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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I made mine from a Devil’s Food mix, adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I also used butter instead of the 1/3 cup of oil that’s called for on the back of the box. To be completely honest, my husband actually put the batter together for me at my direction as I was painting the dinosaur posters (see below). It’s always wonderful to get a little help with these things. This is the largest cake I have ever made. The inner layers are slathered in this chocolate cream cheese frosting with chocolate beebees scattered on top to give a surprise chocolaty crunch. The green frosting is a Swiss meringue buttercream, which I had never attempted before. I doubled this recipe, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, with all the hints and it turned out so delightfully that I will definitely be using it again. It’s so fluffy, flavorful, and smooth. Scrumptious! It was fairly easy to work with too. The eyes, teeth, and arms are sugar cookies that I cute out by hand, adding food coloring to the arms to match the frosting color. The tail and party hat are frosted ice cream cones — another brilliant suggestion from my husband. He’s a keeper! Mini M&M’s provided the spots of color. Everyone loved the cake.
My sister had a bunch of fabulous party activities planned. The ring toss Triceratops and bean bag eating T-Rex were a hit with the kids and adults alike. I had fun painting them, too.
She also had adorable dinosaur temporary tattoos and dinosaur toy party favors.
My husband caught these two holding hands. The party spirit had spread to everyone, I think.
Happy Birthday, Kaleb! And a Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2019 will be a wonderful year for us all.