Mar 20, 2024

Something wicked...

Honestly, I had no idea what he was going to look like, I just wanted to make a friend for Mort.  So I made skinny fingers, like Mort's, in green, and a skeleton the same size as his.  

I then decided he would have horns, so I added extra toes so he'd balance well with the weight of the horns, which are dyed shell slivers from a butchered necklace (from the days when I made dragons).

The horns were wired into place and then I built his form.

It was a wild ride and at one point I thought I'd give up and put him away for a bit... but I kept going and his gangly arms became more ape-like, his hands took shape and his short legs more muscular.

In the end, I had an ape-like beast that looked better on all fours than standing upright... kinda scary, actually, I bet he could move really fast and climb well!  

So for a face... what does he look like?  I thought a wider face might soften his look, and also  bigger ears.

Of course I wanted the ears to be poseable, so I used a very thin green 28 gauge wire and gentled felted two sweet ears.

They turned out to be just the thing he needed on his wide face, a bit like a koala?  Hmm.

He got the same eyes as Mort, sunk deep into eye sockets, and the same kind of mouth.  

And here he is!  Mort loves him, they are best buddies!

He needs a name, though... any suggestions?

He was made with Corriedale "Fern" from Long Grass Studio and 100% Merino wool "Hojas" from Malabrigo Yarn

Mar 11, 2024


 This posting on Facebook really struck me:  

It's sabotage on a scale that's hard to imagine:  we've made it harder to just be happy, to just do something because of the pleasure it brings.  

So how do you dance "like no one is watching"?  More importantly, why can't you dance and not care that anyone is watching because it's not up for critique or judgement?  You're just doing it for fun, for how good it makes you feel?

Same with creating anything... How to create because it's enjoyable without worrying about the end "product"?

So, I present to you this beach with grassy dunes.  It was fun to make.  I don't want you to tell me the waves aren't perfect, or the clouds need work.  Tell me you hear the sound of the waves and feel the sun on your face and that's all I want from sharing this piece.  

Mar 3, 2024

Moonlit Path

I went to a wet felting workshop on February 29 (Leap Day) at the West Grey Public Library and everyone in the group came away with a lovely piece of pre-felt.  It was a really good experience taking the loose fiber and turning it into a quite stable piece of felt.  Time was tight so it's amazing how strong the pre-felt is considering so many steps were abbreviated or skipped.  Our fearless leader Kimm was aware of the time constraint and ushered us along so we'd have something useable to take home.  Bravo!

This is my finished piece, with the two colors of fiber I used.  It's three layers (2 of the darker blue).  I hope to use it as a backing for a 2D picture.

Here's Kimm's.   As per usual, the instructor was too busy guiding the group and her own piece got neglected.  Kimm was going to toss it but I hate seeing fiber go to waste and was drawn to the colors so she gave it to me to salvage.

As you know, abstract is not my thing.  Also, I would never have chosen this color combination (for example, see my pre-felt:  practical and, you can say it, ordinary).  So here I was with this organic mis-shapen thing that was calling out to be "found".  I took on the challenge, deciding not to alter it too much.

What did I see?  I saw a tunnel leading to an open space, and on the right the shape of a woman or a tree-woman.  (Turned sideways, Mom saw a butterfly).

After washing and drying it, I felted it to a piece of sparkly, black felt.  Then, using the little loose piece, I added a head to the woman shape and marked out a path.  I added some dark green around the outer edges and yellow and white to the faery glade that the path leads to.  I added moonlight to the path.

And finally some locks to really push for a forest look.

Here it is without the flash, better light for a moonlit image.

I really enjoyed this challenge, thanks Kimm!  I wish I had more salvage to work with as it really made me think outside my usual creations.

And thanks to the Library for hosting this workshop!  Check out your local library to see what they're up to!

Jan 14, 2024

Under the Sea

Happy 2024!  Just a quick post to start off the New Year:  I made this "Under the Sea" because I wanted to use the lovely blues in my stash.  

Once I had everything gathered, it went quickly.  The frame is an open box with no glass and no back but I had an idea...

I selected 4 blues and blended to get this soft gradient of color:

A few crystals are stitched into the "water" near the top, they add a little sparkle when the light hits them.

Next, I added some green locks, lovely wavy things that look like the water is making them gently dance, and a few findings that look like coral branches and seaweed.

I was contemplating adding fish but then I saw this orange seahorse and tried my hand at creating one.  With a wire "spine", the horse turned out quite nice...

and a bit more seaweed and tada!  Under the Sea!

And the frame?  I used a sheet of clear, colorless plastic to cover the back and so light can shine through when hung in front of a window (or other light source).  You can see a few of the crystals glittering near the top.  

Dec 14, 2023

End of an Era

Tomorrow my website, that I've had since 2004, will cease to exist.  I'm giving up the website and email... although I will hang on to the domain name for now.  

Only a very few sales happened from someone stumbling upon my website, it was at shows that I sold the most.  So the expense didn't seem justified anymore.  

I will still have a website, though.  I picked GoDaddy because it's free, it didn't abbreviate my name and it's been pretty easy to use.   So Scratching at the Window will still be on the web, just at a different address.

Frankly, this more streamlined version is probably more user friendly.  We'll see!

Please take a look!

Oct 31, 2023

October bliss

 How I love October!  But it all comes to an end so quickly...

It was a lovely month, with the trees looking particularly beautiful this year.  And we saw some great Hallowe' en displays!!  

But the best was visiting the pumpkin patch on Hwy 89!  The MacAndrews Pumpkin Farm is always a must-do for Hallowe 'en but this year we arrived just as the goats and sheep were being treated to pumpkins!  Wow!   

Oh my gosh!!!  Were they ever cute!!

We got some lovely pie pumpkins for soup-in-a-pumpkin.

And their carved pumpkins were masterpieces!

I also spotted the creatures in the tree behind their house, really fun!

Have a great night everyone!  Happy 'Hallowe' en!

Jun 10, 2023

French ladies and rats

I purchased 3 postcards for myself in remembrance of Rose and to help myself get over missing her emails and letters.  It's been 2 months since she died and life moves on, only it's smaller now and I miss the highs of opening the mailbox and finding something from her...

So I paid three strangers to send me something, 3 gorgeous postcards.  I didn't open them right away, I'm going to savour them on days when I need a little pick-me-up.  Like yesterday.  

This card was purchased on eBay and is called "Un Jour Maigre" and is dated 1906.  What an interesting scene of rats eating mussels, crab and lobster!

The title translates as a lean day, meaning a day of abstinence, or a day when eating meat is forbidden.  But these little guys are feasting on shellfish, so I imagine there's a story being told here in regards to fasting days and Christianity.  

The artist is Leontine Malbet and I was curious about her.  I discovered she was a painter in France, her full name being Aurelie Leontine Malbet (1868-1906).  And it turns out she also shared a fascination with rats and mice!  These are the images I found online:

What can I say?  Very cool!  Why would a French lady of that time paint rats and mice?  Paris of course is teaming with rats so she may have had some life models to study (although she seems to make her critters all white).  

These next three all appeared in the weekly magazine France Illustrée.  Again I'm sure there's some social commentary attached to these images.

November 19, 1898

May 13,1893 and January 16 1892

I love this next one.  The artist's talent is clear, with the lovely grapes and peaches, and then there are two rats.  Why would you paint this?  I would love to know!  And who would hang it on their wall (besides me)?  

I also really like this one.  Again, the lovely, ripe peaches, they look delicious... and mice!  Lots of mice, enjoying the spilt cream?  I wish I had a better picture of this, to see the wee mice in more detail.  This image makes it clear that the critters in the other paintings and drawings are rats, these wee guys are darn cute mice.  

So, how does a person go about finding out if any other of Aurelie Leontine Malbet rodent paintings were published as postcards?  If there's one...???  

I'd love to hear from you if you have any insight!

And again, thank you Rose.