These photos of a Spotted Towhee are horrible, but I so rarely see them I couldn't resist the opportunity to get a picture of one.
The black shape in the bottom of the photos is the head of Purrcilla, one of my cat children.
She was making that strange little noise that cats do when they see a bird. I don't think the towhee could hear her, maybe not even see her through the screen and window glass, but Purrcilla was thrilled.
I've been spending a lot of time in my studio lately making cards for friends.
I backed the die cut on the front of this card with iridescent glitter paper, and used that same paper for the snowflakes. The camera didn't do a very good job of picking up the sparkle.
The die cut on this one has the same paper backing, but I inlaid the snowflakes with silver mirror board.
I used the iridescent glitter paper for the die cut frame on this card,
and made my own embossing powder by mixing Ranger Super Fine Detail White embossing powder and Diamond Dust fine glitter from Stampin' Up. To get the camera to pick up even a bit of the shimmer, I had to shoot slightly out of focus.
I used the same embossing powder mix for the trees and sentiment on this card and die cut the frame from silver mirror board.
The interior uses the same embossing powder mix plus Ranger Super Fine Detail Silver embossing powder.
For the frame on this one, I used the iridescent glitter paper and my embossing powder mix for the tree and sentiment, but the sparkle didn't show up at all, even when I adjusted the focus.
I just stamped the snowflakes with white pigment ink and used the silver embossing powder for the sentiment on the inside of the card.
I'm going to have to dig out some of my photography lights and see if I get better photo results with more controlled lighting...I'm loving making cards, though. I'm still very new to it, so I make lots of mistakes. But, even with all the mistakes, it's so much fun and so relaxing!
Bye bye January...you went by quickly! That's the little path in the photo above that the skunks, feral cats and raccoons have made in the back yard. The snow is melting quickly now that the temperatures have finally gotten above 32 F.
A close-up of some little cat prints.
This photo, and the three following photos, were taken yesterday morning. Good thing I got them then, because they weren't there this morning!
My eye was caught by the colors of this little faceted crystal
hanging in my studio window.
I think it liked the sunlight we had today...the first in over three weeks! But, happily, the weather people are saying that it's going to start raining and snowing again on Thursday and continue through the weekend, with rainfall totals of up to 10 inches.
The sky is the same today as it was when I took this photo several days ago...that light, pearl grey that hurts the eyes nearly as much as bright sun. But the snow is gone, melted away by the rain. Still lots of snow higher up the mountain though, so the skiing is good!
"I've been thinking of heaven recently. Not the heaven of avarice - a heaven full of mansions and streets of gold - but heaven as a real, physical place. There is something about clear nights in the winter, the perfection of snow and ice in the light from the stars and the moon that always reminds me of the existence of God. When it's cold enough, the sky seems to empty and there is an infinite darkness, a sense that there is something unreachable and never-ending, something past the idea of heaven." from "Touch" by Alex Zentner, photo by Joni Niemelda
It's snowing here again today. What a wonderful winter this has been so far! I hope there's lots more snow and rain in Southern California's winter.
A few days after one of our little snowstorms, some really nice icicles formed. I grabbed my camera and took a few photos while the sun was out. It's been clouded over here pretty consistently for almost three weeks, and almost every day we've had a little rain! By my reckoning, we've received nearly 11 inches so far...yippee! Not enough to fill up the lakes and not enough to make the streams flow again, but still so very welcome.
Wonderful winter...something that's been missing in these mountains more often that not in the past several years. I took this photo in 2008, and I have my fingers crossed that there will be another snowfall like the one pictured before this Christmas.
I've been using a lot of shatter-proof ornaments in recent years, along with a few that have a great deal sentimental meaning.
This little crystal angel is also a bell. She was given to me by my mother for my first tree in my first apartment.
These little mittens were made for me by a dear friend. We've been friends since I was three years old. She moved to Alaska in 1971, but we've managed to remain close always, friends for 64 years!
The heart ornament was painted for me my by my sister several years ago. I miss her so much.
The little wooden "candles" were made by my husband in 1996. He used dowels for the candles and red pipe cleaners for the "flames," then dripped thick, white gesso down the sides for the "wax." It just isn't Christmas until these candles are on the tree!
I went out for a walk early this morning. The air was wonderful, so crisp and cold, and lots of clouds were around.
I noticed many little cedar trees growing. So cheering. The clouds quickly filled the sky, so I started for home. It even sprinkled a little!
I'm still decorating our cottage and, as I placed this Santa on the mantel, I remembered today is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas, or Nicholas of Myra, is the real-life man that the figure of Santa Claus is based on. Nicholas inherited a great deal of wealth, but spent none of it on himself. Instead, he used all of it for charitable acts. One such act was giving dowry money to three young women so that they could be married, instead of being sold into prostitution by their despicable father. He is the patron saint of the poor, children, women, sailors, glass makers, fire fighters, prostitutes, fishermen, scholars...just about everyone!
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Young Steller's Jay
Common to high altitude forests all over the west
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Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~~ Albert Einstein
June Is Adopt a Cat Month
But, there are always strays who need a loving home - so don't shop, ADOPT! Click the photo for helpful tips on adopting.
If they breathe, they live. If they live, they feel. If they feel, they love. If they love, they are aware. If they are aware, they have a soul. ~ Williams
I love cats because I enjoy my home and, little by little, they become its visible soul ~ Jean Cocteau (That's Malcolm O'Mewy on the chair)
Feed the Hungry
I think we are bound to, and by, Nature. We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world, but every time there's a snowstorm or drought we know our fate is tied to the world around us. ~~ Alice Hoffman
What I'm Reading Now:
Give a Child a Book
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
A person who collects or is fond of books. Also, a person who immediately feels safe, happy, even euphoric, when holding a favorite book.
Care for a cuppa?
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir, from "The California Mountains"
I'm three-quarters Native American (Oglala Sioux and Cherokee), and one-quarter Northern Italian. I live in a little cottage with my husband and our furry "children" in a beautiful, high altitude, California mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, rain, snow, tea, the moon, creating all kinds of art...and, I'm proud to be a Crone ~ I never thought I'd make it!