Category Archives: Stories

January One, Sketches and Musings

Horace with Friends, 6" x 6" pencil sketch

Horace with Friends, 6″ x 6″ pencil sketch (with lots of smudging, d’oh)

When she saw that Horace was feeling melancholy, Gina called in the troops to cheer him up. Just moments after this image was captured, Horace cheered up immeasurably, grabbed his bright green mandolin, and led them in a rousing rendition of “I Want to Be Your Friend” by 11 Acorn Lane.  Gina beakily provided horn accompaniment, while Oditi (far left) insisted on repeating the  Deedlee-doo, Deedlee-dee bit. They jumped and clapped and spun around.

Happy January 1! The year ahead is filled with promise, opportunity and undreamt surprises. New discoveries, rediscoveries and unwelcome news. Birthdays, lazy Saturdays, and days when the sun will seemingly fail to shine.

But you are here! Thank you for coming. I hope this year holds lots of the good things and less of the bad things, for everyone. More recent sketching below.

Two sketch Dec 26 2015

2 with Birds, 6" x 6" pencil sketches

2 with Birds, 6″ x 6″ pencil sketches

And then there were fish, and things became muddled. pencil sketch, 5" x 7"

And then there were fish, and things became muddled.
pencil sketch, 5″ x 7″



Pilar and Santos, a Tale of Love with Tequila Corks

Pilar and Santos 1

Pilar and Santos 2 

Pilar and Santos 3

Pilar and Santos 4

As mentioned in the previous post, I was challenged to do some Day of the Dead imagery on Patrón corks. These are the result (more than a year later)!

These may get hair/hats/accessories, but I felt the need to post them as is! I need to seal them with something. AnnD of Wonderstrange has suggested Krylon, so I may get some of that.

Thanks for dropping in!

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Legend of the Sleeping Kitten

Legend of the Sleeping Kitten
4″ x 6″ pen and ink, Copic markers

This was actually the first of the secret santa bunch, which includes the sleeping tiger and sleeping dragon previously posted. The Legend of the Sleeping Kitten turned into a sort of universal foundation tale with slightly different details in different parts of the world. Hence: a kitten, a tiger, a dragon. It is my intention to write a book in 2015. Perhaps their stories will be in it!

Here are a couple sketches done using my new fancy Luxo magnifying light.

Steampunk Hornbill and Elvish Snow Queen, in progress
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ pencil, ink

Thanks for dropping in! I’ve had some blog issues recently so am slow to post. The holidays are always a strange time, aren’t they?

Also, you MUST WATCH THIS cute and hilarious (and short!) thing. I would not steer you wrong.

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Legend of the Sleeping Tiger, Pencil Sketch

Legend of the Sleeping Tiger
5″ x 7″ pencil sketch

The above is the second in a long-sleeping feline collection. (Ok, it’s only two, but it could eventually be a collection. )The first is a sleeping kitten, also covered in mushrooms (I’ll post that one next time, or maybe you saw it on my Facebook page). Here is the tiger reference image.

I have finally replaced the main images for Sept/Oct 2014 posts, but not the progress pics (except for Lulu). As mentioned previously, there will be more! (If you’re just tuning in, I got hacked at the end of October and lost all the blog images from those months.)

Thanks so much for dropping in! I’ve been busy preparing for WindyCon in Lombard, Illinois this coming weekend. I have done craft shows in the past (ages ago!) but really nothing like this. So, lots of stuff to do! Hopefully I’ll do more after this one, particularly with so much of the initial setup work already done. More on all this business next time!

Thanks for dropping in!

More for Inktober, with a Princess in a Bottle

My goodness, post every day did I say? No, that’s not possible, it turns out! However, I HAVE been managing lots of little ink projects as Inktober continues to continue!

Uli With Familiars, and Mausoleum for Mona
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ pen and ink

Actual black and white and also some grayscale – these are noteworthy details as you don’t generally see either around these parts. Perhaps that will change. Perhaps a “Grayscales Project”. Ugh, but no time right now. Will put on back burner. :)

The Princess in the Bottle
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

The Princess in the Bottle

Once there was an evil queen who loved nothing but jewels. It is said her heart was a hard, tiny diamond. They say she caused the riding accident that took the life of the king as punishment for impregnating her with their only child, a daughter. When the baby was born, the queen was repulsed by its soft helplessness, and without so much as giving it a name, she sent it away to live with a childless crone living in the dusty hills.

Unbeknownst to many, the crone was a witch,. She named the child Marta and taught her everything she knew,  all the while filling her with tales of her mother’s greed and evil nature. When the child was thirteen, she set out with a pale amber bottle she had prepared for her mother.

When Marta arrived at the castle, she found the queen a sad, lonely wreck of a woman surrounded by her jewels, who could not even keep a hound for more than a week before it ran away into the forest. She admired her daughter’s beauty, and wished some for herself. Marta agreed she could have some, so she added a few words to those she had prepared, making her mother young again, as young as Marta herself, before capturing her in the amber bottle, and sealing the lid with a waxy resin she’d made from boiling her own hair.

Marta invited the crone to live with her in the castle. They threw open the heavy curtains for the first time in years, and tamed all the half-wild hounds that roamed the forest.

None of the hounds would go near the room that housed the amber bottle, the one with the sad, tiny princess who was once an evil queen.

(c) The Slumbering Herd, 2014


Thanks for dropping in! And super late hello to Paint Party Friday. :)

Tawny and Perilous, Copic Art Cards

Lady Rawr, and A Sister of the Dewdrop Clan
2.5″ x 3.5″ pen and ink with Copic markers

Half-sister to Ladies Mrowr and HisstLady Rawr is CEO of a thriving production collective specializing in small decorative spheres made from aluminum foil. They call the outfit Shiny Things on Strings.

Hello visitors from Paint Party Friday!

I have also produced this exceedingly wonky house, a questionable foray into perspective. Color coming in the next post. Thanks for stopping in!

Lil Lopsided
2.5″ x 3.5″ Prismacolor 005

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Old World Donkey and Goat. Post Number 275 (!)

This is post #275. I find that entirely crazy.

El Burro Fumo and Maynard Chevre
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

A couple of old world European fancy animals: a Spanish donkey and French goat. El Burro is often recognized, as he is the grandson of the donkey from The Bremen Town Musicians. He and Maynard tried to start a little banjo duo at one time, but they determined very quickly that their friendship would not survive the great chasm of their artistic differences. They are still friends. Both continue to play, but not together.

I am making progress with my plan to make a Fancy Animals poster! Here are 20 (which includes four created before the recent fancy animal frenzy.)

Twenty! Fancy Animals
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″, ink and Copic markers

I think the poster should include nameplates. So I have to figure out the best way to do that. (A variety of handdrawn nameplate ribbons? Something digitally created?) Please feel free to make suggestions of this nature!

Happy Paint Party Friday (which was yesterday)! Thanks for stopping in!

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The Princess Violet, Sheep and Songwriter

Princess Violet and Fiona Riona Bologna
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

The Princess Violet was a difficult sheep child, a source of rarely ending exasperation for Fiona, her governess. When feeling particularly cheeky or impatient with her studies, Violet would sing little songs about a wise old fruit seller called Fiona Riona Bologna who sometimes played matchmaker to a succession of curious characters in a small Italian village.

Copic marker art cards for Paint Party Friday. Thanks for dropping in!

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Cyborg of the Demon Witch Sisters

Submitted to “Red” at Illustration Friday.

Cyborg of the Demon Sea Witches (click to enlarge)
Two 2.5″ x 3.5″ art cards in Copics and fine liners

Mrs. Thurston’s fourth-grade class was reading about Hobbits. It was nothing by Tolkien of course, whose salacious and perverse vision was not appropriate for grown people, let alone children. Such was the lack of wisdom embodied in Mrs. Thurston, whose hippie parents would have been appalled by what their daughter Sunflower had become.

Unfortunately for Mrs. Thurston (or fortunately, if you believe the loss of ignorance is always a positive, even if painfully gained), she had a student named Maybelle Llewellyn whose mother had finally reached a breaking point in hearing about this narrow-minded teacher every day her child returned home from school.

On this particular day, Mrs. Thurston had assigned several pages to be read aloud by the students as she daydreamed about Father Knows Best, her favorite tv show. Unbeknownst to Mrs. Thurston, Mrs. Llewellyn had swapped the second half of all the childish folklore texts with an adventurous tale of two demon sea witch sisters, Djalla and Djegga, who built a cyborg mermaid to take over their ocean planet.

The sentence that snapped Mrs. Thurston out of her Jim Anderson fog began, “Djegga decided to use the lower orifice as a weapon repository,” and only because little Jenny Hernandez – despite being the best reader in the room – stumbled over both “orifice” and “repository”.

What happened next the whole town has promised never to reveal. Such was the agreement with Mrs. Thurston, who agreed to leave quietly with her small pension.

In the end Mrs. Llewellyn was given 25 hours of community service (and the enduring thanks of many local parents) and Mrs. Thurston retired to rural Wales with her blind husband. Maybelle Llewellyn eventually became a successful fantasy author, specializing in creatures of the ocean.

Many thanks to AnnD, who requested a story to go with my Demon Mermaid (now one of the Demon Witch Sisters). Thanks to everyone for stopping in!

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A Collection of Curious Cousins

Technically the last of my 29 Faces posts (but also including 30-32!), these art cards were made for a “My Weird Family” swap at

Cheryl the Ocularist and Billie Blue
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Strangers never believe cute cousin Cheryl when she tells them she makes artificial eyeballs for a living (mostly for medical use but sometimes for special effects in movies). The rest of us are well-aware of her lifelong fascination with eyeballs. One year when she was in high school we all got fish eyeballs for Valentine’s Day, sculpted out of Fimo.

Billie Blue is a mortuary makeup artist. She tried doing makeup for tv but she didn’t like to talk to people very much, so this was the perfect solution. However, after working in the mortuary for several years she stopped talking completely. One family rumor is that she speaks telepathically with her dead clients.

The Strange Twins, Kimmie and Carla Strange
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Most people did not  believe Kimmie and Carla were twins. At least not with the same father. Many comments were made regarding the postman, the milkman, and the local mechanic. All those theories charitably(?) assumed the husband was responsible for half of the set.

The truth, as their mother confessed later in a haze of Patrón, is that the UPS man was Kimmie’s father (indicated by the nose, the glasses, and the deadpan wit), and their much older child’s biology tutor was Carla’s father ( as evidenced by the lips, the skin tone, and her fascination with insects).

Not too many process pics – but a few! Thanks for dropping in!

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