Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fabric Transfers

I don't think I have mentioned that I have created some fabric transfers of birds that I am now selling on my etsy site.  The transfers were made from tiny sketches of birds I had done in my sketchbook.  I turned the sketches into cardboard birds for my monotypes.  They were so much fun, that I then took it a step further, and used the cardboard birds to stamp ink onto paper.  That is how the transfers were born.  I had a lot of fun making them, and they have been finding good homes through etsy. 

The reason I am mentioning these transfers is because one of the wonderful people who bought some of my transfers is putting them on these gorgeous handbags she makes!!!  Here is the link to her etsy shop.  She was kind enough to send me some photos of one of the handbags she made with a little "karine bird" on it.  Isn't this a beautiful bag??  I am so delighted to see my birdie having so much fun on such a lovely handmade bag.  This bag is made of leather and linen.  You can see the attention to detail is what makes these bags so special. 
Thank you, Firiona, for not only buying my birds, but also for letting them wander around on your beautiful bags!

For the Pono update, I just want to let you know that the vet trip did the trick.  Pono and I both slept through the night last night, and he is much more like his normal self.  He is pawing at me now, apparently needing a little more food than what I have already given him.  That's a great sign.

I leave you with a photo of the Wooly Daisy.  One of the cutest, tiniest desert blooms around.  I put the quarter next to it for scale. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ocean Fix

Got to go see the ocean this weekend.  Even though our walk was foggy and chilly, I could not resist taking off my shoes.  Toes in good.   I admit, they were a bit numb by the end of the walk, but I have no regrets.
I find that lately I am quite in love with the shorebirds.  They have long legs, long bills, and BOY can they move when a wave approaches.  Redheaded women with cameras also have the same effect.   Now that I have a fancy camera and a zoom lens, I can get shots I never could before.

I have been trying to identify these spotted birds with my National Audubon Field Guide to North American birds, but I am not certain what they really are.  Maybe one of my birder friends can tell me.  Anyone?  I am impressed at their yoga abilities. 
Our beloved Mr. Pono has been ill again with diarrhea.  He woke me up last night with a cold nose and a "HUFF" at midnight, at 1 am, at 2 am, and then again at 5 am.  So, we have just returned from the vet.  He has been given some medicine, but do say a little prayer that he will feel better, so that we have a happy dog once more.  (and, selfishly, so that I can get a good night's sleep.) 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Desert Flowers

Despite the recent bouts of cold, windy weather, the flowers are in full swing.  Come walking with us.
A variety of delphinium, which has been more abundant this year than I recall in past years.  Delphinium is poisonous to livestock.
Some people don't like the desert dandelion, but the way it carpets the desert floor makes it a favorite of mine.  It also smells good.
Mohave Asters.
Esteve's pincushion.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More Flowers

There is no such thing as too many flowers.  Last week, I had the opportunity to hike Amboy Crater with my friend B.  The desert marigold blanketed the sandiest, most barren-looking ground surrounding the crater.  Golden yellow everywhere!  There were a few verbena, but not as many as I have heard in past years.  Also had my first glimpse of the Desert Lily.   I saw the Desert Five Spot, too, and I know I took a photo of it, but I can't seem to find the photo.  ???  It has been lost in the myriad of image files on my computer.  (Time for a little computer house cleaning, I'd say.)

Today was another cold and windy day.  The desert dandelion are shut tight against the cold.  I feel exactly the same way.  We await the return of warm sun.

Last week, when my out-of-town guests were here, one of the cacti in my yard decided to put on her party dress.  I think I went out every ten minutes to look at it and drink in the sweet scent.

I leave you with a photo of another recent painting.  This one I called "Laughter", and it measures 48 x 36 inches.  It may not be quite finished, but it will sit while I look and ponder, until I know for certain. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Flower Report

Forgive me for being so quiet on the blog this past week.  I had a small flurry of unexpected, out-of-town guests last week.  I also suffered from a strange lethargy over the weekend.  Spring Fever?  It's hard to say.  At least I am back now.  Back to my more usual self.

Pono and I went for a magical walk/run this morning in the wonderland of the desert in spring.  Butter yellow desert dandelions and white, round pincushions carpeted the desert floor.  Mixed into this bounty were desert delphinium, mohave asters, poppies, and a few orange mallow blossoms.  It was hard to run much, because I had to keep stopping to look and look.  Fabulous.  I did take photos, but I only had my little tiny point-and-shoot.  Those photos just weren't doing it justice.  I promise to go back with the BIG camera, and try to get a more accurate picture of the dazzling array of flora, so that I can share it with you.

Until then, I will share with you the flowers I have photographed. 
A close up of the Mohave Yucca.  This one almost makes my stomach hurt, it is so beautiful.

Morman Tea.  It is also known as "Whorehouse Tea", "Cowboy Tea", and "Canyon Tea."  I highly recommend you click on this link, to read a short and fascinating article about it. 

The blossoms of the Joshua Tree in the backyard have given way to these green seed pods. 

I am teaching a small drawing class, once every two weeks.  Today was our second class.  I am excited about what my students are doing.  I have only taught one drawing workshop previously, and I find that I enjoy it more than I had expected to.  (I was nervous!)  It is important to step outside of one's comfort zone, every now and then. 

I have more paintings drying, and I will attempt to get some photos.  I just need for the wind to stop blowing, just for a few hours.  Please, wind, will you just stop for more than two days in a row?  Please?

I will try to catch up on my blog reading this week too, fellow bloggers!  I hope you haven't felt neglected.  I miss you, when I don't read about you.  Thank you, everyone, for reading my blog.  You know I couldn't keep writing, were it not for you, reading!!!  I appreciate you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things I've learned

One of the ways to stay young, I've heard, is to keep learning.  In an effort to do just that, here are a few things I have just learned recently.

1.  Even if your hair is wet, if there is enough electricity in the air, it will still stand on end.  No kidding.  It did!
2.  I am not particularly good at saying no.  Improvement is needed in this area.
3.  All the spiders in your house seem to appear at night, when you are least prepared to deal with them.
4.  The key to containing your anger (at spiders, say) is to stop and breathe.  Try not to get out a big shoe. 
5.  If the dog paws at you AND whines, he really does have to go out and isn't just being irritating.
6.  If there is something you really want to accomplish, YOU are the person in charge of making it happen.  No one else. 

A new painting.
This was the favorite painting of the weekend.  Oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches.  It's called "Gaiety."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Count down

Number of times I cursed the wind this week: five.

Number of times Pono woke us up last night (having eaten a rabbit carcass and gotten diarrhea): four.

Number of fig bars I  had to eat to work up the courage to go in the studio today:  three.

Number of hummingbirds I was distracted by today:  two.
Number of paintings I completed today:  one.  (wimpy!)
A recent monotype, where I inked the whole plate and wiped away anything that didn't look like roadrunner. 

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Desert Travels

Last week was taken up by visits to M's parents, who live in Mesa, AZ.  They live in a retirement community, where people live in trailers so they have plenty of room for every kind of activity imaginable.  We love visiting them, because we can play and play all day.  There is Bocce Ball, Lawn Bowling, tennis, golf, a putting green, horseshoes, pool, pickle ball, a library, a hiking club, a biking club, silversmithing, quilting, stained glass, ...  You name it, and they seem to have it.  I could see how people would want to spend their retirement in a place like that!  Who wouldn't?  It's a magical place, where even dogs can ride in golf carts. 
Here I am, trying my hand at lawn bowling.

We had a chance to hike the neighboring desert while we were there, and the Sonoran Desert is much greener than our Mohave Desert.  There were some flowers, just beginning to emerge, but I think the best display is probably going to be in another week.  (M said we can't go back, just for flowers.  I asked.)  I was having another love affair, this time with the magnificent Saguaro Cactus.  I probably took 70 photos of them.  Apparently, they don't begin to grow an arm until they are about 70 years old!  The Saguaro is the state flower of Arizona, and unlike the Joshua Tree, they bloom every year, regardless of rainfall.  I wish I could see them bloom.  Maybe I will sneak back to AZ without M knowing...Shhh...don't tell

Monday, April 5, 2010

Showing art, selling art

Until May first, a collection of my recent animal-inspired monotypes will be on display at the 29 Palms Inn Restaurant.  My monotypes hang on one wall, with photographs by Bruce Miller on the opposite wall.  Happily, I needed to bring new monotypes to the Inn on Friday, since some have sold.  While M and I were there, we had the chance to meet some of the waitstaff and the Executive Chef, Bear.  Everyone we met was friendly and helpful, and I hope to go back and eat one day soon.  If you are in the area, do stop by for a bite to eat and some art viewing.  The restaurant has a garden behind it, and fresh produce from the garden is used for items on the menu.  Everything I saw made me think the 29 Palms Inn Restaurant is a good place to eat.  (I imagine it is also a wonderful place to spend a few days, or weeks, as well!)  The Executive chef, Bear.

Here is a photo of the front entrance of the Inn.  I wish I had taken a photo of the garden - it was impressive!  I was too busy ogling to remember my camera, apparently.

I have spent a frustrating day, doing research on how I can take credit cards for people wanting to buy art from me using a credit card.  I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that credit card processing for a small business owner, such as an artist, is an expensive and rather complicated endeavor.  No matter which website I encountered, the standard selling point is "we have no hidden fees."  Yeah, WHATEVER.   No longer do I believe anything I read until I have read the fine print.  And I have yet to be able to take credit cards.  Any of you artists out there have some advice, recommendations, or words of wisdom???  I am open to them!  

We had a busy and travel-filled past week.  I will be catching you up on the latest adventures this week.  I hope everyone had a Happy Easter, and that you didn't eat to much Easter Candy.