Friday, July 29, 2016

Picking Flowers from the Garden

This of course is my favorite place to sit in the garden in spite of the buildings in the background or the traffic noise. Most of the time listening to the birds makes you forget all of that.

I came indoors to do some drawings so that my paper wouldn't blow away in the lovely breeze we're having today. The temperature is around 80 degrees f, but the breeze keeps it from feeling that warm and makes it really comfortable.

I'm not sure why my photos turn out so dark. I can assure you that it's all much brighter in person. As always I'm working into the drawing easy and starting out with a few scribbles on my outgoing mail as I begin to relax and think about doing some serious drawing.

In the meantime, the weather is beautiful and the garden is calling...

Birds and Butterflies Outside My Window

  As you can see the bird feeders were pretty full and busy yesterday. We also had lots of chickadees and some cardinals along with other birds but they seem to come at different times of the day and I only managed to get pictures of these.

I often edit the photos as closely as I can to get you the best pictures of the birds but I'll include some longer shots so that you can get the idea of the setting that all of this takes place in just outside my living room window.

  It's a pretty wild mess right now but they seem to love it and a couple of days this week there were Monarch butterflies hanging around by the window and I really enjoyed watching those.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Climbing the Walls, Painting Sunflowers

I was looking for a good solution to that section of wall that I couldn't repaint right now so I decided to paint a few sunflowers to keep my mind off it and brighten things up a bit in here.

It's going slowly but I'm really enjoying it and I love the way it will draw attention to the sunflower painting that's hanging on the wall next to it.

I basing these on a photo of some sunflowers that I grew last year.

There's still a lot more work to do on these but I can relax and take my time with them. I was having such a good time that I even painted some on my outgoing mail! It was a great way to pass a rainy day. It was was bright and sunny in my little world.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Butterfly Release

This time three of the butterflies sat on my hand before they flew away. That was AMAZING!!! It's kind of like they're saying "thanks for raising us" or that they're just used to me feeding them. What ever the reason it really made me happy.

Here are a few still in the habitat waiting until they were ready to go too.

After the release, we came in for tea and to enjoy the photos and videos of the event. We can't wait to do it again!

Monday, July 18, 2016


All 5 butterflies are out today. We'll be releasing them with friends on Thursday.

It's hard to get pictures but I'll keep trying.

This will be our third butterfly release this summer and the really fun thing about it is that each time we do that they lay eggs in the yard and garden so we've had more and more butterflies out there and they just keep coming.

Sunflower Birdhouse

Here is the birdhouse finished and installed on the side of my wheelchair ramp.



In this photo you can see the contrast between the base coated  flowers and the shaded ones. After this I went through and added black outlines and accent stroked before installing it in place.

I enjoy painting outdoors the best. Minnesota weather is quite changeable so I don't get as much time out there as I would like.

Friday, July 15, 2016

From Garden to Mailbox

I started this letter with a photo of the flowers that I'd picked in the garden added to a few leaves I'd drawn on colored pencil.

When it came to envelopes I went back to the real flowers and watercolors.

Changes in the House and Garden

I'm continuing to work on the border at the end of the driveway. The soil is shallow here so I'm ending the floral border with gravel and these small stepping stones that one of my sister's gave to me.

The patio furniture and large planters are working well on this end of the driveway which I now refer to as "my patio garden".I thinned some lettuce and carrots while having coffee this morning and dreaming of the next changes that I want to make out here.

Meanwhile, indoors I continue to re-arrange things in this corner of my living room which also serves as an office and are studio. the main issue here is the best way to make everything wheelchair accessible.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Caterpillars and Chrysalides

I haven't had much luck getting good photos of all of the different steps as I raise this group of butterflies.

I took these photos just a few minutes ago and quite a change has taken place in the few days that the caterpillars have been here.. You can almost see them becoming butterflies in there. 

They will stay in this container for 3 days while the chrysalides dry and harden and then they will be ready to be moved into the habitat where the butterflies will emerge and remain for a few more days before they are released into the garden.

Here they are on the way into the net habitat where in about a week the butterflies will emerge. I took this picture because it's hard to see much of anything through the white netting on the habitat...or as I like to call it "the waiting room".

The Flowers Keep Coming

These Lemon Lilies grow on the same border that just a few months ago was covered with daffodils. It's nice to have an entire season of yellow flowers follow each other in the same space. I plan to add more crocus and tulips to this area next year.

This arrangement looks different on all sides so I never tire of looking at it. I can just turn it whenever I want something else to look at.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Grape Vines and Growing Wreaths

Grapevines are all over the yard and the garden here. The one trailing across the ground here will soon be wrapped around the arched bench I'm moving to my tea garden.

I'm not sure if you can tell in these photos but I'm weaving some of them around and around so that they will grow into a strong and well shaped wreath.I trim some of the leaves off as I go and let the tendrils bind one layer of vines on to the previous one.

Here's one that's found it's way to the arbor at the front of my garden. It's in the shade of large trees and didn't think any vines would grow here so it was a pleasant surprise.

Picking and Arranging Flowers