View Full Version : Monthly Scumble January 2012

Shirl Parker
01-01-2012, 01:39 PM
Hi everyone! Welcome to the Scumble, our monthly chat thread where we share the happenings of our everyday lives! I hope you will all chime in and look forward to hearing about them.

Hi Robert.


CM Neidhofer
01-01-2012, 02:52 PM
Happy New Year all! I think my new year will be much better than last year. Hoping it is for all of you as well! It's a bright, sunny and chilly day here in Colorado, a great start for the first day of a new year! :clap:

01-01-2012, 04:59 PM
cold as a witches t.. here, -23 F Not a wonderful way to start the new year!
Hope everyone has a wonderful 2012!

01-01-2012, 10:18 PM
Had a wonderful new year at our niece's wedding - absolutely beautiful!! We left Michigan in time to miss the snow storm brewing before we had to round the end of the lake (always treacherous when the lake effect snow falls). Now to have our daughter arrive home in New Orleans tonight and all will be well. It was great to get away for a weekend, and bitter-sweet to come home to have our daughter say goodbye to Grams yet again. It is so hard for her to leave ... always thinking the next time she comes back will be for a funeral. Ah, the joys and sorrows of life. We are blessed. Happy 2012 to all.


01-02-2012, 05:29 PM
Happy New Year to All,
trying to return to normal after overdoing it on the food/sweets.
Hope to contribute more this year.


01-02-2012, 09:01 PM
Happy new year, everyone! I've been taking it easy and not staying online a lot, because I may have gone over my access for this billing period. I'll be back to posting more often and hanging out longer after the 4th when the billing period ends.

Turns out downloading my Christmas present from a dear close friend ate about a quarter of this month's access in itself. So there it is, not something I do very often. I'll thoroughly enjoy the new game of course!

01-03-2012, 03:42 PM
I just finished grocery shopping this morning. Boggled my home care worker, who kept telling me we would not be out of the store by ten thirty. We were in the checkout aisle by seven minutes after ten. I knew how I shop. I keep going throwing in everything that I need and whatever's cheap till I run out of money, then check out - moving fast rather than taking my time exploring.

It was still a strain on my back, but going through at that pace helped. There are whole areas of the store I'll explore in more depth next month. I hit the produce and fruit area hard. I must have had vitamin cravings. I still can't believe this - I got six avocados for 96 cents.


Those loony expensive green fruits that aren't sweet and count as a vegetable, a very rich vegetable packed with calories, that taste good just peeled and eaten with a knife. I used to love guacamole until I couldn't eat even a little bit of pepper. Then tried eating just an avocado back in Kansas and wow, it was like guacamole but better without that burning pain in my mouth. Wow.

I moved where the avocados grow. That's got to be it. They're little tiny ones. But for that same amount of food, if it was say, peeled and cubed, I'd have paid about two or three bucks each for three bigger ones. Not under a dollar to get six little ones, each exactly the right size for a snack.

So nobody bug me about the corn dogs any more. I put healthy stuff in the cart when it was available and cheap. It's green and it came from a plant, so avocados count as healthish. We also got Boysenberry Yogurt, two little containers with fruit on the bottom.

Ari likes the Fruit on the Bottom so I can serve his portion on the peeled up lid without stirring in the fruit first. No speck of Yogurt goes to waste. We will both have happy digestion today.

I can't believe this feeling of having my larder full, it is fantastic. I've got more food there than I'll eat in just one month, meaning that every month I do this I'll be building up till I could decide to skip all but perishables some month. I like being ahead on food. This worked.

01-03-2012, 05:42 PM
Hey, Robert....I love avacados, too....today I got one for $1. Usually they are $2. each, so I dont get them often....
Also got a mango at $1, to go with it....yummm...

01-03-2012, 06:23 PM
Ooo I did too. Didn't see pomegranates but they had mangoes and I bought two of them. Yep. Avocados usually $2 each sounds about right. I can't believe six of them for a dollar. I'm going to become an Avocado Junkie. It's green. It counts as health food, it's green and it came from a plant. Right?

Mangoes must be in season.

Today's lunch is eating all the perishables - lunch meats in little packets, yogurt, fruits, things like that. I should stay off the yummy canned stuff till everything that can go bad if stored too long is eaten up. I got some little packets of thin-sliced beef and chicken lunch meat, so yummy sandwiches is today's treat.

01-03-2012, 08:01 PM
Happy New Year everyone! It's always so great to pop in any of the Pastel threads and hear about so many like-minded folk all around the world. There is such a wonderful community here!

Robert, I also love the avacados but here, in Vermont, they're shipped from so far away. They're always hard as a rock! But, occasionally, I'll find some nice ripe ones. I love them best smeared on a nice warm piece of crusty bread with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt! Oh my - so good!:rolleyes:

My daughter in La Cresenta CA has a huge avacado tree in her yard. She just picks them by the bushel (can't remember when it is they're in season).

Certainly nothing is growing here right now -- it was 15 degrees today. No snow on the ground here yet. Very strange winter so far. I'm waiting to get snowed in so I have no excuse not to paint!


01-03-2012, 08:36 PM
Yeah Robert!! Avocados are SO good for you - lots of good fats in there plus vitamins and minerals - I'm so proud!! So glad that the shopping experience was so "fruitful" :-)

Have a meeting at church tonight, still trying to find time to get in my studio and just get it cleaned out some. I've got a puzzle piece to get painted, so I have to do it!! My Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup is about finished - I just won't get to share it with my hubby tonight as he gets home right about when I have to leave.


01-08-2012, 06:14 PM
Purrr mmmm sounds like I'm not the only one who's got good eating.

Seems like we have a lot of missing posts from the WC crash though. I've been gone for days because I was first recovering from overexertion on shopping day and then wound up having trouble with home care. Met my first really bad home care worker and lost the good one that I'd come to trust.

I'm still recovering. Very annoying to lose an entire week of not accomplishing anything after the grocery trip, but I have to think of the grocery thing as a major accomplishment too. I just want to rest up well enough that I can do more than just survive.

CM Neidhofer
01-09-2012, 12:20 AM
Any one here have sciatic problems? I blew mine out several years ago and got it straightened out for the most part. Had a flare up with it about 7-8 years ago and it's been fine ever since. Until yesterday! I don't recall doing anything to strain or pull. Other than I had a bit of a cough about three weeks ago with a cold/flu thing. Humidity is high here for Colorado the last couple of days, and that usually bugs my arthritis, but this sciatic thing has me stumped. Can't get comfortable sitting or laying down, and walking just plain hurts! Have plans for three days this week and not sure if I can keep up now. This stinks! Been taking aspirins and using Icy Hot (my favorite cure all), but not much relief. Guess I'll just have to bear through it. :(

01-09-2012, 01:25 AM
Christine - I rely on my Chiropractor to keep my spine in shape. I don't have issues with sciatica, but have had other issues. I know that some people do physical therapy for sciatica, but have no other help to offer. Sure hope you feel better soon!!


01-10-2012, 12:11 AM
Happy New years everyone! It's been quite awhile since i've been here on the scumble. too many health issues. I did get moved from my RV into a home on the town site.

I have someone come in about once a week to help with the unpacking and organizing. she had a list of things I needed to do before she comes bak but I have to wait until I get paid on friday to do any of it. One of the things I want to do is have someone make vertical shelves in my studio closet. i think I could have two rows of them one on top of the other and have them different sizes so they can hold frames and panels and glass etc.

It really would be handy and it would be based on another artist who just had a new studio built in her back yard and her father built her a closet like that. It looks fantastic. I need the space for canvas and paper too. eventually I would love to get some flat files. I will look on craigs list and see if there are any. Or, I might have the same guy who does the closet make some flat files. i bet it would be cheaper than buying them and having them shipped etc.

I've been having a heck of a time health wise. In Nov. I had at least 26 seizures in a row for over an hour when I was at a meeting at the co-op gallery. i am so thankful I was at the meeting because if i had been home alone there is a good chance i wouldn't have lived through it. the people i was with knew to call 911 and the fire station in town who responded and they had the EMT (we only have on paramedic in this town).

i woke up in the ambulance and we were waiting for the helicopter to arrive to take me to the University Medical Center in Tucson. By car it is an hour and a half drive. So the helicopter came and they were all very good. the paramedic on board was able to finally get an IV in me they were having a heck of a time as I was very dehydrated. And the ER staff at UMC were all very good.

It was my first really good experience with everyone involved including the ER staff. And of course since I came in on the helicopter they saw me right away, so I didn't have to wait. they only kept me 6 hours after determining that i didn't have an infection or anything like that that it was caused from not being able to get one of my seizure meds for a week.

i can tell you that won't happen again! but, I am now not able to drive until I see a neurologist at UMc and they give me the ok. i wouldn't drive now anyway because i get too confused and can't think fast enough to make snap decisions like you often have to do when driving. But soon I will be able to borrow my mechanics golf cart to get around town. I just have to buy the battery for it and I can use it as long as i want to. i haven't been well enough to use it yet anyway.

On tuesday i went to my PCP doc for a physical and brought home a cold. i got sick on friday the day after my 50th B-day. so now I have a cold and it has gone into my chest so I have to be really careful now and try to get over it without having to go back on prednisone which is what usually happens.

I want to stay out of the hospital as well because i already have huge medical bills. the helicopter bill is over $7000.00 alone and then there is the ER bill and the ER doctors bill etc. But because i am self pay without insurance they did discount the helicopter bill. It started out as over $21,000!

I am getting my studio set up but haven't painted yet. I have decided this will be a year of experimentation art wise and I really want to loosen up to abstraction. so we shall see how that goes. i'm also going to try oils and oil sticks. i'm looking forward to spending at least a part of my days in the studio. And on that note, I need to go to bed. i never got a nap today and being sick I need more rest so I'm off to bed.

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy new year!!


01-10-2012, 09:28 AM
Wow Sara I hope the rest of the year is better for you. Not a good way to start. Hope you're feeling better.

I'm still recovering from the Holidays. I think I burned myself out.

My art is hanging in the Medical Center. I thankfully was hanging near a photographer and not the next Michelangelo. I ended up getting more pieces framed than I needed. Now where do I put them after they get taken down on the 31st?
Guess I'll have to put a few holes in the new drywall...

Heres a picture of my work- I think it's sort of like hanging out on a street corner naked.....


Dot Hoffman
01-10-2012, 12:30 PM
Sara, sorry to hear about your health problems. Hope it's better soon.

The past several months have been kind of yucky for me...lot of vague but real pains which after a while tend to depress me. Last week DH an I both had a bad bout of food poisoning, that left us both dehydrated. Saw the chiropractor yesterday and I complained about how everything hurt...it even hurt to have my reading glasses on a chain around my neck! She said perhaps I needed to get some electrolytes back into my body and recommended "Vitamin Water". After seeing her we went to Trader Joe's to shop and they had electrolyte water with no flavoring or sweeteners, (I'm not supposed to consume sweeteners). I had half a large bottle yesterday. This morning, for the first time, I woke up with NO pain in my body, not even my back or shoulders which have been a major issue the last few months! Needless to say I'm going to stop there again today to pick up more.

Been working on abstracts....quite a challenge but fun.

BTW, has anyone else experienced a "bubbly effect" using UArt mounted paper? I bought some I guess a year ago or more, and it's like little hills and valleys appear after I lay down pastel. Aggravating.

Take care, everyone. Robert, feel better!

01-11-2012, 02:01 AM
Christine HI, Kayla here. I have had sciatica, after an auto accident. Can be intensely painful!! Here is what works for me
ICE your butt on the side the leg hurts, often.
Don't sit: especially where your butt is lower than your knees. Until you are out of the pain cycle lay down. When you become more mobile go for 5 min. walks on flat ground. Don't sit on the floor.
Ibuprofen if you can tolerate it.
See a good chiropractor!!
My chiropractor had me do various exercises but wouldn't want to recommend these until you have a green light, they could make it worse.
Good Luck!!!! Keep me posted on how you are doing. Smiles, Kayla

01-11-2012, 05:09 PM
Christine, that bites! Do whatever relieves it. Chiropracty may help a lot. It's better than just struggling with over the counter pain medication to try to knock it back, chiropractic treatment relieves the source of the problem.

I'm still on the mend and realizing that I did some of this to myself with excessive self discipline. Pushing my budget to be able to cover expenses getting ready for Street Artist program did as much to throw me into the Big Crash as going out too often - insufficient nutrition while overexercising is pounding my health from both directions.

My last checkup came in with a fairly heavy Vitamin D deficiency so my doc is writing me prescription vitamins. More than I could put together out of the normal multivitamins I have been taking. It probably would have been worse without them. Bet that "allergy to milk" contributes to it too. No Vitamin D fortified milk to compensate for lack of sun. The fruit and fruit juices are probably a good idea too - no wonder I craved them.

We also discussed the cholesterol thing. He got surprised and had this tone of my doing something extreme keeping it under 50% of the recommended percentages on food labels. I guess most guys with a bad score are eating maybe 200% recommended and have trouble getting down to the recommended amount. I'll have to see how far down I've driven that in February because increased activity is exercise even if it's not calisthenics.

But the one time in my life it came back with a bad score instead of low or normal score, I had been bedridden by weather for months and for most of the previous year. Arkansas had really bad weather for me. I was also eating bacon every day because I used to thrive on bacon and real butter - when I was getting around doing things physically instead of being that weak and the 5x energy thing made that something like doing heavy physical labor.

If it just comes back normal, I'll go on with this. If it comes back low I'll give myself a little more elbow room and worry less about it. I'm avoiding getting stuck with medication that I get strong reactions to with this. The Arkansas doc didn't even ask about adjusting what I ate, he just wanted to start me on drugs right away. Increasing activity was impossible.

Looking at what I do here on a bad day and what I did there on a bad day, I'm getting in shape and accomplishing more than I have in years.

CM Neidhofer
01-11-2012, 06:24 PM
Christine HI, Kayla here. I have had sciatica, after an auto accident. Can be intensely painful!! Here is what works for me
ICE your butt on the side the leg hurts, often.
Don't sit: especially where your butt is lower than your knees. Until you are out of the pain cycle lay down. When you become more mobile go for 5 min. walks on flat ground. Don't sit on the floor.
Ibuprofen if you can tolerate it.
See a good chiropractor!!
My chiropractor had me do various exercises but wouldn't want to recommend these until you have a green light, they could make it worse.
Good Luck!!!! Keep me posted on how you are doing. Smiles, Kayla

Ice, huh? I've been using my Icy Hot. But I'll try icing. Been laying down more than sitting. Can't just keep laying down though! I have been doing exercises that a therapist recommended last time it flared up. Had a busy couple of days though with plans I didn't want to change, so I'm still hurting. A chirpractor is what started all this in the first place. He was great doing what he was asked to do, but ventured into places he shouldn't have gone without looking at my spine! Anyway, I know it goes away, it was just a bad time for it to happen!

Thanks for the advice Kayla! :crossfingers: :wave:

01-11-2012, 06:31 PM
Robert....don't worry too much about the Vit D. It is the new "thing". Everyone I know that had a physical the past two years was told they were low. I live in AZ and get enough sun, take multi vit, eat fortified yoghurt and still was told mine was the lowest the doc had ever seen in someone. Gave me the rx for Vit D but even my gold standard health insurance won't pay for it. Truly think the whole thing is just a big ole health scam anyway. Really everyone is deficient? My husband that drinks gallons of milk, is in the sun hours a day and takes vitamins is deficient?? Give me a break.

01-11-2012, 07:24 PM
Hi- I was tested a year ago for Vitamin D and came in with a "13" as blood value ....one of the lowest in my doc's 3000 patient load. She immediately prescribed over the counter super high-potency D. I was taking 10,000 IU/day for 3 months and then dropped back to 4000/day. 6 months later I was re-tested and came in with 39 for the blood value - - "normal" level for D is 30 - 60 if I remember correctly. I am now taking 4000 units a day and my doc says to keep it that way. The last few years I've been indoors a lot due to my disability. Two of my friends who've been tested for Vitamin D have had their results return in the normal range.


01-11-2012, 08:50 PM
Joan....mine level was 8! Bone density fine. All other values excellent. I am truly not going to worry about the Vit D. I will just keep taking my usual multi vit and my D3/magnesium. Probably wouldn't have considered the rx strength anyway since there is a possibility of increased kidney stones with it and I don't want to go thru that agony again.


01-11-2012, 10:02 PM
Guess now I know why so many people I know tested low for the dang Vit D.

"A new study published in the March, 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that a jaw-dropping 59 percent of the population is vitamin D deficient. In addition, nearly 25 percent of the study subjects were found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D."

01-12-2012, 01:02 AM
Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic - it is why we are seeing such high levels of cancer and disease in our Country. The suggested intake of 400 iu's per day is so low as to be ridiculous. I take 7,000 iu's in the winter and 5,000 in the summer. My neurologist (integrative) wants my levels between 70 and 80 for migraine issues. I haven't had my levels tested in a while ... should probably do that. Vitamin D3 supplementation is one of the best things that you can do for your health - better than anything else. It protects against colon, breast & prostate cancers, increases immunity against influenza and colds, helps with bone density, protects against auto-immune diseases ... I could go on and on. Whenever we go out in the sun, we generally use sunblock - which blocks the body from producing Vitamin D. We also need to expose more of our body to the sun than just our face and hands to be able to make enough Vitamin D to be effective. It is simply one of the best things you can do for your body in terms of supplements.

OK, I'm done :-) Here's to good health in the New Year!!!


01-12-2012, 07:25 PM
Whoops! I forgot to have my home care worker pick it up at Walgreens today. We got busy reorganizing my room and packing up my Testrite Display Wall to a) get it out of the way so my room's easier to get around in and b) be ready if I get help setting up for Street Artist Program. It's handy in the front of the closet to just Grab and Go without having to break it down again.

I've got a prescription for a mega dose once a week. I did wonder about Vitamin D because not being able to drink fortified milk, all I've got for a source I know of is a daily multivitamin that I was taking. I tend to get some problems in winter anyway from not getting outdoors enough, but I'm not getting as much as people who just use or drink normal quantities of milk on top of lack of sun.

Last winter when I had a sunny window downstairs, I used to go down in the winter and fight it by sitting in the sun patch for 15 minutes a day with my shirt off. That's less feasible here - it's not sunny that often and it's less comfortable to sit in the hall with my shirt off explaining to neighbors that I'm sunning myself.

Also, it's covered. Cost to me is zero. It's there, I just need to send my home care worker to pick it up on Saturday. With "lethargy" as one of the deficiency symptoms, it's got to be part of the overall crash I've had. Vitamin overdoses are nasty too, so just taking lots and lots of the multivitamin I have would probably be dangerous.

Lynn, I can believe you that the standard suggested daily intake is pathetic for someone who can't drink milk. When I already have an autoimmune disease, taking it could make a huge difference to how well I function. If it keeps down existing autoimmune diseases I could be getting more good days as soon as I take the prescription. Unfortunately that's not going to be till Saturday because I forgot I had it waiting for me. I'm not up to walking that far just to pick up my prescription, so it will have to wait.

When I first moved here, some days I used to pull my shirt off in the bathroom and linger in the sunny window at about 2 in the afternoon on sunny days. There was a big sun patch and when the sun's exactly at the right level I can do that and get some serious sun - people leave that window open for odor, since that's in the latrine. But in winter I haven't happened to use it at the right time of day to get that sun patch effect and I still couldn't give it the 15 minutes of sunning that I did last winter in Arkansas.

A lot of best health choices seem to be a matter of balance rather than all or nothing. The scare about sun exposure and skin cancer has a lot of people never going out without sunblock, but without any sun exposure it's too easy to get Vitamin D deficiencies. I don't know how much people take in with Vitamin D fortified milk but that's been off the menu for me since I was 15 and old enough to refuse it. When I moved in with my grandparents they didn't force me to eat or drink anything I didn't like, which saved me from a lot of allergy and sensitivity symptoms I'd endured up to that point.

Today I got my new Tuesday-Thursday home care worker. He rocks. I like him and he did a great job. He's got skills I missed that Georgia had - he knows his way around the city and can guide me around for 75 cents a trip rather than $2 each way pre-scheduled Paratransit.

That means when I've got some money in hand I can do something about shelving and storage tubs. The kind of cheap bookcases I want need assembly and I don't even have my tool kit with me, going to need some basic tools with them like a hammer and screwdriver. I did my own assembly on the last ones I had and enjoyed being able to do it - but remember waiting a few days to get a good day, so it might be more productive to let him do it and spend my strength painting or at best, going out to finally use my Street Art License. Nice if I can get that to pay for its renewal at least even if the elevator problems slowed me down for when I could try it.

The whole equation changes now that the elevator works. Going out to sell art is no longer monumental, just difficult. I hope I get a good day before the elevator breaks down again. It lasted almost two months once.

01-13-2012, 05:49 PM
As if y'all haven't seen enough of my cat... here's the very last sketch I did in 2011. Yep. Today I solved the Scanner/Printer Setup problem the sit still way, just downloaded the drivers. Today was the day I was clear headed enough to remember I could DO that instead of waiting till I felt up to rooting through everything to find the CD when I know I put it somewhere safe it won't get lost.

Life Sketches of Ari 12-31-2011
The last drawings I did in 2011!
3" x 5"
Derwent Onyx super dark soft pencil
Stillman & Birn Delta journal. From life of course.

Today I'm working on both commissions, or at least one of them. Got the reference again for the mystery cat, got the photos for the book cover sketch too and the paper and the correct pencil in reach. Well the paper's across the room but when I get up for anything I'll grab it. Kitty comes first.

01-16-2012, 01:59 PM
Well, Comet the cat didn't get finished when I posted. Immediately after that post I got a nap attack, got up woozy, the January Slump continued unabated till this morning. Kitty is finally done. He looks good too, I posted him in the Studio completing the C3 More Cat Commissions thread.

I'm loving the pastel pencils on that Richeson surface, they came out just right for his whiskers.

Last night I just went to the bathroom as usual, came back to my room, sat down, moved slightly to get comfortable. Snap Crackle Pop - there went my lower back and my bad hip firing like a machine gun. Went to bed early because with the pain down I could sleep well, up at 4am... rested enough and did it. This is such relief.

It's the first art that I've done in 2012. I was so frustrated at being so tired and sick I couldn't even sketch, then today it cleared up. Vast relief.

I'm nuking myself some lunch to celebrate and then I'm going to play, if it's not in pastels I'll post it to this thread.

01-16-2012, 07:01 PM
A new Ari painted for the Weekly Inspiration Thread that I'm hosting in Art Journals forum. If you like doing art journals, please jump on in - it's been extended another week since WC was glitching during my week.

Ari Relaxing (Art Journals Weekly Inspiration Thread photo)
Ari sketches from life
5" x 8"
Derwent Inktense watersoluble ink pencils (large color Ari)
Derwent Onyx very black graphite pencil (small Ari life sketches)
Photo reference by me posted in Art Journals forum for challenge, life.

Somebody post besides me? lol - this thread isn't my blog after all! Repost pen sketches or gouache or colored pencils. Bring out the cute pet photos or your cute kid. Talk about what hurts or what was fun lately or how bad the weather is in your part of the world in January.

I've got good weather, a little short on day length but it's so great that there's no snow out there.

01-16-2012, 07:16 PM
I've been doing a lot of pencil/charcoal/ink/etc. sketches of PARTS of things/people. Nothing to show anybody (well, sometimes my husband), but plain drawing practice.

ETA: forgot to say, I'm looking around for possibly some different pens to sketch with.

CM Neidhofer
01-17-2012, 11:31 PM
Yay me! I just ordered a 72 piece set of Mungyo Gallery pastels and a pad of PastelMat! Merry Happy Happy to me! lol I'm replacing my NuPastels. They were my second purchase when I started using pastels and I just noticed yesterday how few I actually had left. The PastelMat is on backorder until the 21st. Now the waiting begins! Tick...tick....tick....lol :lol:

01-18-2012, 10:51 AM
Christine- don't you just hate back orders? I've been trying to refrain from buying any supplies- it hasn't been easy.

OK Robert, a new puppy picture- he's the weirdest dog I have ever been around. He makes me laugh all the time. This is him trying to get close to me without breaking the "not on the couch" rule. He also walks across the back of the couch from the stairs- in his mind he's " not on the couch".


I haven't gotten any phone calls or emails from anyone interested in purchasing my art hanging at the medical center. BUT did get asked about teaching. I told her I had never formally taught, but I think I'll call her back and see if she's interested in trying it anyway.

CM Neidhofer
01-18-2012, 05:24 PM
Ohhhhh....wha a beautiful puppy!! Looks just like my "Bear" I used to have. He was black lab and shephard. Mostly lab though. He was the funniest big dumb lug!! Sometimes so silly and the rest of the time just wonderful!! Unfortunately, he passed away several years ago. They're a lot fun!

01-18-2012, 06:36 PM
thanks. Charlie is Lab/Shepard mix too. possibly a little Rotti. ( he has "feathers" on his hind legs, a lighter streak of brown running under his belly) I think he will be a good dog once he grows up a little. Right now he's on springs.

CM Neidhofer
01-18-2012, 06:54 PM
Yup...Bear had feathers just on his tail. Couldn't ever let him loose in the yard. He'd jump the fence and gone!! And didn't know enough to come home either. Had to go looking for him! Wonderful watch dog though. Have fun with him!

01-18-2012, 09:57 PM
Lovely dog! Also a great reference photo for a cute painting!

01-18-2012, 10:25 PM
Purrr! Thanks for all the comments from people who aren't me! Ari purrs at you all and sheds Cat Hairs of Inspiration on you.

Mercy, that's so cool. I wouldn't mind seeing those drawings, it'd be cool to see what you're doing with them. Seeking new pens to draw with is always fun. For years I avoided ball point pen drawing for no reason at all, then discovered it could work well. UK and Europeans call it "biro" - same thing.

Ari Sketches and Vitamin D Pill
5.5" x 8"
Ballpoint pen from India, Derwent Inktense washed and Sakura Koi watercolor
Stillman & Birn Delta journal
Everything's from life.

Those curious about the Beautiful Vitamin D Pills - there's a nice Inktense painting of the Beautiful Vitamin D Pill. I had to do it before I took them all. They're just so rich in color. I may have to develop this again in pastels.

Christine - Yay Merry Happy to you! 72 is a lovely big range of Mungyo Gallery pastels. They'll be so much fun especially when you get your PastelMat. I love how the range is set up on their sets, they spread it out well through the spectrum without too many duplicates or near duplicates and gaps.

Your dog Bear sounds like a hoot too. Guess it takes some energy to keep up with an active dog. Anyone who wants to lose weight or get more exercise, get a young dog and it'll happen.

DB, that's sweet! Dogs are good at "white mutiny." They really, really want to follow the rules but they're also natural lawyers looking for loopholes. Back in Arkansas my daughter's dogs each went through a phase as puppies of sneaking into my room to steal the cat food. They'd wolf it down in about two bites and the crunching woke me up.

The guilty, submissive looks on those puppies were hilarious. Rhiannon the little Corgi was the sneakiest. She'd give my daughter these soulful puppy looks whenever she came in my room, hoping to be allowed in... and then maybe sidle over to the cat food when no one was looking. Closest she got was to sit by Kitten and be petted without being allowed near the cat food.

What a sweet, soulful expression on your dog in this one. Very cute puppy picture, love that short glossy fur with beautiful shining highlights. I love seeing the "feathers" on tail or legs, they're very decorative. Charlie's gorgeous but puppies are high energy super bounce all right. More energy than sense but a lot of fun.

This photo would make a great reference. I'll join the chorus - great pose and expression, good light and the highlights on Charlie's short shiny fur are wonderful for modeling him three dimensionally. Those ears look so floppy and soft too.

01-19-2012, 07:55 AM
for a 'city boy', what are 'feathers' on a dog?.......

CM Neidhofer
01-19-2012, 12:10 PM
for a 'city boy', what are 'feathers' on a dog?.......

In my case, my dog had all the features of a black lab, except his tail. Labs have shorter, smoother fur all over. German Shephard's have longer, whispier fur on their tails. Hence, "feathers."

In puppy Charlie's case, I guess the features of a Rottie include the longer fur, or "feathers," on the hind legs. (I'm not all that familiar with Rotties)

Hope this helps.

01-19-2012, 12:15 PM
Now that it looks like posts have stopped disappearing *touches wood*, here's the tags I made for presents for my husband's family this year (my husband is Catholic, so we do both holidays).

Sadly, no-one noticed them. *sigh* I'm pretty proud of myself, though, even though I think the test snowman was better.

01-19-2012, 01:18 PM
Cool gift tags, Mercy! Double holidays are fun. These look good. It's just that people don't mention things like that even if they liked them.

01-19-2012, 05:35 PM
Mercy- I would have noticed the tags! Very nice.

Robert- I like it "white mutiny", all dogs seem to do it. Charlie is getting to be a beautiful dog, 75 pounds of springs and boundless energy. You're right about dogs motivating exercise, he's irritating if he's not taken on a good run everyday.

The vitamin D tablets are familiar, I thought they were a pretty color too. Been on them twice.

Christine- He has feathers on his tail too. My son took him for a walk near the stream and he came back with icicles dangling from all his feathers. I'm still holding out hope he will be a good watch dog. He's attentive enough, but easily intimidated. My late lab mutt Bruno would stand up to an army and never blink, Charlie has some big paws to fill.

Tulabula- Thanks. you or anyone else can use it as a reference if you like.

01-19-2012, 05:53 PM
Hi everyone. I know I haven't been on in ashile but now I hope to be able to geton and post more often. The dog jerked on the leash and hurt my right arm and shoulder pretty bad and I'm still ache. I was also diagnosed with pneumonia(sp) the weekend before Thanksgiving so I haven't been doing much. I got pan pastels for Christmas and a box of watersoluble pastels and auqa brushes. I've been playing with the watersolubles as thumb nails and cann't wait to crack open the pans now that I'm back on my feet and the dust shouldn't bother me.

Robert, just saw on Dr Oz that mustard greens, 1 cup raw, 1/2 c cooked will lower your cholesteral.

Looking forward to chatting and seeing everyones work. Valerie

01-20-2012, 01:05 AM
Hi Guys I know I don't pop in often but had a photo from when I was in Chicago with my kids at Christmas just for Robert and maybe you animals lovers. Love the I'm not going to jump on the couch doggy! Anyway here is Oliver my kids black cat. He is a sweetie and love Granny who gives him lots of love. the children all creep into Grannies room to snuggle in bed with Granny and here comes Oliver and sits right on my bladder purring his head off! Poor granny pined in on both sides by squirmy babies and a cat on top! Unfortunately I don't have a picture of that but here is Oliver!!


01-20-2012, 09:19 AM
Oh Jen....He's GORgeous! He looks so much like our (now deceased) cat, Mercury, who lived about 16 years. I really miss him...he was a dear....and got along so well with the dogs...
dBfarmgirl...Love the shiny coat on your dog...and that precious face....

I should get pictures of our chihuahua sitting on the wheelchair with my husband...he loves to get on the legs and ride with him...

01-20-2012, 02:06 PM
Oh Jen, Oliver's gorgeous! What a beautiful cat. LOL that sit on bladder thing. Sounds like a wonderful evening if a bit intense around the bladder region. Lovely shiny coat on Oliver, he seems so healthy and vigorous. Hope he didn't knead too much when he was on your lap.

Judi, that sounds so cute with the chihuahua on your husband's wheelchair with him. Very cool.

Thanks for the tip, vhsummers, but mustard greens are on the list of things I can't stomach at all. I'm doing okay by cutting back on it to half the recommended amount. My doctor thought I was doing a lot, the tone of his voice was that he got amazed by it. I guess most guys that have cholesterol problems are going at 200 or 300 times the normal amounts.

01-20-2012, 04:15 PM
I thought you would like him Robert. He is 12 years old and a couple of years ago they thought they had lost him. He is mainly an inside cat but wanders out in the garden in the summer and one day in the winter he got out and no body noticed. They have a basement so he wasn't missed at first and then they looked all over the neighborhood for him. Three months of cold snowy weather went past and one day my granddaughter said" there's Oliver!"They got out of the car and she ran to him but he ran away. My daughter went by later and called to him and he came. He was very, very skinny but very happy to be home and otherwise no worse for his adventure. He has no front claws so they were worried how he would be if he had to fight or catch things.

01-21-2012, 07:28 PM
Jen, I'm so happy they found him again! No front claws, he's at a serious disadvantage for hunting or fighting, glad he came home. I'll bet he was terribly thin and very glad to be back inside where it's warm. Poor guy. He looks sleek and healthy in the photos though!

01-21-2012, 09:11 PM

Today's fuzzy Ari picture, showing him giving his infamous Baby Seal Look. He is irresistible sometimes. It doesn't matter how many cute pics of him I take, there's always another moment I've got to capture. Okay, so most baby seals don't have big black pointed ears. But he's got the eyes and cute little face thing down perfect.

01-21-2012, 10:31 PM
Ari is adorable, he has such an innocent winsome expression here, you really should paint this one.

01-21-2012, 11:46 PM
Thanks, Jen! I think you're right, I should! I like how the sumptuous bed coverings set off his beauty, though I think I'll leave out the big cardboard box of foam boards behind him and crop in much closer to him when I do.

CM Neidhofer
01-22-2012, 12:41 PM
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s320x320/407100_302565333129812_244753448911001_877558_1908620084_n.jpgJust a little morning humor. Loved this and couldn't resist sharing it! lol

01-22-2012, 02:06 PM
It's been a while since I checked in here only to be welcomed by Ari. He is a beauty and reminds me of my Persian cat Kashi. I lost her back when I got my Cavalier so know what a treasure they are. Jen York cat has such mesmerizing eyes. Another beauty. Christine cute photo. I do hope it's one of those that gets passed around on the Internet. Ciao, Cali

01-22-2012, 02:46 PM
LOL Christine! That's too funny, and yeah, I have seen dogs try to make excuses and pretend to be innocent of havoc they've caused. The look on the face of a corgi who's been stealing cat food is priceless.

Cali, that's so sad your Persian cat Kashi got lost. She might have been stolen, beautiful cats are at risk of someone mistaking them for strays and taking them home especially if they're friendly. I've lost cats too and it's something I hoped for other than the terrible alternatives, that it was just someone else who liked the animal instead of a car accident or worse.

Well, I'm awake this morning, yay! Need to work on that book cover commission if I am up to it - have been having a lot of unproductive sick days but when that's done I'll feel a lot better.

01-23-2012, 08:37 AM
Robert.....with all the NY Giant fans in town for the big game, you should have been down at the stadium selling them your art work to take home....wonderful opportunity........

01-23-2012, 02:31 PM
Jen, Glad they got the cat back. We went through the same thing with our little calico, she was only gone 3 weeks, we got her back on the same day as my mothers funeral. No dark with out light, right?

Not inspired today. Went up and tied the "studio" looked through ref pictures and stared at blank paper. Even picked up a pencil and put some lines down and still nothing. What do you do to get out of this funk?

01-23-2012, 04:39 PM
LOL Bluefish - not for me. I don't think the Street Artists Program extends to the stadium. Even if it did, that's the last place I'd ever willingly go. I've got a sports phobia from being bullied in grade school, middle school and half of high school. I got bullied worse for flunking gym than I ever did over anything else.

It sank in worst because I could not defend myself internally. I couldn't say the bullies were wrong, it was truth that I couldn't finish one lap, couldn't run faster than walking speed, couldn't stand straight or do even one pull-up. I rewrote this post about nine times because it hit me hard this morning.

Today's a rough day. I got some bad news this morning - got mixed up on the deadline for the 2012 Sketchbook Project. That's due at the end of the month. I'm nowhere near finished with it. I still need to finish my book cover commission first, priorities matter. If I don't get sick and do manage to work on the book cover today I might get it done in time, it's just way too close for me to relax and give it the kind of depth I wanted to.

I also need to start thinking about which of my supplies I'm willing to let go of in Swap Shop because I haven't gotten an affiliate check and my Internet is due in a few days. I need to give that some lead time. I can get past this. Next month it's not going to cost that much to get food, next month is going to be a short month so it'll be easier. Next month I can try to start getting caught up. This month, everything has been too late and too little so that brings me down.

Vivien, I'm not sure if mine is the same kind of funk. I'm going to try to fight it by doing the scheduled commission first. If I can get the stuff together in reach to work on the commission and push myself some time today to get it done, that will relieve some of the stress. Then maybe tomorrow work on the Sketchbook Project - at least those cartoons are very easy to do so it may not take much will power to get started on them.

CM Neidhofer
01-23-2012, 05:26 PM
Robert, so sorry to hear about all your stress. But I really do know what you're going through. Mine was all in TN before we came back to CO. Bruce could never find a job out there. I had a job, but it wasn't enough to make ends meet. We moved several times, and it all came to an end when we got in the car accident and couldn't afford to live where we were living and we got into a big argument over a bunch of nothing, and he made a comment that really hurt me. Took me back to my ex husband and the things he used to say. I called my son and he bought a bus ticket for me to come back to CO because I had to get away from Bruce and do some thinking. But then he followed me back to CO. We talked and talked and worked out most of our differences. I stayed with my son until he lost his job and apartment and I ended up back with Bruce! Now he's disabled and not working any more and I haven't found a job and we're together ALL the time again!! But, I can't imagine life without him! :rolleyes:

I just came out of an art funk not too long ago and I'm back to painting. But, I had that flu thing back a week before Christmas and haven't felt well off and on ever since, not to mention this sciatic flare up for the last two weeks!! I know you have things wrong that I couldn't begin to know what it's like, but I do understand.

But hang in there. It always gets better and you'll be on track again soon. It just all seems too overwhelming sometimes. I've learned to just "oh well," and wait until things turn good again!!

Then again, now I'm waiting for my new pastels and PastelMat, which is on backorder and was supposed to be in on the 21st, but still not showing. I should've ordered from somewhere other than I did. We had this store in Englewood, CO for some time, and every time I went there, they didn't have what I wanted and would have to order it for me. Well, I can do that myself. Thanks anyway!! lol

Keep smiling and just do what you can. I'm pretty partial to my afternoon naps now, without feeling guilty about it! Not every day, but when I feel I need one, it's down time!

Take care, rest and try not to stress. :)

01-23-2012, 08:39 PM
Christine, that's awesome. I hope your new pastels and PastelMat arrive soon, today or tomorrow depending on your time zone and delivery service. When I lived in Colorado, the UPS truck tended to show up late at night, like seven or eight in the evening. So cool you've got that coming. If they sent you a tracking number maybe you can check on the package?

Yep. It just seems overwhelming today, that's all. In large part because today is one of those sick days and I'm not painting, I'm playing Diablo and getting my character killed repeatedly. If I start feeling better I'll get caught up fast. The problem is that I keep waiting and waiting for good days to do anything.

All I can do is try to remember to eat, because if I eat enough my odds of pulling out of it will improve. When I forget to eat because my stomach got upset, that's another vicious cycle.

01-23-2012, 10:01 PM
One thing done toward getting everything done... when I got up for coffee I checked to see if the paper clip would work to release the Star Trek movie from the CD bay on my good computer.

That's what I'm typing with now. It worked. I now have a paper clip to solve that problem, all of my other attempts failed because it really needs an actual paper clip to get in there. D'oh. The one thing a guy who lives paperless just never has around. I should buy a pack of them.

So that's given me access to the references for the commission at least. This will help a lot!

CM Neidhofer
01-24-2012, 11:59 AM
One thing done toward getting everything done... when I got up for coffee I checked to see if the paper clip would work to release the Star Trek movie from the CD bay on my good computer.

That's what I'm typing with now. It worked. I now have a paper clip to solve that problem, all of my other attempts failed because it really needs an actual paper clip to get in there. D'oh. The one thing a guy who lives paperless just never has around. I should buy a pack of them.

So that's given me access to the references for the commission at least. This will help a lot!

I used to laugh at my mother when I was young. She saved, what I thought, were the most ridiculous things! And I would always ask why there was a drawer full of popsicle sticks, an extra box of toothpicks, etc. Well, you can't imagine how many pospsicle and toothpick castles and forts and farmyards I built with those popsicle sticks and toothpicks! Not to mention the button box, most of which were used for decorating the proverbial picture frame for a school pic and so on!! Now I know! The most unlikely thing is the thing you need!! lol Good job on getting the disk drawer open! :clap: :clap:

CM Neidhofer
01-24-2012, 02:12 PM
Well, hubby went to the doc's this a.m. Just got out of xray and waiting for his doc to talk to him again. They think he has fluid in his lungs. I got to thinking and looked up walking pnumonia. He has at least half, if not more, of the symptoms. He had a cold/flu bug the week before Christmas and I got it shortly after. I recovered. He's had a dry cough, headache, sore throat, no energy, and progressively hard time breathing, and a low grade fever at times. Hopefully that's all it is and they'll send him home with antibiotics. He didn't want me to go with him...he's a big boy ya know! So I'm just sitting here waiting to hear for sure what's going on and whether I have to get to the hospital or not. Any good thoughs sent through space are greatly appreciated!

CM Neidhofer
01-24-2012, 02:25 PM
Wonderful day today, here in CO! Just contacted Jerry's about my backorder. It was supposed to be in Jan 21. Now it's Jan. 31. And that's not definite! The prices were nice, but I think I'll pay the extra couple of dollars from some other store in the future! :(

01-24-2012, 02:53 PM
Your mom's habit was awesome. Collecting twist ties and popsicle sticks and other things like that is always useful and not just for kid projects. There comes a time for adult artists when the absence of a paperclip can lead to weeks of doing without the good computer.

Also saving milk rings is good if you have a cat. Any cat lover who uses milk by the gallon has a source of free cat toys. I've never known a cat who didn't love batting them around on the floor, especially if the floor's not carpeted. I should have asked Kitten for a bunch of them when I was getting ready to move, but he has lots of catnip mice and little dental health chew toys for cats and other things to play with here.

Yesterday I think I accomplished something completely internal. Overcoming my childhood is a process of years, rewriting everything that distorted my personality so that I'm not getting flashbacks really matters. Yesterday was the first time I realized gym was that important or how much damage the bullying in gym caused.

Knowing that it's irrational is half the battle. The rest is consciously desensitizing it the way I did the phobia I had about roaches. Understanding is the start - my fear of roaches was reinforced all the time by dread of real neglect and dying in filth because of not having the help I needed with day to day living. When I can disconnect the irrational fear from the real risk, that makes a big difference. I can reclaim a whole big chunk of my life.

Where it impacted me worst is that phobia has kept me from even trying physical therapy for any of it. I do not know whether an actual, skilled physical therapist could improve the way I function. That treatment might not help - or it might make a big difference in the long run. It's that phobia that's kept me from even trying, reinforced by the disasters that all my attempts to exercise as an adult caused.

A real physical therapist would be watching carefully for whether I'm pushing too hard. He'd tell me when to stop instead of my applying too much will power and going overboard. It's not going to be possible until just going out isn't going to take a day of recovery afterward. I need the mobility barriers out of the way before I try it. Otherwise any exertion at the other end becomes too much and I can't use it.

But it might be worth trying once I've settled in downstairs and have my life sorted out well enough that I can afford the transportation and the time for it. If it can help, it would be worth doing. If it can't, well, at least then I'd know it.

CM Neidhofer
01-24-2012, 03:13 PM
I completely understand, Robert. I was always the "fat" girl in school. Grade school was rough until I started playing softball at about 11 years old. I was very good, and better than some of the boys. Most of the bullying stopped then. And not until after a couple of confrontations off school property with the local bully who lived across the street! Those kinds of things weren't all that bad back then, for me, like they are with kids today, though. Again, my Mom, in all her wisdom, always told me just keep my head up and ignore them, I'm better than that! I just usually ignored it, and got them back in other, less obvious ways!! That bully somehow got a potato stuck in the tail pipe of his car in our teen years. I don't know how long it took him to figure it out, but I watched as he started his car the next morning and made it as far as my front door before the car died!! lol

He used to constantly throw snowballs at me when we were younger, hitting me in the back of the head with an ice ball once, walking home from school. I waiting until he was right behind me, turned around, grabbed him and threw him down in the snow. Sat on him, in my little plaid school skirt, and proceeded to stuff the front of his shirt and pants with snow! Rolled him over and stuff the backside too! One of my friends' mom came along in her car about that time and shouted, "Get in, quick! I'll drive you home!" LOL He didn't throw snow balls any more!

Last time he ever bothered me, I was walking to our little store in my hometown. I was 21 and he was a new 18 yo. He was standing out front with a bunch of his buddies. As I was crossing the street, he shouted, "Hey, baby, let's go to bed!" I walked over, unbuttoning my blouse and said, "Hey baby, your're a grown man now. We don't need a bed! Right here on the sidewalk, Baby!!!" He turned every shade of red and all his buddies laughed at him. Never got anything but "Hi" from him ever after!! lol

Hope you get a good chuckle from my "bully" days! Take care.

01-24-2012, 03:37 PM
Christine, your stories are wonderful! I'm laughing out loud. I can just imagine his face. Bullies are all cowards at heart. They become bullies because they can avoid getting hit if they're the bully and they have a gang with them. That's part of the bullying system.

Stand up to them and it breaks their little minds. It destroys their world.

What I'm angry about to this day is bullying teachers. That's what's at the core of the bullying system - teachers who bully and choose the targets because the bullies know they won't get punished if they pick a victim the teacher picked on. Right now there's a lot of homophobic bullying - the Great Excuse is that the victim looked gay or the bully thought the victim was gay. Kids are getting driven to suicide in high schools. Straight kids who for one reason or another get labeled gay - it can be for no more than not being homophobic enough - get driven that far with it.

That's become an important cause to me. I think school bullying is at the root of a lot of abuse, both the everyday kind of bullying at work from bad supervisors and enabling serious abuse because that's just an exaggerated level of the same process. If it gets cut off in schools, it may break some of the family patterns and reduce bullying at large in the following generation.

CM Neidhofer
01-24-2012, 04:00 PM
That is a big problem today. I know when I was in high school, there were kids, when looking back now, that were probably gay. But we didn't have a word, or a label for it then because we never knew about anything like that. If a girl appeared "tough," she was just a tomboy. People probably thought that about me. I was very athletic and still a big girl by then. Not "fat" anymore. Couldn't pinch an in on me then. Just big. My Polish grandma was 6' tall and weighed 200 lbs! Big, strong woman. If boys seemed "girlish," no one thought anything of it. He's just a "geek" or a "nerd." Looking back now, I could pick out several in my class that are probably gay, but we never bullied anyone. There was the occasional fight, but it was always contained. Except maybe for the two football players who got in a fist fight in the hallway. When the principal came upon them, one guy took a swing and the other one ducked..Principal got a sucker punch in the jaw! Two guys expelled! And we didn't usually carry weapons back then either. A fight was a fight, fair and square. One winner, one loser and they were usually friends, or at least speaking again in a couple of weeks.

And I agree, the grown ups perpetuate it as well. When I worked at the casino, I saw so many older men and women acting like spoiled little brats. And they defend it with, "I'm old and can do what I want!" May be you've earned the right to express yourself and be treated with kindness, but it doesn't give the right to be just plain mean and rude! And wonder why the kids and grandkids act like they do!

Last time I was at the Human Services, there was a young woman sitting there with two little girls. They were so well behaved, sitting with Mom, not running around or screaming, or mom up looking for them because the tried to sneak away. I just had to tell her what wonderful and well behaved little girls she had. She looked at me with a shocked face, then quietly thanked me. Told her I just wanted to let her know what a good job she's doing!

Ok...I'll step down from soap box now so someone else can get on it, or pushes me off!! lol

01-24-2012, 05:18 PM
Christine and Robert...love the stories of your youth. I was a tomboy growing up...and the only girl allowed on the neighborhood softball team...ended up being the pitcher, and a good one, too....

And then there was the time I bullied the neighborhood bully! Yep....he didnt bother us after that!

My daughter,who is a psychologist in a middle school, is on the commission on bullying in the schools. Judging from the amount of teen suicides lately, it is becoming more prevalant. It is just so sad...

CM Neidhofer
01-24-2012, 05:41 PM
Christine and Robert...love the stories of your youth. I was a tomboy growing up...and the only girl allowed on the neighborhood softball team...ended up being the pitcher, and a good one, too....

And then there was the time I bullied the neighborhood bully! Yep....he didnt bother us after that!

My daughter,who is a psychologist in a middle school, is on the commission on bullying in the schools. Judging from the amount of teen suicides lately, it is becoming more prevalant. It is just so sad...

Hey, I was a pitcher too!! And most other positions except shortstop and second base. Never seemed fast enough for those or willing to throw my body on the ground for a grounder! lol

01-24-2012, 06:31 PM
Hey Rob,
The Sketchbook ... well, No need to finish 32 pages. Many artists submit what they have and remove the extra white pages. No pressure to fill up every page. I look forward to seeing at least a sketch or two from you!


01-24-2012, 07:09 PM
Dave, thanks. The thing is I at least want to have it do what I said it would on the front page - at least say hello and get a page to each major period of prehistory. I had it planned to put more space to the Mesozoic because there are so many cool dinosaurs to draw, had just gotten to the Permian or so. I think I did pages for the Permian Extinction.

But I also need to devote some pages to sabertooth cats so that I can use its publicity to help plug my book, and promote the book on the last page. I'm calming down from today's setback now but if I can put in a few days working on it I can get it done. Heck if I have one really good day I might be able to finish it - they're fast cartoons. I just need to have that good day and I'm still waiting for a good day to get the book cover back cover drawing done.

So this isn't like it's late yet. It's almost more stressful that it's not but I've got no signs of feeling better either. I'll send it in on the last day with whatever I have. At least I've got the money for the postage if I use PayPal - it's actually easier to ship it with Priority Mail than anything else since I don't have a postage scale to know how many stamps to put on it or any envelopes that aren't Priority Mail ones that could hold it.

I can pay that out of PayPal and still have $10 in there. So at least that's not desperate as long as I remember to do it and don't wind up sending it late because I forgot.

After my last post, my iPhone went blooey. I've got a repair shop appointment tomorrow, that's $4 for the Paratransit trip to take it in. The good thing is that if they can't fix it in an hour, they give me a new one with the same model and it goes on the scrap heap. They've got a very efficient repair system with that. Simple problems get fixed, complicated ones go on the recycle heap and they use all the parts that are still good.

So I'll have my iPhone back working again tomorrow. That's worth the trip, but does mean the odds of getting the art done tomorrow are little to none - it'd take my having a really good morning before going, which is not likely given that it takes three hours to wake up before I can do anything. Fortunately the Apple people are used to idiots more blithering than I am when I'm sick, the phone support lady did talk me through the process of backing it up.

I'm immensely relieved. 1406 photos, most of them of my cat, are not gone, along with all my calendar appointments and phone numbers and everything else I store in the machine. It was too easy to use so I depended on it for everything.

Judi, that is so cool that your sister is on the commission against bullying in the schools. I hope she's aware of the enormous influence teachers have on bullies, on how violent they get and who they attack. That was so cool you bullied your neighborhood bully too.

01-24-2012, 09:02 PM
Well, that's a relief. I could and did cancel the repair shop trip because the phone worked again after the service phone call lady walked me through turning it off and back on. She didn't ask "does it work now" but then walked me through backing it up in case it needed replacing. So I now have current backups and it's working... and I owe for the service call because it wasn't a hardware problem. I'm covered for hardware problems, not software ones.

So now I'm on hold canceling the Paratransit trip to go to the appointment. Which is a good thing. I am not up to going out tomorrow by a long shot and so I would have been down for about two days for going - but that would have been a lot better than doing without the phone. It's compensated for my Swiss cheese memory in more ways than I can count. I even have medication reminders programmed into it.

01-26-2012, 03:03 PM
I was bullied mercilessly in high school. I was a nerd, on the "scholastic quiz team" and lived on a farm. There was NO WAY I could defend myself physically (I'm a small 5'2'). I had a fix up date for the prom (BIG mistake!). Then I left for college- no longer saddled with the labels from high school, I had a lot of men after me, and no men coping skills. It was overwhelming.

I keep telling my girlfriendless son not to worry, when he gets to a place where people see him, not the labels, he'll find someone REAL. High school is still ruthless, and now they have cell phones to capture every mistake and send it out on the internet! torture! They now have worry that other kids will take pictures of them while showering or changing for gym. I worry about him all the time.

Robert- My computer had been moody lately. I keep checking to make sure things are backed up. It's scary how much you can loose to electronic gremlins.

01-26-2012, 03:43 PM
DB, that sounds like a nightmare. The bullying has gotten worse in the decades since I went to school, though that might just be that I lucked and got a very good high school.

You're right about the phones. Phones and cameras are so small it wouldn't take much for any of the others to snap photos of your son in the shower, or any kid, and post them on the Internet. That's a new ugly situation.

I'm happy now that I have backups and the problem's solved. Happier still to have both computers in operation and once again have access to the scans of all the art I did in October and September, I was pretty productive for a while and did some great paintings.

I'm still getting used to this climate. I think that for next year I need to plan November as a month to focus on writing and stay in, then do the same for December and January. If I save up during the spring, summer and fall and stockpile all necessities with enough cash set aside to send out my home carers for perishables, I will be doing a lot better next year.

This morning I had a bad morning and paid attention to what's wrong - it's the arthritis. That's what's gone out of scale and knocked me over, I've had time to rest up from the overexertion. Plenty of it. More rest time than I really wanted. It's important for me to pay attention to when that happens, to know how to plan for the year.

If I can save up during the long, wonderful Good Season here so that I don't need to go out at all during a couple of bad months, life won't be so hard. I just need to work at building up my reserves again and stockpile necessities during the fall so that in winter I really do not have to do anything. That and not take commissions at the wrong time of year when they'd take too long to finish. Or be up front and tell them "I probably won't be done with this for months, I'll do it but there has to be no deadline."

I have one outstanding one on that basis and she's content to wait, so I'm not stressing over finishing her art. It's not like the Sketchbook Project, which I might have time to finish if I can do that back cover drawing today. It's not even a big drawing! I should be able to do it. I've had a hot bath to ease the pain and I'm going to try to get started as soon as Mack's done with my laundry and cleaning-up stuff.

After that, cartooning armored fish and giant bugs and dinosaurs is just going to be fun. I have to remember that with the style I'm doing, it's easy to do half a dozen or more pages in a sitting.

01-27-2012, 12:44 AM
All worries are over. I am now Caught Up, officially. I have four days to do one Puzzle Picture Piece and 21 cartoons, but I was doing more than one at a time anyway and only need five or six a day to finish a day ahead. Compared to getting the book cover commission finished on an arthritis day, this is going to be a snap. Whew!

I am so relieved I'm almost dizzy with it. I relaxed and did a cat sketch tonight to celebrate being caught up. Whew!

Sleeping Ari
3 1/2" x 5 1/2" approx.
Tombow brush pens
Stillman & Birn Delta journal.
From life of course, he was sleeping on the red bedsheets leaning on pillows with matching pillow cases.

Yep. Just a cat gesture, about five minutes with brush pens. Good practice for tomorrow's prehistoric beasties in brush pen. Some of them may even be good drawings along with silly cartoons, ya never know!

I organized it so I've got a minimum to do every day, which means I can push a bit tomorrow to do more than the minimum and start getting ahead. When I'm doing that, coasting starts to get easier. I don't think I'll be going out to Fisherman's Wharf this month - tomorrow would have been the best possible day being a Friday - but next month? Yep. I think I can manage that, now that I'm not reserving all good days for things that need to be done on time or are late.

01-27-2012, 05:11 PM
Excellence, Ari. Love it.

01-27-2012, 08:27 PM
Purr, thank you! I love sketching my Ari. He's beautiful and the more often I draw him, the easier it is.

Onward to Wikipedia and prehistoric critters. I need to relax and catch up - when I've done six pages in Sketchbook Project I will feel even better. I've got time to do this now.

01-28-2012, 08:19 AM
Aha! This is where we all get together to chat!

Robert, I love your sketch of Ari, what a beautiful cat.

Well having just painted the tulips for the Spotlight thread, and then painted them again in intense pencils, I showed my husband and asked him which he preferred. He said, "well there both the same!" Oh well, I suppose he isn't an artist so wouldn't understand the difference.

But, this morning he came back from a shopping trip with a bunch of red and yellow tulips for me! This is a man who rarely buys me flowers. So of course I got my camera out and took some photos. :) Now to download them to the Mac to see if they came out ok. I have a smile on my face this morning.



01-28-2012, 05:16 PM
Carol, that totally rocks. Now you know what to do to get your husband to buy you flowers - paint them! If he's not an artist, his feedback is still good to see how the paintings look to non-artists. That is so awesome. Now you can sketch more tulips from life. There's nothing like having real flowers to draw from, the textures are so beautiful and I see things that the camera doesn't always capture unless it's a really good expensive camera.

I can easily see why he'd like both version if you did them well in two different mediums though. It's hard to understand for a non-artist that the techniques you used in them are so different from one to the other - but that he liked both is a great thing.

I just got out of class with Johannes Vloothuis. Discovered we have a new convert to Pan Pastels. I thought he'd like them, the way he does oils and acrylics really lends itself to Pans painting. He was having loads of fun doing all four demos with Pans and a few sticks accents and textures on the last one. Notes all scanned and resized, ready to post when the moderator opens my notes thread.

I spent a lot of class in chat answering materials questions about pastels in general and Pan Pastels specifically. It was fun. He was teasing me and calling me a pastels expert, which left me laughing at myself because I know a lot of pastelists here who are way beyond me. More like an art materials nut that has to try everything and loves to blather about supplies.

Though I have to say, soft pastels are rapidly becoming my favorite medium. At least among the top three depending on what else I'm doing, but I always come back to pastels.

01-29-2012, 05:04 PM

Your tulip story made me smile. Thank your husband from me. :)


01-29-2012, 05:22 PM
Will do, Dave. :)

I will certainly try that again, Robert, when I fancy some more flowers to brighten up the place.

He amazed me AGAIN today, when he walked into the room and saw my lilly pond painting that I shared in the Studio forum. He said, "Ooh that's quite nice!" which, coming from him, is a compliment indeed.

Now I have to make a confession. I think I am addicted already! I love using pastels and think I may have found my medium. :)



CM Neidhofer
01-29-2012, 07:48 PM
Is anyone else out there having trouble with Internet Explorer? Last 2 days I haven't been able to load our Pogo game site and I had to go into settings in Hotmail and resave settings there so I could open my emails. Facebook was only loading half the page as well. I switched over to Chrome browser and everything loads just fine.

01-30-2012, 12:31 AM
Carol, I've loved pastels for decades and I'm glad you found your medium. I know I keep coming back to pastels no matter what else I enjoy, they're too much fun. Pastels are instant gratification in a lot of ways.

Christine, that sounds so frustrating. I used to have problems with IE pretty often, then I switched to Chrome and got used to Chrome. Firefox isn't half bad depending on which computer, it's sort of pot luck per laptop which browser works best on it.

CM Neidhofer
01-30-2012, 11:33 AM
Will do, Dave. :)

I will certainly try that again, Robert, when I fancy some more flowers to brighten up the place.

He amazed me AGAIN today, when he walked into the room and saw my lilly pond painting that I shared in the Studio forum. He said, "Ooh that's quite nice!" which, coming from him, is a compliment indeed.

Now I have to make a confession. I think I am addicted already! I love using pastels and think I may have found my medium. :)



Hmmm....could paint some chocolates and champagne.....a car...an exotic beach scene....lol

01-30-2012, 01:31 PM
Oooh, I wonder how difficult diamonds and opals would be to paint. :0)

Not sure it would work though, the tulips were so out of character it was astonishing!

I use Safari on my Mac - can't get IE for this operating system, so I am afraid I can't help with browser issues, CM Neidhofer.



CM Neidhofer
01-30-2012, 02:13 PM
Oooh, I wonder how difficult diamonds and opals would be to paint. :0)

Not sure it would work though, the tulips were so out of character it was astonishing!

I use Safari on my Mac - can't get IE for this operating system, so I am afraid I can't help with browser issues, CM Neidhofer.



LOL!! Didn't think about those! Good idea!

I don't even care much for flowers any more. My ex used to bring me one red rose....only when he'd done something wrong!!!

01-30-2012, 09:08 PM
LOL Carol! If you try Diamonds, get a really good photo reference of a macro. It takes a lot of attention to value and gradients and color to get a diamond to look like a diamond and not like a mess, it's crazy difficult. Opals would be easier, but a good full color photo would seriously help.

Christine, that's too bad your ex ruined romantic flowers for you. My daughter complained about the one red rose thing too, a lot of guys courted her with that same one dollar red rose from a street vendor. She fell for her current husband, my wonderful son in law, when he hunted down weird colored roses and surprised her with them on non-holidays. Never the same color twice and usually a whole bunch of them.

One time she came into my room and stuck a pink-shading-to-orange one in a vase on my side table from one of his bouquets and said "A challenge for you, Dad." I drew that thing 12 or 13 times from life till it dried out completely, then kept on painting it from my sketches. It was the one that finally taught me how to get rose structures and proportions right. Wonderful gift. The other eleven were extremely romantic between them.

CM Neidhofer
01-30-2012, 11:47 PM
LOL Carol! If you try Diamonds, get a really good photo reference of a macro. It takes a lot of attention to value and gradients and color to get a diamond to look like a diamond and not like a mess, it's crazy difficult. Opals would be easier, but a good full color photo would seriously help.

Christine, that's too bad your ex ruined romantic flowers for you. My daughter complained about the one red rose thing too, a lot of guys courted her with that same one dollar red rose from a street vendor. She fell for her current husband, my wonderful son in law, when he hunted down weird colored roses and surprised her with them on non-holidays. Never the same color twice and usually a whole bunch of them.

One time she came into my room and stuck a pink-shading-to-orange one in a vase on my side table from one of his bouquets and said "A challenge for you, Dad." I drew that thing 12 or 13 times from life till it dried out completely, then kept on painting it from my sketches. It was the one that finally taught me how to get rose structures and proportions right. Wonderful gift. The other eleven were extremely romantic between them.

Bruce doesn't usually bring me flowers, but we go to a lot of events....Taste of Colorado, Peoples' Fair, etc.....and three years ago I started a collection of roses from the vendors at those events. First year they were kind of a wire/shaped fabric. Second year I found roses made of feathers. Last year, I found roses made of birchbark, painted in beautiful colors, and they added rose oil to make them smell wonderful! So in a way, he does give me roses, they're just very unconventional, which I love!!

01-31-2012, 12:13 AM
Oh those sound awesome, and a good deal more permanent than live roses. You've got gorgeous still life objects from every one. Unconventional roses win out again! Got to remember this when I meet a new girl, get her a black leather rose or a birch bark rose or a feather rose or paint her a blue rose...

Six more Prehistoric pages done. I've got five pages left for the entire Age of Mammals, think I need to focus that some! It's getting trippy and it's getting tight, must be mailed tomorrow! No fancy cover on it. I'll just scribble the title with the same pens and maybe a cat-toon.

CM Neidhofer
01-31-2012, 12:25 AM
Black leather rose....hmmmm.....now that sounds interesting!! lol

01-31-2012, 01:47 AM
Sounds downright kinky! Robert don't try it until you know a lady really well!!:D

01-31-2012, 11:22 AM
Hee hee, good point, Jen. Kink can be fun but I was also thinking of all the Goth ladies I've known. Sometimes it's just style.

I found an amusing article on "flowers" this morning in Discovery News, one of the streams I follow. http://news.discovery.com/earth/tulip-monster-120131.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

That could be amusing in a painting! Amazing how the same shapes show up in sea life and flowers, they're very beautiful. It reminded me of this month's Spotlight. There's also an article on an albino hummingbird in the same section, Animals.

01-31-2012, 01:46 PM
Hmm I hadn't thought of Goth!
Fascinating article Robert. Definitely wouldn't want to sniff them!!

02-01-2012, 03:21 AM
Hee hee, nope, neither would I!

Here's an even funnier prehistoric series than the Sketchbook Project that I just mailed out. "T-Rex Trying." (http://trextrying.tumblr.com/) Almost a Far Side style with a really good running gag - think of those tiny little arms... T-Rex trying to put on a cardigan, T-Rex trying to floss...

Shirl Parker
02-01-2012, 10:27 AM
Time for a new chat thread. Click here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14733782#post14733782)