Saturday, January 23, 2010

And the ROBINS came....

I'm certain that spring is coming soon, because the birds are gathering here in central Florida to fly north. I've shared on our Melanage thread about the flock of robins who come daily to drink fresh water from my bird baths. I live on the Gulf coast, so most of our water here is salt water. The robins arrive mid-morning and fly around my yard helter-skelter, chirping and landing on the edges of my two bird baths. By early afternoon, I go out to refill both bird baths with fresh water for the afternoon crowd.

Here is a photo of my small bird bath as the robins arrived:

I took the photo above through my sliding glass doors, because the robins all fly away if they see me.

This photo below shows 13 robins drinking from my larger bird bath. I hid on my deck for half an hour waiting for them to come to drink, then slowly stood up and leaned over the deck to take this photo from above. They were so busy drinking that most of them didn't see me.

Yesterday I tried to take photos but one large robin appointed himself the scout of the flock. He sat right outside my sliding glass doors from my great room and any time I opened a door anywhere (I have five sets of doors that open onto a circle deck) this robin would scream and chirp a loud warning, and all the robins would fly away. He took his self-appointed job very seriously and even screamed and chirped when I tried to take a photo through the glass. I finally laughed at him, gave up, and postponed my photos until today. And today, he must be off playing scout elsewhere. My yard and deck were quiet today. :o)

**** I want to respond to a past comment made on my blog. My photos and blogs about wildlife in my yard are simply a single view on a single day. My single blog posts are not meant to include all the varied creatures, big and small, in Florida, or all the beautiful sea creatures I see swimming past my deck. Many creatures in our Florida nature are not found anywhere else in the world. ***

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Melange Altered Bottle Challenge

Our Melange Team is having an exciting altered bottle challenge due January 22nd. This challenge is open to everyone; you don't have to be a Melange Team member to join in the fun. Two wonderful prizes will be drawn from the names of all who enter their bottles/jars. Our team discussed this challenge last fall, so I have been saving all kinds of bottles and jars. I chose a pyramid shaped bottle with a round glass stopper because, to me, it looked like a lady in a full skirt. Lady in Lace was born!

I made an underskirt of plain cotton then wrapped lace around for the skirt. Pipe cleaners formed the arms, and lace strips made the bodice. I painted eyelashes and the mouth with glass enamel paints. I painted the small hat and attached two tiny flowers before using E6000 to glue it to her head. A tiny basket with miniature flowers completed my Lady in Lace. As you can see, another bottle is waiting in the background to become another lady!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Melange Challenge - Timeless

The latest Melange Team Challenge is for the word "timeless." My entry below honors a vintage wedding - where a bride and groom pledge their love for each other, each one trusting their love will last forever and be timeless. The vintage photo was printed on cotton fabric, then outlined in stiching. The Our Wedding Souvenir book was copied from the original book that belonged to my mother. The gallery wrapped canvas was based painted in green acrylic and overstamped with Staz-on ink and a scroll design. The two laces enclose the photo and provide a base for the wood inchy art with the lock and key, symbols of love.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Melange Challenge: Illuminating

Our latest Melange Team challenge is the word "illuminating." My art entry for this challenge is a small wood box with a print of a vintage photo of a woman reading and relaxing in a chair. I'm an avid reader myself and believe our books illuminate our minds and change our lives.

On the sides of the box, I added two quotes, one is lighthearted, the second is more thoughtful.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. Dr. Seuss"

"Books let us in to their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own. William Hazlitt."

My box is base painted with blue and green acrylics and overstamped with StazOn inks. I colored the print of the woman with colored pencils and added lace as a border. The quotes were printed on my ink jet printer and gel medium was used as both a glue and sealer. A clear gloss spray varnish was the final coat.

This little box now sits on my sewing table, holding pins and reminding me to take time to relax and read.