Monday, December 9, 2013

My Curiosity Burns Bright!

© Holly DeWolf

This image came from a conversation I had with another illustrator about all the things we used to do when we were in art school, such as: pulling all-nighters, living on coffee, working while going to school while still maintaining a social life. Basically, a lot of things I find hard to do now. Burning the candle at both ends is not easy especially with kids! 

I started out with "Burn baby burn" but that grew tired after my kids started singing it all day! Then I moved on to "burning the candle at both ends" but that's very cliche. So I moved on to the quote on the illustration to give it a positive spin. 

Also, this is a working illustration for an upcoming book I'm working on. It will be a mix of cliches and other expressions and that's about all I can say for now. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

12 Days Of Halloween: Pumpkin Coffee Mug!

© Holly DeWolf- Pumpkin Coffee Mug! 

"I drank so many pumpkin spice lattes I turned into a pumpkin!" 

It's Halloween Eve and we just finished carving our pumpkins. I racked my brain for days to come up with a carving idea and then it hit me! I should carve something I adore! Presenting the loveliest coffee mug going! Happy Halloween everyone. Cheers! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

12 Days Of Halloween: Boo!

© Holly DeWolf- Boo! 

"A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere!" 
-Groucho Marx

Halloween is coming up fast so this was a quick illustration today! I took inspiration from our new feline pet so I added a black cat. Also, I've learned a few things about doing a self-directed series this time of the year: 1. I should never assign myself a series when I am horribly sick. 2. Halloween is BUSY so it would be best for me to do these illustrations prior to October. 3. Don't buy candy too early. It disappears quickly! 4. Getting a new kitten makes all the busyness all that busier! 

Happy Halloween! 2 Days and counting!  

Friday, October 25, 2013

12 Days Of Halloween: The People Eater-She's A Real Betty!

© Holly DeWolf- The People Eater-She's A Real Betty! 
I almost didn't finish this one. Glad I did! She's a real Betty but she can be a bit nibbly at times. 

I took inspiration from two things: the movie The Little Shop Of Horrors and my daughters chattering teeth toy. This was fun to mingle a movie quote around some added narrative. 

6 days and counting! I'll post more this weekend. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

12 Days Of Halloween- Live It Up This Halloween!

© Holly DeWolf- Live It Up This Halloween! 

Sadly I missed yesterdays contribution due to being too sick to sit at my desk. I decided to do something uplifting and positive and it worked! I'm slowly feeling better and I love this illustration. To me Halloween is about having fun and getting in touch with your inner child. It truly is my favourite time of the year! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

12 Days Of Halloween: Here A Wolf, There A Wolf!

© Holly DeWolf- Here A Wolf, There A Wolf! 

So for day 2 of The 12 Days Of Halloween I was inspired by Young Frankenstein's Werewolf scene. I've wanted to illustrate this for awhile. Igor is such a ham in this movie. What's not to love?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

12 Days Of Halloween- Scream & Sugar!

© Holly DeWolf- Scream & Sugar! 

I've started a 12 Days of Halloween. Each day I will add a new illustration for this most wonderful time of the year. I took inspiration the Abby Normal illustration I did a few years back! Stay tuned for more!

© Holly DeWolf- Abby Who? 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hello Autumn!

© Holly DeWolf

Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile.
-William Cullen Bryant

It's Autumn- the most wonderful time of the year. We took some time to enjoy the nice weather apple picking, climbing over pumpkins and ice cream. Since school started it's been crazy around here to get back into the old schedule of getting to the bus stop at 7:20, going to bed earlier and the usual work at home with kids juggle. Finally, I think I'm caught up. 

So what's coming up for me? A new website design is in the works. Looking forward to that.

Autumn is the hush before winter. 
-French Proverb

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Art Of Being Who You Are!

© Holly DeWolf

We all define success differently. To me success means: 
• I am reaching the places where my dreams are pointed to.
• Learning to say no! 
• Still loving the process, the errors, the experiments and the challenges. 
• Triumphing over obstacles and the barriers in my life.
• Still learning daily.
• Completing goals planned out from High School.
• Designing new goals. 
• Letting go of control to be free. 
• Knowing success is something within me. 
• Looking forward to another 20 years as an illustrator, writer, DIY'er, mentor and creative maker! 

What is your definition of success?  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Best Friend Coffee!

© Holly DeWolf- Best Friend Coffee. 

"Hot coffee and cold winter mornings are two of the best soul mates who ever did find each other." -Terri Guillemets

It's good to have that one best friend that is always there. You know the kind I'm talking about: the friend that serves up a much needed jolt and pick-me-up. Coffee is more than just a warm beverage that hangs out in your favourite mug. It's a kind companion that never ignores your caffeine needs. Given enough coffee, I'm pretty sure we could rule the world! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square

© Holly DeWolf- A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square

I love birds-especially the ones that visit our little bird feeders outside my studio window. This inspired me to revisit an illustration I did a while back that I shelved. 

I think the song A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square is a really charming song so I thought I'd take another crack at it. And Voila, I love it. Best two versions: Nat King Cole & Harry Connick Jr. give this song the loving care it deserves. 

"That certain night, the night we met, 
There was magic abroad in the air. 
There were angels dining at the ritz, 
And a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square. 

I may be right, I may be wrong, 
But I'm perfectly willing to swear 
That when you turned and smiled at me, 
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square. 

The moon that lingered over London'town 
Poor puzzled moon, he wore a frown. 
How could he know that we two were so in love? 
The whole darn world seemed upside down. 

The streets of town were paved with stars, 
It was such a romantic affair. 
And as we kissed and said goodnight, 
A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square." 
-Songwriters:Eric Maschwitz & Manning Sherwin 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This Is The Day!

© Holly DeWolf

"Nothing is worth more than this day. You cannot relive 
yesterday. Tomorrow is still beyond your reach." -Goethe 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What We Learned About Today: Our Kidneys!

© Holly DeWolf- Kidney Stone! 

Our latest learning theme was chosen by the girls after my trip to the hospital. It seems I had a run in with a pesky kidney stone. Needless to say, this incident was painful but at least now I know what has been ailing me the past month. 

The girls found this fascinating especially the stone I managed to retrieve. Under the magnifying glass it went! How did this all happen? Not sure. According the doc, it happens to many. Sometimes your body just makes them. Each type of stone has it's own unique colour and shape depending on what its made from. 

And the jokes began of course: 
• The little pebble that could!
• Mum passed the great pebble!
• Two kidney's and a stone walk into a bar... 
• Mum cast her first sorcerer stone!
• A rolling kidney stone gathers no friends! 
• Mum is a kidney stone away from feeling better. 

All joking aside, I hope there are not anymore. I have a CAT scan scheduled to find that out soon. 

Interesting facts about our kidneys: 
• They come joined as a pair. 
• Our kidneys have a higher blood flow than our brain, liver or heart.
• Kidneys produce hormones including calcitriolerythropoietin, and the enzyme renin.
• They are essential in the urinary system regulating electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and regulation of blood pressure (maintaining salt and water balance). They work as a natural filter of the blood, and remove wastes which makes its way to the urinary bladder.
• Disorders of the kidneys are: kidney stones, kidney failure, injury, and cancer,  renal cell carcinoma.  
• Dialysis is a procedure for removing waste and excess water from the blood, and is used primarily as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with renal failure.
• Kidneys can be replaced from by a donor kidney transplant. 
• Your kidneys hang out one on each side of the spine
• You can live with just one kidney! 
• Kidneys are shaped like a bean. 
• Kidney stones are an accumulation of mineral salts and mostly combined with calcium that can become stuck along the course of the urinary tract. It hurts, believe me! 
• Our kidneys are about 4 ½ inches long each weighing 4 to 6 ounces. 

© Hannah- Love Your Kidneys

© Reagen DeWolf- Healthy kidneys are happy kidneys! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What We Learned About Today: Coffee!

© Holly DeWolf- Coffee is not the answer, it's the solution! 

We learned about Coffee today! 

Instant human-just add coffee! The girls voted that we learn about something that I love today. Yes coffee, that best friend of mine. I do love the smell of Sumatra in the morning! I like it strong, like diabolical kind of strong! As they say, insomnia builds character! I'd stop drinking coffee, but I'm no quitter.

Speaking of coffee humour- watch Comedians in cars getting coffee! 

Favourite Coffee Quote: 

"You know, I'm not sure what exactly it is that caffeine does for you, but I'm pretty sure without it your head caves in." -Dave Foley, NewRadio

Coffee Facts & Tid-Bits: 

Caffeine is trimethylxanthine or C8H10N4O2! 
• It's been waking us up for centuries! 
• Coffee is an an addictive stimulant operating similar to amphetaminescocaine and heroin. The good news is caffeine is much milder than those drugs and legal! 
• It's discovery- It all began with a goat! It's said that Kaldi, an Ethiopi­an goat herder, noticed his goats acting very frisky after eating a certain berry shrub. He took some of the shrub's berries for himself, felt the jolt and this secured coffee's future.  
• Originally coffee was a food and not a drink! 
• The most expensive coffee- civet coffee, refers to the beans of coffee berries once they have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet. Pretty gross and I cannot say I'll be trying that EVER! 
• '90's coffee culture still lives on today! It's not just coffee, it's an experience!  
• Arabs closely guarded the coffee plants until the 1600's, and no fertile seeds were found outside Arabia with the exception of the other place where coffee grew naturally, Africa.
• Coffee crossed the Atlantic around 1727. 
• The higher up from sea level coffee is grown the better quality. That explains why Jamaican Blue Mountain is so expensive. 
• Coffee is grown in some very weather volatile places. When natural disaster hit, it can drive the prices up. 
• 300 milligrams (about two cups of coffee) the upper limit of a moderate daily dose. 
• Caffeine is a natural component of chocolate, coffee and tea, and is added to colas and energy drinks.
• According to a 2010 BusinessWeek report, Scandinavian nations such as Finland consume more caffeine per capita than other countries!
• Coffee grows best around in Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, also known as the Bean Belt.
• There are two types of coffee: Robusta and Arabica. 
• Best name for a coffee shop on TV: Cafe Nervosa from Frasier. Here are some more: Famous Coffee Shops From Your Fave TV Series! 
• Best coffee monologue is from Gilmore Girls!  

© Hannah DeWolf- Nutty For Coffee! 

© Reagen DeWolf- Dive Into Coffee! 

Behind every successful illustrator is a substantial amount of coffee.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What We Learned About Today- Robots!

©Holly DeWolf- Robot Cafe! 

Today the girls wanted to learn about Robots-most importantly famous robots. This was a fun one because we got to look at cartoon robots, movie robots and real classic vintage robots! 

My favourite robot is Rosie from The Jetsons. The girls favourite robot is Gir from Invader Zim. 

What we learned about robots:
• One of the earliest robots is Maria from the German film Metropolis made in 1927.
• Blade Runner- replicants were designed to be like humans but with an unfortunate incept date with the downside of being hunted by Deckard. 
• Transformers were giant robots that could transform into cars and other objects.
• The Tripods in War Of The Worlds were not too terribly loving and did not play well with others or buildings. 
• Wall-E , a small waste collecting robot goes on a space journey that helps the fate of mankind.
• Gort is a fictional humanoid robot in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still. His laser eye was killer! 
• Hal 9000 was the antagonistic computer robot that was a red television camera eye located on equipment panels throughout the ship in 2001: A space Odyssey.  
• Lieutenant Commander Data was the first and only android to ever enter Starfleet on Star Trek The Next Generation. 
• Robo Cop was a superhuman '80's cyborg law enforcer.  
• The Terminator was a big cyborg meanie assassin programmed to kill Sarah Connor. And yes, he was back more than once! 
• Bender is the sarcastic beer loving robot on Futurama. 
• Marvin the paranoid android was in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. He was afflicted with severe depression and boredom, in part because he has a brain the size of a planet which he seldom ever got the chance to use. 
• Rosie was the maid robot on The Jetsons. 
• Dot Matrix was the robot on Spaceballs played by Joan Rivers.  
• R2D2 and 3CPO were the robot duo on Star Wars. 
• ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, is a humanoid robot designed and developed by Honda
• Lastly, the movie Lost In Space had a Robbie The Robot who could sense danger at every turn! 

© Reagen DeWolf- Gir Needs Waffles! 

© Hannah DeWolf- Gir Loves Waffles! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

What We Learned About Today- Aliens!

Greetings From Earth!
© Holly DeWolf- Greetings From Earth! 

Today was the 66th Anniversary of the Roswell Alien incident. It became a big topic so we decided to focus on aliens, Roswell, famous aliens on film and cartoons. Todays Google Doodle paid homage to it.  

What we learned about Aliens:
• The first recorded sighting was in Italy in 214 BC. 
On Sesame street, aliens discover the telephone! 
• The Great Gazoo is a character from The Flintstones animated series.
• The X-Files helped us to believe! 
• On July 8 1947, several witnesses reported seeing flying saucers at Roswell, New Mexico.
• Many believe that Area 51 is where scientists reverse-engineered alien technology that was recovered from crashes saucers in Roswell, New Mexico.
• Mars Attacks is a 1996 science fiction film directed by Tim Burton based on the cult trading card series of the same name. The film uses elements of black comedy and political satire, and is a parody of science fiction B movies
• Plan 9 From Outer Space was a film about extraterrestrial beings who are seeking to stop humans from creating a doomsday weapon that would destroy the universe.
Pixar animated a short called Lifted! 
• Famous Aliens: Mork, Invader Zim, ET, Yoda, Marvin Marvin, Kang and Kodos, Alf, The Great Gazoo, Buzz from Toy Story, V, and Roger from American Dad. 

© Hannah DeWolf- Amazing Moon! 

© Reagen DeWolf- The Confused Cow! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What We Learned About Today: The Loch Ness Monster!

© Holly DeWolf- Nessie! 
Today the girls wanted to learn about the legend of the Loch Ness Monster. Nessie is really interesting as the girls found out through pictures and claimed sightings that go all the way back to the 1930's. Even though nothing has really proven Nessie's existence, my girls still believe! 

What we learned about Nessie:
• The original black and white photo claiming Nessie's existence was taken in 1933. Since then many pictures have "caught" the lake monster in action. Scientists claim all the pictures are hoaxes but the legend lives on. 
• Most recent sighting was in 2011. 
• Nessie lives in Scotland in the Loch Ness. 
• Nessie is approximately 80 years old. 
• Many believe Nessie is female. 
• She was first spotted in 565AD by St Columba as he took a swim in Loch Ness.
• Loch Ness is the largest body of fresh water in Britain and it does not freeze. 
• The theory is the surface area of the Loch Ness lake could hold the population of the world 10 times over.
• Some believe the Loch Ness Monster is a plesiosaur type of dinosaur.
• There have been more than 1,000 recorded sightings of Nessie.
• The 1987 Operation Deepscan was the largest search for the Monster to date.
• The Loch Ness Monster was declared the most famous Scot in a 2006 survey.

• Nessie inspired the cartoon film Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster.

© Hannah DeWolf- Nessie! 

© Reagen DeWolf- Fancy meeting you here! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

What We Learned About Today: Canada!

© Holly DeWolf

Today we focused on the fine country we live in and it's birthday! Sadly it rained for the majority of the long weekend. The sun did came out for a short while so we took advantage of it and got out of the house. We attempted to watch fireworks tonight but ended up getting soaked instead. It was a damp holiday! 

Quicks facts-What my girls learned about Canada:

• Today is Canada's 147th birthday! 
• Population estimate is 35,141,542. 
 St John’s Newfoundland is the oldest English-founded settlement on the North American continent and the oldest city in Canada. 
• Cool Canadians: William Shatner, Donald Sutherland, The Strombo, Feist, Margaret Atwood, Mr. Dressup, Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Terry Fox, John Candy...
• The beaver is our national animal! 
• We have 10 provinces and 3 territories. 
• Cool Canadian inventions: insulin. snow blower, Plexiglas, Trivial Pursuit, 5 pin bowling, NASA Canada arm...  
• The Stanley Cup has its own bodyguard!
• Canada has its own mysterious lake creature, Ogopogo, who reportedly lives in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia. 

© Reagen DeWolf- Oh Canada! 

© Hannah DeWolf- I love Canada! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

What We Learned About Today: The Aztecs!

© Holly DeWolf- The Aztecs

Today's learning and illustration theme is about the Aztecs. I decided to illustrate a sun stone idea in hopes that it may make some of this rain go away. Here's hoping!

On a side note- I thoroughly enjoyed illustrating this. It was so different to anything I have done since art school. I feel like I creatively stretched a bit today. 

What we learned about the Aztecs:
• They had a bad side and a good side!
• They had a ruthless killing reputation. Sacrifice was an ongoing ritual to please their God. 
• They loved chocolate!
• The had a very orderly and complex social system. 
• The had a love of art and poetry. 
• Aztec children went to school.
• The had slavery but surprisingly treated their slaves fairly. Some were allowed to marry, own land and some even had their own slaves!
• They played sport- Ullamaliztli. This game consisted of a rubber ball that opponents had to get through rings. The object of the game was to not let the ball touch the ground. 
• Many believe it was the Spanish that totally defeated them. However, due to the population dying off due to Small Pox, it made the battle easier for the Spanish. If it were not for this disease, they most likely could have defeated them. 
• The name Aztec is not an accurate term. They were given that name- they referred to themselves as Mexica.  
• Sadly, there is evidence of cannibalism. Some theories say they did this as a ritual and some believe they were protein deficient. 

© Hannah DeWolf- Aztec Boy

© Reagen DeWolf- Aztec Sport

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What We Learned About Today: Zombies!

© Holly DeWolf- Zombie Coffee! 

Today the girls wanted to learn about Zombies. There was a lot of content-mostly stuff not fit for young eyes so we kept it light. We looked at the history and origins, popular culture, rock n roll and cartoons. Mostly, I wanted them to sleep and not have spooky nightmares.  

This is what we learned: 
• Without adequate amounts coffee, most adults feel like Zombies! 
• Originally, the term Zombie described a hypnotized person. This came from a voodoo thing with it's origins from Africa and then Haiti. 
The catatonic somnambulist is another spin off of the voodoo zombie which was featured in the classic film The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari. 
Thanks to George A. Romero, the concept of zombies were forever changed to the flesh eating horror fiction undead we know today!  
• For great Zombie collectibles, ThinkGeek has some dead goodies! 
Cute Zombies are a thing! 
Zombie Walks are becoming a regular event in most cities around the world. 
Rob Zombie makes the undead so Rock n Roll! 
• Classic Zombie films: Night Of The Living Dead, White Zombie, Shaun Of The Dead and ParaNorman.
• The Walking Dead is based off a comic book and has been scaring the pants off us for 4 seasons now. 
The Zombie Survival Guide was written by Max Brooks. 
• Recent Zombie film I have watched was Warm Bodies. Loved it! 
• Most recent zombie cartoon we have watched was Scooby-Doo! 
Zombie Haiku -Good Poetry for your brains! 

© Hannah DeWolf- PickaZombie! 

© Reagen DeWolf- Zombie Pup! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What We Learned About Today: Wednesday!

© Holly DeWolf- Happy Hump Day! 

Today we decided to learn about Wednesday. Wednesday is a positive point of the week. It means we are in the middle. It means we are this much closer to the weekend. 

What we learned about Wednesday:

Wednesday Adams is our favourite famous tv/movie character named after this fine day.
• Wednesday's child is full of woe! 
• Wednesday is the hardest of all the days of the week to spell! I spelled it wrong 3 times already. 
• The name is derived from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei, "day of Wodanaz", "day of Mercury."
• Wednesday is the middle of the work week, meaning that we made it "over the hump" towards the weekend. This term is American English slang.
• In Japan, the word Wednesday is means 'water day.' 
• The color associated with Wednesday is green.
• In Winnie the Pooh's Blustery Day was on "Winds-Day" which was a play on words for Wednesday.
• The astrological sign of the planet Mercury represents Wednesday. 
• Songs that have Wednesday in the title: Wednesday Week ~ Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Wednesday Morning, 3AM by Simon & Garfunkel, and Wednesday by Tori Amos. 

© Hannah DeWolf- The Crazy Camel Ride! 

© Reagen DeWolf- The Chatty Camel! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What We Learned About Today: Pizza!

Pizza Moon © Holly DeWolf
© Holly DeWolf- Pizza Moon! ...Amore!
We took a much needed day off yesterday for a road trip. Any chance I get to escape the studio is a pretty big deal to me.

So today we learned about Pizza and it's origins. Like road trips, pizza is a pretty big deal in our house. In fact we have dedicated a whole day to it. Fat Friday is our day to make homemade cheesy goodness. 

What we learned about pizza: 

• In 6th Century BC- Darius the Great and his army baked a type of flat bread on their shields and then covered it with cheese and dates. 
• In 79 A.D - After Mount Versuvius erupted and smothered Pompeii on August 24 (the same day of the month my youngest was born) there was evidence of a flat flour cake that was baked and widely eaten at that time in Pompeii and nearby Neopolis, The Greek colony later to became Naples.
• For many people, especially among the Italian-American population, first named pizzas as Tomato Pie. Tomato pies are made the opposite way- first the cheese, then the toppings, and then the sauce.
• There is evidence that the Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptians and other ancient Middle Eastern cultures were eating flat bread that was cooked in mud ovens.
• Thanks to Italian immigrants, mostly in New York and Chicago, helped make pizza the popular food that it is today. 
• Some weird pizza toppings: Chocolate, baked-chili beans, bacon and banana, Layered seaweed, rice and eel (yuck) and cream cheese! 

What we like best: homemade dough, mozza, pizza sauce, bacon, pepperoni and green pepper. Bada-Bing and Amore! 

© Reagen DeWolf- Pizzamon! 

© Hannah DeWolf- Good Pizza! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

What We Learned About Today-Cheese!

© Holly DeWolf- I'm Cheesy Like Sunday Morning! 

School's out for another year.  So we decided to keep the learning going all summer long with a daily theme. What we learned about today was cheese. More importantly, the history of cheese. We read up on our latest theme, we illustrate pictures as fast as we can then I create a blog post about it. 

What we learned about cheese:

• Cheese first appeared somewhere around 7,000 B.C.
• The method of transforming milk was kept a closely-guarded secret for many years.
• In ancient Egypt, for example, only priests were privileged with this secret.
• The word “fromage”, French for cheese, comes from the Latin “forma”. 
• the Romans and the Greeks considered cheese a luxury food.
• European monks invented ripening and ageing techniques for cheese.
• In the 19th Century, a chemist and biologist named Louis Pasteur proved that heating milk at sufficiently high temperatures for a specific amount of time could destroy pathogenic bacteria.
• Canada was one of the first countries to apply the techniques of pasteurization.
• The United Kingdom is one of the biggest consumers of cheddar cheese.
• In Quebec, over two billion litres of milk are converted to cheese every year. 

©Hannah DeWolf- Cow & Cheese! 

© Reagen DeWolf- The Hungry Mouse!