Thursday, July 29, 2010


I might have forgotten to mention the fabulous cake I was going to have for my birthday... It was fabulous! XD I thought you all might want to see some pictures! Oh and JoAnn & Ant had birthdays with sweet treats too! So their pics are here too...

3 batches of butter cream frosting weren't enough! The outside is whipped cream!

And this was tempting us all night!

Making wishes: me for my birthday, Ant for cake! ^-^

After serving...

Leftovers! Lia is the only one who finished her whole piece! o.O

Josie made her own Lemon Bars! And we all played Clue!

Finishing touches on Ant's Japanese Strawberry Shortcake!

Ant didn't want his picture taken... so I had to be sneaky... ^o^

Oh noes! After cutting it fell apart! >.<

It was still very tasty!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Josie's a Published Writer!

A long time ago, JoAnn entered a very short writing contest to win a year's subscription to What if? and a signed copy of The Invisible I from The Amanda Project.

SHE WON! ^o^

Here's the copy of the magazine...

...with her story in it!

And here it is! (Their typo not hers... "OMG, *have* you heard?" it should say...)

P.S. Today is her FOURTEENTH birthday! ^o^

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 1, Letter to Future Self

Dear Future Self,

By now, you have hopefully completed all 13 days of Boot Camp. You have stretched your mind and improved your creative flexibility. Thirteen works of art now exist that didn't before. You brought them into existence. Now, you know how to move past those stumbling blocks, and silence those niggling doubts and fears. I am proud of your perseverance and hope that the past 2 weeks have given you the courage and drive to reach for your dreams.

Brightest blissings and bunny kisses,
~ Diana

PS Happy Birthday!

PPS Whoops! *blush* Guess I should have done my art... Life's been SO busy though!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Etsy Blogger of the Month: Sykin

Say hello to July's Blogger of the Month...

Sykin has got a store FULL of Twilight inspired merchandise. Lovely hand drawn cards and beautiful jewelry. She's got a second store too...

It's full of beautiful photography of the Pacific Northwest and some non-Twilight inspired jewelry.

Here are some of my favorites...

Twilight inspired Topaz bracelet - BREAKING DAWN SPOILER

God Approves 5x7 Print

Don't forget to check out her shops and blog - and soon her website! - and see what's there that might be calling to you...

Illustration Friday: Breakfast

My first idea, was a simple ATC with kawaii eggs & bacon... then I got thinking about pancakes... and remembered this:

Mmmm...rainbow pancakes...

So silly me, I pull out the sketch book and attempt to draw it. Hmmm, but it will need color! So I think my watercolor pencils will work...

Lesson 1: Said sketchbook sucks for watercolors.
Lesson 2: Watercolor pencils do not give a smooth, bright enough color for this kind of image.
Lesson 3: My gel pens are all dried up!

But here it is anyway, in all it's horrible pale-ness...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 11, Journaling

Whoa! How did this happen! I am behind again! Or still... I totally fail at this boot camp thing... >.< LOL! ANYWAY, today's YESTERDAY'S prompt:
Briefly map out a timeline of your life up until this point. Make sure to note school studies, periods of happiness, life changes, major decisions, jobs, periods of happiness and comfort, etc. Now, looking back at your life, can you see how each of those points led you to where you are right this minute?

For instance, can you see how if you had never have done _____, then you would never have met _____, who inspired you to do ______, where you suffered _______, which ultimately made you _____, which turned out to be the best thing. And then because you had to ______, you started doing ______, and that’s how you got here!

This has always been hard for me. I tend to look back and very much want to leave bits out, but think everything can still be right where I am only better. But I think it would not work like this.


Here I am.

With Jacqueline, in Oswego. I wouldn't have come to Oswego if I hadn't gone back to school, and I wouldn't have gone back to school if I didn't quit my job. Also I wouldn't have been on FLYlady if I hadn't quit my job, which means I wouldn't have met Jacqueline and Jaie. And if I hadn't met Jaie I might never had discovered polyamory (via the people on her f'list). I might not have gotten involved with Jacqueline, or if I did, it might not have been so serious. Terry would have stayed, and I wouldn't have had the need to make money during the summer. If there was no need to make money in the summer, I might never have worked on building my art skills. If I hadn't started working on my art, and had the support and encouragement of Jacqueline and all the kids, I wouldn't have had the drive to continue. And without Jacqueline's influence, I might not have misgivings about teaching, and be looking *outside the box* for solutions. All because I quit my job, which I might never have done if I didn't work so much overtime, which I wouldn't have done if Terry hadn't gotten sick. Who knows what caused those gall stones that led to the pancreatitis though. I could go back more, but I just don't want to...


Here I am.

Nothing matters but the here & now.

I am exactly where i need to be...

Day 1: Ivory Painted Ganesh
Day 2: Picnic Ant ATC
Day 3: Multilayered, need to finish!
Day 4: Heavy Metal, is it done?
Day 5: Grow, redo that drawing! DONE
Day 6: Fluid, so started! DONE
Day 7: Fly, wait, didn't I just do this on a postcard?
Day 8: Ornament, no idea...
Day 9: Drizzle, hmmm...
Day 10: Full-Bodied, hmmm...
Day 11: Hush, hmmm...
Day 12: July 15th
Day 13: July 16th

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 5 & 6, Art!

Day 5:

This would be the amazing painting when I threw away my rules of having drawn it first or having a photo reference. If I had had at least used a mirror, the face wouldn't be so cartoonish and a photo ref would have helped with the flowers, etc... But I love it. I may do it again... And yes, inspired by the drawing that I did before...

Day 6:

And this would be the image inspired by how my mermaidenly curls fell on the page when I was fussing about what to draw...

Day 1: Ivory Painted Ganesh
Day 2: Picnic Ant ATC
Day 3: Multilayered, need to finish!
Day 4: Heavy Metal, is it done?
Day 5: Grow, redo that drawing! DONE
Day 6: Fluid, so started! DONE
Day 7: Fly, wait, didn't I just do this on a postcard?
Day 8: Ornament, no idea...
Day 9: Drizzle, hmmm...
Day 10: Full-Bodied, hmmm...
Day 11: July 14th
Day 12: July 15th
Day 13: July 16th

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 10, Journaling

Today our assignment for journaling involved turning up our senses and EXPERIENCE everything!!! Then...
At the end of your day, think about the millions of sensations you experienced. Try to answer these questions…
  • Which ones stand out in your mind as being the most pleasant?
    Um... I think I shan't describe the *most* pleasant here, but diving into the lake was pleasant, walking along the rocks, feeling the raindrops hit me, but not too hard...
  • Were there any that were repulsive?
    None today that I noticed!
  • Did any bring back memories from your past?
    When we were walking along the rocks, Jacqueline & I were reminiscing and noting how the shore line had changed over the years since we first started coming...
  • Did any motivate you to do anything particular?
    Hmmm... the smell of different foods made me hungry & want to eat! I've been very hungry today!
  • Did any of these sensations inspire you in your creations?
    Not today. Fluid was inspired several days ago by the way my hair fell on the paper after swimming. I had soft mermaidenly curls that had such pretty colors...
  • If you were to try and capture creatively any of these sensations, how would you do it?
    Photographs for me are the epitome for capturing a moment. Even creatively. I just can't get paintings or drawings to the realism I want them to have...
Day 1: Ivory Painted Ganesh
Day 2: Picnic Ant ATC
Day 3: Multilayered, need to finish!
Day 4: Heavy Metal, is it done?
Day 5: Grow, redo that drawing! DONE (posted momentarily)
Day 6: Fluid, so started! DONE (posted momentarily)
Day 7: Fly, wait, didn't I just do this on a postcard?
Day 8: Ornament, no idea...
Day 9: Drizzle, hmmm...
Day 10: Full-Bodied, hmmm...
Day 11: July 14th
Day 12: July 15th
Day 13: July 16th

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 9, Journaling & Art

Today, there is no journaling prompt, which is good because I have been out all day, and have a busy week ahead of me, and will have trouble just keeping up with the art! I am also concerned with writing 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing over the next 2 days (yeah I didn't today :P). My hands hurt! But I am painting... I threw my own rules out the door, and although I had an idea in my head (and a previous impromptu drawing), I didn't pull up a photo reference or draw first. I just PAINTED. And it looks amazing so far... in my opinion anyway... :P

Post it later! ^-^

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 7 & 8, Journaling

Well since today was technically Day 8 for me, and since she combined Days 7 & 8 herself, I thought I'd peek ahead even though my art is behind, and do my journaling now. Well, I guess it's catch up time! LOL! She says:
Today and tomorrow, set aside roughly 45 minutes to yourselves to sit down and complete three full notebook pages of stream of consciousness writing. Don't think about what you should write…just write. And if you don’t know what to write about, just write “I don’t know what to write about. Maegan has me doing this stupid activity. What does she want me to say. I’m tired and I have a million things to do…” Before you know, you’ll be getting to the good stuff. But here’s the kicker…once you’re done, throw them out. I do not want you to go back and read these pages…ever. They are merely an emptying. Enjoy.

I also wanted to give us all a little opportunity to catch up...on your work, on your journaling, or on visiting each other.
So for the next 2 days (days 9 & 10 for those keeping track), I will do that Dump in addition to the normal journaling. I think it'll be good for me...

Don't Forget:
Day 3: Multilayered, need to finish!
Day 4: Heavy Metal, is it done?
Day 5: Grow, redo that drawing!
Day 6: Fluid, so started!
Day 7: Fly, wait, didn't I just do this on a postcard?
Day 8: Ornament, no idea...

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 6, Journaling

I know, I know... Where is Day 5 art??? Well I haven't done it. I *know* what I want to do though! I've been meaning to re-do the drawing *Growth* as a painting; so that's what I am going to do, but I wanted to keep plugging away on this journaling because the art, once I start it, seems to flow easily enough...

Besides, she asks us to break our own self-imposed rules today. And I have this *Rule* that I have to do X before I can do Y and Z has to be done before both... so... I tend to get stuck in that. Example: I can't clean off my desk until I clean off my table, and I have to finish this art first before I can pick it up! Must do things in order, see? I tend to over-think it all...

Anyway, Maegan asks us, "What are your self-imposed “rules” of creating?" And I think that for me is part of it. Over-thinking, trying to make it perfect, not ever wanting to throw it away and start over.

It wasn't until recently that I started allowing myself to make mistakes and just keep going, get my fingers dirty, paint without at least a rough sketch... I've never painted from life, and I certainly don't draw well from life. I need a 2D representation of the image already, and I think that seriously limits me.

I think to overcome these tendencies, I will paint from life!

But not with this prompt cuz I already have an idea! ^-^

Don't Forget:
Day 3: Multilayered, need to finish!
Day 4: Heavy Metal, is it done?
Day 5: Grow, redo that drawing!
Day 6: Fluid, so started!
Day 7: that was yesterday!

Creativity Boot Camp: Day ... ?

I think I am losing track... I feel guilty. I haven't finished Day 3's painting, I'm not *sure* if I am done with Day 4's, I haven't even started Day 5's, AND I think today is *technically* Day 7 now...

Tomorrow - um... I mean later today, after I sleep - I'll have to try to catch up...

Friday, July 09, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 5, Journaling

Well, this should be interesting... Today's prompt is to listen to the music of our youth and " think about what your hopes and expectations for life were when you were young and the world was wide open."

So I made a "Smart" playlist on my iTunes with songs from the 80s... Wham, Prince, Vanity & Appolonia, Madonna, the Labyrinth soundtrack... and I think back to where I was and what I was doing... and it's not always very pretty... but parts of it are golden...

The 80s were insane...

Driving in a big ol' Cadillac for hours and hours around the state listening to Genesis and talking and talking and talking; falling asleep to the sound of whatever video game was our current obsession or endless back-rubs; having nightmares and reaching out to find a hand to hold all night; spending hours creating maps and myths and lunar cycles for worlds no one ever played in; playing RPGs but preferring to spend my time creating the character and drawing her, instead of actually playing...

Those years shaped my life so much. And I've lost the friendships of nearly all those people that I called my friends then. I burned bridges. It's hard to think of the hopes and expectations I had back then. Many of them I gave up years ago. My life is in a completely different place now.

I wanted marriage, a man to take care of me, I wanted to write, draw, create, have babies, not have a 9 to 5 desk job... I forced my way headlong into relationships, and pretty well fucked them all up in the end. I don't regret anything but the endings, and I still have such love for those people and events that created who I am now.

Still, it's nothing like what I have now... Sweet memories, but I'd rather savor the present...

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 4, Heavy Metal

I drew this Wednesday, but didn't get to paint it... It's just been too damn hot. Today things cooled off enough that I felt like doing something other than floating in the lake... ^-^

I really don't think this is finished. It needs... something. Tattoos, to be darker, something on the shirt...? I dunno... I'm going to sit with it a bit, I'm afraid I'll completely ruin it...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.
~ Jamie Ridler

Today she asks, "What do you wish for your relationships?

I wish so much that communication was EASIER.  That we could UNDERSTAND what each other were saying and what they mean.  That the thoughts in my head would come out of my mouth with the right words to impart the right thought.  That the barriers between us would fall away and there would be clear understanding, clear communication, a fluid exchange of ideas and emotions.  Misconceptions would be cleared up, misunderstandings would be understood, there would be a Shiny Bubble of Love & Bliss inside which Everything is OK...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 4, Journaling

Today we are asked to go outside and take pictures of things that Inspire us. Then she asks us to "look at your photos. There’s no need to print them…looking at them on the computer will work fine. Think about what specifically motivated you to take certain pictures. Was it something small and unique about your subject? Was it the color? Was it how certain elements came together and played off of one another? Get detailed. Think about it a lot…as if you were trying to tell a child what made that beautiful. If you were to go back and attempt to re-take the pictures, capturing only the elements that you were drawn to, how would you frame the shot?" (link)

Right now it is incredibly hot, and the sun is beating down from straight overhead. I could wait and take pictures later, but I did this kind of thing just the other day when I was attempting to get photos of my sunny yellow meadow of cats' ears. So I will use those photos and analyze them here...


When we first moved in here, the landlord has planted these little flowers all over. I never really liked them. But year after year, one or two of them will pop up in strange places. This one was hiding near an old stump where I knelt down to get a shot of our meadow. Seeing them one on one like this, up close, you can see the little lines and spots, and the individual petals. They've come to grow on me...

I think I would have liked to crop out the leaf on the right and move the grass over the flower on the left. I wish my camera did macro better because I would have liked to focus more closely on the petals and their patterns...

Wild Pinks

These come up around the yard each year too. They're very tiny, but their color is so Big & Bright. When getting close to them, you can see the same patterns on the petals that the cultivated ones have. It's more purply than this picture shows too. I would have liked to move some of the distracting things from the photo and either get the whole plant, or just zoom in much tighter.

Cats Ear Meadow

This is the image I went out to get. I tried several different angles and focus points, but this was the best. No editing at all. I do wish the trees in the back weren't so oppressive, but I let it work with the next photo. The greens, the bright cheery yellow, the imposing woods...

Into the Woods

I wish I had used a narrower depth of focus, but I haven't quite figured out what I am doing with the camera... LOL! To have the whole field out of focus and the edge of the woods in focus would have been more appealing to me. I think I might try to do a tilt-shift edit on this one later...

Death Throes

Ah, my old bike. Over a decade old, probably a decade since I last used it. It's sat in the back yard for the last few years. No place to store it. I added the face to it and a custom paint job, with TESTOR'S ENAMELS of all things... I think I would have liked to angle the camera from the right and above more to get the rusty gears and taller weeds into the background. Something about rust and decay really appeal to me. Old barns, abandoned buildings, rusty cars, vine-covered foundations... I am not sure why I like it. I just do.

Eastern Phoebe

Once I got back inside, I saw this young bird preening itself on the tree outside. The screen makes everything duller. :\ I wish I could have gotten it from the other side of the screen. Some of the other shots were framed on the left with a tree trunk in the background, but the bird wasn't as cute in those. I also would have liked to remove those twigs in the way, but that would have been impossible... LOL! Birds fascinate me too...

Summer Morning, 11:11 a.m.

After watching the bird at the window, this image caught my eye. The way the yellow leads up to the nightstand, the lazy cat, the rumpled-ness of it all... It conveys the languidness of a summer morning to me! I think I would have liked to get down lower and take the shot at a more extreme angle. Put the corner of the bed out of focus more, maybe even the clock... I didn't even know it was 11:11 when I was taking the pic! LOL!

Anyway, I must do something to cool down... I'll try to post the art for today before bed...

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 3, Multilayered

I know precisely what I am doing for this one. However, it won't be finished today. And I've already been working on it... for weeks now. It's being built up slowly, layer by layer...

Here is the progression of the first 3 layers:

Painting of a favorite photo of my dad & me...

Collaged some of the things I associate with my dad...

Painted over the collaged items to blend them in better...

Coming up: more details on the painting of course and some chunky items for the collage...

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 3, Journaling

Today's journaling prompt says, "Name some of your biggest creative buzz kills, including a person or two, and disarm them!"

Including people???? But then I would have to say something that someone might see and be hurt by!!! Yes, right there is one of my creative buzz kills. Worrying too much about how others perceive me and my art. I need to just stop that.

My own ... inertia? ... is a creative buzz kill. Nike has the right idea with their slogan, "JUST DO IT," because that's exactly what I have to do to work through it.

Indecision & perfectionism do it too. Worrying too much about getting it just so, and being unable to decide just *what* it is that's missing... Sometimes, you *I* just have to go with the flow! And not worry about getting it Perfect.

No people. I won't add people. Any individual I've shown my art to has liked it, complimented it, encouraged me. True there have been other times, when my art wasn't involved, that someone's words hurt me and still play on repeat when I paint, or sculpt, or draw... But the faces that go with the voices are dim and unfocused. Perhaps the only real saboteur is myself...

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 2, Picnic

Just an ATC today, as I am behind a day and should have done Day 3 today. Maybe tomorrow I can catch up... the journaling always throws me off though... Anyway... ART!

I know, not terribly original, but it's what came to mind...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 2, Journaling

Wow. She really hit the nail on the head with this one... I don't think it was ever specifically said, but there was always the implication that *art* was not a career. Teacher, doctor, lawyer, scientist... but artist? You can't support yourself doing that. Well you can, but you have to go to school for it. And I almost did, but when I was considering it, I had a friend who was, and I saw his course work, and there was tons of memorizing paintings and artists' styles (Art History) and the professor was SO HARD... So I didn't.

Now I know I don't *have* to go to school, but I still feel awkward and self-deprecating about my own art. Oh it's nothing... Anyone can do this... I have no training...

Anyway... the actual prompt is:
Do you shy away from calling yourself an artist? If so, what do you think makes someone else an artist and not you? What are some ways that you can start today to outwardly reflect your inner artist? Name three people who you would be comfortable sharing your creative work and projects with.

I believe I have answered the first few questions. I don't know about outwardly reflecting my inner artist (she mentioned clothing in her post)... I can certainly dress more like myself. I used to dress differently, then slowly more conservatively, and now, I have my professional work wardrobe (all potential job interview clothes, and clothes appropriate for teaching), and jeans and tees. Blah.

I want to wear more skirts & dresses, and more color, and less conservative dammit! Anyway, that has nothing to do with how I feel about Me as an Artist.

Three people to share my work with? In person? Well obviously Jacqueline, and probably my mother, and Mykel. But there is my whole LJ friends list and anyone can see my stuff on dA. Sure I don't upload everything, but an awful lot... So I guess that's not too bad, eh?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 1, Ivory

I didn't get a chance to do this yesterday, but I knew what I was planning on doing. The word of inspiration was IVORY. And the first thing that came to mind was Ganesh, an elephant-headed god from India, who is said to be the remover of obstacles. Very fitting I thought. So here it is!

I wish you could see the sparklies... no, it's not glitter covered, but the gold on his bracelet & tusk cap is metallic, as well as a touch in his eye and the Ohm on his palm, and the ornament on his head is also metallic with iridescent sparkles.

I really don't want to discuss the mess that is his flower lei... just let it fade into the background... ignore it... XD

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Red, White, and Queer

I made my very first treasury! It was so incredibly easy! But... not quite so good for the blogging... 9 is more aesthetically pleasing to me than 16, but that's ok... Anyway... Screenshot!

Click to go to the treasury...

Creativity Boot Camp: Day 1

So. Today we start.

First we need to write a letter to our future self, who has completed the course... But we aren't allowed to read it again until after the course is over. So instead of writing it here, I am going to write it in a separate post, scheduled to post at the conclusion of this endeavor.

And my daily creative prompt is the word IVORY. Hmmmm.... Off to write & create something!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp

I saw this on *someone's* blog (I hate it when I can't remember) and I have decided it doesn't matter one whit if I am too late to do it *live*... I can do it now.  Better late than never!  I am thinking this is my new motto....

So, tonight, I read over the first few posts, Updates 1 & 2, the FAQs, and the SYLLABUS.  And the short version is pick a medium, and every day you'll be doing some creative assignment, photographing it, and journaling about it - I think.  SO I have chosen the medium: mixed media!  Mainly so I can use watercolors, acrylics, markers, color pencils, and whatever else I want... XD 

Jacqueline says that's cheating.  :P

ANYWAY... I can't wait to see what the first day's exercise will be!

Overhauled BlogSpot

I've been wanting to edit my BlogSpot blog for a while, but haven't wanted to go in and edit All That Code! o.O But with the new Blogger Template Designer it was much easier! I even found one I really like! ^-^

So if you're reading this in a reader (or on LJ) and have a moment to spare, do check it out! Many thanks!

Whadya think?

Mad Tea Party Winners!

'Tis brillig, and the slithy toves are gyring and gimbling in the wabe!
The borogoves are mimsy and the mome raths outgrabe.

Today's the day! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
We're chortling our joy, for, that lovely site, did pick our winners, hooray!

The lovely Abby of High Five Life and the wonderful artist at WaterRose,
are the lucky pair to whom the prize goes!

Congratu-ma-lations and many bright blissings to you!

Friday, July 02, 2010

BlogCarnival: Ruby Reds

DizzyDragonflies gives us the topic: July's birthstone is the ruby; blog about the color red or rubies.

This is my birthstone! I have always wanted one, and did for a while, but sadly had to sell it when I was short on cash once... Anyway, I thought I'd take the time to show some of my favorite ruby-red items in our EtsyBloggers Team members' shops!

Here are some beautiful necklaces...

from left ro right:
Ruby In The Sky With Pearls Necklace
Aqua Sea Glass Ruby Pendant Necklace
Rainbow Unity Necklace with Gemstones

...and here are some other pieces of jewelry...

from left ro right:
Ruby - Red Cat Face Lampwork Glass Bead Sterling Silver Earrings
Candy apple red wire wrapped ring with silver custom made in any size
Red Ruby Quartz Wire Wrapped Silver Earwire Earrings

How about some patriotic pieces for the 4th?

from left ro right:
Red and Blue Shabby Chic Flower Embellies
Christmas in July - Whimsical Red Star Ornament with Silver Painted Polka-dots
Mini Key Fob

And of course, here are my favorite red things from my own shop!

from left ro right:
Miniature Bottle of Wine
Red Dragon
Rabbit in a Red Scarf

Banners created with fd's Flickr Toys

EstyBlogger of the Month: BeadedTail

Say hello to June's Blogger of the Month...

Better late than never, I always say! Sharla makes beaded jewelry for all kinds of animal lovers and a portion of ALL sales' profits benefit animal awareness causes!

Here are some of my favorites...

Purple Passion Animal Awareness Cats Eye Bracelet with Pawprint Ribbon Charm

Copper Kitty - Moonstone Beaded Earrings

Don't forget to check out her shop and blog, and see what's there that might be calling to you...