Flying Fox Studio

Just comments about my art, kids, animals and the eccentricity of it all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

End of May

For the past four years, spring has come slowly to the valley but never as late as this year. We are at least four weeks behind schedule, maybe even six.
The photo above is from my office window. It is snowing on the peaks. It snowed on the valley floor this morning. My friend was outside at six in the morning dusting snow off her tomatoes and basil, hurrying to cover them up, hopefully she saved them I have not heard.
Another photo from my office window this evening. The maple trees are doing okay but some trees have not yet broken dormancy. The quaking aspen on the mountains are still sleeping.
The view from the sidewalk in front of my house.
The last photo is from my front porch. See the little black crow on the light post?
I think it is our pet crow we had for a while.
There is no way to tell really, but this crow hangs out on the lamp post by our yard and often watches the dogs and whatever we are doing from her perch on high. She seems to have a spouse and last year they had a batch of several kids.
Having a pet crow living in our house with us was one of the most wonderful experiences. She was incredible, like a flying pooping three year old.
Burgess is clever and intelligent but not like our crow. Her name was Quid Poe Crow. We got her as an injured youngster.
I was pretty crazy about her. She liberated herself one day and I was heartbroken. It took me a while to understand that even though she was not caged and flew free in our house she was too clever to be inside, not when she could fly and have the whole valley, fields and mountains, trees and streams as her home.
The valley for her is an intimate environment, the sky itself, something to caress with her wings. I was selfish to keep her. Birds of the corvid family are little genius's and should never be in captivity.
She taught me a great deal and I am grateful.
There is nothing else like being awakened in the morning with a crow delving into your nose. She hated it when she was the only one awake and would fly from room to room to wake us all up.
To this day I can't say quid pro quo it always come out Quid Poe Crow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

finally some sun

The sun showed itself, hesitantly and with some reluctance yesterday. The dogs and I thought we would take advantage of it.
We met some young steers. Sparky saw a bird and thought it needed to be barked away. Sparky does not like birds which is odd since he lives with a Starling.
Rogue met some cows and they decided they look very much like each other.

The snow pack on the peaks is extraordinary. At this rate it will be there past the fourth of July.
We will take the boys up there and go sledding in the midst of summer. If we have summer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

little sheep illustration

Her name is Purl, in case you were wondering. She drinks a bit. Knits allot. Might be a little flamboyant, and she never goes anywhere without her jewlery and knitting needles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Holy Cow.

This next week is going to be crazy.
Wish me luck.
I will be ripping out carpet, getting ready to lay wood flooring, tilling up the garden area and then losing my mind.
That's the plan. We'll see which one gets done first.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Still raining here, spring is awfully slow to arrive, should have been here by now. Usually our last frost date is May 15th here in the valley but it has been so wet we can't till the garden yet and it has been too cold to put out tomatoes and tender plants anyway. The peaks still have an amazing amount of snow pack, at this rate they will still have snow in July.
The urban deer are still around, they are terrible tulip thieves. Fresh tulips must taste sooooo good after a long winter of tree browse.
Little duck Minimee, has disappeared again, she has a nest somewhere and I can't find it, she is exceptionally well hidden this year. She will eventually appear with tiny bundles of fluff following her around. Few things are as gorgeous as a newly hatched duckling.
I will be installing the wood flooring in the living room and stairwell next week. I am not looking forward to it, I know what that kind of work does to my physically. Maybe this time the boys will help. No point in asking Husbutt for help. I gave up on that years ago.
Lately I have been wanting to paint and I've been wondering how to set up my oil paints again without cats and Burgess getting into it. Burgess is a challenge to work around, he gets into everything. I can just picture him running through a palette of oil paint and me chasing him around to catch him and clean him off while he leaves little Burgess paint footprints all over.
Right now as I type he is poking through my paint brushes. Funny bird.
On the bright side, I have been knitting teeny weenie little socks for a teeny new baby. Making little things for little people always cheers me up. The little cuffs fold over on the top of the sock. They are pretty darn cute. The other sock is started. It will be finished tonight.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Several year ago I had a few little southdown sheep.
I loved them more than was reasonable.
After a year of having them I added two young icelandic ewes. I though my ram and the new girls might produce some lovely interesting lambs but it was not to be, Robert my ram was too short and fat and the Icelandic ewes were too tall and would not hold still no matter what lovely thing he told them. He needed a step ladder or even a bucket would have worked, poor guy.
Though I no longer have sheep I did keep the fleeces from the icleandic girls first or hoggit shearing. They had been washed and carded into rovings in the hope that someday I would get them spun. Well I did. Oh my gosh I am so happy with this yarn I can hardly stand it.
Sometimes Icelandic yarns can be a bit coarse because the wool is "double coated" having a coarse longer hair and a finer inner down. This is called the Tog and the Thel. The fleeces from the girls is so soft and fine it is wonderful.
The darker wool is even softer than the white wool. Berry had the darker fleece, she was a black/brown moorit and Marliyn was all white. They are at a different farm now and producing lovely lambs and if these first fleeces are any indication, they are producing beautiful wool too.
I can't find the pictures of them, Marilyn was a strikingly pretty ewe and Berry was too but not as fine and delicate as Marilyn, she was more flighty and a bit more athletic, and I thought she would have a coarser fleece but it is wonderful stuff and the color in the photo does not do it justice.
I will dye some of the white wool and make a traditional Norwegian sweater I think, maybe in blue and natural white.
This is beautiful wool, fine, soft and full of possibilities. I can hardly wait to start working with it. It is just a matter of finding a pattern worthy of the wool.
By-the-way, what is it with cats and quilts, when I had them out the other day, Tasmanian was on them in a heart-beat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This quilt is hand applique, beads and machine quilting. I designed the fabric for Kings Road Textiles, the applique designs are original too. It has a hanging sleeve on the reverse and measures 61x61.

This is a small hand applique and hand quilted piece, it has a hanging sleeve on the reverse. It measures 39x39 inches.

The pot of tulips quilt is hand applique and hand quilted, it measures 67x67, it has a hanging sleeve on the reverse.

I am working on a massive Amish style one that will take forever to quilt, but it will be gorgeous.
Sometimes I get a little crazy with all the things I have "in progress". Okay I take that back, I am crazy, I admit it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

and another one.

Just finished this one, now I have to go clean up critter messes.
Burgess has been eating a pear on my sewing table and the mess is considerable. He tends to fling his food and he is quite a prodigious pooper too.
It is still cold and rainy here spring is very slow in coming this year, usually my big Austrian Copper rose bush is preparing to bloom and this year it is barely breaking dormancy.
All morning the Betchel Crab tree outside my studio window has been hosting little female goldfinches, they seem to be eating the newly formed flower buds. Nobody wants to hold still long enough for me to take a picture though. Burgess watched them for a little while between poking his beak in the pencil sharpener and sorting through a bowl of too-short pencils.

Monday, May 2, 2011

another one

So here is another drawing fresh off the desk. Maybe my artistic muse has come back, she has been absent for a very long time, shhhh don't scare her away.

What do other artists do when they have lost their mojo?