Misc. Blatherings

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 0 No tags Permalink
misc. blatherings postcards

Time for some misc. blatherings. Can you believe we’re nearing the end of August? I did finish a sewing project, an altar cloth, for Mom. It has some decorative stitching on it. Work is a bit stressful now. I’m trying to chill out, but you know how that goes. Most of the time, I wish I was home painting.

I have been doing a little bit of painting. I’m not counting these, above, in my official paintings, so they don’t have numbers. They are small, postcard sized, trying out some new paper and new techniques. Again, I figure it is fair to show the things that aren’t working out so well and not just the good ones. Cousin Marlene sent me a pack of vintage postcards, including this one of cacti. The piece one on the left is in watercolor on watercolor postcard stock. The one on the right was my first attempt with soft pastels on sanded paper. It’s obviously not good. But, I think maybe I like pastels? Last night I started a bigger one, of the boat on the water images I did with watercolor and ink in the previous post. I don’t quite have all of the right colors but I think it’s coming together anyway. I’ll post it when it is done. It seems you need a bigger size piece for pastels, especially the Terry Ludwig variety as they are chunky.

I belong to a large number of facebook art groups. So many in fact, they are taking up all of my feed and with a lot of crap. So I have taken to hiding a lot of the artists from the groups as if it isn’t inspiring or I just don’t like that kind of art, why look at it? And horse paintings? Automatic hide. I would guess horse paintings are the number one subject for people just starting out in art. Why? I don’t care how good it is, when you’re done with it, it’s still a freaking horse.

Such sweetness of a sleeping beast. I had last Thursday and Friday off work to join an online MSU gardening conference and Maxy sure enjoyed having company on the couch. He really misses Bob during the day.

We’re going through another round of 90 degree days, so summer hasn’t quite given up yet. It’s been humid, too. I’ve had two migraines in the past week, and headaches every other day. At least we did get rain last night so the garden was saved from certain death by dehydration.

Ocqueoc Painting & Bird Updates

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 0 No tags Permalink

I continue on with my gouache odyssey with this latest painting. The reference image is a photo I took of the field from my Grandparents’ place back to the woods, taken when Mom and Kirsten and I were last up north. I am pleased with how it turned out. I wish I had more time to paint.

I have also been spending some time with bird photography. Above is the female oriole, and below is a cheeky robin. We had our first hummingbird on May 21, quite late this year. Next update should be the garden expansion. We are putting in a monarch butterfly way station.

New Paintings & Misc. Updates

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 0 No tags Permalink

The weather has been odd this May. The past few days have been incredibly cold, 20 degrees below average with freeze warnings. I have yet to plant anything at all. They are predicting a week from now it will be 84 degrees. So much for spring, right? In happier news, the orioles have returned. We have at least two couples and the males seem a bit territorial. The hummingbird feeder has been up the same amount of time, but no hummingbirds spotted yet. Everything is still shut down until the end of the month due to COVID-19.

This latest painting is a very small study in casein. A friend on Instagram had posted the photo of her cat and suggested it was worthy of a painting. It seemed to me to be a good opportunity to try out a new medium.

I painted this gouache from a photo I took last year of our garden for Mom for Mother’s Day.

Spring Birds

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 0 No tags Permalink

The spring birds are here, doing their thing. Above is a yellow-rumped warbler at the suet feeder in our backyard. I’ve not seen one of these before.

The bluebirds are already nesting at the shelter, with eggs in the nestbox.

So are the tree swallows. They are really pretty birds, and they are lovely in their flight patterns. They’re not shy of dive-bombing you if you get too close to the box, though.

Temperatures have been consistently colder than normal last week and this week, and predicted into next week as well. Today’s high should be 62, and we will top out around 42 instead. It looks like we will be tracking closer to normal the beginning of May. Things are still in lockdown for COVID-19, but we’re unsure when that will end. There is pressure on Governor Whitmer to open things back up here in Michigan. Not sure what will happen with the greenhouses at this point. Everything feels rather up in the air.

Dog Training Squeaks

Monday, March 21, 2016 0 No tags Permalink

Sewing for Dogs – Dog Training Squeaks

dog training squeaks

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a sewing project. This one is very quick and easy – dog training squeaks! At the shelter where I work, we do all positive-based training. Getting the attention of a dog and having it follow a specific behavior you’d like is easy if you have a bait bag (see project here), training squeaks and some patience. You can buy fancy squeaks or clickers at a pet store, but it’s so easy and cheap to make them yourself. First, you’ll need the squeak bit:

dog training squeaks

I got these on amazon (20 for $8, here).

dog training squeaks

I had some leftover (cat-themed) fleece from another project (bench covers for a large cat play pen. really.). I cut the fabric to fit, folded it on the half and sewed a curved line with a zigzag stitch. I finished off the edge with pinking shears as the fleece won’t fray. Some dogs really like chewing on a squeak, so it’s always good to have extras. And squeaks are FANTASTIC to get a pet’s attention when you want to take their photo. I keep a squeak in my purse and in each coat pocket. Also, think you don’t have a need for these if you have a cat? Think again! You can totally train your cat. Here are a few of my favorite cat training videos:

If you’ve trained your pet to do cute things via positive training techniques, post the link in the comments!

Like pet projects? More here:

Dog Belly Band Tutorial

Wet-Felted Cat Balls

Felted Catnip Christmas Trees

Happy 13th Birthday Maxy

Thursday, March 3, 2016 0 No tags Permalink

maxybirthday

Today is Maxy’s 13th birthday. He was found with his mother-cat, wandering the streets of Potterville, Michigan. He wound up at the Eaton County Humane Society. I saw his photo on petfinder.com, and we adopted him. If you have extra room in your heart, I encourage you to adopt a shelter pet. Maxy brings us so much joy.

Feline Friday

Friday, March 13, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

dewey yawns

Dewey is absolutely feelin’ Friday (Feline Friday) today.

Monday’s predicted high is 64, then we’re back in the 40s but it still feels like spring is on the way. In fact, I reported the first robin of spring today (check this site out…love them!). He was bobbing along Watkins Road as I drove to work this morning.

Lowe’s Kitty Litter

Thursday, March 12, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Lowe's Kitty Litter

Lowe’s Kitty Litter vintage ad from the September 1957 Home and Garden magazine.

Edward ‘Ed’ Lowe (July 10, 1920 – October 4, 1995) was the inventor of kitty litter. From Wikipedia:

“Before Lowe’s invention, people kept their cats outside, using ashes, dirt or sand as cat litter when it was necessary to keep them inside. One day in January 1947, Mrs. Draper, Edward Lowe’s neighbor in Cassopolis, Michigan, came to him asking for some sand to use as cat litter. Her sand pile was frozen so she had been using ashes but they tracked all over her house. Instead of sand, Lowe gave her some clay called Fuller’s Earth, a set of clay minerals capable of absorbing their weight in water. She found it worked far better than sand or ashes.

The product eventually became Tidy Cat, which is currently owned by Purina.

Like vintage ads?

Asthmador

Feen-a-mint

Feline Friday

Friday, March 6, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

ffrusty

What a long week! Good thing it’s Friday. And, bonus, the weather is supposed to start warming up, at least out of the 20s. Here’s Rusty (above), trying to keep warm.

ffthor

Kitten Thor wonders why he hasn’t found a home yet. He’s such a funny, active little thing!