A Perfect Mother’s Day

May 14th, 2012

It was a truly magical day. The temperature was mild, in the mid-70′s, the sky was a perfect blue without a single cloud and there was only the hint of an occasional breeze. Melissa and the kids brought me a begonia and a sun-loving New Guinea Impatien which she planted on the berm.

Melissa Planting the Berm

Melissa Planting the Berm

The grandkids were perfect (I know all grandparents think that of their’s but it’s really true in my case!) With a little refresher course on planting, I turned them loose on the beds and they did great. It was so much fun to watch them try to do it just right.

Josh & DeMya Weeding the Bed

Josh & DeMya Weeding the Bed

Josh & DeMya Planting

Josh & DeMya Planting

They were particularly interested in a couple of visitors:

Swallowtail Butterfly

Swallowtail Butterfly

Ground Squirrel

Ground Squirrel

We grilled brats for dinner and had a good time at the table. We ended the day just laying around, watching TV and enjoying each other’s company. I’m starting a petition that there be more than one Mother’s Day a year. This day was just too good not to have more!

Small Garden Tour

May 11th, 2012

I’ve got most of the bedding plants in now. Here’s some of them! And there’s also a few perennials that are starting to bloom, too. Love my garden….

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Pink Salvia

Dahlia

Dahlia

Gomphrena

Gomphrena

Viola

Viola

Zinnia

Zinnia

Pentas

Pentas

Seven Sisters Rose

Seven Sisters Rose

Pink Potentilla

Pink Potentilla

Pink Tearose Bud

Pink Tearose Bud

Pink Knockout Rose

Pink Knockout Rose

Clematis

Clematis

Trouble in Paradise

May 10th, 2012

After a little research I’ve discovered that the squatter egg may be that of a brown-headed cowbird. The females are about the same size and look quite similar (if you don’t look too closely) so I may have had female cowbirds in the yard and didn’t even know it. Last summer I thought I saw a male cowbird but didn’t think they were city dwellers so I convinced myself it was a non-breeding starling or grackle.

If that egg is from the cowbird the house finch chicks won’t survive. If it’s a house sparrow, they will. I’ve read about “addling” the parasite egg but I can’t bring myself to do that. Prayers for my little house finches.

House Finch Compared to Cowbird

House Finch Compared to Cowbird

Squatter in the House Finch Nest

May 9th, 2012

A few days ago I posted a picture of the empty house finch nest and have been awaiting the arrival of the eggs. Today I noticed that the female house finch laid her eggs but I also noticed something peculiar–the egg of a house sparrow! I’m just going to leave them alone and see what happens. I hope they all survive.

House Sparrow Egg in the House Finch Nest

House Sparrow Egg in the House Finch Nest

Welcomed Guest

May 5th, 2012

We’ve had a lot of goldfinches at the feeder this spring but they startle easily so it’s hard to get a picture. I sat patiently on my front porch this morning, camera at the ready, and finally got what I wanted. Isn’t he splendid? This is our state bird, by the way.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

And Then There Was One….

May 4th, 2012

I checked the nest the moment I got up this morning and saw only one left to leave. I snapped a quick photo and I’m glad I did because I came back 10 minutes later and he was gone! I’m happy that all four babies made it and the trees sure do sound richer and more alive but I think I’m experiencing ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’. So I cleaned up the mess–for now, and we’re back to normal–for now. They’ll be back to lay another clutch in about a month.

Last Housefinch to Leave

Last Housefinch to Leave

Empty Nest

Empty Nest

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

Today’s Nature

May 3rd, 2012

Many of the perennials are starting to bud and a couple of them are blooming.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

Purple Salvia

Purple Salvia

It’s still too early for bedding plants but I did get a few potted ones. I put thenm out yesterday and we immediately had visitors to them.

Petunias, Lobelia and Impatiens

Petunias, Lobelia and Impatiens

Million Bells, Petunias, Verbena

Million Bells, Petunias, Verbena

Double Impatiens

Double Impatiens

We love our housefinches, in fact we’ve allowed them to build nests on the front porch and rear deck. While we are attempting to sit in one of these areas and relax, the parents begin to scold us and they don’t relent until we leave. We comply. We love them that much. They will lay a couple batches in the same nests from early spring to early summer. Once they’ve raised their babies they take to the trees, we clean up the mess and resume our life.

One nest has babies that will be leaving any day. The empty nest is in the works and the pair is so busy building it I even have a hard time stepping out there to get the mail. They won’t divebomb you but the scolding is deafening!

Housefinches

Housefinch Nest

Housefinch Nest

Good Day at Vintage Treasures!

March 3rd, 2012

Look what sold today!

Porcelier Flight; Porcelier 1939 World's Fair Pitcher; Porcelier Beehive Crisscross Teaset

Good Day at Vintage Treasures

Fun With Dot

February 25th, 2012

Dot has many costumes but not many expressions. Such a pouty little thing…. And have you noticed that she likes hats?

Dot's Costumes

Dot's Costumes

Brooke has a room now!

February 24th, 2012

Brooke, older sister to Dot and Noel, has her new room. I made everything in the room with Paint Shop Pro vX. It was a lot of fun to design her room and dress her.

Brooke's New Room

Brooke's New Room

Beautiful Blizzard

February 24th, 2012

Woke up this morning to this:

Snow-Laden Arbor

Snow-Laden Arbor

Frosty Feeders

Frosty Feeders

Frosting in Crabtree

Frosting in Crabtree

Close-up of Crabtree

Close-up of Crabtree

We knew a winter storm was coming and we watched all day as the rain turned to sleet and then to large quarter-sized flakes. They seemed to melt as soon as they hit the ground. By early evening we saw a slight dusting and it looked as though the brunt of the storm would pass to the south. What a surprise to wake up and see this. Well, the majority of heavy snow did pass south of us. If we got this, can you imagine what they got?

By far, our prettiest snow this year!

Noel’s Room

February 6th, 2012
Noel's Room

Noel's Room

I made a new chair for Dot’s room but realized she probably wouldn’t take care of it, given the state of her room, so I gave it to her sister, Noel.

I hand-made everything in the room except the shelf above the bed and the wallpaper.

And the winner of the +PSP January monthly award is…

February 5th, 2012

…me! I have been playing around with designing children, their clothing, toys and furniture and decided to make a room for Dot, the baby sister of Noel and Brooke. You’ve met them in an earlier post, remember?

Anyway, here’s Dot’s room and the award that it garnered:

Dot's Room

Dot's Room

January 2012 Award

January 2012 Award

Happy Golden Birthday Nicky!

January 19th, 2012

Nicky Sue Lytle

Nicky Sue Lytle


Nicky turned 18 on January 18!

We adopted Nicky in 1995 from a rescue shelter when she was 18 months old. Her records indicated that her birth date was January 18. Her shelter number was 22 and she came home to live with us on May 22. Talk about all these magic numbers!!

She’s been a great companion and a wonderful pet. Although she’s aging, she’s doing it gracefully. She’s still very active and gets around like a youngster.

Happy Birthday, Nicky!

My Little Holiday Trio of Sisters

December 23rd, 2011

I’m trying to teach myself to draw people and clothes. This is what I’ve come up with for the holidays. My little trio of sisters, from left to right: Noel, Dot and Holly. I tried giving Dot a festive name but she’s kind of pouty and I thought “Dot” suited her better. Anyway, they wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Holiday Trio

Holiday Trio

Merry Christmas from the Lytle Kids!

December 20th, 2011

Patty, Gunner and Nicky wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Click on thumbnails to view larger picture.

Patty

Patty

Gunner

Gunner

Nicky

Nicky

Little Girls

December 7th, 2011

Is there anything sweeter?

Cousins Posing For A Photo

Cousins Posing For A Photo

Love and Basketball

December 3rd, 2011

The other evening I had just finished sending out this year’s charitable contributions and was feeling pretty good about my choices.

I settled down to watch a little basketball and saw that they were broadcasting Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech. Since I had seen it before, I didn’t expect the emotion to pour out of me. But pour it did. My heart was aching and I was trying to fight back the tears. Then he told the story about when he had to give a pep talk to his team for the first time. And I laughed.

Then he spoke about what he wished for us. “To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going.” In the few short minutes of his speech, I realized that I had done just that. I had just received a beautiful gift from this beautiful human being that I would have the rest of my life.

Shortly before his death from bone cancer, Jimmy V founded the The V Foundation, for cancer research. It was too late to save his own life, but his hope was to advance research of all cancers and find the cure to save others.

I have added a new charity to my list and I ask that you consider this one too.

By making a donation to the The V Foundation, you keep Jimmy’s dream and his spirit alive.

Jimmy V

Jimmy V

“Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up!”

A Season of Giving

December 2nd, 2011

As we move towards the holiest of days, I am reminded of all those in need. We give to the poor, the homeless, the children, the elderly and we give from the heart. But are we forgetting anyone?

We’re forgetting the ones who can’t ask for our help. We’re forgetting the neglected, abused and abandoned animals who depend on us in faithful silence to come to their rescue.

Please consider a donation to your local (no-kill) shelter or a national charity.

Here’s two to visit:

ASPCA

Dogtown USA (Best Friends Animal Society)

“If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”–Will Rogers

From the heart, give whatever you can. God will bless you.

I Won My Own Challenge!

November 15th, 2011

I put up the challenge object (the candle) with instructions to use it in a holiday centerpiece and mine was chosen the winner!  I’m kind of amazed that I won, as there were many stunning creations for this challenge.  Thanks for your votes, everyone, I appreciate it!

Challenge 475 Winner

Challenge 475 Winner

Challenge 475 Award

Challenge 475 Award

Serendipity….

November 3rd, 2011

Wow, thanks for your votes, folks. I only posted this because I had been decorating for Christmas and already thinking ahead to spring. I took a break and sat down at my computer and made this–basically with only the airbrush, dodge and burn Paintshop Pro tools. This took literally minutes to do. It just goes to show you, what you think is a little doodle can end up being an award winner. Serendipitous, no? Come on over to Plus PSP and have some fun for yourself!

October Winner

October Winner

October Award

October Award

New Pretty Girl!

October 21st, 2011

I recently read a book about domestic service at the turn of the last centruy and thought, wouldn’t it be fun to dress up my ‘pretty girl’? So I did! The girl is designed by Catarina Yamamoto, I only added the clothes. It inspired me to make maid costumes for some of my digital dolls.

Here’s some of the maids that I came up with:

Maids

Maids

Thanks for looking!

Who Won the September Monthly Challenge?

October 3rd, 2011

…me!  There isn’t a topic or theme in the Monthly Challenge, you can put up anything you want.  This happens to be a redo of a previous challenge that I thought I could do better on.  Apparently I could!

September 2011 Winner

September 2011 Winner

September 2011 Award

September 2011 Award

P.S. We’re waitng for you to join us at Plus PSP!

Uh oh…

September 27th, 2011

Naughty Girl!

Naughty Girl!


…Poppa thought he could trust her, it’s been months since she went after one. And as you can see, it’s not like we don’t provide suitable chew toys.

Do you think she looks guilty?!

Sleeping Babies

September 27th, 2011

Do these two know how to get snuggly or what? They each picked a favorite blanket months ago and don’t want to nap in anything else. When the blankets happen to be in the wash, they will snuggle up against anything that happens to be convenient, such as a throw pillow, sweater, etc., but they don’t like it!

Gunner & His Blankie

Gunner & His Blankie

Patty & Her Blankie

Patty & Her Blankie