Saturday, December 14, 2013

QuillnAros~I Have a Swan Story!

Last Spring a friend of my husband's, who knows that I hand marble parrot feathers, gave me a dozen swan feathers (of course naturally molted). OMG, a treasure for sure. I marbled six of my twelve, and they were absolutely gorgeous. I sold all, but I kept one to experiment with, mainly I wanted to see if I could arc it with a low heat curling iron. Success! and the marbling paint was not affected nor was the feather damaged. The same thing for the African Grey and Cockatoo feathers. I could manipulate them as long as I used low heat.

12" swan feather, gently curved with low heat curling iron
 Anyway, back to my swan story. I always wondered how swans picked out their own ponds and stayed there the entire summer, had a partner swan and then disappeared in the fall. I always wondered how they got there and where they went. Well this morning I learned the answer!

Wayne's friend called me this morning and said, "I have a feather connection for you!" He told me that a friend of his has a big number of swans, a swan farm so to speak, and he has a ton of naturally molted feathers~In the spring, he puts one swan on the bus, and then that swan calls to the other swans and he drives around the farm and they all get on the bus! (actually the bus is something like a horse trailor with plenty of room for comfort, and every spring the swans know the ropes and every fall they get picked up and go back to the farm. I would imagine that they are frequently checked upon and taken care of during the season. I have seen these beautiful animals at ponds, peacefully swimming around looking swan-like. I have never even seen a swan fly. But I didn't realize that these swans are domesticated.

Wayne's friend says that it looks like people conversing on a bus when all the swans are being delivered to their summer homes. I never realized that this is where domesticated swans came from.
Anyway, it would be very exciting to have access to a large number of swan feathers. Not just the fact that there is something spiritual about swans, but I believe there is spirituality in all creatures that fly, and that almost anyone who works with feathers respect and feel that spirituality.
each swan feather 12",  colorfast, large and gorgeous

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lots of Beautiful Scarlet Macaw Parrot Feathers and Blue and Gold Macaw Feathers Now Listed!!

The beautiful scarlet macaw feathers are naturally molted from my part time employee, Rio.
Rio is a big beautiful Scarlet~I babysit her when my girlfriend is out of town. When I stick my hand, or head in her cage, I am always holding my breath. So far, I am still faster!

New selection of feathers at, coordinate with my hand marbled cockatoo and African Grey feathers. I have also listed 19"~22" tail feathers, bright red..

Check out the beautiful scarlet red tail feathers also

Blue and Gold Feathers~all different sizes~if you don't see it, ask

lovely pairs

Sylvie, employee #3, tomatoe red tush feathers

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Unique Gifts for Bird Lovers from QuillnAros

In my shop I have 11 different notecards for bird and feather lovers~as a matter of fact let's just say, nature lovers. I have used my hand marbled feathers as the image on the front of the cards and have added quotes that are appealing to nature lovers. The inside of the notecards are blank so that you can express whatever you want.

I have hand embossed matching envelopes for each card. These are truely unique gifts. Each card is $3.00. I have a special price of 13.00 for a five card set. You can mix and match or go with the cards I have pictured in my listing for the five card set.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Artistic Renderings on Etsy~Fab Feather Earrings with My Hand Marbled Feathers!

Diana has been buying feathers from me since the beginning (of time, or of my time). She created these beautiful feather earrings using both the Cockatoo and African Grey Feathers. She has a wonderful shop on Etsy called Artistic Renderings and she is so supportive of other artists and of what they are doing.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

QuillnAros~Japanese and Western Handmade Paper~Two Philosophies, One Epiphany

You are looking at a collaboration between two very different personalities, me and my hubby.
I love this piece because of what I learned by having him participate in a craft I had been doing for years. By making paper with him, I realized that everyone has a different perception about beauty and the end result. I remember chiding my husband that his sheet of paper was a piece of crap (of course I didn't use those words exactly) and he needed to practice. In the end~even though he was a beginner at making paper~the piece of Japanese paper he connected to my piece of Western paper was a reflection of his idea of beauty~different than mine obviously. I learned an important lesson. There are many ways to create~but an important element to my originality is experimentation, acceptance of someone elses' perceptions and keeping an open mind when what you are doing travels to left field. I learned that left field can be a fascinating alternative to a well traveled route.
The yellow ochre sheet is the Western paper, there are two sheets of  Japanese
paper couched on top of the Western paper. Not only the melding of very different personalities, but
also the melding of different perceptions of beauty  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

QuillnAros~New Listings ~ Vintage Metal Buttons and Hand Marbled Feathers

I have been listing my vintage metal buttons in my QuillnAros shop. I have always enjoyed sorting them and just looking at them, but I haven't used them for anything. Years ago, it was possible to buy a cigar box of these wonderful buttons without breaking the bank! Check out my shop at , and I have been listing, from employees #1, #2, and #3, natural parrot feathers along with my hand marbled feathers.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Naturally Molted Feathers at QuillnAros

Soon to be listed in QuillnAros. Naturally molted Scarlet and Blue and Gold parrot feathers.
The Scarlet Macaw tail feathers run from 9" to 13" and the Blue and Gold feathers are wing feathers~these particular ones are 8". All are voluptuous and colorful. The large tail feathers will probably sell for $10 a piece. So stop by and check these out!
From Rio~Scarlet Macaw

From Sumo~Blue and Gold Macaw

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Paper Marbling Technique Used on Parrot Feathers

Marbling feathers came first.  Marbling paper came second. I first figured out how to marble cockatoo and African Grey parrot feathers and then I decided to use my extra sheets of Western handmade paper to clear the tray, and go on to the next choice of color. Big surprise though, I also love marbling paper. The fun part is that I also enjoy using it as wrapping paper when I send out my feathers.
Paper Marbling Technique Used on Parrot Feathers
I have been making paper for many years, Japanese and Western. The difference is that one is made with a flexible "su" and the other is made with a rigid mould. In the next few months I will have access to my printing press and I shall be creating, with my antique typefaces, wood type, just gorgeous gorgeous cards and such. Illustrating with letterpress and typography is my very first love. I meticulously went to "going out of business" auctions on Printer's Row in Manhattan. Sometimes it would be one drawer of type, sometimes three drawers of type, and that is where I bought my Vandercook Proof Press (I couldn't fit that purchase in a cab) for $225.00.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Drawing Balcony of QuillnAros~Owls Happen, Raptors Happen, Bats Happen

My second floor studio is actually what I call a shelf, others may think it should be called a loft~ (hay!)  and if you ever feel like jumping you will land on top of a giant bird cage on the first floor and probably get your ass bit by a Blue and Gold macaw.

Recently I had a window replaced and now I can see the backyard garden.  More light available! This is a very small area where I have bookcases with all my "how-to"or "IDIOT, do it this way!" books, my plant books, raptor books, bat books and on the railing all my cactus and other plants that most people don't want to be in the same vicinity with.  It is a magical little place where there is room for my pedestal table, bentwood bar stool, my 70's swing chair and all my drawing and painting utensils.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Marbled Feathers vs Marbled Paper

First came my love of setting metal type, that lead me to making Japanese Washi and Western paper,
which lead me to marbling parrot feathers, which lead me to marbling paper.

No photoshopping here, color is bright enough to rock the dead

Friday, October 25, 2013

QuillnAros' Plant Life~ Perfect Candidate for the Little Shop of Horrors

When I acquired this plant, it had about 5 pods hanging down and looked very exotic. Alot of times when something is so exotic, it just won't stand up to a non exotic person taking care of it.  Well, I guess it loved being outside this summer~now triple the size, it may start eating the leftovers in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

QuillnAros and Sylvie the African Grey Parrot Expressing Her Opinions

This is employee #3, Sylvie the African Grey. She is a rescued bird, probably over 40 years old (I can't tell how old she actually is because she doesn't have teeth~but she does have a sharp beak). She keeps her opinions to herself, but I can almost see what she is thinking, probably because my mind works the same way. Sylvie has a phone book near her main perch.  She can hide behind this, or tear the pages whatever. Every time I bend over to change her floor papers, she stands above me and drops spit balls on my head. I can imagine her mischievous nature, and exactly what she thinks of me
This is Sylvie looking innocent

This is Sylvie looking guilty~yep it is the same photo

These are the spit wads that missed!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Back Garden from my New Window~A Papermaker's and Parrot Owner's Autumnal Garden

Probably I breathe a sigh of relieve that the garden is winding down~I leave all the grasses alone so that the birds have something to eat and foliage to hide behind in the winter. For the rest, I will whip out my machete and start hacking  (last foliage pick up is October 31st).

This is the first garden photo with an areal view, I can now look at the back garden from my 2nd floor studio. What a pleasure!

When my print shop was up and running I loved printing cards for the Solstice and Equinox. So in the meantime, I will print a quote in my blog.

Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor,
Summer an oil painting
and Autumn a mosiac of them all.

Stanley Horowitz
Add caption

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Betolt Brecht, Autumn Equinox, and the Creative Spirit

More than 20 years ago, I discovered this poem by Bertolt Brecht. It relates to the creative spirit.
It runs through my head at certain moments and I feel it relates to all the artists out there who are extremely talented, but unrecognized.


Exhausted from watering the fruit trees
I lately stepped through the open door into the small greenhouse,
where in the shadow of the tattered blind lie the remains of the rare flowers.
Still, made from wood, cloth and wire netting stands the installation

Still, the twine holds the pale withered stems upright.

Bygone day's attention is still visible,
many a subtle touch.

Across the tented roof sways
the shadow of the common evergreens which,
living by rain have no need of art.

As always,
the lovely and sensitive are no longer.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tit versus Tat~The Saga Continues, Will My Print Shop Win????

I walked into the garage to see how the very huge cleanup (of Wayne's junk~ooooops) was progressing, well it is progressing, but very slowly. I thought I would shame him into moving faster and then I turned around and actually could see my wood furniture (for setting type ) and lead spacers. So I softened alittle.  But I took the picture anyway. I call this Wayne's Wall of Shame~though of course like any hoader, he says he knows exactly what is there and why. Especially the why part.

In the above picture, you can see my wood and metal furniture along with lead spacers used for setting up type jobs! Certainly a postive vision.

As I walked back into the house, I walked right past the dining room table. Then I backed up.....
I felt a little guilty because in reality this is some of my crap on the dining room table....well a lot of my crap on the dining room table. As a matter of fact, we forgot we had a dining room table.

So here is my contribution to fairness between the sexes. Tit for Tat, the struggles between QuillnAros and Goliath.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Parrots, Windows, More Light just in Time for Winter Blues~

The first photo of my bird's cages, and yes they do take up quite a bit of space, is taken from my studio on the second floor. The cages are placed in front of the bay windows and have a fabulous view of the garden. Me, well I had a very small window and the seal has been broken since I moved in 15 years ago.

NOW, my window has finally been replaced by a bigger, brighter window that lets in more light, a room now with a view!  Finally I can see the garden from my studio window. I have a view that the birds have had all these years!

Previously, the only room with a view, lucky ducks!

Wayne's perfectionist son, measuring and cutting and installing

Roy, Kim's alter ego, balancing and measuring on the outside

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Babysitting Duties~ Sumo~ Built like a Purdue Chicken (a 5 lb chicken!)

My girlfriend and I trade babysitting services~I sit with her two parrots and she sits with my four parrots. Actually four of my parrots make two of hers! I swear, Sumo the Blue and Gold Macaw must weigh 5 lbs. (well I am exaggerating alittle!) I took this picture of him to send to my friend because I tried to explain what he was doing ON his swing and she couldn't envision this. Me either!

He puts one wing around the metal side of his swing like he is holding on (which he is), then he rests the longest part of his tail feathers on a rope toy hanging from the top of his cage which stabilizes his back end.  After a few minutes he starts swinging back and forth and says, WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Color Inspiration for the Marbled Parrot Feathers

With the garden bloomin' and rich in color, I thought it would be fun to show you some of my inspiration for the color combinations I use. Most all of these flowers are grown from seed and reside in big pots scattered amongst the garden flowers.  The rest are perennials.
Such a beautiful color combo!

The honeysuckle vine~perfect hummingbird attractor

a new kind of sunflower~one of Burpee's Hybrids

cockatoo feathers are a perfect white canvas

a color combination that heralds Springtime

One of the new kinds of zinnias seeds I tried this year, very easy to grow
from seed and flowers show dual shades of coral

this marbled cockatoo feather reflects the colors of the
natural Moluccan cockatoo head feathers

Monday, July 15, 2013

Marblin' Momma's Corner Garden

I have been concentrating my energies in the garden for the last few months. I usually focus on physical labor when I have decisions to make or am doing unnecessary mental acrobatics and obsessing about stuff that should be kicked to the curb (so to speak) So I will show you why I planted an elaborate garden in the first place. Beauty aside, I wanted to plant greenery so I could use it in my papermaking endeavors and originally I did do that. I started making paper because of my printing press and all that beautiful metal type. As Hubby uncovers my print shop in the garage, I will then start making paper once again, and will return to where I started (if I can remember!!)

Japanese paper with seeds, long fiber

Western paper, cotton, with boiled and dyed zinnia petals
  • I cooked the petals of zinnias, marigolds, any interesting seeds for just a few minutes. Then, I used fiber dyes to put color back into the petals and seeds. There is variation on what absorbs the dye and how. The Japanese paper has tons of color, long fiber floating through it and texture, while the western paper is smooth cotton fiber and has lots of zinnia petals.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Corner Garden~Mind of Its Own

This year, the weather has been different (from last year and the year before). Very cool nights, somewhat cool days, lots of rain, infestations of different types of worms, bugs~now I spied a few japanese beetles. I am out there with my machete, bug begone, and mosquito netting! The pictures will give you an idea, the difference between one month ago and now. It looks as if most of the flowers are going to bloom at once, rather than take their turns as in years past.
More green than flounce

How did I end up with almost all yellow zinnias in my pots? I think it is likely
that our grazing nocturnal animals ate all the coral ones

a touch of pink

The corner garden is now dark and mysterious

I use the petals of zinnias as an addition to my handmade paper

You may think this is kudzu. Almost. It is a trumpet vine that I hack all
the way down every year because it hasn't bloomed and now
after 7 years, it is going to produce hopefully more than one flower.