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Wild About Nature

April 6, 2016

WS_Gallery Show-Wild About Nature V_Linda Steider 4-2016

‘Wild About Nature’ is a lecture series at the White Salmon Library that runs through the month of April.  Produced by Joy Markgraf, you can experience a lecture by noted natural science experts each Friday evening at 6:30pm.  I am beyond thrilled to have my photography included in this year’s event.

Steider Studios.Dragonfly on Reed Flower

This coming Friday, April 8 Rachel Suits, an Education Program Assistant for Master Gardeners, Small Farms, and SNAP-Ed at the Hood River and Wasco County Extension Service will speak about the ecological impact of insects.

Steider Studios.Conboy Lake Frogs.3.8.15-5
Lisa Wilson, Refuge Manager for Columbia, Conboy Lake and Toppenish National Wildlife Refuges (and a favorite of mine) will follow with a lecture about wetland restoration.

Steider Studios: Columbia River Gorge Magical Sunset

On Friday, April 15 an eleven-year-old (!) activist, Dae Dahlquist will eloquently speak about climate actions and issues.

Steider Studios: Hummingbird in Honeysuckle
Following Dae is Jake Jakabosky, who has had a life-long involvement with the natural world, both personally and professionally, working for the U.S. BLM for 28 years.

Steider Studios: Catherine Creek

On Friday, April 22 Ellen Morris Bishop, a geologist, photographer and writer whose
passion is telling the stories of Oregon’s landscapes and geologic history will speak about waters and rivers, a history of sculpting the Columbia River Gorge.

Steider Studios.Conboy.2.19.15The last Friday, April 29 we’ll hear ‘For Love of Aspen’ a lecture by Steve Strauss, a Distinguished Professor of Forest Biotechnology in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. Also speaking is Burke Greer, a PhD student working with Strauss at OSU who is studying Rocky Mountain aspen in relation to climate change.

Steider Studios: Northern Checkerspot Butterfly

‘Of Books, Birds and Butterflies: All About Nature Writing’ by Robert Michael Pyle, a lepidopterist, writer, teacher and founder of the Xerces Society is the grand finale.

Steider Studios.Sand Hill Crane.Dance.Sauvie.1.23.15

The first Friday (sorry, already past) I thoroughly enjoyed an introduction by Jeremy Takala, a Columbia River Native American, Rock Creek band of the Yakama Nation, currently employed with the Yakama Nation Fisheries Program.

Bill Weiler, a wildlife biologist and habitat restoration consultant who founded the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute had me on the edge of my chair as he discussed Cougars.  Although I’ve seen one in my neighborhood, it was long ago and I did not have a camera with me.

Dark Skies & Light Pollution was discussed by Jim White, an amateur astronomer and
Vice-President of the Friends of Goldendale Observatory, and a friend of mine.  He was fascinating and afterwards set up a huge telescope so we could see Jupiter and it’s moons.  (Jim, correct me if my memory is wrong!)

Steider Studios.Stars.No Aurora.7.14.15-2

If you’re a Gorge resident, I hope to see you at the White Salmon Library each Friday night.  Yes, I will be there for all the lectures, it’s a wonderful event!!

Thanks to Joy, there is also a lovely display of natural history as you enter the library.

For more information you can call the library at 509.493.1132.

Note Cards from my Photographs

September 10, 2013

Steider Studios.Osprey Building Nest 5.19.13

I’ve played with photography the last few years and have turned many photos into note cards to sell.   You can click the corresponding links to read more about each card.  This osprey was building a nest along the Columbia River near Multnomah Falls.

Steider Studios:  Raven in Flight 7.2.13

I love the challenge of capturing birds in flight.  This raven was flying near a path I often hike.

Steider Studios:  Rufous Sided Towhee

I also like capturing birds in my garden.  The Rufous sided towhee is difficult to catch standing still like this.
Steider Studios:  Winter Chickadee
I love the texture of this little chickadee’s feathers as he perched on a branch covered with hoarfrost.
Steider Studios:  Rufous Hummingbird
One of my favorite bird challenges is capturing hummingbirds in flight.  In flight or resting, this little Rufous was too colorful to pass up!
Steider Studios: Blue bellied Lizard
I love capturing all of nature, not just birds!  This lizard with attitude suns himself on my stone wall.
Steider Studios:  Northern Checkerspot Butterfly
Butterflies are just as amazing to me as birds and I’ve learned so much about them through photography.  This Northern Checkerspot is a rare find in my garden.
Steider Studios:  Swallowtail on Wild Lily
Tiger Swallowtail butterflies are the largest I’ve seen in my Northwest garden.
Steider Studios:  Fritillary Butterfly on Wild Lily
Fritillary butterflies are among the smallest with an approximate one inch wing span.
Steider Studios:  Trio of Parrot Tulips
I grow many plants to attract flying critters, so while I’m waiting for them to arrive I also love photographing my flowers.   A trio of Parrot tulips is among my favorite botanical photographs.
Steider Studios:  Trillium
Wildflowers also grow in my garden from reputable seed and breeding folks.  I used to have  a large collection of Trilliums but mostly my white-flowered patches continue blooming each year.
Steider Studios:  Grass Widows
Grass widows grow naturally on my property.  As they slowly increase, I divide and spread them throughout my garden.
Steider Studios:  Bitterroot at Catherine Creek.
Steider Studios:  Klickitat River Rapids
I love hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, you can go from a rain forest to a desert in an hour.  This is a section of the Klickitat River.
Steider Studios:  Christmas Eve Columbia River Gorge
One of my favorite places to hike is just outside my back door.   I’ve taken some stunning shots of the Columbia River Gorge from this spot.
Steider Studios:  Red Sky Sunset
I photographed many sunsets with a filtered red sky from wildfire smoke the last few years.  A few of my photos were published in local news media.
Steider Studos:  Half Moon
Another love of mine is trying to catch the moon  One night my husband called me a ‘Luna’tic as I set up my tripod and I had to laugh because he was right!!
Hope you’ll take a look at my cards and if you’re moved to purchase, I’d be delighted.  I’m placing them in my Artfire Studio first, then will migrate them to my Zibbet Studio.  I also have printed many images on canvas and metal – if you’re interested in taking a look at those, check my home decor sections while at either place.  Not all my images are listed yet, so if you see a photograph that you’d like hanging on your wall just send me a note with the size you want and I’ll make it happen.

To make it easy for you:  Zibbet Home Decor happens to have a few more than my Artfire Home Decor, but eventually they’ll both be full!

Celebrating Summer

June 26, 2013

Steider Studios:  Wahkeena Falls

Wahkeena Falls

I celebrated the first weekend of summer, my favorite time of year with my East Coast ‘sister-cousin’.  We traversed the Columbia River Gorge waterfalls on our way home from PDX along the Old Highway.

Steider Studios:  Classic Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

Most people stop at the huge parking lot in the center of Interstate 84 and only see the classic, Multnomah Falls.

Steider Studios:  Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry

We took our time, looking for wildflowers, rocks, moss and more.

Steider Studios:  Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls

As we hiked, we caught up on family news, made our plans for the weekend and simply enjoyed each other.

Steider Studios:  Columbia River

Columbia River

The sun was out on a windless day, making the Columbia River as still as a lake.

Steider Studios:  Oregon Swallowtail at Rowena Crest

Oregon Swallowtail at Rowena Crest

The following morning we bought from artists and farmers at Saturday Market, then a quick venture downtown Hood River for purchases including books, cards and souvenirs just as shops opened.  By 10:30 am we were at the top of Rowena Crest trying to capture butterflies and birds with our cameras.

Steider Studios:  View from Rowena Crest

Columbia River from Rowena Crest

I wanted to show my sister-cousin both sides of the river that I call home and she wanted to see as much wildlife, birds and wildflowers as we could find.

Steider Studios:  Seagull over Columbia River

Seagull over Columbia River

We were on a mission to find Osprey nests along the Columbia.  While searching, we practiced on other birds.

Steider Studios:  Osprey at Wind River

Osprey at Wind River

We found a nest at Doug’s Beach and listened to the osprey pair calling to each other.  A game officer sent us down the river in search of several nests but this one near Wind River was our lucky find of the day.

Steider Studios:  Two Ospreys in a Nest

Two Ospreys in a Nest

…or I should say it was the best find of our day.

Dog Creek Falls

Dog Creek Falls

On our way home we stopped at Dog Mountain Creek to photograph the falls.

Steider Studios:  Lorquin's Admiral butterfly at Dog Mountain Creek

Lorquin’s Admiral butterfly at Dog Mountain Creek

….and found this Lorquin’s Admiral butterfly flitting among the rocks and creek!

Steider Studios:  Wildflower at Cooks Waterfall

Great Hedge Nettle

…and some pretty wildflowers.

Steider Studios:  New Husum Falls

Husum Falls

Our last stop was Husum Falls to see how it looks after the Condit Dam removal on the White Salmon River.

Steider Studios:  Garden Chairs 6.22.13

West Bank Garden at Steider Studios

We arrived home in time to catch a few garden shots before our fabulous dinner at Romul’s in Hood River.

Steider Studios:  Mallow 6.22.13

Pink Mallow

Our final morning, spent in the garden enjoying bird songs and color.  I love my garden this time of year, filled with flowers, birds and butterflies.

Steider Studios:  Hidden Hummingbird

Hidden Hummingbird

My sister-cousin wanted photos of hummingbirds and I think she caught a few.  I’ve planted many flowering shrubs and flowers that hummingbirds like.

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

I already miss you sister-cousin, can’t wait until next time…..

Swan Song of Sweet Summer

September 30, 2012

As September draws to a close, I wistfully say goodbye to summer, my favorite season.  I love the long warm days and relish the time I’ve had to play in my garden.  My daily hikes were cut short this month due to high fire danger in my surrounding ‘neighborhood’.

Most days we can still see the river in spite of the smoke.

A wildfire on Mt. Adams broke out just after my last post and is still burning.  Called Cascade Creek it’s 60% contained entering its fourth week and has burned over 15,000 acres in the Mt. Adams wilderness north of Trout Lake.  Started by lightning on Saturday Sept. 8 from a storm that started over 200 wildfires across eastern Washington – Mt Adams wilderness, surrounding areas and trails are closed because of it.

Today we can’t see the river at all due to the smoke from two wildfires near us.

Yet another wildfire began September 25 across the Columbia River between Hood River and Mosier.  The smoke from both these fires surrounded us in the Columbia River Gorge for many days, keeping me inside the studio finishing up a commissioned project and starting a new series of earrings.

September is also my birthday month and I like to celebrate all month by catering to my every whim…which is mostly just being outdoors experiencing nature!  I received a new camera that has given me endless hours of joy while trying to capture butterflies, birds and flowers in my garden.

Can you see how much my photos have improved?

Soon enough I’ll prepare for fall shows, letting my energy level shift into high gear to get all the ideas from my head turned into glass.  Of course, I never get them all off the drawing table, but with so many ideas I don’t think I’ll ever have a day of boredom.  Until then, I’ll take advantage of these warm sunny days as long as I can because I’ll have all winter for studio time.

Here’s a quick shot of my recently finished commission.  The client wanted monochromatic cobalt blue triangles, specifically arranged in a textured 12″ – 14″ square.  A departure from my usual style, but it was fun and I think I’ll do a few more of these in multiple colors and sizes.

Introducing my new ‘Buggettes’, just in time for the Yard, Garden & Patio Show at the Oregon Convention Center.  I’ll be in booth #1481 near the Hardy Plant Society.   I have about two weeks left before the show opens on February 17th and always seem to come up with fun new ideas at the last minute! 

I always start with a sketch.  In this case a very simple sketch.  Next I make a pattern or template, cut out some glass & stack it up to see if it fits together.

I like to make prototypes in different colors to see where my idea might go.  If you noticed my sketch says ‘Blue Bug’, because that was my original idea – Blue Bugs to go with my Ladybugs.  But who wants to stick to just one color?!!

I loved the prototypes, so started pulling out my stash of pattern bars, pot melt chips, twists, cane, frit balls and everything else close at hand for wing designs.

You already know how much I love color.  I had to make at least two (in case I want to keep one) of every color I have in each color family.  The green group above is ready for the kiln.

This group of blue, lavender and plum buggettes, fresh from the kiln is ready to sign, price and pack.  The coiled copper antenna is designed to wrap around a small tree or shrub branch so they hang in your garden and mine.

I’ll have them available for $20 along with my standard glass ladybugs…

…and glass garden fairies.  I love these girls!  Not only do they provide whimsical color when my flowers fade, but they are full of personality.  They might have glow in the dark glass embedded in their wings and they’re all fully finished, front and back.  I offer these at $75…I know a bit expensive, but very time consuming to make.  Cost includes hair styling, make up and wardrobe!

I’ll have recycled glass and art glass wall pockets starting at $12…

You know my booth will be filled to the brim with colorful glass, all garden related!  My booth is near the Hardy Plant Society, #1481, be sure to let me know you read my blog!

Oh, and I have discount admission coupons for you!  Click the link below & print.

 The Yard, Garden & Patio Show at the Oregon Convention Center on MLK Blvd, February 17 – 19 (don’t forget I’m in booth #1481).

See you there!!

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March Musings

March 4, 2011

I am happy to announce my colorful art glass jewelry is now available for purchase at J D Smith Jewelers in The Dalles Oregon.  The owner, Jason and I have been talking about working together since last summer.  Our schedules finally aligned to make it happen and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Jason has been in the jewelry business much longer than you might think judging by his youthful appearance and ‘with it’ attitude.  He has an artist’s eye and it shows when you walk into his fabulous store.  If you’re in the Pacific Northwest make a point of stopping in.

The last few weeks you know I’ve been preparing for the Glass Craft and Bead Expo.  I finally have all the student glass cut up and packed, and everything I ordered has been arriving daily.  I am sorry for our UPS driver who has to trudge down my very long driveway through the snow.  Everything must be shipped next week, so it will be me carrying it all back up.  I’d love to find a few more students for my Beautiful Butterflies class, so if you know anyone who might be interested, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d share this post.  The emphasis will be pattern making, imagery replication and working with powdered glass.

My handmade wall pocket vases are displayed at Good News Gardening in Hood River through the end of this month.  I decided to install wall pockets alone instead of including butterflies and ladybugs due to the hanging system.  Screw eyes are anchored at the top of the wall and spaced in such a way that my little critters would be lonely so far apart from each other.  I do need to go back and fill the vases with flowers, but if you have a chance to try the lunch menu at The Garden Cafe I promise you’ll enjoy it!

‘Cat’s Meow’

I finally returned to my ‘Raining Cats and Dogs’ series for The Dalles Art Center’s show “Raining Cats and Dogs and Frogs”, running through March.  Perfect, don’t you think?  Of course I pulled this 15″ finished platter (photo was taken before slumping) out of the kiln the day before due date!  Three sweet little 6″ plates were also fused but not cold-worked or slumped yet.  More work for after the Expo.  I hope to have them ready for Oregon Glass Guild’s “Glass Gallery” at the end of April.

One last note:  Lately I’ve had a lot of mica sales in my ArtFire shop, so I’ve moved the mica tutorial that I’ve been slowly polishing from the ‘backburner’ to the ‘get it done sooner’ page.  It’s almost finished, I just need better photos…which I’ll take after I clear all the ‘Expo’ paraphernalia out of my studio.

See you inLas Vegas?

If you like this post, sign up to receive an email for future posts so you don’t miss anything.  It’s easy, just click the box at the top right of this page that says ‘Sign me up!’ and type in your email.  It’s right under the yellow close-up photo of my work.

Butterflies are Free…

November 4, 2009

…If your name is Diana and you’re my sister’s Best Friend!

Di's Yellow B'flies

Diana has been patiently waiting for her butterfly since August.  She happens to be my sister’s best friend and asked me casually while I was visiting my sister if I’d make her a butterfly.  Not one to turn down any opportunity to add original art glass to someone’s home, of course I said yes, knowing full well that I had a hectic schedule awaiting my return home.  Butterflies are small and I knew I could easily fit them into my work schedule.  Couldn’t I?  I love these colorful butterflies and my stock of them was almost extinct, so it was time to make some new ones anyway.

Di's prototypes

Notice how I say them and these, not it?  If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I can’t just make one’ of anything, so finding a day to make up a kiln load of butterfly bodies, just couldn’t be done!  I wanted Di to have a good selection to choose from so I needed to make not just one, but a kiln-load of butterflies.  Diana saw three prototypes from which to choose the style and color she wanted; then waited again until I could finally find a day to get the bodies made.

white butterfly bodies

Fitting them in between projects became problematic because they require a different firing schedule than the rest of the work that generally ships out of my studio.  Oh, I got their little bodies made up & fired; it was the final firing with the color and wing patterns that took some time to work into my schedule.  Here they are after the first firing joining the wings to their bodies.  My canvas ready to ‘paint with glass powders’.

butterflies in progress

Working with glass powder is a fragile way of working with glass.  The slightest puff of wind or bump in the studio can ruin your design, so I had to fit them into a day where nothing else was happening and I had an available kiln ready to accept them immediately after building each one.  I didn’t want them lying around my studio waiting for disaster to happen.  When working with powders I like to have a color reference and all my tools within reach.

Di's powdery b'flies

The glass powder is sifted on.  Lines are drawn in.  Diana wanted yellow, orange and lime green.  I used Bullseye glass 1120, translucent Canary yellow as my base color with 0025 Tangerine and 0126 Spring Green opal (not translucent) accents.

powdery red b'fliesI also wanted to duplicate the model in my Butterfly Encyclopedia, so used translucent 1122 Red with Tangerine opal.  Then I began wondering how it would look with 0334 Gold Purple and 0147 Cobalt Blue opal accents.

powdered butterfliesNot to mention how would it look as a pink using 1332 Fuchsia with 0334 Gold Purple accents; or a blue using 1464 True Blue with Spring Green accents; and 1442 Neo Lavender with Gold Purple accents!  Alas, after that I was out of bodies again since I’d only made nine blanks, so my explorations had to end.  For now anyway.

small Red b'fliesAnd here’s how they look after firing.  All they need now is a signature and they’re out the door.  My original versions pretty much stuck to depictions straight out of the encyclopedia, mimicking true-to-life butterflies.  My approach this time exploring color and line was less tedious and much more fun!!!

small Blue, Lavender, Pink b'flies

Diana plans to hang hers in the dining room for wall decor.  I like to place my butterflies in my garden strategically where I need spots of color, wrapping the copper spirals around small branches of trees and shrubs.  I also keep one in my ‘Pretty Powder Room’.  Other glass butterfly owners have hung them in windows, set them in planters, and rested them on counters.  Where would you keep yours?

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