Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Wishes

As 2013 draws to a close, I can't help but wonder what the next year may bring.  What wildlife will show up at my door?  Will finders be a bit more generous and help me out with enough donations to cover the costs, or will I once again have to dig deep and face yet another meager Christmas and money woes?  My back is killing me, and the chiropractor says I need twice weekly adjustments for the next six weeks, but I had to cancel the current appointments because I can't afford paying $90 a week for the next six weeks.  His rate is cheaper than my co-payment per insurance, which renders our insurance useless in this aspect.  I will have to tough it out until tax refund time, but it looks bleak there as well because bills are piling up and I have no funds left to cover them.

I mailed out over 70 handmade cards to people who had brought me animals in the past.  In 2012 I did not send out a "begging letter" because my hands were too compromised from Carpal tunnel inflammation which required surgery on both hands in January this year.  So I included a 2-year update on the more memorable animals I had received during the last two years.  -  I received four responses thus far, one was a mere "good to hear from you".  Right now I can raise 6 -7 squirrels with the donations I received.  I am so very grateful to the donors, but I am still thousands short to cover the onslaught of 2014.  Just once would I like to be able to use our tax refund for much needed home repairs or other things, not dump everything into raising wildlife because so many animals arrive with insufficient or no donations at all.

Are wildlife rehabilitators a dying breed?  Most people think we are crazy to work for nothing, to put so much time and money into helping wildlife.  Yes, I agree, a vacation would be nice, although I don't even know what that is.  We haven't had one in 14 years, the season starts anytime from March/early April and lasts into November.  Since I always end up with overwinterers I work 365 days a year.  My only days "off" have been when I had surgeries and had to stay in the hospital for a night or two, then my husband took over the feedings.  But I was back cleaning cages either on crutches or with bandaged hands and plastic bags over them to protect against fecal contamination the day I got back home.  Wildlife is different from domestic animals in that they do not accept a strange person and go crazy and potentially injure themselves in the cage if their flight or fight response is ignored.  So even with the worst back or neck pain, headaches, or colds I still have to take care of them.  That is just the way it is.  I wish we had a new generation that takes this work seriously, but young people want to make money and have weekends off and have fun and not clean poop out of cages instead.

I see all these new housing developments rip into woods and create deep gashes where once wildlife carved out a living.  Often city folks don't know anything about wildlife and are shocked and afraid if a displaced animal tries to re-occupy a part of their property because it has no place else to go.  They lash out without thinking, often killing a mother and leaving her young to die without realizing what they have done.  I wish people would be kinder and more understanding to the wildlife that surrounds us.  That doesn't mean feeding them, it means letting them live in peace and not destroying their habitat.  How much groomed lawn do you really need?  And all those weed killers, do you ever read the warning labels?  When cities spray for mosquitoes and tell people to close their windows, do any of you ever think what this poison does to exposed birds and beneficial insects and mammals that can't get away from it?

That old oak tree that drops thousands of acorns onto your driveway, please think THRICE before you decide to take it down.  That oak is probably well over 100 years old and took over 50 years to mature before it first produced acorns.    Acorns are a vital food for a myriad of wildlife, and the tree itself produces oxygen and shade.  Picture the emptiness without this tree and then decide against it.  Don't throw the acorns in the trash, put them alongside the edges of your property, where bushes and trees grow, so wildlife can get them and make it through another winter.

I hope that my blog will help you learn about the wildlife that surrounds us and shows you that, aside being vitally important to the ecology of the land, they all have their own personalities and experience grief and pain just the same.  The difference is that they have to fend for themselves, and if sick or injured, often directly due to human activity, they have nobody to take care of them.  The reason so many adults end up dying is that we usually don't get them until they are so sick that they can't run anymore.  Orphans are another matter, without human intervention they would definitely perish.  Raising them so they remain wild and succeed upon release is not an easy thing to do.  Many people have told me that they have raised a baby squirrel, and to this day you see videos and pictures on the internet where baby squirrels and dogs or cats snuggle and look soooooo cute.  A responsible wildlife rehabilitator would NEVER expose a wild animal to either of those two predators because keeping their instinctual fear intact is vital to their survival later on.

Wildlife is not destined to ever become anybody's pet.  It sickens me to see "pet" squirrels paraded across FB pages, often these are disabled and deeply depressed animals that can't get away from their captors.  I am weeding out such people from my friends list, I don't want to see such suffering which unfortunately is not illegal in some states.

PLEASE put away your cell phone while driving, especially during dusk and dawn.  Many animals emerge and attempt to cross roads right before or right after darkness falls, and if your eyes are not focused on the sides of the road where you can pick up the reflection in their eyes and react before it is too late you will either maim or kill an animal or get maimed and killed yourself.

Lastly, if you must drink, don't drive.  Or stick to healthy drinks such as milk.  You'll look a lot cuter with a milk beard and won't suffer from a hangover into 2014.  Take a look!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Carousel

This gorgeous project was featured on Splitcoaststampers' blog ( on 18 December and all I could say was "Wow!  I have to make one of those!"  I still had some other things to finish first but just HAD to give this one a try.

Well, here it is, slightly altered in that I had to do something to glue the Frostyville frame in place, and I had to really search through my collection of dies to come up with 14 decorated panels.

This is not a card you make in one day, maybe in two if you stay with it for 8 hours each day.  It took me about 15 hours to finish this carousel, so keep that in mind if you want to make this and have a deadline.

Here is the front of my closed carousel.  I had to make the spine larger and scored it lengthwise several times so it flexes better when the carousel unfolds.
I am actually quite pleased with how well the sections line up.  In order to tie the book shut I have to clip it between my knees to hold it in place as I tie the bow :)
 The open carousel, bow side.  It measures about 9" in diameter and stands 8" high.

Because the decorated panels are created with mirror silver card stock the camera has a hard time picking out the details.  You are looking through a clear acetate "window" and an inner oval window onto the actual panel.  Each section consists of five pieces:  The front panel with the Frostyville frame, a double red panel with two oval cutouts, a silver mirror double panel with decorations on each half, a large wall panel that slants up and supports the roof, and a roof panel that is folded accordion style.
 These two sections have actually four decorated panels, two for each section.  On the right I chose deer in the woods, on the left an angel and Christmas tree on the opposite panel.
Here you see a pine branch with pointsetta underneath in the left panel, next to it are two penguins in front of an igloo.  The right section features a park bench (not visible) looking at birch trees with cardinals sitting on the branches.
Left is a village section, the right section has candles burning.

Since the Frostyville background die cuts out exactly the same as the Frostyville die, I had no place to adhere the border.  To fix this I glued clear acetate into the panel which actually not only lets the border adhere nicely but also gives it stability.  Bibiana's carousel used the smaller background die which left plenty of card stock to glue the Frostyville frame onto.

The acetate added bulk, which is why I had to build a thicker spine.

I had fun recreating this beautiful project and thank Bibiana for her fantastic tutorial which you find in the above link.  Her measurements are accurate, and her directions are easy to follow.

I made this carousel for my husband for Christmas and he loves it so much that he'll take it with him to the office tomorrow and will display it on his desk for all to see.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Trifold Christmas Card

This is one special card I created specifically for my son.  Unfortunately it will probably arrive a little late.  This is my first trifold card and it is nowhere near as complicated as it looks.

All you need to do is cut a 6 x 12" piece of paper and score it on both short ends at 2 and 4".  Then, using a paper trimmer, cut lengthwise app. 1 1/2" from the rim between the 2" and 10" score mark.  Don't overshoot these points, otherwise the card will not fold neatly.

When top and bottom of the card have slits in them start folding the three sections so they fold opposite from each other.  When done, you should see a figure 8 when looking down onto the card.  Decorate the many individual panels, make an envelope for the card, done.  The card folds flat for mailing.

This is a fun card to make, let your imagination run wild!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

More Christmas creations

I have been a busy girl this season, and here are some of my Christmas items that I made.  The first one isn't my invention, I saw the concept on YouTube and went "Aaah!  How perfect for gift giving!" and added my own spin in terms of decorations and the look of the box.  A week and a few all nighters later I was finished with this mammoth project.  I had made a total of 29 gift cards...  

My husband surprised his co-workers in the office with the cards and some sweet stuff I had baked the night before, and they all loved the gifts.  Probably the most elaborate I have made to date, But they are so pretty to give and, of course, receive.  

The box inside is filled with nuggets, but you can use anything that fits into the box by height.  I chose to cover the opening with a gold mesh to prevent the chocolates from falling out.

Lots and lots of steps went into making these boxes, from cutting out the individual decorations to accurately measuring and cutting out the box top and bottom to cutting out the box cover and embossing the front cover of the card box.  I had fun, though, I don't ever make anything that I don't enjoy making.

Then I also decided to make some snowflake cards, and I chose a layered snowflake which I put together with dies and punches of different sizes and material.  Just look at all the different cards I made with the same layered snow flake!

 These two cards are the most elaborate in that I chose to inlay the background and glue ribbon around the outside as an added texture.  The inlay work is the most time consuming because the pieces fit only one way and have to be found to be sure it is the correct one.  I love doing this kind of work, but only for a while, then my eyes give out.

 These next two cards show the same snowflake in an entirely different design.  The circle background is a Cheery Lynn die, and I chose glittered white card stock as a layering medium.

The bottom one is a WOW (White On White) card, again with glitter paper as accent.  Very elegant, with stapled insert, as with all my cards.  The envelopes are also hand made and custom fit for just these cards.
You like?

Friday, November 29, 2013

My most ambitious Christmas card yet

This card started out with the tree which I decorated last year but then got stuck and put it away.  Well, this year I stumbled over the container it was in and pulled it out and looked at it and suddenly knew what to do with it.  This is how I "design":  I see something in my mind, and then I try to make it come to life.  No drawings, no designing on paper, it's all in my head.

The card simply "happened", piece by piece.  All total I made five, each one a little different.  Don't ask how long it took to finish this card, I forget.  Just making the sill on top of the fireplace wall took a while because it needed to be dimensional.  The wreath consists of at least 40 pieces, the little gifts had to be made into boxes first before I could wrap them.  Putting the gold string around and tying a tiny bow is not easy to do!

It was a lot of fun putting these cards together.  If it wasn't I wouldn't do it.  I love challenges, I love making pretty things.

Then, of course, I realized that I needed gift boxes for these cards, so I made these simple matching boxes.

Happy crafting, everybody!

I always hope for your feedback, it lets me know that you are actually reading my blog, grin...


Reasons to be thankful

Thanksgiving is a family holiday, a day of feasting and togetherness.  But it is also a perfect day to give thanks for all the good things that happened throughout the year.  And even though it has been a tough year with wildlife rehabilitation in that donations continue to dwindle and my costs go up accordingly, leaving us in an ever increasing financial bind toward the end of the year, I am focusing on all the incredible and good things that happened.

2013 started off with the usual litter of squirrel babies, except they were not orphans, their home had been destroyed because the tree their nest was in had to come down.  The mother was around, but so were some cats, and the home owner was not willing to babysit a basket filled with baby squirrels to keep the cats away and let mom relocate her babies.  I wish people would be more caring, I wish this man had taken the 30 minutes or so out of his day and helped the squirrel mother get her babies back.  But he didn't, and the mother squirrel suffered a huge loss and these three little ones started my season in early April.

I ended up with well over 22 squirrels for the spring season (and another 15 or so during round two in summer)  but also had some other house guests later on.  All total I took in well over 80 wildlife again.  This year I got only 3 orphaned skunks, all siblings, which were rescued by a kind young man.  Unfortunately he didn't leave a penny in donations and I was suddenly faced with the fact that I would have to come up with nearly $500 to raise these three, an impossible task since I do not have any means to generate additional income except for my Etsy shop, but sales have been very slow this year as well.  I had to put out an SOS call, "Adopt a Baby Skunk", on Facebook, and two friends responded which covered the cost of one and partially the second.
 Two more friends came through on my birthday with checks to help with the cost of these little stinkers, and in the end I only had to come up with about $150 out of our pockets...

But then two even more expensive babies arrived, wood chucks, also orphaned sibling, and the donations covered barely 20% of their cost.   Wood chucks run about $200 each to raise because they eat incredible amounts of fresh produce and suck down as much formula in one sitting as a 4 month old human baby.  The first one was brought to me within 24 hours after the woman had found it, but its sibling fell in the wrong hands.  "Cool pet", a young couple had all intentions of keeping the baby as a pet without knowing a thing about it, and only when it was about to die from hypothermia and starvation did they have the sense to bring it to a vet who treats wildlife and from there it came to me.  I was able to revive her and slowly got her shrunken stomach to expand, a drop of formula at a time, and her engines running again, and two days later I reunited her with her already much bigger sister who promptly beat her up before snuggling up with her, much happier now that her sibling was here.  The smaller one, which I named Chuckie, remained quite friendly towards me while I stopped touching her sister shortly after they both had been weaned.  The two were eventually successfully released in mid August and did not look back as they moved off.

On 4 July I got a call from police asking if I might be able to take a wildlife call since it was a holiday and Animal Control wasn't working.  An elderly woman wanted to do laundry, but when she opened the washing machine little black eyes were blinking at her.  She slammed the lid shut and weighed it with a heavy brick, and when I opened the machine I found one decomposing baby and one barely alive one sitting in the broth of the dead one.

 He came to when I put him in a tub filled with water to wash the stench and yuck off him.  A healthy dose of subcutaneous fluids finished the triage job, and he started eating that night.  He was never friendly, always ready to snap, head swaying from side to side like a Cobra, hissing and growling.  I fondly named him Shithead.  He grew quickly and I released him the end of July when he was well beyond the size rquirements for release.  I need all my fingers for my work...  Wildlife isn't supposed to get tame, we have to respect their wildness and work around it to avoid injury.

2013 was also the year of the Cottontail bunnies.
They arrived in droves, found anywhere and everywhere, and quite a few arrived after they had come in contact with lawn mowers and weed whackers.  The injuries were horrific, and sometimes all I could do was give pain medication and make the baby feel safe while it was dying.  This work can be emotionally shattering and very draining, and there are times when I ask myself why I am putting myself through the ringer over and over and over again.  The answer is always the same:  because I have the knowledge and training to help, and because I cannot walk away from an animal's suffering.

 Way too many younsters did not adjust once I could no longer tube or syringe feed them and had to rely on a bowl with formula instead.  But the ones I did raise successfully got to hop off into an Audubon Sanctuary where I had special permission to release my native wildlife.  It is a sight to behold releasing cottontails!  First they sit like statues, then they start to ever so carefully hop around, and then all of a sudden comes the mad dash and if I just blinked at the wrong moment they were gone...

These two are part of a litter of three that I am overwintering.  I doubt that they would make it through the winter because they are still quite small.  They are wild little guys, behaving like popping popcorn every time I open the cage to feed or clean them.

Some short-term residents were an adult squirrel that must have had a run-in with the side of a car tire but recovered fully.  She left a deer tick on me which gave me Lyme disease.  Luckily I found the tick on me and sought treatment immediately.  Another one was an immature Herring gull which police brought to me lying flat and lifeless in a large box.  The bird was awake but totally limp.  Two hours after emergency treatment the bird was standing, and the next morning I watched him take off like an F-15 in an amazingly steep climb up and over our roof, do a few figure 8s as he gained altitude and oriented himself, and then speed off.

But I also am thankful for several really cool wild encounters with a resident porcupine at the local Audubon sanctuary.  Many people, especially dog owners whose dog has returned with a mouthful of porcupine quills, want the porcupine dead.  They do not think, they just want revenge.

I was exposed for the first time at my mentor's rehab facility to a porcupine which needed long term rehabilitation.  It had a huge bald spot on its back because its fnders had tossed a blanket over the poor animal and it was hopelessly entangled.  The vets at Tufts Wildlife Clinic had to surgically remove the quills in order to free the animal and it would have been defenseless and also suffered severe frostbite if it had been released.  I found it fascinating to see the "sixpack" of muscles ripple up and down as they animal backed up towards me and swished its tail sideways and then up and in a half circle.  Once it got to know me it was no longer defensive and willingly trotted from one cage half to the other as I cleaned its enclosure.  I later practiced what this porcupine had taught me out in the wild when an injured porcupine I was trying to catch tried to back into me and a simple side step diffused the situation immediately.

Out in the sanctuary I bumped into a mother and baby porcupine several times at night when I came there for a release.  But they weren't aggressive, the baby just moved off into the deep grass.  I saw the mother several times in broad daylight and admired her beauty.  She has not had to fight many battles, if any, because her armor is flawless.  I stepped in her path several times just to see what she would do, and as long as I stood still she would move closer as if oblivious to my presence as she was munching on succulent clover.  But eventually she would notice that something wasn't quite right and rear up to get a better look.  Porcupines have poor eye sight and average hearing, and they also aren't the fastest runners on the planet and rely on their on-board weaponry.  Whatever their sensory perception might be, it seems to be adequate, otherwise they would long have gone extinct.

To prove my point as to the calm temper of a porcupine, I am publishing here for the first time a sequence showing my last encounter with this young beauty.  Again, I emphasize that I purposely stepped into her path and blocked her way.  I didn't do or say anything, I just stood there and watched her approach, curious as to what she would do.  Keep in mind that she was no farther than about 10 feet away from me when she started to notice that something was wrong.  I hope that these pictures will prove that whenever your dog comes back with quills embedded in his snout it is the dog's fault, not the porcupine's, and you should not hate the animal for defending its life.

Porcupines are not immune to bites.  I have transported severely injured porcupines to Tufts Wildlife Clinic.  Treatment is not easy due to the quills preventing access to the wounds, so they have to be removed first.  Porcupines are good climbers.  In winter they like to eat the juicy tips of branches, and that can get them in trouble.  X-rays reveal the rough life of a porcupine, multiple healed fractures, from bad falls.

If you encounter a porcupine in the wild, consider yourself lucky.  Pause and observe it for a while from a safe distance that is comfortable for the animal.  Don't get as close as I did, remember that I am trained wildlife rehabilitator and familiar with an animal's behavior and tuned in to subtle changes.  Maybe you'll realize why I am so fond of this wonderful creature.

1.  Still approaching, has not noticed my presence yet.
 2.  Realizes something is not quite right and pauses.
 3.  Now alarmed, rears up on hind legs to get a better scent.
 4.  Takes a sharp right and heads for the thicket, armor erect.
5.  The porcupine has taken a shortcut through the thicket and emerges in front of me on the path, still bristling.  It now almost runs, it is aware of me.

This is how dogs get hit:  they pursue the fleeing animal and the tail smashes them in the face.

Encounters like this one are an absolute thrill for me.  It doesn't get any better than this.  I am thankful for work that allows me to get to know an animal intimately while it is in my care.  I am thankful for all the people along the way who helped me, taught me, and pushed me into becoming who I am today.  But my greatest teachers have been the animals themselves, and they continue to teach me.  I may be broke, but animals enrich me in so many other ways.

Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving and Christmas, Christmas, Christmas...

I have been sooooo busy crafting that I didn't have time to keep up with my blog.  So sorry, I'll try to make up for it now!

It is frigid here in the Northeast tonight, an arctic blast has tumbled the temperature from a balmy 40s two days ago down into the single digits.  The wind is driving it into the below zero range!  Our wood stove has its work cut out tonight...

Well, here are a bunch of pictures showing what I've been up to.  All are available on, a link to my store is on the right, click on the squirrel with the red cast.

I had fun making a bunch of these Origami Christmas trees with different patterned papers.  The background is embossed card stock, the sentiment is raised with dimensional foam dots.  I make my own sturdy envelopes to fit my cards and to protect them because we all know that the postal service can get a bit rough at times.

These cards are favorites on Etsy.  The ornament punch and stamps are from Stampin Up, but I embossed the images on different colored card stock and added a gold string onto the back of each ornament.  I don't like plain cards, so I add stapled inserts in all my cards with a nice sentiment.  It makes for a more finished, polished look.

This is my 2013 Thanksgiving card.  I used heavy foil and embossed, then colored it with metallic inc and let it dry.  The frame is chipboard wich I spiffied up with Viva metallic rub-on, love that stuff.  The pumpkins are a GinaK, the wheat is i.o., the corn stalks are Sizzix, I think.  The flowers are from Yours Truly.  This is a straightforward easel card, and it has been well received.

I also got busy with some shadow boxes, and this is one example.  It shows one of my squirrel babies when he tried his teeth on a fresh maple branch.  The oak leaves are made from heavy card stock, hand inked, and glazed, the flowers are my own as usual.  The flourish is a Cheery Lynn.  The background is a Cuttlebug embossing folder, caning, I believe.  The acorns are real but have been heat treated and dried.

The last two days I worked on this large holographic foil Kusudama flower ball.  It measures approximately 7" in diameter and was a little tough to make because I used high end wrapping foil which doesn't fold very easy but is much less susceptible to humidity than paper.  It also looks really cool.  I embellished the finished ball with clear jewels and added a purple ribbon so it can be hung. Two days of patiently folding 60 perfectly cut pieces of paper...

The other thing that kept me busy this year, aside over 80 wildlife in my care once again with 14 still with me, has been doing concrete casts using real live leaves.  Here is a show piece, a hosta leaf which I color washed and finished with gold rim and a high gloss glaze.  This is a bowl, and it came out beautiful.  These casts are always true originals because no two leaves are ever alike, just like thumb prints.  And no cast ever comes out the same as another, so this is original art work.  I am super proud of this bowl.

Have I made up for the silence?

I still have stories to write about my 2013 wildlife rehabilitation adventures, but these will come later.

As always, I welcome any and all feedback.  It lets me know that you are looking at my post and helps me improve myself.  I consider life as one endless learning experience, both bad and good...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Mixed media, hahahaha!

I mean it.  You get cards and wildlife pics this time, grin!

But first, an update.  I attended two different fairs, but both were bad choices for me.  The Gardner people put me so far away from the center of the fair that not even my neighbors could find me.  Had I known more about fairs I would have mouthed off and demanded to be moved, but I didn't know that I could do that.

The second fair was the Bolton Fair, an agricultural fair.  I was up against $1 inflatable baseball bats.  Not a good choice either, although people stopped and looked and oooh'd and aaaaah'd and I heard nothing but praise over my creations.  But people were here for the fun and games, not so much for craft items.

Lessons learned.  I scouted out more fairs, this time more specifically craft fairs, and I will be setting up at the Westborough Fall Fest on 5 October on the Common and on October 19 at the Sterling Church Fall Craft Fair.  Hopefully some of you will stop by and say hi!

I have been BUSY, lots of animals again this year, but I still found a few minutes here and there to craft and keep my sanity.

This first card has a glazed leaf as a focal image.  I saw the technique on Splitcoaststampers and of course had to try it out myself.  But they used a stamp to make the leaf, and I used a real leaf instead and traced around it.  It's a fun thing to do, but you need Utee, a heat gun, cold pressed water color paper, Memento reinkers, and a metallic gold pen.  You first thoroughly get the leaf wet, then apply the ink as you like, let the leaf dry or heat dry it, goop it up with embossing glue, apply Utee, melt it, immediately apply a second coat, melt that. let the leaf cool, then apply the gold around the edges.

This is a straightforward easel card, top and bottom backgrounds are embossed, and the top is matted with one of the new Spellbinders Enhancements dies.  The flowers, as always, are my own, the two small leaves are hand colored and shaped.

This card was also fun to make.  Again, it is a straight easel card.  The top insert is a Sizzix embossing folder and I brought out the leaves with a rub-on metallic called Inka Gold from Viva.  Here I used Bronze.  The rosette is a Tim Holtz, I distressed the edges with ink.  The bottom part is a Spellbinders embossing folder and I highlighted the little daisies with ink.  The flowers are my own.  The center of the rosette shows Ginnie, my female opossum, whom I had overwintered and released this past summer.  She was a very gentle animal.

I also got addicted to making Kusudama flower balls and made over a dozen of them.  For me, it is late night work while I am waiting for a final feeding, doing this keeps me awake.  And I love the results!

And then I got into casting leaves with concrete.  You find basic instructions on YouTube, but I believe that I took this to a new level.  This is a wild Burdock leaf, not an easy leaf to cast, and I used different colored batches of concrete to achieve this look.  This is a large leaf, about 17 inches long.  The largest I have cast measures a whopping 20".

Then there were the wildlife adventures, and the year was rich with them.  I had discovered that we have a local Audubon Sanctuary in town, so I called to  get permission to release wildlife on their site since there is not hunting and my wildlife will find everything they need.

On 19 SeptemberI released my last batch of cottontails.  At first they were quite timid, but once they had gotten used to the thick green carpet under their feet they started to run and jump around and finally ran off and into the thicket and were gone.  Be safe, little bunnies!

People often think ill of porcupines, but I find them to be very docile and gentle creatures.  They don't attack, they use their quills only for defense.  A predator must come in contact with he quills which release at the slightest touch.  Porcupines can not "throw" quills.  This gorgeous young female finally had enough of me and decided to climb a tree to get away from me.  That is how I was able to snap this beautiful and rare shot.

My season is by no means over.  Round two for squirrels are arriving daily, and this time of year they are often in a very compromised state due to insects homing in on a defenseless orphan immediately.

I hope you enjoyed this long overdue post and hope to read your feedback!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

And the winner is...

One of the attractions on my table at the Gardner Sidewalk Sales was a handmade Beagle, one of my designer dogs, which I put up for a raffle.  The drawing was at 3:30pm on Saturday, shortly before the event was over.  The raffle dog is sitting at the right front corner of the table.

I asked a neighboring booth owner to do the honor of drawing the winner, and he did.

The winning ticket was Lynn Hebert, or better, her son.  He was my very first customer and I am very happy that he won this dog.  Congratulations!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting ready for the Gardner Sidewalk Days fair

Here are several other cards I worked on for the fair this coming weekend.  Each is a one-of-a-kind right now because I only made one each.  The first ones are twist-up cards, fun gifts to give.

The first card shows Chuckie again, but with a Joy Crafts die as background.  And I used all brambles only.

The second card shows two of the many bunnies that arrived so far.  Bunnies are tricky animals to raise, and mortality rate is high.

Here is Tubby, my logo squirrel.  His story is on my blog in last year's March and April section.

Here is Blackie, my first ever black squirrel girl.  She was released about a week ago together with seven other nest mates.  She is doing well, they all hang around and continue to get fed as long as they need it.

A pink design, here are two squirrel babies of different ages snuggled together.

 And here is Ginnie, my overwintering opossum girl.  She was also released a few weeks ago.  She was a sweetheart, not an aggressive bone in her body.

And here you see a pile of squirrels sound asleep.  It doesn't matter how big their space is, they like to pile on top of one another.

I also made a bunch of Christmas cards, 29 in all.  I used burlap as background and cut out the ornaments, which are Tim Holtz, with chipboard first, then cut out the front and embossed it before adhering it to the chipboard.  The sentiments are Cheery Lynn and Marianne designs.  I needed to cut them out, a stamp would not have looked good on such rustic cards.

I uploaded three cards to show that each one will be a little different from the others. The inside has a sentiment stamped on green card stock and a snow flake attached to it.  

And then, while I was waiting for the final feeding late at night, I kept myself busy with making flower balls.  

Everything you see here is available for purchase.  Please ask for pricing.  I won't upload onto Etsy until AFTER the fair.  

I hope to read your feedback soon!