Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Listen...Do You Smell That?


It's autumn.

And it smells delicious.


This is post number 700. 700 times I've come here, said a little something, shared an image of some sort. That's, on average, just like 4 academic years of showing up here and offering something and getting a whole lot in return.

It's like getting a BFA in blogging. No. I already have a BS and and MS, let's say it's like I have a PhD in blogging, and this has been my dissertation. All 700 pages of it.


I have a Blogtorate.

Feel free to call me Blogtor Ott.


Oh - and my Lens.Us.Together contribution is up...go check it out, along with all the other wonderful photos from this week!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Last Chance Voting

Here it is - your last chance to vote in your favorite birdie to be a print in my Etsy shop. The poll is in the sidebar - and all you have to do is comment in order to be entered to win!

1. Cawley, 2. Delmar, 3. Digby, 4. Ewan, 5. Jedediah, 6. Merle, 7. Octavius, 8. Phineas, 9. Finlay, 10. Xanthus

Your comments last week were so wonderful - I've been wracking my brain to come up with another challenge for you - it's so much better than just plain comments! SO...this week, your comment should take this form:

My favorite color is _____________________ because it reminds me ____________________.

For example: My favorite color is periwinkle blue, because it reminds me of the big box of crayons I had when I was a kid.

That's it! Get busy and break out your own Crayola box...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner


This is what I've been busy doing - juggling, juggling and then juggling. While balancing on a ball. And juggling.

Sorry I've not announced this week's winners before now - I got my braces off yesterday morning, ran 9,453 errands, then got up at 5:00 this morning to pack and head back to Knoxville so the boys wouldn't miss soccer practice.


I'm tired.

BUT...I have winners! Woot!

Forgive me - I forgot to take screen shots of the random number generator...

The winners are:

Nana Trish, who said, "I have always wanted to be independently wealthy so I could do art, write and read all the time and not have to worry about paying the bills."


Joan Gillman Smith, who said, "I have always wanted to be a hummingbird because I could travel the world migrating and life would be so sweet."

Congratulations, Ladies! Your prints of Zebedee (this week's winner) will be heading out to you very soon! Well. As long as you email your postal addresses to me at diahnott (at) gmail (dot) com!

I'll have the final poll posted on Monday - and your final chance to win a print - make sure you come back, now - you hear?


And for those of you who are watching - I've got my photo up at Lens.Us.Together - go have a look!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy


Just in case you thought I disappeared for the week, I thought I'd throw you a photo. This girl was learning the ropes of being a performing acrobat, and the joy on her face was contagious. I'm feeling a bit like this today, as after almost two years, I can see my teeth again! Yay for the end of braces! Woo!

Your comments on the poll have been fantastic! I love them all. I am thinking of putting them all together somehow just so we can enjoy them together - fantastic fantastic fantastic! There are still a few hours left before the poll closes, so if you haven't voted and commented, get busy, people!

I'm also still trying to figure out what my contribution to Lens.Us.Together will be this week. It may be a VERY late entry. We're heading back up to Arlington, VA tomorrow morning, where I'll try to buckle down and get it done...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pollin' Pollin' Pollin'

The new poll is in the sidebar, and here are the candidates for the week...

The rules are simple - vote in the poll, then come back to this post and leave a comment.

There's one catch, though.

Just so we don't get bored here in Ottworkville, I'd like for you to comment in this format:

I have always wanted to be a _________________, because then I could______________ .

Please keep your answers suitable for the under 10 set - you never know when a kid is going to lean over my shoulder and read a bit...

For example - I have always wanted to be a monkey, because then I could fold clothes with my feet, and paint with my hands, while hanging in a mango tree from my prehensile tail.

That's it - I'm only going to accept entries for comments in that format - so be creative and have a little fun with it!

You have until Thursday night at 10 pm eastern to vote and comment! The winner of the poll goes into the shop as a print, the random number generator picks two fabulous commenters to receive a print and all is right with the world.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shadow Shot Serendipity

White Dreadlocks

I had taken a couple of photos while I was out drawing yesterday. Some of them were even specifically for the purpose of using for Shadow Shot Sunday. This one, however, was just because of the character of the guy - what an interesting face, surrounded by those white dreadlocks!

When I got home and started looking through my photographs - this is the one that popped out - the one that had such amazing shadows...a bit of serendipity for a Sunday morning...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

24th WorldWide SketchCrawl...The DC Version

I headed out the door to my first ever official sketch crawl today, and met up with Christian Tribastone and Joel, whose last name I didn't catch (sorry Joel!). I've been a fan of Christian's drawing for a while, having followed his work on Urban Sketchers, so I was excited to see his sketches in person, and they did not disappoint.

We met at DuPont Circle, in northwest DC, introduced ourselves and started by drawing the fountain.

Dupont Circle Fountain

As you can clearly see in this scan, I need to clean my scanner. Good grief.

As we were drawing, a man walked up and introduced himself to us - actually at the same time Joel got there - and I thought he was one of the group that had seen the announcement on the sketch crawl site. Turns out, he was just passing through and saw us drawing and stopped to find out if we were an organized group. He's an artist - and an art professor - by the name of Chawky Frenn.

How cool - artists coming out of the woodwork. Nice.

After a while, we headed out to find something else to draw, and ended up in Lafayette Square, just north of the White House.

Andrew Jackson

I can't say that I was entirely happy with this drawing...but, I was happy that I was outside, in the sun, drawing anything at all, so there's that. I snuck in a picture of Christian drawing, too...

Christian Sketching

Joel was on the bench next to me. It's hard to sneak a photo of someone sitting right next to you.

An older man - a tourist - stopped and watched over each of our shoulder's for a bit. His wife was not quite as bold, but she did peek surreptitiously a couple of times. While he was watching over my shoulder, he chucked me on the shoulder and told me, "Michaelangelo would be proud."

Heh. He must have forgotten his glasses back at the hotel.

From there, after a bite to eat and a moment to peek through each other's sketchbooks, we headed down to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and drew a little while longer. I did manage to grab a photo of both of the guys there, with my iPhone camera.

Christian and Joel sketching

And I managed to find a couple of people slow moving enough for me to attempt...

Gallery Sculpture Garden

It was a really nice, fabulous-weather, kind of day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

May I Have the Envelope, Please...

Sorry I've left this so late, but it's been a full and fun and busy day, and I just couldn't quite find the time to get onto the computer.

If you haven't see the poll over >>>>there on the sidebar, it was a really close vote this week. Emory one by one single, solitary vote. Sooooooo....

I'm going to put prints of each (Emory and the flower girls) into the shop, and the winners this week can choose which one they want.

On to the winners...

First out of the Random Number Generator was...

Where 3 equals Vicki Holdwick

Second was...

Where 38 equals Karen Hargett!

Congratulations, ladies - send me your mailing addresses, and I'll get your prints in the mail right after October 1!

I'm going to wait to put up the next poll until Sunday night - this weekend is just too jam packed with stuff...
For example...

I'm heading out tomorrow for the 24th Worldwide Sketchcrawl, hoping to meet some local artists. We're meeting up at the fountain in DuPont Circle, for what should be a gorgeous day of sketching. Any DC area artists are welcome to meet up with us - I'll be sure to update tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wait...What Day is it Again?



I've been off all week.
I don't mean "off" as in doing nothing, but "off" as in mentally unaware of ANYTHING.

On Tuesday, while walking back from the grocery, I asked the boys what day it was. They looked at me as if I were an idiot, because, DUH, Mama, it's Tuesday. Later, we went to the Talky Beer Place, so I thought it was Wednesday, because that's when we go to the Talky Beer Place, but was still Tuesday.

Yesterday, Dr. SmartyPants brought a smarty pants friend over for dinner and I was pretty sure it was LAST Friday or something, because when he mentioned he needed to call a cab for the morning, I couldn't figure out what he was talking about as I was pretty sure he wasn't going to Texas until next week, but no. That would be today that he left to go to Texas, and this is, in fact, THIS week.


Help my children.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Marx was a Moron

I'm exhausted.

It's been a long day.

A good day, but long. Nothing traumatic - nothing chaotic - nothing profound. Just full and active and busy and, well...

You know how it goes.


We were in DC on Saturday, when the Tea Party Movement marched on Washington. And you know what - I was proud.

It doesn't matter one lick what your politics are - the fact that these people, thousands and thousands and thousands of them - were able to march, incident free, for what they believe in, is a beautiful thing.

There was little police presence - and really they were just there to make sure traffic didn't get too bogged down. There were few hecklers. People stopped and watched and read their signs and took photographs, but there was no ugliness that I saw - where I was - about halfway along their route.

The boys were curious about all these people, walking quietly with their signs held high. I tried to explain to them, about taxes and healthcare and government and party politics, but it sailed clean over their sweet little heads.

Finally I told them that it doesn't matter what it is about - not really - what matters is that you are watching people pick up their constitution - exercising their right to free speech, and doing so in a calm and peaceable manner. What makes it so wonderful to witness is not necessarily what they are saying, but the fact that they are able to say it without fear of repercussion - without fear of a police state - without fear of reprisal.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Just Not That Flexible

Puck in Blue

But this guy certainly is.

He was a dancer we came across at the Arts on Foot Festival in Penn Quarter this past Saturday. He was Puck, from A Midsummer Night's Dream, and impressed us all with his expression and his bendiness.

Oh, and his blueness.


Don't forget to vote and comment in this week's contest!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Friday...

I've got a new set of paintings to choose from this week. I'm also trying a different poll style than last week...It's over there, on the the sidebar. It's just a list of the names, so here are the pictures to remind you of each one. You can click on the names below the photo mosaic and go to the Flickr image, if you want to see a larger photo of each one...

The winner this week will be the second print to go into my Etsy pick wisely, grasshoppers...

So here's the deal this week...Vote for your favorite and leave a comment here to tell me what you chose, or what color your eyes are or what kind of snakes you like to handle, and you'll be entered into the weekly drawing for one of the prints. I'll select two winners next Friday from among the comments. Want to add to your chances?'s what you do...

  1. Leave a comment here - that's the most important thing - you're not entered into the drawing if you don't leave a comment.
  2. Friend me at my Facebook Fan page and/or Follow me here on Blogger. My friends and followers always get an extra entry!
  3. If you Twitter, use the TweetMeme button below to tweet this post. Make sure to add @diahn to the tweet, so I can find it easily to give you credit for the Tweet!
  4. Blog about the giveaway on your own blog or on Facebook. Make sure you link back here, and send me an email or mention it in your comment here, so I don't miss it!
That's it! Easy breezy, lemon squeezy. You peeps are awesome for helping me out like this!


And on to this week's winners...the random number generator spat out these numbers...

What does that mean? Well, it means that fellow snake handler, Ann of Blue Bird Hill (#7) and Elena, the French Toast Girl (#44) will be receiving a print of Abner after the 1st of October, when they go into the Etsy shop!

Congratulations Ann and Elena! Email me your snail mail addresses and I'll get you your print!

Have a spectacular weekend, my friends...I'll be having one, too!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Falling Up

Autumn Leaf III

The foliage is dropping over in the shop. Better grab 'em before the street sweepers do.


I've closed the poll - Abner was an early leader and constant front runner. He'll be inaugurated as the first print in early October. Thank you for all your commentary and contributions. I'll be letting the magic random number generator pick a couple of names tomorrow and announcing the winners of the prints!

I'd do it tonight, but I'm way too sleepy.


I do have to share a quick story, though. The boys finished their book work early today, so we ate lunch and headed over to the park to practice their mad soccer skilz before the rains started. After they got nice and sweaty, we walked to the library so I could bother ask the librarian about a book I had when I was a kid that I can't remember the name of and could she please find it anyway.

So - she's typing away on her mystical library computer device, when a lady on one of those wheelchair/scooter mobile things came zipping up to us and parked about 3 inches from our toes, effectively pinning us against the library circulation desk.

I turned and smiled at her because I'm a nice southern girl and that's what we do. We can't help it. She could have rolled over all six of our feet and I would have turned and smiled. It's in my DNA.

Anyway. She pulls up, I smile, she pins me with a piercing glare and says, "Are you all skipping school?" Not in a nice, kind of wry, cute happy way. But all serious - like she's with the truancy office. "No, Ma'am." I reply in my sweet southern way. I turned back to the librarian to offer up a pitiful clue at the book I'm looking for.

"Didn't school start already?" she says, behind my back. I turn again. "Yes, Ma'am. We're having school right now. We homeschool." I flash my big grin that says, "Everything's fine here...move along..."

"I thought school started already," she repeats. "I heard about some people who keep their kids home and act like their teachers." The tone of her voice rankled. She might as well have said she'd heard that people keep their kids home and train them to be snake handlers.

"Yes, Ma'am. It's called homeschooling. That's what we do. We're just here at the LIBRARY looking for a book to supplement the educational process. We're in school. We're not skipping school. We're in it. Right now. Here. AT THE LIBRARY." Smile. Smile. Smile.

The librarian is fighting back guffaws - I can see it behind her eyes. She continues looking for my non-existent, made-up, imaginary book.

"Don't you have to let 'them' know when you're in school or not?" Says she of the mobility scooter.

Sigh. "Yes, Ma'am. I keep it all recorded. It's all legal."

She glares at me LIKE SHE DOESN'T BELIEVE ME. Because we are so very obviously hooligan school skippers - the three of us. Me, in my capri pants and the boys in the sweet matching soccer uniforms and angelic faces. Okay - me, I could understand...I have pink hair and a nose ring, but sweetness and light over there? Please.

The librarian gets a lead and jumps up to go find the book. We follow, just to escape the prying eyes Mrs. Mobile Truant Officer. It wasn't the right book. Dang.

We did manage to get back out of the library and to the house before the police arrived to haul us off to family court. And it's a good thing, too.

We weren't quite finished with our snake-handling lesson.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sweetness and Light

Derek BW


Here's a little taste of the personalities that I deal with on a daily basis. How can you get too serious when this is what you look at every day?



I finally figured out my contribution to Lens.Us.Together:Abandoned. Go see! Go see! Go see!

Um. You know. If you want to.


And don't forget to vote for your favorite painting - I'll be closing the poll at 10 pm on Thursday night, and I'd just hate it if you didn't get your say in the matter. I take my responsibility as a blogger very seriously.

I'm all about representing the people.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Flat Out

Finlay watched Abner take off and wondered what the hurry was.


Abner has the lead in the polls, but Xanthus is making a strong showing...if you haven't voted, please do! It so interesting to see so many different opinions.


I'm featured in another Etsy Treasury, which is very exciting - if you have a chance, please click over and have a look - then click on some of the shops - it helps the treasury move up the lists and gets us more exposure...


The ladies at Lens.Us.Together are doing a brilliant job of interpreting the word of the week - "Abandoned." I'm still mulling it over and haven't quite figured out what my photo or subject is going to be...dang it.


Tomorrow is the day, I can tell it.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Laborious Day

Edgar has been searching all day for crustaceans and mollusks, laboring over his task. He'd rather eat crepes with blueberries, but they are harder to come by than sand fleas, so he resigns himself to having a few dozen before heading to the local Starbucks for a discarded mocha and a crust of lemon poppyseed bread.


We've had a busy Labor Day around here, as well. Dr. SmartyPants was off work, but working at home, and we started school - which went very well. I'm excited about our year and what wonderful things it holds. Let's just hope the good attitudes hold up all around.

The polling is going well - lots and lots of votes - and there's a pretty clear front-runner. If you haven't voted yet, please go here and do so! Let me GET YOUR ATTENTION RIGHT HERE, THOUGH...

The poll has a place for comments - which I didn't realize when I set it up - and I'm afraid there has been some confusion over where to post your comments in order to be entered to win a print.


If you've already posted in the poll comment section - don't worry about it - I'm accepting those this week, but I'll have to find another solution for the weeks to come. The main problem is that I'm not sure who everyone is in the poll comment section - it doesn't record your information like Blogger does.

SO - if you have posted in the POLL comment section, and there's no contact information - PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CHECK HERE ON FRIDAY FOR THE WINNER. I'll post the winning names, along with their comments, so you can tell who you are.

Sorry for the mishap - my bad - mea culpa and all that. We'll work it out.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday...

...the motion picture...

The way the leaves danced across the pavement was too captivating for a simple photograph.

You just have to experience the movement.

So - while this doesn't exactly qualify as a shot - I'm posting it anyway. I hope you'll understand.

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

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fridays in September


First things first...this is new in the shop!

Now - on to the Friday thing. I mentioned, earlier this week, that I was going to need everyone's help today. Thank you all for volunteering. You're so very kind! I promise you'll be rewarded for your time and effort.

I'd like to put some prints in my Etsy shop, but I'd like for you all to choose which paintings you think will make the best prints. So - I'm adding a poll below, and I'd like for each of you to choose your favorite of the five for this week.

I'll be adding a different group of five every Friday in September, and with the results, I'll add the winner of each week into the shop as a limited edition print.

Easy peasy, right?

Right. As a reward for this difficult task, I'll be picking two names each week from the comments and they'll each receive a print of the winning painting! That's right...TWO names. Four weeks. THAT'S EIGHT PRINTS, PEOPLE.

I'm feeling a bit giddy.

All prints will be mailed out to the winners during the first week of October.

So - make your selection in the poll below, comment IN THIS POST about your selection, or what you ate for breakfast, or how you feel about the treatment of puffins by polar bears, and your name goes into the magical random number generator.

If you happen to be a member of my Facebook Fan Page, you get an extra entry...just like that! You can join now, you know - just click right here and then click on the "Become a Fan" button. If you're already a fan - you don't have to do a thing (except comment on this post). I know who you are...

I'll close the poll on Thursday, September 10, at 10 pm Eastern Time, and announce the winners on Friday when I post the new poll.

(By the way - larger images of all of these can be found at my Flickr site...)

The poll is closed, peeps! Thanks for voting!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Where the Magic Happens

I spent the afternoon rearranging and reorganizing our studio/schoolroom/office. I do this about once a month, it seems, and I never seem to make any real progress. It looks good for a week or so and then it just all falls apart.

It may be the fact that I have a studio/schoolroom/office in a 9x9 space.

It may be the fact that I am organizationally challenged.

No. It's the space. And the desk. And everything except for me.

In any case - it looks nice now. I'm hopeful that it can stay that way through the end of the first week of school.

The computer space, AND my painting space. Unless I can't make that work. I think we may be desk shopping this weekend.

The school space. Much better.
For now.

Give it a week.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow! I've got a new challenge coming up and I need your help. There will be rewards...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Berried in Paperwork


A new ACEO in the shop!

I'm getting ready to start school here at Ottwork Academy, and the paperwork is piled high on my combination art desk/school desk. It's a mess.

In fact, it's so much of a mess that I walked upstairs, took one look, and considered public school for a moment.

Then I had a vision of a day without my monkeys and I curled up in a ball on the couch and cried the rest of the day.

Okay. That's just a big fat lie. It was only for 10 minutes, and I'm not flexible enough to curl up in a ball.


And HEY - this is exciting. I'm now a contributor to a lovely bloggy project called Lens.Us.Together . It's hosted by Char, and is a weekly themed photography blog. Go have a look, put it on your blogroll, make it your friend - there are some really talented photographers in the group - you may even recognize a few of them! Thanks for letting me play, Char!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September Steps Up


And you all know what happens then, don't you?

In the shop.


Keep an eye here this week - I'll be asking you all for some input on the next items to go in the shop, and there will be a giveaway to go along with it!

The input will come in the form of a poll that will be posted on Friday, and the giveaway will completely depend on your participation. Hey - what fun's a party if I'm doing all the talking, right?