Mar 30, 2015

Some News


If you follow me over on Instagram, you've read this news already.  But I need to share here too, because this news will lead to some changes on my blog.  Over the weekend, I announced that I will be working on my fiber art full time starting the end of May. This means I will be leaving my zoo job.  I've worked the last ten years as a zoo educator, and I am so grateful for the experiences, connections and opportunities I have had because of this job.  I've shared my love of animals with countless children and adults. I started a teen volunteer program to allow kids to work with animals and share their passion with others.  I earned a Master's degree in Zoo & Aquarium Leadership.  I've made lifelong friends with coworkers.  I've learned so, so much.

But creating art is my passion.  And now I get to concentrate fully on being an artist.  I am so VERY excited for this new chapter in my life. 

As for my blog, featuring animals has always been a big part of it.  I will be continuing my 52 Weeks of Endangered Animals project. (I am behind, but I'll catch up in May).  My Fur, Feathers & Scales series may not end, but it will be put on hold for a while.  BUT, I do have some other upcoming exciting things to write about, because not only will I be a full time artist, my husband and I are moving back to our home town in Arkansas for a while.  Moving back there is something we never thought we'd want to do.  For many reasons. Some of which I will talk about eventually. But here we are, making the decision to live on my in-laws' land, in a home converted from horse stalls.  Basically, we'll be living in a barn. And we'll have twenty chicken neighbors. And we can't wait to do it!

So with these two MAJOR changes in my life, there will still be plenty stories to be told.  We'll have some barn house renovations to make and lots of farm gardening to do. We'll be making time for outdoor adventures and working on the VW van.  And of course, there is so much wool art to be created. So stick around, friends. We'll have a great time.

Feb 18, 2015

Hello!!

Hi everyone!  I've been neglecting my blog because I have been SOOO busy with orders.  I'll catch you up on the 52 Weeks of Felt Paintings soon, and I've got some fun news to share with you as well (but I can't share it just yet!)

In the meantime, here's a pet portrait that I finished recently displayed with the wool colors that I used to make the wool painting.  Fourteen colors, two needles and thousands of stabs...



Also, I was recently featured in a fun magazine called Bustle & Sew for their Meet the Maker series.  Click here to read the blog post they wrote in addition to the interview in the magazine. So many great things are happening and I am so grateful and VERY excited!!

Jan 11, 2015

52 Weeks of Felt Paintings - Week 2

This week I was in the mood to felt a little bird and came across the Kirtland's Warbler.  The good news is that this little bird's population is increasing thanks to local conservation efforts and habitat awareness! (High Fives!)  Before these efforts, the jack pine forests that birds relied on to breed were not being properly protected and maintained as optimal habitats for them. The pine trees that they nest in have to be a certain age and size to provide enough cover for the birds.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides more information here. Also, you can check out the warbler's IUCN page.

Kirkland's Warbler Facts:
--Referred to as the "bird of fire" for its reliance on pine forests that remain healthy with wildfires
--Eat primarily insects and larvae
--Summer is spent in Michigan (though area is increasing to include other states)
--Overwinter in the Caribbean




Have a great week!

A New Year of 52 Weeks of Felt Paintings! Week 1

So, in typical fashion, I'm a bit late starting this year's project.  I knew I wanted to do more felt paintings, but I wanted a bit of a theme.  With the help of my wonderful instagram friends, I decided to concentrate on endangered animals this year.  I'll be felting animals with varying levels of vulnerability as well as animals that have already gone extinct.  I might even throw in a few success stories--we might need to lighten up the depressing news about all these endangered animals, right?

Because of my zoo job, I'm very familiar with the IUCN Red List.  You can search animals in their database, and they'll report the last known status of that species.  I'll be using this tool throughout the year. I'll also try to provide you with some links to more information about each animal.  Excited? I am! Let's get started...

Our first week's animal is the polar bear.  This bear is classified by the IUCN as Vulnerable, and its populations are declining.  You can see what the IUCN has to say here.  National Geographic has some fantastic information here, including an audio file of a polar bear--turn up your volume for extra impact. ;)

Polar Bear Facts:
--Have black skin to help soak up sunlight and heat
--Prey mostly on seals
--Can weigh up to 1600 pounds
--Females give birth in winter, usually to twins




I hope you like this new series of paintings and blog posts!!