Saturday, July 31, 2010

Keeping the bees happy...

... at Twilight is an all year extravaganza !

Its true... even on the warmer days in the winter time, bees will venture out to say hello to the abundant flowering rosemary bushes...

The height of the summer is not upon us yet and although at this time of year there are fewer flowers in bloom... none the less... we must keep the bees happy !

We are having a little respite in heat above 105F at the moment... its been skirting around 98F for the last few days and it feels good to recover from 'heat exhaustion'... There's more energy in the mornings to work in the garden or on property repairs & maintenance.

At this time of year, of course, there is always lavender blooming at Twilight, french - spanish - english, and then the wild star thistle... which i do not cultivate but is rampart in these mountains.... the bees love the fat yellow flowers !

The Spiral Garden at Twilight has a few bloomers of its own... which keep those bees busy & entertained throughout the days. Early in the mornings, I find them exhausted and asleep in the flowers... as if they were too tired to return to their night time abodes. Once the sun hits the garden... they awake & buzz in merriment !

Mexican Poppy


Butterfly Bushes

White Echinacea


Pink Mallow

White Sage

I haven't figured out yet how many different types of bees come to visit Twilight... these pictures show two different varieties but earlier this year, I'm pretty sure I saw a couple of others. Soon my curiosity & exhaustion will create the time to find a pictorial guide showing different bee varieties... but for now... having flowers blooming keeps the bees happy.

One day perhaps, a bee keeper will venture my way !

Saturday, July 24, 2010

of Butterflies and Buddleia Bushes

At this time of year, here at Twilight, the heat of the summer has set in and on the most part butterflies have already been and gone...

Etsy for Animals, the street team i belong to, has been enjoying July's Monthly Challenge which theme was 'Butterfly Garden'. Of course, I wanted to get my fingers in the pie and participate in the lovely denouemant of entries with a treasury climax:

FLUTTERBY with Etsy for Animals

Lynn from LolaLynn put it together for us and there were so many beautiful & colorful entries... Way to go team EFA !!!

I had an unusual piece of novelty fabric that I decided to enter into the Challenge and offer up for sale in the brizel4TheAnimals store. Its a beautiful orange cloth with golden Klimt like spirals and butterflies. So lovely. Thanks so much Lynn :)

About half way through the month, I inherited a pile of DVD movies and amidst the many interesting titles was one called: The Blue Butterfly. Its a Canadian film, directed in 2006 by Lea Pool, starring William Hurt, Pascale Bussieres, and Marc Donato. I totally fell in love with the movie: the characters & their presentation, the gorgeous cinematography, and its many magical messages.

Here's a trailer for it:

Here at Twilight where the main focus is in creating habitat... when I envisioned the enormous footprint of the Spiral Garden it was in view of having a sacred path side by side with a flower garden that would attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. This Spiral Garden is dedicated to Spring & Summer and the elements of air & fire.

There are many types of plants that attract butterflies... one particular species is the Buddleia, also know as butterfly bushes. They have been perfect for this climate zone and have delighted butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees alike.

I have about 3 dozen of them in a variety of colors... including 4 that i planted this year... which all told will provide Twilight with 10 different varieties. It is important to have variety and at least 5 different colors for a 'serious' butterfly garden.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing the three new colors prosper and bloom... a honeycomb yellow, a fragrant pink & a lovely bi-color which were planted in honor of Nimue.

Today, I feel so grateful that the wildfire which burnt all the way up to the exterior of the spiral garden where the butterfly bushes reside were not burnt to death. Some were indeed scorched but all survived due to my maintenance work and the miracles that transpired here on wildfire day.

As The Blue Butterfly movie shares:
"The only way to catch a miracle is to believe in it"

Czech glass blue moonglow butterfly button
available at Brizel Supplies !

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brizel Supplies exclusively on

As of today...
Brizel Supplies is now exclusively on !

Come check out the new premises and
see how beautiful a store can look...

Receive a 5% discount
when placing an order of $60 and above,
including shipping and handling !

See you there !

Monday, July 12, 2010

belated Treasury Thanks... EFA MEMBERS part 2

I am, once again, delighted to be able to take a moment to post my thank you's to Efa Team members that chose to feature something from one of my stores in a treasury !

- KneeDeepOriginals -

It is always a priviledge to be included in KneeDeepOriginals' creative endeavors, Rebecca makes beautiful visual exposes and was gracious enough to include a Czech glass button... one of my favorites I might add. Thanks so much !

I discovered this breathtaking photograph in Rebecca's store: On the Wings of Summer, which is being offered for sale fully framed. It is a stunning image, don't you think ?

- KneeDeepOriginals -

Oh Goddess... An entire treasury with orange delights. It makes me drool every single time I look at it. Orange, since childhood, has been one of my favorite colors.

Another gem of a collection created by Rebecca from KneeDeepOriginals where she was abundantly generous by featuring 2 of my items (from two different stores)... a Love is the Key necklace and one of my Satin Hip Button Belts.

This treasury went to press shortly after the wildfire at Twilight and Rebecca wanted to give me extra opportunities to make some sales. Thank you so much !

It didn't take me long to spot this sensational necklace in Rebecca's KneeDeepOriginal store... Gypsy Soul Necklace which... just transported me away in blissful moments of fantasy. I love it !

And... these incredible earrings... which I had already seen and read about on Rebecca's blog... Waves of Damascus... a collaborative creation.

Here is what her product listing says about them: "Earrings made from Damascus steel. Look closely at these to see the pattern in the steel; these are NOT etched or painted. Damascus steel is a centuries-old practice of making the strongest and hardest steel. It is made by a long process of heating, forging, folding and hammering steel over and over again, resulting in hundreds of layers of steel which form a variety of gorgeous patterns, depending on the folding technique. This particular steel was made by my knife-maker husband who uses the steel in his custom-made knives."

- VickiDianeDesigns -

Vicki Diane has been an outrageous advocate for artists on Etsy... encouraging us to 'expose' our faces, with or without our animal friends, as the first image to our product listing.

I was honored to be chosen and encouraged to participate and did so, twice. Once with the Love is the Key Necklace and a second time with one of my Silk Tapestry Hip Pouches which you can see in the above treasury (note other familiar faces ?). In this product shot, I was imitating a Dali-esque pose with one of Vicki's favorite Brizel Silk Tapestry Hip Pouches... Thanks so much for your support Vicki- you rock, girlfriend !

And here is the queen herself... Ms Vicki Diane from VickiDianeDesigns... I thought it only fair that we should enjoy a portrait of her Loveliness wearing one of her colorful creations, Sizzling Hot.

- thedoghouse -

Jane from thedoghouse was inspired by a girl's desire to make a difference and help animals... Olivia... and created this lovely aviary themed treasury. She found a piece of cotton ribbon I was destashing through the Brizel4TheAnimals' store, it reads: With All my Love and has a bird image at the end of the message. I very much appreciated the inclusion in her lovely treasury. Thanks so much !

I was deeply influenced in choosing the above product from Jane's thedoghouse store... a turquoise blue treat bag... We actually have one of these in our household and Merlin very much looks forward to the moment when i pull it out, dangle it before him... open it... and provide mili-seconds of crunchy enjoyments. These treat bags are very handy to have in one's purse !

Thanks for riding along on this blog feature...
Join me again in the future for more treasury gratitudes !

Saturday, July 10, 2010

belated Treasury Thanks... EFA MEMBERS part 1

Life Happens, right ?
and in my case... it really 'happened' this spring !

so... i'm a 'little' behind with my treasury thanks...
not the end of the world, right ? lol


Nest Babies was May's theme for EFA's Monthly Challenge. I entered Nimue's fur keeper / memory box as a custom listing. I was pleased with the presentation of the product and this month when i did a redo on all my Silk Tapestry Box listings- I got even happier with the content.

LolaLynn is EFA's leader in the Challenge realm... I'd like to thank her for all that she does to help animals and to help team members promote their work on our Challenge Blog.

Lately, Lynn has been working on a series of turtle paintings to benefit the gulf turtles & the cleanup of the tragic oil spill. This particular piece above caught my attention.


Summer Dreams was a treasury put together from EFA membership items. JohnnieBelinda chose one of my tagua daisy necklaces to feature. Thanks so much :)

Johnniebelinda is a very talented artist working in a variety of mediums including some very unique & unusual techniques.

Here is one of her beautiful landscapes which is an original pastel. Do check out her store... many of her items are currently on sale !


Michele, aka mvegan5, is EFA's team leader who works tirelessly to keep our team together.

"EFA Artists Helping Animals is a group of more than 500 independent artists, independent craftspeople, independent vintage suppliers, and independent art and craft suppliers that combine their efforts to provide charitable relief to animals. Each month an animal charity is chosen from by one or more EFA members to be the EFA Charity of the Month"

In April, when the above treasury was created, our charity of the month was an animal ambulance service in Alphen, Holland. Michele chose to feature one of my vintage button lots of 25 which profit benefits our COTM (charity of the month) program. Thanks Michele !

This is one of my all time favorite images that Michele has created ! She calls it Sacred Spirit Animals and she used buttons on the original painting. Like all her work, she makes her images available in greeting card format.


Another treasury created for the same COTM and this time, Michele chose to feature one of my Czech glass buttons... a beautiful frosted blue toned button with a gorgeous carved sunflower design. Thanks so much ! Did you know that blue is one of Michele's favorite colors ?!

Another delightful image by mvegan5... This one is called Summer Animals... its a perfect companion piece to Sacred Spirit Animals, don't you think ?

Tune in for part 2 of 'belated Treasury Thanks' soon !

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brizel Handcrafts & Brizel Supplies online venue update

July is well under way...
both mulberry trees are fruiting nicely
& the focus of my days remains intensely two fold:

Working at Twilight
on orchard/garden maintenance
as well as wildfire repair/cleanup
- AND -
Continuing the task of moving inventory
from my Etsy shops to my Artfire Studios

It is a daily work in progress !

My apologies... at the moment
many of my handcrafts are
in that magical in-between space...
neither here or there.

Please forgive the virtual pixie dust
& feel free to contact me here
or on either online venues
if you are looking for something in particular.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Wildfire repairs & upgrades at Twilight

A little update from the lands of wildfire...

Albeit not a very artistic nor a beautiful blog feature but... here it is... i give you... one electrical service weather head now strengthened and supported beyond what is required by either County or PG&E, my electrical company...

In the distance, you can see the the transformer which PG&E replaced on June 18th, as well as the wiring which comes to the well house via a middle tree pole. Evidently, that is 1000 pounds of pressure being put on this little weather head.

One of my ranch neighbours had some very specific ideas about how the weather head could be better supported... so he kindly donated his time & designed roof & wall 'shrouds'. That's a nautical term which seems to depict all the shiny metallic parts put together for the overall look & function. Since the well house is home to Brigit's altar- we decided that 'cloak' would be a more suitable term.

But i digress... Two lengths of wire rope attached, appropriately to the same bracket that holds PG&E's electrical line, travel at the 'correct' angles towards the opposing wall of the well house and attach to homemade doug fir brackets that have huge eyelets that run through their 2x8 wood.

Another pair of wire rope shrouds travel from these wall brackets down to a set of big hefty ground anchors where they are securely attached... and, i might add, may they rest in peace there.

I will be monitoring their tauntness over the next 6 weeks... tightening the turnbuckles & wire rope if/when necessary before securing their position 'permanently' with wire.

A few suggestions were made to strengthen the interior side walls in the well house... because i was told that should the wind attempt to do the same trick again & succeed... that the entire structure would probably follow on that occasion. Sigh... not very likely but then... one never knows !

So... Thanks to Radzy, I got to learn all about wire rope, thimbles and terminal ends... as well as quick links, turnbuckles and ground anchors. An education, I assure you.

Well... It all sounds so grand and truly... the well house will look like a glorious modern art structure when the building upgrades are complete and after i give it a good coat of paint !

Speaking of modern art... above is a pile of drip irrigation parts that melted down or were damaged during wildfire day... these are just the remnants to the parts that i cant reuse... i'm the thrifty type so I cut out & kept all the small sections that i could do something with.

Due to the season and high heat temperatures (100-110F) I have been starting my days outside around 6.30am... watering, checking drip irrigation, making plumbing repairs, doing yearly maintenance checks... weed whacking, raking, white washing trees, wrapping trunks with foil... and/or cleaning up. By 10.30 and 12.30 though, its time to retire indoors for lunch and online work.

I am making slow progress inside the compound... but i will need to haul piles of cut chapparal to new bonfire piles and repair fencing... but one day, it will all come together and i can take photos and share a slideshow with you.

As to outside the compound... that will require more time as i will have to take a shovel, rake and saw for cleanup. The biggest concern... will have to do with rock falls and water drainage throughout the upcoming winters.

A fundraising report will be posted separately... a grateful thanks to all that have been able to help us here at Twilight... These are difficult financial times for many, including myself, and i could not have begun on these repairs without your assistance.
THANK YOU from all my heart !
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