Life with Dogs: Part 9 Lucy

Children and puppies both start out small.

RowanBaby:webChildren grow fairly slowly, year by year, and only reach their full size in a couple of decades.

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Puppies start out small too, but grow SO much faster.

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Here is Rowan at almost 7 years and Lucy at age 12 weeks. 

Puppies are pretty much full grown in a year. This transformation provided the inspiration for my book When Lucy Goes Out Walking.

Lucy

Starting in January, the pup in the book grows month by month.

LucyJanuary

By March she is leggy and adolescent looking.

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By July, she’s a mostly grown companion on a grassy hill.

LucyJuly

and by rainy November she can carry groceries and trot along through puddles.

LucyNovember

The weather turns cold again and this time Lucy leaves “big dog prints” in first December snows.

LucyDecember

A year passes and here is Rowan at almost 8 years and Lucy at 12 months. What a difference a year made for one small pup!

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Making my own Advent Calendar~Part 2

I grew up with “Sweet” paper Advent Calendars like this one

Advent Calendars 1The numbered openings are scattered all over, and the pictures outside bore no relation to what was underneath the perforated squares.

You got a lot of glitter outside, and dopey illustrations of stars, bells and candles inside the windows.

This annoyed me as a child. I already craved storytelling and wanted the outside and the inside to add up to something greater.

Nowadays, cool DIY Advent Calendars are all the rage. Many have candy and/or REAL gifts in them.

AdventKraftPaperParcels

But that is now. Back in 1986 I was thinking strictly 2-D, so I decided to make my own paper calendar. It was going to be fun to look at AND tell a story.

icicles_webI grew up in a cozy neighborhood in town, in a modern-looking, chalet style house designed by my parents. But my child alter-ego lived in a pale yellow farm house somewhere out in the country.

I needed at least 24 windows and doors on my imaginary house and barn in order to create the world within the calendar.

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I included characters from my three, published picture books:

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Nutkin, the marmalade cat from Only The Cat Saw

snowmanEllie, the little girl from A Year of Birds and A Year of Beasts, and her Border Collie Pumpkin

And later, I copied parts of my old calendar into books created far into the future like When Lucy Goes Out Walking!

JanuarytreeI wanted the picture you saw when you opened the door or window to make sense and tell a little bit more about this home and family.

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So when you open doors 1, 10 and 18, you see into the front hall, the kitchen and the back hall.

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The only window that did not fall within a real opening is in the woodpile.

adventcalendar_4but when you open it, the scene inside is still real to the location, even if the mice are enormous next to the cat!

Happy Advent!adventcalendar_6

Though this calendar is out of print, I still have a stash and am selling them here.

If you enjoyed this post, please like Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, visit my webpage here, my Etsy shop, or follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

Snow!

As a Vermont Girl, I know my snow.

I’ve been figuring out ways to draw and paint snow, in all its shapes and forms, my entire life.

skaters:web

There are lots of kinds of snow.

The 1st snows of autumn, that slowly cover the still-green grass, frost bitten plants, and leaf strewn ground.

December snows, that slowly fill up the woods~until we trudge through it to find a perfect Christmas tree,

Or February snow, deep and light enough to race a sled through,

Or use as a smooth, white, picnic blanket for the birds.

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A Year of Birds

I’ve painted snow as the natural habitat for Polar Bears,

And gray wolves.

And painted it in totally unexpected places, like a usually sunny day in Jamaica!

I’ve sat in my car and drawn a snowy scene from life.

And I ended my new book, Baby Bear Counts One, with 10, big snowflakes, falling slowly enough for a surprised bear cub to count them.

But turn the page and watch as the snow picks up, swirling in curtains across the mouth of the den,

And finally, the flakes are falling so fast that there are…

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Baby Bear Counts One

 

Too many to count!

If you enjoyed this post, please like Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, visit my webpage here, my Etsy shop, or follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar.