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PoppyCat News

Painting a Day, Art For Sale, Art Lessons, Gardening, and Little Things of Interest

Updated: 2017-12-31T06:31:11.308-08:00




Bluebird Zen


Yesterday, I was one lucky lady to be walking with my camera just as this beautiful Western Bluebird created this lovely scene! I snatched a shot just in time. This is the cropped version to get a better view of the Bluebird. I was very proud of myself, patting myself on the back :)

Here is the original shot of the bird, with the magnificent view in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Fast Forward to today, while looking at my Facebook Pages Feed, I see a local "Business" using my extraordinary photograph (the cropped version), saying this Bluebird was at their establishment, with no mention of me at all.  I've had images of mine stolen before, and it does bother me.  Give me the credit at least!!!

So I decided I needed to at least claim these photos as my own right here before they possibly spread more. Unfortunately, the one stolen didn't have my watermark on it.  Live and Learn... AGAIN.

Still loving and proud of my photo though!

Art Lesson - Easter Egg Humpty Dumpty


Today's art lesson with 3rd grader.  This is a very fun little project perfect for Easter time.  Draw a large egg, cut out with a hat on.  draw and color face and clothes.  Draw and cut out arms and legs and color them, then attach with paper fasteners.  Be sure the legs and arms are not too thin for the hole to be punched into.

This lesson was inspired by my own illustration that I did in 2006.  It was for a theme of "egg" that I joined in on for an online challenge.  Whimsical fun for Easter!

You Ain't No Spring Chicken


New hatched Spring Chickies!

Dressed in their Dapper Spring Best

They are ready to fly the coup

and snuggle into Easter Baskets everywhere!

Be sure to like us, PoppyCat Studio, on Facebook!

OWL Love You... Forever


I have been on an Owl Overload! But I enjoy Overloads sometimes!  What first started, last year with these Owl Pillows has led to more and more Owls!  Maybe I'm a sell out, capitalizing on the Owl Craze, but I don't think so. I'm remembering in the 70's, during the last Owl Craze, even my own Step-Grandmother was an Owl Freak... I liked her a lot and wish she could've stayed by Step-Grandmother... not to be.So first I crocheted these Owl Pillows. There have been many colors, and they were sold, and also became Christmas presents last year.  That led into the Owl Hats (which I have been very busy making, many colors and sizes!)Soon following the Owl Hats, I had a custom order for an Owl Pin/Brooch. This is what a developed for that request.  I will be making more of these in many colors, which will be available soon, straight from me, or maybe on Etsy.  These are my own design, as all my crochet works are.All of that dreaming of Owls, and Valentine's Day was also approaching. I was inspired by own Luv-N-Kitties and my dreams of Owls, which developed into these Luv-N-Owls!  I made 3 for my weekly sale, the week before Valentines Day, and soon had an abundance of orders, which needed filling in a week's time! I didn't know these would be so popular, and had the dream of them not come so late in the season, I maybe could've made even more money from them!They are fun and ever so LOVEly, and include a hand-drawn little card that fits into the Owls Heart Pocket, with an Owlish Love Quote, such as "How Loves Ya Baby", "You're a Real Hoot", "Owl Love You", etc. These are also my own idea and pattern, as usual.  Look for their return next year, and HOOOOO knows, maybe they will reincarnate as another HOOOTY Creation! You never know with OWLS!![...]

Who Are YOOOU?.... an owl hat


So far 2014 is filled with Owls!! Owl hats particularly.  Someone thought my Owl "Pillows" were "Hats" while viewing online, and requested one from me. I said, yeah, I've got Owl Hats... then hurried and made this hat, which had been floating in my head for quite a while.  She bought the hat, and since then I've mainly been working on these little HOOTS.

It's always great to get a kick in the butt sometimes......

Family of Tigers


Wow! I haven't updated in a long time.... I'm going to blame it on the new blogger set up (but the truth is actually probably because I've just been busy with my Spring and Summer!

In May I finished this custom order of Tiger Batik shirts for little Taylor's 3rd birthday.  He's born The Year of the Tiger in Chinese Astrology. So this little family ordered 5 batiks shirts from me with the tiger on the front.
And on the back the back is "3" for his 3rd birthday.

Here are all five of them, from tiny to large!
Here is detail of one of the five tigers!!

Similar tiger shirts will be available soon in my Etsy shop!

Crochet Boot Cuffs


These are the new Boot Cuffs I've been working on. They are like short leg warmers that tuck into your boots, then stick out for just a bit of "leg warmer". Just a little bit extra leg warmth does the trick, and I've discovered they are very good when you need to go out in the thick snow to shovel yourself out. Once you're all done with your shoveling, you just take them off, and your pants are still warm and dry.

They are reasonably priced at $15 plus shipping. 
They should be in my poppycat Etsy Shop soon!

Leo ~ Astrology Sign


I've finally continued with my zodiac series. Here is Leo the Lion. Five down and seven to go! Hopefully I won't wait as long for the next one which will be Virgo!!!

Tissue Paper Collage ~ Fall Trees ~ 4th Grade


This is a lovely art lesson to do during the Autumn season with the lovely colors a changin.

I talked a little about Autumn, but didn't spend a lot of time on this since by 4th grade the students are pretty educated on seasons already.

First, I had them draw the structure of the tree with a sharpie marker. I did the drawing with them, encouraging them to draw a large tree, and having them draw the trunk thicker then gradually get thinner until very thin at the ends of the tree. I also had them draw the tree a little to the side, with part of it going off of the page, instead of directly in the center, just to maybe making the composition a little more appealing.

I then talked about the color wheel with an emphasis on warm and cool colors. I had a variety of pieces of tissue paper in groups for the kids to share. They used a watered down glue to glue the tissue. I gave them pointers on glueing the tissue down, and had them first tear a lot of pieces of tissue in preparation. I emphasized to not use too large of pieces, and it's easier if you have a lot of pieces already torn, since your hands can get messy with glue once you start. They were to make the tree only warm colors. After they were done with the tree, I had them do the background in cool colors, but not until the tree was finished.

It's also good to have them do a light coating of glue over the tissue as well as under, to make sure the pieces are glued well.

A friend of mine suggested maybe using a Japanese maple branch as the tree structure. I think this would be a good idea to try, if you had the supplies, and the time was allowed. You would have to glue the branch first with a tacky glue, and it would probably be best to allow this glue to dry a little before starting the tissue with the watered glue. Might be something to try though.

This is a very colorful project that looks very lovely in the classroom window as a group.

New Sweater for Bosley


There is a new man in my life. His name is Bosley, and I love him! My boyfriend has adopted him and I'm lucky to get to enjoy him also! He is so funny and cute!!

So it's getting cold, and this little one has sleek, short fur... not the best for high elevation living! So I got right on it and designed and crocheted this sweater for him. I learned the ribbed stitch to make a nice collar.

I will take custom orders, since it seems hard to match to the many different sized dogs there are. Contact me and we can discuss details for your dog!

Art Lesson - Color Wheel Zebras ~ 4th Grade


I'm trying to catch up on some of my art lessons that I've done in the past months, I'm a little behind still!

I did this lesson with 4th Graders. The materials needed are paper, permanent sharpie marker, watercolors, paintbrushes, water containers, paper towel.

I first showed and talked about the color wheel. I did a little directed drawing with them, having them use pencil first. I started with the eyes, then the face, adding ears, mane, then the chest part of the body. I also had them draw the stripes. Then they traced over their pencil with the permanent marker. I'm always sure to remind them that this is a permanent marker, and that I trust they will use it properly!

I then paint with them, starting in the middle with red, then following around to mimic the color wheel, asking them as I go which color would be next. After they are done with the mandatory colors of the color wheel, they are allowed to continue the painting on their own, using whichever colors they want. I like the combination of structure with the kids following along with the color wheel so that I'm sure that they touch on each color. Then the free structure after that allows them to experiment with the watercolors a little further. I also showed them a few tips with the watercolors, such as wet-on-wet technique, and blending a little. These are very fun and festive for sure! This idea came from Elementary Art Fun

Art Lesson - Autumn Trees "Batik" Oil Pastel Resist - 3rd Grade


I forgot to blog this art lesson from last year.

I did this with a class of 3rd Graders. The materials are oil pastels, watercolor and regular typing paper. The cheaper paper works better and absorbs the paint into the creases better.

First I had them draw a tree in pencil, with my guidance - just a basic shape of the tree, with the branches. I then had them use the oil pastels to color in the tree trunk, and the leaves, in Fall colors of course. I made sure that they colored a thick layer of color, not lightly. Some kids seem to not want to use their full saturation of color with their materials, but it's best to have good solid color with the pastels for this project. I also gave them the idea to maybe have some leaves falling from the tree as well, and on the ground. Then the fun part (well for most, at least!) I had them crumple up their paper to make the creases. Since I hadn't shown them a finished product yet, they were pretty surprised by this, and thought it was pretty fun! All but one boy!! Guess he couldn't get into crumpling up his hard work, he actually cried... nothing worse than kids crying during art. Of course I had to encourage him and tell him how it would turn out neat and it was the technique. OH well!! After they did their best to smooth out their papers, they watercolored the entire paper.

Over all, I'd give this a good rating for a project, and it was well suited for 3rd grade.

Restaurant Review ~ Palm Greens Cafe


I was lucky to have a wonderful birthday lunch with my Dad and my son yesterday! We ate at Palm Greens Cafe in Palm Springs. This restaurant is not completely vegetarian, but it's has mostly vegan/vegetarian options, and lots of fresh and organic ingredients. Friendly service, good atmosphere with nice art. I wished I would've gotten a freshly made juice of some sort.... well next time! I ordered the Vegan Haystack. It's a tempeh patty, tempeh bacon, vegan pepper jack cheese, BBQ sauce, pickled jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, red onion on whole wheat sunflower bun. I'm quite a pro on veggie burgers, nationwide, and this one is one of the tops! If you enjoy BBQ sauce, this is for you! The avocado wasn't on this burger, it's just that my son didn't want so much avo, so I was lucky to get some extra (LOVE the AVO!!) Son got the Vegan Black Bean burger. This was a plus because it's soy free. It had an ample amount of avo, and that's A+ for me! Both of us ordered the vegan potato salad as our side dish. There was a choice of that, cole slaw or chips, in vegan or non vegan varieties. Dad got the Breakfast Bowl. It was a generous helping of eggs or tofu, potatoes or brown rice, swiss chard, kale, and spinach sautéed in sunflower oil with mushroom, zuccini, onion, carrot, ginger, and garlic, black beans, salsa, with a whole wheat tortilla. Dad's was all vegan, and he mentioned that the cheese was exceptionally good vegan cheese. I think it's a filling meal for sure! Their drinks and juices are wonderful! Our neighbors got the fresh coconut, served straight out of the nut, and I was envious for sure. Coconut water is a new obsession of mine. I wanted to first order a Thai Iced Tea, or a Lavender Lemonade but was instead persuaded by the mystery of these Dry Sodas. My first choice of the dry Lavender Soda was not available, so I went with the Vanilla Soda, my son got the Lime. They both were so delightful and refreshing with not a lot of sugar. Wesley thought his was like incense, and I did agree. For moderately priced vegan/vegetarian food I highly recommend Palm Greens Cafe, and am hoping I will return very soon![...]

Art Lesson - Fall Trees Painting - 1st Grade


This is a lesson well suited for First Graders. I first discussed the Fall/Autumn Season with the children. I showed different pictures of trees. Since I live in the forest I talked about the difference of the pine trees and the other types of trees that loose their leaves. We compared the shape and the colors of the Fall Season.

I gave them a palette of the primary colors, red, yellow and blue. I also gave them a pre mixed brown for the center of their palette, just like a color wheel. The first part of the lesson we painted the trunk and branches of the tree. I had them paint large to fit the paper, and tried to achieve a more curvy trunk, unlike the straight pine tree trunk.

A first grade art standard for First Grade is mixing a secondary color with 2 primary colors. I had them first mix an orange. Each of the students had a small sponge in an almond or leaf shape. I had them paint different shades of yellow, orange and red onto their sponge and print the leaves around the tree. I also had them mix green.

Most of the kids were finished in about a half hour, including the pre-lesson discussion, so most were able to do another painting, sponge painting and had an opportunity to mix their paint up even more, which is what most kids want to do it seems.

heartbreak again



Art Lesson - K-1 - Collage Owls


Today I did an art lesson with a K-1 combo class. This was the kindergarteners first experience with smARTS and they did very well indeed!

I had learned from the teacher that the first graders were learning about animals and their habitats, and being nearly Autumn and all, owls came to my mind.

I got this idea from Mrs Brown Art. I just didn't have it in me to come up with my very own idea. This being the first lesson of the year, it just kind of crept up on me. Thank you internet for the quick ideas!!

I first talked about collage and gave a brief description of it. We also talked about where an owl would live, and one little girl mentioned that they were nocturnal.... so they were already very informed! I gave them a large piece of black construction paper, and I had them draw with pencil the basic outline of an owl, while following my instructions. Again, I had to emphasize to make the owl big.

I then had them tear strips of brown construction paper (they had a few browns to choose from). This was good practice for them. After they had a good supply of large strips, I had them make the strips smaller to be more like actual feathers. They glued them on, and I told them to use not too much, nor too little glue.

After most were done with the feathers, I had them cut 2 large circles with a light color. I had them fold a piece of paper and cut two. This is always good for K-1 to have extra practice using scissors. It's not like when I was a kid these days. They really do not have a lot of practice in simple things like cutting paper. We did the same with the black part of the eyes. Then a beak and feet. And a branch too. I ran out of time, or I would have had them add leaves to the branch.

The above was done by one of the first graders. She thought of adding the "horns" herself, which was unique.

And this whimsical owl with a more 3-D look to it was created by a kindergartener. Pretty good for a brand new little one to the public school!

Restaurant Review - Gypsy Den, Downtown Anaheim


Recently we tried out the very new Gypsy Den in Downtown Anaheim, Ca. We've been enjoying the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana for a decade or more. It is one of our favorite places to eat in the OC. It has a wonderful hippie vibe, with saris used as window treatments, cool art and books, and groovy vintage colored-glass globe lamps. So we were happy to hear of a new Gypsy Den opening in Downtown Anaheim, which is just a little closer to my mother's house.

I was pleased to see a large selections of vegan options. My son ordered this Vegan Bacon-Burger and sweet potato salad (not sure if it was vegan though) My Mother ordered a Pesto-Portobello Burger (not vegan, but veggie) with some kind of citrus-wheat berry salad. This is my order of a Chipotle-Avocado-Chicken Wrap (vegan), and a Mediterranean Orzo Salad. The first few bites of the wrap were delightful, I was digging the chipotle taste. As I ate it though, I just kept thinking this "chicken" was too real (don't worry it wasn't!) But it seemed so real to me, I even re asked the waiter that this truly was Vegan! It was! I guess I've never had "chicken" salad before, I usually have my fake chicken in nugget or burger form, and hot. It was good though. My salad was a little boring, I don't know if there was any dressing on that thing at all. Of the three varieties I tried, I enjoyed my mom's citrus wheat berry the best (at least I think that's what it was called)

So the new Gypsy Den was good, and it's good to have some more vegetarian food in the dull droms of the cultureless part of OC, but I have to say that I like the Santa Ana version better... It's bigger, and just decorated better. Plus, they have our favorite Gypsy Rice salad, which is lacking in Anaheim. The waiter was extra nice though.

Grandma Turns 90!


I am pretty lucky to have not one, but both of my Grandmas turn 90 this year!

So my mom's mother just had her 90th birthday this weekend. This woman has everything she could possibly need, so I have to say she may be the hardest woman to find a present for. So my mother suggested I do a rendering of this famous photo. My Grandma has always loved this, as many from her generation I'm sure have. It always reminds her of her husband (who died in a car accident when my mom was only 18 months old... very traumatic). Raymond was also a sailor in WWII.

Anyway, there ya have it.

Extraordinary Bug Photography.... If I do say so myself


I love the challenge of photographing insects. I'm a little behind in posting on my blog, but here are some of my recent shots.

First, here is my favorite from the past year. I took this photo of a June Bug from last summer.

This is quite a cute little bugger!!

Have you ever tried to take a picture of a Dragonfly in flight? Well, it's no easy task! I have tried many times, and I was lucky to catch this shot last summer while lounging on Mirror Lake in Yosemite. This happened to be the large BumbleBee I believe that I have ever seen! It's enjoying the nectar of the Wild Mountain Sweet Pea, taken this summer, 2012.

Restaurant Review - Loving Hut, Upland, CA


Crap! Where has the time gone???! I recently had the pleasure to dine at The Loving Hut in Upland, California. It was a scrum-didley-umptious experience! Better yet, all VEGAN! This place is a bit of a "chain" restaurant, with a little bit of variations at each one. I have also ate at a Loving Hut in Phoenix, which was also very enjoyable. First order of business was the drinks Thai Iced Tea. All vegan, with a choice of soy milk, or coconut milk. Dad chose the coconut. I decided on the Rose Lemonade. Very refreshing, and rose flavor is very delightful and fresh! And the confetti of rose petal flecks add to the festivity of the drink. Our salad was the first food to arrive. I'm sorry I forget the name, but it was pretty basic with a mustard-honey-like dressing. (although it's suppose to be vegan, so not sure what it actually was!) A different dish that we don't usually get, at least not at the Asian varieties, is this order of Sweet Potato Fries. A favorite to my Father, seems to me! Always a favorite to us is the fried rice. This kind had ham (fake of course!!... the best kind!) Another favorite is the Broccoli Beef... always has some yummy sauce! This is a new dish for us. It is Lemongrass Chicken. It's a salty flavorful concoction with a little more salad. Finally, the dessert! Actually I do believe this is my Dad's favorite part! Since he's a vegan, he gets quite a thrill of any kind of delicious sweet stuff that is vegan. From left to right, Chocolate-Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Mousse (my order), Lemon Cheesecake. They were all very decadent. I did enjoy the Chocolate Mousse, but I have to say this is not for the weak! I only recommend it to those who truly have a great love of decadent, very rich chocolate. The lemon cheesecake was more light, and I really did like it, and I don't care a lot for cheesecake. The coconut was the least favorite to my dad and myself, although my son probably liked it more than he liked my rich and thick delicacy! There are a variety of over 120 The Loving Hut Restaurants nationwide, and I highly recommend for the vegan or meat eater who is not afraid of trying vegan food. So good!! This one that I went to in Upland, seems to have smaller portion sizes than the other one I went to in Phoenix, but the price per order is a little cheaper also. Next time I think we should get one more dish, and maybe lay off the dessert. (this was a meal for 3 people, one of which is a teenage boy, yes we are hearty eaters).... I do think my Dad though, will probably still get the dessert! Be Veg, Go Green, Save The Planet [...]

Drowning in You


I started this painting a couple of weeks ago. Its title is "Drowning In You". I'm drowning in love, reaching for the light. It was inspired by Grateful Dead's "Black-Throated Wind". Well, that and my own life. Drowning is never healthy.

Another year of Batik for Kids



Here is this year's Batik lesson that I did with the 6th graders. I love all the batiks hanging to dry every year, so I must do a new post for each year!

This year they had a new place to dry.... Reminds me of a Dead Show!

You can see last year's post here and the detailed process here.

Art Lesson - Dr. Seuss' Birthday - 1st Grade


This year I happened to be teaching art on Dr. Seuss' Birthday, which is on March 2, with a class of First Graders. I had thought of an art lesson based on There's a Wocket in my Pocket, because I know my son in particular was very smitten with this book as a little one. I think this may have been one of the bigger inspirations on my son's own imagination and his interest in art. I wasn't really sure if it would work with such a young group of kids, so I also did a little research online to see if I could find a better idea. I found a few Cat in The Hat inspired lessons, but wasn't thrilled. I came across TeachKidsArt and sure enough she had a lesson on There's a Wocket in my Pocket. It was just like what I had thought of... although she described how she started them on the design, and that helped me figure out how to make it suitable for my class.First, I read the book There's a Wocket in my Pocket, with the kids on the rug. They very much enjoyed, and there was a couple that recited it along with me. As I read I pointed out to them little traits in the characters.... colorful, different patterns, necks, collars, faces, etc. I also mentioned the rhyming of the words, with the name matching where this creature resided. After reading the book, they went to their desks. I decided to do my lesson with oil pastel because they are just brighter than crayons. I have them roll up their sleeves first. A lot of times I have the kids draw in pencil first, but not this time, we went straight to the pastels. I had them draw a body shape, legs, neck and head. I drew along with them, but also told them to try to make their own shapes. Some kids go off on their own, and others copy me. I had them draw in black first, then color in with the other colors. Once they were done with the drawing, I had think of the name of the creature. I had them first think of where you might find their creature and discussed this a little with the whole group. Then gave an example of what might rhyme with the place. My helper and I walked around also and individually helped them with the naming. We then wrote down each of the phrases and tried to have them write it themselves. The oil pastels are messier than crayons and smear a little, but they are brighter than crayons, and I'm sure other types of materials would work.The top drawing is called "The Yice Cream in my Ice Cream." The second drawing is "The Rattic in the Attic."[...]

Mind Your Own Business!


This is a reoccurring theme in my life. Usually it is a result of my loved ones looking out for me, thinking they are helping by butting into my life somehow.... done out of love.

This time though I have been VIOLATED!! I was stalked, why, that's a true mystery!!! I was stalked and something was found out about me, something taken out of context, something this person knew nothing about the sick circumstances that resulted in this thing.... This person butted herself into my life, messed with me directly, and did damage to my life. This thing found out about me was not a big mystery. The point is though, this person STALKED me, then butted into my Life!! This is a messed up feeling to have!! She said she found out this little bit of gossip about me by "clicking around my blog"... that's a down right lie!! She had to search me to find this juicy thing about me. Why do you care about your friend from 30+ years ago, from a lifetime ago, to go and stalk his friend?? Sounds really weird to me.

So next time you get all nosey and stalk someone, you should keep to yourself. You really don't know what kind of shit you can start!!! MIND YOUR OWN F-IN BUSINESS!!

Thank you Z & K Antiques for the Nosey Game image, which I found on Pinterest!

Oh, and by the way, I'm not a mystery, really don't have secrets, not that I keep from the people I love most at least. There's no dirt that you can find that my lover wouldn't know about me, so you're wasting your time if you try to dig around.