Saturday, October 29, 2011

Imagination

I've been thinking a lot about the things I imagined as a little kid. First off, look how cute I was.
This is a photo OF a photo that my mother refuses to part with long enough for me to scan it.

I loved that kitty. Her name was Inky, and took her everywhere with me. She was super sweet, and never scratched me, even though I often carried her around the house cradled inside of my gold sequined Cindy Lauper shirt. I would have scratched me, even if I was awesome.

It seems like most of my favorite memories are of being on the road with my mom. I adored being in the car together, listening to the Beatles. We were together, and her big oaf of a boyfriend wasn't there. It was perfect. We'd go spend the day on the beach, or just ride around together, singing.

When we weren't singing "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" at the top of our lungs, I would keep myself busy by pretending I had a nature man that had to run alongside of our car. He couldn't touch anything man made, or he would die. He was kind of like a gnome, I guess. He was small, dressed in all brown and green and had a bushy white beard. Thankfully, he could jump incredibly far, because there wasn't a lot of green in some places on I-65 in Kentucky and Indiana, and we did a lot of driving there.

When it rained, I imagined that the little water droplets on the windows were alive. My passenger side window was like a giant petri dish swimming with life. I made up little voices in my head for some of the squiggly drops, and they were very interesting.

I loved to play library in my room, too, which was pretty normal, I guess. I'd pretend my stuffed animals were customers, my piggy bank was for late fees, and I had a little pink piggy-faced stamp that I would stamp the inside of all my books with, like I was checking them in and out. Oh, and I'd eat smarties and pretend I had a headache from working.

Anyhow, I was just thinking about the strange little things I'd make up as a kid. I have a big sister. She's nine years older than me, though, so she was only interested in my extermination at the time. I guess I was sort of like an only child in a lot of ways, so I was pretty used to keeping myself entertained. 

What weird little things did you pretend when you were a munchkin?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Snoodle's Tale

I don't know how many of you are Veggie Tales fans. I fell in love with them when I was in college. My best friend's little sisters watched them A LOT, and I had never heard of them. I figured they'd be corny, since they were for munchkins, but quickly went head over heals.

That being said, this is my absolute favorite Veggie Tale animation ever. It's a special Dr. Seuss episode about being special just the way you are, and dealing with others' judgement.

It's only thirteen minutes long, and totally worth the time. Grab a tissue. Even if you aren't a Christian, this is such a good message for all of us, and I think you're going to tear up.

You can thank me later. <3


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Staying Positive

Staying positive is normally not something I have any issue with, but this past year has been pretty trying. I know that I've got it good. Truly, I do. None of the things that I've been faced with have been seriously dangerous. I may have dealt with depression, poison ivy, steroid psychosis and Bell's palsy within a relatively short period of time, and they're not the most awesome things to experience, but they're also not the end of the world.

I'm going to keep praising God, being thankful for all that I have, and hope that this is over soon. Any prayers would be very much appreciated. <3

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quasimodo

I'm telling you what, folks. I just can't seem to get a break! I don't mean to sound whiny, as I know I've got it pretty darn good, but sheesh!

I woke up today to find the right side of my face unresponsive. I was scrunching my mess of curls, and singing "This Little Light of Mine" when I noticed I looked a bit like Elvis. The left side of my lip was kind of snarled up compared to the right. Then I tried to smile, and it was pitiful. Upon examination, the right side of my tongue and face were/are almost completely numb, and accompanied by a sharp pain in my jaw/temple.

After Sticking my tongue out at my husband, and reciting "She sells seashells by the seashore" a couple times, my husband and I were almost convinced that I hadn't suffered a stroke. I thought it was probably a pinched nerve in my already degenerating spine. Then my husband called my mother. She's an RN, and not one to allow her children off easy. She demanded we go to the ER to have things checked out.

A short while later, I was lead down a sterile hallway to room 21. The nurse in bright green scrubs told me that I was lucky not to be "drooling yet."I then waited with my husband for a nurse to come take my vitals. My face felt hot as I wondered, worrying what was wrong, and if/when I would start drooling.

The wonderfully kind doctor came in after a few visitors, did a quick checkup, and told me I had textbook Bell's palsy. For some reason, possibly a dormant virus, there's swelling around the nerve that controls the right side of my face, causing limited mobility. There's no proven cause. There's no proven cure. Catching it within the first three days of symptoms, and taking corticosteroids and antivirals, are thought to hurry it along. Swelling needs to go down, before there's any hope of normal muscle function returning.

Alas, I feel like Quasimodo. I can't blink my right eye, smile, whistle, make kissy noises at critters or curl my tongue. Nothing too vital, I guess. At least it isn't anything too painful. The jaw pain isn't so bad; more annoying than anything. Chances are, if this goes away, it will do so within a few weeks to months. I'm being positive, and willing it to go away quickly, as I would like my smile back soon.

It just seems like one thing after another sometimes, doesn't it? I can just picture the devil camping out on my doorstep, waiting to get me. Praying my way through trials and tribulations must really tick him off, which makes me kind of happy, but oy. No matter what I go through, I trust that God sees me through, making things as painless as possible. I am supremely thankful for that. <3


Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm Only Sleeping

Sloth- original watercolor illustration available at Mad Shiny Shoppe!
Understandably so, I think I've lost my faithful few. You guys, I promise I'm going to keep the posts coming this time. I quit my depressing job, and am making art every single day. I'm over my poison ivy plague, as well as the horrid steroid psychosis. I think it's safe to say that I'm stable...as I ever was.

This is a new beginning for me. I know I've mentioned that a lot lately, and it sounds all hokey, but it's true, I tell you! Art commissions are rolling in, thanks be to God, and I'm working on establishing actual work hours. I have a tendency to sleep in, as I can be eerily similar to a sloth. Then I'm up until 3AM sewing, painting or writing. Not the best sleeping pattern, I know, so I'm trying to change that.

With all this work to do, and the support of my magnificent, marvelous Mr. T., I'm pretty darn content. I just hope art commissions keep a'coming, and my procrastination remains manageable. I'm participating in a craft show next month, and I've got to get to making some more wee wonderful things!

Just in case you're new here, and even if you're not, please feel free to check out my etsy shop! I create all manner of funky cuddly things, personalized cake toppers/keepsakes, pin back buttons, greeting cards, watercolor portraits, and YOU. JUST. NAME. IT.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Commissions!

I've been pretty busy during my little blogging hiatus, so I figured I'd share a few of the projects I've been working on. I absolutely adore commissions, because they always turn out to be such a challenge. I find myself missing the assignments I received in art school, so I always welcome a custom order.

This custom plush is a Harry Potter inspired Totoro for a friend's little girl's birthday.
This was supposed to be a guinea pig for a friend's baby shower. She's calling him Bear Pig. :)
Professor Lettuce here is a custom plush for an old friend performing in a peep show.
And these two lovely ladies are my oldest friend's two little sisters. Their mother commissioned me to paint them for her.
So, what have you been up to, folks?

Sweeter Than Bee Pollen

Watercolor illustration prints available by request at Mad Shiny Shoppe!
Earlier this year, I found myself feeling like someone came and wrenched every last drop of honey from my happy little hive. That someone was my now ex-boss, whom I often refer to as "She Who Must Not Be Named." With her verbal and emotional abuse, she was pretty much a nightmare, and that's coming from someone who can get along with just about anyone.

When I graduated college, I had no idea how to apply my studio art/art history degree. A friend's father offered me a job making art with homeless and at-risk youth, so I jumped on the opportunity. I absolutely loved that position, but funding was cut the next year. I was bumped into a couple neighboring positions, and just counted myself lucky to have a job.

To cut a long story short, I stayed with that agency for six excruciating years, before I'd had too much of She Who Must Not Be Named's tormenting. I'm currently working as an artist/author from my humble home, and it's good great dripping with awesome. Quitting was terribly frightening, and things haven't exactly been perfect, but this new beginning is definitely sweet.