Category Archives: Design

My Lenormand Dogs

Last year, I created 17 decks of Lenormand divination cards, using only my trusty old workhorse, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and photo editing Apps. I had great fun creating these decks, which are available for sale through my eBay and Etsy stores. Just search for my username “AlyZen Moonshadow” and you’ll find me.

These decks are still selling quite well, not enough to sustain me or pay the bills, but enough so that I get pin money to buy things like books. Anyway, I never got into this Art thing to make money, but rather to challenge myself.

For those of you wondering what “Lenormand” divination cards are, (and yes, I’m VERY eclectic in my interests ūüėĄ), here are some links:

http://learnlenormand.com/lenormand-card-combinations-2/

http://lenormanddictionary.blogspot.com.au/p/helens-lenormand-dictionary.html?m=1

http://www.divinewhispers.net/apps/blog/show/14716898-so-you-want-to-learn-to-read-the-lenormand-resources-

And some good books on the subject, if this has piqued your interest:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Essential-Lenormand-Practical-Fortunetelling/dp/B00JN8D6RE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1401965558&sr=8-2&keywords=lenormand+rana+george

http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Lenormand-Oracle-Handbook/dp/1620553252

Today I thought, seeing as I love dogs so much, I would share with you some of my Lenormand dogs.(I’ve put down the names of the deck the card belongs to, below each image, in the event you may wish to purchase a Lenormand deck for yourself).

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(The Moonshadow Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow. The model is my own dog, Shelagh)

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(The Modern Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow)

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(AlyZen’s Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow)

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(Diana+ Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow)

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(Geometrical Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow)

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(Olde Worlde Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow)

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(The Eclectic Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow)

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(The Mongrel Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow. Shelagh, my own dog features again)

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(The Pictorial Lenormand by AlyZen Moonshadow. This deck simply has images, not the numbers or words associated with the cards)

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(Lenormand Plain And Simple by AlyZen Moonshadow)

Underground Graffiti

I don’t usually park in the underground carpark of my local shopping centre, but I’m glad I did the other day. Otherwise I wouldn’t have discovered this beautiful concrete forest of graffitied pillars, see below.

Now, isn’t that a brilliant idea? Not only did the commissioned graffiti artists get to indulge in their passion, legally, the mall got itself some pretty cool artwork, and drivers found themselves a new and unique way of remembering where they’d parked their car.

Now I don’t need to take a photo of where I parked my car, in case I forget. All I need to do is remember that I’m parked between the Jellyfish and the Banana. ūüėĄ

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Dog Enrichment Toys

Since I’ve recently become responsible for providing Enrichment Toys to some of our more needy dogs at the Refuge, I seem to have developed an interest in researching different types of Enrichment Toys for dogs.

Enrichment Toys for dogs, cats and other pets come in different styles and levels of “difficulty”. I use the term “difficult” very loosely, because really it’s not fair to compare a dog’s ability to a human’s. Dogs lack opposable thumbs, for one, and only have their snouts, mouth and paws with which to open or close anything. Whereas we as adult humans would think nothing about twisting the top off a jar of pasta sauce, or using a peeler to peel carrots.

So, what “difficult” means for dogs in the context of Enrichment Toys would be more akin to “How long does it take the dog to figure it out?” As in, how quickly can Rex learn to push the treat dispenser in such a way that the kibble within falls out so he can eat it. Or, can Rex figure out how to use his nose and tongue to push the treat along the maze until it emerges so he can gobble it up.

There are many, many different types of Enrichment Toys, also known as Puzzle Toys, Slow Feeders, Activity Toys, Boredom Busters, Enrichment Dispensers etc. Some are very simple, consisting of one piece only, such as the ubiquitous Kong:

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(Image: Google Images)

Others are complex and contain many different parts, and require the dog to stand on levers to release the treat. There’s even an ambitious one that works using centrifugal force…you put kibble in the middle of the flying-saucer shaped dispenser, and when the dog nudges or rattles it around, the kibble within spin out. An example is shown below, designed by a Swedish woman named Nina Ottoson. You can read about Nina’s personal story here, and check out her many products for “activating” pets (her own term for it) here.

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(Image : Google Images)

You only have to Google “dog enrichment toy”, or “dog activity toy” to find hundreds of examples of both manufactured and homemade DIY versions of such toys.

At the Refuge recently, we had 2 of these funky flying-saucer treat dispensers. One was given to a dog named Wolfie, whose technique was to chew on it. I tried the other out with a greyhound named Pi, and he amazed me by thinking outside the box. Instead of nudging the dispenser around, like I was expecting him to, Pi’s technique involved stamping down on the side of the flying-saucer disk, and making it flip over and over, so the kibble dribbled out. Clever Pi!

Inspiring Art from around the world

…or, from Pinterest, actually. But that’s just as good, as Pinterest is my spaceship to anywhere my Imagination tells me to go.

So today, my Imagination told me to look at my Pinterest board “Inspiring Art”. And to pull some of my favourites from that Board, and share them with you, my dear readers.

Just because.

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For information about any of these images, please look for my Pinterest profile and then take a look at the images in my “Inspiring Art” board. When you click on the image within Pinterest, you’ll be taken to the original source website for that image.

Artist Inspiration : Ellen Jewett

Love animals? Like Nature? A fan of the phantasmagorical? Love it when Science meets Art? Then you will absolutely fall for Ellen Jewett‘s sculptures.

When I saw Ellen’s work on my Pinterest stream and checked out her website, I knew I just had to share with you all. You’re going to want to own her exquisite sculptures, and you won’t be able to stop at just one, either. For those armchair curators like myself, who have empty pockets, be patient, I read that there are books showcasing Ellen’s work in the pipeline.

Here’s Ellen’s web page, and here’s her Artist Statement that I’ve simply copied and pasted in its entirety, for your ease of reference:

Statement

Plants and animals have always been the surface on which humans have etched the foundations of culture, sustenance, and identity. For myself, natural forms are a continual source of fascination and deep aesthetic pleasure. At first glance my work explores the more modern prosaic concept of nature:¬†a source of serene nostalgia balanced with the more visceral experience of ‘wildness’ as remarkably alien and indifferent. ¬†Upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’¬†the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief.¬†¬† These qualities are not only present in the final work but are fleshed out in the process of building. Each sculpture is constructed using an additive technique, layered from inside to out by an accumulation of innumerable tiny components. ¬†Many of these components are microcosmic representations of plants, animals and objects.¬† Some are beautiful, some are grotesque and,¬†some are fantastical. ¬†The singularity of each sculpture is the sum total of its small narrative structures.

  Over time I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance: I subtract more and more to increase the negative space.  The element of weight, which has always seemed so fundamentally tied to the medium of sculpture, is stripped away and the laws of gravity are no longer in full effect.  In reading the stories contained in each piece we are forced to acknowledge their emotional gravity cloaked as it is in the light, the feminine, the fragile, and the unknowable.  

  Counter intuitively, while there is an appearance of complexity in design, there is a simplicity in execution. Each detail, down to the finest filigree, is free-modeled by hand.  Within each piece precision is balanced by chaos. The overarching aesthetic knocks on the door of realism, yet the hand of the artist is never intentionally erased; brush strokes and fingerprints abound.  Even the narratives themselves harbor a degree of anarchy as they are rarely formally structured.  Rather, I seek to achieve flow states while working to create a fluid progression of unconscious imagery.  That imagery, as manifest in tiny ephemeral shapes and beings, forms relationships and dialogues organically.  In the spirit of surrealism, this psychological approach to artistic expression creates a rich network of personal archetypes and motifs that appear to occupy their own otherworldly space. Within this ethereal menagerie, anthrozoology meets psychoanalysis as themes of natural beauty, curiosity, colonialism, domestication, death, growth, visibility and wildness are explored. 

Studio Practice

   While I seek to free my mind to the imaginative process, I am always simultaneously striving to refine my working environment.  I abstain from all materials; clay, paints, glazes, finishes and mediums, that have known toxic properties.  This, unavoidably, excludes most of what is commonly commercially available, and has sent me on a journey of unique material combination and invention. This exploration is a large part of the unconventional look and feel of my work.  Where possible I source the natural, the local, the low impact and, always, the authentic.  

Background

¬† Ellen was born in Markham Ontario and raised among newts and snails. She took to shaping three dimensional forms naturally at a young age.¬†¬†In 2007 Ellen completed her post secondary honours degree in Anthropology and Fine Art at McMaster University.¬† While finishing her undergraduate degrees Ellen worked in medical illustration, exotic animal care and was teaching a childrens class on stop motion animation. By the time she presented her thesis, Ellen’s academic and artistic interests in the biological where intrinsically interwoven.

  Considered by those who know her as a natural entrepreneur, Ellen set out on her own path as a career artist while still in high school, spending long summer weekends travelling to exhibitions.  Ever the curious soul, while working as an artist Ellen has continued to study art and science respectively, most recently, through Haliburton School of the Arts and University of Guelph.  She has also accumulated certifications in other areas of personal intrigue, including applied animal behavior modification and crisis counseling. According to Ellen, it all informs her art; enriching the content of the unconscious narrative flow.

¬† Today Ellen’s work is achieving a vibrant internet presence making notable appearances on popular websites including Colossal, Reddit, Bored Panda, Ecology Global Network, American Crafters and many others. ¬†Her sculptures are being featured in public and private collections worldwide. Ellen is enthusiastically expanding her studio practice, forever experimenting and meeting the demand of her time and art. ¬†In her spare seconds Ellen enjoys hiking with her friends and dogs, kayaking, climbing, hunting wild plants and mushrooms, organic gardening, ‘upcycling’ salvaged items, drinking coffee and feeding tiny birds. ¬†As her practice gains more international audience she looks forward to the opportunity to travel as much as her work does.

Below are just some of my favourite Ellen Jewett pieces, curated from Google Images. Ellen is really prolific, and it’s very hard to just select a few of her pieces, so think of these as “tasters”, and check out her work yourself! ūüėä

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Christmas Art Abandonment 2015 – Rockingham

Jack and I took the dogs to Rockingham foreshore this morning for a walk. Yesterday I’d decided it was high time we did another Art Abandonment exercise, it being the Christmas season and all that jazz. That, and the fact a nice lady named Rachel actually recognised and remembered me from months ago when I abandoned some Gelli¬ģ-printed handmade bookmarks at the same foreshore. I was chuffed that someone should actually be touched by my Art Abandonment, that my humble little gift had made an impact on someone’s life.

So this morning, we abandoned 4 of my handmade “Juicy Journals”, books that I’d created by hand using pieces of art paper that I’d printed on using Gelli¬ģ Arts‘ “Gelli¬ģ Plate”.

I had my hands full holding onto Shelagh with 2 leads (one attached to her collar to control her head, the other to her harness), so Jack was tasked with not only leaving the “Juicy Journals” on benches and tables in the public park, but also with taking photos of the deed afterwards.

I hope whoever finds and keeps the Abandoned Art appreciates it, and that it makes their day.

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I ‚̧ Doors

There’s something about doors that I like, and there’s also something about doors that wear their hearts of their sleeves. I mean that quite literally. The people behind those doors must either really love their doors, or really love the idea of Love itself, to adorn them with hearts.

Hearts are a universal symbol of love, and to me, a heart on a front door is symbolic of a person saying “Knock on my door, and I will open my heart to you”. SIGH, the Romantic in me. I love metaphors too, can you tell? ūüėČ

I looked on Pinterest and found these doors with hearts on them. Some are set in glass, some are painted on, some are moulded, some are carved into the wood of the door itself. Some are small and discreet, some are flamboyant…pretty similar to how human beings express our feelings for each other – some like to shout their Love from the rooftops so the whole world can hear, while others prefer to whisper it in their loved one’s ear, or express it in Art, Music, Theatre. Some are just simple, and uncomplicated, and those are my favourite kind. Oooh, the metaphors!

What you’ll notice about these doors is the permanence of these symbols of love. It took an intent to commit, in painting, setting in or carving those hearts. Whoever put them there intended for them to stay. It’s different from hanging a heart-shaped wreath or ornament from a nail driven into the door, where they can be removed at a fickle moment’s notice.

Love is Forever, not seasonal.

If you’re interested in further details about any of the doors you see here, go to my Pinterest board “Doors”, click on the image you want, and be whisked off to the originating website. It’s like a two-dimensional Tardis, really.

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Everything in Black and White

Notice I didn’t say “Everything IS Black and White”, because nothing really is. There are always Shades of Grey, and I’m not talking just 50 either.

Anyhow, today I just want to share with you some inspirational quotes that ARE in Black and White. By this I mean they’ve been illustrated/painted/designed/typed/etc by the artist/photographer/designer/etc to be black on white, or white on black. There’s something simple, yet profound about keeping things minimal yet making a big statement.

The following images have been taken from Google. If you want to find out who the original creators are, you’ll need to do a reverse Google image search. All copyright remain with the original creators, of course.

This post is also an experiment. WordPress has this relatively new feature that makes uploading images from a mobile device much faster than previously possible. It’s called the “Multi Select with the New Picker”, and lets one select multiple images at the same time, rather than the painfully slow process one had to go through previously, of uploading images one at a time. The Multipicker, as I call it, certainly does what it says on the tin.

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T2 Eye Candy

Oh, just some photos of the delectable teacup and teapot offerings at the Perth T2 store. I always make sure to drop by there on my way home from the Dogs’ Refuge, to test their newest brews. Ice cold tea goes down a treat on those hot, sunny days, I tell ya!

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And, some sweet little teaspoons too. What can I say, this store makes me a happy bunny. It’s a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of colourful delights. A treasure trove for the senses. Eye candy. Mmmmmmm T2! ‚̧

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Lagenlook : Almost Steampunk

I nearly came undone curating this set of images from Pinterest. My aim was to show Lagenlook designs that harked back to the Victorian era. However, many of the more elaborate and fussier designs also fell into the category of Steampunk. It became harder and harder to separate the two. I just happen to love both equally.

I wanted Lagenlook pieces that could be worn to conventions such as Comic Con or SupaNova or similar, that were flowy and comfy but weren’t uber Victorian Steampunk. So, minimal trinkets and accessories, no pistols hidden up bloomers, no top hats or fascinators, no fob watches. But definitely kick-ass boots, low or high, or otherwise strappy Roman sandals.

And most definitely ruffles. Lots and lots of ruffles. And what’s Lagenlook without layers?

Maybe think of it as pared down Steampunk?

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