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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cracking the Creative Slump

I was staring at the whiteness of the blank page and getting nowhere, so I started to ‘bounce’ my pen tip on the paper making little ‘dribs and drabs’ across the page. I looked at the marks and decided to keep going. I continued just twirling and pushing and pulling the pen around the page, only holding the very end of the pen so I had little or no control over the marks I was making.
This is sort of like the exercises Carla Sonheim has you do in her classes to loosen up. She does it with watercolors and then has you turn the page around and look at your marks from different angles to ‘see’ what is there.

I always see faces, what else!
Then I went to Tablet and tried the same thing.
I’m not saying they’re masterpieces but it got my hand moving and that was the point. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Aaaaaannnnd……..I Got Nuthin’…………

this page

left blank
(sometimes the well is dry.......)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

She Has Finally Decided Where She Wants To Be

This was a surprise anniversary gift.
My dear friend Corinne (https://www.facebook.com/corinne.inglis.9) took this picture of a flower in her garden.
Isn’t she (and I think it’s a she, don’t you?) stunning?
It was given to us back in May and after all these weeks (and many dress rehearsals in different places throughout the house) she  has finally settled on where she wants to be.
In the Studio, right where I can see her when I’m sitting in my big red comfy chair!
Thank you Corinne (& John!) for your wonderful gift!

We have the nicest friends! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Hate Llamas

Because they’re mean!
And selfish!
And they SPIT!
I know!
I have firsthand experience.

We were at the zoo. We loved the zoo, my mother and I. The parasol ants were her favorites but me; I liked the baby animals in the petting zoo. So we always saved them for last.
I would take my quarter to the machine, crank out a handful of pellets, lovingly cradle them in my little hands and make a beeline for the lambs. They were so cute and fuzzy! I couldn’t wait to feel their velvety wet noses nibbling on the food.

But the llama had different ideas.

As I was making my way towards the lambs the llama was making his way towards me.
He came up behind me, leaned his long neck over my shoulder and began to eat my pellets!

How dare he!

I tried turning so he couldn’t reach them but to no avail.
I tried to nudge him away.
He kept coming.
Finally, I gave him a great big shove and he HISSED and SPIT at me!
It scared me so much that I threw the remaining pellets at him and ran for my life!

I guess when you run away from a llama that’s his cue to chase you.
He chased me all the way across the petting zoo yard!
When I got to the gate it was locked!
I did the only thing I could…..I climbed the fence!

As I was swaying at the top of the fence, llama nipping at my ankles, I saw my mother seated outside on the bleachers with the other mothers, laughing hysterically.
I kept crying for her to come save me but apparently when your six year old daughter is being marauded by wild beasts the proper protocol is to sit and laugh with your contemporaries!

My mother loved to tell this story. The part she liked best was how my ‘little red sneakers’ were just the right size to fit in the holes of the chain link fence.

Even as an adult I don't think I ever fully forgave her.  ;)

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Did It! I Did It! I Did It!

I’ve been trying for weeks now to figure out how to capture my sketches on Tablet so I can share them here. (I know..... you’ve waiting with bated breath! LOL) Anyway……I’m fascinated with watching time lapse YouTube videos of other people’s drawings. I figure if I’m captivated by it you would be too.
Nothing too long, just a minute or so.
I thought it would be cute.
Nice simple idea.
Easy peasy.

Not so much as it turns out.

Tablet is an android device and because of this it needs to be ‘rooted’. A fancy word that means you have to go into places the normal user shouldn’t go to unlock certain settings. (I don’t recommend doing this, you risk ‘bricking’ your device or losing things you don’t want to lose.)
But I figured if I did ‘brick’ it I could just buy a new device (’walk towards the lowercase ‘i’……) that already has the capabilities to screencast without messing about in the settings. 

So I Googled…..

And downloaded and tried and failed and Googled again and tried and failed. Called on my personal tech support and tried AGAIN and failed.
Then I found a site online that would do it for you. I broke down and paid. It was worth it. The frustration level had outweighed the nominal charge.
I now had a rooted Tablet that was working.

I did some research and found a simple screencast app, downloaded it to Tablet and thought I was all set.
The app was glitchy, only captured the first few frames and then stopped, wouldn’t play back, wouldn’t capture audio…..you get the idea.

More Googling, and trying and failing (have I mentioned I don’t react well to failure?)
Turns out you need to ‘tweak’ some of the developer options….who knew?
Sooooo……..finally I had it all set. Aaaaaand……..crash!
Uninstalled, reinstalled……well you’re getting the idea!


The sketch sux but that’s not the point. The point is I DID IT! I GOT IT TO WORK!

Now I just have to polish my editing skills (and find better music!!!! LOL) 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I’ve Graduated!

I ‘self-talk’ ALL the time.
We all do.
But lately, without even noticing at first, I’ve found myself changing from the usual ‘Oh, I could never/can’t do that’ to ‘I just need more practice to do that’.
It happened quietly. 
No fanfare, no marching parades. 
Just a simple shift in my attitude.
I don’t know about you but that was a WOW moment for me.
It’s HUGE!
I’ve graduated from self doubt to self certainty (with practice, LOL.)
And yes, I know it won’t be all the time.
I know I’ll still have the doubting days but I’ll have the ‘I CAN with practice’ days more and more. 
And that's a good thing.................. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Frontier Town

Frontier Town was one of those low tech theme parks of the 1950/60’s built to look like an old western town. Sort of a Gunsmoke in the flesh.
You basically just walked around and got to see what life was like in the old west…… (Or a TV director’s idea of what life was like in the old west ….)
You could ‘drink’ at the saloon, see the outlaws in the jail and buy ‘real western’ souvenirs at the mercantile.
There were also actors dressed in period costumes interacting with the patrons.
It was kinda cool for its day.

AND there was a ‘ride’.

A working stagecoach with six horses, a driver and a guy riding shotgun.
The premise was, you got to ride along as they delivered the payroll (a bag of 'gold dust') to the mine on the outskirts of town.

So….we all climbed up into the coach.
There must have been a few too many kids because I ended up sitting on BigBrother’s lap.
Just before they closed the door the sheriff leaned in and said, “In order to fool any bandits along the way we’re going to hide the gold in here. Let’s put it between Big Brother’s legs and you can sit on it! They’ll never look there!”

The coach took off and sure enough along came the bandits, kerchiefs over faces and all!
They harassed the driver for a minute and then they came into the coach.
They pointed their guns at us and demanded the gold sack.
Nobody moved!
Not a peep out of any of us!

I remember feeling scared but determined to protect the cache.
The ‘bandits’ threatened, yelled, bullied, pressured and cajoled, pretty much anything they thought would frighten us into giving up the goods.

One by one the other kids pointed at me and said, "She has it!”
But I wasn’t about to give it up!
And with encouragement from BigBrother I denied having it.

Finally (out of frustration I assume) one of the 'bad guys' leaned in and said, “C’mon kid! It’s all just for fun; give me the bag so we can get on with the ride!”

I stood firm!
I wasn’t going to be the one who gave away the hard working miners pay!

Finally one of the hold up men turned around, pulled down his kerchief and called into the throng of spectators, “Hey! Could the mother or father of this kid come over here and tell her this is all just make believe and to give us the bag!”

My mother stepped out of the crowd, to the laughter of the onlookers, and I guess she finally got me to give it up.

Looking back, methinks I might have been a problem child………..

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This is What I Feel Like Lately.....

Bouncing back and forth from one thing to the next and getting nowhere.......

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Butterfly Effect

It goes like this:
I want to set up my desktop to shoot some pictures for the blog or my Etsy shop but I can’t because there’s too much crap on the desk.
But in order to move the crap off my desk I need to finish what the crap is supposed to become.
But I really don’t have time to do it because I’m committed elsewhere.
PLUS…..I’m burned out from the project on the desk and I really don’t want to work on it.
But I need to take pictures…….
So I stop the current project and get back to the one on the desk, grudgingly.
But the project on the desk requires drying time…..so I get involved with another project while waiting for the glue to dry…..
And then……SQUIRREL!

So here I sit, in the middle of a chaos!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Kid’s Art

I was looking through some old papers the other day and stumbled upon this.
It’s a drawing by Son1 (I’d guess he must have been first grade-ish…..?)
I’m impressed with how good it is!
It really does look just like Husband! (Me….not so much… LOL)
The way I interpret it, it depicts how he thought we met.
Husband sees me from across the street and I wave.

Not accurate but still very cute, no?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Godfather of the Neighborhood

I’ve mentioned before, we live in a neighborhood composed of permanent residents and part-timers (snow birds.)
I guess being snow birds they don’t know the ins and outs of the basic care and maintenance of Florida living.
Mostly in the lawn and garden categories.
Plus we have rules and regulations that are, to say the least, mercurial.
They change the lawn watering rules as often as I change my mind!

And then there are the rules on how and where to put your garbage cans for pickup…..
Rules for landscape debris---
How long, wide and heavy it can be----how to tie it up……on which side of the driveway it has to be placed…..
When you are allowed to fertilize your lawn and what kind of fertilizer you can use…..
What you’re allowed to plant and where……and on and on……

So a sort of ‘routine’ has developed.

The neighbors watch Husband and then do what he does.
At first we thought it was just coincidence. But it has become quite obvious that they follow his lead.
And it’s hysterical!
Husband trims the palms…..the next day the neighbors are trimming their palms.
Husband fertilizes the lawn, the next day so are they.
He weeds, they weed.
He sprays for bugs, they call the bug guy.

I have a feeling if we ever move the neighborhood will be doomed! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Selective Shopping

Growing up I had a friend whose mother used to tell us stories about her childhood.
About how she would make skirts out of flour sacks.
Coming from a more suburban upbringing I didn’t understand this rural concept.
I pictured her poor mom in burlap sack skirts!
And I always felt so sorry for her!
I didn’t get it until I started quilting and learned about the colorful flour sacks the manufacturers made in the 1930's specifically for the ladies to make clothing.

I was thinking about this as I was making the bed the other day.
(Hang in there, there is a point, I promise!)

As I was tucking in the sheets I was thinking how much I don’t like the fragrance of the fabric softener I am using.
The fact that I’m using a liquid fabric softener is odd too.
But I bought it because I like (and need) the bottle it came in.
It’s a lovely bright lime green.
And I need it to make more ‘diminutive sneakers’ for some of my creatures. 
So I find myself perusing the aisles of the grocery store looking for the right kind of packaging regardless of the product!
I wonder if the manufacturers know this…..

I think it qualifies me as a real and true artist! Don’t you?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Aging 101

Okay, so I expected the fading eyesight…..I’ve worn reading glasses for years.
I knew about ‘liver spots’. I’m not happy about them, but I was aware of them. I knew that boobs race each other to see who can droop the lowest.  I endure the creeping poundage. I was aware I’d develop aches and pains and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I did as a 22 year old.

And I accept these changes with grace and dignity (I think!)

But nobody told me about ‘things’ starting to grow on me!
Little alien ‘things’ that pop up here and there!
What the hell is THAT?
A rogue mass of cells that decided, “Hey, let’s really drive her nuts and cluster here! She’ll freak out and think she’s got melanoma! Hahahahaha!”


I mean, I’ve always been kind to you. I’ve taken care of you. I don’t expose you to extreme amounts of ultra violet light. Even though I’d love to go outside more I take you into consideration and don’t. And when I do I wear sunscreen. I keep you moisturized. I keep you scrupulously clean.
Why are you being so MEAN to me?

File under: Things Mom never told me.....

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Submission Number….???

Okay, I worked up the courage to submit my Blog for inclusion in ArtfulBlogging magazine.
I got a nice reply the next day.
The polite way of saying ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you.’
Ba Dun Tish........

Seriously, it was a nice e-mail saying they’d let me know if they’re interested.
I’m sure it’s a form letter, automatically generated, but it’s nice to know they got my query and they didn’t leave me flapping in the breeze the way it was ‘way back when’ we used snail mail for our submissions.

So I was thinking about why I want to be included in their magazine…....

1. I  never see artwork like mine in it. (Of course the reason for that might not be one I like…….LOL)

2. I’m tired of reading all the ‘I was discovered……….my blog led to my fame and fortune……….. I got a lucrative licensing deal from my blog…..I have thousands of readers…….yada, yadda, yadda… kind of stories.  For honesty’s sake I’d like to hear more stories like, I started a blog four years ago and I’ve worked my way up to almost fifty followers! Yay! Because I think that’s more the norm. I get discouraged and feel like a failure when I read all these ‘made it’ stories.

3. And yes, I have enough of an ego that I’d like to be in print. There! I said it! It’s out there! Yes, I’d like the external recognition of what I do. 

Don’t we all? 

So I'm keeping my fingers crossed....... (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014