Painting Dory and Strawberries plus Flower Pics

Thanks for joining me today! I’m hoping to start catching up on some back-logged posts I’ve been wanting to share with you. Today’s comes from a visit to my aunt’s home in N. FL back in the Spring. She has some amazing plants, so I thought I’d share a few…

The Panda Plant aka Pussy Ears (Kalanchoe tomentosa) has these darling furry velvet ‘ears’ that you just want to pet!

She also has this nifty Rabbit’s Foot Fern (Davallia fejeensis) where the rhizomes (creeping rootstalks) look like fuzzy rabbit’s feet.

A pretty cactus bloom.

She was given this by family in Ohio and told it was a Jerusalem plant, tho I can’t find anything like it on the net. It’s nifty how the inside reminds me of a poppy ‘fruit’. Let me know if you know what it is!

I finish with her lovely irises… I couldn’t pick a favorite, so you get to see all three…

The strawberries and leaves on her welcome sign had faded away, so I went to Michaels and got some paints and refreshed them for her.

She wanted me to sign and date it and we all got a laugh when she caught that I put ‘o8 instead of ’18… yep, I’m running a few years behind! lol!

I was honored and a little bit nervous when she entrusted me with her next project…

She was tired of her plain white fish and wanted him to be colorful. Her BFF had a picture of her son’s royal blue tang and those were the colors she wanted used…

Ahh… Dory! Also known as regal tang and surgeonfish (Paracanthurus hepatus).

So, I used the picture as a starting point and then took a little artistic license for some extra pops of color and sprayed on a lacquer to seal her up for easy cleaning and give her some shine….

My aunt seemed pleased with how it turned out and if she ever gets bored with those colors, we now know it’s not too hard to change it up.

Thanks for stopping by here today. I look forward to seeing you again as soon as I can find another little break to catch up again. Have a lovely day!

~D.Ann

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Fringed & Parrot Tulips with a Jumbo Tulip Thank You Card

Hello! In case you couldn’t tell from the title, today we’re going to focus on tulips. While in Indiana this spring, I saw fringed tulips, parrot tulips and other hybrid tulips for the first time and fell in love! Here are just a few my cousin’s wife has in her garden:

Ah, the beauties of the great outdoors! They’re such a delight to behold and reminded me of the Quietfire stamp that I used for the inside of my card:

Some people, life flowers, give pleasure just by being!

Inspired by those beauties, I used my Polychromos to color up a frilly jumbo tulip by Stampendous for my card:

FYI, the third largest frame in Spellbinders 5×7 Matting Basics B perfectly fits the inner rectangle area inside the pierced dots of the Bella Rose Lattice die, allowing for the white corners. The sentiment is embossed on acetate which I adhered with ‘Stacey Tape.’  The embossing on the tulip is a custom mix…

 

I mixed Stampendous Pomegranite Opaque with Fran-Tage Opaque Shabby White. I love the mottled look and the flecks of shiny gold!

Since the Serendipity Floral Butterfly wouldn’t fit, I cut off one of its wings (and used the pieces on the inside). To highlight the tulips in the wings, I added Nuvo Crystal drops to them. To finish off, I made a matching envelope:

 

Supplies used:

  • Stampendous Jumbo Tulip and Jumbo Thank You stamps
  • Spellbinders Chantilly Paper Lace Collection by Becca Feeken
    • Bella Rose Lattice Layering Frame
    • Lunette Arched Borders
  • Spellbinders Card Creator 5×7 Matting Basics B
  • Serendipity Stamps Floral Butterfly die
  • Quietfire Design Garden Delights stamp set
  • Tsukineko Versamark ink
  • Stampendous Fran-tage Opaque Shabby White embossing powder
  • Stampendous Merlot kit – Pomegranite Opaque embossing powder
  • Inkadinkado black embossing powder
  • Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils: Cadmium Yellow; Light Chrome Yellow; Delft Blue; Dark Red, Madder
  • Tonic Studios Nuvo Crystal Drops – gloss red berry
  • Tsukineko Memento dye ink – Tuxedo Black
  • Recollections cardstock: white, blue; silver glitter & shimmering red
  • Brutus Monroe Alabaster pigment ink
  • SMS ‘Stacey Tape’
  • Scotch tape runner
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue

I’m playing along with the following challenges – click on any one of them for more information on how you can join the fun:

As always, I thank you for the comments you’ve been leaving… it’s always a tread to read them!

-D.Ann

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Morel Mushrooms and Power Poppy Thanks So Mush Card

Hello and welcome back!

I have been anxious to share this fun card and story with you and am happy I finally have the chance. One evening near the end of April, while in Indiana, we left my cousin’s home after supper and suddenly mom hollered, “stop the car!” Her eagle eyes had spotted some morel mushrooms alongside the road. These delectable delicacies are a favorite of ours, but have a short season and usually require hours tromping through the woods to find, so we rarely get to enjoy them anymore. We counted about 16 right there near the road.

We called my cousin to let her know where they were so she could get them, as they were on her property. Fortunately, her husband (who, I hear, doesn’t particularly care for mushrooms) answered the phone and said, ‘you guys go ahead and take them!’ (Actually, my cousin is such a sweetheart, I know she’d’ve said the same thing.)

As we got out of the car and started hunting, we kept finding more and more and, in a span of just a few short minutes, ended up with a mess of about 46! Best mushrooming EVER!! Thanks, cuz!!

The largest was over 4″! They fried up nicely and were absolutely DELICIOUS!!

 

Oh, I’m also going to show you a picture of some wild violets up there… in a minute you’ll see why…

Now, how do you thank such a generous sacrifice? Well, Power Poppy has a fabulous morel mushroom stamp that was just perfect:

They look so REAL!! And Becca Feeken’s fabulous Annabelle’s Trousseau die makes a lovely open lacework base for it! I may have to make a whole set of these in the near future!!

Materials used:

  • Power Poppy Wild Mushrooms stamp set
  • Spellbinders Annabelle’s Trousseau die from the Chantilly Paper Lace collection
  • Spellbinders Fancy Tags 3 (with ends snipped off)
  • Core’dinations cardstock: white, purple, kraft
  • Tsukineko Memento dye ink: Rich Cocoa
  • Copic Markers: B02; BV00, 02; C1; E31, 33, 51G02, 82; V17, 25; Y000, 02, 13; YG17
  • Foray Stylemark pen .5mm purple
  • Pebbles, Inc. Pearlescent Chalks – jewel tones
  • Ranger Adirondack Dimensional Pearls: Eggplant
  • Misc. adhesives

I’m playing along with the following challenges – click on any one of them for more information on how you can join the fun:

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I’m glad you stopped by today! Thanks for leaving your encouraging comments!

-D.Ann

p.s. Any ads you may see are posted by WordPress and are not endorsed by me.

 

 

 

Butterfly World Part 2 – Birds & Flowers

Hello again! I’m happy to be back and that you could stop by, too!

After a long break to try to let my wrist heal (perforated ligament and tendon inflammation), I’m slowly starting back. I’ll start with the rest of the pics from butterfly world. If you missed the first post featuring the butterflies, you can find it HERE. There are plenty of birds and flowers in the park, too! For those of us who are paper crafters, there’s loads of color inspiration! So go grab a cuppa something good, put on some classical music like they have playing throughout the park, and just enjoy the pics…

The skyflower aka blue trumpet vine (Thunbergia grandiflora)

These ground orchids (Epidendrum radican) are so cute!

This one is a jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) – I love hose shades of green!!

I must try a card the color combo in these orchids… brown, pink and pale yellow!

This vine is an Acanthaceae (Thunbergia mysorensis).

A bottlebrush bush (try saying that 5 times fast. lol!) aka Callistemon.

There is a huge variety of passion flower (Passiflora) vines. I don’t know how many of the 550 species they have, but it’s a lot!

They remind me of dancing ladies! And they go from these giant ones as big as your hand to the tiny ones, smaller than a thumbnail:

I love finding ‘faces’ in the bougainvillea flowers! : )

The aviaries are filled with canaries, finches, honeycreepers and more… most flitting around too fast for the lens to catch, but a few are otherwise occupied, like this cute parakeet couple and the peeping Tom. : )

The vibrant colors of the Macaws never cease to amaze me.

There is a Lorikeet encounter where you can feed them or just enjoy the amazing bright colors and shrill songs of these lovely parrots. (you can click on the arrow in the middle of the picture below to watch the short video.)

Lastly, one of my favorites… this gorgeous little shimmering hummingbird just sat there sticking his tongue out at us as if giving raspberry and saying, “Nyah, nyah I’m the most beautiful bird around and I know it!” (click on the arrow in the middle of the pic for the short video to play.)

That’s just a few highlights from this wonderful little park. And I didn’t even get the the museum. I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour!

I hope to start catching up now. I have several spring garden posts that I HOPE to get posted before next spring, but you know I roll in slow motion, so it may be a while. I seem to have a few cards backlogged, too. So there is more to come, Thanks for your patience! Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long.

-D.Ann

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Cup of Cheerful Columbine Card and Robin Eggs

Surprise! I’m back!! A lot has happened since my last post and part two will have to wait a bit longer. Meanwhile, it’s time for the 2018 Spring/Summer Coffee Lovers Hop.

Although I haven’t had much time for crafting lately, I was excited to make up the new Power Poppy Cheerful Columbine stamp as it is a prefect reminder of a couple of the fun highlights of my recent trip to Indiana… My aunt’s columbine flower patch and getting a birds eye view of newborn baby robins!

This year the robins built their nest in my aunt’s garage window. They were very attentive to their family.

    

  

Here’s a video of the the first two newly hatched. They’re not the cutest, but still they’re amazing! (click in the middle of the pic to start the video):

Aww!!

Columbines are one of my favorite flowers. Their little stamen bunches look like little balls of sunshine! Did you know the first official Colorado State Song was Where the Columbine Grow? For me, they grow in my aunt’s flower garden in Indiana!! I was happy that they had just started blooming when we were there. My aunt has several nifty varieties. Here are just a few:

  

 

   

That last one on the right is a Clementine Rose Columbine.

  

I chose these as a color guide for my card (they go the best with the MarkerPop challenge colors this month – see below):

What a sweet tea cup full of flowers! To give the flowers a sense of depth, I fussy cut them and a couple of extra plus the robin and an extra egg. I used flower shaping tools to shape them and foam dots to help hold their shape.

I added the little seeds stamp and filled them in with Liquid Pearls… there was even room to poke a seed in her beak. A little Wink of Stella gave some morning dew sparkle to the slower petals and cup.

Materials used:

  • Power Poppy Cheerful Columbine stamp and little seeds
  • Spellbinders Thoughtful Expressions Thinking of You die set
  • Recollections cardstock: white, brown and Blig Bloom (peach)
  • Memento Rich Cocoa dye ink
  • Copic Markers: B02, 05, 21; C5, FYG1; G05, 09, 24, 82; N4; R20, 22, 32; RV63; V12; W3, 5; Y000, 32; YG17
  • Ranger Liquid Pearls Coral & Dark Chocolate
  • Pebbles, Inc. Chalks
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Florentine Gold Microbeads
  • Misc foam dots and pvc glue

I’m playing along in the following hops and challenges – click on any one for more information on how you can join the fun:

  

Thank you for stopping by today and for sharing your encouraging comments – I always look forward to reading them!

-D.Ann

p.s. Any ads you may see are posted by WordPress and are not endorsed by me.

Butterfly World Part 1 – Butterflies

Hello, everyone! As you might have already guessed, today’s post is going to be full of butterflies. There will be plenty of amazing colors to inspire your next papercrafting project!

We recently went to Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, Florida – the largest butterfly house in the world with 3 acres of butterfly and bird aviaries, botanical gardens and a working butterfly farm and research center.

It was a cool day and we arrived first thing in the morning, so most of the 20,000+ butterflies (up to 50 species) were still lazing about posing for picture after picture rather than rushing about all a flutter to fill their tummies with nectar.

How many snoozing butterflies can you find?!

Choosing pics for this post was tough! Take these lovely Tree Nymphs (aka Paper Kites (Idea leuconoe))…

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How can you choose just one pose?!!

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The gorgeous green Malachites (Siproeta stelenes) were also showing off for the camera:20180330_091717_wm

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There’s also a huge difference depending on which way the light hits their wings!

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This Julia Heliconian (Dryas iulia) is another case in point.

As the sun warms things up, everyone flutters about their business. You can see some of those amazing blue Morphos flitting by in this video…

Here’s one I caught recharging her batteries – love that gorgeous iridescent blue!

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The under side of the wings have large eye spots that startle predators. Their wingspans measure 5-8 inches.

This one has a piece of his wing missing so the iridescent blue of the opposite wing shines through. I love the water droplets beading up from the fine mist sprinkers nearby!

The Owl (Caligo) butterflies have huge eye spots. The outer wings are a duller blue than the Morphos. With a wingspan of up to nearly 8 inches, the species is the largest butterfly in the Americas.

A Rusty Tipped Page (Siproeta epaphus) and a Tiger Longwing (Heliconius hecale).

 

There are oodles of variations of Piano Keys (Heliconius melpomene):

  

 

Check out the amazing female Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion) butterfly with a wingspan of about 6 inches:

As is often the case in nature, she is greatly surpassed by gorgeous colors of the male Cairns Birdwing:

I MUST do a card in those amazing colors some day!!

Let’s close with a trip to the nursery and check out the newly emerged butterflies still clinging to their chrysalises…

It’s interesting to see the chrysalises with the Malachites still inside are green, but once they’re out, they’re white.

I hope you’v enjoyed seeing these flowers with wings! I’ll be back soon with part 2 – birds and flowers. Thanks for taking the time to enjoy these wonders of creation with me!

~D.Ann

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A Visit to Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County

Hello all! Those of you who are regulars here know that, in addition to crafting, I love photographing nature. Since many of my cards have flower in them, it’s also a great way to get color inspiration, too. We were fortunate to have some cooler days in March this year. After having missed most of the nice weather with that 3 month migraine, it was wonderful to get out and enjoy a garden again!

Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County, Florida is a 14 acre living plant museum divided into 23 themed gardens. It’s right across from the Palm Beach International Airport. For those of you who have been with me from the beginning, you may remember one of my early posts was of a visit to this garden. (Click HERE if you’d like to re-visit it. I’ve selected different flowers for this round). There is special pricing in effect as they currently have a special exhibition: Washed Ashore Art to Save the Sea.  It runs through June3,  2018. So, if you’re a member of the American Horticultural Society, you get a $5 discount off the $15 admission, instead of the usual free admission.

FYI, there is a main paved trail throughout the garden for easy wheelchair access, but to get close to many of the plants you’d have to go off-roading, which is tough.

Throughout the gardens are various sculptures of aquatic creatures endangered by marine debris and pollution. They are made of items collected from beaches by volunteers. This one, weighing in at 1600 pounds, is called Priscilla the Parrot Fish and she’s made of up toys, bottle caps, buoys, lighters, beer cans, a bowling pin, toothbrushes and fishing lures, among other things. Did you know that parrot fish feed on algae and take in coral in the process, which passes through their system undigested, coming out as sand? Think of this fish-produced sand next time you’re walking on the beach! : )

The botanical show opens in the parking lot with an arbor supporting the Variegated Chalice Vine (Solandra) with its huge, chalice-like flowers:

You know I can’t resist catching a busy bee hard at work!

This is the Vanilla Orchid which produces a seed pod which is fermented and dried into the “vanilla Bean” and then processed into vanilla extract. Wish computers came with a scratch-and-sniff feature!!

The cool thing about photographing flowers is that you notice things you might otherwise miss… I didn’t know there was another sweet little flower inside moss roses! Since it was in the edible plants section, it must be of the varieties that are fit for snacking.

Nasturtium flowers and leaves are also edible I have enjoyed them in salads.

I remember first seeing the Floss Silk Tree (Chorisia speciosa) in Paraguay. Commonly called the ‘Palo Borracho’ (drunken stick) as the trunk gets kind of a ‘beer belly’ as it matures. The silk was used in the past to stuff pillows. It almost looks like snow when it starts falling to the ground.

The huge spines covering the bark are pretty amazing!

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) or velvet sage is so fuzzy you just want to pet it!

Rosy Camphorweed (Pluchea rosea) is another fluffy little flower…

A zebra longwing butterfly (Heliconius charithonia) slurping some sweet nectar from a firebush (Hamelia patens).

This nifty little shrub has various names… Cup and Saucer plant, Chinese Hat plant & Parasol flower (Holmskioldia sanguinea):

Yes, even in Florida we have stink bugs.

Did you know the Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana) is from the bigonia family?! This is the first one where I’ve been able to get close to the ‘sausages’. They run 12-39″ long, up to 8″ wide and weigh up to 26 pounds. The fresh fruit is poisonous and must be dried, roasted or fermented for human consumption. Can you spot the orchids?

So neat to see the three stages of the canna (not a true lily) all together:

What is it about hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) that make me want to pluck them and twirl them like dancing dolls in rich chiffon ballroom gowns?!

A busy bee thoroughly enjoying himself on this Jamaican Poinsettia (Euphorbia punicea).

Just like this little guy, I hope to BEE back soon with more fun posts! I hope you enjoyed your garden tour – especially those of you who are still putting up with that white stuff that ISN’T Floss Silk!

~D.Ann

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Orchids in Bloom!

Hello, sweet peeps!

Since most of you are in dreary, snowy winter mode right now, I thought I’d send you some Florida sunshine from my porch to perk you up. Once in a while the whim takes me to photographing flowers, but with this infernal headache (6 weeks now), I haven’t been able tolerate being out in the sun. It’s frustrating to be missing the best time to be outside in South Florida as you don’t sweat buckets the minute you step out the door. Grr! Ok, enough ranting, sorry!! So, since I had to bring in my orchids from the porch as the temps are to drop below 50 tonight, I took advantage of a mini photo shoot for you… Here are the orchids currently in bloom:

I don’t often have success with cattleya orchids, in fact this one is a little sickly, but it sure gave one stunner of a bloom! The ‘noses’ on the cattleyas make me smile… it’s like they’re surrounded with the daintiest of handkerchiefs!

Phalaenopsis orchids are the most common and I usually get them to re-bloom, from little miniature plants like this one:

To the large ones you find in the supermarket. Sometimes they put food coloring in the water to turn them brighter or unusual colors (like blue), but these are all natural.

I especially like the frilly, cupped shape of this one:

Something I didn’t know until recently… Don’t cut off the bloom stalks until they’re COMPLETELY dried up — they might bloom again! I though it was a fluke when my aunt and my cousin’s wife told me their re-bloomed on the same stalk, but I decided to start leaving mine alone just in case, and….

Yes!! I’m looking forward to these and the other 7 orchid plants with a total of 15 bloom stalks keeping me in bloom for the next several months. That’s another reason why I find orchids are such a value… You can usually get them to bloom again and the blooms usually last for weeks to months… the longest I ever saw one bloom was at my aunt’s in N Florida… she has an amazing pair of green thumbs… this picture is one that had been blooming for over 17 months at the time the picture was taken! Look at how the bloom stalk meanders round as it kept on blooming. I think that bloom stalk put out continuous flowers for nearly two years. Amazing!!

Full disclosure: No, I am not affiliated with the orchid industry or trying to sell anything! Lol! Just a huge fan of orchids!!

I hope that little bit of floral sunshine brightened your day! Have a lovely weekend!!

~D.Ann

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DIY Backlit Photo Box

Hello, and welcome to the start of a new year of D.Ann’s Crafting Whims! It’s hard to believe it’s been since last year since we saw each other! : )

I’m going to start out with a project that may make you want to go snatch up some of those holiday lights that are on clearance right now. I’ve been wanting one of those backlit photo light boxes like We R Memory Keepers makes, but they only come in 8×8 and 5×7 for $30-$35. I wanted an 8×10 box for my dad to put some of his terrific flower pictures in. Looking around the web, that size runs $80-100+. Yikes!

So, when I was browsing through Hobby Lobby’s 90% off clearance section and saw this combo, I couldn’t resist the whim to try to do it myself:

On the left, an 8×10 shadow box photo frame on sale for $1.80 (marked down from $18) and a gaudy 8×8 backlit sign on sale for $2.50 (marked down from $25). So, all I had to do was transfer the guts of the backlit sign to the photo frame and I’d have my own DIY 8×10 backlit photo box for a whopping $4.30 (+ tax and photo paper)…. now THAT’s more in line with my budget!

The inside of the backlit sign was basically holiday lights poked through wood strips to hide the wiring. So all you would need is something similar to hold holiday lights and a switch box to wire them up to (or just leave the plug if you want)… unless you got some battery operated ones that come with a switch.

I took off the felt backing in my shadow box frame, cut out a hole for the switch, and covered the back with aluminum foil to better reflect the light. Note: the backlit sign came with a tester button that has its own little battery in it… I can take this apart and use it with Chibitronics lights on some cards (like THIS one I made a few weeks ago.)

Always love a two-fer! I printed up one of my water lily photos on some We R Memory Keepers Photo Lights printable backlit film to get them started until dad could choose what one he wanted to print and put in the backlit frame…

When I first closed it up I was unhappy to see that the print was so transparent that you could see the guts of the inside workings right through the picture. Argh!

Then I added a couple of pieces of vellum and that solved the problem. Whew!

Mom and dad really liked it and are leaving my water lily picture in it for now.

I scarfed another set of these from a different Hobby Lobby store’s clearance section and will be making one of these for me, too. The photo is pretty easy to switch out, so you could have one for each season, or just change it up whenever you feel like it. I think that it would be fairly easy to do from scratch using holiday lights. You’ll have to let me know if you try it!

Thanks for stopping by today. I always appreciate reading your encouraging comments! Let’s hope this is a better year for all of us!!

~D.Ann

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HOYA doin?!

Hello, hello! I hadn’t realized how long I’d been away until I started getting e-mails from you sweet readers checking up on me. Apologies! I’ve been sick a lot and that, combined with the loss of a loved family member, has kept me away for several weeks. I’m happy to be back now and wanted to check in with you all:

Hoya doin?!  : )

A while ago, of my cousins gave me a start of her Hoya (Hoya fungii, I think) and it has finally bloomed. I love how thick and waxy the inner bloom appears and the outer part looks like fuzzy stars!

They bloom in a cluster from the hanging vine. This beautiful ball of blooms measures 3″ across.

I sure hope you have a LOVELY day! I’m also glad to be back to crafting and will be right back with the first card I’ve made in a while.

See you soon,

~D.Ann

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