Inspired by succulents

Cactus Inspired Tie Dye Jen at
Cactus Inspired Tie Dye

Succulents are having a moment.

Every where you turn, little cacti are showing up on reception tables, home stores, in commercials and marketing photography…(guilty!). You don’t have to live in the desert to be barraged with the little buggers. Last weekend, I left a theatre fundraiser with a couple of good sized succulents. Used as table centerpieces, I couldn’t believe my luck that a pinkish one lasted through clean-up. I got to take it home, along with another green little orphan.

I just love the way color comes through succulents. The teals and pinks and greens are so unique and specific to desert flora. I don’t have any dye powders that match the subtle hues, but I was still inspired by them as I indulged in my weekly dye session.

I tied a cotton baby tee shirt and a cotton jersey baby onesie with the classic sunburst style and experimented with procion dyes. The pinkish mottled effect was acheived with ice-dying while the rest of the colors were dipped or squirted on. I didn’t acheive quite the same colors as the potted inspiration, but I’m still very pleased with the results. (Both are now listed over at my etsy store: BlitheStarBaby, btw).

Sunny Tie Dyed Tees
Sunny Tie Dyed Tees

There is a bee in this photo

I live in Southern California and we happen to be experiencing a “super bloom” this spring. We finally had nice and rainy winter which has caused an explosion of green… and orange… and more…

Poppies, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

I left my comfortable Hollywood hovel for a two hour drive into the wilds of Antelope Valley to witness the floral boom. Mother Nature did not disappoint.

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

This was my first visit to see the poppies in my 20 years of California residence, I’m ashamed to say.  And aside from seeing the poppies, I was hoping to get some insect actions shots. You know, like a dragonfly (the namesake of this blog) or a butterfly daintily landing on a poppy for a little photogenic rest.

Nothing but poppies.

Nope, no dragonflies, darters or damselflies today. The poppies were left to hog the glory for themselves. Which is how poppies like it anyway.

There is a bee in this picture.

Instead, I heard some buzzing in these purple things. I followed betwixt and between, from blossom to bud but this little bee was not in the mood for posing. Can you see her in the photo above? She’s the blob in the center.

Ms. Bee is not ready for her close-up.

Even in close-up, she’s hard to see. It’s like she didn’t want Instagram fame.

Gray Butterfly

And the only butterfly I saw was gray. I didn’t even know butterflies came in gray.

Fine, maybe it’s a moth. Not to be judge-y, but I was hoping for more dazzle from the insect classes.

But then again, anyone would look drab next to this:

Poppy Trail
Poppy Hill, (c) CopperShots Photography
Poppy Hill
Poppy & Purple

If you would like to see the best shots of my poppy hunting, check out the CopperShots gallery. Now I’m off to plan some crafting projects using these great color combos. Thanks for the inspiration, Nature!

Until next time,

Happy Crafty!

Inspiration and the naming of things

Walking around the Lake Hollywood Reservoir this summer, I was stalked by dragonflies.


I was training for a hiking vacation in Scotland while percolating on a concept for my next one woman show and also juggling ideas for tweaking product lines for my Etsy store and this big, showy dragonfly buzzed by. And then another. And another. I started to keep count, but so many of them circled around me that I lost track. It was thrilling. I love dragonflies, and these were such a dramatic carnelian red. (As a natural ginger, I totally identify with that. Is that weird?) They inspired a costume idea for a character I am working on. And they reminded me of my childhood by the lakes, of lazy summer days with my siblings and cousins and how we delighted in their iridescent dances.

Each time I returned to the Reservoir to work out, every dragonfly fly-by seemed purposeful. Like they wanted my attention. They’d buzz in and circle long enough to catch my attention and as soon as I notice them, they buzz off. Kind of like my relationship with my creative projects – one thing inspires another and that sparks something else and my minds races to follow.

I always have a few creative projects active at any given time. Sparked by a universal archetype, or a seasonal event or regional color scheme, or even another work of art; they often feed each other. You’ll see what I mean if you stick around.

This blog will journal the sights and experiences that spark my creative works-in-progress. Dragonfly – as the Scarlet Darter – serves as a totem and namesake.

I hope you are inspired by your visit!

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