I, like so many other artists, have discovered Livestream. From now on, when I decide to do a new piece, I'll post word of it here first! So you can watch me do it!  At least a few days in advance. 
I think my next drawing will be during Vulture Appreciation Day, which is September 3rd. Stanley, my mustachio'd turkey vulture stuffed animal, will more than likely make an appearance. 
I just did a new painting, actually, right there on my Livestream! Here he is! 
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WHY YOU SO MELTY
I discovered Livestream and how freakin' easy it is to record stuff so I thought, "Ok, need something to paint, something to paint, come on, YES. MELTING DOG." Yeah I don't know either. 
Anyway, I spent the remainder of the afternoon painting this guy on Livestream. Unfortunately, I think I was doing it by myself, no one was watching, and my music was kind of drowning me out. OOPS. Live and learn I guess. 

I promise my next painting won't be all purple. Promise. 
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See?! This one also has RED.
So anyway, next time I plan on painting for an audience, I will let my faithful blog followers* know beforehand. As I said earlier, mark your calendars for September 3rd. Vultures, man. Shit's gonna go down






* my parents
 
 
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So THAT'S why my purse was so heavy...
I have slowly come to the realization that ferrets control my life. Or they at least bounce around and look cute and secretly devise plans to control my life. (Both hypothesis are equally weasible... err, feasible.  See?!)
Working at the ferret shelter has been more than awesome. The ferrets are great, the people are better, and the work is satisfying. I think everyone needs to do satisfying work: work that makes you feel good. It makes the word "work" seem less like "I'd rather rip off my eyebrows".
Every day at the shelter, there's something new. A new ferret, a new illness, a new volunteer, a new hardship... Since ferrets never die of old age (it's usually some sort of cancer or organ failure) there always seems to be something new going awry. A ferret is coughing, throwing up, etc. etc. Or maybe someone is bringing their ferrets in to be surrendered for whatever reason. Their son went to college, they lost their job, they had to move, whatever. There is never a dull moment at the shelter. Despite the hardships, though, the work we do is always, always worth it. And this is why. 
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Tickle the belly!
This is Brit, a ferret in the "Ferretorium", the predominantly adoptable ferret room. Every other day or so, the ferrets get to have recess, which is exactly like what it sounds. They get out to play. Brit here is getting a well-deserved belly tickle. She had it coming. In between changing linens and litter boxes, we get little gems of ferret playtime. They make the work all worth it. You can be in the worst mood and then all of a sudden your leg is being hugged by tiny ferret arms and you look down to see possibly the cutest thing since baby sea turtles and woop, there goes your bad mood! Hot diggity! 

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Caption unavailable due to incoherent giggly cute noises.
Another facet of my life, my paid work, is being attacked by the weasel-kind. At my pet store, we just got new ferretbabies in. (Ok, they're called kits, but 'ferretbabies' is a much cuter word. Go on. Say it. Ferretbabies.) 
This little sleepy fellow is but a sample of the immense cuteness that has graced our store. They're soft as bunnies and floppy as rag dolls. That sort of combination, paired with a big-headed baby ferret face, is heart-liquefyingly-cute. 

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Girl, your purse is messy. Let me do it.
And of course, there's the show-stopper, Zaphod. 
This little munchkin has taken to doing the funniest things. Like digging in rice bins, pushing his favorite ball under the cage on purpose, and harassing ice cubes. (By the way, I got a YouTube channel. Subscribe and prepare for a bombardment of pet videos.) He's the joy of my life.

My love for Zaphod has led me to consider getting a ferret tattoo. I'm pretty bad about this whole "consider getting a ____ tattoo" concept, though. I happen upon a cute animal photo and I think, "Huh. That is cute. I should get a tattoo of it." Nothing has led to an actual tattoo yet, but I still consider trips to the zoo risky. You never know when that tattoo idea will seem too good to pass up
Like this sketch of an anthropomorphic ferret dressed as a saint cradling an opalescent nudibranch. If this post gets 10 comments I swear to all the Gods I will get this tattoo, full color, on my arm. No joking around here. (Don't tell my boyfriend.)
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I think there should be a frame and a ribbon underneath it that reads 'Sea Slugs 4 Lyfe'. Thoughts?
 
 
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Zelda and I.
Our dear little chicken, Zelda, died today. She was found in the coop with an opossum. (He must have snuck in or hidden somehow.) The other two chickens avoided conflict, but poor Zelda did not. We have had her for a few years now, and raised her from when she was a chick. There is a special kind of pain for losing an animal that you’ve watched grow up. 

As of now the opossum is still in the coop. My mother and I have decided to not kill it— it was just doing what opossums do, after all. It is not evil. We will open the coop this evening to let him go. From now on, we will take more precaution when putting the girls (chickens) to bed. 

We loved Zelda very much. She was not just a barnyard animal, but a cherished pet. She would sit on my lap as I surfed the web, watched TV, or ate breakfast on the deck. She always amused us with her goofy antics
-- she had the best personality and was very tame. We will miss her very, very much. Rest peacefully, little one. 
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No predators in chicken heaven.
 
 
Well, I just got back from four days rafting on the Lower Salmon river in Idaho*. It's been a family tradition to do a rafting trip almost every year since I was just a youngin'. For all who're wondering, a rafting trip entails a few things: 
1.) Driving 7 hours to the middle of nowhere
2.) Blowing up a 14' raft, assembling its metal frame, placing all the storage boxes and bags, and strapping them down tight
3.) Floating down the river until you find a decent campsite (no water pump, no outhouse, basically a sandy beach big enough for a kitchen and tents)
4.) Cocktails
5.) More cocktails
6.) The next morning, packing everything back into the boat and floating down to find another camp site. 
Rinse, lather, repeat. 
It's nomadic, rough, and involves a lot of heavy lifting. But it's worth it, somehow. After the first night you give up trying to sweep sand from your sleeping bag and any bugs that get into your coffee are just added protein. 
Despite all of this, I did manage to get some good sketches done! 
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On our second camp we found lots of sun-bleached cow bones! Which later led to the anonymous question, "Why is there a giant mandible on the table?" Why indeed. 
Perched on a half-fallen tree, I drew a quick and dirty still life of a vertebrae on a rock. The rock is still my favorite part-- all those pockmarks and edges were really therapeutic to draw. The bone, on the other hand, was difficult and too abstract for my stiff and sun-burnt hands to render. But man, that rock. Mmm, mmm. Good stuff. 

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I took very careful notes on grasshoppers. Just for you.
The caption above reads, "The hoppers here are amazing. Any step you take in the bushes, near the rocks, by the trees, it's a wave of grasshoppers leaping from you. Feels like how Moses must have felt when parting the Red Sea... but with more bugs, I guess. Just as epic, though. " 
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Goofy bugs.
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On the trip, it is customary to bring your dog(s). The new dog of the trip, Rueger**, was dumb and loving, as most labs tend to be. But at least he sat nice and still for his portrait. Good boy. 
This was when we had to latch all of our rafts together and use the motor to propel ourselves down the river after the current slowed down. This is usually my favorite part of the trip. We can all relax, trade snacks, read our books, lounge on the boats, and in my case, draw animals. 


More to come on this post after I help my mother unload the truck. Woo. 

* Population: farmers and big horn sheep. Mostly sheep. 
** Yeah I don't know what kind of name that is, either. 
 
 
After after mercilessly pining for a ferret for close to a year and then finally getting one, at long last, the only thing I'm excited to share is Tulio and Miguel eating lettuce. 
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IT'S SO COOL. 
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I'll leave it up to you to assign snail-feasting-on-lettuce sound effects to this. 
You're welcome. 


EDIT: After these photos were taken, Tulio dislodged the lettuce, which floated to the top. So he chased it up and is now eating it at the surface. 
Like a boss.