Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nearly 2009

My one New Year's resolution is to blog more reliably in 2009! I promise!

In the meantime, here's an illuminated "A" I put together - this will be available on stationary and calling cards through my friend's Etsy shop soon - when it is, I will post a link. (It will also be available in royal blue and violet!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Obligatory Santa Picture

We finally took Zoe downtown to see Santa yesterday. And she was much happier about it this year, as the evidence shows.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Anti-Centerpiece

I've finally started doing some holiday decorating.

Since we're hosting many of Danny's family, I want it to look nice and festive, but don't want a big centerpiece on the dining table to block the view and hinder the passing of food.

Instead, I did this:

Simple, and it looks nice, though the picture doesn't really do it justice. I simply tied ribbon to ornaments, and hung them from the ceiling (using thumbtacks) at varying heights over the dining table. The biggest problem was avoiding bumping into them as I hung the rest, as I'd put glitter glue on the white bulbs, and they were still wet.

Also, as Danny pointed out, I miraculously avoided falling off the table. So it qualifies as a success! We're putting the tree up this weekend, and here's hoping I won't fall off the ladder or knock over the tree as I'm putting on lights. Yes, I am klutziness personified.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Women complain that their men don't listen to them. Then the men hotly deny it. They should not.

Last night, I told Danny that I'd given Zoe a shelf in my art cabinet. So, if she was looking for any of her art supplies, that's where they would be. Okay? Yes, he says. That's a good idea.

This morning, I was upstairs washing my face when I heard Zoe ask her father if he could help her find her markers.

His answer? "I have absolutely no idea where they are."

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm Glad I'm Not a Cat

If you are a parent, you're familiar with the "EWWWW" moments. They're unavoidable when you have small kids. And Zoe produced a classic last night.

We set up her little fiber optic Christmas tree. There was a broken ornament in the box, and Zoe was using the bathroom while I was trying to fish out broken glass. She called me to help wash her hands (she had her bathroom stool out in the living room, so she could reach the tree on the table, and couldn't reach the sink.) I told her to wait a moment, that I'd be there as soon as I'd cleaned out the glass.

So I finished with the glass, and went to lift her to the sink.

"Don't worry Mommy, I cleaned my hands."
I hadn't heard the water running. "How?"
"Like the cats do."
"The cats?"
"With their tongues."
..... "You LICKED your hands?"
"Yes! Aren't you proud of me?"

I've made sure she understands the importance of washing her hands. It didn't occur to me that I would need to specify she wash them with water.

Oversight corrected.

And, with that, I'll leave you with a quick pen and ink portrait, that I did as practice for another piece.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let It Snow

The snow has been coming down all day. And I'm finally starting to feel just the slightest bit festive.

We bundled up, stuck Zoe in the stroller, and went for a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. At the end of a cul-de-sac, we met a couple of golden retrievers who were more than happy to shepherd us around. One was only 9 weeks old, and a complete fluffball. Zoe received many slobbery, doggy kisses.

Now we're home, attempting to set up the tabletop, fiber optic tree. (the real tree will come in a couple of weeks - I fear fire, and don't want it too dry) The bulb is burned out, though, and Danny braved the drive to the grocery store to find a replacement.

We've also got a fire going in the dining room fireplace. Nothing like a roaring fire on a snowy night.

And once Zoe goes to bed, I'll settle in at the table and do some drawing.

I love nights like these.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What, Already?

I promise to post some art later. But for now.... how is it December 2 already? It's 8 am and already 57 degrees - definitely doesn't feel like December. That makes it hard to believe I'll be 37 in less than 3 weeks.

Which means Danny's family will be here in exactly 3 weeks. I'd better get started making and freezing cookies.

After I draw something.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What a week. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I'm actually just glad ours is over. The special, organic turkey was extremely tough. We turned it into soup that night, and it took four hours of boiling to get the meat tender. And this is in spite of brining the damn thing. Zoe didn't eat ANY of it. She does like it better as soup, though.

(The candied sweet potatoes were awesome, even if the turkey wasn't so hot.)

I also had a week-long headache, which is FINALLY gone. I was starting to worry about brain tumors, but have chalked it up to being a tension headache, which I will blame squarely on Danny's company, Vertis.

The people at Danny's office are remarkably well-behaved, in spite of the surprise salary cuts right before the holidays. The company also owns at least one printing plant, and apparently the unionized employees are planning to sue. There has also been a bomb threat.

I have to wonder just how many people are looking for other jobs. We're hoping Danny will hear something this week, since 3 companies are interested in him.

We're still worried about the cat, too. My research tells me that this kind of cancer usually comes back very quickly, even with surgery and chemo. So we're just going to keep her comfortable as long as we can. There's no use torturing her with surgery when it's unlikely to cure the cancer. I don't believe that pets understand you're trying to help them. All they understand is that it hurts and they're scared. But it's a very, very hard decision to make.

On the bright side, we've got some Christmas lights up, and it's getting warmer today. Yesterday and Saturday it snowed, but today we're supposed to be in the mid 50's.

I'll leave you with a nearly completed drawing, inspired by Zoe's betta. (I still need to get a stomp and blend the background to make it nice and smooth.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Little Empath

Tonight we got the very bad news that a friend's daughter had broken her arm. Kira is a very good friend of my daughter. And when Zoe got the news, she had a total meltdown. "She's broken! She won't be able to play anymore!" "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" I held her for nearly 20 minutes while she bawled her eyes out. No matter what we told her, that the doctor had fixed her up, that bones heal, that she'll be just fine, that both Mommy and Daddy have broken bones, she just would NOT be consoled. She had to talk to Kira on the phone before she would believe that she'd be all right.
Zoe just cannot stand for anyone to be unhappy or hurt. She's been known to give her balloon animals to crying babies in restaurants, and sings her favorite song (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) to any crying child she comes across. I love that about her, but fear she's going to suffer when she gets into elementary school.
Now, at least, she's tucked into bed and calmed down. She just called Danny up to tell him that her new fish is helping her sleep.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Save My Cat - Art Sale

Nimue, my orange tabby, has cancer. She needs expensive surgery. To help finance her treatment, I'm selling off a lot of art, cheap.

Art makes a great holiday gift, for you or a loved one. Plus, with a purchase, you'll know you've helped me, and helped Nimue.

For now, to purchase art, just send me an email. By Monday, I'll have an Etsy shop up for easy purchasing.

Check back, as new art will be listed daily. Tomorrow, there will be Christmas cards for sale as well.

Woodpecker and Wood Duck

Both are done in watercolor. The wood duck is about 4x4", and is available for $15. The pileated woodpecker is 4.5x6", and is available for $20.

Sun Conure

6x6" watercolor of a sun conure. Original available for $17.

Watercolor Caterpillar

This is a tiny watercolor of a monarch caterpillar. App. 4x4" Original available for $6.

Pen and Ink Seahorse and Sealife

Image size app. 6x9". Pen and ink. The seahorse is surrounded by sea stars, rays, sand dollars, seashells, horseshoe crabs, and coral. Original is available for $21.


Watercolor seahorse. Size app. 4"x8" (though on an 7x10 watercolor paper)

Original available for $15.

Red Eft

Watercolor of a red eft, and the namesake of this blog. Appx. 4"x7". Original available for $15.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Welcome to the new blog. This blog will be the place where I share my new art, and discuss the challenges and rewards of becoming a professional illustrator. Discussions about life and family and such will still mostly be at New Frontiers.

Most paintings and drawings posted here will be for sale through my Etsy site.

I'll start posting work tomorrow, so please stop back then!