Friday, October 24, 2014

The Queen in South Florida

One could say "isn't the Queen the Monarch?"! I hadn't even considered the similarity in the names of the Monarch and the Queen until just now as I started to write this post. I suppose their royal-like presence is what inspired their names. (hmm something to research)
I had seen some Queen butterflies in the yard but not until a few weeks ago had I seen the Queen caterpillar. While inspecting some of the eaten up milkweed I spotted this little guy. There are certainly some similarities to the Monarch caterpillar especially the coloring but the stripes are certainly different and there is that extra set of tentacles and aren't those red dots cool?!
 The pink flowers in the background are salvia. These photos were taken in my wildflower garden so everything grows like a jungle. However the jungle is getting a major thinning right now after a summer of running super wild!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Piping Plovers

When I opened an email with the blog post from Rolling Harbour Abaco I saw this adorable looking bird and was intrigued by some of the others photos, and as I began reading the article I learned that these birds are on the endangered list, their population has been diminishing and research has found that of course we are to blame ..... but we can help too. The Rolling Harbour Abaco blog post had a fun opening with a take from Paul Simon's song with "Fifty Ways to Please Your Plover"!

Piping Plover - Danny Sauvageau
Piping Plovers make their nests in the sand just above the water line so people often unknowingly run over them with vehicles, dogs not on leashes destroy the eggs and nests, we simply walk on them oblivious to their being there and we also destroy their nesting areas by building seawalls, dredging the beaches, etc.

Two things Piping Plovers cannot live without are tidal flats and roosting sites above high tide. Often Plovers return from their migration to find their resting grounds destroyed, whether it be on the beach or an inlet that has been walled up, dredged or mined for sand. Hence more Plovers won't survive and again their numbers dwindle as humans take over their homes, often unknowingly. We need to educate ourselves about the life of other animals on this planet so that we can act responsibly and respectfully.

To see some beautiful film clips and learn more about the Piping Plovers check out the links from Rolling Harbour Abaco's post. and near the end of the post you can click on a link to a video by the photographer Danny Sauvageau at Kickstarter.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Dolores from True Blue Canadian has given me this honor to participate in the Blog Around the World. When you visit Dolores's blog you're welcomed by her header photo of scenes from Canada. Just read her sidebar under "About Me" to learn what, where and when of the photo. Dolores is a hand-quilter, something I admire as I use my machine whenever possible so it's enjoyable to see others who are so good with the hand needle. She also knits, another skill I have never learned and she visits and takes fabulous photos at quilt shows ...and she shares those photos with her readers. I visit very few shows so I really enjoy the virtual show tours Dolores takes me on. 
Hopping along...

1. What quilting/sewing thing am I working on?

I'm working on brainstorming for the current quilt challenge over at Tangled Textiles. So all I have to show for it at this time are quick sketches of ideas as I try to choose my direction on this one. 
I have several little projects on my sewing room table waiting to get done, like pressing the coffee filters for pages in notebooks which I have gelli printed in the past but will make some quilted covers this next round. A few pots need stitching added to them and mini quilts need to be made for a few others.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think the most obvious is that I like to mix my two passions of clay and fiber together. I started with simply weaving rims on pots, then started adding stitching on pots and making mini quilts for vases, wall pieces, teapots, etc.
I often incorporate bits of nature like petals and seeds into my work or simply add a few clay beads or buttons to finish a quilt.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
For the 'create' part of the question I'm sure everyone who creates any sort of art or craft knows the feeling of doing it because we have to, something in us makes us want to create with our hands. It is simply who and what we are. Each time I clear my tables, put away my supplies something nags at me to pull it all out again, stare at it until I'm suddenly busy cutting, sewing, throwing or whatever it takes to try and create what I see in my mind.
For the 'write' part of this question it started when I joined the Quilting Arts forum several years ago and people were meeting and sharing their art. I'd visit all sorts of blogs to see others' work and as we met each other online I was asked "where's your blog?" and that's when my blog started. I enjoy meeting and sharing ideas with others and I also like to have this sort of journal of a few of my creative endeavors along with lately, photos of nature from my yard.
 4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I start with brainstorming then make quick sketches or notes of my ideas. Some of my starting thoughts include questions for myself like do I want to make a statement, create a conceptual piece or do I want to create art for the sake of art, something aesthetically pleasing? Do I want to focus on a certain subject, shape, form, colour, etc? Do I want to focus on a technique or is the piece to dictate the techniques used? From the sketches I start pulling out the materials I may use and then more brainstorming as I pile, sort, rearrange, making changes and notes in my sketchbook. Then finally I start cutting and sewing or the equivalent with the clay. And finally here are a few of my past quilts......

Blog Around the World continues.....
From here we'll make our way back up the States to Beverly's blog, Fiberhart and Lisa's Upstatelisa, then hop across the border back into Canada and head out west to visit Brigitte at A Loose Bobbin. Beverly, Lisa and Brigitte are all amazing fiber artists and each has lots to share. You'll enjoy their work and their blogs!