School desk makeover, check!

Progress is well underway for my upcoming Cafe Estelle art opening on Friday, December 3rd from 6 to 9pm. I have finished drawing and painting the school desk which will have my prints, button packs and pocket mirrors for sale inside. Next up: create as many originals as possible within the next 10 days. Please RSVP if you plan on attending the opening so I can figure out a rough estimate of how much grub and drinks to bring!

Here’s my updated to-do-list (eep!):

  • Make cow illustration
  • Make chicken illustration
  • Make duck illustration
  • Make owl illustration
  • Finish ink drawings on children’s school desk
  • Paint children’s school desk
  • Order “say hello to my little friends” custom wall decal
  • Order number pins for labeling work
  • Create and print title/price list
  • Set up printer and scanner at home
  • Scan new pieces and add to website and Etsy
  • Order prints of any pieces that are not in stock
  • Order more chipboard backing and plastic sleeves for prints
  • Print labels for buttons and pocket mirrors
  • Package buttons and pocket mirrors
  • Design and print postcards to promote the show
  • Redesign business cards and order them, pronto!
  • Pick up food and beer for the opening on Friday, December 3rd

say hello to my little friends (one last time)

My goat illustration (bottom right) recently got some Etsy front page love, which always makes me flail with delight! I am looking forward to creating some new pieces to expand the “say hello to my little friends” series even further. The exhibition is currently on display at the Philadelphia International Airport in Terminal B. If all goes according to plan the show will be making a reappearance at Cafe Estelle, my favorite brunch spot in Philadelphia, from December through January.

I will be adding a few farmyard friends to the mix—a cow, duck, and chicken…basically the animals that are on the menu at the cafe (don’t judge me, I realize it’s fairly morbid!). I’ve been working on painting and decorating a children’s school desk that will hold my prints and other items for sale at the show, which has been a lot of fun but very time consuming. I’ll be sure to post a few photos soon to show you a bit of the process, but to give you a visual, it involves me watching Hoarders marathons and my arse going numb from drawing at a desk that is meant for 6-year-olds. I’ll be sure to keep you posted, but for now please mark Friday, December 3rd on your calendar if you’d like to check out my critters for their final show since I will be starting my new dream series come the new year.

Any last-minute critters you’d like to request be a part of the “say hello to my little friends” series of exotic pet drawings?

A Diary of Betty White

Supposedly absence makes the heart grow fonder, but for my shelter dog, Betty White, that is not the case.

An average day in the life of Betty White consists of nervous foot licking (what was once a white dog is now half brown because she has gnawed at her feet so much), hovering underneath me and watching my every move, hiding from dog toys and shaking uncontrollably at foreign noises. Needless, to say, my boyfriend, Pete, and I have been taking baby steps to try to help her.

When I leave our apartment to head to work, Betty White can be found in her crate, whining and scratching at her cage as soon as I’m out the door. When left to roam the apartment freely, she becomes even more afraid.

These are all signs and symptoms of separation anxiety, which tends to be more common with second-hand shelter dogs like Betty White, who was previously abused by her last owner. My boyfriend, Pete, and I have tried to promote independence and make her more comfortable while alone at home. We’ve tried everything from exercising her in the mornings to taking “doggy Prozac,” per recommendation of our veterinary hospital. Doggie daycare seemed like a good idea until upon my return to a local kennel I was told that Betty White scaled an 8-foot fence, where she then proceeded to hover on a small ledge and shake for hours in her private room (they compared her to Hannibal Lecter, which is never a flattering comparison). It was becoming more and more apparent that we had to turn to a professional for our favorite four-legged friend.

As the Editor-in-Chief of Bucks & Montgomery Living Magazine, I have had the pleasure in working closely with David Cugno, owner of David Cugno’s Canine Center in King of Prussia. Desperate for advice, I sent David a novel-sized e-mail about Betty’s behavior problems and asked if he had any upcoming availability in his boarding and training classes. Luckily for us, he was able to fit her into a two week-long boarding and training program where she was guided toward interaction with other dogs.

I recently had my initial consultation with David and his friendly staff, where they assured me that I wasn’t the only one with this problem. When you’ve had a dog for over four years and she is still as anxious as the first day you adopted her from the SPCA, it can feel a bit disheartening— like you aren’t giving your pet the best possible life. David assured me that I was not alone and had me instantly smiling by saying, “If you knew what to do, I wouldn’t have a job!”

During Betty White’s two week-long stay, David and his talented staff helped Betty muster up the courage needed to join the pack and realize that she can lead a perfectly happy life without us being there with her every step of the way. Over the next few months I will be documenting Betty White’s journey at Cugno’s Canine Center, from boarding and training to private classes and how life at home has changed.

I encourage my fellow bloggers to comment with their dog training success stories. Thanks to David Cugno’s Canine Center for helping to create a safe and happy home for our irresistible (yet slightly neurotic) dog, Betty White.