Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goldfish and Koi Fish

I think goldfish and koi fish make the most wonderful art subjects.  Here are a few different artists who have used these fish in their work.

"Blow Fish" by Nanami Cowdroy.

"Bubbles" by Anne Patzke.

N-Deck Art by Nanami Cowdroy.

"My Mug" by Schin Loong.

"Dance of the Koi" by Marcia Baldwin.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lois van Baarle

I found this artist on Deviant Art and just love her style.  I plan on buying a few prints from her as soon as we buy our home.  If you'd like to see more art by this artist visit Lois van Baarle on Deviant Art.

Monday, February 8, 2010

For the Love of Lovebirds

All to often people go out and buy a bird because they think it'll make a good pet.  They're small so they don't take up much space.  They don't cost very much.  They're easy to take care of.  They make nice little chirping sounds.  They're good apartment pets, etc.  This is exactly what I thought when I bought my two little lovebirds. Boy was I WRONG!  As much as love my little birds I would NEVER buy a bird ever again! 

Let's start with, "the're small so they don't take up much space".  I've had to separate my birds so now instead of one cage, I have two.  They're pretty big cages as I'm completely against keeping any bird, regardless of size, in a small cage for it's entire life. 

I thought they wouldn't cost very much.  We originally paid $250 for both birds, two cages ($80.00 & $50.00), bird toys (after four years, probably about $300), food, treats, vitamins and supplements (probably about $300-$400 after four years), boarding while on vacation $300 (two separate trips), and of course vet bills.  Yes you do have to take your birds, even the little ones to the vet.  Our last trip to the vet cost us $740!  So in total we've spent $2120 on our two tiny lovebirds and we still have another 11-16 years to go.

Well they at least have to be easy to care for right?  Most of it is pretty easy.  I have to clean and rearrange both cages on a regular bases,  prepare fresh fruit and veggies for them to eat, and take them out and spend time with them 1-2 times EVERY day (they get tired of being cooped up in their cage all day and they get lonely). 
That stuff is pretty simple, it's their health issues that can be tricky and a royal pain in the butt.  Our female has decided to start laying eggs.  Knowing what I know now about birds, I don't feel that they're meant to be pets.  They're meant to be free in the wild, not locked in a cage their whole lives.  Since we don't have the space for more birds, we'd have to find new homes for them.  I couldn't live with myself knowing that I was partly responsible for bringing little birds into this world so they could be locked in a cage their whole lives, possibly not being cared for properly, being teased or having their cages banged on when they were too loud.  So the obvious answer was not allow any eggs to hatch.  I won't get into more details, I'll just say we're on batch #3 in 3 months, a total of 14 eggs, and probably still going.  This can be a huge health concern as it can lead to calcium deficiencies which can  then lead to broken bones, seizures, egg binding, and even death.  Now for our male bird.  He has a feather/skin condition that causes his feathers to grow in funny.  It's very uncomfortable for him so he pulls our his tail and back feathers.  There's no treatment for it so he'll have this problem his whole life.  We do our best to make him more comfortable which means rubbing medicated cream on his featherless bum, and at one point, giving him medication.  Sometimes he chew down his tail feathers and the quill will start to bleed.  When this happens we have to grab the tweezers and pull it out to stop the bleeding.

You'd think being such pretty birds that they'd make nice chirping sounds and being so small they wouldn't be very loud which would be good for apartment living.  Well if you thought that you'd be wrong.  Oh boy would you be wrong.  They don't chirp, they SCREAM, and when they SCREAM, they SCREAM LOUD!  I'm sure the family living upstairs just love us.

So to make a very long story short, it's not a good idea to buy a bird for a pet. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Every Kitchen Needs a Teapot

When I was a kid, probably about 14 or 15 years old, I saw a picture of a kitchen with the most wonderful teapot collection.  As I was looking at it I decided that when I grew up and had a kitchen of my own I would also have a teapot collection to display in my kitchen.  Since then I've always loved teapots.  Here are a couple pictures of some fantastic teapots.
Funky teapot from  Local Color 

Funky Heart Teapot from Local Color.

"Diamond Teapot" by Donald Clark
"Birdcage with a Bird" by Eunjung Park
Rose Studded Teapot byMary Rose Young 
Toad & Dodo teapots by Andy Titcomb
I couldn't talk about teapots without having an Alice in Wonderland teapot (source unknown).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Magic of Venezia

My brain is feeling a little slow tonight so I'm not going to write very much.  Instead I'll post a few pictures from Magic of Venezia.  They make the most beautiful masks.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Wonderful World of Felt

I absolutely love the way felt crafts look.  I've wanted to try to make some of my own but I had always thought all felt was made out of wool.  Being vegan I don't use wool (or anything else from animals) so I thought that would be one craft I wouldn't be able to do.  Well, last week I discovered synthetic felt (why didn't I think of that sooner) and last night I finally ordered some from Fuzzy Fish on Etsy.  I'm very excited to start some projects so I decided to do a little research and look around for some ideas so that I'm ready to start as soon as I receive my package of felt.  Here's a bit of what I found.

Felt leaf picture from Fire Horse Textiles 

Felt Bird from nonsuch and her flickr page bebe nonsuch's photostream.

All four pictures above were found on APPLIQUE-designedbyjane's photostream on flickr or check out her blog Applique (a must see).

Felt owl key ring from Essie's Handcraft Cuteness 

Felt monsters by  Odds & Blobbs.

I could go on for pages and pages showing felt projects.  There are so many wonderful creations to be discovered.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A New Blog Discovered

I love discovering other crafty blogs from normal people living normal lives.  It's nice to see what they've created rather then a group of people working for a magazine or a tv show (like Martha Stewart for example).  I found a very nice blog created by a lady named Deedra and she calls it Foxy Blue & Family Too.  It has just the right amount of crafts, art, and family life.  I think you will enjoy reading it as much as I did.  Heres a little sneak peak of some of the art you'll see on her blog.

Craft: Transforming Traditional Crafts

There are so many great arts & crafts websites on the web these days.  I could spend hours reading them, and discovering new ones (well I sometimes do spend hours doing that).  This morning I discovered a new craft website.  I haven't had very much time to pick through it but it looks like the craft ideas on it are endless.  It makes me wish I had a craft room so I would have the space to really go crazy with my crafts.  Here's the link incase you're interested Craft: Transforming Traditional Crafts.