Mustang logo done. Onto the bald eagle face…

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! I hope that you spend it with your loved ones, fur babies included!

There isn’t much to say about my genealogy efforts, although I did find a number of family member on Facebook so that is great! Now I need to pick their brain for all the missing information….

I finished my drawing of the Mustang logo and it turned out rather nice if I can say so myself. Never drew anything metal-like so it was a nice change -and challenge- and something I can use for my dog portraits if they wear a collar.

astrid_mustang

Now for my next project I might be a little too ambitious but I’m going to give it a valiant try. It’s the head of a bald eagle and I would like to draw it very realistic; after all, that is what I am practicing for and practice makes perfect, right?

Set up the sketch and worked some on the eye yesterday evening. Instead of using a ball stylus to indent (something I am used to use for (white) dog hairs) I am going old school and do the real negative drawing to make the feathers stand out.

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This is the sketch. Not much to look at right now but I do hope I’ll have the eye done by next week; maybe more of the feathers that go around the eye and work my way around from there.

Hope everyone is staying warm with this cold winter. Time for Spring to spring!!

Dogs and genealogy

I am sitting here and trying to figure out what to write about, since so much has been, and still is, going on here. You know, the day-to-day things like house chores (for which I am NOT built!) but it’s real depressing to write about that. Besides, who would want to read about that I have vacuumed the living room or washed down the doors yesterday, right?

What is taking up a lot of time at the moment is our oldest dog Bonnie. She was diagnosed with Cushings and, as a result of that, is now a diabetic too. I say “too” because my old buddy Ruby had been a diabetic since she was 7 or 8 until she passed away on March 29, 2010 at almost 15 years old. I am trying to find the balance between her medication for her Cushings and the amount of insulin Bonnie needs which is a struggle because both diseases have about the same symptoms (drinking lots of water, peeing everywhere in the house etc.) but I think we’re getting there, slowly but surely. At least Bonnie has stopped peeing that nasty “sticky pee” everywhere! The worst is when it has dried up during the night because it is SO hard to remove. Put a paper towel on it and it will be glued to the floor…. hence the name “sticky pee”. Luckily she has stopped that and she is more active now too so I reckon we’re on the right track.

Another thing that has been keeping me busy is my new found family here in the US. I am originally from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, moved to the US around 2003 I believe and one day I got a message on Facebook from a lady named Rose asking if I was family from such-and-such family at a specific address. The people she mentioned are my paternal grandparents! What a small world, isn’t it? Rose saw my drawing of a wolf pup on the Facebook page of the Wolf Conservation Center (I had drawn that to auction it of and donated the money to their awesome cause) and saw my last name, which is the same as hers. She is making a genealogy tree of her Dads family and we started talking.

Now I have to say that I don’t know much about that side of the family, due to the troubled marriage of my parents. They split up 3 times before they got their final divorce and the last time I saw my grandparents must have been around 1976-1978. Last time I saw my aunts, uncles, and cousins from that side was even before that and all because my father didn’t want anything to do with us. His loss….

I did remember (some of) the names and Rose and I started our search through Facebook, where we found a couple of my aunts and cousins. So, as is only logical, we sent them a message. And another message….and another message… But we are getting no reply at all! Rose befriended one of my aunts (the one who had reacted to a message Rose had left ages ago on a genealogy forum) but a couple of days later she couldn’t find her Facebook page anymore. This is really weird because I can still see her page; we came to the conclusion that she must have blocked Rose!

Initially I didn’t want to contact any of them (bad memories) but thought to give it a try too and am slowly casting my net wider from my father’s sisters to their children, but still no reaction at all. Makes you wonder what they are thinking… All that we want is information like names, dob, and such. It is really hard to find information online when all you have is a name and an approximate year of birth; near impossible to find that information in the Dutch registers because they don’t have anything like ancestry.com.

Time to start my day. I am mucking out my studio and going through supplies, finding things I didn’t even know I had and sometimes wondering why I saved some of the stuff. It must have been with a specific purpose in mind but since I can’t remember it goes in the trash.

Hope everyone will have a wonderful day!