Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cornhusk Dolly

Yeah, I'm sort of on a kick here. This cornhusk dolly is very much on my tree. I picked her up at the Gonzales pioneer village one year, where they have popcorn over a fire and tell stories of pioneer Christmases and make the best ginger cookies I've ever eaten.

The Dolly didn't stop spinning to talk to the Pony. She wasn't rude, she just didn't stop spinning, her cornhusk skirts catching the slightest breezes that came up from the base of the tree.

"I don't know what a Pony is", she said, twirling, "or I've forgotten. But you have a very nice voice."

The Pony thought she was being polite, and said so. She laughed.
"I'm too dizzy to be polite! But you're dizzy too, or you wouldn't say silly things."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Golden Impossible

I hate missing a day! But I could not get Blogger to cooperate yesterday before Christmasness took me away from the computer. Alack.


I seem to have a storybook happening. I'm getting all these scenes, but not in order.

The Unicorn is a real ornament on my tree, by the way. But it has never said anything in my hearing, even after a whooooole lot of eggnog.

"Of course I cannot be real all the time," said the Unicorn "but this is a Christmas tree, and things are different here."

The rocking horse was a rocking horse anywhere, even if it was more of a Pony, and thought it must be very fine to be real only sometimes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Epic Battles

I was just going to draw one of the ornaments on my tree. But I do not like still life, apparently on a molecular level, because this happened:

The mighty wooden soldier does battle with the ancient dragon-fly for the life of the Christmas Tree! Huzzah!

My favorite thing about this picture is the way the background turned out. I wanted to get some of the speckled effect that actual Christmas ornaments get from the lights and branches and all, and it was just luck that the background showed through pretty much along those lines.

Also, I love the heck out of Christmas. Expect blather along those lines for at least the next 12 days.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tiger Stealing

Sorry to fall off the face of the world, folks-- I work at a college testing center, and the last two weeks of the semester meant finals, which means no energy for Carapace outside of work. But I survived! And now I'm free! So expect sketchery to return for the rest of the month. Like so!

This tiger is blatantly taken from a photo in National Geographic. This sort of photo inspiration always makes me uneasy, because I don't want to be accused of image theft. On the the other hand, the photo-tiger was rather less....swirly. So I don't know, maybe I've changed it enough?

Another thing about this tiger, and the issue with a lot of my pictures, is that it is not anywhere near as cool as it could be. If I really had any artistic talent, I'd make it out of cut paper. Wouldn't it look awesome in purple and orange paper? Or cast iron, or anything with a bit of dimension? Yes it would. Heck, even a good textured acrylic painting would be better than this. At least that last one might be in my capacity. I don't know when it'll get done, because paintings take a looooong time. But sad experience has taught me it's better to get the idea down and save it for later than wait until I can do things right and lose the whole concept. So, tiger!

I have gallons of sketches- and chattery -- saved up from the last couple of weeks, too, so start coming back now, y'hear? Hope everyone else is having a great month!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Sleep Buzz and a Quiz



For those who don't know (and where have you been? Do you pay any attention to what I write? I might as well not be here for all the attention you're paying!) I'm a Texan. I don't just live in Texas, I belong here. I'm never even a little happy to be elsewhere, and believe me, I have experimented. It's bad for my health. So with all the problems my state has-- and believe me, I know them better than any out-of-state furriner*-- I love it here. Not least because, you know, it's almost Thanksgiving, and I was wearing shorts today. Thanks, tilting global axis!

However, long summers and mellow winters have their drawbacks. And they are buzzing around my head RIGHT NOW, and well, thus this picture.

A quick question, before I go on one last mad bug-killin' spree for the night- does this guy remind ya'll of anyone? Don't worry, there's no right answer, I'm just wondering. Answer and I'll tell you why!

*Why all you out of state people trade in furs is beyond me..oh, that's furrier? Never mind...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I get on these tangents, you know?
I like the basic idea of this one, but need some better unicycle reference before I make it a print. You think?

Soooo much to do...my etsybloggers team is having a big ol' sale this weekend, and I'm putting prints on sale for 5 dollars, so I need to get everything salvageable here...um...salvaged! But I need new stuff, too, because it seems there are poor souls who don't know how neat turkeys are. That must be corrected! Arrghh... Headless Chicken Party Time!

Hope everyone else is more relaxed, or at least busy with similar happy busyness!

Oh, and have I reminded everyone to check out my shop? Yeah, do that.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Basket Cat

Y'know, for a while, I was drawing huge galloping herds of animals. Then I stopped, and fell out of the habit, and stuff like yesterday happens.

Today's a little better:

Since I apparently decided to stink up a basket weave, instead. But more animal practice is clearly on the horizon for me!

Maybe I'll draw more turkeys. It's my first year hosting the big dinner, so it's sort of on my mind. What's everyone else doing for the holiday?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cat in Green

This year we have a acquired a new cat, and lost my old beloved graukatze. The new cat is not MY cat, and cat people will know what that means, but she is an entertaining wee beastie nonetheless. I expect I will be drawing much feline hijinkery in the months to come, since winter is cat-snuggling time.

I do not look anything like this. But I do have similar clothing, and I wanted to draw a scene instead of just a portrait. It happens.

Cats also do not look anything like this, I am aware. Man, the extent to which I have let my drawing practice lapse...!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Daily Sketch: Unicycle Lass!

True tale, here: When I was in elementary school, there was one girl who had a unicycle. She rode it around like most kids rode bikes, or even more, like most kids walked. She could take it up hills, up STAIRS, across traffic- just utterly assured. And it wasn't a stunt or an attention ploy, just her preferred means of transport. Of course she was my friend, as how could I not be friends with someone that cool?

And yes, she also had a green turtleneck that she wore with uniform regularity.

Also, I need some reference for a unicycle. Clearly, huh?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Absurdity Day: Turkey Hat!

He wasn't sure what the problem was, but he knew there was something on his head. Never mind the way everyone was looking at him, he could feel the extra weight! But he kept going about his business, hopeful that, whatever it was, it would soon go away.

The turkey just figured no one was going to get a better vantage point than this.

Today is Absurdity Day! Apparently. And so there's another absurd Etsy Texas contest, goin' on over hyar:


And this time I'm totally going to say "Vote for me!"! Or, you know, vote for someone else! Because I like that creeepy pinhead, I do....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Daily Sketch:Revenge of MacArthur Park

It was supposed to be a cake. Just a chocolate layer cake. Too late, Susan realized she had misread the recipe. Oh NOOOOOOOOO......

For those who have never heard it, MacArthur Park:The Song, Especially The Richard Harris Version, is one of the most wonderfully horrible songs ever committed to recording media. The performance is..I have no words. The lyrics include a long extended wailing memorial for a cake, and as Dave Barry says, ok, it may be a metaphor, but it is a really STUPID metaphor.

Sorry for my continued sort-of-absence, folks. I am afraid this state of affairs is going to continue for a bit, but at least I will try to keep the sketches going.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Daily Sketch: Not Coming Out Of My Shell

Sorry to disappear some more, folks...but...

Yeah, it's like that.
Our winter weather is finally coming in, and it's got me sort of flattened and intermittently blind. I intend to treat this problem with intense coffee and perhaps a nap.

But I'll be back later with Ren photos! Woohoo!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gibsonton Girl 2: A Leg and A Cat

No time for chit-chat, girls, I'm posting before I head to the Day Job! So let's get this sketch a goin':

Like the Bike Girl before her, this young woman has found a way to make life better through technology. It's not just the walking aroound bit, though she won't lie, that's nice. It's being able to have all sorts of ridiculously intricate shoes all ready to go on interchangeable legs, so all she has to do in the mornings in pop the right pair on her knees.

The cat was born without a tail, and is naturally very envious of other cats. He too is enjoying his mechanical accessory.

Colored and inked on my dear sweet Cintiq.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And There Was Much Rejoicing

I'm back! I had a fantastic time at the fair-- many shows were seen, many pictures taken, much fabulous weather enjoyed. I have achieved Hey It's You status with the Ren crowd- no one exactly knows me, but the regulars all recognize me from somewhere, and worry if they don't see me at least once a season. That's just the level of familiarity I like- recognition with anonymity! Aaah! Oh, and the kids this year--
But this is not the post for Ren stuff, because I am still processing the photos. This post is to welcome the newest addition to my household:

The Curlycue mug!

As longtime readers of this blog will remember, I lost my favorite mug to time and trouble earlier this year. There was great sadness and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Even more so when I went looking for a replacement, and found that green is apparently not a popular mug color, and small elegant cups are apparently a rare commodity anyway.
But lo! Just as I was about to give up, Black Dachsund Potter came to my rescue! Look at that mug! Two glazes, lots of texture, a unique handle that fits just perfectly against my fingers- and you would not believe how lightweight it is. And like all good ceramics, it doesn't flavor my tea. That would be yucky.

What's that? You want a sketch? Demanding crowd!;) I'm still recovering from the fair though (it is possible I had Too Much Fun) so you'll have to settle for this:

A wee witchy who got lost on her way to Halloween. Now I fear she will have to be a November Witch, and those poor lasses get a bad name,all because a few sailors don't know enough to get out of the weather.

I should note that the coloring on this was done with a mouse, while my dear huband has the Cintiq. Hence the sucking.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Well, I had hoped to post up some more sketches, and I can still hope, I guess, but Blogger's been borked since Tuesday. And frankly I've been pretty out of it since Tuesday, what with the celebrating (yes, the Big One! But also my dear local rep got reelected, and I know and like them, so Yaaaay!)

So I'm just posting to say I'll be gone this weekend! Friday I'm heading out to the Texas Renaissance Festival, the biggest and best darn Renfair in these here Yew-nited States. Yeehaw! I'll just be a visitor, of course, because I don't have anything like the sales rep to vend there. Maybe in the next decade.

Stories, sketches and whatnots next week, I pinky-swear promise!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Daily Sketch: Earth Maid

Hey, it's election day! And I am not talking about politics here, because I trust you have already voted and therefor do not need fish mailed to your house at book rate! Be grateful!

Anyway, sketch!

This is one of the reasons I'm so in love with the Cintiq- this piece was drawn on some paper which is very nice to sketch on, but utterly unacceptable either for copying or selling as an original. But I could, and did, scan it and redo it with Ye Cintiq, and I think it's shaping up nicely. Nowhere near done, and I am beginning to suspect myself of some sort of completion issue, but coming along nonetheless.

I should also note that I love drawing unskinny girls.

So, what are ya'll doing? Voting? Good, good...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Daily Sketch: Glenda

Before the sketch, I should note that I am having a shop-wide SALE! Totally free shipping in the US, and half-price shipping internationally! That last makes me nervous, but I'm standing by it. Check out more sales here:

Ok, now to the blather!

When working monochrome, how could I possibly skip Oz? People who only know from the movie don’t know this, but Oz was distinctive for being multiply monochrome. The Munchkin country was all blue, the Winkies were entirely yellow, and the Quadlings, lead by Glenda, were all red.

Glenda was so awesome. I love the movie, I love the music from Wicked (and so wish I didn’t, when it starts circling my head at 3 am…) but I could learn to despise them both for what they’ve done to Glenda. Blonde? Frilly? Giggly? None of that. Glenda throughout the 14 Baum books is dignified, wise, and thoughtful. She always wears very plain gowns, with only one or two plain accessories, like a pendant or circlet. And because she’s a Quadling, she’s RED HAIRED. Argggh! The Oz books didn’t usually get too specific in description, but is one single color per quadrant so blinking hard to remember?

Her magic wand isn‘t the most impressive tool she uses. Her Book is. Glenda’s Book is sort of a printed internet news feed, constantly updated with everything that happens in the world every moment. It’s huge, and dense, and she knows how to find useful information in it. An introverted serious researcher with no interest in glamour, Glenda is the Nerd Witch. She was one of my many heroes in those books, and an essential part of the Oz worldview that power came from knowledge.

Well, and from two X chromosomes. Women rule in Oz. If you haven’t read the books yet, you really should. They are gloriously weird. If you have to ask me who wrote them, I may weep for your childhood.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Etsybloggers Featured Crafter: Mama's Magic!

I do believe mine is the very last blog to feature Mama's Magic, the very cool maker of baby-safe jewelry (and other things!) but that's on purpose-- a month should be a month, gosh darn it, and it's no fun to have your features all over in the first week! So here you go, Mama!

Now, before I get going, I should mention that Mama's Magic is actually a sister shop to Baby Friendly Beads. And I like BFBeads, with its very neat necklaces. Pieces like Planet Baby and Clarity would look good on anyone, and be a standout piece in the too-often rumpled and food-covered wardrobe of early motherhood (hey, I don't have children, but I know those who do!). But I don't have babies, and after the Summer of the Child on Etsy, I'm a bit tired of childcare specialties, so let' go back over to Mama's Magic, where the Mama goes to party while the baby stays at home!

What I really like about Mama's is the asymmetric theme paired earrings. It seems like such an obvious idea, but I see it very rarely. But check out this filigree fairy tale:
Or this take on an old quote:
And the standout diva of the shop, perfect for any knitter, crochet queen, or other yarn crafter:

The artist of the hour calls them fraternal earrings, and I can only hope she makes more such twins. Go look! But do it soon, because I suspect these earrings will soon be gone into a certain bug's gifting stash.


And that is all I have to say today.:)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vote Etsy Texas 10- 08!

While I have your attention...

Remember that War of the Worlds pic of mine? It's in a contest! In fact, it was gfor a contest, hosted by my Etsy Texas team! And it's not even close to the coolest thing there. So go, check it out, and vote vote vote! One of these links will work for you:
Firefox users (and everybody else)

Explorer Users:

The contest is running until this Thursday, the anniversary of that grand panicmaking Welles broadcast. So vote early! But not often.

Daily Sketch: Happy Birthday Hookahfied!

Mannie, one of my most constant commenters, is having a birthday! It’s one of the big ones, too. Happy 21! Don’t get too used to booze, it’s not really worth the trouble!

Anyway, she’s had me thinking over Alice in Wonderland pics. I’ve already mentioned, in my Agnes sketch, that I don’t feel entirely comfortable drawing work that has an “official”, distinctive look to it--especially if it’s a look that I like. Well, shoot, nothing is more distinctively illustrated than Alice-- Tenniel’s gorgeous detailed work. Ya’ll’ve seen my work; I’m not going to slag on myself here, because that would be daft, and I’m not ashamed of my stuff. But not only am I not in Tenniel’s league; I’m not even in his game. I’m doing freeform dives, and he did kung fu. Frigging impossible.

And I grew up with that stuff. It would be impossible for me to forget his interpretation of the story. Even the *Disney Animators* drew off his basic ideas, and they were a whole studio!

But I’m trying anyway. And I’m enjoying it, I must say. I like my Alice, she’s mine, and I’m having fun with the various rabbits. But there is no Cat but Tenniel’s for me, I fear.

More Alice later, I'm sure.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes In Fact I Have Fallen Off the Face of the Earth

Well, I've fallen ONTO the face of the earth a whole lot this week, anyhow.

Hate to be revealing my super crafter secrets here, but this is a regular part of my schedule-days or weeks where my brains operate just well enough to propel me through the day, but not enough to let me do anything that requires actual thinking. I expect this post to show up drowning in typos. In which case, oh well, can't tell right now. Lo, it is one of those weeks. I blame winter.

You know how not-smart I am right now? I just posted a print in my Etsy store with ONE line of description. I mean, I'll fix it later, but geez. Breaks my heart, but I had to do it. For reasons I cannot understand at the moment, but I left myself a note, so there it is.

So: I will make up my sketches, update the site, whatever, very soon. For now I'm going to go read about raising chickens. Hey, if anyone has exciting chicken anecdotes or advice for a potential chicken-owner, I'd love to hear them, too!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Daily Sketch: Bikegirl

*Squeaks in*

Yeah, I know, I'm gonna have to change the idea if I don't catch up...but I still want to post daily! Dial up is not my fault! Um...vote Obama, he'll give me high speed access so I can update regularly!
F'serious. He said so. I am SO open to candidate internet bribes. I would watch American Idol if it meant I could have high speed internet access.

Anyway off the political, into the odd:

The original was hand-drawn, but I traced over it and colored it with the tablet. Still not entirely comfortable with my linework there. I want to be good enough I can comic with the thing, but that may be a ways off...what do ya'll think?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Daily Sketch: More Aesir!

I've got a secret!

But today's sketch ain't it. Anyone who hasn't figured out by now that the Norse myths are my personal brain candy must be new. Hi, new people!

Ok, free guessing time before I start prattling on about my pet pantheon. Can you tell who any of these are?

Well, don't feel bad if you can't, they aren't anywhere near done in this mode. Heck, I'll probably redo them in a different brown tonight. I love my Photoshop! ANyway, from left to right:

Odin, grand high poobah. Did you know most of what we know about Norse mythology comes from Odin? No, really! The Edda is pretty much Odin being asked questions by some mortal, calling the mortal an idiot for not knowing, and then telling him the answers anyway. Good for Odin.
Then again, Odin is the All-Father, the original prnakster, the guy who was messing with heads even before Loki came on the scene. And this mortal is pretty clearly easy to rook. And you remember how your dad (or uncle, or older brother) would answer your questions about the way the world worked? How you always had to double-check with Mom, to make sure you weren't walking around telling your classmates that clouds moved by solar wind.
So yeah, if you believe Odin at face value, we're all animated trees living on a dead eyebrow. Of a giant who was created by the friction on a cow tongue. Methinks the Edda amounts to All-Dad pulling our collective leg. He always did like humans to figure things out for themselves-one of many reasons he's my favorite divine patriarch.

Balder, The One Who Dies. Despite his near-total lack of presence in the myths, I really like Balder. He's the mellow god in a pantheon that otherwise gives us, well, Thor. Pretty, gentle, total Mama's boy, and yet the one god without whom the whole cosmos goes to pot. Such a weird dichotomy for a myth cycle otherwise dripping with testosterone.
Oh, also, while everyone rightly blames Loki for orchestrating the whole thing, Balder was actually killed by his blind brother Hod. Disabled doesn't mean unable!

Skaad! Or Skade, or whatever; look, it was an oral tradition, standardized names are kind of optional. Skaad rocks! Goddess of the hunt, mountains, and skiing. Former giantess of skiing, hunting, etc. Like Artemis, but with none of the creepy virgin obsessions. No weird untouchable feeeeemale myyyysteries, either. You could totally hang out with Skaad, go skiing, have a brew, whatever. She married into godhood, as a lot of the Aesir did. None of that Greek my-father'-wife-is-my-sister-is-my-cousin-is-my-daughter Greek nonsense. Things were confusing enough. See the next guy.

Heimdall, famous for his gold teeth, centuries before that was popular thing. Or indeed, possible. Slightly less famous for having nine mothers. Now, there are a lot of supernatural beings who claim multiple fathers, because it'sm hard to figure out exactly how a man contributes to child bearing, without microscopes and such. But multiple mothers are a big more problematic. Did they each bear a part of him, and assemble him after birth? Did they pass him from one womb to the next every month? Were the moms, who were sisters, just covering for each other in their out-of-wedlock circumstances, and making sure none of them got ostracized from the family? So many options, when you've already decided logic need not apply!
Anyway, Heimdall was sort of Loki's arch enemy, in the way those kids who always ratted each other to the teacher wee arch enemies. It was complicated and dumb, and like most of the non-mothering weirdnesses in the myths, pretty well Loki's fault. Heimdall was guardian of the bridge. He had a really long horn. Women went crazy for him. He always says it's because of the teeth.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Daily Sketch: Fitcher's Bird 1

Something a bit Grimmer, now, in keeping with the season:

There's a whole slew of Robber Bridegroom stories. The one you probably know is Bluebeard, but they're all pretty close in structure. Innocent young girl is betrothed to older man with some distinctive feature; man turns out to be a mass murderer/serial killer/robber; young girl escapes by her wits, the aid of other women, or sheer luck.

I've always liked Fitcher's Bird for a couple of reasons. One, the girl in question has brothers who are on her side and against the groom from the start; two, the way she escapes, which is distinctive.

There's at least a couple more pics comins for this story, but here's the first! He's a creepy old guy.

Today I'm off to Maker Faire! So I'll be quiet this afternoon. But I'll be reading the comments then!

Monkey Business!

You may have noticed a new graphic on my site. You may be wondering what is up with those charming monkeys-- is there some sort of contest going on? They don't look like my work!

And indeed they're not, but to find out what is going on, you'll have to click the graphic! Here's a hint: it involves free stuff!

And it's got me in a monkey kind of mood. So this Friday Five, here's some of our kin, and theirs:

Fellow Big Damn Crafter and all around cool person Gypsyharte has an unfamiliar face-- a non-ringtailed lemur! Good for her! Check it out:

LJGrove can't resist the ring-tailed troopers, though. Heck, neither can I:

MP Sockmonkey captures a side of baboons rarely seen--all of them!

I love the way the beads on this Frogbag bottle look like seeds-but I'm sold on the snow monkeys!

Want more monkeys? Brandee2006 has all you need:

Go ape!

Daily Sketch: Dentist!

Gyah, missed yesterday! Hope I didn't worry anyone too much.

I'll catch up later, but here's the sketch for today:

I have a peculiar affection for dentists. Their work is so straightforward, like a sort of medical carpentry. And I like the little birds that dentist* in the mouths of giant (relative to them) monsters.

Hence, this picture, which is about half- done.

*In English, any noun can verb. Try it!

The lovely MVincent- Mannie of Mannie's Mandibles has tagged me once more! Hurrah! In keeping with today's sketch, I'll make mine medical:

1. I had reverse headgear and a palate spreader for three years. Right in the awkward tween years. Gangly, uncoordinated, shooting people with rubber bands when they broke off my sharp metal chin-prongs. constantly drooling-- oh yeah, I was a charmer. I knew I could never believe anything my mom said when she insisted I was *still* an attractive child. Love you mom, but you were lyyyying! Or possibly insane.

2. I wanted to be a surgeon when I was a teenager. I still would like to be able to do that, but it's not a physical possibity ("I shoot with this hand"-watch Blazing Saddles, you'll get what I mean).

3. Relevant to #2, I have dissected:
two fetal pigs
3 frogs
a cat
2 rats

All before my junior year of high school. I do in fact know where the spleen is and what it should look like.

4. I have never broken a bone. I have dislocated every single joint in my body at some point, with the possible exception of the cranial suture (the joint in the top of the skull).

5. I can usually reset any joint I happen to dislocate, except my ribs. Anyone with good tips on self-manipulating their ribcage, there's a population of EDSers waiting to give you a prize.

6. I am missing a tooth. This is not because of poor hygiene, or even my usual native weak enamel, but because the tooth just failed to show up after its original baby version disappeared.

7. I have been stung by bees, wasps, and scorpions several times, and it just gives me a bit of a buzz and makes me giggly. But booze makes me pass right the heck out; I can't even drink enough to get a hangover. I have no idea why this is, since biochemistry is not my thing. But as alcohol is easier to avoid than scorpions in my life, I'll take it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Daily Sketch: War of the Worlds

Trying hard to make green look alien in this one:

This is the rough for my month's Etsy TX challenge. For October, we're doing War of the Worlds! Is that not aggressively awesome? I may do multiple pictures.
If you don't know the plot of WotW, I...I don't know what to say. Read a book! Wells may have been an amazingly sexist historical idiot, but he could write him some yarns.

This one is nowhere near done, but it's probably destined for printworld. I've not printed any of these massively colored pics yet. Wonder what paper will serve it best?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Daily Sketches: Brown

More bookmarks. These are going up in the shop VERY soon, so I'm not going to talk too much about them here. But they will be listed with ample verbiage*. Can you guess who they are without reading the descriptions?

Ok, a little verbiage, because I love these stories and will not stop talking about them ever.

First up, Sif, who you may recognize. Today she's working the wheat-braids. I've written about her before, and she will no doubt be appearing again.

Frigga, whose name makes SUCH a good oath. The other all-seeing member of the Norse pantheon, because she was Odin's wife, and a sensible husband doesn't keep things from his wife. Kept the keys to the home. Known for thinking circles around her husband. Depending on your mythteller, Frigga kept the women's equivalent of Valhalla, for women who died in childbirth or other dangerous womanly affairs.And man, I could go on for hours about the position of women in Norse society.

I could! Someone just dare to ask!

Loki, who provided the impetus for most of the stories, and who was a big ol' girl. At least once. Maybe more often. It's stressed that he was very attractive, like a dancing flame is attractive. Liked messing with Thor's mind, as though that were somehow difficult.

Freya, goddess of beauty and...well, beauty.And fertility, since it is amazing how often the one leads to another. Didn't really have to do anything else. But Norse goddesses didn't just sit around and look pretty, so Freya was a single mom of a great litte girl, and had some of the shiniest jewelry known to man or god, and had suit of falcon feathers that let her turn into a falcon and fly around. And kept a companion hall to Valhalla, for guys who got sick of the fighting and wanted to enjoy some music or something. And had the cat-chariot, which deserves its own picture.

I love the Aesir and will not stop talking about them, evidently.

ANYway, the orginals of these should be in the shop this week. This version, with the computer coloring, soon thereafter.

*Verbiage. NOT "verbage". It should surprise no one that I am defensive and picky about my language.

Daily Sketch: Heavyflight Bookmark

Ok, head still 'splodey. Verbal capacities melting down, unfortunately. But I'm falling behind in sketches, and that cannot be allowed! So, to make up for yesterday, another piece in the purple spectrum:

Unlike most of the sketches, that are pure computer work, this one is colored lineart. And it's already bookmark size! Which means the sepia-ink lineart version is going up in the shop very soon. Perhaps today! If I can get my skull together enough to handle posting.

And for those who've asked: sure, I'll sell print/ACEO/whatever versions of any of the sketches. Just let me know!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Daily Sketch: Sif Stage 1

Head asplody today, so not so much talk. Sorry.

But here's the picture!

I may have mentioned elsewhere that I like drawing long hair. And no one has better hair than Sif! She was one of many Norse godesses of fertility. Her hair was the color of ripening wheat, and its lenght and health reflected and possibly shaped the prosperity of the fields on Earth.

I am not so fond of the color yellow, but I am going to be drawing Sif a LOT, just based on past experience. Oh yeah.

Ooh, and also! She was Thor's wife, which means she must have had endless entertainment. This was a guy who could be made to drink seawater with the old "bet you can't!" line of reasoning. I tend to believe the only reason Sif didn't run around causing just as much trouble as Loki was because she had Thor right there to mess with. Well, and two little kids. That probably took up some time.

Man, I love Norse myths.

Not chatty today, oh no..

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Purple Fish

Not too much chat this time, kiddoes, because I have about fifty metric tons of stuff to get ready today. But here the sketch o' the day! Note: Actual fish not visible in this picture

One of my lovely commenter types suggested I do a new color every day, and so I shall! For a bit. Then I think I'm moving into complimentary colors. I said in the Blue Line I'd be practicing very basic stuff...

I'm not sure if the snake here is menacing, guarding, or just watching the fishermen with reptilian disinterest. I like to think that I'm not playing with perspective, and it is in fact a GIANT snake, watching over the little people with whom it shares a symbiotic relationship. It keeps away predators; they groom it and share their food and help it shed its skin.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day Jobs, the Having Of

It feels...weird to be posting without a sketch. How will I function without artsy goodness to hide behind? Oh, wait, I have a meme. Day saved. Thanks, Etsy Bloggers!

Regular readers of this blog (all four of you) may have noticed a seeming discrepancy in my daily narrative. How can I be seriously disabled and still talk about my day job? That, I can answer in one word:


Ok, it's not exactly nepotism; I got my job on the strength of my training, on my qualifications, on the basis of total inability to work more than 10 hours a week outside the home!

I did find out about it from my mom, though.

And she has since been promoted to be my direct supervisor.


My actual supposed job is testing center assistant. Basically, I proctor at the local community college. When I found out about the job, the office was *almost* fully staffed. They needed another person oh, about 10 hours a week. Weird hours, but not impossible ones.

Turns out it is near impossible to find a person with at least an associates' degree, willing to work 10 hours a week with no real hope of more, with no conflicting schedule requirements, who isn't a student.

Unless you're willing to work blue.

Blue badge, I mean- the color of "handicap" in the US. You'll see it at all the parking spaces up near the front, where, believe me, you want us spazzy crippled types to go.

Employers, even of hourlies, often don't consider people with noticeable disabilities. Let me tell you, employers, especially of hourlies, you are missing a gold mine. We're desperate like few legal citizens are: desperate to prove what we can do, desperate to have even a little income, desperate to feel part of the community, desperate to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE BEFORE I SNAP AND PAINT THE WALLS WITH MUSTARD.

Seriously, it had been two years. I was going all Charlotte Perkins Gilmore. I needed that job. Not the money, though I won't lie, the money is nice to have-- I needed a JOB. And my boss needed someone to work 10 hours a week without being bitter.

Bitter? The job is pretty much Stuff I Love. I have a high-speed internet connected computer, get to see a few dozen people in the day,most of whom I chat with, and spend the rest of the time yakking with my mother or my coworkers. It's pretty darn awesome.

Of course there are some rough times, especially at the end of the semester. We get very busy then, and being very busy is hard on my fizzing brain. And easy job or no, my brain is a pile of electrified pudding, and holding it together enough to be in public wears me out. I miss work sometimes, and I miss work sincerely when that happens. No one could be happier to have a clerical job.

I'm the sort of artist who needs a day job; the forced artistic down time and change of scenery makes creating easier later, and encourages me to structure my time. And I'm the sort of worker who needs a lot of time at home, lest I be taken to the ER. So here's to making a living, and the things we need to live; may they overlap as often as possible!

Round Up

It's a hard life, on the slime trail. A shellrider has to keep the ornery snails a'movin', or they'll dry out and just stick where they sit. The longhorn beetles ain't ever much inclined to cooperate, either, and if they figure out the ride's only half armored there's no stopping the havoc. But there's no life like it, travelling free under the grass-colored sky, getting the clattering herds to safe ground before the cold weather hits...it's the best feeling in the world.

Now crossing the salt flats, that's a whole new story...

Further attempts in getting a painterly effect with Photoshop. I love the way this came out, really, but I could just be fooling myself with all the green. You know what would be be cool? A book of really good bug illustrations. Like Audobon for bugs. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Snake Dance

The Minoans, the Cretans, the original residents of the Greek islands, had a rather more openminded view of whole snake-woman-oracle thing. And rather more open tops. Not much is known about them, because the victors write the history books...but the latter day Greeks were shocked, SHOCKED by the way those horrible primitives let their women move around and speak and act like PEOPLE. Surely immoral!

I don't know, I've seen the art. I know where I'd rather live. Especially since they apparently also had rodeos! Yeehaw!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Daily Sketch #8:Pythia

The Pythia was sacred, the Pythia was touched by the divine, the Pythia spent days hallucinating under the influence of burned leaves and natural gas.


The ancient Greeks took their land from a people who regarded snakes as sacred, at least sometimes. They also believed women could be sacred, at least sometimes.

The ancient Greeks had no particular feelings about snakes. And they certainly didn't regard women as divine-- women were the babymaking home appliance centers of their world! But when they found the seat of the Delphic Oracle, they knew there was strong magic at work. It's best not to mess with that stuff. So they redubbed it after Apollo, slapped some bay leaves on the proceedings, and left a woman, the Pythia, to interpret the oracle.

This was not fun for her, and she was still a woman, so they also left some men to interpret her.

Being touched by the divine is rarely *fun*.

Daily Sketch #6: Licky

Not a scary piece today, unless you have a galloping phobia of being licked by some sort of two-legged dino-cow.

This is me rather obnoxiously playing with brushes (check out that background! Computeriffic!), but I like the shading I'm starting to get. I'd been really missing the softness of my watercolors, and I feel like I'm beginning to approach it again. The secret appears to be messin' with brush opacity. Ruby, you were missing the brushes too-- what do you think?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Daily Sketch # 6

It's only 11 in Central Texas! I'm not behind!

I love sphinxes. There's just a wonderful air of respect and dignity and mystery about them. Someday I shall do a proper painting of one, with all the golden peace of its Middle Eastern origins, and the textures done up proper.

Until then, you get this, the Very Nearly The Riddle of the Sphinx::

She had to be in Greece by 10 am, and she was fresh out of riddles. It was the age of Heroes, and the oldest ones in the book hadn't been written- there wasn't even a book! But no...no...too silly.

Monday, Monday, Monday

For those who don't know, my beloved Texas Crafters Team celebrates every Monday with some sort of promotional event. First Mondays are a big sale!

I'm offering free shipping until 1 am Eastern/Midnight Central-- see what my neighbors* are doing over here:


*Standard Disclaimer: Neighbors here merely means fellow Texans. I have never met most of them; many are several days of hard driving away.

Unlike my actual neighbors, who are merely twenty minutes away.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sketch # 5: Agnes and Vlad

Time for the Octobery stuff! And what could be more in season than a witch and vampire?

Inspired when someone wanted Discworld fanart, and I had to face the realization that I have never drawn anything Discworld. I've always been so satisfied with the Paul Kidby stuff, I figured anything I drew would be trying too hard to ape his designs (or orang them, I guess), so I never tried.

But I've never seen him do Agnes, so I was free! Bwahaha!

I love Agnes. She is an honest to goodness FAT female hero. Not plump, or overweight, or buxom and insecure. FAT, specified several times. And it actually affects the way people treat her, and the way she sees herself. She's not a Catchy-style weight-obsessed idiot, it's just a part of her life, like being tall or having a broken tooth. And she is a Pratchett hero, of course, so she gets to have all this real life stuff and kick butt at the same time, in very female fashion.

My feelings about Vampires, at least the modern prettified version, are rather different and less positive. But there will be other sketches to discuss that.

If you haven't read the Discworld books, do, right now. They are better than anything else you could be doing with your time.

If you have read them- hey, what do you think?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Daily Sketch #4: Monkey on the Shoulder

Inspired by the tales of teammates whose pets ruin their art, yet are somehow not thrown out into the world.

I say this as my cat gives some painted glass the crazy eye.

A LOT of coloring work on this one. No GOOD coloring work, or details; it's pretty much Paint Bucket Ahoy with a few highlights. I really don't have a feel for coloring in Photoshop yet, not the way I want. It would help if I knew how to make brushes, I'm sure; anyone know a good tutorial?

Yes, I use Photoshop on all these. I need to start playing with Illustrator, too, but I'm gonna need some tutorial time on that. I have a degree in this stuff, but it's been eight years, and I'm a wee bit behind the newest model of the software.

Oh, and a big Welcome! to Ruby-- she's not from Etsy! Let's lure her over with shinies!

Friday Five: Etsy Bloggers!

Well, I missed a Friday! Can you believe, I was actually crafting, doing the three dimensional part of my Etsy business, instead of typing? Scandalous!

Well, more swag should start posting soon. But this week, the Friday Five are back!

It's practically self defense this time-- if the Etsyfriends team is a big enthusiastic party, then the Etsybloggers team is Woodstock. With amps. Broadcasting with lasers. From the moon. Maybe, if I draw their attention here, they won't crush me with the weight of their weekly posts! Witchy! Rose! Eyes here!

Someday, Palleiko Designs will feature something that doesn't make me shiver with wonder and weep with envy. But this is not that thing, being as it appears to be made of clouds and frost:

Nor is this, which appears to be from some lost fantasy world where spirits walk among our jewelry:

Waterrose catches my geeky self on either hand! This ring fits my sci-fi geek side, which squeals that it's even the right kind of blue:

And this one grabs my fantasy lover arm (and of course there is no wrong kind of green!):

Theophany knows what's important. Octopi!
And trees! Green Trees!

If I am very, very nice to the lady Down the Street, do you think she might make me an apron like this?

Or a bag this handy?

Check out the loot in A Keeper's Jackpot:

But not this one, this one's mine...for what should be obvious reasons:

Namely that it's MINE. In theory. Soon as I earn some money, anyway.

On that note, I fly! To work with me! The rest of you, talk amongst yourselves, get a nap, and hug the soft cuddlable creature of your choice. I shall return!