Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Birds and Booms Wednesday....

Good Morning or afternoon, as the case my be. Today I'm offering a few different photos than usual, except for the exception above, which is an exceptional Cecile Brunner Climbing Rose. This little bush is about 25yrs old and is the last of four that used to be along side the driveway.

Since replanting the driveway planter, I've put in a variety of sun loving plants. In addition to the roses, there are two varieties of Lavendar. This blossom is Allardi Lavendar which is a cross. It booms all year and is one of the more fragrant. The leaves smell most heavenly when pruning them!

This flower is from one of my Carnivorous Pitcher Plants. Actually, because this is the first time I've ever
seen this, I'm not sure if it's a bloom or seeds.... I'll have to look it up. At any rate, it's very unusual and I think it's a sign the plant is happy in it's location.

I have planted aviaries with a variety of predominatly finches and song birds. In early morning and late afternoon, everyone is happily singing and chirping and it's so pleasant to hear them when I'm outside gardening. 
These are little fledgling Lady Gouldian Finch. It's amazing how well they blend into the landscaping with their olive coloring as little baba's. The parent birds are moulting, so are not the most photogenic at the moment. I'll snap some shots of them in a few weeks, when they have finished the moult, as I think you'll be most surprised at the difference in the juveniles and the vibrant adult colors.

Don't forget to check out the EHAG "Black and White Challenge" beginning this Saturday, May 1st, on
both Ebay and Etsy! Simply search "EHAG" to see the wonderful and unique Halloween art that the EHAG artists have created especially for this challenge! I've seen sneek peeks and there are lots of fun goodies!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's Blooming Wednesday....

Today we're being bombarded with wind and a touch of rain so it's a good thing I took these
 photos on Monday.
The Australian Sweet Broom bush has a few flowers just coming on it's branches, as well as a friend or two.
I'm not sure what this pretty little guy is, but he was happy to pose for this photo then slowly meandered to
the other side of the petal, out of site.

This miniature rose is a plant that was purchased at the VA Hospital gardens,
 here in Long Beach many years ago. They have a wonderful program there for the Veterans. Jim, the man
who heads up the program, utilizes the garden grounds to rehab those vets that are in need of a quiet place
to work and readjust from the stresses and often time horrors of a soldiers life. 
They cultivate and maintain beautiful flower and vegetable gardens and it's a
hidden jewels and welcome respit for the folks that go there.

The Mexican Sage is one of my favorites with it's teddy bear like, soft and fuzzy blooms.
It's also draught tolerant and blooms throughout most of the year. 

I'm off to sculpt and paint!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What's Black and White and PFATT all over?!

So, What's Black and White and PFATT all over?
An EHAG member who was newly invited to join PFATT!
Ha Cha!
Yesterday evening I was very pleasantly surprised  and excited when I logged on and found an
invitation and notice from Lori Davis of Vintage Palatte Art, that I'd been accepted to join
Primitive Folk Art Talk & Tea, or PFATT for short.
Those artists that crossover with both PFATT
and EHAG (Eclectic Halloween Artist's Group) endearingly
call themselves PFATT HAGS. :-)  lol

Thank you SO much for the warm invitation! I'm most grateful you appreciate my art and am looking forward to sharing my art on Ebay
with the other PFATTies, friends, and folk art collectors!
Why the Black and White? Why... for "Black and White Fright" coming May 1st on Ebay with EHAG!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Newly organized and April Wips...

After working in the garden all morning trying to catch up with the seemingly overnight Spring growth,
(ahh.. there's something very Zen like about newly raked garden gravel and carefully pruned plants)
I thought I would snap a few shots of some of the wips I've been working on in the house.
There's a rather chubby Chickie in the background, some Victorian crows, a contimplative moon, a witchy pumpkin, an old owl, and an eyeball...
All awaiting sanding, Gesso, more sanding, and paint.
Although it may seem as if I'm slow in producing my pieces, I've actually still been busy re-organizing
my work spaces so as to be as efficient as possible.
(shifting from a predominantly woodworking shop to Sculpting, Painting and Metalsmithing studio... though
wood will still be in the picture from time to time.)

This weekend I tackled my indoor workspace/mini-studio/bedroom.
I can only brave the evening bugs, strolling skunks, cold Winter nights and hot Summer days for so long
out in the garage/studio, so I decided to create a second little workspace indoors so as to keep the creative
    fires going during those questionable hours.

I actually think I've mastered the art of arranging a space in a Chinese Puzzle fashion, so as to utilize every square inch possible. No more room you say?... Nay! Not true! Go up I say!


I put together these two cubes and made a makeshift shelf for on top of that so I could better see
what I have and keep things tidy.
Spools of colorful thread in one drawer... assorted ribbon in old jars that used to contain fragrant Lavander, Marigold Petals, and the most amazing Potpourri mixtures, that I'd bought from Heard's Gardens, a favorite Heirloom flower and plant nursery, just before they closed a few years back... vintage paper and German Glass Glitter in another tidy cubby... rusty/brass and silver bells, antique buttons, and old bits of this and that... all ready to play!
Underneath the cubes, books, and drawers of goodness, I have a lovely 1900's Mahogany sideboard with an oval mirror and floral wood carvings... never to be seen again. Well, someday maybe. lol

Don't forget to mark your calendars for May 1st!
That's when the members of EHAG (myself included) will be posting their special
Black and White themed Challenge Pieces on Ebay, or Etsy.

EHAG has some of the most talented Halloween artists around,
so be sure to keep an eye out to see what sort
of wonderful black and white goulish goodies everyone has come up with!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another, "What's Blooming Wednesday"..... here already!

This is the first "Sterling Silver" rose this season. This little bush was on it's last legs last year from being heavily shaded, so I transplanted it and oh my goodness.... it must be very happy in it's new location!

This climbing rose, "Dublin Bay" is in it's second season and is just starting to be a prolific bloomer. These flowers are on the lower branches amongst the Margarite Daisys and Lavendar Gazania ground cover.

This is a very small "Peace" rose bush and these are it's first blossoms this season. Humongous!

Now.... onto the Popcorn Bush!.....
There was much interest in the Popcorn Bush last week (yes, it really does smell like buttered popcorn!) and so I thought I would give you an update.
Day before yesterday, I noticed from a distance that the blossoms looked a bit odd
so... I went in for a closer inspection.
What a difference a few days makes!!!!

Whoooo Arreeee Youuuuu?

I wasn't looking so much at lovely flowers as juicy fat yellow caterpillars!
Not just one mind you.... but several, on each flower!
I'd never seen this guys before,  and I must admit, they were just too beautiful to remove from the plant.

These aren't tiny little fellows either, but large 2 1/2inch individuals. I'm hoping that they'll eventually emerge as a larger moth or butterfly, adding another dimention of beauty to the garden.
Lepidoptera Update:
Thank you Lori Ann for the super butterfly link!
It turns out these caterpillars are Pheobis Sennae- "Cloudless Sulphur Butterflies"!

I've been a bit delayed with my work of late....There has been some saddness in the household.... as my red factor Canary, "Montague", passed away, then 5 days later our family's elderly Pembroke Corgi, "Foxy" passed away.... then 3 days after that, the Cooper's Hawk got our male "Scarlet Chested Grass Parakeet" on the wire of the Aviary.  :-(
Strange how we can go for years without loosing our pets, then for whatever reason, like beautiful climbing roses, they creep above the garden walls out of sight, then ...
crossover all at once.
Though we can't see them, we know they're blooming still, on the other side.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's Blooming Wednesday!

Following the lead of my friend Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor of Gypsy Mare Studios, I'm posting
a few shots of the lovelies that are blooming in my garden this Wednesday.
Despite the wind, rain and earthquake, the flowers are bursting forth, more and more each day.
Two years ago I took out the lawn in the front parkway and planted shrubs and flowers. It's been a work in progress and with each season they're presenting a greater show of color.
The yellow flowers above are a Popcorn Bush.
One might think it's mearly the yellow color which gives the plant it's name but, it holds a delicous
surprise... when you rub the leaves you're treated with the amazing aroma of
Buttered Popcorn! yum!

I planted this Blue Hibiscus last year and the squirrels had a wonderful time
continually rebounding off of this shrub, and were constantly breaking
it's branches... ah well. This year though, the squirrels are being kept happy with
a supply of peanuts and several lovely lavendar/blue blossoms have shown thier faces.

Each spring the miniature Ice Plant that is bordering the garden gives
this hot pink show. OooLala! When the hot weather of summer arrives, this succlent like
plant looks cool and inviting, and is drought tolerant.. something that's important here in
Southern California.

I'm working on new sculptures so check back in a few days!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter Everyone!

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter, filled with hopping bunnies, smiling chickies, decorated eggs,
colorful jelly beans, marshmallow Peeps, and of course, being the first to nibble the ears
of an old fashioned chocolate bunny! Yum! :-)