Friday, January 20, 2012

Early Morning Gripe, and brrr-cold

I have been perusing a variety of sewing, mixed media and photo blogs lately and notice that many people place their logo right smack dab in the middle of the image instead of near a corner or at the base. I know when I started out I also put a watermark across images of my paintings till I realized how ugly it looked. Not quite what I want, after all should not art be presented in the best manner possible. I know theres the general discussion that someone may steal the image; solution, post it low res so that if viewed on computer its a good image but if its printed out it would be low quality with lots of pixillation. Personally I quickly pass over sites that put watermark name as priority across the center of an image as I find it annoying. And as for borrowing, if someone really wants one of my photos they could email and request a higher res image, after all isn't sharing is good for the soul.

The songs of early morning Finches squabbling for priority at the seed feeder sends a charming chinkling chitter to break the solitude of the deepfreeze we are presently experiencing. When its darn cold out I hibernate so the view through my frosty window gives much delight.
 Hubby now only puts out black-oil sunflower seeds as through experience we found the birds that frequent the feeder prefer the black-oil seeds to the regular so there is far less waste to sweep up. 
A Redbreasted Nuthatch keeping out of the wind-chill by snuggling up to the suet feeder. We bought expensive suet pellets that drop down inside the feeder to the trough where Nutty is sitting and cheap cheap suet which came in a ball which we flattened to fit the wire cage. Well through this we learned that none of our birds like the expensive stuff. We were hoping the flicker would come back and that is why we bought suet pellets, alas, sigh, have not seen him again.
Sporting a frosty shawl a male finch puffed-out on the lee side of the tree.
Enjoy the day and give blessings for small treasures and stay warm, and if you can't stay warm, think warm thoughts. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Who will hear the last bird sing? project in process

I have been as busy as a bird during nesting season; gathering, weaving, stitching, tying, pasting and all in all having fun. I am working on a series of nests. Just as birds gather grasses, twigs, threads and paper to build their parlours I too am using a mixture of media as paper, raffia, a grapevine wreath that I disassembled for its branches, grasses, wool, and just about anything that inspires me.

I have given myself one rule, and that is to use items I find, collect, have on hand or items bought at second hand stores, no new stuff allowed.

The first two were created using "nest" literally. The top one is hand woven with shredded paper strips, raffia and thread ends entwined to hold its shape. Completing the nest gave me a great sense of admiration for birds that weave intricate nests, wow, it was a challenge with ten digits yet birds do it with beak and toes.
The nest below was made from disasembled straw angels stitched with threads pulled from burlap and the angels fine hair. I cheated a little on this one by using a needle to hold the angel threads to more easily stitch around clumps of straw. Ok, now this really got me thinking - how the heck do weaver birds manage to build those fabulous hanging nests. Admiration triples.

Now I got a bit more creative and wove using a childs loom that was gifted when I was about ten years old.  A very long time ago I had given it to my daughter who recently gave it back to me rather than donating it to Goodwill. I must say I'm quite pleased she gave it back otherwise I may never have attempted to create the above hanging nest complete with Larch cones and wood beads.

The following nest is made of dried Lily leaves. My husband bought me a bouquet of burgundy colored Lilies for Christmas, and being the type who sees beauty in the evolution from fresh to translucent dry crinkle I waited to toss them till the petals fell to the table. Sweeping the last two flowers into hand spurred the inspiration for another nest. The petals were laid over a chicken eggshell but as most had already reached the dry state they did not stick together very well so I made a mash of paper and water and pressed the wet mash around the outside to hold the petals in place. Once the mash was dry I broke out the eggshell and Voila, the Lily Nest.

Now one may wonder why would I want to appropriate from the birds, well, it a statement really. I have painted beautiful birds art but does it get anyone thinking? I am not sure, but nests, well maybe they will and I hope once they are titled and presented with mini story descriptions of reality disguised as fantasy, then I hope they will make people think. To think about our environment and how we live in it and relate to it, and of course to think about that which is absent from these nests.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Years to All

Birding Jan 1st. Spotted four Snowy Owls in all, but this was the only one close enough to photograph. (this is a highly cropped photo) I figured I was getting pretty good at spotting them though have to chuckle cause a few times once images were downloaded and enlarged on the computer we find an owl we did not notice while out in the field. Guess there is more than one reason they are called the ghosts of the north.

I love seeing coyote almost as much as birds, though city folk tend to be afeared of them and some plea for eradication within the city limits. For me its a joy to know that there are some animals that do adapt somewhat to our sprawling characteristics. Mostly around here the coyote is skittish and has been difficult to photograph as they take to a run pretty quick. This ones curiosity got the better of him which enabled me to get a shot off when he briefly stopped.

A cool looking church window. The glass is blues and greens.

And here is a photo of my most recent completed project, our grandsons moccasins I made for Christmas. complete with polar fleece liners and a puppy button stitched on each one. They are made from traditional smoke-taned hide, sure smelt good working with it. I made them a bit too big so it may be a while before he fits them.

Happy New Year, may blessings of love, peace, brotherhood and sisterhood fill each and every heart. Hugs!