topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, February 07, 2016


Why did I think it was a Great! Idea! to do a 12x18 painting?
This is becoming the neverending painting.

Well here is another layer.
Switched from Rembrandts to Unisons, which are softer.

Lots of work still needed.

Saturday, February 06, 2016


Hay House.

Probably most people know about Hay House, Louise Hay, Denise Linn, Wayne Dyer etc.
And that's a good thing. Hay House has always been about the more.... I hate this term... new age spirituality.

I have gotten a lot of good stuff from Hay House over the years.

However, I am thinking lately that Hay House has evolved from the old-school generation of spiritual pioneers (Wayne Dyer, Denise Linn, Stuart Wilde, even Louise Hay herself).  They do, of course, still publish these materials, but it has become a massive publishing empire and they have jumped on the weight loss bandwagon.

For some reason, it really rubs me the wrong way.

I do get emails from Hay House, which I don't mind getting but recently (as in the last year or so) I have started to notice weight loss promotions from them more and more. In fact, now I get weight loss stuff from them more than anything else. It just seems... I don't know, cheap to me.

I liked Hay House better when it was a little more edgy-old-school.

I really don't need weight loss anything.  But I know it is a societal problem....and the message about cheap easy ways to lose weight are right up there with all the promotions for gluttony..... I just don't want or need another source of cheap easy weight loss stuff stuck in my face.

And from Hay House.  Really?

Friday, February 05, 2016

Ills & Cures

It is Thursday night and Daya is sick.
No fever, but she's got something.
Everything tastes bad to her.
Since Daya almost never gets sick, she always forgets what it feels like.

She has been properly slathered with Vicks and medicine, and she is out cold.

Daya HATES...absolutely detests- Vicks.  But I think breathing is important, so the Vicks is mandatory.

Daya does NOT like Vicks

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Up and Running

I am running the new Tomb Raider game on the highest settings!  Yay!

It is gorgeous. Amazing detail. I'm not very far in but look, there are even sparkles on the snow! And the characters make tracks in the snow!

There are sparkles on the snow!!!! (top right)

Getting the new graphics card in was something of a misadventure.  It's not a difficult thing to do, and I have done it before, but for some reason all the stupid things that could happen, did.

I had the plugs in but one wasn't PERFECT even though it seemed fine so things weren't working right.
Then one of my RAM thingies got unseated.
Then the monitor wouldn't work.
Then the graphics card didn't like the power hook-up.

All of these things were easily fixed by figuring out what the heck was going on...and some trial and error.  Because when everything really is plugged in to the right places but things don't work, well it can be maddening. And it was one thing after another.

But anyhow, it's all sorted out now and Lara looks better than fantastic.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Bad Kitty Haul

Nick Bruel is going around doing book signings to promote the release of Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet.
We love the Bad Kitty series.  Daya has all the books.

So I took Daya to her first book signing. She got four books autographed.

Daya and Nick Bruel

I got this Bad Kitty tote bag, AND IT IS ALSO SIGNED!

Since it was very nice out, we went to the Container Store at Daya's request.
She fell in love with the Container Store.
She got three bins for her barre area.

We were also right by Da Vinci Art Supply, so I told Daya we were going in.
They are clearing out their stock of Unison pastels- $2.49 each!!! (They go for about $7 each normally)
Daya waited patiently while I went through ALL of them, looking for the LT series.

I got ALL of the LT series, 2-18.  (There is no LT 1- it is white)
There is a set of them on Blick with a lowest price of $91.97.

At $2.49 each, I paid $42.33 FOR THE ENTIRE SET!  YEAH!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Mad Continuation

Yesterday afternoon Carey and I figured we should do a blog post together for today.
I guess it is a good thing we started the mad WIP (work in progress) because 1) w don't have to do any real thinking and 2) I really ought to do some work on that panting I started. (well all three of them but anyhow.)

Second layer.
Still pastel, still 12x18

Lots more to do.

Monday, February 01, 2016


I cannot run the new Tomb Raider game on my computer.
The game will not launch.
After configuring the settings, still nothing.
I had to figure out why from the log file.
It did not take long.

My graphics card which was decent 5 years ago is not so great now.
Ok, well it isn't a huge surprise.
So I got a good new graphics card.
Because not being able to run the new Tomb Raider game is just not ok, ever.

I was thinking, since I have to put in a new graphics card, why not see if I should put in a new processor, too? Mine is five years old after all.

I looked and thought about it- and while my processor could probably use an upgrade to i7 or along those lines I don't really think it is necessary yet. But while I was nosing around at different processors, I also looked at thermal paste, which you have to use as a barrier between the heat sync and the processor.

So now on Facebook, my sponsored ads are for Sephora and thermal paste.

Advertisement personalization at its finest

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Yesterday was Daya's audition for middle school.  The school we SHOULD be zoned for but are not because the zoning board is incredibly stupid.

She was very nervous but well-prepared. I did not watch the audition but Daya said she didn't mess up at all. I know she did a great job.

This was her first audition.  She got a couple of private lessons to help her prepare. The whole thing was a good experience for her- to go through the preparation process etc. She did a great job and she has wonderful teachers.  Which is a good thing because I don't know anything about this stuff.  I am a painter, not a dancer.

I played piano as a child, and I was in chorus, but it's not the same thing.

Daya has a crazy schedule which I keep suggesting to lighten- and she vehemently refuses. I don't care as long as she keeps her grades up, which she does.  I can't ask for better than the 100% math test she brought home last week.

She works very, very hard and that's why she is so good.

being nervous

filling out forms

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Reloaded XX

My first thought this morning when I woke up was- "I forgot to publish my blog post!"


Urban Decay made the palette I have been wanting for YEARS!
The palette with original retro UD shades!
They did it!

One might ask.... "How many of these things do you need?"

Well, ALL of them.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Unconfirmed Yeti

I received this notification yesterday afternoon:

Notification issued 1/28/16 at 3:19 PM. New York City is aware of unconfirmed reports of an earthquake in the New York City / New Jersey area. The New York City Emergency Management has consulted the US Geological Survey and the Earth Observatory at Columbia University. Neither has identified any seismic activity at this time. New York City Emergency Management will continue to monitor the condition and issue updates as necessary.

How can an earthquake be "unconfirmed"?
Doesn't an earthquake either happen or not?

I only remember one earthquake here.  It was during the work day and Daya was at the office with me.  It felt like someone shook my chair.  I thought it was Daya, but it was an earthquake. My desk is 15 stories up.

With all the snow we had....maybe the unconfirmed earthquake was actually a renegade yeti....

Unconfirmed Yeti


Notification issued 1/28/16 at 4:21 PM. New York City Emergency Management has confirmed with the United States Geological Survey that the previously reported "earthquake activity" was a sonic boom from an aircraft near the town of Hammonton, New Jersey and was NOT an earthquake.


Sonic boom yeah right. It was absolutely, definitely- a yeti.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snowy Snow

We got 26.8 inches of snow and it was pretty.
It was not great packing snow but it wasn't total powder either.

Daya had fun playing.  I made a snow lounge complete with great back support and I sat in it and was very comfy and lazy while Daya ran around.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Contagious Earworms on Prozac

On Monday morning the buses were all messed up.
Really, really messed up.
Daya takes the bus to school.

On top of that, I was having one of those mornings when I just could not get in gear, so we were running a half hour behind schedule.

We took our alternate morning route and waited for the bus.
For a long time.
It was cold.
It was crowded.
The sidewalks were covered in the snowdrifts the plows made.

Out of nowhere, I heard music. The music did not go away, it got closer.
I turned and saw a lady holding up a cell phone with Bob Marley turned up at full volume facing away from her.

The lady was singing along, loudly.

Her jacket said AMBASSADOR. She had Bob Marley hair, too.
I'm all for broadcasting peace and love but it was a little early in the morning for full-on Bob Marley.


It was stuck in my head all day.

When I got to work I called the vet, because Pebbles had exactly three days of Prozac left.
I cannot live with Pebbles if she is not on Prozac.
Life gets very, very bad.
And I just bought a new down comforter.

Apparently we hit the six month mark when she has to go in for an exam just to make sure she's ok.
The vet is open late on Mondays, so I got an appointment.

I then had to email my manager saying I needed to leave work a little early so I could get Prozac for my cat and I had to bring the cat. Which is probably the best leave-work-early reason ever.
He laughed at me.

I left work early and went to the train.
The trains were messed up. Signal problems.  So, I made an executive decision to switch train lines. I exited the subway, walked a few blocks, and got on the train.

I was home for less than five minutes- just long enough to stuff an unsuspecting cat into the carrier.
Then I headed out again.
Pebbles YELLED.
I contemplated taking the bus to the vet, but I just missed it so I walked instead.
Through slush.  With a wailing cat.
I got some strange looks.

Pebbles cost me $120 at the vet.
She is fine but her teeth will need to be cleaned.

When I left the vet it was dark out.
Dark and cold and slushy.
The walk home from the vet is only 15-20 minutes, but I felt a little funny about it because of the road conditions. The main streets are plowed but the side streets are less-plowed and the sidewalks are deplorable. And it was dark. Safety first, I guess.  For me and a stupid wailing cat.

To get home, I can take the same bus going either direction. One way is a short ride but requires walking through un-plowed trails and the other way is a long ride with a safe, easy walk home.
Because I knew my normal walking path home didn't even have a footprint trail, and the snow is up to my knees, and I had a wailing cat, I decided to take the bus the long way around.

I went into Walgreens by the bus stop to keep warm.
Pebbles does not like Walgreens and she wailed.
Someone thought she was a ringtone.

I finally got the bus and it was S-L-O-W and it took me an hour to get home.
Pebbles does not like the bus and she wailed.
It was embarrassing.

What a stupid Monday.



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Mad Show-Off

Carey and I are taking a break this week from showing artwork.  Instead, we are showing off art supplies. The idea was to make a color wheel out of art supplies.

The big problem is that all the stuff I take out has to be put away.
So I completely admit I was lazy about this.
It was the putting-away part that killed it.

This is not even a fraction of all the colors I have around here.

Carey shows off here!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Not a Painting

As much as I have been loving my pastels lately, I started missing my oils.

I thought I would knock out a little 5x7 tonight.  (Sunday night)
This is not generally a big deal.
As it turns out, I can't. Well, not tonight.

I started around 6pm.
Then a second later it was 8;30 so I had to get Daya to bed.
I checked Facebook and started again around 9ish.
Then I blinked and it was 10pm.

So, I could keep going, and I really really REALLY want to except if I do that I will blink and it will be 2am because tonight is the kind of painting night when I lose time.

All of this would be ok except I have to go to work tomorrow morning.
I am expected to be awake and functional.

So my painting-self kind of needs to stay up until at least 2am- actually even 5am-  but since I can't sleep til noon I just can't do it.  I'm past those all-nighter college days. 

I got old.
I have to pay rent and take care of a kid.

Well, here is palette number 2.  I cleaned the first one off.
Rosemary Ivories are my favorite brushes in the whole world right now.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mini Kabuki Brushes

Melissa posted something the other day which reminded me that I should show my SUPERCUTE mini kabuki brushes.

They are so cute it is ridiculous.

I didn't get them for makeup though; I got them to paint.  Not to paint with, but as a still life. A painting of them. So they live in my studio.

They are all Ecotools.  The little black one at the end came with a Bare Minerals sample set from Sephora.

Aren't they adorable???

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Today we are supposed to get snow! The forecast is 12 to 18 inches!
I hope it is nice packing snow, not the useless powdery stuff.

Here in NYC we don't really get a lot of snow, because of all the water around us.  It's warmer here than even just a couple of hours away.


Here is some snow from January 2015.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Another Sandwich Post

Unintentionally, I have another sandwich story from yesterday morning.

I pack Daya's lunch every day.
(Which is why I am puzzled as to why I got a letter saying I owe $5.45 for school lunch this year)

Sometimes I find a squished PB&J in the bottom of Daya's lunch bag.
Who wants to eat a squished sandwich?
No one.
It is understandable.

The other day I was re-arranging my plastic container cabinet and way in the back I found an old sandwich case.  It is purple and has a picture of Dora the Explorer on it.

Dora non-withstanding, it is a very useful container.

Yesterday morning I made Daya a cheeze sandwich (meunster) and I put it in the Dora container so it would not get squished.

I knew Dora would be a problem.
And I understand that.  Completely.

I showed it to Daya which elicited the expected horrified reaction.

However, because I am a painter I am prepared for these things.
I told her not to worry, I would take care of Dora.

So I colorfix primed the lid. Covered everything. In purple!
It wasn't quite dry by the time we had to leave so I put the container in a ziplock bag.

Daya: I don't want gesso getting all over my lunch bag!
Me: It's not gesso it's COLORFIX PRIMER! And that's why I put it in the ziplock.
Daya: ok.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sandwich Transportation

People of all kinds wait for the bus.
Sometimes, sandwiches wait, too.

This guy was waiting for the bus yesterday morning.
He was unattended yet sitting neatly and nicely on the bench.

Oddly, when the bus arrived he remained on the bench, waiting.