Sunday, December 26, 2010
On the home front, we've been busy with holidays, family, and the death of Terrie's stepgrandfather. The picture of my feeder in Birds and Blooms magazine resulted in a tremendous response and we were kept hopping with orders from our Etsy store.
We plan to finally get a real, organized, studio this spring. At this point we're not sure how we're going to do that so we are getting ideas and cost estimates. The time has come, though, to get everything together in one place and NOT have bits and pieces taking up space in every room in the house.
We'll be going back to Texas in March. We'll be at the Dallas Arboretum Artscape the third weekend in March, and then on to the Zilker Gardens Festival in Austin the following weekend. Surely it won't snow in Dallas late in March two years in a row!
Hummingbird fact for today: Winter hummers are now a regular phenomena in the Southeastern United States. Check out this article from the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
And speaking of the holidays, may I suggest giving a membership in The Hummingbird Society. Their slogan is : Teaching about hummingbirds,and working to protect them.
Hummingbird fact for today: Twenty-eight (28) species of hummingbirds, or nearly ten per cent, are threatened with extinction, according to an analysis by BirdLife International.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Off to Artstravaganza in St. Louis this coming weekend. And to Cape Girardeau later this month.
It is so sad to return home and know that our little hummer friends are gone until April. They were such fun this summer, with the feeder hat and hand-feeding over the porch rail and the constant activity on the front porch. There is nothing in the world that can compare!
Hummingbird fact for today: Carotenoid pigments, which create the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of birds such as warblers, orioles, and goldfinches, play little or no role in the plumage color of hummingbirds.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The National Harvest Festival is well underway at Silver Dollar City in Branson. We've seen several people who we met last year and even some of our neighbors from Camdenton. It was terribly hot until last week, but with fall weather finally here we expect to see even larger crowds through the end of October. There is some TERRIFIC art to see. I am always amazed at the amount of talent that lives right here in Missouri. PLEASE stop in and see us!
Hummingbird fact for today: There is good evidence that hummers do not fly very high during migration. Over land, it is unlikely they get much over tree-top height -- the better to see potential food sources along the migration route. (No, they do not ride on the backs of geese; the cold air at that altitude would kill them.)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Festival of the Little Hills in St. Charles was awful this year. Downpours on Friday left the grounds of Riverfront Park a total swampland. Neither the City of St. Charles nor the Festival staff cared that people could not walk into artists' booths without sinking in the mud. I've been at other shows where storms created problems, and the staff at those shows busted their butts to help the artists. In Des Moines when our tent was blown down, unknown volunteers appeared to help us salvage what we could. In Mt. Vernon, IL, a muddy site was transformed by scores of volunteers scattering straw so people could walk. But in St. Charles, we were handed one bag of OilDri, which covered approximately one square foot of muck. No assistance at all was given to those artists whose tents were destroyed by wind. And then the staff just disappeared. So after 2 days of watching people go by carefully stepping around the water pools on the concrete sidewalk while studiously avoiding the muck in the booths, we gave it up, tore down our booth, and left. The complete lack of concern for the artists left a bad taste in my mouth and I would not recommend this show to anyone.
Terrie's had a lot on her mind this month. In addition to being the responsible party for her aging and ailing grandfather in the nursing home, school, and dealing with our business, she was convinced she was just minutes away from a heart attack. So.....she had a cardiac cath and should now be able to rest easy because she does not have any problems. However, recovery from the procedure is limiting her activities somewhat and is driving her nuts. This, too, shall pass.
We haven't seen an oriole in a few days, so they must have headed south. Also, our gaggle of hummers is thinning somewhat. Sure do hate to see them go, but understand why they must.
Next up is the Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City in Branson. Yay! We love the time we spend there and meeting all the people who come by. After the summer show season we've had, we're both ready to "move in" to our booth in the City. Come see us! September 11-October 30, park is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Hummingbird fact for today: Male hummingbirds orient their feathers toward rivals to best display their brilliant iridescent colors.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Cam and his wife Shirley are prime examples of how easy it is to fall victim to the charm of the Ruby-throated hummingbird. We met them at an art show a few years ago. They knew there were hummers in their area, but they had never had a feeder. They purchased one, followed our tips, and soon were enchanted by the amazing creatures. They added another feeder a year or so later so that Cam could enjoy watching them from his home office. They stop by to visit every time we do an art show in their area - not to purchase another feeder but to share their new-found infatuation with the little charmers. They are now almost as smitten as we are. And thankfully, Cam is a much better photographer than I am!
We are shipping orders to two new wholesale locations, and shipping more items to an established customer. Thanks to The Flying Pig in Algoma, WI, for the re-order. New retail locations are Bear Creek Cafe & Gift Shop in Bear Creek, PA. And Wolfe Gallery in Deland, FL.
The last outdoor show this season for us is this coming weekend. The Festival of the Little Hills in St. Charles, MO, draws an attendance of over 100,000. The hours are long and the weather is supposed to be hot and humid. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that there is no rain!
After we get home from St. Charles, we'll put away all of our "modern" display and start gathering everything we use in our booth in the 1890's setting of Silver Dollar City, the home of American craftsmanship, in Branson. The National Harvest Festival runs Sept. 11-Oct. 30. If you've ever wanted to visit Silver Dollar City, this is the time to do it! Literally hundreds of artisans are on site with their amazing handcrafted items, including over 50 Best of Missouri Hands Juried Artists.
Hummingbird fact for today: The 17 species of hummingbirds that have bred in the United States and Canada represent approximately 5 percent of the world's hummingbird species.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Hummingbird fact for today: Hummingbird nests are raided for eggs and chicks by snakes, large birds, and some mammals but adult hummingbirds are not regular prey. The most common danger is the family pet that gets lucky enough to ambush one.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The deadline for entry for the Summer Art, Food, and Wine Festival was May 31. The stated artist notification date of June 30 for the Gala Event Center show came and went. We began to be concerned but thought perhaps the event coordinator was busy. A week went by. Two weeks went by. Emails went unanswered. Phone calls went unanswered. Finally, on July 13 someone called back to say the event had been cancelled and letters stating that went out "last week". We received the letter and our returned check on Friday, postmarked July 14. No explanation was given for the cancellation of the show.
If there was little interest in the show, the show's promoters would have known this when the entry deadline of May 31 came and went. The cancellation notice could have been sent then. Surely by the artist notification date of June 30 they knew they were cancelling the event, and artists could have been notified then. Instead, I learned of the show's cancellation a mere 3 weeks prior to the event dates. At this point, I cannot go begging to the Indiana show that I cancelled out on. Entry deadlines for any other shows I can locate are long passed. The Gala Event Center in Union, MO, and the Art, Food, and Wine Festival have left me without any avenue to generate sales.
Artists are people, too. We apply for shows and take our chances, but we also plan a schedule so that we can generate sales on a fairly regular basis. The abrupt cancellation of a show with notification of said cancellation a mere 3 weeks prior to the event is, in my opinion, extremely thoughtless and shows a distinct lack of consideration for the artists.
Hummingbird fact for today: As night approaches, a hummingbird will feed as heavily as the nectar supply allows, storing as much as a third of its weight in nectar in its balloonlike crop.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Iowa has had some rough weather this year, and this past weekend was no exception. We joined the ranks of artists who have had their "showroom" destroyed by wind. This is a first for us in all the years we've been doing this; it had to happen sooner or later. We had set up outside on Friday night, along with about 8 others. When I turned onto the street Saturday morning, my first thought was that I made a wrong turn because there were no tents to be seen. Then, as I got closer, I saw all the carcasses. Thank goodness all of us considered the weather forecast and did not put out product on Friday night. We were in somewhat a state of shock or we would have taken pictures looking back the other way, which would have shown more of the devastation.
As we began picking up the pieces and seeing what we could salvage, two angels appeared to help us sort, collect, and move inside (even though we had been told on Friday there was no space inside despite the weather forecast). I didn't get their names (and should have) because they provided not only helping hands, but a calming influence that let us know we would survive this and move on. Thank you, nameless friends. You have no idea the depth of the assistance you provided us.
We were not familiar with Artsfest Midwest, the "Other" Art Show, so had naively accepted an outdoor space. As it turned out, losing the tent was a blessing since the weather was hot and miserable and the few artists who set up outside Saturday morning saw NO traffic in two days. People attend this show because it is an indoor show and after we became part of the indoor show, we did pretty well. The Des Moines Art Festival was downtown this same weekend, and we heard reports that several artists there were also wiped out by the weather. Our heartfelt sympathy is with them.
On to Sugar Creek Arts Festival in Normal, IL, July 10-11. Yes, another outdoor show. Let's hope the weather gods are smiling upon us.
Hummingbird fact for today: Feeders may be cleaned in hot water alone or with a small amount of vinegar or bleach added. Soap and detergent leave a residue the birds do not like.
Monday, June 14, 2010
The third weekend in June belongs to Town Center Plaza and the Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland for the Town Art Show in Leawood, KS. This show took 2009 off, but we are delighted that it is back this year and excited to once again be an accepted artist. In 2008, under threat of severe storms Sunday morning, the show director visited each booth and urged us to tear down before the storms hit. THAT is true concern for the artists! Mall occupants support and encourage the artists, the people of Leawood support the artists, and the Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland benefits.
The fourth weekend in June will find us at a new-to-us venue, Artfest Midwest "the Other Art Show" in Des Moines, IA. We did a holiday show in Des Moines a couple of years ago and we're excited to once again visit with the supportive people of Des Moines.
Hummingbird fact for today: A hummingbird's irisdescent colors are artifacts of the moment, changing with the relative positions of feather, viewer, and light source. This is especially true of the highly specialized metallic colors.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Terrie's out of school for the summer. She's still carrying a 4.0 gpa. Not too shabby for a grandma.
I just have to brag about my orioles. I counted 5 male Baltimores at the same time either at the feeders or waiting for the feeders. They are so beautiful and make such a pretty song. They're already going through the grape jelly, though. I'm going to have to find it in bigger jars.
Hummingbird fact for today: Most hummingbirds molt in winter in the tropics, out of sight of northern observers.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Thank you Springfield! Artsfest on Walnut Street is always a fantastic show, rain or shine. Once again, we were thrilled to meet and talk to so many wonderful arts lovers. Home this weekend, and then off to Tulsa for Mayfest. We were there two years ago, and the residents in the Tulsa area support the arts, too! We're looking forward to our return visit.
Monday, April 26, 2010
It's only Monday, so let's hope the weatherman's dire predictions for next weekend's Artsfest on Walnut Street in Springfield, MO, are totally wrong!
Still not too much activity at the hummingbird feeders. And no sign of an oriole yet. But we've got our feeders ready and our fingers crossed!
Hummingbird fact for today: After feeding, a hummingbird may extend its tongue completely several times, an action that helps clear nectar residue from the mouth and also allows the remarkable length of the tongue to be seen.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
We were at the Greater St. Louis Association's Art Fair at Queeny Park this past weekend. Sales were down a bit from last year, but overall it was a good show. It's indoors, and the weather outside was perfect. There may have been some people who didn't come because of that. Oh well. Things happen. The people that came out saw some fantastic, incredible art.
Next thing up is Artsfest on Walnut Street in Springfield, MO, May 1-2. Followed by Mayfest in Tulsa, OK, May 13-16. We're so excited to be back in both of these shows!
My items are now available in Santa Fe, NM, at Quiquiri. The Flying Pig in Algoma, WI, has new items and Christa's in Lakewood, NY, will soon have new items.
Hummingbird fact for today: Sugar water is more perishable than seed, and feeders should be cleaned and refilled with fresh solution every two to three days.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Despite the disappointing turnout and limited sales, my two new items were well received on this trip. It's always nice when my vision is appreciated by others. So now birdbaths and shepherd's crooks are on my to-do list.
I checked the migration sighting page (www.hummingbirds.net/map.html) today and the ruby-throated hummers are making progress northward. It's really an amazing journey that they make!
Looking forward to the Art Show at Queeny Park in April. And just received word that we're accepted again for Artsfest on Walnut Street in Springfield, MO, in May. Yay!
Hummingbird fact for today: The beauty, fearlessness, and near-magical qualities of hummers have long attracted human admirers--from the Aztecs, who believed fallen warriors were reborn as hummingbirds, to modern Americans, who view them more as fairy tale characters than as wild animals.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We've been traveling. We set up in Little Rock, AR, for a few days and again in Killeen, TX, for a few days. Right now we're sight-seeing in San Antonio before we head to the Dallas Arboretum for Artscape. We meet so many wonderful hummingbird enthusiasts! And in our travels we find new sources of inspiration as we comb through little back-road stores looking for glass items to use in my art.
We've not gotten accepted to a few shows we applied to. That is always disappointing. But we're excited to again be a part of Town Art Show in Leawood, Kansas, in June. This show was not held last year and we missed attending. There is a LOT of excellent art at this show. It's Father's Day Weekend and we encourage all in the Kansas City area to come out and browse.
I'm working on a couple of new items and so far I'm pleased with the results. I'm using larger glass items incorporated in copper art to make delightful birdbaths. And I'm also developing an intricate copper shepherd's crook on which to hang a feeder. So far, these have been received well. I'm anxious to get back to the studio as we have found some beautiful glass pieces in our travels that are begging to become garden art.
Hummingbird fact for today: Male hummingbirds migrate northward as much as three weeks earlier in the spring than females.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
When in Algoma, Wisconsin, stop by The Flying Pig Gallery and Greenspace. Or visit www.theflyingpig.biz. This gallery has a fine selection of creative works by creative people (including Ozarklake) and is a great way to while away some time.
For a complete list of retail locations that offer Ozarklake Distinct Decor art, visit www.ozarklake.net/purchase.html.
Hummingbird fact for today: For all their familiarity, hummingbirds have proven to be frustrating subjects for scientific study. Their small size and nonsocial habits make direct observation difficult and challenging.
Friday, January 29, 2010
We'll be scratching that itch in a few weeks. We'll be in Dallas for Artscape at the Arboretum in March. In fact, I just learned that several Missouri artists will be there! Check it out at http://www.dallasarboretum.org/Learn/artists.htm. Skip and Racheal Matthews create wonderful copper art that comes to life with colors created by heat. Steve and Susie Hoskinson create amazing hot air balloons from lightbulbs. And Suzette Nesbitt creates stunning jewelry. We're looking forward to seeing these friends and fellow artists in Dallas.
Hummingbird fact for today: Despite their diminutive size and high metabolism, hummingbirds can have surprisingly long life spans. Three to five years is average but some banded birds have lived as long as twelve years.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Just got the word today that I will be at Silver Dollar City in Branson for the entire fall craft festival that runs September 11 through October 30. We really like it there. The staff is extremely helpful and visitors to the park seem to be truly interested in the work of the artisans. It also gives us the opportunity to get better acquainted with other Best of Missouri Hands artists. It does make life a little difficult for Terrie, though, because the place we stay doesn't have the best internet access and she's taking on-line classes working toward her BA. Luckily there's a nice little bar close by with wifi. Apparently she can tune out the bar noise when doing her class work because her GPA is 4.0.
I need to get serious about making art for our March run to Texas. We were accepted into the Artscape Show at the Dallas Arboretum March 20-21. All work in this show has to be nature related. My functional copper art should fit right in.
Hummingbird fact for today: A hummingbird's iridescent colors are artifacts of the moment, changing with the relative positions of feather, viewer, and light source. This is especially true of the highly specialized metallic colors.