Sunday, May 31, 2015

Appalachian Azure

So today marks the 30th day in a row (out of a 90 challenge) that I have blogged. (Actually, it's day 31 but when I wrote this post it was the 30th day, lol ) I know some of my friends have struggled to complete a full 30 days, but it isn't their fault. They have either husbands and or children, maybe working a regular 9-5 job. Heck, I doubt I could make the time to blog if I had those responsibilities. Plus I am on 6 design teams so blogging and taking pictures is almost part of my daily routine for me. I think they are all doing a fabulous job so if you have a chance, pop on over to their blog, say hello and "follow" them. It would make their day!



Butterfly Life List:
1. Monarch
2. Pipevine Swallowtail
3. Silver Spotted Fritillary
4. Tiger Swallowtail
5. Black Swallowtail
And not a new one, but new pictures anyway :) Spent a couple hours down by the creek today, I just love how much cooler it is down there. I am still surprised that I find butterflies down there too, today it was the Appalachian Azure's that were fluttering all over the place. One even climbed all over my camera and investigated my keys that were laying beside me.

6. Appalachian Azure on Perewinkle
female, ignoring the males...lol
The Appalachian azure is found throughout the central and southern Appalachian mountains from Pennsylvania to Georgia and has a few isolated records from MissouriKentucky, and Ohio.[3] It lives in moist deciduous woodlands with plenty of shade and streamsides near these forests. Males often gather in groups near mud puddles by these streamsides.
Males "puddling"...I don't even want to think about what they were on either!
You may not want to know this about the guys....

"Butterflies and moths regularly congregate around mud, dung and even blood, tears or decaying flesh! Little is known about this behaviour, but there are a couple of interesting observations that may help explain the icky phenomenon. For starters, the majority of specimens found near mud are males and quite often, while the butterfly blokes are drinking from the mud, fluids are pumped out of their abdomens. The male Gluphisia septentrionis moth even goes so far as to shoot the fluids in forced anal jets ... charming."

That's food for thought the next time you see a butterfly, huh?


Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Challenge with Anna

Anna is hosting a challenge for the month of May...(you have one more day to enter)! It's been a lot of fun checking out what everyone has been creating using their watercolor techniques. She even provided a video (CeeCee's Creations)that you can follow along with in case you need some inspiration. I think everyone has done a wonderful job!

Anna
Karen
Tamiko
Betty
Tommy Jo
Tiare
Sharon
Melody
Jean
Marion
Donna

And mine...I used a picture from a friend of mine who I just recently met during Garden Jubilee. It's so much fun to meet the person in "real life" after getting to know them online. She posted a picture of her Clematis and I asked her if I could do a drawing from it. I used my latest splurge...a set of Tombows that I recently purchased from my local art store, The Starving Artist. He was unpacking them when I went into the store and I swear my blood pressure spiked...I bought everyone! lol Thankfully Matt gave me a 30% discount and he even threw in an extra black one. :)


And here is mine. I drew everything with the Tombows and used my Koi waterbrush to give it a watercolor effect, outlined with a Micron pen.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Collage it baby!

I have collaging on my brain these days as I decided to re-make a canvas. I had painted it, but it just didn't click with me, even though I "lived with it" for several months...9 months to be exact. Artists have discussions about re-doing their work, I am one that has no problem with that.

The 2 parts I loved and knew I wouldn't change were the owl and the eyes peeping out of the hole in the tree. I really liked the papered owl and decided I needed to emphasize that more.

So I begin collaging the entire canvas...

Here is a side by side comparison...personally I really like how it turned out, what do you think? Would you have kept it like it was originally or do you think it was worth the makeover?



And every collage doesn't have to be this complicated, I did a I created a tongue in cheek Garden Hours art journal page today to express how scattered I feel right now over on the Helmar DT blog today. Check it out, whooooo knows, you might want to do something like this too!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

My fountain!

So most of you already know the story of how I got the fountain.

Well, that same afternoon I spent leveling the ground and removing plants for it to fit in. Had to take a break at this point, drink some water and read the pump assembly instructions.

Then I came back for round 2, assembled everything and replanted all the plants.

Today, the maintenance guys came out and put in the wiring, it was a lot of work for them, but finally it got completed!! I did get tickled that they thought they would have to put the pump together and were quite surprised that I did it myself.....lol ( men, eye roll)

And now I have a running fountain, it sounds great and I am so excited! I need some plants to put up around the base that the deer won't disseminate, but otherwise I am very happy with it's location.

I have to add a picture which shows the light inside the fountain a little bit better....:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Note it in Bling!

Hi everyone, bringing you a noteworthy project today!
I love to carry little journals with me..I can make a quick sketch in it or jot down an important phone number or a date I need to remember quick and easy! And there is no reason to bring out a boring notebook when you have The Buckle Boutique Dazzling Diamond sheets to use!


For this project, I used the Hot Pink Zebra sheet to wrap around my little notebook. I love the self-adhesive sheets that are so easy to apply with! I simply pulled back the cover on the bling....

And then laid my book onto the sheet and simply wrapped it around, cut off the excess and trimmed around the corners of the book. The bling sheets are flexible and oh so easy to cut through with your scissors!

The last thing I did was to adhere an epoxy phrase to the front of my book with my Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive, and voilĂ , it's done! I LOVE how easy and fast this was to make!

Thanks for visiting!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

garden work today

Yesterday the owners of my apartment complex stopped by to look at the area I have been working on, to let me know how much they loved what I was doing. They wanted to know if I wanted a fountain to add into the area. Do I? Heck yes, I do!! I have actually been thinking of putting in a shallow bird bath just to have some kind of feature down at the left end. They bought it by this morning...it's awesome! They will hook up the wiring and it has a light to go inside too!! LOVE!
So, I know what I'll be doing today! Moving plants so I can set this puppy up exactly where I want it!

Monday, May 25, 2015

omg...snake!!

I have been working in my woodland garden for 4 years now, in and out of the creek gathering rocks and moss, and never saw a snake, not once. Today I was taking a break, chilling by the creek bed with my wine cooler after having weeded the creek bed and gathered moss for my bench planter when up the middle of the creek swims a snake!! Then another!! I think there were 3 or 4 of them...I took some pictures, but got creeped out and removed myself from the area. I need to educate myself on snakes it would seem.

I came immediately inside and did some research...

Watch how the snake swims. To tell the difference between a venomous water moccasin/cottonmouth and a harmless water snake: Check to see if it is swimming with only its head above water, or whether most of its body is floating, too. If just the head is showing, it is most likely a harmless water snake, but if the body is floating too, it could be a water moccasin (almost all venomous snakes swim with their lungs inflated, leaving the majority of their bodies afloat). A water moccasin will have elliptical pupils and the harmless water snake will have round pupils. Either way, leave it alone and allow it to leave the area.

So I think it's a non-venomous snake. Round pupils - check

Swimming in a "group" with it's head above water - check

Leave it alone and leave the area - check

I just joined another excellent group on FB...Snake Identification.....lol Will find out if I am correct or not in my research. I'm think a Brown Water Snake....I'm posting this when I discover what it is from the group assesment.

And they say it is a Northern Watersnake, or a Banded Watersnake

Northern Water Snakes and Banded Water Snakes live near lakes, ponds, marshes, streams, rivers, and canals; just about anywhere there is water. They are active during the day and at night. They are most often seen basking on rocks, stumps, or brush.
During the day, water snakes hunt among plants at the water's edge, looking for small fish, frogs, worms, leeches, crayfish, salamanders, young turtles, and small birds and mammals. At night, they concentrate on minnows and other small fish sleeping in shallow water



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Garden Jubilee


12pm
It can be depressing for an artist trying to sell things to the public, don't think for a moment that you are alone in feeling this way. Here I have sat for 2 hours and haven't sold a thing! People have looked, and liked...but not purchased!

1:30pm 
...finally sold a sign

2:25pm
 woo hoo...a customer bought 2 plus she wants to commission me to make some special ones for her with a Wizard of Oz theme, that sounds so cool! Looking forward to doing that!


3:15pm
 Sold another...yeah!!


3:58pm
....not a bite....this sucks....lol.
Packing up, going to visit my friends up on the street level and walk around and look at plants I can't afford.
 Must. Not. Spend. More. Money. On. Plants.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day before Garden Jubilee

Friday was the day before Garden Jubilee, our big garden event in Hendersonville, NC. I took all my garden signs into my studio so I could get them varnished.

But first I had to clear my desk off, I've been re-working a canvas and making it into a collage piece from one of our local magazines called The Laurel of Hendersonville.

I also had surprise gifts left for me by 2 of my friends. One was from Michele, the owner of the Art MoB who laid out some flowers on newspaper for me :)

And my other friend Shirley bought in a bag of dried flowers, chocolate and a card for me!!

While you are reading this, I will be camped out at a table in front of the Art Mob, hopefully selling my signs. I'll have some pictures for you tomorrow, promise!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Mallard

Well, I spent this past week making as many signs as I could....only 16, but I have no idea if they will sell or not, so sometimes it's good not to make too many until you're sure how they will be received! lol I did make one sign using my Susan K. Weckesser stamp, "What's Up Gnomey" and you can see it over on the {my sweet earth} blog post today. Would love for you to stop by and see it.

I have new "pets" to feed now, my Mallards! I've only seen them a couple of times in the creek last year, but they never came "ashore" before. The squirrels must have told them how easy I am to train to feed them cause now they are becoming regulars around here.

They heard there was food here along with great service....

Mr. Mallard keeping a close eye on his rival drake who was stalking them, making sure he doesn't get too close to the lady love. He is suspicious that they have already been too close....hmmm...he knew he shouldn't have left her alone in the woods last night.

 Mrs. Mallard has a decision to make....to stay in the relationship or dump him for that new drake...

We took a walk around the garden discussing marital fidelity and then the wife told him that she loved him...it had all been a horrible mistake. Would he please give her another chance?

Darn, Mr. Mallard says...he knew it all along.

Birding Life List:
1. Crow
2. Eastern Bluebird
3. Common Grackle
4. Red Belly Woodpecker
5. Mallard Duck

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Don't mess with a gardener:

 Soooooo....I live in an apartment complex and pretty much have taken over the back area...and now I have expanded my "territory" to include the creek area and a small patch that I have designated for native wildflowers (for the butterflies and bee population). I actually shooed away the yard guys who had orders to clear my wildflower area....lol....I'm pretty sure they think I'm crazy. I don't care.

 I went and confirmed to the apartment complex my intentions for that area, and they are just fine with whatever I want to do. I've asked for help clearing some trees....figured I might as well while I was there, lol AND I want an old bench that's in the "junkyard" so I can make a planter out of it...He said he would get it for me. ( He did, as you can see!! )
 Here's a picture of the "before", hopefully, I'll have an "after" picture sometime soon. Now I need ideas on how to create this, any help is appreciated!! Have you made one? Love it, hate it...anything you would do differently? Let me know! I've already removed the seat slats, and plan on stapling some screen wire to form the base to hold the plants...after that, not sure!

I feel a need to have some pictures, so here is a bird to add to my birding list.

Red Belly Woodpecker
A lot of people confuse him with a Red Headed Woodpecker, but they really aren't even close in comparison! He comes to my feeders all the time, however, he is always angled so that I cannot get a good picture of him. So far, these are the best I have of him.

 Favorite shot....I'm sure he is after something! I wonder what he saw...
 
He did give me one decent pose before flying off.




Birding Life List:

1. Crow
2. Eastern Bluebird
3. Common Grackle
4. Red Belly Woodpecker