Lorisnail meets new friends

My Lorisnail character meeting some new friends…

LorisnailDolomedes_web
Lorisnail and Dolomedes Spider
LorisnailGiraffe_web
Lorisnail and the Giraffe
LorisnailPangolin_web
Lorisnail and the Pangolin

These were a birthday set for my two sisters and my friend. We all have summer birthdays and it’s fun to make gifts that go together. I love the three of you so much! You are like my cavalry — I know you’ve all got my back! Thank you for being in my life.

Simple pencil drawings have a special charm. I like to imagine them inside an old little book, one that has the title written in tiny gold font on the spine. And it’s got that kind of musty, sweet smell. Ahh, old books are the ultimate comfort.

Anyway, some day I will write (and illustrate) the Lorisnail story. And all of you here will be the first to know about it!

 

If you’d like to help me get closer to my artistic goals, please consider becoming a patron and supporting me on my patreon page:

Familiar Oddlings on Patreon

Getting Organized

I finally have flat storage for my artwork!

FlatArtStorage2

This is a huge milestone in my life. I have wanted flat storage for ages and never had any. My artwork has been folded, tucked into sketchbooks and paperpads, rolled, and stacked in horrible places for years. I even had a mold/mildew incident!

This set of ten drawers is a miracle! I found them for free — someone in the neighborhood was clearing out their barn. I couldn’t believe my luck!

I jumped in the van and provided vague directions to my husband up a narrow twisty road to the old barn. The drawers were much bigger than I had imagined. We somehow wrestled them into the back of the van — they just barely fit! We had less than an inch clearance.

Getting them into my bedroom was a herculean task. Big thanks to my husband, Nick, who helped me orchestrate the dismantlement, re-assembly, repeated dismantlement, and final re-assembly. Dad, Mom, and my twin sister all pitched in too. I needed all hands on deck to get this thing figured out. Thank you all! I would still be crying on the floor without your guys’ help!

Now I can simply open a drawer and place my finished work inside. It is a REVELATION! I feel so liberated!

Unicorn Cakes

For my nieces’s first birthday party, I made unicorn cake! And a little unicorn smash cake for her.

UnicornCakes

It was really fun to make these. The ears and horns were made using a gingerbread house recipe. I made extra horns for fear they would break. Ha! That gingerbread is so tough it was hard to bite into them!

The ears were coated in white chocolate colored lightly with red food coloring. The horns were wrapped in store bought caramels that had been rolled into “snake” shapes. Once the “spiral” looked good, my husband then sprayed them with edible pearl paint.

The eyes and little heart on the back are melted dark chocolate. I dipped a toothpick into the melted chocolate and drew the shapes onto wax paper and chilled them in the freezer.

The flowers were made ahead of time, frozen, then placed on the cake the night before the party.

It was hummingbird and spice cake in alternating layers with a cream cheese cinnamon frosting inside. The outside is my favorite frosting: vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. So smooth and fluffy!

This was my first time attempting the rainbow swirled frosting effect. It was fun! I’ll definitely be doing it for more cakes.

Everyone said it was delicious.

Lula at the Park

My beautiful niece turned one in June!

LulaPark_web

To celebrate her coming into our lives, I made a Crayola crayon portrait of this beautiful soul. She has the sweetest hugs! She has given us more love, more joy, and more DANCING than we know what to do with!

Keep dancing, you sparkling star!

 

If you’d like a look into how I made this fine art portrait using crayons, take a look at my patreon page:

Familiar Oddlings on Patreon

Tweed the cat

Some months ago, I received a custom order for a pet memorial of this lovely, lovely fellow:
TweedRefPhoto

It was an honor to make such a meaningful piece. I needle felted wool over a pipe cleaner armature, used small glass eyes, and made the whiskers from fishing line glued in place with superglue.

_TweedChair_TweedChair2

_TweedCollar
I made a removable collar like the one in the photo reference.
_TweedFace
Such unique facial markings!
_TweedFeet2
My initials on the belly, lost in the fur.
_TweedinWindow
I was told he had a funny habit of sitting on top of vases and pots. What a silly!

_TweedSide

If you would like to see some of the process that went into making this needle felted oddling, wander over to my Patreon page where I show many, many photos of the different stages and changes I made as I worked:

Familiar Oddlings on Patreon

The Universe is Folded

“Dost thou reckon thyself only a puny form

When within thee the universe is folded?”

Crayola crayons

 

This quote attributed to the Imam Alí by Bahá’u’lláh in The Seven Valleys has inspired me in my art ever since I first read it when I was a teenager. This drawing is just one of many that I’ve attempted at capturing a little of the feeling it gives me.

I’ve been working on this drawing on and off for many months. It’s been a kind of meditation piece for me. I’d put on my headphones, listen to sad music — or the music my husband is working on — and start coloring. Very soothing.

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!

Today is the first day of the Bahá’í holidays of Ayyám-i-Há! It runs from February 25th until March first.

Literally in Arabic, “Days of Há” (“Há” being a letter with the numerical value of five), are intercalary days — meaning days that fall outside the Bahá’í calendar year of 19 months, each of 19 days. They’re a special time for hospitality, feasting, charity, gift giving and spiritual preparation for the month of fasting to follow.

We have a lot of fun things planned over these four days, including cookie baking, puzzles, and a trail clean-up with my three-year-old nephew.

Help us kick off the festivities by downloading and coloring this page I drew for the Ayyám-i-Há party!

AyyamParty_web

To print a copy, click this link and download the pdf file: Ayyam-i-Ha Party coloring page_print

Please post your colored pages and let us all see!