Wednesday, April 28, 2010

EFA Team April Challenge BUDS & BLOSSOMS

Its already the end of April !

Team Efa (Etsy for Animals) completed its Challenge tour of our membership's April entries... This month's theme was "Buds and Blossoms". LolaLynn, our Challenge Leader, put together two marvelous Etsy Treasuries featuring many of our products. THANK YOU, Lynn :)

I very much enjoyed sipping my honey tea each morning whilst viewing the Challenge entries... it was an absolutely lovely month... so many yummies... THANKS to each one of you for brightening up my day :)

I've selected three of my favorites from each treasury for an up close viewing- ENJOY !

BUDS and BLOSSOMS part 1

Yellow Visitor by HumaneCreations

"These little yellow guys are so cute! They visit us every summer. My original is acrylic paint on canvas board. This print is ink on high quality gloss paper."

Delightful Daisy by Brizel4TheAnimals

"This wondrous multicolored daisy flower pendant will surely brighten your day ! Made from Tagua nut... an eco-friendly renewable petrified wood from the Amazon rain forest... six natural white tear shaped tagua beads have been sewn together and embellished at the center with a purple spiral."

Pop Art Pets by KneeDeepOriginals

"Looking for something a little different in a pet portrait ? If you have a special companion and want to commission a vibrant, unique portrait of him or her, I will be happy to customize a photo that you provide for me into a one of a kind and very special pop art or abstract painting while still showing your pet's own personality !"

BUDS and BLOSSOMS part 2

Kafir Fig by KraftiKats

"I love these beautiful, sunny, daisy like flowers of the Kafir Fig or Hottentot Fig as it is also known. This is an original drawing in watercolour pencils on a sheet of Fabriano paper, 9 1/2" x 12 1/2" (24cms x 32cms) and the image within the outline measures about 8" x 6" (20cms x 15 cms)"

Flower Pot Dog by TheDogHouse

"This moss green fairtrade organic cotton women's hooded sweatshirt features a hand printed image in white of a collie at a windowsill filled with flowers. The sweatshirt is pullover in style with a hood & front pocket. It is made of 80% organic fair trade combed cotton & 20% polyester. The garment has been distressed & washed to to give a vintage look."

Meow Magnet by GoGoBadger

"One-only designs from snippings and clippings from magazines and fabric, preserved into colorful, whimsical and utilitarian items, in this case a magnet."

To visit Team Efa's Challenge Blog... click HERE... there you will be able to see all the entries, read a little about each of these sellers and what advocacy work they participate in on behalf of the animals !

Design & Image Copyright
remains with each artist.

Friday, April 23, 2010

In memory of Nimue

Lately, I have found myself feeling unusually introspective about life and its philosophical ins & outs (the more you know- the less you know ?) I think witnessing death and feeling loss created & intensified that opportunity for me.

Nimue's passing was so unexpected... sudden... final. With the help of ranch friends her body was laid to rest at Twilight by sunset. The overwhelming sadness lingered... and many questions were raised within myself. One of my dear friends is an animal communicator with the incredible ability to reach out & speak to animals on all planes of existence. She was able to talk with Nimue and help us both thru this transition. What a healing gift ! I feel so blessed to have had that service available to us.

I wanted Nimue's memorial ceremony to be a celebration... She was born right before spring and died a month after her 7th birthday. Named after the Welsh Spring Maiden, Nimue ('Nim-way'), her energy was bouncy and lively. Clearly I needed some time to get to that energetic place within myself. When I felt ready to set the date... it was to take place a month after that. It gave me time to process... to create ceremonial items... to order things... to be able to look at photos and... put all the pieces together.

Sunday April 18th arrived and some of my dearest Californian girlfriends & I gathered together here on the ranch and enjoyed an unusual gorgeous sunny day. We spent the morning up at Jo's taking a walk with some of her Icelandic ponies, and then returned to Twilight for Nimue's memorial ceremony, followed by a potluck feast... and in celebration of spring we indulged in a clothing swap !

In memory of Nimue... Altar

Altar dressed in yellow with honeybee hexagon motif... Favorite photos of Nimue throughout her life adorn the wall... A statue of a dog that reminds me of her... a cream dahlia flower that Melinda brought... a vase full of white calla lilies & yellow flowers that Julia contributed... four buddleia butterfly bushes in yellows and pinks... a sunflower platter filled with yellow & white wild flower heads... Nimue's food bowl filled with 70 yellow ribbons... a scrapbook filled with photographs, poems, animal communication scripts and other Nimue related memories... two long burning white candles... a mini skeleton dog dressed in a skirt, scarf & hat... Nimue's dog collar with tags... a white & yellow Brizel silk tapestry memory box with Nimue's fur in it*... A white, yellow, red multicolor Brizel silk tapestry heart plush with a custom Nimue's photo on it*... a wood pendant netsuke carving of Kwan Yin gifted to me by Jo... a platter of ceremonial canine treats and bundt cake*... a white chocolate 3d dog*... an art tile with a dog that reminds me of Nimue*... a platter of individually wrapped dog shaped white sugar cookies made by my friend Laura in VA.

In memory of Nimue... Ceremony

Light candles at altar
Invoke Nimue with Mama Calling

Procession to grave site... celebrants carry Nimue statue, platter of wildflower heads, yellow ribbons in dog bowl, and Buddleia bushes
Set statue in rock nook, plant & water flower bushes, listen to Nimue's Ballad, scatter flowers

Procession to Upper Orchard... celebrants tie 70 yellow ribbons to the fruit trees whilst reciting Nimue's Poem

Return to altar... cut Nimue's bundt cake in three, Merlin & Dingo officiate the start of the feast !

In memory of Nimue... Feast Foods

Many of the edibles were white or yellow or canine theme... dinner the previous night had been a creamed cauliflower potato soup with corn & crusty white bread with white chocolate bark for desert... breakfast was an assortment of eggs, dog shaped toast, baked beans, paw shaped french toast, a fruit salad with bananas... lunch had a variety of yummy salads: marinated sliced yellowed cucumbers, red beets with nuts, an eclectic green salad, vegan wheat gluten faux meats and lemon chicken... we had lemonade & apple juice and even some white wine available... I made a banana vanilla coconut tofu pie in a graham cracker crust... and then there was Laura's dog shaped white sugar cookies which we had all the way at the end !

In memory of Nimue... Gratitude

Thanks to my friend Karen Lisa for all her incredible love, energy & help
Thanks to all my EFA Team mates who have been so very kind & understanding
Thanks to my Etsy friends for all your loving convos of concern
Thanks to my friends Julie & Melinda for sending me sympathy cards
Thanks to Jo for making time to have fun with the ponies (Flyboy, Andi, Kappi, Svoelnir, Mimir)
Thanks to Julia, Melinda, BJ, and Jo for officiating in Nimue's ceremony and for all your gifts of love and generosity
Thanks to my friend Laura G. for the home made ceremonial dog cookies
Thanks to my father & Anne and to my siblings for being in touch and for all their support

In memory of Nimue... *Resource information

Lovely animal buttons & embellishments...

Yummy dog & animal treats...

Canine shaped chocolate dogs...

Gorgeous animal artwork & tiles...

Brizel Silk Tapestry box...

Brizel Silk Tapestry heart plush...

Beautiful vintage glass earrings...

Entertaining chocolate mints...

All photos are copyrighted 2010 by photographers
Design copyright remain with the artists

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Celebrating Nimue

Celebrating Nimue
A photographic journey 2003 - 2010

Memorial service will be held at Twilight
Sunday April 18th

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Treasury Thanks... Brizel TAGUA NUT jewelry !

I've been busily listing some of Brizel's Tagua Nut Jewelry into the brizel4TheAnimals store... and feeling quite happy & content about showing it off again. Earth Day will soon be upon us !

Tagua Nut is an eco-friendly renewable petrified wood from the Amazon rain forest... A nut of many names, it grows on the edge of the rainforest on a palm type tree that reaches between twenty & thirty feet tall. Its botanical name is “Phytelephas Macrocarpa Palmae”. “Phyton” is the Greek word for plant and “elephas” means elephant because of the nut's relative large size... It grows in a cluster formation called ‘cabeza’ (head) and when the nut ripens it simply falls to the ground.

Vegetable "ivory", a generic name for this gorgeous wood, is harvested & dried over a period of three months at which point it is considered petrified. Under its brown skin lies a beautiful natural white "ivory" like material. In the olden days, many buttons were made from this natural material because it could easily be cut, turned, engraved & dyed. Also known as Corrozzo, tagua has also been traditionally used for miniature carvings, providing an animal friendly alternative to real ivory. Today, the main industry for the tagua nut seems to be focused on bead making supplies... creating an entirely new opportunity for jewelry.

Some of my EFA team colleagues discovered Brizel's new tagua nut jewelry listings and within days, three ETSY TREASURiES featured some of my offerings.

BLUEtiful by SunlightGlassJewelry

Pictured above is one of Brizel's Delightful Daisy tagua nut pendants.

Thank You SunlightGlassJewelry for the lovely feature !
feast your eyes on one of her beautiful fused dichroid glass pendants

STRiNGS ATTACHED by thoseparasoldays

Love is the Key, a mixed media necklace with tagua nut pebble & ceramic alphabet beads, and embellished with a silver plated key charm. This necklace is a limited edition of 15, each one in a different color !

Thank you to thoseparasoldays for including my necklace... Here's a delightful fairytale print from one of her original watercolours, which she named: Best of Friends.

BE KiND TO ANiMALS by Heathrock

Here's a multicolored Spiral Wrap Bracelet,
made of cubed tagua nut alternating with silver plated beads.

Thank you, Heathrock for the feature !
Here's a fun looking butterfly, a hand painted piece
by her which she calls: Be.Free

I will be listing a variety of tagua nut jewelry items into my brizel4TheAnimals' store... feel free to stop in for a visit and browse thru the selection. (You can click on any of the links provided to either visit my listings/stores... or the treasury makers shop/listing.) ENJOY !

HAPPY SPRiNG &/OR AUTUMN to all who tip toe thru my blog and Etsy stores !
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