caffeinie meinies

November 30, 2007


Why is it, when you finally decide to cut down on coffee, because all week you’ve been swilling down enough of it to kill a small horse, you end up with that nagging little headache?

Do you want to know the reasons why? Well, you’re looking at them. Meet the caffeinie meinies.

You’ll find these little dudes residing in your brain (ok, my brain) and they require mass quantities of caffeine to keep them calm. Yes calm. In the event caffeine quotas are not met, they become agitated and commence bouncing around bumping into each other, getting into fistfights and creating all sorts of ruckus. The result of all these shenanigans is typically a throbbing head.

So really, the choice is yours. Deal with agitated, caffeinie meinies jackhammering your gray matter, or brew yourself up a cup of joe. Maybe two. Or, just go to Starbucks, there’s one across the street from you, or there will be soon.


me me me me me meme

November 29, 2007


The very lovely and talented artist Val Webb tagged me for a meme over a week ago, and being a great, big procrastinator, I am just now getting to it.

Val is the artist behind The Illustrated Garden. Her blog is filled with beautiful drawings of her garden, helpful craft and art tutorials, and among other nifty things, just a nice place to find yourself. You must stop by.

The rules of this meme are:
· When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you.
· Then post the rules before your list, and list eight random things about yourself.
· At the end of the post you must tag and link to eight other people


    1. I married my best friend, Tom a year ago, October. After dating two years, we moved in together, then two years after that, we bought a house, two years after that we got married. We like doing things a little out of sync. Keeps things interesting.

    2. We have 3 kitties, or should I say, 3 kitties have us. They allow us to think we are running the show.

    3. My favorite color is green. All shades of green, but especially deep jade and the bright yellowish green of a sapling. The first time I saw the sun back light a dewy meadow along the 101 heading north from L.A. to the central coast, I felt the magic of that color take hold of me and never leave. Green invigorates, heals, inspires and gives me hope.

    Oh, and it looks great with red hair.

    4. I love…no, I am addicted to strong coffee. In fact, it pretty much needs to be espresso, whenever possible. My favorite way to start the day is either some black french pressed, french roast, or a double, short brevé (steamed half and half) cappuccino. I like it short because I want just a wee bit of steamed milk so I can really taste the bite of the coffee. I like the way this drink smacks me upside the head when I’m blurry eyed and stumbling around in the morning. Especially with the late nights I’ve been keeping since starting this blog.

    My favorite way to end the day is with a nice cup of tea, either straight or if I need extra comforting a little milk and orange blossom honey.

    Another favorite way to end the day is with a nice glass of cab or zin or a shot of Irish Whiskey. But that’s another conversation.

    5. I like soup.

    6. My husband says I smell good, so I’ve got that goin’ for me.

    7. In addition to kitties and dogs, I adore bunnies, raccoons, squirrels and all things furry. Check it.

    8. I would love nothing more than to spend my days illustrating and possibly writing children’s books. I realize I am not alone in this, especially since everyone and their movie star is writing children’s books these days. But there you go.

    You gotta have a dream.

If you’re still awake, thanks for sharing 8 random things with me.

Here are my tags.

Eli at Art by Eli

David at Pickle Dog 

Ginger at Ginger Pixels

Nancy at My Collage Art 

Alicia at My Place Over the Hill

Eugenia Gina at Dua Mata Saya

Angela at Angelato

Michelle at Illo Blog

stand out

November 28, 2007


I spend my days as a graphic designer, working at, what they call, a boutique advertising agency. Today we excercised our yearly, wait-till-the-last-minute-to-figure-out-the-theme- of-our-holiday-card mind melt. It was beginning to look like, in the interest of time, the old cheap, stock photography route was going to be taken. That is, until one of the other designers and myself finally snapped out of our Thanksgiving-induced tryptophan coma, and shouted, “Wait!” If we are supposed to be assisting clients with catchy advertising campaigns and original, clever collateral, we should at least take a stab at a semi-interesting, original holiday card. Otherwise, just go to Hallmark. Don’t you think.

We all agreed and commenced brain-storming.

The thing is, when you distill it all down, there are really very few icons that truely symbolize the politically correct, watered down, homogenized “holiday” theme advertising firms crave. That is, there are few that have any whimsey or design potential. However, the one thing every holiday of this season has in common is snow. That leaves us with snowflakes, snowy landscape scenes (yawn), snowmen, and…penguins.

Penguins a little too cutesy, you say? A bit overdone lately? Well, I submit, who is more elegant in a winter wonderland, complete with their very own, non-rented, formal wear, than the penguin? And, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty certain, penguins do not subscribe to any sect or creed that might render them offensive as a holiday icon. It almost has to be penguins.

So, being that our new company website, also launching soon, bears the tageline “Stand Out” I spent some time trying to tie that idea in with…well…penguins.

I don’t think I came up with anything viable for our card yet, but in the process of sketching out roughs, I did come up with something to post tonight. Woot!


I know, I know, enough with the fish already. What is this my third fish post?

Well, you see, on Thanksgiving day, my brother-in-law Carl, when I told him about the animal idiom themes I’ve been sketching lately, he suggested a phrase from the U2 song “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World” (Achtung Baby.)

…nothin’ much to say I guessJust the same as all the restBeen trying to throw your arms around the worldAnd a woman needs a manLike a fish needs a bicycleWhen you’re tryin’ to throw your arms around the worldI’m gonna run to you, run to you, run to youI’m gonna run to you, run to you, run to youI’m gonna run to you, run to you, run to you……and on and on.

So what is the meaning of this particular song?

You got me there.

I understand that Bono and the lads meant it as a bit of a drinking song. In fact, I believe it may have been one of the 5 thousand U2 songs we heard performed by The Glass Onion Band, at the Quays Pub in Galway, on our trip to Ireland last year. They love their U2 over there in Ireland. I’ll tell ya, get enough Jameson whiskey in your gullet and you might find yourself singing U2 songs all night as well.

Now, as for the phrase, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” well that’s simply a feminist slogan, suggesting that men are superfluous to women’s needs.

You know.

Funny, I realized how far I’d come, when Carl reminded me of that line and my mind conjured up the ridiculous fish image you see above, rather than the passionate, bra-burning, feminist fervor it once would have. I’m not saying my political views have changed all that much, but I have calmed down a tad over the years. These days I burn up any excess energy by drawing goofy cartoon animals and I try to keep my under garments in a nice, cool, dry place.

As for women and men, I don’t know about need, but a little interdependence is always nice. As for fish, they should probably stick to roller blades.


November 24, 2007



This week’s Illustration Friday theme is “Zoo”. A great theme and certainly in keeping with the animal idioms I’ve been illustrating for weeks now. It also seemed high time for an elephant drawing. It’s almost always a good time to draw elephants, in my opinion.

Elephants are some of the most intelligent creatures you’ll ever run accross. However, due to their stubborn refusal to use sunscreen and a shortage of extra large golf umbrellas, the elephant’s skin has become prematurely wrinkled and leathery.

Although the expression “Big enough to shade an elephant” proved itself fertile ground for image ideas, sadly, I could dig up no origin. For all I know, it’s not a well worn, seasoned old saying at all, but rather some blogger’s witticism from a few weeks ago, caught in the Google web. No matter, I decided to post the origin of another elephant saying, less visually inspiring but none-the-less interesting in it’s origin:

White Elephant

Meaning: A burdensome possession; creating more trouble than it is worth.Origin: White (albino) elephants were regarded as holy in ancient times in Thailand and other Asian countries. Keeping a white elephant was a very expensive undertaking, since the owner had to provide the elephant with special food and provide access for people who wanted to worship it. If a Thai King became dissatisfied with a subordinate, he would give him a white elephant. The gift would, in most cases, ruin the recipient.

Obviously the white elephants are a bit more vigilant about the use of 30SPF.


I stumbled upon this term in a couple of places online. I’ve never actually heard anyone utter (or udder) this particular phrase, but by golly if it’s on the internet it must be true, right? Well, regardless of it’s validity, this alleged idiom tickled me, and I immediately conjured up an image.

Granted, the little bovine beauty above does not appear to be awkward at all. Instead, she seems to be gliding right along, hauling…well…er…beef, if you will.


November 20, 2007


I visited a wonderful blog, angelato, where she posted a link to the Golden Compass website. She mentioned that she visited there and discoverd her daemon, your animal spirit who accompanies you throughout your life, and represents your soul. It sounded so enchanting and I am already so excited about this film, that I hopped over there immediately. After taking a short quiz I found that Erasmus the raccoon is my daemon. Raccoons rule!

So, in keeping, more or less, with the animal idiom theme, I figured I had to feature a raccoon tonight. Why he’s bowling, I’m not really sure. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I figured, if I had a little raccoon spirit following me around as a companion, he’d probably be the bowling type. Besides, raccoons, not having the most athletic bodies in the forest, would likely go for bowling as a passtime, given the option.



November 18, 2007



A monster with horns,
as prickly as thorns,
delighted in causing folks dread.

But he shuddered with fright,
at the thought that there might
be a kid hiding under his bed.

Illustration Friday’s theme thise week is “Superstition.”

My drawing is a “mostly” finished watercolor/pastel for a children’s book project I’ve been dragging my feet on for quite a while now. Although not depicting the typical black cat, Friday the 13th, broken mirror type superstition, I figured the old monster-under-the bed theme illustrates a sort of superstion many children have. Although, whether or not it is a superstion or reality is still in question. I certainly had a hideous mouth breather lurking amongst the dust bunnies under my half of the bunk beds. If it wasn’t for the safety of my blanket, pulled up to my eyeballs for protection, I would have been monster munch and wouldn’t even be hear to tell you about it.

school of fish

November 18, 2007

school-of-fish.jpgObviously this is the substitute fish teacher. Had it been the regular teacher, this incident would have ended up in the little, class clown fish’s permanent record.

rabbit ears

November 16, 2007


Back in the good old days, when I was a kid, televisions weren’t flat and streamlined. They were big, boxy and took up half the living room, (that would be the console not the screen).

One of the most charming things about the televisions of old, were the rabbit ear antennae. These commical looking devices helped to keep the picture clear…intermittently. We kids spent a good deal of our tv watching time, taking turns standing next to the tube, holding on to the rabbit ears and moving them slightly this way and that, until the static dissapated. Once the sweet spot was located, we’d sometimes be asked to stand there for the remainder of the show.

Oh, and while we were up anyway, we got to change the channels as well. Can you imagine, no remote? The horror, the horror! How did we survive!!!

You really had to work at being a couch potato in those days.


November 15, 2007


Maybe it’s because I’ve been drinking green tea this week, instead of the copious amount of coffee I usually swill down. Or maybe it’s the inspiring post I read on Draw Anyway yesterday. Whatever the reason, on my usual lunchtime Starbuckery, I decided to get in touch with my inner voyeur and sketch a few of the folks sitting around me. The ususpecting denizens of Starbucks are always good for an inexpensive, noncommital head drawing experiment.

You do have to be a bit cagey however. People tend to get a little uncomfortable when you stare at them for any period of time. So I catch glimpses, trying to get an overall feeling of their face. I do a quick drawing, then glance at them again a couple more times. If they are engrossed in a book, a conversation or their laptop it’s pretty easy. But honestly, I end up using my memory of their likeness, mixed with a little creative license most of the time.

I’m never really sure what I’ll end up with. Some folks lend themselves to caricatures, some require a little more serious consideration, and some are hardly more than a quick scribble, depending on how “on to me” they are. Mainly what I end up with is a sort of hybrid of caricature and portrait. I’m having too much fun trying to catch a feeling than worry about the proper perspective or alignment of features. Mr. Cooper, my head drawing instructor from years ago, would be appalled. But a good time is had by….well, me, and no one is the wiser. Except for anyone who looks at these sketches.

Could one of these sketches be someone you know?


November 13, 2007


Ignatz • Joey (nickname Joseph) • Spooky

I swore I would never do this, but at this moment in time, the desktop of my Mac is cluttered beyond belief. I’ve always tried to be organized….ok, at least on my computer, I’ve tried to be organized. Not to keep all your files in some semblance of order can bring disaster upon your head.

Well, I think that day has come.

I don’t even remember what my desktop picture is, it’s obscured almost completely with stuff. Everywhere you look there are image files I’m working on along with downloaded images. I’ve got text files with written reminders I’ll never read because there are too many of them and so I’ll forget whatever it was I wanted to remind myself in the first place. There does exist, a few folders, born of feeble attempts to coordinate. And, like many people I know, this clutter-fest of a desktop, among other things is filled with icons. Simpson icons, Bloom County icons, Monster icons, kitty icons, all sorts of icons. God forbid I should have some run-of-the-mill folder or something mature housing my many files.

I look at my screen and swear, this weekend, I’m going to do it, I’m going to clean up, all the while, adding more and more files to the mix.

This is what happens once you let desktop sloth get started, people! It’s a slippery slope!

So, I thought, hmmm, maybe I’ll put my icons to work. I’ll stuff them with files and try to orchestrate some sort of cohesian, sanity perhaps. Maybe I’ll even make some of my own icons.

Yeah, that’s it! Icons will be my salvation.

I used the little piece of software, IconBuilder, that Tom found and created 3 “kitticons” in the likeness of our three kitties. If I had a lick of sense, I’d figure out a way to post them on here, so anyone interested could download them. But, alas, I don’t have a lick of sense.

Now I’m well on my way, thanks to my three spiffy kitticons. I took the one that looks like Spooky, named it “Stuff to Sort”, piled everything from my desktop into it. Voila! Instant clean desktop!

Hey, it’s a start.


Thanks Prunella. I think this just might work. If not, let me know.
Download Kitticons


November 13, 2007

Gator Walk

Sue’s alligator,
dreamt that he ate her,
while strolling along on his leash.

To fill up his gizzard,
the oversized lizard,
decided he’d rather eat quiche.

Illustration Friday.

drink like a fish

November 11, 2007


A bass goes into into a cocktail lounge, bellies up to the bar and says, “Bartender, give me a bottle of whiskey and a seafood menu, I’m famished!”

The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve fish here.” Ba da da!

To all my friends!

tail wagging the dog

November 11, 2007


Any case where something of greater significance is driven by something lesser.Wikipedia says:

“…is taken from the joke: “Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog.” Interpretations differ as to the meaning of this metaphor. Some suggest the dog is public opinion, and the tail represents the media; the dog is the media, and the tail is political campaigns; or the dog is the people, and the tail is the government…”

I had intended to go on and on about this particular expression, but we rushed off to see a concert at the Wiltern in Hollywood this evening, and I didn’t get the chance.

However, I must say, if you ever get a chance to see “Swell Season” you absolutely must! Their music is magical, evocative, whimsical and so beautiful it almost hurts.

Tom and I had the good fortune to hear “Swell Season” at the Orpheum last year, as they opened for Damien Rice. Damien Rice was phenomenal, but we couldn’t believe what a gem we had found in the opening act.

Glen Hansard, lead vocal/guitar of “The Frames” and Marketa Irglova are the leads in Swell Season and also starred in the film “Once”. I haven’t seen the film, but I’ll tell you, if those two have half the chemistry in the film as they have onstage, it can’t miss. When they sing a duet, there is an intimacy between them that is so sweet and intense, it makes you feel a bit like a voyeur, like you’re intruding on a private moment.

Take my advice and go hear them live. Do it, not only to experience their energy, the purity of their sound and their beautiful lyrics. Do it, not only because Glen on acoustic guitar and Marketa on piano sing with the strong, clear, sweet voices of angels. Do it, also to hear Glen go on and on unaffectedly, revealing the underpinnings of each song, with Irish wit and charm. Do it, because this is not just a performance, you are truly sharing a moment with these talented artists. Do this and see the film. I know I’m going to see it as soon as I can. I hear it is really good!

While your at it, rent “Wag the Dog” with Robert Dinero and Dustin Hoffman again, or for the first time. It was a pretty good movie if memory serves. More importantly, it ties in with the theme of this post.

Hmmmm, is it my imagination, or was that just tail wagging the dog?