Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm Leaving You!

But only for a few days! I'm heading off to Akon in Dallas, land of nifty architecture and nightmarish street planning.
How bad are the streets? My honeymoon was spent in Dallas; we stayed at a fairly nice hotel. A nice hotel that we could not reach.
Mind, it was easy to leave the hotel, get on the highway, and go about our business every morning. But that was a one-way feeder road. There was simply no corresponding road leading in. The main roads went right past it; there was a big green lawn...and ONE exit point, for that one way feeder road.

Oh, and a very clear rut in the grass from the main road, where everyone who worked there, visited, or just delivered pizzas said "To heck with this" and violated traffic law in a fairly blantant fashion. Everyone. Even the cops.

So perhaps I should say, I'll be back soon-- Monday, in fact-- provided Dallas has not started any road construction in the meantime. Yeek.

But if I do not return, remember I was working to the last! Remember those muddy sticks I showed you the last time?

Well, I put a little more detail into the mud:

And then, with the Magic of Photoshop, opened a layer under the lines and played around with colors a bit. Seriously, this is something I ONLY do in Photoshop; colorwork takes ages by hand, and it's very hard to revamp a painting in more than minor ways, so aside from some rough color layouts done before I even start a piece, I have to pick a scheme and start with it. In the land of computer graphics, I can try a dozen combos, and just take what I want and scuttle the rest, in about the time it would take me to do ONE traditional color piece. I thought I liked this...

Next time: Near the final stage? Time for a panicked radical change!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Love Blue Tulip!

Holy cow! My latest bloggy giveaway victory,from the estimable Blue Tulip Designs:

What makes this really amazing is that I only WON two cards. That was the deal! And Martha- Blue's secret civilian identity-- was super sweet about it, asking me all kinds of questions to make sure I got the cards I would like most-- even offering to make me a custom invite! Wow! But I said, no, that wouldn't be right, and asked her to just give me what she thought was coolest.

And look!

Isn't that pretty? That wasn't even in her shop when I entered the contest; she made it up all pretty just to surprise me! But it wasn't as surprising as this:

Bwaahahah! I love it! Look at the stunned little monkey face! I think anyone who's ever been in an accident can relate.

Anyway, yes, that's TWO cards that weren't even for sale, sent super-fast straight to me! I'm highly tickled.

Sadly, these are my cards now, which means I can only give them away, not receive them. Which means someone needs to be in an accident or have surgery or something-- that monkey's too cute to languish in a drawer! So I shall be forced to turn to a life of crime, commiting acts of violence just to let cards live there proper lives. I shall be known as The Calling Card Crippler, and there will be dark True Crime TV shows made about me. I'm hoping for City Confidential myself...

Oh, but wait, I'm still blogging. Right. So in conclusion, Blue Tulip rocks! Visit her! Now!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Carnival: Summer Line

First off, if any commenters still want to join the Halloween PIF, there's room for ooooone more. Just leave a comment in the post under this.


I am in grief, because I missed the last Etsybloggers blog carnival. Alack, because it was about fairy tales, and if you like hearing me ramble (and if you don't, why on earth are you visiting my blog? Rambling and occasional sketches are all I offer here!), well, you are grieving too, because there is seriously a hundred years worth of prattling to be had off fairy tales.

But this carnival is, conveniently, about my New Stuff for the Summer * and my new stuff for the summer is apparently going to be heavy on the fairy tales! Yay! In fact, check out these early sketches:

Oh boy, doesn't that look promising! Hah, I kid. Early sketches always look like someone kicked muddy sticks on a page. Mine do, anyway. Maybe yours look like Degas layouts, I don't wanna know.

Anyway, can you guess who they are? I bet not, because that's a rough sketch, and it looks like mud! But in the stage it's at now, that's a really rather pleasing composition of Snow White and Rose Red.

I always liked Snow White and Rose Red a lot better than just the Snow White story. True, it's missing the wonderfully wicked Stepmother, and the disturbing fact of the dwarves, but it replaces them with an evil gnome, a talking bear, and sisterhood with axes. Better deal all around, and that's before we even get to the color contrast. The Grimms and their translators did some fantastic things with very basic language, and that's coming from someone whose favorite authors are mostly in the grand Dickensian tradition**.

Anyway, I seem to be on a kick illustrating the stories of my childhood. I don't expect I'll be doing a lot of the Disney-famed stories-- they aren't the interesting ones, anyhow. But The Girl With Golden Hands? Brave Little Tailor? Mother Hulde? Oh heck yeah. I'm getting itchy sketchin' fingers just thinking about them.***

There's also going to be a new set of clays in my shop, with a little more potential usefulness. Over on this blog, there's going to be, well, prattling about fairy tales, some con stories, and not a few photos, if all goes as planned. And sometime-- I'm not saying when-- a great big enormous summer sale! So stick around, this'll be the best summer ever at Caramakes!****

*Well, it was that or birthday stuff, and my birthday stories are kinda depressing.

**Tell me more about the bottle on the windowsill! Exactly what shade of green is it, and how does this reflect the nature of society, again?

***Dear Disney: Unless you're willing to have the mutilation scene in full glory, leave Golden Hands and Mother Hulde alone. Thank you.

*** Also the second summer ever. So it's an easy promise to keep.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just for Fun, to Pay it Forward

The Play of Light and Shadow has this little Halloween PIF going on:

And has generously capped it at three people, so the shy weird kid in class who only has three real blog readers can still play! Whew!
Having just survived our end-of-semester rush, I am feeling rather undead myself, and very much in the mood for some Halloweenness. So here's the deal: You be one of the first three commenters on this post, you get a big of Halloweeny suprise, drawn by me meyself. I do not promise it will be awesome, only original. Er. I will need to contact you for your mailing address, but worry not, I will not be mailing you dead fish or anything.
Then-of course-- you must go forth and Pay! Bwahaha! By offering a similar small bit of early Halloween to three readers on your blog! And linking back to me. Theoretically, if everyone did this faithfully, I guess a PIF could last forever! The sociologist in me is very interested to see that. Alack for proper network tracking software!
Leave your comment, let me know you do want a bit o' art from me, and share your own Halloween spirit. Easy, right?
Now, I'm not gonna advertise this post. This is for long-timers, says me. So comment, I wanna know who I'm working for!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tick, Fleas, And The Finer Things in Life

It may not come through on the blog, but I am not the girliest of girls. I don't wear makeup, except at Halloween; I don't wear perfume, ever; and my devotion to green (it is the best of all possible colors, at least for me, and will be the subject of another blog post) means I never wear pink.
But I am grateful for at least one aspect of the morally bankrupt beauty industry, and that is depilator creams. Let me be clear: the hairiness of my legs does not concern me as a general principle. Anyone close enough to tell had better be beyond caring. If humans were all I had to worry about, I wouldn't worry.
Humans are not all I have to worry about.
Come the summer months, I like to run around-or, well, ambulate around-in shorts and short socks. When I moved to my current location (Sticksville, Population: Cows)I found something besides peace and a lovely green smell in the waving grass and thick undergrowth. Or a lot of somethings. Or they found me.
Yes, my heart may be full of love (or blood, one would hope), but my yard is full of ticks, despite the best efforts of the cows. And fleas. And weird little clear bugs...
And they all think I'm delicious, and they all loooove hairy legs. If they were human, this would be flattering; since they're not, it's icky. I'm not quite that xenophilic (plus, I would like to keep my heart full of blood, thank you.).
So I depilate. I tried shaving a few times, but as the Waco Kid says, "I shoot with this hand."* Leeches couldn't get as much blood out of me as I did with that razor. Sam Peckinpah, eat your heart out.
So that left me with depilating creams. Which work. They work great! They take off the hair, no doubt. And they make my skin itchy and dry for days, and they stink to high heaven, and they make my fingernails slimy. But no bugs! And no fun.
But giveaways are fun! Especially when I win something, like a big fat gift certificate to Favors R Us. No sooner did I get my certificate, than I bounced over to Favors R Us, with A Plan.
Today, the cream of stinking became necessary once more (dear deer ticks: kindly drop dead en masse. Thank you.) So unfurred myself. And then, in hope, deployed my new Secretish Weapon:

Cucumber Aloe Sugar Scrub.
Right away, the itching stopped. When I toweled off, my legs didn't smell like chemical; they smelled like Nice. And my nails look better than they did before I deployed the dread cream.
So, I don't know if sugar scrub reverses the effects of aging, or sun damage, or pregnancy. But I know it undoes the nasty effects of some very nasty chemicals in about thirty seconds, and doesn't even tear up my skin doing it. Triumph!

*If you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch Blazing Saddles. If you do know what I'm talking about, watch it again!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Featured Etsyblogger of the Month: Createathought

I am a bad, bad blogger about my team duties. Specifically, my Etsyblogger team duties. I keep missing the featured monthly blogger, and that is not fair. These are good folks! I should talk about them!

But in my own feeble defense, I just don't have anything to SAY about most of them. If someone has a baby-oriented shop and blog, I have no comment, except "Look! Babies!", which will indeed totally be my post if that comes up again. Add that to my tendency to forget the month entirely, and well, I've missed a few.

But this month's blogger is different! This month's blogger has journals!

Really quirky journals that I hereby claim in the name of Me!

I love journals. Given my state of mind, I carry one everywhere, to keep track of things like whether I need to buy milk and when I have my next doctor appointment and whether I am wearing pants that day (no, I'm wearing a skirt.Today.)And as you can see by that first journal, these folks have my color favoritism well in hand. So go, check 'em out.

But don't you dare buy MY journal.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Keeping Busy

One of the quirks of my brain issues (yes, I have brain issues, not in the "oh, I'm so wacky" way, but in the "Hey, I can't see out my right eye!" way) is that often my verbal circuitry will short out. You who have seen me write can guess how much being forced to go incommunicado pains me.

But when I can't write I have to do SOMEthing, so the irony of my bloglife is that usually when I'm not blogging I'm doing scads of stuff I'd like to blog about. Like this!:

Yes, I'm modding an altoids box. This one's gonna be for me and me alone; I've laid some transparent clay along the backside, which I'll paint, and I'm going to have me a nifty unique earplug box (it's a dinky tin). But I'm thinking of making a couple for my shop. What do ya'll think?