Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MONARCH & BLACK SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLIES ON MY PENTAS AND WHAT ARE THESE INSECT EGGS?

MONARCH & BLACK SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLIES ON MY PENTAS & WHAT ARE THESE INSECT EGGS?


Sunday, I had lots of monarch butterflies again.  Most of them were kind of medium size, but this one was huge.  Also, they always hover around my butterfly weed and eupatorium, but this one was on my pentas all day.
I wonder about it, why this one is different.


There have been lots of black swallowtail butterflies in my yard, especially since the weather has cooled off a bit.


This one was on the same pentas with the beautiful large monarch.


While I was watching the butterflies, I noticed these tiny white insect eggs on the stem right in the middle of this picture.  They look like a musical score.  I've seen them before and have wondered if they were butterfly eggs, moth eggs or spider eggs.  I searched on Google and couldn't find anything like this.  
Interesting, huh?


See these little paper lanterns?  They are the seeds of my queen's crown vine that I shared with you earlier.  They will turn light brown and drop EVERYWHERE!  So, baby queen's crowns will be coming up all around this area in the spring.
I really love sharing nature in my garden with you.
Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

STARTING YOUR SEEDLINGS IN EGGSHELLS

STARTING YOUR SEEDLINGS IN EGGSHELLS

Look at this.  
What a good idea!
Eggshells give your seedlings an extra boost of calcium.
I'm certainly going to do this next spring. 

20 INSANELY CLEVER GARDENING TIPS & IDEAS
(click on this link for more great gardening ideas)


20 Insanely Clever Gardening Tips And Ideas 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

LOTS OF BUTTERFLIES IN MY GARDEN TODAY

LOTS OF BUTTERFLIES IN MY GARDEN TODAY


Today, there were so many butterflies in my yard.  Most of the monarchs have moved on and I have 6 or 7 left.  I always have black swallowtail butterflies until winter.  Lately, some of them have a beautiful vibrant purple next to the blue on their wings.  Lowe's is a few blocks away and I wonder if they came in with their shipment of pansies and other winter flowers.  When I was feeding the fish, I also noticed a small white butterfly, a medium butter yellow one and a medium butter colored one with black along the tips of it's wings.  I really think it's possible that these could have come in with Lowe's shipment if they didn't spray insecticide all over the flowers.
Anyway, I'm loving all the colorful fluttering wings in my flower beds.
Oh!  I always say the migrating birds come in front of the cold fronts and it just occured to me, maybe the butterflies do, too. 
 Didn't think about that!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE THIS MORNING

BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE THIS MORNING

Beautiful sunrise this morning.  


It looks more like s sunset.
I wonder if this colorful sky is because of the eclipse happening later today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BABY SQUIRREL, QUEEN'S CROWN & MIGRATING ROBIN VISITED MY GARDEN

BABY SQUIRREL, QUEEN'S CROWN & MIGRATING ROBIN VISITING MY GARDEN

This baby squirrel came to visit today.
A couple of weeks ago, a mama squirrel with swollen milk bumps on her tummy came to the bird feeder.  I figured she might have babies and there was lots of ceyenne pepper on the sunflower seeds.  I was hoping she wouldn't take it back to her babies and I think she realized the same thing because she didn't come back.  This baby didn't go to the feeder, it just kept playing with the tree.


Then, Pepper showed up on the roof about 4' from it and it didn't even know Pepper was dangererous.  I hit the window and it ran away.  Thank goodness Pepper isn't aggressive.


Isn't it beautiful how this queen's crown grows on my fence.  The honey bees just love it and were swarming all over it.  I love vines!


And, this afternoon there was a robin in my yard.  I didn't get a good picture of her.  I think it's a she because she wasn't terribly bright red.  But, no mistaking the white rings around her eyes.  She was foraging in one of my flower beds where there are LOTS of earthworms.  
These were the best pictures I could get today.  I'll try again tomorrow.
Earlier today I saw a little yellow migrating bird at the bird bath, too.  I've seen several of them for a couple of weeks. 
 I always think these migrating birds come in and move on with cold fronts.  I'll watch the weather and see if one is on the way.
I love seeing the migrating birds and so glad they stop by my garden for a spell.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

MY FIRST DIY E-BOOK PAINTING WITH A GEL STAIN

MY FIRST DIY E-BOOK PAINTING WITH A GEL STAIN

Recently, I completed my first instructional e-book.  It was hard working with Word and pictures for the first time, but finally figured it out.
A client got a new front door and it had a white primer on it.  She wanted a dark stained wooden front door but the one she wanted was really expensive.  A friend told her that it was easy to stain the white one with a gel stain and make it look similar to the one she liked.
Since she's not really a painter, it was a challenge for her and didn't turn out the way she thought it would and gave up! So, she brought it to me.
I work with gel stains a lot and decided to compose an e-book to show how I work with gel stains because they're a little tricky to work with.  This 13 page e-book shows you step by step how I use my brush strokes to simulate wood grain.
If you are wanting to change any door, cabinet or piece of furniture and would like to see my technique, here is a link to purchase my very first e-book in PDF form.


If you're interested in my e-book, but would rather have a
"PRINT COPY"
that is available for purchase, also.


It takes time, but I really loved creating this e-book and want to do lots more.  I have a third blog called


and I'm thinking I will use it for e-books and tutorials.  Soon, I'll try to figure out how to create drop down menus.  But, that's ANOTHER challenge!!
I will be working on it though because I love showing my friends the different techniques I've used in the beautiful homes where I've had the privilege to work.
Thank you!
Thank you for your interest!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF MONARCH BUTTERFLIES.

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

There are lots of monarch butterflies visiting my garden right now.  I grow butterfly weed and eupatorium just for this time of year, when they will be passing through on their journey to Mexico.  Most butterflies live a couple of weeks or a couple of months, but the fourth generation of the spring/summer season monarch butterflies live 9 months and their story is incredible!  The monarchs are everywhere in town right now.  I'm hoping that no one will delay their journey by putting them in a jar or in a cage.  They are on a mission of survival.  Most of them will be moving on south with the winds of the next cold front.
ENJOY THEIR BEAUTY!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS FOR YOU ~ CLEANING MY STUDIO WINDOWS & CATS ON MY LADDERS

A BOUQUET OF FRESH FLOWERS FOR MY FRIENDS
CLEANING MY STUDIO WINDOWS & CATS ON MY LADDERS

Today, I want to share a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers with my friends.


Don't you just love these colors together?
Purple is eupatorium ~ Monarchs and other butterflies love these~
Blue plumbago ~ One of my very favorites.  
Pink/coral is queen's crown or coral vine or antigonon
~Queen's crown is a wonderful vine and you see it especially in the older parts of town (here) growing up telephone poles and almost wild.  It grows like that in my garden, too.  The honey bees love it~


Yesterday, I was washing my studio windows and I turned around and Punkin was on my ladder.  Get down, please!  Finally, she got down to play with Charlie.


Cats love my ladders.
I was painting an "antique silver" special finish on this wall in my client's bedroom and Nikki got on my ladder.  He wouldn't come down and I had to ask his mom to come get him for me. 
He was very friendly.


Right now the queen's crown is amazing with big clusters of flowers all over.  I think they bloom mostly in the fall, but the one I chose to plant 25 years ago blooms from early spring until it freezes.


I wanted to sneak this in.
Recently, I was working for a client who is in the medical field and we were talking about medical care.  She said it's so hard to get payment from the government and showed me this check.  They ACTUALLY sent her office a check for $0.02.  See, under "amount".  I could not believe it!!
BOOM!!! 
 There goes another tree falling for paper wasters.

I just went out to feed the birds and put fresh water in the bird baths and there were about 10 monarch butterflies fluttering around my butterfly weed and eupatorium.  They're both in the same bed.  I guess the monarchs stopped on their way down to Mexico for the winter.  If you haven't read about their journey, google or you-tube it.  It's fascinating.
Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, October 13, 2014

THE GARDEN SHED FLOOR & PREPPING FOR WINTER

THE GARDEN SHED FLOOR & PREPPING FOR WINTER

Yesterday was "pet prep for winter" day.
I washed all of the winter bedding for the outside cats.
There is a kitty door in my garage where it's safe on rainy days.  Also, I feel it's a little warmer than outside on really cold days.  There are several fluffy warm beds in there.


See the kitty door?  
That's a portrait of Mr. Smith, a sweet ole cat that came to me one day with little sores all over his face and body from some kind of buckshot or pellet gun.
He lived with me for a long time.
 I'm a painter and nearly always have wet furniture and paint cans stacked high in my studio.
I realized a long time ago, that cats jumping up on things and paint just DO NOT mix.  The cats that have lived here have always come to me as strays or unwanted.  The first thing I do is have them spayed or neutered and I take very good care of them.
But, they do have to live outside.  


There's a kitty door in the garden shed, too.  I moved things out and cleaned the floor really well.  As I moved things, I found all of these drawings in concrete that Kevy and Elizabeth drew when the foundation was first laid.  
They're past and present sweet pet family members.
Punkin cat likes to sleep in here.  When she was a tiny baby, her mommy hid her in here and it's always been a safe place for her.  She has clean and fluffy bedding in a warm corner.  She sleeps in the garage with the other cats, too.  Punkin and Elijah are my two cats and two of the neighbor cats spend most of their time over here.  I have a picket fence around my front yard and I think it makes them feel safe from cars and neighbor dogs that might be running around.
Link to:  MY GARDEN SHED


And, guess who got a bath today!
His eyes look a little scary, but it is almost Halloween :)
(My camera flash, of course)



It was fun and a little bit sad seeing all of this artwork.
There were some foot prints and hand prints, too.
~ TIME MOVES ON ~

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DOROTHY THE CHIMPANZEE~DO ANIMALS GRIEVE?

DOROTHY THE CHIMPANZEE~DO ANIMALS GRIEVE?

Dorothy The Chimpanzee
"Chimp funeral.  The group was silent and embraced one another.  This is not "normal" behavior for an animal."
For 25 years, Dorothy was chained to the ground to entertain amusement park guests.
In May of 2000 she was rescued.

(youtube.com)




"When this female named Dorothy died of heart failure, all the chimpanzee family came out of the forest to say good bye..... the most stunning reaction was a recurring, almost tangible silence, reported staff at Cameroon’s Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Centre. If you know chimpanzees, then you know that they are not usually silent beings. I think it’s beautiful how many of the chimps are touching each others’ shoulders."
 — with
 Alioune Ngom.

SEVEN WEEK OLD BABY HEARS FOR THE FIRST TIME

The sweetest thing, ever!!

(youtube.com)

Friday, October 3, 2014

DO YOU LIKE BRUSSEL SPROUTS, TOO?

Do you like brussel sprouts, too?
I love brussel sprouts!!


The first thing I do is soak them in water and pull off the loose leaves.  I save the clean leaves that I pull off and will cook them later.  The reason I pull off the loose leaves is to make sure there's no dirt on them.  Another reason is, once at a cafeteria I was eating broccoli and there was a very large bug in it.  Then, one time I was cleaning broccoli to cook and found a very large bug and it was still alive. 
I figured they came in from the farm. 
Soooo, any leaves that are loose or any other hiding places, I wash and check very carefully.


To cook the brussel sprouts, I cut the ends off and cut each one in half.  I add chopped onions and grated carrots and my favorite spice.  Then, I pour olive oil all over everything and mix it up really well, making sure everything is covered with the olive oil.  I lay the brussel sprouts cut side down.  Last, I grate a little bit of cheese over all.
I cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, til they're soft.  
I eat a lot while it's still hot.  Then, after it's cool, I put it all in little freezer bags and into the freezer it goes.  Cooking the brussel sprouts this way, it's still really good after it's been frozen.  I can have brussel sprouts often and my very favorite thing is to eat this with my breakfast.
You could add other vegetables, if you want, but this is my favorite way to cook brussel sprouts.  And, I think it's a very nutritious way to cook them, too.
I guess you can tell that I really, really love brussel sprouts!!
Oh, and my little Charlie loves them, too.