Friday, July 31, 2009

Let's Go Shopping!


Zebedee is going to be there - and he'd really like you to come, too! I'm open for business! Woo!

I've got 8 little guys in the shop right now, and plans to add a few more over the next few days, along with some non-birds (like the irises from yesterday.) I'd really love your feedback on the store, if you have a minute. This is all kind of new to me, and I want to do the best job possible.

I've really appreciated all your wonderful comments and support over the last few weeks - you've made this new venture seem like a good idea! If you happen to be a seasoned Etsy seller, let me know, and I'll come investigate your shop and steal all your best ideas look for inspiration.

I hope you all enjoy your last day of July!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Phineas Needed a Friend

Phineas just looked so dadgum lonesome all by himself over there in etsy-land, so I thought I'd try another upload and give him a friend.

This is Basil:


He's currently residing next door to Phineas in my shop. Feel free to go say hi and give him a little love, too...he'll be joined by the rest of the flock very soon!

Only one business day until I'm officially opened!

Iris Three

Adele, Carly and Faina

I don't want you all to think I'm a complete bird brain, so I thought I'd show you this one. These lovely irises were in my backyard garden this spring, and I couldn't help but photograph and sketch them.

I'll be putting this one in the shop, along with another iris, so if you aren't a bird fan, don't feel like you won't have anything to choose from... SOLD

Happy Wednesday, everyone - I'm off to run the weekly errands and get my walking in at the same time - See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Early Bird...

...gets the crow...

I'm starting the process of opening the shop, and the best way to do that is to just upload something and see what happens...consider it a preview sale for my very best friends.

This is Phineas - he's currently residing in my Etsy shop, and looking for a good home. Please go say hi to him and give him a little love, okay?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Haiku Winner

The boys mulled over the choices, looked at me like I was nuts because it was too hard to choose, but finally decided that Dan Kent's Haiku was the winner!

Royal stroll, alone,
Snowy steps of sun on sand,
Crown of white tendrils

Congratulations, Dan! Email me your address and I'll put the sparrow sketch in the mail to you this week!

And a BIG thank you to everyone who entered this week - haiku or non-haiku - you all really know how to make a girl feel special.

And the Egret Goes To...

Random Number 20! That just happened to be Rebecca of Highland Happenings. Rebecca is an American in Scotland, and her blog features her lovely photographs of her life and travels. Congratulations, Rebecca!

I'll be back this afternoon with the winner of the Haiku contest. The boys haven't quite picked their favorite, yet!

This series of giveaways has been so much fun for me - I've loved meeting all the new folks who have stopped by, and getting to know them a little through their lovely blogs. You've all made this new adventure of mine a great deal of fun!

Tuesday through Thursday of this week, I'll be previewing a couple more paintings that will be going into the shop - then on Friday, I'll fling open the doors and pull up the shades and invite you all in for the grand opening. I do hope you'll all come by and say hello and add me to your favorite sellers and, you know, buy something!

See you this afternoon!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shadow Swinging

Shadow Swinging

Junebug swinging the shadow...

For more swinging shadow shots, visit Hey Harriet! and click on the links!


This is the last opportunity to win an original gouache and ink painting - leave a comment in the previous post before midnight on Sunday to be entered to win!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Don't Just Stand There...

Comment and win!


I'm giving away this original gouache and ink painting to one of my dear readers as a lead-up to opening my new etsy shop on NEXT FRIDAY!!. It is 5x7 on pastel paper - ready to be matted and framed and hung in your favorite corner.

Leave me a comment, in this post, any time between today (July 24, 2009) and Sunday, July 26, 2009, at midnight and I'll enter your name into the drawing one time. Easy!

But wait...there's more! Write a little something about my giveaway on your own blog or Twitter feed, link back to this post, and email me to tell me about it at diahnott at gmail dot more chance to win!

In addition, even after my pitiful attempt yesterday, if you feel like writing Haiku...please do. I'll have the boys pick their favorite and send this to the winner:


I'll stir all the entries (Haiku and non-Haiku) up in a random number generator and have it spout out a winner on Monday morning!

Don't forget to make sure that your name is included in your post!

Have a great weekend, everyone - and good luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is it Tomorrow Yet?

Because I want to give something away!

But not this...

No - this I drew at the park over the weekend while all my boys played basketball. It was much easier to draw the tree than the basketball players. It didn't move as much...

But tomorrow - that's a different story! Tomorrow I'll be giving away one more painting to promote my Etsy shop, which will open one week from tomorrow, on July 31! I've been painting like a crazy woman for the last couple of weeks, to make sure that I have enough stock to fill my cyber-shelves.

SOOOoooo...check back tomorrow for the painting and the entry procedures, which may or may not include writing Haiku.

Painting little birds
Watching them flit to and fro
It makes me happy

Okay...maybe not so much on the Haiku...

See you tomorrow, peeps!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009



This photo has nothing to do with the following post. Just thought I'd clear that up at the beginning...


Ann, over at Blue Bird Hill, gave me an award on Sunday...

and part of that award is to list seven things you may not already know about me. I'm going to try, although I feel like you all know me so well here goes:

  1. I'm a reader. I love books. I adore words. I re-read my favorite books at least once a year. I don't have a favorite genre of literature - I'll read anything and I often have two or three books going at the same time. My favorite book from this summer, so far, is Broken for You, by Stephanie Kallos. Absolutely delightful book with interesting characters and a sweet little twist. I picked it up from the bargain book rack at Border's, and it was worth three times what I paid for it. I think it's out in paperback, now.

  2. I am an email/Twitter/Facebook/Blog Reader junkie. There. I've said it. That's the first step...

  3. I don't call my husband "Dr. SmartyPants" just because he's a snazzy dresser. In fact, he's actually super smart, holds a couple of patents and has just been informed that he and his colleagues have been honored with an R&D 100 award. You can read the press release here. I'm positively bursting with pride. And as if THAT weren't enough, he's incredibly handsome and he does dishes.

  4. I'm loud. I come from a loud family. My children are loud. It's genetic. Sorry for interrupting your dinner with our excessively loud laughter. We can't help ourselves.

  5. I very rarely cry. Except at the end of Apollo 13. Every stinking time. Even though I know what's going to happen. DANG.

  6. One summer in college, I worked as the site photographer for an historical archaeological dig. I photographed every stone and brick that was discovered, which was completely non-thrilling. But I also went up in a helicopter to do the aerial site photographs which was awesome.

  7. I love to travel. Road trip? Plane trip? Train trip? Cool. I'm there. I love going to places I've never been. I love maps and transit schedules. I should have been a travel photographer.

Now, I believe, I'm supposed to tag seven

You seven...over there on the other right...yes - you...TAG.

You're it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



Black and White Warbler

I'm a bit off my game today, I think.  It's already almost 10:30 in the morning, and I'm just now thinking about what I'm going to do today.  Strange.

No reason why.  Just, um, warbling.  Warblewarblewarblewarblewarble.

Must mean it's time to head outside and get some fresh air.  Too much time spent hunched over my painting table can't be a good thing, right?  Sure - paintings get done that way, but headaches form and a little knot right between the shoulder blades pops up and your children forget that you were in the house to begin with.

So.  Yes - there are paintings to be painted, and laundry to be sorted and folded and dishes to wash and math to review, but I think we'll all take a mental health day and go to the park and see what it has to offer, and go to the library and check out some new books and maybe, just maybe, find a place to sit and eat some ice cream before noon so we can ruin our appetites.

Have a fabulously rule-breaking day, my friends!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Drum roll, please...

And the birdie goes to...


Number 23!

Here's how it comments were made, I entered the names into a spreadsheet.  Then, as links were made, I entered those names into the spreadsheet, so the numbers don't match the number of comments.  So who the heck is #23, anyway?

It is steviewren of A Little Birdie Told Me So!  Somehow, that just seems perfect, don't you think?  Actually - I guess if Ann of Blue Bird Hill had won, it would have been a little more perfect and strangely coincidental, no?  In any case, congratulations steviewren!  I hope my little bluebird finds a happy spot in your home!

Speaking of Ann, she said some very nice things about my bird paintings over at her blog, and gave me an award, which I will try to pass along tomorrow, after I've considered what seven things you lovely internet people don't already know about me.  Thank you, Ann - I really appreciate your kind words and the award!

And, just to spread some more love about the blogosphere, I have to marvel at how generous friends can be - even friends that you've never met face-to-face.  Chris Beck and I have never met in person, and yet we've really enjoyed getting to know each other through our blogs and emails and Twitter and Facebook.  I want you all to click over there and see what she's got on her blog.  Go. 

Right now - I'll wait...

How cool is that?  Yeah - I know.  Pretty DANG cool.  Thanks, Chris - you're just awesome. 

Okay - that about sums it up, except to say thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, I wish I had 43 paintings to give out, because you'd all get one.

But I don't.

I only have one more to give away.  Next Friday.

So come back, okay? 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shadow Shot Shaggy

Shadow Shot Pooch

This fellow knows how to make the most of an umbrella-cast shadow.

For more fabulously cool shadow shots, visit Hey Harriet! and clink on the links!

OBX Dreamin'

Where I Want to Be

I'm longing to be back here, sitting on the sand,

listening to the waves as they crest on the sandbar,

watching the pelicans dive,

and the dolphins slap the water with their tails.

I'm longing to feel the sun on my skin, gazing at the horizon,

hearing the delight in my sons' voices as they ride another wave,

seeing the gulls slowly inching toward my potato chip bag,

and the dogs dashing away from the encroaching water.

I'm longing to go and never leave, becoming a local,

riding my bike barefooted to the market to fill up the basket on the front,

walking into Sonny's and being greeted by name,

and knowing the names of those greeting me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free, to a Good Home

Eastern Bluebird

It's giveaway time!  Happy Friday, everyone!

I'm giving away this original gouache and ink painting to one of my dear readers as a lead-up to opening my new etsy shop on July 31.  It is 5x7 on pastel paper - ready to be matted and framed and hung in your favorite corner.

This is a different view of our friend, the bluebird.  I was so distressed to hear, yesterday, that some of you haven't seen a bluebird, I figured it must be the right thing to give away.

So here's all YOU have to do!

Leave me a comment, in this post, any time between today (July 17, 2009) and Sunday, July 19, 2009, at midnight and I'll enter your name into the drawing one time.  Easy!

But wait...there's more!  Write a little something about my giveaway on your own blog or Twitter feed, link back to this post, and email me to tell me about it at diahnott at gmail dot more chance to win! 

I'll stir all the entries up in a random number generator and have it spout out a winner on Monday morning!

Don't forget to make sure that your name is included in your post!  I had one anonymous entry with no contact or name last week, and so I couldn't add that one to the drawing. 

Have a great weekend, everyone - and good luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mr. Bluebird's on My Shoulder


I'm the kind of girl that gets really excited when I see a bluebird. Is that normal? Ever since I was a kid, I'd spy one sitting on the fence in the backyard and just get overwhelmed with the thrill of watching those cerulean-wrapped fluff-balls preen.

I guess I was an overly excited kid, because bluebirds are quite common where I live and have lived most of my life.

There's something about them, though. They are common, but they stand out in a crowd of sparrows, now don't they? They don't have to work overly hard or bully less fortunate birds for us to notice them. They just fly around, being themselves - being BLUE - and we love them for it. We love them so much, we build them houses and help them raise their young. We cry when a corn snake finds its way into their house and eats their eggs. (Actually, if you're my mom, you cry and then kill the heck out of that bad, bad corn snake. Bad snake. What can I say - she's Irish.)


This is another of the bird sketches out of my Paperchase recycled kraft paper sketchbook. I actually removed this one from the sketchbook and experimented a little with mounting it on a piece of all media board, using acrylic gel. It actually worked pretty well - flattened out all the buckling in the paper, and even though I've got another one on more refined paper in the works, I'm considering putting this one in the etsy shop when I open. I love other people's sketchbooks, and think they look really cool framed with the unfinished edges showing, so maybe other people do, too!

I'd love to hear your opinion on that...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

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Bird on a Wire


This is another sketch out of the Paperchase book. I was still experimenting here, with different inks and colors for the background, as well as for the drawing itself. I really like the layout of this one, but I'm not happy with the darker inks in the background design - I like the watermark look much better. I also am not very happy with using the sepia pen for the bird - I think I like the way the black ink plays against the strong colors of the gouache.

For sure, this birdie will be making an appearance in a finished piece - I like his saucy little attitude, balanced precariously on his wire, and his feet are fabulous...

edit: I picked up the Paperchase sketchbook at my local Border's bookstore for cheap. It's made of recycled kraft paper, wirebound, about 5 1/2 x 8 1/2. It looks similar to one of these, but it isn't exactly the same. I can't find it on the Border's website, and you can only order Paperchase online if you live in the UK.

Anyhow - the paper is plain brown, then I stamp it kind of randomly with an assortment of stamps...I like the look of the "watermark" ink best - it's basically clear ink that dries just a shade darker than whatever paper color you're working on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Progression, of Sorts

I've been toying with this idea of bird portraits for a while. I guess it started with this one back in February.

That bird led to this one, and then this one, and of course, this, this, and this. And that's not even counting all the paper collage ones. I tell you what. Just go here and have a's really ridiculous - the birds.

Linda pointed out to me that I was drawing an awful lot of birds and there were some birds and maybe I was on to something like, say, birds. So - we're officially calling it the year of the bird, at least for me.

I drew this tree swallow in my little Paperchase recycled paper sketchbook and was taken with how the gouache looked against the tinted paper...

tree swallow 1

But, I still thought it lacked something, so I tried it on some cool paper that Linda gave me...

tree swallow 2

And I pretty much hated how THAT paper handled the gouache. A lot. Big hate. But I kind of liked the background. So I went back to the brown paper and added in some watermark stamps (again...from Linda...did I mention I love Linda?) and suddenly, I started liking it...

tree swallow 3

At least a little more. I love how the white gouache pops against the brown paper. It makes me very happy.

The only drawback is that the paper is kind of thin, and tends to buckle when I apply the paint (see the top of that last picture, there?) So I've been experimenting with other papers. Right now, this is working really well...


Seems strange to find a paper specifically designed for dry media and use it for wet, but hey...we're thinking outside the box, people...

Monday, July 13, 2009

And the Winner is...


Owen - send me your snail mail and I get this posted ASAP! Congratulations!

Everyone else - I'll post a new painting on Friday for another chance to win! Be sure to come back and comment...and don't forget to bookmark my etsy shop - opening July 31!

A Bit Delayed

I'm doing this...

So the contest will have to wait a bit. I'll continue to accept entries until I get back to Arlington this evening, so jump down 2 posts and comment if you haven't already!

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shadow Shot Shell

For more great shadow shots, visit Hey Harriet! and click on the links!

Also - there are still a couple of hours left to enter to win my seagull painting - click here for more information!

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Friday!

Seagull 2

Good Friday morning, Peeps!  I'm so excited that you've come back to see me after all my teasers.  Thanks so much - you really are the best!

Here's the thing - I'm opening my Etsy shop on July 31 - a place to sell small original gouache paintings on paper, at least for now!  To gear up and spread the word, I've decided to give away one painting per week between now and then.  This week, I'm giving away the seagull painting above.  It is 5x7, gouache and ink , and is painted on pastel paper.  I painted it using a reference photo I took last week in Hatteras, NC.

So here's all YOU have to do!

Leave me a comment, in this post, any time between today (July 10, 2009) and Sunday, July 12,2009, at midnight and I'll enter your name into the drawing one time.  Easy!

But wait...there's more!  Write a little something about my giveaway on your own blog, facebook or Twitter, link back to this post, and email me to tell me about more chance to win! 

I'll throw all the names into my favorite beach hat and have one of the bugs draw for the winner on Monday.  I'll publish the winner Monday afternoon and send this little birdie on its way!

Have a fabulous weekend, my friends - I want you ALL to win...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Still playing...

...With my apps. Last one of the day. Check back tomorrow for the news and a giveaway! My drawing here was done using TypeDrawing - which Linda told me about awhile back. Too much fun!

I dedicate it to you all...

-- Post From My iPhone


I made the switch. I'm an iPhone newbie, and I just had to try out the ability to post from my phone.

So. There you go.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Taking Off

Taking off

I mentioned, back before we went to the beach, that I was up to some new creative output, and it's true...I am! I'm not quite ready to reveal it, but I didn't want you all to think I was just a tease and making stuff up. I'm just refining my process and my direction.

I will tease a little bit and let you know that it will involve a giveaway or three, but you'll have to participate in order for it to happen, and that it all leads up to something happening in August. I'll be posting something about it on Friday, so check back here!

How's that for specifics?

Monday, July 06, 2009



Oh, my people.

The only problem with going to the beach for a week is leaving. The weather was perfect all week long, the water was as clear as the Caribbean, the waves were strong but not too strong. Simply perfect.

And we capped the whole week off by watching the fireworks at the south end of Hatteras Island, sitting on the beach until the last one fizzled. Glorious.


We're back in Arlington, after an extended EXTENDED trip. Let me re-cap.

On May 17, the boys and I headed south to Knoxville. Since then, I:

  • slept in 6 houses and one hotel room
  • set foot in 7 states
  • drove 3500 miles and had 2 oil changes
  • spent 3 weeks away from Dr. SmartyPants
  • visited my in-laws, my friends, and my parents
  • swam in pools, waded in streams, and almost lost my swimsuit whilst boogie boarding
  • got blonder (thank the lord)
  • visited 2 tattoo shops, but didn't get tattooed
  • ate far too much food
  • threw up for an entire day
  • took thousands (really...I'll count later) of pictures

It's been a whirlwind, and I'm tired, but feeling so incredibly blessed to have such a fantastic husband and family and opportunity to travel and see the country. We're staying put for a day or two - to catch our breath and do some laundry and go to the park and hang out. Then we'll be back on the road for a couple of days over the weekend.

If I just had a band and a bus and thousands of screaming fans, I'd be a rock star...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Oscar Casts a Shadow

One of those photos that makes you want to run out and adopt a pound puppy.


Oscar is one of those dogs that makes you want to run out and adopt a pound puppy. That's what we did and 9 years ago today he came home to live with us.

He loves the beach - loves being off his leash and running in and out of the water - loves trying (and failing) to entice Chico to join him in the water. Chico loves the beach, too. He just doesn't love the water on the beach. And his shadow is much smaller...


For more wonderful shadow shots, visit Hey Harriet! and click on the links! (and I know it technically isn't Sunday, but I'll be on the road all day tomorrow and it's already Sunday in Australia...)

Flag Day

Flag Day, originally uploaded by diahn.

Happy Independence Day, all you Americans!

We're enjoying our last day on the beach, and planning to stay until they finish off the fireworks.

Back to reality tomorrow...

Friday, July 03, 2009

We Did It!

 The View From the Top

This is the view from the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

257 Steps.

12 stories tall.

1 gung-ho kid.

1 scared to death kid.

2 mildly acrophobic parents.

4 completely awe-struck people who were completely proud of ourselves (and especially proud of Doodlebug).  Now we just need to find us some "I survived the climb" t-shirts," and our trip will be complete!

053 055 076079

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Beach Art

I've not lifted a pencil or shuffled a piece of paper since we've been here.  I always think I will, but I never seem to manage it.  I did, however, find a little time in my sun-basking day to do a little sculpting, with the help of Junebug and Dr. SmartyPants.

J with Sand Turtle

Sand Turtle with Ocean

We're having a fantastic time.  The weather has been fabulous, the water temperature has been perfection, the children have been angels, and all is right with the world. 

Can't complain about that.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wipe Out

I'm pretty sure, having viewed this after the fact, that Dr. SmartyPants is trying to get rid of me. Be sure to listen, and I think you'll agree with me.