Laughing Dog Arts

Friday, September 28, 2018

Eco dye try

I've done it.  I jumped on the eco dye bandwagon and love my results!  I've seen what others have done and wanted to try.  I watched this video on eco dyeing paper and thought, I could do that!  So I did.  I first gathered up some plant matter from around my yard.
This included bamboo leaves, hydrangea leaves and flowers, a rose flower and leaves, dill heads, Queen Anne's lace, nasturtium flowers, arborvitae branches, English ivy, canary grass, hops leaves and other bits of things.  I used various papers I had on hand including water color paper, computer paper, rice paper, some old nearly translucent typing paper, and paper towels.  
I sandwiched the plant matter in between folded sheets of paper.  Stacked all the folded papers together, sandwiched those between two ceramic tiles.  Tied the whole shebang together with wire, then put it all into a water bath to cover.  

I also added a cup or so of vinegar and some rusty pieces of metal.  I used my old dye pot, not something from my kitchen.  I brought it to boil, then simmered it for a couple of hours on my wood stove.  After cooling I began to unwrap my bundle.  Oh my....
 This is my favorite.  Bamboo leaves on paper towel.
If you hold your mouse pointer over the pictures you will see what plant matter is used.

 Another favorite, hops leaves on computer paper.

I numbered my papers and wrote down what plant went to each so I would know how I achieved the results.  But I think it is all variable.  I doubt I would get the same results using the same papers and plants, but I'll have to experiment more to know for sure.

It was so much fun, and only took one day's work.

That was fun.  Now, what to do with these papers?  That will be even more fun. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Meet Cwtch

While walking in my back field about a month ago I heard some meowing.  I followed the sound and soon discovered a little gray kitten hiding in the grass in the now dry creek bed.  I'd guess he was only 8 weeks old.  I had some dog kibble in my pocket and tossed him some and he dove on it and ate it right up.  Decided to take the dogs home and came back with more food and water for the little guy.  He was still there and came right out to eat some more and let me pick him up.  He wasn't feral, that's for sure!  What could I do but bring him home?  I'd said I didn't want to look for another cat after my Charlie died back in March.  But the universe sent me this one so now I have a cat again.

He was totally unafraid of the dogs, seemed very socialized and calm.  I have no idea where he came from but people often drop their unwanted pets off out here, that is all I can guess.  He has a home now!  We named him Cwtch, (rhymes with Butch) you can read about the name here if you'd like.  Here is a quick definition of this Welsh word:  ‘…Cwtch, which has long been a familiar word in the Welsh language, was given two definitions: noun (Welsh) 1. a cupboard or cubbyhole. 2. a cuddle or hug.’ 
Also means a safe place, which he certainly found here.

So of course I had to paint him.
As you can see if the video comes through, Cwtch isn't afraid of the dogs!  He loves Roscoe and is constantly pouncing on him and chasing him.  Roscoe is slightly baffled by this, he is usually the one bugging the other animals!

This one is my favorite:
The little guy is growing fast!  He already seems a teenager, complete with some bratty behavior.  But he is a joy and so much fun to watch him race around and play.  I am grateful he came into our lives.


Monday, July 30, 2018

More pet portraits

I have fallen in love with creating these paintings and can't stop!


Hippie Hopper

Lacey, dreaming


Party Llama

Lucy Loo


Pippa Papaya Pineapple Eshelpipi

Rooster may crow but the hen delivers the goods

Sandy Doo

Hammy, Lolly, Daisy

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Making hay while the sun shines

It may have been hot and humid in many other parts of the USA, but here in NW Oregon it has been quite cool and cloudy.  But finally the sun came out and my hay man, Ken, a neighbor, was able to bring his equipment over and start cutting in my field.
 First cut, with half the field still standing.
Above shows Ken turning the hay and making windrows for picking up with the baler to make bales.

 This is the cutter machine.
A close up on the cutting blades and the mechanism that pulls the grass towards the blades.
This machine turns the hay and gets it into the windrows.
This machine is called a Tedder rake.  It fluffs up the cut hay enabling it to dry more quickly.
 Here is the baler from the front where it gathers the cut dry hay.
 Then the bales are magically formed inside and pushed out here.
This baler uses two strings to tie up the bales.  These bales weigh about 55 to 65 pounds.
 This above piece of equipment is an elevator for getting the bales into the trailer.  It is hard to describe how it works but it is pulled along next to the trailer and you can see the chute on the bottom left side.  Bales get shuffled into the chute and pulled up by that barbed chain you can see that starts at the bottom and goes up to the top where the bale then falls out into the trailer.  Someone is on the trailer and they pick up the bale and place it in the stack.  I have never used one of these machines but find it interesting and ingenious.
I like the color and texture of the chute where the bales have rubbed the paint off and made it smooth as satin even though it looks rough and pitted.

The dogs like hunting in the fresh cut grass, it turns up lots of mice.
After the hay is baled it is time to get it in the barn.  We recruited our friend Jesse again this year to help.
 Drink plenty of fluids, it is hot and dusty work.

Jesse is tall and can reach high on the stack, plus he is in good condition.
The man in the middle is Ken, our hay man.  Steve (chain saw man) is on the right and the young man with the baby is Ken's son and grandson.  He likes to expose them right away to the hay process!  Many ranch kids learn to drive by being put in the truck to drive for the hay crew as they pick up bales, although I'm pretty sure they don't start them quite as young as this baby!
 Jesse and Chase, on top of the stack, heading for the barn.  I'm the driver, edging around in the field, stopping and starting while the men stack in the back of the pick up truck.
We were fortunate that the young men next door, Chase and Neal, noticed we were picking up bales and they came and helped with the last load.  My job was also unloading the truck but when Neal came, he took over for me so I didn't have much to do.  But I get to feed all that hay out slowly over the winter.  I'm glad the bales are only about 60 pounds, about half my weight.
Hay is in the barn and we are set for the winter feeding now!  Thanks for all the help, everyone!  They came in and had a big breakfast with us afterwards.  I should have gotten a picture of that too.
Happy to have that task accomplished safely for another year.
Be well.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Painting my Pets

I'm not actually painting my pets but am painting pictures of my pets in a whimsical style.  Having a lot of fun with it too.  I started with Roscoe.

 I worked on two at once so one could be drying while I worked on the other one.
 Then I started on Windy.

Of course I couldn't leave Gunnar out.
Loves Carrots
Then this girl slipped in.
The llamas said "Me next!"

I'm going to keep working on these paintings since I am having so much fun with them.  Using acrylic paint on recycled cereal box cardboard.  Our weather has moved into a cooler damper mode so hay harvesting is put off until the dry heat returns.  What are you doing with your summer?