Thursday, January 31, 2008

So long, thanks for all the fish!

Dolphin Play Bubble Rings - Click here for more blooper videos
This video makes me tear up while I smile in awe. So beautiful and amazing.

And on the topic of the brilliance of dolphins, this article talks about a very smart dolphin. You can read the whole article here if interested, but I will cut out the part that I found brilliant and very funny.

Dolphin researcher Pieter Arend Folkens tells this story: "Since trash can be dangerous to dolphins if ingested, some of the animals at Marine World Africa USA were trained to retrieve the trash and return it to the trainer for a reinforcement reward.

"A trainer would come out onto the floating stage and a dolphin would perform a tail stand with a piece of trash in its mouth. The trainer would then reward the dolphin with a bit of fish.

"One day the lead trainer went through the routine only to notice that the dolphin kept coming back with a piece of trash even though the tank appeared clean. The trainer asked a colleague to go below to the engineer's port to observe what the dolphin was doing when a trainer came out on the float. The trainer came out on the float and sure enough, the dolphin quickly showed up with a piece of trash and got his reward.

"The scam was revealed! This dolphin had established a savings account of sorts. He collected all the trash and stuffed it in a bag wedged in a corner of the tank near the intake of the filtering system. In there was paper, rope, and all sorts of trash. The amazing thing is that when he went to the bank he did not simply take a piece, rather he would tear a bit off to maximize the return.

"This behavior is particularly interesting because it shows that the dolphin had a sense of the future and delayed gratification. He had enough presence to realize that a big piece of trash got the same reward as a small piece, so why not deliver only small pieces to keep the extra food coming? He in effect had trained the humans."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Illustration Friday - Tales + Legends

Here is my submission for this weeks topic. So many wonderful Native American tales and legends, but I went with this one since it had a bird! See story below.

Thanks for visiting and leaving comments.

How Redbird Got His Color

Retold by Barbara Shining Woman Warren

Raccoon loved to tease wolf. One day raccoon teased wolf so much that wolf became very angry. Wolf began to chase raccoon through the woods. Raccoon, being the clever animal that he is, kept ahead of wolf.

Raccoon came to a river. Instead of jumping in the river, he quickly climbed a tall tree and peered over a branch to see what wolf would do next.

When wolf came to the river, he saw the reflection of raccoon in the water. Thinking that it was raccoon, wolf jumped in and tried to catch him. Wolf continued to search for raccoon for such a long time that he became so tired he nearly drowned. Finally, tired and exhausted, wolf climbed up the river bank and fell fast asleep. After a while, raccoon quietly climbed down the tree and slipped over to the sleeping wolf. While wolf slept, raccoon began to plaster the eyes of wolf with mud. Then when he had finished, raccoon ran off through the woods laughing to himself thinking of the clever trick he had played.

Later, wolf woke up. He began to whine, "Oh, someone please help me. I can't see. I can't open my eyes." But no one came to help him.

At long last, brown bird heard the cries of wolf. He flew over to wolf and landed on his shoulder. He said, "What's the matter Brother Wolf? Can I help you?" wolf cried, "I can't open my eyes. Oh, please help me to see again." Brown bird said, "I'm just a little brown bird but I will help you if I can." wolf said, "brown bird, if you can help me to see again, I will take you to a magic rock that oozes red paint. We will paint your feathers red."

Brown bird began pecking away at the dried mud on the eyes of wolf. Soon wolf could open his eyes again. True to his promise wolf said, "Thank you, my brother; now jump up onto my shoulder." Away they ran through the woods to the rock that oozed red paint.

When they came to the rock, wolf reached up and plucked a twig from a tree branch. He chewed the end of the twig until it was soft and pliable like the end of a paint brush. Then he dipped the end of the twig into the red paint and began to paint the feathers of bird, red.

When all of his feathers were red, bird flew off to show his family and friends how beautiful he was. That is why, from that day to this, you can see to red bird flying around the woods in Cherokee country.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bunny Trio Bag

I am working on making more reusable bags for grocery shopping. I have a couple I made a while back, but I want something stiffer. This didn't turn out much stiffer, but it is thick! In the Bend-the-Rules book it suggests using cotton flannel for inner lining, I didn't pay attention to which fabric I grabbed and used white fleece - no wonder it is thick as a blanket! So I might end up taking it apart and reusing the pieces for another bag. That ISN'T what I meant when I said "reusable bag" by the way. *sigh* :)

But the fun part was I got my illustration on the front to see how those inkjet transfers work - they work good! Overall, good learning experience.

Monday, January 28, 2008

You Make My Day!

I received the "You Make My Day" award from the very sweet and talented Christine Clemmensen. How flattering. This really made my day, thank you, thank you! :)

"You make my day-Award" works like this:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the "You Make my Day Award" logo with a link to the post that I wrote. (Optional)
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

My list of bloggers that make my day:
My Place over the Hill
- Alicia Padrón
Red Dog and Jude - Danielle McDonald
Sheree Boyd
Pickledog - David Sones

I really could go on and on. You should see my Google Reader, it is loaded with amazing blogs that I like to keep up on.

You all make my day!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Snow day!

Look what we woke up to this morning! We haven't had snow like this since January 1, 2004. I love snow and miss it dearly. Though I do not miss having to leave for work 15 minutes early, or scrape ice from the window shields, or get in a frozen car and let it run for 5-10 minutes to warm up - yah, none of that I miss. I do miss waking up to a bright, white world and see it reflect light in through the windows, bundling up and venturing outside to play in it, ultimately ending in snuggling up inside watching it float down from the sky as it covers the world in a fluffy blanket of white.

Now off to do a little baking...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

First Zipper Pouch

I decided to clear off the clutter from my art/sewing table and make a zippered pouch. I have been wanting to make these for quite a while now. I have read several tutorials and it is pretty straight forward. For the pouch I did tonight I ended up combining several tutorials. This one and this one. Still new to sewing these are a great project for beginners, even though the zipper scared me at first, it really is pretty easy.

Isn't that inside fabric so cute!? I love it and the colors are lovely.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A good day

It was a very nice day, cold but the sun was out, so one of those nice winter days that I always love. We got an early start with a few meetings, then we went and saw Juno which I would highly recommend to anyone. Great humor and fantastic cast - definitely one to check out on DVD at least. I got some Pad Thai with Tofu for lunch from my favorite Thai restaurant and then drove to look at a couple sustainable homes that have been built in the area. Very cool!

I have a hard time posting without including some sort of image - I'm a visual type person after all. So the picture below is from an aquarium we went to this summer.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Doodle Dee - Spaceman

I'm sharing a fun doodle I did last night.

I have tomorrow off - yippy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Favorite Pixar Short Film

My mother sent me a dvd of Pixar short films for my birthday (I accidently opened it early!). So I crawled in bed early and watched all of them while doodling and playing with the cats.

This is my absolute favorite short film of theirs, followed closely by Bounding, For the Birds and Jack-Jack Attack. I just love everything they make. The little girl is so cute and the humor of the film just cracks me up every time. She really shows them.

One Man Band

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pretty Stamp

I love stamps, and stickers, and obnoxiously cute band-aids, and.. woops went off on a tangent there, but I think you get the point - I like cute, sticky things.

So I recently saw these pretties on the US Post site and will have to pick up a couple of sheets. I love putting a unique stamp on any envelope I send out. I don't just use any, I really think about who I am sending it to and what they might like. Though I do have those regular ole flag ones for bills. :)

Monday, January 21, 2008


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sweet Sam

I worked on this condolence card illustration today for a friend whose dog died on Friday. She sent me a picture a while back, so I tried to replicate him as best as I could.

Here is how it turned out.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Illustration Friday - Plain

Plain and simple for my IF submission.

Thanks for visiting and your comments.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I love...

I got these cool animal magnets this week at one of my favorite local gift shops, Letterhead. The fox is my favorite! I went and looked at the artists site, Matthew Porter, he has other cool stuff and a shop. He also has a new blog.

I want the robot magnets next!

I am in the middle of a few projects and should have something to share this weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Poppy corn and a movie...

I love watching a movie with a big bowl of popcorn and my sketch book in hand so I can draw while watching. Tonight is that night. I got the movie Once, due to Mushroommeadows recommendation. I was excited to see it arrive and am off to watch it and draw. I hope everyone has a nice evening as well.

(update: Great movie. Wonderful music. Wow!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Last Day

A co-worker's last day is tomorrow - she has been working at the studio for 16 years. I made her favorite cookie, macaroon dipped in chocolate and made a card from one of my Illustration Friday submissions she said she liked. I made up a box to take in for everyone to have some, but gave her three of her very own. I'm glad we had left overs for Chris and I. :)

Update: The macaroons were a huge hit. I heard "best macaroon I have ever had", so if you want to make them use the above recipe. I rotate the pans half way through the cook time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Illustration Friday - Stitch

.... Meet Stitch McGillicutty!

Stitch lives in a small, beautifully decorated burrow nestled in the side of Moss Mountain - somewhere in the Northwest. Stitch comes from a long line of magical Stitchers. Over the years, both hands have evolved to actual scissors and needles. As a group they stitch at an unreal speed, creating the most beautiful pieces and all you hear is a slight hum and tinkering of metal.

They are extremely shy and will only chat you up if you keep them intrigued by talking of sewing, knitting, or surgery. In the time that I illustrated this photo, Stitch created 9 striped scarves, 4 pretty plushies, 2 oversized overalls, and 1 blue bonnet for blue bird. What a treat!

Thanks for visiting. I look forward to reading your comments.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Popsicles's New Bedding

Tonight I finished making a new cushion for my Popsicle's bed. Her old one had seen its time and was due to be replaced. The cover is still in good condition, so I only needed to make the cushion.

• Good amount of muslin
• 1 1/2 bags of Fiberfil
• 1 old pair of sweatpants (cut into strips)
• 1 old shirt (cut into strips)

and voilá! She loves it!

The cats were circling us during the photo shoot - she really has to hold her ground to keep her bed - her eyes were jetting side to side while she held this position. It was pretty humorous.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What a Weekend...

It was a busy weekend with lots of home improvements - which is good and bad. As many of you know that means lots of mishaps, trips to the store, grunts, cuts, cussing, messes, tools everywhere, and so on. But the cats made sure to not let it get in the way of their daily schedule.

See! It is the basket that I made the cushion for a while back. They really do like it! :) ha.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

From Mushroommeadows

Yaya, I received my Pay it Forward stamp from Mushroommeadows today! I can be lazy about checking the mail on the weekends, but today I checked it twice just incase the handmade stamp arrived. It did! and it came with an additional speech bubble stamp - which I quickly put to use to show my appreciation :)

Mushroommeadows - I was really impressed with your stamp making skills - yours are very smooth and tiny. Mine always end up a bit jagged. Thank you, I love my gift!

The rules for Pay it Forward are:
Kindly give something to three other people, and in turn, these people give something to three other people. So paying forward acts of kindness to people who want to participate.

I am still thinking on what I will be paying forward. I will post soon on that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Little Fella

Sharing another of my little creations. I was playing around with noses and really liked this one, really adds some character.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Frump Bear

A doodle I did the other day and I just loved him. I have been thinking of a few projects and I think we will be seeing this frumpy bear again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Spiders Need Love Too

A new card in my shop for Valentine's day.

Shopper Girl Card in Shop

I am working on adding new cards to my shop. This is the shopper girl. More coming soon.

(pictured here with Hiker girl)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Doodle Dee

Monday, January 7, 2008

Oh Cookie!

I ended up baking this evening. It was one of those nights to take a break from the computer after work. It can be a bit over kill to work on a computer all day and then come home and do it more. I'm not complaining, because I love that I am busily creating things for myself when I get home, but some nights it is hard to do much on a computer and tonight was one of those nights.

It was a nice evening :)

(Chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I had some left over white chocolate chips, so I added those with semi-sweets. Oh, and did whole wheat flour instead of white.)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Doodle Dee - Simple

I turned off the background layer and decided I really liked this simplified version also. I love black and white with a bit of red.

Doodle Dee

The line at the bottom is actually part of the scan, it is the lines on the paper, but I kept it in since it worked so well as the water line.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

IF Submission - Colored Version

I originally did a colored version of the girl, but went to black and white for the full effect I was going for in the final piece for Illustration Friday.

Illustration Friday - 100%

Thanks for visiting and for your comments, I cherish every one of them.

Have a great day!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy Girl

Colored a doodle I did a while back. Not much time tonight.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Color Class

After getting inspired to use gouache again, I thought I would dig up some of my old design projects. This was a color study from my Color class. I remember this took a lot of time and was a really enjoyable project. My favorites are the newsprint and monochromatic.

Can you tell which famous actor it is?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Blogs I'm Loving

A few great blogs I have come across lately and definitely check it out on a regular basis now.

Willy-Nilly Waterlily - amazingly cute plush animals.

Lorena's Art Blog - unique style and very inspiring.

Alicia Policia - she makes me want to use gouache, I haven't since design classes.

The Illustrated Garden - amazing gardener and artist. I'm impressed by her detail.

Check them out, if you haven't already.

Doodle Dee

Something I doodled in my new journal during break at work today.

I've been feeling a bit sluggish lately on creating things. I always worry when I get in this funk, but I have been through it enough that I know I will come out of it. I am on the mend and the doodling posts are helping that along, as well as the new year.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Illustration Friday - Soar

A worm gets a chance to soar through the sky.

All the best to you for the new year!

Rough Version

Here is the scanned in version before coloring for my Illustration Friday submission.


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