Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yellow Dog

New drawing finished today. I've had this one in some stage of completion since last fall, but didn't get to the coloring until this long weekend. It is ink with colored pencils, a first for me!
Yellow Dog (if you can call it a dog)
 Well, actually, that was the second knot that I did with colored pencils, as I did this one first to see how it would come out. I had recently discovered the "colorless blender" pencil and had to play with it.  If you like to use colored pencils but do not like the white areas left behind where the paper has texture, you will love how the blender fills in and smooths those areas. It almost looks like you are using markers or something else.

It reminds me of a drafting job I had part-time during high school when I was instructed to use mineral spirits on some maps we were making.  The spirits sure made a beautiful smoothing effect, but I was always worried that the whole building was going to go up in flames or that I would spill the crap all over the desk.  Blender pencils are so much easier!!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mandala Finished

Mandala I painted using Turner Acryl Gouache and ink

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oranges in the Desert

This morning's walk was brought to you by the color orange and by the number 3.  It's so nice to see the beautiful colors as spring unfolds into summer.

Checkerspot butterfly - it looks like someone munched on him a bit.
Desert Globe Mallow
Common Valve Assemblies- (not indigenous to this area.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday play

Trying to work more with these gouache paints. I definitely need more practice before any magic might occur.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Four of Wands

And today's card is the Four of Wands, actually drawn (from the deck) a few days ago but drawn (on the paper) today.  When I started the deck, I had intended on using beetles primarily for the figures but hadn't really thought through all of the imagery.  As I mulled over the weekend on how to present this card, the wands (staves, sticks, etc.) just HAD to become stick insects.

Four of Wands

The four wands/sticks support a festive garland.  The card represents excitement and joy coming your way.  Again, I used the Rider-Waite deck as inspiration, but as the four stick bugs looked joyous enough, I left out the two happy figures in the middle. They were going to be beetles, but there just wasn't enough room without pushing the busy-ness envelope. You can read more about the card's meaning here.

So far, the only surprise I've had since drawing this card was finding a wasp in the mail I retrieved from the mailbox.  It stung me right between the fingers and boy did it hurt.  I screamed and threw the mail up in the air and it landed all over the street. I was smart enough to take my ring off before my hand started ballooning. I don't think that was the event the Tarot foretold.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Time for a shift in gears.  Miss Hannah's graduation is in a few weeks.  She's done very well at school and is finishing up with a perfect 4.0 and a Valedictorian title.  This week, after much hemming and hawing, she has made that big choice and selected Whitman College in Walla Walla as the place she wants to be next.  We spent a non-trivial amount of time these last months making visits to potential schools, touring, spending overnights, researching options. In some ways she is much relieved to have made the choice.  In other ways, it served only to have made the fact that she will be leaving home all the more real.  We all think it is an excellent choice for her and that she will do just smashing there. And for those not familiar with our area, Walla Walla is only an hour's drive away. BTW, she's currently focused on Mathematics as a major, but is most excited about the Japanese she'll be taking.

I think the gears are rolling around to a new position for me too. Of all the things that Whitman College is, inexpensive is NOT on the list, even with some great scholarships. Seven years ago I took a voluntary layoff so that my kids could spend their high school and middle school years with support and supervision rather than with a latchkey. It's been a good run playing chauffeur for all the music lessons, play practices, volleyball and softball games, and the other hundred things she's been involved in. Not that I won't still have opportunities to shuttle her brother around, but a big chunk of my life will be different.  I'm excited to see what directions Paul will want to explore as he becomes the only kid at home and steps out from what I'm sure he perceives to be a big shadow.

It's probably one of the crappiest times to try to get back in the workforce here - more layoffs seem to be announced everyday in the paper.  I've still got good contacts and I've got a good background, so I am optimistic as I officially announce my intent to get back to work.  I've actually committed this twice during the seven years and was named on contracts, but the money dried up or the contract was lost before I even showed up.  I have to admit that I really miss working daily with people and having technical things to discuss and problems to solve.  It's time for me emotionally, and facing kids in college for the next 7+ years it's time financially too.

I've no intentions at this time of shutting down the Ink Circles business, but there may be some changes to how things get done.  Let's face it though, I'm not going to be able to put two kids through college selling cross stitch charts.  Fortunately my husband continues to be gainfully employed and this has allowed us to have the wonderful chance to be there while the kids needed us so much.

Toaster's poor little world is going to be rocked also by both Hannah leaving and me going to work.  Hopefully we will all adapt.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Five of Cups

I'm not sure whether I have the stamina to do the entire deck, but here is one (selected randomly from a shuffled pile.)
Five of Cups

The Five of Cups: Loss and bereavement, but not all is gone. There is still some hope, as represented by two cups that are not spilled out. Not sure if this means bad news is in store for me personally.

Inspiration comes loosely from the Rider-Waite Tarot, below. You can read about the full meaning here.