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>> Wildermuth Creative Portraits <<

  • The best things in life are Beautiful.
  • In Case You Were Wondering


    squirrel tail injury growing back leanne wildermuth
    Our squirrel with the tail injury is doing just fine.
    He’s got a fuzzy nub.

    northern flicker eating ants leanne wildermuth

    Northern Flickers, when eating ants out of anthills on the side of the road, need to come up for air.

    maiden pinks flowers leanne wildermuth

    Maiden Pinks are really prettier than I thought. And also take up more space.

    wild mushrooms leanne wildermuth

    Wild mushrooms can disappear overnight.
    Appreciate their beauty, before they’re gone.

    quaker parrot walking by daisies leanne wildermuth

    Our Quaker parrot, Quintin, enjoys my Gerbera Daisies, and also?
    He’s cute in his little green parrot pants.

    little green bug on iris leanne wildermuth

    Speaking of little and green, bugs can be cute, too.


    Bird Portrait : Boo Complete


    custom bird portrait pacific parrotlet oil painting leanne wildermuth

    I completed Boo’s portrait lastnight, but the sun went down fast and I signed the painting from the light of a small lamp. I prefer to paint during daylight hours, thankfully my signature was all that was left when it got too dark to paint in natural light!

    Boo was a sweet little Pacific Parrotlet who passed away. Parrotlets are only about the size of the palm of your hand (no fingers), so this portrait is much larger than life size.

    Here’s her previous work in progress so you can compare the underpainting to the finished portrait:

    custom bird portrait painting in progress

    And here are Boo and Kiwi together, as this is a pair of portraits that will be gifted to one very special girl.

    custom bird parrot portraits original oil paintings leanne wildermuth

    Any Weekend Plans?


    chiapoo puppy playing tug photo leanne wildermuth
    We’ll be playing.

    chiapoo yawn stretch photo leanne wildermuth
    And relaxing.

    chiapoo puppy reflection shadow photo leanne wildermuth
    And maybe even reflecting over how little we are in such a big, big world.

    What are your weekend plans?

    Send Me Your Empty Vases.


    white pink peony peonies bouquet
    Over the years, my loving husband has sent flowers on several occasions (not all of them requiring forgiveness, either, in case you’re wondering). This has left me, fortunately, with many, many vases in storage.

    Did I ever tell you about how long it’s taken me to grow Peonies? Yes? Well if you don’t know the story, you can read it here. Now I’m so excited to have them, I cut them as soon as they’re ready and keep bouquets all over my house. This year, I have more Peonies than I have vases. It must be because I cut every one of them last year, I’m guessing, and all that flower power went back down into the roots of the plants.

    I have three bouquets in my house, and cut two and gave them to a couple of special neighbors (and by special I mean polite). That’s five bouquets so far, and I’ll be cutting another bunch today.

    If you want to relocate, there are a couple of homes for sale down the street.

    Cardinal Family Flying Lessons


    cardinal female silhouette bird photo leanne wildermuth

    The other morning, while I was busy spraying our yard with Mosquito-B-Gon, I was approached several times by a female Cardinal around my Burning Bush. I assumed she had a baby in a nest in the bush, and I reassured her that I wouldn’t harm her baby or get to close. As we were chatting (me, talking reasonably – her, twitting and cheeping and divebombing my head), Daddy joined in.

    cardinal male bird photo leanne wildermuth

    Daddy Cardinal teamed up with Mama and they both started in on me. Yes, me, Miss Doolittle-wouldn’t-harm-a-potato-bug, was getting the what-for by a pair of birdie parents. Now, I know this Daddy. He was just a teenager last year, and I could tell because he keeps his hair slicked back on his head. He’s still young and hip, because his Daddy, Grandpa Cardinal, visits our yard frequently and he’s a proud manbird. He keeps his hair fresh and in a high soft fuzzy peak. So, I cut the young one some slack, you know, first time parenting and all that. We all tend to get a little overprotective, eh?

    cardinal male bird photo leanne wildermuth

    Down he came, just feet away from me, giving me that side-hop-step, making sure I knew who was boss-a-da-bush.

    Okay, Daddy. I decided to stop getting them all riled up in an unnecessary tizzy and went in the house for my morning latte. Hubby stepped outside then to see how effective The Spray was on the swarms of gnats and mosquitoes – and all I can say is – VERY. (I’ve been using this stuff for years, and it doesn’t harm the birds or drive them off – there are still PLENTY of healthy non-dead bugs and piles of warm places to lay larvae in my neighbors yards.) If you would like to enjoy your backyard, I highly recommend picking up a few bottles for the summer months. It’s wonderful.

    Anyhoo, Hubby stepped outside and a few moments later he was being given the talking-to, as well. Then I heard “Honey. Bring your camera.” As always, he gets to see all the action. I grabbed my trusty Panny and get her ready to roll – and step out the back door. Hubby says “look at your car”. And so I did.

    cardinal baby bird photo leanne wildermuth

    Huh. Well look at that. (The bird, not my dirty ride.) Was he there before, while I was getting the cheep-cheep talk? I don’t know. What I did know is that this baby is a newbie to the Birds in Flight School, and I totally wanted to watch flying lessons. I went back in and grabbed my latte and had a seat in my new time-out chair.

    garden time out chair leanne wildermuth
    (Isn’t it lovely? I hope I get a lot of time-out’s this summer.)

    I watched as baby cheeped and mama chipped back. Baby hopped around my car as though he was saying “but I can’t, mama, it’s too high!” and Mama reassured him from her cozy position on my fence.

    cardinal female bird photo leanne wildermuth

    Baby took flight and flew smack into the side of our grill, which was covered, so it was a soft blow. He slid to the ground safely and hopped around a bit. Mama swooped down to see if he was okay, and he cheeped at her. Their conversation continued as I watched, fully entertained at the translation of cheeps and chips to words as they tumbled through my mind, and I considered myself lucky to be able to watch such an awesome display of Cardinal family togetherness.

    As Mama continued her verbal training, Daddy was off somewhere. He must have felt okay about my position and distance, since neither of them were yelling at me to get out of the way. Just then, Baby took flight again, back into our garage – this time landing on Hubby’s car. Or, at least, he tried to. The smoothness of the roof caused instant slippage and Baby went *boom* on the floor of the garage. He screamed a little, and Mama went into a panic, but soon he cheeped a happy cheep and started hopping around underneath the car.

    Then, I wanted to cry. Here was baby, sitting under the car cheeping and being chipped at by Mama, when Daddy lands outside the garage and hops over to his Pride and Joy.

    cardinal male feeding baby bird photo leanne wildermuth

    And feeds him a little breakfast.

    OMG. ::sniffles:: The. sweetest. thing. ever.

    Daddy quickly moved out of the way and Mama resumed her instruction, and within a minute or so baby took flight again and found a cozy spot in the “S” curve of my studio gutter.

    cardinal female training baby bird photo leanne wildermuth

    It was a little too close for comfort so I slipped into the back door and let them continue their training. You can see Mama on the roof of the garage standing by for her little one’s venture out into the world. Daddy tried to land on the gutter next to Baby to feed him again, but couldn’t get his footing so he hung back and waited for them to get to a new spot.

    I’d say of all the time I’ve spent in and around my yard, that had to be one of the top 10 precious moments. Seeing their behavior as a family unit was nothing short of amazing – and it makes me glad to call myself a birdwatcher. It’s most definitely an enjoyable hobby!

    Get to Work!


    ants on peony bud

    “Ants like the sweet peony secretions and as they walk about and eat away at the waxy coating it loosens the the very tight cabbage-like blossom holders. I don’t think it’s required by the peony for ants to be present, but I do notice that my peonies with the most ants bloom all at once and the blooms are fully opened, gorgeous and fragrant, whereas the peonies in a different area that gets regular bug treatments and thus no ants, bloom alot more sporadically.” (Quoted from broomhilda on gardenweb, because I have had the same experience.)

    Tip of the day: When asked if you’d like to attend a Tupperware party, either reply immediately with “no, I have plenty of unbreakable plastic dishware, bakeware and containers, thank you!” or leave all methods of payment at home. If you happen to forget both those two very helpful tips, then you must wake up at 6am the following day and GET TO WORK! Because those insane fruit and veggie storage systems and their totally handy increased capacity fresh veggie steamer micro cooker (that replaces their silly little two-person microsteamer that doesn’t have the capacity for a family of 4 veggi-holics) that seemed to magically appear on my order form in a wave of excitement and rush and panic because the show! The SHOW IS ALMOST OVER! We CAN’T GO YET because I have to scribble down my bank account number on this order form! And also – someone put a BABY in my lap and I think her mother sprayed her clothes with NEW BABY SMELL because it totally triggered my natural nesting instincts and made me want even MORE CONTAINERS!

    Maybe I should be writing tips on how to have a successful Tupperware party, instead?

    I better get to work. I have unbreakable dishware to pay for.


      I was surprised to see a blog I subscribed to in Bloglines has been turned into a SPLOG. iew. Don’tchya hate when that happens? ::shakes off yucky feeling::

    The Weekend Dirt


    green pepper plant baby pepper
    Ta-da! It’s been 17 days since I planted my garden, and I have progress! I was goo-gooing and gaa-gaaing over this baby green pepper yesterday. Here’s what it looks like now:

    leannes garden 17 days after planting
    I got my hoe on yesterday, prettifying the “aisles” and adding cucumbers and another couple of musk melon plants, because I think my other two are pretty hopeless. The beets, bush beans and spinach have all germinated and are going crazy. I’ll have to thin them out, but first I have to figure out when and how to thin them out. I’m such a garden virgin.

    * * * * * More non-garden dirt * * * * *
    Still scratching things off my to-do list, getting my girls graduated from 6th and 1st grades, gardening, Wii Fit’ting – and doing a bunch of extra stuff that my hubby usually does but can’t now that he’s one-armed.

    The girls have been on summer vacation since Wednesday afternoon, and they were, in usual form, bored after being home for 10 minutes. Catybug went to her friends, Chickeymonkey invited her friend over, and since then it’s been crazy with slumber parties and sleepovers and playing rain in the driveway with the garden hose – and then, just when you think things have calmed down for 5 minutes, they argue over the Wii.

    Ahh yes. School’s out.

    I have to brag though, Chickeymonkey finished 1st grade with a straight A average, and Catybug nearly an A+ average. Her GPA was 98.6 for the year – but her test scores (The ISAT) were at 99%, she tested at a 10th grade 5th month level, which is the highest you can go. (Beaming? Why yes, we are!) We are very pleased with the education they’re receiving and glad to make the sacrifices to get them a good one.

    * * * * * Art & Design related dirt * * * * *
    I’ve also been working like a mad woman over the past week, and though I wasn’t able to hit the studio as I would have liked, and I still haven’t gotten the progress pics of Jam and Rex for you, I have managed to design and launch a few neat blog designs. The next couple of weeks will be hugely busy as I try to get current again with everything – finishing design projects and paintings both.

    I know you’re anxious to have a look at those designs, so here you go:

    • VividNUrban – this is an urban magazine style blog, the main page is all custom code to pull in all of the categories he wants to highlight, linking to each post and also the full category. You also have the option to read it as a “blog” in the main menu. It’s a sweet design, and nearly caused my brain to burst.
    • Fanboy@50 – Lew deals with anime and comics – he’ll probably be opening a shop on his blog as well.
    • Kissythecutie – Though Kissy is still formatting her content, you can at least view the design and the beginning of her career in the blogosphere. I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes things with her blog!

    And that was my week in a nutshell – I’m looking forward to lounging around today and recuperating so I can start it all again tomorrow morning.

    How was your week?

    Use Your Imagination


    stargazer lily petal water drops tongue

    Imagine this Stargazer lily has a face.
    Now imagine it has a voice.
    What is it saying (or doing) in this photo?

    Show me a smiley in comments that reflects how this flower makes you feel.

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