Saturday, January 29, 2011

B is for Bunny! Finally finished a pull toy.....

This week got a little crazy and I was a bit scattered, but I super glued myself to the art table all day yesterday and managed to complete this piece. There are so many parts to these pull toys which means lots of color decisions. I do quite a bit of staring and thinking and pondering colors. The only thing I was sure of was that I wanted a turquoise blue spotted ellie! Still trying to come up with a name for this one...

I haven't decided when or where this will be available for purchase. I want to live with it for a little bit and finish the other two. I'll keep you posted!

I had a horrible time with photographing this piece. I spent an hour changing backgrounds and lighting and am still not happy with the outcome. The rabbit's head looked washed out against a brown background yet the white is not great either. I'll keep trying, but here is the best I could do for now....

Happy weekend, everyone!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Smiling SnipPet Bunnies are in the works....

I know I am supposed to be painting my pull toys, but I had to get a few more spring sculpts mapped out first! So, here are some gleefully happy rabbits that will be coming to life shortly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The most handsome boy EVER....

Meet our newest foster boy! I am still trying to decide on a name for him. I posted him on Facebook and had lots of great suggestions, but I am leaning toward Ferris, Sullivan or Sherman. We were calling him Marmalade but it doesn't quite suit him even thought it describes his coloring perfectly.

I spied this gorgeous boy on our front porch last summer. He would eat quickly and head off into the dark. I trapped him and had him neutered and vaccinated and released him (hated to put him back out, but it was the most I could do at the time). He continued to come for meals for a few weeks and then disappeared. I was heartbroken and felt horrible about it all fall. I didn't know if our other porch strays/ferals had run him off or what. Amazingly, he reappeared at our back patio food bowls right before Christmas!! I almost fell over when I saw him. I was so relieved to know that he was ok. For the past few weeks, he has come nightly for dinner. If I even cracked the door open, he would take off, so I stopped trying. Well, on Saturday night I looked out and he started meowing at me like crazy. Long story short after about an hour outside working to gain his trust, I was able to pet him and eventually get him in a carrier. It truly seemed like he was telling me that he was tired of braving the cold and snow and wanted some help. He was very scared and out of sorts at first, but he is now one HAPPY boy!!! I have him in our upstairs bathroom until I can get him combo tested. He is a total sweet pea....headbonks my face and hugs me when I pick him up. He is SO clearly thrilled to be warm and spend his days napping comfortably.

I am telling you this boy is irresistible!!! So, paws crossed that we can find a wonderful home for him or get him into Good Mews eventually.

Can you hear him purring??

Monday, January 24, 2011

sanding and priming are done!

Today was all about sanding, sanding, sanding and priming, priming, priming. Not the most exciting part of the process but crucial to making the final product shine! I cannot wait to bring this little crew to life with lots of color!!

I won't be able to get started on painting until later this week. Tomorrow is going to be full of kitty rescue "stuff" so stay tuned for more cat chat shortly. I already have a new foster on my hands and he is one unbelievably handsome and loving lad!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

farm animal stack sculpted...

...quick peek at my third pull toy sculpted. I have completed the sculpting step on all three pull toys so now I am just waiting for everything to dry. Hopefully, I will be able to sand and prime on Monday (tedious, but oh so important!) and then the BEST part can begin...painting!!!! I am ready for COLOR!

Friday, January 21, 2011

and the sculpting begins....

Now things are getting fun! First, I covered my armatures with a rough layer of paperclay and allowed them to dry. Then I began building up layers and adding details. Today I will be adding more details and refining everything.

Happy creative Friday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

...and the pull toy armatures are built!

I decided to document the steps of the process involved in creating my pull toys. So, here is step #2...armatures! I laid the illustrations down on my desk and cut pieces of computer packing foam to match the shapes and sizes of the animals. I then glued everything together with epoxy. I used dowels and wire for legs and tails. The wire then has to be wrapped with floral tape to help the clay stick to it.

I added a rough layer of clay to all of the armature yesterday afternoon (not shown in photo), so hopefully today I will make some headway on the detailed sculpting. This part takes awhile because I have to let certain parts dry before adding more clay.

More soon....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Silly Sketches...pull toys are on the way!

I realized that it has been almost a year since I have made an animal pull toy! I love creating them, but they require lots of uninterrupted and focused sculpting time. So, I decided to dedicate the next few weeks to making 3 fun little critter carts. I have my work cut out for me, and I am excited to get rolling on them!

Here are the sketches that I will be working from. I usually do very VERY rough sketches for my dolls, but for the pull toys, I really need to plan them out and illustrate the animals in a more detailed, accurate way. And I am also trying to work on my illustration skills for a future project that is brewing in my brain.

A grinning kitty with a major sweet tooth...

A blissful bunny acrobat on a dotted ellie...

...and a stack of farm friends in fun colors.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cozy Kitties....

I am always posting cat photos straight from my phone to Facebook and realized that I rarely share them here! I will start doing that more often because I sure do have some precious furbabies if I do say so myself :)!

My lovebug, Punkamunk, sunning herself...pure and purr-fect contentment.

Invasion of bedbugs all (almost) on my side of the bed. Thank goodness they let me sleep there too!

The view after I put my book down for a minute...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Body Shop Cats Update

My dear cat lady friends, Jane and Carla, and I headed out to the body shop on Tuesday for a big trapping. It was quite an afternoon. The snow was swirling and temps were in the 20s. We would set the traps and put hot roasted chicken in them and within 15 minutes, the chicken was frozen. Not the best conditions for trapping, but we we really wanted to get these kitties not only spayed and neutered but also treated with antibiotics and steroids because many of them were clearly suffering from upper respiratiory infections. AND we had hoped to get the queen mama but she was nowhere to be found. Not surprisingly, she is going to be a challenge! We toughed it out for 2 hours and managed to get 7 kitties so it was a successful day.

They were fully vetted on Wednesday and we found out that 5 were boys and 2 were girls. Jeff, one of the fluffy orange ones, had some major mouth issues, so the vet pulled some of his teeth. I am sure he is going to feel so much better now. Our vet is an ANGEL...she always thoroughly examines each cat and does whatever needs to be done ($15 for spay/neuter, vaccinations, flea and ear mite treatment, antibiotics, etc etc.!!).

We tried to trap again on Wed morning but it was a futile attempt...waaay too cold. Also, we found out from the business next to the body shop that there are 20+ cats instead of the 12-15 like we had thought. So, this will be a long term project. We are hoping to pick up where we left off later next week.

We released the boys yesterday afternoon and they were SOOOO happy to be back in their territory and their "dad", the caretaker, was thrilled to have them home safe and sound. The females will be released this weekend when the weather is a little warmer.

I wanted to get more photos but it was hard to juggle everything. I hope to get more good ones next week!

Jane setting traps....

The kitties all warm and cozy in the car with us....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sneak Peek for Spookytime Jingles update

It's ALL about the frogs for this month's STJ update tonight at midnight! These little guys are all around 5" tall. Their hands are the tiniest ones I have ever sculpted before. I hope you like these happy itty bitty cuties!

Meet Otto the Wizard....

and the Frog Princes, Jean-Claude and Jean-Paul. Doesn't everyone need a French Frog??!! Oui Oui!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TNR 2011: The Body Shop Cats

Our first TNR project for the year is supposed to start today. It is snowing, so I am not sure if we will postpone until tomorrow....but the plan is to begin trapping this afternoon. I was informed about a colony of cats living at a body shop a few miles from our house. I have been going there on Saturdays for about a month to assess the situation and then my cat lady friends and I finally went to meet the owner yesterday. Thankfully, he was extremely receptive to the idea of TNR and was really grateful to know they will FINALLY be spayed/neutered and fully vetted. You could tell he was exhausted from worrying about them and trying to rescue and find homes for all of the kittens. It all started with one stray torti girl 4 years ago. There are currently at least 12 adults. They are very well fed and have shelters but several of them are quite matted and a few are very sniffly and congested. It is certainly time for them to get proper vet care. I love seeing TNRed kitties blossom into healthy, hearty cats once they are snipped! Our main target is the torti queen mama...she is obviously already pregnant so we gotta work fast!

Paws crossed that we can get them all taken care of this week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Smiling Valentine Cats for Pfatt!

Two of my grinning Valentine kitties will be making their debut tonight during the first Pfatt Marketplace update of the year! Presenting Cleo Clown Kitty and Tuxedo Tomcat....

...and here is a new Valentine owl, Pierre, who has already flown out of my Etsy shop.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Back to Cat Chat! Chanel and Versace....

Last September, these two beauties were abandoned at the back of our neighborhood. They were living in the storm drains for weeks :(. A kind neighbor alerted me about them, so I asked her to start putting food out nightly for them by one of the drain openings so that they wouldn't starve but also to keep them coming back to one place. They were terrified and would only appear after dark. We were able to trap Chanel on our first try, but Versace wasn't ready to fall for our tricks. Fortunately, a week later, he couldn't resist the temptation of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. THANK goodness! I was so happy to have them both safe and sound in our house.

I took them to our vet to be snipped, vaccinated and combo tested. They had already been spayed and neutered (at least their former owner had done that!!). Then I contacted Good Mews in Atlanta to see if they had room for them. They were willing to take them, but they had a rough fall with numerous door dumps and returns and slow adoptions, so we fostered Chanel and Versace until this week. Adoptions picked up at Good Mews so they were able to take them on Thursday. My husband had meetings in Atlanta so he was able to transport them. We were both SO sad about saying goodbye and we felt awful for them since we know they thought they were staying with us. It would be so much easier if we could explain things to them!

Well, this story already has a WONDERFUL ending! One of the volunteers who was there when my husband was checking Chanel and Versace in, fell in love with them and is adopting them both tomorrow!!!! I spoke with her on the phone last night and she is fantastic! They are going to be SO loved and well cared for. I can't believe how quickly this happened and how lucky they are! It makes all the tears and worry WELL worth it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

First SnipPets for 2011!

As I wrote the title for this post, I realized that I have still been writing "2010" on everything for the past 7 days! Oops!

I want all of you to know that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to improve my blogging frequency and substance immensely this year. I have lots of big plans both personally and professionally and want to make sure I put a lot of love and effort into my blog. I want to share fun and inspiring topics, tips and stories instead of just notifications about my group and shop updates. So please stay tuned and thank you for continuing to visit me :)!

I just finished up a few happy little Valentine critters. I added these two to my shop today. Meet Olivia Bunny and a very sneaky, smiling Cupid Cat!