Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holly Cow History (Part Two)

And we're back for another exciting installment of "Holly Cow's World", the only blog all about your favorite colorful cartoon cow and her fun farm friends.  I'm Holly, as you should know by now, and this week, as promised, Dan Radcliffe is going to tell you all about the humble beginnings of ME, Holly Cow.  I now turn the blog over to Dan.

Thank you, Holly.  Dan Radcliffe here.  As Holly promised, the "History Of Holly Cow" or, as I like to think about it, how I created Holly Cow and her friends. 

My wife Denise and I have a lot of country themed decorations in our home.  Now, we have never actually lived on a farm, but we have always liked the comfortable feeling of country style decorations for the house.  Cows have been a big part of that.  Back when we lived in Goldsboro, North Carolina, these and other country-themed accessories were fairly easy to come by, so our house quickly filled with cows, pigs, chickens, and farm related decor.  And of course, being the artsy type, I had to add my own designs to that mix.

One of the earliest decorations I painted for our home was a kitchen decoration on wood, featuring a country couple in their country kitchen.  It has been featured on my Zazzle site  and has become quite popular:
Recipes From The Heart 1

No cows, but a fun design and a fun idea.  The original painting still hangs in our ktchen.  Of course, I couldn't stop with just the kitchen, we had a whole house to decorate.  On November 7, 1993, I finished up this design (I know the date because I painted it on the back):
This is "Millie Moo".  She's a wooden plaque currently displayed in the stairwell of our house, along with a pig, chicken and lamb all painted in the same style.  I liked the idea of the animals looking as if they were made of patchwork quilt material, and that idea stuck with me for a long time. 

Time passed, and eventually, I stumbled upon Zazzle.  For those of you who read and follow this blog regularly, you're probably pretty familiar with Zazzle.  Well, I played around with a lot of different designs, some worked better than others, naturally, but I knew I wanted a cartoon animal that might become a focal point of my shop.  I kept thinking back to the "Millie Moo" plaque in our house, and I thought a cow would be perfect.  I toyed around with some variations of the design, and after a few rough drafts, Holly Cow was born.  This is the first picture of Holly that I ever posted on Zazzle:

I liked the design, I put it on a few items, and it didn't take long to make a few sales.  This Holly Cow design was the first item I actually sold on Zazzle. 

Of course, I needed more designs.  Christmas themed designs seemed to be popular, so I thought I could make one work with Holly Cow.  Here's an early design that, although cute in its own way, didn't "quite" work out the way I had hoped:

Cute, but not exactly what I wanted.  She needed to be a little more animated.  I thought about it, and decided a winter scene in the snow would be fun.  This was the first time I added Holly's good friend, Oliver Duck:

I used this card design to send out to friends and relatives when I first designed it.

The characters were beginning to develop personalities.  The pigs became twin brothers, Oliver the duck became featured in more and more designs,  but it was this design that caught the attention of my customers, and soon became a favorite:

I knew this was the one I wanted to use for my signature design.  The quote has become the driving theme for my shop and my designs.  I want all of my images to convey that same feeling of fun, friendly, inspirational, upbeat positive energy that I think comes through in this design.  I hope when people visit my shop, they leave with those feelings.

Well, Holly Cow soon had a following.  One of Holly's first (and still biggest!) fans, is the multi-talented Victoria Lynn Hall,  artist, photographer, cat lover...  She has told me Holly is her "role model".  I hope Holly can continue to live up to such high praise.  Here's one of her Christmas designs I especially like:
Holiday Dragonfly Fairy Greeting Card card

A big "Thank You" for your continued support of Holly Cow and me.  :)
Another fan of our dear Holly is the talented creative force behind "rdwnggrl" over at zazzle, the one and only Stacy Lynch.  Stacy has been a fan of Holly Cow for a long time; in fact she was one of the first people ever to make any comments on my Zazzle designs.  This snowman of hers always makes me smile:

Thanks to you for being a dear sweet friend of mine and a faithful follower of Holly Cow!

Another of Holly's biggest fans is the ever-snazzy Tricia-Rennea Wilson.  Always a ray of sunshine, it would be difficult to find a sweeter soul.  For your Holiday pleasure, here's one of her perfectly delightful designs:

This one simply makes me smile.  Again, thank you for your continued support and friendship.

Another of Holly's fans is the versatile creative talent, Ruth Jamieson.  From cross-stitch masterpieces, pottery, computer art, photography, this is a talented spirit and one I'm proud to call a friend.  An example of her talent:
A long-time supporter of my work, I thank you for your encouragement and friendship.

There are simply far too many people to mention who have supported and befriended me and Holly Cow -- I wish I could list them all here, but I want all of you to know Holly and I appreciate all you do for us, your appreciation of Holly Cow, my designs, and of course your ongoing friendship. 

As 2012 approaches, I plan to continue with new Holly Cow designs, of course, and look forward to your comments and continued support of Holly Cow's World.  Thank you for reading and following!  ~Dan~

Oh, and one more shameless Zazzle plug, the 2012 Holly Cow Calendar is out there for all of your Holly Cow calendar needs:  ENJOY!
The 2012 Holly Cow and Friends Calendar calendar

Well, what more can I add to that, friends?  Thank you for reading and following my blog, thank you for your support, and until next time, this is Holly Cow for "Holly Cow's World".  Bye!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holly Cow History (Part One)

Well, HELLO once again, friends, and welcome back to "Holly Cow's World".  I'm Holly, I'm a cow, but you probably know all of that already.  It's been a long while since I sat down to write a blog post, so I'll do my best to fill you in on all of the events of the past few weeks. 

My goodness, where do I start? 

Well, the last time I wrote it was just before Halloween.  All of my friends at Holly Farms Dairy were busy planning a Halloween party.  Oliver Duck was in charge of the decorations and entertainment, and pretty much everything else.  It was a great party!  We had a lot of candy, Lilly Lamb sang for us (she has a bea-u-ti-ful voice!), and the costumes everyone wore were a lot of fun!  Walter and Ronald were hilarious!  Walter dressed as his brother Ronald, and Ronald dressed as his brother Walter... 

My little sister Belle dressed as a fairy princess, with big sparkly wings and a magic wand.  Her costume was very pretty, until...  my older brother, Terry Bull,

kind of made of mess of her costume.  Terry came to the party covered in mud and twigs and leaves and said he was dressed as a compost pile.  (That's my brother!)  Well, Terry was getting a little out of control (too much sugar from all the candy), and he started dancing all around the barn, and he kind of crashed into Belle...  and since he was covered in mud, well, you can fill in the ugly messy details. 

But all was not lost.  Terry was very sorry for ruining her pretty costume, and took her out for ice cream.  She forgave him.  He's a good brother, he just gets carried away sometimes. :) 

Thanksgiving came and went already.  It was relatively uneventful for us, pretty much business as usual.  We had a small, quiet dinner and gave thanks for the wonderful family and friendship we all share.  As it should be.

Christmas is right around the corner!  I cannot believe we're only a few weeks away from Christmas already.  Between all of the Holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, it has all started me thinking about a lot of things.  When I first started my blog, I intended to write about things that make me happy, things that make me grateful, and I focused on virtues.  In the upcoming New Year, I plan to continue with that theme, but as I was thinking about the Holidays, and also the beginning of this blog, I started to think about how everything started for.. well.... ME!  As you all know, I'm a colorful cartoon cow, and I'm featured rather prominently over at Dan Radcliffe's Zazzle Shop.  I'm the star, you know.  Well, maybe not THE star, but I'm one of them!  

Have you ever wondered how I got my start?  I asked Dan Radcliffe for a little history on my humble beginnings...   Next week, Dan Radcliffe tells all about the History Of Holly Cow.  Be sure to stop by next week and take a look.  I think you'll find it interesting.

Until next week, this is Holly.  Thanks for reading Holly Cow's World!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hooray For Halloween!

Hi there!  Welcome to another installment of "Holly Cow's World", the only blog featuring your favorite cartoon cow (that would be me!) and my friends from Holly Farms Dairy

It's been a relatively quiet month on the farm.  My little sister Belle is back in school and doing quite well this year.  Claudia has settled into a routine here on the farm, and she has taken it upon herself to try to introduce some culture to Walter and Ronald.  For the past several weeks, the boys have been "trying" to act like civilized gentlemen in order to impress Claudia, but she has been able to see through their act.  The "manners" they have been displaying are weak at best... 

Now don't misunderstand me, Walter and Ronald are model citizens.  Fine, upstanding young men.  But they are pigs, after all...  Claudia has tried to impress upon them the importance of some good old fashioned manners.   They're trying, but it's kind of an uphill battle.  In spite of Claudia's best efforts, I don't think the brothers are going to change.  At least not overnight. 

The weather is getting a little cooler, now that October is here.  It's still pretty warm, though, just not as bad as it was this summer, thank goodness!  Oliver has been busy making plans for Halloween.  He enjoys decorating the farm and getting costumes ready and of course the door-to-door candy!  I think we might just have to have a good old Halloween party on the farm this year.  I'm going to see if Oliver is up for planning one with me.  I'm not sure what kind of a costume I'll be wearing this year, but I have a few ideas...

Walter and Ronald have their costumes all planned this year.  Walter is dressing up like Ronand and Ronald is dressing up like Walter!  Silly Boys!

If you're planning a Halloween party, or if you just want to send off some special Halloween greetings, you might want to check out these fun Halloween designs by some of my talented friends:

So, this Halloween, remember to be safe, dress up in your favorite silly costume, don't go overboard on the candy, and above all, have fun!
Surrender The Earth Cookies! print
Surrender The Earth Cookies! by Dan Radcliffe
(These are the costumes Oliver and I will be wearing this year!)

Until next time, this is Holly, wishing you and yours a very Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Love Your Family


I was grounded last month.

All month.

I had to clean the barn floor all last month.

Not fun...

Well, hello everyone.  Welcome back to "Holly Cow's World", my blog about things I like, things that make me happy, and things I think will make others happy, too.

Mom and Dad were not pleased with my recent "out-of-character" behavior on this blog, referring to my little sister Belle in a very mean and negative manner.  I am sincerely sorry for calling my little sister a bad name, she didn't deserve it, and although she did hijack my blog last month, I had no right to be so mean to her.  I called her a "moo-head".  I have been asked by a lot of people what exactly is a "moo-head"?  Well, it's about the most mean and nasty thing one cow can call another.  There isn't any real English translation, so I'm not sure exactly how you human types would say it..  Rest assured, it's just plain impolite.  I will not be using those words anymore.

Well, other than cleaning the barn floor all last month (yuck!), not a lot of news from "Holly Farms" to report.  The weather is still pretty warm, although we're getting some cooler nights.  Claudia, the newest addition to our farm family, is having some trouble adjusting to the heat, but we've made a lot of suggestions to help her cope, and she's getting along fairly well.  Oliver and Triggy have been having a lot of fun watching Walter and Ronald  fawn over Claudia, each trying to outdo the other in an effort to win her affection.  Claudia likes both of them, but she's not ready to giver her heart over to either of them.  Oliver and Triggy have been "helping" them write love poems to Claudia, but I'm pretty sure she hasn't been impressed with their writing prowess...

Belle started back to school and she's doing just great.  She's a good student, a smart young lady, and all in all, a pretty good sister.  I forget that sometimes.  I'm supposed to be the big sister, and set a good example for her.  I'm going to try to do better.

Mom and Dad reminded me about all of the wonderful things that go along with being part of a family.  They told me my next blog should be about Family and Loving your sisters and brothers.  I agree.   And with that in mind, here are some excellent products to help us all remember to appreciate our family.  ENJOY!

You know, I really do appreciate my family, my farm family, my extended family, and all of you out there in my blog family.  Thank you all for being there for me, and thank you for reading "Holly Cow's World". 

Until next time, this is Holly, saying "Love Your Family!"


Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Are you Waiting For -- Christmas?

Hello!  My name is Belle.  For those of you who don't know me, I'm Holly's adorably cute little sister. 

See?  Adorably Cute!   Anyhow, out of the kindness of my heart, I'm writing Holly's blog for her this week. 

Well, actually, I'm borrowing Holly's computer and writing on this blog.  She sort of doesn't know I'm borrowing her computer, and she doesn't know I'm signed in on her blog.  But it's not like her password for her blog was really hard to figure out.  "Moo".   See?  Not too hard...

Anyhow, I'm writing on her blog this week because of the things she said on her blog last week.  For some reason that I can't understand, my big sister actually called me a "Moo-Head" on her blog for everybody in the whole universe to read!  ME!!  Her sweet, wonderful, adorable little sister!  If Mom and Dad ever see that, they'll take her computer away and probably have her doing barn floor clean-up for a month. 

Holly was actually trying to tell everyone that I'm complaining too much about doing chores.  Well, the fact of the matter is that I have to do EVERYTHING around the farm!  If I told you all of the things I have to do, you would never believe it.  Just this week, Mom actually made me clean my whole room all by myself!  And it was a complete mess!  But that wasn't my fault, I don't ever have time to keep it clean because I have to do EVERYTHING around here!  This week, I had to empty TWO, not one, but TWO trash cans on the farm.  And they were almost full.  And they were HUGE, like about a foot tall.  I honestly don't know how they think I can manage all of this.  School starts Monday!  I still have to have Mom and Dad buy school stuff for me.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

So anyhow, now that you can see how over-worked and terribly mistreated I am, you can understand that Holly was just being mean calling me a "moo-head".  I told her that she's the moo-head, and that she's not going to get anything this year for Christmas from Santa because she talks that way to her sweet innocent little sister.  She told me Christmas is a long way away and she's not worried. 

Christmas is right around the corner!  It's only FOUR MONTHS away!  I told her she better start being nicer to me.  I'm looking forward to Christmas.  I love the lights and the tree and the presents from Santa, who knows I've been extremely good this year, as always.

Here are some amazingly wonderful Christmas designs from some amazingly wonderful designers.  You can see these and other Christmas designs in all of their Zazzle shops.

This guy has a LOT of his stuff featured on Holly's blog. I wonder why?

There's another by that guy... go figure!

This mug is by one of Holly's biggest fans...

...and so is this cute cat Christmas card.
Christmas Tree Shimmer stamp
Sparkle Sparkle Sparkle! I love this one!
Snowy Snowman magnet
And a cute snowman by Stacy Lynch!
Holiday Bicycle card
These two by Tricia-rennea Wilson are simply snazzy! And they make me want waffles for some reason... :)

And the multi-talented Ruth Jamieson is responsible for these two.

So, as you can see, there's a lot to choose from for the Christmas Holidays.  I can't decide, so maybe I'll ask Santa for all of them. 

And unless Holly decides to speak nicer to me, this is what she's going to get for Christmas:

Socks and Underwear for Christmas shirt

Anyhoo-- this is Belle Cow, the adorably cute and sweet and wonderful little sister of Holly Cow, saying so long for now.  Holly might be back next week (if I don't tell Mom and Dad about the "moo-head" comment!)