Monday, November 23, 2015

For all the victims of terror

Metrojet airliner...

We stand together with




Thursday, September 3, 2015

Illustration Friday: Work

Lil Napoleon.  Alas, his work was not yet done.

I finished reading War and Peace this week, which for me is a big deal.  I don't have much time to read, so it took me several months to get through it.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I have dozens of classic books, but I've never read most of them.  So I challenged myself to give them a little love, starting with the biggest and most daunting one.  I was surprised at how contemporary it felt at times, and the characters were wonderfully complex, never entire good or bad.  Very human.

Any suggestions on a favorite classic for me to read next?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Illustration Friday: People

Lulu preferred the company of Gus and his merry band to people.

There is a wall that runs behind my house.  Critter Highway.  Squirrels, stray cats, and raccoons often saunter across the wall.  This summer, we watched three baby raccoons grow up on that wall.  It looked like they were orphaned, because there was never a mommy raccoon to be seen.  In the evenings, we'd see the three baby raccoons huddled together on the wall.  They were so cute.  And so sad looking.  I haven't seen them in a little while, but I hope they are okay.  I had to include them in a drawing so that I can imagine them happy and well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Illustration Friday: Heart

Colette gave her love freely, and everyone wanted a piece of it.  But just as easily as it was given, so it disappeared, often leaving a bitter taste.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Illustration Friday: Grow

When the kids were little, we used to tell them that Daddy grew his mustache by concentrating really, really hard.  Oddly enough, when my cousin was visiting recently, he told us a story of trying to grow a mustache as a kid by concentrating really, really hard.  So now I'm wondering how many other parents have told their kids the same thing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Illustration Friday: Nature

Liana the Siren
Music was in her nature.  Just like drawing things in groups of three seems to be in my nature.  I just noticed that.

Here's something I drew for last week's prompt (Treasure) but never got around to posting:

How was your All or Nothing Day???  I hope you were able to accomplish, or at least start, something wonderful.  Thank you so so SO much for sharing my enthusiasm for the book project.  Jeepers, I guess I'm committed now.  I can't very well go back on my word.  We had a health scare in our family last week (all is well now), so I was unable to make huge strides on it.  But here are a few WIP pages to start.  

Several years ago, my kid discovered a glass doorknob in my purse.  (I was renovating a closet door and was intending to take it to a store to find a match.)  She asked me why I kept a doorknob in my purse.  And I replied that it was to open doors, of course.

And that is the start of an adventure....

Because as it so happens, this doorknob has special powers.  It can open doors anywhere.  Even if there is no door there at all.

To be continued.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Illustration Friday: Sharp

Well.  That's going to hurt.

I originally doodled this thinking about a sharp dive into something wonderful.  My younger daughter suggested stars, so stars it was.  But then it slowly dawned on me, after I had drawn about 70 stars, that those things are rather pointy.  And sharp.  But then my older daughter suggested that perhaps those are cooked pasta stars, the tiny ones that go into soups.  Yes!  Pasta stars!  Nice save.

Speaking of diving into things, I am going to dive into something of my own.  I recently had the pleasure of meeting and learning more about Heather Von St. James.  The more I read, the more I became inspired.

In 2005, just three months after giving birth to her daughter and at the age of 36, Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.  Without treatment, she had just 15 months to live.  I can't even pretend to know the level of heartbreak and fear she must have felt then.  As a child, Heather liked to wear her father's jacket, which was crusted with drywall dust, essentially wrapping herself in asbestos.  The effects of high asbestos exposure can take decades to manifest, lying in wait.  And when they appeared in Heather, things looked dire.  She underwent a very risky surgery which, thankfully, was successful.  Now, ten years since her diagnosis, she is a cancer research advocate and blogger, bringing awareness to the need for funding and research and helping those battling cancers of their own.  She is a survivor, she is a warrior, and she is awesome!

Heather introduced me to All or Nothing Day, which is coming up on July 26 and which embodies how she strives to live her life since her diagnosis.  All or Nothing Day is about devoting time to live life to the fullest, to be bold, and to push yourself to do things that you've always wanted to do.  So this year, for All or Nothing Day, I have decided to truly put effort into a project I started about five years ago.  As bucket lists go, mine is pretty short.  All the important things, I have and do everyday.  I'm lucky.  But one thing that has been nagging at me is the desire to create a picture book loosely based on the antics and adventures of my daughters.  I'd like them to have something to look back on when they are older that brings back the memories and giggles of a childhood well spent.  I've been working on it in bits and pieces without any cohesiveness.  A few of the images I've even posted for Illustration Friday.  But I'd really like to dive back into it this year and really try to finish it.  I'm hoping that a public declaration, even if it's to the few who visit this blog, will spur me on.

Wish me luck.

July 26.  All or Nothing.  What will you do this year?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Illustration Friday: Danger

Danger, danger!  Hurry, we must hide from the bomber mosquito!

I overheard a conversation between my kids the other day.  They were reminiscing and giggling over their younger days when it was time to go to sleep.  Trying to stay still, the younger one would say, "I'm a rock."  And the older one would say, "Then I'm a stick."  Then they burst out laughing.

Have a safe and incredibly fun Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Illustration Friday: Small

No no nooooo, it's almost Friday again.  I have nothing for this week's prompt, but maybe this will suffice.  I've been working on a personal piece at someone's request, and this is just a small portion of the bigger picture.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Illustration Friday: Vacation

Today is the last day of school and the official start of summer vacation.  Woohoo!

Ever since I saw that the word of the week was Vacation, that song by the Go Go's has been running through my head.  You know the one.  I can tell it's playing in your head right now, and you're welcome.  So instead of the Go Go's, ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you the Go Goats making their splashy debut.

I'm going to try to keep up with Illustration Friday over the summer since I've slacked off so much during the first half of the year.  But don't be surprised if I fall off the face of the earth.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Illustration Friday: Airborne

This is what I drew one day while waiting for inspiration to strike.  Ahh, creativity.  She is my white whale, which I sometimes try to lure with the promise of cake.  But let's be honest.  It's just my excuse to eat a lot of cake.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Illustration Friday: Monster

I'm big on recycling.  So here's a piece from long ago that I'm recycling for this week:

And happy birthday to my dearest and most wonderful sisterfriend!  I love her dearly.  And though we might not agree on everything, at the heart of it, we value the same things -- among them:  strong family, good friends, human decency, and compassion.  That, and her lively, sharp wit and wicked art skills make me admire and adore and respect her to the moon and back.   And look, Ces, I gave you some snails so you can do that thing that you love so much.  G'head.  I won't judge.  :)

Happy birthday, also, to Ces's beautiful sister, and my amazing and beautiful sister in law.  Whew, what a grand day!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Illustration Friday: Pet

Herbert enjoys a day at the groomer's.

Speaking of groomers, someone's not going to be happy with the little trip we're taking tomorrow.  He looks a little suspicious.  Quick, pretend I didn't say anything.

King Cachilo tries to make his pet happy with shiny new baubles.

Did you hear about the little girl who receives gifts from crows in her backyard?  She feeds them and they, in turn, gift her with little shiny things.  True story!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.  I shall have half a dozen squealing young girls here for a sleepover and a dog that spins endlessly in excitement.  But I'm prepared.  I have my headphones and hours of the Invisibilia podcast at the ready.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Illustration Friday: Wiggle

It's been a while since we've checked in on our little winged butterbabies.  Oooh, look.  We're just in time to witness one wiggling out of her little chrysalis now.

I keep hearing David Attenborough's voice in my head.  Can anyone else hear him, too?  Or is it just me?

My apologies for being absent from visiting lately.  It's been quite busy at the home front, and I've been stuck in a creative funk.    But I hope that will change.

Hope everything is good where you are.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Illustration Friday: Outside

You could call this a late submission for last week's Ruckus or an uncharacteristically early submission for this week's Outside.  I prefer to call it versatile by way of serendipity.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  It promises to be very warm where we are.

Happy spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Illustration Friday: Strong

Strength is....  Hmmm.  What to write?

Strength comes in many forms.
Like the way I told my daughter after an especially trying day:

Or knowing how to face the possibility of failure without fear or judgement, 
and in fact, learning from it.

With so many ways to show strength, I wanted to find the perfect words.
So I turned to Google Autofill to help me.

Oh, wise Google, what is Strength?
And this is what it told me:

So there you go.

What's going on here?  Oh, nothing.  Just building an elevated path through a doughnut orchard.  I must say, the way she's lashing those spoons together sure is strong.  What's that?  Gravity?  Pshaw.  And doughnuts don't really grow on trees either.

I had my first doughnut in over a year last week.  Mmmmboy, it was so pillowy and soft and sweet.  It was just a simple glazed doughnut, but it was absolutely delightful, and so worth the wait.

To my beloved aunt, may you rest in peace and have joy in your next big adventure.
You are missed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Illustration Friday: Reflection

There's nothing like the love between a girl and her -- wait, what the who?!

Remember the Snailtropolis from the last post?  When I panned out, I discovered what had caught the snail's attention.  I feel bad for those snail wranglers.  

On a separate note, my house is slowly being stripped for parts under my very nose!  I discovered several curious holes in my window screen recently.  I had no idea how they got there.

And then a few days ago, I heard rattling at the window and saw a couple of birds pecking at the screen.  Oh my goodness!  Birds were clipping little squares from my screen!  Maybe they had their own little windows to cover, though you'd have to wonder why they'd want to keep bugs out.  I mean, that's lunch right there, flying through the window.  It's even better than delivery, because you don't need to tip.  I did a little research and, appropriately enough, the little culprits responsible for this are called House Finches.  Pffft.  House Filchers is more like it.  

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Illustration Friday: Metropolis

Where life is slow.  And occasionally slimy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Illustration Friday: Sleep

Behold!  Sleeping whales!  I had no idea.  It must be a strange sight to come upon a pod of sleeping whales.  I wonder what they dream about.  I also learned that birds can shut off half their brains when they sleep, keeping the other half alert to watch for predators.  In one experiment, researchers put all their ducks in a row, literally.  The ducks in the middle slept with both eyes closed.  But the first and last ducks each kept their outer eye open while they slept.  I kind of wish I could do that!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Illustration Friday: Noise

City noises fill the air,
Great big swirls of tangled hair.
I'd search the skies for just one strand
To hold your voice upon my hand.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Illustration Friday: Jagged

Because corn.

*Inspired by my younger daughter who has a mouth full of braces and sometimes needs assistance with stuckage removal.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Illustration Friday: Passion

Ferdinand didn't understand why they liked to flail and scream like that whenever he wore his special hat, but he hated it with a passion.  So annoying.

Just squeaking by the IF deadline with something quick.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Illustration Friday: Toy

I don't know.  I don't have a very mechanical brain, but do you think this would work?  Just one push, and one toy would wind up the other toy which would wind up the first toy and so forth and so forth.  Why, it could go on forever!  Makes sense to me.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Illustration Friday: Nefarious

Nefarious Ned attempts to nip things in the bud.

Hello, and happy 2015!

This is me trying to keep my new year's resolution of making more art.  A slow start, but as a friend of mine used to always say, persistence beats resistance.  The first thing I have to do is beat all the rust from my creative joints.  They squeak somethin' awful.

Hope you have a peaceful and wonderful weekend.