Illustration Friday: The Zoo.

I’m interrupting the felt trees tutorial because I set them aside last night to finish this week’s Illustration Friday theme: The Zoo.

It may seem strange that, when I thought about “the zoo,” monkeys and hippos weren’t the first things that came to mind. So you have to understand that when I was growing up my family had lots and lots of animals. Small animals, mind you – we weren’t horses-and-cows people, seeing as we lived in town. But what our animals lacked in size, they made up in quantity.

The Zoo

The pets shown are only a few of my favorites: our loyal family mutt, a selection of our dwarf hairy-footed hamsters, one of several hedgehogs, the boa constrictor that my brother found in the school parking lot, a few fish (Bert? Ernie?), the lovebirds that let out the loudest shrieks known to man, one of our budgies, and a lonely little finch.

Animals not shown include a lot of cute (but smelly) mice, more hamsters, a gecko, some anoles, all manner of tropical fish, more snakes, a few more budgies, and a little lady finch. Perhaps my siblings would like to chime in with some of the ones that I’m missing…? (And yes, my mum was very, very patient.)

I did the drawing from memory instead of using reference photos, which isn’t how I usually work, so I know that there are some inaccuracies. (The hedgehog isn’t actively biting anyone, for one.) But it seemed fitting to me that the Marston family zoo be depicted from the memories of a 12-year old child instead of reconstructing the animals from photographs.

And I had many, many fond memories to draw from.

P.S. The original drawing will go in the shop this afternoon.

Illustration Friday: Extremes

This time I made it with a whole day to spare…


The small dog was originally going to be a chihuahua, but a quick internet search revealed that great dane + chihuahua is a pretty common image. So I used my little Bean instead. I pointed her portrait out to her, but she was unimpressed. :) Yes, she is that fat. And she does get that look from time to time.

This painting will be going in le shoppe later today. One of my Etsy goals is to have some originals for sale, and I don’t plan to make prints of this one.

Thanks again for all your kind comments lately, by the way – you all have been so encouraging!

Illustration Friday: Open.

So I finally managed to finish the Illustration Friday topic on time – major accomplishment!

This week’s topic was “open.”


I asked husband for the idea, which was a really fun way to approach the assignment. I can’t say as it’s my best work, but I’m settling for “done on time” vs. “done to perfection” (some of you might remember that the Alphabirdybet started out as an Illustration Friday project that took way too long).

The memorial service for my co-worker will be on Saturday, so the shop will still be opening tomorrow. Thank you for all of your prayers and wishes – I think that things are going as well as possible for the people in his lab, and the office staff has begun smiling again.

Check back tomorrow around 11 or 12 for a shop update…