Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WIP: Mega Crazy Hyper Holiday Prep Time!

Let's face it, for the next month, there's only one project that I'm really devoting myself to.

I may have mentioned it in past years, but I adore holiday time. I never feel the least bit obligated to bake and decorate and play holiday songs eight billion times in one month; I love doing these things, that's all. But none of it works without the centerpiece of the whole endeavor...

Seriously, I can't even start to get in the holiday spirit without my tree! And now I can't stop! So this blog may seem a bit...obsessed... for the next couple of weeks. I'll try to keep it shiny for you, at least!

My household has always put up the tree as early as possible in December (this year right on the 1st! Go us!) and takes it New Year's Eve. But I know other people have other traditions. When do you start decorating? Do you use a grown tree or a handcrafted one? When does it come down? And is there a story with that tradition?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Fun Time with A Vengeance!

So, you may wonder what I've been doing lately...

Yeah that's right! I been partying!

Holiday season is gearing up, and around here- with my shop being slow in the holidays and all-- that means nothing but solid party prep for a month. So things will be a little less chatty here than usual.
But from here on in, There Will Be Posts! So if anyone is unbusy enough to check their blogrolls, I'll still be putting up something here to entertain you.  Maybe even sizable posts! Who knows? I don't!

Except I like tomorrow's post. Come see me tomorrow! And dance along with the ladies in their garb!

Friday, December 3, 2010

We Have A Winnah!

Well, two winners, actually!

The bookmarks will go to the lovely fantastical KILA! Yes! I happen to know she runs a very nice Etsy shop, which you should go check out, because she's got all sorts of shiny goodies you're just busting to give someone who's been nice to you.  Kila, I hope my bookmarks somehow carry with them enough time to actually read something in the middle of all your making and doing!

Aaaand the winner of a piece of art from me is-- MERMAIDEN! This was nearly inevitable, Mermaiden  was my single most frequent commenter, and the ONLY person to comment on all the Thursday posts (except Thanksgiving Thursday, and hey, who was online then?!?).   Mermaiden also has an Etsy shop, full of wicked lovely things you do NOT want to give even to dear friends, because you want them for myself. Yourself, I mean.  Yeah.

So in conclusion, yay for both of you, and I'll contacting you by Etsy convo, and I hope everyone goes to these two shops and gives me everything they buy there, because seriously, great shops.

I'll see everyone again on Monday- this blog's going to be a little different during December, but posting will happen!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Well, Heck.

Dear blog readers: My internet connection has begun acting-- and this is a technical term, so follow closely-- stupid. I am even now drinking from the shallow and bitter cup of dial-up we keep in the emergency cellar for this sort of emergency. So I can't post images or respond properly to your lovely comments at the moment.

This does not mean I don't appreciate your lovely comments! I am working my way back to the internet, oh yeah, just as fast as I can. I miss you all, and hopefully we shall soon be reunited in the glorious land where images load in less than thirty minutes. Until then, click, comment, and shop the heck out of all the CyberMonday sales I'm missing, ok? I want someone to be having fun today...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fairy Tale Friday: The Sun's Other Daughter

Apparently I am a bad, bad salesperson. A good salesperson would have told all her bloggy friends that she was having a sale on prints in her shop over the weekend.  And would have mentioned it straight up in every blogpost for like a week, with no hesitation. And probably been Twittering it like crazy and stuff too.

The thing is, I really hate doing that. Self promotion is boring and nasty and makes me feel cheap. But I like knowing when the artists I enjoy are having a sale! Ah, contradiction. What do you think, Dear Readers?

For  myself, I'd rather focus on other things. The sudden late arrival of Near-Winter, for one. Autumn's a pretty mellow season around here-- just yesterday, I was running the AC- but there's a certain finality to the latest cold front that promises Fall is gone and Winter really settling in, or at least staying for dinner.  Part of it is the fact that leaves are finally falling off trees, and our sunflowers at last gave up some petals. But mostly it's

You see, when the Sun moved away from her first home (with her Wolf, but that's a different story) she had one daughter who took on the family business of running the lights and heat and general utilities for the world.  Very responsible girl, the Sun's oldest daughter. But it's a big job, and the Sun doesn't hold a monopoly on the position. Her sister Moon does a lot of seasonal work, too.  The Moon lives on the other side of the world (with her Wolf, but that is again a different story) and runs tides and migrations and such essential secondary services.

When Sun and Moon shared a house as a couple of single sisters, coordinating these things wasn't a problem. But once they moved to opposite sides of the world, they and their daughters (Moon actually had a couple of sons first- somewhat unexpected, and they're good children, but this isn't their story either) had to find someway to stay in sync. There were a few very bad years where the two houses just could not get together,even for holidays.

But then the Sun's second daughter started to come of age. Without having the whole seasonal company in her command, she was free to wander about.  Since her little sister was always roaming anyway, she found it no trouble at all to take messages to her aunt's house. Both Moon and Sun houses were glad to at last have reliable information in a timely way, at least enough to stop running so many eclipses; and so overall the situation was resolved to everyone's benefit, and without any of that tiresome sibling rivalry that spoils so many mythic families (except for the Moon's sons, but again that is another story entirely).

The only inconvenient thing about the whole affair was that, whether she did her mother's job or not, the Sun's second daughter couldn't help trailing a bit of the family radiance with her wherever she went. This was hardly noticeable when she traveled over regions where her sister or mother were residing; the equator and lands in summer didn't notice another set of sunny footsteps. But lands in winter flash quickly to the memory of summer when the Sun's messenger daughter zipped on her way, and human people in those lands grumble and change coats and wonder why they can't be allowed to plan a bit from day to day.

What I'm saying is, I now have to deploy my entire wardrobe until the end of March, to be ready for the changing travels of the Sun's second daughter.

And also I hate having to act like a businesswoman. Someone go buy my shop out, so I can focus on  making more addled stories and art!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday!

Hello everybody!

Sorry to go quiet this week- especially this week, when I've got so much I want to be sharing-- but I've been pulling together the Thanksgiving meal in my limited free time, and the turkey-wrangling has occupied all my thoughts. I take my food seriously! So my Works in Progress this week have been tasty but hard to share on the blog.

Today I shall be stuffing my face with the fruits of my efforts. Whether you celebrate Elastic Waistband Day today or not, I hope you have plenty to celebrate- and I'll be back this weekend with some final November posts!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank You Thursday: Chocolate!

I am up way too early.

A small but vital part of my art/computer setup has failed me for the last time. It shall be rewarded as a traitor deserves, but in the meantime I'm being unproductive, even though I'm up early.

I am up way, waaay too early.

And it's cold outside.

And I don't care, because I've got a great big mug of hot cocoa, (homemade, of course; premix cocoa is an abomination) and a cat on my feet.

Thank you, Theobroma Cacao, for making everything better all the time.  You are worth way more than all the gold and silver in the world.

Maybe not the tea, but you're buddies with tea, so that's fine.

What's making everything better for you today?


(Yes, the comment contest is still on! Remember that comments left today qualify for the custom drawing. Thank you, bloggy readers!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Queen of Color Roughs

Dear readers, I really need your help. While I love the general look of my Queens, the details are driving me crazy! Take colors. I'm trying to make two versions of the Queens- one with only the main inks and gold details, and one with a single main highlighting color. Let's have the Queen of Spades show us how that might look, roughly:

And I've been trying to keep to the primary colors (green is a primary color! The three-color model is outdated and wrong!). But that gives me a problem: If Heart is red, Diamond is blue, and Spade is green, what do I for Clubs?

Darker Green?



And for that matter, what animal do I give to the Queen of Spades, at the top of the post? Clubs has squirrel (well she will) Hearts has a fox, Diamond has a hawk..what can I do for my sword-swinging lady?

I appeal to you, might blog-o-sphere, for ideas!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mondoodle: Alphabet Cards

A looong time ago, I drew my way through a pack of 100 index cards in two days. It was pretty insane, and I wrecked my hand for a week to come, but it did get me out of an artistic slump I'd been in for a month.

It did not get me out of this slump by helping me to create especially GOOD art, though.  Although some of the cards did in fact turn out surprisingly well, and I found that they were quite a good work surface, most of the pictures were made just to make something.  Nothing holds me up artistically quite as much as an utterly delusional recurring urge to perfectionism,

So I made the cards, and promised myself I'd show them to other people, even.  As in, "even though they're gonna be awful". So here, the first of some of those surviving cards:

All of these cards have oddly elaborate stories on the backside. But perhaps none have a greater mystery than the Invisible B, which will not load. Why? Oh Letter Image of Mystery!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Comic: Cat Circus

Yes, the Cat Circus is real! It's a wonderful charity that helps sponsor care for stray cats, and works to get them permanent homes- at least the ones who don't join the show. It's a fantastic show- but I must say, Hendiana Jones was far and away the scene stealer. I never knew a chicken could be so awesome!

See you tomorrow, cats and chicks- and don't forget, the comment contest is still on!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You Thursday- The Contest Continues!

Whoo, almost didn't get today's post up! And that would be bad, because it would mean fewer entries for the artwork contest. Ooh yes. You remember, this contest? I want maximum entries, I do!

But the weather is whipping up merry Hob-- anyone else want me to draw a merry Hob, now?-- and these posts, unlike the others, I don't plan out ahead of time. That's right, these Thursday posts are all spontaneous! Hurrah! But that means when the satellite internet is wonky, so is my posting schedule. Alas!

But I do like my theme days, so: these posts seem like a perfect place to talk about what's awesome in my world at the moment. And at the moment, it's this gorgeous storm boiling up right outside. Oh, it's going to find all the leaks in our roof and rock our trailer on its feet when it hits-- but for all that, it's awesome in the original sense to watch the sky turning electric violet and all the pines dancing like stars in a black and white Fleischer cartoon.

And I'm of course very grateful, while that whips up, to be inside at all, even moreso given the existence of a comfy couch and two purring cats holding a war for my lap and a big shelf o' exotic tea.

And of course I'm thankful for you, my few, faithful commenters, who make me get up and get to work even on stormy days. Thank you!

What are you glad for today?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WIP: Card Courts

Playing cards -traditional four-suit playing cards- frustrate me.  They seem so chock-full of obvious folk memory symbolic goodness, with the caste-system allusions in the deck, and the King knifing his own head, and all.  But start looking for any detailed information on that symbolism, and it's like chewing taffy.  Beyond the whole staves-meant-swords-stood-the-military type stuff, no one seems to know exactly why the cards look the way they do.

Part of the reason the works that come here are In Progress is because I usually feel they're not quite solid enough to finish. With these ladies, for instance, I'm not happy having a pure shape motif. Looking at my Queen of Diamonds, I can see she needs a hunting- hawk.

But what animal should go with my Queen of Hearts? And what should they both be holding as a token of their office? Scepters? Cel Phones? I don't know, but I don't like them empty-handed.

So I toss the discussion to you, dear blog-friends, while I go sketch out my Queen of Spades and Queen of Clubs.  Let me know what YOU think- especially since the comment-contest is still on!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mondoodle : Cowly Owls!

Some pretty developed doodles this week! I started on these owls back in the owl-cowl crazy days of Etsy. I never did finish them, at least then, because apparently I have an allergy to taking advantage of fads. But they're cute, aren't they?

But my husband saw them and went Squee, almost to the letter, so apparently now I am maritally required to produce something with them. And Etsy has moved on to...what, exactly? I don't know, but thank the Monkey it's not white and cream boxes of owls anymore (that actually sounds way creepier than it was...kinda cool! I'd like a box of white and cream owls...), so I sould be able to avoid the horrors of possible success and popularity.

So, what do you think? Cards? Prints? What should I do with these big-eyed beauties?

And don't forget--


Don't Forget there's  A Giveaway Going On!
The winner will get a set of my new-and yet unreleased- bookmarks! I've seen these, I've got them in my hot little hands, and they are pretty darn nice bookmarks, laminated, ribboned and all pretty with Carapace art. So if you like my art and like books, you'll like these! And if you don't like either of those things, well, I'm honestly not sure why you're here.  Hi?


Leave a comment, any day! And make sure I can reach you through your profile, or leave me an email.

No, seriously, that's it! One comment per person per post can get entered in the contest!  But only real comments- no "Enter me" or "Check out this contest"! This one's for my bloggy faithful, not the contest-trawling masses.*

See you Wednesday!

*Dear contest-trawling  masses- I will have a contest for you later. I am one of you! I like contests!  There will be ads and all! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fairy Tale Friday: The Winter Palace

They sing spring out of the ground; they serenade the summer; they hold out against the first chills of fall to keep the nights alive. They are the constant choir of the evening, and yet few wonder, in the frosts and silence of winter, where the frogs have gone.  Perhaps it's assumed that they fly south for the winter, or-horribly- that they all die off, like wildflowers, to be reborn in the spring.

In fact the frogs learned to plan for the frogs long ago. When the weather starts getting too cold for sun-loving think-skinned frogs, and the air is too thin for a good song, they go not south but down. The frogs burrow, swim, slide through the darkness of the earth and bottom of cooling lakes. And there on the other side of the cold they meet in their winter palace, warm and safe and with endless entries opened only by frogs,to practice their songs until the next spring.

Almost all of my fairy tales are entirely made up (by me!), but this one is only embellished. Frogs really do burrow down for the winter, going into a very profound hibernation to escape the cold. Personally I do suspect they are rehearsing their songs in the quiet of their own minds; but science cannot yet confirm my hypothesis, and the  local frogs, reached for comment, only say "ree ree ree".

But yes, the frogs survive. You have no idea how relieved I was, as a child, to learn this.

And don't forget, my contest is still on! One comment per post counts as an entry!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thank You Thursday- The Contest!


This month, my Etsy shop- you may have heard about my Etsy shop, I talk about it constantly-- tipped to over 500 hearts. Now that may not seem like a lot, but it's a lot to me! And I know some of you are reading this blog too. To you, I'm especially grateful- the Etsy shop is where I show off, but this is where I get to talk about it! And oh, do I love talking about it.

So this month I'm going to be doing a little giveaway, just to say Thank You to all the people who follow my shop and blog (rules at the bottom of this post!).  The winner will get a set of my new-and yet unreleased- bookmarks! I've seen these, I've got them in my hot little hands, and they are pretty darn nice bookmarks, laminated, ribboned and all pretty with Carapace art. So if you like my art and like books, you'll like these!


This month, I'll also be doing extra posts, my Thursday Thank You posts. For those devoted few who actually read my Thursday posts, and leave a comment ON THURSDAYS, there's going to be a separate drawing- and the winner gets a single subject custom drawing, from me! AND Thursday comments get entered into the bookmark drawing!


Leave a comment, any day! And make sure I can reach you through your profile, or leave me an email.

No, seriously, that's it! One comment per person per post can get entered in the contest!  But only real comments- no "Enter me" or "Check out this contest"! This one's for my bloggy faithful, not the contest-trawling masses.*

So tell me what your favorite thing is in your shop, suggest a Fairy Tale, criticize a Work in Progress-- I want to hear from you!

And again- THANK YOU!

*Dear contest-trawling  masses- I will have a contest for you later. I am one of you! I like contests!  There will be ads and all!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP: bookreaders

Well, it's certainly fall! It took a while (fellow Texans, have we not had the most perversely gorgeous fall?)but it's cold, wet, and grey-skied today. And as the weather cools, an artist's thoughts turn to...books. Well, mine do, anyway. And when I can't be reading, I can draw other people reading!

Sketch version- I like the pose! Actually, I like the pencil lines too. I may use pencil for the final lines on this one...

Lay down some basic colors. Pretty boring stuff, but I want to play with light, so I'm trying to keep the undertones simple.

See? It's gonna get fancified!  And also there will be leaves. But that will be later.

Now, I know Thursdays are usually quiet around here, but you may want to stop by tomorrow. Just saying.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fairy Tale Friday: Why You Need Pumpkins

Halloween is coming! And of course you've carved your pumpkins.

You have to have your pumpkins!

Carved would be best- it's important that they show some light, so Jack-0f-the-lantern can find them. You know he rides on Halloween night, holding his lantern before him, following its light in place of his missing eyes. His horse lights its own way, with great blazing eyes glowing brighter than Jack's candle. Jack rides, seeking his stolen head-- lost through war or carelessness or to the predations of a greedy grave robber, no one knows. But Jack searches everywhere, and when he spies a carved pumpkin smiling its light out into the dark October evening--

He feeds it to his horse.

What? Even blazing eyed demon horses have to live on something. And if Jack can't find a pumpkin, he'll let his horse wander into your yard, and turn over your garbage cans, and sear hoof marks into the lawn, and generally make a great big mess.

So get your pumpkins ready, folks! And if I don't see you here before then, have a fantastic Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mondoodle: Long Leggity Beasties!

This is where the poem always broke down for me. If we're hiding from "Long Leggity Beasties", does that mean Looong Beasties, who are leggity?

Or Beasties with long leggity-s?

And if it's the latter, I'm a bit offended, having rather long leggitys myself!

I will, though, confess to going Bump in the Night. And the Day. Long Leggitys are not conducive to absolute grace.  Perhaps the chant

From Ghoulies 
And Ghosties 
And Long Leggity Beasties
And Things that go Bump In the Night
Great Saints Preserve Us!

is meant to be a prayer of salvation for breakable items?

Well, this long leggity beastie has work to do-- but perhaps you'll weigh in on this crucial issue in the comments?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Fairy Tale: Monster in Where Again?

There's still considerable debate about the first proto-monster. Was it a shapeshifter? A ghoul? Some sort of space squid? But there's strong scientific agreement that the most recent subspecies are The Monster Under The Bed and the Monster In The Closet.

These creatures have evolved to fill a very recent ecological niche- household places hidden from view but easily accessible-- and even now, have not spread to every culture. So it's understandable that their habits are less well studied than those of their more famous Elder Kin.

Still, certain truths are known. They are definite, distinct creatures. The Monster Under the Bed had developed long claws and unspeakable, unfolding arms to reach from its confines and snare its prey. Like other cave dwellers, it has no sight and relies instead on smell, hearing, and the ineffable Monster Sense that lets these hunters know when the most vulnerable member of the household is alone. The Monster in the Closet has bright reflective eyes, to take advantage of ambient light in its dark surroundings, and very sharp teeth in what may or may not be a muzzle.

Both can be evaded by the deployment of protective blanketing, and widespread Blanket Awareness has resulted in an almost total elimination of home-based monster attacks, not just in first world nations, but in every bed- or closet- having culture. Yet one point of concern remains: the Monster Under the Bed has a sharply defined territory, never reaching farther than perhaps two feet around its lair. But the Monster In The Closet has been reported behind shower curtains, in pantries, and even behind briefly open doors, its presence detected by the unerring human ability to Detect Monsters (located in the amygdala). This raises the troubling possibility that the Closet Monsters have become home-based generalists, able to occupy any domestic space not currently in view of two or more humans. If this is true, it could easily ambush prey far from reach of a blanket. It could even be behind you right now.

I do so hope we'll both be here Monday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mondoodle: Ghosties!

People seem to think of ghosts as blurs or pale people. I don't think it works like that...but "ominous feelings" are hard to paint! And to be honest, if you saw this:

watching from your closet on a dark night, wouldn't it give you a start?

Well, I would. But that probably has more to do with my fear of housework than my fear of the undead. Darn meddling undead, why don't they clean their own closets!?! I got Halloween decorating to do!

PS No I do not actually have a high school yearbook.  Never bothered. Shame, those haircuts were prime fright wig material!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fairy Tale: Moon Woman Working

I have no proof the Moon Woman was a ghost. True I saw her only in the dark morning hours of very moonish nights. True I never saw her eyes, or knew her for anything besides the unfinished labor that consumed all her attention. I could say the same thing of my college room mate. I could say the same thing of old Ms. Manor, who I've never seen outside her garden, covered by a sunhat.

She didn't live in the creek behind my best friend's house. She didn't live anywhere, when I knew her. Best to say, perhaps, that I always saw her in my best friend's back yard, slightly immersed in the banks of the creek. She didn't seem put out by being buried in creek mud. Her movements proclaimed that she was working, and couldn't be expected to interrupt herself for a lazy creek that hadn't the industry to maintain its own banks.

She was always working. Through the sliding glass of the living room door I could see how busy she was, arms constantly reaching and moving and selecting, head tilted in the distinct fashion of a crafter considering the progress of a project. I don't know what she was making; the moon fell along the curves of her arms and shoulders, sometimes even filled the hollows of her face. The work was invisible to the rest of us, as cryptic and compelling as any newborn inspiration. But it took all her attention.

I saw her when the moon was right; and of course, when I went to look. It wasn't my house, after all, and the lighting didn't always allow me to even see the backyard. I caught her eye just once, on a hot summer night when the skies were angry with dry lightning. She had tilted her head as women do when they've looked down too long and can't yet stand up. She shook herself a little, stretched her arms, and then looked at me.

And then she bent back over her work.

I don't know if the Moon Woman will ever be done with her creations. And I don't know that it would be so sad if she didn't. There are worse places than a creek on a Texas summer night; and worse ways to spend eternity than in the glowing moment of creation, calling thought into being beneath the moonish light.

(This is a very abbreviated version of a short story I've been working on. Illustration coming soon!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday WIP: Water Witch!

Halloween has me in a witchity mood! Plus I like drawing pointy hats (anyone know why witches wear pointy hats? Or why we think of witches in pointy hats?).

I wanted to have a water scene, and thought of the old dunking-stool. You know, the daft idea that people could separate the witchity from the foolish by dumping them in water, and seeing if they floated.

There seems to have been some disagreement on whether it was floating that meant innocence, or sinking, but my main quibble (well, aside from the horrible idea of drowning people because you don't like their personal practices) is this: You have in your grasp someone believed to have supernatural powers. Someone who, by your own reckoning, can fly, control the elements, and turn into animals.

And you think a puddle is going to ruin their day?!?

I don't *think* so. As a quick sketch in Painter illustrates (fine point pen tool, for those who really care).

I intend this to be a full-color piece, but color needs planning as much as basic composition. Heck, color is composition! I know I want this to be a light, maybe incongruously sunny piece-- something to offset all the gloom and doom or intolerance and panic that attended witch trials.

Also I like green and blue. So a few quick strokes to lay out the basic color scheme:

You can see I also added some background details-- a few fish, some fronds, the edges of what would be a pier if I'd drawn it in first. I like the idea of the witch being serene and untroubled in her bubble, while all kinds of visual noise swirls around. I'll see how much of that I can keep as I work!

What are you working on? Brag in the comments!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mondoodle: Halloween is Coming! With Ghoulies and....

Gasp and shock! I  almost missed posting about one of my most favorite holidays! But it looks like I'm not too late to the party, right, Ghoulies?

Ah, very nice of you to invite me for dinner but I...don't think I'll have any cake. Or finger food. You just go ahead and enjoy, I'll let myself out...

See you all Wednesday!

(For those who don't know: Ghouls were originally creatures, perhaps once human, that lived off the flesh of the dead. I'm not sure exactly why that's considered so awful, technically we all live off the flesh of the dead, except the vegans, who live off the veg-flesh of the dead. But of course the flesh of dead humans is something else again, and has all sorts of side effects, like Packerism, Donner Mouth, Wendigo Feet, and jail. Don't do it, kids!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mondoodle: Etsy Createability Team

I've got an epic Mondoodle Post coming up for you later today! In the meantime, the wonderful Etsy Createability Team has been debating making up a logo to go along with Etsy's new teams formats. I'm sure it's the wrong size and all, but I couldn't help joining in the fun:

And I've been terribly busy with painting some more big unscannable pieces! Hurrah! But hopefully by Wednesday I'll have some version of them available to show...see you then!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Satter Natter

Blog Buddy Crystal on Bead Happily Ever After asked some entirely reasonable questions, so here we go!

1. What bad habit are you having a hard time breaking?
Procrastination! Or else having so many projects that no matter what I do, I'm putting something off, which LOOKS like procrastination even though I'm always as busy as I can physically be! But I hate being bored, so...

2. What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?
Dialing a phone number ooooone more time.

3. What’s your favorite place for daydreaming?
See that first answer? I can zone out anywhere, anytime, any situation! It's hard to tell over the internet because-- hey, why can't I upload my consciousness into a robot body? Maneuver it like a toy, at a distance? I know there's primitive computer interaction technology and-- ah! The over alarm!

...Everyone will be relieved to know I don't drive.

4. When do you feel most confident?
When I've got a migraine coming on. Pleasant, no! But prodrome brings with it the sort of belligerent certainty that causes great wars and starts new countries, and makes me think that this time I can totally write a novel! Tonight! Of course!

...It'll work someday, goldurn it.

5. How long could you go without talking?
I've got laryngitis, so I guess we're about to find out!

6. What makes you mad without fail?
People telling me what to do with my body. "You should get some sleep, Cara!" "You need to eat more vegetables!" "You should try this medication I never researched that you already tried three years ago at peril of your liver!" Noooo, it's my body! And I'm a big girl! I don't WANT a nap!

See, it's making me mad just thinking about it!

7. Best way to wrap your guy around your little finger?
Give him bacon! Actually, that works on me too...

Now go look at Crystal's blog! It's ever so much more dependable than mine, and full of fun conversation!

Friday Fairy Tale: We All Connect

Since returning from my last con of the season, I've been having trouble with my internet connection. Nothing consistent, just random sudden failure of the connection. It's been baffling. We check every connection, looked at the satellite, ran through all the usual tech support attempts.

We might have gone on forever in frustration. We might have canceled our fast but undependable satellite service, and gone back to the grind of dialup. We might have, but we didn't.

Because one fine bright night, not long ago, a raccoon came scratching at the door. We have an Arrangement with the raccoons; we share food, they patrol the yard for intruders and don't invade our house to steal all our food and download Netflix. So I followed our security bandit out to the fence.

There, stretching in long chirping ladders, was half the frog population of our local pond. At the very top of the chain- at the very top of the transmitter-- was a small cadre of frogs, ribbiting desperately, passing having very frantic frog conversations that they passed down the chain of amphibians.

What, you ask, did frogs want with the internet? I certainly asked. The frogs felt this was rather rude; after all, what did I want with the internet?

They thought my answer was quite dull.


It's true that our transmitter has been blocked by frogs climbing all over it. I suspect this has more to do with the bugs that swarm in the area than some sort of amphibious plot to steal our bandwidth, but you just never know, do you?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

It's officially autumn, and the first real coolish weather has brought in the traditional bucketing rainstorms. Seems like a good time to return from my long and highly unintentional Summer Vacation!

Well, I say vacation. In fact my summer was a wacky adventure full of drama,travel, and some new medication that will hopefully prevent such an inadvertent hiatus again. Just because I haven't been able to write doesn't mean I haven't been busy! In the last three months I've updated my internet connection to oh, 2005 levels, been to three conventions, seen a Japanese Cultural Festival, lost air conditioning not once not twice but three times, painted about eleventy dozen things that are now proving problematic to share, and bought myself a shiny new toy that should make Mondoodle rather more doodley for a while.

And also there have been frogs. How the frogs matter shall be revealed...tomorrow!

So I'm back, I missed you all, and now let's get to the business of pretending I never left!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

OWOH Follow Up, and a Note to All

First off: IF you are one of my OWOH winners? You should have your prize by now. They've all been mailed, and I've heard from three people that received theirs. If it's not in your hot little hands now, please leave a comment here, ON THIS POST, and I'll remake and send it again!

Second: As some of you may have managed to decipher, I live in Texas. Where there is currently a bit of hurricane fallout. No, I'm not near enough the coast to be in any danger, but I am certainly near enough to be getting a lot of storms, and my power and (satellite) internet are kind of spotty this week. Hence the lack of bloggery and general slow correspondence. Sorry about that, and I'm netting as fast as I can to catch up!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WIP: more black and white!

Yes, my answer to K's challenge continues, this time with a piece that I really like quite a bit:

In fact I am thisclose to posting it up on Etsy, BUT- it needs...something. More of a white highlight? Should the faun fade to dark at the side of the pic? I do not know.

So, comments most especially welcome! This is all digital, so I can handle even pretty radical revision...

I'm not dead!

Honest, I'm not!

Things that have died in the last five days, however, include
my AC
my tablet drivers
my toilet
did I mention my AC?

Now, I am a heat-resistant native creature, but my laptop and tablet apparently have issues with being asked to function above 94 degrees. So I am way way way behind on everything. Again.

But I shall return, with Works! in Progress! This Wednesday! And maybe even a New Thing in the shop, if the gods do not once more smite me for my hubris.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Works in Progress: Black, White, and Color with Cages

My Sphinx is coming along:

but I don't know how happy I am with her background. This is of course part of why I do things in stages. While I was working on this Monday, I *hated* the background; now i kind of like it, but I still feel there's something else I might be able to do that would be cooler.

And she has a friend:

Whose background I really *am* dissatisfied with, but I don't know exactly what I want to do differently. So...another afternoon spent playing with background scribbles, I think!

That said- I am *this close* to actually posting something new in my Etsy shop again! Rejoicings!

Still, this black and white is getting to me! I need to play with colors:

Look at all the empty cages! What do you think belongs there?

Monday, June 14, 2010


These aren't very much doodles- or rather they are, but that's the nature of the project:

I actually want to use these as card designs. I've got a lot of art I intend for cards! The only thing stopping me is that I can't find a decent cardstock. All the cardstock I've tried is just too dang flimsy. Anyone have any good paper recommendations..?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm Back! Well, sort of...

Akon was huge! A lot of people ask me if they should attend Akon, and being honest, I have to say: Maybe. It's a city of a con, with mass crowds of people and something happening every single moment. If you like cheerful near-chaos and throngs of giddy geeks, Akon is totally the place to be. If you are of a more sedate nature, you may want to check out more...sedate cons, first. Or hide behind a vendor table all weekend, from which you can view the really amazing costumes in safety!

Sadly, a vendor's table, while strong protection against the teeming throngs, offers no safety to wee little computers. And so my poor innocent laptop was brutally viciously and I do hope not fatally attacked. My laptop being my digital paintbox and editor, I am rrrriight back off the updating spree I was just barely on until I get that sorted out. On the bright side, I should be able to do lots of painting in all the time I'm not on the internet! I'll try and share it, with the Magic of Flash Drives, but be patient, Net People! Lappy 600 and I will get back to business as soon as possible.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Am Missing A Word

Actually, I think our entire culture is missing a word at this point.

See, what I need is a word that means "I'm going to be gone for a few days, but I might still be able to get online and say howdy". Disconnected isn't right-- I probably will be able to get online at least briefly over the weekend-- and "gone" or "bye" are both totally wrong. Semiconnected? Hemiavailable? Anyone know the neologism I'm looking for?

Anyway, folkses, yes, I'm going to be out of town, and away from my own home net, because I'm heading to Dallas! For Akon! If you're going to be there too, come say hello-- I'll be in the Artist's Alley with my mad husband, taking commissions and everything! By my excessively green wardrobe you shall know me, that and my scooter. And if I don't see you there-- dang it, I'm still missing that word!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Work In Progress Wednesday: Black and White

On my Monday post, the ever-commenting K said, among other things:
"You need to make owl WOMEN.

A series of owl women of different colors, breeds...a moonlit meeting or gathering of these wise women.

Hmmmmmmmm...I like that concept alot. I may have to tackle some version of that over time.
But! YOU should give it a thought too!
I think your bold style should be given a try in pure black and white.
Expressive and bold areas of negative and positive space. "

And my first thought was "Hey, that's a great idea! I love drawing Bird-People! And owls are wonderfully insane, it would eb a great challenge to try to anthropomorphize them and still try to get across the species differences!"

But I also thought: "Black and white, though? Me? No way, K!"

See, I LOVE good black and white work. It gets overlooked and undervalued, because color seems to be much more eyecatching to most folks. I'm not saying color is easier, because it's certainly not. But color is distracting, and it IS easy to hide minor structural flaws in bright cheery colors. Good black and white requires a very different skill set, and leaves nowhere to hide. And I am, basically, not good enough to pull it off.

And that's why I'm doing this, here. Because "But I don't have that skill!" is a great reason to avoid attempting surgery, but the worst reason ever to avoid an art project. And hey, who am I to argue with someone who thinks I have a "bold style"? I mean, the guy's clearly delusional, and it's bad to get in fights with crazy people.

So , K, this is your fault, here:

Aaaalll your fault.

(and hey, everyone! Go look at K's awesome art on Etsy!)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mondoodle: Goddesses some more

These are probably not going anywhere, at this point-- I'm doing a much bigger and sillier goddess project, now-- but I really like the way the colors on Pele were coming along, and Owl Woman is probably going to make a reappearance, later, so remember that face..

Pele Bathing:

Owl Woman:

Unless of course someone says "oh no, pretty please list that so I can buy it!", because I will not deny my public such.

Also! OWOH packages are all goin' out. Overseas people, if you don't have it by, oh, end of June at the latest? Let me know, something's gone awry.

Also-also, super thanks to those who have kept commenting in this slow era of my blog. Which is K. K, you are wonderful, and your S/M should allow you out of that attic any day now!

Also, if Blogger LETS ME POST* there will be another FAEteam blog post today. So do check back!

* Dear Blogger-- I have Real Internet now, so quit playin', I know dang well it ain't my problem now

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mondoodle: Moonmilk

A bit of silliness inspired by the Fantasy Artists of Etsy Team's Monthly Dare, "Milk Moon".

Somebody asked me in the comments what I do with my sketches and the truth is, in most cases, I forget about 'em. I have more ideas going on at any time than I could possibly polish up. What I put here and on Etsy is about a third of what I actually *do* for various purposes. So by the time I finish the ongoing projects, I've often forgotten all the potential upcoming projects.

Which is why I keep a sketchbook-- it's the closest my hilariously disorganzed artist-brain can come to a day planner. And it means that every now and then, I actually get to come back to a concept and finish it up!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mondoodle: Steampunk Sketches

I must post quickly, ere the internet be denied me again-- stupid phone lines! Stupid storms!--so here, two concept sketches for a steampunk art contest I'm working on, one of a flying medic, one of the burlesque outfit inspired by the medics:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday: More Paint Jobs

For those wondering-- with bated breath, I'm sure-- about the progress of last week's painting:

It is possibly finished? I'm not sure, but I'm at a point where it's hard for me to make things better and very very easy to make things worse, so I'm giving the paint a couple days to cure and me a couple days to get some perspective.

And in the meantime...

Experiments in Glazing continue apace. I like the bubbles, I've never painted those before! And the green/gold thing happening. I have overworked the background, maybe? It had a light quality I like and lost at some point, but on the other hand: bubbles! What do you think?
Oh, and also I'm working on another set of four atrociously cute paintings, that I can hardly wait to show you next week, when I'm well past the early euphoria of making something new and into the angst of being sure that my next brush stroke will DESTROY ALL I HAVE WORKED FOR.*

But I've also got a couple new pieces up in my shop, mostly so I can play along with some of my teams. Which, speaking of, if you read this and haven't voted for me? Go vote for me here:

Where my entry is the one that looks like I drew it. I mean, you COULD vote for someone else, because there's other very nice work there. But believe me, given how the background on this is giving me fits:

I need the external validation.**

WIP not picturable: catching up on forums, mailing out OWOH prizes (yes! They're going out THIS WEEK woooooh!), the ever changing FAE blog post, which you should also go look at, because it has shiny.

*Which will Oh joy. Have I mentioned my paranoid distrust of cameras? But these are giant actual canvii, and my poor wee scanner cannot accomodate them. Or these others I've been showing, really. Alack!

**Haha! It's funny because I'm the sane one in my house. Me, with the yelling at the canvas and frightening the cats because the brown isn't RED ENOUGH, curse you Liquitex!
...My childless status is probably for the good of all.