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Garden Gate Door

I’ve been photographing cottages in Lake Worth, Florida for an upcoming coffee table book and was inspired by one cottage owner who used a door as an entrance way into the garden. It was time to upgrade our clunky garden gate when it became impossible to open easily, so, we grabbed a door that we found discarded, added paint that we had left over from another project and used hardware we already had. Then, I added one of my signature fern photos (click here for more of my botanicals)  to the bottom panels to give it a one-of-a-kind look. We are happy with the results and happy that we did not have to buy anything to do this project!

We might add a window as a transom if we can find one for free. Otherwise, we have some old copper pipes that would make a cool wind chime dangling from the top beams.

 

Door transforms into garden gate with photo panels for special touch.
Door transforms into garden gate with photo panels for special touch.
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New Dog designs

There is something about the cooler temperatures in the fall (even here in South Florida) that help generate the creative juices. That and customers who want what they want!

So, here of late, HueDew has added numerous cuff bracelets, coasters and the like, photographed, designed and printed by me! Check out this Black Lab Beauty on a wide cuff bracelet. Click here for details.

Wide Black Lab Beauty Cuff Bracelet by HueDew. SKU: WC0008BLBBYou can get it with the white background, too.

Wide Black Lab Beauty Cuff Bracelet by HueDew. SKU: WC0008BLBWBut, wait, there is more to see. Dachshund lovers might get a kick out of this Love Long Dog cuff bracelet. Click here to see other views of the medium cuff bracelet.Medium Love Long Dog Cuff Bracelet by HueDew. SKU: MC0004LLD

And for a little artistic twist, check out the Perfect Pooch cuff bracelet. Click here.

Wide Perfect Pooch Pal Cuff Bracelet by HueDew: WC0003PPPOf course, you can send your own photo of your very own pet for me to custom design your very own cuff bracelet. The link to custom cuffs is here.

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HueDew is Going to the Dogs

I Double Doxie Dare You Cozy by HueDew. SKU: CC00001DDD

Dachstoberfest  is Sunday, Oct. 19, in West Palm Beach, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Waterfront Park on Flagler.

Come see the long dogs racing in the Doxie Dash with all the gusto these little dogs can muster. And they can muster a lot! It’s a fierce competition between long dogs and bound to make you laugh.

Longhaired Mini Dachshund by HueDew. SKU: RC0004LMDProceeds benefit Dachshund Rescue South Florida, an amazing foster-based rescue group that has saved more doxies this year than ever before. DRSF doesn’t shy away from doxies who need medical attention. They manage to fund medical care AND find these dachshunds homes. This event helps keep the volunteer organization going. Come on out and support DRSF.Wide Groovy Dachshund Cuff Bracelet by HueDew SKU WC0001GDC

HueDew will be set up in a booth offering new designs for cuff bracelets, coasters and now beverage insulators — many with original, dachshund motifs like the ones pictured here. The dogs on the  cuff bracelets, coasters and huggies are all rescue dogs and many are DRSF alumnae whom I  have photographed for DRSF over the years.

Dashing Doxie coaster by HueDew. SKU: RC0021DDC

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Dachstoberfest Preparation

HueDew will have a booth at Dachstoberfest in West Palm Beach on Sunday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds benefits Dachshund Rescue South Florida, a foster-based rescue out of South Florida. It is a rescue that is dear to my heart as I have been a volunteer for them for years and have photographed many a dog in need of a home. I’m planning on using those photos of the rescued dogs in my designs.

The rescue dogs are ready for their closeup!

The big draw for Dachstoberfest are the doxie races. It is a hoot to watch these little long dogs race to the finish.

In the meantime, I’m racing to the finish to come up with some cool designs to print on HueDew’s aluminun cuff bracelets and rubber coasters to sell at the event. Booth fee goes directly to DRSF!

More completed designs to come.

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Battle of the Caterpillars

Late instar monarch butterfly caterpillar

 

A powerful scene unfolded before me yesterday morning while I was photographing late instar monarch butterfly caterpillars devouring a host milkweed plant.

Feasting

They and about another six of their brethren had feasted on the plant until there were no flowers or leaves remaining. They transformed the luscious plant to a stick sculpture. It took only a few days to get to this point and I watched their bodies bloat from all the good eats.

Sharing grows tiresome

As the morning progressed, these two started to duke it out over the last nibble left on the stake. The top caterpillar was having none of his former buddy’s intrusion. He kept smacking the lower caterpillar with the top of his body.

With each blow, the top caterpillar became more determined to roust the other from its perch so it could finish breakfast without being rushed, I suppose. Each savage blow landed on the top of the other caterpillar’s upper region. He gave the poor guy a pretty good pummeling. But, the lower caterpillar persevered.

Enough is Enough

Eventually, the lower caterpillar made its way to the top and the two of them ate  the last bit together, seemingly getting over their rift.

Late instar monarch butterfly caterpillar

 

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Easy photo cuff bracelet organizer

Easy wine cork and wire display for HueDew cuff bracelets

New photo cuff bracelet designs are bursting out all over the place this spring at HueDew studio, so I decided I needed to organize the formed cuffs.

Easy wine cork and wire display for HueDew cuff bracelets

I put screws through plastic  corks and then  into the wood door. Next I strung wire across and looped it around the corks. Now, HueDew’s photographic cuff bracelets are displayed for all to see rather than being stuffed in a box. The cork/wire method is a great  way to organize any light-weight inventory. I bet you could use this idea to help de-clutter your space, too.

Easy wine cork and wire display for HueDew cuff bracelets

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DIY Solar Chandelier

Chandelier made into solar light.

I saw the idea for a solar chandelier on Pinterest some time ago, but I never could find the do-it-yourself instructions. Here are my instructions and photos from my own DIY solar chandelier project. My twist is that I added my original photos to the aluminum band of the solar light to give it some color. I call the photograph Lava Light.

Start with a discarded chandelier or thrift-shop find. A friend gave me her mother’s gold chandelier that was destined for the landfill. Thanks Meghan! I didn’t think to photograph the old gold chandelier before painting it as I was too impatient to start the project.

I used a gloss white spray paint for metal to give the fixture a new look.  The tricky part was making the fixture ready for the tops of the small solar light bases.

You need to remove the wires and the metal electrical support to make room for solar light base. HueDew

Make sure your fixture is NOT plugged into an electrical outlet before continuing the project. Strip the electrical lines out of it. Here my husband is demonstrating snipping the wires. Hey, I can’t shoot this tutorial AND show you my hands at the same time! Do I need to tell you that you must NOT have the light fixture plugged into an outlet at any time during this project?

 

Cut electrical wires out of painted chandelier. Do I need to tell you that it should NOT be plugged into an outlet before you starting cutting? Really?

Next, the sockets needs to be reconfigured to hold the solar light bases. The white shaft where the original bulb was extended was made out of cardboard and came out easily. My husband then cut the internal electrical support with snippers, making room for the solar light base.

 

Cut the metal (if your chandelier has one) on the base to make room for solar light.

The lights were $2 each from Target.

The solar path light as purchased (with stake for ground).HueDewTop of solar light after removing it from its stake. HueDew

Once removed from the stake, a little hot glue set the bases firmly into the sockets. Keep the stakes for other projects.

Chandelier with silver solar light before adding photographic twist. HueDew

Because I’m a photographer, I couldn’t just leave the silver rings around the top of the solar lights unadorned. So, I printed out my original abstract photograph I created using gelatin and food coloring. I printed on Lazertran Inkjet Waterslide Decal Paper for Inkjet Printers on my Epson Stylus Photo 1280 printer .

Print photo on special decal paper. HueDew

To release the decal from the paper backing, I simply put the photo into hot water for about 20 seconds using an old cookie sheet to hold the water. Then, I carefully wrapped the printed-to-size photo around the top of the solar light.

Put decal paper in hot water to release it from its backing. HueDew

I allowed the piece to dry and then added three coats of Modge Podge to protect it from the rain. It has been out in the rain several times and seems to be able to handle the moisture.

photograph around the metal decorative ring of the solar lights. HueDew

I want to give the refurbished solar chandelier a new home in our patio screened area. The patio has screen as a roof so the lights will get direct sun. I have to figure out how to hang it dead center. As an alternative, I could hang it under a tree, provided it gets enough direct sunlight, near an old white Adirondack chair in the garden.

The project cost me $12 since the chandelier itself was a gift and I already had the paint from another project. Try your hand converting your chandelier into a solar light centerpiece. It really is easy and fun.

Chandelier made into solar light.

 

 

 

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Nature’s Valentine

A photo of flapjack succulent leaves from subtle hearts in time for Valentine's Day
Flapjack succulent leaves form subtle hearts in time for Valentine’s Day

 

Nature’s Valentine

I was walking through the garden with camera in hand, ignoring the weeds that were clambering up unattended pots, when I spotted it.

Nature sent me a valentine! The backside view of this flapjack succulent has the subtle form of Cupid’s target. What timing with Valentine’s Day only days away! I will now go out in the garden and look for more plants and leaves and flowers that reflect the holiday’s theme.

Since I’m already in love with nature, Cupid may fly off to find someone else who needs his magical love spell! It is a love we can all share!

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Silver Torch Cactus

Photo of cactus
Cactus

Mystery Cactus

I spent some time at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach the other week and photographed this cactus.

Many of their plants have markers, but this one didn’t. This particular cactus was growing next to a prickly pear cactus. Color me perplexed.

What is the name of this cactus? I really want to know.

Of course, as a photographer, I’m more interested in the play of light on the cactus more than the botanical name, so I’ll add this one to my botanical photography collection.

But aren’t cacti intriguing? Look at all that is going on with this later-to-be-named cactus. You’ve got a succulent stem that stores water and modified leaves called spines that keep hungry predators away. What animal looking for a snack wants to munch on a plant that will leave it pricked and bloody?

Cacti have adapted to live in very dry areas of the country so they make great additions to xeriscape landscaping. Something to consider here in Florida with our lengthy dry season and numerous droughts.

UPDATE: I went back to Mounts today and with a little help from a book in its gift shop, we all decided this is a Silver Torch cactus. Mystery solved.

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Powderpuff Pink Tassel-Flower

Pink Tassel-Flower (Calliandra surinamensis)
Pink Tassel-Flower (Calliandra surinamensis)

Pink Tassel-Flower (Calliandra surinamensis)

kal-ee-AN-druh ser-ih-nuh-MEN-sis

The pink tassel-flower can look super charged with the right back light. It takes on an electrical aura thanks to its pollen-laden stamens that look more like fiber-optic cables in the right light.

I used a LensBaby to focus on only a few of the electric pink stamens to make a less traditional image of this hot-pink flowering shrub. As the light changed, I also photographed a more traditional image using the LensBaby.

This evergreen powderpuff shrub attracts butterflies like Giant Swallowtails, Zebras, and Peacocks. Even though it can grow to be 12 to 15 feet high with a 10 to 15-foot spread, it can also be used in bonsai.

Pink Tassel Flower at  Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach.
Pink Tassel Flower at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach.
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Red Caladium

Red caladium

Caladium Kaleidoscope

This red caladium is the closest thing in my South Florida yard that conjures the holiday season. While poinsettias are used as landscape plants down here, I’ve never had any luck growing the woody perennials.

But the caladium is a hardy grower down here, happily providing color nine months or more a year in a happy, shady spot.

This caladium came straight from a bulb I purchased several years ago at the annual summer-time Lake Placid Caladium Festival. Fifteen hundred acres of caladiums blanket the area. The 40 varieties of red, white, and pink form a patchwork of color that are worth the drive.

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