Why Grow up When you Can Be an Axolotl Instead?

Axolotls aren’t just every cool animals, they are also extremely cute, so when the author Seanan McGuire posted the current project of a Patreon creator whose monthly pattern was an axolotl, I couldn’t resist. Also, 7,50 each month for a sewing pattern including machine embroidery files is dirt cheap. I know I’ve paid three times that money for some. I also like the idea of having a new small project every month. So please meet Seanan, named after the lady whose fault it is.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved Bulbasaur approves!

I’ll have to make a second one for my sister, but not in black, because tracing a pattern on black minky is a job for people who murdered mother and father. If your sewing fingers are itching, give NazFX Studios a try.


These incredible images come from the camera of quotetheunquote, who took the photos on June 10

of the solar eclipse rising over the rural landscape of southern Ontario. I’ve seen a few partial eclipses before (never a full one, alas) but this was definitely a special occasion; it was like a rising crescent moon, except for some reason, this moon was burning red hot.  I doubt that I will ever see anything like this again!… We also got a photo of some eclipse-lit heifers, who were thoroughly unimpressed with the whole thing.

©quotetheunquote, all rights reserved.

©quotetheunquote, all rights reserved.

©quotetheunquote, all rights reserved.

©quotetheunquote, all rights reserved.

Jack’s Walk – Jack Comes Home and Marcus Makes Fine Art

That’s My Buoy. Jack is home ©voyager, all rights reserved.

As you can see above, Jack is home. We had him cremated, and he now lives above our fireplace with my other dog, Lucy. This photo is a special outing to the backyard for a final few pictures beside his favourite buoy toy, which he found and proudly carried home all by himself.
This will also be the final time I post a Jack’s Walk, and that’s been difficult to wrap my head around, but I have one last Jack story to share. That, of course, is the completion of Project Bubbapaw (Jack’s Walk) (Stderr)(Stderr), an artistic endeavour of Marcus’ to make a resin copy of Jack’s foot.

Lovely, custom made felt protectors. Such attention to detail! ©voyager, all rights reserved.

Well, about a month after Jack died, I received a package from Marcus with the resulting sculpture. And It’s an incredible work of art that has quickly become very precious to me. I apologize for taking so long to show all of you, but I wanted to keep it private for a while. Now, I’m ready to share, and so, Ta-Da, here is the polished, resin-bronze foot created by Marcus from Jack’s pawprint.

Oh My! It’s Bubba in Bronze. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.

It’s very detailed, although my photos don’t really show it, but it’s remarkable. It looks just like bronzed baby shoes, only better because this is my baby’s actual footprint. Every nub, scar, crook and crevice are there, and it feels comfortably familiar when I rub my thumb across it.

Sorry about the harsh lighting, but I wanted you to see the detail. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.

When we talked about making this sculpture, Marcus suggested he might use a bit of sand and sea glass, so I sent a bit of both along with the molded print that Jack and I made at home. I was a bit disappointed not to see them. Then, I opened the second envelope, and my heart stopped for a moment. Marcus had used the sand and glass to make a second pawprint in clear resin.

This is genuinely my Jack. Happily roaming at the beach. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.

This piece is even more beautiful than the first. It’s a memory capsule with Jack’s footprint in the sand from his favourite Perce beach (which I keep in a jar on my desk), along with bits of sea glass and shells that I’d found while walking with him.

Together on North Beach, Perce. Sand, shells, glass and Jack. Art by Marcus Ranum.  ©voyager, all rights reserved.

These photos don’t do it justice. I couldn’t capture the shine in the sand nor the subtle colours in the glass. I do have one photograph of it, though, that isn’t perfect, but is my favourite way to view it, and that’s through my window in the morning when I rise.

That’s my Boy. Jack is home. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.



Marcus, my friend, thank you. I know you understand how precious these pieces are to me. Thine Art is Great, and so are you. Fabulous, in fact.


The Art of …

… kittens, by British landscape artist William Collins

Collins was often praised for his ability to capture light, and this painting is full of subtle and nuanced light, but it’s that wee, timid kitten that makes it wonderful.

The Stray Kitten, 1835, William Collins. Image from Wikiart.

The Stray Kitten, 1835, William Collins. Image from Wikiart.

Tiny Vegetable Patch Inspectors

The inspectors are tiny, not the vegetable patch. That is quite huge (over 40 square meters). It took me 1 hour to plow it all and that knocked me out for two days. Now I am breaking the dirt lumps and making the beds for the veggies which I expect to keep me busy for a week. Last year we had only one huge patch with potatoes, this year it will be split into several small ones for peas, onions, beans, and cucumbers.

And today when I had my lunch break, several small birds came to inspect my handiwork and feast on earthworms and insects brought to the surface – the redstarts are back, a sure sign that spring has really begun. These birds never come to the feeder, they are strict insectivores and they really enjoy the vegetable patches after the rain or when the surface is disturbed.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size

I assume that these are all black redstarts Phoenicurus ochruros, because those I usually see around here. But there might be some common redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus among these four pictures this time or even all of them. These are all females and those are hard to distinguish, species-wise, for me. Today was one of the rare instances when I have also seen male common redstart, but he, unfortunately, whooshed before I got him into focus.