Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Halloween Hijinx


The boys' outfits...completed. D was Ben 10, and J was Spock. Spock's hair was my knitting project for the week. Junebug's hair is very blonde, and completely non-Vulcan, so we had to come up with another solution. I had a pattern for a Hallowig, and I modified it heavily to have sweet Spockish sideburns. I tried to get one finished for myself, but just couldn't quite get it finished - the modification of Spock's hair took up too much time.

I was so close, though...just needed to finish the top. I'll have it for next year, I guess.

But for this year - this was my Halloween costume.


I love my new lime-green galoshes.

Hope you and your goblins had a great time...

p.s. these pictures were taken with my new iphone app, QuadCamera. Way cool fun, peeps.


I Vant to Suck Your Pumpkin Juice

I'll be back with costume pictures later - and with the Halloween knitting project - assuming I actually finish it before tricks and treats commence.

And I finally posted my version of this week's topic at Lens Us Together. Nothing like waiting until the last minute....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blind Contour Friday - Week 3

Blind Contour Pears

I cannot even believe how dirty my scanner is. Guess I'll be cleaning THAT today.
Welcome to Blind Contour Friday! I hope you all broke out your pens and paper and played along this week, or that you'll play sometime before next Friday. All you have to do is create your own blind contour drawing, post it on your blog and leave your name and a link to your post in the Mr. Linky there at the bottom of this post.

If you're having trouble thinking of something to draw, you can check this great list of ideas and just pick one. Relax, pick up your pen and S L O W down while you observe what you are drawing carefully.

Please make sure you link your post back here so we can spread the word and add more and more players. If you use Twitter or Facebook, feel free to post it there, as well!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Etsy Excavations

Still digging up some artists for you over at Etsy...I hope you're all enjoying this series. I know I am!
Today, we're talking to Rosa Murillo, an artist who grew up in Mexico, but currently lives in North Carolina. Her enchanting collages can't help but capture your eye and imagination. She's got a new downloadable print in her Etsy shop, just in time for Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations.

Tell us about yourself - how did you become an artist? What's your background in art?

When I was in architecture school I found that the part of the projects I enjoyed the most were the ones that needed illustrations, model making and design, that's when I discovered that there was an art bug I wanted to explore but life took me in another direction for a few years, until I decided to explore painting as a new experiment and fell in love with it.

Lazarus Heart is one of my favorites. What is the story behind that assemblage? What does it say to you?

This piece came together one day after I was reading the Lazarus story in the bible. I started to imagine how it could feel to be dead and then alive again. The things you might have seen! The drawing is made in a thick plastic sheet that I colored with pencils and ink. There's a collage attached to the back of the plastic and also to the front, so it shows some transparency and layers. It talks to me about past, present, future, the layers in your life.

I love how you incorporate found objects and paper ephemera into your artwork. What is your creative process like? Do you let the ephemera guide the painting, or do you look for particular objects to try and finish out a piece you are working on?

Sometimes when I am working on the studio, if I get lucky, the pieces start to come together on their own effortlessly, finding the place they want to inhabit in the painting. Sometimes a cigar box helps me contain these types of collages, otherwise they would spread bigger and bigger.

I usually start with the general idea and palette I want to work in and I will start to go through all the drawers and find pieces that might go together on that palette or theme. Then I will try to find a place to assemble them like a piece of wood, a box, a canvas. It depends what feels right. The way I work is very intuitive and if the piece doesn't feel right I have to keep trying different things until it does. I usually end writing something and drawing little people who will live there.

Tell us about Found Art Tuesday - how did it start, where has it taken you?

The Found Art Tuesday project started as a commitment on my part to keep motivated by making something creative every week and sharing it with someone who wasn't expecting to find art like this sitting on a park bench somewhere, and to hopefully make an impact on them. Maybe inspiring them to make something creative as well, or just to make them smile. I've started projects like this before but didn't stick with them too long because I struggled to find the time. Documenting the pieces in my website helped me stick to it, I felt this way there was a bigger commitment because this time, people were watching!

I like to end the interview with a list of favorites:

Who is your favorite artist?

My 6 yr. old daughter. she amazes me with her creativity! I also like to see the art made by architects. They have such an interesting perspective.

What is your favorite thing to listen to while you paint?

Sting and U2, back to back, over and over.

What is your favorite object you've ever used in a painting or assemblage?

An old document from Mexico from 1887. It is a title for a property, handwritten in brown ink, with notary seals and official signatures. It's amazing!

What is your favorite book and/or author?

You mean, besides everything Harry Potter? Well, one book that will always have a special place in my heart is "The Neverending Story" by Michael Ende. This book taught me that anything you dream can be possible.

Thanks, Rosa! That was fun - I really appreciate you taking the time to answer all my question! It's interesting - I just finished re-reading "The Neverending Story" recently, and started reading it to my boys - it's a classic tale, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sweet Mercy

D. Handsome.

I need to lock this boy up.

If he ever gets a chance to look at a girl other than his mama like this, I'll have to beat them off with sticks.

J. Sunny.

And then there's this one.

I once watched a little girl run into a post because she couldn't quit looking at this one. Seriously. He was only 6 at the time. Now he's 8. It's only getting worse.

Thankfully, he's oblivious. Far more interested in sword fights and Bakugan and using the Force.

That first one up there, though? NOT oblivious. Not-quite-ten-years-old.

Loves the ladies.

Help me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fair Dinkum

Sketched from taxidermic specimen. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

This is as far as I could get while wandering the museum with the boys a couple of weeks ago. They bounce like pinballs through the mammal hall, shouting "LOOK" at the peak of their volumes.

I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail last night. I laughed until I snorted.

Then I marveled at Terry Gilliam's illustrations/animations and was in awe all over again at the pure genius behind them.
I'm feeling very random and disjointed this week. Can you tell? I hope to pull it together very soon. I don't like it.

Not one bit.
I did laundry every day last week.

Every. Stinking. Day.

Today, I walked down to the laundry area, and couldn't find the washing machine because of all the dirty laundry.

I keep looking around for Rod Serling.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bird Brain

Mockingbird Skull

It's Monday.

Nuff said.
There's still time to play along with the blind contour drawings - they are so much fun, people - even if you don't draw, you should try it - you'll be amazed at how clearly you begin to see shapes and silhouettes and the ins and outs of things. Scrap paper, napkins, the Sunday paper - doesn't matter what you use - just grab a pen, an object to draw and get at it...then link it up for us! Go to the Friday post to see what to do.

Did you know it's almost Halloween? Where the heck to does the time go? I've been busy knitting in preparation.

Knitting for Halloween?


Something I've never knitted before, although I hope to make two this week.

If it works, I'll show you a picture.

If it doesn't.


You'll just have to deal with the disappointment.

I went to the eye doctor today. It was interesting. I'm very near-sighted.

But I'm over 40, so I'm starting to get a little far-sighted.

And they are canceling each other out.

So my vision is improving.

I'm like Benjamin Button.

Have a great week, peeps...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shadows of Fall

Shadows of Fall

Who says shadows have to be dark?

For more shimmering shadows, head over to HeyHarriet! and click on the links!

A Farcical Aquatic Ceremony

Tellico Plains Water Tower

I have no soccer pictures today, because 20 minutes in, the skies opened and the deluge did begin.

So I offer you a water tower, instead.

It's the best I could do.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blind Contour Friday - Week 2

Welcome back, my friends! I hope you all stopped and took a little time this week to really observe the world around you and that you all found something to look at so intensely, you could draw it without looking at your paper...

I did. I actually made a few blind contour drawings this week, but this one just seemed to take me into that lovely right brained, time-lapse zone, so I decided it was the one I would share. It's the old standby - the model I always have with me...

Blind Contour Hand

With a little prodding from Connie, I decided to give you all a link that I've found very useful, especially when I am just feeling uninspired about what, exactly, to draw. The Everyday Matters Yahoo group is a virtual cornucopia of creativity. There are people from all walks of life, artistic skill levels and backgrounds there, and they share their art and their desire to make art a part of, well, every day. The group was inspired by the book, Everyday Matters, by Danny Gregory, which you should all read if you haven't yet.

Anyway - they've had a list of prompts going on for 244 weeks, now, and they are all listed at Karen Winters's blog, The Creative Journey. Use it as a jumping off point to help decide what to draw, but don't feel like you have to go in order or anything - just find a subject and go for it.

I'd like to give a special thanks to everyone who played along last week - you all were wonderful! I hope you don't mind, but I've put together a little snippet of a mosaic of them...

Bottom Row: Zelma, Connie, Florence, Me

Remember to add the link to your Blind Contour Friday post to Mr. Linky down there, so we can all come see your fabulous drawing, and please remember to link your post back here, so others can find us and play along.

And - while it isn't required that you leave me a comment, please feel free to - I heart comments...

Really. I heart comments.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wow. I Mean Really. Wow.

Nature. Wow.

People. This is straight out of the camera. No alteration.

Can you believe these colors actually exist in nature?


Etsy Excavations

Okay. I've been selling over at Etsy for a couple of months now, and I've noticed something really interesting.

It's a great place, stuffed to the rafters with talented artists and craftspeople, but it is HUGE and a little daunting if you just want to find some new art. So I have taken it upon myself to find some for you. Just art from visual artists - painters and photographers - because honestly?

They're buried kind of deeply over there...
Layla Luna stocks her shop, Rowdy Studios, with such charming sketches of birds, I want to spend all my money there and hang one on every wall of my house. She is obviously my kindred spirit, as she explores the vast and fascinating diversity of birds. She paints other things, as well, which you can see at her website.

You have the best alliterative name ever. Is there a story behind it? Were your parents poets?

Thanks! I just got lucky. My hippie parents named me after the song "Layla" by Eric Clapton and I married into the Luna name. How could you turn down a name like that? It solidified that my husband was the "one"!

What is your artistic story? How did you get started, and what's the driving force behind Rowdy Studios?

One of the biggest defining elements of my childhood was my time spent at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas. I took art classes there beginning when I was 10 years old until I graduated high school. After graduating I went straight into college as an art major but got lost along the way. It wasn't until I was 30, that I began school again and graduated from Arizona State University in the fall of 2008 with a BFA in Painting. Rowdy Studios is my creative home. It encompasses every creative morsel that I feel compelled to complete. Its my baby.

I can see from your shop that you are as birdie-obsessed as I am. What's your inspiration for your artwork?

I recently began volunteering at Liberty Wildlife, a non-profit avian rehab center here in Phoenix which has been my latest inspiration. To be honest, I am still trying to figure out my "bird" conection with every piece of artwork.

Tell us about your dogs - my readers love dogs. I saw in your profile on blogger that they are straight from heaven...

My pups, Kona and Papa, are pound puppies that my husband and I instantly feel in love with. We often discuss how much they have enhanced our lives. They are spoiled rotten and deserve every hug!

I like to end the interview with a list of favorites:
a. Who is your favorite artist?
Right now it is Nicolai Fechin but it is forever changing.
b. What is your favorite thing to listen to while you paint?
The Breeders, David Bowie, Willie Nelson...depends on the mood.
c. What is your favorite bird?
Tough one. Either the Shoebill or Kiwi.
d. What is your favorite book and/or author?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Thanks, Layla! You have a captivating style that really grabs my eye, and an energy in your paintings that is so engaging.

For more information about Layla, visit her website, her blog, or just go directly to her shop...'cause you know you gotta have some of her sketches, people.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Whirlwind


Today just blew by in a flurry of hurry and I feel like the wind has been stripped from my sails, now that it is the end of the day. It was a good day - just wrapped in activity, sunshine, soccer, friends and Incans.


It was one of those days where I saw the potential of my children to become amazingly good men.


We went to the park to practice soccer, burn off energy and enjoy the beautiful weather. When the soccer drills were done, we walked over to the playground to cool down and chill out. A very small 4 year old boy watched them coming, wide eyed with admiration for the big boys. He watched, completely enamored, as they battled - D'Artagnian and Porthos against the cardinal's guards.

They moved off the playground to the open field, still battling, when the boy joined them and asked to play. D, looking like a 15 year old next to him, put his hand on the boy's shoulder and invited him in. They decided to play some more soccer instead of continuing the hand-to-hand combat, which I thought was very wise. Together, my boys showed the little one the rules - you can't use your hands, kick with the side of the foot, follow through...all the things we had been drilling earlier, I heard them repeat (they DO listen!).

I was so taken with how they played with this boy - a boy half the age of J. They didn't talk down to him, as if he were a baby, but they were very careful of his size and abilities. When he kicked the ball, I heard them call encouragements to him. "Good Job!" "That's it!" "Yes!" When he didn't understand something, or did something they felt was incorrect, they gently walked him through it, demonstrating how to do it correctly and then giving him another turn.

After a while, they all sat down together and talked like old friends. I chatted with the boy's grandfather - a man who had immigrated from the Philippines in 1966. He and his wife moved from California to DC, to be close to their grandchildren and help raise them while their son and his wife work. He was so impressed with the boys and their patience. He was amazed at how closely his grandson listened to them and followed their direction. He said that the boy never listened to the kids his own age like that. There's something about a couple of boys twice your own size that commands respect, I guess.

When we finally left the park, we all smiled at each other and hoped to meet again - the boys were as distressed at parting from the 4 year old as he was at our departure. As we walked away, J looked up at me and said, "Mama! We made a new friend today. His name is Andy." And I was impressed all over again. They didn't just take pity on a 4 year old kid today.

They made a friend of one.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pining for the Fjords

pencil in storyboard Moleskine

Please tell me that some Monty Python fans visit here sometimes and that you know the skit that today's post title comes from. That would make me so happy.

Almost as happy as not having ended the first sentence with a preposition.

Well, good morning to you all - it's the second day in a row here without rain, although there are a few too many clouds in the sky and that makes me nervous.

I'm getting a bit antsy anyway, because it seems to me that lately I've not found any time to sit down and bust out a drawing or a painting. Really. There just aren't enough hours in the day for the me to get all the stuff done I want to get done, I need to get done AND fiddle with all my time-wasting activities.

That just doesn't seem fair.

I've been trying to multi-task by playing ChainRxn while supervising homeschooling activities, but the boys have started pelting me with used kleenex to signal their displeasure, so that's not working. Then, I tried to play Guitar Rock 2 on my iPhone while cooking supper, but, well, some things are just better not combined.


I guess I'll just have to wean myself off the electronics for a week or two and see if I can get some creative space.

Or I could ditch the kids.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

This is what Oscar looks like in a non-blind-contour drawing. I did both this drawing, and the one I posted for Blind Contour Friday on the same evening. It never fails to amaze me how warming up with a blind contour drawing can so dramatically assist in a drawing like this - and the comparison is always so much fun.

There is still plenty of time to participate in the Blind Contour Friday challenge - or you can start planning for this coming Friday and play along then!


Rumor has it that the sun is going to make an appearance today...I'm very hopeful that it will, indeed. The rain of the past week has sapped my energy and made me want to hibernate for the next few months and I'm just not really ready for that, yet.

If it does come out, I have a feeling that our reading will be taking place in a sunny patch at the park, rather than in the schoolroom...

Fingers crossed....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shadow Shot Bridge

Shadow Shot Bridge

A family portrait, as seen from above.

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


Speaking of links - don't forget to link to your blind contour drawing for this week's challenge - just add your name and the link to your blind contour post to the Mr. Linky widget.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blind Contour Friday - Week 1

Oscar BC

Welcome to my first hosting of a Blind Contour Friday! I'm hoping I made the Mr.Linky thing right, and that I'm not stepping on anyone's meme toes and that you'll join in and that you think I'm pretty. play along and have fun.

All you have to do is create your own blind contour drawing and post it on your site, use Mr. Linky to link to the post, and leave a comment here. Make sure and visit the sites of everyone participating and spread a little blind contour comment love, okay? Oh - and don't worry about it if you don't quite get it ready on FRIDAY. We're not exactly Type A around here...we just want to see your drawings. You can post it anytime between now and NEXT Friday!

Oh, and link your post back here to help spread the word about it!

Thanks go play!

Etsy Excavations

Okay. I've been selling over at Etsy for a couple of months now, and I've noticed something really interesting.

It's a great place, stuffed to the rafters with talented artists and craftspeople, but it is HUGE and a little daunting if you just want to find some new art. So I have taken it upon myself to find some for you. Just art from visual artists - painters and photographers - because honestly?

They're buried kind of deeply over there...

Octavia Clark's Etsy shop, DreambyDay, is filled to the brim with delightfully offbeat photographs of everything from salt shakers to ferris wheels. She has a great sense of space in her photographs - even in the small, tight still life images she captures.

1. Your photos are really wonderful - unique and a little quirky (and I mean that in the very best way possible...I adore quirky). How long have you been working in photography, and how did you get started?
Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! Quirky might be one of the best compliments (in my opinion) a girl can get. Who doesn't love quirky? Sure romantic, whimsical, and cute are all great, but quirky things really stick in the memory. I started in photography when I was a really young kid. My mom gave me one of those really cheap 35mm cameras that she got as a free gift for buying gas or something like that. At first, she actually bought film for it as well. After going through 5 rolls in a single day, she realized what a monster she'd unleashed and rationed the film supply. This did not sit with me and of course, when I was out of film for the week I started seeing all sorts of amazing things I wanted to take pictures of. To help the withdrawals, I'd hold the viewfinder up at what I wanted to capture, and then draw it with crayons. Needless to say, it's been an addiction for a long, long time.

2. Okay - I'm an equipment geek. What kind of camera do you use?
Okay, this is going to be an embarrassing answer, and I could always just say that I use a Canon rebel XSi, but that wouldn't be really be honest. I only just made that leap a few weeks ago, (I still don't know what half the functions are, but I'm learning!). I've used everything from disposable cameras to ridiculously expensive pocket digitals to pawn-shop vintage finds (that didn't always work). Some of the best pictures I've taken were on the crappiest of cameras it seems like. Right now my a-list bag contains my beginners DSLR, a pocket samsung digital, and a Diana clone. I still have an original Diana from a pawn-shop some 15 years ago, but I'm a little worried about her health lately, so the Edelweiss goes on adventures with me now :)

3.What does your creative process look like? Do you head out with a story in mind, or do you let the subjects you encounter guide you?
It's very rare that I head out with an actual idea in process. I think I've only tried that once, and ended up with one picture of corn before getting distracted by a cat on the sidewalk, lol!. I'm one of those quiet people that absorb and assimilate everything around them, so usually when I encounter something that could become a photograph, I study it for a little while, or sometimes even leave and mull it over, until the story and details evolve. I, unfortunately, am not one of the lucky people who can shoot from the hip and come out with art instantly, and I've missed a lot of wonderful once-in-a-lifetime shots because of it, but it's something I'm working on!

4. Tell us about your shop name, DreambyDay - what's the story behind the name?
DreambyDay is a snippet of a quote by Edgar Allen Poe.

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night"

That quote has several meaning for me. Firstly, I'm a consummate day-dreamer. I can't even begin to get into the strange and wonderful places my mind wanders to (sometimes when I really should be concentrating on something else). I'm also terribly nostalgic about everything. Secondly, I didn't really grow up in an atmosphere that encouraged art. Sure my Mom was always supportive of my creative side, and hung all the drawings I gave her on the fridge, but there was always that linger question of "What are you going to do for a REAL job?" I hate that question, as I'm sure just about any other artist can relate to. Even to this day from the people closest to me do I get the "real job" vibe. Whatever happened to following your dreams? I always thought people were supposed to encourage that. I tried the "real job" for a long time and felt like a zombie every day. I'm meant to be an artist, and darn-it, I'm going to be. I think, in the end, why I picked that was in defiance of every "real job" nay-sayer I encountered. I refuse to wait for life to happen to me, I'm going to live the dream I've wanted to be and I'm not going to regret a single minute of it!
5. Let's talk favorites!
Who is your favorite artist/photographer?
Favorite artist is without a doubt Van Gogh. I know that seems like a cookie-cutter answer, but when I saw a print of "Starry Night" as a very young child, that was the moment I knew I was an artist. I finally got to see the actual painting in New York last year and it was like a religious experience for me. I actually felt light-headed and had to sit down afterward.
My favorite photographer is Sally Mann. Her work is so bizarre and uncomfortable, but you just can't look away. I love how down-trodden the environments appear, and yet how it seems strangely glamorous at the same time. I have an obsession with that kind of twisted and creepy, yet instantly recognizable as American feel (I like to call it 'Macabre Americana'), sort of like if Tom Waits songs suddenly became photographs.
What is your favorite location to photograph?
This might sound weird, but my favorite location is my Grandmother's house. She's always been a pack-rat and after 80+ years, she's amassed an amazing collection of odd things. There's no rhyme, reason, or theme to any of it. She just loves to collect, and I love her for it. On the same end table you could find everything from a bobble-head baseball player, to a functioning miniature harpsichord. From pince nez's to extremely sinister salt and pepper shakers, I could spend years photographing her home and still find something new every time I turned around.
What is your favorite cat name?
Oh wow. This is a toughy. I try to give my cats unique names in honor of their majesty and own special personalities, but the one that stuck with me the longest was what my favorite librarian named her cat; Betty. For the longest time, with the way she talked about her, I thought Betty was a neighbor or relative or friend. I laughed and laughed when I discovered Betty as a cat, and even more when the bespectacled, cardigan-wearing accomplice of my librarian morphed into an old-lady cat.
What is your favorite book and/or author?
Oh good, an easy one! Hemingway is my favorite author. For having such an uncomplicated, manly way of writing, his descriptive powers are amazing. He also had the cheekiest, subtle humor, and an amazing talent for making you invested in the characters very early in the book. A close second favorite is a tie between Terry Pratchett and Ray Bradbury.

Favorite book, funnily enough, isn't a Hemingway. It's called "To Reign in Hell" by Stephen Brust. It's sweeping and beautiful, funny and sad. I definitely recommend it, but don't read the jacket description! When I did, I thought "enh" and let the book sit on my shelf for almost a year. It's amazing, and just might change your life for a couple of days ;)
Thanks for being my guinea pig, Octavia!

Find out more about Octavia at her blog, and go pick yourself out one of her lovely photographs - you certainly won't regret it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dissatisfaction is the Mother of Progress

Pine and Bokeh

I have a problem. It's a terrible thing, and I'm only going to talk about it here in the hopes that it might help some of my faithful readers. I don't want you to suffer as I have suffered. I don't want you to feel the pain that I have felt.

See. Here's the thing. I'm never happy with the stuff I have. It doesn't matter what it is...there's always something better out there. My latest obsession has been with cameras and lenses.

About three years ago, I got my first DSLR camera - an Olympus E-500. I'd had an Olympus digital camera that was fatally injured in a terrible accident, so I was very comfortable with the brand. At first, I loved the new camera. Everything was rosy and fine.

Then I saw this. And my heart leapt with joy. For this...THIS was all I really needed to make my life complete. Yes! It's the answer to everything! A new, bigger, better, faster camera!

The only real problem? Uhhh. The $900 price tag just for the body.


SO. I started thinking. Maybe I haven't really squeezed everything I can out of my Olympus. Perhaps my dissatisfaction is not a hardware issue, but a problem with the user. So I've been doing a lot of reading. And reading and then I read some stuff.

Then I stopped switching out lenses and decided that I was going to use just one lens for at least a month straight, and really figure out how to make the best pictures I possible could with just that one lens.

And you know what? Somehow that sweet Nikon doesn't seem quite so necessary anymore...

(although i think I'll leave it on my Christmas list)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Children are Nuts

pencil and gouache in small storyboard Moleskine

This is a little sketch I did while we were camping last week. I don't know the name of the plant, but it has the most amazingly purply-pink berries that stain little boy's hands as soon as they touch them.


Today was one of those weird days that felt like Monday but wasn't so I was kind of confused and a little deranged and I totally forgot about spelling, but at least I didn't cry.

Like my children did.

Good grief. Is it possible for boys under 10 to have PMS?


But then we broke out The Beatles: Rock Band.

What can be wrong with the world when your 9 year old son is singing "Lucy in the Sky with Diiiiiiiimonds" at the top of his voice and your 8 year old is pounding away on the drums like Ringo?


Absolutely nothing. That's what.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Random Rambling Remarks

Rambling Random Remarks

Remarkable Random Ramblings

Or something like that...


Hello, peeps. It's Monday. It's a new week. It's a new blog post. I have things to say, and no category in which to contain them. Follow along, if you can...


First - coolness - if you are a geeky font lover like me. Create your own font, based on your handwriting, by going to Font Capture. Super easy - and free - what could be better? While it obviously differs from my actual handwriting - it's still pretty cool...


Second - Does anyone besides me remember Blind Contour Fridays? I always enjoyed them so much, and they kind of faded away a couple of years ago, but I'm thinking of reviving them. I tried to contact Niff and Sutter, who used to host them, but never heard back, so I'm taking that as consent. If, after a while, they have a problem with it, they can let me know and I'll cease and desist, but until then...let's give it a go, shall we?

Here's the thing - I'll get it all set up and ready for you and then on Friday, you come here and add your link to Mr. Linky (assuming I figure out how it works) and post your drawing on your own blog, then we all get together and ooh and ahh over our amazingness. Here's a little blind contour lesson set up for those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about. So...between now and Friday...stretch those drawing muscles out a bit and make a blind contour drawing of...whatever you want. Your hand...your face...your car...someone else's car...a leaf...whatever...I'm leaving it totally up to you.

Oh, dang. I just ran out of ellipses. I can no longer punctuate my post.


And C. Or Three. Or Third. Whatever.

I'd very much like to start a regular, weekly Etsy feature on this blog. I'm constantly amazed at the depth of talent on Etsy, and would love to play even a small part in getting some of those fabulous and gifted artists a little more recognition. I'm planning on starting on Thursday, with an artist that many of you know, but maybe some of you don't - so be sure to check back here to see who it is!

If you have an Etsy shop that you'd like to have featured, please send me an email at diahnott (at) gmail (dot) com with working links to your shop and to your blog, if you have one.




Oh, look! Something shiny! Er. Furry!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Aww, Shucks...


You people are too sweet.

I wasn't really intending to beg for compliments on anything but my pretty, newly straightened teeth, but ya'll know how to treat a girl right, don't you?

We decided to hang out another day in Knoxville, rather than rushing back to Arlington, so I'm out and about trying to snag free wifi wherever I can.

Thank you very much, McAlister's.

Next week I'll be putting prints in my Etsy shop - my dear, sweet, lovely Dr. SmartyPants bought me a FANTASTIC printer that prints in archival inks on archival paper and honestly? They may look better than the originals. I mailed out all the winners' prints yesterday, so I'm very hopeful that they will add end up in the right boxes soon and unbent.

I've been honored with a feature on My Craft Corner this week. That's a newish social networking site for artists and crafters of all sorts - so if you fall into that category, head on over there and sign up to meet some really wonderful creative people! Even if you don't fall into that category, head over and say hi.

I'm also featured in a treasury at Etsy - head over there and do a little shopping, why don't you? You just can't go wrong with handmade stuff, peeps - it's really lovely!

Last, but most definitely not least, I managed to finally get my contribution to Lens.Us.Together up - if you haven't checked out the wonderful photography going on over there, please do so now - you won't be sorry. Become a follower, too - so you don't miss a thing!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Autumn Arrival

I've been out in the woods, which makes me very happy, and since you all asked, I thought I'd show you my pretty teeth...

A Distinct Lack of Braces
photo by Derek Ott

Please understand that I've been camping, I'm not wearing any makeup and I'm over 40. LOOK AT THE TEETH...THE TEETH...

We had a great time, the weather cooperated and the leaves are just beginning to turn - I'll write more tomorrow, when I'm back in Arlington. My connection here at Panera is about to time out...

Until then...


Friday, October 02, 2009

The Eighth Son

Octavius was the big winner in the poll, and Mr. Cachet and Julie King are each going to find a print of him in their mailboxes soon! Congratulations to you both - please email me your postal addresses, and I'll get them in the mail!



I added some gouache to the leaf on kraft paper - it wrinkled the paper a bit, but I love how the gouache takes to this paper - how it pops off that brown background and just sings. I hope you like it, too...


The boys and I are heading off to the Museum of Natural History now - we've been studying all about mammals, and we're going to spend some time in the hall of mammals, studying them up close and personally. We'll be carrying our sketchbooks with us, so I'm hopeful that we'll manage a drawing or two. It's so much easier than drawing at the zoo...I can't ever get the lions to stand quite that still...


Thursday, October 01, 2009


Leaf on craft paper

I'm channeling Karen Blados today, with her magnificent lines...I'm still considering adding color to this - I think it will look fantastic against the kraft paper.

We're getting ready to go camping next week. We haven't been since the spring, and the forest and lake are calling our hearts. That means I'll be away from blogging for almost an entire week. I hope I can take it.

I will be photographing things like crazy and sketching like mad, getting ready for November's bloggy fun. I'm considering NaNoWriMo again this year, even after my crash and burn last year. This year, I won't have a major move looming over my head, and although there will be travel, as there always is in November, I am pondering the possibility...

I'll be back tomorrow with the final winners of September's print giveaway - don't forget to vote in the poll and comment in the post if you haven't already. You have until 10 tonight.