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Tillandsias, Twice …

September 16, 2012

A shipment of Etsy-purveyed tillandsias meets elements collected from neighbors’ sales, to create two very different still lifes …


 A placid underwater scene plays off the tillandsia’s natural resemblance to sea anemones and other underwater creatures and plants. Less oceanic, but providing fitting backup, are a burnt piece of wood salvaged from a chicken coop, a huge rusted plowing disc, a stalagmite chunk, a pitted lava rock,  a bottle embedded in cement from a demolished wall in Topanga Canyon and two Japanese fish-shaped metal ashtrays from an estate sale. Who knew when we bought the Rancho we were moving into a neighborhood that harbored such treasures?


A rhythmic still life is composed of small implements, as well as fragments from larger ones. Tillandsias here provide organic, colorful contrast against the hardness of the machined metal shapes. Helping to take the edge off their differences is the oxidized state of the metal bits; their rusty decay a softener. All of these metal pieces came from a neighbor’s amazing collection of items only she — and I — seem to find beautiful. Living literally a few steps from us, she allows me to root freely through the masses of things she’s saved from the trash heap, regaling me with the history of each.

° ° ° ° °

I love where we live for a variety of reasons; the good will of our neighbors a large part of that enjoyment. That we’ve got good neighbors with good junk who’re willing to share is purely good fortune!

° ° ° ° °

To order your own tillandsias, visit Etsy shop, PlantOddities.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. RUTH permalink
    September 16, 2012 1:40 am

    Absolutely gorgeous!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 16, 2012 1:42 am

      Thanks, Ruth! I pray you’re cooler where you are than I am here …

  2. September 16, 2012 1:45 am

    I love those fishies! And any time someone wants to cool us off here, it would be much appreciated!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 16, 2012 3:29 am

      Gawd, I agree: ENOUGH WITH THE HEAT!!!

  3. September 16, 2012 3:25 am

    Enjoying your talent so much….xo

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 16, 2012 3:30 am

      Thanks, Guida … and thanks for your FB link!

  4. September 16, 2012 6:05 am

    I’ll be staring at these both for quite awhile, love the details. We’re these done just as an exercise and dismantled after photographing or will you keep them around for awhile?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 16, 2012 12:14 pm

      Thanks, Loree! The set-ups are shot then dismantled; elements are kept and used in other ways.

  5. September 16, 2012 2:47 pm

    You have great neighbors! I love these; the longer I look the better they get! Glad that your heat has relented and the rains returned.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 16, 2012 4:28 pm

      Thanks, Peter, we do have great neighbors … As for the rain, it stopped by then skedaddled, leaving only humidity and misery behind… this week’s been triple-digit hell!

  6. Dave in Toronto permalink
    September 17, 2012 2:24 pm

    Nice work as always. You’ve got me thinking about “junk” in a new way. A couple of times this summer I perused our garage thinking, “What would Reuben do?”

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 17, 2012 2:43 pm

      Hey, Dave … If you begin to answer that question, you must send pictures of your creations!

  7. Vickie Perez permalink
    September 18, 2012 3:49 am

    Great pics! I truly do love the combinations that you come up with. I am still among the rust lovers. As always, around here it’s in rust we trust. Hope all’s well at your house. How’s the back doing? Hope that treatment is working for you.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 18, 2012 4:58 pm

      Hey, Vickie… You’re still my number 1 rusty pal! Was visiting a neighborhood fan of the blog, and your work, over the weekend, reminded me of old times! She had some of your best and most popular work up, including your amazing pitchfork!

  8. megstar73 permalink
    September 21, 2012 12:59 am

    Love, love, love. Your creativity constantly reminds me of one of the most beloved people in my life. I think the two of you would be kindred spirits.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 21, 2012 1:32 am

      Aw, thanks, Meg … Now how can I meet this amazing person?!

      • megstar73 permalink
        September 21, 2012 8:41 pm

        Well, the next time you happen to be up the San Francisco way, let me know. It would be a pleasure to meet you and introduce you to Hollis. He is responsible for some of the art on one of my recent posts on my blog, you will know it. It was a collaborative effort.

      • reubix1 permalink*
        September 21, 2012 9:44 pm

        Will do! Love the idea of a collaborator, too … one with a strong back to do the heavy lifting for me!

      • megstar73 permalink
        September 21, 2012 8:44 pm

        Oh, and the fact that you call me Meg is killing me, only a few people have ever called me that, but they have tended to be special people. I get that sense from you. I don’t know how I stumbled across your blog, but am ever so glad that I have.

      • reubix1 permalink*
        September 21, 2012 9:45 pm

        Well, I hope it’s okay, calling you Meg … I love that you found RR and are willing to comment!

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