Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty 8x10 Print
I want to write something delightful and inspiring to go with  this drawing, but I'm watching the presidential debate, so I'm not feeling delightful or inspired.

I don't want to get into which candidate I like best, so let me just harp on the fact that when I was watching NCIS: LA before the debates I saw at least 4 political commercials in a row. Two of them for the same local candidate.

Also, it was really fun to hear both men trying to pronounce that lady's name. I know I should feel sympathy for them because I have a Hispanic friend who insists that no white American is capable of pronouncing her name. But it was funny.


A Sign I Love You

I have a deaf relative, so I've grown up knowing a smattering of signs. She lives far away though, so I never got really good at it. When I was little it was basically finger spelling or "I Love You" .


Art & Baking

Chocolate Chip Delight - Blank Note Card
I have been cooking and baking a bunch lately. I don't usually enjoy cooking, but I know it's a lot easier to eat healthy when I'm making my own food. Pinterest has been really helpful for that. I love the crispy pizza from And this week, I tried both the Skinny Banana Oatmeal Cookies and Skinny Pepperoni Roll-ups from Mama Laughlin.

But then I went and prrrrobaby messed up the healthtasticness of my week by using my leftover bananas to make Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.I got the recipe here, but I'm re-typing it on my blog, so I can pin the sad photo I took of my muffins. I know it's not much too look at, but they're really tasty!


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twelve 1/3-cup muffin cups with foil muffin liners. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Mix mashed bananas, egg, melted butter and milk in medium bowl. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until blended (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips.
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake muffins until tops are pale golden and tester inserted into center comes out with some melted chocolate attached but no crumbs, about 15 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.

Ingredient Notes:
1. I didn't have enough butter when I made these, so I chanced it with half and it worked out just fine.
2. I used Whole Wheat Flour and sometimes that can give a slightly unpleasant taste or texture to baked goods, but I didn't notice any at all. I think it's because of the bananas. 

Cooking Time Note: The original recipe said 32 minutes, but one commenter had noted that was way too long. I put them in for 15 and that was smack on the dot, but my oven tends to bake extra quickly, so it may be more like 17-20 minutes.

My other big thing this week was getting art ready for the Art in the Barn show. It was just a little local show, but it was fun and having it a barn was a different experience. They also had performance art going on throughout the night

Top Row: "God is Bigger", "Firefly Explorer", "Fairytale Princess";  Middle Row: "Out on a Limb",
"Night Light", "Starlit Nights"; Bottom Row: "Midwest Daydreams", "Summer Beauty"


Happy Birthday Card!

A number of people have suggested drawing a birthday card. This should be easy, because I've drawn a number of birthday cards for friends and family, but somehow I've never made it happen. Till now. Hopefully I'll have more occasion cards in the future.


New Cards

I've got some fun new pieces in my etsy shop, Most of them have appeared on this blog fairly recently. The cards don't always put in an appearance though. My Delighted blank card was drawn for a thank-you card. But I am always super frustrated by the cutest cards having "thank-you" scrawled across them. So I wanted my own to be more flexible. You could write about anything exciting and I'm pretty sure this card would convey that feeling.

I like similar flexibility on Christmas cards.  Christmas trees, angels, and nativity scenes have such a narrow window when they can be sent. That's all well and good if you're an organized correspondent. Alas, I am not. I might get cards out early, I might mail them out closer to Valentine's Day. Very few will go out during the appropriate Christmas season.

Most years I don't get cards out at all. But since I was, unintentially, on the ball and got this Happy Christmas card done this year. I will probably be sending them out to everyone I know.


Happy Birthday!

I know this looks like a winter scene. It's not. Or it wasn't.

One of my all time favorite books is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  It's a booklover's book. Brilliantly written and full of gripping imagery. I read it over and over.

This is an illustration of Margaret Lea  towards the end of the book, during a birthday. I haven't drawn her as I really see her, except for the light brown hair and fringe. I know she must have light brown hair and a blunt fringe. But I've got her wearing a bright dress, mittens, & scarf, where I imagine her always in shades of gray and navy blue. But I love colors. So I colored her this way instead.

What book do you read again and again?


Close Call

Don't worry. Compy pulled through in the end.


Some Days

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to make hard decisions. Not decisions that are a tough call, like whether Ben & Jerry's Half Baked is better than Breyer's Mint Chip. Usually the hardest decisions are the ones that are really fairly clear cut, but unpleasant.

When I have those decisions I waste a lot of time trying to see if there's any possible way that the right choice could also be the one I want to make. Then, when I've done that for as long as possible, I finally screw up the two ounces of determination that I posses and do the right thing. The thing I really don't want to do.

And for a while that feels good. I did it! I resisted the temptation to be weak and self-indulgent. I did the right thing and my life will be better for it.

But it doesn't always feel better right away. Like eating celery instead of one of the afore mentioned ice-creams. I feel good about that for like...two seconds...then I want ice-cream again.

Sometimes there's no going back either. And then I spend a lot of time worrying that I've messed it up. What if I chose something unpleasant for no good reason at all?

So that's where my doodle girl comes in. I'd like to go home, throw my self on the floor and over-analyze every detail of how I got to where I am now - really bummed because I have no ice-cream. But I don't have time. So doodle girl is going to do it for me. She's really better suited for it anyway. Look how pretty her hair turns out when she flings herself to the ground. Mine doesn't do that.


Fairy Tale Princess

At least I'm assuming I drew her to be a fairy tale princess. It's been a loooong time since I had Photoshop running on my computer, so I have all sorts of drawings to color.  Of course some of the drawings don't seem as color-worthy as they did when I first drew them, but there are plenty I'm excited about.



I haven't noticed any fireflies this summer, but when I was a kid they were one of the best parts of summer. Like little bits of magic.

Now available as an 8x10 Print


Film Fright

Everyone has movies that make them cringe and cover their eyes. For me a horror flick would do it. But so does a bad RomCom. You know the kind, where the girl does something so painfully idiotic that you end up believing she deserves to die old and alone except for her 28 cats?  I still think it's a semi-cute movie, but I actually had to leave the room at one point during "He's Just Not That Into You".

What movie makes you cringe?


My first attempt at using "Gimpshop" a free photoshop alternative. It's not love, but right now I'll take what I can get.

A couple months ago my Photoshop CS crashed for no apparent reason. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling. I took it to a professional. Nothing. And of course Adobe doesn't offer support for old versions of their product. It looks like I'll have to break down and buy a new copy, but for the time being I'm trying this out. 



Some of my best memories from childhood are of my sister and I playing make-believe. We pretended to be mommies, drafting our stuffed animals and younger siblings to play our children, but somehow we were always moms on an adventure. We were arctic explorers, jungle scientists, carnival performers, or maybe we were just the fantastic inhabitants of a parallel universe.

What was your favorite thing to pretend as a kid?


Just Some Doodles

I've been trying to complete a project a week, but this week I have a bunch of partially finished projects and even more sketches. Obviously these aren't in my typical style. Sometimes when I feel stuck I find it's helpful to draw outside my usual. These are mostly stylized renderings of magazine models and tv show extras. A couple are just from my imagination.


Wild Nights

"Wild nights are my glory" - A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle

I'm a big fan of the wind and rain. I love the way it sounds in the trees outside my apartment. I love the way it smells. I'm not discounting the benefits of sunshine, but I find rain equally cheering - if not more. 


Out on a Limb

I hate talking about controversial things. Even things I feel strongly about.

Especially things I feel strongly about.

I'm not the best talker, or writer. I want people to understand how I feel about a topic, but invariably I stumble over my words or leave out the crucial information. Then I feel like if people walk away thinking it's stupid or that all people who believe it are stupid...well that's my fault.

The other thing that frustrates me is when people in these conversations state their opinion and they're applauded by several people (I seldom believe the popular thing - sorry, you can ignore my blog from now on if you want) and then I state my opinion and I'm ripped to shreds because it's opposed to theirs.

I even go to a lot of trouble to say, "You don't have to agree, I don't expect you to" or "This is just what I think" and then, you know, "I think pigs make great childhood pets" or whatever weird opinion I have that is not quite the thing. But people come back to me with, "That's so condescending, I can't believe you would say you think pigs make great pets, when I've just told you I don't think they make great pets and I never had a pet pig"

And then I'll say, well, you don't have to agree that's just what I think and I don't have anything to back it up, although I've heard they learn tricks really well and they're actually really clean, etc. (I have heard those things, btw, from multiple sources but the only one I can cite is Johnny Tremain - great story...but you don't have to believe that).

So invariably the people will come back at me with, "Where are the studies!? Where are the studies showing that pigs are smart and clean? It's all propaganda from the pigs lobbying group!"

It's probably my own fault. I like to talk to people, be friends with people, who don't agree with me. I like to hear opinions that I could never hold. And I like to discuss them and how the people reached those conclusions and how I reached mine. Some people are great for that. And usually neither of us is ever convinced of the other position - but I want to understand where they're coming from. I want them to understand where I am coming from.

Instead I get into an argument over whether it should be allowable in public discourse for an opinion other than that person's to be presented with out a crowd of people present to applaud it.

Do you try to avoid controversial discussions? Do you find yourself getting sucked in anyway (I always do)
Are you in favor of pigs as pets?


Birds of a Feather

One of my close friends has a serious issue with birds. Pigeons specifically.
I think they're cute, she thinks they're rats with wings.

She visited Venice and was horrified to find that the pigeons there are well loved. I decided to draw a girl with a pet pigeon, then forgot all about it for a few months. I didn't draw this with the pigeon girl in mind (and the bird here isn't a pigeon), but it reminded my friend who reminded me.

My friend's revulsion also reminded me of this Portlandia skit.

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid I was always psyched when a bird would fly into a shop. Don't ask me why, it was just cool.

So, are you pro-bird or anti-bird?


Winter Wonderland

I know some people love winter, but I have serious doubts as to what they mean by that.


Waiting Room

Everyone loves waiting for the doctor.You arrive a few minutes early to wait half an hour for someone who will spend 10 minutes not really listening to your symptoms. 

If the doctor is in a good mood she'll order tests. If she's in a bad mood she'll accuse you of hoping to have tumor because you came in about a stomach bug. If she's in a really bad mood she'll threaten to quit because you have questions about her diagnosis.
My favorite part of going to the doctor is when you recite your symptoms and the doctor repeats them back to you as his personal observations. It's like paying $50 for a carnival psychic.

I did go to a good doctor group this week though. They were pretty certain about their diagnosis, but when I questioned part of it they decided to double check it for me - instead of tell me I was being ridiculous. They're even doing some research on the issue between that visit and my next one.

How do you feel about doctors? What's your worst doctor experience? Do you have any great ones?