Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Horse Painting (or at least attempt!) WIP#1

So I am attempting a horse in pastel. Took me ages to decide what I was going to work on last night. Not sure if this is what I want to be working on but it was better to start painting something than sit twiddling my thumbs all evening.

On Colourfix, about 8x8" (a bit small really - think I'd do this bigger next time). This is what I managed to do in about an hour.

Kitten update 15

We weighed the kittens tonight - they are all 1kg or a bit over, which means it is time to say goodbye to 4 of them. We are all quite sad about this as they have been so much fun (and a lot of work - which won't be missed!) and we have to choose two to keep.

The choice has been easier than we thought. Button has been a keeper from early on as K. chose him, but he is also quite people oriented, and has curled up on a lap for a sleep and plays happily with us where some of the other kittens shy away still.

Button hiding in the hedge

Raindrop, one of the twins, is the other choice. Initially we thought about keeping Oscar but he is very skittish around us and is a greedy little thing. Raindrop on the other hand is very friendly, will come up to us for a pat, even curving his body for a rub as he walks past you, and has curled up on laps or next to us for a nap and is always happy for a pat unless he's playing madly.

Raindrop very happy to be inside

Lollipop is beautiful but we can't keep three. If we did, she would be the other keeper.

Lollipop playing in the empty pots on the back verandah

We had family staying for a few days, which disrupted the cats a bit. Honey was quite moody and took a swipe at three of us (not the kids thank goodness), but she is settling down again. I think she has weaned the kittens as her tummy has shrunk a bit (she still eats quite a bit). She's been quite affectionate since the family left.

Here are some photos to catch up with some of the kittens before they go.

Smudge and Raindrop in the garden. The kittens love to play under the mandarine tree nowadays and have a cat run down behind all the shrubs against the fence. When playing they bolt up and down the run chasing and pouncing on each other.

Asleep under the mandarine tree

Honey on the lawn whilst the kittens play in the garden. She caught her second rat the other night - and brought it home for us to see. Yuck!

Oscar is certainly a lovely looking cat

Oscar at full sprint - love this photo even though blurry


Smudge again - too cute!

Button and Raindrop playing in the loungeroom. Raindrop is dragging himself along the bottom of the couch, a favourite pastime for all of the kittens!

Oscar, Raindrop and Gumdrop

Button and Oscar - Button has worked out that being up on one of Katie's chair has advantages

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kitten update 14

I think Honey is getting a little sick of all her kittens. Well, maybe not sick of them, but fed up with feeding...

This is five kittens (all the male ones) wanting a feed. They wouldn't let up, following her from one place to another in the room as she tried to get a break. Finally, they almost completely covered her as they fed. Can you work out which parts in the picture are Honey?

Oscar, the greediest kittens weighs about 900gm now. When the kittens are 1kg, they can go to be de-sexed, wormed and chipped ready for new homes. So only a week or two to go.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kitten update 13

The cats are sleeping inside in the laundry at night now. Our laundry is in the middle of the house, so that means they get to play in the lounge room before being settled in at night and before breakfast in the morning. They are a lot of fun - and a lot of work. I definitely know I don't want to keep seven cats now!

The cats spend the day outside and every evening about 5, they come looking for food and to be let in. They sit curled up on the back verandah waiting for us to notice them. As you can see below, some of them find unique places to wait! This is Smudge - if I'd beena few minutes quicker with the camera, Oscar was in the pot next to Smudge.

As I type this, the cats are curled up on the verandah, wanting in, even though it is morning. I think they like being inside cats now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rainbow Lorikeets & Flowers

K. and I visited Grandma the other day. She feeds a lot of the local birds including lorikeets and butcher birds. Couldn't catch the butcher bird but the lorikeets were accommodating.

Grandma also has some really lovely flowers on her verandah... (I'll have to check what they are all called)

Kitten update 12

Every morning we are greeted at the backdoor by Honey and the six kittens. This morning, they were all curled up in a ball to keep warm when I opened the door. The kittens all venture inside now, some to check out the space near the back door, others to start playing. And in the evening after dinner, the kittens are ready for a play inside as well. Honey wanders in and out and quite happily leaves the kittens in our care.

Surprisingly it is Smudge (formerly Scaredy) who is enjoying time inside the house the most. We bought a couple of cat toys and he is having a ball with them, growling and hissing at the feathers on a stick that we move around for him.

Raindrop is becoming a very friendly kitten (one of the twins). He has fallen asleep on my lap twice now in the evening. I think he has worked out how nice and warm it is to sit on a lap. He is also the one that climbs up my jeans legs, and he climbed up the outside of the screen door right to the top the other day.

Oscar and Gumdrop are the two kittens that don't stay inside the house visiting like the other kittens. They tend to wander back outside to play.

Here are Raindrop and Gumdrop asleep on top of their cardboard box bed. The towel draped over the top has become a favourite sleeping/playing place for all the kittens.

Here is Smudge on the top step, just after wandering out the back door. (I found one of the kittens sitting inside one of the empty terracotta pots on the back step last night - wish I'd had the camera then)

This was taken at 7am the other morning just after I had fed all the kittens. Button, Lollipop, Oscar and Raindrop decided I was a good place to play.

Honey has found how comfortable it is to rest on top of the sand pit and watch her kittens playing on the grass and in the garden around her.

Honey decided to have a go at me today for the first time. I just patted her, and she obviously didn't want that so took a swipe at me. We'll have to keep an eye on her with K. She's only hissed at K. so far.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kitten update 11

Lollipop is quickly becoming a firm favourite with all of us. She is the only female kitten, is the smallest, but gives as good as she gets from her brothers. Quite a feisty little thing, but also the most fun to play with.

Button discovered the fun of being the kitten up in the pot with the blueberry plant. What with playing with the leaves and swatting at his siblings, he had a great time. Lollipop joined him up there, but the others couldn't quite make it yet.

Oscar is such a cute kitten. He is the first to eat, is a bit of a biter, but still fun to play with. Not as interested in us as some of the other kittens.

The kittens were all a little tired after playing for quite a while, so they all pooped out, Gumdrop on the fleece, Lollipop on the third step (right behind me) and Button and Raindrop on the step underneath my legs. They are certainly more trusting of us now. It is going to be so hard to choose which ones to keep (but I think Lollipop has crept into the lead).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kitten update 10

We had to bring Honey and the kittens inside for a little while today, or else our backyard would have become a jungle. While the lawn was mowed, we had a little visit with the kittens.

Honey came in willingly, but the kittens didn't. One even peed on a friend's hand, who had come over to help out, as he picked the kitten up. Once inside, the kittens favourite place was under the couch, but good old Raindrop was out and exploring well before the rest, even having a play with us. Didn't get the chance to take pictures as we were so busy with the cats.

Honey, not used to using litter, started to get distressed after a while so we let her out and gathered up the kittens and returned them to mum. They were tired out after their adventure.

Here is another pictures, though... of Button

Portrait study

Had the yen to do some sketching today so chose a portrait to do. I only worked on this for an hour and need to spend some more time on the skin colour if I was going to go on and do a portrait from this. But it was fun to do. There are still a lot of things that would need fixing but I'm just going to move on and sketch another person and improve with each one I do (I hope!).

In a Canson Mi-Teintes sketch book (black pages), 9x12", Rembrandts and Faber Castell Pitt Pastel pencils.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Kitten update 9

A quiet kitten day today as I was out all day, so didn't spend much time with them. This afternoon after picking up K. from pre-school we went straight out to see them and they were all very happy to see us (even if it is just because we usually turn up with food), happy to be patted and played with for a while. Honey vies for attention just as much as some of the kittens.

Raindrop playing with K. K came up with the name for this kitten and she thought of Flipper for the other twin. So we'll see how that sits.

Oscar was very photogenic today

Tonight, Honey ventured up the back steps for the first time. She was quite interested with inside the house so we let her in for a look-see. She had a wander around the whole house, visiting every room. She was very calm, even having a lie down in the lounge room for a pat. When she went back out again, she lay down in front of the door so I couldn't go in without her again. But she wandered down to check on her kittens, and hopefully will settle down for the night. This bodes well for keeping her - but maybe she is just this serene because she is a new mum. She might become attack cat after she's weaned them :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spider Orchid - revisited

As tonight was the last night of class for this term, I decided to revisit the Spider Orchid painting that I had to put down last year (or else I would have torn it up - I was feeling very frustrated that it just wasn't working the way I wanted it to).

I'm still thinking that I am going to start from scratch, but I have learnt a lot about what I like and don't like when it comes to painting through this work.

The background is still too defined for my liking, but there is improvement.

There is only so much pastel a sheet of Colourfix can take. But I'm not giving up on this quite yet.

Kitten update 8

This morning I was lucky enough to find Honey eating a rat when I went to feed the cats. I suppose she was living wild for a while and just doing her thing, but Yuck!!!!

The kittens are as cute as ever. K. wants us to keep Lollipop now as well as Button and Oscar. She keeps trying to get me to change my mind about keeping Honey.

All the kittens are eating solid food now. When we take the food down to them they all come running now, except for Smudge (formerly Scaredy) who still holds back.

The kittens still enjoy curling up together. Here we have a tabby ball, the two black kittens curled up in their bed. They often separate like this.

They are all more playful now, with each other and with us.

The kittens are very taken with my sandshoes and jeans. One or other of Lollipop, the twins or Oscar is either sitting on my foot, playing with the laces, or climbing up my leg. I wear jeans everytime I go near them now for that very reason.

Climbing is definitely a favourite pass time now

The twins even made it onto the roof of their bed

A very cute Button in the small garden under our back steps. Those weeds get a workout for pouncing practice!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Kitten update 7

The bottom step was discovered by the kittens this morning. Climbing up onto it, falling off it and attacking one of their siblings from on top of it. Lots of fun.

Oscar is a very playful kitten. He has discovered my shoes, jeans and legs today. Luckily his claws are still tiny and not too sharp.

Scaredy and Lollipop resting after a feed from Honey. Lollipop is the new name for the little black kitten. Now we just need names for Scaredy and the Twins. Any suggestions?