Thursday, January 31, 2013

For My Niece!

So, my very first niece was born august 29th, 2012.  My brother and sister-in-law have an "under the sea" kind of theme going in her room, which is done in shades of teal. Yesterday, Tena asked me for art for the baby's room! How awesome is THAT?!? So, I sent her pictures of my (finally) finished seahorses!

Little things, little bitty things, and that's all it took for these to be finished. I don't know why, but I have a tendency to leave off those little finishing touches for LONG periods of time. I don't put the binding on a quilt for months. I have plenty of paintings that I've never finished and I probably never will finish. Unfinished objects (UFOs) are my specialty. I've decided a goal for 2013 is going to be FINISHING things. I start lots of things. I get almost finished with most of them. But then I don't actually finish. Maybe self-sabotage? I have no idea, but I'm going to TRY and change it. No resolutions to change, that's too much pressure. (Just so you know, when Kelly said today was a good day at 9:17 this morning I told her that was too much pressure for my day.)
So. This is four finished pieces for 2013. They're even scanned and saved so I can do other things with them. (Dare I say "make prints"?)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Artful Planner

So, I've sort of let my planner fall by the wayside. (What the hell is a wayside, anyway? Now I have to look it up...The side or edge of a road, way, path, or highway. Anyway, I haven't been keeping up with it for a couple of months and I need to get back to it. I'm thinking of using this journal that I just made:

It's a JD Robb book (my very favorite) and I absolutely adore the colors of the cover. Awesome, right? That black and white along the edge is mustache tape. (I couldn't help it!)

I trimmed the inner pages a little and didn't bother to keep them in order when I punched them, and here's the inside:

Just got to start with some February calendar pages and I'm good to go!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Not sure if we're going to keep calling it You Suck Monday. It's got kind of a negative mindset, and last year was negative enough to last a lifetime. It was just a very Indigo year - nothing "happened", nothing specific, it was just a slow, dragging, heavy, mostly art-less year. 2013 is going to be better. It's already better.

I might have already told you guys, but Ajae got herself, me, and Kelly these journals:

And we decided that it would be the MOST fun to work in them together. Monday is a sort of sad/strange/crazy day for a lot of people. With the concept of YSM, we embrace the sucky. Go with the sucky. We started in our new journals together and Ajae declared it to be the worst journal page she'd ever made. I've shown you mine individually, but I want you to see them all together, imagine them as one journal:

The second Monday of January, Ajae decided that her page was the worst ever and I reminded her that she'd said that about last week's.This was mine:

Week three and I had ZERO ideas in my head, but I wanted to make wings, so I did. But it was while we were all still sort of getting coffee and settling in. I wanted them to dry so I could keep working on the page, so I glued them down while the others were getting ready and said nothing. Then Ajae said something about wings. Isn't it crazy how you sometimes think exactly the same thing as someone else?

Today I was channeling my inner Jane Davenport and drew this chick with InkTense pencils. A little paint and it was done.

I gotta tell you, the BEST part about this whole thing is having something DONE in the morning before I go to work. Not just stuff that's ALL about someone else - yes, the kid is on the bus in clean clothes, with his lunch box (most of the time), and all of his folders. But this is for me. Selfish or not, I need things that are just for me. This is me time, with my friends, doing something with NO expected outcome. That angle page is fugly. I don't even care. I don't have the urge to paint over her or cover her up. She is what she is. I'm letting go and it feels really good.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Watercolors & Stonehenge

By Stonehenge, I mean the PAPER, of course. So, me and Kelly were at Blick's the other day and walked past these watercolors. She commented that they were pretty expensive and my response was "Ah, let's get a couple and play with them." Now, anyone who's ever met me (or especially been shopping with me), knows this is SO unlike me. I'm the "it's too expensive" queen. But that crown gets heavy, and look how pretty these colors are!

Of course, us being us, we tested them out in a journal to see which colors we actually wanted and settled on these.

Something I've seen Milliande and Jane Davenport both do is put ink in a waterbrush and use it that way - genius, right? So I figured, why not try it with the watercolors? So I did!

Then I played with them on a little chunk of Stonehenge. Here is something interesting about Stonehenge paper. First, this isn't the watercolor paper. I absolutely HATE Stonehenge watercolor paper. It is PRINTMAKING paper. It's 90 pound, but it feels like 140 pound watercolor paper. It's smooth, but not creamy like Arches or Fabriano. And the weirdest thing is - the paper sucks up EVERYTHING. This is watercolor, every bit of it:

Here I'm using a regular brush and water to try and reactivate it. You can SEE the water on the fuschia, and you can also see that it's not moving.

Personally, I think this is FANTASTIC! I like the translucency of the colors, but I hate then stuff reactivates! Happy Goog!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It Happens Cigar Boxes

My husband used to LOVE smoking cigars. Back in the days when life was more than just work, getting there and back, and hanging out with Liam. Now there's no time to smoke things. He's also a packrat, so he never threw the boxes away. I adopted them and started using them for things like pens when I found out that you're supposed to store pens flat. Who knew? Lots of people apparently, but not me.

So I've had them, just sitting around holding my stuff, but still looking like cigar boxes. Until the other day, when I decided to print out some papers from It Happens and cover them:
They look freakishly awesome in person, it's hard to tell right here :(

I didn't mess with the insides at all. Now I'm wondering if I should?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lesson Learned

So, Laurel Burch, our January master, ended up being more fun that I thought she would, but I think I'm finished with her. I'm really happy with the way my seahorses, elephants, and giraffes came out. These three are my absolute favorites:

The top one is marker, of course, and the bottom two are watercolor (cheap watercolors). I have zero desire to explore LB's process any farther. Don't get me wrong - this is NOT her process, necessarily, I just mean the silly colors for things, the un-realistic approach to real things. I liked it, but it's relatively simple. There is always satisfaction in finishing something, but I think this is about as far as I'm going to go with it.

Kelly, Ajae, and I are going to attempt the whole "100 canvases" thing, but I think we're not going to be strictly canvases. If I get these framed and hung on the wall, they're totally going to count. I'm a little confused about how to frame watercolors, though. Mats? Fixative first? Will the paint stick to the glass? And, of course, they're an awkward size - 7x10. I was thinking 8.5x11 inch frames. Document frames, they're called, and they're sometimes just glass sandwiches with no real sides. I find that sort of appealing. And do they need backgrounds? Edging? I won't bore you with a zillion more pictures of them, but if I get them on the wall, I'll share. WHEN. When I get them on the wall.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Simple what simple does?

I have no idea. But you know that super simple, mostly white look that some artists get but their works still looks complex and layered? Yeah, I didn't get there. Not even close.

But I tried and that's what's most important!I like the pages just fine, it's just not really what I was going for. I mean, it is exactly what I did, but I didn't really get that "complex layered" part, huh?

Still, it's not bad and what I'm mostly trying to do is just stuff. Not really achieve specific things, just making the attempt is enough.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Entitlement and Children

I've been trying to figure out how to word this post for a couple of days. Not my usual plan, you know! I usually just start typing and what comes out comes out. Since I couldn't really make sense of what I wanted to say in my head, I figured I'd try my normal approach and see what happens. I've seen a LOT of blog posts and news articles about children and entitlement in the past week or two and some of them are just ridiculous. Several have suggested that because a child might never be seriously hungry that he's spoiled. That because his clothes always fit or if he has too many toys, that he's spoiled. How stupid can people be?

If I can make sure of it, my son will never know real hunger. He will never have to sleep in his snow suit because we can't afford the heat. I enjoy buying my son toys and games. Usually I do this when he's at school and I'm wondering if he's having a good day. If I can pay for his college education, I will - because starting out his adult life debt-free would be awesome.I don't care if that makes him feel entitled. Entitled to food, shelter, clothing, heat, the love and support of his parents. This is NOT a bad thing.

That being said - his clothes do NOT magically appear, clean and folded, in his closet or dresser. He washes and folds them himself. He helps with the dishes, the laundry, and anything else I ask of him and very rarely protests, and in exchange he gets five dollars a week to spend on anything he wants. He OFTEN suggests that he'll pay for his own food and/or snacks. He's offered to buy groceries and food for the cat. Is that entitlement?

We shop at Wal-Mart and Target, there are no designer clothes or shoes in this house, and I take whatever hand-me-downs friends are giving away. We outfitted him for school this year with clothes his grandparents got at a neighborhood yard sale. I buy used books, used video games, used board games, used clothes. Just because he has hundreds of books doesn't mean I spent hundreds of dollars on them. We only have one (12-year-old) car, so when the weather is nice we WALK to the mall, to the movies, to the park. One of my professors was horrified to hear that I was walking to work. It's 1.2 miles from my apartment - what's the big deal? Mostly now Tim takes the bus to work and I have the car. Liam rides two buses to school because we can't drive him there and it's out of our school district - this means he's putting in a nine-hour day. He's in kindergarten and this is the length of an adult work day. His teacher told him that his parents are responsible for his reading folder one day when he didn't put it in his backpack. I told him that she was wrong and that it wasn't her decision. He is responsible for his own things, and to make sure that everything he needs is in his backpack in the morning. He forgot his lunchbox one day last week. Not my fault. I asked him if he had it, he said yes. Am I seriously supposed to check? Not going to happen.

I always want to laugh at people when they look at me and tell me how polite Liam is, how well-behaved, as if it's this magical thing. As if he popped out that way. I've worked very hard so that my son doesn't act like an entitled, spoiled brat. When he could ask for his bottle but wouldn't say "please", I didn't give it to him. If he didn't say "thank you", I took it back. He colored on the wall when he was three, then spent five hours scrubbing it off with Mr. Eraser. When he was acting like a brat in Wal-Mart last week, I made him put back everything he'd asked me to get him. If he speaks to me in a tone that I find unacceptable, I correct him. If he doesn't say please when he asks me for something, I make him say the entire sentence again, I don't ask what "the magic word" is and let him just blurt out "please". He needs to learn the proper way to do things, to say things, to act. Teaching him is my job. If he's having a bratty day at home, I take away privileges - his bucket of Legos, his tub of Lincoln Logs. When he was bursting into tears every morning when it was time to get up for school, I made bed time earlier and took him out of the after school activities that he loved. He's happier and less tired. Win.

In conclusion: keep your opinions about my kid to yourself. I think he's pretty dang awesome.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What would Laurel Burch say about him?

Probably that he's not colorful enough, huh? I did him with Twinkling h2os, but he's totally too boring!! Maybe doodles will help...

Sunday, January 20, 2013


So, I didn't get as many colored as I wanted to. Got a lot of cleaning done, though. Points for that, I guess! The next step for these guys is doodles.

I tried to use colors the way LB did on her cats and dogs, but I don't really like them that way, so for the others I think I'm going to go more Goog-style. I like bright colors, don't get me wrong, but the combinations and which colors trail into each other - those things aren't really working for me.

I hope they end up cuter than this!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

More Laurel Burch

Remember when I said she was our January person for the Masters Program? I haven't forgotten, I swear! I drew these Wednesday night and I'm posting them here because if I tell you I'm going to finish them, then I will. Not that you actually care if I "let you down", but I do, so it's a way to trick myself into doing something. Pretty smart, huh?

Laurel Burch is best known for her cats, but I don't really like cats. I'll probably draw a few (I do HAVE one and everything), but I'm just not a cat lover. So I decided I wanted to draw seahorses!

A couple of them are "cracked out" (Kelly's words) and the last one is angry (and female, according to Kelly). Aren't they fun? Now, whenever I do things like this (remember the blue jays?) all I do is search for what I want to draw. In this case "seahorse cartoon" or "cartoon seahorse". So, none of these is my original idea, they all came from a Yahoo search (except the second one from the top, he's from a photograph I saw on Alisa Burke's blog).

So, here are some silly seahorses for you and I'm going to color them TODAY and post something for you tomorrow. Maybe not all of them will be done, but they'll at least be started. Oh, let me give you the basic plan idea: draw, outline, color with Copics, doodle with like-colored metallic gel pens. I'm hoping to at least get them all colored with the Copics by tonight.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It Happens

How awesome are these colors? This kit is called "It Happens". Liz of Sweet Digi Scraps just never seems to miss with her amazing kits!

And here's my little sweet face, just one day at the park hanging out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday Skart

Remember You Suck Monday? Well, we've reinstated it, just a little differently. Kelly, Ajae, and I are doing a weekly skart date again! We have about 2 hours in between all kids getting on buses and me having to leave for work, so we're using that as skart time. How amazing are we? It's the BEST way to start the day, trust me.

Ajae got us all these journals, they're the newest Strathmore ones with the professional-looking brown cover. Every week we're going to work on a page or a spread, trying to finish last week's before this Monday. So, this one I started on 1/7 and finished on 1/13, except for the journaling, which I added 1/14 during skart time. This week I'll do better and be finished on time!! (Or maybe not, you just never know with me, do you??)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blah blah blah

I know, my bloggy peeps don't really like the digital scrapbooking stuff, but for this kit I can't seem to help myself! I really, really love it. The colors make me happy, and some of the papers have that mixed-media look, and how fun is that??

Anyway, here is my cheeky son:

And my sister-in-law and niece, the two prettiest girls I know:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gelli Plate Skart!

I don't even know for sure if I like this gelli plate thing yet, but I'm trying to. I mean, it's fun to do, but I'm not good at know what to do with the prints AFTER I'm done with them. Anyway, here are some more from a skart date with Kelly:

I kind of think we should have an exchange. A print swap. I'll send you mine if you send me yours!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


This is it, Bloggers! THEE blender.


No stirring necessary! I'm one happy camper!! Tim got this blender for me for Christmas and I think it cost about $100. TOTALLY WORTH IT. Get it. Try it. Love it. I'm so excited!!

Here is the world's pickiest kid drinking strawberry banana smoothie! It's been a good day :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013


OK, time to admit it: I have no idea how to eat like an adult. I eat a lot of cereal and sandwiches. I can't say that I HATE cooking, but I certainly don't LIKE it, and most of the time, it's just me I would be cooking for. Mini Me only eats about five different things, and Hubby is normally at work (like right now). This is tonight's dinner (nested in a quilt I made, of course):

And it's the BEST chili/cheese dip ever. I guarantee whoever you make this for (even if it's just you) will freaking LOVE this stuff. It's one can of Hormel No Beans Chili and one block of cream cheese. That's it. Melt it in the microwave in one minute intervals, stirring in between. Obviously, you can use whatever kind of chili you like - the spicy kind, the yes beans kind, etc - and make it taste different. Trust me and try it.