45 degrees off

Seeing the same thing from a different angle.

Category Archives: Cats

Skulls, Zombies, Witches, and Monsters!

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

— H.P. Lovecraft

It’s almost time for Halloween! Some folks enjoy playing dress-up. Others enjoy the wild feel of Halloween night. Some people just love to decorate their house, going from haunted graveyards at Halloween to the biggest light show on the block at Christmas.

Some part of us still recognizes that this is when the year truly ends… not when the calender runs out, but when the Earth settles down for a long nap. Unless, of course, you live in a climate where winter never really comes or the seasons run the other way.

Collectively, this is when we drag our fears out of the shadows, give them form and name the demons, band together against what might be a creaky board or might be an angry ghost, and try to banish as many of them as we can for another year.

I admit to asserting dominance over my fears by taking all the “scary” out of them once I’ve given them form. Cuddly monsters can’t do much harm.

Pretty Little Monster, by Craftypodes

Pretty Little Monster is part whatever Brobee from “Yo Gabba Gabba” is, and part Little Miss and Mr. Men from the books for children. She’s currently available from the Craftypodes shop.

Knitted Kitties

Also available in the shop – Have you seen the knitted kitties Mr. Knitter is making? They are adorable! I’ve made my fair share of dolls, and even I get excited when he finishes one of these. I’m trying to talk him into kitting a full battalion of them once Christmas projects are finished. The orange and black cats are sold separately in the shop, but they do look fantastic together. They’re stuffed with soft stuffing, but the bottoms are weighted a bit so you can set them on a desk or shelf and they won’t fall over.

While I have been focused on getting Craftypodes going for a good chunk of this year, I have not taken any of my other work down. Pieces that were available in the past are still available for purchase.
Zombie Portrait Poster / Print

The portrait of Annabelle the Zombie is available on a variety of products from my Everyday Myth store.

Witches Stitches MugWitches Stitches H.A.G. Mug
Everyday Myth is also where you’ll find the Witches Stitches goodies. They are available on a variety of products, and there are two designs to choose from. One advertises the services of the fictional Witches Stitches – poppets, curse-stitching, and quilt binding. The other proudly proclaims that Witches Stitches is part of the H.A.G. Guild (Handmade Arcane Goods). Just a bit of crafting humor.

I’ve never actually done any Halloween skull pieces, but the Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos – does follow Halloween, and the sugar skulls I’ve done become very popular around this time.
Sugar Skull Poster

This bright, colorful sugar skull has been available for a few years now, but I’m seeing more sales this year for my black and white skulls.
La Bella Muerte Poster La Bella Muerte II Print

Black on white, or white on black, “La Bella Muerte” is one of my favorite pieces. It’s diffuclt to describe what the process of creating it was like for me emotionally, but there was something beautiful about getting lost in the details of the work and then stepping back to see what I had created. Both versions are available from Positive Space. You can find the black on white options here. Or go here if white on black is your preference.

Whether it’s a mug from a witches’ shop to drink something hot from on chilly mornings, or a cuddly monster to help you fight back whatever is going bump in the night, make sure you’ve got what you need before the end of October. It’s a long night, even if all you face is an endless stream of trick-or-treaters at your door.

Art Contests

I have pieces entered in two contests right now and would truly appreciate votes and spreading the word about them.

Muppet contest entry on Threadless

This is the design I’ve entered for the Muppets shirt design contest from Threadless and Disney. You can see and score the design here. If you aren’t familiar with how designs are presented on Threadless, please look for the three dots in the upper right corner of the picture on the Threadless site. You can click those dots to switch among the three slides I prepared for presenting my work.

This contest, because Disney is part of it, is a pretty big deal! The winner gets a rather large prize package, including a set of Muppets figurines designed by Jim Shore. And Disney will buy the winning design from the winning artist for $2,500.00. The competition is pretty fierce!

The theme of the contest is friendship, so my design is a tour shirt for the Muppet band – Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. It’s the Endless Friends Tour.

The winning design will be chosen on June 27, 2011, so you have until then to vote.

Sell Art Online

The second contest I have a piece entered in is a contest at Fine Art America, and the entry is my This Side of the Looking-Glass piece. You can vote for it here, and you do not need to be a member of Fine Art America in order to vote. This contest has a short run. Voting just started today (June 8, 2011) and will end on June 11, 2011. The prizes are much smaller than what’s at stake in the Threadless-Disney contest (Fine Art America gift certificates for winners), but it’s a nice opportunity to have my work seen and see work from other artists I may not have found without a contest to call attention to them.

Maneki Neko + Three Wise Monkeys

Three Wise Maneki Neko

I love the maneki neko – the cat who beckons good luck to come your way. I also love the three wise monkeys (Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil) and the many variations of them I’ve seen. When I put the two together to create Three Wise and Lucky Neko, I did so with specific ideas in mind for each of the cats.

“Hear No” Neko wears a green collar and is holding a fish. The green collar signifies good health, and the fish signifies strength – such as the strength that comes from eating healthy foods like fish. I put these on “Hear No” because I was thinking of being able to shut out the noise of the world and just watch your fishing line in the water.

“See No” Neko wears a red collar – for good luck in relationships, such as marriage – and is holding a gourd. The gourd is considered lucky and is often seen as a hyotan for holding sake. My mind was wandering a bit on this one, and the connections may not be immediately obvious. The idea of the sake in the hyotan along with good luck in relationships made me think of having a few drinks at a party or on a date. Everyone looks better when you’re wearing beer goggles, right? But being able to look past the little flaws in a person is often an important part of a successful relationship. Does it really matter that her nose is a little crooked, or that he keeps pairing a dark brown sock with a black sock?

“Speak No” Neko wears a black collar to protect against uninvited people in your life and holds a lucky coin for wealth. “Speak No Evil” sounds like a good business practice. Be honest. Be fair. Of course, once you’ve accumulated that wealth through such good business practices, I hear the “univited people” will start coming out of the woodwork to borrow money.

The Three Wise and Lucky Neko are available for purchase on a variety of products from my Zazzle store.

Sale Alert!

Zazzle is having a sale through Monday, April 18, 2011. Using the discount code TAXDAYSALE11 gets you a discount of 10.40% on all orders. If you’ve ever taken a look at my Graphic Content Zazzle store (where “Graphic Content” is a pun and the store is SFW and family-friendly) and thought about buying something when you have more money, now may be a good time! A sale is a little like having more money.

If you’ve never taken a look at my store, anytime is a good time! Not sure where to start? Oh… start with cats! It’s not a bunch of boring cats that could have come from anywhere. Trust me.

Sale on Prints of This Side of the Looking-Glass

Sell Art Online

This piece is being sold for a limited time and in limited quantity at a reduced price for canvas prints. It is available with a variety of printing options at full price, but the sale on canvas prints will only last three more days There are only ten canvas prints available at the sale price.