Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ravens The Problem with Image

I grew up in the north about 600 miles south of the treeline. It was inhabited by many ravens. We didn't see them too often in the summer but as the cold weather arrived, they were more willing to come near people.

The colder the weather, the more of them you saw. Usually they sat on wires above your head all fluffed up and chilly looking.

Occasionally, the cold would break and for a week or so warm weather would come. Just like children let out at recess, these huge birds would react by flying loops, diving and generally acting silly and calling to each other. Research says they are one of the most intelligent and the most playful of birds and to see them in action put a smile on your face. They have been observed playing tag with dogs and wolves and even making toys from sticks etc. I've seen videos of them undoing zippers on backpacks, garbage bags and opening containers.

In the spring, they perform the most beautiful aerial courtship dances. I spent many hours watching in fascination. It was even possible to see them fly upside down in their efforts to impress. I don't know if it got them a mate but it sure impressed me.

Unfortunately, they have a bad image but maybe that's been their salvation because with their intelligence if they were beautiful seed eaters they would have been captured then sold as pets.

So I draw them because I love them and have fond memories

and then of course Halloween is coming and there's always Edgar Allen Poe

Halloween, Edgar Allen Poe, Raven, Nevermore speckcase

Sunday, November 29, 2015

December - A Month of Raccoons

December is Raccoon month at Country Mouse Studio

I recently received an email from a US Marine who had a request.  
He wanted to know if I'd paint a special Raccoon for him.
Him and his wife had an encounter with one while dating
and now after many years of marriage he wanted
to get her a special gift that would mean
a lot to both of them.
Being a raccoon fan myself how could I resist?

Their little fellow needed to have a top hat, a cane and a pocket watch
so here he is!

I know they can cause a lot of grief by getting into your house and garbage but I also know there are many people who love them so this is their month.

I found this sweet story about a Raccoon rescue named Pumpkin on Instagram
Pumpkin the Raccoon

I have always been fond of Raccoons and they were the first wild animal I drew.  I was so pleased one day to meet a kid who had one as a pet.  I was surprised to find that his fur looked soft but was rough and bristly but all the better to shed water, I guess.

Later, we moved to an area that had Raccoons.  I only heard about it because they'd get into everyone's garbage at night.  No one had a good thing to say about them but I hoped I'd see one.

A few more years passed and we moved into a community by a creek.  Then one night on our deck one peered into the patio door.  Before long we had quite a few of them who would come by and visit.

Here's a pretty good article on how to get them to move along if you are being plagued by them.

How cute is this?


If you need more cute in your life here's a whole page of cute raccoon gifs to watch

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Great Gifts for Teachers

Do you need a gift for a teacher.  Christmas is coming soon so now's the time to think about it.

If you have several teachers to buy gifts for these little keychains are only $3.85

An ornament is a great gift that everyone can use.

or how about a pen?  It has the same cute kids holding the word TEACH and saying "Thanks for what you TEACH us!"

A mug is another perfect gift.  Everyone can use one of those.

Now add a matching card ...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Old Goat

One summer, when I was about 10 years old my parents acquired a couple goats.  We lived quite a distance from neighbors so after the goats escaped their fence for the 100th time they were given their freedom.

Curious, playful, friendly and so darn cute, these wonderful creatures quickly became my entertainment and although I don't remember much about those years, I'll always remember the goats.

Years later, when I married, they got a small herd of goats.  My parents were going to raise dairy goats so they carefully build an escape proof fence but from then on the most commonly heard comment was, "#&*#!, the goats are out again." 

This one was my favourite.   Her name was Blossom and she would follow you around everywhere tugging at your clothing, pulling at your hair and just being a lovable nuisance.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Newest Family Member

We used to have a Pomeranian/ Chihuahua mix dog.  He was a little grumpy and snappy so we decided that the next dog we got would be a big friendly one.

I didn't expect my son to take on the project of finding the perfect dog.   He researched, saved and monitored the classifieds until one day he told me he'd found a great deal on a dog and it was exactly the one he wanted... a Great Dane.

I believe I was in denial but I went along.  After all, I'd promised him a big dog for the next one.  He mapped out the way to the breeders house and we arrived.  The owners had both mom and dad there for us to meet along with 8 pups.  Having never seen a Great Dane I was speechless.  The very friendly dad came up to my chest.  His nose could touch my chin as he looked at me.  I gingerly pet him and he leaned on me knocking me into the fence.  Apparently leaning is one of their traits.

We sat amid the pups and one kept coming by so he became the one we chose.  Originally my son had intended on getting the typical blonde color and had picked out the name Whiskey because of the color but none of the blonde ones came near us.   So Whiskey is his name but he's a reverse brindle color.
Spring puppy chasing bugs
Long legged teenager by fall
And now he's all grown up!

He loves to sit on your knee.  Somehow he has no idea how big he is and still wants to be on your lap.