Aby-a-Day – 20 Juli: Another NEMO project (Cartoon Tuesday)

Yesterday, Iris asked me for a Marlin drawing for the cover of the catalog for our show next year. I didn’t want to do yet another version of Marlin grilling; I wanted to do something new.

marlineatingSketch2

I thought about it a little bit, and, because the big theme this year is the outdoor barbecue dinner on Saturday night. So, I got the idea to do a sort of 1950’s-style guy eating at a table laden with barbecued meat, holding up a knife and fork with a napkin ties around his neck-

marlineatingbbq

This is Marlin with the table of meat I found; it’s from an early 60’s Andy Griffith’s BBQ Sauce ad. I modified it in Photoshop and I may do more with it. Marlin’s feet won’t be in the final drawing; it will cut off at the bottom edge of the table, but I wanted to draw a complete Marlin in case I want to use some of the layers in another project later on. I also have a really fun idea of something to put on the bib. Stay tuned.

marlineating

Here’s the video of my preliminary sketches in Procreate; click on the image to watch it in a new tab on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Juli: Another trip to the veternarian (Medical Hipstamatic Monday)

Today, Angel had a follow-up visit to the vet to check on her eye

hipstaAngelvet2

This is Angel at the bus stop. It’s a two-bus, half hour trip to the vet…sigh. If I was still in Boston, my vet would be on the first floor. But I digress.

hipstaAngelvet3

Angel’s a pretty good traveler, except she tends to yell a lot.

hipstaAngelvet4

When we got to the exam room. Angel was not sure she wanted to leave her carrier.

hipstaAngelvet5

Angel had some spicy commentary about having to be at the vet at all.

hipstaAngelvet6

Still, overall, Angel was pretty calm. Until Dr. Brigetta came in. Then stuff got real.

hipstaAngelvet7

First, Angel got some eyedrops.

hipstaAngelvet8

Angel had had ENOUGH long before Dr. Brigitta was finished examining her. Angel got several eyetests, including one that measured how many tears she produced in a measured time period. That one was actually pretty cool.

hipstaAngelvet9

She still has vascularisation in her eye and will need another course of eyedrops. Awesome. Wow.

hipstaAngelvet10

When the examination was finished, Angel got treatos.

hipstaAngelvet11

Angel got all the treatos.

hipstaAngelvet12

Then, we were homeward bound.

hipstaAngelvet13

This is on the bus ride home.

hipstaAngelvet14

Angel walked part of the way home, but she kept wanting to go into the bushes.

hipstaAngelvet15

I am glad she was on a leash…Extracting cats from bushes is a pain.

hipstaAngelvet16

At the end of the day, Angel was more than ready to go home. And yes, she also knows where she lives.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juli: My sweet summer child (Swedish Singapura Sunday)

You may recall, I have been working on a Four Seasons of Izaak project and a couple of weeks ago I took some Summer photos.

zaksummer2_7546 1

I wasn’t completely happy with them compared to the Winter and Spring photos.

zaksummer2_7551 1

Also, the tree looks more “summery” now than it did last month because now, the cherries are ripening.

zaksummer2_7559

So, when we went outside yesterday, I put Zak up in his tree and took some more photos.

zaksummer2_7556

Just like last time, he climbed up the branch, used it like a scratching post, and tried to eat the lichen.

zaksummer2_7562

Zak is pretty good at moving around up in the branches.

zaksummer2_7566

I think he really enjoys his tree time.

zaksummer2_7548

In the end, this shot is the one I’ll use as Summer in the project. And, like the Spring photo, I may have touched it up a teensy bit in Photoshop…but only three layers, no big deal.

Aby-a-Day – 17 Juli: A curious series of events (Serious Saturday)

Okay. Today was…weird. Strange. Mysterious. And not a little bit scary. It has many layers to it. It starts earlier this week, when I bought a used tricycle.

trike_7526

Since Covid, my balance is a bit off and my Dutch bike is getting harder to ride, especially when I am carrying things. But good tricycles are expensive, and cheap ones are…unpredictable. I’d been looking on a Swedish used item selling website, but there was nothing. Then, on Wednesday, I happened to check it again…and there was one listed, in Skövde, for only 2900 kr (about $300 USD – wicked cheap). The trike had been put up the day before, so it really was serendipity. He delivered it Thursday. It’s going to take a bit of practice to get the hand of riding it (bicycles and tricycles handle very differently) and it needs some lights and reflectors.

zaktrike_7530

Another point: Björn is away on a weekend gaming trip, since everyone is vaccinated. Last night, I was on my own, so I ordered those lights and reflectors on Amazon.se. As part of this shopping, I went out twice after sunset to look at the trike to see what I needed and where I could mount things. When I went out, I got a lot of mosquito bites. I also ran into my upstairs neighbours, who told me they were going on a trip in the morning (this becomes important later). I fell asleep watching Hamilton, woke up at 4am, and went to bed. Woke up at 10, itching like crazy, and took some Benedryl. I was reading in the bedroom (it’s cooler there during the day than in the living room) and the Benedryl made me doze off. When I woke up, it was almost 4pm.

zaktrike_7533

Which meant the cats’ breakfast was late. I immediately went to feed them. Izaak and Lorelai weren’t around, but that’s actually kind of normal for them; Zak has been hiding from me when I feed him, especially in the morning because he doesn’t want to be shut up in the bedroom, and Rory likes to hang out on the balcony and eats later.

zaktrike_7534

But it was bothering me. Afternoons, Rory sleeps on the end of the sofa, and Zak eventually comes out of hiding. Kalle and I searched the house; I had started a load of laundry and thought they might be shut in there, but they weren’t. Now I was getting worried. I started thinking they might be outside, but how? They didn’t get out when I went outside last night, because they were here for dinner. Around 5:30pm, I went outside, both to look for them and also to see if I could put the tail light back on the trike. As soon as I got to the trike, Zak appeared, yelling a blue streak!

zaktrike_7540 1

“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!? WHY WAS I OUTSIDE? WHERE WERE YOU!?” And I couldn’t answer that, because I have no idea. But that means Rory was probably outside, too. I put Zak back inside and Kalle and I scoured the område. Kalle suggested we check with the Anderssons, and I told him they’d gone on a trip this morning. We looked everywhere, but couldn’t find her…but it occurred to me that late afternoon is Rory’s nap time. WHen I messaged Björn about it, he thought she might be napping under some bushes in one of her favourite spots, like near the sandbox. So, we decided to wait for an hour and try again. Kalle mentioned that the door wasn’t locked when he went shopping; he had forgotten that until after we searched. Alfred, as you know, can open the front door if it’s not locked, and when the Anderssons load their car, they block the door open. Kalle and I started theorising: The door somehow was left unlocked (I don’t remember NOT locking it, but I don’t remember actually locking it, either) and Freddy opened it. Zak, Rory and Freddy go out in the hallway, and the front door is open because of the neighbours’ trip. The Anderssons see Freddy and put him inside, but they don’t see the other two. I also knew no one had found her; she’s pretty well known in the område and all the children know her by name. She has two ID tags and nobody had called or checked the Blanket ID site.

zaktrike_7541 1

Kalle suggested taking Zak with us when we went out to look for Rory, and I had been thinking the same thing. So, Zak and I go out to find Rory and Kalle was still getting ready…but there Rory was, right at the door, waiting to be let in! I have no idea when they got out, how long they’d been out, where they went…nothing. Just our theory of events, at least until the Anderssons get home. But, this shows that taking them outside often and in all seasons is a VERY good thing, because they know where they live. A lot of indoor cats don’t learn that, so if they do escape, they are easily disoriented and don’t know how to get home.

Epilouge: The Anderssons didn’t see the cats this morning. I just messaged Oksana, and she didn’t see Freddy, Zak or Rory this morning. The mystery continues. So much for all that CSI I’ve watched in my life.

Aby-a-Day – 16 Juli: Yet more fun with PHOTOSHOPPED cats (Photoshop Friday)

Time for more of my Photoshopped cats. Above is Rocky, and I thought he looked a bit like a seal.

Dwight-Clawhauser

One look at Dwight, and Björn suggested I do this.

bellaEarhart

Bella was wearing goggles, and her human wanted her to look like Amelia Earhart. All righty then.

standingcattitanic

I don’t remember this guy’s name, but the first thing I thought of was the “I am king of the world!” scene from Titanic.

battyboulder

Some suggested that Batty should be running from Indiana Jones’ boulder. Happy to oblige.

battydomo

Later on, I had another idea…please, think of the kittens!

noodlekneeslillies

Noodle like to sit like this, apparently. I thought he looked like a prince in need of a kiss.

rosiegooglyeye

Rosie is missing an eye, like Angel. So I gave her one of Angel’s googly eyes.

scrembirdiesMINE

Fridays are “Free for all” species posting, and someone posted a nest of barn swallows. I immediately thought of this. Hey, I already had the “MINE?” speech bubbles!

tortillatriptothemoon

This cat had a flour tortilla on her head. I could not resist.

gilbertcoralreef

Gilbert was leaning on a mirrored sliding closet door…so we have Octopussy!

sugaronice

And finally, another seal, this time with Sugar doin a heckin sploot. I like this one better than the first one.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Juli: Snuggly Freddy (Thursday Things)

I know some of these photos today are a bit blurry, but I wanted to share them anyway because this is so Alfred’s personality.

freddysilly_6923

Freddy loves to cuddle between us when we’re sitting on the sofa watching television.

freddysilly_6925

He especially likes to lay up against my bare legs when I’m wearing a skirt. It’s kind of sweet to see him next to Jacoby.

freddysilly_6927

It’s not the most fun when it’s almost 30°C, but it is cute.

freddyfoot_6928

For some reason, he also likes to touch peets.

freddysilly_6935

I am not sure what this is, however.

Aby-a-Day – 14 Juli: Wordless Wednesday (Beggers can’t be choosers)

angelbeg_7474

angelbeg_7476

angelbeg_7489

angelbeg_7491

angelbeg_7494

angelbeg_7495

angelbeg_7499

angelbeg_7502

angelbeg_7511

Aby-a-Day – 13 Juli: Izaak as Baby Tuk Tuk (Cartoon Tuesday)

Two weeks ago, I posted my drawing of Lorelai as Sisu the last dragon. Well, there’s another creature, sort of an armadillio/pillbug/hedgehog mashup called Tuk Tuk. And in one of the early scenes where he’s a baby, he reacts to a cat in a way that really reminded me of Izaak. this is the first sketch; I liked it so much I was almost going to keep it as the outline, and skip the inking stage.

zaktuktukink

But I did the ink anyway, just to see how it looked. As it happens, it came out even better than the sketch did!

zaktuktukundercolour<

Next, I filled in the base colours, underneath the ink.

zaktuktukink+undercolour

Which looks like this when finished.

zaktuktuktextures

Then, over the ink, I did the shell and fur textures. This is just the textures…

zaktuktuktexture+ink

…this is with ink…

zaktuktuknoeyeaffects

…and finally, with the undercolour.

zaktuktuknobackground

Add some whiskers and eyeshine, and we’re ready to go into Photoshop.

zaktuktukhand

zaktuktuk_no lighting

I added the hand and the background there, along with a bit more eye details. But there was one more thing I wanted to do.

zaktuktuk

Finally, I added some lighting effects. I really like the way this one turned out!

zaktuktuk

And here’s a video of the Procreate process, which you can watch in Flickr. There are a LOT of layers on this one – fifteen in total!

Aby-a-Day – 12 Juli: Don’t let the cat out of the bag (Hipstamatic Monday)

Yesterday, we took some recycling out to the bins, and of course the cats came with us. Which, of course, drew the kids in like a magnet.

hipstarorykids2

This one little boy, who we’ve seen outside as long as we’ve been taking the cats out, loves the cats…

hipstarorykids3

…but his love tends to involve happy shrieks and picking them up. Alfred and Izaak generally get enough love and prudently run away and hide in the bushes. But Lorelai on her leash is a captive audience for his attention.

hipstarorykids4

It’s funny. This boy loves the cats, but is also a little afraid of them. I don’t know what he thinks is going to happen or what he thinks Rory is going to do.

hipstarorykids5

Eventually Rory went into one of our recycling bags. This fascinated the boy.

hipstarorykids6

It also brought a little girl to look at Rory in a bag.

hipstarorykids7

They had a pretty good time playing with the bag, Rory and the kids. It was cute to watch.

Aby-a-Day – 11 Juli: Izaak in the sticks (Swedish Singapura Sunday)

One of the times we took the cats out, Izaak rand down the hill and into the bramble.

zakoutsideC02926

He had to navigate a bunch of sticks down there.

zakoutsideC02929

He did a remarkable job, to be fair.

zakoutsideC02931

For an indoor cat, he does a pretty good job outside.

Aby-a-Day – 10 Juli: Silly sandy kitties (Silly Saturday)

I wanted to take the cats out today, but the weather had other plans. But I found these photos from an earlier. Lorelai just LOVES rolling in the sand.

roryzaksandC02387

Izaak, on the other hand, likes to dig. They are so fun to watch!

Aby-a-Day – 9 Juli: More fun with This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED (Photoshop Friday)

I have been having fun in the Facebook group “This Cat is PHOTOSHOPPED” lately. These are older ones I did; this kitten was on a scratching post, so I put him somewhere more exciting. Namely, the top of the Pru during the World Series.

blacksmokestage

This beautiful black smoke needed a stage.

sushiconveyor

sushidragonroll

This cat’s name is Sushi, so…yeah. Blah blah low-hanging-fishcakes blah.

zionherbie

Zion was posing in a box. I don’t know why, exactly, but it seemed like he needed to be inside Herbie on the beach. I have more that I have done for that group; come back next Friday for more!

Aby-a-Day – 8 Juli: There’s a new kitty in town! (Thursday Things)

The other day I looked out the livingroom window and saw a little girl and her mom waling her cat on a leash!! I took photos with my long lens through the window, so they are a little blurry.

whitekittyC03487

I don’t know anything about her, apart from she lives in the C block of our apartment building. I saw her in a first-floor window yesterday.

whitekittyC03528

She reminded me so much of Kylie!

whitekittyC03532

The white kitty was obviously very new to walking on a leash…

whitekittyC03536

…but she was doing an excellent job!

whitekittyC03541

I kind of wonder if I’m not a little responsible for this. I mean, back when I was in the SCA, I took Harri to events, and, suddenly, there were a lot of people bringing their cats out, too. I like to think I inspired this kitty adventure.

Aby-a-Day – 7 Juli: Wordless Wednesday (Well, this is some forking bullshirt right here…)

zakfork_6336_n

Aby-a-Day – 6 Juli: Marlin redux (Cartoon Tuesday)

NEMO is having a cat show next month, and Iris asked me for an outline of our mascot Marlin. Well…there were a few problems with that. Back in 2013 when I originally drew Marlin, I did it old school: ink on paper, scan, and fill in Photoshop using the paint bucket tool. Eight years ago, it was fine…but I can do better now. Also, back then, I didn’t put outlines and colours on separate layers, so I literally didn’t have the outline handy.

NEMOlogo2021Outline

I put the old logo into Procreate and redrew Marlin. I wanted to keep him as close to the original as possible, because he’s our brand, so I didn’t change anything. I just refined him.

NEMOlogo2021Colour

Then, also in Procreate, I did all the colours except the base cream coat.

NEMOlogo2021Undercolour

Then I shifted back to Photoshop. Sometimes, the old tools are the best tools. I duplicated the outline and filled it all with cream using my trusty paint bucket tool.

NEMOlogo2021QAlllColour

Here are both colour layers together. Keeping with preserving the original, all the colours are eyedroppered from the 2013 drawing.

NEMOlogo2021

And this is the result, a shiny new NEMO logo for the Roaring Twenties!

Aby-a-Day – 5 Juli: “My what big peets you have…” (Hipstamatic Monday)

The other day, I was reading whilst lying on the bed, and Alfred came to cuddle with me.

hipstafreddypaw2

He curled up next to me and laid a paw on my arm.

hipstafreddypaw3

Look how loooonnngg Freddy’s toes are! He has really big feet, even at four years old. Do you think he’ll ever grow into them?

Aby-a-Day – 3 & 4 Juli: Just Izaak being Izaak (Silly Singapura Saturday and Sunday)

The other morning, I woke up to this.

zaksilly_7336

zaksilly_7338

Izaak just sitting in his cat bed, on his baby blanket, chilling.

zaksilly_7340

zaksilly_7342

It was really funny…and not a little surreal.

zaksilly_7345

Zak sat that way for a really long time, too.

zaksilly_7347

zaksilly_7350

zaksilly_7352

Just contemplating himbs peets.

zaksilly_7353

Apparently, they were very interesting that morning.

zaksillytail_7356

Suddenly, Zak started to aggressively groom his tailtip.

zaksillytail_7358

zaksillytail_7361

Lick, lick, lick…

zaksillytail_7363

zaksillytail_7365

…lick…oops, almost lost it!

zaksillytail_7366

Take that, tail!

zaksillytail_7376

zaksillytail_7377

Zak was very thorough.

zaksillytail_7386

And then,

zaksillytail_7391

suddenly…

zaksilly_7400

zaksilly_7405

..Zak was done.

zaksilly_7407

“What?”

Aby-a-Day – 2 Juli: Remembering Jacoby on Canada Day

Yesterday was Canada Day, and the above memory from last year popped up on my Facebook feed. Even though the celebrations this year are rather subdued this year, I can’t help but recall Jacoby’s past Canada Day fashion statements.

jakemittensE_8852

There was that one time when he wore a wool sweater…and a mitten.

jaketeamcanada10

Of course, in 2014 he was very excited about the Winter Olympics in Sochi…and with good reason: Canada beat Sweden to win hockey gold!

jake4thC02417

Then there was the year he was feeling a little conflicted about being a Canadian in Boston, which is kind of famous for its epic Fourth of July celebrations.

Aby-a-Day – 1 Juli: Sum-Sum-Summertime (Thursday Things)

So, you may recall that I took some lovely photos of Izaak and his tree in winter and spring. Well, the other day when we all went outside, I thought the tree was ready for the summer photo, so I put Zak in his tree.

zaksummertree_7293

At first, he thought about jumping down.

zaksummertree_7298

But then, Zak climbed even higher into the tree!

zaksummertree_7304

And…used the branch as a scratching post.

zaksummertree_7305

Juuuusssst before trying to eat the lichen on the tree. Cat won’t eat dry or wet cat food, but lichen he eats?

zaksummertree_7329

Eventually, Zak decided to come back down, and the photo session was over.

zaksummertree_7306

This one shot, though, is the one I think I’m going to use in the Four Seasons project.

Aby-a-Day – 30 Juni: Wordless Wednesday (Abys enjoying the balcony)

balconycats5759_n

balconycats6507_n

balconycats7842_n