Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Morning World

I tried to stay away form the computer and work on Brantlers (made a few new ones this weekend), clean house or something else more useful. 

I did 4 brave things this weekend: 

I talked about and linked to my Brantlers and other sites I have created recently on Linkedin discussion - Show off your WordPress site! 

I added Brantlers to my Linkedin as one of my businesses. 

Filled out all the paper work to apply for Edmonds Art Walk. (Would have it all finished but my printer decided to quit printing decent color prints). 

I wrote someone and offered to illustrate for them in exchange for a link back to my site. 

I have also been rewriting my resume (again). A friend of mine told me mine is just boring ... sort of like, no wonder no one calls you back ... depressing to hear but I am sure that is a correct observation. 

I have nothing fun to link to this morning. I am just as dull as the gray skies that I see in front of me right now. It is so still out with just a hint of drizzle. Sparkling beads of water hanging on tree limbs. Have been awake since 4a and am on my third cup of coffee.

I accidentally deleted my links in blog widget ... so had to go dig all that information and revise that. arrgghh. 

I also used a part of my brain that has been dormant. The shopping part. Stopped by Value Village on the way back from a meeting in Seattle to find/buy some old cork screws. My newest idea for Brantlers is a "screw ewe". As I was walking out I noticed a sweater that I loved for my mom. Noticed a sign that said "50 % off on sweaters". I hate to start searching for good clothing in those used clothing stores, because I become obsessed. After I had about 10 sweaters for mom, then noticed it was "50% off BLUE TAGS". Instead of 10, I found 3 really fun sweaters. But that part of my brain had fun for about 30 minutes. ;)

I also worked on my acrylic sculptures ideas again. I had put that aside months ago but think it is a project worth pursuing once more.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I was pretty tired after work yesterday ... but it looks like someone was more tired. 

someone was as tired as I was last night!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Looking forward to the weekend

What a week! I talked to a few places about Brantlers. Did I say the site is finished for now? I scratched off my list of *things to finish* Brantler site and I couldn't be more thrilled. Crossing something off the list ... GOOD THING. Came up with several new Brantler ideas ... hoping to have some time to knock those out this weekend. 

Lots of work in the contract work, they are keeping us very busy this week!

Friendly Foam Shop is at the Boat Show this weekend! If you go, stop by their booth. Coming close to finishing their site. Using Rick's (BYOB Website) Widget Plug-in ... made building this a snap! We made this really cute banner last night. Matt working the booth. ;)

Robin is back from New York and we are making sure all is right with Relief APP before the big promotional push.

Building some banner ads for Rick's new Free Live Online Class starting in two weeks. I encourage anyone wanting to make their own website, using Thesis ... to join in on this class! Elana ... you listening? 

I did something brave this week ... I wrote a gardening blog that I love to read asking for occasional illustration opportunity ... for a link back. That feels so weird for me, but really, I haven't illustrated anything in over an year! I could force myself to create something ... but it would be so much more fun to have and *assignment*. So we will see what comes from that. (keeping my fingers crossed).

Met with a potential client with a very exciting opportunity for creating logo and presentation for a her new product.

So, busy week. Lots to do this weekend. YOU have a great weekend!

looking for lovliness

Working from home

Dennis gets it, with this hilarious view of The Dangers Of Working From Home ... a must read for us *freelancers*. I think I need to rethink my unemployment illustrations and move to the *working from home" illustration set (with a scratch and sniff option).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coming to life

It seems like the backyard birds all came out to play today! The Flicker is poking holes in the Sweet Gum. The Hummingbird was sitting ton the grapes, looking at me when I took the dogs out. Which reminded me I should completely clean out the hummingbird feeder. It is an ugly feeder, but it is soooo easy to take completely apart and clean every inch of it! So it is cleaned, filled and waiting for the Hummingbird to visit. ') Seed? Suet? I need to go shopping.


Most Amazing High Definition Image of Earth - Blue Marble 2012

Most Amazing High Definition Image of Earth - Blue Marble 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Name game

I am thinking of re-naming my fat, white-haired, snarling chihuahua, Newt. What do you think? 

And trying to decided what kind of dog could be named Boehner, dewy-eyed, long-jawed, Coonhound? Growling Pitbull? I don't know. 

God, it is going to a long election year. 

I hate being too busy to blog, but there you have it. xoxo!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Internal conflicts

I have been so busy. I love being busy ... but keeping up with appointments, what takes priority in work life, keeping a close relationship with my Google calendar .. really stresses me out. 

It has been a long time since I drove anywhere long enough to listen to KUOW. Today I had a meeting in Redmond … actually got "dressed" with earrings, watch and underwear. I miss my clothes. I love my clothes. Not that I don't love staying in paint T-shirts and black yoga-type pants all day long, I do. I am not complaining. But just like the summer, I looked at my linen shirts, watches or bracelets that I never wore. Now in the closet, felted wool coats, sweaters and scarves that long to be taken out in public. I guess I need to get out more. 

Stopped off at the Microsoft campus to collect branches. They always have the best fallen branches after a wind storm. So Mom's Jeep is pack-full of tree limbs. My truck is on loan. Mom is warning me to clean out her Jeep quickly. I have a possible show and need "big Brantlers" hence big branches! Woo Hoo. 

Okay, so my point of this post was a piece I heard on KUOW today that literally kick me in the gut. Made me blurry-eyed with a flood of tears that I thought I should pull over and collect myself. Not many stories shake me to the core. But this one did. It an interview with James Jude Orbinski, Canadian physician, writer, and humanitarian activist about his experience during the genocide in Rwanda. It was his personal recollection of a mutilated woman, her ears and breasts had been cut off with a machete that was so moving. Here is a link at  KUOW ... please go have a listen.

I found this documentary on Netflix, "Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma", that I must watch now. "Writing a book about his past experiences and the current situation in Africa, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former head of Doctors Without Borders Dr. James Orbinski travels to Somalia, Rwanda and the Congo, where he confronts disturbing truths. This documentary follows Orbinski's incredible journey as he recalls troubling memories of violence and despair but also finds signs of solidarity, compassion and true humanitarianism." 

Thinking of worldwide conflict within countries,  Tutsis and Hutus, Sunnis and Shiites, Serbs and Croats, (of course, WWII is at the top of this list). Just a few unspeakable events of internal war and genocide. I always wondered how people could do these horrible things to each other. I will never understand how a human can mutilate another human, not killing them but cutting them into pieces and leaving them alive for awhile to suffer to their death. Starving to death. If I think about these things too long, I lose hope. But then I hear thoughts from Dr. Orbinski and I feel hopeful again.

I started this post last night ... batteries ran out on my keyboard. Ran around the house taking batteries from various remotes. THEN my mouse went out. In the process of all of that ... I lost most of this post I had written and started writing it over again. Got half way through and my Mac slowed down and started acting crazy. I guess I hit publish instead of save.

I heard something on a news show about Super Pacs ... stopped typing to have a listen. I am completely disgusted with Super Pac money being completely wasted ... those expensive ads are wasted on me. That precious money might as well be burned. And I think how those millions of dollars could be used saving our schools, our local governments, helping unemployed keep their homes. So many other good uses for those large sums of money. And really, that makes me sick to my stomach. What has happen to this country?

I feel like Democrats and Republicans are splitting this country apart ... of course, without guns and machetes, death and genocide. But I get that depressing feeling that this country will never politically come together.

later post ... this is the stuff that scares me ...

And this story Death of an Ordinary Housecat

 I agree, "The delusional fringe has come in from the margin and runs the party."  - Bill Moyer

Buffalo Brothers Cowboy Store

Don't you love the name of this store, Buffalo Brothers Cowboy Store and their great conchos? I think i might get D a couple of these for his birthday. Love the badges.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kisses from heaven

I know I am in the minority, but I really miss the white landscape and silence of the snow. I am also missing Christmas music. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Day 2

Woo hoo, it is beautiful now. But when it starts melting ... well, that is another story.  Looks like a hydrangea snow cone.

Olaf Hajek

Incredibly talented Olaf Hajek via The Selby

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Words can not explain

Sophie's mom wrote her "a letter to my dog" ... get a hankie!

Snow Day 2012

 Really, is there anything better than a snow day? Staying in warm house robe and slippers, without guilt. Two snow days, time to catch up on work. Have a fire. Watch the white stuff, swirl and float and just giggle at the delight of it all. Too bad David has to go to work, but as we know well, news doesn't stop for weather. I wish Matt were young again ... this would be the days the entire neighborhood (kids and parents) would head for Hummingbird Hill (Park) with sleds and have a good time.

Seedpod from Spring Valley.

In the wee hours of last night, I finally got Brantlers to look like it isn't in a state of being built. I am so happy to have that finished. I have an interview with a gallery next week and wanted the site to look polished. Of course, there is lots more to do. But at least it is missing "big" parts of the puzzle, like a footer and a decent slideshow. I have a few new Brantlers. How can I have so much fun making them? Seriously, it feels like it should be illegal. I have run out of room in the studio and made a temporary hanging place in the living room. Plus, it gives me a sense of what they look like in an environment instead of laying around on a table in the studio. Adding a shopping cart is my next task. Well, and make those the large ones I have started in the studio ... just waiting ME.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I am repeating myself

I know I repeat myself every January. If you don't have Sarcococca confusa (Sweetbox) in your yard ... you must plant some. Every January, in the cold, snow, gray ... this wonderful shrub blooms tiny little flowers ... with a fragrance so heavenly profuse that I can smell them across the yard!

Football dog

Pixel loves to watch football with David. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christmas cleanup

I worked hard all week ... but then I night, took down the trees a little at a time. The trouble with putting up Christmas decorations is that you get a close and personal view of your dust and cobwebs. Today, I completely cleaned one more room, I mean - return vents, cobwebs, windows, glass, mopping on hands and knees, emptied out Indian baskets of God-know-what-I-as-saving-that-for, brought in fire wood, vacuumed every little piece of glitter I could see. Maggie and I would talking about taking on a drawer at a time ... I hit the drawers that have been the drop-spot for all of our old cell phones/chargers, keys, sunglasses, and trash that I don't even know how it got in that drawer. Oh, AND, I completely cleaned my kitchen trash can! Yuk! So, one tree/room down, one more to go. 

It snowed on and off today. I wish more would stick! In celebration of my successful day, I have lit my candles. I was thinking about a fire but mom and I are in another room watching football, so it might be wasted on us. PLUS, I MUST get to the garage and work on Brantlers. I have an interview next week with a gallery and would like to have a few more larger ones made. I have another great idea, with the supplies for my next Brantler. Can't wait to share. So much to do so little time.

I want to make this, chocolate ganache bundt cake. Plus, we have lots of brown bananas ... time for Banana Bread.

art of espalier from Pinterest. So many wonderful things to see on Pinterest ... but I really don't have the time to look to deeply. Found this interesting gardening site from a pin - Thinking outside the Boxwood. Great idea for winter gardening. I want a portion of my garden to look like this

I love this:
ambedo n. a kind of melacholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details — raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life, a mood whose only known cure is the vuvuzela via Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Damn, the Saints just lost! What a game!

Later ... I just discovered Pica in another photo ... cleaning really tires him out! Funny I never think of it unless I see a photo, but D and I hate curtains ... and we just never put any up in any rooms. Blinds only. Beyond those houses is a great view of Whidbey Island and Puget Sound. Quilt on sofa ... because the dogs, all of the dogs, even my neighbor's dog ... lies up there ... watching other dogs ... all day long. ;)

A different angle

Loving art by Dave Murray.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Sophie at rest

When Sophie isn't making Pica growl and chase her, horse-playing to Pixel, running around every inch of the backyard ... this is where she likes to take her afternoon rest ... while I work. ;) Then she moves to the front room, in front of the windows so she can see when her "folks" are coming. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Drawing in circles

Spirograph art by Lesley Halliwell 

Creating your own in Adobe Illustrator is so easy. Something I do all the time when I am playing around. 


Spirodoodle for the iPhone 


Maybe she's born with it? (Nah, it's Fotoshop). A great video, Fotoshop by Adobé by Jesse Rosten. "This commercial isn't real, neither are society's standards of beauty." Behind the scenes of Fotoshop by Adobé. 

Celebrities Before and After Photoshop

What you see isn't real. ;0

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Laughing is good medicine

Laughing is a good thing since I have had the flu the last couple of days and that wasn't very funny.

Another funny email from a friend today ... must share. 

To help save the economy, the Government will announce next month that the Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegal’s) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and will not remember how to get back home. 

I started to cry when I thought of you. Then it dawned on me ... oh NO, I'll see you on the bus! 

Also, David was watching Richard Jeni on a comedy show last night, I laughed until I couldn't laugh anymore. Richard Jeni took his own life in 2007 and that is a loss for the world. I know it shouldn't but it always surprises me to realizes that a great comics can be sad and depressed. More clips here ... if you need some laughs today.
On the right wing: A bunch of money-grubbin', greenhouse-gasing, seal-clubbing, oil-drilling, Bible-thumping, missile-firing, right-to-life-ing, lethal-injecting hypocrites. People whose idea of a good time is strapping a dead panda to a Lincoln Navigator and running over everybody in the gay parade. 

On the left wing: A bunch of bong-smoking, America-bashing, flag-burning, yoga-posing, incense-burning, dolphin-saving, salmon-eating hypocrites. These are the sensitive, liberal people who are always yelling about people's freedom of speech and expression, unless you happen to say something that pisses them off.

Warning: these videos might not be for all readers ....


Monday, January 09, 2012

Tea Light Holder

DIY: Wired Tea Light Holder via Pinerest.

Small stories

Dear blank, please blank. I wanted to submit something to my son for my beautiful Mother's Day gift, but thought it wouldn't be as edgy as the rest.

One Sentence, True stories told in one sentence. Most are very touching. 

Yes, I am going through my 3,000 drafts again. ;)


The Devil’s Marbles in Australia

Nearly round, Champ Island in Franz Josef Land. 

Round Rock, Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe. 

Jumbo rock in Joshua Tree National Park. 

Round rocks formed by calcium deposits. 


Luke Haynes

Luke Haynes paints murals in cloth, assembles mosaics from fabric.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

After .... ;)

I wish I had documented the "before". Boxes of summer clothes, piles of clean clothes (that dogs have been sleeping on), dirty clothes, things to be mended, suitcases, Christmas stuff ... this room was a mess. After talking to Maggy this morning ... I decided to pick ONE room and stick with it. Don't think about the other rooms. Not the Christmas that needs to be put away. Only this one room, task at hand! It feels great to have one small success in the massive effort to get my house right. And I am going to show off my success.



Really serious now about cleaning out and getting rid of ... decided I am going to start a virtual garage sale. I will be listing things on Something To Sell ... This is a McCarty Bros. 1943 ceramic planter. I am going to sell it for $11.00 (plus shipping). Interested?

And this 3-inch tall vase/pitcher. Champions of Champions 1966. $5.00 (plus shipping ... it is small, non-breakable, it won't cost very much)? Make me an offer.

I also went through a load of beach glass that needs more churning ... I am taking it back to the beach for someone else to find. ;)

Blown away

I am feeling just a little overwhelmed since returning from my quiet get-away. Every corner in my house is begging for cleaning, sweeping, mopping, folding, dusting. I need to start putting away Christmas. That is a good 2 days of work. I have real work to do. Brantlers to finish. It is all fun stuff ... but I need to find a spot and just start! 

I told mom last night, it all seems like another holiday that has passed by so quickly I don't even remember it! 2012! I am feeling behind before we are 8 days into the New Year! I didn't take time to wish everyone a Happy New Year. 

Thank you so much for stopping by here in the last year, sharing, leaving comments and sharing in my adventure to finding my new life. I cherish all the encouragement, advice and well wishes. You really prop me up to go forward when I feel like I leaning back. Thank you! 

So instead of cleaning ... I am shooting Pasque flower leaves that I  spotted while taking the dogs out. That plant morphs into the most interesting ways. From the exploding seed pod to the brown leaves fallen over in curled up beauty. Probably good for me to stop and smell the decaying leaves this morning? More Beautiful Afterlife.

blown away

curls me up

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Sad Sophie

I think Sophie just figured out that she is spending the night with us tonight and she doesn't seem very happy about it. She waits on the top of the sofa, at the front window, for her "folks" to come get her. ;( And she waits, waits ... It is funny, I can tell what kind of parents Matt and Bri will be by the way they are with Sophie.

Winter longing

It is that time of the year that I start craving a flower! Petals. Colors. It might be time to drive through the Arboretum

Floral illustrations at Amicus Botanicus make me salivate. 
Hellebores will be blooming soon. I wish I had planted an Allium in the fall

seed pods

seed pods

Friday, January 06, 2012

Sticky subject

I have been wanting to paint a Saguaro for a long time. A great site for Cactus Lovers (my husband, the cactus-lover). They are so very interesting in their growth and longevity in such a hostile environment.

Interesting observations about the math of the this wonderful cactus.

Saguaro Cell Towers, brilliant! 
Seasons Greetings from Arizona Cactus tree! 

Think I could make one myself? Artificial saguaro cactus (United States Patent 7118788).

As far as landscaping with them, they do not come cheap! Which is why having some sculptures seem like a better option!

 Interesting barbed-wire Saguaros by Wesley Hall.  Eric Richards does a nice cactus sculpture. And I love these from Lee Blackwell Studio. Steel Saguaro Cacti By Eric Carroll

I have blogged about Desert Steel cactus sculptures many times and my S-I-L have dreamed of how we could own some. I mean, seriously, couldn't you see some of these in your yard! 

Various images I have been hoarding on my computer when I search cactus. 

And below is the painting I have sketched out in Illustrator. I love the pixelated squareness in contrast with the cactus natural curves. And now I am totally inspired to finish this, very large piece I have been planning in my head for years.

What was Rome doing ...

I hate to even blog about this because it is just perpetuating the ridiculousness of it all ... but yesterday (my mom watches these shows, not me) ... Dr. Phil (I use to enjoy Dr. Phil in the past) had on some really stupid sounding women from 'Mob Wives', Ellen had some really stupid girls from The 'Jersey Shore' show. Listening to all the news about that Casey girl releasing her video, over and over and over again on the news ... I have really had enough. I am really close to canceling cable ... I don't even turn around from my computer to see what these people look like. I don't care. I don't want to hear them interviewed. I don't care what/or why they do the silly things they do in their lives. And I can't imagine that anyone else does either.

Enjoy Every Sandwich

Time Goes By has a wonderfully sad and inspiring piece on Dr. Lipsenthal book, Enjoy Every Sandwich. Dr Lipsenthal died last September. Very inspirational. I have to say, I think about death a little more lately.

Ed Mell

Imagery of the desert, Saguaros, colors sand with the sage green shrubs. All mesmerizing. Ed Mell's Forever Stamp (want). More art of Ed Mell here. and here. I love his vision of the desert lanscape! Angles, shapes and colors, just get me right here (pointing to my heart).

"Mell reduces visual phenomena into stylized shapes, color gradations, and contrasting tones of color to capture the ephemeral moments of the environment."