.....and other random stuff......

Friday, September 22, 2017

Let’s Face It……

I suck at mixed media backgrounds.
I just can’t seem to get the hang of it…..I put one layer down and suddenly I ‘see’ something and I want to continue to bring out the character/face/critter I see! If I do get more layers down it either turns to ‘mud’ or I see MORE things trying to catch my attention.

Well….anyway…….here ya’ go Carol
I will put them in the post as soon as they are dry enough not to stick together in the envelope!  





Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

The world may be going to hell in a hand basket....but you still have to dust. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Not All Experiments Work Out…..

I wanted to see if I could (or if I liked) working in a large format. I think my mistake was doing it in watercolor.
I enlarged a pose of Simon and lightly sketched it onto a piece of watercolor paper 22” x 30”.
Then it sat on my easel…and sat and sat and sat….
I inked in his eyes, mouth and whiskers and it sat some more.
I don’t know why I was so apprehensive to add the watercolor but I was. I finally mustered up the courage to just do it…….
AAAAAAND……now you see why I was so intimidated/scared/hesitant




LOL
Husband asked “What are you going to do with it?” 
I guess I’ll cut it up and use it in collages or just use the other side of the paper for other things.
But now I know….
·       I don’t like working in a larger format in watercolor. It might be okay for abstracts but not for portraits.
·       No matter how well you stretch the paper it still warps and buckles.
·       It’s too much of a commitment to work this large. I feel like I’m wasting the ‘good’ paper.
·       It has reinforced the fact that mistakes aren’t the end of the world.
·       You learn more from a disaster than a success.
·       I could probably win an award for procrastination it sat on the easel for so long!!!!
·       Failure isn’t a catastrophe.

Not a bad lesson for the cost of one piece of paper I’d say. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Punny Monday

Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. On my desk is a work station.

(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

It Wasn’t As Bad As I Anticipated….

So, I finally succumbed and made lentil soup.

Since I’m allowed to have as many lentils as I want….snort….. I looked online for a recipe that didn’t seem too distasteful and proceeded, albeit reluctantly, to conjure up something that would be palatable.

I used my Crockpot and, as usual, I tinkered with it a bit adding some chicken broth as well as the vegetable broth. Other than that I stuck to the ingredient list and just ‘estimated’ the measurements.

You know what? It wasn’t that bad!

It’s not that I object to the taste of the lentils, it's that I have an issue with their texture. I’ve always had a texture issue with food, even as a kid. I liken eating legumes to eating wet sand. They are just so….mealy. But this was quite good and after sitting in the Crockpot all day the lentils were less ‘sandy’ than I remember.


I hope you give it a try! I found it on Chowhound



Easy Lentil Soup

Difficulty: Easy |
Total Time: 1 hr |
Makes: 6 servings


INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium celery stalk, small dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and small dice
1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1 1/4 cups lentils (any color except red), rinsed
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
2 ounces spinach leaves (about 1/2 a bunch)


INSTRUCTIONS

1.    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with several generous pinches of salt and pepper.
2.    Add the broth, tomatoes with their juices, lentils, bay leaf, and thyme and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer, about 15 minutes. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, covered, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes more.
3.       Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed, then stir in the vinegar. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. If you prefer a creamier texture, purée half of the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm Baaaack!

A great big THANK YOU to everyone who was kind enough to be worried about me and my family during the latest 'apocalypse' Irma. She barreled over us but thankfully we were spared any major damage. I am blessed to have so many friends from around the world who worry about me; you will never know how grateful I am for each and every one of you!!! 
Your heartfelt concern gave me much comfort during an anxious time! 
Thank you one and all!!!! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program.....

Depending on how all this pans out I may be off-line for a while....
Without power I don't have access to the devices I use to create this blog. 
So......depending on the circumstances there may be a lapse in posts.
 I'll try and keep in touch on other social media. 
Fingers crossed it isn't too bad for anyone. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Angel in Disguise

My paternal Grandfather used to call my mother an 'angel in disguise’......whenever my grandmother wasn’t with him!

My mother doted on him and when he visited she would make all his favorite meals (something Grandma apparently didn’t do) and he would say, “Arline, you’re an angel in disguise!” 

I think it was his way of apologizing for boycotting their wedding. I never knew what the reason was for his not going to their wedding. Maybe he thought his only son could do better. 

Time proved him wrong.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Punny Monday

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.
(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ode to the Toe

How do I love thee
Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth my SOLE can reach…….

Ummmm…..okay, let’s forget about the ode for now.

I’ve been obsessed with drawing toes/feet the last few weeks. I don’t know why.
I sit in front of TV at night and sketch feet. One page after another.
It just tickles me for some reason.

I went back into my old drawings to look and see if I’ve always had this obsession.


Maybe, just a little…lol. 

So here, for your amusement, is another slideshow of my latest tootsie sketches. (I filled another, albeit smaller, sketchbook! I’m on a roll!)



Thoughts on a Thursday

Reminiscent thoughts on a Thursday.....aka 'Lies “They” Told Me Growing Up'.......


Permanent Record: They used this one on me all through high school. “This will go on your permanent record!” Until I wised up and realized, who the hell cares and who is going to see it once I’m out of this education prison?

It was used again when I was in the workplace. My reply was always, “Go ahead! Put it on my ‘permanent record”! (adding air quotes) I would say.

Which would ultimately lead to:
You HAVE to sign this.
SNORT
I don’t HAVE to sign anything.

I actually had one supervisor who locked me in a conference room saying I couldn’t get out until I signed the ‘final warning’ she had written up on me. Great! I’ll stay here all day (I hated that job anyway, so keeping me away from it was a win for me!) Kinda backfired on her, huh? Lol

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Noah? Is That You….?

It's been raining here.....for days....
Over the weekend we had 18 1/2 inches of rain, and it's still coming down!
It's not a part of Harvey, 'just' a low parked over our heads that's refusing to move. I never knew there was so much moisture in a cloud! 

The roads have turned into rivers and lakes, dotted with cars that float by because they had the mistaken idea they could get through. 

Businesses are closed, they've closed the schools.......kids are swimming in the streets with their pool toys! 

And I swear I think I feel something growing between my toes…..

Monday, August 28, 2017

Punny Monday

In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR."
(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

LOOK WHAT I FINISHED!

TAAAA DAAAAA!

The BIG BLACK SKETCHBOOK is finally done. 
Here are a few highlights.....not ALL the pages but most of them…some are just too hideous to admit to….lol.


I also made a slideshow......Forgive the length…since this whole computer debacle I’ve lost some of my old faithful programs (that I knew how to use) and I’m learning new ones that are compatible with Windows 10…… it’s a steep learning curve!!!!
This is the first video I’ve been able to complete.
Here's the link if you're interested.

Thoughts on a Thursday

I am a Petulant Child….

I don’t know if any of you noticed but I’ve been kind of ‘hit and miss’ online lately. I haven’t been answering emails as quickly as usual. I haven’t been on Facebook ‘liking’ things as much or commenting on your blog posts. In general I haven’t been connected to the ‘internets’. 

My computer was dying a slow and painful death so Husband, in his infinite wisdom, decided he needed to ‘wipe it clean’ and upgrade it to Windows 10.

I was all for it if it meant I could get back to normal and do all the things I needed/wanted to do online.
Silly me!

After having Windows 10 for a few days now I can say with complete conviction……I DO NOT LIKE IT!

I don’t mind the ‘tiles’ and looking more like an android device. I’m used to the way my phone and Tabley look and operate, so that part is okay.

My desk top is back to the way it used to look…..except the icons are a fraction of the size they used to be (not a good thing for these old eyes.) I know I can make them bigger but it’s the principle of the thing, not to mention the bigger you make the icons the more you lose resolution in pictures and other media…..

I can’t find my programs……alphabetical or not I find them grouped in an un-intuitive way…..

Husband was tired of hearing me bitch so he put my old wallpaper back on my desktop thinking that would make me feel more comfortable and make it SEEM like it was the old PC…..NOT.

I admit it’s running faster and better than it has in some time….BUT…..it’s just not RIGHT.


AND to top it off.......I had to upgrade Photoshop. To the SUBSCRIPTION/CLOUD based version!!!!
I am  diametrically opposed to 'the cloud'. I don't trust it, I am suspicious of who is doing what with all that data and it's just a matter of time until some pimply faced hacker gets into it and exposes all our stuff to the world......not to mention that in four years of monthly payments I could have bought the program outright!!!! ARGH........

All of this makes me cranky and short tempered and just plain unhappy.


In other words, I DON’T LIKE CHANGE! I guess my age is showing….once again. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

While I Was Pen Shopping......

I also bought two new sketchbooks. 

I have learned I don't like the larger size journals nor do I like being committed to too many pages. These were perfect. 

When I got home I decided to organize the shelves with my sketchbooks and in that organizational zeal divided them into 'completed' and 'not completed'. 

I'll let you figure out which picture is which.....lol.


I wonder if there's a name for someone who compulsively collects sketchbooks......

Monday, August 21, 2017

Punny Monday

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, August 18, 2017

If One is Good…..

Sixteen are better!
Have I said before I might have a problem????
I’m in love with a new pen I got in last month’s Art Snacks box, a Staedtler 0.1 fine liner.
I love it so much I went to the store to look for another. I couldn’t find one so of course I bought sixteen others to appease my disappointment.

Hello, my name is Robin and I’m a Penophile…….(it is SO a word, I looked it up!)

Remember that nice neat pen carrier I bought? There aren't enough loops for all of them so I removed the 'pages' and dumped the extras into the bag. I can still carry them around with me, they're just not organized. 
But neither am I so it all works out....

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

The trouble with cleaning……besides being backbreaking, boring and tedious, is that once I get the house tidied up, everything put away in its rightful place and cleaned to within an inch of it’s life…..I don’t want anyone to BREATHE!

I just want to sit around and enjoy the sparkling fruits of my labor!

And yet, after I’ve rested for a bit I WANT to MAKE something! But I don’t want to take out any of my supplies and mess the house up!

Sometimes it’s hard to be me, lol.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Courage, Camille…..

Husband is a pretty brave guy….generally. In the forty some years we’ve been together nothing much strikes fear in him.

Except raccoons.

I learned this fact quite some time ago. And after I stopped laughing (…..I’m sensitive that way….) he told me why.

To earn his Eagle Boy Scout badge he and his troop had to dismantle and pack up the scout camp for the winter. It was a multiple day endeavor and they had to ‘rough it’ camping outside. No big deal for boy scouts. When the day’s work was done they snuggled into their sleeping bags and went to sleep.

Sometime during the night a curious raccoon wandered into the campsite. For some reason the raccoon thought perhaps Husband was hiding something good to eat in his sleeping bag and climbed on top of Husband’s chest to check it out, at which point Husband woke up (he has always been a VERY sound sleeper) coming face to face with the raccoon!

He did what any self respecting boy scout would do having just woken up out of a sound sleep coming face to face with a wild beast….he screamed like a girl and scrambled out of his sleeping bag.
(At this point of the story I usually have tears streaming down my cheeks I’m laughing so hard….)

Evidently this wasn’t the reaction the raccoon was expecting and it ran off into the woods…..but Husbands screams woke the other campers. I’m sure there was much laughter and teasing which is probably the core of Husbands dislike and fear of raccoons. Not so much the cute little masked creatures themselves but the humiliation of the aftermath of the experience.

Fast forward to the first night in our newly purchased house.
We’re sitting on the couch having just gotten home from working the night shift. It’s one AM and we’re having dinner…bowls of cereal because we haven’t unpacked anything yet. We’re facing the window, which has no curtain.

Suddenly we hear a scritchy scratchy noise coming from the attic. We pause and listen…..like in a bad 80’s horror movie we look up and follow the noise as it moves across the roof……
At this point my imagination is running wild! The house has been vacant for many months and in my mind I’m thinking someone has been squatting in the house and now they are looking to get away…..

We both just sit there, like a paused video, our spoons halfway to our mouths and suddenly we see IT…..a black rump slowly shimmying down the tree inches outside the window…… I elbow Husband to do something but he just sits there, paralyzed with fear.
It really does look like a human rump…but as it continues down the trunk of the tree it becomes apparent it’s just a raccoon….and an old tired, slow moving one at that!

I relax and start to laugh but Husband is still totally incapacitated! It’s the only time I have ever seen him afraid of anything.


And that’s the first time I heard the story of the ‘Nocturnal Succubus’ of his youth. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Punny Monday

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, August 11, 2017

You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby.....

On this day in history my beautiful mom was born. I miss her everyday but more on this day. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

Learnin’ to Love lentils...... 

The doctor recently told me I can eat as many lentils as I want.
Bowlfuls!
It won’t bother my blood sugar at all!

 …..yay…… 

Why can’t it ever be ‘You can eat as much chocolate as you want’……?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Look What I Made

I was fooling around with some of my 'Calder-esque' patterns and I came up with this.


I can't decide if I like it or not... 
It kind of reminds me of the old TV station's sign off signals doesn't it.....? 
(.....maybe it would make nice wrapping paper.....?)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Punny Monday

I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Wish in One Hand……

I wish…..
I could sing like Judy Collins
Paint like Monet
Sketch like Tommy Kane (or Danny Gregory, I’m not picky!)
Compose like Gershwin
Play piano like Liberace
Speak French like a Parisian
Write like Harper Lee…………

“Wish in one hand, shit in the other; see which one gets filled first,” my mother used to say.


Damn her wisdom!!!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thoughts on a Thusday

Florida-isms

Who knew when I moved here I would have to learn a whole new language. After all, I didn’t leave the country. I just moved south. I’ve lived in the south before but this is totally different than the genteel south of my youth where if you didn’t address your elders with ‘ma’am’ or ‘sir’ you were just ignored.

This is entirely different.
The dialect is totally unique. Not just the accent but the syntax of the language.

I understand the accent. I understand the different emphasis on the syllables. INsurance instead of insSURance….REcycle instead of reCYCLE.

But what are still completely baffling to me are the idioms.

Down here you don’t ‘call in sick’ to work you ‘call out sick’ or ‘call off work’. (Does that mean everyone in the office gets a day off because work was ‘called off’?)

When things are broken they ‘needs fixed’  (and if you are thinking, like I did, these are just phrases used by less educated locals, this particular one is used in a television commercial for a very large home improvement company!)

If you were born here you’re a ‘cracker’ everyone else is a ‘foreigner’. (and just for the record, in the 16 years we’ve been here I’ve only met 4 ‘crackers’!)
I was taught ‘cracker’ was a derogatory word not to be used but apparently down here it’s a source of pride.

‘Staff up’ for season is another one used in a local commercial. Our economy is heavily tourism based so a majority of jobs are seasonal. But ‘staff up’? Sounds a lot like ‘man up’ to me. In that sense “We need to ‘staff up’ for season' takes on a whole ‘nother connotation …..

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

À La Alexander Calder

I seem to be fixated on drawing these stylized hands. Adding shapes à la Alexander Calder's mobiles. Just mindless doodles in my sketchbook as I sit and listen to TV at night. It keeps my mind (and body) from wandering into the kitchen for a snack....and that's a good thing. 






Monday, July 31, 2017

Punny Monday

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sketchbook

I am bound and determined to fill up this sketchbook. Good, bad or indifferent.
I'm going to finish if it kills me (time will tell about that....lol.)
It has no theme, or style or any unifying premise other than I'M GOING TO FILL EVERY DAMN PAGE! (although I’m not holding myself to two page spreads or filling the facing pages…..I have to cut myself some slack here….)
So, to that end, I’m using it for exercises from some of the online classes I’ve taken.
In this example it was offered that the blank page might be too intimidating as a whole, to combat that, try breaking it into ‘doable’ boxes and fill each box with an unrelated sketch.
I’m not sure if it was helpful or if it put MORE pressure on me. Now I had to come up with EIGHT ideas instead of just one! 

Ah, living the artist’s life!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

The World is Spinning Out of Control

I’m not talking about politics, or Trump, or his cronies, or his cabinet…..oh wait, that’s the same thing….
Nor am I talking about the uptick in violence and intolerance on the streets or the gun problem or healthcare or global warming….

No. I’m talking about television!

Not the content…although that could be an endless rant unto itself…..no I’m talking about program times.

I live an orderly life. A place for everything and everything in its place. The same goes for TV shows. A start time and an end time.  Starting and ending either on the hour or half hour. Nice and tidy.
Now suddenly they start and end at odd moments….three minutes past the hour…..four minutes after the half hour…..what is going on here?????

I totally get the movie networks doing this. A movie has a running time and without commercials to fill in the gaps they start and end when they start and end.
BUT Network television HAS commercials. And TV shows contracted to run on Network television have strict running times to allow for said commercials and to fit into the schedule in nice, neat time slots.
Whose idea was it to change this? And to what purpose?

In order to see the ending of one show it means I miss the beginning of another on a different station (or I switch channels to see the beginning on the next program thereby sacrificing the ending of the previous one.)
Do they think I’m going to alter my viewing habits and stay on their channel just because they’ve made me miss the beginning or ending or a show I chose to watch on another channel?

Are they math impaired and can’t figure out how to time the commercials to stay within the limited time slot?
Or are they just arbitrarily trying to piss me off?

Whatever the reason, this madness must stop! 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Practice, Practice, Practice…..

So after taking my first class at Sketchbook Skool (it KILLS me to type that, lol) I joined their Facebook group.
I love seeing all the different styles people have. I saw one piece done by a fellow ‘Klassmate’ Kazuyoshi Morita and thought I’d try his style to fill up the empty space on my page of practice lettering.
This is the first spontaneous page that I’ve done in this sketchbook that I really like.

I’m even satisfied with the lettering…..
I guess practice does.....at least improve one's attempts.....lol.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Punny Monday

Knowledge knows a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

(footnote:I'm running out of good puns so I've decided to switch to PARAPROSDOKIANS.
PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Academic Question (or, Whadya’ Do Today?)

How long (and how many people) does it take to transfer data from one device to another?
ALL FRIGGIN’ DAY, that’s how long!

Periodically I back up my computer to an external hard drive. It does it automatically for most things but not for my art. So once in a while I do a manual back up.
BUT….I have never backed up Tabley. And lately he’s been having ‘hiccups’ so I thought it prudent to back up my folders.
While I was at it I thought I might as well back up the house renovation pictures from my phone because, for once in my life, I’ve actually remembered to take ‘before’ pics.
I thought I’d knock it out in about an hour……after all; it’s just a matter of copy & paste for the most part, right?

Silly me.

First you have to get your computer to recognize your device. Seems easy enough, plug in the USB cord and there ya' go! Easy peasy……except…….my PC didn’t recognize my phone….or Tabley.
And then, of course, you must take time to ‘discuss’ with Husband all the possibilities of WHY the PC doesn’t recognize either of them.
Fast forward to six o’clock in the evening…..still in PJ’s…..and finish backing up all data!

Don’t ask me how I did it….I have no idea how…I’ve been into folders and files I never knew existed and next time I need to do this I’m as screwed as I was this time.
But it’s DONE!


Except it’s left me with the sinking feeling that technology is moving faster than I am…..and I don't like that.
(using old art because I'm too tired to illustrate....)