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Tink gets color! and Musical Trees

Once I finished the covers, I began (finally) working on Tinkerboutit’s faceup and blush…in between some necessary garden work…more on that later. He’s far from done, but I’m pretty happy with the early results. There will, of course, be a (n extensive) slideshow with our resident soap opera queen house ef, but for now, suffice to say the dying was…interesting, but the end result was good, if a bit dark. The blushing is moving along, but because I went dark with the base color, getting the purple/pink to pop is proving a bit elusive. Nothing I can’t solve, but it’s going to have to wait. My play time is over. So for now…heeeeeere’s Tink!


Okay…he’s missing his front legs and his head’s just perched on top, but this is what he currently looks like. His nose and around his eyes are actually a fairly bright pink, so he’s not photographing true, either, which I need to figures out. The underlying teal blue dye is proving quite overpowering, where the camera’s concerned. It’s possible I need cheaper pastels. 😀 I also have high-grade watercolor pencils that are, I think, too soft. They absolutely do not sand to or hold a good point.  I’ve got some cheapos around somewhere that I’m going to give a try, see if they hold a sharp point better. But other than that, I think he’s lookin’ pretty cute!

The last few days have been busy to say the least. We found a wonderful online source for trees and ordered a green Japanese Maple to replace the one we lost, and a pink dogwood that’s supposed to be super hardy. This site specializes in trees that actually survive. 😀 In fact, take a minute and read the “about” page. A really interesting guy in charge.

Anyway, I knew they were going to arrive yesterday, and that the dogwood would required some prep work. I was at Lowes to get some manure and mulch when what should I find but a chocolate mimosa for under $50! WAH!. So…I came home with yet a third Tree-to-be-Planted sticking out the top of the car.

So…CJC and I get to talking about what should go where. Neither of us has ever been pleased with the nice little cone tree we put in next to the waterfall when the Hinoki cypress demised (:( ) and we decided to put the mimosa there. We thot at first we’d move the little cone tree to the front of the garage where the Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick has been since our first year here. That sucker never has done anything, and it made an ugly green blob right in the middle of the mural. So…we thot…maybe there. But it would be yet another green blog and would get, eventually, pretty large, so we decided we’d move our dwarf Hinoki cypress in where the walking stick was, since the Hinoki and mugo are fighting for territory.

So…I begin fighting the walking stick. Mind you…I don’t think I’ll move the Hinoki until fall, but I had it in my head that I had to move it before I could plant the mimosa, which desperately needdd out of the pot. So…I began digging. And digging. crawling under and moving dirt with a garden claw to try and preserve the roots…I really don’t want to kill it, just move it somewhere that we need filler. That thing had sent tap roots in every direction! ARGH! But I got it out, put it in a big nursery pot I had never thrown away along with nice rich soil and will keep my fingers cross ed that it doesn’t demise before I can decide where to put it.

Next day…Hmmm…that was yesterday. Okay… 4:30 am…before the heat…I’m out digging up the little cone tree. On the one hand, it wasn’t difficult because its roots are fairly shallow…however, it’s got a very full growth habit that goes clear to the ground and one side was up against the waterfall mound, another was up against the peonies, and the other was up against a juniper shrub. Suffice to say, I really need to start yoga…. But I got it out, moved it across the path to the mound that was all iris a  couple of years ago, and got the Mimosa in.


Breakfast, and a brief sit-down to answer email, then it was back outside.

Next was prepping a spot for the pink dogwood. We’d decided we wanted it out beside the virtual lotus pond. Only problem was, in order to put it in, we needed the burm up against the neighbors retaining wall extended, and we had to move the big honking tree we didn’t want, and from which I’d stripped the branches earlier this year. Fortunately, for all it’s size, it hadn’t really set in big roots, so that was less trouble than I thought. Hardest part was peeling back the mulch and weedcloth. Then I whack a trench around it with the mattock, severing the roots, and grabbed the five foot stump and jerked back and forth with my not insubstantial mass until it came free.


About this time, the trees arrived. I didn’t get box opening pix (darn it) but I have to say, these were beautifully packed, and appear to be wonderfully healthy trees. The Japanese maple is taller than I expected…it’s been trimmed up and the top is as high as the previous one, but is will be more open at the bottom. (Pix at the end). I really like that.


Then Carolyn went out to get broccoli and more manure and compost, and I attacked the burm problem…which meant I began digging the pond. Maybe it won’t wait another year or two! 😀 I’m out of free basalt rocks, so I created a temp edge with the concrete blocks and began shoveling. By the time CJC got back from her Adventure at Lowes on the Day Before Father’s Day, I had the sprinkler going on the burm and the Japanese Maple half-planted (only half because I wanted a ring of broccoli around its base…hence CJC’s Costco run. I finished planting it, hauled out the manure and compost and began mixing soil in which to plant the dogwood. I got it in…and it was time for dinner.

All that, and this morning I’m down one lousy pound. :'(

But our trees are doing well…except for the walking stick. I’m not surprised. It was HARD to get out and we’ll be lucky if it survives…

Oh, yeah, that was my other thing this week…Thursday we got in 10 tons of micro basalt to thicken the paths and finally fix the back of the waterfall that we tore out looking for leaks last year. I’ve always wanted to extend the outflow hose and put the knife valve for emptying the pond on the far side of the path so that I could widen the back side of the waterfall mound. When we did it, I didn’t have the rock or the dirt to make it bigger. So…now we had the gravel and some basalt….and I got that job finished as well.

Hmmm…no wonder I’m a little tired…. 😀 CJC’s been working her butt off, too, writing, running to the store and whacking back the iris.

Anyway: here are the new garden stuffs:



22 comments to Tink gets color! and Musical Trees

  • Tinkerboutit looks really good already. I’ll be interested to see what’s next for the little guy.

    Phooey, gardening. — Maybe by next summer, I’ll know what, if anything, my situation will be for plants, and whether I will try tomatoes again then. I’ll take an aloe vera or two with me, but that’s pretty much all that isn’t planted in the yard, and…no yard, since I’ll be moving (at some point later this year) into an apartment.

    It’s into the 90’s daytime and 80’s and 70’s nighttime now. We haven’t reached above 100 quite yet, but probably will soon.

    I am really, really hoping I can afford next month to have a service call for my A/C compressor. If it’s a simple, cheap fix, I’ll be good again. If it’s expensive…it’ll be a no-go, put up with it and save toward my future again. …Thank heavens for ceiling fans, but still…whew….

    Otherwise, a slight improvement this month that just has not shown up in things yet. My budget is still limping. (However, I’ll be able to get books. *That* has to be in the budget every so often.)

    • OMG. I hate heat.

      Doggonit. This recession sucks pond water. Sincerely hope everything works out.

    • WOL

      First off, what’s your humidity like there? If it’s fairly low, you can take a plastic “dish-washing” tub, a brick or two and an old hand towel, put the brick(s) on end in the middle of the tub, put the towel over the bricks and tuck the end into the tub, then fill the tub with water. (Doesn’t have to be bricks, but whatever will hold the towel about a foot off the bottom of the tub.) Put the tub up somewhere like on top of the fridge or on top of a bookcase and keep water in it. The evaporation off the towel will help cool the room. Capillary action will wick the water out of the tub and up the towel. The bricks hold it up so more air can get to it. Of course, if your humidity is high (average 70-80%) this is not going to work; if it’s lower than that, this “portable swamp box” should help cool things down. Also, you should be able to switch the direction your fans blow. Make sure they’re set to pull cool air up off the floor. Good luck. Due to economic constraints, I have my AC set on 80. Thankfully,if my AC quits working, my landlord pays to have it fixed.

      • WOL, haha, I’m in Houston. You know, where the humidity is always between “sauna” and “ambient mist/fog”. 😉 — The high humidity makes both hot and cold weather seem more extreme.

        It’s odd, I’m actually beginning to get used to it. It does help being native here. … Either that, or the heat delirium’s setting in! :O

        I’m a night owl by nature, so I’ve partially let myself go nocturnal. … It just might be that my biological clock really wants that for my sleep/wake rhythm. I’m actually doing better this way about my sleep/wake habits than I have in a long while. (Still not regular, but I may just stick with this. It seems to be working.)

        • WOL

          The fly in the ointment about becoming nocturnal is that during the day it gets hot, which makes it hard to sleep. I know about Houston. I was born there entirely too long ago, although I live about 600 miles away now, up in that square bit at the top.

  • Tink is looking great so far! Such gorgeous eyes! The photo makes the colours more subtle and it’s pretty. Will the white areas get any sparkle? I’m glad you’re having fun working on him.

    Such a lovely garden! *sigh* I don’t have the energy to much as it is right now – I would never be able to keep up with a garden, except for a rock garden. I like rocks and pick them up from different places we’ve visited.

  • Oh, if you’re having trouble getting more intense colour, try a touch of acrylic paint. Maybe for the nose and paw pads?

    • Aren’t the eyes wonderful? Hard to photograph, tho, cuz they’re really reflective. They’re Ersa Flora: http://ersaflora.ipower.com/?p=1572.

      These are Pook’s Dino eyes…not sure when he’s going to wear them. I’ve grown very fond of his purple ones. Ordered these before he arrived. But I do love them
      Pook's Dino Eyes

      I’m glad his Momma-D approves! His coloring is really subtle. In some of the pix he just looks blue. That’s why I need to try to bring the purple up. What’s happening, I’ll have the color just the way I want it, then spray with MSC and it goes away. I think, when I sprayed the first “setting” coat on, that I sprayed too heavily. Rather than “tooth” it seemed to smooth him out…and it zapped almost all the pastel coat, which I’d already “checked” for set with a soft brush.

      Learning curve. 😀 But I fear he’ll be “chippy” thanks to that thick coat. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to pose much. It didn’t run or anything, but I had to take him out and lightly spritz again to get enough tooth for what you see here. I’d be happy with him as is, with just a bit more to, yes, the nose and pads, except for how he photographs. I don’t want to have to adjust every photo he’s in to accommodate him, so when I have time, and possibly another option for a lighter hot pink pastel, I’ll try upping his purple, just a bit.

      But right now, I’ve got to get the books put together.

      His base color ended up darker than I wanted, which is part of the problem. If it were lighter, the blush of pastels would show better. But the head took the original teal too well and too green (I think the resin likes the yellow component in the teal) and the body and hind legs didn’t take it at all. So…I sanded the body and hind legs, then dyed everything turquoise. The body and hind legs took that right nicely and the head and tail and front legs were at least the right color, if a bit dark. I then dyed the body and hind legs in the teal and got what you see (altho I’ve blushed over the entire thing shading in the color I wanted. Overall, the dying went pretty well. I like the color a lot, if I can just get the pastels to pop over the top of it.

      And, yes, the larger “galaxies” will get a crystal in the middle as the final touch. I have several grades. I might even put a touch of glue and “diamond dust” the small ones. He’s a ‘Net kitteh, after all! 😀

  • Darn it. I’m looking at the above photo and admiring how nice his shirt looks. I know you told me before, but where did this come from? He loves it and he’s already worn the other one to cracking ant-dom. 🙁

    • The bug shirt (has coordinating pants of the bug print) is a Tommy shirt, from the Barbie collection.

      Here is an ebay search so you can save it for later. You may find other clothes you like for the Pookster.


      I saw two MIB sets with both the bug outfit and another and the prices are RIDICULOUS! No, I did NOT spend that kind of money on Pook’s clothes I sent you. I even bought that set a few years ago but paid less than $10 for it.

      (FYI: The Tommy clothes I found for you I got on etsy (go fig). Etsy is no longer a craft-only site.)

      • I just contacted the gal in Australia who seems to have the only ant shirts left in creation! She’s got two and has very reasonable letter shipping, so I think I’m getting both. I think I can manage $10. 😀 They don’t hold up well to his enthusiastic lifestyle! I’ll have to hold one out for “special” occasions! She also has a pair of the shorts, which he must have. First clothes I’ve bought for either of them! I’ve bought shoes, but not clothes, because someone has been very generous! 😀

        Yipes! I just saw that “set of two” going for $64!!!! That’s downright nuts. Once I knew what to look for, it showed up on Amazon and even there, it was $37! Crazy! Definitely got to get those two from Australia. You have to wonder if people actually pay prices like that. Bizarre!

        • Great news about finding the shirts!

          I think the mint condition of the packaging is part of the price hike. Weird that people collect and sell MIB items that way and keep them intact. I rip up the packaging and pull out the clothes! Not only do my Pukis wear the clothes, my Dollmore Elf Ellys can wear the shirts and some of the pants AND my Orientdoll winged vampire Ye can wear the clothes. That makes six dolls who can share the Kelly and Tommy clothes. If you consider some of the larger sleepers, then my four Hujoos Babies can wear some of the clothes. Add a few of the larger Kelly clothes in the ‘bag of clothes for sale’ entries on ebay, my IOS Lulu cat can squeeze into one set of the larger Kelly clothes.

          Another thing you can do is find free Kelly crochet patterns online. Pook can have a crochet vest for more formal occasions.

          • This whole thing about intact packaging is so weird. What good is a toy if it’s not played with? It’s not as if these are like beautifully made. They’re cute (this is adorable on him) and I don’t mind having to redo the sleeves so the pookster can move, but I really can’t see them having meaningful resale 100 years from now. 😀

            But even the statues. The Golem that came with the LotR special edition DVD was packaged specifically so you couldn’t take him out of the box w/o ruining the packaging. He’s sat downstairs for years now because I really don’t want him sitting around the house. I wanted to take a pic with Pooki for the Scavenger Hunt game, and getting him out was an hour-long project! Stupid. So…I’ll sell him with the box, and because he’s been out once, he’s somehow less valuable. C’mon folks…it’s cardboard and clear plastic. Sheesh. It’s like…”No one has touched him before. He’s so much more wonderful.” Bleh. Playing with things infuses them with happy karma.

    • Ha! I’d just ordered it this AM! Great minds! I’ve made him pants, wigs and hats, but in all honesty, it was eyeballed patterns. 😀 He’s SO tiny, I tend to do it all by hand. What I love is you can make him clothes and wigs out of fabric samples from distinctive fabrics! 😀

  • WOL

    I will reiterate what I’ve said in the past, if you need extra $$ you could always take tours and charge admission to the Fancherry Gardens. Your yard is so gorgeous.

  • Thanks so much.

    Did the hyacinths get there OK?

    Thank you. 😀

    The one thing I wish we could do something about is the traffic noise. The waterfall helps. We’re thinking of putting some bamboo fencing we got for another purpose and didn’t use on the other side of the extant fence making a double layer with an air pocket between, just to see if it muffles the sound more. If it does, we can do a more permanent solution someday.

    Maybe when we get the place basically finished, we’ll have a block party. 😀 It looks like we’ll probably do the little stream and lotus pond this summer after all and Patty and Mike are collecting stones for us so I can finish my paths (YAY)

  • Your gardens are looking great…..tour worthy!
    I hope you will give us a blow-by-blow account of putting in the lotus pond. Someday I will have one……right now I am experimenting with a water table.

    • I’ll try to be better about that than I have been with my efforts this week. Moving the hinoki today was epic. I’m pretty strong and could barely lift the root ball free of the hole and into place in its new spot. But it meant a lot of the beautifully established root system is intact, which is good. I REALLY don’t want to lose that one.

      Hmmm…I should go take some pix. Wonder if I can move….

  • chondrite

    Tink is lookin’ good!

    We have those moths around where we live, they are a very interesting green and pinkish camo pattern. The last stage of their lives seems to involve coming and hanging on the screen door to torture the cats.

    • 😀 Not sure it would interest Eushu if it didn’t move.

      I think maybe this one was dead. I didn’t check today to see if it was still there, but it didn’t move all day yesterday….But it sure was pretty!

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