Sunday Color— Mo’s Creature Cases: Dragon Pearls!

(quick break from Shark Week)
Old cartoon with my crummy lettering. I apologize in advance.Dragon Pearl.jpg

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Home Photos: Mantelpiece!

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I thought I would give you a peek into our living room—we collect Halloween and other creepy things, so our home is Halloween year-round. The Halloween section appearing in stores is not holiday decor for us; it’s regular home decor!
We have a small collection of beloved Rinconada animals,but they may be moving to another shelf soon. You can see them all along the front of the mantel.
At the far left is a large Jack Sparrow figure–I am normally not a big “action figure” person but Jack fits well with the Pirates of the Caribbean poster that is just out of sight–it has Jack’s skull featured in the center of it. To further the pirate theme, above the mantel is a framed map of Florida showing all the known shipwrecks around its coast. Our Rinconada parrot is at Jack’s feet¬†.
On either side of the map are two new acquisitions from Target!

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After Jack is a bottle with a skull cork labelled “Trick or Treat Potion”. It makes a delightful “PORP!” when you pull the cork out. ūüôā
Next is a crow that suffers slightly from the new craze of putting glitter on Halloween ornaments. He is looking backward at a ceramic unicorn that is also looking backward. I thought they were a nice pair.There is also a just-added winged horse figure by the Rinconada fox, adding more glitter to the spectacle.

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Right after the unicorn is a marvelous pumpkin-headed girl(I love characters with pumpkin heads) given to me recently by a cherished friend from high school.
The large doglike¬†gargoyle in the center of the mantel¬†was found at a flea market for so cheap it was insane. In front of it are two darling little Goodwill-gotten ghost figures with pumpkin heads–did I mention I love characters with pumpkin heads?–and another wee ghost I got recently at a craft fair. This ghost is from the Nippers collection.
On the other side of the gargoyle is a Japanese shisa. I found the lone shisa at a flea market; the other one must have been broken.

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Moving on down the mantel, you can see a very dynamic Headless Horseman(another favorite character of mine to collect) statue found at Marshall’s, and another pumpkinhead. The pumpkinhead’s hat wiggles around on a spring atop his head.
Behind him is a small porcelain tray that has been in my family for many years and passed on to me; on it is a fine Chinese dragon.
The green thing at the end is one of my most magnificent Goodwill finds. It seems to be a guardian figure like a foo lion or shisa, but not quite. It has almost an Atec quality to it, heightened by the green paint. On its underside is a written date of 1965.
The blue-footed booby at the very end of the mantel is a Rinconada look-alike and was so adorable it had to come home with me from another Goodwill trip. ūüôā

Dragons of Asia: The Naga!

King of Nagas, © 2015 Liz Vitale

The word¬†“Naga” comes from Sanskrit, and¬†nag¬†is still the word for¬†snake, mainly¬†the cobra, in India’s languages. It ¬†is a term used for ¬†beings associated with water and fluid energy.¬†In myths, legends, scripture and folklore, “naga”¬†¬†comprises all sorts¬†of serpent creatures, usually¬† dwelling in the ocean.¬†
All nagas are considered the offspring of the sage Kashyapa, the son of Marichi. Kashyapa is said to have had, by his twelve wives, diverse progeny that included reptiles, birds, and all sorts of other beings. They are denizens of the netherworld city called Bhogavati.

Nagas are cherished by both Hindus and Buddhists. In Hindu legend, a giant naga named Ananta serves as a coiled mattress for the god Vishnu as he sleeps and dreams the universe into creation. Another story tells of the god Krishna defeating a poisonous naga and dancing upon its head in victory.

In Tibetian Buddhism, nagas are susceptible to suffering caused by mankind’s carelessness and basic ignorance of proper conduct in nature and disrespectful actions in relation to our environment. As a result, nagas often retaliate towards humans when they behave with such ignorance.

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Miscellaneous Dragons: Dragon Artist Trading Cards!

For another birthday gift, I sent my pal Melanie some dragon artist trading cards!

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Typical western dragon that I like to draw the most, with four limbs, wings, and horns.SD DRAGON 6_15_2015 1_0002

Eastern dragon riding around on a cloud.

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This little guy is more of a wyvern, right down to his poisonous tail barb.

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I threw in a sea dragon for extra variety.SD DRAGON 6_15_2015 1_0005

And because I love it so much I drew her the Shaggy Beast Dragon.

Dragons of Asia: Japanese Dragon–Counting Toes!

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There are a few differences between Chinese Dragons and Japanese ones. Chinese mythology almost always portrays dragons as benevolent, whereas Japanese legends sometimes feature them as evil monsters similar to European dragons.

Also, in ancient China, the addition of one extra toe or claw to a painting or sculpture of a dragon could be a fatal lapse in judgement. Reason being: a dragon with five toes(or claws) was a symbol of the imperial family. Punishment was dealt on anyone of lower status who dared to decorate his clothing or household with a five-toed dragon. Therefore, dragons with four toes are more common in China, and artwork depicting a five-clawed dragon usually indicates the piece is for imperial use only.
Even though the Japanese dragon was also a symbol of imperial power,the¬†Japan’s artists¬†often¬†portrayed dragons with three toes;a Japanese dragon’s number of toes does not indicate its status.