Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Sylvie, the tuxedo cat without a tail (due to trauma)

I have been learning a lot about photography lately and making collages is something I am finding to be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Instagram and More

I have an obsession with photography and especially using Instagram - and now there is a profile page that you can visit that shows my photos Arty_Kat on Instagram!  Now anyone with Internet access can see my photos there. Hope you'll visit!

Now here are some of my newer photos:
Overlooking the valley from the top of one of our mountains. You can see more mountains in the distance, which are actually much further away than they look.  The trees you see at the top and just under the top of the gate? those are full grown trees and you are seeing the tops, as the mountainside goes over the crest
Another one from a mountain top , taken from the shoulder of the road

An early bit of color as autumn began near our home

The feet of our younger cat, Milo. Their pinkness just insisted I document them!

This is a beautiful plant with bright red berries that I found at a friend/neighbor's house. If anyone knows what it is, please let me know! I'd like one for our own garden.

This was taken just before Superstorm Sandy hit our area with heavy, wet snow - and a lot of it. We actually measured over a foot of snow here, and nearby my friend got over 2 feet!m

Early at the start of what Sandy brought us... over a foot of snow!

While the snow swirled, we were cozy and warm inside

I'll end with a closer view of the photo I started with.

I hope you have been well, and will return to see photos as I post more and more as the days move on. Blessings to you and yours!


GIVEAWAY - Turn your Instagram Photos into a book with Artifact Uprising!

GIVEAWAY - Turn your Instagram Photos into a book with Artifact Uprising!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My wheels this is the way I usually get to medical appointments and other fun events.

I am limited I what I can do so this mode of transportation has become my norm. Yes, we have a lift for my chair on the back if the car (it weighs about 265 lbs!) and I can still drive myself if I have help getting it on/off the lift, BUT... With gas prices as high as they are, I tend to utilize this resource. It's not the most comfy I've ever experienced, but it IS made available to me.

Rainy autumn day in Appalachia. I love the lone tree in the far off distance slightly to the right

Magic Hour in Appalachia

Magic Hour in Appalachia by Quilter Bear
Magic Hour in Appalachia, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

This was a spectacular sunset but we have them frequently here. I daresay that unless it is raining, we have at least one minute I absolute glory in the sky and of course, usually it is much longer. It must have something to do with the mountains here (just guessing) but the sunsets are beautiful,

Magic Hour in Appalachia

Magic Hour in Appalachia by Quilter Bear
Magic Hour in Appalachia, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

This was a spectacular sunset but we have them frequently here. I daresay that unless it is raining, we have at least one minute I absolute glory in the sky and of course, usually it is much longer. It must have something to do with the mountains here (just guessing) but the sunsets are beautiful,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn Makes My Heart Sing

Autumn has come to the Appalachian Mountains of  southwestern Virginia, and it is glorious. So far, we have had brilliant oranges and yellows - I've not seen a really good red, yet, but that may just be because I've not been at the right place to see it.

The photo at the left was created on my camera (that happens to have a phone!)  by using an application called Mirrorgram. The top half is the top  half of a photo of trees near my home, and the bottom is a reflection of it. If the sky had been blue rather than cloudy white, it might have looked like a reflection in water.

Where I live, we have four very distinct, equal seasons and I really enjoy it. Our winter is a real winter, with snow and icicles. Our spring is a glorious riot of flowers and birdsong. Our summer is rarely over 90 degrees with wildflowers growing along every road and highway. Our autumns, however, are truly spectacular. Our mountains are covered with hardwood trees that turn brilliantly rich with color. i have taken hundreds of photos lately, but I haven't yet got them edited and cropped to look their best. That's the problem I have - I have such a vast area of beauty to choose from that I have a hard time choosing the best pictures to share. Perfectionism is the biggest block for me, as I want them to be perfect so I put off editing them until I have the perfect block of time.


My photos are so important to me as I have MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) which may or may not go into full blown Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia. I have lost neurons in my brain to the point that my brain has visibly shrunk as seen on an MRI that I had a few years back. I have diabetes as well as other serious chronic illnesses, and my eyes are at risk. I have cataracts that will have to be corrected sometime in the future, according to my ophthalmologist (thought I'd have had surgery this month, but they didn't grow as quickly as he had predicted, thank God).

I tell you all of this simply to explain why this blog and photo project is so important to me - it isn't just to provide others with the opportunity to see our area (something that is important to me) but it is a way to make a mark on the world, saying "this is what I saw. I was here."

Here's a photo I took this afternoon

It was raining hard and hailing when I took this photo. If you can see it enlarged, you can see the rain as it pummeled everything.
Hope you are having a beautiful fall so far, wherever you are!
Kat  =^,^=

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hold Calls, We Have a Winner!

I wrote the name of everyone who made a comment on the last post, which made each a and my husband chose the name and the winner is...

drum roll please...

Shelley Shockley, come on down! You are the newest contestant...uh, no, you are the proud winner of a very special personal favorite photo postcard from me! I hope that you really enjoy it. It is one that I took when my husband and I went traveling in a county in Southwest Virginia one beautiful afternoon, in the Heart of the Appalachian Mountains. We went on a pretty narrow gravel mountain road and I ended up taking 425 photos! And after reviewing them quickly, I only needed to delete two, so that should tell you how beautiful and special that day was for me, artistically. I don't want to spoil the surprise of her card, so I will refrain :)

Shelley has a website and it has tons of great stuff to explore!


PS please email me at ArtyKat (at) me (dot) com to give me your address :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Liberated My Art! Plus a GIVEAWAY

I participated In the Liberate Your Art postcard exchange , and it literally changed my life. Here is the link to what I am referring, and on that page you will find a video of all the postcards exchanged. Mine is there (one of 2 that I sent) at about 2:48 - it is a photo of three teasels (sort of looks like a thistle) and I will post the photo here soon.

Click on this link:
All about the Exchange

This postcard exchange literally changed my life! My friend, Kathryn Hall, who was also a participant in this exchange, told me about it and encouraged me to join. I am a retired woman who used to be so very creative even when I was swamped with work, and my private practice, and raising a family. However, when I became disabled, and actually HAD the time to be as creative as I wanted, I had lost interest due to multiple physical challenges and fighting depression due to being housebound for eight years (no longer, since November, thank God). My precious friend (more talented than any one person I have ever seen!) knew that the creativity was still inside of me, and she had been trying to coax it out. This was one of her various ways of trying to do just that.

I signed up but didn't really quite understand what I was getting into, and didn't put my all into it. Yes, I made my requisite five postcards from photos that I had taken, but there were surely better ones that I could have chosen - or maybe one of my watercolor paintings would have been better to photograph and use. Anyway, the postcards started coming and I was absolutely BLOWN away by the quality of art! But even more, this community of artists welcomed me with open and embracing arms, and I've needed friends and like-spirited fellow artists in my life SO MUCH. They changed my life by encouraging me and including me even though they didn't know me from Eve.

Kat, of Kat Eye Studio, is a wonderful encourager and human being, and I'm going to be following her from now on... where she leads, I'll follow!

Here are the postcards I received... one apparently got lost in the mail, as it never came :(

This first one was by Angela Vular

This one is by Elaine Millar

This is by Lisa Wright (the one to the left)

The one to the left is from Eliz Burton

And the last one, from the Host, Kat Sloma

I am holding a contest GIVEAWAY! If you leave a comment below, you will be entered in a contest to win one of my (better) postcards! I will draw out the winner's name on September 30th, and announce it so the winner can message me with their contact information. Good luck!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Fall is here... August isn't even over!

Everywhere that one looks in my area, one will see the leaves either falling or scattered upon the ground. It is shocking to me that it was only August 23 when this photo was taken and yet the trees and foliage show signs of it being much later in the season.

I love autumn - I used to say it was my favorite time of the year until I moved here to Appalachia. Here, EVERY season is the most beautiful season.

From now on, every photo I take holds a special sadness and preciousness to me, as we have come to the realization that we must move back to Kansas soon. Our medical needs have increased and we have no family here to help us if one of us is hospitalized or worse. My husband just came home from the hospital (two hours away) after his kidneys started to fail and it was discovered he had a blood clot in his leg.

We don't actually have the funds to move yet, though the need is quite urgent. My daughter and elderly sister live where we are moving, and so we won't be alone. I am going to be listing a paypal account where friends and those who appreciate my blogs can send even a dollar to help us. It is important that we leave as soon as we can, as the snow and ice is on its way soon.

If you are interested in helping, go to and enter any gift to this address: We are traveling 1000 miles with just the two of us, and both of us are "older" and both of us are disabled.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Post You Might Like To See

I'm not able to post all the photos here that I wanted to, and there are many that I wrote about in another blog... so I am sharing that public post. I'm sorry that I had to do it this way, however, here it is! If I  could post easily to my blog here from my iPhone, I'd do that, believe me!

Also, I have this to add:
Just today, we have made the tentative decision to move away from this area. I am 
 intensely grieving the loss of this beauty, but there are such outstanding benefits to leaving that it simply must be done. I'll explain later when I am able to do so. These photos I've taken will be all the more precious to me if we do move. I'll find beauty wherever I go, though, that is a promise I have made to myself. I will be posting photos no matter what!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Cabin at the Edge of the Woods

This cabin that is now uninhabited has captured my heart. I am formulating either a novel, short story or poem about it. It screams "Appalachian" to me. I hope to do a notecard series of all four seasons, and maybe other weather conditions, centered round this cabin. I have taken photos of this cabin before, as you'll see if you look at previous posts.

At the Edge of the Woods

At the Edge of the Woods by Quilter Bear
At the Edge of the Woods, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

What springs to your imagination as you see this photo?

Friday, July 27, 2012

BlogHer at Home Giveaway #1: The BlogHer ’12 Swag Bags!

I would like to let you know that BlogHer, a group of women I am a part of and an organization that I stand behind, is holding a giveaway sweepstakes? Just go to the following site to find out more info! Good luck (but I am TOTALLY gonna win this thing LOL)

Monday, July 23, 2012

My guys

My guys by Quilter Bear
My guys, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

Bear and I were watching a movie and Milo was getting into mischief, so Bear tucked him inside his sweatshirt. He liked the warmth and coziness so much, he just stayed there!

But, as you can see, Bear started getting sleepy due to all the kitty purring and warmth, and had to go take a nap halfway through the movie!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Milo,seeing himself on my phone camera! :)

Milo watched himself in the screen of my iPhone while I took photos of him close up. He was fascinated, and even reached out to try to touch the screen once!

Taken on July 12, 2012

Taken on July 12, 2012 by Quilter Bear
Taken on July 12, 2012, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

Another Hibiscus. It was raining when I took this shot!

Hibiscus in bloom

Hibiscus in bloom by Quilter Bear
Hibiscus in bloom, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

This is a flowering bush that is in bloom around our neighborhood. I've seen white and this beautiful pink so far. If this isn't hibiscus, please let me know!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Our new baby... it's a boy!

We have yet ANOTHER new member of the family! Both Bear and I have had kitten fever the last few days, but hadn't said anything about it to one another. We have been visiting a neighbor down the street who has 17 cats in all, including her renter who lives in the downstairs part of her 2 story duplex. She also has a dog that is half coyote! She is the most lovable thing, though we were scared of her at first when she had escaped from the fenced-in yard. She met us in the road, and we were afraid she'd attack Bella. Au contrair (oops, forgot how to spell that!) - she came up to Bella wagging her tail and being friendly and BELLA was the one who was on guard. They made friends immediately, however, and now we visit her, the cats, and the woman who owns the house (and the renter, too!) quite often. We even know most of the cats by name now. There are two litters involved, at different ages, and several adults.

Well, I was even contemplating asking if we could have one of the kittens. I'd not discussed it with Bear, mainly because I was sure he would be against it. Yesterday, there was a little kitten who looked so much like Sylvie at the fence between Jay and Cari's yard and ours. Cari picked it up and brought it to us to cuddle. I wanted it right then and there, but said nothing.

Tonight, after our nightly excursion with the dogs (we take a route that goes to the end of a road near us, well, to the place it changes to gravel anyway - it is a mile round trip), we were coming near to that house with the many cats. It is actually on the corner of the road we live on and the one we take to the end of the pavement and back. As we neared the house, there was that little Sylvie look-alike! It followed me/us to the corner, where I turned into the little parking area for the house. Out came the neighbor, who I'll call Missy, and she gave me a paper with her name and number on it. I had given her one of our cards a couple of days ago with our phone number and email, etc. She told us she would pick up anything we needed on her way home any time, as she is out and about every day.

I told her the little kitten had followed us home the night before, after our excursion (better word than "walk"), and she said "oh, that's not one of mine!" I said, "well, we really like it it." Bear said something to the effect that we were going to take it home! I looked at him and nodded. Yay, we still think alike sometimes!

I asked her to pick it up for me, and to see if she could tell the gender. A male, definitely a male (I looked to confirm it and yes, he is). Good! They are cheaper to neuter! So home he came, and he still doesn't have a name. We are hoping for suggestions! He is actually not a pure tuxedo like Sylvie, but a tuxedo/tabby mix, as you can see the stripes through the black. There is some white under the black (like the thick, soft undercoat) on his neck, so it makes it look like he has gotten into flour or powder on the back of his head and neck.

NOTE: we have a name! Stormy Milo, and we'll probably call him Milo most often.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A gladioli

A gladioli by Quilter Bear
A gladioli, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

A gladioli (sp?) that I saw growing in a yard near our home... just a single stalk, but beautiful.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wild berries are the sweetest

There are wild black raspberries all over our neighborhood's back roads, and oh, are they deliciously sweet... when ripe. If not, they are so sour! The only way to tell if they are ripe is if you pull slightly on the berry and it falls off. It can be very dark, but unless if pulls off easily, it is NOT good to eat.

ask my how I know!

My Bella Boo

My Bella Boo by Quilter Bear
My Bella Boo, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

Bella loves her kitty balls, squeaky tough rubber toys that have a squeaker inside. She has two pink ones (she knows them ONLY as "pinkkittyball" and won't respond to "ball" or "kitty ball"), which are her favorites, and an orange one (as seen in the photo). She knows the difference in color, and prefers different kitty balls on different days - rarely the orange one, but today was a rare day.

The squeakers are all either pushed into the toy, or barely squeak. She LOVES squeakers, but her obsession causes her to chew to try to get at them and thus ruining the very thing she loves.

these balls have a big kitty head and a small round body and tiny feet (she has the head in her mouth).


  by Quilter Bear
, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

Our newest addition, Mimi Mimsy Moo has decided she wants to cuddle up next to the cat, Sylvie. This was definitely new for him, but they did lie there side by side (Sylvie is actually in the dog bed shared by Mimsy and Bella, alternatively) with Mimsy on a dress that I'd just taken off and was going to put in the wash.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Clouds have settled upon the mountain

I love how it looks on the mountain behind us, RICH MOUNTAIN is the name, when there is a storm or fog. The clouds often descend and make the mountain invisible!

Kitty running away

Kitty running away by Quilter Bear
Kitty running away, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

Kitty running away from us on Meadow Street. May be a feral cat, but was really pretty. Bella was very disappointed that it left so fast. We were out in the evening, something we do every night (unless raining or too near to a storm), when we turned on this road to look for raspberries. This kitty was there, and this is it running away when we got closer.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

She came to us as a rescue on May 30, 2012

This is a photo that I created on an app I have on my iPhone (free, too!),

Bear in the evening

Bear in the evening by Quilter Bear
Bear in the evening, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.
The temps have been extremely high for this area, in the upper 90's, which has led to us staying inside a lot. Tonight, we went out for a good long ride (we go every day, but usually are outside more), and found an apple tree full of small tart apples (crabapples?). There were many on the ground with one big bite out of each, about the size a deer would leave if they tasted it. Guess they didn't like them!

Apples in Appalachia

We saw three deer racing across the field near our street, and they were just beautiful. I didn't catch them on the camera, though. :(

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sylvie, our Tuxedo Cat

Sylvie, our Tuxedo Cat by Quilter Bear
Sylvie, our Tuxedo Cat, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

Very loving, sweet Mama's boy of a cat. He came to us four years ago, horribly wounded and close to being put down several times due to his spinal injuries. He lost his tail in the ordeal, but not his love and affection. A personality bigger than HE is, and friendly to all who enter our home or live nearby.

Mimsy Moo

Mimsy Moo by Quilter Bear
Mimsy Moo, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

Mimsy Moo asleep on her Daddy's chest while he was lying on the bed one morning. I love this picture!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Went for a walk...

Bear and the girls by Quilter Bear
Bear and the girls, a photo by Quilter Bear on Flickr.

and when I say "walk" I do mean a ride in our motorized wheelchairs, or "Jazzy" chairs, or even as some people say, "scooters." A scooter has a basket on the front, but what my hubby and I both have are medically indicated motorized wheelchairs. He has to use it instead of going on long walks, and I have to use mine all the time except from the living room to the bedroom/bathroom. If I want to go to the studio (still in process) on the other side of the kitchen, I have to use my Jazzy.

ANYway... the walk was lovely. The weather was a wonderful, perfect 72 degrees (f) and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Here is a photo taken as we started on the favorite long walk (the girls love it because they can get long runs, and possibly sniff deer or other wondrous critters).

This is a photo of Bear with the girls (Mimsy, our newest addition, and Bella). He had turned around to face me while waiting for me to catch up!