Enjoying My Flowers

My life tends to be full of tasks and I don’t often slow down enough to notice small stuff.  This spring however, I’ve been taking the time to inspect the new flowers I planted this spring; a variety of rudebekia, daisies and coneflowers; and the birds and bugs that have visited me.  I have hopes that my observations will help me in artistic endeavors in future!  But I am certainly enjoying the opportunity to slow down and see the daily changes.

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This Rudebekia has been opening slowly and the petals have been lengthening.  Here is a photo of it from this weekend, approximately 1 week later:

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You can see the center becoming fuzzier the longer it is open.

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This is another Rudebekia of a different variety.  This plant is covered in blooms right now.

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This is the last of the Rudebekia varieties to bloom.  This plant has only put up one flower stalk and has been progressing very slowly.

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My orange coneflower keeps adding on new blooms.  It’s really striking!

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I had a parsley plant that not only survived the winter, but thrived – growing into a 4’ tall bush.  These guys have been munching on it and making a dent in the seed heads by a small bit.  More of them show up each day and I guess the mature ones are dropping off to form their cocoons.

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I’ve never seen a green fly before, but this guy has been hanging around my rudebekia and I managed to catch him on the rock lily bloom with a Micro lens.

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I noticed this spider hanging in thin air.  It took me quite a while to find its web and even longer to get it in the frame in focus.

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This nice lady, a black crested nuthatch, has babies in one of the birdhouses on my back patio.  I noticed her eralier in the year scoping it out, but enver heard babies in it so didn’t realize she’d laid eggs in the nest I discovered there.  The wren family is in another birdhouse on the patio so it makes for interesting listening when both mom’s are delivering meals.

A New Project for Valentine’s Day

I have been working on a very late birthday present up until Friday, when I decided to do my end of year (yeah, I do the end of year stuff in January) filing, which was preceded by needing desperately to clean.   This urge was, of course, precipitated by my inability to find something….  I need a better organizational system.  The archeological method isn’t working for me.  So, Saturday was devoted to a few errands and cleaning and watching the playoff’s.  The weather was beautiful, the way it is rarely before we get the next cold front blowing through.  I know, Texas doesn’t really get cold, cold fronts, but this one was supposedly an arctic blast.  Whenever one of these fronts starts dipping down, it drags moisture up from the gulf, which, IF WE ARE VERY LUCKY, results in a little bit of rain.  The big thing it does, is make everything cloudy and gloomy.  So, Saturday was a great picture day, if I hadn’t been cleaning that is.  I did take a few minutes to snap these wise guys on my tree.  I can almost see them “Hey, you!  You wanna piece of me?  Huh?  You wanna piece of me?”.  I think that obscure reference is from the Animaniacs, but I honestly can’t remember.

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Sunday morning, I woke up with a very sore throat and a head-cold.  That’s what I get for telling the girl at the hospital (long story short, sat in the ER with my Dad for a loose screw – his) that I never get sick….  I’m not getting the last laugh…  So, not working on the present, because I’m not giving the recipient his germs back… Yeah, he was out Friday sick; so I’m guessing he’s the donor of the germs.  Anyway, I slowly poked through cleaning up the paint studio.  Again, watched the playoffs, but the first game was so bad that I spent more time in the studio than out. 

I finally got space cleared enough that I could work and decided to try out a vague idea for a pin doll.  Even in my mentally challenged state, I came up with this pretty little girl.

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I’m trying her out as an idea for a class, but am also thinking of listing her in my Etsy shop.  She was a lot of fun, especially as I got to play with the Sizzix die-cuts and embossing folders.

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She is made from some small wood pieces, grunge board, copper wire and copper sheet metal, fibers, beads, pearls and is backed with felt and has a pin attached.  She’s almost 7” from wing tip to wing tip and is 5” tall.  I’m really happy with how she turned out!  I was thinking V-day when I came up with the color scheme, but I really like copper with reddish tones.  Of course, I love turquoise with copper too.  May have to make another one with turquoise!

When It’s Too Hot – Quilt!

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It’s August in Texas, which means it is 100 degrees plus.  When it gets this hot, I get my outdoor stuff done early and then spend the rest of the day inside.  I did catch this fantastic butterfly on my salvia late yesterday.  It’s a Bordered Patch.  It actually looks more like a California Patch, but they don’t get this far east.  Since I have the quilt to do, I spent today in the studio with the ceiling fan on high. 

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Since I last posted, I finished the background, cut out the skull and have been hunting for stuff.  I made some of my yarn fabric and made leaves out of it.  The extra, I used as texture on the quilt.  Today, I finally got ready to start stitching stuff down.  I’ve made great progress and and am very pleased!  I’m working in layers.  The first picture below shows all four layers I’ve done so far.  I stamped leaves on the background using my hand-carved stamps using fluid acrylics.  Next I quilted the background and the first layer of the fountain.  I added the bird, quilted him on and trimmed away the background.

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I quilted in the ditch at intervals so I could keep the quilt stable and remove some of the pins.  Then I quilted the skull on.  Next I did his eyes, nose, teeth, jaw, and cheek.  I also did the second layer (in black silk gauze) on the fountain to get the shading.  Then I started adding plant life.  The spiky plant next to the skull is wool felt, in about 3 layers. I added blades of grass in a green-green wool felt over the skull.

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The last layer above is the mossy stuff.

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You can see the silk gauze on the fountain above, along with a fabric paper vine.  It’s going to have red fabric paper flowers.

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And this is what it looks like so far.  I’m so thrilled!