Mar 30, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting : Week 13

Happy Saturday, folks! I finished another felt painting for week 13...


I really wanted to try out some new orange wool batts that I got recently, so I thought an orange hot air balloon against a pretty blue sky would work perfectly. Like last week's project, this one won't be available in the shop just yet, and it will be one-of-a-kind.

I'm really enjoying these flat pieces. and now I'm really itching to try wet felting. What other subjects would you like to see as felt paintings?

Mar 27, 2013

Fur, Feathers & Scales : Bearded Dragon

Hi there!  It's time to meet another critter!  This time, you'll be meeting a reptile.  This is Yoshi, the bearded dragon!

Bearded dragons are lizards that come from Australia.  They are also very popular pets and can live about 15 years or so with proper care.  They get their name from a very interesting defense mechanism.  If they feel threatened, they puff up their chin and their spikey scales stick out and turn black, making them look like they have a black, spiky beard! (I sort of think they look like Abe Lincoln...)

All reptiles have scales, and the bearded dragon's scales are very rough.  They even have super spiky scales along their sides to prevent animals from grabbing them. Their long toes and toenails help them climb--they spend a lot of time on low branches.

Bearded dragons are omnivores and eat insects, worms,  and maybe a small rodent and vegetation.  Yoshi loves to eat mealworms...

Isn't he such a great model!  Are you a fan of reptiles?

Mar 23, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 12

Happy weekend and happy Spring! It doesn't feel like Spring around here, though, with snow on the ground and more on the way.  I've got things to do, Mother Nature.  Get your act together. 

Anyway, sorry I've been a little MIA lately.  I've been (and will be) incredibly busy at my zoo job, staying late training new volunteers.  I've also been working out and still training for that 5K nearly everyday.  In fact, there have been only three days this month that I haven't exercised. *Pats self on back.*

A quick update about the shop:  Good Natured will be closed for the entire month of April, so I can enjoy my vacation. :) So, if you need anything before then, now's the time to order.

About this week's project: I've been wanting to try some flat felt pieces. I love the idea of "painting" with fiber.  Since I'm longing for Spring weather, I decided to felt some tulips--which are my favorite flowers. I wanted this one to have sort of an illustrated effect--it actually reminds me of stained glass.

I really want to do more of these.  I think they would frame wonderfully. My husband had a great
idea for my next piece: a hot air balloon!

Once I finish a few more, they will eventually be available in my shop, but not today.  They will not be made-to-order, so once they're gone, they're gone.  In fact, I plan on doing more one-of-a-kind pieces.  Hopefully that will be an interesting shop venture. 

Mar 16, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 11

I'm honestly surprised that I have been able to keep up with this series.  It's been a lot of fun creating something new every week.  For Week 11, I wanted to create something with a bit of whimsy...

I love this little toadstool house. Although, it's not really "little" compared to most of my other work. I have noticed that my new creations seem to be growing in size. You can find this toadstool house here in my shop.

Did you see my first Fur, Feathers & Scales post? So excited to share more animals with you!

Mar 13, 2013

Fur, Feathers & Scales : Quaker Parrot

I'm so excited to share some of my zoo animal friends with you in this new series.  I hope you'll enjoy it as much I do!

So, let me introduce you to Elvis the Quaker Parrot!!

Parrots are such cool animals!  Most are very long-lived.  A quaker parrot like this can live up to around 30 years, and Elvis is approximately 15 years old.  (Larger parrots, like macaws, can have a lifespan of 80 years!)  They have crazy strong beaks and eat fruits, seeds and nuts.  Elvis will do pretty much anything for his favorite foods, which are sunflower seeds, peanuts and bananas.  Sometimes when he eats bananas, he says "yum yum yum" in his cute little parrot voice.  He can also say "Good Morning, Elvis!" "bye bye," "how are you," "watchya doin," "wanna take a bath," and a few more. 
These birds live in the rainforest of South America, and build giant, communal nests.  They're like apartment buildings for birds.  And parrots will typically only have one mate their entire life. In captivity, parrots will bond with only a few people.  I happen to be one of those lucky few for Elvis.  He lets me preen his feathers, and he preens me by cleaning under my fingernails (they're not actually dirty--don't worry!), and he preens my hair.
 Parrots in general can be very loud, and some calls can be heard miles away.  They are also very smart. Parrots have an intelligence equivalent to a toddler, which is something to think about if you ever consider getting a parrot for a pet. Imagine having a super loud toddler that can fly and likes to shred wood for 80's not for everyone. :)

I love that I can bring my zoo job into the blog world. What kind of animal do you want to see next?

Mar 9, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 10

Happy Saturday!  I've decided to continue with the bird theme this week, but made one a little more exotic. Here's my version of a scarlet macaw!  I have a great respect for parrots, and they are so beautiful!

And did you know that parrots' toes are in the shape of an X? Most other birds have three toes in front and one toe in the back.

You can find this little guy here in my shop. :)

I'm so excited to start my new Fur, Feathers & Scales series with you! Are there any animals you want to learn about?

Mar 7, 2013

New Series! Fur, Feathers & Scales

I have always wanted to work with animals, and I have always wanted to work at a zoo.  In college, I studied biology and considered going to vet school. But the more I learned about that career, I realized it wasn't for me. I wanted something a little more conservation oriented.

So, during my junior year in college, I started volunteering at our local zoo. My job was to show zoo guests some small animals and teach them a thing or two. I loved it. A year later, I started working full time, taking animals to schools and leading camps at the zoo.

I love teaching people about the animals and their habitats.  And I also love to teach people how to conserve the world in which we live.  You can't deny that we are hurting our planet.  There are so many problems that we need to fix. The longer we wait, the harder it will be to pull ourselves out of this huge hole we are digging. Seriously. But we can help. We can fix it.  And we should start now. **Steps down from soapbox.**

Oops.  I didn't really mean for that to escalate the way it did.  But I won't take it back.  It's how I feel.

In this new series, I'm going to bring my zoo job into my blog world for a bit.  I'd love to share some of my animal friends with you.  Maybe I can teach you some new things? Who might find a new passion too.

These are some of the animals I have introduced before on facebook:

 So, I hope you enjoy my upcoming Fur, Feathers & Scales series!

Mar 2, 2013

52 Weeks of Felting - Week 9

Happy weekend, folks!  I hope you had a great week.  Right now, I am a busy (read: stressed) girl.  I feel like I have so much on my plate for March in every part of my life: work, personal, shop, blog.  I need to put some good time management skills into play STAT. This means I'll be making list after list after list.  I posted yesterday about some of my plans for this month, but honestly, it doesn't even scratch the surface.  Again, let me reiterate: I AM STRESSED.  Okay, deep breath.

So, yesterday at the zoo, there were at least one hundred robins in our parking lot, fighting a lone mockingbird for access to some berries on a bush outside our office door. The mockingbird put up a decent fight--it was very entertaining. After watching these guys, I realized that I haven't made a robin for the shop yet. So, let me introduce to you to my Week 9/52 critter:

Isn't he cute?  I should probably make some more birds.  Maybe a blue bird, or a finch, or maybe a parrot or two...what do you think?

(You can find this robin here in the shop.)

Mar 1, 2013

The List - March

I can't believe it's March!  And that means it's time to link up with Rouge & Whimsy and The Goad Abode again. 

Last month, I shared much of the same fitness goals...
Fitness Goals:
--Ballet Class once a week
--Weight Class 1-2 times a week
--5K training (going well, despite being sick for over a week in February)
--30 Day Shred
--Yoga Class once a week
(Well, I guess my weeks are now booked...)

Things I'm loving right now:
A Valentine's CD from the husband, My new, dark hair, & Kombucha

Things I'm proud of from last month:
A DIY Corkboard, My Travel Wall

...and these new shop additions:

Other things to do this month:
Finish reading The Diary of a Young Girl
Start planning the home garden
Refresh my French....parlez-vous fran├žais?