Laughing Dog Arts

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I made some plain fabric prayer flags and hung them across my yard a couple of years ago.  I thought I'd show you what has become of them.
 I used batik fabrics and hung them in the summer of 2012.  Interspersed between the flags were strips of sari silk.  They were lovely and colorful, blowing in the breeze.

Sun and rain seems to have done this to me, also.
 At least the flags aren't all wrinkled up.  The silk strips have mostly totally disintegrated and fallen off.  A few of the scraps got picked up and incorporated into dooleybobbers.
Life is fleeting.  Live it to the fullest.

Be well.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Progress is being made in a couple of areas.  Best of all, the progress between Charlie and Roscoe:
One might think such a large cat would have no fear in the first place of such a tiny dog but one would be wrong.  Charlie hid in the basement for more than two weeks after Roscoe arrived.  I finally began carrying Charlie into the house slowly when Roscoe was tired and calm.  The next thing I knew, Charlie followed me into the house on his own one evening and spent the night on the bed next to me and Roscoe and things have been just fine ever since.  Yay!!  It is so nice to have everyone getting along, no fears!

In the meantime, I have been stitching on my latest Ghost Dog series piece:
 This one represents the first dogs I had after moving out of my parents home.  Bilbo was part Collie, part German Shepherd and probably the smartest dog I have ever had.  Then I got Heidi and Gandalf, brother and sister, part Dachshund, part Beagle.  Oh I loved those dogs!  They were with me through many transitions in my life and all are buried here on this property.
I rummaged around in my "jewelry" box and found Bilbo's dog tag so I put that on there.  I also found some puppy teeth which you can see in the first photo, they are glued on the strip of red fabric.  I'm still putting some finishing touches on this, and when it is finished I'll hang it on the wall outside the studio.
Here is the studio wall so far.  I hung the small colorful quilt up there today.  I've had others up there before but only for a day or two at a time because I didn't want them to become weathered and faded.  This one I plan to leave in place.  Why not?  It has been aging in a box for years.  It is kind of a weird experiment that didn't really turn out that great, so now its colorfulness will slowly fade in the sun but I rather like it up there.  My other pieces of the Ghost Dog series are hanging to the far right of the door.

Just a quick post for today.  I wanted to share my excitement about Charlie and Roscoe.  Hope you all had a great Summer Solstice.  On that day I went to the wedding reception of my longest term friend, Larry.  We have been friends for 43 years!  Sheesh!  I really like his new wife and am glad I was able to attend this event.  Forgot my camera though dang it.  It was a grand way to celebrate the solstice.

Till next time, be well.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New news

Been busy with outdoor work and also finding time for some art.  One other thing has been grabbing my attention but I'll get to that later.  First, I'll show you my recently completed art work. 
 This is sort of a Dooleybobber.  Rather different from the others but then they are all different, aren't they.  I used some cut off pieces from another work and then needle felted, stitched and beaded it.  I had my embroidery stitch book open and was trying different stitches, it was fun. 
 Most of the threads I used were some that I got from Maggi.  The colors are gorgeous.

This is what it looked like in the beginning stages.  Sure looks a lot different after the stitching and working on it.
 I did a challenge/trade with my creative group after being inspired by an article in a recent Somerset Studio magazine article, the Jan/Feb 2014 issue.  These are ATC/Matchbox art.  Fun!
I used a paper napkin for the background of all mine.   I have a bazillion of them but did you know you can buy single napkins on ebay?   Who'd have guessed?  What a selection!  Now I have two bazillion.
 I decided to experiment with some non woven fabric stuff I had laying around after seeing something like it on a blog somewhere.  Sorry, I lost the link so can't share that.  I used different paints on pieces of this stuff, I don't know what it is but it starts out white.
 Then I rolled them up and hit them with the heat gun and they turned into these neat beads.
I found that if I painted different colors on either side, they looked cool on the edges with the reverse paint peeking through.  If anyone wants some of this stuff just ask and I'll mail you a piece.  I have a huge chunk of it.


I have begun a new series that relates to the dogs I've loved.   I started to say all the dogs but I can't quite say that, there are too many to make art about all of them.  Above you can see the first of the series, it shows a photo of my family and our first dog, Mike.  He was a German Shepherd mix.
 I love this photo.  It captures my love for dogs beautifully.  That is me, gazing into Mike's eyes with love.
 Our next dog was Duke, a German Shepherd.  Duke followed me everywhere through my growing up years, walking with me through the neighborhoods and to the store, waiting patiently outside, unleashed.  Can you imagine now, seeing a big German Shepherd dog sitting outside a big grocery store, not tied or muzzled or anything?  He used to get in ferocious fights with other neighborhood dogs.  I'm glad I know better not to allow anything like that to happen any more.
See the brown/orange plaid fabric at the back of the piece?  That was the scarf I wore when I was a teenager.  It is rather moth eaten now but I have held on to it and finally found a use for a piece of it.  I also still have Duke's collar, 40 some years later.  (No I'm not a hoarder!!) I am going to hang the collar from the wood hanging rod.  The plan is to display all these dog pieces outside and allow them to weather.  I might hang them out in the woods or maybe just on the wall outside the studio.  The coyotes (Trickster) tend to steal things I put out into the forest.
This is the next one of the series, I started stitching on it today.  It shows the first three dogs I got after I moved out of my parents home, Bilbo, Heidi and Gandalf.  Yes, combining my love of books and dogs with these names!  I'll show a better photo someday after it is finished.

Now, for my big news!  We got another dog!  Windy has been seeming lonely without a friend to play with so I got her a puppy;-)  Meet Roscoe, a 10 month old Chihuahua/Dachshund mix.  He is such a sweet boy and so playful and happy!  I call him Roscoe Bean, he has sure brightened up our lives around here.  He and Windy play and chase each other and the squirrels.  Charlie cat is not happy about it but he is beginning to venture out of the basement and testing the waters with a dog smaller than he is.  He'll come around, he always does.
Heidi from long ago

 Never before have I had such a little dog, I was wanting a bigger dog but this guy came along and I couldn't get him out of my mind.  Maybe because he reminds me so much of the first dogs I had on my own, Heidi and Gandalf were Dachshund/Beagle mix, brother and sister.  They were closer to Windy size though at around 30 pounds.  Roscoe is only maybe 10.  He is learning not to chase llamas or cows or horses or CATS!  Squirrels are okay, they never catch one.
 Here is Roscoe and Windy, snuggling in the bed together in the studio.  Oh, and Roscoe likes to sleep under the blankets with me at night!  I've never had a dog do that before.  Probably a good thing since most of my dogs have been rather large.  

Well, that is about it for now.  I'm sure I'll be sharing more about Roscoe in the future.  He is so stinkin' cute! He came with that name and I decided to keep it, it suits him.  Hope you all are well and enjoying your lives.  Till next time,

Be well.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Miss you, Mom

I have wanted to write a blog tribute to my Mom for quite some time now but things keep coming up and I kept putting it off.
So today, in honor of Mother's Day I am finally putting together my tribute to Patricia Ruth Cherkezov.
Patsy Ruth Cherkezov

 When she was a little girl, growing up in Portland, Oregon, she was called Patsy.
Mom's parents, Theodore and Betty Cherkezov

 Her parents emigrated from Bulgaria to Portland, Oregon in the 1920's.  That is a whole other story that I will tell on another day.  I'm sharing this photo of my grandparents because I love it.  They played music together and sang Bulgarian folk songs.  I have Grandpa's Dobro mandolin but I gave Grandma's guitar to one of my nephew's.  He is very trustworthy and knows that it is a special guitar with history.

Betty Cherkezov and baby Patsy, 1931

 Mom's parents spoke mainly Bulgarian at home and so did Mom as a child.  She didn't learn to speak English as her main language until she began school.  I recall her telling me that there were words in Bulgarian that had no counterpart in English.  For instance, in Bulgarian there was a word that meant what your socks do when they fall down inside your shoes and bunch up around the arch of your foot.  I don't remember what that word is though.  The only words I remember of Bulgarian I can't say here.

Patsy, her brother Stan and Sparky

I must have gotten my love of animals and especially dogs from my mom.  Funny that I remember the dog's name too.

Mom graduated from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon, must have been in 1948.  Soon thereafter she met my Dad, Bill Brattain.

Pat and Bill

They got married in 1949 and the babies started coming.  First Rick, then Steve, and then me!
Unfortunately that marriage didn't last and they were divorced in the mid 50's.  Mom stayed slim and pretty and always had a great tan.  She loved laying out in the sun, listening to the radio and smoking her cigarettes.  That was what got her in the end, those cigarettes. 
Mom and little Jannie

She loved music, loved to dance and joke around.   She loved Elvis Presley and Waylon Jennings, always had the pop or country music station on the radio.  Everyone called her Pat during the years she was raising us kids.  She married a second time and she and Dex had my sister Debbie.
Rick, Steve, Mom, Jan, Debbie, and Mike, my first dog.  I love this photo of us.  See how I only have eyes for the dog?

Mom was a typical housewife in those days, staying home, cooking and cleaning, ironing, smoking cigarettes, taking care of the yard, growing flowers and vegetables, visiting with the neighbor ladies who would stop in for coffee and a chat.  We lived in a typical little suburban neighborhood with houses all around.  Once when she came to my school play, wearing a turquoise blue blouse and a modest black skirt with flat shoes and I knew she was the prettiest Mom there!  Mom and Dex liked to get together with friends and play the record player loud, drinking beer and partying till the wee hours.  We didn't have a lot of money but we always had enough of what we needed.  Mostly what we had was Mom's firm hand that wasn't afraid to give us a swat on the butt when needed and I'm sure we needed it plenty of times!  But the love was definitely there and we all grew up to be good people.  We siblings are still close, thanks to our Mom raising us well. 

Steve, Jan Debbie, Rick and Mom

 I can remember hearing her in the kitchen, cooking beans for dinner, singing a silly song from the radio, "♫My mommy said not to put beans in my ears, beans in my ears, beans in my ears!♫"

She did her best for us but I think she wasn't as happy as she could/might have been.  She had an artistic side and I wish now I had one of her oil paintings.  I have an afghan she knitted and a small stained glass hummingbird she made.  Her marriage to Dex wasn't all sunshine and roses and ended in the '70's.  She worked in an office to earn money after that.  She was a very fast typist.
She took pride in us kids.  She raised us to be healthy and happy adults.
 Sometimes we raised her!

Hal and Patty

She had a boyfriend for awhile who called her Trish (her full name was Patricia), but then she met Hal and married one last time and it was a good marriage.  Not so wild as her days with Dex.  Hal and Mom were both slim and youthful and liked to go out dancing.  I loved seeing them together, they were the cutest couple.  Hal took the most loving care of his Patty after she got sick.  I remember the doctor at the hospital asking if they were newly weds because they were always so lovey dovey but they had been married about 18 years by then.  They would sit in one chair together, both so small they could fit.   Hal was such a blessing to Mom.  He stopped working and took care of her at home.  She passed in her own bed with all of us kids by her side and the radio was playing a song by Neil Diamond from the Jonathan Livingstone Seagull album, something about flying away up to the stars.  It seemed so appropriate.  I know Mom is flying free now, no more worries.

Aunt Edith, Mom and Me in 1992, the summer before she passed

She lived her life as best she could.  One of my favorite memories of her in her later years is watching her in the living room, holding her little black cat Toro in her arms and dancing around the room, singing along with Bob Segar, "♫Keep playing that rock n roll, that kinda music just soothes your soul, I like that old time rock n roll♫"

Love you Mom.  Miss you always.  Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Showers and Flowers

Recently a fellow blogger noticed the picture on my side bar of my Laughing Dog Sierra.  She asked if I would allow her to paint his portrait and of course I said yes if she would promise to send me a jpeg of the finished painting.  Well, not only did she send me a jpeg but she sent me the actual painting!!  Isn't it wonderful?  She captured that loving look in his eyes perfectly.  She is Patty of Listen to the Road blog.  Click on the link to go visit her.  She has been painting these portraits of dogs in shelters and then sells the paintings, contributing all the profit back to the shelter.  Some people are so amazing and kind and generous and Patty is one, to say nothing of talented!  I adore my painting.  Thank you so very much, Patty.  I love my painting!!!
Here are a few photos of the wild flowers sprouting up around here.  Above are the Fairy Bells.  So sweet and all over the place.
Big Leaf Maple is blossoming like crazy, waking up everyone's allergies and spewing out pollen. Lucky for me I don't suffer from allergies.  The yellow dust of it is covering cars and everything. 
Better click on this one to see the lovely profusion of wild bleeding hearts.
This is a blue bell, not wild but has gone feral, along with some cranesbill that is taking over after I brought a tiny plant in a few years back.
Can't end without showing our Oregon State flower, Oregon Grape.  The stiff glossy spiny leaves protect the short lived flowers.  Eventually there will be a cluster of blueberry looking grapes.  Yes, they are edible but as my friend says, not incredible.

I'm sitting out on my deck writing this post and it is the warmest day of the year so far.  Got up to 73 and tomorrow they predict 81.  I can smell my lilacs, they began opening in the warmth today.  The Goldfinches have arrived and are flocking to my sunflower feeders, soon the Black headed Grosbeaks will show up.  We already have the Evening Grosbeaks.

A funny thing I noticed when looking at the stats of my blog.  I've had the most hits on my long ago post that I titled Beading Larson.  That was nearly 4 years ago.  It has received 780 visits.  My post on the passing of Anne Lockard (Miss you Anne!!) received a lot but that was only 487.  I don't know why Beading Larson receives so many hits.  Funny.

I will leave you with this photo of me and my kitty Charlie.  He is a big love bug!But he is very shy and most people who come here don't even realize I have a cat.  He was feral, but I managed to tame him down and now he sleeps with me.

Don't forget to check out Patty's blog!  Until next time, 
Be well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


First I want to say thank you for all the kind words you wrote to me commenting on Sadie's passing.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  I have been channeling my sadness into this little mixed media piece I created in homage to Sadie.
Sadie Smiles

I used some lines from a poem by Kenneth Rexroth titled Asagumori and it reads:

"Through the dew and dusk I walk the paths you walked,
My sleeves wet with memory."

I have been memorizing poetry this year in an attempt to keep my brain nimble.  The first big poem I saved to memory was The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.  Believe me, it was a fun one, lots of words I'm not accustomed to using plus it is 18 verses long.  Have you read the whole thing lately?  Here it is: The Raven.  So I had to make a mixed media piece in honor of this poem:
Poe's Pets

He writes of the Raven that it is a "grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore".
I created it on the back of an old record album.  This one too:
It isn't in homage to anything but I had fun using some new art supplies.  Namely, a stencil, some Inca Gold and some FW liquid acrylic ink.
The Sadie's Smile piece is created on a piece of wood I rescued from the wood shed.  This one is also on an old piece of wood:

It reads: "The sea always filled her with longing, tho for what she was never sure."
Close up where I attached some sand and beach glass and coral bits.

The words were written by Cornelia Funke.
Here you can see the side view showing the rough cut aspect of the wood.

And finally I will show you the book I created as part of my Pay It Forward giveaway.
The photo of the little sisters is my grandmother and her little sister.
 Dolly has received it so I can show it now.  We are in an online group called the Fiber Pirates.  Hence, the pirate card.
Some of the inside pages. I made it using a recycled mailing envelope and card stock cut to size.  It was a lot of fun to create.

It is odd only having one dog again.  No old dogs to walk very slowly with and to give pills to.  It seems I have had old or sick dogs for so long.  I used to have multiple dogs.  I found this photo in an album and want to share it with you.
Tasha, the Doberman, Kobos, the Pit Bull, Max, the little spaniel mix, and Pearl, the German Shepherd.  This is taken in about 1986? in my back field.  They were a great batch of dogs.  Tasha had been hit by a car once and it broke her leg so badly the vet decided to just fuse her elbow joint instead of removing the leg.  She couldn't bend it there and forever after people would look at her with pity and ask, "What's the matter with her leg?" and I would explain.  Plus she always had a raw spot on top of her foot because she would drag her leg along when she ran and it rubbed it. I tried bandaging it but the bandage would always fall off.  When she walked she would swing it around.  It never slowed her down but it got her extra treats from sympathetic people. 
 This is my favorite picture of Kobos.  She was my first Pit Bull and I have loved the breed ever since.
  I miss you all, my fine furry friends.♥  Wait for me!

Be well.