Flying Fox Studio

Just comments about my art, kids, animals and the eccentricity of it all.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

baby birds

New arrivals. These were found in someones dog yard. So they were brought to me.

One seems stronger and a bit older than the other, and the weakest was very dehydrated. Hopefully it will pull through.

The more active one is starting to ask me for food. There was a third one another couple brought by, it was taken right out of a cats mouth. It was an exceptionally young nestling and it died in the night. It must have been picked right out of it's nest. Poor little thing. I think it was a Goldfinch baby, some kind of finch anyway. It was about the size of the first joint of my thumb.

Hopefully these will do okay and can be released in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

fabriano paper and feathers

A week ago my sister took me to Vegas.

Well, it was pretty amazing and gave me a great deal to think about.

One day she drove me around and took me to some of the places I wanted to see, one of them was an art store I have ordered from online but not seen in person, Blick art supply.
Holy crap. I could have bought everything in the place.
I did find these great cards made of a beautiful Italian Fabriano Medioevalis watercolor paper with matching envelopes of course. I could not stop petting them. Weird I know but they are 100 little sheets of potential. So here is what I have been doing with them.

Hand painted little feathers. The cards are about 3 1/4 x 5 1/4 and a heavy creamy watercolor paper. They are just single cards, not folded and come with an envelope. I will be posting them on my etsy shop tomorrow. They will be in sets of five in a clear envelope.

These have been fun to do, almost an obsession, it seems I can't stop messing with this paper.

Vegas was interesting to say the least. My sister is pretty amazing too. What an energizer bunny! that girl does not stop.
She gave me a lot to think about. Vegas gave me a lot to think about.
I need to make some changes. Life is passing me by and I'm letting it go.

This balancing act, of trying to create "stuff" and trying to have a life outside my studio is not working too well. There does not seem to be much balancing. hmmm.

How do other people do this? You would think I'd have figured this out by this point in my life.

I can just see it now, the day I die a light will go on and I'll have a lucid moment where it is all clear and then I'll keel over. Great just great.

Actually a lucid moment would be wonderful at any point, at least I could say I'd had one.

The other day Alex called from work and said he'd found a little Goldfinch that wasn't doing too well and would I come and get it.
The poor little thing was pretty lethargic and so very, very skinny.
I gave it a drink of sugar water and put it in a cat carrier. Several times it drank and there for awhile it seemed to perk up. Later that night it did pass away.
As I looked at its still, tiny body, once again I was amazed at the beauty of these creatures. It's legs were hardly bigger than a sewing needle and each tiny toe tipped by a tiny nail. Wings folded to its thin body had once carressed the sky, now still, each feather was perfection. Beautiful and tragic. I wonder if it was sick or simply ancient. It sure was thin. I kept thinking of the scripture stating God is aware of every sparrow that falls.

Though I have never really gone out of my way to have birds they sure seem to find there way here, chickens, ducks, crow, starling, magpie, finchs, robins, many of them.
No wonder birds and feathers always show up in my artwork.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


A few years ago I bought an antique couch, Eastlake style and probably from the late 1890's. It had the original upholstery and the stuffing was straw and horse hair.
Pretty gnarly stuff. Though I would have liked to keep it intact, the stuffing? well picture 100 years of dust on straw and horse hair.
It just seemed nasty to me. So it has been ripped out and I will be re-doing the whole thing in the next few weeks, new burlap strapping and re-tying the springs, re-touching the finish etc, before I upholster the thing.

Okay, so here is the problem, I have a length of heavy fabric I have been saving for this couch, but last week I got this idea of using linen instead. So I drew some designs on natural linen and embroidered them. What if I embroidered linen for the back panels? and natural linen for the rest of it?
The fabric Iwas going to use is a reproduction of a early 1800's pillar print and would look really cool but so would the linen.
Of course whatever I do will then have to be incased in heavy plastic ala the furniture in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" 'cause some critter in my house will just pee on it.

Somebody tell me what to do.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

another wee doll

So here is another little doll, she stands a mere six inches. Her dress is typical of the mid-1860's a time period which I find particularly fascinating.
She is jointed and stands on her own little patch of pavement, painted with little forget-me-nots. Her name is Julia.
The last photo is of a baby sweater, knitted for a friend's daughters new baby girl. This last week or so I have been making so many baby things it is just bizarre.
I have knitted three little sweaters, a hat, socks, and tomorrow I'll be finishing a quilt for my niece's new baby boy. Oh and I've made little bow-ties and yo-yos for the front of onesies, they look so cute! One more baby quilt and I should be done for a while.
Anyway I'll be posting Julia on my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June walk

A couple of days ago we took the dogs for a walk along the river.
It was a gorgeous day, cool and sunny, the river was high from snow melt and the wild flowers were out in force.
Big Rogue wanted to get in the river but it was too high and swift for her. Sparky only wanted to mark on things and Tigger was scared most of the time. Tigger did okay after a while but he is so frightened of the car. Does he remember being dumped? Poor little guy, he cuddled with me all the way home, with his head on my chest. Everyone else held their noses because Rogue and her wet dog smell was a bit overwhelming. Stinky dog.
This last week was one of "those" birthdays, you know the kind, a landmark event kinda thing. It was a sad few days really, I spent a great deal of time choking back tears. Then my sister showed up with plane tickets to Las Vegas and it was all I could do to not sit on the floor and sob. No one has ever done anything like that for me before.
This birthday was a time of regret and assessment. My aunt said "you have lived longer now than you are going to". Yes. And what have I done with it. My time on earth, what have I done with it?
There were great mistakes made and difficult lessons learned, highs and lows, though it seems I remember so few of the highs.
Children born and nearly raised, dozens of animals loved and died, friends made and lost, loved ones passed away, a difficult marriage fading into complacency, sons who make my soul sing, aches and pains, sorrow and despair, and through all of it, the good and bad, I am deeply and profoundly blessed.
The question still remains and always will until I take my last breath, what have I done? Have I been good enough? kind enough? have I used my gifts as the Lord would have me use them? I have tried and failed in a million different ways, how much will I be held accountable for? how many sins omission as well as commission?
The road goes on and on with no end in sight and thank God for that. I am grateful for no time limits at least within reason, it will end eventually, but for now I am healthy and well and there is still time for me to achieve my dreams.
Though I am now considered "old". I still do have dreams.
Those who are young artists have so much more relevancy than I do now. Their computer skills and design sense are "now" while I still rely on the old school pencil and paint. These tools, I cannot give up no matter how relevant I seek to be.
A computer and screen are not tactile enough for me, I want to smell the paint and feel the pencil, scrub the surface with my fingers and dirty my hands.
I am old.
Like my son said, "you are old enough now to say anything you want, oh wait you already do that".
I am old, old enough to have confidence in myself and my life and opinions that I never had in my twenties. Old enough to have confidence in my work that I never had before.
Old enough to know better and behave myself, though I rarely do.
I am old, and damned grateful for it too, several of my friends never made it to "old".
So though it was a difficult birthday it was and always will be a day to celebrate even if it's just me doing it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Teeny Tiny

The last few days I have been working?playing? with making this little doll for an Etsy client.
She is about 2 3/4 inches tall, just under three inches. She is jointed and has tiny little bloomers! It was fun to do a little doll again, it has been a while since I have done any of them.
I made her totally from a polymer clay, then painted with acrylic.
I thought she was pretty adorable, but then what the hell do I know. :)