Apr 29, 2009

Illustration Friday: Theater

Dress Rehearsal

It is time once again for play season in the wild wood, and the mice are working their hardest to put on a great production.

(And if you simply must have it for your own....)
Original is on Etsy
Prints & such are on ArtWanted

Apr 27, 2009

Jane Austen strikes again!

Good evening!
I have finally got round to scanning in this little Jane Austen-inspired illustration. It's Catherine Morland! Silly thing, sitting here reading her gothic romance novels and imagining all sorts of strange goings-on.

Catherine at Northanger Abbey

Original is in Etsy shop
Prints & such are in ArtWanted shop

Spent the weekend helping my mommy pick out new house trimmings for her remodeling she's going to have done. Wow, that was fun being an interior decorator for a little while!
I had strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight :) and I have a serious INNER EDITOR keeping me from really writing much in this post, not much for any good reason. Hm!
Added lavender and zinnias to the garden, oh boy. And I have a strong urge to drag out the My Little Pony collection. Instead, I will probably be painting.

Apr 22, 2009

Illustration Friday: Impossibility

Dream Tree

This little girl believes in dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem.

(And, if you want this for your very own....)
Buy Original on Etsy
Buy Prints on ArtWanted

Sun bonnets, tomatoes, and sketches oh my!

Haven't been very good at sitting at the desk today... too busy gardening! I got to wear my new sun bonnet I made and plant some more tomatoes.
Here is my bonnet!

And here are my tomatoes!

I learned how to plant them this way several places on the 'net, but here is a good page: Upside-down tomatoes (or whatever) in a 2 Liter bottle
Apparently this is the DIY recycling version of the "Topsy Turvy" thing. And it doesn't cost a bunch of money, either. I hope they grow nicely! I do need to find a sunnier place to hang them -- my mom is bringing me an old wooden ladder and I think I'll hang the tomatoes from it in some sunny spot. There are still two baby plants who need planters...
I've been trying to sketch more lately, even if I don't get to the actual painting. I've been clamming up an awful lot on the art scene this past month, and I think part of this is due to ignoring my little inner artist's need to play on paper (or wherever) without that PRESSURE to create soemthing that will sell! I really, truly need to have that non-pressure time. I also really truly need to remember this fact.
Anyway, here's a sketch:

And, this is the sketch for the painting I'm currently doing for Illustration Friday:

Have to get my butt in gear and finish it!

Apr 21, 2009

I want to dress like Lizzie Bennett

Hiya! And cheerio!
Well first off, I'm going to show you the new little ACEOs -- though I'm annoyed with my scanner just now for washing out the colors. Need a new one!

Hot Cup of Tea - ACEO
Click here to buy on Etsy

Tea Therapy - ACEO
Click here to buy on Etsy

Kite Flying - ACEO
Click here to buy on Etsy

Personally, I'm fond of the rabbit.
There was actually a fourth, but I ended up disliking it so much that it is swimming at the bottom of the ACEO pile, perhaps never to see the light of day.
I planted zucchini earlier today :) -- I do hope they grow because I LOVE zucchini! I love to make zucchini bread, and also just plain sauteeing it in a pan and eating it that way. It's good stuff, Maynard. It's been difficult finding spots that get full sun 6+ hours of the day around here, too many foresty trees everywhere! Guess it helps that I'm using moveable containers.
Oh yeah, and I'm almost done making my sun bonnet. I will feel like Laura Ingalls. I am hoping that this small sewing project will give me further confidence to tackle making a Regency-era ensemble.... underthings and all!! But I SO want to dress up like Lizzie Bennett. Every day, I mean it. And I'm totally using a bedsheet to make the chemise, because it's cheaper than buying that much fabric for something that never will be seen in public.
Well it's time to shut down the Procrastination Machine and update my website.

Apr 19, 2009

Gardening is good for mending me

Good evening!
Boy it's been a stretch of doing rather non-creative work the past while, lots of typing and web maintenance. I am painting now though, after being inspired by this adorable blog: Doe-C-Doe
It's full of vintage retro goodness and it made me want to paint vintage-y looking things (involving rabbits and cats!). So I am.
In other news, I am making a garden! I tried one last year and utterly failed at it, so I was rather discouraged about trying it again this year. But I've been urged from the inside to do it, so here I am. This time I used baby plants instead of seeds, so hopefully that will significantly increase my chances of actually getting them to grow!

Ah, yep -- those are cat sand buckets. Gotta recycle, right?
On the subject of cats, it is time for gratuitous cat pictures! Humor me, will you.

Must be nice to be a cat, lazing on top of bookshelves. And Kiba manages to look so bored whilst doing so.

I like this shot of Bitsy in the front yard. Spring in the forest!! She's been spending a lot of time outdoors these days, as Kiba has taken a sudden love of chasing her relentlessly around the house. Poor Bitsy!

Here's that ruffian now, with his sly look.
Well dearests, I have managed to eat nothing but chocolate for dinner. This simply won't do. I'm thinking baked potato with feta, sounds like a strange yet intriguing idea.
Hopefully there will be art to post soon!

Apr 15, 2009


Good noontide!
It's a sunny but chilly day here in the forest. I'm about to go work on some website stuff for a client, but thought I'd put in a bit of a post first -- and eat chocolate. For you non-Twitter folk out there (and thus haven't heard me gush about it already), I just discovered the most wonderful indie musical group! They've been around awhile but I'd never heard of them until now, called The Innocence Mission. I picked up their album Small Planes a few days ago. Anyway, I identify so much with the lyrics and the motivation behind them, besides it being beautiful to listen to. Like I see life through a similar lens.
Just had to gush for a minute. ;)
From the sketchbook:

A bit of a pictorial "journaling" on mourning the rather destroyed life I left before I moved here -- and time to let go of it, because I've gained a much better prize when I moved to this house... and that is Jesus.

Kiba is modeling the afghan I just finished crocheting a couple of days ago. Isn't it cheerful? I think it looks like a garden.

Today I felt compelled to bring the lilac bush inside so I could look at it and smell it whilst working. It's difficult trying to keep Kiba out of the plant water though! It's sitting on my "new" shelf that my mom just gave me. I haven't had a proper bookshelf in 3 years! Finally everyone can start emerging from the piles under my bed and stand up like proper little books. :)

The bottom of our hill.... oh cheerful yard, how I wish I could roll around in the grass and dirt all day!

Apr 11, 2009


Thinking a lot about childhood today... it's been a weird day!
Firstly I have been practicing more sequential art (or art from the same story) and I have this little boy and his squirrel friend to show you:

Balance ACEO
Original is on Etsy

Sharing a Meal ACEO
Original is on Etsy

I was outside sketching in the sun earlier, and made a drawing of a little boy flying a kite -- at which point I burst into tears because it reminds me of my brother Travis and I miss him! He lives in Seattle. He used to love to fly kites when we were kids.
I was feeling pretty nostalgic in general, listening to music that my parents used to play when I was very small! Puts me in a strange state of mind. I have such an emotional connection with childhood, all the beauties and fears.
Also I had a really scary nightmare last night about a serial killer who would suffocate people with plastic wrap and I caught him in the act. I woke up yelling! Boy, haven't done that in a while. Maybe I need to watch less tv.
Scary as that was, it really was a very beautiful warm day outside. Butterflies were swirling all over the air, mostly to have a meal of the lilac bush and many of them went for the periwinkle as well. While I was smelling a lilac, one of them flew to my cheek! :) My Kiba cat sure had fun watching them too -- I had to intervene once when he pounced on one. Okay, now I feel I MUST post some pictures of butterflies.

Black Swallowtail -- the kind that was on my cheek!

I don't know what kind this is, but I like them.

Another Swallowtail.

Now it is evening and we really must go grocery shopping. I made a chocolate cake and also must make hot fudge frosting for it! As you can see, I'm no longer avoiding sugar as a rule :P ... don't want to go hog wild either but hey, tomorrow's a holiday. Happy Resurrection Sunday/Easter to all!

Apr 8, 2009

Illustration Friday: Talisman

Talisman of Escape
A good story book is a talisman against the dreariest of days – turning them into adventures and sunny places.

(And, if you want this for your very own....)
Original is on Etsy
Prints are on Artwanted

Random stuff on a Wednesday

Good morning!
I had this weird dream about an owl with bright colored feathers around his head, and it would come into the house if you hooted at it. Then it would play with your kittens (and not eat them). And everybody at our church lived in the same apartment complex. Heheh.
Anyway, right now I'm painting this:

Trying to think how I can work this into "Talisman" for IF! A good book is a talisman against boredom, right? Yeah. That's it. Though I don't think I would be bored at all with a couple of cats on a sunny, flowery hill. (But hey, maybe that's part of the story)
I have this weird dry scaly patch on my eyelid, for a couple of weeks now. I wish it would go away! I've been putting Vitamin E oil on it.
I really must paint now.

Apr 6, 2009

I can't help it

Good evening!
Right now, I am excited about this:

The lilac bush right out the front window is my favorite thing about spring. It smells so lovely. Every year I end up blogging about it, haha -- but I can't help it. The other wonderful thing about the lilac bush is that all the butterflies show up too! So far I've seen black swallowtails, monarchs, and some little brownish orange ones. Our finch feeder, normally completely swarmed with yellow finches, is now deserted. Methinks a natural food source has opened up somewhere now that spring is here. My hummingbirds are still visiting their feeder but not as often -- I'm sure they vastly prefer flower nectar when it can be had!
My niece went back home yesterday and I had to clean up the tornado path of toys and coloring supplies throughout the house, heh. It's fun when she comes. Also had to go through the outgrown baby clothes and sniffle a little bit, remembering when she used to wear them. Kids grow up SO fast! I decided I would do a little quilt type thing of fabric from her outgrown clothes. A few dresses I couldn't bear to cut up, though.
The other day whilst visiting a family friend's house I went out and took a bunch of pictures of "weeds", as my dad would say. ;) Really, it's wild mustard and very cheerful! This honey bee certainly thinks so.

My mommy's house also had some loveliness on her fruit trees in the front yard:

Alas, I have no art to share today since I've been rather busy with a couple of side jobs of late. Nothing terribly exciting, but I don't mind it and the extra money is a blessing.
It is almost baked potato time. Two nice ones in the oven as I type! Soon one of them will be accompanied by olive oil, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and pepita seeds. Oh, glory!
Last but not least, I've been awarded a little Kreativ Blogger award by the lovely Pixie Wildflower! Thank you, Cathy!

And I in turn dub Heather Sleightholm of Audrey Eclectic a most Kreativ Blogger. This is one of my favorite blogs to read (not to mention the drool-worthy artwork), so go check it out!! It's all about nostalgic, olden days prairie goodness.
Off I go then...

Apr 3, 2009

Little Miss, Fairies and such

Yo! So my niece Araya is here this weekend :) and right now it is nap time. I can't believe how big she is getting, I took a cute little home video of her playing her child-sized guitar and singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Very talented two year old, hee hee. I insist upon watching the Secret of NIMH later on!
So I made a FAIRY, felt like doing something old-school. I also decided to put her on auction, though I already had some kind of shady bidding made on it and had to relist. Anyway, here she is:

Cyclamen Fairy
Click here for original on auction

It was supposed to be for the EBSQ show "Cyclamen", but I ended up not getting the scan color-adjusted and all that in time because of the New and Wonderful Computer business. Oh well! I love to paint flowers anyway.
Oh yes, I got around to fixing my very broken music page on my website, for those who are interested in hearing some:
Carmen's Music Page
It's kind of like a movie score-ish style, with singing in some of it.
Uh-oh. Little Miss is stirring!

Apr 1, 2009

Newness and some murky deep thoughts

Hi neighbors! I've been a bit scarce for a number of days... long story short, my old computer was getting to be nearly unusable and..... I got a new one!!! God is so kind -- I've been praying and praying for one, as it has become very difficult trying to run my business off of the old battered thing. Last week an anonymous benefactor (and fellow believer) felt strongly that they wanted to give me a computer, and they didn't know I had been praying for one either.

When the new one got ordered I burst into tears actually (heh) because it was just such a kind thing for God to do and I felt His love for me. I didn't have the funds to just run out and get a new machine, that's for sure! Not by a long shot.
So it arrived yesterday :) and I've been setting it up with my files and programs since then. Also I got a random wild notion to rearrange my studio/bedroom, heheh. So there you have it -- disappearing Carmen!

I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to edit art files in GIMP and not want to tear out my hair because it takes 5 minutes to do any little thing. It just zips right through now!
Part of my rearranging of the studio (which also happens to be my bedroom) included making an inspiration board:

Random pictures from magazines, cards, wrapping paper, just anything that took my fancy. And some crochet flowers. ;)

Snaggle digs her new spot in the yarn basket. She can see everything from there! Plus having the yarn out makes me feel cheery. Those two albums are full of old pictures of my ancestors, mostly Victorian with some Civil War. Very cool!

There's the dresser. I love that little tea kettle on top of the speaker with the cheerful yellow and orange flowers. I found it at a second hand store and it is rusty inside, but it made me feel happy to look at it so to home it went!

In the three years I've been here I had never put pictures on my walls. This is very strange for me. But I decided it was time to do it now. The little girl in the photograph is me, drawing at my grandparents' table. :) I think I was three?

My nightstand. Not sure why I'm showing you all this, haha, but I just liked how it came together with the turtle candle holder and the pineapple doily. I seriously need bookshelves, I've got books crammed under my bed all over the place.

Anyway, the combination of all of these things have actually kept me awake at night a few times, like some big CHANGE is on the horizon. I don't know why, but this arrangement of my sleeping and working space makes me feel like a very little girl again -- I mean 4 and younger, before some very terrible things occurred in my life. So I feel that 4 and younger is like, the real me... and maybe the big CHANGE in the air will be something to do with that.
Wow this post is long, thanks for hanging in there!