Friday, December 14, 2007

Posing for Christmas

Onyx and Misty, smiling for the camera. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

May it rest in peace

Being a little over 15 years old is NO excuse for my stove to die NOW when I'm in the middle of holiday baking. We're off to an appliance store in a few minutes. I guess I can call the new stove a Christmas gift to myself. *sigh*

In better news, I did a bit of drawing practice this week. This is my first attempt at drawing a horse.



Reference:" Pencil Drawing" by Gene Franks. I worked on this on and off for 4 days.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Aches and pains

Warning: Housecleaning is dangerous, people!

I'll be out of commission for a couple of days because I pulled a muscle in my back when I leaned over too far while hanging drapes in the bedroom. Ugh. I was in a bit of agony when I woke up this morning so I popped an Ibuprofen. When I finish up here I'll slather some Ben Gay on the area or slap on one of those hot/cold patches if I find one in the medicine cabinet. This better clear up soon because I have a lot of stuff to get done before Christmas.

I've been staying away from the internet as much as possible lately. Avoiding that addiction allows me to get so many other things done. I didn't get much drawing practice in this week, but I did manage to work on another bird picture. I like this one better than the first one I did a few weeks ago. I used, "Pencil Drawings," by Gene Franks for the reference.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not just any Monday...

It's Cyber Monday. Urban Dictionary puts it into perspective.

Cyber Monday is the Monday after [Black Friday], when online retailers will be looking for their biggest sales from those who checked out products over the thanksgiving weekend, and will now be ordering them Monday at work.

I don't shop on Black Friday. Instead I get my Christmas decorating done. But I do plan to shop online today since I now have my grandkids' Christmas list in hand. That should keep me busy.

If I don't update my LJ for a while don't think I fell off the planet. It just means I'm busy with baking, cleaning, wrapping, and the whole "getting ready for Christmas" stuff. Gotta love the silly season. :D

Today's goals: Get the Christmas cards done once I finish online shopping.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Busy time ahead

Yesterday we celebrated our wedding anniversary by eating at Applebees. I had a delicious, tender steak with garlic mashed potatoes. Yummmm! I also indulged in a couple of apple martinis. *wide grin* We spent some time at the nearby mall doing some window shopping mostly. I got a new sketchbook and picked up Christmas cards. I'll probably start working on those next week.

We'll pull out the Christmas decorations on Friday and get to work since the hubby has the day off. Yep, it's going to be a busy weekend. Soon I'll have to start baking since I give homemade cookies and cakes to several folks on my Christmas gift-giving list. I already know that the coming month is going to be a blur with all the house cleaning, shopping, wrapping, and baking going on. I probably won't be able to focus much on writing or drawing practice for a while but that's okay.

I did a little writing for my storyboard this morning. Now I'm going to start on the laundry then I need to brush the dogs. Oh, I have to call my daughter too and get a list of things the grandkids want for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Booklist

YAH!! I finally finished my Booklist When I get some extra time I want to tweak the page since it looks a bit blah at the moment. But at least the info is there.

Tonight's TV: Reaper. My favorite new show!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Today's plans

I have quite a bit of free time today so I think I'll sit in front of the computer and take care of a few things. I really should update my webpage and maybe check out the library thing again, or continue to work on the webpage I started for the list of books I've read over the past many years. I should clean out my favorites too because lately I have a hard time finding things. With luck I might even be able to get a bit of drawing practice in.

Tonight: Another episode of Avatar (yah!) followed by Moonlight with that dreamy vampire. :D Lately we've been watching all the CSI shows. It's funny how we always seem to get into shows like this AFTER they've been on the air for years. lol

Well I better start working on something now before I end up wasting away the next couple of hours with lurking. Oops, there goes the buzzer on the dryer. Time to fold clothes.

Ciao for now.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday already?

Around this time every year I seem to turn into a cleaning fanatic. I think it's because Christmas is right around the corner and I have the family over for a big bash on Christmas Eve. This weekend I started things off by washing the kitchen walls. Maybe this spring I'll paint the entire house. Anyhoo, I'm a bit achy today. Why does the body start to rebel so quickly when we get older?

For over a year I've been practicing on drawing people, anime style. But suddenly I'm craving more so I've been working with some actual "how to draw" books.

The picture below is one I did a couple of weeks ago. It's one of the lessons in "Pencil Drawing" by Gene Franks. The book is part of Walter Foster's Artist's Library Series. It took me about 3 hours to draw and shade this picture. I'm fairly happy with the results.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo!

candy


I'm ready for all the ghosts and goblins that will be running around the neighborhood later. Leftovers are mine...all MINE! *snickers*


Happy Halloween!
pumpkincat

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lazy week

I've been pretty lazy all week thanks to a cold. I felt nervous all day yesterday because I had to take my dog (Misty) to the vet to have a few teeth pulled. She's a real mama's girl and the skittish type so it's always hard for me when I have to leave her at the vet for several hours. Today she's doing much better and so am I. :D

I'm trying to avoid my computer room more often because once I sit down and get involved in lurking and whatever, too many hours pass and I get nothing accomplished...at least nothing I find worthwhile. And I'm not happy unless I'm doing something productive.

Today I have to catch up on the housework I've been neglecting all week. Then I hope to get a little drawing practice in. I might even spend some time in the backyard with the dogs since we're supposed to reach the mid 60s today. There won't be too many more nice days so I might as well take advantage of the ones we get.

I just watched the trailer for season 7 of 24. Now I can't wait for the 2 hour premier in January. I'm such an action junkie. :p

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tis the season

With these up and down temperatures we're been having lately it was bound to happen. I caught a cold.

Guess I'll spend the day curled up on the couch drinking hot toddies and reading or watching the boob tube. At least the house is fairly clean and I don't have anything pressing to do.

I finally finished reading Wraith by Phaedra Weldon. Not bad...but it did tend to confuse me at times. Now I've started on, Flight of the Nighthawks by Raymond E. Feist. Wow, I just realized I haven't read an epic fantasy book in a LONG time.

This cold is mucking up my brain so I can't think of anything else to say. *sneezes*

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yada yada

Whoa...baby it's COLD outside! It's hard to believe it's only 46 degrees right now, and even harder to believe that I was moaning about it being too hot only a couple of weeks ago. Oh well, pretty soon I'll be bitching about snow and icy pavements that will make it difficult for me to get my (almost) daily walks in.

This morning I spend quite a bit of time messing around with my writing forum again. I added a couple of new posts (and pictures of my pets), played with the calendar feature, and then went crazy trying to use a table to put in a header at the top of the forum to somewhat describe the place. For some reason I kept getting GIANT SIZED text. That's what happens when you don't work with html, tables, css, and all that other good stuff for a while. After banging my head against the wall and downing some aspirin, I finally got things to work properly. But I'm still not sure what I did wrong in the first place. *le sigh*

Now my eyes hurt and the brain is too fried to get anything else accomplished. Soooo, I think I'll pour myself a good, strong cuppa coffee and peruse today's newspaper. Have to keep up with what's going on in the world, right?

Tonight's tv: Avatar and Moonlight with that sexy vampire. *swoon*(yep, I said sexy not smexy cause I like to be different. :p)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tasty treat

My latest obsession. YUM!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

???

This is my second attempt at using acrylic paints.



Yikes! What the hell is it? What was I thinking??? Obviously, I have no idea what I'm doing yet. But you know what? I had fun doing it. And sometimes that's all that matters.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Another one of those quick updates

I'm looking forward to watching the premier of "Pushing Daisies," tonight as well as the conclusion of "Top Chef." I have to admit that I've gotten somewhat addicted to TV these past few months. Before that, about the only thing I made sure I watched every week for 6 years was 24. My favorite new show of the season is, "Reaper." I love how the devil character is portrayed.

My drawing practice has been at a standstill because my spare time has been taken up with messing around with the writing board and yakking on yahoo messenger. *laughs* At least I did some coloring on a character drawing I scanned in a couple of weeks ago, and I feel good about that.

After I do a few chores I'm going to try to catch up on my reading again. I'm still working on, "Wraith," by Phaedra Weldon, and I have a few chapters of an online story downloaded into my old PDA so I don't have to be in front of the pc to read it. I think I'll do that reading outside since it's a beautiful day.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Animes

I don't recall ever seeing Naruto get as emotionally upset as he did in episode 30 of Naruto Shippuuden. Poor guy. I felt his pain.

On another note: I was quite pleased with the ending of "Claymore."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Today's accomplishments

1. Woke up and crawled out of bed. Hey, at my age that's a major accomplishment! lol
2. Took a 20 minute walk.
3. Typed up a post for my writing board. Whoot, I'm really starting to get into this again.
4. Cleaned up doggy doo from the yard. Ewwww.
5. Vacuumed the house and did some dusting.
6. Scrubbed the bathroom. Ahh, okay I really didn't scrub but I gave it a decent cleaning nonetheless.
7. Spent 15 minutes on drawing practice. Not good. Bad me. :(
8. Cleaned the litter box. No more awful smell!
9. Played fetch with my dogs in the yard for a while. It was too nice a day to sit inside for long.
10. Washed a load of clothes.
11. Spent an hour and a half messing around with a character drawing of mine in paint shop pro.

Now I'm going to figure out what to make for dinner then I might catch up on some reading until the hubby comes home. Tonight we're going to watch the season premier of "CSI." After that it's "Ace of Cakes" cause Duff cracks me up and I love to laugh. Don't you?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Over thinking things again...

Last week I tossed up a few character profiles on my new collaborative writing board. (or play by post board as some would call it) I don't know what's wrong with me, but I can't seem to get into the writing yet. Maybe I'm still recuperating from the fast yaoi rpg I was in for over a year that had me glued to my computer every damn day for hours on end. The way it ended left a bad taste in my mouth too so maybe it's going to take more time for me to get over that.

Before that yaoi rpg I was heavily involved in collaborative writing for 7 years. I watched a lot of people come and go and wrote with just about all of them. A few left me teary eyed when they had to stop writing with me due to real life busyness. There were also times when silly arguments would develop between the writers that left me feeling upset for days. I guess that's bound to happen when you put a bunch of creative people together. I hated those times because as the creator of the forums I had to hear it from all sides and then somehow try to smooth things out. One of my biggest mistakes was letting one or two people influence me and that might have led me to unconsciously push away others. To this day I regret some of my actions. Hopefully, I've learned from the past and will not make the same mistakes again. Thoughts like this floating around in the back of my mind might be making me a tad reluctant to hope that things will turn out better this time around and therefore my exuberance is somewhat lacking at the moment.

Or...it could be the weather. It's still too nice to be cooped up inside. The time that I should spend on writing is now spent puttering around in my yard, playing with my dogs and cats, or walking around the neighborhood letting my mind wander. All is not lost though because I DID feel the old spark when I finally got around to adding a couple of reply posts to my board. I keep hoping that spark will soon ignite into a roaring flame, bringing back my old desire to write up a storm and think up all kinds of interesting plots. I also hope that the new writers on the forum will be patient with me while I try to get my groove back. :D

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Crazy connection

I'm having a problem with my DSL today. One minute I'm online and the next I'm off. My connection seems to be unstable for some reason. I recall the same thing happening about 2 months ago. I'm starting to wonder if it was a bad idea to combine my DSL and telephone service with the same company, for less money of course. I didn't have many problems with my DSL when it was separate from my phone, although the speed wasn't as great as it is now. Guess I'm going to have to call tech support and see what's going on. I dread it because I know I'll probably be on the phone with them for at least a couple of hours and I HATE telephones. I think I'm allergic to them. I suppose I could wait until the hubby gets home from work and let him handle it. Hmmm...better use my cell phone since the land line didn't have a dial tone earlier when the DSL went out.

Well, I think I'll try handling it myself and if I start to get too aggravated from holding on too long or getting the run around, I'll just hang up and then let hubby take care of it tonight. Sounds like a good plan to me. :D

Monday, September 17, 2007

You will be missed...

I'm saddened by the death of Robert Jordan. I loved his Conan books and made it through 6 books of his Wheel of Time series before I decided to stop and wait until he finished the series so I could read them all at once. I think he was working on book #12 when he passed away.

May he rest in peace. He will forever live on in his wonderful tales.

News Article on his death

Sunday, September 16, 2007

And so it begins...again

I'm going to be busy for the next few days, adding my character profiles to the new collaborative writing board I started. My old writing partner Dee is there and she got a couple of her friends to join already. How cool is that?

One of my biggest problems is totally diving into something I love, and I LOVE collaborative writing above all else. But this time around I'm going to try NOT to let this forum consume my life because I have other creative outlets I'll like to pursue too at this time like drawing and painting. Wish me luck. lol

Seriously, I think things will be a lot better this time around. I've learned that there's no need to put pressure on myself to add a post (or posts) every single day like I did in the past. Adding only 2 to 3 times a week would leave me ecstatic. That's a lot more writing than I'm doing now. I miss it and can't wait to start creating cool stories with Dee and the others.

So...let the good time roll again. :D

Friday, September 14, 2007

Snapshot

I thought it was time to toss up a photo of me with my babies.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My top chef

My husband is Italian. He was born in Italy, his family coming to live in the states when he was 3 years old. Having a typical Italian mother who did all the cooking, my husband barely knew how to boil water. He never had any interest in cooking and that was okay with me since I love to cook and bake.

But..my hubby got the urge to learn how to cook after we started watching some shows on The Food Network this past year. He never even tried to grill until a couple of months ago. I started him out small, letting him tackle hot dogs and brats. 2 weeks ago, I stood by offering support and encouragement as he made his first batch of homemade hamburgers, which we topped with Pepper Jack cheese. They cooked up perfectly on the grill and tasted delicious.

Today he fired up the grill again and made us strip steaks, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes. YUMMY! This wonderful man can cook for me anytime!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Completed picture

I finally colored in that picture I drew a few weeks ago. This time I used Paint Shop Pro 8 to ink and color it. I'm fairly happy with everything except the shirt. I still need a ton of practice on drawing/coloring the folds on clothes.

Friday, August 31, 2007

New hobby

A few months ago I watched a bit of this anime series (and I can't recall the name of it) where the main character ran around taking pictures of clouds. Maybe he had a cloud fetish, who knows. But anyway, for some strange reason I started thinking about this the other day while sitting on my deck. Suddenly, I found myself staring up at the clouds cruising along the sky and, of course, pictures started to form.

"Wow," I said to myself. Yes, I talk to myself occasionally. Don't we all? Go on, admit it!

Okay, I'm getting back on topic now. After I let loose with that "wow," I started thinking that snapping pictures of the cloud images I saw might provide me with inspiration for drawing in the future...um, when I learn how to draw better, that is.

Now, taking pictures of the things I see in the passing clouds is my new hobby!

So...what does this cloud look like to you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Creativity Forum

Now I've gone and done it. :) I started a brand new forum for creative people over at Active Boards. I wanted a place where basically beginning artists etc. could get together without having to worry about their stuff not being good enough to show off.

I'm leaving the link below in case anyone is interested in checking it out. You have to create an account to join but it's free, and you don't have to create anything to look the place over. :)

Right now there's an annoying advertisement at the top of the forum, but I can pay to get rid of such ads later, and will do so IF I get a lot of people joining up. I'm always looking for ideas and suggestions so if anyone wants to help me out with things there, let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this new forum.

Creative Urges Forum

PS: I have to shout out a thank you to Keri Smith for inspiring me to get this new forum up and running.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Shades of my past

I walked to the local restaurant and back home this morning, memories of my childhood flitting across my mind as I saw kids heading off for their first day of school. They weren't very pleasant memories either. I dreaded going to school because I was very overweight and teased with names like "2 ton." My mother took me to a doctor after I was fitted for a size 22 dress for my brother's wedding. That was in the 7th grade! I followed the diet plan the doc gave me and lost much of the weight by the time I entered high school and kept it off until I had my first child. From then on I've endured a constant battle with the same 40 pounds for several years. I lose it, I gain it, I lose it again. Right now I have to get back to working on losing it yet again.

The teasing I experienced as a child turned me into an introvert and left me with very low self-esteem. I'm still quite shy and hate looking in the mirror because no matter how much weight I lose I continue to see an overweight woman. It's somewhat sad how things from our youth can stick with us long into adulthood, shaping us in ways we don't want to be shaped.

This is the first time I've talked about this in my journal. I guess that's because I'd rather not dwell on the past. I've learned from it, and in ways I'm grateful for it since I think it made me a more caring, loving individual.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Birds

I don't get to see a variety of birds since I live in the heart of the big city, so imagine my surprise when I glanced out at the bird feeder in my yard this morning and saw this. Are those parakeets??





Monday, August 20, 2007

Creativity

I picked up 3 books with the 25 dollar gift certificate I had from Amazon. They all have to do with creativity.

    

I'm anxious to start on, "Wreck This Journal," by Keri Smith. With entries like, 'Eat some colorful candy then lick this page,' I have high hopes that it will help me set my perfectionist nature aside and simply have fun. I have too many neat journals lying around. It's time to cut loose and let my creative side shine!

For some interesting ideas, take a look at Keri Smith's Blog

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Update

I love my daughter's new house! It's warm and cozy, and bigger than their old place. With 2 kids and 2 dogs, they really need the extra room. There's also a swimming pool and a gazebo in a large backyard, and the neighborhood is quiet and beautiful. Being in a suburb, the houses aren't built so close to each other like they are here in the city. That's what I hate most about my own home. It's sucks having my neighbor's bedroom window directly across from the window over my kitchen sink. I usually keep my curtains closed while washing dishes because I don't want to feel like a peeping tom. lol

We picked up 2 new games for the Wii...."Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz," and "Mortal Kombat Armageddon." The monkey ball one has 50 party games. We tested only a few of them out so far and fell in love with the dart game. My hubby started giving me dirty looks when my dart kept hitting the bulls eye for 50 points each time. *cracks up* Now if only I could be so lucky at a real game of darts!

On the anime front, we watched the usual weekly stuff....Bleach, Naruto, Claymore, Gintama, Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi, Murder Princess, and El Cazador de la Bruza. Added Zombie Loan to the mix, and finished watching all 6 episodes I had downloaded. I'm also renting, "Avatar, the Last Airbender from Netflix." Enjoyed 4 episodes of it so far.

I was flipping through channels Friday night and got riveted to the tv for hours, watching, "The Godfather." I love that movie and really need to buy it on DVD one day so I can watch it without having to put up with all those commercials!

I have to finish up a few things and then we're heading to Applebees for lunch. Yum!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Short break

My hubby is on vacation until Monday so I probably won't be around until then. Tomorrow we're going to spend the day with my daughter and her family in the new house they recently bought. Can't wait. :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

I misplaced my gusto

I'm giving myself a little pat on the back because I finally managed to open that new 3d graphic program I downloaded (Daz Studio), fought down my intimidation, and actually worked with it, following a tutorial I found. Of course I only scratched the surface since there's an awful lot to learn with this program, but we all have to start somewhere. And supposedly, getting started is always the hardest part.

Right now I'm having a hard time getting too deeply involved in any one thing as was my habit in the past. My attention span seems to be lacking. Or maybe I simply don't have the intense desire to delve into something new and let it consume me for months again. I keep hoping my lack of enthusiasm is due to summer because I'd rather be outside sucking in fresh air and enjoying the warmth of the sun instead of puttering around in front of my computer.

The more I think about it, the more I'm starting to believe the culprit is, "lack of pressure." As much as I hate being under pressure to do anything, I seem to work better while under pressure. Strange huh? But it's true. Hell, the only reason I learned html was because of a few online pals constantly telling me my web pages would look much nicer if I stopped using the "instant page maker" that geocites offers and got down to the business of putting in my own code. Inwardly, I moaned and groaned at their coaxing while plowing through books and online tutorials until I understood the workings of html. Too bad those pals aren't around anymore because I'd like to thank them for encouraging me to learn something new.

I started drawing for the same reason. My online writing partners and I really wanted pictures of the characters we wrote in our collaborative stories so I got this idea that it would be cool if I could figure out how to draw them myself. Our story writing ended this April and now I'm having a hard time continuing my drawing practice. *sigh* Guess I need someone to give me a good swift kick in the arse to jumpstart my creativity again.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Feet are important too!

My (mis)adventures in learning how to draw continues. I plan to sit my butt down and practice today for at least 2-3 hours. I'm still following the "How to draw wizards, etc." book I picked up a few weeks ago.

Here's another book I got at Borders for the bargain price of $4.99. It's a hardcover with 160 pages.



I've worked with it a little so far and it's great. I'll probably post some of the anatomy drawings I did at some point. But today, I'm showing off my drawings of feet! Yep, feet. lol Who knew those puppies would be so difficult to draw?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thursday thoughts

Plans for today...

Vacuum and dust
Wash a load of clothes
Pay a few bills
Work on my booklist web page
Print out a tutorial for Daz Studio
Continue sports training on Wii
Read for at least an hour

Speaking of reading, I finished "Unshapely Things," by Mark del Franco. Later I'll start on, "Warrior Angel" by Margaret and Lizz Weis. It's a paranormal romance, quite different from Margaret Weis's usual stuff.

I got a 15 minute ride in on the bicycle this morning. I know it's not much, but hey, it's better than nothing at all. :D Since the heat wave is still going on here in Chi town, I'll be cooped up in the nice air conditioned house for the rest of the day. Yep, I'm spoiled.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The days fly by

Let's see...what have I been up to for the past few days? Well, we played so much tennis on Wii that my right arm hurts like hell. The tricep to be exact. What a workout! I think I'm going to try playing with my left hand for a while to balance out the muscle development. :p All kidding aside, the Wii game system really does provide some decent exercise. I'm glad we bought it.

My hubby got a new cellphone with gobs of bells and whistles on it so I swiped his old PDA since he really doesn't need it anymore. I'm going to mess with it in a bit. I need to install the software and see if I can get it to sync with my computer. I mainly want to use it for ebooks and to read (and type up) word documents. I walk a lot so it'll be cool to have the pda with me when I stop at the park or the local restaurant. It's a lot lighter than the notebook and the book I'm currently reading that I always carry with me.

On Saturday we went to a neighborhood festival and pigged out on cotton candy, nachos and cheese, and a few other things we don't usually indulge in. We walked about the place for a couple of hours, checked out the petting zoo they had set up, and played several games. Skee-ball is still my all time favorite!

My DSL was out for about 5 hours yesterday. I'm sure everyone knows that talking to customer service is a trip and a half so I won't go into detail about how aggravating that turned out to be. I ended up hoarse after having to explain the problem to 5 different technical people but at least they finally got the damned thing fixed.

At some point over the weekend we watched, "Shooter," with Mark Wahlberg. I thought it was great, but then again, I'm a big action freak so it figures I'd love a movie like this. We also watched more of "The 4400." I've been renting the series from Netflix. One more disc to go and we'll be finished with season 3. I hope we'll be able to catch season 4 in reruns.

Along with the above we watched episodes of the following animes (subs) while munching on pizza... Bleach #135, Naruto Shippuuden #21, Claymore #17, Shijou-Saikyou #39, and Prince of Tennis National Championship #12. The final episode of Yamato Nadeshiko had us laughing out loud.

Well, now I'm off to get some work done. Hopefully, I will be able to get a bit of drawing practice in later.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Drawing practice: Witch

More drawing practice using, "How to draw wizards, warriors, orcs, and elves" as a reference.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Randomness

I've decided I need to work on a new web page before I forget more of what I've learned about html and css. So, I'm now slowly putting together a page that will list the books I've read since getting into the fantasy genre some 25 years ago. I started the page with a simple html format but plan to convert it to css once I finish typing in the authors and book titles. This will definitely keep me busy for a while because I know I'll have to constantly refer to my notes and a couple of css books I bought a few years back.

I haven't started working with Daz Studio yet. The program intimidates the hell outta me. Maybe it's something I'll save for the winter months when I find myself sitting in front of the computer more often. Summer is flying by and I want to take advantage of what's left of it. I even pulled out my bike this morning and took a long ride. Go me!

Speaking of exercise...I'm really impressed with Wii because it kept me on my feet and moving around for an hour and a half yesterday while I made my way through the games in "Wii Play." Later today, I'm going to tackle some of the games in "Wii Sports." It'd be cool to drop a couple of pounds thanks to a game system!

Now I'm off to pay the bills and do some housework. Ugh.

Oh, I finally saw the last 2 episodes of Death Note. Intense! Of course I can't compare it to the manga since I didn't read it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wiiiii

We got a Wii yesterday. Then I kicked my husband's arse in bowling. *snickers*

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Drawing practice again

More drawing practice using a "how to draw" book for reference.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Daz Studio

Last night I download a 3-D graphic program similar to Poser from this link. Daz Studio It's "Tell-ware" which means I have to tell 2 people about it. So I'm starting off by mentioning it on my blog. I guess they make their money from the various 3-d models and other add ons you can buy for the program.

The program looks mighty intimidating since I've never worked with 3-D art before. It reminds me of the first time I opened paint shop pro and freaked because I had no idea what to do next. lol I keep telling myself to go slow, that I don't have to learn it all in one day. There are several tutorials to follow so I guess I'll start there and try to tackle a little every day or so to keep myself from getting overwhelmed.

I think I better get to work on coloring one of my drawings soon too so I don't forget how to do it. When you don't use something for a while you tend to forget the necessary steps...at least I do. At one time I used to zip through creating web pages with html but now I've forgotten a lot of the coding tags since I haven't played around with a web page in a LONG time. I was starting to get really good with css too until that sort of fell by the wayside. Now, whenever I look at my main web page that I did in css I find myself saying, "Wow, how the hell did I do that?" lol

Well, enough talking about this...I better get to working on something.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Drawing practice

Picked up this book from Borders over the weekend. I thought the 3.99 price was very reasonable.



Now I have almost one small shelf filled with "how to draw" books. I'm such a sucker for books. lol

Anyhoo, using characters from the new book as a reference I managed to draw the following...





One day, I hope to be able to draw something without using a reference, but I think it's too early for that yet. I still spend a lot of time drawing circles, cubes, cylinders, etc.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Photo manipulation

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself because I managed to do something I didn't think I'd be able to do. A friend of my husband's knows I like to play around with graphics and asked me if I could somehow eliminate people from a photo. I told him I'd give it a try but that he shouldn't expect much since I'm an amateur when it comes to things like this. Well, I worked on the photo for about 2 hours and this is the result. (the pictures are reduced for ease of loading) I hope he likes it.

Original picture:


Manipulated in Paint Shop Pro X1

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Computer headaches

Had a mess of computer problems yesterday that left me with a major headache. Don't you hate it when things suddenly start to go wrong with your pc and you have no friggin' idea why? Things started off with my getting the blue screen of death right in the middle of outlining a drawing in psp. Then I played a game of turn off, turn on pc. After the third try, windows finally loaded properly. That's when the fun started. *groan*

First, Internet explorer preformed an illegal operation and had to shut down. I wonder how many times IE has been arrested for such illegal operations? *snort* Next, yahoo messenger did the same, shutting down as I was about to say howdy to someone. Then McAfee pops up with a warning, telling me my computer isn't protected, and that I must hit the "fit" button to make things right again. Okay, so I do that, and it works for like all of 10 minutes...then I get the warning again followed by the fix it notice. Now, I'm starting to get really pissed, but the final straw came when the pc automatically shut down. Grrrr....

The thought of a virus nagged at me, but my highly analytical mind placed that possibility low on the scale of what might be wrong since I haven't visited any strange websites, gotten any weird emails, and very recently did a virus scan. I gnawed on a pencil while trying to think of anything new I'd done, and wham, it hit me. That morning I installed the newest windows upgrade after spotting the yellow notice icon in my system tray. Just to be on the safe side, I called Dell support and after explaining things to "Anita," we decided to try a system restore to before I installed the windows thing. Presto, that did the trick.

But get this...later, that upgrade installed "automatically" so I had to do another restore because the blue screen of death followed in it's wake. As soon as the pc got back to normal I rushed to my control panel and took off automatic upgrade, switching the choice to "notify me of upgrades but DO NOT install them." After all that, I sat down with a much needed apple martini.

Now that everything seems to be back to normal (or as normal as is gets with computers) I'm going to work on a photo for my husband's friend. Said friend would like a couple of people taken out of a scenic picture he took on his vacation to Europe. I'm not sure if I can do this, but I'll give it a try. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Random thoughts

Last night, we watched several hours of "Live Earth." Bon Jovi gave another fantastic performance. The band is tight. They make live performances look easy. And they really know how to work the crowd. Bravo to them for an excellent job. I was bouncing around in my chair and wilding flapping my arms around to their music. Hey, at least I got a little exercise! *laughs*

It looks like it's going to be another day spend indoors since the temperature is suppose to hit 95. Ugh! Too hot for me. I guess we could catch up on watching the anime we put on hold yesterday.

This week I'd like to get back to practicing my drawing. I've been at a loss for what to work on but before I fell asleep last night I started thinking about trying to draw pictures of all the characters I created for my old storyboards. So, yeah, that's what I might do.

I'm been feeling quite bored when I come online lately. I guess it's because I don't have anyone to talk with or write with like I did in the past. It was fun to turn on Yahoo IM and yak with my writing partners about plot lines and just any old thing. The hours would fly by. Now I spend most of my time looking at web sites and yawning. Plus there aren't many people around during the day when I'm available to sit in front of the pc. I really miss that, but I suppose it's a good thing since my house is now cleaner and I'm getting a lot more reading done. Speaking of reading, I just started on book one of the Dresden Files. So far, so good. If things keep up this way I should get through the pile of books stacked up on my table in no time.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Concert

Live Earth Concert...all day long on Bravo. I know what I'll be doing for the next few hours. :D

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sci-Fi channel

Right now there's a "Dead Like Me" marathon on Sci-Fi channel. So, I'm off to watch for a while. It's a shame this show is no longer around. Why do they always take off the things I like?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Quick update

Once again I'm rearranging the spare room where I have my computer and a table for practicing my drawing, along with shelves and crates of stuff like books, photo albums, psp tutorials, html tutorials, etc. I ran across this picture of the hubby and I taken at my nephew's medieval wedding about 8 years ago. Of course it left me wanting to be younger and thinner again. lol



After my friend Dave mentioned starting a button collection, I immediately began hunting for a bag of buttons I saved from a button factory I worked at 10 years ago. It took me awhile to discover where I stashed the thing because I'm great at putting things in safe places then forgetting the location of said safe places. I'm going to post a few of them on his forum but thought I'd add a couple here too.





Happy 4th everyone!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not a skin rash

I'm a happy camper because I went to the doc and found out that my foot/ankle rash isn't life threatening. It's something called "Hemosiderin Staining" and it relates to varicose veins. I know I inherited various veins from my mom but hers where the thicker kind that left her legs swollen and painful. Mine are more of the spider variety that like to burst and leave discolored patches in their wake. Ugly yes, but I can live with ugly as opposed to some serious skin condition. So far the worst skin discoloration is only on the tops of my feet and on the inner ankles. According to the doc, walking and elevating the legs is the best way to keep various veins under control, so I'm going to have to get off my lazy ass more and get back into the exercising I used to do religiously 4 years ago.

YAY! I'm totally relieved. Now that the stress of worry is gone I can start focusing on the things I've been putting off. But first, we're off to see "Live Free or Die Hard." I'm up for some kick ass action that I know Bruce Willis can supply. :D

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mish Mosh

Last night we watched, Bridge to Terabithia, and I felt pretty bummed out by the time it ended. I guess I was expecting more fantasy and a much happier story, not one that had me using up a box of Kleenex. *sigh* Maybe I should start reading some reviews of movies before I rent them so I'll have at least some idea of what to expect.

I really lucked out because I got to see the space station and shuttle gliding across the sky again last night. Usually I miss out on things like this due to uncooperative weather so this time I'm sending out a thanks to mother nature for ultra clear skies. Since there's always a balance to things, we're supposed to have thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow night.

I practiced drawing for about an hour yesterday. Not nearly enough considering I haven't touched my sketchpad in weeks, blaming it on eyestrain. I would have had my new glasses by now but they called to reschedule my appointment. Now I have to wait until July. Ugh. Maybe I'll just head into a Lens Crafters again even though I was a tad disappointed in their service the last time around.

Gods, it looks like an otherworldly war zone around here. When I venture out into the backyard and take my walks, I'm constantly stepping over mutilated bodies of cicadas. ICK! I've even had the privilege of watching birds snatch cicadas right out of the air, drag them to the ground, and then rip the shit out of them. *gag*

I finished reading, "Nightlife" by Rob Thurman and loved it. Going to tackle "Doppelganger," by Marie Brennan next, right after I peruse my flist, start on the laundry, and finish up a few other chores.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sky gazing

Did anyone catch the space station and shuttle cruising across the sky last night? I did, and lemme tell ya, it was a beautiful sight!

If you missed it, you might get to see it again tonight depending on your location. Here's a link for more info. Space.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Small update

My younger daughter found a buyer for her house. Whoot! I'm happy for her. She wanted to get into a bigger place before my grandson started 1st grade, and it looks like she's going to get her wish. Things will move quickly for her now because she has only 6 weeks to find a new house. I hope everything works out. I know she's going to be under a lot of stress while the house selling, house hunting, packing etc, is going on.

We caught up on our anime watching over the weekend since it was too hot to sit outside. We're finally getting some relief from the heat today with temps only reaching around 80 and low humidity. Yah! I'm looking forward to shutting off the a/c and opening the windows because there's nothing like fresh air!

Yesterday I got a delivery from Amazon so I'm off to read, "Nightlife" by Rob Thurman. If it's as good as, "Moonshine," (the 2nd book in this series) I will finish it in no time. Gosh, I'm reading a lot more now that I'm not spending all my free time in front of the pc. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Movie Rentals

Latest rental from Netflix: Pan's Labyrinth.

Dark, disturbing, and hauntingly beautiful...that's how I would describe this memorable movie. And yes, I cried at the ending. If you believe in fairy tales, watch this movie. It's not for children because there are some vividly violent scenes. I had to turn my eyes away from the screen a couple of times since I'm a coward.

Tonight we'll probably watch, "Night at the Museum."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Book Pimping

I can't remember the last time I sat down and finished reading a book in less than 2 days. Well, that's what happened with, "Moonshine" by Rob Thurman. Once I started, I couldn't put the book down. How could I not enjoy reading the exploits of 2 gorgeous half brothers, one silent and deadly, the other angsty and a smartass? Oh, Cal the smartass isn't completely human either. Following is the blurb from the back of the book.

After saving the world from his fiendish father's side of the family, Cal Leandros and his stalwart half brother, Niko, have settled down with a new apartment and a new gig -- bodyguard and detective work. And in New York City, where preternatural beings stalk the streets just like normal folk, business is good.

Their latest case has them going undercover for the Kin, the werewolf Mafia. A low-level Kin boss thinks a rival is setting him up for a fall, and wants proof. The place to start is the back room of Moonshine, a gambling club for nonhumans. Cal thinks it's a simple in-and-out job. But Cal is very, very wrong.

Cal and Niko are set up themselves -- and the people behind it have bites much worse than their barks.


I'm definitely going to pick up the first book in this series called, "Nightlife."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend update

Once again another weekend is gone but many pleasant memories remain. Since the weather was perfect we spent a lot of time outside, puttering around the yard. When I say we, I mean the hubby and I, of course. :D

We did a lot of walking at the mall on Saturday. The hubby got himself a new cell phone and I picked up more books. (naturally) These are the new editions to my library.

1. "Doppelganger," by Marie Brennan. Here's the bit off the back cover: "When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For the witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. But what happens when the doppelganger survives?"

2. "Warrior Angel," by Margaret and Lizz Weis. I've always been a big fan of Weis and her Dragonlance books and was surprised to find her writing a "paranormal romance" with her daughter. Hope it's as interesting as it sounds.

3. "Declassified: Chaos Theory," by John Whitman. It's an original Jack Bauer Novel based on the hit series 24. I'm a big 24 fan so I thought I'd give this a try.

4. "Moonshine," by Rob Thurman. This is the one I started on. It's about 2 brothers who tackle preternatural beings in New York. So far I'm loving this book. The concept is slightly reminiscent of the tv show, Supernatural. The author, Rob Thurman is actually a female.

Clear skies on Saturday meant pulling out the telescope...and the digital camera. These pictures were taken on Saturday evening with my Nikon Coolpix 995 through a Meade ETX-60AT telescope.

Venus (zoomed in)


Jupiter and 3 of its moons (zoomed in)


The hubby grilled sausages on Sunday. Yummers! Then we caught up on anime watching and finished off another Netflix disc of "Supernatural" before tuning into Food Network to watch the "Next Food Network Star." All in all, it was an enjoyable weekend.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My horoscope for today. (Virgo)

Ideas for creative, artistic or service-oriented work might be coming thick and fast, though you might be torn between different possibilities, dear Virgo. All your ideas may seem workable, yet you feel you should settle on only one for the moment. It might be a good idea to ask the advice of others. Even if you don't do exactly what they suggest, their advice might wake you up to new options. Hang in there!

So true! I have a bunch of creative things I'd like to do yet I can't seem to settle on one at the moment. Ho hum. I normally work best when I focus my attention on one thing at a time. I feel like such a scatterbrain right now. :p

Here's a cute site where you can check on your dog's horoscope. Dog Horoscopes

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Doing something...

I'm still playing around with that Yuku message board. It's kind of exciting to start a new board from scratch. At the same time it can be a real pain in the ass because things work a lot differently at Yuku than they did at Ezboard. But I remember swearing under my breath when I first moved my forums there too since setting things up at the time seemed like an impossible task.

I guess anything new is a little frightening and intimidating. Once you finally figure out what you're doing you can step back and laugh at how befuddled you once were. At least I don't feel so bored now that I have something productive to do online. :D

Saturday, June 2, 2007

This and that

Hot, hot, hot! It's way too hot here so I'm cooped up in the air-conditioned house instead of roaming around outdoors. Sheesh, I couldn't wait for summer because I wanted to get out and walk more but I never expected this degree of heat to hit us so soon. I have to wonder what it's going to be like around here in July and August. *sweatdrop*

Okay, so I still don't know what the hell I want to do with myself. I really miss the collaborative writing I used to do in the past before my message board changed into a fast paced role-playing board and would like to get back into it again. But there's still a part of me that wants to take a break from writing and all the plot thinking and character creation that goes with it. And although I'd like to get in a lot more drawing practice at this time, my eyes are bothering me so I think that's going to have to wait until the end of the month when I see the eye doc and probably get new glasses. *sigh*

I did start working on a new message board though, over at Yuku. At first I couldn't figure out how to set the forums up then slowly but surely I figured it out. I like it much better than the forums I started working on at the Activeboard site. Now I'm happy. At least it'll give me something to mess around with until I get out of this funk I seem to be in.

Tomorrow we're going over to my daughter's house to celebrate my grandson's graduation from kindergarten. Whoot! I still can't believe he'll be starting 1st grade in August.

The hubby is out cutting grass now. When he finishes we're off to the mall for a bit. Later it's pizza and anime time. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weekend Update

My daughter's backyard party turned out to be very enjoyable. Well, there was one scary part when dark clouds rolled in quickly and everyone rushed inside to hide out in the basement until the tornado warnings passed. Luckily, nothing bad happened and the down pouring of pain only lasted 10 minutes at most. It continued to drizzle off and on for the rest of the afternoon and the temp dipped to the low 60s so the new swimming pool didn't get much use. It's hell to plan anything outside around here since you never know what Mother Nature might toss you.

Yesterday we chilled out at home. The hubby grilled brats to go along with the store bought potato salad I picked up earlier in the day. Then we'll pigged out on chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. Yummy.

Next weekend we celebrate my grandson's graduation from kindergarten. Wow, time really does fly.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

FMA artwork

I'm never very happy with the things I draw, but here's a drawing I did that I'm somewhat satisfied with. It's Ed from Full Metal Alchemist. I colored it using paint shop pro.



Now I'm off to get ready to head out to my daughter's backyard barbeque party.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

What can I say? The movie rocked with plenty of action and humor. And once again Johnny Depp ruled as Captain Jack Sparrow. The appearance of Keith Richards was very brief but worthwhile. Although the movie was 2 hours and 45 minutes long, the time flew. I was a bit surprised by how things turned out in the end but won't talk about that since I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet.

If you want to see a very short add on to the story (about 2-3 minutes long), make sure you sit through all the ending credits. :D

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stuff

In winter I complain about the cold weather. Now I'm going to complain about how damned hot it's been here. I really don't mind the heat, but the humidity gets to me. Walking this morning felt like I was doing it with 20 pound weights on each leg. The temperature is supposed to get close to 90 today so I don't think I'll talk my usual long afternoon stroll. It's hard to believe it's only May. We don't normally reach the 90s until July and August.

Yesterday, I spent quite a bit of time setting up another message board. I finally found a forum hosting site that I like...so far anyway. I like places that provide you with the complete css file to tweak to your liking. I'm not great with css but I dig messing around with it. I'll keep playing with this new forum to see if it continues to impress me or if it turns out to be buggy. It's nice to have such a place ready in case I get the sudden urge to start writing again. But for now I'm still content to enjoy the summer without having to think too hard about anything.

Hubby has a vacation day tomorrow. We don't have any plans so I'm thinking we'll go see an early showing of, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." Whoot! Can't wait to drool over Johnny Depp. :D

My older daughter is having a party on Saturday to show off her all the work that was done in her massive backyard, which now holds a brand new swimming pool. She and her girlfriend bought a beautiful home. It's in a suburb about an hour drive from the city. Her house is HUGE! The first time I saw it my jaw dropped because it was like a mini mansion. I wouldn't want such a big house unless I could afford someone to come in every week and clean it. lol

I thought it was time to add some family pictures, so here they are.

My shelties...Misty, (sable, 8 yrs old) and Onyx (black, 4 yrs old)


My cats...Sunthistle (Thistle for short -- Calico) and Sneak (both are 9 years old)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

D

Yesterday, I chatted with my old writing partner *D* on Y-IM for close to 3 hours. We had a lot to catch up on since we haven't spoken for nearly 2 years. Real life problems eventually drew her away from my writing board and I guess I always kept missing her whenever she popped onto messenger.

Anyway, after *D* left the board, my desire to write began a downward spiral. Yes, there were other writers I continued to weave stories with but no one inspired me like *D* was capable of doing. Adding to the board's round robin style of writing actually became a real chore over time due to that lack of inspiration. I pressed on though since I NEEDED to write but my creative spark left with D. She was always in the back of my mind, and oh how I longed to recapture our days of fantastic storytelling. I'm proud to say that we make a kick ass writing team.

Now, once again, I'm thinking about starting a new message board with D as my partner in crime. :) Although I deleted the old board, my world maps and old character pages still exist so it won't be too hard to put things together again. I still want to take a little time off to rejuvenate my brain. After 2 years of sitting in front of the pc each night for 4-6 hours (and nearly all day on Sundays) doing nothing but rapid yaoi role-play posts, I need a break. For a while there the role-play started to feel like a job. Right after clearing up the dinner dishes, I'd leave my hubby sitting at the table and rush into my computer room because I didn't want to hold any of the other posters up by not being there to add my parts. Hubby would joke and say, "Time to go to work, huh?" I swear, that constant fast posting did me in and I still haven't recuperated. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy fast role-playing, but "occasionally" is the key word. What I really crave is the more thought provoking posts that entail a real story.

I finally got the courage to share something with *D* that I've been holding in for a lot of years and she didn't hate me because of it. I'm relieved. I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. She's the only one who knows this secret of mine. Now that all the cards are laid out on the table we can make a fresh start.

*D* called me her muse and that made me cry because it feels so damned good to know I inspire her as much as she inspires me. Creatively, I felt broken and lost for quite some time but now I'm starting to feel whole again. Thank you, D. from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Update

I managed to take the following picture of the moon nearly hugging Venus on Saturday night and lucked out because a few minutes later the clouds rolled in. Rain followed off and on throughout Sunday. We really needed rain.



I'm sitting here in disbelief over the fact that I've only managed to read 3 books this year so far. Sheesh, there was once a time I read 3 books a week! That was before the internet took over my life. lol It really is an addiction, but I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. I might work on a web page later to keep track of the books I read each year. Maybe that will be the incentive I need to dive into the pile of books sitting around here collecting dust.

Latest Netflix rental: "Running with Scissors." What a strange movie! But it left me with the notion to start writing a memoir of my life, especially the early years. No doubt it would be boring to the masses, but my kids or grandkids might get a kick out of reading it someday when I'm long gone. I often wish my parents or grandparents enjoyed writing and would've left some of their thoughts and hopes on paper for me to read but that wasn't the case. Writing about my past might even prove to be rather cathartic now that I think about it. Well, this is another project I must add to my "to do" list.

Tonight is the 2 hour season finale of "24." I'm really stoked about it! It wasn't the greatest season yet it wasn't bad enough to turn me off completely. All shows have their high points as well as their low points, and loyal fans stick around no matter what right?

I'm fairly caught up with Heroes now thanks to the marathon that aired on Sci Fi network this weekend. Hubby is going to try to record the season finale on our old VCR recorder since it airs against 24. Hope it works.

Urban Word of the Day: puzzle butt -- the crack in a monopoly board. "The dice landed right on the puzzle butt." Check out more interesting words at Urban Dictionary

First post

A new blog for me to play with. Whoot! Well, this is only a test post to see how all this is going to work. I'll get to the real blogging later, AFTER I mess around with things for a bit. Better put my thinking cap on.