Sunday, October 19, 2014

Slow food

I've had a strange summer.  In mid June I fell while getting out of an elevator, in a rush to get to my hotel room after a loud, noisy, crazy family party.  I admit now that I was feeling overwhelmed, alone, desperate for peace and quite and was rushing and not paying attention.  Oh...and I also had on elevated shoes - those new/old wedgie type that are so popular now.   As I fell, I remember stiffening up and hoping that I wouldn't re-break a weak ankle.   I lay on the floor in the hotel  corridor and didn't think I could get up.  I finally got to a sitting position, and was sitting with my back to the wall when the elevator opened and two people stared out at me.    They stared at me...I stared at them  - the elevator closed and I was alone again.  I managed to get to my feet and stumble to my room grabbing ice on the way.   I sprained my ankle very badly and tore the meniscus in my other knee even worse.  It hurt like hell and I wondered how I would get home the next day.

What has this got to do with food?  Keep reading - I think I'll get there.

I did get home, drove myself 3 hours home and a few weeks later had surgery on that knee.  That was July.  I spent the next four weeks elevating my leg whenever I could and icing it and taking drugs.   I started PT, where the Therapist had me at 7:00 am two days a week and kept me doing squats and leg lifts with weights on my ankle and things were getting worse and worse and worse.    At the same time, I signed up for nutrition sessions at my health club.

This is where the food part comes in.

Last week a light bulb went off in my dim head.  I realized that I'd fallen back into the "load up your basket, times a-wasting" mode that is so familiar to us all.  I was trying to do it all again!   I'd been trying to force my leg to heal with inappropriate tough exercises.  The lack of routine exercise that I usually get in the summer had left me completely out of shape and pushing my leg to get better had made it worse.  I'd been eating poorly, mostly take out food and quick sandwiches or pasta.   Nothing fits and I'd begun to feel worse and worse about myself, my inability to heal, etc etc etc.  So I've begun to get off the merry go round and I've started with food and exercise.

I've dumped the harsh PT and have started rehab sessions 1 time a week with a Pilates trainer. After 1 week I can walk better - and can now climb stairs comfortably.    And I've completely dumped fast convenient food. Right now I have a Moroccan vegetable stew on the stove.  On Sunday's I'm cooking for the week so that I have healthy lunches to bring to work.  I'm committed to reading food labels, and (trying) to only buy whole foods.  I'm shopping the edges of the supermarket.   Minimal meat, more salads and veggies.  Lots of water with lemon.   I'm trying hard to slow down - slow down with eating, slow down with trying to do too much, slow down at work and do a better more thorough job.  It's a better way to live.

And yes the wedgie shoes - which were brand spanking new - have been given to Goodwill.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finding and editing HTML code

I cannot believe that I have spent hours researching how to get my blog back.  I was taken over by the evil "neoworks" and could not access my blog at all.   I researched, and found that I had to remove the "counter" widget and the "world time clock" widget cause they had "suspicious" html code.  I don't even know what that means...all I know is that it's taken me hours.

I hope it stays away this time...I'm keeping my fingers crossed

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I got hacked for a few minutes

All day today I couldn't get to my blog - and I began to panic!  My friends!! My posts!! My pictures!!!

I became super-woman crime fighter and by "clearing my cache" and "deleting browsing history" - I appear to have gotten access back.

I'm surprised (but not really) at my little rising panic of losing it all.  I'm not ready to give up.

I'm going downstairs to scan in some new photos and to get started again.

whew - crisis averted.

Friday, October 3, 2014


I'm just going to jump back into blogging - it's been months!!

I've been asked to be the "Headline" in my companies Japanese magazine, showing samples of my artwork and describing my "hobby".  I'm laughing inside, deciding how to tread the fine line between fun and getting fired.

I won't show the comic strip called "Sold" where the company is sold to aliens who have a bosom complex, nor some of the racier Miss Em pieces.  I will show stuff that I am proud of, and worked hard on.

At the same time, I'll let everyone know that stuff is for sale!  Might be my break into the Asian market.

I'll post the cover page when it's available, and will post the pieces that I've chosen for display. Any ideas of favorites to show?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I miss Blogging

I know that lots of folks aren't blogging anymore - at least folks that I know. We're all Facebooking and Twittering (or is it Tweeting) and I have become a lurker again, just like I was in the beginning.  I'm reading blogs and not writing.   I'm being a voyeur, which is really lazy in a way.   And it's no excuse to say how busy I am but oh boy am I busy!

My money work - the actual job I have - is overwhelmingly busy.  So much so that I wonder how to possibly get along.  The Japanese people that I work for work at least 10-12 hour days in the office every day. Barely any exceptions.  Heads down, working hard with multiple cigarette breaks.  I find myself working at least 9 hours every day behind a desk, with walks to the bathroom or meetings or to get some crap food to keep up my energy.  Needless to say this has not been good for my health, and I've now vowed to eat better and walk at lunch and get out of the office every day.

I attending the SCBWI conference in NYC this winter and was tremendously inspired to keep going down this road.  I also realized that in order to illustrate my own books that I have to learn to write.  So I started.  I've always told myself that I was a bad writer but I tried to put that aside and wrote two stories.  My friend KJ says "not so bad Mim" and I trust her honesty and knowledge.  I have an opportunity to submit a story and some illustrations to Houghton Mifflin and I'm hoping at least the story will get taken.  I'm working slower on the drawings, letting them mature a bit.  I'm using different materials, inks, gouache and hot pressed paper - it's all different but good.  

To further my writing side, I've joined a once a month Children's book writing group. We meet at Barnes and Nobels and read and critique each other's work. Their work is so creative and beautiful - and I'm enjoying meeting these women and men. I'm learning to slow down, to rewrite, to critique my work, and to listen to what's inside.   A group of us also have an ATC trade going on which is really wonderful and fun - wow the great art I am getting!!!

And aside from all that wonderful stuff going on, I have a 91 year old mom who I want to see at least once a month, I have a home and a husband and good friends and vacations to plan (Argentina in May to see a nephew who is studying there for a semester and yes...I have Rosetta Stone spanish to listen to).  Starting Sketchbook Skool next week or so, and a California high school graduation to go to and a NYC bar mitzvah in June.  A weekend away to NYC with girlfriends.

Writing this all down feels satisfying and good.  I am happy and fairly healthy and I have the luxury of writing and drawing and working and playing.   I enjoy just about everything I do (except those 9-10  hour days...would love 8 hours, but oh well...)

And I miss sharing with you.  I guess I miss the writing and expressing myself here.  I miss sharing moments, and some things I would not share on FB.  I'm going to try for a once a week update on art and life and all the good (and bad) things that go on in my life. Because Blogging has given me friends, and an outlet and opened doors that I never knew were even there - let alone trying to open them.

Right now I am watching rain wash away the snow still in my yard.  Im enjoying the crisp air and planning for spring.  See you all there!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The "other" blog

My regular days are filled with work - the paying kind.  My evenings are filled with getting ready for this conference, I'm probably over reacting but I've learned to live with that part of myself.

I'm enjoying it all!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Blog

I've started a new Blog at MStella - Illustration.  It's not that I really want a new blog to manage, but needed a website, and needed a link that I can put onto Facebook that stays away from any personnel discussions, angst, etc etc.  Purely artwork and illustration.  It'll undergo many design changes in the future, in fact I'll probably be looking for someone to help me with that project.

So whew.

I hated the fact that this blog, which is personal, would be exposed to Facebook  - where I am connected to people at work.  So this answers both needs I think, and it's a relief to get it done.

And I'd love your comments and suggestions on the new space.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting ready for the Next Challenge

I have, with great trepidation, signed up and paid for a conference in NYC for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.  I want to see what that world is like, I know I'll be overwhelmed with the talent that is out there, but I want to see it all. Plus it's a chance to go to NYC for a few days, see some old friends and have an egg-cream if nothing else.

But, part of what I am doing involves have a critique of my (non-existant) portfolio.   I don't think cobbling together little sketches will make for a great portfolio.  So I am trying to beef it up (past two pages!) and have something that can be meaningfully critiqued.

To that end, I am working on one or two sketches for a few stories.    I'm starting with Peter and the Wolf.  I always loved that story and music, the first time I heard it was at the Children's Symphony at the Brooklyn Academy of Music conducted by none other than Leonard Bernstein.   And he explained to so beautifully to the kids, I just adored it and him.  So I decided to start there.

I'll add some Water Lily Girl pics, and "Dad and his Pizza" and some other stuff.  I don't know what to expect, so I'll just bring what I can.

Pencil sketches below.  I plan to show the sketches and some finished work from each series. (oohh, I just noticed how small the head is in the first shot, gotta go work on that)

(I really think I need a new scanner ) 

If anyone has any experience with this type of conference or critique  - let me know! 

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year to all!!!