Twan van Keulen’s Alphabet is Leafing Out.

The severe drought and crushing heat wave that is gripping the central United States has caused a number of my trees to go into shock. The result is they think it’s fall and are dropping their leaves. I’ve been paying close attention to the maples we planted last fall, because I have pretty strong feeling they might not make it. All of this paying attention to leaves and trees led me to graphic designer Twan van Keulen’s alphabet hand cut from fallen leaves.

van Keulen hand cuts each letter, then scans them at 1200 dpi with no post processing in Photoshop. What you see is what you get with the colors of nature coming through on each. The hand craft that went into these is quite impressive, and while there is no mention of making them available commercially, there is a poster that will be released in the near future. I think these are absolutely stunning.

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Bartholomäus Traubeck, “Years” A Turntable That Plays Trees.

I dream of getting my hands on a working vintage Braun Stereo designed by Dieter Rams. There is something about the idea of playing vinyl records on an old analog turntable that warms my heart. Something about Rams design for Braun makes my heart skip a beat.

Artist Bartholomäus Traubeck also has a thing for vintage analog stereo gear, but he has taken it a step further by creating a turntable that plays slices of a tree trunk to create sound. The turntable analyses the tree trunks year rings for their strength, thickness and rate of growth as the input source for a generative algorithm. That algorithm outputs piano music.

What a totally cool work of art.

What Does a 100 Year Old Tree Have To Say? This.

Everyone has some sort of opinion about Nature, but what about Nature’s opinion? EOS magazine was curious, so they decided to give Nature the means to talk.

Taking a 100-year-old tree, living on the edge of Brussels Belgium, EOS hooked up the tree to a fine dust meter, ozone meter, light meter, weather station, webcam and microphone. This equipment constantly measures the tree’s living circumstances. And translates this information into human language. This lets the tree lets the world know how it feels. You can follow the life of the talking tree via TwitterYouTubeFlickr and Soundcloud. And friend the tree on Facebook.

Talking Tree​

And So It Begins… I Met With a Landscaper Today.

This morning, Chris Bagby my friend who is a landscaper here in the Kansas City area came by the house to discuss what we might want to do with the property this year. With Chris’ help I am planning on landscaping the yard in a way that doesn’t detract from the architectural style of the house, but help soften and adds a bit of contrast the very angular box we live in.

Chris spent about an hour walking around the property and looking at where my yard ends and the field to the South begins. He has some great suggestions, and is planning on sketching up some ideas, that I’ll be posting in the near future. I took a number of reference photos for him, and in addition he said he plans on stopping back by the house to look at how the field fills in this summer and how the tree line develops. And since I am planning on expanding the deck with a 10 by 12 extension in June, he wants to stop back by and see how that impacts his plans as well.

I have to say, I am really excited about how the landscaping is going to transform the look of the home. When we first moved in, both Kristy and I liked how the house appeared to float on a sea of green grass, but after six months we are realizing landscaping is going to make everything better.

Looking from the street, the house with the new driveway.

Looking from the field to the back of the house. In need of some trees.

The yard with so much dead grass.