Jasper & the Little Mermaid

26 02 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Rainbow connection

24 02 2009

My friend Carmen came up from South Carolina to join us for our Fourth Annual Chocoholic Party. She also volunteered to house-and-cat-sit for some friends who are out of town. They have two Maine Coon cats—Rainbow and Felix. They had both trimmed before Carmen arrived, so they weren’t as Maine Coon-fluffy as they normally are. They’re beautiful regardless! Rainbow is very outgoing; Felix ran from me as soon as I walked in the door. So, I got one decent shot of Felix before he bolted and over a dozen of Rainbow, who was happy to pose for me. I loved these two shots of her—bright eyed and bushy tailed in the first one, and “lady, I’ve had enough, one more photo and you’re toast” hooded eyes, Yoda-like shot.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Paperwhites in bloom

21 02 2009

My paperwhites are in full bloom this week. Although I have been watering them regularly, I would have missed the blooms when they first opened if it hadn’t been for the aroma. It’s a scent people either love or hate. I have forced Paperwhite bulbs for several years now and I am always surprised by the scent. When they start to open and I get that first whiff in the air, I start looking for the source. Then I notice the Paperwhites I’m forcing in the kitchen window. It happens every year. One would think I would remember. Ah, yes, that familiar scent odor. They’re neat to photograph because with a macro lens you can see that the petals have a mica-like sparkly surface.

While perusing gardening blogs tonight, I came across this comment from a visitor who wrote, “I can’t dislike anything that’s gracious enough to bloom for me this time of year.”

My sentiments exactly.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Room with a view

18 02 2009

Look what I got to see from the bedroom window when I woke up Sunday morning! I was helping some friends spiffy up their lake house. We did lots of painting in a palette of lovely lake-inspired colors, which they allowed me the creative freedom to formulate—Chameleon Green, Poppy Pods Brown, and Hidden Spring Seafoam Blue. We finished (about 95% complete) two bedrooms, more than half of the kitchen, and one hallway and one of the bathrooms—which was quite an accomplishment considering we didn’t start painting until 8:00 p.m. Saturday night and worked from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Still to come—hallways and a bathroom to coat in a lovely warm gold color, and “Something Blue” for the high ceiling in the screened porch (the better to bring the sky indoors!). We were quite industrious and all over the house, painting up a storm. Lucky for them, I just happen to love to paint. They gave me the “room with a view” as a special treat. It is the most peaceful place and it’s only an hour’s drive from home. I photographed the view from their boat dock in November here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Saturday sky

17 02 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


791,940.045 years

13 02 2009

What’s that, you ask?

Yesterday I received an advertisement (in pdf format) via e-mail from the printer to place in the issue of Hearing Loss Magazine that I was working on. The file was compressed with Stuffit and when I went to expand it, this is what the “time remaining” progress bar showed:
I got a good laugh out of this one! Now, I have had files take an abnormally long time to download and sometimes my computer runs slower than usual, but really…have you ever?

So, being the ever curious gal that I am, I tried to crunch some numbers on my calculator and there were just one too many digits to do that, so I enlisted Michael’s help.

He reports that if I waited for the file to uncompress, it would consume:

2,023,406,815 hours, or

84,308,617.29 days, or

791,940.045 years

If I have to put in that much time on a design job, I think I should be charging higher design fees!

Lighter shade of pale

11 02 2009

Colors left to profile—red, green, and variegated (a fellow blogger’s suggestion)—I’ve covered orange, pink, blue, yellow and purple. Am I leaving something out?

I suppose since it’s still winter, I could cover brown, but that’s not too inspiring, is it? Might not be, but boy do I have lots of that color in the garden right now.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


I never saw a purple cow…

11 02 2009

As promised, I present the color purple!

Purple was the favorite color of Egypt’s Cleopatra, and while the color is traditionally associated with royalty in many cultures, it is the color of mourning for widows in Thailand. It is also a color associated with wisdom and spirituality.

No matter the symbolism, it is a color that is abundant in my garden. I particular like paring it with bright yellow and green. One of my favorite purple + green combos is in the collage below—the purple iris against a backdrop of lime green groundcover (Creeping Jenny, perhaps?), photographed at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia a few years ago.

Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess
I never saw a purple cow
I hope I never see one;
But I can tell you anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

I also found “purple cow parodies” online and there are some funny ones—based on the works of Poe, Dickinson, Keats, Wordsworth and Kipling. Check them out here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Hmm…should I be worried?

8 02 2009

In my last posting I shared the odd (and sometimes funny) search words that have led visitors to my blog.

The last search was for “trainer for sugar glider good learn.”

A few days ago there was a search for “sugar glider and parrot.”

This afternoon there was a search for “ugly sugar glider.”  (that’s a bit harsh, doncha think?)

Tonight there was a search for “sugar glider dead.”

I sincerely hope the “sugar glider dead” didn’t arrive at that state due to his inability to be trained or for his lack of physical beauty—or as a result of a run-in with a parrot. Makes you wonder…

Celebrating 50,000 hits!

4 02 2009

Yippeeeeee! The counter just rolled over to 50,000 hits since this blog began. (And 22 more just rolled in after I posted this entry.)

To celebrate (I’m on a budget, mind you, so there will be no catering this time around—it’s strictly a Bring Your own Munchies (BYOM) party), I offer you a recap of my blogging journey over the past 18 months.

FIRST STOP: Once again, the words that some of my visitors have used to eventually lead them to me are funny…and some are, well…ahem…interesting. Here’s a small sampling of the search words:

“small yellow” “cheap cheap”
saw baby
die now
kreepy people like alissa
kreepy cat
pot garden
ugly crafts
hearing aid girl
i kiss better than i cook+tablett
barbie day-glo
pygmy goats eyesight
elephant ears game deaf
glen l moon bountiful
mexican woman far away
overdose lavender tea
prang mantis dick
richard, i will buy a vowel
lick my gourds
trainer for sugar glider good learn

SECOND STOP: My top ten most visited postings are:

Concrete leaf casting: 2,059 — Visitors sure love their concrete projects…and

Crafty room divider screen: 1,284 — they have rooms that need dividing…and

Color magic rose: 1,009 — they’re lusting after this really unique flower…and

About: 804 — they’re curious about me…and

Spotlight on Abbie: 563 — enamored with my blogger friend and Hearing Loss Magazine cover girl, Abbieand

Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth: 520 — intrigued, as was I, by this really fascinating moth…and

Gigglebean with parrot and sugar glider: 441 — interested in raising sugar gliders (I was too until I learned more about them—they’re quite clingy little critters)…and

Mina lobata (Spanish flag): 371 — they want to grow the Spanish flag vine…and

Bionic Woman = Cover Girl: 312 — they liked Abby so much, they came back for more…and

Just how many hats does one gal need?: 271 — they have cabin fever and want to crochet hats…and

Monarch butterfly habitat poster: 264 — they have a love of butterflies…and

I’ll give you a daisy a day, dear…: 238 — they can’t get this song out of their heads, either.

All that research and recommending of other sites hasn’t gone unheeded. Half of the top ten clicks were related to the concrete leaf project—it is a popular subject and I would love to see what my posting might have inspired gardeners and crafters to create. Care to share your creations with me? E-mail me a photo and a brief story about your project and I’ll post it!

Visitors clicked on these ten links most often:

http://www.concretegardenleaves.com/concrete-leaf.htm (577 clicks)

https://cindydyer.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/2-color_magic_rose.jpg (388 clicks)

marthastewart.com (333 clicks)

http://www.garden.org/regional/report/arch/inmygarden/2527 (329 clicks)

littleandlewis.com (259 clicks)

http://www.jacquardproducts.com/products/pearlex/sets.php (216 clicks)

http://www.cindydyer.com/BionicWoman.pdf (136 clicks)

https://cindydyer.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/big-morning-glory.jpg (122 clicks)

https://cindydyer.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/punchocolor.jpg (106 clicks)

http://www.remarc.com/craig/?p=391 (99 clicks)

And finally, the fourth stop on my blogging journey—a special thank you to my fellow bloggers who referred their visitors to my site. These are the top ten referrers:

Abbie — http://contradica.blogspot.com/ (302 referrals)
Hailing from New Jersey, Abbie describes herself as a “profoundly deaf 28 year SWF who has a cochlear implant as of August 27, 2007.” Abbie’s always insightful and often humorous blog is entitled, Chronicles of a Bionic Woman. I stumbled onto her blog in late 2007 and recommended that we publish her story in Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Birgitte — http://my2008blog.wordpress.com/ (246 referrals)
Birgitte gardens, photographs and blogs from Denmark. She’s on my list of “bloggers I would like to go visit in person!”

WordPress sent viewers to me with tag searches for “photography” (183 referrals)
and “concrete-leaf-casting” —
(175 referrals)

Pam — http://www.penick.net/digging/ (125 referrals)
Austin-based garden designer Pam is the creator of the 5-time Mouse & Trowel award-winning gardening blog entitled, “Digging.” I almost had the chance to meet her in person when I was visiting my family over the holidays, but ran out of time on that visit. I’d love to photograph your garden when everything is in full bloom, Pam!

Phillip — http://phillipoliver.blogspot.com/ (114 referrals)
Fellow blogger Phillip Oliver is a librarian who gardens, photographs and writes in Florence, Alabama, not too far from my friend Sue in Huntsville. I definitely plan to meet up with Phillip to view his garden—I’m planning on coming down to help decorate Sue and Barbara’s spring tea party in April. How does a mid-April visit sound, Phillip?

Heather —  http://mommymirandamusings.blogspot.com/ (104 referral)
Lovely Heather is a “mom, wife, designer, lover of all animals, helpless creatures and underdogs.” Now, how can you not love her? Her blog is full of musings on her family, her adorable children, handsome husband and a smorgasbord of, well—mommy musings—and she always has fun music playing on her blog. Perks me right up!

Jen — http://stereophonicbionic.blogspot.com/ (84 referrals)
Jen is a vivacious wife and mother of five really cute tow-headed kids and blogs from Tennessee. A cochlear-implant wearer, she shares the trials and tribulations of her hearing journey just like Abbie does…and she and Abbie are great friends now! I’m hoping to meet and photograph Jen and her family in Nashville this summer at the Hearing Loss Association’s Convention 2009.

Senthill — http://www.outerchat.com/ (77 referrals)
Senthill, a professional web designer who has a minor hearing loss, blogs about anything and everything on his blog, OuterChat. He also created a “place for the hearing impaired and deaf people to communicate” at I Am Hearing Impaired.com. I hope to interview Sentihill in the future for the Hearing Loss Magazine.

GG — http://fishandfrog-turtleandblog.blogspot.com/   (56 referrals)
GG is a welcome and frequent commentor on my blog. She blogs about her wonderful pond (which I think is somewhere in Tennessee…or somewhere else southern). There’s always something intriguing and humorous happening at the pond and GG has wonderful photos to prove it.

Rapt attention

4 02 2009

I shot this photo of Jasper on an ottoman in the living room during our May 2008 Garden Cub meeting. Weedette Regina appeared in several of the photos before this one and she was giving us a presentation on attracting birds and butterflies to the garden. I hadn’t even seen this photo until tonight. He looks mesmerized by Regina’s lecture, doesn’t he? Ooh, ooh, bring me some of dem birds. Oh, if I only had opposable thumbs, I’d be taking notes right now!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Not so mellow yellow

3 02 2009

I had so many yellow-dominant photos in my archives that I had to shrink the images a little more than usual to get them to all fit into a more manageable collage—otherwise, you would be scrolling down for days. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Purple’s comin’ ’round the corner. Enjoy!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Bluer than blue

2 02 2009

Remember that 1978 hit song, Bluer than Blue, by Michael Johnson? Check out the video on youtube. Kinda low budget video, isn’t it? Ah, well, it’s the song that matters, right? Another song of his that I love is, “The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulder.”

Let’s see—I’ve received three requests in response to my “what color collage next” question. One requested a collage showing variegation. One was a request for the color teal. Uh…thanks for the challenge, gals! And the third one was for blue, which just happened to be the color I was working on! (Jan and I were on the same wavelength.) I’ll work on those first two (more challenging) requests, but in the interim, here’s a collage of nothin’ but blue! Blue isn’t a really common color in the garden, yet I was surprised I had enough images in that color to create this collage. I would love to be able to grow the extra-heat-sensitive-needs-cool-rainy-summers (which we don’t have in Northern Virginia) lovely sky-blue Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia), a native of southeastern Tibet.

Other blue flowers include:

Sea holly (Eryngium-–which I grow in my garden—and it is a beauty)
Chicory (shown below)
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella—shown below)
‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glory (shown below)
Bearded iris
Himalayan blue poppy (there are other shades of blue poppies as well)
Scabiosa (beautiful pale blue; I’ve grown them but they flop over too soon!)
Veronica Speedwell
Globe thistle (Echinops)—I have several of these in my front garden
Muscari (grape hyacinth—some varieties lean more toward blue than deep purple)
Pride of Madeira (leans toward purple-blue—unbelievably beautiful plant—wish it would grow in our area)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Ta-da! Hobby #47

1 02 2009

In my ongoing mission to declutter, I found this shoe I painted many, many years ago. I’m not really sure if this project is exactly Hobby #47 or not—there have been so many (and there will be more in the future, I’ll bet). I remember painting these when painting on fabric was all the rage (not that crafters aren’t still painting on fabric these days, mind you). First, I splattered gold “sand” flecks on with a toothbrush. Then I sketched in the shells and filled them in with fabric paint. Pretty simple.

Where is the mate to this shoe, you ask? I dunno. Probably went wherever spare socks go.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.