 1993, and has released seven studio albums. She was quoted in 1995, “My job as an artist is to be witness to my surroundings and times.” Thank you Natalie. Keep us posted! Natalie has a busy tour schedule in 2017. See it here. A great voice.

See Paola Prints hostas herehostas. hostasThese designs are all in stock, you can ship them home within days!

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