In Which I Aten’t Dead

Whoops.

I did stick out ICAD until nearly the end, and I’ve got the cards lying around here somewhere. But I sort of forgot I had an art blog over the past six months due to factors including but not limited to:

  • a sudden overwhelming obsession with Captain America
  • various deaths in the family
  • my pseudo-nephew turning a year old
  • slow-burning rage over current events
  • the abrupt and unforeseen closure of the shared studio I’ve been part of for several years
  • Christmas

So that’s what happened there.

In the interests of making this post less banal, here are some ATCs I did awhile back:

A collaged card showing a spacecraft, colored stripes, and a snippet of text from a sci-fi magazine. spacetc3 A collaged card showing a spacecraft, colored stripes, and a snippet of text from a sci-fi magazine.
Acrylics, glossy magazine pages, and one of my dad’s old SF mags.

In Which A Theme Is Detected

Here are some cards from the second week of ICAD.

Three index-card artworks in various shades of purple.
Are you sensing a theme? I’m sensing a theme.

Yes, that upper right-hand one was done for the prompt “magenta”, and yes it was totally phoned in.  (The 14th was extremely busy, in my defense.)  I’m pretty proud of the other two, though.

Drawing of a crowned woman with brown skin and puffy hair, captioned "Vivat Regina" (long live the queen).
Colored pencil and gel pens on 3×5 index card.

Broke out my trusty glitter gels for this lady.  I’m practicing drawing different types of hairstyles, cos we can’t ALL have flowing waist-length tresses, right?   (“Vivat Regina” means “long live the queen”.  I am all about queens. And princesses.  And tiaras for all, really.)

Book text arranged on a cross-hatched purple background to form an imaginary book review.
Collage and alcohol markers.

This is a review of an imaginary book, using text from old encyclopedia articles, including an AMAZINGLY condescending one about Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  (Did you know she was only a “minor poet” because her emotions were too strong?   *eyeroll*)

I may have used up my month’s supply of purple, but it was worth it.

In Which A Computer Has Ideas Above Its Station

I am so peeved, O blog reader.  You do not even know.

Okay, so I made these little mini coloring books, right?

A hand holding two small handmade booklets titled "FLOWERS" and "BUGS".
Volume 1: FLOWERS. Volume 2: BUGS.

I could do these all day.  They’re what the kids call “zines” — a regular sheet of paper folded cunningly into a little 8-page booklet.  They’re super cute and fun to make and I thought how fun they’d be for you, the bloghopping public, to print out and stick in your purse to give to the kids at the doctor’s office or whatever.

Open booklet showing simple line drawings of two flowers.
Isn’t this cute? Don’t you want half a dozen for your kids?

So I got them all carefully inked in, scanned, cleaned up, and printed out to test how they’d work as printables.

You’d think scanning in a piece of paper at its original size and resolution and then printing out same, yielding two identical pieces of paper, would be a simple operation.  But you would be WRONG.  Because the computer has an opinion on this, see, and its opinion is that it knows better than you.  Did you already carefully lay out that page, including the margins, with nearly mathematical precision?  “LOL w/e,” says the computer, and messes around with it until it fits the COMPUTER’S idea of correct margins.

Open booklet showing simple line drawings of a beetle and a ladybug.
I really hate bugs, you guys. But I drew six of them. FOR YOU.  And what do I get?

Which would be merely irritating if you were just printing out a flyer for your lost dog or whatever, but in this case I am trying to print out a page to be precisely folded in eighths.  Not to have all the edges cut off at some arbitrary distance and then folded in eighths, COMPUTER.

Tell it to just print without margins, you say?  Oh ho ho ho, my sweet summer child, that would be way too easy.  If I do that the computer says to itself, “O! so I take this scanned image that I arbitrarily shrank, right, and stretch it out again by, eh, it doesn’t really matter how much, I’ll just eyeball it even though I don’t have any eyeballs. Close enough!”  And lo, I get a printout that’s cut off in random places.

A photocopier can handle this just fine.  I don’t understand why three hunks of arguably higher technology between them can’t get it right.

So, long story short, I don’t have any cute free printables for you today.   But at least I have photos of  my cute drawings.

In Which I Confess All

I’ve actually been doing an index card a day since the end of April.  I know, I’m a rebel.

See, I’m not good with challenges because I am the kind of obsessive person who will freak out and give up if I miss one solitary single day.  So I wanted to do ICAD this year, but if I was going to be sure to finish I would have to form the habit first.

Also, yes, I admit it, I just wanted an excuse to buy a stack of index cards.

Anyway, here is my first OFFICIAL index-card-a-day:

An unlined index card with large faceted block letters in primary colors, reading "JUNE".
Index card, Pitt pen and colored pencils.

A somewhat crappy photo, but that’s how we roll around here.  Starting early, taking lousy pictures, smoking in the girls’ bathroom…

In Which We Don’t Go To A Movie

An open journal with pages decorated in red, black, and lime green. The left page has slanted horizontal sections; the right is decorated with stylized poppies.
Journal spread with washi tape, Pitt pen and white gel pen.

Spoiler: we didn’t go to the movie on Monday.  Or on Tuesday.  Possibly tomorrow, we’ll see.  But we are slowly chipping away at the enormous stack of Things What Need Doing.

Last night I had myself an anxiety attack, which was about as delightful as it sounds.  I stayed up half the night desperately haunting Pinterest in an attempt to distract myself enough to calm down, and something must have rubbed off because I had a BRAINWAVE.  Actually two brainwaves.  One is a plan for awesomizing my workspace, if I ever get my room clean enough to rearrange.  The other I am gonna sit on for a while.  Stay tuned.

In Which I Emerge From My Lair

…and go to the ATC meetup with Mom.

To be perfectly honest I have occasionally had more fun at the dentist’s, but such is life, especially for the introvert.  On the plus side, I did actually make an ATC for a change, out of the random baggie of stuff I got at the door:

A card with a background of sheet music and a collaged house with blue borders.
ATC from challenge packet, May 2014.

Not a very good photo, but then it’s not a very good card, either.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back to doing things I actually like.

In the meantime I am crawling back into my burrow for the night.  Toodles.

In Which I Make Myself Clear

A page filled with multicolored block letters reading, "My first priority is me and my mother. 2nd is family: both the born and the found.  Friends are next, then anyone else who needs me."
Journal page, Pitt pen and watercolor.

I live with my mom (anyone who thinks that reflects badly on her or on me is cordially invited to bite me) and lately she’s been feeling really bad both physically and emotionally — lots of obligations that are hard to meet, lots of interpersonal stuff that’s hard to handle.   And when she feels bad, I feel bad, because I love her.

So yesterday while she was out and I was noodling around doing laundry, I decided to make this page as a reminder to myself as well as my mom.  I care about my friends, but my family comes first (including my sisters-by-choice), and before everything else I have to take care of MYSELF.  You know the story about putting on your own oxygen mask first, right?  And part of my well-being is making sure of Mom’s well-being, just like part of hers is making sure of mine.

It didn’t occur to me until this morning that it makes a fitting Mother’s Day page, but I think it does.

That said, I know there are people out there who find today really hard because of bad relationships with their own mothers.  For those folks, I hope you do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself today — maybe make your own journal page about your priorities, with yourself at the top! — and I offer this video and an e-hug.

[you can read the lyrics here]

In Which More Footnotes Are Despoiled

A blue and purple butterfly doodled across a page of footnotes in a vintage textbook.
Footnotes to “Virgil and Other Latin Poets”, Pitt pen.

Still messing with Virgil.  I rescued this book from an overenthusiastic destash with the intent of cutting it up for pages, which I may still do.  (Lots of neat illustrations.)  But I discovered it’s also really fun to doodle in.  Drawing directly over text is something I hadn’t done before, and the paper is super smooth, so Pitt pens like it quite a lot.  Hence a wonky butterfly.

And then I did this:

A page mostly covered with black ink.  The remaining words are connected with white curving lines and read: "The wind could not lie, and the fountain overflowed with change."
Found poetry, Pitt pen and white gel pen.

I splurged yesterday on a Big Brush Pitt pen, explicitly for this purpose — don’t want to wear out my regular black brush tip on heavy-duty inking!

In Which A Crisis Is Averted

Journal page decorated with yellow striped tape and a drawing of a bumblebee.  Text: "Woke up this morning to an awful buzzing.  'Oh no -- the wasps are already getting in!' When I dared to get up the buzzing started again... like a motorcycle.  Then I saw it -- a HUGE great enormous bumblebee.  So I opened the window and let it out."  The bee's thought bubble reads: "Jeez, lady, what took you?"
Journal page with washi tape and colored pencil.

So yeah, that happened.  Ordinarily I’d whine like a baby for my mother to deal with it, but she’s been deathly ill this week, so I had to put on my big girl panties, and lo and behold it just wasn’t as big a deal as I’d thought it was.  (My biggest problem was convincing the stupid thing to fly UNDER the window sash and not keep trying to climb through the glass.  Insects, man.)

Life lessons R us.