Friday, February 13, 2009

Illustration Friday: Celebrate


After my dog Rat died I wanted to create something to celebrate his life. I made this funny little card that is house shaped and a little Topanga stamp to fit on the chimney. This card is a love letter to Rat. A month to the day he died a little black cat showed up every night and he would pop in through our cat door and bite my toes urging me to feed him! I named him Tar, Rat spelled backwards because he is black as tar. I found out his real name is Red and he has a wonderful family.When you open the door to this card Red or Tar is sitting there to greet you. I wanted Rat to know that this cat was checking up on me every night and that I was ok. I sent it out into the world and maybe it found it's way into someone's heart. My submission for Illustration Friday's "Celebrate" theme is a handmade card celebrating the life of my faithful companion.

I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day and celebrate your loved ones.




copyright 2008 Valerie Walsh

51 comments:

Indigene said...

Wonderful tribute and post! What a lovely card!

Ces said...

Oh Val, this is a very lovely sentiment. I always think of you and Rat in that black and white picture I saw of you in your website and I remember it brought a big smile to my face. I understand exactly the importance of this sentiment. What a beautiful tribute and a great celebration.

Teri C said...

Val, this is just a wonderful tribute and a wonderful story. Sounds like Rat sent Tar to cheer you up.

Cathy said...

What a poignant post. It's so sad, losing a member of the family like that, and I'm so glad that there was a little cat to come and check up on you!

Diana Evans said...

wonderful card Val!!! great tribute !!!

Thanks for sharing this and the song is perfect for the theme too....

cata said...

Hello Val!
What a romantic and sweet tribute!
Bellissimo.
regards,
Cata

isay said...

i remember that post about Rat....Tar is so sweet to keep you company.
This is really a beautiful tribute handmade card! i love the houseshaped and its colors. and i likev how you made the picture with the card visibly clear than the cool background-

studio lolo said...

I truly have tears running down my face. The song kills me, always has, but Val...your words to Ratty tore me up. I feel them, deeply.

Bless little (Tar) Red for providing a channel for Ratty to come through.
That Ratty, what a guy huh?

Big hugs~
~L~

Flying Colors said...

What a wonderful tribute to dear Rat and having Tar show up to remind you of how you both celebrated life together... He is still around...
Touching story - have a great week-end :-)

Alina Chau said...

WHat a lovely piece!!

asperezas said...

Beautiful!

Blue dog, of course!

:-)

Happy Valentine's Day

JO said...

Wonderful Celebrate your card is lovely and touching. By the way great segment on That's Clever!!

sophie philo said...

oh what a story and the music, together with this lovely card...that's touching!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

It's always hard when your animals pass. I'm so sorry about your pain. I know what it's like. Honesty a family member is gone. I love that you took your pain and did something creative with it. This has such great energy and I love the colors you used. Great card.

Amy C said...

this is adorable, and I love the names you gave to them

Connie said...

You can imagine I feel for you at the loss of your dog! I love the open door.

John said...

now this is cool love the work you put into it and sharing your feelings and thoughts.....great work!

studio lolo said...

I linked this post to mine because you inspired me :)
xo

Peter Breese said...

I'm so sorry, it is very hard to loose such a close friend and family member. Delightful that the cat checked in on you. Beautiful card as well.

Teri said...

I came to your blog from Studiololo, to read about your companion Rat...I am a vet tech and have lots of experience in grief counseling and each time I read of a loss of one of those that was truly loved, I am sad, but I am happy to know you were able to have him in your life..and now Tar...go with that loving feeling and be thankful, on this, the day of the heart.

Your card is a from the heart tribute, and is also very pretty and sweet.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance

And God asked the canine spirit
Are you ready to come home?
Oh, yes, quite so, replied the precious soul
And, as a dog, you know I am most able
To decide anything for myself.

Are you coming then? asked God.
Soon, replied the whiskered angel
But I must come slowly
For my human friends are troubled
For you see, they need me, quite certainly.

But don't they understand? asked God
That you'll never leave them?
That your souls are intertwined. For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
It just is....forever and ever and ever.

Eventually they will understand,
Replied the glorious dog
For I will whisper into their hearts
That I am always with them
I just am....forever and ever and ever.
Anonymous

Kstyles said...

I know how hard it is to lose a pet. This is a lovely tribute to Rat! Beautiful as always! ;)

merlinprincesse said...

I am very touched by your story, Valerie. Thanks!

merlinprincesse said...

I want to tell you a story too...
Many years ago, I was making a "kinda group-therapy"... We were many ladies, telling about our lives and grieving stories. One of the girls told us this real story... Once, she was alone and making meditation. Suddenly, she had an out-of-body experience. She found herself in a strange place, where she was like into a fog, feeling things rather than seeing them. She then realized there was this presence, and she felt lots of love and happiness. She recognized the "Soul" of her late dog, and this dog, whom she was still crying for, made her understand that he was still there, living in pure joy... And she understood that eventually, they would be together again....
It's a real story, Valerie... :) And it has helped me to pass through the death of many of my beloved pets.... You know, I understand how you feel since I have lost my Merlin last October! :) Take care!

kj said...

val, please come here so i can hug you...

(sniffle)

Catnapping said...

tar certainly makes himself at home! i bet rat is having himself a good laugh watching tar's antics.

like others here, i believe that rat is still around.

this was a wonderful read, val. thank you.


soulbrush said...

this is an incredible illo. i don't even want to think about losing my snuffles....

Brine Blank said...

Great card/letter...it seems like any comment I make as to what a great item it is at 'face value' might come across as 'cheapening' the driving force behind it...

Faruffa said...

This is a wonderful card Val ... it moves me :o)

Caroline said...

What a beautiful tribute to a great friend. This is a truly lovely post.

yoon see said...

Wow! What a thoughtful tribute to your lost dog. I am so touched here!!! Beautiful and moving!

andrea said...

This brought a tear to my eye, having experienced it myself so recently -- or what still feels recently. I love the letter. Hugs to you and Tar-red.

Dot said...

What a sweet way to remember him... i love it.

Oladapo Ogundipe said...

This is so beautiful and I think your cat is so cute

Valerie Lorimer said...

Beautiful tribute!

get zapped said...

Such a joyful and fun post! I really enjoyed this and it made me smile :) Thank you. Lovely work.

erin said...

sniff, sniff after reading this I had to go and hug my dogs, what a wonderful tribute to Rat! I love his sense of humor in sending a cat to comfort you after his passing.

Marc said...

Hi Val,
beautiful card!

GAFFERGIRLS.COM said...

my good fortune at finding you is tempered .. to lose a beloved family pet is so difficult ..
rat must have been one lucky guy to have had a home like yours...
love the music love the blog love your creations...
all my love
mona & the gaffer girls

Bella Sinclair said...

I am all choked up. Seriously. What a beautiful thought and card. I'm sure the card made its way up to him, and that he's sitting up there with his tail wagging, waiting for you.

I wonder why they named Tar Red when he's so obviously Tar.

Roberta said...

Aaw Val... I know this kind of love too..just by a different furry name.
They work their way into our hearts and stay forever.

Such a lovely tribute to your good and faithful friend.

Juan said...

Great work Valerie!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

what a wonderful creation this is; so many different types of art all rolled into one.

Pea said...

oh what a beautiful and touching thought and a lovely card !

Flor Larios Art said...

Very original beautiful card!
great post also!

ps.Come to my blog I am having an art box giveaway...see you there!
Flor

GAFFERGIRLS.COM said...

I see I'm not the only 1 who loves your work...

all my love
mona & the girls...
rainbows for you today!!!!

Peach Street ~ Jamie said...

That is the most precious thing I have ever seen!! I'm in tears!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Jamie

sketched out said...

Oh Val, even though I have tears streaming down my face, your post is also so uplifting as well as poignant. I agree with Erin, Rat had quite a sense of humor sending a kitty to check up on you, hee hee!

Thanks for sharing your very precious card with us all.

Oladapo Ogundipe said...

and I also think it takes more than creativity to do what you do. I think one requires to be inherenty beautiful at heart. This is so sweet and thoughtful and I am sure it found its way into many hearts, beyond your hopes and expectations. I am still here

Rachelle said...

Val, thank you for the comment on my recent art post. It's been awhile since I visited your blog ...
I adore this card you made as a tribute to your dog Rat. He sounds very special!! I must say it got me a little choked up, remembering the day I 'lost' my sheppard/corgi cross Suzi. It's so hard saying goodbye to such loyal, loving friends.

Take care,
Rachelle

J.L.Meyer said...

That is very touching.
The card is lovely and beautiful in so many ways.
Tar looks like wonderful company.

sewitsforyou said...

what a lovely idea. It turned out so beautiful.