Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's never enough

Spring, that is and after the past couple of warm days that we've had, I have really been in the mood for spring.  Even opened up the window. All I needed was a cold glass of lemonade and for someone to mow some grass!  It's been pure heaven!

With spring, comes the first days of summer and the arrival of the fireflies, but in my neck of the woods they were referred to as lightening bugs. My sister and I would play for hours trying to catch those little boogers.  Grabbing one of moms old jelly mason jars, we'd head out to the backyard to see how many we could catch before we had to go in the house.

There is an art to catching lightening bugs.  Those little suckers are smart.  It's a lot easier to catch them when it is just about dusk, but once the gets completely dark, you have to really have a knack for it. Sometimes my sister and I would use a little tag team action. One would be in charge of catching the lightening bugs and the other would be the 'keeper of the jar.'  We eventually traded off to make it fair.

Looking back now, I am thinking that running barefoot through the grass, in the dark, around trees, with a glass jar wasn't such a smart idea.  But boy was it fun. If my memory serves me correctly though, the biggest injury was one of us stepping on one of those blasted thistle bushes.  We were lucky. Mom would eventually have to threaten us or sometimes she would bribe us with the promise of popcorn and Pepsi, if we would come inside and get our baths.  Those were the days!  And yes, we did let the lightening bugs out of the jar. . .after our bath. :)

So until tomorrow. . . .Happy COLLECTING!!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Busy as a . . .

. . .ladybug!  Bet you thought I was going to say bee.  Didn't you!  Not quite.  Sally likes ladybugs and I LOVE spring, so I threw them together and came up with this yesterday.  In Virginia, we are getting an early taste of spring with temps into the low to upper 70's.  It is only suppose to last for a couple of days, but I am certainly enjoying it while it's here.

As a kid, I always did love ladybugs.  I don't know if it was their bright red color or the fact that they just seemed so delicate, but they have always been a favorite of mine. In the last year, I've thrown many a little ladybug into my illustrations. I just love them.

Sally seems to be having a conversation with this little guy, or gal, whichever the case may be and it definitely puts a smile on my face, regardless of the fact that I sketched it.  Perhaps they are talking about when spring will be here to stay!  I hope it's good news! Don't you?!

Until tomorrow. . . Happy SPRING!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hang in there!

I'm still feeling like this a little.  Not quite as bad though, because I am seeing the light at the end of tunnel.  I'm so close, I can almost touch it.  Thank goodness!  Got a little bit behind today.  My son, Zach wanted me to help him out with something, so of course I said yes. We always have the best time together, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.  So, even though I'm feeling a little overwhelmed now, because I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to, I certainly wouldn't change it.  I'm going to be like my river sketch from this past Saturday.  I'll eventually get there.  Someday.  I'm just hanging in there!

Ever feel like this?  I bet you have.  Trust me though, you'll get there too, and look on the bright side, Friday is only four days away.  :)

Until tomorrow. . . .Happy HANGING!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Well Duh

It finally came to me today!  It's not the problem that's giving me the problem, it's the attitude or the approach to the problem that is the problem.  Now I get it!!!!!!!!!!  I've been going about it all wrong.  Now perhaps I can make some progress!  Keep your fingers crossed!  We'll see.

I'm trying to get the video completed to release this week on the coloring and blending of the pencils.  Gonna do my darndest!  I promise.......!

Until tomorrow. . .Happy PROBLEM SOLVING!!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ever been. . .

. . . in a hurry to get things done?  All the time?  Well, I was playing around with this image and this quote came to mind.
Rivers know this.  There is no hurry.
We will get there someday. -A.A. Milne

I have been trying to do too many things at once.  I'm a yesterday person as far as trying to get things done and today I realized that it's time to slow down and prioritize. Set time limits. Set limits period.  I'm a huge list taker and I love to be able to put a big red mark through as many things as I can in a day, but it's time to switch gears because it just doesn't seem to be working for me.  I'll eventually get it settled, I just need to realize that I will eventually get there, regardless of whether I hurry or take my time. I need to take a lesson from the tortoise instead of always trying to be the hare.

How about you?  Are you like that?  I bet some of you are. . .I just have a feeling.  LOL

Until tomorrow. . .Happy RACING!!!

Hmmmm. . .

. . .it will come to me eventually. That is, I hope it will.  I'm working on some new stuff as well as a new project and I'm having a little difficulty trying to put it all together. Not quite as easy as I was hoping it would be. So while I go sit down and try to figure it out, enjoy this little sketch.  This was me. . .ALL day on Friday!  I bet some of you can relate to it as well!

Until tomorrow...Happy DECIDING!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The darkness isn't so bad. . .

. . .if you have someone to walk with.  And it's better than walking in the light alone!  Ain't that the truth!

No story today folks. Had a dinner date with my son.  Couldn't pass that up, so this one is quick and simple.  Enjoy.

Until tomorrow. . .Happy WALKING!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How you d-o-i-n-g?

Every time I here someone say "how you doing", I immediately think of Joey, from the show Friends. Always cracks me up.  But why is it that boys feel the need to use one liners on girls. I never have understood that. In the show, Joey really was a ladies man. Or at least that's the way they portrayed him and he knew it.  Through the years here have been many a ladies man in shows, but I can honestly say that there was one person who was definitely not a ladies man. And that was Barney Fife.

From a very young age, I have always been a HUGE fan of The Andy Griffith Show.  In fact, I watch it, or rather listen to, it just about every day at lunch and then again in the evening. I just never get tired of it.  They just don't make shows like that anymore. I think that if you've been a fan of the show, you probably have a favorite episode. I have several, including, Citizens' Arrest and Opie the Birdman.  All of the cast that played the characters were wonderful, but my favorite had to be Barney Fife, or as he called himself sometimes, Bernard P. Fife. And the 'P' was always emphasized when he said it. LOL

Barney certainly was a character and I'm really glad to know, or at least I hope, that the policemen in Richmond, Virginia are more qualified than he was at being a deputy sheriff. He really was a goofball, wasn't he.  But I sure did loved him.  Probably one of the most hilarious things about Barney, was that he considered himself a real ladies man.  I don't know what planet he was living on, but he definitely was not a ladies man.  Thelma Lou was always his main squeeze on the show, but he always cracked me up when he was talking to Juanita on the phone down at the Bluebird Diner.  He would always tell the operator, "uh, Sarah, could you get me the Blue Diner?"  When he made that call, you knew he wasn't calling to order take-out, his only interest was in sweet talking Juanita.  They never did actually show her, but I always wondered what she looked like.

Yep, that Barney Fife was the best part of that show, for sure.  It never was the same after he left. I've always wondered how Barney convinced himself into thinking he was this Cary Grant type Casanova. Barney was certainly a sweetheart of a guy and super funny, but a ladies man he was not.

**BTW, the next tutorial will be the Coloring and Blending with colored pencils.**  I'm working hard to get it done.  :)

So, until tomorrow. . .Happy CHARMING!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Are we there yet?

Gee, I bet you've heard that before.  Especially if you have kids.  I dare to guess though, that you've even said it as an adult.  I know that I certainly have.  I've had many of those moments in my life, but one I remember in particular. And just to warn you, perhaps you may want to grab a drink.  This one is a little lengthy.  LOL

I always say that I grew up in the boonies, but compared to where one set of my grandparents lived, I lived in the big city. My dads parents lived in McDowell, Virginia.  His Pap, that's what he called him, had a large piece of land with a fairly large one room cabin located at the very top that he had built.  I say the top, because I can't remember how much land he owned, but let's put it this way, we called it Grant Mountain.  It was mostly used by the men during the hunting season, but as a kid, my family spent many a night there.  It was my kind of camping, except for having to use the bathroom in the woods.

It really is beautiful though. The only way that you can get to the cabin is to walk or use a 4X4 pickup.  We usually took the later option, but one Sunday afternoon after church, my dad told my sister and I that we were going on an adventure.  Yep, you guessed it, walk to the top of Grant Mountain.  Well, we were kids and it didn't seem like it was that big of a deal.  I mean, it didn't seem that far when we were riding in the pickup. How bad could it be? My mom even came along, packing a few snacks and canned sodas to replenish ourselves once we reached the top.

So we started off on our Sunday afternoon adventure.  It wasn't too bad at first but it got worse the further we went.  We were only about 20 minutes into our grand adventure when my sister and I started asking, "Are we there yet?"  And about every 50 yards or so, we asked again, just in case he hadn't heard us the first time, "are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" Oh, and did I mention that he didn't take us on the 'road' that the pickups usually used? Nope, he took us straight up that mountain through the woods. My dad had failed to mention that little detail when he had asked us to go. We had to climb over brush and rocks and climb mini cliffs as we went along.  And the entire time, my sister and I kept asking "are we there yet?"

Well, long story short, but there is more, we finally got to the top. We were ready to enjoy our snacks and sodas, but that was just wishful thinking.  During our grand adventure, somehow the bag that my mom had been carrying the snacks and sodas in had gotten snagged on something and had let most of our precious refreshments spill out somewhere down that dreaded mountain. Needless to say, none of us were happy.  Including my dad.  It was then that our are we there yets'  became, "can we go home now?"  I think that may have been the last time my dad ever took us on a grand adventure.

But do you want to hear something funny?  I told you there was more.  Many years later. one day when my dad was hunting, he took that same route up the mountain, and guess what he found? Yep. Our sodas! What are the chances of that happening with those miles of acres on granddads mountain.  My dad never did say, but I'd venture to guess that he smiled thinking back to that Sunday afternoon and could probably hear my sister and I following behind him asking. . ."Dadare we there yet?"

I certainly hope that Sally and Bella have better luck with their adventure than we did ours.

Until tomorrow. . . .Happy HUNTING!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Make them laugh

. . .it's good for the soul.  I remember my dad telling me that once and I have never forgotten it.  I think that I also heard somewhere that it adds years to your life.  I received both of these benefits Sunday afternoon.

I was having a chat with a friend of mine about a picture that she had recently shown me.  It was a photo of a beautifully hand made purse that someone had recently given to her.  It really is gorgeous.  Made of an antique cream fabric, black lace and hand quilted. I mentioned to her that I would be afraid to actually use it for fear that it would get dirty or ruined and somehow that led to a discussion about using a public restroom.

We got to talking about how my friend wouldn't dare set that on the floor while using one and how when I use a public restroom, a very rare happening for me, that before I even lock the stall door, I make sure it has a hook to hang my purse on.  The story just kept getting longer and longer. I don't know how a picture of a purse can lead two grown women to a conversation about using a public restroom. But it did. Talk about getting off the subject!

Anyway, as the story went on, my friend began to tell me that if there isn't a hook in the stall, that she hangs her purse around her neck while squatting above the toilet. Now, I have to tell you, you'd have to know this person to see some of the humor in the story. But when she said that to me, I had this mental picture of her with this large purse dangling around her neck and squatting above the toilet.  I just about died.  To top it off, she said that she sometimes has to shift her body to make adjustments for the weight of the purse while it swings in front of her body. She said it so 'matter a fact' like.  Like it was a normal occurrence for every woman that used a public restroom. It was then that I just about peed my pants.

I realize that you may not find my friends story funny, and it may be one of those stories, where you had to be there, but for me, it was totally hilarious and the highlight of my day. It's good to have friends that will let you be yourself and that can be themselves with you. No matter how ridiculous or silly you may sound or look.  Do you have friends like that.  I certainly hope that you are blessed with many!

Until tomorrow. . .Happy HANGING!

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's the thought that counts

Isn't that what they say?!  That's what I have always been told.  And let me tell ya, I've been on the receiving end of many a it's the thought that counts gifts.  I can remember one in particular.

I loved my Grandma Grant to death, but it seems like every couple of years, she gave me these horrible floral pajamas for Christmas. And before you go off saying bad things about me about how ungrateful I was about my gift from my grandmother, let me clear up something for you.  I didn't do flowers on clothes!  Yuck!  They were warm and cozy, for sure.  But flowers?!  Really?  I was a tomboy, for crying out loud!  I would have preferred the boys pajamas. You know, the ones with the cowboys, spurs and lassos on them.  I know they made them, because she gave them to my boy cousins. Why couldnt she have given those to me too!  Maybe it had something to do with the flap in the front, or maybe grandma just thought that she was helping to get me out of that tomboy stage. Fat chance!

But, I wore those multi-colored floral pj's and loved them because my precious grandmother, who had a heart of gold, gave them to me. She wanted me to stay warm on those cold winter nights. And I did! Thanks grandma. . .it was the thought that counted!

I don't think Noah is being very sincere in the giving of his gift though.  I mean seriously, that face doesn't say I'm happy to give this to you.  And by the looks of the melting ice-cream, I'd say he was a little late in the thought as well.  I wonder who is he giving it to?  Sally?  Or maybe his momma caught him with it right before supper and he's instructed to hand it over because eating it will spoil his appetite.  Hmmmm.  What do you think?

Until tomorrow.  Happy GIVING!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bloom already!

I spent most of yesterday trying to get one of the newest images from my journal completed and nothing I did seemed to make me happy.  I drew, erased, redrew, erased some more and then started to redrew. At one point, I really thought that I had the illustration just the way I wanted it. But guess what?  I didn't!!  So I will keep plugging away at it tomorrow.

So to be perfectly honest, I am pooped.  My mind just will not cooperate.  I think that being up between 4-4:30 AM for three days in a row is beginning to take it's toll on me.  So I apologize, but there is no story to go along with the journal entry for today, except to say this. I know how Sally and Bella must be feeling.  Come on already. . . BLOOM!  And just like them, I too am waiting for my illustration to bloom!  I just hope I don't have to wait as long as they do!

Have a fabulous and blessed Sunday!

Until tomorrow. . . .Happy BLOOMING!

I think I can already guess the winner, but you may continue to vote if you like.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Remember when . . . .?

I bet we can all say that about something.  I find myself feeling kind of old when I say it too, because it brings back memories of my grandparents starting their sentences with, "Wellback in my day."  I haven't quite gotten to that point yet, but I have come dangerously close.

As many of you know, I grew up outside of Staunton, Virginia in a small area called Swoope. Kind of like Mayberry, but without the main street.  It's a small area and neighbors don't live right next door to each another like they do in the city, but everyone still seems to know one another. Swoope is one of those places that still has a small, two room post office, just back the road from where I grew up.  And can you believe that it still closes for lunch.  I find that amazing and actually kind of funny.  If they tried closing post offices around here for lunch, I think we may have some riots on our hands.

Swoope is out in the boonies and I have to say I miss it sometimes.  I didn't care for it much when I was a kid. There never seemed to be much to do. That is until summer time rolled around. During summer vacation, my sister and I would spend a glorious, fun filled week with both sets of grandparents.  We always had the best time. Playing games, riding the ponies, eating Slim Jim's and watching the locals play baseball.  I always hated seeing my parents car pull up in the driveway, because I knew that the fun was just about over. Gosh, I miss that! I would pay some serious money to go back and spend another week with my grandparents.  Heck, I'd even settle for just a day.  Oh, if I had only known.

Probably one of my fondest memories growing up, was riding on the back of my dads old Turquoise colored Ford pickup truck on Saturday evening, just before dark to take the trash to the dump.  Going to the dump was a highlight for me. (I know, kind of sad, huh?!)  But the trip to the dump wasn't the fun part.  The fun part, was riding in the back of that pickup truck, with the wind in my hair.  Totally open to the sky and the fresh smells of summer. At times I felt like I was flying. And stopping at the local Tastee Freez for an ice-cream cone afterwards was an added treat.  Chocolate was always my favorite.

You can't do that now. Ride on the back of a pickup truck like that.  It is now against the law. And even though I totally understand and agree with why it's no longer allowed, it's a little bit sad at the same time.  Sad, because most kids will never experience the fun and the thrill of 'taking the trash to the dump and stopping at Tastee Freez for ice-cream.'   It is a glorious ride. And it's a feeling of freedom that you just won't get with any roller coaster ride or convertible.  Trust me.  It doesn't even come close!

So, until tomorrow. . . .HAPPY TAILGATING!!!

It looks like we already have a winner, but I'd love it if you'd take a moment to vote in the poll.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Think, think, think

Sound familiar?  Yep, that's Winnie the Pooh, alright.  Probably one of my ALL TIME favorite characters.  EVER!  Next to Mickey Mouse.  There is just something about Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl and Rabbit that just warm my heart and put a smile on my face.

I remember as a kid living for Sunday evening television!!  The line up consisted of The Wild Kingdom, with Marlin Perkins and was immediately followed by The Wonderful World of Disney movie.  There is nothing like a good Disney movie and a big bowl of popcorn to top off the weekend.  And of course Winnie the Pooh was always my favorite.  I can still see Pooh climbing that tree to get to the honey in the beginning. Oh, the marvel of animation. There was nothing like it!!!

I find myself at times being like Pooh when I tell myself. . .Think! Think!  Think! Now, I haven't forgotten where I put my honey pot or anything like that, but I do have to tell myself to think, in order to get myself to actually THINK!  Ever been there?

I do it all the time with my illustrations.  Even though I have a sketch in front of me, which gives me an idea of the direction that I want to head in, I still have to think about where it's going.  What am I trying to say?  What do I want it to say?  What will it say to people? How would they use it?

I try to take all of those things into consideration when I'm working. I have to admit, I've never been one to draw an image hoping that people will like it or that they will buy it. Don't get me wrong, that's a definite bonus and how I make a living.  I just have never seen my drawings as a commercial gain.  Never have, never will.  I just don't work that way.  I draw for the sheer joy of it.

I do however take into consideration about making it the best it can be and to try to work it in a way that it is 'useable' for my customers.  I can't tell you how wonderful it makes me feel to see a card that someone has made using one of my illustrations.  It means that they loved the image so much that they wanted to make a card and send it to someone that they were thinking about, someone that was sick, or that has a birthday.  Someone special.  They could have chosen any image they wanted, but they chose mine.  It's just the best feeling ever!  And I thank you for that!!!  I really do!

That's what I was thinking about while I was sketching this.  And it certainly shows how I feel sometimes. Of course, I had to throw Bella in there as well. I mean, she wants to try and help Sally out with her thinking. I wonder if they ever came up with an idea?  Only time will tell.

Finally, don't forget to vote in the poll as to what you would like to see as my next video tutorial. To clear something up, I will be doing all three, although the studio tour will not be a tutorial, I just want to see which one you would like to see first.  Make sense?

Have a great FRIDAY.
Until tomorrow. . . HAPPY THINKING!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I believe I can fly. . . .

. . . I believe I can touch the sky.  I think about it every night and day.  Spread my wings and fly away. . . .  Remember that song from Robert Kelly.

I have always wanted to fly.  But at the age of 45, I have to say, I have never flown!  Can you believe that?!  I know I'm certainly not alone.  I've just never had any need to fly anywhere, so I have never had the privilege.  Some like it. Some don't.  I can say. .

Looking back to when I was a kid, I don't think that I ever dreamed of being an astronaut, or anything like that, I just wanted to fly.  Pretending to be a bird or an airplane and running through my backyard or my through my grandfathers field with my arms stretched out wide, leaning side to side.  Going full throttle!  Maybe you preferred to tie an old beat up blanket around your neck and pretend that you were Wonder Woman, (although you realize, the original Wonder Woman DC Comic character, couldn't actually fly.)  I never was a big fan of hers.  No, I preferred to pretend that I was Jamie Sommers, The Bionic Woman, but that's a whole 'nother story entirely.   I'm trying to stay on track here.

You remember though. Don't you.  I bet you did the same thing.  And if by chance you didn't do it, why don't you stop reading, take a moment and give it a try.  :)  We'll wait.  . . . .Now, don't you feel better.
Ok, that's enough of me being silly.  Let's get to the sketch.

My great nephew, Anthony is a HUGE fan of Buzz Lightyear.  And at the wonderfully, imaginative age of 3, he really thinks he can fly.  It's totally adorable. He even pushes the button on his chest to POP out his wings.  For those of you who have seen the movie, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  It's the cutest thing I've seen in a long time and even if I wanted to tell you all about it, I could never in a million years put it into words.  So trust me. . .it's Precious!

It appears that Sally has a dream of flying as well. She certainly has good form.  I think she's just about ready to take off.  I hope it didn't end in a crash landing. Bella, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be enjoying the game.  I guess she doesn't want to be like Snoopy and shoot down the Red Baron in her British WWI fighter plane.   She's just not feeling it. I think she prefers a commercial airliner flying somewhere nice like Disney World.  I'm with her. When do we leave?
I believe I can fly,
I believe I can touch the sky.
I think it about it every night and day.
Spread my wings and fly away.
- Robert Kelly

Are you singing the song now?  Sorry, but I had it stuck in my head the ENTIRE time I was sketching this.  And you know what they say.  Misery loves company. :)

Oh, and don't forget to vote in the poll.  You all get to choose what my next video tutorial will be about.

Until tomorrow. . .HAPPY FLYING!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Are you scared yet?

Nope!  I have to admit.  I don't scare easily. I didn't use to be that way.  I was a big chicken. I'm not sure what changed.  I guess I just got tired of being scared.

I enjoy a good scary movie, but there just aren't any good ones anymore. At least I haven't found any that I like.  I remember as a kid watching all those scary movies of the day, like Friday the 13th, Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street.  As a kid I thought they were super scary, but watching them now, I just see them as cheesy.

I do however LOVE a good suspense movie and probably one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES, is Silence of the Lambs.  Some people thinks it's scary, but I just think it's just wonderfully intense! Anthony Hopkins is just so incredible in his portrayal of the cannibalistic psychiatrist, Hannibal Lecter.  He falls into my category of characters that I 'hate to love'.

My neighbor Blythe, (from the old neighborhood) and my birthdays fall about a week apart and we usually do something together, whether it be a pedicure, out to lunch, or lunch and a movie.  One year, she said we would do lunch at her house and I could pick the movie.  Well, you know which movie I picked.  Yep, you guessed it.  Silence of the Lambs. She wasn't happy. . .AT ALL!  However, being the good sport that she is, she did watch it with me. I pick on her all the time about being such a scaredy cat, and you don't know HOW tempting it is, to not call her when her husband is out of town and say. . . ."I'll help you catch him, Clarice"!  (Insert evil grin.)  I never do!  But I am SO tempted!!!

Sally and Bella seem to be 'kind of' enjoying a scary movie themselves.  Judging by Bella's reaction, I bet it's The Wizard of Oz.  That mean old witch sure had it in for poor little Toto. And poor Bella, she just can't bare to watch. I have my sneaky suspicions that Bella probably didn't get much sleep that night.  She probably stayed up all night for fear that if she fell asleep, that mean and nasty old witch would snatch her up, put her in the basket on the back of that bicycle, pedal away and she'd never see Sally again. Nope, see wasn't going to take any chances.

I think story telling seems to be more Bellas speed.  And whatever story Sally is reading to her, it certainly seems to have peaked Bella's interest. Probably some wonderfully heroic story about how Lassie saved little Timmy or the farm.  Lassie is her hero. . .oh wait, Lassie was a girl, so that makes her a heroine.  Right?  Doesn't matter.  Bella likes Lassie, that's all that matters.

Which category do you fall under?  Scary or heroism?

And finally, once again, I'd like to get your input on something.  Emails have been arriving with ideas for tutorials and suggestions as well as in the comments.  These are the top three requests, from the comments and emails.  If you wouldn't mind taking a moment to vote, I'd really appreciate it.  There are three choices and it will only allow you to vote once.  But, if you do change your mind before the poll closes, you will be able to change your vote.  

Thanks for taking the time to give me your input.  And as always, please feel free to leave comments and suggestions or simply drop me an email.  

Until tomorrow. . . You'll have to excuse me.  I'm having an old friend for dinner.-Hannibal Lecter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


. . . what's your point?  And what do you mean, you don't want to be my girl?  I don't get it!  What's the problem?

Ever have someone just go on and on and on, and they just never seem to get to the point. And by the time you're done listening to them, you really do have to ask them. . .'So what's your point?'  Yep, been there, done that.  It's like listening to a kid. Too much information, none of it makes sense and when they actually get done explaining all of it to you, there really isn't a point anymore.

I have to say, I've done that myself.  I get so caught up in yapping my jaws that I actually forget where I was going with the story and I've wasted my time and theirs.  Sound familiar? When I really want to make sure I get my point across, I've actually gone as far as make an outline of sorts, kind of a list, to keep me on track.  Plus, it KIS (keeps it simple) and the other person is more willing to listen.

I'm not sure who Sally is talking to, but she just doesn't seem to get what they are saying? And poor Noah (I'm still playing around with him), he just doesn't understand why she, perhaps he's trying to hook up with Sally, doesn't want to be his girl. I think he might have had a better chance if he hadn't brought her that broken flower. LOL  I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.  It's an idea.  :)

Finally, I just wanted to show you this real quick.  I go thru LOTS of redoing and tweaking of my sketches before releasing an illustration to the Sassy Cheryl's Digis Shop.  I know that 'sketching' is just that.  Sketching. Rough ideas. But I wanted to show you a quick side by side for you to see where Sally and Bella started and where they ended up.  Sally and Bella are now available in the shop. 

I hope you'll check her out.

So, until tomorrow. . . .Happy POINTING!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sneak attack!

Do you ever feel like you're under a sneak attack?  I mean seriously, how does Monday roll around so quickly every week?  Or birthdays?  How does that happen? I could have sworn that I was 21 just last week!  And what's up with Christmas?  That just seems to come out of nowhere?  I mean seriously. The last time I checked, there were still 365 days in a year. Right?  They didn't change it and not tell me.  Did they?  We are under attack, I tell ya. They are everywhere.  Those are some sneaky little guys and I just can't seem to figure out how to catch them in the act!  Have you?

That's what I was thinking about just this past week.  How life just seems to sneak up on us. But I'm ok with it.  Gray hair and all.  Of course, I color mine, and the gray that does show, I call free highlights.  LOL
I saw a quote once that said something along the lines of:

'Be yourself,
 there is no one better

And I enjoy being me!  I'd like to think that the Lord felt that I was the most qualified for the job. He had confidence that I could handle the position!  I must be doing ok.  I haven't been fired.

Now, as far as the second sketch, I think we can all see what is going on the second sketch. But I'm having a little trouble figuring out who is actually doing the sneaking. Is Bella trying to sneak up on Bandit, or is Bandit trying to sneak up on Bella? And the little mouse?  Maybe he's the one doing the sneaking! Maybe they don't even know he is there.  Hmmmm.  There's a story there for sure.

**Thank you to Debbie Brackett for the sneak attack idea for this sketch.  Clever girl!**

And here is Part II of the video tutorial.  Continuing with coloring A Penny for Your thoughts, I included the hair, shorts, bow, shirt and shoes.  I hope you enjoy it, and keep those ideas coming.  I'm working on the final Part III, which will include Bella.  :)  Scroll down past the tutorial if you'd like to gather your materials before starting.  And as before, I'd love to hear some feedback.  Good or bad. 

Until tomorrow. . . .HAPPY SNEAKING!!!

Materials Used:
A Penny for Your Thoughts image, available @

Copic Marker-E30
Colored Pencils: Golden Rod, Raw Umber, Dark Brown, White

Bow & Shorts:
Copic Marker: R29
Colored Pencils: Cadmium Red, Espresso, Tuscan Red, White

Copic Markers: W5 & C1
Colored Pencils: Espresso, Black & White

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I wonder. . . .

. . .what life would be like if the Lord hadn't thought up the idea of pets.  In his infinite wisdom, he knew that in doing so, we would experience something so precious and so unbelievably priceless. Unconditional love.

I have been very fortunate to have experienced that my entire life.  Pets don't care about what kind of car you drive, where you live, if you haven't showered in three days because you've been sick.  They don't care about ANYTHING but you.  You are the center of their universe.  A little scary, but a wonderful thought at the same time.

I've had Bella for almost a year now, but it's hard to remember what life was like before I got her.  She brings me such joy and her and Bandit make me laugh every day.  And that got me to thinking.  I wonder how Sally feels about her Bella? I bet she loves her just as much. Taking walks together, eating popcorn on the sofa while watching a scary movie together (ding, ding, ding. .another idea), taking a long leisurely row in a canoe, catching fireflies, skinny dipping at the local swimming hole, and chasing rainbows. Oh, they must have the best adventures ever!  Don't you think?  I do.

So, in thinking about that, I sketched out this little image on the left.  Sally and Bella are enjoying some quiet time together without any interruptions. Perhaps watching the sunset, but still, not having to say a single word.  It's enough just being together and that's all that matters. True friendship and an unconditional love.  There is nothing better, as I am sure that you will agree.

I hope that you've experienced the pleasure of having a pet and all the love and joy that they bring.  But if not, you can come along with Sally and Bella on their adventures.  I'm along for the ride, are you?

Finally, I want to thank you for your sweet comments and emails concerning my first video tutorial.  I really did have fun doing it.  I wasn't really sure if you all would even want to see it, but I just threw it out there for you, just in case.  I will be working on the hair, bow/shorts and shoes portion in another video tutorial this week.  I hope.  But I would still like some other suggestions.  So if you'd like to see something, you're going to have to help me out. Thinking is really difficult for me and often gives me a headache.  LOL So even if it's just the coloring of another image, you'll have to let me know.   Because I will certainly be at a loss after this one is completed. :)

But. . . .I do have a favor to ask, if you have the time and don't mind taking a minute to help me out.  I will be doing more tutorials if there is a request, and what I'd like to know is, if you'd like to see the video tutorials here or just the journaling, or a little of both.  I will be posting the video tutorials to my new YouTube channel, so they will always be there, but was wondering which was more convenient for you.  So I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.  You may leave a comment or simply drop me an email.  Either way is fine.

So until tomorrow. . . .HAPPY WAGGING!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


When I was a kid, I lived for the Saturday morning cartoons.  Scooby-Doo was always my favorite.  And still is!  That is, if I can actually catch the 'old' ones. You know the ones. . . .the ORIGINALS!  The ones with Casey Kasem as the voice of Shaggy and Don Messick as the voice of Scooby!  The new ones, just aren't the same.

I don't think we ever grow out of our love for cartoons, or at least I haven't.  And I'm not ashamed to admit that when my son Zach was about 4 years of age, I was right along side him playing in the Warner Brothers store at the mall.  Playing in  Marvin, the Martians space ship and getting our picture taken with the Bugs Bunny mannequin that they had in the store. I thought it was the coolest thing EVER!  And when Disney opened their store, well, you just couldn't get Zach OR me out of there.  I think the thing that I liked most about the Disney store, was the lithographs and limited edition prints that they had for sale.  I studied those things, every time we went in there.  If I could have afforded one, I definitely would have bought one.

We didn't have that kind of stuff when we were growing up.  The stores I mean.  We had to rely on tv radio and the Sunday comics for our entertainment and information.  And now, one of our favorite phrases is, 'Google it'.  I find myself saying that all the time.  That and 'Mapquest it', because I am HORRIBLE with directions.  You can look up just about anything on the internet now.  And forget encyclopedias, we now have Wikipedia.  Even though I enjoy having a wealth of information at my fingertips in a matter of seconds.  I'm more of a visual person.  I can read about how to do something all day long, but unless I have a visual, whether it is photos or a video, I can't totally grasp their instructions.  Are you like that too?

I can't believe I said all of that, to get to the really important part. Since I am a visual person, I thought that you might be as well.  So, I've put this little video tutorial together for you showing you how I colored the skin on the newest image, A Penny for Your Thoughts. You can purchase the image, follow along, or use ANY image that you have, and STILL follow along.  It doesn't matter what illustration you use, the method is still the same.  That is totally up to you.

Oh, and one more thing, I can't remember if I mentioned it in a previous blog post, but starting with this newest image, ALL new digi stamps that you purchase from the Sassy Cheryl's Digis shop, will now include the colors that I used in creating the illustration.  I have had some requests for this, so I decided to include it for those of you who may want it.  So, let's get started.

This is what was used in creating this tutorial:
A Penny for Your Thoughts  digi- or any other image that you'd like to use.
Copic Marker
Colored Pencils:
     White, Burnt Ochre, Light Peach, Cinnamon (Faber-Castell), Light Flesh (Faber-Castell), Medium     Flesh (Faber-Castell)

I hope that you enjoy the video.  It's my very first, and I'm still learning.  I actually like doing the tutorials, but taking all of those pictures, resizing them, cropping them, correcting the colors, copy and pasting the brushes, pencils, supplies and blah, blah, blah.  Well, it just seemed like too much work to me. And since I was getting emails and comments about when my next tutorial would be, I decided, heck, just buy the video camera and make things easier on yourself.  :)  I'm sure you prefer the video too.

I know that the videos will improve as I learn, or at least I hope they do, but I'd still love to get some feedback from you.   And if you have a suggestion for another video tutorial, you can give me the heads up on that too. You're more than welcome to post them here or if you prefer, you may drop me an email.  Either way is fine. And before anyone asks, or makes the suggestion, THE HAIR will be the next video tutorial.  :)

Enjoy your Saturday morning cartoonyou meddling kids!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Did I just say that out loud?

Do you remember that show. . . "Kids Say the Darndest Things?" Yep, out of the mouths of babes.  Kids say AND do the darndest things.  I just love the way they are just so brutally honest. Saying whatever is on their sweet little minds!  Telling it like it IS, so to speak!  Good OR bad!

This got me to thinking.  Yes, I do that on occasion.  Life IS suppose to be fun!! And kids know how to have fun!  Don't they!  They certainly don't care about what people see them doing, hear them saying or say about them!  They are children after all.  And for some reason, it brought this saying to mind:
"See no evil,
Hear no evil,
Speak no evil." 

But in a different way. I think that at times, we take life too seriously.  Not saying or doing the things that really make us happy, for fear of what others may think. Why is that? God gave us life to enjoy it.  So why not really ENJOY it! I think that it's an insult to him, if you don't.

If you've been following along this week, you've probably noticed that my sketches have mostly been about dreaming and imagination.  Those are things that we mostly associate with children.  But they apply to us as well.  Adults have dreams.  Adults are imaginative.  Aren't we?   We shouldn't care about  how silly we may look or how ridiculous we may sound in the pursuit of using our imagination to achieve those dreams.  Close your eyes and ears, say your dreams OUT LOUD, live like a kid and. . .
And send me a postcard when you get there.


And as always, feel free to leave me suggestions or drop me an email.  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Bad dog. . . .

. . . .and being bossy!  That's what I had going on yesterday.  But it really did end up being a fantastic day.  I was kind of at a loss yesterday as to what I was going to sketch.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't usually sit down with anything specific in mind when I sketch.  Mind you, I've only been at it for a grand total of four days, but there are times when I just have to get something down on paper before I loose my inspiration.  Yesterday, however, nothing but my game of 'solitaire' tic-tac-toe was gracing the blank sheet of paper.  And I was pretty sure that you didn't want to see that.  However, there may days when that's all you'll get. So I put the sketchbook aside and decided to go do my errands. I always knew I was smart.

The first inspiration hit me when I was at Hobby Lobby.  I stopped by to pick up a Copic Marker R-29 to be exact.  A beautiful Lipstick Red.  I also picked up a new eraser and treated myself to some Faber-Castell sketching pencils.  I had a 40% off coupon, you know.  Always up for a discount.

On my way to the checkout counter I happened to pass by the wooden 'sign' section and I was glancing as I hurried past.  I was reading the first few words of some of them, but none caught my attention until I saw the word BOSSY! Yep, I had to back up and read it. Anytime I think that someone is talking to me or about me, my ears perk right up!  LOL
I don't know the exact phrasing of the little sign.  I should have taken a picture. But it went something like this . . .

'I'm NOT being bossy, 
I just know that you're doing it WRONG.'

Yep, that's me in a nutshell.  And to be perfectly honest, most of the time I am right.  They ARE doing it wrong.
That's where the the first sketch idea came from.  I'm not sure how it will turn out, but it certainly did get me thinking.  I like using my brain, don't you?!

The second sketch idea, came with a little bit of pain.  To my wallet!  I recently told you about Bella and Bandit being partners in crime. Well, the are.  And if they keep it up, I think I'm going to be changing their names to Bonnie and Clyde.  
Just recently, I purchase a new pair of Foster Grant reading glasses to replace a pair that I had lost.  Well, wouldn't you know it.  The first day I had them, Bandit knocked them off the coffee table and Bella chewed off one of the 'ears' while I was in the shower.  Bad kitty!  Bad dog!  Needless to say, I was PO-ed!  Bandit had no idea why I was raising my voice and running my mouth.  But Bella sure did.  She slinked back to the bedroom and got on 'base' (her dog bed) so I couldn't 'tag' her.  Boy, I was mad!  I LOVED those glasses.

The idea for the sketch didn't pop into my head until I picked up another pair yesterday. . . .and that's when it hit me.  I think that when I do the final drawing, I'll leave Bandit out of the it though, since all he wanted to do was play with the glasses.  Bella is the real culprit!  So believe me, she'll be taking center stage in that illustration for sure!  I was thinking though, maybe Bella didn't like the way those glasses looked on me,  and she didn't have the heart to tell me because she thought it may have hurt my feelings, and the only way to get rid of them was to destroy them.  I will say this. . .I like the new glasses much better than the previous ones, so maybe I should thank her.  Nay!  And somehow, someway, Bella is going to pay me the $20 that I paid for the old ones.  All I can say, is she had better be looking for a job!

Do you have one of those?  A 'let's get into trouble while mom is in the shower' trouble maker type?  Maybe it's your child! I had one of those too!  Share your stories. . . please!  I'd love to hear them.

And I just had to show you this!  To add insult to injury. . . .this is what was greeting me when I got out of the shower this morning! Bandit had knocked it off my desk and of course, Bella thought it looked yummy.  Or maybe she is devising a sinister plan to really get rid of Bandit and she was just testing one of her options? Hmmmmm.  Only time will tell!

See ya tomorrow. . . .and yes, before you say anything.  ALL GLASSES and ILLUSTRATIONS are now safely put away before I get into the shower. 


And as always, feel free to leave me suggestions or drop me an email.  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On a roll. . . .

. . . .not my drawings, but for my blogging three days in a row.  I can't tell you how much I do not enjoy blogging.  I guess it's because it actually involves me sitting at the computer . . .and typing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm NEVER at a loss for words.  Trust me!  Anyone who has ever met me, or talked to me on the phone, certainly knows that.  I have people tell me ALL the time.  . . .'take a breath'!  LOL  Oh well.  I guess that's just the way the good Lord made me.  You know, he doesn't make mistakes.  <wink>

Does anyone hate cold weather as much as I do?  I'm SO ready for spring.  It was suppose to warm today here in Virginia, but it didn't quite make it.  I was so disappointed!  They say it's suppose to be in the 60's and 70's by the weekend.  Let's hope that they get that forecast right.  I see the top coming down on the Mini if it does.  May even take Bella out for a right in the country.  (Just had another idea for a sketch.  Can ya guess what it is?)

Well, as you can see by what I was journaling yesterday, I was certainly thinking about spring. It can't come soon enough for me.  Well, the temperatures, at least.
The sweet sound of the birds and the blooming of new flowers.  I think spring is probably my favorite season, because of all the 'newness' that it brings.  And can I just tell you, that even though I have allergies, there is nothing like the smell of a freshly mowed lawn.  I just love it.

I know that I am only on day three of my journaling, but I am really enjoying it.  I have found in just three days of sketching that I come up with more ideas while aimlessly doodling.  The problem is deciding which image to complete and put in the shop first. Decisions, decisions.
Question. I know that these images are very similar, but would you like to see both of them in the shop?  I can't decide.  I tried to put a little saying with them as well, to kind of set the mood while I sketched.

Well, I don't want to take up too much of your time.  I've already said to much.  Imagine that.
I did want to tell you though, if you haven't been to the shop since yesterday morning, one of the journal entry sketches is now in the shop. A No. 2 Pencil and a Dream.
Which image do you think will hit the shop next?  I bet you can't guess!

Well, until tomorrow. . . . . .

And as always, feel free to leave me suggestions or drop me an email.  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's your imagination. . . .

. . .so let it run wild!
You remember when you were a kid and you played all day in your castle?  Do you remember?  Come on. . . .you know you do!  Remember!  It had that big draw bridge that you pulled up to keep those nasty trolls out. And it had the big moat around it.  Remember? And there was that time that you slayed  that mean and nasty dragon!  Remember!   It's all coming back to you now, isn't it!

Mine wasn't a castle, it was a log cabin.  I remember my dad bringing home this huge cardboard box from a job site and my sister and I drew on it, had our dad cut a make-shift door and some windows and we played Little House on the Prairie.  Guess which character I played!  Yep, you guessed it, Half-Pint, aka Laura Ingalls.  I was sassy, even back then.

But it doesn't matter if you had a castle or a log cabin.  It was the thrill of using your imagination.  Remember how real it seemed!  How much fun it was.  To imagine that you were someone else, or to be in a different place?  Wow. . . .if we could only capture that as adults.

Well, that's what I was thinking yesterday evening while I was sketching.  I've always loved to draw, even though they were mostly stick figures back the.
Since I grew up in the boonies and in the 70's, there wasn't much tv back then and you were lucky if you got more than three channels.  That's all we got.  So I spent most of my time outside.  One thing that I loved to do, was to lay in our front yard with my sister, looking up at the clouds trying to see you could see the most 'shapes'. I can't tell you how many elephants, lions, horses, pigs, cows, birds, bugs and snakes we saw in those clouds.  We practically lived in a 'farming jungle'.  It was so much fun and we could do it for hours. I miss that!  I'm lucky though.  I get to use my imagination on a daily basis.

While I was sketching these images of Sassy Sally, I found myself wondering. . .what does she see?  What is she thinking?  Hmmmm.  If you weren't thinking it before.  I bet you are now!  LOL  See, you're using your imagination already!

Wouldn't it be great though, if as adults, we would take a little time to actually use our imaginations like we did when we were kids.  I mean seriously.  When was the last time you saw a unicorn in the clouds?  I bet if you look hard enough, you'll see one and if you imagine hard enough, I bet that you could fly on a magical adventure!


And as always, feel free to leave me suggestions or drop me an email.  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Journaling. . . .

I've never been one for New Years resolutions, but this year I have made a few.  One of those resolutions is to try to draw daily in an art journal.  I've never been one for using a journal, of any type. Not even in college.  Kind of weird though, considering I LOVE to doodle! And trust me, I was not one of those young pre-teens that kept a diary.  That just seemed like too much work and TOO girlie for me, since I was a tomboy.  But looking back now, I wish I had.  It would be interesting to see what I was thinking and what was going on in my life.  I'm sure I'd laugh, cry and probably shout. . . .'oh, just get over it, already!"  So, I thought that journaling would be a good way for me to look back at the end of the year, or years from now and see what I was thinking and drawing.  Yep. . . .it's a good idea, in theory.  We'll just have to wait and see if I'm disciplined enough to follow through.  

I mean, when I started doodling in the journal yesterday, I had already missed 5 days, so I wasn't off to a very good start.  I guess I could have just drawn a big fat X on the page and written, "don't feel like journaling.  No inspiration today.  THE END"  But that would be a lie.  I'm inspired every day, whether I realize it or not. Inspired by quotes or sayings, people, something I see or hear.  It's just a matter of writing it down or doodling about it.

This week and for the month of January, I'm thinking of the blank-ness that a new year brings.  A fresh start.  A time for renewal, creativity and the actual 'fun' that a new year can bring.  I'm more of a 'vintage' type gal, but I love new things too.  Like the smell of a brand, spanking new box of crayons!    They just have an intoxicating smell to them, don't you think?!  That smell, just makes me want to create!  So I'm going to try and capture that 'new crayon smell' each day and share with you a newly journaled page.  
This little excerpt is from the page that I was working on yesterday.  Yep. . . .Sassy Sally, Bella and Bandit are all breaking out their crayons too!
So, stay tuned!