Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tales of the Traveling Tote #14 ~ Stickworks

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Tote # 14

Home Bodies, that's what we've been!
With the push of the holidays in December 
and the bitter cold of our January and Februay days this year, 
Miss Merri Mac and I have not ventured far 
from the warmth of the cozy fire in our living room.
What to share for an adventure when one is
curled up on the sofa reading, stitching, or napping?

How about filling Miss Merri Mac 
with sticks for a little stitck adventure?

Those of you who follow Hyacinths 
know of my love of nature, gardens, and parks.  
Austin has many natural areas with hike and bike trails, 
creeks, and rivers, some of which I've shared in the past.

You might recall one of Miss Merri Mac's 
early adventures to Zilker Park here.

Shoal Creek flows through the heart of Austin 
where it empties into Lady Bird Lake.
Though it definitely shows the stress of urbanization, it also
offers respits of natural beauty with city hike and bike trails and parks, including Austin's oldest and much beloved Pease Park.

What's this you ask?
It's a recent Stickworks sculpture right
here in Austin's Pease Park.

Some of you may know of the internationally 
aclaimed sculptor, Patrick Dougherty.
He has created over 280 of these organic outdoor sculptures made from twigs and sticks and sapplings gathered from the area in which he constructs these large scale structures.
Click Here for an fascinating interview with Patrick Doughtery about the process of creating Yippee Ki Yay.

Yippee Ki Yay here in Pease Park is constructed of
Roosevelt Weed, Ligustrum, and Ash, all sourced from 
the hill country west of Austin.

  A Spanish cathedral was the inspiration 
for this patricular sculpture.  According to Mr. Dougherty,
"The surfaces are a bit rude and raw like the terrain of the hill country where the material was gathered.  I imagined cowboys herding cows through the mesquite trees and decided on a cowboy saluation, Yippee Ki Yay!"

 There are five of these large "rooms" that create a
delightful maze to wander.  As you can see,
the 12-14 feet height dwarfs me and Miss Merri Mac.

Photo Credit, Margie Gaudin
The sculptures are intended to be interactive,
both in the construction with local volunteers who helped
to buid the sculpture along side Mr. Doughtery and his son, Sam
and in the enjoyment as visitors young and old experience

Yippee Ki Yay first hand.

It's heartwarming to see children and parents chasing each other through the stitck passageways, sounds of glee echoing through the 
park as families come to see Mr. Doughtery's latest work.

Photo Credits Clockwise From Top Left
Daniel Finchum, Shannon Clark, Bob Joy, Pierre Charbonneau
As you can see in the sampling above, 
you must go visit Patrick Dougherty's site and 
view the distinct sculptures he has created round the globe.  
You can find an interesting article here on the process of constructing Yippee Ki Yay.

Thank you for joining me again for Tales of the Traviling Tote.
Miss Merri Mac and I will leave you with a touch of spring.
Iceland Poppies from a local flower farm, Grassdale Farm.
Read below for the details of the latest giveaway,
MacKenzie-Childs soap dish 
with the Beekman 1802 Goatmilk Soap.

Our Traveling Tote Group is pleased to welcome
Ricki Jill and Countes DeMonet @ The Sketchy Reader
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Lea and Miss Scarlett @ Cici's Corner 
Please come along and travel with us.  Just click the link to join each of the Traveling Tote Adventures. 
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs The French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda G with Miss Poppy @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Jackie and Miss Madi K Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Lea and Miss Scarlett @ Cici's Corner

The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Looks like fun! I have seen an example of that type of structure on our college campus. They are interesting and just a little creepy too, to me. I would love to see the kids running through them though.

    Sarah, it has been raining here for days upon days. We are thankful that the drought conditions are gone now but we need some sunshine. Is it the same for you?

  2. I enjoyed seeing all the stickworks sculptures. I wonder how long it took the artist and volunteers to construct them? I bet children love playing in them! I love the spring flowers Miss Merri Mac is sharing with us. I can't wait to plant our annuals, but I'm waiting because I know we'll have that last frost!

    Thanks for letting me join y'alls TTT group. I'm loving it!

    Ricki Jill

  3. The stick sculptures are amazing - I don't think I have ever seen anything like that before! I would love to watch the assembly to see how they are created. Your pic of the flowers give me hope that spring is around the corner!

  4. How interesting to see the stick sculptures and what a great way to use mother natures materials. I'm sure this is a hit with both children and adults for play and walking. We've had the same weather here Sarah so not much venturing out. Love your ending with the promise of Spring!

  5. How incredible Sarah! I have never heard or seen anything like these stick sculptures! They must be very sturdy if the public is allowed to walk and run through them! We have had a very quiet winter too, when it gets cold I tend to hibernate like the animals. Sitting by the fire, reading, stitching and napping sounds like heaven to me!

  6. Hi Sarah, I so enjoyed seeing the Stickworks sculptures! I'm glad that you were able to go and visit them and share them with us. They look magical to me, and I wish I could see them in person. It sounds like you and Miss Merri Mac have been enjoying the coziness of winter time...just how I like it!

  7. What talent to create such intricate charming sculptures:) Love your flowers in the last pic!♥Your group is getting bigger and bigger:)

  8. Well, Sarah, I can agree that winter is a time for hibernating, and your stick photo led me to believe it was nothing but that, but then....Yippee Ki Yay! What a fascinating installation! I wonder how it's held up through the weather. It really looks so cool, and I would love to see something like that and be immersed in it - fun!
    Like you & Miss Merri Mac, Miss Luna C and I are ready for the real break in the weather and for spring to settle right in. It's amazing how motivating sunshine can be and how much of a downer gray skies and gloom can be. Happy trails!

  9. How fascinating and creative those structures are and your Iceland Poppies are a delightful and beautiful sight! I’ve been laying low too for the past month. Signs of spring are everywhere with our 70 degree days. I have a lot of garden clean up to do, I need to get busy!

  10. Oh, I have seen these stick sculptures in a part in the Dallas area and was just so intriqued by the workmanship. I can't even imagine the work that goes in to each of these creations. It appears that none of us and our totes have had any big time adventures since the first of the year but Spring is coming and off we'll be. Blessings to you and Miss Merri Mac!

  11. Sarah, those stickworks are amazing. They do dwarf you and Miss Merri Mac. I have never heard of them, so I am loving the whole experience. Spring flowers look so lovely with Miss Merri Mac. I think we are all ready for some spring time weather.

  12. Sarah, you and Miss Merri Mac can have lovely adventures just sitting by the fire. Those stickworks are really something. I have never heard of them and enjoyed reading about them. The flowers of spring are something to look forward to..Happy Thursday..Judy

  13. I always learn so much with your Traveling Tote stories, Sarah!

    I have never seen anything like those stick houses and sculptures - wow - the hours it must have taken to make them, whew!

    I think you saved the best to last though - your gorgeous MC tote filled with colorful luscious flowers - a sight for sore eyes on this very grey very rainy bleh kind of day. Spring will come, I have a crocus that bloomed and my daffodils and tulips are about 4 inches of green poking up now. What a lovely promise of things to come!

    Have a blessed day. Hugs.

  14. Sarah, the poppies are just stunning! I can't wait for spring, but we have gotten through January and February so it is almost here!
    I just saw some stick structures like that posted on a friend's Instagram who is down in Australia. They are wild and wouldn't kids love to play in and around those! The picture with you and Miss Merrie Mac really give perspective on their size. Thanks for sharing those fascinating structures.

  15. Wow! Those structures are amazing!! Cute post as always, dear Sarah. Miss Daisy can't wait to see Miss Merrie Mac in Austin. Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. Thank you for sharing your stickworks adventure. I can see what people would enjoy moving in and around them. Your Miss Merrie Mac is filled with gorgeous flowers. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  17. Sarah, this was so interesting. The stick scultures must have taken a long time to construct but they look sturdy.
    Sorry, the weather has been so bad lately. We were in Dallas 10 days and didn't see the sun until the last day. Lots and lots of rain and cold temperatures.
    Your tote filled with lovely flowers is a sight for sore eyes. We are all ready for spring.

  18. Sarah,
    As interesting as I found the stick sculptures, I found the photo of Miss Merri Mac filled with Iceland Poppies my favorite. Spring is showing herself here... white blooming native fruitless plum trees have burst into bloom following all of the much-needed rain.


  19. Sarah, how interesting are the stick sculptures. I can imagine much time was spent creating them. I always love the Traveling Totes series. Hopefully spring will be arriving in Austin soon!

  20. Sarah, I had the pleasure of seeing one of the Stickworks installations about a year and a half ago in the Renwick Museum (part of the Smithsonian) in Washington D.C. during their Wonder exhibition. At first I was puzzled and thought it was just humorous, but as soon as I began wandering through it I was instantly captivated by the feeling of being in a magical place, and the texture and movement of the natural materials was actually quite beautiful. The video link you provided of the interview with the artist was very enlightening too, especially regarding his ideas on building a cathedral and the effect of corners. Thank you for that link! I think it would be quite fun to have this in my local park for a bit of alone time or for burning off energy dashing around the corners. This park of yours is very special, I can see. Finding local fun is important for our tote tribe, too! Linda

  21. Some people are just so darn talented - imagine a lot of hours and energy went into those amazing twig sculptures! Off to watch the video shortly.

    Enjoy the coming of spring dear Sarah - I think we all need a break from the crazy weather pattern this winter brought!

    Hugs - Mary

  22. I don't know if I see Spanish cathedral but I do find those organic sculptures mesmerizing. I would love to see those in person!

  23. Dearest Sarah,
    You are so right about a cold winter!
    We just went for the weekend to New Orleans and had on Sunday as we wanted to walk to the Cathedral Basilica for Mass, heavy rain. A taxi rescued us and for the rest it was pleasant.
    Those sticks are a very unique way of building and they might in the past have served some human beings; who knows?
    Thanks for sharing these photos with us.
    Hugs and happy weekend!

  24. Sarah, Thank you for bringing us the imagination of Patrick Dougherty. I am mesmerized by his skill and eye for natural wonder. Every one of them offers, not only the body of design, but the movement is remarkable. The longer I look at them the more I see. Absolutely, fascinating.

  25. I have spent a lot of time perusing your marvelous photos of Patrick Dougherty's work. I am floored by the power these 'stick' sculptures have - and pass on. I couldn't figure out exactly how they were assembled and permanently constructed - but it looks like magic!
    Thanks so much for sharing - now I'm off to google up some more images of his other works!
    Happy Pink Saturday!

  26. The Stickworks are fascinating sculptures and do remind me a little of Gaudi's unfinished Sagrada Familia, I can imagine spending time there would be special indeed. Miss M takes you to some very interesting places.

  27. Sarah, I'm not familiar with the stickworks, but I really enjoyed seeing them. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  28. Oh Sarah, I have always adored Iceland Poppies. How lovely they look in your MKC tote! I did a lot of reading about the the sculptures and how they are intended to be interactive, both in the construction with local volunteers who helped
    to build the sculpture alongside Mr. Dougherty and his son, Sam, and in the enjoyment as visitors young and old experienceit. I bet Mr. Dougherty does not have much free time either! I hope Stickworks will come to New York sometime.

  29. This was an thoroughly enjoyable journey! Thank you! I remember seeing a special on PBS about Patrick Dougherty. He is a gifted artist! Thank you!

  30. What amazing and graceful structures Dougherty created with sticks. Such vision! Thanks for taking us along on your visit.

  31. You and Miss Merri Mac have been having lots of fun. Patrick Dougherty created with sticks and grass in Hermann Park several years ago. I went looking to see if anything was left, but between the waters of Harvey and the winds, I didn't find anything. It was loads of fun while it was here. So clever!

  32. My first thought when I saw the stick structures was, "Where's a good hobbit when you need one?!" My second thought was the in the photo of you, you were standing next to a wooly mammoth. So cool. I hope he makes his way to create some of his sculptures in our city. Thanks for taking us along on such a wonderful journey. Cherry Kay

  33. Fascinating sculptures. I just hope they were downed materials rather than cutting down live bushes ... Anything that can get people outside and active (imagine kids playing with their parents!!!) is a worthy endeavor indeed! I must say I like the flowers rather than the sticks as content for Miss Merrie Mac!

  34. Happy Pink Saturday, dear Sarah. I think Miss Merri Mac has just the right idea by trying to stay warm and cozy.

    Thank you for always making Pink Saturdays special. This post is being featured on my Pink Saturday post this week as "the one with the most clicks".♥

  35. Sarah it was with great excitement that I looked upon all your photos. These works of art are so beautiful and to think that you are encouraged to interact with them makes them even more special. Back in our farm we would have so many sticks that we would have to burn them but now this amazing artist is actually repurposing them in such an ingenious way.


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.