Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cloud 9

I can't imagine a more imperfect day for ziplining.  Cold, windy, rainy and cloudy.  I guess that is why they call Montverde the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica.  I nicknamed it Cold Forest.  But when you are inside a cloud I guess it is to be expected.  On the other hand, it was the perfect lighting for some surreal photos. I've always thought this photo series from my Costa Rica archives looked photoshopped.  The bird looks placed on the branch.  But it is real.  It was right outside the Selvetura ziplining station.

The drive up....

Moths clung to the side of the building.  They didn't want to get wet either. The variety there was stunning.

The drive down...

 I'm ending this post with another wet jungle bird photo.  This was not a good day for adventure.  But these bird shots are some of my all time favorites.

P.S. I had 9 photos in this series that I named cloud 1-9 in my saved photos file.  When I got to number 9 I thought what a perfect name for this post!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Home is where the cat is...

Bedroom Buddies

 Home is the theme for this Holiday week.  And there's no place like it.  I painted this funny cat illustration exactly like my bedroom looked a few years ago.  That headboard has been in the family since the civil war. The old oval mirrored dresser belonged to my in-laws.  Life with my cat Baby (shown on the bed) only seemed like an eternity!  

Is home really a home without pets? And if they weren't around wouldn't it be boring?  My husband always reminds me of that when I'm furious about Hana's latest rampage.  They add so much love, destruction, cat germs, random cat litter bits, shredded paper trails, food thievery, general annoyance, falling hazards and joy to life.  I purposefully left out the most important one of all.  Humor!  Here's a huge selection of home life photos.  Home life with cats...

Hugs.  So sweet.  Our new Ikea sink before it was installed in the bathroom.  A perfect fit.

Tongue tied.  This is real and NOT photoshopped.

Can you come out and play?

So much for getting some work done...

Catie Couric.

Got water?

Cat Carrier.

Please go around me...I'M NOT MOVING!

Minnesota Cat.

Akua has never met a box, bin or basket he doesn't love.

Can you find Waldo Cat?

There she is.

Do you need a napkin?  Yup.  That's where I keep my (clean) napkins.  Gross.

Happiness is a warm pizza box.  Excuse me.  I'd like another slice.

Have a Meow, Meow Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sea Change

I call this illustration Hungry Sharks.  I illustrated it after the gulf oil spill.  A hungry shark is not the kind of shark I want around.  It's just like the motto for my cat Hana.  "I like to keep her fat and happy"  I say that all the time.  There's less shenanigans that way!  

Sea is the theme for

Do you see change in the air?  Are the seas cleaner?  Are the beaches spic and span? Well, they cleaned up most of the oil from that particular disaster.  But if you missed this former post about beaches in Belize....

I don't want the Belize tourism board to come after me. So before I tell you that some of the beaches in Belize are filled with garbage, I have to point out that this is where we stayed.  An enchanting private cabana on a beautiful beach.  Just a few feet from the waters edge.  Heaven right?  Well, sort of.  Don't get me wrong.  This cabana was one of the highlights of over 12 weeks in Central America.  Amazing.   

Sunrise outside our front door.  But...

The beaches are filled with plastic garbage!  At least on parts of the main land.  We stayed on the beach in Hopkins during our first trip to Belize.  I loved it.  But I vowed to start picking up plastic on my next trip.  And to turn lemons into lemonade I decided to do a little art project.  So when we arrived in Placencia, I started collecting on our very first beach stroll.  And as you can see I stuck to a specific color scheme.   It actually became kind of fun to discover so many different shapes,  mysterious containers and the not so mysterious.  

The first thing I did when I got home was select a canvas that fit all of my art (excuse me) garbage. I laid it all out in what I hoped was an interesting manner and took a photo.

Then I painted the canvas in a kind of rustic, textured and sandy tone.

click to enlarge

Then for the fun part.  I started gluing all the garbage onto the canvas.  And so far everything has stuck!  Please take a moment to look over all the different pieces of plastic.  My favorites are the curlers and the little rocket.  The phone and mirror are also pretty fun. 

Still sticking!

And for God's sake recycle!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Help a Heron Out Hand Out

I got up close and personal with this great blue heron.  He didn't care a lick about me snapping his photo.  He was too busy staring intently at a fisherman at Lover's Key State Park in Florida.  And the fisherman's pail of fish.  I'm unsure if the heron got his helping. 

And speaking of licks.  My illustrated Kookaburra has his tongue wrapped around a gum drop. Yum. It's an illustration of the classic nursery rhyme Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. 

And you'll find it in volume 2 of these books I'm handing out!  Each book is filled with fun illustrated nursery rhymes by the members of CBIG  The children's book illustrators guild of Minnesota.  They would make a great Christmas gift for the little ones in your life. You can find them on Amazon.

I'm also adding a copy of my book Maya Monkey. It's also available on Amazon.  I illustrated Maya for Teacher Created Materials last year.  But I didn't do a giveaway for her.  Until now.

 To enter the giveaway just be sure you're following me in my side bar and mention the giveaway in your comment.  Then I'll pick two winners.  One will receive a free copy of CBIG volume 1 and a copy of Maya Monkey and the other will receive CBIG volume 2 and Maya Monkey. I'll be sure to get them in the mail for Christmas!

P.S.  As of December 16th I've decided to discontinue the giveaway.  Because after 22 comments and 5 days I've only had 1 person enter the contest.  That makes me feel like a scrooge.  And at this point I wouldn't be able to alert the winners, acquire their address and get those books in their stocking by Christmas morning.  Plus, next week I just want to wish everyone Merry Christmas instead of Bah Humbug.  Bummer.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Glowing Give Away

Glow from my Birds and Bees category

I've taken a lot of Hummingbird photos in Costa Rica.  But this Cloud Forest favorite from my photo archives really shines.  I love the luminosity.  And I also caught him relaxing.  That doesn't happen very often! They are usually zooming around you like the movie Top Gun.

I did a giveaway last week to promote My 3rd Eye  Plus my new and expanding etsy shop. And last but not least to give a shout out about Finch's Holiday Boutique  Look how great it looked! It glowed...

And if you really want to see great photo coverage of the show visit for a complete photo low down.

My photo prints and cards were just a small part of all the arts, crafts and vintage goodies on display.  So who won a free set of photo cards?

I know you are all holding your breath in anticipation.  Ha! 

I'm happy to report that DJan won my card set!  She's been such a loyal follower for years.  So I was extra happy to pull her name out of a hat.  Or basket in this case. But all of the people who requested to be entered are special blogging friends.  So thanks for playing along.  Look for another book giveaway later this month!

P.S.  For local Minnesota blog followers, there's one more day of shopping.  Saturday, December 6th is the last shopping day at Finch's Holiday Boutique for 2014.  Click the link for details on how to shop small for your Christmas shopping list.