Thursday, February 24, 2011

Employee Introduction~Sylvie

I adopted Sylvie, my African grey, from a wildlife shelter for unwanted parrots (by the way, that is my husband with that little beast) I volunteered there every Friday for three years-there are over 60 parrots given up by their owners for one reason or another. The volunteers would clean cages, feed creatures, and try to interact.

I say try to interact, because most of these parrots were traumatized in one way or the other and you had to know that interaction might mean getting bitten. Sylvie always would step up for me-she wasn't exactly loving, but she thought she would give me a try.For me it was hard to understand that someone had her as a pet for 40 years and gave her up because they moved out of state. I took her home (this is exactly why I don't go to animal shelters any more) !

So Sylvie had her foot in my door. She would sit on her upper perch where she could control who was allowed to stick their hands in her cage. Sylvie's undoing is that she is a food hound. She comes down to her food dishes because she adores eating. So she would step up for me, but I definitely know she considered me transport and mealtimes (chopped liver so to speak). The one who captured her heart is my husband, and he didn't have to do anything! They sit in his office and listen to the beach boys together. They are still listening to Christmas caroles. She doesn't care what they listen to as long as he scratches her head, holds her close and lets her chew paper on his desk.  She has adopted him-he was never a bird person, but Sylvie has made him feel successful-so he is kind of a bird person.!

She follows him by whistling, throwing kisses or when she is outside her cage, running to his office. Of course if he is not in his office-she will run there anyway and chew on anything wood. A very big personality for a small grey parrot.

So I am introducing Sylvie~ who has influenced me toward creating hand marbled feathers to represent the personality of the African Grey parrot~ so much spirit, so very loving (but very particular!) and extremely loyal. She also has mucho rhythm when it comes to the beach boys.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marbled Cockatoo Clown Fish!

Just couldn't resist showing you these. Colors are a celebration of SPRING! My very own clown fishes!
These are listed at

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Spring Colors

Just to give you an idea as to what is on the horizon~these are my African Grey jeweltones, they will be listed on Etsy later today! Try

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brand New ! Hot Spring Colors-Handmade Japanese Paper

I truly thought I was defeated this time. I spent two days marbling with no success. Usually it is just one day and then everything clicks. I was really excited because I had a boat load (my nose just grew) of new colors to use. What I kind of forgot was that each color reacts differently depending on temp, humidity, distilled water or not, etc. Fortunately (or not) the third day I refused to go to bed until I had just one feather success.
FINALLY! But I was taken down two notches and realized that art is something that moves and teaches us and I have to move with it and learn.

I will be including my Japanese hand made paper (it is gorgeous) that I have been hoarding for years. Also to anyone who is interested~I will explain the difference between Japanese and Western paper. This summer I will make paper once again. It is a Zen Sport.

I have my paper at   and I will be listing the handmade paper on

These are textural with very long fiber (the inner bark of the mulberry tree~all the strands you see in the paper are dyed separately.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Session

Today I set up for feather and paper marbling in my studio.  THE KITCHEN. I wanted to take pictures of every step, well almost every step so all you creative beings out there~ you creative beings who use feathers for your art~ have an idea of what marbling feathers is all about. I am really excited about all the new colors I ordered and received. This time I am using a larger "vat" because I want to marble paper at the same time. I am finding that it is extremely different using a larger vat~I don't feel like I have as much control. I may decide to work from 2 vats, one for paper and one for feathers. Using the larger vat~well this is only the first day but~I feel a loss of control.

What happens initially is that I start with certain colors and I build from there. I never like the first color schemes I come up with. I always feel the colors are washed out or not built up enough. For me marbling is a built like a painting. I add color and add color and "push around a pattern"-then I determine whether I want to test that color scheme with paper or use a feather. Feathers are precious-meaning I never feel like I have enough. I try to build my collection by buying here and there, but there is always a concern that I never have enough.

Of course paper is different. I have a lot of my handmade Western paper from years before. It is a lovely canvas for experimentation and I am grateful that I saved everything I didn't use from the freelance job I made it for (the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC-sometime I will describe what I did for them.)

The kitchen will be out of commision for quite some time.With the technique I use, I have to cover the floor tiles with a drop cloth.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fred the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo- con't me being a complete novice, I stood stock still-actually I wasn't quite sure what to do-but I absolutely didn't know what was on the little guy's mind. So I'm standing there and all of a sudden I realized what Fred was after and this was only because after hopping all the way across the room, he clamped onto my tennis shoe (my fabric tennis shoe) and held on.  That was my initiation to the world of cockatoos and only my first day volunteering at the parrot rescue.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Beginnings!

I realized that I will have to start marbling sooner than I thought. I do need more listings on Artfire and Etsy, so I thought this time I would collect all my paper odds and ends and will marble those along with the feathers. I usually do this, but not on a large scale. I like having marbled paper to wrap the feathers in. It just feels good.

And another artist expressed an interest in my hand made paper-which is both Japanese and Western, so I might be listing some of that!

Could not resist including a couple of pictures of the "storm of  2011". Two feet of snow, two days of trying to extricate ourselves!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

QuillnAros Studio Pics

 Celebration, I have my first "follower"-thank you Diana! I took pics of my studio, of course my studio expands in girth when I need to be close to a water source-like into the kitchen and on the dining table.

Also I am going to create two more note cards with my watercolors. (what else do you do when the only way you can leave the house is in a dog sled!