peony, pink flower

Bloomin’ and Buzzin’, My Garden Beckons

This is one of those rare weeks when I have no new artwork to show you (although I am working on remedying that) and no new art news to share with you (although hopefully next week I’ll have something news-y to post).

Since I’m completely art-less, I figured I’d get snap happy in the garden and show off a few things that are blooming and buzzing, and providing some inspiration for future art projects.

First Stop on the Tour: Take That You Vile Slugs!

Since I have a rather shady garden, I have to make the most out of every millimeter of sunny space I can find. So, not only do we have raised beds for veggies lining our driveway, but the south side of my house is also decorated with a raised bed and plenty of pots.

tomato plant

A (future) bushel of tomatoes.

Sadly, at the beginning of the month, I mistakingly thought it was spring (silly me) and set about to planting all the veggies and fruits I’d started from seed. Days later, not only did the Portland area get slapped with a freakish cold spell, but the slugs made a buffets of all my babies. Once warm weather was back in the forecast, I had to resort to getting new veggie plants from the nursery. Continue reading

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A Couple of Pieces That Are the Bees’ Knees

Since spring refuses to get sprung here in Portland, I’ve had to resort to creating my own springtime with my two latest bits of artwork that are chock full of big blooms and buzzing bees. If I could only get them to have the scent of freshly mown grass, I could almost fool myself that spring really has decided to show herself.

Painting #1: Sunny Bee

Who’s that hanging out on that big red sunflower? Why it’s Sunny Bee! Sunny Bee was based on a reference photo** that I’ve had in my to-paint stash for a long, long time. So long that unfortunately, I no longer have the photographer’s name to give him or her credit. Continue reading

bees, honeybee, topbar hive

Bees Don’t Sweat

And to all those who remember a certain deodorant campaign, no, bees don’t perspire either.

Although those of us in Portlandia are now suffering from a resurgence of icky, cold, rainy weather, we did get a brief taste of summer recently with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s a sweltering 38 degrees to the metric folks out there). While I was able to cool off with a few gallons of iced tea and plenty of sweat (perspiration?), my bees are sadly lacking in both refrigeration technology and sweat glands.

So what’s a bee to do when the hot days hit?

Life Inside the Hive

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The Land of Wine & Honey (and Monsters)

As my loyal followers might remember, last year I delved into the wonderful world of winemaking, and that a few months ago I bravely bottled my boozey concoctions. Well, I recently hit the earliest aging time for fruit wine. Sure, sure, longer aging would lead to a smoother wine, but after having those bottles taunting me for six months, I had to have a sample.

wine, homemade wine, wine bottle

Of course, I didn’t want to drink alone so I invited my new friend from Dublin, Finn McSpool (created by Crawcrafts Beasties), to join me.

IMG_1568

But prior to getting down to our wine tasting, we had to check on the bees…not a chore you want to do under the influence. Continue reading

bees, beekeeping, top bar hive, bee swarm

I Have Bees….Again!

Hello Everyone!

As you’ll remember, a couple weeks ago I shared with you the sad tale of the disappearance of my colony of honeybees from my backyard top bar hive. Like some frightening tale of colony collapse disorder, one day the girls were there, the next they were gone. The colony was a strong one without any of the usual honeybee woes (nosema, chalkbrood, varroa mite, etc.) and they were pretty mellow ladies, so it was sad to see they hadn’t liked where they were living. I mean they could have at least said goodbye or left a note.

Still, it gave me a chance to clean up the hive and this clean up brought in plenty of bees who I was hoping were looking for some new digs, but was pretty certain were just cleaning up any left over honey from all the comb I had cut off. Turns out maybe a few of these bees were indeed in the market for a new hive and had contacted their realtor.

All Was Quiet, Until….

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