October, 2020
This month, it's more smiles, and art just for fun. And an update on the Christmas book I've been working on throughout the year.
 Wildlife update - all good news!
Last month I showed a photo of a doe and her two fawns. The doe had large wounds on both her sides. At that time they appeared to be healing, and I'm happy to report that now she's nearly completely healed. In fact, it's difficult to see the scars. It's amazing how resilient these creatures are. But I don't suppose I should be surprised because dangers are all around wild animals and they need good immune systems to survive. Whatever the case, we're so happy to see her and her little ones doing well.

And speaking of doing well, just look at the difference a month has made for my baby squirrels. Jack and Anna are 12 and 11 weeks old now and could be - might be, should be - but aren't weaned! They're eating nuts and fruits but they're still crazy about their bottles. I could stop giving them milk, but what's the point? They have a disadvantage in not having a mom to teach them squirrel stuff, so why not give them the best possible nutrition? In any case, they'll be weaned soon since they'll be going to the release cage in about a week. That's a 12' x 4' x 8' tall outdoor care. There's a tiny door at the top and after they've been living in the outdoor cage for about three weeks, I'll open that door and they can leave when they're ready. It will be sad to see them go, but I know the best thing for squirrels is to be wild, as they're created to be.

The squirrels and deer give me smiles every day - a real blessing. I hope you have such blessings in your life.

Art Just for Fun!.
Yes, it's art for fun, but that doesn't mean it's not a challenge - this one certainly was. I was looking through old magazines and was entranced with a cat food ad that had images of three cats. The problem was that none of the cats were whole images. One was missing an ear, the other was missing the whole left side of the face and shoulders, and the third was cut off at the forehead. I really wanted to use them in a collage but would have to accept the challenge of recreating the missing pieces. It wasn't easy, but I did it! Yay!

It happened that I had three different images of garden arches and it just seemed they were all meant to be together. And so, this art journal page, combining collage, text, and painting, was born. The text says "a cat is the special ingredient that magically transforms a simple garden arch into a tunnel of love." The ginger cat's name is Compassion, the dark-faced cat is Wonderment, and the little white and gray tabby is Majik. Yes, I know - sappy in the extreme, but that's me!

Once I finished it, I realized that each of the cats makes a nice piece on its own. Perhaps I'll make cards. Or I may make a painting of the whole thing. Not sure yet, but I really think I want to do something more with this one.

I hope you get a sense from the finished piece how fun it was to create it. If you haven't done art journaling, give it a try!
More Art Just Because!
Being an admirer of bears, I couldn't have my spirit animal journal be without a bear spread, and here it is. I was inspired by a catalog from BlackForestDecor which included the little family scene in the lower left and the walking bear to the right of the moon. (Don't know why much of my bear art includes bears walking across the sky). The large bear face is my drawing.

I don't know that I'll ever tire of this collage/mixed media process. There's always a surprise. In this one, the thin white streaks coming down from the right half of the top edge began as wrinkles in the paper I glued down there. After I had added paint and got the sky as dark as I wanted it, I thought, 'why not sand down those wrinkles?' Of course sanding took the paint away and left white streaks where the wrinkles had been - instant lightning!

The smaller pine trees are image transfers from items in the catalog - metal cut-out sculptures of trees. The larger ones are trees I painted. I always like painting pine trees, partly because they're easy!

I have six blank spreads left in my journal, and my goal is to finish it by the end of the year. I'm looking forward to finishing my first art journal!
A Milkweed Christmas is on its way!.
My first annual Milkweed Christmas book is nearly ready! I just received the third, and hopefully last, proof, so publication is just around the corner. I'll have the announcement on my Facebook page, KaarenPooleArt, when it's ready, along with a notice in next month's newsletter. Here's the description:

A beautifully illustrated and sweetly told account of the Milkweed animal community's observance of that most blessed holiday, Christmas. This year, the hares of the Inn at Ivy Knoll are hosting festivities on the big day, but that's just part of the story. There's much more! The animals, as they do every year, have filled the whole season with fond memories, special traditions, baking, celebration, and, more than anything else, love..
October Coupon

I'm offering you, my precious subscribers, a 15% discount in my Etsy shop, TheFoxesGarden. Any sales from the Bear section will go to Idaho Black Bear Rehab. Everything in the shop is hand made by me.  From September 1 to 15, just use discount code HALLOWEEN15 at checkout.  I ship the day after I receive your order, and domestic shipping is free.  Click on the image of the cat in fashion eyeglasses to visit my shop! (By the way, the only item that's not discounted is my book Tales of Love and Courage from Milkweed Manor. If I discounted it, I'd be selling it at a loss.)
The News from Milkweed
In November 2019 I published my first illustrated fiction book, Tales of Love and Courage from Milkweed Manor. This year, I'll be publishing two more, Dark Days at Milkweed Manor (the sequel to Tales) and A Milkweed Christmas. My days are filled with writing and illustrating these books about the animals living in the Milkweed community, and I'm pleased to brings you news from this charming place.
The holiday season is just around the corner now with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and, before we'll even know it, Christmas! The mice are planning a Halloween party at their community center. Meanwhile, the badger boys are working on a Haunted Woodland. But don't breathe a word - the haunted wood is a surprise for the rest of the Milkweed children.
Next time?
Not sure yet!
Do you have friends who you think would enjoy this newsletter?  Just have them e-mail me at and I'll sign them up for studio news, Etsy shop discounts, and free downloadable art!
Glad you're here!
Comment?  Suggestions?  Just want to chat?  I'd love to hear from you.
e-mail me at
or visit me on facebook - Kaaren Poole
Copyright © 2020 Kaaren Poole, All rights reserved.

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