Monday, March 30, 2009

A Menagerie of WIPs

Just a short and sweet evening blog before i do some painting and head out on a neighborhood jog...gotta enjoy the sunshine before it sets!

This is a photo of my new studio door adornment. The SnipPet Girl needed snips of ribbon to spruce up her space.

Here are my latest works in progress. The two standing frogs remind me of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, hence the illustrated page from Alice and Wonderland in the background. The cats, rabbit and frog prince are some little ditties that I am experimenting with....

Spring cleaning, Gus and more WIPs on the way....

I took a weekend break from my artwork....needed to rest my brain and catch up around the house. I cleaned and put out some Easter decorations and organized our closets for spring. It was 40 degrees yesterday, but i am just SO tired of looking at sweaters and dark colors! We went out to dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant on Saturday night with some friends....such a yummy outing! Here is a photo taken in my springy kitchen... this is a massive clock that i made last year. I can't take credit for the idea. I saw it as a decor idea in Country Living and had to create one. My super handy brother-in-law made the round wood backing for me, and i got to do the fun part!

So, it's back to work today! I have so much to do. I should have some WIPs ready to show you in the next day or two. In the meantime, here's a little story about our dear boy, Gus.

We adopted Gus from a fantastic no-kill cat shelter called Good Mews in Atlanta in 2001. He was about 8 weeks old and had been attacked by another animal which had permanently damaged his back legs and digestive system. He was the only kitten in his litter that survived. Let me tell you, we had NO idea what we were getting into when we adopted him but we committed to love and care for him as long as needed. He is the true definition of "special needs". He has megacolon, bladder issues, neurological problems, skin allergies and has had hematomas in both ears. I can't even begin to express what we have been through with him over the past 8 years...medications, tests, near death scares, etc. But now, we have things down to a science. I express Gus' bladder twice a day, and my saint of a husband stimulates his bowels every morning. This cat has taught us more patience and perseverance than we ever thought possible. Gus has THE most amazing spirit. Even during his low points, he remains full of life. He purrs incessantly, runs around like a lunatic the best he can (he used to drag his legs but can now use them quite well in his own special way), and can hoist himself up into our bed or onto the sofa. He has made us laugh and cry harder than any other cat we've known. Our relationship with him runs deep and will never be repeated. To know him is to love him, and we'll do whatever it takes to keep him trucking for as long as we can. I always say that as long as he is still purring, everything is going to be ok.

Friday, March 27, 2009

American Holiday Artists Blog Feature

What a lovely surprise on a Friday morning! I went to my blogger dashboard and found that i'd been featured on the AHA blog! How fun and exciting! Make sure you head over there and read about the MANY talented and wonderful artists who are part of the team. And many thanks to the fabulous Suzanne Urban for organizing and leading such a great group! I adore her whimsical designs. Take a peek at her blog too!

I decided that since i have blogged about a few of my furry kids and their rescue stories that i have to give them ALL a day in the spotlight! I have to be fair, right :)??! So, my next kitty feature will be about our tuxedo boy, Gus. He is an OOAK cat for sure. Stay tuned for his crazy story.

Meows and purrs to all of you! I am off to the studio for a productive day before the weekend begins!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frog Blog!

There is just something about frogs...don't you agree? Their wide faces and buggy eyes give them such personality. They are simply the perfect subjects for whimsical art! I think I am going to JUMP right into a series of frog creations tomorrow. I can visualize vibrant spring and summer themed frogs already....should be great fun! I have made many frogs over the years. Unfortunately, most of the photos were lost when our computer blew up a few years ago. But here are two that i found in the archives.

Filiberto the Frog....featured in Art Doll Quarterly, Spring 2004

Frog Jester....shown at the American Craft Council Show, Atlanta, 2006

This long legged puppeteer frog is available in my etsy shop right now...

Ribbit, ribbit....Happy almost weekend, everybody!!!!

Rooney's Rescue

A few of you were interested in Rooney's rescue "tail", so i will give you the SUPER short version. I tried to write the full version, but it is just too long, complicated and painful.

Rooney lived with a cat hoarder who moved away and left 15+ cats locked in his warehouse. I happened upon this awful situation and sought help for months to no avail. We broke the lock on the door and fed the cats who were living in horror and unbelievable filth. To make matters worse, the building was being torn down. Literally in the midst of the demolition, we trapped Rooney mid air as the walls fell around us. We trapped 2 other cats as well. The whole situation went from September to December and almost caused me to have a nervous breakdown! The visions and memories of all of it still haunt me. BUT, thankfully Rooney is safe and sound and will be loved to pieces for the rest of his life!!!! Despite everything he went through, he is the happiest, most wonderful boy EVER. His resilience is an inspiration to me. He has moved on and lives each day with joy and pure kitty bliss.

Here is where he came from.....

and look at him now!!! He always loves and helps care for our rescued foster kittens.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a Spooktacular Day!

How ridiculously cute is my Rooney???!! He was helping me navigate through the blog world the other night. I just had to start off this blog entry with his sweet face. This cat came out of one of the worst situations i have ever been involved in...our most heartbreaking and dramatic rescue ever. But that is a story for another day.

On to happy news! I am soooooo proud and thrilled to announce that i am now a member of SpookyTime Jingles!!!! WOOHOO! I am very excited to be joining such an amazing group of talented, clever and inspiring artists. It is sure to be a fun new adventure for me! I want to thank Dani Nelson, the owner and founder of STJ, for her wonderful support and encouragement. She is a true gem! Check out her blog and her own fabulous designs on etsy. Dani is taking SpookyTime Jingles to the National Halloween Convention in a few weeks. Check out their website for more info and details.

I am sending the SnipPet Spooks that you saw on my last post to the Halloween Convention along with these four new little cute and creepy critters. I will be creating more of these soon so that i can have them available on the STJ website next month.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

SnipPet Spooks!

Introducing the SnipPet Spooks! I completed these today and wanted to share them with you before I curl up with my kitties and zonk out.

I created these pieces with unfinished wooden candlesticks, vintage buttons, collars made with snips of ribbon and paperclay heads and hats. The cat's and rat's whiskers were done with annealed mechanic's wire. I thoroughly enjoyed whipping up these not so scary Spooks! I did some experimenting and tried some new techniques which is always helpful in expanding one's repertoire :)!

I'll let you know where and when these Spooky SnipPets will be available for purchase very soon. I just gotta get some zzzzzz's......
Goodnight and sweet dreams~~~

Friday night's Wild Goose Chase! was really a wild cat chase! We headed out to begin trapping around 7 at our first target location. Here I am getting the traps set and ready.

We were hoping to get a pair of gray tabbies and a big orange tomcat with an injured eye. I trapped him awhile back and he escaped like Houdini as i was carrying the trap to my car. I was SO heartbroken because i wanted to get his eye taken care of in addition to getting him neutered. Anyway, we managed to get one of the gray tabbies but the other one saw it happen and took off. And like a dummy, i held the trap wrong and my finger got slashed by a flying claw....oops...always some drama. We ran to Kroger to get some Bactine and proceeded onward.

We headed to our next stop at the stockyards. There is a group of 5 adorable bobtails that run in a pack. I have TNRed 4 of them, thankfully, but there is a torti female who has eluded us. She is most likely already pregnant with a spring litter. We tried for about an hour but she just wasn't falling for our games. It is SO hard to trap one specific cat when there is a group lurking around. Here is a photo of Beth Ann (the colony's feeder) and me waiting patiently.

Next, we headed back to our original luck and a raccoon was about to get in our trap. So, we headed back to our house to try to trap a few on our front porch. On the way back, we saw a cat crossing the parking lot at Kroger so we put a trap out there. Long story short, no luck there either!

After a quick dinner at Wendy's, we headed home and crossed our fingers that the 3 left to TNR at our house would show up. After I showered the blood and tuna juice off of me, I peeked outside and saw a striped tail in one of the traps. It was Puff Daddy! Score! He is a tame old boy that showed up a few weeks ago. Later in the evening, a beautiful solid gray kitty arrived but he refused to get in the traps.
We had hoped to trap a total of 5 cats but only managed to get the 2. I took them both to the monthly TNR clinic here in Lexington. Here is a photo of all of the feral kitties lined up to have their surgery. Puff Daddy is the one peeking out on the far left.

Both of my ferals are back home now and they did great! They got neutered, vaccinated and a flea/deworming treatment. The amazing vet who takes care of them deserves a HUGE award...she spayed/neutered over 5,000 cats and dogs last year...yes, that is right....all that by herself!!!! She is an absolute angel.

I took this sweet photo this afternoon. This is Magee....a feral boy who has decided not to be feral anymore :). I TNRed him and his brother and his mother last fall. They stay in our backyard most of the time. He is my little gardening assistant. Loooooove him!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dancing Dahlia goes KerSPLAT!

Oh, dear Dahlia the Dancing Queen has just finished her performance and kerSPLAT she went! She entertained the crowd as they roared wildly. Her pirouettes and mesmerizing movements brought everyone to their feet in a standing ovation! This happy hippo's dance was the highlight of the show! But alas, this golden crowned queen must bid her fans goodbye for now and get some rest (and a cotton candy snack).

Dahlia will be my last circus inspired doll for awhile. We all need a vacation from the craziness of the circus so we can come back and perform at our best :)!

I am working on 9 new is another sneak peek of what's in store. I have been sculpting like crazy and now I am waiting for everything to dry thoroughly. I hope, hope, hope that I will be able to start painting them tomorrow.

Check in this weekend for a new update on the other important SnipPet project...spaying and neutering feral cats in our area. My goal is to trap 5 cats on Friday night and get them snipped on Saturday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sneak Peek

Just a quick update of works in progress....a Happy Hippo and 3 SnipPet Spooks!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Miss Ophelia takes the stage....

The sun just came out and Miss Ophelia just took the stage! I added the finishing touches to this playful pig today. Yippee for completion!

I am totally out of paperclay and UPS was supposed to deliver a big stash of it to me today...still waiting.... eeeks, it better arrive tomorrow. I have lots to accomplish this week!!

I have decided to start naming all of my animal creations. They just seem more lively and distinct with their own names. I am always laboring over the purrfect cat and kitten names for my rescues and fosters, so now I'll be doing the same with these.

Happy Monday to all!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Meet Melissa Mittens

I had a wonderful, special request from artist, Susan Faye. She commissioned me to create a doll representing her beloved kitty, Melissa Mittens. I am thrilled to have been chosen to create this tribute to such a fine feline. Susan says that Miss Mittens had a wicked sense of humor and would have loved to juggle mice if she could have :). I think she would have thoroughly enjoyed having these little gray critters in her paws! Melissa Mittens was long and wiry, so she got some super long, skinny legs and a less "robust" figure than some of my dolls have. I hope that this doll captures a bit of the joy and fun that the original Melissa Mittens provided her mom with!
Please make sure to visit Susan's blog!! She is an amazing watercolor artist who paints fantastic custom cat lady portraits.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pfatt Marketplace and Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail....

I am very excited to announce that i am now part of the Pfatt Marketplace! I am a Pfattie :)! (So much to fun to say that word) As defined on their site, the Pfatt Marketplace is "a wonderful collection of highly talented artists, all gathered in one place, offering their goods for sale on the 10th of each month...handmade, one-of-a-kind art from all over the US and Canada". How cool! I am so grateful to be a part of this group.

This juggling rabbit in her Easter duds and carrot shoes was created to be my first Pfatt feature. She is available for sale in my etsy shop