Friday, February 23, 2024

Miss Mouse

photo of deer mouse

I found this tiny mouse on the bottom step to my basement. She couldn't get into the basement (the door was closed) and she couldn't climb back up the stairs. She looked to be cold and hungry. So I scooped her up in a paper cup and plopped her into a small aquarium I happened to have. She chowed down on a piece of cucumber as soon as it was offered.

She is now living in a 10-gallon aquarium and has a wheel, water bottle, and things to climb in and around. She has bird seed, rodent blocks, and gets treats like apple, carrots, cucumber and blueberries. 

She sits in the corner near me when I visit with her. She seems to enjoy being talked to. She is very sensitive to sound - her ears twitch at the slightest sound. I've had her just a few weeks now and she is looking well fed and her coat is sleek and shiny.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Student & Instructor Exhibition at the Art Barn

Student and Instructor Exhibition
Art Barn, Valpariaso, Indiana
Reception: Feb 2, 2024 | 5-7 PM
Jan 26 - Feb 29, 2024

From the Art Barn website:

Instructors who taught, and students who participated in, 2023 classes were invited to showcase their art to the Art Barn community. The purpose of this exhibition is three-fold: It provides an opportunity for instructors to share their work with students and the greater community; to provide a platform for students to share their projects and creative efforts; and for Art Barn to shine a light on classes and workshops, while inspiring others to explore our educational offerings.

Workshop: Antique Technique Sampler

Learn three different historical art-making techniques in this unique workshop with Karen Ackoff. On day 1, students will learn moist brush technique with watercolor, a method that allows for layering of watercolor, developing both subtle gradations of tone and rich, saturated color. On day 2, students will learn the historical technique of silverpoint drawing, a drawing method used before modern day pencils were available. Drawing with silver creates a delicate image that develops warm tones as the silver tarnishes over time. Contemporary egg tempera will also be covered. Ackoff's method takes the effort out of traditional egg tempera, using watercolor with an egg yolk binder to create translucent layers, resulting in a luminous painting that is an excellent way to empahsize light and shadow. Coffee, tea, and lunch will be provided for participants each day, as well as some art supplies. A suggested list for purchase will be provided to students. Deadline to register is Friday, March 1.

For more info: Art Barn website

Monday, September 11, 2023

Little Bit

I was walking through the barn and saw a tiny baby bird on the floor in the middle of the aisle. I picked it up. Although cold and not moving, it was still breathing. I closed it in my hand to keep it warm and finished my chores. Driving home, it began to chirp.

At home, I set him up in a bowl on the kitchen counter, under a heat lamp. That night I fed him dog food – human grade, lightly cooked. At first he hesitated, but after a few tries, he gaped for food. The next day I added mealworms, wax worms, and soaked insectivore diet.

He grew quickly, and graduated to a heated reptile cage, where he perched on a beanbag. Guesses as to what kind of bird he was included barn swallow, starling or sparrow. Now that his feathers are in, it is clear he is a sparrow.

He began to flap his wings, and one day took off flying. At that point, he graduated to his "big boy" cage. A cage large enough for him to fly from perch to perch, explore some toys, and bathe. 

At this point I started offering him a dish with a variety of foods which included finch seed, insectivore diet, mealworms, kitten kibble, dried black soldier fly larva, fresh fruit/veggies, etc. He reached a point where he refused to be hand fed, and now eats heartily from his dish. 

Whenever he sees me, he "vibrates", moving his wings rapidly to say he's happy to see me. And he has started to sing.

He will have his first moult in a month or so and I will know if he is a boy or girl. As he is imprinted on me, he cannot be released and would not be accepted by a wild flock. But he is happy and I play him a CD of birdsongs in the morning. My cockatoos love to watch him, regarding him as BirdTV. He doesn't seem to mind.

Welcome home, Little Bit.