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My Nimrodic Powers

“Oh gee,
How doth the busy bee
Improve the shining hours
By making honey sweet and good
From all the pretty flowers.
Oh my,
How doth this lazy I,
Improve (?) the shining hours
By drawing things
And painting things
With my nimrodic powers.”

Poem by Wanda Gág

 

I, too, revel in my nimrodic powers of “drawing things and painting things,” just like Wanda Gág. Yesterday, I named an online store after this poem. It’s called, of course, “Nimrodic Powers,” and it is an on line shop where you can purchase clothing and bags and magnets and what have yous with my famous art printed on it. I’ve been thinking I should “wait until it’s done” to share this shop with you, but then it became apparent that it will never be done. Or, maybe it is done. It’s a thing that I will keep adding drawings to as the mood strikes me, which could mean “I will add more art to this store every day for the rest of my life,” or it could mean, “it is done. I am never adding any more pictures again.”

Shout out to Christina McMullen for introducing me to the concept of a Zazzle Store. Christina writes good books and I follow her on Twitter. She also makes silly drawings. I egg her on. Then, she announced her Zazzle store, and I bought a few things and discovered them to be, actually, high quality and beautiful. So I decided to make my own Zazzle store.

Speaking of Twitter, McMullen is one of the few people with whom I truly interact on that forum. I used to subscribe to the idea that, the more Twitter followers I had, the more books I would sell. That has not proven to be the case. In fact, there was one instance when I shared a quote from Exhaust(ed), and immediately got a book of mine returned to Amazon. (I didn’t know you could return books to Amazon! Don’t return mine, now, please!) So, you could say that I proved that sharing my work on Twitter actually has a negative impact. Now, I’ve got thousands of Twitter followers, most of whom I “follow” back, and I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I think we’re all just out to promote ourselves. Everyone is shouting and no one is listening. It’s just a creepy mess.

So, I’m done with that. I’m deleting my Twitter account in one month. However, I still enjoy interacting with a few key people (Christina McMullen, Alex Bledsoe, Professor Batty, my dad… and a few more) and I do like to follow a few famous people, so I have started a new account. I’m keeping it small. I’m not following back, unless I know you. So, if I know you, or if you want to follow me and you don’t care that I probably won’t follow you back, my new Twitter account is @MyNimrodicPower  I will still promote my books and art a little bit, because that’s just what I do, but I’ll try to be a bit more chill about it.

There is a book to promote right now, actually. Postcards from Joshua Tree comes out next Thursday, September 27. Do you remember when I said that if you joined my Patreon, you could tell me what my next book would be about? No? Well, that happened. And Professor Batty joined at the $25 / month level, and told me to write a book called, “Postcards from Joshua Tree,” about my times in Joshua Tree. So, hey! I did! I also enlisted the help of my many minions at Artsy Fartsy Coloring AND Colouring to color in some postcards for me. So, we technically had over twenty people working on this book, plus the idea came from Professor Batty. I think the end result is really beautiful, if I do say so myself. It’s a book of postcard-length vignettes, each one accompanied by a picture of Joshua Tree or the surrounding area, drawn by me and colored by a volunteer colorist from the coloring group. Then, at the end of the story, in the back of the book is all of the drawings, uncolored. So it’s a coloring book, too! (The kindle version does not include the coloring book, because you can’t color your kindle. Sadly.)

The offer is still on. If you join my Patreon at the $25 / month level, you get to tell me what my next book will be. Also, you get two copies of every book, when they come out. (Due to the high cost of printing color art books, I think one copy of Postcards from Joshua Tree will cost $25, so if you join this month, you get a two for one deal.) Also, on the months when I don’t produce a new book, you get a small original work of art in the mail. Also, you get eternal life. “But Shoshanah,” you say, “That’s so sad! I mean, if I had eternal life, everyone I know now would die, and I would continue living, forever!” And that’s why you should have everyone you know and love also join my Patreon at the $25 / month level so that you can all “live forever!”

Love, sin, and time,

 

Shoshanah

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Wheatbread Johnson is a Boogie Fool

Wheatbread Johnson Boogie Fool

I got a new CD from a fairly unknown artist, and I feel like I should share the joy with everyone I can. His name is Wheatbread Johnson and the album is called “Boogie Fool.” It’s a really solid blues album with some songs to make you laugh, some songs to make you cry, and some songs to make you eat some pie! (Okay, not pie, fat back ribs, I think he said.) Anyway, the guitar playing is extraordinary. On his last album I heard, Dinosaur on the Moon, he was already seriously strong in the chops. Now, with Boogie Fool, he’s filled it out with some backup singers and sexy banter. My favorite song is the title track, Boogie Fool, which is just a gem. It’s one of those I’ll play over and over in the car.

Wheatbread Johnson
A Whole Grain Records Production

You can buy Wheatbread’s CD easily and securely by sending $20 via PayPal to wheatbreadjohnson@yahoo.com. Be sure to include your mailing address in your order. (Don’t worry. He cool.)

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Teaching Lambs to Use Gates (Shepherding the Modern Way, Instructional Tape 1.)

In this shepherding demonstration, I utilize voice command to teach lambs how to walk through a gate by telling them to “Go through the doors,” or “use the gate, Lambicans,” in a highly exasperated tone. When their performance is not satisfactory, I let them know by saying, “Seriously? You don’t see that?” because everyone knows that four day old lambs understand sarcasm, and respond well to critique. You can see that the end result is highly satisfactory. I let the lambs know they have done well by muttering “dorks” under my breath. This lets them know who’s boss!

 

Right after I recorded this, and shut the gate, I turned around and noticed that Yoshimi and her new lamb, Spock, were still on the wrong side fo the gate.

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Lambing Unwillingly

We have had so many lambs! Nine lambs, now, alive and well, though some of their mothers seem unfit and insane.

This is Corvette. Corvette always jumps the fence, and I had decided to never breed her, because as cute as it is to see a sheep gracefully hop a fence, like a dream sheep above your head in bed, it’s a good thing to be able to control your flock. I didn’t want any future sheep to inherit her athletic abilities and tendency to wander.

But, mysteriously, she had a lamb! Since having the lamb, a ram, she has rammed him, flipped him, and then jumped the fence and run away and left him. But, I didn’t give up. I caught her and brought her back and gave her a little more space and a little better fencing. This morning, after a wicked thunder storm, she let him nurse without me even tying her to a fence post! Progress.

Her lamb is a jumper, too. He just jumps around her in circles.

Corvette the Sheep
Corvette and her lamb. (We named her Corvette to remember that she is Corva’s daughter. We named all of them variations of their mother’s names. Yoko’s mom is Chyoko. I did not name her Corvette because she was like a fast car, but she kind of is.)

 

 

 

This poor ewe (Yoko) is huge preggers and has something going on with her muscles so she can’t stand up. I’m supposed to keep her comfortable until she’s ready to give birth, and then (according to the vet) “wash your hands well, take four deep breaths, reach your hand in and pull the lambs out.” Easy! I’ll let you all know how that turns out.

yoko the sheep
She’s so … heavy. I did not name her Yoko because I thought she would have difficult pregnancies like Yoko Ono, but there you are.

This morning, after our big rain, Yoko was lying in some real soggy hay. So, I half dragged/ half walked Yoko to higher ground (she’s so heavy), wiped her off with baby wipes and put her on a pile of hay and an old comforter, with a sun umbrella and some snacks (lawn clippings from the first mow.) Yoko seems comfortable. The whole time I was moving her, I had this song “She’s so Heavy,” going thru my head. John Lennon wrote it about Yoko Ono when she was pregnant.

There is one bottle lamb. Z named her “Tulipia.” (Which actually sounds like a fish to me. Maybe she will like swimming?)

lamb
Mandatory adorable animal selfie.

 

Going out to feed the bottle lamb has made me go outside during every time of day. Last night, I met a little frog:

Early this morning, I saw our chickens have escaped their fencing:

rooster break
They do this all times of day, but this really was taken at 7 AM.

 

And now for some pictures of what are probably terribly inbred lambs:

See the one with the white face? I actually delivered him. He was stuck. My first sheep midwifing!

 

He’s really adorable, I swear. You just can’t see him because he’s black!

Resting under a tree. The wool on the branches tells you their moms have been there.

Maybe we should hire out our castrated rams as studs.

 

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Life and Death on the Farm

chick

That little unexpected lamb died, after he caught a chill. Zanimal and I spent about eight hours trying to warm him up the next day, but he died, anyway. We were all very sad about it.

If only the weather weren’t so cold, but what can you do? We weren’t expecting a lamb at all.

And then we got some cute little chicks!

chick

Being newly sensitive to the dangers of young animals getting cold, I noticed right away when this little guy was shivering, and a stuck him in the oven for a bit! Then I put him in my pocket to carry him back out to the farm. Now, he’s doing fine.

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Surprises of Spring

We didn’t breed the sheep this year, because we have enough sheep! We did get two lambs and an adult ewe from a friend last fall. So, that made twenty-five. “When are you lambing?” everyone in the sheep community kept asking.

“We aren’t lambing this year,” I told everyone.

SURPRISE!

Today I noticed a new little wooly one. Where the heck did that come from?

Some observations led me to the mother- one of last fall’s lambs that we got from a friend. She was only about five months old when we got her, but the only explanation is that she was pregnant upon arrival. Either that, or virgin birth. We should probably name him Baby Jesus.

Happy spring, everyone!

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Wallflowers

felt sculpture

The Wallflowers

felted wool

Sometimes, it takes me a little bit longer (or even a lot longer) than a month to create a new book. And yet, it has been sort of implied at the “Love to Color” $25 a month level of my Patreon that you might receive something every month for your $25. Last month, the book wasn’t ready, and the $25 a month subscribers just got a post card (that was actually a weird game, but anyway… subscribe at $4 a month if you want to see that stuff). I felt bad for not sending them anything larger. So, this month, I’ve been working a lot with wool. Thanks to the great people at the Cat and Crow in Mounth Horeb, Wisconsin, I’ve learned A LOT about working with wool. But still, no book yet this month.

 

So, I’ve decided I’m changing the $25 a month level of my Patreon. Instead of just books, you’ll get whatever sort of art I’m concentrating on that month—or, if there is a new book, you will get two copies of the new book! So, basically, you’ll NEVER MISS ANYTHING. You can be 100% Artsy Fartsy supporter all the time. Artsy Fartsy A.F.

 

In fact, I am changing the name of “Love to Color” level to “Artsy Fartsy A.F.” (It’s redundant, I know, because everyone knows “A.F.” stands for “Artsy Fartsy,” but I like it.)

 

Because I didn’t send anything to my supporters last month, this first original art piece going out to all $25 a month supporters is actually worth more like $70 – $140 (I’ve sold similar items to local collectors). I call them “Wallflowers.” They are a culmination of all I have learned about wool, a combination of wet felting and needle felting, all made from the organic wool we grow directly from our wooly friends out back (A.K.A. the sheep). Each fantasy creature has a flower growing out of her head. You can mount it on your wall, or plant it in your garden and see if it grows! (It won’t.)

 

How many will I make? I will make one for every new person who becomes a patron this month at the $25 a month level. And, after that, maybe there will be a book next month. Maybe another art piece. I have a possible project in the works with another member of the Tenderfoot Collective, and that would go out to you, too, sometime in the following months.

 

For this month only, you can get a unique, hand-made Wallflower of your very own by going to Patreon.com/Shoshanah and signing up at the $25 level. Thank you in advance for your decision to support my art and to bring more beauty into your life.

 

Love,

 

Shoshanah

 

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Spitefully Black

Over the weekend, while my daughter and husband played Minecraft, I was painting a cat in a fez. It’s fun to paint cats in hats.

I painted the background first, then the fez, then finally the cat itself, which I envisioned as a Russian Blue.  I was painting it grey. Zanimal, age 10, came up for a snack and regarded my painting critically,

“What would you say is the focal point of this painting?”

“The cat, of course.”

“So…” she said.

“What?”

“I think it should be a lighter colored cat, so it would stand out better. Then your eye would be drawn to it more.”

“It’s wearing a red hat,” I said.

“Still… it should be lighter.”

“That’s nice,” I said. “When you do your cat painting, you can make your cat a light colored cat.”

She went back downstairs. I put away my grey paints. I squirted a big glob of black onto my pallet.

And now it is a sweet, black cat painting. Yes, I am petty. But I am satisfied with my black cat.

For sale in my shop, if you’re interested. 🙂

Matches my real cat, too!
with frame…