Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monster ATC Trade

On Monday ArtDay ATC, we have been doing a   theme trade, using the letters of the alphabet.  I'm hosting "Monsters" and here are some of the ATC's that I've received so far - rather fun eh?  Everyone sends in 3 cards, and get's 3 back.  You get great stuff. 

Happy Animal Wednesday

I really like Animal Wednesday - do I post a crazy drawing?,  a whimsical one?  or a plain animal one"?

Today I'm going with whimsical - strange fishy creatures with decorated fins - gliding thru the sea.  There's a little house for someone to live in, but perhaps she's riding off on her footed bicycle. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Seven Deadly Sins (or random facts)

Sarah gave a challenge to list 7 Random or wierd things about yourself.  (I thought a title of "Deadly Sins" would be eyecatching, but I can't think of 7 deadly things).  So here are my random/weird facts. 

1) One foot is about 1 shoe size bigger than the other.  I either have to have one shoe falling off or one tight as a bell, as I am too cheap to buy 2 pairs of shoes in different sizes. 

2) I loved my teddy bear, Timothy, and slept with him until I was about 20 - when a new dog chewed off his face. 

3) I love plants, and love to garden but actually have a black thumb

4) I am scared to death of the telephone and will go to great lengths to stay off it except with mom, who I talk to every day

5) I can only sleep on my left side...not on my back and not on my right side.  Just doesn't work! 

6) Sidewalks are the only natural places to walk in my book.  

7) A good cup of coffee is better than sex, drugs or rock and roll! 

Tag yourselves and see what you come up with - let me know! 
Poem challenge from HB.

I have never been much of a poetry lover, takes a bit too much brain power to understand the meaning behind the words in most cases but I've always liked this Emily Dickinson poem.  HB sent out a little challenge to change the words for your own poem, so I decided to give it a try.  Follow the links in the blogs to get to the initial challenge. 

The Original Version

I'm nobody! Who are you? 
Are you nobody, too? 
Then there's a pair of us = don't tell!
They"d banish us, you know

How dreary to be somebody
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

The Mim Version

I'm a Noodle!  Who are you? 
Are you a pasta, too? 
Then there's a big bowl of us - don't tell!
They'd eat us up, you know

How nice to be a noodle
How steamy, with a haze
You show your carbs the livelong day
To a hungry gaze! 

Silly, but fun

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My FIRST successful scan on Ms. Mac

Had to download different drivers for my scanner - hope it stays working.  Little airplane doodle drawing. 

Sunday - reflections

Being on planes for about 20 hours in the last two weeks gives me time to listen to books and to doodle.  I got this great new sketchbook that I bought on line at Etsy, and have been taking it with me everywhere. It's so great, lots of different kinds of paper in one book, handy size, interesting looking with little pockets in the front and back and an elastic band.  

Anyway, I started doodling after being in Florida last week with my folks and just let my mind go where it wanted to.  I ended up with my little line drawing people, with entwined arms.  Working on it yesterday on the plane home I realized how much this is about my mom and dad - together for almost 60 years - maybe a handful of nights apart in that time.  Devoted, yet real human emotions always showing thru.     Determined to bring up their kids with good educations and give them great starts in life, and they did what they had to do to get us there. Always lived in apartments until they bought their own house 15 years ago, - all in all, a very loving, and quite lively, couple. 
I think that Mom still hopes that Dad will "get better" but don't think he will this time.  His looks remind me of a post that Ellis did on IFN - an old man in a hospital -  minus the tube so far, but very similar.   To give him his due, the man has survived polio, diptheria, three types of cancer, broken hip and back,  and is 94 years old.  He's had his innings, but as I said to FY - it doesn't matter if he is old, young or whatever - he's still my dad - and when he goes I will mourn and miss him terrible. 

But until then...he will happily have his scotch every afternoon and enjoy that as long as he can. 

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Illustration Friday - Wrinkles

Oh boy - what a topic.  My face... 
But I choose to show how "wrinkled" my clothes get when I travel.  This suitcase has seen alot of miles and with good rolled packing, can get me thru two weeks of travel.  

I am still scanning on one computer and then uploading to the second one, and the colors are coming out different between the two.  Not sure why the background is coming out so grey, and don't know enough about the programs on this computer to fix it. This is where those "for dummies" books will come in handy. 

So much to say - so little time

I just got home from London today - the laundry is going and I've been on the phone with cousins and family about getting help in the house for Dad.  Lots of decisions to make! 
But I had to post this wonderful picture of Joss, me and SNUFFLES the wonder dog - more about our visit later, and thanks to Neil for being such a peach and sitting uncomplaining out in the car while we gabbled our heads off over lemonade and water (party animals that we are) 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Animal Wednesday - April 23rd

From my "Learning to Draw Animals" - a lean and questioning cat. Since I drew him, I've added a background and some other bits, but still no decent scanner, that will have to wait until I get home next week.
Until then, Happy Animal Wednesday to you all,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Home for 12 hours (or less)

I just returned from warm lovely Sarasota, from a fun weekend with family.  Dad fell again, which wasn't so great, but seemed to be doing a tiny bit better by today. (still it's really time for help in the house, not an easy chore).  Anyway, I flew home tonight, get to unpack and repack and leave for London tomorrow. FY and I will endeavour to meet up on Friday for drinks, our schedules are clashing due to me having to rush home to work on this home health aide thing. But we will persevere - and meet for drinks and I will take pictures for you all. 

I've been rushing around the house, touching computer, checking in on new friends' posts', checking email and phone messages!  It's like I've been away for weeks! 

I am going to try that new blogger thing where you can set up your post in advance and we'll see what happens for AW. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Animal Wednesday

After today I am off to Sarasota for Passover with my immediate family and about 50 other extended family members.  It should be fun...I hope!  After that, I'm off to the UK for a week, and am planning to meet up with the wonderful and famous Forever Young!  
So Happy Animal Wednesday all - here is the ONLY picture that I could find on this wonderful new computer!  It's a watercolor background with a horse stamp. 

Early Tuesday AM - still arguing with hardware

I still can't get the scanner to work...and the pictures!  Forget it!  They're gone from the camera and no where to be found on the computer, alas.  
I have ordered a "mac for dummies" book and some of the "i" books (iPhoto etc) so that I can regain my geek self respect.  I'll show this computer who is boss. But I don't think that the printer/scanner will work with this baby, something about the software and it's not compatible - whatever. It seems so stupid to have to buy a new something because the software doesn't work.  Ah well, the BoyScouts are collecting electronic equipment week after next, so they will be the richer. 
Deb gave me a great link to a bike site that has comfy woman's saddles and one has been ordered for my biking comfort.  Along with way too much in the way of padded shorts and removable padding and on and on.  All in all, the supplemental stuff will cost more than the bike. But it's worth it to enjoy the outdoors getting exercise and having something that Tony and I like to do together. 
After biking on Sunday, it was way to cold to do the kayaking that we planned for Sunday - at least it was too cold for me.  HE bundled up in a wet suit and all the other paraphernalia and went out on the Nashua river for a long paddle.  I went along, because staying at home often means trying to do chores, and I'd rather get out of the house, take a walk, read and draw.   Here is a work in process.  No...I didn't scan it into this computer...I have the old one (work one) at home with me and I scanned it into there and then copied it to a flash drive and onto this computer.  I get tired just thinking about it.  

Okay - now go figure this out!  I loaded two of these pictures into blogger to see which one looked better, the plan was to delete one and leave the other one.  Now, it won't let me delete one of the versions.  ARGH.  And why doesn't it show the proper cropping which is how I saved it? 

You, and I, are stuck with two.  This doesn't make any sense to me.  Does anyone have the same problem with blogger and a MAC?  

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A sore sunday AM

I still haven't figured out how to get pictures off my camera into this beast, but will continue to work it thru (perhaps MAC and I need some couples therapy). Anyway, I was going to post pictures of my new bicycle, and the bike road and my first spring post. But I can't. So I will just tell you that my new bike is wonderful, and I took it off road for the first time, and used up about a zillion calories according to my polar heart monitor.  But I didn't have on my padded shorts...thought it was too cold for shorts...and I'm sore as all get out, and chafed, and just a TINY bit cranky about it (I'm cranky cause I wanted to buy one of those gel, padded, made-for-women- bike-seats and he "talked" me out of it) And even though the sun was shining, it was occasionally pelting down rain. So I used up a small bit of wifely cranky points and got Tony to do all the bike cleaning and such while I soaked in a bath last night. But really - secretly I enjoyed the whole day. 

Now, when I get that damn camera-interface going I'll show you pictures of daffodils growing right thru a little snowbank.  

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Illustration Friday - Fail

Rather a dark subject for IF, perhaps in homage to IFN's demise.  

I "failed" to listen to all of the action items that I was getting from the conference call, because I was doodling during the whole meeting. 

scanner trouble

New problems I guess.  I can get the thing to print, but not to scan.  As far as I can tell, everything is loaded correctly but still "drivers not found" keeps coming up. You feel like yelling at the machine, "you're so smart, find the damn drivers yourself!".  I may hook up the old computer again, and scan into that in order to get a few things in. 

ah, the troubles of having things! 

Friday, April 11, 2008


Okay, I know that I'm not really spoiled, because everything I have/get - I work hard for.  But occasionally there are times when one realizes how many things I have, and a little bit of guilt creeps in.  
Recently I finally decided that the bicycle that I bought 3 years ago was just TOO big.  The history on this bike is that the first day that I got it, I got on it and promptly fell off and shattered my ankle.  And when I say promptly, I mean it. The bike wasn't even moving!  I never got to ride one inch before ending up in surgery and flat on my back for 8 weeks.  Since that time, I've ridden the bike alot but always with trepidation, somewhat afraid of the beast. And it is a huge bicycle, not only did we buy the wrong size for me, but it's just weird.  And I need to ride!  My darn ankle won't let me walk for too long and I certainly can't run. So I must ride for exercise. 
So last weekend we went out and I got a new hardtail mountain bike, which seems to fit me and is a lovely bright blue.  I finally got it this Wednesday and while I haven't ridden it yet, it is calling to me.  Note, - my nephew in law who lives in Sedona just broke his wrist while mountain biking .  I'm getting protective equipment! 

In addition, we have been looking at new computers and I finally went out last night and bought a new iMAC.  It's almost overwhelming!  Large screen, classic MAC white and a lovely design.  I'm amazed.  

And inside I am justifying this excess week with the thoughts that (1) this is only the second bicycle that I have bought in my life (2) I need to exercise and have fun with my DH and (3) I have never bought a computer in my life and so on. 

And in order to mitigate my guilt at indulging myself I will make sure that deserving people get my old bike, and we are donating DH's old computer equipment to the boy scouts.   So enough breast beating - I'm going to enjoy these new toys. 

Thanks for listening! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Animal Wednesday

I bought a book called "Drawing and Painting Animals" which is cute and fun and should be great to work my way thru. Did you know how many animals can be drawn with the "peanut" shape.
Anyway, here is Mr. Pigge, quite the impressive animal I think.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Picture of Mom as a Young Girl

Last time I was in Florida, I "stole" a gorgeous black and white picture of mom when she was about 6 to hang in my house. It was just sitting in the closet so I didn't feel bad about it. I scanned it in to send a copy to my brother and sister and then decided to play with the black and white print.

I used colored pencils and oil pastels and tissue paper and glue. I think Mom will love it for Mothers day.

Now I've got to do one for my mother in law...

The last IFN - April 2008

Good old IFN is shutting down after this week, sad but inevitable with Steve moving onto other work. Here is my last entry. I like IFN, although I haven't submitted much lately, at first I did submit every week - when most of the topics (in my mind) were a bit lighter, easier to interpret.

I'll miss the site; when I first found it I was exhilarated, here were people who were actually laughing at themselves, which I love. Lately it has become more of a "real" art site, and my pencil sketches just weren't working for me on the topics posted. I needed more time for interpretation and work...and the time just isn't available. But I remember feeling that I didn't have enough angst for the site, and Steve telling me to "DIG DEEP AND FIND YOUR ANGST" - which is actually helpful advice. (I dug deep and found some, but its pretty innocuous stuff), and the time when by mistake I posted a picture of some little pink polyester purses that some friends had bought me from Asia, (I had promised the kids that I would post the pictures on "the Internet" and they were excited and I meant to post them on my blog but messed up) and Steve was like "who is this idiot posting this shit" and sweet Fern emailed me to say.."ah, Mim...did you mean to post these pictures?" Then there is Jeannette, who basically thinks I'm a fool, but is pleasantly surprised when I do something halfway decent, and grudgingly let's me know.

So that's it. Thanks to all for that site, it's been real.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How I started drawing pictures....

Michele asked me to write about what got me started doing creative projects and of course I have been thinking about it since she wrote that request. So here we go….

I come from an extended family of doctors, and medical practitioners…except for my mom, who was a singer, and an ‘artistic’ person. Mom married out of the faith, and we kids were subject to constant reminders that Mom could have married this or that Doctor or dentist, and if only she had how wonderful it would have been. It was instilled in me by my extended family that Art was NOT something that you do for a living. And in the way of children, I set out to prove that Mom’s choice of career and marriage was validated – my brother and I were set to do science from day 1. He’s a Doctor and I’m a Clinical Chemist. Good children.

Despite family influences I had an artistic inclination and tried art classes through my school years, and loved them all… but it “wasn’t a career” so I just played. After college – nothing really, no time!. Too busy getting married, building a career, buying and fixing up a house etc, etc.

So what got me started on this recent road? I still don’t know the absolute trigger, but there were a number of small things that built up.
1) My dog of 15 years died and we didn’t rush out and get another one, so I had nothing to care for and take for walks etc. Lots of free time.
2) My dear friend Isabel died of larynx cancer. A terrific artist and designer she was always encouraging me with fabric arts, and a general artistic environment. I missed her inspirations.
3) I broke my leg in 2005 and was incapacitated for 12 weeks and permanently limited in some ankle movement, which limited my desire and ability to take long walks or go to some of those active gym classes.
4) My sister in law died in January 2006 - another big hole left in my life.
5) We moved to a new house and I finally had some space. Old house was tiny, less than 900 sq ft of space aside from bedrooms and a basement that had dirt floors and stone walls. New house has big room, and a full dry basement begging to be used.

It was after my sister in law died that I really got started with art projects. Here I was with no dog, missing close friends, a gimpy leg and a lot of time on my hands. I was at Michael’s art store and saw a book about decoupage, and cigar boxes. I bought the book and supplies and was off like a shot.
I loved decoupage, and went out and bought lots of books and supplies and made boxes for friends, and family. Everyone loved them, or said they did and I loved doing them. I painted birdhouses, and decoupaged them. It was a short hop from decoupage to collage and then to drawing and painting. I was like a crazy woman and wanted to try it all – so I did. I figured that I’d been working my whole life, and it was time to indulge in a little bit of passion. With no training, I had no idea how to use supplies, so I tried them all. I spent a fortune at Michael's! I tried every medium aside from oils. I did research on line about art. I found out about blogging, and started reading art blogs. I found Portrait Party and Illustration Friday and IFN (this was my favorite post that I did for IFN) and EDM and WetCanvas and Monday ArtDay. I found magazines and ZNE’s about paper art, and on and on. I found a whole new world, friends, encouragement, honest opinions, and started learning how to SEE (Note: I can't find the post where Fern had recommended pressing your nose against a tree and looking at the colors, but it made a great impression on me! ). I started quilting, actually something that I had started years ago, but had no space to do.

It has all settled down

So today, I am more settled with some specific passions. Little drawings, ATC’s, colored pencils and continued learning. I have SO much stuff that isn’t useful to me anymore, and it’s all going to the Goodwill. Lot’s of sparkles and glitter glue (don’t laugh).
Embellishments and other crap. I feel more comfortable with drawing, but still don’t call myself an artist. I have a lot to learn, and feel comfortable enough to sign up for classes now. I am constantly thinking of ideas, and writing them down. I have started two books, and that is harder creative work than anything else. I draw on the weekends and doodle or sew during the week. I would love a week away with just art to learn and do. Maybe it’s years of ideas just flowing out, maybe I just have ADD. I don’t know…and don’t care. I’m happy.

Did this answer your question Michele? It was fun to research and write so thanks for the inspiration.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Buying myself presents

Some days I just need to give myself a treat. I've been wanting to make a sketchbook with hot pressed watercolor paper, cause I like the surface. I've been reading a few articles about bookmaking ...and am fairly lost (what is a signature?), but thought I might give it a go. I wanted to put the paper into an old book cover, just cause I think it would be cool.

So in the midst of all this, I stumbled upon a hand made journal with all kinds of lovely paper in it, and it's in an old book about Italy and it looks pretty professionally done...and I just bought it and gave myself a present. What the heck! I can't wait to see it.
I read Casey's posts about making her sketchbook, and it looked so wonderful but so much work to make, and I swore to myself that I would NOT start another project.
But we'll see how this goes. I like to swear not to take on another project and then turn around an do it. I love to argue with myself and then have one of me win.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I have a dilemma, advice needed.

I was at a friends house last night using her husbands computer (mine is down). You know how things pop up automatically when you start typing in the address panel? Well, some pretty nasty porn sites started popping up.

I was shocked. I don't know what to do. Is this guy a sleeze or not? On the surface, he is fine, but I was uncomfortable with what I was seeing.