Saturday, November 29, 2014

Poinsettias, Tigers, and Orchids.

A few years back,  on a day not much warmer than it is today, I stumbled across Etsy while doing some Christmas shopping.  All those small businesses in one place? Such a great idea. I've spent more on handmade scarves on Etsy than I'm willing to admit, but I have no regrets. If it weren't for Etsy, it would be much more difficult for small business owners and artists like myself to get their work out into the world.

As my Etsy shop has grown, so has my love of botany. When I started my business, I wanted to combine the things that I love; nature, drawing, photography, and a little travel adventure.  It came as a surprise when I found myself obsessing about the flowers I was taking photos of. It came as an even bigger surprise that I look forward to doing my annual poinsettia photo shoot every December. 

Fun fact: poinsettias are also known as the Mexican fire plant.

Poinsettia, 2013
I've always had a love of orchids. The great thing about the Twin Cities is that there are four annual orchid shows spread throughout the year. My favorite orchid show happens during the St. Paul winter carnival in February, but I also make a special trip to the Minnesota State Fair specifically to see the orchid show.

Epidendrum Radicans Orchid, 2014
This year, the annual Macy's spring flower show had several different kinds of cymbidium orchids, which happen to be my second favorite orchid. They were so beautiful that I didn't even mind battling the huge crowd of fellow flower lovers.

Cymbidium Orchid, 2014
During one of my many photo shoots in one of the gardens around Minneapolis, I stumbled across Cineraria, the most beautiful purple flower I have found thus far.  I got stung by two bees while photographing those flowers, but it was well worth it. Good thing I'm not allergic.

Cineraria, 2014
Bengal tigers are native to India. They live alone and aggressively mark their territories. These powerful hunters are the largest member of the cat family. When they hunt, tigers creep up on their prey and fatally pounce their victims. Its no wonder that tigers are my favorite feline.

This drawing took me three days. I used watercolor to bring out the colors in the fur, and drew with colored pencil to get the fine details. The tiger at the Como Zoo was my muse for this drawing.
Bengal Tigers, 2013
Anyway, long blog short, on this Small Business Saturday, take a break from pouncing on that sweater at the mall this holiday season. (See what I did there. Best. Segue. Ever.) Shop local. Shop small business.  Shop my Etsy page. There aren't any handmade scarves, but there are plenty of prints, drawings, and calendars available. 

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