Happy Valentine’s Day!

“To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven”

~ Karen Sunde 

valentine photo

It’s almost here again . . . Valentine’s Day! The day when it’s nice to let those that are special to you, know just how much they mean to you and that you love them! I still can’t refrain from making those little “heart people” cards for my family members. You know the ones, they’re made out of pink or red construction paper cut into the shape of a heart, with eyes, nose and mouth drawn in, and have accordion folded legs and arms on them. And of course, they also have heart shaped paper for hands. I guess some things you just never grow out of! The other day while I was cutting pink and red paper for cards, I cut a few extra, so that we now have Valentines located in a few different places around the house.

snow photo

The very light dusting of snow on the back deck

Well . . . old man winter finally made his appearance this weekend, and a big one it was to me! The temps have really dropped here the past couple of nights, and the highs during the day have only been in the low 30’s. A big change from our nice, mild winter that we had mostly been enjoying thus far! Moreover, we received a light dusting of snow too that lasted for a day. So between that and the below freezing temps, it feels like winter now! Weird to think I ate breakfast on the porch just a couple of weeks ago now. So as you can imagine, I have been very busy making multiple trips out to the deck, armed with seeds, peanut butter treats, peanut crunchies and warm, steamy water all for my feathered and furry friends. They have greatly appreciated it too, calling for a couple of extra trips consisting of more peanut butter treats!

white throated sparrow photo

One of my precious White-throated Sparrows watches the “blizzard” from the safety of the barn.

My precious little wren buddy, Peedeepeeps, has all but camped out in his little peanut crunchy dish during this cold weather. He gets so very excited when he sees me come out with more edible treats, and before I can even get to the table, he has landed on the far end, ran across the table at a high rate of speed and does what I call his “electric slide” where he slides kind of sideways for the last foot of his trip, where he stops at the edge of his dish and then jumps up and perches on the side, while looking up at me like, “Okay . . . where are the goodies . . . can’t you see I’m ready here?” at which point I quickly pour the crunchies in, and he starts devouring them. Sometimes I can’t get them there fast enough, so I just sit the bowl down and let him choose which ones he wants. I think he prefers this method of feeding and of course, always chooses the biggest pieces!! I now have to carry their treats with me when I walk around the yard, as they come up to me for handouts all over, and boy had I better be ready!

photo of carolina wren

Peedeepeeps in one of his little dishes on a snowy topped table

photo of carolina wren

A close up of my precious little buddy!

Not only do I feed the birds, but this past week I also fed some of our neighbors. We had a few neighbor friends over for a nice dinner of my homemade baked ziti, garlic bread, salad and a hummingbird cake for dessert. I read that this southern cake is one of the most sought after recipes, so I figured it had to be good, therefore giving it a try. Now I know why it is so popular, as it’s amazingly delicious and mostly made of fruit, so you don’t even have to feel too guilty about eating it! Even more amazing is that it looks like pure southern elegance, at least as far as the edible form goes. After eating, we all played the dominoes game, Mexican train, which everyone seemed to enjoy. We gave the boys a break from us girls beating them at Canasta this time . . . ha ha!

hummingbird cake photo

Me with my southerly elegant and very tasty hummingbird cake

Fresh Off the Easel; Well, it’s been another very busy week of painting, painting and more painting! I have almost finished a portrait miniature, which I will share with you next week, of our little nephew, Tyler. I’m also continuing to paint on several commissions, while switching back and forth between them all. Wes actually finished up a couple of miniatures this past week. One of our precious little niece, Haydyn, and another of a spider mite, which is quite lovely wearing its bold red!

miniature painting of Raphael's "St. George and the Dragon"

St. George in progress, with a few more washes in place.

english retriever painting, miniature

Sweet Lina in progress, with some of the details in place.

child portrait miniature painting

“Miss Haydyn” by Wes
2 3/4 X 2 1/4 inches

spider mite painting

“The Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Wes
2½ x 4½ inches

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

~ Our solo exhibition “EXQUISITE MINIATURES BY WES & RACHELLE SIEGRIST” is continuing at the beautiful SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM in San Diego, CA, and will be on display there Saturday, January 21 through Wednesday, March 21, 2012. So if you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit to this wonderful museum!

~ 30th Annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in the beautiful, elegant setting of Charleston, SC will take place this upcoming weekend, February 17-19. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you there, where we will have roughly forty miniature paintings new to the show available for purchase.

To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

“Collect the future’s history today while it is still affordable.”

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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