Monthly Archives: December 2015

Best of Spy Garden 2015

I am officially one year into getting my doctorate in nursing, woo!! Likely because I started the program I have little recollection of what actually occurred in 2015, Haha! I read hundreds of articles and wrote pages and pages (and pages) of APA formatted research papers. Thank goodness for the Spy Garden blog to jog my memory. I enjoyed scrolling through all the posts of the year; realizing I did more than work and school. It all actually looked quite fun and relaxing! Haha!

2015 certainly wasn’t the best year for vegetables in Spy Garden. Sikkim cucumbers are the only thing that really stand out in my mind as prolific when it comes to produce.

Sikkim Cucumbers

Sikkim Cucumbers

The ground cherries also did well. The flowers in the garden were pretty great this year.

Celosia/Cockscomb (also called wool flowers)

Celosia/Cockscomb (also called wool flowers)

Celosia amazed with vibrant colors and unusual shapes and I saw more monarch butterflies than ever in the garden this year.

Celosia

Celosia

Orach was another favorite

Orach was another favorite

We went on lots of outings; several trips to the St. Louis Art Museum, Forest Park, Grant’s Farm,

Meramec Caverns

Meramec Caverns,

the AB brewery, and got to see the beautiful…

Chinese lanterns at the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT)

Chinese lanterns at the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT)

and the kids explored the awesome children’s garden at MOBOT.

ROA (a world-famous artist) coming to Forest School was very exciting:

ROA painting a mural at Forest School

ROA painting a mural at Forest School

Baby watching ROA paint another mural

Baby watching ROA paint another mural at Forest School

Baby and the Spy got to ride horses a couple of times this year.

Babyzilla on horseback

Babyzilla on horseback

We painted a lot; and doing a collaborative painting (still in progress) with a friend was a highlight.

Painting in the garden

Painting in the garden

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I started some new hobbies; running on trails and ballet. Well, when I say “ballet” I use that term loosely. What I mean is that Baby and I put on classical music and dance around; inspired by the ballerina project. We continue to work on our arabesques and grand jetes daily. Haha

Another huge highlight was the Spy attending summer camp (the same one I went to!)

The Greatest Place!

The Greatest Place!

Fencing at camp

Fencing at camp

Kayaking at camp

Kayaking at camp

We spotted numerous varieties of mushrooms this year.

Beautiful Mushrooms

Beautiful Mushroom

Sulfur-colored Chicken of the Woods

Sulfur-colored Chicken of the Woods

Smoochie cut down some big dead trees in the yard…

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and built an awesome new shed.

The Spy started pitching in little league and their team won their league championship.

Winners!

Winners!

Nana and Pop were in St. Louis the whole month of July which was really great.

The kids with Nana and Pop

The kids with Nana and Pop

We went all out with the Christmas decorations; our best yet!

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A big standout of the year were the snakes living in a tree just feet from our front door. Getting to watch them (quite frequently!) this summer was a treat and I think this is the best photo I’ve ever taken:

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And a close second

And a close second

And though scary (I almost stepped on it); seeing a copperhead was quite exciting and dramatic!

RRrrraaaaaghhhh!!!

RRrrraaaaaghhhh!!!

It seems the snakes may still be calling the tree home, so maybe we will catch them in 2016…

Snake excrement icicles?! Ewww! (Picture taken 12.31.15)

Snake excrement icicles?! Ewww! (Picture taken 12.31.15)

Eucalyptus in Spy Garden February 2015

Eucalyptus in Spy Garden February 2015

Happy New Year to all and thank you so much for visiting Spy Garden; see you in 2016!

Spy Garden Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is still in full swing around here as we abide by the rule of:

Thou shalt keep thine Christmas decorations up through New Year’s Day

hahahahaha

This kohlrabi looks like the grinch's head!

Doesn’t this kohlrabi looks like the grinch’s head!?

We've been doing lots of painting, gluing, collaging, crocheting, etc., etc. around here: Christmas always makes me want to create!

We’ve been doing lots of painting, gluing, collaging, crocheting, etc., etc. around here: Christmas always makes me want to create!

Here is Babyzilla protesting the very un-wintery (nearly 70 degree) weather in the days prior to Christmas

Here is Babyzilla protesting the very un-wintery (nearly 70 degree) weather in the days prior to Christmas

Chalk tree

Chalk tree

December weather

December weather

See the paper airplane hanging

See the paper airplane hanging

Paper airplane (made by the Spy)

Paper airplane (made by the Spy)

Smoochie painting

Smoochie painting

Decorating...

Decorating…

Tree of toys!

Tree of toys!

I will miss these lights and may need to pick up a few lamps once we take them down!

I will miss these lights and may need to pick up a few lamps once we take them down!

In the front yard

In the front yard

Dexie's chair haha

Dexie’s chair haha

Getting a hair cut (to even out her handiwork)

Getting a hair cut (to even out her handiwork)

Star light

Star light

Gingerbread time!

Gingerbread time!

First I made the base and allowed it to dry completely before adding the tall pieces

First I made the base and allowed it to dry completely before adding the tall pieces

Click here to see last year’s gingerbread (Eiffel Tower) and here for my basic recipe. This year’s version included garam masala and ground flax in the dough and fresh Meyer lemon juice in the icing; mmm!

Leftover building materials! Spicy and delicious!

Leftover building materials! Spicy and delicious!

Here it is drying (hence the chair holding it up). It is hollow and has spots to put in little battery operated lights

Here it is drying (hence the chair holding it up). It is hollow and has spots to put in little battery operated lights

It still dried a bit crooked like the leaning tower of Pisa; it is leaning back so its not too noticeable from the front

It still dried a bit crooked like the leaning tower of Pisa; it is leaning back so its not too noticeable from the front

Fini!

Fini!

This is me after finishing the gingerbread hahaha

This is me after finishing the gingerbread hahaha

Yawning, pre-service (7PM Christmas Eve service)

Yawning, pre-service (7PM Christmas Eve service)

The kids all did a great job!

The kids all did a great job!

After the service

After the service

And then it was…

Christmas

Christmas!

How did Santa get this 16' canoe in here?!

How did Santa get this 16′ canoe in here?!

Woo hoo! Canoe!

Woo hoo! Canoe!

Dexie enjoying her present

Dexie enjoying her present

Babyzilla

Babyzilla

Juggling scarves

Juggling scarves

Choo Choo!

Choo Choo!

The most Christmas-y train station!

The most Christmas-y train station! (Lionel train from 1953!)

Christmas Dexie

Christmas Dexie

Driving the train

Driving the train

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Trying out the unicycle!

Trying out the unicycle!

Watching A Christmas Story

Watching A Christmas Story

Cozy

Cozy

Choo choo

Choo choo

Christmas kids

Christmas kids

Christmas dogs

Christmas dogs

Christmas in the garden

Christmas in the garden

Smoochie set right to building a canoe rack on Christmas

Smoochie set right to building a canoe rack on Christmas

Christmas Canoe!

Christmas Canoe!

New clothes

New clothes

Leopard is a neutral

Baby says leopard is a neutral haha

Sunset

Sunset

Playing...

Playing…

Jenga!

Jenga!

Christmas boy

Christmas boy

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

 

Curating Christmas

St. Louis Art Museum

St. Louis Art Museum

It was so nice to visit the St. Louis Art Museum at this time of year; pretty much had the whole place to myself! No hustling or bustling here; but plenty of red, green and sparkly things to share!

Shoe (Andy Warhol)

Shoe (Andy Warhol)

Magnolia

Magnolia

For Spy Sister; whose dog is named Magnolia (and we're from Florida!)

For Spy Sister; whose dog is named Magnolia (and we’re from Florida!)

Steven and William Ladd (two brothers from St. Louis!) Cardinal Nation, 2015 Shredded paper, glue, wheat starch, metal beads, metal trinkets, glass beads, crystal beads, pins, screws, dye, mesh, staples, wood

Steven and William Ladd (two brothers from St. Louis!) Cardinal Nation, 2015
Shredded paper, glue, wheat starch, metal beads, metal trinkets, glass beads, crystal beads, pins, screws, dye, mesh, staples, wood

Steven and William Ladd. Tower Tee, 2015 Shredded paper, glue, wheat starch, metal beads, metal trinkets, glass beads, crystal beads, pins, screws, dye, mesh, staples, wood

Steven and William Ladd. Tower Tee, 2015
Shredded paper, glue, wheat starch, metal beads, metal trinkets, glass beads, crystal beads, pins, screws, dye, mesh, staples, wood

Enforcer. Larry Poons. 1962

Enforcer. Larry Poons. 1962

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Detail

Detail

Like Christmas lights! Sort of!

Like Christmas lights! Sort of!

Staircase

Staircase

Gold and sparkly (if more evocative of an episode of Dexter than Christmas)

Gold and sparkly (if more evocative of an episode of Dexter than Christmas)

Man's Leggings (probably Nimíipuu (Nez Percé)

Man’s Leggings (probably Nimíipuu (Nez Percé)

Such detailed beadwork on this cradleboard!

Such detailed beadwork on this cradleboard!

I’ve shared pictures of some of these Native American pieces before; they are some of my favorites!

Red and green

Red and green

E. Oscar Thalinger. River Landscape with House. 1928

E. Oscar Thalinger. River Landscape with House. 1928

This bucolic scene of the Missouri countryside features high hills, full trees, and rocky banks. These features are executed in blocky prismatic forms influenced by the work of early European modernists such as Paul Cézanne. E. Oscar Thalinger belonged to the major professional associations for artists in St. Louis, including the modern artists’ group New Hats. In addition to his position as a prominent local artist, Thalinger served as the registrar of the City Art Museum (now the Saint Louis Art Museum) from 1913–1952. (Source: St. Louis Museum of Art) 

John Rogers Cox. Cloud Trails. 1944

John Rogers Cox. Cloud Trails. 1944

A large Norman Rockwell painting. (Thanksgiving, 1943)

A large Norman Rockwell painting. (Thanksgiving, 1943)

Outside the museum

Outside the museum

Donald Judd. Untitled (Progression). 1965.

Donald Judd. Untitled (Progression). 1965.

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A Christmas-y sheen

A Christmas-y sheen

Window

Window

Small and ancient gold shiny things!

Small, ancient, gold and shiny things!

Dome

Dome

A striking portrait...

A striking portrait…

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Wintery...

Wintery…

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Pretty galleries

Pretty galleries

Lorenzo di Niccolò (di Martino) Madonna and Child Enthroned with Sts. Christopher, Blaise, Sebastian, and Francis. 1410-12

Lorenzo di Niccolò (di Martino)
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Sts. Christopher, Blaise, Sebastian, and Francis. 1410-12

Still Life...

Still Life…

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Marble hair

Marble hair

Curves

Curves

Red and gold vessel

Red and gold vessel

And now for a tour around Spy Garden…

Here's a festive little mushroom

Here’s a festive little mushroom

Little dome

Little dome

Dexie

Dexie climbing a tree arch

New tool shed made by Smoochie!

New tool shed made by Smoochie!

In the shed

In the shed

Project in process (going to stain the wood and then mount this painting to it with these fabric tacks)

Project in process (going to stain the wood and then mount this painting to it with these fabric tacks)

In our backyard

In our backyard

Ornament made by the Spy at his classroom's Christmas party

Ornament made by the Spy at his classroom’s Christmas party

Hanging out under the Christmas tree

Hanging out under the Christmas tree

Hope you all have a wonderful week; and a very Merry Christmas!