Back in July 2019 (can we even fathom how long ago that was??) I took a vote from my patrons over at my Patreon page. It was decreed I’d needle felt a bowhead whale — AND a peacock spider. I made the bowhead a while back, but this guy has been languishing in my studio far too long. I am profoundly proud to finally announce his completion!
Peacock spider males are famous for their incredibly colorful abdomens, which some can unfurl like a banner for their mating dances.
He is a Maratus elephans specimen. Yes, the name is referencing the elephant-looking design on his flashy abdomen. The blue is sort of shaped like an elephant face with a trunk down the middle with ears off to the sides.
Real peacock spiders are tiny – some species are as small as 2.5 mm! My sculpture is about 135 mm long, or 5.5 inches.
He is needle felted wool over a thin wire armature. All his joints are easily articulated and even his display flaps can be folded down. His eyes are plastic hot glued in place.
The legs took hours and hours. There are so many, many, many legs.
↓ Move the slider to make him dance ↓
To get a peek behind the scenes of how I made this guy, join my PATREON!
You’ll also get other cool benefits, like a chance to win your own needle felted oddling and vote to decide on what I make next!
Head over to my PATREON page to become part of the team
It is so important for us white folk to open our ears and listen to the voices of Black people, Indigenous people, and POC.
This is a silly art project for a serious theme.
As white people, we can easily ignore other voices out of privileged ignorance. Let us know in the comments how you’re practicing listening to BIPOC voices in your life.
Lend Me Your Ears, my fellow white folks! I’m doing a series of white listening ears and I’d like to draw YOURS.
I need help. This is a community project.
I want to make at least fifty drawings, one daily for fifty days. If you’d be so kind to be part of the project, please send me a pic of your ear. This is about demonstrating the need to listen, not bragging that you are! I’ve gotten 18 ears so far and put them up on my instagram @familiaroddlings. Send me more ears and share this post!
To myBIPOC friends:
Don’t send me your ears. You’ve done SO much listening in your lives! Your thoughts, feelings, or ramblings about whatsoever you feel like putting out here, are welcome! I will listen.
And I WILL DRAW!!!
I’ll make some kind of representation for your comment and make it part of this series. It can be anything. If you have something in mind you’d like me to draw, let me know. If you’d just like to let off steam or anything, I’ll find a way to draw it.
If you are an artist yourself and would like to share it, I’d love to feature it here too!
I’ve been struggling with depression and fear and all those types of things, which I’m sure a lot of us have during this time. Moments that leave me without any inspiration at all. It’s been hard. My heart goes out to all of us struggling and those who are suffering the most.
I’m learning to let myself feel whatever it is that I’m feeling and not fight it. No judgement. Create when I can and not pressure myself to produce, produce, produce.
Lorises are adorable little primates with huge soulful eyes. Their round furry faces have “sad” eyebrow markings. They have tiny hands with five fingers, just like a human baby. They even at times appear to be asking for a hug or a tickle.
But they are not.
YouTube videos of these sweet faced animals lifting their arms and bearing their armpits have gone viral. We want to sweep the little darlings up in a cuddle. But most people don’t know that these critters are venomous and the arm lifted pose is in fact a sign of distress. They lift their arms to lick their inner elbows, where a special gland secretes venom. Their next bite is serious business!
The venom is only one reason why keeping a loris as a pet is a bad idea. They are taken illegally from their natural habitats in destructive ways, their teeth are removed in painful and often lethal procedures, and they are kept in small crowded cages. The stress of bright lights and transportation often kills them. And even if they survive the process of becoming a pet, once in human care, they are almost certainly malnourished. A diet of insects and tree gum is hard for humans to cater. Neither are they suited to human schedules – they are nocturnal and need solid chunks of sleep during the day. They also have complex social lives and need a mysterious combination of space and companionship that science is only just now starting to unravel.
If all those reasons aren’t enough, consider the fact that the pet trade is threatening the wild population of these animals.
I know what you’re thinking.
But they are so cute!
I know, I know.
We want to cuddle one, just one!
I hear you.
What if I told you there was a way to cuddle a loris and keep it in your home without harming it while ALSO helping lorises in the wild?
I made a chocolate cake for my nephew’s Octonauts themed party. It was a blast! (This is long overdue, as his birthday was back at the end of December, but better late than never.)
Devil’s food chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting inside is so yummy, this is the second time I’ve made it for his birthday cake. I also like to put chocolate bee bees in the cream cheese layers for extra chocolatey crunchies. The outside frosting is Swiss meringue buttercream.
Using the colorful meringue frosting, I piped out the corals, seaweed, and starfish and froze them a week ahead. Then the night before the party I simply placed them on the cake along with the toy characters. Such a time saver!
The “sand” is made from graham cracker crumbs mixed with finely chopped pecans. I couldn’t resist using Goldfish crackers for the cute fishes swimming around the cake.
I had my first “in person” art show at the Half Moon Bay Library on December 7th and 8th with the Colony of Coastside Artists. It was a blast! I had never met and spoken to so many people about my artwork – and they were all so supportive and kind! My husband, Nick, acted as my spokesperson when my shyness threatened to send me inside my shell and I was honored to make connections with so many fascinating people. I even got to hear an octopus story!
The library is gorgeous. The natural light from all the windows showed off our art beautifully. And the librarians were hospitable heroes! They made the entire event seamless and fun.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all the visitors who came, all the artists who participated, and all the library staff who helped pull off a wonderful show!