topiary cats

topiary cats

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year

I don't make New Years resolutions, I set intentions. But I also think any moment, any second, is a good time to set intentions and New Years just seems to be an agreed-upon time by the masses. Actually there are lots of different New Years throughout the calendar; but there sure is a lot of collective energy for the Jan 1st one.

While I was with my sister, we visited a little new age shop in the West Village. I saw a little box in there that I really liked, and it "called" to me to be an intention box. So I bought it. It's a very Goddess-energy kind of box.

Throughout today, and the days to come, I'll put my intentions in this box so they can gather energy. It will be a fun ongoing thing to do. (Note to self: Must keep it away from the toddler...) I've also started a new journal, which is a very good thing.

So far, I intend to:
*Produce lots more artwork
*Work in my sketchbook
*Take 2 days a week and keep the computer off at home (I'll still be on at the office)
*Meditate more regularly
*Drink lots and lots of tea (very important)

Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you find all the brightest blessings life has to offer.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lithops Faerie

I'll make an assumption and say we can all agree that Lithops are seriously wacky plants.


So it stands to reason that the Lithops Faerie is a little strange.

Watercolor 11 x 14

My favorite thing about her is her yellow toenail polish.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cactus Monday

Happy Cactus Monday!

Here is a little something in oil pastels.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tagged- 5 a Day

Serena tagged me and I think this is a pretty good tag.

Here are the top five things that I try to do every day to stay mentally healthy, keeping in mind mentally healthy is relative and not always successful:

1. I am friends with myself. This means that I speak to myself kindly and treat myself the way I treat my close friends. I try and keep the inner dialogue positive and it really does help.

2. I remind myself "This too shall pass"---it works to give me perspective in tough times and also helps me appreciate special moments and have gratitude for everything.

3. Most nights, I get enough sleep. I firmly believe in the regenerative and restorative power of a good night's sleep and refuse to participate in the modern trend of sleep deprivation.

4. Meditation. I do try to set time aside each day for a few minutes of meditation, but even throughout the day I take a few seconds when necessary to go into that relaxed state and stay centered.

5. Creativity...while I have been awful at keeping up the art this month, I sure do think about it a lot and those faeries are calling out loudly to me to be painted!

Last night I started journalling again. It's been a while. It is a healthy habit, and I wish through the years I had been better at keeping up. I start a journal and write almost every day, then when it is time to start a new one I end up with a huge journalling gap.

Also, I think I am on the computer too much. I may start to take a whole day or even two days each week and keep the computer off at home. With the exception, of course, of Netflix instant viewing while I am painting. I often think about what I did before I had a computer- I painted more, read more, journalled more. My attention span was more focused.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Daya made out exceptionally well this Christmas.

That table you see in the humungous box in the back there took me over 2 hours to put together. I now understand parental revenge and called my father to apologise for every crappy thing I ever did.

Daya is sleeping right now. So I took the opportunity to organize her crayon box. Because I had to. I also might have colored a page in one of her coloring books.

There is nothing...nothing quite like the smell of a new box of Crayola crayons and Playdough. I love Playdough. does Daya.

I hope your holiday, whichever one you are inclined to celebrate, is bright and full of love.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cactus Monday After All!

I found one! In the West Village! At a really wonderful restaurant called Agave.

We walked around a lot and went over the Brooklyn Bridge, so my sister could have a quad-borough experience! (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and The Bronx)

I never ever get tired of walking over the Brooklyn Bridge.

No Snow Cacti

Happy Cactus Monday everyone!
I looked and looked, but could not find any cacti in this weather.

I looked on Queens Boulevard:

I looked all over in Fort Tryon Park:

I made a little snowman and asked him, but he hadn't seen any either.

I looked in the Cloisters. There were plants there, but alas, no cacti.

The Bronx Zoo most probably does have a cactus or two- somewhere- but we didn't see them.

The Bronx River:

The kitty cats say Meow:

There was a lot of snow.

And finally...

Thursday, December 18, 2008


My sister didn't get lost going around Manhattan all by herself; I am so proud of her.

She does, however, torment Daya quite a lot. They fought over ownership rights to Daya's stuff. The big argument was over Daya's Tinkerbell DVD. To be more accurate, the big fight was over the empty DVD case. Blood was drawn, actually. MY blood.

Sister claims it was an accident. Should I believe her? She did, after all, pay for a very nice dinner. And I discovered that raspberry frozen margaritas do wonders for nasty lip cuts that are also swollen. It stopped bleeding hours ago, doesn't hurt nearly as much as it did, nor is it swollen anymore but unless my sister reads this blog while she is here I'm still going to milk my injury for all it's worth.

Here is the best pic ever of my sister:

We're getting more snow tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow & Evil Housework

It's snowing! Yay!

The sinus infection is slowly dying. My new antibiotics are working nicely. Anyone want 8 days' worth of amoxicilin 500mg?

My sister is arriving on Thursday. That' day after tomorrow. Here is a list of things I need to do before she gets here:

1) Go to work every day all day
2) Put away three loads of laundry
3) Wash stuff for sister's bed
4) Clean the cat litter
5) Wash the floors
6) Clean the bathroom including the crayon stains on the cabinets
7) Pick up and put away all the various assortment of Toddler Stuff that is on my floor
8) Scrub off the prune juice that spilled on the bottom of the fridge a month ago and is now hard and sticky (again, blame the kid for 1) spilling the juice and 2) having prune juice in the first place)
9) Put actual food in the fridge and take the un-food out
10) Clean the bedroom
11) Clean everything else
12) Figure out where to put the stuff that I don't know where it goes because I can't hide it in the bedroom because that's where Sister will be staying

If anyone wants to come over and help I will make out with you. Extra make-out minutes for putting laundry away. **

**Except if you are my sister, who does occasionally read this blog.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Friendly Letter

Dear Sinus Infection from Hell,

I need for you to please die right now. You have been an exceptionally rude houseguest for the last six days. You told my excellent immune system to fuck off, then you completely ignored my army of antibiotics. You even refused to make friends with my neti pot.

To add insult to injury, you went and said Hello! to my left eye so I cannot wear my contact lenses. Result: not only am I sick but I cannot see. This is unforgivable.

You made me miss Cactus Monday, see visions in my fever, miss work, not be able to paint, spend a lot of money at the drugstore, and rendered a three year old and a cat as the only functioning members of the household. Because of that last bit, I will have a mountain of housework to do when I finally kill you.

Sinus Infection from Hell, you suck. Not only did you do all those things, but then you got lonely so you invited Aunt Flo to join the party because you know she can't resist stuff like this.

Sinus Infection, I am going to kill you. I am very serious about that. You cannot live here. Because I am going back to the doctor this afternoon and he will give me meds that even you cannot dodge. You cannot win. You will die. I will make sure of it.

Murderous thoughts, love, and kisses,


The meds don't seem to be working. They should be doing something by now right?

This thing is getting worse. I feel worse. It is in my eyes now. I'm STILL running a low grade fever- that's the only thing that's sort-of improved.

I'm supposed to go back to work today but I have to go back to the doctor.

Will catch up on everyone's blogs when I can put my contacts back in.

PS Aunt Flo sends you all love and kisses and snuggles.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


After running a fever for going on the fourth day with no sign of improvement, I had enough.

The doctor said I have a bad sinus infection. YUCK.

Hello meds!

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Jeez people karma sure does come around.

I have been sick since Thursday night- fever, headache, sore throat. My turn to be mostly dead. And that's not exaggerating. I actually called in sick Friday. Except I had to attend a conference call but I attended it from the bathtub. I love wireless technology.

I'm totally blaming the smoke detector for this.

Can someone please send me a miracle? With chocolate coating?

Thursday, December 04, 2008


When you take the subway on a regular basis, you run into the same performers from time to time. There is a group of 4 guys that sing a capella and they are really good. Their message at the end of the singing today was:

"Remember that God loves you, and so do we! Find a reason to smile; it won't mess up your hair."


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


1) Daya is still sick. The fever is gone but it turned into a bad head cold. I carried her off to the sitter half asleep in her PJs wrapped in a blanket. There are advantages to having a sitter right down the hall. I am extremely grateful.

2) My sister is coming to visit!!! Because I am awesome I am sending her an unlimited weekly metrocard and a map. Then I am turning her loose to gallivant around Manhattan by herself. She'll have to figure out the rest and try hard to stay out of trouble because I don't have bail money.

3) I bet my sister's friends are totally jealous that she gets to gallivant around Manhattan and get free lodging for 5 whole days! Actually, *I* am jealous. I want free lodging too!

4) Smoke detector update: It was mostly dead after all. It still screeches. It got mad at me when I put the battery back in, but I made good on my threat to remove the battery if necessary and it is now behaving. (With a working battery inside)

5) I am leaving right this very exact second to meet my friend Jackie for lunch at the Olive Garden. Unlimited breadsticks and salad! With soup!!

6) Bye!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

How I Killed My Smoke Alarm

It all started with the pumpkin pie I made on Saturday.

I put the pie on a baking sheet and transferred it to the oven. A little bit of pumpkin custard sloshed out. It set off the smoke alarm even though there wasn't any smoke.

In the midst of awful screechy ear-pain I dislodged the alarm from the wall and put it on the window ledge in the shower for some fresh air. I then promptly forgot about it.

Saturday and Sunday were all about hot sudsy baths, but last night I took a shower.

About 15 minutes into my shower (yes I take long showers) I heard the most pitiful wailing. Did you know that when smoke detectors get wet they cry? And sound absolutely pathetic?

It wouldn't stop crying until I took the battery out.

Now, I don't know if it is all dead or mostly dead.

Also, if it reincarnates, will it still be able to screech or will it just cry pathetically?

Do smoke detectors hold grudges?

Do they like pumpkin pie?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

AED.30/Cactus Monday

I made it!!! I really did something art-related every single day this month!

For the last day I broke out the oils...because I avoided them all month. Here is a veritable monstrosity for the last day of November and also Cactus Monday.

It's not a great painting but I did get out the oils and that's what counts. Also, my apartment smells like linseed oil and I love that. I wanted to do it all in one day and I did.

Did you know that when you haven't touched your oils in too long a time you forget what colors you are out of?

I attribute this painting to being...meh...due to the following reasons:

1) I am out of cerulean blue!!!
2) For the majority of the painting I had to listen to The Wonder Pets as my background ambience
3) Focus seems to be an ability that eludes me

Cactus Flowers
9 x 12
Oil on Canvas

I am very glad to have done the Art Every Day challenge. This was such a great way to get myself moving again. In all honesty I do still feel artistically sluggish but at least I'm working and that's what counts. What I decided going forward is to commit to doing art most days instead of every day. And what's nice is that I have a starting point.

Thank you all for your comments and support! It has meant a lot to me to share this journey with you!

Daya update: she's still sick but I think getting a little better.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


One more day to go! Tonight I did a little more work on the Lithops Faerie.

I took Daya to the Central Park Zoo today...a quick trip; I wanted to get out of the house and walk around a bit. No place like Manhattan to do that. We visited the polar bears but then Daya got realllly sleepy and I discovered she was running a fever. So we went home and both uf us slept for 4 hours. Around 7pm she was still running a high fever. I gave her some medicine and now she feels better.

Except it's 11:26pm and she's WIDE AWAKE.

And I've got that surreal feeling that comes from too much sleep and odd sleep schedules.

Daya is upset that the cat just used the litter box...she's got a strange idea that cat is using *her* potty. The things three year olds get flustered about. It's NOT helping the surreal feeling.

Here is the polar bear.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I started painting the Lithops Faerie. It's not much to look at...just the basic colors blocked in after transfering the drawing to watercolor paper.

That lamp I got for my drawing table is wonderful. Makes it so much easier to just sit down and work. I'd love a new chair and drawing table. I've been working on this table since high's a little rickety. (Except in college...all the dorm rooms were equipped with pretty decent and BIG drafing tables) But still, I am so glad to have something to work on! :)

Mary kidnapped Daya for the day and took some beautiful photos. My daughter is the Queen of Hair.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


A Lithops Faerie sketch.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. We spent the day with a friend and her family. It was a very nice time and Daya had a blast.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Quick kitty sketches.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Here is a little zentangle that wonders what is in store for the future.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Here is the Prickly Pear Faerie. Click the image to enlarge and view the detail.

11 x 14

I like watercolor. I like what it can do and how it feels, but my first love is still oil paint. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

AED.23/Cactus Monday

I am so happy to now be part of Cactus Monday!!

Here is the pencil sketch for the Prickly Pear Faerie. She will be very fun to paint.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


How deeply unfortunate for the Stape. G* Faerie that she attracts legions of flies. I'll definitely have to add some in the painting.

It stands to reason that she's a little weird.

She'll look good painted, I think.

Also, I found *fingerpaint bubble bath* in the drugstore yesterday!!! This stuff is so fun I might even use it.

PS My bathtub is clean but never ever looks it cause it's at least 50 years old. I have tried everything believe me. One day I will have a beautiful new shiny claw foot bathtub. Until then we make due with what we have.

*Stapelia Gigantea

Friday, November 21, 2008


Here is a pencil sketch of a Tea Faerie. I did not ink her because 1) I am reallly tired and must test out my new lime-scented bubble bath as soon as possible and 2) I decided to transfer her to watercolor paper at some point and paint her. She'll definitely go through some much-needed edits in the process.

Most probably there are more of these faeries to come, each based on a different plant. Tea had to come first because frankly I'm obsessed with it. Perhaps a stapeliad faerie comes next...I wonder what she looks like?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


A Zentangle Faerie!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I have a bad here is a little zentangle circle thingie.