An Autumnal Landscape With Hippos, Blank Note Card

There’s only one thing that could improve on a beautiful oil on canvas pastoral scene of sheep resting on a fall afternoon: hippos! So we added some to this restful landscape by 19th century artist William Luker (1851-1889). Our card is blank inside for your customized message, making it appropriate for all occasions.

An Autumnal Landscape With Hippos, Blank Note Card

An Autumnal Landscape With Hippos, Blank Note Card

Our note card is an exclusive, designed by us and professionally printed on glossy cover stock with an uncoated and unprinted paper inside so you can write your own special message.

You could also frame it and hang it on your wall to enjoy every day!

Envelope: Standard 70 lb. envelope
Paper: Heavyweight gloss cover stock
Size: Folded to 5″ x 3.5″
Colors: Color outside and blank inside

Buy this in my shop here.

Hippo Inspiration

If you need artistic inspiration, please take a gander at my Pinterest board for hippos in art:

Found Object Robot Wall Hangings on My Work Table

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s under construction at Trilby Works today. Some cute wall hanging found object robots. They are mostly done but the dude on the right needs some legs.

Found Object Robot Wall Hangings in Process

Found Object Robot Wall Hangings in Process


These bots are fun to make. More are on the way!

Making Christmas Ornaments in January – Who Does That?

Well, I do, of course. I never seem to be able to do anything at the appropriate time or location. But, really, there is no wrong time to make these ornaments. Why? Because these are ROBOT ornaments, woohoo.

I gathered up all my supplies, which consisted of wood blocks, game pieces, tids and bits of hardware, scrapbooking embellishments, etc. After a few days of intensive gluing, drilling, and assembling, I had a small troupe of the cutest holiday ornaments I’ve ever seen.

These will be available for purchase at the Bellefonte Art Gallery soon.

Jupiter the Faux Fur Plush Monster

Just finished the amazing faux fur plush monster Jupiter! She is about 8 inches high, with spikes of royal blue and sky blue fur, felt paws and horns, and a black felt face with safety eyes. My daughter supervised her construction, stuffed her paws, horns, and body, and pestered me into finishing her.

Jupiter Faux Fur Monster

Jupiter is a plush, stuffed faux fur monster made by Trilby Works

Jupiter was meant to be sold but my daughter claimed her while she was still a flat piece of potential in my fur grab bag so she gets to keep this cute little stuffie as long as she takes proper care of the creature. Which includes cleaning up after it when it makes messes and blames the cat.

I’m working on a tutorial for making these companionable creatures. Click here to see what I’ve got so far.

My Memento Mori Painting Sold at the Oddporium

I paid my first visit to that “Gallery of the Peculiar and the Bizarre,” the Oddporium, on Marsh Road in Arden. Wow! I happened to have my kids with me and we spent quite a while exploring the weird and wonderful finds that owners Ken Schuler and Beth Ann Busch have collected and displayed. Some of the unique oddities include:

vintage embalming fluid bottles • a one-eyed pig in a jar • mourning pins • cabinet cards • medical tools • creepy photographs • old dolls • a real human skeleton • an embalmed cobra • old skulls, bones, and teeth • insects mounted in shadowboxes

The Oddporium not only carries objects suitable for a cabinet of curiosities, but also sells original artwork from local artists. I quickly discovered my new favorite artist, Gus Fink. I took photos of my two favorite pieces, as seen below.

Gus Fink artwork at the Oddporium

Gus Fink artwork at the Oddporium

Gus Fink artwork at the Oddporium

Gus Fink artwork at the Oddporium


While there, I asked Ken if he thought my painting, Memento Mori #1, would be suitable for consignment at his shop. He said yes so we started the paperwork.

Memento Mori #1, detail

Memento Mori #1, detail

Just as we were finishing up, an interesting fellow came in and bought the painting! I was so shocked. But I was also really happy that someone else in the world like this painting since my husband hates it. (When I asked him to hang it up on the wall he said, “You mean right here where someone can see it?!”)

Memento Mori #1, a mixed media painting by Karen Furst of Trilby Works

Memento Mori #1, a mixed media painting by Karen Furst of Trilby Works

Now, off to create more in this series. Sorry, husband, you’ll be seeing more of these soon.

Upcycled / Recycled Springtime Glass Jar Metal Lid Ornaments

I just finished a nice batch of my upcycled metal lid ornaments and I’m happy with the way they came out. This was supposed to be a springtime collection, but somehow some skulls got in there, lol.

I’ve got one more set of spring-related artwork to complete and then I’m sure I’ll get back to some spooky, kooky, gloomy, doomy Halloween stuff.


Check out my Pinterest board below for beaucoup craft ideas and inspiration for making your own recycled metal lid ornaments.

How to Make Upcycled / Recycled Metal Lid Halloween Ornaments

If you’d like to make these yourself, here’s a tutorial I made. Have fun!

How to Make Upcycled / Recycled Metal Lid Halloween Ornaments

How to Make Upcycled / Recycled Metal Lid Halloween Ornaments

Doodle Monsters

Doodling is fun. Doodling monsters is awesome fun! A few years back, I committed to doodling a monster a day for an entire month. Well, I didn’t exactly make it through the whole month but I did get a bunch of fun monsters done. Here they are:

These are fun to make. You really can’t go wrong and you can make these while watching TV. Just plan out where the white parts will be so you don’t color them in.

These doodle monsters aren’t fine art, but they are a great way to keep your drawing hand nimble. I find that just moving the pen around the page every day keeps my creative juices flowing and opens me up to other arty ideas. Yay, doodling!


Doodle Monsters

Upcycled Plastic Containers Transformed into Fairy Houses

I finally completed my batch of fairy mushroom houses, yay! They are photographed and ready to head over to the Bellefonte Art Gallery. Hope they find good homes…

Group of Fairy Mushroom Houses

Group of Fairy Mushroom Houses

To make these fairy houses, I raided our recycling bin for plastic containers: creamer bottles, yogurt cups, marshmallow fluff jars, smoothie bottles, etc. I cleaned them thoroughly and painted them in bright, happy, spring colors. I made the doors from paper clay and outlined them with miniature paper flowers. This was a fun project and could probably be completed with children, should you choose to try it.

If you need inspiration, please check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Trilby Works’s board Fairy Houses in the Garden on Pinterest.

I Heart Bots: Robot Love

I don’t know why I like robots so much. Not real ones – they kind of freak me out. Although I am somewhat fond of the benign little Roomba that circles our house, sucking up cat fur and cracker crumbs. No, the ones I really love are the found object robots made from household junk.


I Heart Bots

A robot is defined as

  1. a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer
  2. a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically (especially in science fiction)
  3. a person who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner

The word comes from the Czech word robota, meaning ‘forced labor,’ and was first used in 1920. Synonyms for robot are: automaton, android, golem, droid.

Follow Trilby Works’s board I Heart Bots: Robots Rule! on Pinterest.

Found objects robots are a new popular modern art genre created from combined and often modified found objects resulting in a recognizable figured piece in the form of a robot. The phrase found object originates from the French term objet trouvé, literally “found object.” Found objects can include any item with a non-art function like tin cans, old tools, household recyclables, kitchen utensils, vintage toys and games, automotive parts, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Here’s an Etsy Treasury I made of colorful, happy robots of all shapes and sizes!

Mushroom Fairy Houses, On My Work Table Right Now

My father grew up during the 1930’s Great Depression and the subsequent World War II years when it was common practice to collect trash metal for conversion to weaponry, ships, tanks, and planes. His family also saved newspapers, bottles and caps, jars, cans, cooking fats, fabric, rubber, aluminum foil, pots and pans, and even old toys. Some of this recycling spirit and thriftiness rubbed off on me! Today I save metal and plastic lids from bottles and jars, plastic containers, old wooden toy parts, interesting labels and papers, old tools, ribbon and string scraps, vintage books and many other items.

Lately I’ve been putting those plastic containers to good use by using the pieces to assemble my mushroom fairy houses, as in the photo below.

Mushroom Fairy Houses

Mushroom Fairy Houses in progress

I glue the tops and bottoms together and then cover the surfaces with either decoupaged colored tissue papers or textured stucco paint. Doors and windows are made from molded paper clay and decorations are from random bits and bobs in my craft stash.

I love the idea of converting trash into art! Here are some projects made from household trash.

If you want to do this, here’s some inspiration from my Pinterest board.

Follow Trilby Works’s board Upcycle, Recycle: Plastic Jars and Containers on Pinterest.

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