About Me

My photo
i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

my daughter turned 24 years old yesterday~!~even though i took part in the whole process from the very beginning, i'm quite surprised by this event . . . i know that it's very trite and oversaid but, where oh where did the time go~!?!~ she spent her birthday discovering cloud forests in Honduras. i can't imagine it getting much better than that~!~you go girl~!!~ the late summer flowers are swaying in the hot summer sun now and once again, i wonder where the time went . . . around here, the fall season usually comes suddenly and with a vengeance, charging straight into a long cold winter so at any time we could wake up to killing frosts and ruined gardens and frozen flowers. i consider every day a gift from the summer gods and brace for the worst. every once in a great while we have a "real" warm extended fall season but it's rare. so it's hope for the best and expect the worst for us sun worshipers.
this year the strawberries that i planted did terribly. i got less than a handful of very tiny berries over the whole year. they were quite tasty and sweet but NOT in abundance. today i discovered the biggest cache yet~!~ three ripe berries~!!!~again, no bigger than my thumb nail but picture perfect anyway~!!~

earlier this summer i had an arborist tell me that the tree that i thought was a Japanese cherry tree is actually an ornamental crab apple. due to our fabulously unusual, virtually frost free spring, we have an abundance of fruit beginning to ripen. these are also very tiny and once the fall frosts have "cured" them the birds will come and feast all winter long. i'm looking forward to having an abundance of natural bird food right outside my front door and near a window from which i can watch this ongoing winter feast.

the bees know that time is of the essence and are busier than ever in their honey making endeavors.

so, between the cues given me by my garden and the local school year resuming, i have decided that it's time for me to get a bit more serious about my creative pursuits. i've been reading a book by Julia Cameron called "The Sound of Paper/Starting from Scratch" and it has become a helpful resource full of tools to get myself back on a (disciplined) creative path. i have been guilty in the past of thinking that creativity and discipline do not belong together in the same sentence but i'm quite certain i was wrong~!!~as there have been many a night that i have gone to bed feeling like, once again, i failed to catch the comet by the tail and fly simply because i don't think that i have the time or extended energy to do it. Julia councils me that i must be hyper aware of fleeting bits of time and use those productively rather than look for full days of extended energy to work with. i must consider my art important enough to set aside absolute blocks of time for. so i've begun to do just that; set aside specific scheduled time to work on various creative persuits. i've recognized and decided that not honoring these promises to myself is just as bad as not honoring promises that i've made to others. i have always considered myself careful with integrity and given to my full potential (often stretching beyond even that). at least that is how it goes when it's someone else other than myself that i've made the promises to . . . not so much when it comes down to being true to my self, particularly my artistic self.
the next few weeks will be all about re-organizing my schedules so that i can take better care of my creative side with much more loving attention than i have in the past. much easier said than done but i think i can claim a good start.

during this past week i managed to get back to my scrap management projects and finished eight tulips. i also worked on the ongoing Christmas card project for my daughter and card #4 is ready to finish and bind.

i put aside a bit of daily time to work on my sunday postcard art challenge. this is a sneak peek of what i'm working on for the fish theme that is coming up.

AND last but not least, i have uploaded my photoshop elements program. you know the one that i have been dancing around since last Christmas!?! i have acitvely begun tutorials and am making some progress in understanding all that this program will be able to add to my photography/digital art. i am getting excited~!!!~

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Postcard Art/Botanica

this week i was so inspired by the theme for Sunday Postcard Art that i decided to make two paper postcards. both cards use plants/flowers that i pressed myself and a bit of map that is from a nearby area. i aged the map with tea/coffee and added faux postmarks as well as some brick colored ink to the edges. on the second card i created a tag with "Ephemeroptera" on it which i thought was wonderfully serendipitous: read my previous post regarding the mayflies discovered in my pond.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life Emerging
this afternoon, with camera in hand, i went to sit by the pond just to see what i could see . . .
a small bug dive-bombed into the water and was struggling. i stuck my thumb in and under it in order to bring it out with as little damage as possible. and started snapping shots with my other hand. when it was in the water i thought that it was possibly a lacewing . . . you can see by the above shot that it was very small and the only reason that you can see it's details very well is because i was shooting in macro. and because of this, you can see that it's actually a very tiny dragonfly~!~
eventually it dried off enough so that it's wing was no longer stuck to my thumb and i gently placed it beside the pond among some small pebbles so that it could continue to dry off.

in the meantime, i took LOTS of photos~!~

at some point it was laying on top of a pebble in this superman position that you see above. i have no idea why, except maybe the surface was warm and it was trying to make the most of the situation. it stayed there like that for quite some time.

i know that i have included quite a few shots here and you may find this pretty boring but i was totally captivated and took more than 200 shots while watching this all happen . . . you should be able to click on any one of the shots to see details if you are so inclined. i have tried to include various perspectives for those who may be as fascinated as i was.

by this time even i was beginning to get a bit bored and it seemed to be wandering about quite a bit so i expected that it would eventually fly away . . .

and it probably did. my attention was back on the edge of the pond momentarily . . .

when i happened to notice this little swimmer. upon looking closely i thought that it looked quite a bit like the insect that i had rescued earlier. but there were a few differences . . . such as i couldn't see wings and the tail end of it had three long whisker like bits rather than two AND it seemed to be swimming about quite proficiently . . .
the shot isn't as clear partially because it's actually under the water but if you look closely you will see the differnces too.
i was pondering these differences and wondering what i was seeing when suddenly this little "being" bobbed straight up to the surface and split wide open and flew away~!!~ all of that took a split second and i was quite startled by the whole event.

and this empty bit of outer shell was all that was left . . . floating on the water . . .
i'm guessing that the first one just didn't have quite as successful of a launch and once it's wing was wet it was in trouble. the second one flew quickly off, up and away . . .
check out those ultra tiny hairs on the whiskery end bits. no wonder it was such a good swimmer while still in the "shell"~!!~
i'm so very delighted that we have this life cycle in our pond and that i have now seen a part of it that i had never seen before~!!~and with my camera at the ready, no less~!~
it's a mayfly~Ephemeroptera~!!!~
i have such terrific readers~!!~THANK YOU all for your interest and support and for the wonderful additional information that you have contributed.
Eileen of Keeping it Rural in Wisconsin (http://ruralwisconsin.blogspot.com/ ) has added: http://www.earthlife.net/insects/ephemer.html
****by the way: don't you just love the latin word for it~!!!?!!!!~ Ephemeroptera . . .
definately going on my list~!~

Monday, August 17, 2009

fabric/mixed media postcard
i was recently flickring around within one of my contacts photostreams, jeanne-marie mellor (http://www.flickr.com/people/anotherrealm/) and she has some beautiful atc's that were made simply by using lots of various textural threads and other bits for the base with additional hand embroidery and other embellishments added . . . like frosting on cake~!~ they were so whimsical and fun that i felt inspired to do some of the same type of work myself. i posted the beginnings of this card on my previous post and now i've finished up the edges with a thin metal that has been cut to the right width and folded over and sewn on with three strands of pink floss (very much like a fabric binding would be done). this was as fun as it looked like it might be and i will definately do more projects using this free form style of creating.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

i was able to set aside a few hours today to work on stitching and it was quite nice~!~ i needed the relaxing combination of quiet and stitch therapy.
recently while in flickr i was inspired by another.realm's work with textures using threads and other bits and that is what i played around with today. i started out with a felt base and added some soft variegated yarns and then machine embroidered them randomly together.
after that i added beads and other findings as well as some hand embroidery. all of this done with not much attention paid to anything but enjoying "the moment" . . .

i ended up with this fabric postcard that is almost completed. i'm not exactly sure how i'll finish the edges but i can think about that tomorrow.

if you want to look at the work/image closer you can click on it to enlarge. it was a very relaxing choice of projects to work on and just what i needed today.
i've been pretty busy for the last few days with late summer gardening and an out of town visitor (a very good friend) whom i don't get to see nearly often enough. although i missed blogworld, i have to say that these are the things that a happy summer is made of.

a few days ago i was playing around with macro and depth of focus using a fancy silver spoon. i thought that the results were pretty to look at and hope that you think so too.

also on my camera when i downloaded it was a few shots of a coleus leaf with the morning sun shining through it. wonderful textures and colors and a bit of a glow . . . all framed up with a leaf from the begonia plant.

i seem to be a bit off track with my sunday postcard art challenge. i hope to get back to it very soon. i guess i needed a little vacation from any "art discipline" . . .

Monday, August 3, 2009

in amongst the rocks by the pond i have planted elfin thyme. it is doing very well there and i'm always fascinated by how such a tiny flower can draw so many pollinators~!!~ this macro shot of them shows how they look just like teensie tiny orchid flowers and highlights their furry green leaves. clicking on the photo should enlarge it so that you can really get a good look at them.what i can't show you is the fry (baby goldfish) that were discovered in the pond this past weekend. so far there have been only a small handful of them spotted as they are quite good at hiding. there are a number of other bigger fish in the pond so chances are pretty good that most of them will not survive. i had baby's born last year and can only count approximately 14 of those as survivors into this summer. when they were born there were 9 large fish to wait around and pick them off as they got the chance. i think that there are probably hundreds of them born at a time so the odds really aren't in their favor. in addition to the 14 survivors from last summer's brood i have 4 of the larger original fish so this year's baby's are going to have an even tougher time . . .
it's very interesting to watch the the pond and it's various life cycles. there are dragon and damsel flys that frequent the pond and i have seen there strange life cycle within it as time goes on . . . as well as many other pond bugs/critters. one of my favorite things about summer is observing all of this pond life happen.

my rudebeckia also grows near the pond in front of a tall urn full of red petunias. this year the rudebeckia have grown so dense and tall that i can't even see the urn. the red petunias however peek out just above and provide an extra splash of color.
i can't remember what these are called but i do like them. i have many shades of pink, purple and white growing all together. they were actually planted several years ago from seed and have continued up year after year. they stand about a foot tall and this is a photo of just the flower, which grows as a ball of tiny florets.
the next sunday postcard art challenge is "nursery rhymes". i found an old book from my childhood that i still have and leafed through it in an attempt to get inspired. on the inside cover there is a handwritten inscription by my great grandparents. it is dated 1966 and there is a price of $1.95 up in one corner. i was two years old in 1966 and i can remember enjoying this book a lot throughout my childhood. despite that, it is still in remarkeably great shape.
there are many charming illustrations throughout this book but i chose the humpty dumpty and the cat and the fiddle to show here. it is a reminder of my childhood and one of my favorite childhood pasttimes; reading.

unfortunately, i'm still not feeling like building a postcard . . .

get ready Jay as a package will be coming your way soon. i didn't feel like writing a letter or a note to go with the enclosed goodies but had no problem sitting still with the prisma pencils and coloring in this fun rubber stamped image on the outside of the envelope . . . go figure~!~