Familiar Oddlings is going to be on Patreon!

I’m putting together a Patreon page where you can support me making oddlings — and get some cool exclusive stuff while you’re at it!

Familiar Oddlings will launch on Patreon on February 20th

But what is Patreon, you ask?

Patreon is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, with ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons.”

 

What will Familiar Oddlings on Patreon be like?

When you become a patron for Familiar Oddlings, you get a chance to win a custom felted snonkey!

Green Banana Snonkey, needle felted

Everyone who signs up as a patron will be entered into a snonkey giveaway. When we reach 50 patrons, I will randomly draw the name of the winner, who will get to choose what kind of snonkey they want.

Some of the prints available

And that’s just the beginning! There will be all sorts of other cool things, like exclusive photos and videos of my work in progress, prints, and even a discount in my etsy shop. You’ll also get to participate in polls to help me figure out what type of oddling to make next.

Why am I doing Patreon?

There are so many projects that I wish to pursue, so many new oddlings I want to felt, and even a book I’m working on illustrating in crayons. With your support and feedback, I could bring these projects to fruition. Having you all at my back will give me the courage to step beyond my comfort zone, learn new skills, and ultimately bring more oddlings into the world!

To be honest, I am both terrified and thrilled about this new step for Familiar Oddlings. I feel like I’m taking my first wobbly steps as newborn giraffe. All gangly and awkward and eager to get moving.

Thank you to everyone for being part of this exciting journey with me!

Remember, February 20th is Familiar Oddlings Patreon launch day!

Sketch: Anemones and Oppossum

I don’t post sketches often because I find it’s important for me to have a few little projects that are purely for me. No pressure. No expectation. Whatever I feel moved to make, nothing purposeful beyond simply relaxing with the page in front of me. This is important for my mental health and my sense of inspiration. Today, however, I’d like to share one with you.

I drew this in my little 5″ x 8″ sketchbook. Just drawing things that make me smile. I hope it makes you smile today too.

Kaleb Sleeping Portrait

I drew a crayon portrait of my twin sister’s oldest child, Kaleb, for Christmas. This spirited little one is such a fantastic bundle of energy, it’s these rare quiet moments that catch me by surprise and squeeze my heart even tighter. I adore this guy.

He turned three on December 30th.

Kaleb Asleep in Crayola crayons on illustration artboard

Paul and Andrew Portraits

For Christmas this year, I made crayon portraits of my two nephews on my husband’s side of the family. These adorable little guys are the sparkle in the family! Paul is three years old and Andrew will be two in February.

Portrait of Andrew, Crayola crayons on illustration artboard
Portrait of Paul, Crayola crayons on illustration artboard

 

I’m so happy to have them in my life. And on December 26th we welcomed a brand new little nephew into the family! I’m looking forward to drawing another portrait for baby Tyler.

Wintry Wishes

There’s nothing like a soft snowfall in the quiet of a wintry forest… Here is a quote from Lewis Carrol that expresses that cozy feeling in the midst of the harshness of winter:

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

Snow owls are one of my favorite birds of all time and I’ve been wanting the challenge of drawing something that blends so adeptly into its surroundings. Attempting to illustrate snow, or anything white really, is in fact all about color. You have to go into the project with a definite color scheme in mind because those shadows and lights are full of the rainbow! Crayons are perfect for this kind of illustration.

You can purchase a card of this snow owl drawing in my etsy shop! DIGITAL DOWNLOAD – Snow Owl Card

 

Snow Owl, Crayola crayons

 

Spooky Desert Bookmark

It’s that creepy time of year again! I love curling up with a good book and a warm cup of tea on these autumn days. I recommend anything by Nnedi Okorafor, if you’re on the lookout for a great read. Her words flow in and around you like brisk wind through naked trees. And if you’re getting ready to settle in for a good reading session, you might need a bookmark to fit the mood. I made this week’s crayon drawing into a bookmark with a quote from Nnedi Okorafor.

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Spooky Desert, Crayola crayons
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“If you spend enough time in the desert, you will hear it speak.” – Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death.

You can download my Spooky Desert Bookmark on etsy.

Check out these other bookmarks in my etsy shop Familiar Oddlings.

My Parents’ 50th Anniversary

I am proud to celebrate my parents’ fiftieth anniversary this year. They have been through so much together. They have literally traveled the world together while raising five human beings, supported each other through hard losses, like the passing of my grandparents, and discovered themselves and their wildly different personalities together. It is hard to wrap my mind around. They are an inspiration to me.

My siblings coordinated to give them tickets to Hawaii, a place that, in all their travels, they have never visited together. I am so excited for them!

I illustrated a card for them and my wonderful word-smith husband composed a very moving and poetic commemoration inside.

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Naupaka Flowers, Crayola crayons on illustration artboard 9 in. x 12 in.

I used crayons to depict the naupaka flower, also known as the half-flower. They are found all over the islands, one variety thriving on the beaches, another in the mountains. There is a Hawaiian legend about two star-crossed lovers who end up turning into these separate varieties, each a half of the other. I wanted to show how different they are, one with spiny leaves, the other with smooth-edged leaves, and yet bring them together, almost as if they are gazing lovingly into each other’s faces.

Using crayons to make the tone reminiscent of Hawaiian print fabrics was very fun and satisfying.

I also baked them a cake! The first romantic cake they ate together was a red velvet recipe my mother got from her mother. I used that same recipe and cut the cake into “50” to mark the occasion. I had never carved a cake before so I was nervous.

I baked macarons to go on top of the cake as a pretty decoration, like I’d seen on Pinterest. I’d never tried to make these before either. I’m glad they turned out tasty and a bright pink, though strangely small and all with little spikes on top. The roses are from the rose bush right outside my parent’s front door.

50AnniversaryCake
50 Anniversary red velvet cake decorated with macarons, roses, and berries.

Everyone enjoyed eating the cake. My parents were very touched and they are eagerly awaiting their trip to Hawaii!

Happy Cephalopod Week!

Today is the final day of Cephalopod week 2018! I couldn’t miss it so here’s a special Friday blog post!

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Cuttlefish Stare, Crayola crayons

The cuttlefish is my personal favorite cephalopod, which is kind of like saying chocolate is better than pizza — I am so lucky to live in a world that has it all! All cephalopods are incredibly cool creatures! But if you absolutely HAD to choose, which would be your favorite? The always charismatic octopus? The cryptic nautilus? The huge-eyed squid? Tell me in the comments.

Happy Father’s Day

I hope you had a wonderful time yesterday celebrating the father(s) in your life, whether he is your brother, friend, son, in-law, grandpa, or simply your dad.

I used Crayola crayons to draw this father bat-eared fox and his kit. Not only are they adorable with those huge ears, these foxes have heartwarming family dynamics. There are many other examples of wonderful fathers in the animal kingdom as well that are fascinating to learn about. Marmoset monkeys, for example, are extremely devoted to their young. The large Rhea bird is also a diligent father who looks after his chicks with great care. Do you know of an animal father who takes a leading role in child care? Tell me in the comments.