Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Posts tagged ‘Animals’

Put one Foot in Front of the Other Foot…

Got the Lab results last Wed, the CEA count is back up a little to 37. After visiting with the oncologist today, he is not really alarmed. We were hoping for under 10, so I am a little disappointed. However it will be what will be – so no point in borrowing trouble. We will just hope it stays in this range for a while. We have appointments for May to get blood-work  and see the good Dr. again. In the meantime will be putting one foot in front of the other and getting some bird watching and art done in between sneezing from the seasonal allergies. It has been so warm this winter, the plants are convinced it is spring and they are springing with a vengence!

FeaatherworkToday’s art exploration is: learning to wrap feathers with sinew to attach to the dreamcatchers. Sinew is now made with polyester and is heavily waxed, so no disgusting animal parts, LOL. Glad to live in the present hi tech world. The top feather is wrapped, then a silver cone bead was added…..the middle is plain sinew wrapping…and the bottom is wrapped with a copper cone bead added. I am sure my wrapping will get better as I go, since there are so many feathers on one dreamcatcher. Stay tuned….dreamcatcher coming!!!

cards1Have to post the current Christmas card update….no I have not forgotten, and have kept up with the monthly quota. I have a total of 15 now! Wish the glitter showed up better in the photos, they do not look quite the same without it. Everything looks better with some bling!

Good luck with changing your clocks! We are so blessed to live in Arizona where we do not go through the “daylight savings change your clock twice a year.” That does not keep us from being confused about what time it is where you live though. So we do have sympathy pains with the whole “daylight savings” phenomena. The parrots all think clocks are for chewing on, so that is a good thing to them. The cats, as usual, are indifferent to the whole “time” concept. They only care about “meal time” because to them the rest of the time is “nap time.” Speaking of nap time, that sounds like a great idea……zzzz…..’til next time….zzzzzz.

New Year, New Art Project

So we will have a break from chemo, and hopefully the side effects will slowly start wearing off. I expected to have a lot of energy this week, but didn’t happen yet, so maybe next week. Since it is the second round, it may take just a little longer to get my mojo back, but it will come, so the next weeks are really something to look forward to. Whooo Hooo to being able to get the nasty taste out of my mouth, get rid of chemo burn and nose running constantly.

On the art front, I got one piece juried into the Glendale Arts Council Show.

WolfDream

Wolf Dream Catcher on Black Velvet paper, embellished with feathers, fur, leather and beads.

It is a Wolf Dreamcatcher, and will be there until Sunday, Jan 24th. The show is open daily from 10Am to 5 PM. It is at Sahuaro Ranch Park, 59 Ave & Mountain View, in the old packing building just North of the main building and rose garden.  If you live in the West Valley, you would really enjoy it, there are two rooms of great art. Speaking of Art, I have started a new project for the new year. Thinking of Christmas, I decided to make Hand Drawn Christmas Cards. If I do one a week , should have enough to send everyone on my Christmas list an original. They are 5″x7″ and will pop right into a frame, or can be matted and put into an 8″x10″ frame. ChristmasCSO here is a sneak preview of the first four cards.

On the pet therapy front, I got a couple of photos of Loki during our parrot therapy session. Thought you might enjoy! Oops, Loki is screaming, I mean Loki is calling me to do more parrot Therapy……Later!…..I am coming Loki……nuts, you want to be paid now…..I thought this was volunteer work……hmmmmm…LokiTherLokiTher2

Where Did 2015 go?

It was Jan 2015, then I blinked my eyes and it is 2016!!!! Where did 2015 go? This happens every year, but it seems like it happens faster each year! I know, I have been on this soap box before, but really how come time seems speeded up and when I was young, it seemed to drag on forever. All it takes is one art project and time goes into zen mode and I wake up a few days later with a completed project. Or it is chemo week, and I sleep the week away. LOL, I guess a lot of it went by while I was sleeping.

So this was the last chemo week for a while, the CEA count is down to 27 and we are praying really hard that it takes a big dive this month to get under 10. The hair is really in the baby grackle mode now, but in a few weeks it will start growing back. Speaking of hats, I was asked to post a few photos, so here they are, the latest style in chemo hats!

The kitty, parrot and wild bird therapy continues, and I feel a little better every day. We are planning a Texas visit the family trip the first week in Feb, so I am looking forward to seeing everyone! George got a Weber Smoker for Christmas, so we have been treated to pulled pork and smoked brisket over the last couple of weeks. The AZ Cardinals are in the NFL playoffs, so we have some exciting times coming. Wishing you and yours a wonderful year to come!

Three Quarters Going on Two Thirds

MacawTherapyAs this week of resting draws to an end, I am very excited that we are on the last stretch of chemo therapy! I have been working on a new piece, but it is not far enough along, so I am posting a photo of Macaw Therapy. I think it is so great that a former celebrity bird would volunteer her services as a therapy bird. Loki is the first celebrity bird I have

LokiPet01p

Ready For a Ride

known, Joey  Bird, being the second. Loki did her tour as a the star of the show of a small group of clicker trained birds. She would ride her bike, play basketball, go shopping and watch the little birds, Sunny and Charlie, would keep score and clean up the mess after the basketball game, which Loki always won. One human almost made a shot in her basket ball hoop, just missing.

LokiBasket

About To Slam Dunk

Miss Loki Bird also proved the superior intelligence of Macaws by answering questions pulled out of a bag. Volunteers were almost always unable to answer their question (such as: How many drops of water in the ocean?), while Loki always knew the answer to her question (Any yes or no question, such as: Is your name Loki?) . Loki shuns the celebrity life having had so much public attention. Loki rarely goes out in public as people still hound her for autographs and the paparazzi constantly harass her. She spends her time with her previous cast, Sunny and Charlie, volunteering as a therapy bird, sunning and looking beautiful.

SunnyScore

Sunny Keeps Score

Of course there is still tension among the cast as to who was the star of the show. Sunny thinks she was the star, since she always stole the spotlight. And if you ask Charlie, she will tell you that she was the star of the show, especially since she was the only one of the birds who would disappear and reappear

SCTrash

Charlie and Sunny Cleaning

after several mishaps, such as being flattened, turned into a scarf and being shrunk. Charlie weathered all of her mishaps and she and Sunny are happily retired also and help Loki with the parrot therapy. SO as a parrot slave, it it time to fix the gourmet meal and take the parrots out to Sun

LokTre26

Sunning

………Ok guys, I hear you……not so loud, the police will be coming to check on the party noise levels again……..Yes it is coming right up…….oh, you don’t want peanuts again………..Ok….what do you mean you don’t like almonds any more…….Hey you don’y have to throw the berries all over……….argh, anyone have red stain remover…..Stay Tuned!

The “New Normal”

Buffalo Dream Catcher

Buffalo Dream Catcher

Four weeks on Tuesday from the surgery date and I am almost recovered. Energy levels are up and only a little bit of soreness. So almost to the “New Normal”! Monday will be the first blood work since March, so we are waiting very un-patiently for that test result. This will pretty much define the “New Normal” and give a baseline for the chemo markers after surgery. I will post as soon as we get the results. It is usually two to three days after the blood is taken, since they have to send it out to a lab.

To the left is a photo of the Buffalo Dream Catcher. It is leather with the watercolor ground, then watercolor and colored pencil. Na ner na ner na ner to the guy at the store where I bought the leather, LOL. Watercolor and colored pencil do work pretty well on leather with a little help from the watercolor ground.

We got up at 4:30 AM today to get to the Botanical Gardens at 6:00 AM to get some photos before it was too HOT. Left there at 8:00AM sweating. It is supposed to get up to 107 degrees today. Pretty soon it will be too hot to even get up early to go anywhere (except maybe the mall which has fabulous a/c). This too shall pass! When we are crying about the heat, remind us about the wonderful winters without snow and ice, LOL! We may hibernate for the summer. At least will be staying in the A/C as much as possible.

That is it for now, stay tuned for next weeks blood work results………. it is time for a siesta,……….. it is WAY too hot to type……….Even the parrots are quiet…….the cats are asleep as usual…….. Too hot to draw…….definitely time for a nap.

Recovering….latest projects

The recovery from surgery is progressing. Each day is a little better. The three week check up is scheduled for Wednesday and everything is looking good. There is still some soreness and fatigue, but that is part of the “New, New Normal”.Wolf Dream Catcher

My yard is full of birds. We have been putting out seed blocks, suet , thistle and of course the hummingbird feeders. The fountain is attracting a few birds, but not the hummingbirds everyone else seems to have. Because of the massive seed consumption, we have learned how to make our own seed blocks. Hubby gets the large bag of seed at Costco, and we make and put out two blocks a day. I think those guys would eat more if we put it out! SO far we have seen house finches, sparrows, Abert’s Towhees, Curve bill thrashers, Gila Woodpeckers, cowbirds, White Wing doves, Mourning doves, Inca doves, grackles, verdins, Anna’s Hummingbirds, and Black Chinned Hummingbirds. They are really fun to watch, there are always little dramas going on. I am very surprised at the White Wing doves, they are very aggressive and chase the other doves away from the seed. I had always heard how peaceful doves are. Owl Dream Catcher

Here are photos of the latest Dreamcatcher projects. The third of three “black and whites” is a wolf.  Then I bought a couple of pieces of leather to try it out. Here is the first of two, the baby Great Horned Owl depicted in “Whooo R U?”. Had to learn a lot about leather to do this project. I used a ground first, then did the owl in watercolor and colored pencil. You should have seen the guys face at the leather store when I told him I would be using colored pencil. He looked at me like I am mentally challenged…..he said acrylic or leather dyes will work best. If you are a normal person, that would be true! But he had no idea that I wanted to try the new Daniel Smith Watercolor ground to see if it would really work on leather. As you can see it works really well! So what if one person in the world thinks I am crazy, Ok, well more than one…..but we won’t go there!  I am going to check to see if there is a product to stiffen it a little more, otherwise, I am very happy with the project and am trying to decide what to put on the second one! If you saw the Raven Dream Catcher, the very first project, you will notice that I have improved and refined. There is definitely more feathers and beadwork along with the placement getting better. Of course, I could not drive yet while working on the raven, and had not thought of getting beads before the surgery. But they can always be added later!

The Parrots and cats have been VERY quiet lately. I wonder what they are up to? Hmmmmmm……….if I find out, you will be the first to know! Stay tuned!

You Know – Last Chemo….Foxy Progress

The Last One!!

The Last One!!

Whooo hoooo! Chemo Over! The last treatment pretty well did me in. Last week I was feeling “Happy Crappy”…..our new phrase for the time you are happy it is over, but feel too crappy to celebrate yet. The mouth sores finally made an appearance after 23 weeks of being told, I would probably get them. The nausea lasted until Monday. Yesterday, the nausea pretty much disappeared, so am left a little tired, but recovering rapidly now. The awful taste in my mouth is SLOWLY disappearing and I even have a little bit of energy. This too will pass, as every day is a little better and soon will be back to the REAL normal – not the NEW normal!!! Of course the tan will disappear, and I have to curb the eating habits, but hey, it is better than chemo! So next month is full of tests and appointments to get set for surgery sometime in April. Stay tuned for details.

The therapy kitties and parrots are all doing their jobs. Loki is getting very spoiled having me home all the time. She will not let me have a phone conversation without interrupting by yelling “Hello! Hello! Hello!” or screaming until I finally walk over and let her into the conversation. She knows – even if I am in the very back of the house, hiding in the closet – when I am on the phone. Her hearing is extraordinary.

Pastel Pencil on Black Canson Board

Pastel Pencil on Black Canson Board

Yesterday, I finally had a enough energy to do some art therapy, so here is the Fox almost done….Oh no there goes the phone…….Ok Loki, just a minute and you can say hello……where are my earplugs?

Resting Week, New Elk WIP

This has been a good resting week, I have felt good, but a little more fatigued than usual. It could be due to the build up since there are only three more chemos……or it could be because the weather is rainy here, which is very unusual in Arizona. A little more hair has disappeared, but I still have enough to comb forward to have bangs with my hats. The chemo tan is getting darker, wonder how long it will last after chemo is over?

Elk - Pastel Pencils on Black

Elk – Pastel Pencils on Black

The elk is being redone on the black media board. I am liking it better so far. Didn’t get out the good camera, but will next time! SO the camera phone is Ok, but does not do justice to the colors. I didn’t get as much done this week as I would have liked….maybe it is because friends have been taking me out to eat this week, LOL. Mary, Delia and Tom, Thanks so much! It was so wonderful seeing you all and getting out of the house for a while!

The birds and cats are all napping in this wet cold rainy weather, I think I will grab a book and curl up with a nice fuzzy blanket and so the same. Feel free to join us!

Only 3 Chemos Left! Progress on ElK

Elk Pastel Pencil

Elk Pastel Pencil

Whooo Hoooo 9 chemos down and only 3 to go!!! The nurses gave me a copy of my blood-work from Monday, and the chemo markers in the blood-work are down to 51! That is down from 75 just two weeks before.The final number should be under 10, so we are getting there!!!! I slept pretty much from Monday until Thursday this week and woke up Friday with some energy! Not as much nausea this week. Thank all of you for the prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes!

Here is the elk almost done. After the black backgrounds, it seems dull, so I am going to redo him on the black multi media board. That is the nice thing about this time of experimentation, I can try different things without the worry of how they turn out. So another silver lining with the cancer. Am still loving the pastel pencils, need to do a painting soon before I forget how to do watercolor though!

Tomorrow is the closing of the Sahuaro Ranch show, so we will go pick up the drawing that did not sell, a couple of ribbons and a check. Very exciting!

Tonight is the auction for Triple time Blues at the Houston Parrot festival Banquet. Good Luck Laney, hope the painting gets a nice contribution for the Bird Endowment!

OK, i am really getting paranoid….the parrots and the kitties have been really good this week….so I know they are plotting something. Am not sure just what though. Will be keeping a VERY close eye on them this coming week…I hear Loki whispering, see something is up. Oh Hi Loki! What? Nothing, I was just blogging…No I was not talking about you…you want a nut…..Ok. Gotta go get the bird a nut, TTYL.

Good News in the Cancer War and Other Stuff

Oncologist appointment was Friday, where we got some great news! The tumor markers in the blood-work are down to 75 from 225 last month! Four treatments to go and we want the count under ten, so we are making great progress. The original count back in September at diagnosis was 2000. Hubby, George and I were both ecstatic to say the least. Take that cancer!!!! POW!!!

Three Wild Women

Three Wild Women

Saturday, I was feeling well enough to attend daughter Melissa’s play, “39 Steps”, at Mesa Encore Theatre.  Friends Noelle, Margaret, Leo, Paul, and Josh met us there. The play great. We were all proud of Melissa and laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. During the intermission we were invited up to try on costumes, so of course the three wild women could not resist. Here we are hamming it up on stage. Thanks to Margaret for the photo! Afterwards, we went to California Pizza Kitchen for a fun dinner. The day was so fabulous! I have not been out since August and just enjoyed the heck out of it, even though very tired today. SahuaroRanchS

As promised, here is a photo of the two drawings in the Glendale Arts Council – sans ribbons. The purchase Award and the second place are both firsts for me at this show. Very exciting! With all of the fabulous stuff happening this week, I am bursting with happiness! Take that cancer! POW POW!!!

Elk

Elk

Also as expected, here is a photo of the new pastel pencil artwork. The photo reference is from a trip we took to Estes Park. This guy is so magnificent, I have been wanting to draw him for a long time. Since I have been playing with pastel pencils, I ordered some Strathmore Charcoal paper, and it is holding the pastel. But still can’t wait to get my Ingres Pastel Paper to try.  Pastel pencils are working well at showing texture, and may become one of my favorite mediums! SO I haven’t been able to get out to the art store for my famous art supply shopping, but I have discovered online shopping! Who Knew?!?!?? I can bankrupt us from home purchasing art supplies! Do your worst at chewing up my pencils parrots, I am armed and dangerous, LOL.

Stay tuned…..a very special blog is coming with guest blogger, Laney Rickman from Bird Endowment!!!!

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