February Garden 2011 II: SunnysideLOCAL

I have already spoken about my garden this month, but since I missed last month, I thought I would double up. This time, I am going to introduce my neighbor, Mindy’s garden. Mindy and her friend Jane (also my friend) have started a nursery called SunnysideLOCAL.  They are a licensed nursery and certified farmers market grower located in Redlands, California.  Mindy and Jane share a similar philosophy about food:  As much as possible, eat sustainably grown food that is raised locally and tastes great.  All of their edible plants are grown from organic seeds sown in excellent organic potting mix.  Their growing fruit includes a variety of citrus, peaches (white and yellow), Nectarines (white and yellow), Black Mission figs, Wonderful pomegranates, strawberries (grown for jam stock), blueberries and melons.  Insecticides are never used and weed killing is done with an OMRI approved orange oil based herbicide.  They have a stand, stocked daily with their locally grown fruits, vegetables, and plants, as well as jams and jellies made from their own fruits. They can also be found at our local Saturday farmers market. For more on SunnysideLOCAL visit www.sunnysidelocal.com:

And here are some photos from their stand and nursery:

Bird A Week Challenge: Week 6//52

I have come across many talented mixed media artists on my journey through the OWOH event.  So, for this week, I decided to make the “Queen of Bling”, a mixed media magpie trinket box (magpies are known to like shiny objects).  I purchased a plain oval paper box, and embellished it with scrap paper, butterfly stickers, rhinestones, and rickrack. I then topped it with a nest decorated with silk flowers, and more bling. The magpie is made of  paperclay, and painted with acrylics. She has onyx bead eyes, and wears a vintage pearl necklace.  I had a lot of fun cutting, pasting, sticking, sculpting, painting, etc.  I’m quite pleased with how it all came out:

For the blog hop list of artists, or if you want to join the challenge:

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Drawing Lab 2011: Week 6 Shading Techniques

For this week, our assignment was to draw a pencil sketch using shading techniques. The hardest part of this lab was choosing what to draw. I decided to draw a pencil that I had readily on hand. I’m quite pleased with my efforts – I just wouldn’t mind having some assignments that involve color for a change:

February Garden 2011

I had planned to blog about my garden every month, but I missed last month… it was a bit wet and cold.  There didn’t seem to be much going on(I’m sure my garden would beg to differ).  Anyway, I went around today and took photos of my garden and grove. The Washington navels are just delicious right now. My other favorites, gold nuggets and tangelos are almost ripe, as well as the oro blancos, lemons, and calamansi. When we first moved here, I thought the calamansi were tiny tangerines. I tried one, and boy, was I in for a surprise. Calamansi look like tiny tangerines, but taste like lemons.  They’re great for using in cooking. Things are just starting to grow in the garden. Last season we had a pleasant surprise when “volunteer” hollyhocks grew in the garden. I hope they return this spring and grace us with their presence.  Here are photos from my front grove and garden:

And here are photos from my back garden. The local mountains are still snow capped.  After some difficulty last summer, the lavenders are looking really good now.  We had a few days of cold weather and the banana trees suffered. It’s nothing compared to what the rest of the country is experiencing, but for California standards, it was cold.  I do a fair amount of planting, but more often than not, after I plant something, I forget their names. I’m afraid I’m not a very conscientious gardener.  My dogs love to eat the fruits that fall from the Queen palm – they leave the pits scattered all over the patio. And here is our garden gnome “Harold” presiding over our little pond. His brother “George” presides over the vegetable garden, but I didn’t take a picture since the vegetable garden is a real mess right now :-). I had planned to make it a year round vegetable garden, but it didn’t happen this past season… maybe this season?

Bird A Week Challenge: Week 5/52

This week, I made a lampwork “Bluebird of Happiness”.  A bluebird of happiness has lots of wonderful meanings and symbols associated with it.  It is a widely accepted symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime, etc.  Virtually any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird. This bluebird of happiness has been made into a pendant for a very special friend and is already on it’s way to her:

For the blog hop list of artists, or if you want to join the challenge:

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Drawing Lab 2011: Week 5 Negative Spaces

This weeks drawing assignment was “Negative Spaces”. This one was hard for me to do. Drawing in negative spaces requires looking at and drawing the surroundings of your subject, not the subject itself. The hard part was that we were not supposed to draw any outlines. When I began this class, I decided no matter the results, I was going to post my work. So, here it is. I added some fun altered art type frames to distract from my less than stellar work(L-R: orange, goblet, sunglasses):

February Art Show: Faces And Places

It’s that time of the month again. The theme for this art show at the RAA is “Faces And Places”.  I made a beachy bracelet/earrings set using the bird a week bead from last week. I also made a Redlands Orange necklace/earrings set – I’m in the mood for oranges! The Washington Navels are ripe and delicious! the tangelos should follow soon. This is the best time of the year weather wise around here – the sun is shining, and the air is crisp and fresh.  I love living in a citrus grove. My children are not so enamored with eating oranges, etc. but I’ll never tire of it.  Anyway, here are some of the jewelry I will display for this month’s show: