I put on puppet shows at daycare centres and preschools. I mostly make my own puppets, but I do have some store bought ones. Here are some of the latest I’ve made. My puppets are sturdy. They have to be because they’re quite abused after each show when I let the kids have a turn. The last time I made them, I made duplicates and I put a few of them for sale on Etsy:

Felt Puppets: rabbit, penguin, bear, giraffe, walrus, bird, by Franci

Felt Puppets: rabbit, penguin, bear, giraffe, walrus, bird

Here’s a video of a puppet show rehearsal:

Stuff my 3 year old says

A painting of Hugo, the artist's son, by Franci. 9" x 12" Watercolor

Hugo (my son, my soul, my everything). 9″ x 12″ Watercolor

Hugo sees an Earth globe: Look, a map ball!

Hugo: I want to watch Bambi.
I put Bambi on and I skip past the credits at the beginning.
Hugo: No, go back to the end, mama. Go back to the writing.
Me: You want to watch this?
Hugo: Yes, don’t turn the page, mama.

Me: What’s your name?
Hugo: Corduroy the Policeman.
Me: No, what’s your name?
Hugo: Luca
Me: Come on, what’s your name?
Hugo: Bug Band
Pascale: Hugo, what’s my name?
Hugo: Pas… Corduroy the Policeman.
Pascale: You know my name. You almost said it! I thought you were Corduroy the Policeman.
Hugo: I’m Hugo.

Hugo: Daddy, eat my booger.

Hugo pricks his finger and says: Mama will cut your hair and make it better.

Jacob: Look Hugo, a garbage truck.
Hugo: It’s a cement truck.
Jacob: I can play this game too buddy. It’s a plane.
Hugo: It’s a boat.
Jacob: It’s a train
Hugo: It’s a garbage truck.
Jacob: You’re right.

Hugo brings me two LEGO pieces stuck together.
Hugo: Mama, take off the green one.
I pull them apart and give him the pieces back one by one, red one first and then the green one.
Hugo: No, mama.
He puts them back together.
Hugo: Take off the green one.
I pull them apart again and give him the green one first and then the red one.
He is happy.

Me (reading an Alphabet book): G is for gnomes.
Hugo: no mama, G is for the g-sound.

Jacob: Hugo, what’s on the moon?
Hugo: the sun.
Jacob: What else?
Hugo: Africans.

I showed Hugo the blanket I’m making for Christine’s baby.
Me: Isn’t it cute, Hugo?
Hugo: No, mama; it’s the same.

Hugo is taking a bath and calling in a desperate voice: Daddy, come daddy, come daddy! DADDY! COME DADDY!
Jacob: I’m coming, coming. What’s wrong?
Hugo: I farted.

Me: are you going to finish your banana?
Hugo: no, mama. I’m not going to eat it. I’m not a monkey. I don’t eat bananas.
Me: what are you?
Hugo: I’m a tiger, mama.

Hugo: Take off my shirt.
Me: No. What? What are you going to wear?
Hugo: My boobies!

Me: what do you want for breakfast?
Hugo: tomatoes.
Me: okay, omelet and tomatoes it is.
Hugo eats the tomatoes and runs to the mirror.
Hugo: my hair’s not red. What’s going on Arie? What’s going on? Oh, I forgot the ketchup.

Jacob’s cuddling Hugo.
Hugo: Stop blowing on me, daddy.
Jacob: I’m not blowing on you. I’m breathing.
Hugo: Stop breathing, you’re a man, not a dragon.

Jacob (frustrated): Hugo, you’re such a joy!
Hugo: I’m not a joy. I’m a boy.

Hugo: In 3 I turn March and when I was grown up at 0 in January I stuck my fingers in Hudson’s birthday cake.

Hugo: dad, you’re a square.
Jacob: and I’m not offended at all.
Hugo: and I’m triangle.
Jacob: what kind of triangle are you?
Hugo: a rectangle triangle.
Jacob: a right angle?
Hugo: no, a rectangle triangle. and mama’s a circle. she’s round.
Jacob: yes, she’s got a circumference and a diameter, a girth.

Hugo: oh boy mama! This book has words!

Hugo (frantic): Where is it? Give it back! Give it back!
Me (mouthing): What a fuck? (Concerned) What’s wrong honey? What did you lose?
Hugo (frantic): My scrape! On my knee!
Me: It’s on your other knee.
Hugo (relaxed): Oh. (Rolls up the pants on his other leg to admire his scab.)

Hugo: can I watch Dickie Toys?
Me: no.
Hugo: mama, you got the words wrong. You got ‘yes’ wrong.

Hugo: I’m changing my name.
Me: okay, what should I call you?
Hugo: Spot.
Me: Spot, come here boy.
Spot: I’m coming.
Me: Good boy!

Hugo: look mama, a cute little tiger.
Me: aw, he’s cute.
Hugo: pet him.
Me: he’s so soft (I’m petting the air).
Hugo: look mama, a cute little shark.
Me: aw, so cute.
Hugo: look at his boobies.

Hugo: we have to get the vinegar rabbit.
Me: what?
Hugo: the velveteen rabbit.
Me: you want to read The Velveteen Rabbit?
Hugo: no, we have to get the car.
Me: oh, the Volkswagen rabbit.

Hugo: I’m so thirsty mama. I’m sick.
Me: well, I have no water, so we have to walk to the library and get some.
Hugo: I’m so thirsty mama.
Me: come here, drink from this hose (a house had the hose out at the front).
Hugo: I want to pee in the hose.

Hugo: I’m going to eat you all. I ate you all!
Girls at the park: No, you didn’t. We’re still here.
Hugo: Daddy! I ate all those girls.
Jacob: No, you didn’t I can still see them.
Hugo: I just pooped them out.

Hugo: mama, sing a lullaby.
Me: Hush little baby…
Hugo: no, mama, that’s a left one. Sing a right one.

Me: Hugo, are you paying attention? Focus, please.
Hugo: it’s not focus, it’s hocus pocus.

(Sorry bathroom humour)
Hugo (on the potty): 3, 2, 1…

As a side note, I take commissions on portraits through Etsy. Here’s the link: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/franciart

It sucks to be sick

I think on Thursday and Friday my son got to watch about 7 hours of John Deere earth moving machines, Max and Ruby and The Wiggles while I just lied there all sick. But I felt better yesterday and got productive. I made a bonnet and got teased by family members that I was going to wear it. (I do love the regency bonnet era as they all know) It’s a baby bonnet. I also made another pair of baby shoes to match it (since everyone loved the shoes I took to the baby shower last week) and I painted some stranger who offered me some points on deviant art for his portrait. I’m quite cheap! Here are the photos:

Watercolour Portrait of Kyle by Franci

12″ x 9″ Watercolour

Handmade flannel baby bonnet and shoes by Franci

Handmade flannel baby bonnet and shoes

You can buy the bonnet and shoes on Etsy here.

Or you can get your portrait made for $30 dollars plus shipping.

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow I’ll take these paintings to the store and I’ll find out if any of the other ones have sold. I’m honestly a bit nervous about that. I know I’ll be disappointed if nothing sold, but also glad to keep them. No, I want them to sell. These paintings come with stories.

Elephant Love

Luna and Sebastian 8.5″ x 11″ Watercolour
Once upon a time there was an elephant named Luna, who lived at a zoo in South Africa. One day a boy, Daniel, started volunteering at the zoo. He loved the elephant and brought her mangoes every day. Daniel noticed that even though the elephant was happy with the mangoes, she was lonely, so he convinced the zookeeper to find a friend for Luna. At the San Diego zoo, the zookeeper found another lonely elephant named Sebastian and brought him in. This is a painting of the two happy, no longer lonely, elephants: Luna and Sebastian.

Lion in Love

Lion in Love 8.5″ x 11″ Watercolour
Here is Mchumba, the African lion. He worked as an extra on Disney’s Lion King for a while, but he never got any screen time, though he had a lot of fun on set. This lion is hopelessly romantic and always in love with everyone he meets. I bet he’s going to fall in love with you too.

Zuri and Zola

Zuri and Zola 8.5″ x 11″ Watercolour
One day Zuri, the giraffe, heard a cry for help. He looked down to where the sound was coming from. That was something he didn’t do very often since he mostly looked up for leaves in trees all day long. Close by he saw a pit. He went to the edge of it and inside he noticed a rabbit scrambling to get out. Zuri lowered his head into the pit and allowed the rabbit to climb out onto his long neck. The rabbit was so grateful, he gave Zuri a carrot, which was indeed a rare treat. As Zuri was about to bite into the carrot, Zola, the beautiful giraffe, stole it and ran away. Zuri, more intrigued and amused than upset, followed Zola around for days, but she always managed to evade him. In the end, Zuri asked the rabbit for another carrot and the rabbit was more than happy to oblige. Zola came right over and this time, they shared the carrot. Zuri and Zola have been together since.


Paintings For Sale

Today I took 5 paintings to Little Earth store on Commercial Drive.  It’s for the first time I’m selling art, so there’s some excitement at the prospect, but some sadness too.  I put a piece of me in everything I do and it’s not easy to let go.  I’ve given art to people I know in the past, and it’s different. These paintings will go to strangers and I hope they find a good home.

I asked Lara, the one of store’s owners, to tell me which 5 paintings they’d like to try selling first and the funny thing is, 3 of the ones she picked I couldn’t deliver, so I set up to painting them again and I’m quite bad at reproducing my own art work. I cannot do the same thing twice. Here’s a picture of the paintings currently at the store:

nursery art for sale

Some changes that I need to make for the next batch: I need to buy better fitting clear bags, these are to big, so I folded and tapped them at the back, and I need to make my next paintings on a more standard size paper. Two of those above are 9×12 and the rest are 9.5×12.5, which is a very weird size. Lara also said to label them with “made in Vancouver”.

Will I be able to live off of this? Not at all, I’d have to sell about 50 paintings a month, which I don’t see happening.