Tag Archives: giraffes


As many of you know, I enjoy taking online classes from Carla Sonheim.  These are the past year long classes I have taken from her:

2013 – My very first online class – The Year of the Giraffe:

May collages 3 & 4

2014 – The Year of the Fairytale – here is the Frog Princess:

The Frog Princess - Vassilissa greets Ivan at the Palace

2015 – The Year of the Spark – and my first year of blogging:

Sparkly Doodles

2016 – Y is for Yellow!  Why don’t you join me?!

Yellow creature

The new class for 2016 is going to be about completing a body of artwork.  If you’d like to find out more about it, Carla has posted a short video:


Happy Creating!  🙂


Reaching for Strength

As many of you may know (from previous blog posts) that I started taking online classes in 2013 from Carla Sonheim.  I started by taking a year long class called, The Year of the Giraffe.

I did not have any particular fondness for giraffes but I wanted to try to nurture my creative spirit again.  It sounded like fun and I was working LOTS of hours at my job.  I really needed more FUN in my life!  LOL!

Jammy the Giraffe - 2

My husband gave me this large stuffed giraffe for my birthday that year.  I named HER “Jammy.”  I felt like I was finally “jamm’in” to what brought me JOY in life!  ART!

I love creating and I’m so happy I started a blog this year!  As I have made sooo many wonderful new friends!  Like YOU!  🙂

Jammy in purple tutu and flower

And sometimes I like being silly!  So happy you put up with silly Jilly!  🙂

(BTW – My neighbor thought I was a bit odd when I was doing my photo shoot in my backyard of  a stuffed giraffe!  LOL!  A friend gave me these silly hats, etc for Jammy to wear…)

You see, humor helps me cope with life.  And sometimes (as many of you know)  life can be challenging!

Jammy with orange hair

Orange is my favorite color in case you didn’t know!  LOL!

I don’t often share my personal life here because I realize we all have our problems.  But today, I need to share – hopefully, many of you will understand.

My husband’s parents, dad and mom – divorced – and both in their 80’s with dementia are all of sudden placed in our lap for their care.

Yes, they are in facilities BUT they still need our help!  Today this feels a bit overwhelming!  His sister, who was primarily taking care of them, has decided to take a job out-of-town.  Which “leaves” them in our care without much notice…

Jammy with leaves

I want to support and encourage my husband because he helped me deal with both my parents who were ill and passed away.

But sometimes, I just need to LAUGH!

Jammy with green hair and glasses

And since giving the “hairy eyeball” to his sister doesn’t work:

Jammy the Giraffe - 5

I know we will just have to deal with the situation.

Thank you everyone for ALL your friendship and support!  It means more that I can say!  xo

Jill  🙂


Doodle Play, Coloring and Encaustics

I was doodling in my art journal on Wednesday.  I decided to add color with color pencils:

Doodles in art journal June 3rd

There is something calming and satisfying about coloring.

Rebecca at The Painted Pear, recently posted some of her ADORABLE giraffe drawings to print and color.  I plan on coloring them!  You can find them here at this link.

As I was coloring my doodles, I discovered that I could cover some of them with my transparent gelli prints and still see some of the doodle underneath.  Can you find them in my drawing?

I was playing with a circle stencil to create my doodles.  This was a new adventure for me.

Speaking of adventures, last year I took an online class that was an introduction to painting with encaustics – taught by Stephanie Hargrave, (hosted by Carla Sonheim).

Transparent & Color Mixing - Green I did myself

Encaustics is painting with wax.  The above piece I created with a torch and many layers of wax.

It requires good ventilation so I only do it when I can open a window during the summer.

Lesson 8

You can do quite a lot with this medium.  Such as add paper, drawings, old photos, thread, carve it and many other techniques.

I was very excited to learn that Stephanie was going to be teaching another class that starts this month on June 23.  If you’d like to see what I will be learning, you can click on this link.

Maybe I will include some of my doodles in my encaustic paintings!  🙂

Happy Coloring!


Here is my Confetti bird, created with scrap paper:

confetti bird

And below is my Confetti quilt that I made in 2009:

quilt wallhanging I did

I had purchase a fancy sewing machine and was starting to take watercolor classes so I combined the two mediums.

Close-up of confetti quilt

Yes, the papers are squares of  a painted watercolor on paper that I cut-up and then sewed to my quilt.  It reminded me of confetti so it became the title for my quilt.  I also added a few beads and sequins for embellishment:

Beadwork on quilt

And I even sewed my name on the back!

Signature on quilt

A blogger friend of mine, creates fabulous experiments on paper that she is going to incorporate into art quilts.  She also draws AMAZING portraits of people.  You may want to check out her blog at Create Art Everyday.  And yes, she does create art every day like me!  🙂

And one more piece of paper  – a Confetti giraffe I created in 2013:

Confetti giraffe better photo

Happy Creating!

The Circus Bird

I completed this collage in 2013 when I was taking an online class from Carla Sonheim, “The Year of the Giraffe.”

flying giraffe

I think the bird riding on the giraffe’s hat is a Kea bird.  Today, I learned that a gathering or group of Kea is called a circus.

Here is a close-up photo of my bird in my collage:

bird on giraffe's head

According to Wikipedia, the Kea is a large species of parrot found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand.  It is the world’s only alpine parrot.  It is a large bird in size – 19 inches long and weighing up to 2 lbs.

Here is a quick sketch I did this morning of a Kea:

Kea bird sketch

Known for their intelligence and curiosity, the Kea is called, “the clown in the mountains.”  It’s urge to explore and manipulate makes the bird a pest for residents and an attraction for tourists.

I did not know when I made this collage in February of 2013 that I would be focusing my art on birds for a whole year.  Maybe this was the beginning of my curiosity:

bird detail on giraffe collage

I find it interesting to see where life leads us on our creative journey.

I am attending Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai on Thursday evening.  I am very excited!  The costuming is spectacular!  I wonder what ideas I will take from this circus for my art!

Happy Creating!

The Redbilled Oxpecker

In January 2013, I started taking online art classes.  The first class I took was called, “The Year of the Giraffe” and was taught by the creative, Carla Sonheim.  To read more about Carla and her online classes, check out her blog:


As you can imagine, I have LOTS of giraffe art!

giraffe seeing patterns

Each month we had a new assignment – we drew, painted, collaged, sewed and even wrote poetry!

May collages 3 & 4

I  also learned a ton about giraffes.   Did you know that the birds that sit on  giraffes are called a Redbilled Oxpecker or Tickbird?

The Redbilled Oxpecker bird

They also have a cousin, called a Yellowbilled Oxpecker.  The Oxpeckers name is derived from their feeding habits.  This bird perches on large mammals – wild and domestic and eat parasites such as ticks and botfly larvae which lodge in the mammal’s skin.

Redbilled use a scissoring motion to search through the hair of their hosts so are often seen on giraffes; whereas, Yellowbilled use a pecking motion so they tend to favor short-haired animals such as buffalo and rhino.

I have more giraffe art to show you but I will save it for another day!

Viking Jammy

Happy Creating!