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Welcome to August, and hopefully, it will be a little bit cooler than this past week here in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Al and I wilted...along with the peas. Poor fledgling gardening skills couldn't save them, although I dutifully watered them twice a day. (Note to self: next year, plant the peas in filtered light, not direct sunlight.)

Lots of fun stuff to talk about this month, so let's begin, shall we?


First up...our August offering is a one-size-only print entitled Orca Frolic.

I had another print lined up for you, but I thought this was such a refreshing image for these summer dog days filled with heatwaves. I began this painting right after I returned from Humboldt county in June because I was really missing the ocean and wished I lived somewhere with an ocean view. So, since we don't have an ocean view, I decided to paint my own view. And, since I was painting an ocean, why not populate it with a pod of frolicking orcas splashing about in cool water?

So here you ocean view for you, too! The original is 48 inches wide and 24 inches high. The print is half the size, or 24"x12"...and we decided to offer it only in the one size.


Over in the Land of Brynn Design, the dogs have arrived! Meet Pogo, Anni, Ein, Gemma, Miki, and Oliver. We call them the Six Pack Pups because there are 6 new designs for dog lovers to play with. Like the cats, we offer these playful pups as mugs, throw pillows, throw blankets, and embroidered tee shirts.

And while we were at it, we did a little tweaking to the website, making shopping easier. I invite you to go exploring and see what you think...Perhaps you will want to adopt one of these cuties for your very own.

And now, here is Mr. Al ...

The saga of rawhide

As the 'hidden folk' do not tolerate iron, I have made every effort not to use any metal within the confines of 'Huldufólk Haven.'

After installing the first permanent residence in the village, one of our non-hidden fur children (not mentioning any names…but Anni) thought it would be amusing to bite off one of the chimneys and play with it! Considering it is "a safe place," it became necessary for a fence of some sort to keep out the four-legged threats.

Therein lies the dilemma. What kind of barrier could I create that didn't consist of metal? Finally, after much consideration, I decided that the residents would accept a fence made of branches and twigs. Perfect! We have an ample quantity of said materials at our disposal.

I gathered the first batch of branches, asking permission from the forest deities, and set about building the barrier. Temporarily attaching the rails to the posts with zip ties, I knew a more acceptable method would be required. It suddenly occurred to me that rawhide would be the perfect natural method of permanent restraint, and as it dries, it shrinks too, tightening the whole enclosure.

However, I didn't remember that many dog chew toys; one of their preferred consists of various shapes of rawhide! The minds of the pups can not grasp that, on the one hand, they are freely given chunks of rawhide to relish, but on the other, they are absolutely forbidden to eat the branches tied together with rawhide!

Poor things. It is an ongoing learning experience for us all!

Huldufólk Haven Variance

Of course, I built an additional barrier beyond their internal sanctum to provide ultimate security and public safety in the Fae Folk realm. The four-legged fur creatures also sharing the land are incessantly disturbing the peace, and several complaints have already

been made.

For the second fence, I chose plastic construction fencing (green, not that garish orange) with fiberglass fencing posts along and removable zip-ties, also in green. However, at specific points along the fence, a more stable metal T-post had to be used for sturdiness and a wire fence gate for human access.

Because any material with iron content is strictly prohibited, a permit for using metal requires a variance from the Gnome/Dryad Combined High Council of Land Oversight Committee or the GDCHCLOC. Since it was outside the actual Huldufólk Haven premises, permission was reluctantly granted as long as I kept it to the bare minimum.

That hearing and subsequent approval and permit required that I attend a meeting in the Grand Ballroom, which was a little tense.

I might add that some of the tension witnessed at the hearing of the GDCHCLOC was because the Grand Ballroom was not built for humans, and I was asked to remain outside of the building. And, because of my hearing deficit, the committee members were forced to repeatedly repeat themselves in very loud voices. Fortunately, subsequent laryngitis lasted only for two days.


We finally got our berm built! We are relieved. This winter, when it floods, the water will run around the house, not lap at the garage foundation, threatening the heat pump and generator. Although, I must say, the inflatable sandbag wall that Mr. Al and I built kept much of the water away last winter...once we figured out how to keep them from floating away. They swelled so much, from the water they began to roll away!!

And there you have it. July was a pretty busy month when I think about it, even without the quick trip I made down to Sedona, AZ, with a girlfriend. Both Mr. Al and I are looking forward to a month of staying put, staying cool, and staying creative.

Have a wonderful August! We will see you in September!

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