Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Suck Monday - Watercolor Pages

This Monday SUCKED. I mean, it just all-around was yuck-o-rama. Just like You Suck Monday is supposed to be, so I blogged this over there, too. 

Here is what I worked on, art-wise. I saw this great magazine article about this journal this chick keeps (I have no idea what her name is, if I find out, I'll let you know) and with a little prodding from Suzi, I decided to try it. Got a new journal - Strathmore Mixed Media XL. Not good for watercolors, as I learned on Monday.

Not only did the pages warp and buckle, the paints don't act like they're supposed to on NON watercolor paper. They just don't. Sure, you can watercolor in your journal if you really want to, but the paints just sort of soak into the paper and don't mix and blend like they're supposed to. Still, I pressed on - we're just talking background, first layer, type of stuff. It might still be just fine.

I tried a different type of paper. My beloved Stonehenge. But I didn't like how wide the (special, $8 artist low-tack) tape was that I was using. So I tried some thinner tape that I have for quilting. And I like the size of the lines a LOT better. However, it didn't quite pull away from the paper like I'd hoped.

This was the best side of the day. However, it is the reverse of the one above and ended up in the trash. Sigh.

Here was my setup - all the watercolors I could find (OK, I actually have another set or two...).

I'm not giving up on this, I'm totally determined to figure it out! Maybe I'll go back and figure out who the artist is and she can help me!! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Heading over to deliver presents and Whoopie Pies!  :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Printer Sucks!!

Oh, no, not MY printer. That's YOU saying that. I LOVE my printer and I've had it since Christmas of 2006 and it has outlasted many computers. My parents got it for me, along with my first copy of Photoshop Elements, just before Mini Me was born. That way I could print the pictures I took of him. It's an HP 4300 series (I think) and takes six different ink cartridges and whatever. If you really wanna know, I'll find out the details. But that's not the point. Here's the point:

You see the quality difference between these two pictures? You see it? The one on the left (top and bottom) is shitty. Extra shitty, really. The one on the right? Not so shitty. Now, it's NOT a great picture because I had to get it off the Fan HQ website. It's my son giving Denard Spann (a player for the Twins) "five", while Denard holds out a dollar (to entice Liam into giving him five). Tim and Liam know Denard outside of baseball a little, but still - this cracks me up.

(Point, Goog, what's the point??) These two pictures (one picture, really) are printed from the EXACT same printer, using the EXACT same settings both times. The quality difference is THE PAPER. That's right, people. I bet your printer doesn't suck at all. I bet you've been paying $5 for a ream of shitty ass paper and then blaming your printer for giving you shitty ass results.

If you were going to pay Wal-Mart (or CVS or who the fuck ever) to print you an 8x10 of a picture, you'd GLADLY give them five or ten bucks for it. So why do you whine about buying printer ink? Do you know how many 8x10s you can get with $50 of printer ink? WAY MORE than if you pay someone else to print them. The paper that I use is called Royal Brights and I buy it at Sam's Club for about $10. My printer takes six ink cartridges and they're about $10 each, except the black, which is $20. Yellow ALWAYS runs out the fastest. I don't know why. It just does. The left paper is "regular" printer paper. What happened here was: I had the good paper on top of the crappy paper and they got caught together and the pic accidentally printed on the crappy paper. Blah. But I thought it would be a good way for people to see how to get what you really want out of something you already have.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Middle

Suzi gave me a couple of books yesterday for inspiration and one of them is a book that the lady has all these questions that are supposed to make you "think" about stuff. For me, thinking is a simple process. I would MUCH RATHER think about something that has an answer. A problem with a solution - I might not know what the solution IS, but it's there and I can find it.

One of the questions reads: What is in between our inside and our outside? The answer comes to me instantly: our middle. Done. Now, if this person was before me, asking me this question, here is where she would start backpedaling. "No, ok, but - " or "All right, but - " or "That's not really what I meant" or on and on and on. People make up these things and inside their own head they sound so complicated. Then they put them out there in the world and they're like "Look how complicated I am. Look at the type of stuff I think up. Aren't I inspiring?"

And my own friends agree and think these people are inspiring. And they expect me to find this inspirational and "get me thinking" about what is between my inside and my outside. Well, I know the answer. My middle.

But I have something for you all to debate amongst yourselves. In New York, that little ball of fried dough that comes out of the middle of the donut, we call a "munchkin". That's what they are a Dunkin' Donuts. For us, it's like when you call a copy a "xerox" or a tissue a "kleenex". Here and in Florida, they call it a donut hole. Now, before you go talking smack about New Yorkers, I want you to think about this: holes are not balls. You can have a ball-shaped hole. But a hole, by definition, is an empty space. A hollowed place in something solid. An empty pit. Look it up.

On that note, here is a stamp I carved for our Soul Garden chatters yesterday:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

3Ds Max Scene

This is my final for my 3D modeling class! Everything in this picture is something I made! (OK, except the windows, the program sort of does those for you!) The fence, the guy, the stone, the sword, the bloody head, the castle, the table, the glasses sitting on it. I also found and added all the materials, including the guy's clothes. It might not look like much, but it's 10 weeks worth of work and I'm pretty proud of it! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bloody head!!

I know, I know, I know, I know, I know - it's creepy. It's SUPPOSED to be creepy! I worked on this for HOURS at school last Friday, my teacher tried to help me with it, and we just could NOT make it work. But I FIGURED IT OUT! And then I rewarded myself with a frappuccino and a scone. I totally deserved it!

PS Since I was totally vague with saying what I was trying to make work, it was just the blood the head has been done for a couple of weeks, and YES it has eyeballs, they just weren't mapping correctly on my laptop. They'll be fine once I bring him back to school. JEEZ, I'm excited! I'll show you the whole scene when I'm finished!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I AM good enough

and so are YOU.

One of the girls in Suzi's newest class (Soul Garden) mentioned how she had done something at work that made her feel stupid and how she felt like everyone was talking about her and what she'd done. I've been there. Totally there. Paranoid. I know I'm paranoid, and I know that people really aren't that interested in me - certainly not interested enough to talk about. I also know that IN OUR MINDS we accuse people of doing things we would never do. Would you really laugh at a coworker for making a mistake? No. They're probably not laughing at you, either.

So I have a challenge. You ready? What I'd like is for you (yes, you) to reverse this thinking. Instead of shrugging off the good things you do every day and ruminating on the bad things, celebrate the good things. Today I did NOT lock myself out of my apartment!! Today I did NOT spill tea when I poured it!! Today I did NOT burn the cupcakes I baked!! Today I did NOT forget to brush my teeth!! Fuck yeah! I'm on a freaking roll!!

Wanna hear about the rest of my day? Mini and I walked to Target (it's 1.5 miles) and I didn't wear a bra. I ate a good breakfast but a crappy lunch. I printed a bunch of pictures to put around the huge canvas if the twins stadium I bought for my husband's birthday. I made a few journal cards. I let my computer die. I called my brother to check on my sister-in-law. I put one friend in touch with another who needed her. It's nearly 5pm and I haven't showered. I have homework that isn't done, and finals I haven't studied for, but I'm going to spend some time painting with my son instead - because it makes me happy and him happy. I'm AWESOME. Why do I let myself forget that? Why do I let SOMEONE ELSE decide that I'm not awesome? Why on earth would I believe them??

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sweet Digi scraps

A new Creative Team! You know how much I love digital scrapbooking, right? Well, I applied for a position with Sweet Digi Scraps and I got accepted to be a member of her CT! Yay me! I don't "officially" start until September 1st, but Liz said I could start playing right away, so I did!

So, this kit is called Summer Daze and you can get it here and here. Aren't the colors awesome??

I take zillions of pictures of my kid. Like all moms, I think he's the cutest thing ever. Look at his little face!! 

He's riding his bike here, that's why he's wearing a helmet. I was trying to get a picture of him riding right toward me, but he kept swerving because he was afraid he was going to run me over. I'm always torn about these kinds of pictures - to scrap or not to scrap? It's not an event. I think it was a Tuesday night. But he's too cute not to scrap!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hubby's Birthday!

We made him a card. Believe it or not, Liam did most of the work. He drew the cake and painted the whole front. (I outlined the cake in purple marker.) He even stamped most of the letters for "happy birthday". I added the little owl stamp because Tim totally has a thing for owls. He's obsessed with Hedwig.

He wrote this - see the serifs on the "Y"s?? It's because I showed him the Y stamp and it had serifs! 

I added this stamp to the back, it's a stamp I carved of Liam. I need to gouge out the face a little more, huh? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Naked Friend Time

Ok, so I like to take baths...not to get clean or anything, I know I'm soaking in my own filth in there. But I like to read in the tub. I like to read on the couch, too. And in bed. And at school during dinner break. But the tub is warm and watery and relaxing. Sometimes me and Kelly will text that one of us is getting in the tub and the other will say "Good idea! Me, too!" We call it "Naked Friend Time" and we soak in our respective tubs together and text and read and stuff. Is it odd?  Last night, hubby intercepted her text to me and blushed like we were talking about sex or something! Hubby was completely mortified. I think it's fun. It's not like we're naked on camera or anything. I really wanted a cookie and Kelly said to take it with me in the tub, so I did.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I couldn't help it!!

I might need a pen intervention. I had to buy them, I couldn't help it. I LOVE InkJoy pens and these were only $2.49 at Office Max. I needed them. They called out to me. At least I write with my zillion pens, right? Doesn't that count for something? I was just noticing last night that my blueberry scented one is halfway empty. (Not half full because it started out full, and half is gone, so it's half empty.) I can't even kick myself for spending money unnecessarily because they were less than $3! I love them!! Do I have a problem?

Look at it! Don't you want it??

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Birthday Watercolors

I guess I like them. Sort of. I like the transparency of them, anyway. This is just some pen doodles and silliness. You can zoom in - those are song lyrics, not my heart pouring out onto the page. Well, it's a song that totally touches my heart, so maybe I'm wrong!  So, some people say there's no difference between the super cheap watercolors and the expensive ones. I have to say that the expensive ones are a LOT more vibrant.

But my little set didn't come with face colors so I went back to the cheapies for that. And yes, I know her mouth is funny-looking, but it was pen so there was no saving it. I decided not to stress over it. 

Finished. Love it. Oh, see how the yellow leaked over into the blue? Don't care!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Boy and His Journal

We're doing loose sheets here, but they'll be made into journals eventually! We are using stonehenge printmaking paper and watercolors - Artist's Loft and Winsor & Newton.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Holy Paper Grail

I've been QUESTING for paper. Paper that I could bind into journals and use for cartoons with my copic markers. Just last week, I decided I didn't like the pressure I was putting on myself to make a cartoon page every day. It was stressing me out. THEN I found the perfect paper. If I believed in signs, I'd take this as the universe telling me that quitting is a dumbass idea, but I don't. So there. It's called Rendr and I got mine at Blick's Art Supply. It came in pads and books, but the books didn't open wide enough for me. I'm a lefty, I ned that sucker to really lay flat. So I got a pad. And now I want to draw cartoons again. 

Here's the pad:

I used a REALLY dark copic on it, RV69. Scribbled, let it dry. Again. A third time.

It's like MAGIC!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Analytical vs. Artistic

Artists are flighty, unreliable people who rebel against scheduling and live life by the seat of their pants. Right? Right?!? RIGHT???

I am a very analytical person. 1+1=2. I don't see signs or miracles in things, I don't believe in god. When I look at a sunset, I see colors. Yes, they're "pretty". No, they're not miraculous. Rainbows are a refraction of light, not a promise from a mythical superbeing. Babies are functions of the human reproductive system, not miracles. TO ME. My beliefs are not yours. This is how I cope with my life. You can choose to cope however you wish.

But I know one thing. A lot of people look at something pretty - a painting, a rainbow, a quilt, etc - and they say "I wish I could do that!" but they don't. Not that they don't wish for it, but they don't DO it. I will never be Mozart. But that doesn't stop me from playing his music on my clarinet.

People are WRONG about artists. Artists are NOT dreamers, they are DOERS. I went with Suzi, Kelly, and Carolyn (a new friend) to the Rembrandt exhibit at the MIA for Suzi's birthday. We wandered around separately and studied his paintings and paintings of his students. It was AMAZING. My first real museum experience. I got yelled at for getting too close to a painting and Suzi was appalled, but Kelly giggled.

But when it was over and we were leaving, I said "I want to do that", meaning I want to paint like Rembrandt. And you know what Suzi said? "Let's take a class." And you know what Kelly said? "I'm in."

Dreamers, in my mind, are the people who think that Rembrandt's work is beautiful but beyond them. Will I paint like Rembrandt? Probably not. But knowing that isn't going to stop me from trying. We've researched classes, and Suzi, Kelly, and I will learn to paint like Rembrandt together. YOU can do it, too. All you have to so is stop telling yourself that you can't.

Look out world, these friggen people are coming at you with OIL PAINT!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today on Soul Garden chat, we talked about notecards and how we're using them in our planners. Here are some that I made today. I carved this little owl and the talk bubble stamps for this one:

Nothing but paid for stamps for this one!

I really like the gold and brown here:

And this is just a chunk of scrapbook paper with some embossed flowers:

Great, Goog, but what the heck is Soul Garden? Suzi's newest class, of course! It's fantastic so far :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012


A program for sculpting heads!! Or other stuff, I guess, but it all stars with a sphere. This makes me ridiculously happy. I KNOW it's not a great head or anything, but it's my first (all right, second) try! Hee hee! So happy!

Friday, August 10, 2012


These were a birthday gift for a friend. This one was a little TOO bright, I think, but I gave it to her anyway. 

I did the same thing here as for the shirts, vinyl sick-on letters. The top one was cheap acrylic paint.

The bottom two are alcohol ink sprays that I made myself.

They're a foot square and make me happy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Birthday Plan Gone Awry

So...a great idea, right? I made these for Suzi's birthday. This is mine:



Alas, I put mine on and forgot the others...sigh. They had a lovely day on my couch. So, I was the idiot at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts yesterday wearing the "happy" shirt. 

BUT let me tell you how I made them - it was genius. I got some of those vinyl sticky letters and stuck them on the shirts. Then I put liquid Rit dye (black) in a spray bottle and sprayed over them. I was worried that it would seep under the letters, but it worked beautifully! I wanted to use blue on the blue shirt, and maybe red on the pink, so it wasn't so stark, but I wasn't sure if it was going to work, so I just got black. Since it was freaking AWESOME, I'm going to do it again with better colors.

Monday, August 6, 2012


No, you're probably not going to think this is genius, but you know those moments you have where you're like "Whoa! I'm TOTALLY smarter than a fifth grader!!"? This was one of those for me.

Since no one bought me this for my birthday, I got it for myself at Michael's with a 50% off coupon:
Now, it comes with all those little pans wrapped in plastic, then paper with the name of the color (and the brand and blah, blah, blah) on them. But what about when you throw that wrapper away? How the heck would you remember what color you ran out of to buy a new one? I turned the pans over to see the bottom - NO color indications at all.

This was my solution:

This is my newest Cheap Thoughts Journal. I've ALWAYS carried some kind of book around with me. Not a planner, not just a notebook, yes, I sketch in it, but it's not really my sketchbook, either. I take it to school and write class notes in it and doodle and take it everywhere. It's thick and new and will be better than putting them in my planner because that's just for August and I'm not likely to remember. I'm SO EXCITED that I thought of this, I just had to share with you. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. I could have just stuck them on a piece of paper that would end up in "the safe place" (you know what that is - the place where you're never going to forget you put something, and then you forget). Instead, there it is. All safe and sound in my CTJ. Love it!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hell, take 2

I'm slightly obsessed with this one, I know. I'm really not sure why. But I added some red to her letters and I think it's freaking fantastic. Amazing. I love it even more than I already did. Seriously, how in love with my own work should I be? I can't help it, I guess! Every once in a while I'm just like "Wow. I did that?!?!?"

This is what I used for the red. So many people seem confused when you say "Sharpie water-based poster paint pen", so here is a picture. It says "water-based" on it. The oil-based ones are NOT the same. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What IS that??

This is my hair. It's black. Those little streaks? White and yellow paint. I'm out in public, after a shower, when I notice this...

It makes me notice these things, too...

This is what happens when you paint near your computer!

Don't get me wrong - I have no problem with the paint on the computer, it was just an observation!

Friday, August 3, 2012

BIrthday pretzels!

Pretzel story: my friend Jess sent me these for my birthday. They were supposed to come two-day shipping, so I would have gotten them Friday. She texted, wanted to know if I'd gotten them. Nope. Since I live in an apartment and it's not a walk-up, the process is for the UPS man to check the call box (I'm not in there because they wouldn't put an out-of-state number in the box and I'm not changing the cell phone number I've had for a zillion years), and then to leave a sticky note on the glass door with my name and apartment number on it, telling me that the package is in the apartment office. Then I take the sticky note over to the office, with a picture ID, and they have a book with the deliveries (which are locked in a closet) written down - when they came in, how they came in (USP, USPS, etc), the name and apartment of the person. If it's on the list, they get it out of the closet, check your ID, you sign, they give it over.

My friend Jess calls UPS and they tell her it didn't get on the right truck, it's going to be late. She, of course, is pissed. It's HOT, those are CHOCOLATE, she's picturing disaster. They tell her it won't make it to me until Monday and she raises hell and they agree to send a fresh one - once this one gets here.

Monday comes and she calls me - gives me the time of delivery and the name of the person who signed for it. I look for the door sticky and it's not there, but when I actually go out into the lobby, it's sitting on the floor. So I stick it in  my notebook and write down the name of the person and blah, blah, blah. But I have school on Monday nights, and I didn't want to traipse over to the office myself and be confronted with a box that was too big for me to carry home (it's a long story, but I can't carry things with both hands, my right arm is not fully functional). Tuesday I forgot about it, we took Liam to the park when Tim got home, made fajitas, and watched the Olympics. Wednesday Tim was off and I was going to spend most of the day studying and then meeting a friend, and then studying some more. So he goes to the office for the package, then comes to pick me up that evening. He tells me there was a package in the office, but it was my contributor's copy of Suzi's book, NOT the box from my friend. Well, my friend had called UPS, confirmed the delivery, and given me a name to yell at if I needed to.

6:44 Wednesday evening, we go to the office. The sign says "open". The hours posted are 10A-7P. The doors are locked. There are people inside. I pull out my phone to call and make a fuss (embrace the mayhem)  when the girl who is supposed to be inside, helping the boy who is obviously on his day off and there to give her a hand, walks up. She lets us in, with an attitude. I explain the deal. She opens the book and points to the page where Tim's signature clearly says he's picked up a package that was delivered Monday. I tell her again that he picked up a package, but NOT the one that I know is there. Instead of looking for the actual package, she pages through EVERY piece of paper in that book, determined to prove me wrong. RIDICULOUS. She finally opens the closet and looks for the box, and it's RIGHT THERE.

So I rip it open on the seat of the car, preparing to take pictures for my angry friend so she can send them to UPS, and here is what I found:

Look at that! Perfection:

The cold packs were still cold! How great is that?? They're super tasty, too. Worth the wait!