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.