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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas To All and To All A Good Night...

Wishing you all a very Happy and Wonderful Holiday Season...from me and mine to you and yours. Be Well, stay safe, warm and cozy with full bellies, happy hearts and in loving arms.
I am off for holidays now till January 8th...hope you all will join me back here in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Cards

I wanted to pop in quickly today to show you some special xmas cards I made last week. One of my favourite clients requested some Christmas cards, yet I had just delivered the last batch of my usual, large, watercolour paper, full bleed cards to a local shop and my new printer doesn't take the usual thick watercolour paper. But I really didn't want to not provide this valued customer with her requested cards so I made up a special batch and I am quite happy with how they turned out.

Each card has been glittered with gold and silver, the envelopes have matching stickers and each set was tied up with silk ribbon and I always enjoy adding extra little touches like the silver stars.

Though a departure from my usual cards being much smaller and not full bleed I am quite happy with them and more so knowing the customer loved them. I think these have more of 'hand-made' feel to them which I really like and I am thinking of switching over to a similar design for my whole card line...

The backs are simple but effective I think...and I really like the fact that they are earth-friendly, printed with pigment ink (sorry I can't afford soy inks quite yet!!!) on a acid-free, 100% recycled Canadian made paper, which is mounted on hand-made recycled rag paper with a recycled white envelope...
And of course I couldn't resist putting them in a cute little green bag...it's the little things that matter most I think...anyhow, see you all tomorrow...I have lots to share before I break for a few days for Christmas holidays with my little family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Beatrix Potter Beauty

As I sit here on this Monday morning, with my coffee and cheerios (which I also had to share with all four bunnies who are cheerio monsters!), I am in abit of a daze that Christmas is this Thursday and trying not to stress that I am not nearly done all that I intended to get done this holiday season...I am also sitting here wondering what to write to you all about today. I have lots of new pendants to show you but I am sure you'll get abit bored with this blog if every post is just one pendant after another (though they are already starting to sell which has me so happy and excited) so I thought I'd switch it up abit and show you something new but different...and then I thought 'Oh...the cute new tea set...' .
My friend Maria surprised me with this adorable little teeny weeny tea set. It's porcelain and made in Germany and Beatrix Potter and the lovely Maria was right in knowing that I'd love it. Thanks Maria. It's already found a home, safe and sound and away from any little hands or paws!

I am a big fan of Beatrix Potter. I have various biographies on her and I just adored the newest Beatrix Potter movie. The fact that she didn't reach success until her 30's is abit of an inspiration to me...when those mean old voices in the doubtful recesses of my mind decide to come out and taunt me with their '...it's too late.'s..' or 'it'll never happen now's' I'll just lift my head and look up at my new gift. Because you see on first glance, this might just be a cute miniature (the tip of my baby finger just fits in the little teacups) sitting on a shelf in my upstairs studio...but oh no it's much more than that to me...it's a visual and easy reminder of one of my inspirations and a gentle yet quick reminder that 'it's never ever ever too late for successes to come to us if we keep trying'.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Needed Day 'Away'

So this past Wednesday my good friend Maria and I decided to get out of town for the afternoon and relax, lunch and shop in Sudbury. It was a great day, and much needed after being so home bound for the past week and abit because of the headaches. The only drawback from the day was that I didn't make it back in time to watch my niece in her leading role of Mrs.Claus at her school's annual xmas play. But it was such a cozy and warm feeling to be happy as pie to be back home after a day away from my bunnies and honey.
We both got ourselves some goodies and I wanted to share them with you since they are so delicious and pleasant:D ....so here's some books that I got...I just couldn't resist. Especially the magazines, because our magazine selection here in North Bay royally sucks, so I indulged in 'Take Ten', "Studio' and my first issue of "Art Dolls Quarterly", I have no plans to make art dolls but it just amazes me what people can do with them so this one will be enjoyed for sure...

I also couldn't' resist some good finds in the bargain section....Bunnicula is a hilarious kids series and I thought our house dedicated to bunnies isn't complete without a copy of this book! I am a big Nick Bantock fan and collect his books whenever I can afford to, I've read the Griffin and Sabine Trilogy so I was happy to find the 4th and final conclusion "The Golden Mean' for a mere 6 bucks! I also indulged in 'Murkmere' and 'Haunted Waters' since I haven't dived into a good kids book for a long time now and these looked promising. Also, a Madonna's kid's book, now I don't support these big stars who decide to make children's book on a whim and take up most of a publishers budget for new books, but I do actually like her books! The illustrators she uses are fantastic and the stories are really quiet decent with a moral...so I am hoping this one follows suit.

I couldn't resist this beautiful silver box with a lid that lifts up and little drawers that pull out...I am a sucker for boxes! and this seems to be a nice new asset to my computer desk area.

And I could not resist this beautiful pillow. I love the retro colouring and I just don't get tired of looking at the design....

...plus it was on sale for $10.00!!! and it does go perfectly with my other pillows and on the studio couch, yippee!!!....
So that was a fun little spur of the moment shopping spree....Oh I also got some delicious and beautiful new beads for more necklaces and I can't wait to use them. Who would think, beads, books, a box and new pillow could bring such happiness, ha ha...but they do because I so appreciate everything I get and have and anything that makes our cozy little home that much nicer is welcome, taken care of and enjoyed.
Until Next week, where I might be posting on Monday...or not..you'll have to pop by to see. Be Well and have a wonderful weekend and of course and as always, Happy Creating.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pink Jinny Pendant

I've been anxious to show you all this pendant, with my "Pink Jinny" illustration on it because well I think it just makes a really cute and nice necklace, what do you all think?

In the real world our Pink Jinny is actually a steely blueish grey and a rabbit who adores the snow. Jonathan made her a snow fort on the kitchen deck and after she's done digging and excavating any snow that has covered up the door ways of the fort she then hunkers down inside and sleeps in there until we have to force her out to come back inside!

I'll make more Pink Jinny Pendants in this exact concoction of beading until I run out of the beads, then I'll conjure up a different colour scheme. So each necklace is not only hand-made but they are one-of-a-kind of sorts since beading, bamboo tile colour etc will indeed change every few necklaces. I've been working on pencil boxes, plates and magnets also so I'll be able to show you those soon too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Everything Going To Be Okay" Pendant

Happy Wednesday all, I am just dropping in quickly to show you another new Necklace (this necklace has already sold, but I'll be making more very soon for the shop.) This one is using my coloured pencil illustration from this year called "Everything Is Going To Be Okay".

Again...all the beads are wooden or glass. These are top quality necklaces in my humble opinion.

And I always do put extra care and efforts into my packaging and shipping. These are small and light so shipping on them will be very reasonable.

I'll be putting abunch into my Etsy shop soon, I'll give you all a heads up. I can't wait for the new website because it will have a store section which will be updated with items more often than the Etsy shop I think.
I was so excited and happy to receive a beautiful little note from a woman in the U.K. who said she looked at every single picture on my website and adores my work. If only these letters came more often, ha ha. But when they do, oh boy oh boy do they cheer up an artist's day. I love the fact that just by random an art lover in the United Kingdom came across itty bitty moi's website and liked it enough to stay and browse and was moved enough to actually email and contact me telling me so. It's wonderful. Thank you Thank you Thank you.
Anyhoo....Have a wonderful day and join me here tomorrow for new creations and illustrations.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Necklaces

Good Tuesday everyone. I hope the weekend was kind to you. For me it was good but ruined slightly by a very persistent migraine which forced me into bed most of Sunday night and Monday morning. Though slowed abit, I still managed to be productive and have made quite a few new necklaces which I'll show you over the next few days.
Here is one with my 'My Love, My Love, My Love" illustration. My pendants are of course hand-made by moi. Lovingly so I must add. They are made with a pigment print on acid-free paper, which is mounted on a natural bamboo tile with a toxic-free medium. They are water-resistant but I do suggest that people take them off before showering or swimming. I only use quality beads, therefore all beads are either glass or wooden, never plastic. My clasps, bails and rings are all silver-plated. And my cording is a nice 100% cotton with nylon for abit of stretchability. The pendants measure at about 10" from top clasp to bottom of bamboo tile.
Here is another version with the same illustration. I am happy to have enough beads to be able to duplicate these two styles for hopefully another 2 or 3 necklaces of each design. When you buy my pendants they come in a colour complimentary silk organza bag.... ...and there is an insert telling you the title of the illustration used on the pendant and a 'love/thank you' note signed by moi.
I do apologize for the poor quality of the photos. I took them late at night in my studio as I've been waiting and waiting for sunlight to shoot in natural lighting which I always prefer but everyday has been gloomy and snowy and well I just couldn't wait anymore. I'll re-shoot everything before putting them in the shop.
Well, that's all for today...I am happily off to listen to jazz and to make more necklaces...Until tomorrow, Be Well and Happy Creating.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Foresty Guide Illustrated

Today I wanted to show you the black and white illustrations which I painstakingly worked on around this time last year. I was so very very happy for the experience. Working with 3 different authors via email, phone and fax was challenging and there were many many revisions before reaching any of the approved finals but it was a challenge and task I enjoyed. I started out not even knowing what a 'stub' was, but after working on the project for almost 4 months, I learnt alot and I am happy that the illustration will perhaps help loggers be more careful and aware when in their forestry profession and that the guide and pictures will help protect the wildlife that lives and needs trees, etc... Here are the illustrations that 'made' it into the MNR Forestry Guide.... This illustration depicts a forested area with different soil erosion's and the damage of trucks and too much cutting on the land.

This illustration depicts a tire rut made by the forestry trucks and how deep they should or should not be so as not to leave permanent damage to the forest bed.

This illustrations depicts and shows miles and radius of tree cutting allowed around marshland areas.
This illustration shows how much cutting and how far back cutters must stay from nesting areas found along shorelines etc...
This illustration helps to depict how streams and shorelines along the streams are affected by different types of cutting and what type of trees, shrubs etc should be left to ensure a strong bank, no soil erosion, etc...
This illustration is for eagle or osprey nests and the no-cut radius on cliff faces which cutters must abide by.
This illustration shows primary, secondary and 3rd nests of a bird species and how all nesting areas must be located and a certain radius/miles of no-cutting is enforces around these nests to protect the birds and its natural habitat.
This illustration shows different types of tree cavities and how different species use the holes as a home, so trees with large or even small cavities are suggested to not be cut so that animals, birds, etc homes are left undisturbed.
(This was one of my favourite illustrations, so I just wanted to show you the larger size so you can see the detail abit more...)
This illustrations depicts another cavity tree and how some cavities are born over time, whether it be healed over damage from burrowing or lightening strike...or a freshly fallen branch and the cavity it leaves on tree can become a quick home for a bird or little animal.
This illustration is of a stub tree...showing that cutters must try to leave stubs at 6 feet to allow for decay of tree and therefore future cavity function, especially suggested is to cut above any already present cavities.
I was commissioned and compensated for 23 Black and White Illustrations, where I retained copyright and usage for self-promotion etc, however only 10 illustrations made it into the book, 2 were dropped...and here's the other ones that were indeed approved but for reasons unknown to me did not make it into the book!....
This illustration shows a forested area and it's stubs. Some of the larger veteran trees with cavities are left behind to house local animals and birds and stubs are left behind for future cavity usage or decay which can also become a home. Larger trees are left behind because 10 years down the road....
...half of those will fall and again become hiding places and homes for various species, therefore responsible forestry which is considering the future of the forest habitats.
This illustration is of a pileated wood-pecker making it's hole in a jack pine tree.
This illustrations shows cavities and tells the forest cutters that they must be vigilant and observant, that not all cavity trees are easy to find and therefore mark for no-cutting.
This one shows a mast tree. Mast trees are often large veteran trees which have a good crown that are fruit or nut bearing. Mast trees can be spotted easily to the cutters because often a bear will leave marks either on the ground or on the tree it's in the way of claw marks, or damaged bark etc...These trees are not cut and left along because the cutters will know that a bear relies on this area as a food source.
Just another mast tree illustration, clearly showing damage to the bark, claw marks and yes even a small cavity near the base.
These 3 illustrations show Super Canopy trees, which are also not suppose to be cut because the are also veteran trees and serve a multitude of purposes in protected smaller fellow trees and are often home to many cavities/homes.
This picture shows a veteran tree...the cavity at the base is old and worn and most likely home to some animals. There are also 2 other cavities on this tree which I am sure by now you can spot yourself. The bark shows signs of a lightening strike that the tree strongly survived. Most likely this veteran tree would not be cut because it will eventually most likely grow into a super-canopy tree and dwarf all the others around it and continue to serve it's purpose as protector and home.

This is an illustration which was suppose to accompany one of the pictures that made it into the book, but it again shows the land after tree cutting...the left behind branches etc will become mulch and encourage future growth etc.

So there you have it...my first book illustrated and now universe...send me a children's book to illustrate, ha ha...Thanks for having a look today, join me next week, probably Tuesday instead of Monday for new inspirations, aspirations, illustrations and creations from yours truly, Mandy Saile of Bijou's Whimsy.