It was bound to happen

With the advent of the bird feeders on the porch, I should have expected a casualty. But I didn't, instead preferring to deny the probability of death by broken neck. It wasn't the house window, though, it was the side of my van sitting in the driveway. Right on the flight path from tree to feeder. Now I have a decision to make. She's buried in the back yard along the fence. I mourned such a small bit of beautiful creation by the one who owns all of creation. It's a comfort to know that God saw this small being at the moment of her death.

A Surprisingly nice yellow

It's been rainy all weekend, so I decided to do some research into various color palettes. Handprint.com is a marvelous website for watercolor information. I found it very interesting that the author, Bruce MacEvoy likes PY150, which is a nickel Azo. Winsor & Newton label it as Transparent Yellow, series 1A. Be advised that they also have a Transparent Yellow, PY97 (Arylamide) which is a series 2. That means it's a bit more expensive, about $4. The colors on first glance aren't even similar, the series 1A yellow looks like yellow ochre in the tube, while the series 2 yellow is clear and bright. I consider myself a power-user of transparent yellow, and had considered the series 1A a mistake until yesterday. This yellow is rich, and when blended out with water it becomes bright and transparent. It lifts out almost to the white of the paper and makes a wonderful orange when mixed with Cadmium Red PR108. Here's a little sparrow I painted using PY150. watercolor on 100% cotton paper

$4731 per gallon! FONTS save you $$$

While researching replacement models for my OKI C3400n, I came across an article on the PC World website about bringing down the cost of using a printer. The first amazing fact is that 10 years ago, printer ink was close to $4731 per gallon, and the price isn't really coming down.  Yikes! I regularly use a 4-color laser printer during my creative processes.  I've had my current printer for about 6 or 7 years, and it's beginning to show it's age.   I think nothing of printing reference material, articles that I want to read at my leisure and color items like notecards and such.  A while ago I became more discerning in my printing habits when I realized I had generated my own personal "Mt. Everest" on my desk. One thing that surprised me in the article was this information on FONTS.  ..."Another simple way to save ink is to use a font that requires less of it. A popular study from Printer.com found that Century Gothic uses so much less ink than industry-standard Arial that a company printing 250 pages a week would save about $80 a year (emphasis mine) by doing nothing more than switching fonts. The more professional-looking Times New Roman was nearly as cost-effective. You can update the default font in Word through the Change Styles drop-down, and in Outlook through Tools > Options > Mail Format > Stationery and Fonts...." I love Arial for it's narrow, minimalist appearance, but I can learn to love Century Gothic and Times New Roman for their ability to save me money for art supplies!

Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday Jesus!

This year was a mixed bag of blessing and sorrow, but aren't they all? As my husband and I prepare to celebrate the Lord's birth, we are grateful for our health and our fur-babies. We are blessed with good friends and people we look forward to seeing every week. It's a good life, and it's a beautiful day the Lord has made. Oh, and I got my wish from Santa.

hope springs eternal

With the discovery of easy eats on my porch, a couple of squirrels have been visiting the seed supply. So far they've been polite, but today saw the beginnings of "how can I reach the suet feeder" going through their little rodent minds. While I don't condone feeding squirrels, I have to admit to having some great fun with them and my camera through the window.  Plus I love the way they hold their little hands.