Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bear Essentials

Bears are very popular with kids especially Teddy Bears. Although I didn’t own one, I still think they are very cute. I played mostly with puzzles and mechanical toys (especially robots). But did you know that Teddy Bear is originally called Teddy’s bear? The name came from America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt.

When President Theodore Roosevelt went on a hunting trip to Mississippi, to which he was invited by Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino, he was asked to shoot an American Black Bear. There were several hunters competing and most of them had already shot something. So they called Roosevelt to the site and instructed to kill the bear, which Holt Collier and Roosevelt’s attendants had tied to a willow tree after being cornered and clubbed. Roosevelt refused to shoot the bear but asked that the bear be killed to end its suffering. This incident
became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. The adult black bear cartoon was initially lassoed by a white handler but later Berryman made the bear cuter and smaller. When Morris Michton saw the drawing of Roosevelt and the bear cub, he was inspired and created a new toy – a stuffed bear cub. After sending the bear to Roosevelt and receiving permission to sell them, he put them in his shop window with a sign that read “Teddy’s Bear.” The toys became an immediate success, which led Michton to open the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. in 1907 that still exists today.


Black Bear, Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Asiatic Black Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacled Bear, Sun Bear, and the famous Giant Panda.

MYTH: Giant Pandas are Raccoons!

The Giant Panda is one of the most misunderstood animals on the planet. For many years, it was believed to be a type of racoon, like the similarly named red panda. However, genetics testing and observation have revealed that the panda is in fact, a bear. It has only been since 1995 that the Panda has been officially considered a bear.

Source: http://www.bears.org

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year Calendar

I finally finished my calendar! I’ve been working on it for several weeks. I didn’t think I could complete it before Christmas but I did it! I was so happy with the outcome and it was a hit in my family. I only ordered 5 calendars but everyone wants one so I have to order more. If anyone wants to check it out just visit my gallery. This was supposed to be just a one time thing but a lot of people seem to like my paintings. I was quite surprised and very thankful for all the comments. I think I’m going to add more. However, no new paintings this week. I do have a couple of paintings that I haven’t posted. I couldn’t post them until the calendar was done. But now that I have the calendar, I can share them with everyone (yatta!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas with Wolves

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, December 19, 2008

Future Artists!

I am so excited today! This is so far the best day for me this week. I have been working incessantly creating Christmas presents – sleeping 5 hours every day. And I’m still not done shopping. I am exhausted...

So today I checked my second e-mail account and there’s a new mail (yay!). For the past 3 months, I’ve only gotten 3 and they’re all from the sites I’ve signed up with. I proceeded to open it and it was from my cousin. She attached not one but three paintings of her students!

The first painting is from Lil. She used sponge, paintbrush and watercolor. She’s quite adventurous.

The second one is from Isa. She used sponge and watercolor.

And last but not the least is from Allie who used paintbrush and watercolor.

These were all painted on oslo paper by second grade students. The project was called “Invisible Painting.” The lesson was about porous (permeable) and non-porous (nonpermeable) materials. The students had to use white candle instead of white crayon and then paint watercolor over it. I thought it was a fantastic lesson. Great job Balot! And thank you for the paintings.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Landscaping for squirrels

My boyfriend and I bought rocks for the garden. They were dropped off today by a mother and son who own a small nursery. Apparently they’ve been up since 3 am driving around and dropping off things to different houses. Then, we started discussing landscaping and he said “what if you had animals as your clients?” So, I thought, what would you ask squirrels if they were your clients? They don’t “own” a garden but they pretty much live in your yard.

Squirrels love Nuttal oak (Quercus nuttallii), which are also called Red oak, Red River oak and Pin oak. Nuttal oak is a bottom land species that grows along Gulf Coast Plain from Florida to west southeastern Texas. This fast-growing, water tolerant oak is a great choice for poorly drained soil such as clay. Like most oaks, acorn production is heaviest every four to seven years, known as mast year. Squirrels populations vary between these years – they are influenced greatly by the fall mast crop. A good mast production means excellent breeding conditions and healthier young. It is important to wisely manage your backyard if squirrels and other hardwood dependent wildlife is among your priorities.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tween Wolves

I finally finished my painting! This is the first time I used mixed media. I didn’t like the dark trees in the back so I painted over it with white acrylic and used watercolor on top. I think it looks much better than what I had initially.

There’s one thing that I didn’t mention in my older post regarding wolves. Do you know how you can tell they’re friendly? Wolves roll over and show their bellies! hahaha. This information should be in kittybellys site. They also put their paws down and wag their tail when they want to play (so cute!). But when they are agitated and want to fight, they start growling and show their fangs. And put their ears back and lay down when they are done. They are indeed fascinating.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I am still working on my painting. I might be able to finish it tomorrow but today I have something better. Here are some of the best portraits I have ever seen. Check them out!

This is my mom in her blue jeans courtesy of Sarah, age 5, one of the kids she takes care of.

And this one is from one of my sister’s students. My sister teaches preschool. I love the long green locks, I think it suits her.

Last but not the least is me! This is my portrait from my friend Penne when she was 5.

I hope you like them. I will post some more in the future.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Twinkle Twinkle

An older illustration from my sketchbook. I love watching the stars at night because it’s hard to see them at daytime. The only star you can see during daytime is the sun. We used to own a glow in the dark constellation book that we took to the roof top every night. I also made a star map out of cardboard and used the strings as coordinates. It was so much fun trying to locate them.

I know a lot about stars but know little about the nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” So I did some reading and here’s what I learned:

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” was written by Jane Taylor and was first published in 1806 under the title “Star” in Rhymes for Nursery, a collection of poems by Jane and her sister Ann. The English lyrics have five verses; albeit, only the first verse is widely known.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thank you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

The tune came from the 1706 French melody Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman, which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart later composed with twelve variations when he was 25. Many nursery songs are based on this melody including “ABC” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep.”

Visit Fun Trivia to learn more.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Embarking Mount Fuji-san

I wanted to try painting a landscape this week. I thought it would be easy but it was a lot difficult than I anticipated. I’ve never taken any watercolor classes so I don’t know any techniques; nevertheless, I shall continue on experimenting...

This was supposed to be Mount Fuji-san a.k.a. Mount Fuji which is situated between the border of Yamashani and Shizuoka prefectures, just west of Tokyo. It is Japan’s tallest mountain – measuring 3776 meters. Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1708. If you love mountain climbing, Mt. Fuji, it’s open during July and August via several routes. So get your gear ready and start the "adventure"!

For more info on Mt. Fuji, visit Japan Guide or World Travel Guide.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Red and the Wolf

The only acrylic painting I did this year. Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most memorable characters amongst children’s books. Tons of paintings and books have been produced depicting “Red.’’ She’s recognizable because of her red cloak but nobody really knows about the wolf. Except he ate the grandma but thank goodness she came out alive.

Wolves have been portrayed poorly in fictional books. But did you know that you are most likely to get hit by a meteorite than get eaten by a wolf? Wolves lived with humans tens of thousand of years before the first settlers arrived. They are highly intelligent, with acute hearing and exceptional sense of smell. Modern dogs, such as your pets are descended from domesticated wolves from China, 15,000 years ago, according to BBC science. About 95% of current dogs can be traced back to three females. Now, that’s amazing. I think I am going to paint wolves next time.

If you want to know more about wolves visit Defenders of Wildlife website and learn how you can help them.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Doodles & Quotes

A sketch from my sketchbook that I scanned. I was doodling today, just trying various things. I experimented with different types a little bit and played with different colors. I love the retro feel of the illustration. I thought the quote by Mark Twain was perfect. It looks like the cat is trying to cheer her up.

More quotes by Mark Twain:


1. Education
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

Tidbit: Mark Twain, who is recognized as the “father of American literature,’’ was not educated beyond elementary school.

2. Courage
There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.

3. Wit
One of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.

4. Friendship

The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.

5. Humor

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

6. Success
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

7. Courage
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

8. Education
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.

9. Age
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

10. Health
The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.