final seven....plus bonus cutie!!

Hey Beautiful People!! Here I am yet again to show you the final seven doggies for my upcoming book Arfabet!  I am so excited for the photo shoot tomorrow because it's my first REAL chance to see the book as I've been dreaming about it all these months! Photo shoots are exciting and intense - for someone like me who spends a lot of time alone in my studio, and sharing in a somewhat passive way (meaning photos on the internet, as opposed to first hand critiques--very few people have actually seen the finished work at this point! I always feel like a professional photo shoot is my first public presentation of a project.) Plus I just adore my photographer Dan Kvitka, so I promise I'll take some shots of that process and post them in the next few days.

SPECIAL NOTICE FOR KICKSTARTER BACKERS! There are only three days left to adjust your pledge to my campaign, so make sure you don't fall into these common missteps:
1. Do you live overseas and want your reward shipped to an address outside the U.S.? Make sure you add the correct amount for your pledge level in addition to the reward value. Details are explained with each reward.
2. Did you want more than one of my rewards? No problem! What you need to do is tally up the amounts for each reward you want and make sure your pledge amount matches that total, no matter which item you picked. I'll contact you later on to find out exactly what your pledge is for if it's above the normal amount for that item, but the time is NOW to place your order--every pledge level with books or original artwork is offered here for a better price than you will get in the future because I'm using the up-front funds from this pre-sale to cover my production and printing costs. Thanks!!

So without further ado, here are the final seven members of Arfabet:
The Chihuahua cheese courier - it was really fun figuring out what cheese would make this piece work. This is one of the largest pieces in the group--the skateboard alone is around 20 inches long!

The English Bulldog who enjoys a spot of Earl Grey Tea.

The French Poodle - in the book she will be hanging out with some farfalle noodle butterflies.
This piece is about 10 inches high.

This is the Labrador who licked so much she turned into licorice.
This piece is about 3 inches high.

The Mastiff who serves Mai Tais
this piece is about 8 inches high.

Another large piece, this is a Norfolk Terrier who loves nonpareils

Here's the Utonagan who has a udon noodle beehive
It's around a foot high!

And here's the bonus cutie patootie dog! It's Weegee! He'll appear in the title page of the book.

Okay...it's time for me to get back to my preparations for the big day. Three more days until this Kickstarter campaign ends!! Woo hoo! Thank you everyone who has backed this project, and if you're one of those who like to wait until the last minute, the time is now! I'll leave you with this alphabet video to ponder.


Want six more? You got it!

Hello again Beautiful Person!  Here's six more of the original dogs I made for my upcoming New York Times best seller and Caldecott Prize winner (gotta dream big, right?) Arfabet!

First a mini update--pledges are continuing to trickle in with five days left! Thank you everyone who has supported this project, especially those of you who have bought original work because that's where I make my profit from this campaign.
the Otterhound who loves oysters Rockefeller
(this piece is about 9 inches high)

the Irish Setter who worships ice cream
(the soft serve cone is about 8 inches high)

The truffle-sniffing Taigan
(this piece is about 3 inches high)

The Kumquat fetching Kookierhondje
(this piece is over a foot high)

The beagle who dreams of bagels

This piece is about 8 inches in diameter. He has poppy seed fleas!

And the Dachshund who turned into a Dagwood Sandwich

This piece is around 15 inches long!

Some of these pieces may have some additional tiny details like "parsley" on the Oysters Rockefeller, seeds on that Dagwood, etc. I am working small stuff like this as I near my Wednesday photo shoot and I am hoping to have the time tomorrow to put together a mini update of my design process--today I did my mockup of the book pages so I know all my background colors and how to set up each shot to make room for the text. I'll give you a peek at that, but don't want to give away too much--after the Kickstarter campaign ends this Friday, I'll post some updates in August that show actual pages from the book that will be only visible to people who have already backed the project.  That should tide you over until I can work on the animation and backer rewards!

Thanks again everyone! Hope you're having a lovely day, no matter where in the world you are!
Here's another photo I took on a recent walk with Weegee. This is a composite photo of the view of downtown, taken on the lovely esplanade (path for walkers and bicyclists) that runs a  few mile loop along both banks of the mighty Willamette River here in Portland. It's nice to take a little break from tossing the ball in the local park once in a while.

ps. ready for your alphabet video of the day? of course you are! hit it, Blackalicious!


V, G, Y, W, X, and P!!!

Hey Beautiful People! I am just about done with my doggies for Arfabet--starting to think about the other handmade details that will make the pages of the book come alive before my photo shoot on August 1st! Here's six of the finished ones, and I'll come back tomorrow with another six.

Here's the Vizla running through the Vanilla Bean grasses - this piece is about 9 inches tall and a foot long.

The Gherking loving Greyhound - this one is also about 9 inches high.

The Yorkie popping out of the Yorkshire Pudding! This piece is a little under six inches high.

The Whippet, who ate so many waffles, he pees syrup

This piece is about 9 inches high as well.

The Xoloitzcuintli riding the Xouba playing the tuba! This piece is about a foot high.

And, finally, the pug chasing its tail atop a pile of persimmons.

I amended my mini goal for this past week--if I can raise another $2500 above the Kickstarter minimum, I'll put in the additional funds to do a second edition of Elephabet.  Of course, it would be awesome to raise the entire $4k to do the deed, but anything will help! Thank you so much for your support and for helping me spread the word by forwarding this blog posting via email, tweeting, or linking it on Facebook in these last few days of my Kickstarter campaign!! If you haven't signed up yet, click here to see my amazing rewards that get you original dog artwork for a great price! Thank you sooooo much!!

And now for your alphabet video pick of the day!!


Lillian gets her Rainbowphant (and names it Rainbee)

Hey Beautiful People! Remember my pachyderm portmanteau contest a few months ago? I finally finished the winning pieces and they've been delivered to their new owners. Here's Lillian with Rainbee, her drawing come to life!


H, J, Q, R, S, and sometimes Z

Hey Beautiful People!

Well, I'm pleased to announce that my Arfabet Kickstarter campaign has been funded! Woo Hoo!  There's only a little over a week left, but I've set a mini-goal of surpassing the Kickstarter goal by another $2500 so I can do a second printing of Elephabet in large format hardcover and save a ton of money on shipping. Thanks for helping me spread the word in these last few days by forwarding this post onto your dog loving friends!!!

Things have, as anticipated, also been very exciting in the studio as I'm seeing many of these pieces come to completion. Here's a few of the ones that are ready for my photo shoot next week! As you will see, I am varying the scales of these pieces, thinking ahead to the exhibition at Velvet da Vinci Gallery this October.  You won't be able to tell in the book, but it will make for a more dynamic presentation at the gallery for me to think and work in various sizes.

Our fearless husky who eats habanero chili peppers! He's about 10 inches tall.

This Jack Russell is digging into a slice of Jackfruit. He's only about 4 inches high.

The Queensland Heeler about to learn why one would never want to eat a raw quince. This is another smaller piece--4 inches high

This Russian Wolfhound is over a foot tall. He's got the makings for a tasty ratatouille balanced on his back.

The hirsute Scottie Dog has a subtle fur pattern painted all over. (salmon sashimi on her back) This piece is about 11 inches high and over a foot long.

The finale of the book will be this Zuchon (one of the only mixed breeds in the entire book!) leaping over a fancy Zuccotto Cake.

Back in a few days with more updates!! Thanks everyone for your support of this project!!!

And now for your alphabet bonus video:


let them wear paint!

Hello Beautiful People! I'm back, as promised, with an update on the painting of the dog sculptures for Arfabet! I'll get right to the images of the pieces on my workbench right now. I'm nearly done with all the base colors and most pieces are awaiting the detailed painting and/or ears glued on, etc.
Here's the pug who will be chasing its tail atop a pile of persimmons

My Jackfruit, in living color

Scottie is painted black--I plan to add a subtle fur patterning to the body

An array of dogs ready for their markings, eyes, ears, etc.

Another assortment, including the Vizla running through the grasses

Xylon the Xoloitzcuintli riding on the Xouba

a headless Queensland Heeler (keep scrolling to see the soon to be added head!)

the Whippet and the Russian Wolfhound without their more distinctive markings

The dachshund who will eventually be piled high like a Dagwood sandwich

Ahhh....here's that Queensland Heeler's head biting into a quince

And finally, the licorice lab.

I'm launching into the big final push tomorrow as I prepare for my photo shoot on August 1st so get ready for the fun stuff--I love this part so much!  

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project already - I am only about $100 away from reaching the Kickstarter goal with a dozen days left, so it's looking good in Arfabet land!  Click here to join in on the fun!!

And now for a word from the granddaddy of canine art, William Wegman!


Arfabet is almost paint-ready

Hello Beautiful People!

I'm happy to report that Arfabet is now 88% funded with 17 days to go! (Now I'm only 12% anxious!)

Things have been happening here at Bunny with a Toolbelt headquarters--I'm expecting that tomorrow will wrap up my construction and I can move on to the painting stages on Thursday! Besides passing that major milestone, the best thing about that is that there will be a lot more images to share with you as I hone in on the finishing touches.

Here are a few more studio shots of the newly constructed doggies to keep you satisfied until I post again this weekend in living color!

Uriah the Utonagan with an Udon noodle beehive

Suki the Scottie with great facial hair

Ouija the Otterhound who loves Oysters

Yma the Yorkie who fits inside a Yorkshire Pudding

Xylon the Xoloitzcuintli who rides on a Xouba!

Ravi the Russian Wolfhound who loves Ratatouille

Quentin the Queensland Heeler who loves to Quaff Quince

Vito the Vivacious Vizla who runs through the Vanilla grass

And I remade my Jack Russell Jethro so he could sit at this table with a fork and knife in hand and eat a slice of that humongous Jackfruit!

Again, I would be ever so grateful if you'd help me spread the word about Arfabet  by sharing this on Facebook,  clicking the Facebook "like" button found under my video on the Kickstarter page for this project, or if you prefer human to human contact, send me a private message with your snail mail address and I can give you a little stack of my cute promotional postcards that you to give to all your dog-loving friends! Thank you!!!

Take it to the bridge, Lena!