Saturday, June 26, 2010

Claudia Hammer's mouse explosion, and shape shifting druids...

We went up to the forest of aspen trees up the ski hill on the evening of the solstice.
There were no swarms of naked fire dancers or anything, but an unusual amount of deer lining the road up and back.
Obviously they must have been shape shifting druids of some sort, prancing through the trees in deer form on that special night.

Mouse project wise, Claudia Hammer picked up the ball and ran with it...
And kept on running...
Clear over the horizon!

She agreed to participate in my 'mouse project', in which a bunch of tip top painters include one of my mice in a still life, to go into a book that will benefit animal shelters.
Claudia went on a mouse painting frenzy, adding little bits of narrative to her blog as she posted each one.
Now it is her plan to also assemble them into a book of her own since her grandkids love following the adventures so much! So some will end up in my book, and I imagine all will star in hers!
I'll keep you posted on her progress, as well as continuing progress on the mouse project.

You can't stop mice from having fun!
Get a load of Claudia's amazing paintings...
There's even more by the way, you can find them on her blog...

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Winning new turtle names picked, and blog posting winner announced!

Wow, what a lot of names to consider!
And that's just in the comments - there were loads more that came by email.

Quite a few made the second and third rounds of my favorites.

I remember quite clearly being given a new set of felt tipped pens in a clear plastic envelope when I was a kid, and one of the first things I drew and proudly colored was Touche Turtle, a Hanna Barbera cartoon character.
That probably sealed it for me when the three musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis rose to the top as names for my turtles (Touche Turtle was a swashbuckling sword carrier with a big feather in his hat!).

Since Art Wench was the first to suggest those names, she wins her pick of a mouse from Sprightly, Nosey or Chubby!

The other mouse prize was determined in my favorite fashion: Give everyone's name a number, roll a dice, gather the winning numbers/names together, re-assign new numbers and roll again.
That was enough to seal the deal for beckielboo.

So nicely done Beckie Saar Leone of Florida (time to pick your mouse!), and thanks so much to everyone for entering either with names, or blog posts.
I hope you enjoyed it. Meridee and I had lots of fun going through all the suggestions!

Tomorrow we're going back up into the aspen forest and see if there's any naked people leaping through flames and dancing around those strange structures we found up there...(I'll take my camera!)

And if you would like monthly updates of each last month's posts, along with occasional contest alerts, sign up for email updates (click the updates link in the sidebar to sign up).

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Friday, June 11, 2010

Great mouse giveaway - another contest to celebrate my 100th blog post! 2 ways to win 'Name that Turtle-and that one, and that one too'...

There you have it, I've been blathering on for 100 posts!
So I thought I'd have another contest and give away a mouse.
But wait, there's more!
I'm going to give away two mice.

So there's 2 ways you can win...
One normal way anyone can try, and another way you can try if you have a blog.
So if you have a blog, you can try both!

First way to win...

I've just had my new mid sized turtles finished and photographed.

But they don't have any names.

So, whoever comes up with the trio of names for these turtles I like best wins a mouse (the winner can pick any mouse from Sprightly, Nosey and Chubby).
You have to post your names as a comment, or email them if you have trouble with the comment thing working (put 'name that turtle' in the subject line).

They can be any kind of names you like. Descriptive names, like my mice, or actual names, like my tiny bunnies.

As you can see, one turtle is minding its own business, one is quite bold, and one a bit shy.

If, by some strange coincidence someone comes up with the same names as someone else, the earlier poster wins.
If I pick 3 names from 2 or more posts, I'll give it to the person with 2 names I picked, or roll a dice for the winner if it's a name each from three posters.
If it's 3 names in one later post, all of which were posted earlier by separate people, the all in one gets it.
You can have 2 tries each, 3 names per try. So you can have an early go, and hold off for a bit for a second go.
If some other permutation of unforseen strangeness prevails requiring a judging decision, I'll decide as fairly as I can and my decision will be final (hey, it's my blog after all!).

So what are you waiting for!
Name that turtle (and that one, and that one...)!
Deadline is my next post, when I'll announce the winners.

Second way to win...
If you have a blog (it must have existed before today!), you can enter by posting an announcement of this contest with a link to this post on your blog.
Let me know by commenting on this post, or email me ('blog entry' in the subject line) and you'll be in the blog draw for a mouse of your choice (from Nosey, Sprightly and Chubby).

Any bloggers who enter before the end of this weekend (before June 14) gets a double entry - their name goes in the hat twice!

So there you go! Have fun and good luck!
I'm looking forward to naming my turtles next week (deadline is my next post, when I'll announce the winners).
Oh, it was a tiger salamander in last week's post, lurking under the water at the garden place. Looked about a foot long, and was quite lively.

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Monday, June 7, 2010

What are these spooky structures in the hills of Santa Fe? And a new contest next week...

Next post will be my 100th blog post so I'll give away a couple of mice in a contest I'll announce then.
There will be two ways to win. One mouse for winning the contest, another mouse for mentioning the contest (with a link) on your blog, so stay tuned, especially if you (or a friend) also have a blog...

OK, back to this week.
Meridee went hiking up near the Santa Fe ski hill with her friend and author Elizabeth Gilchrist.
They went a bit off the beaten track and encountered some strange structures. Each was made of many tree trunks assembled teepee style around a living tree. They look like they took some serious effort to make, and they kept finding more, ever larger ones the further into the woods they went.

They got a bit spooked and turned and left!

I went back there with Meridee for a look, and snapped a few pics. They really are a bit of a head scratcher.

As you can see they're quite large, completely impenetrable except for a doorway, have bits of chopped off log to sit on inside, and there's several of them.

After a few beers we decided we'd probably head back there on the summer solstice and see if there's any curious shenanigans going on, since our imaginations got the better of us while we wondered what they might all be about!

Any ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Sculpture news!
Here's Lee Wilson's mold making handiwork in progress for my tree frogs on a vine sculpture.
Hopefully we'll have that piece all finished up and photographed in a couple of months.
His artful molds look like abstract sculptures.

I've been working on a couple of other things, one of which will combine some elements I haven't seen done before.
Which probably means every one has done it, but I just haven't noticed!

I'm being a bit coy about it until it's further along, but I showed some of the elements to Lee who will be making my mold, pulling waxes, and what have you.
Here's Lee in 'action'.

I enjoy running things by him since he can suggest practical considerations to make them more efficiently.
If they can be done without infringing on the integrity of my idea, I'll go for it.
In this case, he suggested slightly thickening the sides of a rectangular part to ensure the bronze will flow more freely and create fewer failed castings, which I took care of.

With many years of experience in all aspects of the casting process, he is a great source of 'insider knowledge', and I like take advantage of it whenever I can!

OK, what's the mystery critter in this pic? I snapped it at a nearby gardening nursery that has a pond...
(by the way, this is not the contest, that's next week!)

So don't forget to stay tuned for next weekend's contest announcement...

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille