Moo, Baa, Lalala…

HippoBirdie

Last week was my mother’s birthday. Since I’m slowly stowing away all of the drawing materials in preparation for the move (well, WAS stowing … have stowed, a little too well as now I don’t even have real paper to write a “THIS DRYER IS STILL BROKEN” note on so I had to use the back of an old Library envelope; but as usual I digress), I couldn’t really make a card or anything like I normally would, so I had to settle for a half-sheet of paper with a stolen play on words.

See, back-in-the day my mother got a mug with Sandra Boynton’s familiar “Hippo, Birdie, Deer, Ewe…” rebus-version birthday song. It’s cute, naturally, and I remember her explaining it to me when I was little. Anyhow, I have no idea where it is anymore, and I wasn’t even going to try to replicate Boynton’s little drawings, but I figured she knew the mug well enough to get the reference regardless.

She did, but then I realized I had to edit it after I gave it to her … said edit was rather hasty and in midair rather than a proper drawing surface, which is why you can’t really make it out in the picture (even less so than the sheep, which were just drawn in a bit of an impatient hurry because I know I’m bad at sheep and I enjoy self-fulfilling prophecies). But, you see, it isn’t a song if you only sing the line once, so there needed to be a repeat sign….

Your Picture Here

I, uh … I don’t really have anything this week?

To be fair, I also don’t have any bookshelves or tables either, as the Moving Process is in full swing.

The best I can give you is this slightly-refurbished version of a parody design I made a while ago … I had to modify it for RedBubble since their product designer is a little different:

BeardieSmallIt’s not actually supposed to be on black, because clearly things don’t show up optimally on black, but IrfanView is set to see transparent as black and I’m too sleepy to go in and change it. I think you get the gist either way.

There’s actually not a whole lot to do now that most of the furniture’s gone and I’m not allowed to make any more huge batches of food (except for an Epic Pilaf in which I plan to use all three kinds of leftover rice AND the leftover orzo pasta). I did just make a ton of chicken-cabbage potstickers to use up the half-bag of wonton wrappers I found in the door of the freezer, but that doesn’t count because potstickers don’t last long in this household. A little ChiBeef broth (I was boiling beef neck bones but then I realized the chicken breast had bones too, and I’m not one to waste perfectly good bones alright?), soy sauce, a dip from my massive stash of ground ginger, some green onions from the garden MINUS the spider that I realized was hiding in them halfway through, and we’re good to go. I wish I still had some udon left over, but unfortunately I can’t buy the kind I like in packages smaller than MASSIVE (and they really don’t reseal well), so that shall have to wait until I have a more permanent residence.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with 1/4 of a cabbage…

I have a little box under me arm…

WrenKingmini

Ordinarily, this picture would not be much of a feat. It might even be a bit of a disappointment, since it lacks that final polish I usually have the leisure of giving to my digital drawings.

But for now it was a somewhat heroic effort, as I drew it with — you guessed it — my terminally-ailing Intuos tablet whose Preferences settings I may well never access again. If you are not in possession of one of these venerable old creatures yourself, suffice to say that the factory default settings are NOT conducive to using Inkscape or Photoshop, especially not left-handed.

I didn’t even give up on it … it just took so much unnecessary clicking and wiggling and complicated voodoo rituals to get anything to work the way I wanted, that Inkscape finally just decided it deserved better than this and crashed on me. Before I’d saved it as an SVG, mind you — it was taking so long to export the PNG version I needed, I put the editable version on hold till what turned out to be never.

But enough moaning and whimpering. This is what I wound up with, and all things considered it could’ve been a lot worse. I’d wanted to add Wren to my Tricksters collection for a while, as the story of how Wren got the better of Eagle to become King of the Birds was always a favorite of mine. I have a soft spot for the Wren Song (the faded, larger text in the background) too, grim though it may be.

I knew I wanted Eagle to make an appearance in the picture, but incorporating him without overwhelming little Wren was the problem. I like the idea of the design as I have it now — Wren sort of “wearing” Eagle’s wings with just a hint of his head and beak at the bottom — so it’s mostly just the text and positioning that I wish I’d had more time for. To be perfectly honest, that goofy “crow riding an eagle” picture that I briefly scrolled past on Facebook one day was what reminded me I’d been putting off drawing this idea for too long. I probably would’ve just moped around waiting for the Intuos to start functioning again, otherwise. Time will tell how the newest Windows version gets along with my poor wee tablet, and whether I’ve figured out any usable alternatives in the meantime.

I’m still going to attempt to get a Shetland & Pony post out this month, ideally as a tie-in to this one since there are quite a lot of wrens around here lately. I might as well get a little extra practice drawing them. Wish me luck, and happy what’s-left-of-your-4th-of-July-weekend to all you Americans for whom such luxuries as holiday weekends apply!