Thursday, February 2, 2012

Newbies- er, New Bees!

Here is the drawing that I mentioned at the end of my last post! I didn't want to upload it before it was given to the recipients. I know the chances that they *just happen* to read my blog or anything related to it are pretty much 0.00000000000000000000000000000001% but I felt it was more respectful to wait to post it.

So in my head, I've been calling the piece "Nectar," partly because, of course, that's what the bees are feasting on in this picture. But also partly because I had just downloaded Tindersticks' first album and was enjoying listening to it on repeat while I was drawing. One of the songs on it is titled "Nectar" which seemed quite appropriate :)

I'm working on a box with some decoupage of this drawing in there... it'll be up in my Etsy shop eventually, which, by the way, is up and running again!! Yay!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I did not end my previous blog post with that statement but I should have. I didn't realize I'd take a months-and-months long break from posting.

What the hell has been going on with me these last 10 months!?!?

I toured the world with my husband for 3 months.

The week after we came back from our trip I got royally *#@#^&!ed over by Bank of America. My identity was stolen, someone went into Philly with a fake ID of me, withdrew ALL of my money, bought money orders, and went shopping. It was an inside job. I had detectives helping me out to find the person responsible. Finally Bank of America told me it was an inside job and one of their employees had given up my information. But they couldn't tell me the name of anyone intolved (so I could prosecute the hell out of them) due to respect of privacy. Yet they didn't make my life very easy while all of this was going on. Unbelievable.

They did refund my money after 32879134 pissed-off calls from me cause I gots billz ta pay, and then they complained that they worked on my case alllllllll weekend- boo hoo! What an inconvenience!- and finally came to the conclusion that it was not actually me who withdrew my money.

Obviously I am no longer a customer there.

I painted two 4'x8' graffiti-style murals to install in my family's dance studio.
(As you can see, this is VERY different from my normal style. While being super fun, it was also pretty difficult. 
Challenging, but in a good way. Always good to expand your horizons, right?)

My fantastic husband took me to see Weird Al for my birthday in October: 

I ran my first marathon:

In November I painted most of my house (I talked about doing so in this post):

I redesigned and added some recipes to my silly Flavor blog:
(and will soon get rid of Colorful Kitchen and put that info over on that blog).

I failed at 2011 in 2011 but have been managing to continue de-cluttering and getting rid of things here and there and will continue to do so in 2012. (I will not be counting though.)

I also failed to obtain enough applications to pass the Pollinator license plates I'm working on, so I've been continuing to find ways to spread the word about them.

I winter-sowed some seeds again.

I just finished a commissioned piece of artwork (which will get its own post after the recipient receives it, since it's a gift).

And... that leads up to now. I hadn't worked on a drawing or painting in at least 6 months and really had no inspiration to work on anything. When I was asked to do a drawing of some bees, I realized I better hurry up and find some inspiration to get the drawing done. Once I was finished with it and happy with the result, I realized how much I've missed drawing. I would love to hammer out a bunch relatively soon, but all that time off must have made my drawing muscles atrophy and thus... my hands are still pretty sore. SAD. Looks like I need to build up those calluses again!

Now that I'm inspired and working on some new stuff, I hope to post more often :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 in 2011 Update

As of today I'm up to 404 items.
Since the last update (358) I've done some trashing/recycling and basic cleaning out of some things. I didn't learn anything new this time around (like I did with the e-cycling), but I'm still a big fan of Craigslist. I have a handful of items that I need to put on there to sell or give away, but I'm just so lazy about taking pictures. I shouldn't be, the pictures most people post on Craigslist aren't exactly what I'd call award-winning, but they get the job done.

The most interesting items from this update are being picked up this evening. It's a cat tower that my cat just never played on- I think it's a little too un-sturdy for her weight- and a handful of her toys, also that she never played with. She has a handful of toys that she likes, and some she just never showed any interest in. I cleaned them off (when we moved, they were thrown into a big box with all of her things and everything in there inadvertently got cat hair on it) and put them into a bag to give away with the kitty tower.

It's funny how I felt bad getting rid of her toys... like she has no say in the matter. I know I shouldn't feel bad, little kids give away their toys all the time when they are too big for them or just no longer have an interest in them. And I know my dear little kitty only needs a few toys, so why not just hang onto her favorites and get rid of the rest? Especially when she's content to play with something as simple as the drawstring on a pair of shorts in the laundry...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My New Favorite Book...

"The Life Cycles of Butterflies" by Judy Burris & Wayne Richards.
You can buy it from Amazon (at a VERY reasonable price of less than $12!) here:

I learned about this book online a few weeks ago- I wish I could remember where I read about it. I think I was following a butterfly gardening blog and the author posted about it. Anyway I had the book at the forefront of my mind when my husband and I recently passed a Borders with a big "GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!!" sale sign in the window. We were on our way to dinner with friends, but I begged to stop by if dinner finished early enough.

Dinner finished around 9:45, which I figured was too late, and I had on some ridiculously high-heels and wasn't exactly prepared to be running around all over a bookstore in search of ONE book. I told him we could just go home and I'd stop by the bookstore the next day.

But being the wonderful awesome honeybee husband that he is, he pulled his car in front of the store and dropped me off. The store closed at 10:00, so by then I had about 10 minutes to find the book.

I dashed in and took a glance around the first floor. Humor, no. Young adult, don't think so. Travel, no. Self help... no? I headed for the escalators. And, of course, they weren't working... but for my convenience they had become stairs, which I climbed as quickly as possible in previously mentioned ridiculous heels.

As soon as I got upstairs I saw the SCIENCE section.
Now we're on to something.
I headed that way and saw NATURE
and then ANIMALS.
I found the kitty books.... then the dog books... birds... reptiles...
And there it was. In all its glory. It was the first book I laid my eyes upon. It was the last one.

I did not open it. I did not read the back cover. I did not look at the price. I did not pass go. I did not collect $200.

I did quickly grab another cool looking insect guide book and head toward the way-too-tall-for-ludicrous-heels-escalator-turned-stairs. I made my way down safely, somehow, and got in line to check out, just as the announcement came on that the store was closing.

I guess you're waiting for a review! I can tell you, this book is everything I hoped it would be AND MORE. I wish the online version had a "look through" option, but just believe me when I say it is well worth every penny if you're interested in butterflies and their caterpillars and how to get them into your gardens. I could look at it for hours. Flip through. Re-open. Re-read. Skim through again. Pause. Repeat.

The best part was that as I was looking through the whole thing for the first time, slowly taking everything in, I realized I was getting close to the end of the book. Noooooooooooo!!!!!! I want it to last FOREVER..... But as I turned the pages, I kept finding more and more cool stuff. A whole section on host plants. A section on nectar plants. A section on butterflies that they didn't have quite so much documentation about, but showed them anyway.

I can't get enough of this book! I finally put it on the bookshelf tonight since it's been sitting in various places around my room for the last couple of weeks, but I don't expect it to remain on the bookshelf for very long :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How-To-Tuesday: How to save your colored inks!

This is a pretty simple How-To-Tuesday, and I'm a little embarrassed to say I never figured all of this out until very VERY recently since I'm not one to play around much with the various print dialogs my computer offers. I typically look at paper size, paper type, borderless printing, and if I'm making an art print I make sure the quality is set to either "Best" or "Maximum DPI."

Of course when trying to be eco-friendly it's best to print as infrequently as possible, but sometimes there are documents you simply must print. I always use 100% post-consumer recycled paper from Staples.

For years I've been clicking the "Paper Type/Quality" section of the print dialog and selecting Grayscale. The black ink cartridge for my HP printer is HUGE and the colored ones are so little, and they are expensive, so obviously I don't want to waste them when I'm just printing a coupon or typed document.

It would seem obvious to me that if you tell the printer to print in black and white only, it will do just that- only print from the black cartridge.
But NO!

Here's are the other things I recently discovered!

Click "Color Options" then choose "Black Print Cartridge Only." Otherwise you have your colored inks combining with the black ink to print a black and white document. How silly is that!

Next click "ink" and set your slider over to "Light." You won't get a super super dark print this way, but for most things, how dark do you really need it?

Play around with the sliders and see what kind of results you get.

I hope these simple little tips help you save on money and ink! Better for your wallet and the environment.

*Note, this dialog is on a Mac computer, but I think windows computers have a similar print dialog.