Laughing Dog Arts

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Self portraits

Today I'm sharing some self portraits I have made over the years.  The one above is one I created in a Laly Mille class I took online this year.
I used the same self image that I had used for this one which I created in a group challenge years ago.  It is titled Wind Tangled.
This is the photo that was my inspiration.
Here is one from an art journal, a more whimsical rendering.
My most recent self portrait is one I have been using as my Facebook badge.  It came about because I feed the crows every morning on my walks.  When I get to the fence where I put food on top of the fenceposts I call them. "Crows!!  Crows!!  Crow-de-os!!" I yell. They usually come flying in.  So this one is a fantasy of me feeding them.  They don't really come to my hands and I don't really wear a skirt.  I do have birds that come to my hands.  Chickadees mob me at times, demanding a peanut from my pocket that I keep just for them.  Nothing sweeter than a little chickadee landing on my hand, trusting me.  Gray Jays and sometimes Pine Siskins have also come to my hands.  So fun!  If you look closely you can see my three dogs in the picture too.
 Finally this picture is not a self portrait but one done by my neighbor Gwen, the one who has the cows I share pictures of.  I just love this, she shows me on a walk with Windy, Roscoe and Gunnar in front carrying a stick, and me with my nose in a book.  I sometimes bring a book along to read as I walk if the weather is dry.  The dogs don't like it when I do this, they can tell they don't have my full attention, so I don't do it very often.  But sometimes it is hard to put a good book down.
I think that's it for now.  I'm planning another self portrait soon, similar to my Crow girl one but one where I am dressed more realistically in muddy boots and jeans.  Maybe.  We shall see.  Until next time,
Be well.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Come with me on a walk

 On my morning walk today I found this offering in the middle of the path.  They are hawthorn berries.
 Very pretty I think.
 The cows and calves were enjoying the quiet morning.  I love that huge cottonwood tree in the background.
 A few weeks ago when I was walking here, I heard a rustling rumbling sound coming from the forest and I thought "What is that noise?  The cows shouldn't be in there.  Sounds like a big animal, maybe an elk crashing through the woods?"  Then this huge alder tree came falling down, right where I had been about to walk.  I have never seen a tree spontaneously fall down with no wind or logger to help it.  It is on the neighbor's property and they have been working on cutting it up for firewood.  I like the way the red alder shows why it is named so.  When a fresh tree is cut up it bleeds red.
 This is a big old stump with new trees growing up out of it.  I climbed it once and looked inside, it is hollow.  If I ever have to hide from someone, I might run here and get in.  You might be able to see how the cows have rubbed on that long snakey root piece and made it all shiny.
 I love leaves.  This heart shaped one is a cottonwood.
But I love my little Roscoe Bean even more.  Who could resist this face?

Be well.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Around the farm

I'd like to share some pictures I have taken from around the farm.
 Above is showing a footprint I spotted at the river side.  It is a beaver track.  I was surprised at how large it is.
 I'll call this a trunklet.  Kinda like a bracelet except it is on a tree trunk.  Chicken wire was wrapped around the trunk in hopes of keeping the animals from nibbling on the bark but evidently it made a nice spot to rub on. 

 Cows like to rub on things.
I noticed the muddy spot under this fence post where there is not any similar muddy spot near other fence posts so I had to investigate the reason.
 I discovered this metal nail head or something that the cows have been rubbing their heads on for a good scratch.  It is worn smooth.  I find many spots on trees and posts that are rubbed so smooth and a nice patina on them from the cows.
 This is my neighbors tree fort.  The boys are grown and off to college now, sometimes the cows use it.  Somewhere I have a picture of 3 cows standing in it but darn, I can't find it right now.
 No question as to why the maples around here are called Big Leaf Maples!
Here is Gunnar gazing through the fence slats at this thing.  Anyone know what it is?
Neighbors cows have been calving this past week.  Here is Ruby and her little calf from last year.  I saw this morning that she calved another little white faced baby.  She is a good mom.
That is enough for today from around the farm.
Be well.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Calendar pages

I haven't published a blog post in over a year!  Not sure I even know how anymore with the changes to blogger since then.  Thought I'd give it a test drive today, see if I can get some photos posted of some work I've done with my Stitch 'n Bitch group.  We all make what we call calendar pages, 12 of them apiece, then we trade around with each other and make our own calendar using these pages as the decorative part of the calendar.  Here are some of mine from last year.  Remember you can click on them to make them bigger if you'd like.

I'll try to post more often than once every year and a half.  
Be well.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Maggi's Gone

Hello friends,
Been awhile since I have posted anything here.  Today I want to publish a small tribute to a friend who has passed.  I feel a need to do something to mark her passing.

Maggi Birchenough. 
 Maggi and Meg  

We met through blogs back in 2010, and quickly found we had much in common including favorite books, music and a love of art, particularly fiber art, growing things and our pets.  We wrote many long emails, getting to know each other through the years.  Traded plenty of stories and eventually began trading gifts through the mail.  In 2014 she became the Co-rep for SAQA for Europe and the Middle East.  When she found that Portland Oregon was hosting a meeting for that group, she determined to come to the US from her home in the UK and attend that meeting, and, oh yes, as long as she was in the neighborhood, she would come and visit me!
So she did.  We had the most lovely time, walking through my fields 

and sitting on the deck, watching the birds with my cat Tigger sitting on Maggi's lap.  She had to leave all too soon.  After she returned to the UK she was having trouble breathing and had terrible headaches.  Finally she went to the doctor and got the worst news possible, advanced lung cancer.  She struggled but was gone less than a year later.

What did I know of Maggi?  She was kind, thoughtful and generous.  She volunteered at her local animal shelter, walking dogs, petting cats, and adopting one to keep her first cat company.  She missed her husband Robert who passed several years ago.  They had no children.  Maggi had been a teacher and in her later years worked as a dispatcher in a police station.  She was an inspired artist, working in fiber and often having her art quilts shown in big shows, where she also volunteered, helping with set up and showing the art.  She loved to read and to watch car racing!  She kept a blog for years, .
She loved to dye and manipulate fabrics and fibers.  She loved her family and friends.  Loved spending time in her home and yard, tending her garden, watching her cats, Jack and Casper,

helping her neighbors.  She was fortunate to be close with her cousins who were a huge help to her after she became ill.  I know her friend Linda Vincent was also a help during her time of need. 

Maggi and Linda at a quilt show
She was so generous with help to others when she was strong and healthy, I'm glad to know it all came back to her when she needed help.  From my perspective she seemed to accept her illness with strength and pragmatism, not complaining, just doing what she had to and enjoying what life she had left as best she could.  Maggi must have been heartbroken when she decided to give up her cats so they could find new homes.  The shelter where she had spent so much time helped her there, and they found new homes readily.

Her cousins were with her in her home when she passed peacefully, which was brave of them all.  Maggi was loved and will be missed.  I feel blessed to have been able to call her my friend and will miss her, keeping her in my heart forever.

Friday, May 29, 2015

It's been awhile

Worth Having
It has been awhile since my last blog post; six months or more.I hadn't intended to stop blogging, it just sort of happened for no particular reason.  So this is a catch up post, just a little bit.  Above shows a cat mixed media piece I did on a piece of foam core board.  It was fun, I am pleased with how it turned out.

The Wild Horse In Us
I continued in the same vein and created this horse mixed media piece on a card board mailing envelope.  Again, I was rather pleased with it.  Both of these are given away.
Walking the Dogs
 I've also been working in this altered book, the title of which seemed very appropriate, "The Girl In The Woods".  I used a home made stencil on the right hand side, above.
The Only Thing Necessary
 I continue to enjoy using quotes in my art.
The Depth of Winter
 Using a different color palette than I used to, more muted colors.
The key to happiness: Simplify.
Bound By The Beauty
Alternatively working in my Strathmore mixed media journal. 
 Just fooling around and having fun.
Enjoy the Journey
 This one is dedicated to my maternal grand parents, that's them in the photos, and my Mom is the little girl.
Family: Aunt Bertha
 Another different direction is this one I finished last week.  The woman in the photo is my great great Aunt Bertha.  I cropped the photo to use it, her dress was so beautiful, she must have been pretty classy.  No one is named Bertha these days it seems.
Close up showing some of the fun embellishments I used.

Somewhere along the way I acquired two new pets, a cat, Tigger and a dog, Gunnar.

I wasn't looking for new pets, they just adopted me, coming over from the new next door neighbors.
Roscoe and Windy both love Gunnar too, and Charlie cat tolerates Tigger.  It is so much fun watching Gunnar play with Roscoe, he is so gentle with him.  He is a big sweet beautiful dog.  I feel a little safer on my walks now, I think the coyotes are keeping their distance a bit.

That isn't all I've done since my last post, but that's enough for now.  I have appreciated the people who told me they missed my blog posts.  Thanks for noticing!  Till next time,
Be Well.