Aby-a-Day – 17 Maj 2020: An Angel watching over me (Swedish Sunday)

I fall asleep watching television pretty much every night. I never see the end of movies we watch.

angelcoconap_2545

I guess Angel decided I needed some company and settled herself on top of the big sofa cushion and joined me in my little nap.

Aby-a-Day – 29 April 2020: Wordless Wednesday (Cuddly Izaak)

zakcuddle_2126

zakcuddle_2127

zakcuddle_2130

zakcuddle_2133

zakcuddle_2135

zakcuddle_2141

Aby-a-Day – 8 April 2020: Wordless Wednesday (How I wake up every morning)

roryzakbed_042840

Aby-a-Day – 13 Mars 2020: Coronavirus 1, St. Patrick 0 (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been cancelled out of concern for COVID-19. This is the first time in 26 years the parade has been cancelled. The city of Boston is also postponing the Boston Marathon next month and even the Red Sox spring training and regular season will be delayed.

jake-sunshineN2713

I went to my first parade when I moved to Boston in 2000, and stood in front of what at the time was a vacant building. Little did I know that I would eventually live in that very building!

jacoby4378

Naturally, St. Patrick’s Day and the parade was a big part of Jacoby’s life. Our apartment overlooked one of the staging areas, and Jake loved to watch the activity below. His first St. Patrick’s Day, I got him a T-shirt from a shop in Faneuil Hall. What could be more Boston than that?

jake-stpatsN9718

Later on, Jake added a shamrock tie and a Celtics jersey to his holiday wardrobe.

jakestpatsE_3575

jakestpatsE_3580

I had actually forgotten about this shamrock sun-hat. I think he only wore it that one time, just for photos.

jakeparadeN9804

He also had his shamrock patterned walking harness. When we lived on the 5th floor, we didn’t face West Broadway, so Jake and I would go downstairs to see the parade in person.

angelparadeN9753

Angel, on the other hand, was content to watch the parade on television.

jakestpats2014E_9410

jakestpats2014E_9417<

When we moved to the new apartment on the 4th floor, we could just watch the parade from our windows. I think Jake kind of missed going outside to experience it; Angel, meanwhile, was perfectly content watching the parade from our windows.

abycartoon167

It’s a little surreal to think of the parade just not happening. I mean, they even held it the year we had the record snowfall! Okay, it wasn’t as bad as in my cartoon, but it did snow on the day of the parade!

stpatsIMG_3411 1

The last year we lived in Boston, we just watched it from the windows again. Now, though, I kind of wish we’d gone downstairs.

angelstpatsIMG_3421 1_Fotor

I’m pretty sure Angel wishes we’d gone downstairs, too.

jakeparadeE_3647

In a way, it feels a little bit right, not having the parade the first year Jake isn’t alive for it.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Mars 2020: Catatonic 2 (Cartoon Tuesday)

You may remember, six years ago, I made this wonderful cartoon with Jacoby, Angel, Kylie and Tessie as Kristoff, Anna, Elsa and Sven the reindeer from Frozen.

Zakolaf-frozen_sketch

Zakolaf-frozen_1stink

Well, of course, Frozen 2 came out last November, which made me revisit my original cartoon. Of course, Kylie and Tessie still live in Boston, and Dashiell can take Jake’s place as Kristoff…but it occurred to me that I now have the perfect cat to play Olaf! Izaak! Of course, Olaf should be a Singapura! I started with a sketch and then a rough ink on my iPad in ProCreate.

Zakolaf-frozen_2ndink

Then I did a clean ink outline.

Zakolaf-frozen_flatcolour

Switching to the laptop and Photoshop, I did a flat colour layer.

Zakolaf-frozen_whiskers

On a separate layer, I added the whiskers and eyeshine.

Zakolaf-frozen_background

Then I switched to the background. I took a generic Frozen 2 background (there are plenty of wallpapers available online) and painted over it, the same way I created the background of the Zakdalorian.

Zakolaf-frozen_leaves

Then I added a swirl of windblown leaves, to give it the feel of the film.

Zakolaf-frozen_noshadow

Then I painted the ticking and Zak’s other markings with my fur brushes.

Zakolaf-frozen_2Final

Finally, I gave Zakolaf a little shadow, to ground him in the scene. I wish this was a little brighter, but that’s just the way this scene is; it’s not as bright as the snow scenes, because it’s autumn. Can’t do much about that.

Oh, and don’t worry…I have characters for Lorelai and Alfred to play. Stay tuned…

Aby-a-Day – 25 Februari 2020: The Zakdalorian again (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, I posted a sketch and a preliminary inking of Izaak as The Child (aka Baby Yoda)

Zak_Baby_Yoda_2ndInk

Starting with the shaded ink layer I did last week, I changed it from black to blue-green and did a second, cleaner ink layer.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_2ndInkWhiskers

The whiskers and eyeshine are actually on their own layer. I really like having the whiskers as a separate layer from the rest of the drawing. There’s also a slight outer glow on this layer.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_colouronly

Using the clean ink version, I made a flat colour layer. This layer is about 70% opaque.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_colourtexture

Using the same colours, and following the shading done on the first ink, I added a texture layer, with the fur and ticking and the rough cloth of the robe.

Zak_Baby_Yoda Background

The background is a combination of the original screenshot I based my drawing on, and a painted background using bark and grass brushes, run through the oil painting filter.

Zak_Baby_YodaShadowBacklight

I also added a shadow and backlighting, to capture the feel of the original scene.

Zak_Baby_Yoda_brothsteam

One final, tiny touch: I have a set of steam/smoke brushes. One little stamp at 60% opacity, and…the bone broth is hot!

Zak_Baby_YodaFinal

And here is the final, complete drawing. I am pretty proud of this one!

Aby-a-Day – 13 Februari: Like human, like cat (Thursday Things)

Last week, I heard a cat let out a loud YOWL, and when I went to see who it was and what was going on, I discovered Alfred collapsed in our bedroom doorway.

freddyattack_0776

I found him collapsed and floppy, drooling and gasping for breath with his eyes locked in a thousand yard stare.

FreddyCollapse

It may seem silly, but one of the first things I did was make a short video of him. I sent it to Meg, Molly and Anne, and also to Freddy’s breeder, to see if they had any idea what could be causing it. I also rang our local vet (and was lucky to speak to our regular vet, because this happened at 16:16 and they close at 17:00) and also the emergency vet in Jönköping.

freddyattack_0778

The emergency vet was prepared for us if we decided to drive there that evening (Björn didn’t get home until 19:00), and I made an appointment for Freddy for the next day at Min Vetrinär.

freddyattack_0780

I didn’t know what to do apart from just being with him.

freddyattack_0781

After a little while, I got him to sit up again.

zakfreddyattack_0786

zakdashfreddyattack_0788

I made a box for Freddy so I could move him – and take him to the emergency vet if necessary. Of course, Izaak jumped right in with him.

freddyattack_0790

When Björn got home, Freddy was doing a bit better, so we decided he’d be okay until the local vet appointment (those are the photos you saw yesterday). We kept an eye on him all night, and this is how he looked in the morning. When we got to the clinic, they tested Freddy’s blood, and we took chest Xrays (Unfortunately, I was unable to get photos of those). Turns out, the video I made was very useful for the vet to see. She diagnosed him with pneumonia and prescribed Amoxycillin. Which is ironic…since I was also diagnosed with pneumonia and prescribed Amoxycillin. We even started our meds on the same day, and we have the same schedule, one pill three times a day. It’s actually kind of great having a medicine buddy: It helps me remember when to take my pill, and when to give Freddy his – because it’s the same time!