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!


  1. Those sweet festive birdies sit perfectly on your pretty card Pamellia. Such lovely snowy layers too. It's fun to see all your photos and I'm glad that you gave lists of food for wildlife. Down at our ponds despite the signs asking peeps not to feed the fowl bread they still give whole loaves! It's tough changing old beliefs but worth persisting. You are a wonderful ambassador for kindness to wildlife and they rightly trust you. Hugs xx

    1. It's such a huge misconception about wildlife and I work hard to make people aware. I always carry a few small baggies filled with proper food. When I see people (especially with kids) feeding the ducks bread, I will approach them and ask if I can trade them the bread for a bag of proper food. People are always so surprised to learn that bread is bad for them. We don't have any signs here, so at least you're a step ahead on that one. Thanks so much Jane. hugs :)

  2. Your card is gorgeous, very festive, and as always I love the photos of your feathered and furry friends. The new header is great, too. Hugs, Valerie

  3. Your card is simply exquisite Pamellia! The bird images really are very sweet and I adore all the different laces you've added in .. so soft and gorgeous! I love the colour palette too .. the white with just the odd pop of red and green is just beautiful! Another fave!!
    Our weather has been playing around with us again. We had four days of mid to high 30C and then it just suddenly changed and now it's 15C and raining!! Go figure!!
    Have a wonderful day!! hugs xx

  4. Hi hun, gorgeous card again, love the hints of red, love the ski boot at the side too,I know random!!!!!!!! lol gorgeous photography again our birds won't let you get any where near them, to many cats around at the moment so we're lucky if we even see any, it's rained here this morning so I'm drying off from the school run!!! oh the joys of winter, he he, hugs Liz xx

  5. Love all those laces tucked in amongst your layers, Pamellia! And the darling little red breasted robins bring out the color in your amarillas beautifully!

    You've certainly learned a lot! Because all the oak trees in our area lost the baby acorns just developing during Hurricane Irma, I have been feeding the squirrels once or twice a week, by throwing out unshelled peanuts. Just enough for the few dozen that live in our trees - as I don't want to encourage the surrounding population to come near. It's a joy watching the smaller birds in the feeders - we have them "squirrel proofed" and the weights are set so that larger birds cannot eat from them. They are filled with black oil sunflower seeds. The feeders stay busy all day long. The various woodpeckers, blue jays, and such have learned to trigger the seed dispenser while in flight, because they are too heavy. Jack has to use a step ladder to refill the feeders now. We had to move them even higher because our "new" kitty was able to leap up from the ground and catch a few of the birds before we noticed what happened. I'm so happy that you are being licensed, Pamellia! That's wonderful - a whole new world - and a world that needs saving. My greatest joy is trying to have an assortment of pollenating plants for the pollinators in our area. There are thousands of species, and to have healthy immune systems they require a diverse diet as well. After Irma, my flowers disappeared, but some of the "uglier" varieties survived and the bees and wasps have returned. It's fascinating to watch them. Some of the species are aggressive, and we keep their "homes" away from ours. But the non aggressive species fly around me when I water, drinking water from the leaves, especially in the drier days. I've seen colored wasps that are amazing, and the sweetest tiny bees! Got off the subject - LOL have a great day, Pamellia! xx

  6. Another beautiful creation Pamellia, so lovely with all the snowy texture and the layers of gorgeous DP and lace, love the little birds and the way you've placed them on your design.
    So interesting to read how you hand feed the birds and animals, you have infinite patience as well as a very kind heart.

  7. Stunning christmas card Pamellia! Layer upon layer of shabby chic gorgeousness! And those tiny birds are such a perfect touch. Your fussy cutting skills are incredible!
    Have a great day!
    Paper Talk with Samra

  8. Ahhh, another beautiful card, Pamellia! Always a delight to see! Thank you for the info on what to feed the animals. I never realized it made a difference. I often throw bread to them but won't be doing that anymore.

  9. Oh, I just love those sweet birds, Pamellia!! You've used them so beautifully on your card!! The layers are so amazing, as always!! The various laces are stunning!! The pops of red from the birds and flowers are gorgeous!! It's a snowy, shabby masterpiece!! I absolutely adore it!! And I love those wooden ice skates, too!! What a fabulous photo prop!!

    I am just so amazed that not only do the animals eat from your hand, but that you are able to snap such beautiful photos!! I had to quit feeding birds on my deck because they were flying into the windows and sliding door at an alarming rate and I have a deck cat (I think you can get the picture!!) I just love the snap of Big Kate!! So sweet!! And Crazy Karen is precious!! I love they they trust you to put their paws on your hand!! And how awesome that you will be getting your Wildlife Rescue and Rehab License!! Thank you for sharing your tips with us, too!! I hope you have a great day, sweet friend!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  10. My goodness Pamellia, what a wonderful post, full of interesting facts,and of course the amazing shots of the birds and animals, it's clear to see that you're very skilled around them, and well done in your soon to have licence for them.
    Now to your card, it's a feast for the eyes, gorgeous papers and design, lovely embellishments too, Kate x

  11. Well that was an interesting read Pamellia, love your card, stunning papers and layers, what a wonderful colour combination, with touches of snow.
    Fantastic photo shots of your animals again.
    Hugs Pam x

  12. Such wonderful post is this my friend!
    First, for the stunning winter feel of your delightful card - I'm speechless about it, I just can say that LOVE any delicate and wonderful detail you put in it! Thanks for sharing the way you made the snow on the edges! :)
    And then, for your answers about feeding birds on hands! Love this, it's very interesting! Now sadly I'm in hurry, but I will return here to read and translate all your words. My English is bad, so I need some time to understand all... :) But I have already understood what I tough looking always at your photos and reading your past posts: peanuts, cookies and C. aren't health foods for wild friends, so I'm relieved knowing that you don't feed them only with these yummy foods :D
    Big hugs sweet and sage lady! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Another gorgeous card, the birds are beautiful and I just love that gorgeous Amaryllis flower, it is stunning.

    Always lovely to see Crazy Karen and she does look in great shape to start the winter season. I did not know that about carrots and rabbits so that is good to know. We have been to the garden centre today to stock up on food for our winter birds, it is such a thrill to see them feeding. Hugs, Anne xx

    1. Thank you so much Anne for feeding the birds in the winter time! So many people put their bird feeders any for the winter and I don't understand that at all. Winter time is when they need the most help from us, food is scarce for them. Last year I had it out with the owner of the local flower store because he stopped selling bird food when the summer was over! He told me it doesn't sell in the winter time and that just broke my heart. I go to Canadian Tire now, all year long. That flower shop lost my business forever!! hugs :)

  14. Hi Pamelia I love, love, love this stunning festive card the layers, card design and embellishments look wonderful, I wish I was a member of your family as they must feel trilled to receive one of your awesome creations. I do so admire your affinity that you share with the wildlife
    lorraine x

  15. A lovely post to read today, the card looks gorgeous and I loved the wooden skate boot.
    Super photos of the animals feeding. Karen is looking well again.
    Yvonne xx

  16. Fabulous card and and you are so clever with the textured layering and love all the snow effects and the wooden skate-fabulous wildlife pics and good luck with your licence
    Carol x

  17. I love the card Pamellia, so beautifully made as always in your unique style. Wow the animals all look so wonderful, they come to you because they know what a kind heart you have
    Donna xx

  18. Such a beautiful card Pamellia, it looks so frosty and soft!! Any critter thats gets to interact with you is blessed!

  19. A stunning card Pamellia, those papers are indeed gorgeous, the white with the touches of red is so striking!

    Also, what an interesting rest of a post, - you truly are a wildlife whisperer, and how wonderful you are actually doing a special training! I was surprised to read it's not a good idea to feed bread to ducks... I went mnay a time with my grandies to feed the ducks with our old bread crusts, - hope we did not do them any harm, they seemed to hugely enjoy it....

    1. Oh Yes, the ducks thoroughly enjoy it, much like children enjoy a bag of potato chips. But we wouldn't allow our children to fill up on potato chips for obvious reasons. I'm sure your few pieces of bread did no harm, and it is a lovely treat for them once in a while. The problem is that in busy areas like parks and public ponds, everyone is feeding them a few pieces on a constant basis. They fill up on bread and don't eat anything else that would give them the nutrition they need. It was one of those things that when I learned it, my heart sank. I've always fed them bread in the past as well and now I work so hard now to make people aware. Thanks Astrid. hugs :)

  20. Hi Pamellia this is absoutley lovely all those gorgeous layers and embellishments. What a pop of that red on the flower just stands it out. All lovely pics.
    Have a good week. Not done much myself so busy with my eBay shop no time to craft I’ll have to retire fully instead of working soon.
    Jules xx

  21. Dear Pamellia! Oh, my goodness, your e-mail notifications are going to my spam! I was wondering why I haven't seen posts from you! I've since changed that, and hopefully can get caught up and be a more regular visitor, especially after some demanding weeks are behind me (I think).

    Your Christmas card is so lovely! The birds and amaryllis are such a great amount of fussy cutting, but from my viewpoint, oh, so worth it to be placed on your gorgeous card! I love all the layers with the laces and your flowers are a snowy delight! Truly a favorite of mine for this season!

    I've enjoyed not only your photos, but your informative post on wildlife. I had no idea squirrels shouldn't eat peanuts. They seem to be a favorite of theirs from the bird feeder and seeing you feed them peanuts lead me to buy a big bag of plain unsalted peanuts for them! Thankfully, they are still in the bag on my shelf! Great information, and so happy to hear of your plans to get your license! Sending huge hugs, my friend!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Sara. By all means, throw some of those 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 by humans as a steady 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. hugs :)

  22. AMAZING! I just can't express how exquisite I find your creations! Always drop dead gorgeous! Thanks for always inspiring me and thanks for sharing these cute critter photos .. you are amazing!!

  23. Now why would you love those adorable painted birds, I wonder? They are rather fabulous, just like your card! Wonderful wildlife photos as ever and so lovely to see Crazy Karen looking so much better x

  24. Your cards sure shown up with more detail with these darker backgrounds and today's is amazing. Loved reading about how you feed the birds and the squirrels etc. Yes crazy Karen is looking great and so very sweet. You are One special lady x

  25. Your card with the darling Robins was a perfect entree to your fabulous photographs today Pamellia. You really are a modern day Dr Dolittle as you really do "talk to the animals". My Surprise is a New Forest Pony and although we do not live on the New forest I take special interest in the forest itself and the ponies that live there. Visitors have been known to feed all kinds of rubbish to the ponies, although it is certainly not encouraged as i appropriate diet can be so harmful xx

  26. Your card is amazing and I love the flowers on it!!
    Your skates you photographed with are also pretty darn cool!!
    And most of all,Pamellia, YOU are amazing!
    You are my modern day St.Francis of Pamellia!
    huge hugs.Jackie

  27. What a beautiful card - I love how you cut the sentiment! Great photos - we are members of the RSPB who give great advice on feeding birds but didn't know about squirrels eating habits! Hugs, Chrisx

  28. Hi Pamellia
    Wonderful card. The amaryllis looks super.
    I'm always in awe of your wildlife pics (and your cards, naturally lol!).
    Our blackbirds still get their grapes every day and Mr B still comes into the house if the kitchen door is open.
    The bird table is a veritable buffet, fastballs, peanuts, mealworms, sunflower hearts, grapes and seeds. Mr D thinks they are better fed than he is lol!
    I also leave seedheads on flowers now so some of the birds that like them can have a nibble.....I can get away with being lazy with the gardening lol!
    Ang x

  29. Beautiful card and such an interesting post about feeding. How wonderful that you are about to receive such an amazing license Pamellia. Sooooo proud of you. Much love, j.

  30. My goodness, you have been so busy since my last visit, I did not realise I had been away so long. This card is stunning, so stylish. Whilst it is clearly a Christmas card I thought that this design would also make a wonderful wedding or anniversary card.

    I loved reading all of your advice about feeding and photographing wild animals, really engaging.

    Dionne xxx