Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

My Wish for everyone is that 
the struggles that were experienced
in 2014 will be the fertilizer to
fuel Wonderfulicious dreams in 2015.

Woke up to a rare sight, snow! The mountains behind
the house aren't high enough to normally be
dusted with snow. Not much rain
hit the desert floor during the storm
last night and definitely no

A bit windy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

End of the Year

And the skies lit up!

Love of trees and iPhone apps.
A tree outside of a Palm Desert pizza place caught my eye.

In this area birds on wires are becoming a rare sight.
 I do appreciate the tidiness of under-ground wires so
I have no idea why I'm enthralled with the
sight of birds hanging out. Nostalgia? 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas - The Living Desert

Ever since moving the desert 8 years ago I've thought about purchasing a membership to The Living Desert in Palm Desert, but by the time the temps rise in May I change my mind. Late Spring to late Fall are just too hot to be outdoors much less enjoy the Living Desert grounds. This year I heard about a yearly discount provided by a local furniture store and the car seemed to turn into the parking lot of its own accord. So far we'e been twice and plan on visiting at least once a month until it's too hot. Happily, we got membership just before the Wild Lights show was open to members for free and were able to attend that night. 

These photos are from the night show. 

Tunnel of lights.

The first day we visited The Living Desert the only phone I had
was the iPhone. Next time I'll be prepared with better walking shoes, water,
and a camera. I like the
effect I got zooming in on the back-lit 
perfectly framed giraffe. 

The guy below posed while waiting for his dinner. His gaze was intent on the gate
where the food would be coming from. A volunteer called out to him
and he turned a little. We were told Norman is a very gentle Ankole. I'll take
their word for it.

Giraffe watering hole.

Nice surprise to get so close to these two.

Dancing cranes.

Backyard dove. Sometimes all that is needed
it to look outside to see a little wild life. 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

11/1 Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter

111 is said to be a magical number for making a wish. Birthday wishes to my oldest daughter who is 47 today. At 8 months of age we were told she wouldn't see her first birthday. She's beat the odds many times. Kidney failure being right up there with a high fever that left her brain damaged. Last month marked the 6th year since the kidney transplant and two years since the last round of chemo I had. For some reason I decided to have an October health breakdown and ended up in the hospital for a night with intense vertigo. The world wouldn't stop rotating upside down. I can finally say that the health crisis is over. Done!

Fall in the desert isn't exactly spectacular: leaves don't turn colors but a 
little color has shown up.

 The sunsets have been glorious!
Sometimes the sky looks like it's on fire.

A finch on the water fountain looks decked out in Fall colors.
And the occasional dry grape leaf is wind-tossed into a tree.

White doves may be the symbol for  love and peace
but the gentleness and serenity that this daily visitor provides
never fails to delight.

Playing with some of the sun-prints that I created
over the summer. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happy Birthday to me . . .

   Two years ago I made these Breast Pockets when Melanie Testa put out a call for them. And this month the bottom right one was published in "Quilting Arts" magazine. At that time I had just finished 4 grueling rounds of chemo and was about to start 33 days of Radiation. Fast forward and today I'm celebrating a birthday that I've always had doubts I would live to see. Too many health issues.
    Melanie received hundreds of pockets so to say the least I'm thrilled that the one I made for mom was published. I might make one or two more to send into QA for their challenge.
   The one in QA was made from fabric that I created using a glue resist and paint. The two hearts are copper that was soaked in vinegar until the patina developed.

 The Spread in QA.


And mine was even chosen for the contributors page.

In the studio. Pouring paint experiments.

Simply, black and white acrylic paints. . . the bottom painting was tweaked with
an app. to achieve the red tones. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In The Studio

 In 10 days I will celebrate my birthday. It's a number I'm in awe in for more reasons
than I can share. For one thing I remember like it was yesterday when my mother turned
this age and retired! She was so alive and full of dreams about what the rest of her
life would be like. Fast forward 23 years and she no longer knows who I am and only
one of those dreams came true. With that in mind I feel like I don't have a day to waste
and then a tiny Mosquito bite attempted to side-rail me. No details necessary, but suffice
it to say that it's been one Hell of week! 

 This fabric collage took forever to come together. But I was determined to 
use the rust dyed fabric that was inkjet printed with a photo of grasses that I
photographed 3 summers ago. And somehow incorporate the deconstructed screen print
at the bottom of the collage. It wasn't until I created a design
from a photo of a Jungle Geranium and printed it out that
the collage finally worked. At least I think it does.

Details: digital image printed on rust dyed fabric.
Deconstructed screen print. Digital image of
Jungle Geranium printed onto fabric. Machine stitched
and attached to a black stretched canvas.

This piece is still a work-in-progress. Coffee dyed sun print, painted fabric on
a deconstructed screen print background. Hand-stitched. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Through the Viewfinder -

 I often challenge myself to "see" my surroundings in a new ways. So, I
 pick up the camera and capture "sightings" through the viewfinder. This week
a few Agave fronds captured my attention.
Recently I moved the Agave to its current location next to the decaying painted pot.
But it wasn't until the morning light hit both of them that I realized how perfect they
are together. (Note to self, move things around.)

 The daily hummingbird visitors are usually not as still as this one was. The branch is on
a grape vine just outside of my bedroom window.
 I was on the phone with my daughter having one of our
marathon chatting sessions when I picked up the camera and zoomed in. 
Out of 4 images I was able to get this one is my favorite. 

In my garden this cactus bloom is nearly as photographed as the the 
white Sea Urchin blooms are. I usually go outside to photograph the blooms but
on Tuesday the sky was so thick with dust that the nearby mountains were invisible. 
Who knew that shooting the image from inside would create a better
 background than usual? 
(note to self, keep looking for different perspectives)

 Earlier today my thoughts were chaotic, as they often do, when
the light on the palm fronds caught my attention. This time of year for a short time
when the sun comes through the dining room window the light on the fronds is
stupendous. During the few minutes it took to aim the camera and shoot
a few images my thoughts shifted and became calmer.
I've come to realize lately that my
form of meditation is photography; it gets me outside of
my head. When I'm engaged in capturing what I see through the viewfinder I'm in a much
better place. 
 I don't think it can be said enough, Art Heals!

The lighting on the palm fronds danced even
more in the above version. Love apps!

And speaking of light, I happened to look out front a few
minutes ago and noticed that a tree, whose name I can't remember, 
was perfectly lit. Images are everywhere.

Love the quote from this article. "The day you stop worrying about what you can buy, (photography
equipment)  and instead turn your attention to where you can go and what you can
 experience will be one of the happier days of your life."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Salton Sea Pelicans

 Near the Salton Sea.

 This trio seemed to be posing. 
They're such
 a humorous looking bird.

 Very contented.

Loving the new camera! 

 Checking me out?

Photographing from the road, above the beach, the angle of the camera and the
pelican taking flight resulted in this bizarre effect.  He almost looks flat against the sea.

For some facts about the Salton Sea
read a Blog post here. Written by Randy Brown
the post lists what he was ignorant about 
regarding the Salton Sea. 

Salton Sea - Egrets/Herons

On Thursday the blue of the Salton Sea was surreal and the perfect backdrop for
photographing egrets. I wasn't the only one who thought this small section
of beach was an amazing spot to photograph. I stayed up on the road while
a photographer with a huge camera and lens ventured down to the shoreline
to get closer to the birds. I would imagine that he ended up with some
sky in the photos. Shooting the photos from above eliminated the boring light
blue sky. 

 If it wasn't for a gazillion pesky flies I think I could have continued photographing
much longer. As it was at least 20 flies followed me into the car when I opened
the door. Buzzing flies made for an "interesting" drive home. 

For most of my life I've lived near the Pacific Ocean so you an imagine
my disappointment 8 years ago when I moved to the desert and first saw
the dying Salton Sea. Waves? Clean walking beaches? 
Non-existent. The stench of dead fish was
overpowering and the area that once dreamed of
becoming a tourist destination was more
dilapidated and barren than I was prepared for. 

It's only been in the last few months that I've become intrigued about the Salton Sea.
Last December was the first time in years I even thought about visiting it. My brother
was visiting and we needed a distraction from looking at Board and Care places for
mom. Sunset at the Salton Sea seemed to beckon to us.

• Egrets are commonly pure white in color, but herons exhibit various colors.
• Egrets have significantly black legs and yellow beak, which is not very common among herons.
• Herons prefer to perch on a higher place during resting, while egrets stand on the shallow water more often than not.

I barely got this shot just as I turned to get into the car, in fact I didn't think that 
I'd gotten it. I love how the Egret is walking with such purpose. Just
taking a stroll along the beach; almost human.

While I think this guy is nuts I will be following
along, via FB, on his trek next June around the Salton Sea.
116 miles in 6 days in temps that could
reach 120. Yep, he's nuts!
But it's for a good cause.
Follow along on FB.