Saturday, January 24, 2015

Artistic Differences


I had a homework assignment to take a sketch and, in Adobe Illustrator, turn it into a drawing.  I asked Savvy to draw a figure for me.  She often sketches and does so in a manga/anime style.  This was exactly what I wanted for my assignment.  She is so proud of it as it only took her a few minutes and it turned out very good.

Then I got ahold of it.  Then the trouble started.

First off, while I can identify the style, I don't sketch in 'anime/manga' and there are definite rules and structure to it.  

I thought the 'cat' was her dress and the circles were buttons.  I was informed it was the top of the cat's head.  So I go back and 'fix' it on my rendition. 

The arrows point to 'eyebrows'.  And the circle is the top of the cat's eye.  Apparently, anime/manga cats have eyebrows.  

I left my second attempt as it was.  No eyebrows on my interpretation of Savvy's sketch.

She says it looks like an angry cat.  Hey, just think what I am going to do with the real subject of my homework is going to look like.  Doris Day, I hope you forgive me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lovely Moon

Normally, I am all over a full moon, trying to get good pictures and the like.  However, last night I stepped out for a minute onto my balcony and saw this wonderful crescent moon and the bright star.  I grabbed the phone (I had just wrestled it away from Lady K) and snapped a couple of pictures before retreating from the cold.

Hardly any stars out except for these three and the sky was dark blue with just a trace of glow from the last of the sunset and the city.  It was beautiful.  So lovely night pictures just don't occur on the full moon.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Monday - Something's Fishy

I took one of the fish I created off the banner and layered and scaled the mandala.  Use a couple of filters and came up with this.  I really like the blue bubble and the effect created on it.  But it has to take the back seat to some homework.  Luckily, I have today off as a holiday from work, so I have time to work a bit more slowly and rest the old hand.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Week In Review

It's been a hectic week, but I managed to get my cast off my right hand and am now in a splint.  That's the good news.  Bad news is that I don't know how to moderate my activities and it swells a bit and has spasms.

This is one of the reasons for my 'bad' habits this week.  Homework.  Several hours sitting happily in front of the keyboard does not translate into a happy hand.  And I have two more projects I need to get out of the way by Tuesday night.  And then start on the finishing of 4 more.  Homework is never done!

So I only had two posts last week.  My vitamin consumption was poor (need to refill my baggies), my steps I haven't tallied yet.  I'm just getting more coffee and chilling a bit!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday and Queen City Creatives Recap

Tuesday started out in a fog - literally.  A freezing fog.  Which produces some really interesting effects.  Huge snow crystals on everything.  It made the world 'fuzzy'.

waiting in the Starbucks drive through

And the day only got better.  My cast was removed and I am now in a splint which is removable.  LOTION! For all that dead, yucky skin.  And much more finger movement.

But the best part of the day came at the end and boy was it great.  We had a meeting of the "Queen City Creatives", my newly formed writing group.  It was hosted at one of the member's studio which makes me want to move in and take it over.  Room to do things.  Tim's brain will be picked in the coming weeks for all things artistic as far as my homework is concerned.  Curtis, Greg and Lisa also were in attendance and Tim had invited a couple of friends, Steve and Dale.  Hopefully, they will continue to join us because they both really added to the whole evening.  

I had gone in with the 'plan' of taking about how people organize their writing, if they organized their writing, did they keep a writer's notebook, that sort of thing.  Tim added to the conversation in asking what people's creative times during the day were and had it changed over time.  We went around the table answering those questions and found we had a lot of similarities, but also some differences.

Basically, we were all morning people.  And we all had sleep issues, often waking up and at least taking notes on what we were laying there, thinking about.  We also had to try and fit in our 'creativity' around other things going on in our lives - like work.  But a big surprise to me, and I had thought it would be the other way around, Lisa and I were focused on being organized and having some kind of system.  Lisa deals in words per day (which I have been tracking since the first of the year for myself).  I made a commitment to get my Dragon Earth notebook organized in the next month.  I realized I had bits in pieces on the computer, handwritten and all mashed up.  The men in the group were more of going with the flow and less on systems.  Dale asked some really insightful questions of everyone as we were going around the table, talking about ourselves, our creative times, how we work.  

Tim did recommend "The Brain" as a tool he uses to map out connections between projects and his only real organizational tool.  I'm checking it out in the next few days.

But the real highlight of the meeting was a reading by Steve of a play he had written many years ago and, for various reasons, was revisiting.  It is a modern day MacBeth-ish play and was it fantastic!  The excerpts he read to us were riveting.  His delivery of playing the different parts transported you to the scenes.  His language was something I can only drool over.  

The meeting ran over our 9pm time by about 30 minutes, but it was worth every minute.  I did drive away a bit in awe of the reading and a little downcast because I know I will never write that eloquently.  But then I remembered, I don't write that kind of material.  That's not me.  Then my only disappointment was that Savvy wasn't there.  She is so into Shakespeare and acting and theater, she would have been at Steve's feet in adoration.  I'm hoping she has a chance at some point in time to hear at least bits and pieces, if not the whole play.

If this is a taste of how the group is going to be, then we are in for a banquet.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mandala Monday

With winter well under way, we have moved a twin size electric blanket out to the couch for wrapping up in.  Mainly so we can monitor Lady K in her run of the house.  Unfortunately, the animals have also discovered the blanket and you can often find one or more stretched out in napping bliss.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Week in Review

Four more days and hopefully I am out of this cast and into something more 'user' friendly.  Although, I did notice yesterday I can grip and twist a little better than I have been able to.  So I can tell things are definitely on the mend.

I have designed Sundays as my "Week In Review" day.  I am going to try and use it to scope out the week ahead and to reflect on the past week.  Since my weeks at school this semester run Wednesday through Tuesday, Sunday is a good day to see where I stand as far as homework is concerned.

This week:

  • 37,155 steps walked
  • 4 days out of 7 for vitamins
  • drinking water - only 1 day
  • writing - 1961 words (and that was school work)
  • 2 books read
  • school started
Next week:

  • finished 1 project for school
  • start 2 more projects for school
  • writing group
  • cast removed (fingers crossed)
  • hopefully, Into the Woods and a drink on Wednesday
  • finish up book list for Nonfiction book group
  • catch up on journal writing (if cast removed)
  • journal page for Journal52 
  • decorate cover and start on Documented Life 2015 pages

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

New Semester Starts

I love school.  Actually, I love learning new things and a classroom environment, even online, keeps me focused and on target since I have deadlines and tests.

So a new semester starts today.  My books, embellished by Lady K, are on hand.  And I can't wait.  Learning more about Illustrator and how to compile my portfolio.  The later, for class, will be items designed for a graphic arts professional.  But the principles will be the same for me designing my portfolio of art and (fingers crossed) start putting it out there.

My only complaint about school starting today is that I am still in a cast and it makes things a tad difficult.  Hopefully, in 7 days, I will be in a splint which will be for support and I will have more use of my hand. 

Last semester I tried using Microsoft OneNote for my school work and using it to create a to-do list.  It worked well, but I had to have a 'device' handy to see what I needed to do.  I think I am still going to use it, but maybe printout one to-do list each week to insert into my ARC planner.  I normally carry my planner everywhere and don't need any device to see my list.  But making the list in OneNote is easy as I can copy/paste and turn into a bullet list.  And as my planner is a week on two pages, I can insert the to-do list in between and have it handy at all times.  We'll see.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Pretending It's Summer

Since we have gone through, not one, but three rounds of snow since Saturday, I was feeling a bit 'under the snow' on Sunday.  With no one needing to be anywhere, it was prime napping/resting day.  And for once, I was really wanting some 'summer' in my life and I came up with a plan which was pretty good.

  1. Light a scented candle in floral tones.  I had a lavender candle going.
  2. Turn on the heated mattress pad.  Crank it up a bit over what I use at night.
  3. Turn on the fan to simulate a summer breeze.  (Sorry, I need a fan on for circulating the air all the time.)
  4. Read a gardening book.
So here I was, all toasty and warm, the scent of flowers in the air, reading about plunging my arms into warm soil.  It wasn't perfect, but when compared to the additional snow I needed cleared off my stairs on Monday morning, it worked.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Mandala Monday - Wolf Moon

howling wolf courtesy of

Today is the Full "Wolf Moon".  After the cold and snow we have been experiencing, I can well understand how the full moon in January got it's name.  If you are fortunate enough (or unfortunate, depending on your point of view), walking the dogs outside early in the morning, with a snow cover on the ground, you get that feeling of aloneness which people must have felt over the past centuries.  

We have turned the corner with the Winter Solstice last month, so nights will be getting shorter.  But we still have a couple more months of winter..and snow...and the wolf howling at the door.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Weekly Review and Plans

I am slowly 'getting back on the horse' after being thrown from my plans by this broken wrist.  Even with the new cast, I still don't have the finger movement necessary to really write or type well.  And I've let it get to me.  But I am slowly regrouping and starting to move forward...which ties in well for the Week 1 prompt from Journal52.

I am also committed to Documented Life Project 2015 (DLP2015) and for January, the Flow 30 Day Journal.  My Dylusions blank journal should be here Monday or Tuesday for the DLP2015.  That journal will be a 'traditional' art journal, cutting and pasting, and paints and inks.  I decided to keep the Journal52 challenge as a digital art journal.  I am going to create a 'book' using Adobe InDeisgn and create my weekly spreads in Photoshop and Illustrator.  My plan at the moment is to have the picture on the right hand side of the spread and the prompt and my journaling on the left hand side.  By the end of the year I will have a book of my digital art.

While I have not gotten all the writing done I wanted to do, I did have my first meeting of my writing group and I am so excited.  We are a diverse group with a lot of talent and interest and ideas.  I am really looking forward to see where we go in 2015.

This past week included:

  • a drive to Missoula to the airport to drop off a friend to go back to Arizona
  • about 14 loads of laundry (girls cleaned their rooms)
  • two books read
  • received books for the new semester which starts Wednesday
  • cast switched out for a hard cast
  • made up a weeks worth of vitamin pass
This coming week I have the following I want to do:
  • create mandala for Monday's post
  • color in and send off my mandala part for #100Mandalas
  • list of books for the first month of a new book group at the library
  • typing up my journaling for December since I can't write
  • getting a chapter ready to send to writing group for critique
  • getting organized for this semester which starts Wednesday
  • get my basic layout down for my Journal52 book
  • have Savvy unearth the bin for paints and scrapbooking items out of her closet
So hopefully I have my train of creativity back on it's little path. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Pity Party

My pity party continues....some people celebrate New Year's Eve.  I, on the other hand, have been letting my lack of a hand, bother me more than I think it should.  So, since I can't do EXACTLY what I had planned, I am sitting in the corner, getting nothing (but laundry) accomplished.  And the stupid hand isn't all.  Yesterday, it was swelling up some and having spasms across the top of it.   

But I have to snap out of it.   If I continue to stick out my bottom lip, it will be covered in snow.