Drawing Whimsical Animals
Recently I had the opportunity to take a two-session class on drawing whimsical animals. Seeing as I can’t even draw a good stick figure, I felt a “whimsical” class would suit me better than taking a “realistic” animal drawing class. Besides, I feel whimsical animals are better suited to my mixed media pieces than realistic animals.
We worked on the basics like eye placement and how changing the eyes and eye brows can totally affect the mood portrayed by the animal.
After copying different animals the instructor provided, we worked on our first mixed media piece. The teacher asked that we include at least two animals and there be some kind of story between them. This is what I came up with.
Putting clothes on animals is a sure way to add whimsy. I even gave my rabbit red boots to wear with her flowered dress.
We had a week between classes so I practiced drawing all kinds of whimsical animals. Here are some of my practice pieces.
The second session had us copying one of the instructors pictures. The funny thing was, I thought her animal was a deer and my other classmate thought it was a rabbit. The teacher said it was actually a peacock. Since only the head was showing, we all saw it a different way. So our instruction was to copy her picture, but make the animal into what we wanted it to be. Here is just the head shot of my funny deer.
I had a lot of fun in that class and I am quickly filling up a journal with funny animal doodles. My goal is to create several animals in a style that is completely my own.
If you are in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. You can find the drawing whimsical animals class at Lord and Lilly’s, 611 Caroline Street, 540-371-1333.
Drawing whimsical animals or people is an ideal outlet for those of us who are stick-figure challenged!
Mixed Media Odds and Ends
Just a quickie post today as I don’t have too much to share.
I have been very busy lately with Mossy Cottage but I did manage to finish (I think) one page from my first attempt at Journaling by 5s by Shannon Green.
And here is an ATC (Artist Trading Card) I made for a challenge.
Well that’s all for this post. Hopefully I’ll have some time now to work on some more of my art journal pages. I’ll post them as I finish them. And if you haven’t tried journaling by 5s yet, what are you waiting for???
Junk on My Desk
I tend to be a really tidy person and like to keep my work surfaces somewhat clean. However, I seem to have a problem throwing out the little bits and pieces left over from my projects. I think I must have a
crow, hoarder, good steward gene that keeps me from wasting even the tiniest scraps.
As June is on the horizon, I have to get everything ready to start making my items for the Fall. A quick tidy up was called for. When most of my work table was cleared off, however, I was left with this….
I am a professional at making something out of nothing, however, even this pile did not have enough in it to make any decent projects. So I went to my trusty suitcase of scrap paper to supplement “the pile”.
I used these papers to cover the writing on the tags and provide a nice solid background.
Even though the background scraps didn’t fit perfectly, I was able to hide them with pictures cut from a calendar and the bits and bobs from my scrap pile.
I had fun decoupaging. cutting. gluing and snipping for an hour. And at the end of it all, my scrap pile had shrunk down to this…
Now this little pile can just be thrown away, right? Maybe if you are sane. I, however, have squirreled this little pile into a bowl on my desk in hopes to use it another day!
If anybody would like me to send them the little tags I made, I would be more than happy to pop them in the mail. The first person who lets me know they want them, by leaving a comment ON MY BLOG PAGE, can have them. See, I am able to get rid of some things after all!!!!
Up-Cycled Train Case
A couple of weeks ago I bought a huge pot of Mod Podge at the Re-Tail Thrift Shop run by Rikki’s Refuge. My last blog post shows how I up-cycled popcorn containers into a beautiful May Baskets. They turned out so well, I’m starting to use Mod Podge to up-cycle other items.
Following are a couple pictures of a well worn, bland blue train case that got the special Mod Podge treatment. I also bought this case at Re-Tail. Take a look at the transformation!
Now I have a feeling that nothing is going to be safe from my foam brush and Mod Podge. Martin, Adam and the cats had better keep moving or they might be next!!!
Autumn Vignettes My Way
It seems to me that we have been thrown into autumn this year. It is getting darker much earlier this October and the mornings are freezing, kind of like winter. Anyway, according to the calendar it is still autumn so I decided to show you some fall vignettes from around our house.
Here is the only normal autumn vignette in our house. The candle has a nice fall spice scent and the little owl book houses a big stack of post-it notes. Both of these lovely gifts were from my dear sister-friend Judy. Thank you Judy!
This is one of two bowls of green tomatoes Martin had to rescue from the garden due to the freezing nights.
Here is a scary vignette. It is on the small table in my studio. It’s a mix of finished, half-finished and not even close to being finished Christmas items.
And below that table sits these two lovely plastic totes filled with Christmas crafting supplies. And as you can see, those items that don’t fit in the totes I have carefully just thrown on the totes or on the floor somewhere close to the totes.
Even the elves in Santa’s workshop could not make a
mess vignette like this. Really Helen?
Here’s a little vignette in the laundry room of stuff I just purchased last week and am
too lazy too busy to get to. I guess there is no way Better Homes and Gardens Magazine would want to do a Fall layout of our house. But I have a valid excuse. I have to stock my shop and have several Christmas shows all in November. This means lots of crafting, sorting, packing and messes. But for those of you who get to come to my shop and shows you will see it is all worth it.
And last but not least, I am saving the best Autumn display for last. Drum roll please……..
YES! It is Holly and Louie snuggled up together to stay warm on a cold afternoon. This is the only vignette in our house that I cannot claim any responsibility for!
A True Tail Tale
Yesterday morning at 6am one of my wildest nightmares came true. You see, I like to get up early on weekends and enjoy that peaceful time of day. I love to get a cup of coffee and look at Pinterest for a while. Yesterday was no different…to begin with. I went downstairs to get my coffee and Louie was at my feet. It was still dark and Holly ran in the kitchen to greet me not aware that Louie was right there. Now don’t get me wrong, they have made great strides in the “getting used to each other” phase, but they’re not quite there yet. The hissing began much to my chagrin. This one…
is clueless that this one….
doesn’t always want him in her face. So Holly backed up onto the hearth (behind her in the picture) and got to close to this…..
It’s hard to see in this picture, but there is a pilot light on in this gas fireplace. Do I really need to tell you the rest of the story??? You guessed it. Her beautiful tail went right into the pilot light and started to fry. Her hair is so long that she was oblivious when her tail ignited in a great big pouf! When she did feel the heat she darted out of the fireplace. She thankfully ran by me, flaming tail and all, so I could bend down and extinguish it with my hands. This is how her beautiful tail looked post trauma…
Well Holly seems to be none the worse for the wear and it was not much later that I took this picture of her with Louie….
Now when we first got Holly I noticed she was a very curious kitty, and still is. I told Martin that one day she would catch herself on fire because she would get too close to the fireplace. He told me it would never happen. I am going to use all the restraint I can muster and not say those four words nobody wants to hear!!! Anyway, I can laugh at my flaming kitty today because I know she is alright. Yesterday morning I was a little shaken though, so to get over it I gave myself extra Pinterest time. All better!!!
The Big Meet and Greet
By now most of my readers know who this is….
But do you know who this is?
This is Louie our new cat rescue. We got him from the Caroline County Humane Society. He is 4 years old and his previous owner had to go into a nursing home. We got Louie for Holly because she really needs someone to play with and to keep her company when we’re gone all day. We had him upstairs for a couple of days to get used to us and his new house. Friday afternoon we felt it was time to introduce Holly and Louie.
Here they are checking each other out for the first time.
Louie ran behind the door and Holly followed him. You can just see his little nose sticking out from behind the door.
Then she followed him back out.
Louie went back in and started checking out her litter box. This is probably the cat equivalent of people looking in other people’s medicine cabinets.
Then Holly watched Louie.
And Louie watched Holly.
After a while they ended up in the sun room “tolerating” each other. And they all lived happily ever after……NOT!
Yesterday morning, just when we thought they were getting used to each other, they got into an all out scuffle with claws and scratching and hissing and me becoming a nervous wreck. Everyone says, “Oh, they’re just figuring out whose boss” etc…And things like, “It will only take a couple of days, or months, or years for them to establish the pecking order”. Huh? We got Louie to be a friend for Holly to play with and cuddle. What I got is a bad case of nerves. I am walking on egg shells hoping they don’t run into each other. At this point I’d be happy if Louie just stayed upstairs where he seems happiest and Holly stayed downstairs where she is happiest. Holly is scared now and stays hidden. Louie comes downstairs, walks around once and goes right back upstairs. Somehow this is not what I pictured getting another cat would be like.
What I need is my dear readers to reassure me that 1) this is totally normal. 2) this will end tomorrow and 3) they will fall deeply in love and we will all live happily ever after!!!!
Fifty for Rosalie
If any of you are my friends on facebook you have seen pictures of an extremely abused dog named Rosalie. Thankfully, the saints at He’Art of Rescue haven’t given up on trying to save her. Rosalie’s story has really made an impact on my heart and I just grieve over the cruelty someone could subject this beautiful creature to. To read her story and see her picture you can go to this link:
You can also get updates on her status on that site.
Our family made a donation to help pay for Rosalie’s care, however, it is only a small drop in a big bucket. I decided to make fifty pins to sell on Rosalie’s behalf. These pins have thin wood bases and simple roll back pins.
Each pin is unique. The pictures are sanded on the edges, inked for a slightly “aged” feel and sealed. I have chosen many different themes to chose from, so there is something for everyone!!!! They would look great pinned on your jeans jacket, hat, scarf , knapsack or Spring sweaters! Ordering instructions are at the bottom of this post.
These pictures are not so great, but I assure you the pins are! The colors are much brighter and prettier in real. If you click on the pictures to enlarge them, you will get a closer look at the details.
As these pins are all unique, sales will be first come, first serve AS MONEY IS RECEIVED. I’m sorry, but I feel time is of the essence and I don’t want to “reserve” pins and then not get Rosalie’s money. You may pay through Paypal to my account at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you live close to me, you can contact me through facebook and we can arrange a meeting and you can pay by cash or check. The pins cost $2.00 each. Shipping within the 48 contiguous United States is $3.00 (no matter how many you order) and $6.00 everywhere else (no matter how many you order). If there is an excess left over from shipping costs, I will put that in with Rosalie’s donation. I am donating 100% of the sales of these pins to that precious dog! If you don’t know me personally you may check out my Etsy shop: MossyCottage. I am a reputable seller on Etsy and Ebay (Mossy Cottage).
Please help save Rosalie by chipping in for her mounting hospital costs. One person can’t make much difference, but together we can help change Rosalie’s life!!!