Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

We are the Insides

The Insides live in the house. You might know the story of Big Tony. When we arrived at the old farm in Oregon, there was a new litter of semi feels in the barn. Before I could trap the very industrious Mama Kitty-it took two years-she had another litter. The litters were all spayed and neutered, and continued to live out their lives at Apifera.

When I began trapping the cats, I never thought I'd land a 20 pounder the first day out. But there he was, lying contently in the trap, having just finished off the tuna that was placed their to entice him. He was charming and dignified throughout the entire transport to the vet for neutering. Within days of losing the responsibility of procreating, Big Tony made his way to the front porch, accompanied by several of his children. At the time, we had no indoor cat, just the dogs. Each night I'd casually alert Martyn that Big Tony was there, and each night I got him in the living room for longer and longer, until Martyn gave up and soon after Big Tony was sleeping in the bed. But not on my side. He liked Martyn's side.

It's the story that has repeated itself with Apifera cats, as it did years later with Itty Bitty.

So Big Tony is still with us in Maine. He is a complete grandpa now, losing weight off his backbone, but still able to jump. He has several favorite sleeping baskets in the sun, one in my office where he spends most of the day. But it is still Martyn he likes to attend to while we have our wine, or watch movies. He has a routine of putting his paws up stretched and staring into Martyn's eyes. Later, when I go to bed, he comes int to be with me and sleeps on my side of the bed now. Sometimes I wake with his paw on my hand.

The One Eyed Blind Pug II, aka Hughie and his chocolate sidekick have a very easy life, complete with beds by a fire, toast crust in the morning, and bowl licking at dinner. And now they have birds singing to them in the morning.

The Insides make daily life nicer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And another Wednesday begins

We march forward. We play, sometimes. We line up after breakfast and we walk-one step at a time.

We rewind and go back into the barn and rest in the dimming light, until...morning, and we start again.

It's all we know how to do.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Books and updates!

I wanted to let everyone who supported the original fundraiser for the New Itty Bitty & Big Etta book that your copies are being packed and I am busy shipping them out in stages. So you all get your book[s] by mid February at the latest, most likely sooner. I hope you love them; the size is so small and intimately itty, but I hope the feeling of it is Big Etta love for all of you.

Secondly, don't forget to sign up for the newsletter. I have changed some things on it in the past months. There is a monthly email with animal/Misfit news, farm updates, new books/art notices and subscriber only deals for the shop [comes out end of month; there is also a weekly Monday mailing I call "Happy Hope", a piece of art or image with a brief one sentence statement that will start your week with art/visual love and goodness.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Earnest the pig and his crazy quilt

Earnest inherited a crazy quilt from his great great aunt three times removed...or something like that. On sunny winter days, when the round quality permits, I allow it to come out of mothballs and lay it out for the little pig, and any others he invites, like bunnies and mice.

These scenes in my heart are what get me up in the morning, along with homemade bread, toasted, a fire by my mate, and the ability to somehow believe the world won't blow up in the near future and the wind and sea will somehow be here for future pigs and people.

{This original drawing now available at the shop.}

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Meet the six new tiny Apiferians!

I was minding my own business....and someone we have met recently contacted me to see if I might be able to take on some birds. It seems her friend was suddenly made homeless due to an entire serious of events, and had to give up his birds. She explained they came with their own vintage inspired cage.

I immediately researched Zebra Finches and sort of fell in love with the idea right away. And since I had left my old farm last May and had to rehome my flock and a few other animals that could not come with us, I know the feeling he might have had.

So yesterday our friend took us to his home he must leave-a very old 1870 manor house where his mother lived until her death at age 87. The house was empty now and he showed us around-what a place. I wish I could have bought it and given it back to him. Anyway, when I saw the bird cage, I swooned. It was custom made by a bird lover, and it shows, even having little bird houses in it.

So I gladly took their wings under my wing. They now reside in our living room, and when we sat down last night for our evening cocktail and conversation, they were right there partaking. They are fascinating to engage with. There are five males and a non breeding female and they do not like loud abrupt noises-sirens, shouts, loud trucks. Last night we were talking about some current news, and my voice grew a bit agitated, and they all started chattering! I apologized. So today, I have classical music on for them instead of NPR. Last night they slept soundly and were up with the daylight-perfect farmers.

I am so pleased to have them, and I just hope their former caretaker finds a place to land soon.

Monday, January 09, 2017

New drawings of muses

Last week I showed you some new prints I had created. Some people asked if there were originals. Sometimes especially for illustrative work I combine hand drawn and hand painted elements and sandwich them into a digital original, hence there is not 'real' original to hold in your hands, it is a layered piece, so I make prints from it.

But there is always a starting point original. I decided to go back into the drawings and finish them with pencil and charcoal. I really love the muted tones and these remind me of old storybook pieces from childhood-which reminds me, I am still trying to get going on a new book idea. But more on that down the road.

In the meantime, these originals drawings are on the shop [the cat image has sold]. {And the prints inspired by them are too.}

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Old Donkey Weather Report

The Eskimos have one hundred words for "snow". I appreciate this and would like to learn each one. Imagine how important snow is to their culture, and how communicating about snow is so crucial to their economy and survival.

Last night we got a couple inches of beautiful, powder snow, tlapa. When we awoke it was quite chilly, about 14 degrees, but no wind. I have a white antique donkey someone gifted me. She reminds me of our Matilda, so I refer to the statue as Old Donkey. She sits on a windowsill and has become a beautiful weather reporter for me. I have taken her photo before, but think I will post Old Donkey Weather Reports through out the year. Today's report: silvery and crisp.

The animals have no problem with the snow. White Dog loves it, I knew he would, and Birdie the llama is programed for cold and stands outside in dry weather waiting for her hay-she prefers breakfast under blue sky even if it is cold.

When I came back to the pig barn, Earnest had just finished breakfast. I wondered what the Eskimos would have called the snow on his nose. The closest I could find is hiryla for "snow in the beard". Perhaps I can find an Intuit to help me. Any Intuits reading my blog?