Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Let it Snow

Hello Everyone!

Something a little different today, I'm going NEON! One thing I love about making Christmas cards is that I can whip out the bright colours and not feel like I've betrayed the shabby chic in me!

The papers are from Canvas Corp and My Mind's Eye, the snowflakes are Cheery Lynn, the Happy Holidays sticker is from Tim Holtz Seasonal Chit Chat book, the wood reindeer is DeSerres, the green plaid ribbon is May Arts, the pearls are from My Ducks Doodahs, and the soft white snow is Flower Soft. Everything else is from my stash. I really don't use pom pom trim enough, love it!

Nothing new to report with the weather. It's still way too warm here to be getting any snow, but we sure have gotten a lot of rain. It's been very overcast and the trees are pretty much all naked now, but thankfully I still have some colourful autumn photos to share!

For my birds today, this elusive female Cardinal...

and a handsome Blue Jay...

"Holy crap my human, you are super tall when you stand up!" 
~Big Kate~

"Oh, hey there human. Do a gal a favour and toss another nut will ya. I lost mine in these dang leaves!" 

"I think she sees me, she's looking right at me! Why doesn't she throw me a peanut already!"

"Oh, hey human. You're back again! You must really enjoy laying in the mud huh?" 
~One Eyed Willamina~

For my macro today, this very fun fungi growing on a fallen tree trunk.

That's it for today. Thank you to everyone who left a comment telling me about their bird feeders and the food they leave for the squirrels! It makes me so happy to know that some of the animals out there will have less of a struggle this winter, it's a hard season to survive when you're that small!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pion Design - Christmas Notes

Hello Everyone!

Today I've put together this vintage Christmas card using all sorts of beautiful Pion Design collections. These papers are so versatile, any collection can be used for any occasion! I've used "To My Valentine", "The Witching Hour", "The Night Before Christmas", "Long Ago in Bethlehem", and "Christmas Wishes". It's like these papers were meant to be used together!

The striped ribbon is Canvas Corp Brands, the flowers are Wild Orchid Crafts, the wood leaf flourish is Southern Ridge Trading Company, and everything else is from my stash.

Pion products:

To My Valentine - Love Song PD6808
The Witching Hour - Beyond the Grave PD8003
The Night Before Christmas - Christmas Branches PD7804
The Night Before Christmas - Snowflake Magic PD7807
Long Ago in Bethlehem - Angels Singing PD9404
Long Ago in Bethlehem - Mary and Joseph PD9401
Christmas Wishes - Borders PD9811

So my house is all decorated for Christmas! YAY!! We finally found a Christmas tree that fits our dining room space. We got 7 foot tall, slim, flocked tree and it is so beautiful! We've decorated in white, crystal and white gold. I couldn't get a shot of the whole tree, so I'm just going to share some close ups of a few of the decorations.

I couldn't possibly sleep tonight if I left this post wildlife-less, so here's a cutie patootie photo of my best bud Crazy Karen showing us that winning smile that I fell in love with!! OMG, how cute is she!

So as you can see, I decorate fairly early in the year. When do you put up your tree?

I think I made some of you nervous with my wildlife food list last post. Just want to clarify about squirrels and peanuts. By all means, throw some peanuts out to the squirrels. They love them so much, and as long as they are getting proper food from other sources, then they'll be fine. Many people have backyard squirrels that rely on the food set out for them as as their main food source, this is when it becomes a health issue for them. Just like kids and a bag of chips or a chocolate bar, it's ok for them have a some now and again, as long as it's not the only thing they eat. If your worried, toss in a few mixed nuts the odd time, they love those too!

Thank you to everyone who takes the time and money to feed the animals, you make my heart soar!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Festive Birdies

Hello Everyone!

Today I'm sharing a Christmas card featuring the newest Pion Design collection "Christmas Wishes". These darling water colour bird images have completely captured my heart! Aren't they just so perfect for a holiday card!

Pion products:
Christmas Wishes - December Birds PD9805
Christmas Wishes - Christmas Morning PD9802
Christmas Wishes - Santa's Friends PD9806
Images from the Past - Christmas Wishes PD1631

The Snowflakes are from Penny Black, the flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts and everything else is from my stash. For the snow, I wanted something that had texture but wasn't shiny, so I applied the DecoArt Snow Writer and then covered it with Stampendous Chunky Embossing Powder in white!

I get a lot of questions about feeding the birds from my hand, so I thought today I would try to answer some of them for you.

1- In my experience Red Breasted Nuthatches are the most trusting, if you have any of those in your area, it's a great way to experience this amazing trust. Just stand very still and hold your arm out to them. It may take a few tries until they learn that you aren't a threat, but they'll come eventually. And once they trust you, they'll be all over you! They sit on my shoulders and even my head!!

2- Next up are Chickadees. They take a little longer to warm up to you, but once they do it is an amazing experience. They will sit on your hand for quite some time, so be prepared to wait. They will often sing at you and check you out up and down. I even had a baby Chickadee this year that flew onto my hand and then had a litte nap. Dang my arm was sore by the time he woke up and flew off!

3- The larger birds are more difficult, they take a lot of time to trust you, if ever. Cardinals, Blue Jays, Starlings and Blackbirds are very cautious and scare very easily. Even though I feed many of them from my hand, I rarely take a photo of it, for the same reason I would never use a flash on a wild animal. No sudden movements, no loud noises. I have managed a few shots in special cases when they were used to the camera shutter sound.

This is a shot of a Blackbird, see the difference in size!

An here is a Starling...

I have fed other wild animals by hand as well, but no photos for the same reason as the birds. Deer, rabbits and raccoons, these animals are especially timid and can injure themselves if you spook them. I do have this one shot of Big Kate taking a cookie from me. Again, she was a special case because she was used to the sound of the camera and of me being close to her.

And of course, there are my squirrels. Believe it or not, I do NOT encourage the squirrels to eat from my hand. Not all humans are friendly, so it is very dangerous for these animals to think that an outstretched hand is a sign of good will. I only feed the ones who initiate contact, I never force the issue. Again, I don't often photograph them when they're this close, but there are a few exceptions.

Miss Chrissy

And of course, the sweetest squirrel in the world, Crazy Karen!! 
This photo was taken just a couple of days ago. Doesn't she look amazing after her hard summer!

Well I hope that I have answered some of your questions. That's it for today. Thank you for stopping in and for all the amazing comments. If you have any other questions, please let me know!

I do NOT recommend you feed any wild ground animals by hand. It's really bad for them and it can be dangerous for you. I've been doing some training, and I have some experience now. Eventually I will be getting my Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation licence, so I will be handling these animals daily for life-saving measures. 

The food you see in the photos I post are NOT proper foods for animals! Peanuts, cookies and bread are junk food to these animals and are harmful in large quantities. I also make sure they get plenty of proper healthy foods on top of the treats I use for photo shoots. Here is a quick list for anyone who is interested (not a full list of course).

Songbirds - Black oil sunflower seeds, Mixed birdseed, Unsalted Peanuts, Suet, Mealworms and Safflower seeds. NO RAW RICE, NO BREAD, NO SUGAR, NO SALT, NO HONEY!

Ducks & Geese - Cracked Corn, Frozen Peas and Corn (not canned), Wheat, Barley, Oats, Birdseed, Grapes, Mealworms, Salad Greens, Duck Pellets. NO BREAD, NO JUNKFOOD, NO CEREAL, NO CRACKERS!!

Squirrels - Coconut, Unsalted Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Hazlenuts, etc.) easy on the Almonds. Watermelon, Apples, Strawberries, Grapes, Avocados, Squash, etc. Any sort of deer antler treat. NO CORN, NO PEANUTS, NO SUNFLOWER SEEDS, NO LEGUMES!!

Rabbits - Collard greens, Carrot and Beet Greens, Romaine, Red or Green leaf  Lettuce, Spinach, Parsley. NO POTATOES, NO ICEBERG LETTUCE OR LIGHT GREENS. Contrary to popular believe, carrots are neither a favourite of rabbits, nor are they good for them!