Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018 Great Backyard Bird Count Event in DWG

I have participated as an individual contributor to the Great Backyard Bird Count for several years now and promoted it on this blog. This year I am pleased to also be able to promote a GBBC event that my city of DWG will be hosting. Our Park Board agreed that an event like this would be a good fit in a city whose tag line on its website is "A Rural Oasis in the Heart of the Metro-plex". Our Gardens Park has walking trails, a fair number of trees and a small lake. The photo above was taken during a GBBC about 10 years ago and it contains four bird species likely to be found this year.

The Dalworthington Gardens GBBC event will start at 10 am on Saturday, February 17 in the community room next to the fire bays. For approximately the first hour, we will meet inside to talk about bird identification, what the goal of the worldwide GBBC is and how to participate. We will then break into groups with a guide to do some bird counting in the park. Depending on the weather, we will regroup to sip some water or hot chocolate in the community room while we share what birds the different groups found. If you are in the area, I hope you can join us for this fun citizen scientist opportunity. Suggested items to bring; clipboard with paper and pencil, binoculars, mobile device loaded with the Merlin bird app, camera, walking shoes and inquisitive nature.

Your participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count is not limited to this event. The GBBC runs for four days and you can count birds on your own as well as in groups and report your sightings to provide data for scientists to use in their research. You can also submit photos you take to their annual photo contest. Check out some winners from last year's photo contest.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Catching Up and Starting Out

I came here to put up my first blog post for 2018 and I was surprised to see that between family being in town for the holidays, finishing up the last few days of my pop-up shop, hosting Christmas dinner and then freeze proofing everything just before New Year's Day, I missed posting so let me catch up a bit and bring this blog into the New Year.

First, a belated Merry Christmas. I hope you got to spend some time with family and friends.

Much of the country was bitter cold for New Year's Eve. I hope you and yours managed to
stay warm and safely ring in the New Year. The New Year's graphic color was inspired by 2018's Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. (Science types, please note the name of the purple is two words and not the word for the part of the electromagnetic spectrum just past what humans' eyes can see as I mistakenly thought when I skimmed an article about this year's color of the year.) Perhaps I need to add more purple to my shops. I have some nice amethyst in various bead sizes, shapes and slices.

While I was writing this, I heard that lovely cha-ching sound, the notification from my Etsy app that I just had a sale. Woo hoo! That is my first one of 2018 so I am starting out the New Year in a good way. I hope your New Year has started out on a positive note for you and may positivity flow through your entire year.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

To be clear, I am not happy that today has the least amount of sunlight of any day of the year. What I am celebrating is that today marks the worst of the dwindling sunlight. After today, the daylight hours will lengthen once more. So let me wish you a Happy Winter Solstice and share an uplifting picture of sunbeams breaking through to mark the occasion.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

State of Texas Nature Designations

I have heard it said that Texas is a state of mind. If your mind likes to linger on the nature around you, you might be interested in what critters and plants Texas has designated as the state bird, tree, etc.. I snapped the following images in my yard or DWG's Pappy Elkins Park and turned them into photographic art to celebrate the beauty of these state designated critters and plants.


State native shrub: Cenizo


State bird: Mockingbird


State plant: Prickly Pear


State insect: Monarch butterfly


State tree: Pecan


State flower: Bluebonnet

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Eclectic Design Choices to be at Event Dec. 9-23, 2017

Hand crafted creations representative of both my EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic Etsy shops are included in the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market being held at The Sleepy Cottage in Downtown Arlington. I am one of thirteen artisans whose handmade wares are on display and waiting to brighten someone's day on your holiday gift list. The pop-up market opened last Saturday and many items of mine and the other artisans have found new homes already. Quite a few of the items on display are one of a kind, so come out and shop before that fabulous find is gone or before the market closes on December. 23.

I took the images in this post as the market was beginning to be stocked. My flying pig note cards share a display with note cards from the artist Kristy Jarvis. While my photographic art print is of a wine bottle, I love the juxtaposition with the sleep mask that reads, "Wake me for Champagne".

There is much more than cards, art and sleep masks to be found at The Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market. You will find pottery, soap, jewelry, crochet, tile and glass mosaics, candles, ornaments and more. Thanks in advance for those of you who stop by to browse.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Eclectic Design Choices Events Dec. 1-2, 2017

With some family support, I, or rather Eclectic Design Choices, will be able to be at two events at the same time on Friday, December 1.

The event beginning first on Friday is the annual Olde Town Christmas craft show at the Dottie Lynn Recreation Center. We set up in the morning and the show opens to the public at noon. I will have a good selection of my jewelry and photographic art prints, note cards and bookmarks, along with a small selection of my ready to hang artwork. Olde Town Christmas remains open to the public until 7 pm on Friday and resumes on Saturday at 9 am and runs through 3 pm.

The second event on Friday is a ribbon cutting, which begins at 4 pm, hence my need to be in two places at once. My supportive family member allowed me to twist his arm to hold down the fort at my Olde Town Christmas booth so that I can attend.

What does a ribbon cutting have to do with my creations? It is a ribbon cutting and grand opening for both CenterSpace and a business that offices in their expanded location, Cadmus Dental. You have read about my involvement with both of them. As 817ArtsAlliance, I have partnered with CenterSpace to give artisans who do not have a brick and mortar presence, a way to display some of their work where people can come and view it in person during work hours. They can even purchase it and take home a piece of art if one speaks to them. I wrote recently about the dental art challenge presented to me by Cadmus Dental. I definitely wanted to be there to show my support for these companies and their founders. After the ribbon cutting, there will be a grand opening party.
Three of the artisans on display in CenterSpace will be there with more of their work and to talk about their creative process. I will stay until I have to head back and help close down my booth at Dottie Lynn.

I hope to get a chance to see you this weekend. If not, my Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market will open for a two week run on December 9 in Downtown Arlington so you will have another chance to see my creations and those of other local artisans. More on that next week.