Friday, September 21, 2018

Eclectic Design Choices Artwork Included in GPAC 2018 Juried Art Show and Sale

I delivered my entries to the Uptown Theater in Downtown Grand Prairie earlier today. The foyer of the theater will be home to more than 125 pieces of art from 58 regional artists. It will be open to the public beginning with the reception for the show on Sunday, September 23 from 2-4pm. If you are unable to attend the reception for the Grand Prairie Arts Council 2018 Annual Juried Show and Sale, you can view the art in the lobby of the Uptown Theater until the artists remove their work beginning at 10 am Saturday, October 20.


My tryptic of moonlight on the waters around the Galapagos Islands is one of my three accepted pieces.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mushrooms and Fungus Respond to Rains in Abundance

North Texas was back into extreme drought until a few of weeks ago when we got a couple of inches or rain. Then this past week my rain gauge has measured over 6 inches of rain, much of that coming in two separate gully washers. The dormant mushroom spores rejoiced and sprung into action. I was amazed at the variety of mushrooms in the mulched beds along Front Street in Downtown Arlington. I took a few of the following pictures in my mulched front flower bed. The mushrooms have been quick to grow and produce more spores to release across the landscape to wait for suitable conditions to grow another generation.















Yes, that is a lot of mushroom pictures but I had trouble pairing down the ones I took any further. There was such a great variety. Some of the pictures are of the same type of mushrooms at different stages but there are quite a few different mushrooms represented. If you can name any of them, I would appreciate it if you would share their names in the comments. The image below is one that spoke to me so that I created a piece of photographic art from it. (The altered image is the one shown below.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

New Picture Jasper Earrings

It is not uncommon for me to go to a trade show and pick up some gemstones in interesting shapes or colors that I am eager to make something out of. Unfortunately the time I have to create never seems to match the number of projects I have grabbed goodies for. This has been true for some teardrop shapes made out of a few different gemstones that I have been meaning to make earrings out of. Fairly recently I finally carved out some time to design two new pair of picture jasper earrings that incorporated some of these teardrops.

The first thing I did was to unstring all of the picture jasper teardrops and see what I had that I thought paired up well. I found two pair that I wanted to start with. I then pulled out my other picture jasper strands in various shapes and sizes and picked beads that had similar color and character to each teardrop pair. Antiqued brass plated findings complemented the darker teardrops while I thought gold plated findings worked better with the lighter colored ones. I made jointed dangle earrings out of each matched pair of teardrop picture jasper beads. They are currently listed in my EDCCollective Etsy shop in my earrings section.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

First Monarch Siting of the 2018 Fall Migration

Yesterday (Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018) I saw my first monarch butterfly of the fall migration. My blue mistflower had recently started to bloom and that is what the monarch landed on. It stayed around drinking nectar for some time. It is amazing how a butterfly that covers so much territory can find and fuel up on a small backyard planting. Don't feel that you can't contribute to helping save these beautiful orange and black butterflies. A few monarch friendly plants tucked into your garden will make a difference.

In addition to mistflower, I have let some native late flowering boneset hang out in my garden after they showed up one year. Monarchs and many other pollinators fuel up on this plant. Since I added the mistflower, the monarch butterflies do
seem to have a preference for it over the boneset. This first fall migrator definitely did and got its fill on the mistflower before heading on its way. I have taken some nice pictures of monarchs feeding on late flowering boneset as well as lantana and small sunflowers so don't feel you are restricted to one plant to create a fueling station for these butterflies.

Both photos in this post were taken yesterday. The honeybee was enjoying the late flowering boneset, even if the monarch wasn't. (Click the images to see a larger view.)