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So there's apparently a business scam in which art thieves on Instagram (and I'm guessing Facebook as well) have been posting large amounts of uncredited art to their accounts, simply to gain a *huge* amount of followers, so that they can then *sell* their accounts, for anywhere "from $50 up to $2-3K, and in rare cases, up to 10-20K, depending on the niche, amount of followers, and activity". They're often listed on shady sites like this: www.fameswap.com/browse-instag… or on Ebay, and I even saw an app for buying/selling them. Anyway, for those of you who paint realistic, fantasy-style wolves/werewolves, you guys might want to check these two art accounts I found, in case your own work might be there, since I noticed there was a lot of my friends' artworks posted there. :/

www.instagram.com/wolves_clubs…
www.instagram.com/wolves.art.c…

~SD
If you play virtual D&D and are looking for photo-realistic, super-detailed, fully-furnished and ready-to-use map tiles, please check his out! He has two sets available now; the second set is brand new, and is fully-compatible with the first one, as well as the third one (a pack of "mega rooms", 4x larger), which is coming out soon. I personally think he does great work! :)

marketplace.roll20.net/browse/…

marketplace.roll20.net/browse/…

Gif he made of packs #1 and 2 put together:
mobile.twitter.com/AaronArrick…

You can see previews of upcoming packs on his Twitter, and you can watch him stream creating them on his Twitch, where he often asks for suggestions on what types of rooms to make: www.twitch.tv/tabletop_twitch :)

~SD
Hi all, I don't know if anyone still keeps up with me here (DA isn't what it used to be, by far), but I thought I would just give a quick update to those of you who don't follow me elsewhere. Back in June, after my last journal entry, we went on vacation to the Alps, and during that time, my left leg suddenly became completely numb on the outside (skin layer), from the waist down, and burning/tingling on the inside (deep below skin layer), at the slightest touch. And my right leg became so weak I could barely lift it, and I couldn't clench my toes. It was a very good thing that I already had my cane with me during the trip (for the chronic plantar facsciitis in my foot), as I then desperately needed it to walk. I had no idea what was going on, and no way to really find out until I got home and could see my doc. After I got back, they ran all kinds of tests, did bloodwork, gave me an MRI and did a spinal tap, and they finally pinned it down to being MS. So needless to say, that diagnosis has pretty much flipped my life upside down, and even though I'm on meds for it now, my health has been going downhill, and I don't know if it will get any better, or keep going downhill. I did manage to get the feeling back in my left leg, and some strength back in my right one, but it's still weak, and I still need a crutch to walk anywhere, and I can't go very far before my legs just totally give out.

I'm also so extremely fatigued; I wake up exhausted, and even the slightest chore wipes me out, plus there's the chronic headaches, chronic insomnia, dizziness, chest pains, lower back pains (can't even bend over), knee/joint pains, hand tremors, painful spasticity, balance issues, depression, inability to focus/concentrate on/remember anything, and inability to find the right words I need to say when talking (so I usually prefer not to talk at all to anyone but my hubby, since he understands me even when I can't get the words out). And now, in the past few days, my right arm/hand--which is my drawing hand, btw--has gotten very weak and painful, burning and tingling at the slightest touch (even from hair and clothing lightly brushing against it), with shooting pains from my shoulder to my wrist, and severe "phantom itching" (deep under the skin where it can't be reached, and scratching doesn't help, since it's just damaged nerves misfiring) that keeps me awake all night, and also prevents me drawing or crafting anything. Even typing and holding objects is difficult. I don't know how long this symptom will go on, or if it's a temp thing...with MS, you can never tell. But anyway, all this (along with other pressing/stressful matters) are why I've been so quiet and unproductive lately, so please bear with me, as I really don't know when I'll be able to be creative again. :(

Take care,
~SD


Hey artist/crafter friends! :) I'm in need of someone who can sculpt me a very realistic trout skull on commission. Would anyone be up for that? The skull should look like this: www.dropbox.com/s/lxowvmlfgoqv… Also am needing a small piece of pale/baby/powder/sky-blue velvet, just enough to make a sash from, if anyone has some? Thanks in advance, and please let me know! <3

~Swan
Hubby and I had commissioned an artist to draw something to commemorate our 13th wedding anniversary in Feb, and it was recently posted here (on the 22nd), so I just wanted to show everyone...It is seriously the most gorgeous painting that anyone has ever done for us!! ;_; 

Islands by Anisis

You can also see a close-up here: 

Islands - close up by Anisis

And WIP pics over here: anisis-scrapbook.tumblr.com/..… 

It depicts our albatross and osprey chars (Rime and Lett), and illustrates one of our fave songs: 




It shows us flying over the Maltese Islands, one of our fave places in the world. :heart: Thank you all for looking (and listening to the song, if you do), and I can't thank :iconanisis: enough for doing this wonderful commission for us!! <333

~Swan & Sayh
I recently got some wonderful giftart plus a commission from :icongreenladymonster:, and just had to show you guys, because she doesn't nearly have the recognition she deserves, and she does such incredible, intricate inkwork, being a master at Art Nouveau style, which I simply adore: Lunar Diptych by GreenLadyMonster <333 Please go give her gallery some love! (She's on Weasyl, FA and Tumblr too!) :)

~SD
I've been thinking of making a few adopts...would anyone be interested at all? I can promise they'll be pretty ones! :D

Also, I put my fave pics of Selene from NFC and CFz in my Dropbox (for now...will probably make a Flickr account and move them there later, since my Dropbox is now full), but if anyone wants to see them, please go here: www.dropbox.com/sh/d9y2at8mnex…

I didn't take any of these photos myself (obviously ;) ), so all these pics are by other photographers, and most of the images have the photographer's name in the title (I think all those that don't were taken by my hubby). Anyway, I just figured it was better to put all these over there, rather than spam your inboxes with them, by uploading them all to my Scraps here. XD

Thanks! <3
~SD
(I didn't have my suit yet, so was way too shy to be interviewed...Maybe next time!) XD

By a journalist student as his thesis project:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8xV-0…

By the main TV network (professionally done):
tv.nrk.no/serie/id/kmno2000011…
www.nrk.no/magasin/frelst-av-p…

~Swan

Update: Now with subtitles! :D www.youtube.com/watch?v=QETJOF…
(At least the places where I am active/semi-active; elsewhere I am pretty much dormant.) 

www.furaffinity.net/user/swand… (active)
swandog-studio.tumblr.com/ (haven't posted any of my own art there yet, but I actively post stuff I like and that inspires me)
www.weasyl.com/profile/swandog (semi-active)
www.facebook.com/SwandogStudio (semi-active)
www.facebook.com/tiffany.xenia… (very active)

That's all for now...I am alive, and I am still arting, but things have just been going very slow. In the meantime, I sincerely hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Years! <3 *hugs to all*

~Swan
After decades of dreaming of getting a saluki (the dog half of my Swandog char, for those who don't know; I've always adored them), we're finally getting the chance to adopt one!! :D He's a 6yo, gorgeous golden blond male--a former show champion--so very sweet, affectionate, laid back and goofy, and he took to us and our younger son right away when we visited him last weekend (our older son wasn't there at the time). His owner, a friend of mine from the local saluki group, sadly has to rehome him due to health issues, but she's keeping his brother. Here's some pics of him (hope all the links work!), and I'll post more once we bring him home. :) I'm so excited I could die...this is a dream come true for me!! :D :D :D

~SD

saluki-norway.com/kjop/omplass…
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My old friend :icontyreenya: has been diagnosed with stage 5 renal failure, is currently on dialysis, and is desperately in need of a kidney donor, if anyone is type A negative or O negative, between the ages of 18 and 70, and in excellent heath (which sadly, I am not). She lives in FL. Please see her post for further details, if you can help in any way, or even just spread the word for her (and she is also accepting donations): tyreenya.deviantart.com/journa…

Thanks so much! <3
~SD
(I'm feeling very shy about posting this, so please bear with me here...)

I have always had a passion for arts and crafts, from the moment I could pick up a pencil, or work with play-dough at the age of two. I have also endured ongoing trauma throughout my life, starting in early childhood, which in turn led to several chronic illnesses, severe social anxiety, various phobias and C-PTSD (that's "Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder", for those who don't know), due to the years of trauma and abuse...and which has basically crippled my ability to work a normal job or lead a normal life. While growing up, art (along with my writing and poetry) was no longer just a passion or a hobby, but also my escape and salvation, bringing me peace of mind, body and soul amidst the chaos, abuse, stress and dysfunction. Where others might have turned to drugs, alcohol or other means of coping, my art--and the soul-healing it brought me, as well as the joy it brought to others whom I made gift art or did commissions for--was the one thing that kept me sane, and gave me the motivation I needed to survive against all odds...and eventually, even to thrive. 

What I hope to accomplish via my art is not really to make money (it was always more "a labor of love" than any kind of reliable income source anyway), but rather to inspire and encourage people in general to see and appreciate the beauty and wonder in life, even in the smallest things, and also to attempt to bring joy, peace, healing and purpose to others like me who have suffered trauma. It is my way of "paying it forward", in order to do what I can to try to balance out some of the pain, sorrow, and darkness in the world (i.e. "to brighten the little corner where I am"). I believe if we suffer ongoing pain and hardship ourselves, then we are better equipped to understand and empathize with others in their pain, and to help them endure and overcome it too. We can transform pain into light, a light that spreads out like a ripple effect, affecting the world around it, and hopefully making the world a better place. As a wise lady I know put it: "We are brilliant despite or perhaps because of the trauma we have endured, and we can attempt to transform it, like alchemy, into something valuable to each of us." 

The reason I'm posting all this is because I would like to know if anyone else out there has C-PTSD due to trauma (either current or past), and if so, has your art or other creative endeavours helped you to cope, find refuge and peace of mind, given you purpose and identity, and even helped you to heal and overcome? And if it has helped you in any way, would you be willing to tell the world about it, in order to help other victims of trauma, and encourage them to find solace in art and creativity, rather than seek an unhealthy outlet from which there may be only a downward spiral, with no return...and also to spread awareness to the general public about C-PTSD and how severely it can impact your life? If so, please contact me, because there is a new gallery specifically for artists, craftspeople and "creatives" of all kinds who suffer from C-PTSD, and they are seeking new members to showcase their works, in order to help and encourage other victims, and to teach the public. 

The wonderful lady who has started this project (the same lady I quoted above) does amazing glasswork, and has her art displayed in various RL galleries and also a museum, and she feels that the world should see and learn from our works too. So if you're genuinely interested in being a part of this, and want to help try to make a difference, please comment here or note me, and I'll note you back with further info. :) And as for me, I still have a long way to go before I'm healed from my own trauma--if ever--and the physical issues will never go way, but I can at least say that I have already come far along the path of healing (thanks to the enduring patience, love and support of my hubby and friends, who've always encouraged me to keep doing art, even when I couldn't bring myself to draw at all, and wanted to give it up), to the point where I can now try to help others heal...And I truly believe that's what life (and the gift of art) is all about, for as they say, "We can't help everyone, but one life saved at a time is all it takes to make a difference". :)

~SD

P.S. For further info about C-PSTD and trauma-related disorders, the type of people (and actions) that cause it, and all the ways it can affect you, please see the links in the description here (there are a lot, but they are well-worth reading): swandog.deviantart.com/art/Jus…
Please see Kigai-holt's post kigai-holt.deviantart.com/jour… and help him keep an eye out for his originals, which were stolen at IndyFurCon; the more people who are on the lookout for these works, the more of a possibility they might be found and returned. Thanks for reading, and please help spread the word, if you will! :)

~SD
Heading to Malta (aka King's Landing) ;) tomorrow morn, in case anyone tries to get ahold of me here, on Skype, FB, FA or wherever. I won't be much on the Net while I'm gone, as I prefer to just RELAX and be Net-free! :D But Sayh is a total geek, and can't be without his Net fix, so you can get a message to me via him (on Twitter or FB), if you need to. :)

~Swan out! :)
A beautiful Fluttershy plush is being given away by GreenTeaCreations to a random watcher! :D For more details and rules to enter the contest, please see: greenteaplushies.deviantart.co… :)

~SD
Just a little shout-out that I've got a Weasyl account now, and my hubby also: www.weasyl.com/profile/swandog and www.weasyl.com/profile/sayh :) Annnnnd it's our 10th anniversary today (the 21st)!! :D Sayh wrote the sweetest journal post about it too: www.weasyl.com/journal/9460 <3<3<3 *melts*

~SD
My heart grieves for the families of those poor, precious children and the others who died and were wounded in CT...20 children dead now, I hear. ;_; I don't even have the words to express my sorrow, nor can I hold back the tears...It wasn't all that long ago that the same thing happened here. :( *bows head in silence*

~SD
My dear friend :iconleopardwolf: is in dire need of funds to get some emergency dental work done (as you can see from this image: www.leopardwolf.com/temp/badte… , and you can only imagine the excruciating pain she is in right now because of this). If anyone can possibly help her out by donating some to her cause, it would be deeply appreciated. We've already sent her what we could, so now am just trying to help spread the word for her. More info below; thank you in advance if you can donate something, even if just a little; it all adds up...or at least please help spread the word, if you will.

Further info here (copied from her Facebook post)...

"Oral Surgery Needed - Please Read, Pass Along - Please take the time to read this post (and accompanying links) fully, as all details and methods that have already been tried are described within.

I am still trying to raise money so I can have this desperately needed oral surgery done. So far from a few people buying art and jewelry from me, and a few generous donations, I currently have $300 to put toward the procedure.

To answer all the questions I know I will get in advance and have already gotten: Yes, I have applied for state medical aid and have been waiting, and waiting, and I am still waiting and it may be another month or more before I find out if they'll approve it. I have tried reaching out and searching for local groups, charities, etc. that might be able to help and so far not had any luck. I don't have anyone else left *to ask*, that I have not already asked. The only reason I have not tried a kickstarter or gofundme or similar thing yet is because of lack of response I got from trying to ask for help before, when I was offering art and things I make in return for money offered.

I can't go to any non-hospital oral clinic to have this done because it is *not* a normal extraction. I have 3 complicated extractions that need to be done, and due to health issues (heart rate and blood pressure issues) I have no choice but to be under hospitalized monitored care for the IV-sedation. Non-hospital clinics will *not* do the work because in my situation it is potentially life threatening if they did and something went wrong.

I am unemployed and without insurance right now, my unemployment benefits ran out last month. I have asked at all the oral surgery places I have gone to trying to get this taken care of, and none of them have told me that any free clinics or dental schools exist anywhere nearby. There might be something 2hrs+ away from here, but none of them are free.

I am currently on antibiotics and narcotic pain killer because regular over the counter pain meds stopped working to relieve the pain. I tried weaning myself off the pain killer after being on the antibiotics for a few days, but as soon as it gets out of my system, the pain comes back so sharply I literally see red at points. If I take too much Vicoprofen, I am a zombie, and if I don't take enough, I can't function because of the pain. I have Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, and Dysautonomia, so I feel pain much more severely than normal people. This problem has made it difficult to eat and severely disrupted my sleep (it wakes me up from dead sleep with nerve pain throbbing), and lack of sleep is causing my other health issues to flare up.

My current balance with Mayo Clinic is at $1,151.63 from previous medical testing, surgery procedures, etc. That is what I owe them before they will allow any new procedures/testing/medical visits.

My oral surgery referral to the hospital is pending, so I am waiting to hear back on an exact price since it will be 3 difficult extractions + anesthesiology costs and hospital monitoring costs.

The original quote I was given for 2 normal extractions in non-hospital clinic was at $1,365 minimum. So now that it is 3 difficult extractions under monitored conditions and IV-sedation because of my medical conditions (heart rate and blood pressure issues), I imagine it will cost quite a bit more. Maybe twice as much, but they have not told me exact cost yet.

You can read a little more about it and see a picture of how bad it is here (this was before xrays were taken): leopardwolf.livejournal.com/29…

And another post here ( this is after xrays and oral surgeon told me I would have to be referred to hospital): leopardwolf.livejournal.com/29…

I realize people are probably doubtful that I could raise the necessary funds, which may be why hardly anyone offered (aside from the obvious not having anything to give). I don't expect anyone to shell out the full amount, I don't even expect anyone to give more than $50 if even that. I am *not* asking for a free hand out.

I want to sell my art, jewelry, sculptures, dreamcatchers, pyrography, real media paintings, etc or anything else I can make, or offer some form of gratitude art in return for help offered.

I have been trying, and trying, and trying to sell my art and everything in between so people feel like they are at least getting something in return. If 20 people spent $50 for art or whatever, that'd be $1,000 right there. Granted most people can probably only afford $20. But reverse those numbers, and if 50 people got $20 of art, still $1,000 toward the cost.

You can see examples of things I have made on my DevArt gallery: leopardwolf.deviantart.com/

You can also see some things I have for sale in my Etsy store: www.etsy.com/shop/LeopardWolf

I will be posting more finished art and buy-able things over the next few days. My PayPal Address is: leopardwolf@gmail.com

These are only examples of the many different things I can make. I am willing to try *anything* at this point, even things I might not normally do. Please feel free to ask if you'd like something made that you don't see in the gallery or shop.

I think if I can at least come up with the $1,151, I might be able to talk Mayo's billing department into letting me have the work done, and hopefully not demanding payment for the procedure up front since they know I am unemployed and without insurance.

I always feel guilty having to try and sell my art soul and then beg and borrow from friends or family for stuff like this. I feel like a burden on everyone, and I am sure people are tired of hearing about it, even if the circumstances are different this time. All the money I have had to waste on my medical issues, medical testing and procedures, and medications. I can't describe how much I hate myself and sometimes wonder if I'd be better off not existing at all.

I *greatly* appreciate anyone wishing to help, in any way you can help. Even if you cannot help financially, please take a moment to re-post this? Maybe someone out there is still looking to donate to a good cause for the holiday, and might see it.

Heartfelt thanks for taking the time to read this. Sorry if any of it was disjointed, but my brain is foggy from the combo of pain and pain meds."


Thank you for reading! <3

~SD
Then all you have to do is "like" this page: www.facebook.com/pages/Nordens…

It's a non-profit organization, and will not flood your feed with ads. You may get some insane cuteness though, as they shared things like pictures of their red panda cubs. :)

For every single "like" they get, about $20 (up from $4, previously) is donated to Nordens Ark, one of the most amazing little zoos in the world: www.nordensark.se/home-en-US/ This Swedish zoo focuses on the animals, not the visitors, and their animals are not just put on "display", but are part of a preservation program, and they all have large, natural enclosures where they can roam around freely and hide if they want to.

"Liking" that page will give a donation to their work, without costing you anything. What animals do they work with? Red pandas, snow leopards, Amur tigers, Amur leopards (only 26 of these left in the entire world!), peregrine falcons, maned wolves, European wolves, wolverines, European lynxes, European wildcats, Pallas cats, markhor goats, pudus, and Przewalski's wild horses are a few examples.

So press a "like" that actually makes a difference! The number of "likes" will be tallied on Dec 12th, so be quick, and please help spread the word! :)

Thank you! <3
~SD
I got a note from my aunt, biancalana2010, last night (who, next to my nieces, is the only close, blood family I have left in TX)...While she was out of town, spending Thanksgiving with some friends, she got a call from her roommate (who also was away with her family), who had returned to the apartment, only to find that they had been robbed of every single valuable thing they had, as well as all the nostalgic items. All the electronics, the TV, all the jewelry (including my Grandmother's jewelry, and the extremely special, one-of-a-kind dove pendant I had custom-made for my aunt, in memory of my Grandmother, who was so dear to us both: swandog.deviantart.com/art/Dov… ), plus all the old golf clubs my Grandad made (he made them for a hobby, but he was a pro at it, and did everything the old-fashioned way), and all his antique guns as well...They even took all the Christmas presents my aunt had bought for everyone, and she is elderly and disabled with Crohn's disease, and she can barely even afford to pay her bills, much less buy presents. But she always buys them anyway, making sacrifices for herself, because that's just the kind of person she is...always giving, always caring, always kind, always there for everyone, even when she doesn't have the health, energy or funds, she does it anyway. She is scared to stay at her place any longer, but can't afford to move. I just heartbroken...I don't know what to do. :( How can people be so cruel and heartless to rob a disabled, elderly lady on Thanksgiving, a wonderful lady who never harmed a single soul, and who only lives to help others? ;_; *curls up and cries*