Tag Archives: birds

In the Studio…& and a little surprise


Yes, I’ve been up in my studio again having fun creating.  I seemed to have push through my “rut” of not getting up there.  So, a few leftover nights and take out, got me out of the kitchen to spend time creating.  I just made the decision to not think about what I should do rather than what I WANT to do.. and that is to forget about chores and putting in extra hours in the office and concentrate on feeling good about my art and doing something about it.  Well, at least for one weekend anyway.  I think we all deserve that, don’ t you?

It’s still “wintery” here, so I will continue to hibernate, as they say in bear language.  What better way to enjoy a cold day than to be in the art studio.

Let’s start with my birds.  Well, you all know how much I love the birds that visit me by reading my few posts here and here.  They’ve inspired me so much that I’ve decided to create some of these little creatures with polymer clay.  I wanted to share them with you.  They are such a joy to make.

Ready?  Lots of pictures ahead…  Click each picture to enlarge.

This little fella is about 3″ long, 1″ thick.  I have him sitting on a wooden post that’s also about 3″ tall and 1″ round.  Painted the stand with a teal acrylic paint and rubbed some white over it.  Then gave the bottom and top edge an Inka Gold rub (love that stuff).

I’m loving the spiral wings.  This bird is about 4″ long.  I put gem stones on the eyes and a small heart on it’s back.  I’ve been making a lot of teeny tiny hearts for my birds.

Now these little guys are my favorites.  They are so tiny.  They all measure about 1″ long and 1/2″ wide.   I put the tiny hearts on their backs and one of them has hearts for wings. These hearts range in size from 1/8″ to 1/4″.

A gather of hearts and birds, above and below.

and now………….a little surprise………….. my first video on how to make my little birds.

Enjoy and thank you for stopping by.

Ready for Spring and Chili


This winter has certainly brought come challenges to New England.  Our latest is the ice dams on so many houses in the area.  Let me show you the latest shots from our recent storm which is just yet another layer of snow, forming ice on the roof which can equal troubling leaks in homes… and we did have some leaking.  As a matter of fact, two of my art studio windows has some small drippage going on.  So, I have to move my supplies out of the way and now I’m not able to play in my studio until the rug dries.

Here’s my little Dixie below waiting to get out of the damn cold and probably wondering why I’m taking pictures outside in my jammies.. God, hope the neighbors weren’t peeking.  Ah, give them something to talk about.

… and here are the trouble makers.. they are beautiful, but they shouldn’t be there… and these are the smaller ones.

I have to say.. being forced to move my art supply drawers and whatever was in the way, made me realize how much crap I have in that small room of mine.  So, time to purge things I thought I needed.. Back to basics.  I’m even going to throw away some of my art.. start a new.. NO MORE SUPPLIES to buy.  If I can’t create with what I have, then there is a problem.  No more printing out AC Moore, Michael’s or JoAnn coupons that I think I’ll use just in case I go shopping.  I print them and never go…..Why do I do that?  I’m wasting ink and paper.  I want to be able to say that I used something all up and I need to get more and only then, will I get it because I NEED it, not because I want it.  I want to dwindle down my supplies.  Ok Ok.. just one thing.. I have a $20 coupon to a great store..I need a heat gun.. but after that, I’m dwindling…. Stop laughing!

Well, at least someone enjoyed the storm or ignored it is more like it…

Be honest, have you had enough about the New England weather and my birds?  C’mon, you can tell me.  Ok.. no more weather.. promise.  But,  you have to love the birdies a little…


Well, today is Superbowl Sunday.  Even though our Patriots are not playing, it’s always fun to watch with no stress.  I decided to make a batch of low fat-chili to let simmer for a few hours before the game.

Let me share the recipe, but keep in mind, I am not a exact recipe follower and this is just from my memory of making it for years.   You cooks know what I’m talkin about.

Judy’s Low-Fat Chili:

I used almost 2 lbs, split equally of ground chicken and ground turkey.  This will be chunky.  Isn’t that was chili is all about?

1/2 of a large sweet onion

Crushed garlic, as much at you want.. I used about 3 cloves.

2 cans of red kidney beans, thoroughly rinsed in a strainer.

1 28 oz. can of Pastene Crushed Kitchen Ready Tomatoes… my favorite, by far.
(you can put in a 1/2 can more of the tomatoes or a can of tomato paste, then add a cup of water).

Spices:  salt, pepper, ground cumin, chili powder and a dash of ground red pepper.
Now, these spices are all according to your taste.  But the cumin and chili powder is the magic.  See what I mean about just going with it?  But if you need a measurement…  start with a 1 tsp of cumin and about 2 Tblspns of Chili Powder.  Always better to add less than to put too much in and you can’t take it out.

Saute the sweet onion until just starting to turn golden brown.  Add garlic and saute just a minute; you don’t want it to burn.  Add the chicken/turkey.. Break apart with a wooded spoon and cook until no longer pink.  Add the beans, tomatoes and spices.

Let simmer for a few ours on low and enjoy.. stirring occasionally.    Add some low-fat shredded cheddar cheese on top and pair this with a garlic toasted lite english muffin.  I had them around.  Spread Olivio or something you like on 1/2 the muffin, sprinkle garlic powder, put under the broiler to toast.  When they start to turn golden, put some of the shredded cheese on the muffin to melt.

If you want to make a vegetarian chili, you can substitute the meat for a bag of frozen mixed veggies such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower.  Thaw the veggies in the microwave, then saute them in the pot before you add the beans and meat.  This is a quick way without all the chopping of the veggies.

My favorite veggie chili is made with fresh produce such as summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, whatever you love.  You can roast them in the oven tossed with olive oil first then add them to your pot or you can saute them all in the pot before you add the beans, tomatoes and spices.   You’ll never miss the meat.

Have a great Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by.


Snow, Birds, Ruts and Art


I’m sorry I’ve been gone a little while.  I’ve been buried in work and snow.  This week, I was beginning to feel like an eskimo in an igloo.   We got hit with another snow storm this week.  Ok, the snow is pretty…..for December… but this is enough.  I think it will finally thaw out in June.

Take a look and see what I mean?   And this is the pretty stuff.. the town and cities are loaded with banks and banks of snow.  No place to walk,  no where to park in some cases and the streets are narrow.  Nuff of the complaining now… enjoy some pictures.

Back deck…

From the back deck to back yard… I can hardly see my grill.

Here’s a pretty one that hubbie took…before the storm…

All all my feathered friends did not mind the snow storm at all… I caught some really good pictures of them…

some played see saw…. (Titmouse and Woodpecker)

some played peek-a-boo… (Juncos)

some were anti-social….

Then some come together to socialize… they love that tree.. that’s where they all gather and chat…

I’ve been invited to an art day with some friends tomorrow.  I really need this.. I’ve been in an art rut… Know what I mean???  Work, family, life is just taking priority lately and I need to get a grip of it and get in the studio.  Not that I’m going to make my family last priority, but a little “me” time is due.  I don’t think anyone will come to me and say “honey, mom, we till take care of everything today, you just go relax and do what you want”.

As for my art rut, this is a discussion that I’ve had with some of my artist friends lately about kinda going “dormant” for a while, brain takes a vacation, chilling out.   Eventually it will come back.  It will, won’t it?

Have you ever had that happen… Blank stares at the canvas, at the art table and at the page?

I have signed up for some fun “me” workshops. I AM going to put time aside for myself.   There, Ive said it and “it’s in the books” (as “Uncle Buck” says).

In the meantime, I’m still fiddling (as in very little) in my little sketchbook for the “Sketchbook Challenge”.  Here’s a few pages to share.. size 5″ x 3 1/2″…done with fine black marker and watercolor paints.

The theme for January is still “Highly Prized”.. and I consider MY TIME.. the time I create, to be highly prized.

More art soon… pray for no more snow and  thanks for stopping by.


Birds of a Feather…….


I was never one to care much about nature as a young adult or even up to about 10 years ago.  I never really stopped to watch any outdoor life.  That is…. until I started to do art.   I think I just became more aware of colors, shapes, textures and yes, nature (but, please NO SNAKES).

One year, I was sitting with an old friend in her back yard as Robins flew down to pick in the grass.  She said to me “watch how they turn their heads to listen to the worms moving under the ground”.  I said “whatchyoutalkinbout”;  I thought she was pulling my leg, but damn if she wasn’t right.  I did watch and I was amazed.  Since then, I’ve always watched out feathered friends live their little lives –   flying, flitting, hopping and bopping around the yard.  Since that time, with my friend, Annie,  I put a hummingbird  and wild bird feeder outside our windows, and man, I’m so glad I did;  they are hours of entertainment.  Since the hummers have left the cold here, I still get to enjoy all the wild birds..  AND.. can they eat.. I can’t keep up with the food.  They love snow storms, rain, wind.. they never disappoint.  I can’t name all the birds, which makes me want to get a bird book to identify each one.

Sooooooooo.. where am I going with this? ……… sit tight…..

I dedicate this blog post to my beautiful friend, Annie… the “Bird Whisperer”.  Love you Annie.


I recently got a new Canon camera for my birthday in September.  I’m still learning the features, but I’ve enjoyed taking pictures of the birds that come to visit me.. Ok, well they are not coming to see me, but they know someone if feeding them.  So what if I pretend I’m Snow White; I’d like to get them to make my coffee.  Ok, imagine this is me… but forget the prince charming and cleaning the stairs and that voice.

Hey, I like feeding people, ask my friends… and now I like feeding birds.  The feeder is directly outside our front door to the right, in the flower garden (which is sadly bare and brown now).  I can watch from the front window where I sit and  read and have my cup of coffee in the mornings before my work day starts and every weekend.

I would love to share with you here, my latest successful shots of my feathered friends.  As I said, new camera, I’m not a photographer with any experience except to point and shoot.

Enjoy…….. there a a lot of pictures…

Here comes the female Cardinal… munching away on some seeds.

Here comes the male… sorry for any blurring picture.. remember.. amateur here

Male Cardinal in the tree.. I find it amazing how the change their shape and puff up.  Sort of like the way we feel after a big meal.  I think a little Pepto might help him.

Oh look who came for a visit….. a Morning Dove…

… and here comes Woody the Woodpecker… we have two of them.. one smaller than the other..   Look how they grab the feeder.. such tiny feet.

.. and they puff up too.  So cool.

I believe this is a Red Bellied Woodpecker…

.. and now come the “jay walkers”… tough crowd, they are… These Bluejays have such a striking blue colors.  The are too big for the feeder.. although the try, but can’t stay on long.. they end up eating what is dropped on the ground.

“hey look, jasper, i think the crazy lady is taking our picture again”.

.. and finally.. I caught this little guy outside my office window..

It took me hours to get these photos.  They don’t stay in one place long enough; by the time I get focus and click they are gone.

My plan is to print some of these pictures and do image transfers in my art.

I’ll let you know how that goes with a show and tell.

Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.


A Mix in New England


It’s been raining here in Massachusetts for two days.  I secretly like the rain and I work in a home office so I don’t have to leave if I choose not to.  I am fortunate, I know.  How I wish I could just play in my studio listening to the rain pitter patter against the house.  A very comforting sound to me.

We also had our first frost this week.. it’s always a milestone to see the evident while layer of coldness on the grass.  The frost that has to be scraped off of car windows.  Brrr.. winter is coming; that’s what it says to everyone..so get ready.

Here is a couple of pictures of frost on my roses and hydrangeas.

This past weekend.. the strangest thing happened.. all of a sudden a huge flock of black birds (not crows) descended on our yard.. I mean hundreds of them.. I ran for my camera and caught this:

Front yard above


Attacking my bird feeder. …. and then they were gone… never to be seen again.  Did someone tell them there was a free buffet or something?  Strange, don’t you think?  A sign.. or nothing?

I’ll be back in the studio next week and I take a few days off of work and enjoy some art play.  I’ll be posting some new works in the works.

Thanks for stopping by.