Carve December Day 4

Day 4’s prompt is “little.” I decided to make a little kitty based on one of my Kringle Kitty designs. I winged it, drawing the image directly on the Speedy Carve. The nice thing about these small carvings is they don’t take a lot of time. The hardest part of the whole process is getting past what I want to carve.

I used a small piece of Speedy Carve. I carved the image first and then I decided to remove the background. After stamping it a few times, I cut back the shape a little to minimize the carved background.

This was a delicate piece and the cutter slipped a few times so I had to make adjustments. I try to work slow but occasionally I knick the rubber which means that I have to make adjustments, especially on these smaller pieces.

The small stamps are really fun to make. If you think these are difficult, they really aren’t. The main ingredient is patience and not being hung up on being perfect. During December, they are especially useful as a meditative practice before I get to work on other things, like commissions.

Ktingle Kitty Stamp

Inktober Day 25

Six more days left in October. It’s always amazing how fast October whips by. Then Christmas goes into high gear, pretty much skipping over Thanksgiving. I think that Thanksgiving has been turned into the Memorial Day of the Holiday Season. It’s a shame because it really is nice to enjoy November for the beautiful month that it is. You can get some bitterly cold days, maybe even some snow, and you don’t quite get Indian Summer anymore. However, the crunchy leaves and the pumpkins, Indian corn and corn stalks left out to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving have their own charm. Thanksgiving is the holiday to be thankful for what you have been given during the year and to celebrate with family and friends. No gifts. No annoying fireworks. Just good food and spending time together, maybe watching a parade, football or some annual activities.

My kids love Thanksgiving and my daughter tells me that it’s her favorite holiday. She says it is the food. I can see why. Thanksgiving, at least in my family, was all about homemade food. Everything from scratch. I even use a Food Network scratch recipe for my biscuits, which I make the day before and then reheat them on Thanksgiving. (I use spelt flour instead of white flour.) The joke in our family is that it takes days to make the meal, then everyone seems to wolf it down in about 15 minutes on Thanksgiving.

The favorite Thanksgiving food? Stuffing, hands down.

It seems fitting that today’s prompt is “tempting.” Especially as October winds down. We are coming into the season where healthy eating goes flying out the window. Halloween with the excessive candy, Thanksgiving and the holidays with the rich foods, wine and desserts, and cookies; it’s the season of food and calories.

Speaking of today’s Inktober sketch; this is a pen and ink version of a watercolor sketch I did several years ago, when Cleo was still alive. I swapped out what was originally on the plate for the fish.

OK, someone please tell me why cats are associated with fish? Cats are domesticated from the African wildcat, a species that still exists today and they eat mice, rats, insects, birds, lizards and sometimes baby mammals. Where’s the fish?

Inktober 2022  Day 25
Tempting
pen and ink drawing of a cat sitting on a chair so all that you see is her eyes and ears as she is contemplating the fish on the plate on the table.  Which is most likely going to be poached by the cat,
Inktober 2022 Day 25 “Tempting”

Inktober Day 22

Ooooo, today is a fun word. Heist. One movie came to mind, “Tower Heist” with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. I cracked up through that movie and was especially delighted when the Tower staff was distracted from their duties by the Thanksgiving parade. Adults that are young at heart, I loved it. The woman hitting on Eddie Murphy cracked me up, too. It was just a movie but it was fun and entertaining.

Thinking of that movie made me think of how I could represent the word “heist” for today’s Inktober drawing. I was watching a bunch of seagulls and my husband and I were commenting about how laughing gulls steal sandwiches right from human hands on the beach. Always a hilarious sight. Some poor unsuspecting human, usually a child, is eating a sandwich and holding it in a way that it won’t get sand on it and the laughing gulls will power dive to steal the sandwich. Always cracks me up.

Gulls are the ultimate thieves. In the summer, when my kids were younger, I would come home from work, scoop them up into the car and we would drive to the beach for the evening. We would stop at Blitz’s in Sea Isle and get hoagies. The kids would pick out 2 bags of some sort of snack food, usually Doritos and something else. We would take it all to the beach and sit and have sandwiches and snacks on the beach. One evening, we had put the food down to walk to the water first. We came back to a large gull flapping down the beach with our large bag of Doritos. It was already open and he was fighting off a bunch of other gulls of all shapes and sizes and before we could blink, the bag was shredded and chips were everywhere. So were the gulls. The gulls definitely know that red bag. There’s a video out on the internet about a gull that would walk into a beach front store in NJ and walk out with a snack sized bag of Doritos. It cracks me up every time I watch it. It’s so true that they like Doritos.

FUN FACT – Doritos were invented at Disneyland! I just found that out the other day on Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities “Well Seasoned” Podcast.

I was going to sketch the Dorito gulls for today’s prompt, but then I thought of cats. My daughter’s cats are the ultimate thieves. If you leave any carbs out, her cat, Piper, will steal it. Piper and Lili are the inspiration for today’s heist of fish.

Inktober Day 22
Heist 
Pen and Ink drawing of a cat stealing a fish from a vendor/fish stand.  The stand has a sign with "fresh fish" on it and there are other fish left still on ice but it looks almost like kitty got the biggest fish!
Inktober Day 22 “Heist”

Inktober Day 14

The prompt for Day 14 is “empty.” My Chihuahuas, Chloe and Mack, are very food focused and empty plates are a cause to create a relentless nagging until they get their next meal. Because Chihuahuas can get hypoglycemic, especially as puppies, our dog children are fed small portioned meals spaced out three times a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Chloe and Mack get my hubby up early for their breakfast. My husband used to get up early to commute into NYC and he still wakes early because of it. The dynamic duo sense his sleep pattern changing and they are on him like flypaper until he gets up and feeds them breakfast. Usually some drama of coughing and sneezing like they’re on their last breath. They’re dying because they are thinning by the minute until they get breakfast. Then that wakes me and we’re all up at 6AM. They get fed, go out to go potty, and are back in a coma while we have to try to fall back asleep again.

When we cat sit our grand kitties, the two kitties used to be upset about being with us until they watched and studied this whole drama. They learned that Chloe and Mack wake up the humans for food. Which is cool because when the doggies get fed, the kitties get fed, too. The kitchen becomes chaos when the kitties are here. Then, they go home, and treat their mom, my daughter, to a whole new and unwelcome AM feeding schedule.

That tail, tale? all told, “empty” has a different meaning in our house than those without animal companions. Empty means someone’s belly requires filling. And God help us if there is a chicken or turkey in the oven! They know and they become relentless. Chloe will sit in front of that stove until the poultry comes out.

Inktober Day 14
Empty
Pen and ink drawing of a cat and a dog sitting in front of empty dishes.
Inktober Day 14 – Empty

Inktober Day 13

Today is Inktober Day 13 and the prompt is “kind.” I almost pulled out a KIND bar for this one. We have two different types of Kind Bars in the closet and my first thought was to sketch one of them. It would have been fun. I can still do it even though I already did this sketch first.

I thought of “kind” as people being nice to each other. I have these two little dolls in studio that I often use as inspiration and I chose them for today’s representation of “kind.” The girl doll is giving the boy doll a flower and the boy doll is giving the girl doll his heart. Usually it’s the other way around but sometimes hearts don’t work in the way they normally do. I have these drawn as cats but I am not sure if they are cats or mice or what. They could be dogs. Either way, they caught my attention this morning so they are my prompt inspiration.

I can’t believe we are nearing the end of the second week of October. Time just seems to zip on by. We didn’t buy a pumpkin yet. We found out the hard way if you put them out too early in Florida, they become mush in a week. When we used to live in the Northeast, pumpkins could last outside until Christmas if they weren’t carved and the squirrels hadn’t found them yet. Once the squirrels found them, they got “carved” pretty quickly. The squirrels were pretty devious about it, too. They would eat the side that was hidden from view. We usually discovered the “crime” when we put up the Christmas lights and the pumpkin was being removed due to the holiday swap out.

Well, I am checking off another Inktober day.

Inktober Day 13
Kind
Pen and Ink drawing of two catlike creatures dressed in clothing.  They are giving each other a heart and a flower. The one on the left has a satchel and has a coat on and the one on the right is wearing a dress.  They have catlike ears
Inktober Day 13 – Kind

sketch pattern to stuffed doll

Here is the stuffed version of my Coco Moloko using what I had around my studio. I thought about going to buy glittery fabric for the frosting, or even just getting another color for the frosting and a different pink for the feet, but in the end I just used what I had in the studio. There are some things I would tweak if I made another one of these. Plus I would explore how to make other flavors. LOL

I also took Coco’s photo with the two kitties I made last year around Halloween. Both kitties were made from homemade patterns that I have been experimenting with.

Coco Moloko enjoying the sun

Sleigh

What’s better than a sleigh with 8 reindeer? A sleigh with 8 cats! Santa’s annual run was over. He’s looking forward to a long rest. This year was stressful. The reindeer went AWOL so Santa had to use the barn cats. The elves all got sick. There was a blizzard over most of North America. He found out he’s gluten intolerant and can’t eat most cookies anymore. He did discover oat milk and the kids have been leaving out almond milk and coconut milk instead of cow’s milk so he felt much better this year.

It’s time to feed the cats a nice juicy meal for helping him out. He checked in the elves who seem to be feeling better. The local ranger found the reindeer scarfing up hay at a local dairy barn and is returning them in the morning. Time for a glass of wine and a book by the fire. But he may decide to watch the Mandalorian instead.

And today’s stamp.

Skates

Ellie dreams of being an Olympic figure skater. She practices every day and loves skating in the snow. The creek near her house freezes over in the winter and it is her favorite place to skate. She and her friends create a rink and a track on the frozen creek and they do pretend Olympic Winter Games all season long. Winter is fun where Ellie lives.

Today’s carved stamp is an abstract design and I carved it without a sketch. I drew in pencil right on the stamp.

It’s December….Again

December is such a busy month and I scratch my head when art challenges pop up for December. Especially when the list hits right before the start date so that you can’t prepare ahead of time. It almost seems sadistic.

Getting off my soapbox….Shannon McNab’s “Daily Sketch Challenge” prompts for December are very helpful and she encourages not spending a lot of time overthinking them but to use the daily prompt for inspiration to illustrate an idea. She is correct when she says if you were looking to create illustrations or art for the holiday season, there’s no better time to do it than during this season.

Christmas is the time of year when you feel the season in so many different ways…the festivities, the food, the visual celebrations of lights and decor, the music, TV specials and ironically, even the stress could be a source of inspiration. Watching Hallmark Christmas movies or listening to holiday music in July doesn’t really capture the moment or ambiance like the living in the season does for providing inspiration to create holiday art.

I discovered another prompt list called Carve December (that I need like a hole in the head) that I could probably incorporate with the Shannon McNab’s list. I am really excited about Carve December because carving stamps and having inspiration to do them is making me very happy. Stamp carving is fun and relaxing and I can do so much with my own stamps in my creations. I have already found that they make cute little gift tags.

Here is my Daily Sketch Challenge and my CarveDecember print.

On a side note, I need to pick up a red ink pad. This one leans toward pink.

Lili’s Christmas Parka