Sunday, 31 October 2010

A Royal Flush

I often hold a Royal Flush in my hand - one could say it's the luck of the draw, but I reckon being lucky is a mind thing.

and as all house rabbit parents will know, no matter what cards you hold in your hand or in your life - with your rabbits around you will always have a Royal Flush with your furry little Ace, King and Queen ruling the household!

This Christmas these tiny little Aces will be adorning trees around the world, looking for the apple in the stocking that's always there but never gets eaten. Only this time it will be eaten, but in tiny chunks.

If you are looking for some luck you will find it in the two books by Rhonda Byrne - The Secret and The Power.

Read The Secret first then to apply lady luck read The Power. One really is not complete without the other.

It didn't work for Samantha in Sex and the City the movie, but then again Samantha had everything she wanted, she just didn't know it. But for those who don't yet have the beach condo in Malibu or the reserved first class LA-NY return ticket you will find that these two books will empower you towards your own Royal Flush.

And the most wondrous thing of all is that they are jam packed with superb quotes from notable figures throughout history. So even if the message is lost on you in the first reading, the brilliant quotes certainly won't be.

Like to empower yourself a little bit more?
I have a well thumbed copy of Anthony Robbins 'Awaken The Giant Within'. It's all about positive thinking and everyone could probably do with more of this in their lives. Except ofcourse Charlotte - everything is always perfect for her (well nearly if only Rose would stop crying!)
I got the book in the early '90s because I didn't have a grand ($1000 AUSD) to attend his seminar when he came to Sydeny, but the book was an affordable good read. Plus - it all came flooding back to me when I saw him in Shallow Hal with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black.


So it seems the winning flush is not actually in the hand after all, but in the mind.
But, er, here the tiny flushes are doing just nicely in your table centrepiece!

And if you do as The Power suggests you will indeed envisage your Royal Flush in your hand.

and you could use a little of that power to manifest the prize you desire the most, in the rescue rabbit raffles I am in
Prizes here
Tickets for Buckeye here and RNGP here

and Good Luck here


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What's under yer kilt?

being Scottish and growing up in Australia I was asked this all the time, (and I'm not going to even mention the questions about haggis! - or the answers I gave!) .....

But concerning kilts there's only one answer, though not everyone is able to dress that way, especially when out in public, and when there is a gust blowing - and it happens to be Nothing!

Anyway, I don't have a kilt and I don't do any burling to the skirling bag pipes but I know someone who does - and it was their birthday not that long ago,

and me being me, left everything to the last minute. So I had to whip up something fast and unique.

So I decided to make some Wrist Kilts! which can be worn at any time of the year, for any family gathering and will enhance any twirling to skirling. (Their more common name is wrist cuffs I believe?)

The have real Scottish tartan, a real East European wool scarf with pine trees in the snow and Grizzly Bear buttons from an old family denim jacket.

Recycling at it's best. All these materials have been in my family for years, some for decades like the grizzly buttons. The hat came from the birthday girl herself, the grizzly buttons from her husband's jacket and the tartan from my mum.

I managed to stitch them up in a day but I became flummoxed over the fastenings when I discovered there was not enough woods to go around, so I had to add a lining and extension. Always a bit interesting when there is no pattern, just an idea, in my head.

Print out one new style baby hare card - baby hare in tiny kilt and wrist kilts mind you ....

and add some hand drawn card Hands, of my hands, to illustrate how the creations are to be worn (yes, I did put them on upside down a few times for the photo shoot and during the sewing of the fastenings fiasco) and I thought they turned out rather flash!

That was until I went to a dollar shop, or rather, a pound shop the day I posted them. In Australia they are all dollar shops but here it's GBP pds stg and 'pound shop' just does not have the same ring to it, anyway, there I saw £1 fingerless mitts made in China that were on exactly the same hand cut outs as my creations! Was it subliminal? I thought I had come up with such a novel idea, rather 1950's black outline illustration style.
Though they were my hands I traced.

So another page from my scrap books. This one is in a grey / red tone like the wrist kilts, and just look at that ....

gust or no gust, someone knows exactly what you are wearing under your kilt!

and finally
..... remember the rabbit rescue raffles .... tickets still available .... see Raffle links on right hand side
Good Luck!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

snip snip

Snip Snip = I'm cutting all ties to Edinburgh Zoo and anything they are involved in.

Why?

Because in breaking news in Edinburgh this week everyone found out that the two baby Red River Hoglets which were born at the zoo last year to the endangered African Red River Hog mama and papa as their first ever babies had been purposely killed by the zoo as 'surplus to EU requirements'

I'm a vegetarian and I don't advocate any animal losing their life for the benefit or pleasure of a human, and I cannot understand the killing of two healthy endangered piglets that had been given names and used as a publicity draw to the zoo! - they are, were, Sammi and Becca, and killed by a zoo that boasts about it's breeding policy and protection of endangered animals.

They apparently have killed many endangered animals over the years. They just choose not to publicise it.

It's a pity that this has happened. I am sure the mama and papa are grieving, still. It happened at the beginning of this year and only just made the news!

I even wrote about the parents last year on my blog when they just had the babies.

I've already emailed the zoo to tell them what bloody idiots they are, that they do not deserve the privilege of caring for another animal and cannot be trusted in the proper, sentient and ethical care of the animals.

You can read more and even drop a note here at the Edinburgh Advocate for Animals OneKind website.

I personally think the director of the zoo should be sacked and the staff involved sacked too. This is not an animal testing facility or abbatoir, zoos are supported by public trust and goodwill in the species they care for. This is betrayal of our trust.

Instead of sponsoring an animal at the zoo I can recommend the Scottish Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust. Andy who runs the place makes sure all animals are well looked after. Surplus or not. And they have sponsorships available.
Just think - the babies could have gone there to live out their lives in safety.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Happyness

the day I met Arabella will always remain strongly in my mind. She was chosen by my first rescue rabbit Zai when he licked her on the nose. I had never seen a more mesmerising rabbit and she won all our hearts on the spot.

She is such a pretty doe and is so good natured. Not that I mind if she causes more destruction than she has done, I'm used to rabbit interior decorating and especially like the unique touches.
But Arabella is a very private rabbit, she hasn't undertaken too many projects at home and likes to work alone. So I usually discover the changes later in the day when she is deep asleep in her den (her fleece lined heated room under the corner table).
The biggest project she has worked on over the years is the shredding of the curtain bottoms. They have been reinforced a couple of times as they become thread bare and 'rabbit-eaten' - like moth eaten only with bigger holes.
A few times I've had to fish Arabella out from a larger hole as she had chewed her way in and couldn't get out and there are the times when she is no-where to be seen but there is a discernible lump at the curtain base! (busily working away).

By the way - she wants to know if you have your ticket for the raffle(s) yet?
Read the posts below this one to see all the prizes you can win including these 3 here -

This is Lola, Jen's rabbit! and is in the set of 4 greeting cards you could win!

This photo was taken when Lola was a baby. Now she doesn't even fit in that tiny little house!
It will be one of 4 rabbit greeting cards and is a 4x6 photograph mounted to a 5x7 blank, luxurious white card with a matching envelope. They are professionally printed on Kodak Endura Paper, Luster Finish.

I own some of Jen's greeting cards, of her fawn, and these are exceptional quality that are suitable for framing, and keeping! Some greeting cards are hard to part with, and you may find that with these ones!


This is The Protector by Alison of a crow safely holding a rabbit and Alison says that "Friends are there to fold you in their arms when you fall"
What better way to celebrate true friendship than a touching painting! Some one is going to be very lucky!

It is an original watercolour 8 x 10 inches, on 100% cotton rag hot pressed paper by Saunders Waterford 90lbs




And the last raffle prize of the 17 total prizes in the 2 Winter raffles being held is Mother Hare Ermine.

Her story is here, and she was made by me with Arabella and Wesley watching and approving. Arabella gets to say goodbye to all my soft sculptures when I wrap them up so she shall be giving Ermine some advice about curtains I'm sure.

She will come with a small tag telling her story as well as a little package of surprise extras for the lucky winner! Now isn't that a nice incentive to spend a pound or dollar? And even cheaper than a cup of coffee!

Wesley wants to thank you for helping the rescue rabbits - he should know - he was one for about a year!
and even though the rabbits in the rescues are safe from harm and have a full belly and a warm bed they still need that space in their hearts filled.

Until they see that day, I want to thank all the very generous artists taking part in the raffle I am holding to raise funds for Wesley's old rescue. It could not have been done without you all, I am so very, very grateful!!

and every day I give thanks that Tracy gave a space in her 'always full' rescue for Wesley, and he gave me a space in his heart.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

what Medium(s) do you work in?

I have never had a single preferred medium as an artist as I try different skills and techniques but I do enjoy painting in watercolour as I have only tried oils once and I mainly use acrylics (house tester paint bottles) on my sculptures.
I rather liked it when I was dabbling in a pottery course 3 years ago and before, when I lived in Australia I used to make and sell sculptures out of paper mache.
Now I make textile sculptures and mixed media collages, as well as most of the above.

Here is a hare I prepared earlier .....

Well, er, this was the very first pottery sculpture I made. It is a hare sitting on a forever secret box. It's a forever secret box because it will never open.

I made this hare from my vivid imagination and blindly used the pottery 'glazes' that were provided to the class. It was such a strange experience and such a brief course that I didn't take too much in.

I really enjoyed making the hare, amongst many other animals I fashioned and some penguin soap holder dishes.
Yes, my mum received 3 penguin soap holder dishes for Christmas that year! They are all alive and well, though a few wings have been clipped, and a couple of beaks have been shortened. Not that the penguins were ever going to fly away ....

I made this paper mache Zebra Trinket box well over 12 years ago here in Scotland. After I left Australia where I used to sell them, I made a few when I came here. They were published in some glossies aswell! Always exciting!

It is very light and fragile. I used my own version of paper mache. So that meant - flour (white), water, salt (lots) and some wood glue mixed into it all, to help the paste keep the newspaper strips together. News broadsheets were the best, I think they are mainly constructed from The Scotsman (long before I discovered the far superior Guardian paper - which I add, I only read online) and there may be a free real estate paper scrap in there too.

This box will be going into my etsy shop to find a new home where it will be loved and looked after.

and getting back to that pottery course - well, after the hare came a zebra secret-keeper-for-real trinket box, where the 'box' actually opened! The hare never opened because I realised too late that I had not made a cut soon enough to scrape out the insides.
But this one was done in time, before it started to dry out in my fingers.

and another thing I learnt, all too late, was that it was difficult to paint white onto brown clay, so you can see the red coming thru in parts, especially under the legs where it was hardest to dab on.

It's sure not like using paint on a brush! This was a sediment rich but thin, watery, blotchy medium that had to be stirred constantly to keep it consistent and as soon as it touched the red clay it immediately froze on the spot. There was no 'gliding on' as I had imagined in my pottery dreams ....

Inside are some very handsome huge round balls to stop the lid falling off as I did not know how to make a small classy egde.

This was also thanks to the fast drying clay and my panicking over how to make it exactly right as I never work to designs nor detailed sketches. I envisage ethereal designs in my imagination and then go straight to work.

Still, - edge, lip or balls, I rather like my small zebra friend.

As you can see I have rather a thing for these handsome beings! Here are some of my original watercolour zebra ACEOs - small artist 'sample' cards that I have displayed next to my minature 1/32nd scale plastic animals.
These ones are in my etsy shop.

and before I have the last word about rabbits I'll just mention one more zebra .....

This cut out is from a watercolour I painted in Australia then had printed up. I'm thinking of making some cut out and dispay / play cards with them. Could you just see a herd of zebra grazing at your acacia?
It will bring back memories of when I lived in Zambia and was surrounded by them! One attacked our Datsun - completely smashed the rear indicator with it's hoof, (as an after thought), as it slowly sauntered by!

..... and the last word about rabbits (ofcourse) - two raffles, 17 super prizes and lots of love to share - please see the two raffle links at the blog top, right hand side .....

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

call out for Kittens

Mother cats seem to know instinctively where safe homes are for their kittens.

A few weeks ago a slender stray mother-to-be chose Victoria's home as the birth place for her small litter of 3 kittens.
She gave birth in the safe backyard but Victoria moved the family inside and out of any danger.

Victoria named the mother Bootsy and her kittens are just opening their eyes now.
I wrote an article on the Artisans Gallery team blog about artists and their unofficial studio managers and you can read more about Bootsy there.

Victoria will be looking for suitable homes for the babies when they are ready to go out into the world.
If you know anyone who may be interested in adding a beautiful friend to their family then please stop by Victoria's blog to contact her.

The babies are safe and snug in their tabby cat bed and mama Bootsy has managed to put on some weight. Victoria is kindly giving Bootsy a forever home, and also a job as her Arts Manager.

When I lived in Australia I bought my cat loving mother a book called Why Cats Paint. It was filled with amazing pictures of very talented cats dabbling away at their creations.

After studying each picture and reading about the character of each cat I was filled with joy that it is not only the human that enjoys creating visual art, but also elephants, horses and now cats!
Did you know about the Museum of Non Primate Art? MONPA - fascinating!

I think that perhaps one day Bootsy may take up the brush, or should I say, paw, next to Victoria.

Thanks for helping to get the kitten word out to your cat-loving friends.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Always room for One more

The good thing about holding a raffle is that there is always room to add another beautiful prize!

Let me introduce 'White Rabbit says - I Love Vegans' brooch!

I already have my very own White Rabbit Brooch made by Kim from Veganessa. It is absolutely adorable and I just love wearing it.

It is a white acrylic felt rabbit brooch with a pretty patch of blue forget-me-nots and the word 'vegan' blanket stitched on and with a tiny black heart button next to it. The eye is a tiny shiny black bead. It is lightly padded, and has a secure metal brooch pin stitched on the back. It is approx 3 inches / 7.5 cm long

I wear my brooch either on my jumper or attached to my Arabella bag. Arabella is a vegan, after all!

Thank you so much Kim for taking part!!!


Jane from TheDogHouse has generously donated this humourous Greyhound in Disguise tea towel. Now there is no excuse to let your dishes drip dry and to always have it on display! Thanks Jane!

'All Ears' is a white 100% cotton tea towel featuring a hand printed image in baby blue of a greyhound wearing bunny rabbit ears! The towel is super absorbent & measures a generous 46 x 74 cm. It is hemmed on all 4 sides and has a hanging hook attached to one corner.

Jane screen printed the image onto the towel by hand using non-toxic fabric ink. The ink has been fixed using heat, making it resistant to machine washing at 40°C, dry cleaning and ironing on a cotton setting.

The image is derived from a photograph of Jane's rescue greyhound, Max, wearing a pair of ears. Ideal for use as a dish towel or for drying your dog's muddy / wet paws before they create little paw prints all over the floor!

and just to show you that Jane is not kidding about the image - here is Max in those 'faux rabbit' ears!!
Personally, Arabella, Wesley and I all think he is mighty handsome!

and this year I am delighted that Pey from Peylu has again donated a Print Set of Esme the Brown Bunny! Thank you Pey!

This image of Esme is from Pey's original painting on clay.
The set contains one ACEO ( Art Cards Editions and Originals) 9cm x 6cm
one large Greeting Card large 13 x 17cm
one small Greeting Card 9cm x 13cm
one Print on 21.5cm x 28cm paper
Plus a bonus bookmark of the same image

I have my very own set of Esme with the print above my work desk and every day I look happily at this beautiful piece of art. I really love Esme!

and I love the detail in Esme's expressive eye!

Jeanette from SquareHare has donated three beautiful pieces of jewellery! That's three chances to win! Many thanks Jeanette!

Above is her magical Ancient Celestial Hare and it is different from her usual celestial hare pendants as this one has no hammering texture. This is the only one like this, but if the winner wants it hammering Jeanette will do that for them. I really love it this way!

This Hare Pendant is Jeanette's own take on a wearable Masquerade Hare pendant, from the famous book Masquerade.

The Masquerade Hare was the reason Jeanette first studied making jewellery many many years ago. And when she later moved to her present home and saw the wild hares leaping in the fields around her, it seemed natural that she should create this piece as the first of her Hare collections.

The hare is in brass, approx 7cm long, hand sawn by Jeanette and bearing the ancient mark of the spiral that all her pieces carry, placed on it's hind leg to symbolise the strength in the Hare's legs as it leaps towards it's destiny.
The Spiral bale symbolises the creative currents of the universe, whilst the rose quartz bead, suspended from the silver chain below, represents the sleeping moon over which the Hare is leaping.


and this is the Dancing Faun, Pan Brooch in brass, playing his pipes for the dancing goddess/god within you.

He is 4.5cm high. Wear him where all can see him and see if he brings a little mischief into your life.

and on the left here is the Dancing Hare Brooch also in brass and approx 7cm high.

This Brass Hare is Jeanette's take on a wild hare dancing in the moonlight or maybe the morning sun, for the fun of simply being alive!

I think there could be nothing more special than celebrating the beauty of life! and ofcourse our lagomorph friends know all about enjoying life to the full. A very happy house rabbit will reward you with special leaps into the air that comprise twists, kicks and turns, which are commonly called 'binkies'.

Arabella and Wesley are getting a little old for binkies, but they still do them, occasionally and they always brings a smile to my face!

Tickets for these great prizes are here

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Mark the Middle - 15 December

On December 15 the raffle winners will be drawn for both raffles!! I will be announcing the winners for the RNGP raffle I am holding and Herta will be announcing the winners for the Buckeye HRS raffle on their website.

The good thing about taking part in a raffle is that the decision making is taken out of it. You buy your ticket and wait in anticipation for the winner of each prize to be announced. Last year I had someone else pick the winners from the Golden Carp Trinket Box and this year I am not sure who will be doing it. Perhaps I will have two small furry helpers .....

Arabella and Wesley have done raffle draws for me before but there was much umbrage during the process and I'm not sure we can go thru with that again. Treats or no treats!

I shall have to have a think about this. Lots more prizes means more chances!

This year I am delighted that Eline is taking part with her donation of a Doggy Bag!
Now aren't those daschunds just the cutest ever with their outdoor coats and hats on?

Eline says the bag is a Swedish (BorĂ¥s) design, and the dogs just make her happy, (me too!).

She has made a simple tote bag with handles so you can carry it in hand or on your shoulder. She has done very little else than shaping the bag, not to fuss up the fabric. The fabric is vinyl coated, so you don't have to go out of the way for showers! Even the dogs don't have to worry about the rain!!

It is 14.5" / 37 cm and the handles are 11" / 27 cm long. The top opening is 13.5" / 34 cm wide and it can be washed on the cold cycle in the machine with no spin dry. Nice an environmentally friendly too!!


and this year Carly has again donated an original piece of artwork! It has the most adorable gentle hare looking over her shoulder.

Carly says it is an original collage on a 12"x24" primed canvas. Various torn papers are used to create visual interest while the animal has been sketched with charcoal, graphite, and chalk. Design elements from the papers have been incorporated into the drawing as well as the animal form, allowing the rabbit to blend into the image while yet remain a focal point.

This piece is finished and ready to hang (Eyelets with wire are secured to the back), sides are painted black, to create unity within the work. Two layers UV protective coating have been applied to help protect the integrity of this piece. Although, it is still recommended that work not be hung in direct sunlight.

I love the colours and the smooth lines of this artwork. A very gorgeous piece indeed!

I have been fascinated with hares and rabbits my whole life. They live on every continent except Antarctica.
They have fascinated people thru the centuries and for thousands of years have been part of myths and folklore.

The very first mother hare I made was Mother Hare Freya. Here she is at the front with my own mother hare Gold.
I know my squirrels have been very popular but I thought that a mother hare would be right present for a raffle that benefits rabbits.

and so I chose Mother Hare Fortuna to go into the Buckeye HRS raffle to support Pey's Harvest painting.
I hope my hares bring with them good fortune and intention.

So, lots of wonderful prizes for these two raffles! - links on right of blog- more details to be announced in the next posts and many, many furry beating hearts that will be truly grateful for your support. Carrots for all ! yumeee!