Friday, October 10, 2014

Just Bee-cause... ;)

Happy Friday (and weekend) all! 

Can you bee-lieve we're a third of the way through October already?

 My flowers are still going, and I'm still watering... 

 And then this, yesterday...

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 There have been a few bees around the flowers all summer,

 but now there are bees everywhere... 


Are they gathering nectar for the coming winter...

is that why the sudden frenzy?

I don't know...but it was pretty cool.

I had my phone just inches from them, and they paid me no mind.

 (Their favorites are the Pentas and Marigolds)

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Look at the pollen on the bottom one's back!

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The MaƮtre d' was heard to say..."Marigold for two?"

There were so many bees vying for nectar,

 there were two and three to a flower!


They are Eastern Carpenter Bees, and besides boring a few holes

in my trellis, they are beneficial...

They are non-aggressive and important pollinators,

according to the USDA Forest Service...

(interesting article here...)

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"You lookin' at ME?"

I was fascinated with the eye-pattern on this fellow...

it seemed to be just the way the sunlight hit the eyes, as they aren't all like this...

These photos were all taken with my Samsung Galaxy phone camera.

Can you believe it?

I am amazed, truly!

I rarely get my "good" camera out any more...I actually like these photos better ~

Of course, for every super-sharp insect or flower photo I get,

 I delete about fifty not-so-great ones off my phone, but still...

It's usually right there in my hand...or close.

So many things inspire me to snap away,

when I would probably not bother to go get the big DSLR from the camera bag...


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Checking out a Cypress Vine flower...

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"Diving in..."

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Check out the ant checking out the bee!

I didn't notice him until I was editing the photos...

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A quizzical look!

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Nom, nom, nom...

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Can't top this for sheer tenacity..

Little Vincas that reseeded and are growing between the concrete

and the brick edge on my front porch!

(There was a hanging Vinca right above...)

One more thing...

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Going to Vulture Fest again this year in Makanda, Illinois!

Click here for more about this little community and the festival ~

I've been painting Vulture-Rocks for days...

Rock on!

Have a great weekend!



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy October! Rabbit, Rabbit!

Happy October, everyone!

 Can you believe it?

 (I don't even want to think about how many days are left

 or are not ~ until Christmas!)

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My October 1944 Etude Magazine...

Love the illustration!

(I wish I could identify the illustrator; the first name is definitely "Hy"...

but I just can't decipher the last name...

A good reason to sign all artwork legibly, for future generations!)

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Did you remember??

For good luck?

My girls and I always say "Rabbit, rabbit" on the first day of

the month...(if you forget, you can say it backwards before you

go to bed...


My friend Gillian in England told me her father always said

"White Rabbits"... so today is White Rabbits Day for her.

I love things like this and the cultural variations, don't you?

You can read more about the custom in an article from

Yankee Magazine, here.

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Yesterday we went to Diebold's Orchard in Benton, Missouri, for some autumn goodies...

I love the color combinations (and blends...some look like watercolor)

on these gourds!

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The little stripey pumpkin is my favorite, though!

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Potential Jack O'Lanterns piled high...

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Diebold's also has greenhouses, and I always have to check them out...

This pretty coleus was labeled "Lemon Boy"...

I Googled it but couldn't find a variety by that name,

so maybe they just thought it looked like a Lemon Boy...

sounds good to me!

(Such a pushover for a name, always...that's me!)

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I don't know what this is, and forgot to ask...

It didn't even feel real...

(It honestly felt like plastic!)

Very unusual and pretty, though!

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A "Snow Bunny" Kalanchoe...

Love it!

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They also had some dwarf Sunflowers;

very cute!

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The most impressive thing in the greenhouse, however...

hands down...

was this humongous Agave!

Pictures don't do it justice, but it had to be 15 feet tall...and as wide!

The sign said it was 20-25 years old.

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It had lovely patterns...and thorns...on the leaves, too.

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These little fellows were also at Diebold's...

The donkey seemed more interested in his friend's mane

than he did in the hay!

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When we got home I went out to collect some flower seeds

(because after a trip to a greenhouse like that, I'm already getting

into "next year" gardening-mode) ~

This big Carpenter Bee was enjoying my Giant Marigolds...

I ran to get my camera, of course.

I haven't gotten stung trying to photograph anything (yet),

however, a red wasp "got" me a couple of weeks ago,

for no reason at all...just minding my business,

getting something out of the truck... :(

I hadn't been stung since I was small, and it hurt/burned like a lit

match stuck to my skin!

I will be giving red wasps an even wider berth from now on...

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Do you know what the above three photos have in common?

Besides being garden-y and all...

An Instagram friend said this and it just tickled me, because it's true!

She said, "It's the time of year when the flowers start fraternizing..."

And they do!! So funny...up until now when this kind of nonsense begins,

I quickly de-tangle, trim, cut back, set everyone straight...

but now...I just let them all go...they can visit, co-habitate,

fraternize, whatever they want.

And they are.

Not much growing-season left!

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One last thing!

A cute little toad was hopping around the plants on the front porch the other night...
("Front-Porch Toad" has vacated...and it's probably a good thing, as if he'd decided

to hibernate in a flower-pot, he would have gotten too cold this winter...)


Well, I brought this little fellow in the house for Mr. B to hold,

 so I could take a picture to send to Jon (The Toad Whisperer) at school...

but, in "transferring" him, he got away and went under the couch (we thought),

which led to a flurry of kitty-activity and pulling out the couch,

 revealing an embarrassing amount of cat hair and

Dust Bunnies (Rabbit, rabbit!!) ~

I was worried we wouldn't find him before the kitties did,

and that could have been bad for both parties...

As I was coming back from the garage with a flashlight, though,

I spotted him hopping underneath the dining room table...


We got our photo and the toad will have an adventure to tell his


Have a great rest-of-the-week, all!



Monday, September 29, 2014

David Niven Went Around the World in 80 Days...

However, I couldn't get an "Around the World" Blog Hop

posted on the correct date...(Oops...) ~

A few weeks ago, my sweet friend Debbie asked me if I would like

 to participate in an "Around the World Blog Hop",

 and I said "Of course!"... 

 Debbie told me the basics and I got it in my head..."Okay".

 I thought that my posting day was today.

It was not.

 It was last Monday... ("Oh, noooo.....")

 Well, I am going ahead with my post, anyway... 

 My apologies to Debbie and the other three ladies with whom I was to be posting;

 please visit them and their lovely blogs if possible! 

 They are:

Debbie is a wonderful, multi-talented lady (no, I'm not partial...)

She truly is...

and her blog is always an inspiration!


Wendy ~ A talented artist living in Australia ~


Carol ~ An amazing Maine photographer and artist ~


And Celia, a fabulous watercolor artist in Rome, Italy.

Again, my apologies, Ladies. 'Best laid plans', and all. 


Here goes mine!

Question: "What inspires you?"

Everything inspires me....honestly...everything.


Art materials. (A LOT.)

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(I have drawn, and DRAWN, since I was little...)

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Flowers, china...

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Nature inspires me, always.

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 "Man-made", though, as well ...vintage...

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Historic places...

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(More color and texture, of course...)

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Other cultures...

I have had a fascination with Dia de los Muertos for a while now!

(My pumpkin from last year, here...)

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I love the tactile properties of clay...

since I don't have a kiln (but hope to someday)

I currently work with polymer clay,

gleaning design ideas from nature...

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And then I add "nature" to the polymer clay...

(or is that the other way around?) ~

Here, in the form of "Fairy Houses"

Dried gourds with pine-cone-scale roofs...

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Sometimes, the gourds alone are the canvases...

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Sometimes the Fur-Baby-Inspired whimsy finds its way

into tiny baseball-card-sized art...

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And other times, Nature finds its way onto BIG sheets

of watercolor paper...

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Here, I combined watercolor with vintage sheet music in

"Southern Symphony"...

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And then, "Tea With the Earl" is watercolor alone...

(with vintage-heirloom subject matter...)

So, it's all connected... one subject inspires another;

one medium inspires "new takes" in another direction...


The other questions were "Why do I paint...or sculpt...or whatever?"

(Because I MUST!)

And, "What is my process?"

Well, that varies a LOT, as I work in so many different mediums,

but the most difficult part, I have found, is just starting...

As my Daddy once told me,

"The hardest thing about digging a ditch is picking up the shovel."


I have found that blogging, and sharing what I'm doing...

(yes, the "encouraging words" are most appreciated, too)... but usually just

putting it out there

is enough to get me going...inspires me...helps me pick up my

mental "shovel", if you will.


Before I close, I also want to acknowledge Barbara,

(Barbara Lilian in France) who originally

invited Debbie to the blog hop!

Thank you, Barbara!

I enjoyed participating very much, even though I was

"late to the party"...

Thank you all for visiting!

Have a wonderful week, all!