topiary cats

topiary cats

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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Free is Golden

When I was in NJ with Dru and Branwen, we went to this little quaint town (Clinton) to check out the shops on Main Street. There is a tiny art supply store there, so we went.  Duh.

I was just looking, browsing and not seeing anything I don't already have or want, and a tote bag caught my eye. It was with the Golden paints. It had a hand painted color sample chart on it.

Golden makes really great acrylics.  They are my favorite acrylic brand.
And I also LOVE color charts.

So I took the bag to the counter and asked how much.  The lady said she didn't know, and she asked the man who runs the shop with her.  He said "Oh, Golden sent it.  It was free."

So the very nice lady at the teeny art supply shop gave me the tote bag for free!

Isn't it pretty? Wasn't that really nice?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


WIP means Work in Progress.

So here is a REALLY UGLY underpainting!
I don't mind that it looks ugly.  I can see where it is going so that's fine with me.

This is a pastel underpainting with rubbing alcohol on Mi Tientes. 12 x 18

Carey's WIP is here!

Monday, January 18, 2016

You're So Vain

As I have mentioned, Daya got a barre and mirrors for Christmas.

I had this Great! Idea! to get the framed floor length mirrors and de-frame them. It was a great idea and I felt very smart.


Those mirrors are glued with massive amounts of glue in those frames.  I broke the frame to get it off the mirror and that worked, except it broke the mirror too.

Until I can get better mirrors without frames, Daya is using one full length mirror, which she says is absolutely fine.

Isis LOVES the mirror. She now hangs out in Daya's room, admiring herself and preening in front of the mirror. It is the funniest thing to watch.

Pebbles likes the mirror too,

Sunday, January 17, 2016

An Overheard Elevator Conversation

Friday evening, NYC, in an elevator.
A father is bringing his 4 year old daughter upstairs.
A pizza delivery man steps on with some nice fresh pies.

Girl: I want some pizza!
Father: no you don't.
Girl: Yes I do!
Father: What does pizza have on it?

-me, thinking, CHEEZE!-

Girl: ummm.....sauce?
Father: No.......

-me, thinking, meat?- oh, maybe they are veg but a plain pie is the best thing ever-

Girl: ummmmmmm......
Father: GLUTEN.


I very seriously almost asked him if he even knew what gluten is.
(He probably buys gluten-free eggs, what a moron)
I should have.
I didn't.
I regret that.



Bring on the Gluten

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The 2016 Pantone Palette

Every year I wait with anticipation to see what the new Pantone color of the year is.
Mostly because I am interested in what Sephora has done with it.

I only have one of the Sephora Pantone palettes (the Marsala one), because I am really selective about non-Urban Decay makeup purchases. (Speaking of UD I haven't been into their latest offerings, either.  All these neutrals bore me.)

This year the color is two colors...a light pink and a periwinkle blue.
The palette is a watercolor-inspired color collection.  It is really beautiful.
Better for spring, I think.

I got it when it went on sale online, and it magically appeared under the Christmas tree. :)
If you like the palette enough to get it, get it sooner rather than later.   They do tend to go fast.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Nap, Interrupted

The other day on the way to work I took my customary morning commute snooze on the train.
At one of the local stops, about 20 minutes in, the train stopped as usual.

But instead of closing the doors and continuing on, the conductor came on the loudspeaker and kicked everyone off the train due to a track fire ahead.  There was no pause, no warning, no re-routing, nothing. Just "This train is out of service due to a track fire. Everyone off the train!"

It needs to be mentioned that the train was extremely crowded.

So everyone got off and crowded onto the platform, which was too small for the crowd.

I stepped off the train and immediately thought, "Oh, NO WAY. I am NOT standing in this crowd waiting for the problem to resolve itself.

Very briefly, I thought of just going home and working from home...but I had already gone through the effort of getting ready for work and getting out the door.

There are some days that should not start with wasted effort.
I did not want my efforts to be wasted.

I sort-of know the area where the train stopped.  Well enough to know what other trains were around if I walked more or less in the general direction.  And I found the other train line without any trouble, which was impressive since I was still half asleep and disgruntled.

And of course people came up to me and asked for directions to the train.

For some reason, EVERYONE asks me for directions. I am Directions Central. Doesn't matter where I am. Tourists ask me for directions.  Locals ask me for directions. In all boroughs.  (Except Staten Island because I don't go there)

It is a good thing that, for the most part, I can tell them where to go.

I got on the train (again) and got to work, but I couldn't resume my nap due to the train being unbearably crowded.


There are trash cans everywhere in the subway.  WHY do people have to be gross and disgusting and throw debris onto the tracks?


It is a major cause of track fires!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Branwen's Beasties

Branwen lives over the Hudson and through the woods.

She has cool assorted beasties.
Some ratses.
Some catses.
A supercute hamster named Flexo and I do not have a picture of her.

                    Aloysious is Dru's rat                         Harvey is a girl. She shares a brain with her brother.

Lucky is actually my cat


We went to Big Lots  Ocean State Job Lot. 
(I was reprimanded several times for saying Big Lots)

.......and I saw this perfect book combination.
It is a very conflicting message, but when in doubt I always choose cheeze.

Daya being a Drama Llama on the Comfy Couch at Costco.