Monday, April 23, 2012

More Nesting News

Husband Informs Wife That Birds in Wreath Nest
Have Flown the Coop.
Details to come.

It's true.
Our mother cardinal has somehow managed to remove her two fledglings
(they did not look ready to fly to me!)
and the mystery egg, since my last post.
I never got a chance to get  a picture of the birds in their fluffy stage.
I waited too long!
Just odd how they all left without a trace.
I mean, how does a bird carry an egg?!

Fortunately, we have a new bird family to follow.
My son had mentioned seeing a robin sitting on a nest, in a tree, in our front yard.
He showed it to me today.

I could not wait to get my camera and "shoo" her off in the name of blogging!
All  had to do was come within 5 feet of the tree,
and she flew off to a safe distance to watch me.
Took this photo with the zoom on my camera.
Isn't it amazing?
I can't believe my luck!
There are 3 eggs-- all robin's egg blue.
No mystery egg this time!
I am relieved for the mama bird.
All of the little birds will be hers.

The nest is a mere 4.5 feet off the ground,
in the crotch of this ornamental pear tree.
I stood a little on my tiptoes for the eggs in nest photo.
No ladder required!
I promise not to disturb the nest much,
but hopefully I won't miss the chicks' fluffy stage this time!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hoardica Sojourns in Bucharest

This week Hoardica is in Romania, specifically Bucharest.
I know very little about the country, but fell in love with it when I learned that the predominant religion is Eastern Orthodox.
I grew up in the Eastern Orthodox church.
I counted icons and other religious paintings every Sunday to get through the almost 2 hour service.
All 136 of them.
And it was not a large church.

I've been wanting to try my hand at painting an icon, or at least paint in that style.
Ideas are brewing.
I'll share my progress when I have something to show.
In the mean time, see Hoardica's Romanian postcard here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bird Nest Update

The babies hatched last weekend.
There are two.
The third, the odd colored egg, hasn't cracked open.

One baby is more aggressive than the other,
sitting on his sibling, to get first choice at feeding time.
Isn't that how it always is with kids?

If you want to see where this nest is, look here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tea Inspired Garage Sale Purchase

I have a soft spot for teacups and teapots, but also anything that resembles them.
I found this pincushion at a garage sale last Friday and had to get it.
Didn't matter that it wasn't even a very good pincushion.
(The "cushion" part is Styrofoam.)
It was a cheapy little jimcrack from the 1970s that called my name.
They wanted 10 cents for it(!)
How could I not buy it?!
It was practically free!

At the same garage sale, I found this refrigerator dish full of old buttons.
It was priced only 50 cents!
I had died and gone to heaven!
My friend, Liz, and I found ridiculous bargains like that all morning.
I found her a hand pieced quilt top for 25 cents.
When I questioned the price, "Is this really 25 cents?", the lady explained, as if apologizing, that although she pieced, she didn't quilt.  She figured an unfinished quilt did not have much value.
I could have fainted!
So here's to bargains at garage sales.
(raising cup of black tea with milk and honey)
They still exist!
Happy Tea Tuesday!
For more tea posts, visit Kimmie's blog.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Little Super Model

Rebecca was wearing a t-shirt and a long pair of pants, in the middle of practicing "karate moves", when I asked her to play dress up and pretend to be in a wedding.
The whole time I undressed and redressed her, she babbled about wanting to be raised by "karate people" so she could learn karate.
I tried not to be offended.
She had never shown the slightest interest in marshal arts before now.
She could have just as easily been saying that she wanted to run away and join the circus.

Pretty soon the "karate" talk was set aside for elegantly posing her hands
(trying to get her to relax her white knuckled stance)
and talk about weddings and flowers.
Rebecca started to suggest how she could stand, as if I was photographing her dress and all, instead of just her hands.
I had a vintage hat band, turned wrist corsage, that needed merchandising photos and although Rebecca wasn't my first choice (I wasn't sure of her quick and easy cooperation), her older sister (my photographer in my previous post) was wearing chipped, day-glo, nail polish. Eewwww.
Not very romantic.

Rebecca not only cooperated, she also momentarily forgot about being raised by "karate people".
It was her idea to pose against our dogwood tree with one of its blooms.
I hope she doesn't run off to join a modeling agency.
I won't be able to afford her.

You can find the wrist corsage in my etsy shop.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Budding Photographer

My daughter, Victoria, wants to be a photographer.

She has a natural eye for light and composition.

While other kids her age take pictures, she takes photographs.

She even makes me look intriguing.

Here is Victoria in one of her self portraits.
She takes about 25 a day and uploads them all to her Facebook.
Maybe a little excessive, but practice makes perfect.

She's a master at aiming a camera (phone) at arm's length.
I'm pretty proud of her portfolio already,
and she's just 15 years old!
The sky's the limit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to Make a Zine

For the current Queen Bees swap, we decided to try our hands at zines.
We are each starting one and sending it around for the others to add to.
Mine is called, "Collections" and I created the zine's pages by starting with pages from an old stamp album.
They happen to be 8 1/2" x 11" so fit perfectly through a printer.
Can you see where I am going with this?
Although the girls can glue over anything they want in my zine, I didn't want to start them with stark, white, intimidating pages.

I layered images on my pages by running them through my copier (printer/scanner) multiple times.
In the above photo, I placed a panel of lace on the scanner bed, ran my stamp album page through once (black and white), changed the image on the scanner bed to a children's book illustration and ran the same photo album page through again in color.
But I didn't stop at flat images.
On this page I laid out my collection of old rusty compasses, backed the design with an old letter, and ran my stamp album page through the printer once.
On other pages I used a collection of scissors and scattered buttons.
This technique would also make a cool journal.
I'm thinking I might have to make one for myself, or as a gift to a fellow junker.
Once I decided I had "collaged" enough, I stacked my pages, folded them in half (so my finished zine will be 5 1/2" x 8"),
poked holes in the spine and tied them through to a simple cover made from a paper grocery bag.
I am all about reusing materials. 

Here I did my intro spread and a page about old postage stamps
(only one of the many things I collect and design with!)
On my intro page I allowed my printer collaged background to show through. 
On my postage stamp page I all but covered the images up.

I also attached a mini zine to my spread.
It's made by folding a piece of paper in half, then in half again.
I designed the cover and two inside pages.
I just attached it with a small smear of a glue stick, so I can remove it easily for reproduction.
I will simply unfold the mini zine, lay it flat on my printer/ scanner, make copies, cut and refold.
No staples.
I am thinking ahead to reproducing the pages, because when my zine comes home to me with everyone's contributions, I will cut my string binding, lay the pages flat on my scanner bed and easily make copies front and back.
Linda, Margaret, Carole and Patty (all in my side bar under "The Queen Bees"), will each get a copy of this zine.
And that's what a zine is...
a self published piece.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Unexpected Guests

I spy something new on our front porch.

No, not the wreath.
I bought that at a garage sale 5 years ago.

But if you look closely, you'll see that there is an added embellishment to the wreath.

And it contains 3 eggs!
The nest was built by a cardinal.
We see her flitting about the porch.
I am wondering though if the white egg isn't hers.
Seems odd that two eggs match, but the third doesn't.
Anyway, my garage sale wreath has suddenly increased in property value.
As if I could part with it now!