Thursday, September 30, 2010


This is a piece that I'm sending to a friend. The quote is something another friend said while telling me a ridiculous story about a blue duck and it says "It's OK to be blue sometimes as long as you keep looking for the other colors." She's been almost finished for awhile. I have trouble completing things, I'm not sure why.

Bev, if you're reading this, she's coming at you! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


It's funny how rarely I've talked about mermaids, I guess. This is a sketchbook I got at Blick's when me and Kelly were hanging out, it was on sale for less than five bucks and I really like it. Very smooth paper. So I've been kind of a slacker with the actual mermaid drawing...I made a couple of faces, nothing special. Did a coule of gesture sketches to get a feeling for how I wanted her to look. But I get nervous when I'm supposed to "plan" a painting. I usually just start with a face and see where it goes. I've actually made mermaids in the past but they were super cheesy, which is why I asked Suzi to make this class! I wanted to see her take on mermaids, have her teach me how to make a mermaid I like. And I think I'm going to! I was sketching them while Mini was running around the park today and I kind of like what I did.

I think they look kinda good. Nothing to write home about or anything, but they have a little more personality than my girls usually do. They're usually sort of flat and boring. Progress? Possibly.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I don't know if it matters to anyone, but this is done in the BIG Moleskine sketch book. Not the HUGE one. The paper sucks, but I've been playing around in it anyway. Since it's here.

"Not with us anymore"

That's what my mom said. "Uncle John is not with us anymore." I know it's best. He was in pain. Suffering. Withering away. Why doesn't that make it any easier? How come nothing makes it easier? I have pictures. And journal pages. All kinds of stuff...but I don't feel like posting it. I just want to be alone with my memories and my grief for a couple of days...

So, here is something silly. The original picture was a blog download and I'm SO sorry I can't remember where it came from but my brain just isn't functioning properly today. The people are my friends Brenda, Ajae, Suzi, (me), and Wendy. I used the kit "Discovering America" by Snickerdoodle Designs.

It makes me smile, even today. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Uncle Lefty...

My uncle has been fighting cancer for a long time. First prostate cancer, which he beat. Now it's in his esophagus, and we were told two years ago it's terminal. But the new chemo he's on has been WORKING, the cancer shrinking. He wasn't able to eat, so they put in a stint and he was able to EAT again. But then he got pneumonia. And the wonderful chemo destroyed his immune system, and my sweet uncle is tired of fighting. His body isn't absorbing nutrition, he has no antibodies to fight the infection, and he's going to die. I want to scream that it's not fair, but what good would that do? I can't get to New Jersey to see him or be there for the family because we just can't afford it. I know how horrible that sounds to people who don't understand. People who think "That's just selfish. Skip (insert whatever you think I waste my money on here) and go to your Uncle's funeral." Guess what? We're barely paying the bills. Sure I have a savings account, there's about $300 in there. Not enough to fly two people across the country, and leaving Mini Me behind is not an option because my husband works and there is no one to watch him. Sounds like a bunch of excuses, doesn't it? To me, too. One of my cousins texted me this "Are you booking a flight here?" I texted back: "I can't." She texts: "Why?" Really? What OTHER reason could there be? I'm just kind of rambling now, but it's OK because the only people who read this thing are friends...This picture is of us in Scotland: Uncle John, HIS Uncle Jim, Aunt Marianne (Uncle John's wife), my cousin Jeanine, and me. (I know we're listed in the pic, but we're all out of order in that list). The picture came from our family reunion website (yes, our family reunion was in Scotland, we're cool like that) and we were excited that someone put us up there! This was after one cancer and before the other. He wasn't sick, or he didn't KNOW he was sick. (Or maybe we just didn't know.)

Friday, September 24, 2010


I know that to become a better artist, I have to practice. Knowing this, however, doesn't really motivate me. I want to pick my pencil up and draw what's in my head. Doesn't happen that way. I mean, for some people it totally does. Not me. Today I finally spent a few hours just practicing drawing. Most of the day, actually. These first:

I want my journals to be like comic books (I know, I know, I'm supposed to say "graphic novels"), so this is some manga practice.

Then this was made with PanPastels, and watching one of Pam Carriker's videos:
Thank god it looks better in person. I have SO MUCH trouble getting good pictures of my art. I don't understand it - I have a great camera, I get awesome pictures of my kid, I've photographed a couple of weddings, did my brother's engagement photos - but it stinks with my art. Maybe it's trying to tell me not to quit my day job? Oh, yeah...I don't have one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mermaids playing

So, I have a mermaid friend named Kelly. We "met" online a couple of months ago and in person a couple of weeks ago. At our first meeting, I convinced her she needed to get a Moleskine sketch book. Every single day I asked her if she'd used it yet and every single day she said she was going to use it tonight. Lies. So, today I went to her house and here she is, FINALLY breaking that sucker in.Ah...corruption. Fun, right? I also convinced her that she couldn't live without PanPastels and, of course, I was right. She needed them. Next we plan to conquer OIL PAINTS.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mom/Artist friends?!?

Today I took Mini to the play area and I was carrying my tie bag, this one:

And one of the moms asked me about it and we started chatting and I think I made a FRIEND! I need people to be proud. I've lived here TWO YEARS and don't have a single Minnesotan friend. Not one. We traded numbers and everything! I hope she calls first...but how long are you supposed to wait before calling? I don't know these things because I don't have any friends. So these two moms make dresses for little girls from vintage pillow cases - how cute is that? And they sell them at craft fairs and wanted to know if I sell tie bags. I said no, because I have Mini Me. Can you imagine him if I tried to get him to sit still all day? Or for ten minutes? Not so much. Maybe some day...

PS - This bag is NOT my original design, it is made using a tutorial by RickRackRuby that I found on Craftster. BUT I have her written permission to make and sell them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Can I wipe my cheeto hand on my shirt?

These are the questions I get daily. At least he asked, right? No post yesterday, it was a crazy day. I rarely have those, but yesterday was just insane. I won't bore you with the details, but I worked on this project with a friend. It was fun!

Today we made a "gingerbread" house. It's actually chocolate cookie! What could be better than that? Well, some candy and icing on top, of course.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Did Picasso's mother have this problem?

Just a couple of days after the scribbling on the wall, Mini decided coloring on the carpet was a good idea. I know what you're thinking - why did he have the markers again? Well, because I was sitting two feet away. That's right, folks, he did this RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Then got all pissed off because I made him scrub it. "I don't want to." He whined. "Am I going to do this forever?"I, of course, shouted back that I didn't want to do it, either, and that since he'd made the mess he would spend as much time as it took to clean it up. Hurray for angry parenting skills!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More pages

I guess I didn't mention (not that anyone cares) that I'm the CT leader for Ahhh Scrap so at the beginning of the month I always have a bunch of new kits to play with.

For this one I used the kit "Family Portrait" by Brown Bag Designs. I love, love, love the colors in this kit. I don't know why, I just think they go together well and I love how the yellow POPS out against the others.

And for this one I used "Fairy Lane" by Creativity with Heart. I'm not very good with super whimsical kits like this - I'm a very clean-cut kind of scrapper so these sort of kits are hard for me.

ALSO in digital scrapbooking news Pam of Digitreats is BACK! If you don't know what that means, PLEASE kit the link and visit her blog. She is my all-time favorite designer and posts AMAZING freebies and offers tons of personalizations in her store. She's just amazing and fun and she's been gone for a year and now she's back. Yay!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am an artist, whether you think so or not.

So, last week I met a mermaid who lives about a half hour from me and she said something that bothered me. She said that she doesn't feel like she deserves to use a sketchbook for her drawing practice. I understand what she means - we think of "those people" as being "real" artists and we think of ourselves as NOT artists.

You know what? There's not such thing as a real artist because that would mean that there are "fake" artists. There is no such thing as a professional artist because there is no such thing as an amateur artist. I don't make money from my art. Maybe I will someday, maybe not. It doesn't matter. That's not why I make it. It gives me pleasure. It clears the cobwebs out of my head and helps me align my thoughts when they're darting all over the place. It's for me. NO ONE ELSE has to like it or approve of it.

These are the sketches I did yesterday, trying to decide what I want my mermaid to look like. Do they deserve to be in a sketchbook? I have no idea. But where else would they go?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sick mermaid and merbaby.

We have a cold. Actually, we've both been kind of sick non-stop since he started day care at the end of July. It sort of waxes and wanes. I took Mini to the doctor (OK, it was a Minute Clinic so it was a PA, but still...) and he was on antibiotics for ten days, but he didn't really get all the way better and then he got worse and now we're sicker. Bummer, huh? Anyway, it's hard to draw and paint when I don't feel good, so today I have some scrapbook pages to show you!The kit I used for all four pages is AhhhScrap's September collab "Book Worm" and the templates are from Digilover's Addiction - CU Templates Set 1.

OK, I have a couple of journal pages, too...
Colored in grumpy, and...
"Fixed" dancing trees. I don't know if I like it any better than I did before. I'm HORRIBLE with Copic markers. I mean, really, really awful. Today I went on a cranky tear looking for my receipt to take them back, but I couldn't find it, so I tried them again. I guess I'm going to keep them (since I don't have a choice) and watch some more YouTube videos on how to use them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grumpy Mini Me...

I gotta tell you, I LOVE this drawing. His grumpy little face makes me smile.

Grumpy Mermaid.

Mini Me colored on the wall, Daddy's dresser, and his face today with his favorite blue marker. I drew the cutest grumpy Liam, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow because I'm too tired to F with it right now!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I had to take Mini Me to meet his preschool teacher today. People keep telling me that I'm going to do ridiculous things like cry on his first day. Sorry, folks, but that's not going to happen. I love the kid and all but it's only for 2.5 hours two days a week. Five hours a week? I think I can handle it. He LOVED his classroom so much he didn't want to leave and he got really excited about having a locker. And Miss Kellie assured me that the school bus WILL BE YELLOW. I wasn't sure, since it's just preschool, but she said they're all yellow. That's the cheeky one counting the lockers across the hall while we waited for the LATE people to finish up. He's obsessed with counting - did you know that vampires are supposed to be obsessed with counting? Like, they HAVE to count things. So if you're on the run from a vampire, head to the grocery store and find some rice to throw - they have to stop and count it! Real life skills, people. When the zombie apocalypse is up on us, this knowledge will be helpful.

What's the point?

So, what is the mermaid's journey? I know you're dying to know. It's a class, of course! I've been following the fabulous Suzi Blu for years and have been attending Art Skool Underground. I asked her if she would consider doing a class on mermaids and she said "Of course!" and here we are. This is the beginning of the journey...
Sorry for the bad pic, I had to take it with my iPhone, upload it to facebook, download it from facebook, and upload it here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My new markers

OK, just to let you know: I'm cheap. I am. I hate spending money, and now that we're a single-income family, I hate it even more. I buy off-brand everything, never buy myself clothes, will NOT pay $1.15 for Spaghettios at Cub when they're $0.85 at Target. That being said, I bought Copic markers. Of course, I tried cheap ones first. Really cheap. I don't even know if there was a brand name on them, but they came from Michael's and they were cheap. I took them back because they were really horrible. Crayolas would have been better. NOW, I'm wondering if I just should stick with painting and colored pencils? My marker skills SUCK. Here's my first attempt with them. It's not finished, of course, and I started with the dark peach instead of the light peach on his face (I'm an idiot, there's really no other explanation). I meant to start with the light one, but just picked up the dark one and went to town. And his hair is too light because they didn't have any browns yesterday...Anyway, here it is. Hopefully I'll post a better version of this once it's done.

Am I worthy?

That's what I think about starting a blog. No one wants to read my silly babbles. But maybe you do? We'll see, I suppose! A picture to start you off...
That's the Ugly Me. You know, the person who gives the finger in traffic and curses out the idiot neighbors who are vacuuming at three am. The one who doesn't WANT to forgive and forget, who likes holding that grudge even while it keeps me awake at night and gives me heartburn. At least she is my favorite shade of green.