Saturday, April 25, 2009

Canvas Book & Backyard Visitor

My daughter's camera has such hi-res that it takes me forever to resize the photos to post. Here's the Canvas book that was done a few weeks ago.

Front & Back cover: The Peacock 'eye' is captured with a piece of clear cellophane from a page divider. I stitched it down. The 'Bead' was made using sculphy that I rubber stamped & painted. (same as mosaic ATC's)

Same pages with organza dragonfly in between:
The lime green page has newsprint from an Asian newspaper cut into leaf shapes and stiffened with good ol'elmers. The Marsh Wren is hand stamped & watercolored.

My Calligraphy mixed with bird stamps that were water colored.

Page pre-photo shop:

trying to be fancy in photoshop. LOVE! the way the new image draws the eye to different elements than the pre-photo shop image. must play with this more when I have more hours in the day.

Another Organza page that I stamped the hand writing on; it covers 'raw paper' that has leaves in it. The Butterfly (Zebra Swallow Tail) was a picture my daughter took when we were in Big Sur, I printed it out & put it on fusible.

Last two are more 'whimsical'. The bird tag is from K&Company (luv their stuff!).

As promised; Back Yard Visitor to the fruit tree; Wild Parrots. Here's one doing what Parrots do best! Aren't they beautiful!

Ms. Stella O'Houligan makin' a wish!

Fortnight Lily's

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mother Earth gets a trim

OR; How I became a pain the arse of the tree hackers today.

You see, it all started with this phone call from the landlord:
"We're trimming all the trees because some idiot in another city all together, lit one of those trees on fire causing damage to that home."

Me, slightly dumbfounded "Uh... ok? So you realize it's early spring? Birds are in fact nesting in our trees as we speak?"

Her: "the birds haven't started laying eggs yet... I'm a great afficianado of baby birds."

I continue: "Can I have the number for the tree people so I can tell them about the hummingbird in the back yard who's worked her tiny tail off this last week building her tiny cup nest that has one egg in it."

Her: "Oh, uh, sure..." gives me the number & hangs up.

I call the tree folks; they assure me if I tie ribbons near her nest (my idea) they will happily work around her. I'm not convinced... I realize I will need to be here after all which means taking time off work to come home & sit in the back yard(k so that's not sooo bad on a gorgeous day like today).

This shot is after the trim; prior to this; I could only see two rows of bricks and none of the house behind:

As they trample my flower beds & destroy my plants by letting the tree branches fall all over the property without so much as an 'oops'. (I whisper many curse words to myself at this time but I'm not budging...)they look at me sideways. I'm out there dressed for work in a dress & 4 inch heels peeling off branches they've let fall all over my rose bushes, hibiscus and clivia nearly destroying them all. But... I don't take my eyes off that tree... The trimmer smiles & nods as he fires up that chainsaw & starts carving away (I'm not convinced they even know how to properly trim a tree in the first place) while my tiny hummer buzzes around her yard nervously lighting only momentarily before firing off again. My heart breaks. I'm fearful she may not return to her nest at all after this madness.

They finally finish up and I'm so paranoid I don't want to leave for fear they will get evil grins & go finish off the tree when I'm not here to stop them. But I leave. I have to go back to work, I'm crest fallen.

I have my daughter call as soon as she gets home to go check to see if our girl is back on her nest and I am overjoyed to hear that she is!

When I arrive home later; I take the ladder out & remove the ribbons around her nest in spite of my wobbly knees for being up on the uppermost rung of the 6 foot ladder. This is critical or I might as well hang an "Eat Here" sign for the crows & scrub jays. I cannot however, overcome my heights issue enough take El's camera up there & grab a shot of inside the nest. Nor can I risk tipping it down enough to see in as I'm afraid the egg will roll out. El assured me it wouldn't; the hummer had taken the 'raw off-silk' I had put out there for her and secured the egg to the nest with it. I am rather puffed up at this news feeling like I helped.

Tonight; I took this picture of her back on her nest. She rests like a tiny boat in the storm of leaves on her teacup nest. I am so happy for her, and Earth day. On my walk the Universe thanks me with the finding of this tiny, shiny thing: and I can sleep tonight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Long Beach Quilt Festival 2009

I'm pleased to report that this piece will debut this July at the Long Beach Quilt Festival 2009. It will be hanging with a special exhibit entitled 'Edges'. This piece focus' on the 'edges of tranquility'. The quote is from the Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. "Desiderata" is Latin 'desired things'. Quilt size is 36" x 48".

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mosaic ATC Swap

I'll be mailing these out Monday to the ATC coordinator.
They are 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
Mine are entitled 'Your secret's safe with me."

All the embellishments sit atop a gorgeous piece of hand made paper I found. That paper was fused to tyvek for support. Originally, I was going to put lots of things on top but I just didn't like any of what I had and was really drawn to just the simple red piece in the center. This first one is a gift for the coordinator, I like it because it has the rough edge of the paper still on it.

Though simple; there were a lot of techniques going on here. 1. The red 'tablet shard' was made from rolled out sculpy; I took a large rubber stamp that was all script and pressed it into the sculpy and then took a knife and cut it into rectangles. Once it was cured; I painted the surface with acrylic ink.

The 'tassel ends' are all from Bolo ties I collected from a friend. The dark green material was actually a silk carrier rod that I dyed with Calligraphy inks. I sewed them down with some hand dyed embroidery floss.

The Chinese emblems were cut from a bangle bracelet I got at a Claire's store in the mall a few years ago. I affixed them as well as the shards & tassels with glue prior to sewing them down for added security. Then I added the beads. These were really fun; but I hate sewing through ultimately was 2 layers of fabric, tyvek & thick hand made paper that made the substrate.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Bombus Humilis

Aren't they gorgeous? See what I mean by "patrols" his area? If you get too close; he will zoom right up to your face & hover, then bolt forward till he pushes you back. His buzz is quite loud and very intimidating. He (or she?) has been known to chase off any intruder including hummingbirds who can be quite naughty in their own right.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Got Spring?

When I was getting my morning sustenance; she crept in on these;

and bade me take my morning coffee outside; on the bench; under the umbrella where I could survey my backyard sanctuary. "Look around" she whispered... "The dragons are coming and there's nowhere to land... The Golden Bumble bees all ready patrol the honeysuckle. The mantid's will be here and need more flowers to protect than this don't you think?" I look at her askance at the Mantid remark, I mean, it wasn't long ago in her kitten hood I remember well, she had a green one on the carpet in the house & it was holding it's own against her. She was mystified how something so small could still be so fierce and not succumb to her velvet paws of death. I reminded her that it wasn't polite to mess thing things smaller than yourself. I explained about the poor hummingbird that got too close to a hunting Mantid and lost it's life! She has never brought another one in the house.

I sent her in to wake her girl so we could go run errands & maybe, just maybe find somethings worthy of our coming royalty (and our lovely birds all ready here!) that would fit into our tiny budget.

We got some of these:

Then, El said; "MOM!" and pointed to this:

and she didn't understand why I laughed. I explained that I've killed more of these than I could count; I don't water that often; we are in a desert; I explained why we needed to find drought resistant plants and while they weren't always so showy and beautiful and dripping with yummy color; we needed to be kind to 'our' environment. I have a tiny space put aside in my yard where I do water frequently in summer just to stand and relax and gaze at the pretty things and re-connect to that part of me. Other than that; the rest of the large yard front & back is on it's own.

So I reminded her we all ready had these colors:

Her hibiscus I planted for her two years ago.

The Clivia my boss gave me several of 5 years ago (guess I should divide them this fall)

And this lovely rose named "The Perfect Moment"

Not to mention, My mother's day gift from El when she was 8; a Double Delight rose

and the ubiquitous Azaelyas

El's Rose; I believe it's called 'Confetti', her favorite:

When all was said and done; we hadn't planted anything; but felt accomplished. Now it's off to make Chicken & Dumplings for dinner. She approves:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Because I have the best friends evar... This was left on my doorstep today. A gift, in a lovely moss green bag with lovely pink tissue. A single leaf etched on the front. And inside... My hearts continuing passion of Cheetah. She knew of course; and I can't imagine more perfect timing from the most awful day! Thank you so much Miss Vickie! You are the best!