Friday, December 30, 2005

Truth? Or Fiction?

I was inspired by Danny Gregory’s little drawing exercise: He drew an apple as he ate it. You know, you draw, take a bite, draw what it looked like after that bite, take another bite (chew), draw again, until you end up with just a core of an apple. This series of drawings is on the back of his book. Pretty cool.

So, my problem with this is, what?, that I tend to eat fairly often in the car? (I can eat and drive, but not eat, drive and draw)? Or that I’m too embarrassed to record what a messy eater I am? Or embarrassed to record the weird food that I’m living off of?, or the very real hazard for me of using containers that looks like drinking mugs ... to hold water to clean my brushes?

Do you remember the whole gouache discussion? The hazard with eating and painting at the same time is compounded by the fact that ... gouache is more opaque (than, say, watercolors).. So, as you swish off your brush to clean it between colors, all the pigments that comes off your brush mix together and make this really neutral .. brown. Sort of, no, not just sort of, but very much like the neutral brown color of coffee, just the way I’d be drinking it, with lots of cream and sugar. I realized very quickly that if I wasn’t careful, I’d end up cleaning my brushes in hot coffee, or drinking cold, watery gouache paint residue.

Either way, not so good.

So anyway, back to the drawing exercise. I threw caution to the wind and did this little series a while back. I figured this way I was safe; wouldn’t mistake my paint water for, you know, a bottle of beer.
click it!

Things seemed to start out well, but ... I dunno... I don’t remember much past the third or fourth drawing. And then things got really fuzzy... and, gee, my head kinda started to hurt... and I don't actually remember how I finished the drawing..

(“Hey, do you guys think this is for real? Or is she kidding?”)


I could tell you..

... but then I'd have to kill you.

Try some for yourself

Watching the game, part I

In the "You had to be there" department:

"Gasp! It's ... The Rock!"

click here for history of The Rock

It's much better looking in person...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Almost 2006

Hope you all enjoyed the holidays. When I get well, I'm going to have to run off all those cookies! Yum! :)

Wishing you all a very bright and warm 2006. May the new year bring great adventures, unexpected friendships, new journeys and lots of memories to share.

A few more niblets


I'm going to try and post what I've scanned already but haven't gotten around to posting yet ... before the new year starts. Aaaaaaaa! Here we go!

This was from earlier in the year.. the view from my window at work.

You know, there are people who tell me.. "You really need a hobby..."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Random niblets

W: If people are discombobulated, can they be combobulated, too?
Is velcro considered a mechanical fastener?
If a tree falls in the forest, but nobody is there to hear it ...

T: Why do they call them Apartments when they are so close together? ....

J: To that point then... what is a ment? And perhaps saying togetherments was just too hard to say?

M: So, to continue the thread: If you eat pasta, then antipasta, will you still be hungry?

W: Only if it's Chinese noodles. Then you'll probably be hungry again in 20 minutes.

It's not like I don't have any company, thinking up these random thoughts..

Sunday, December 04, 2005

More niblets, in the bag

Peach gummi rings, gummi bears (I keep typing "bummi...") and rootbeer jelly bellies (they didn't have banana; I would have gotten some of those, too. Have you noticed that there's a real recurring banana theme going on here? ...)

"What's with the sand?"

I’m back! I still have to download and resize my photos and write and write and write. Here’s a sketch, though, from the beach at Kaanapali. :)

Getting back into my routine: Hard runs at the gym late at night during the week ... and long, long walks on Sunday mornings at the beach and home for pancakes! And drawing and enjoying everyday things.

And, finally, after stopping to take a good look at it, this is why eating can be a tricky proposition around my table...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lazy days

Hey, if you were here, you'd be slow to post, too. :)

Don't be too jealous. This photo is from a few years back. I couldn't take a photo from the Pali this trip, so far - - it's been far too rainy. Makes for nice waterfalls, though. Stay tuned for more when I get back home to my computer, scanner and Photoshop... :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

“Everybody’s got their thing..”

Haven’t made much time to just sit and draw in a while (or have I been ... drawing but just more strictly editing what gets posted and what doesn’t? I’ll never tell.). Here’s a couple from today.

I’ve been playing with different materials, techniques – more with the watercolor pencils,

water-soluble brush-tipped markers,

and different pens.
(click this one)

A number of Moleskine blogs raved about the Pilot G2 retractable gel pens. I think, “Retractable? Cool!” and bought a package. I don’t know what the deal is, but after working with them, I’m not quite sold on the whole “Exceedingly Smooth Writing, Water-Resistant, Smear-Proof Ink” bit. Water-resistant? I don’t know how anyone else can really use the pens for watercolors. Or maybe it’s that super, heavy-duty water we have here in California... my G2 pens smear, are not so smooth-writing, and aren’t water-resistant. They run so uniformly that they make wonderful washes for shadows. [Sigh] Anyone want the rest of my four-pack? I’d originally started with and will probably stick with the uni-ball vision elite pens. "Airplane-safe (I’ll test this soon), Smoother ink flow (yes), fade proof (we’ll see) and waterproof". Waterproof? Yep. And it comes in at least two pen nib widths. Remind me again why I wandered away from the uni-balls? The lure of retractable pens? Forget that!

You’re thinking that I obsess too much about materials? Right. Danny Gregory’s “Everday Matters” is great. But, when I read the post about Roz ...
(click here for the post)
...(okay, I’ve only skimmed it so far, but mean to actually read it), I decided that I wasn’t alone. Everybody’s got their thing.

If you go to Roz's website and also like dogs, you'll really like the DailyDots drawings. Very sweet.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Purple pieces of ... flair

Wow, it’s been a bit. Thought I’d let you have some time to digest all those pumpkin-carving and tableau-creating photos (Um, yeah. If that was a bit more gory than you were expecting, sorry ...)
I’ve been trying to put away all the pumpkin crafting supplies and am starting to think about Christmas ... crafts, decorations, and baking holiday cookies.

Mmmmmm, cookies...

Anyway, here are photos I found of incredible fridge displays on a fridge door group (what else?) on Flickr.

Have you checked Flickr out? The fridgerator door photos are pretty amusing. I'm keeping track of the "What's in Your Bag?" pool of photos, and then go browsing a bit from there.. sketches, artwork, Moleskine stuff. Interesting creation of communities and tribes.

My fridge door is less organized than these and has far fewer pieces of .. flair. I did add this piece onto my actual fridge door over the weekend, though:

Here’s to spreading the Purple through Southern California. Cheers!

Go U NU!

And these are purple, too! :)

Monday, October 31, 2005

The happy pumpkin is feeling awfully lucky ...

This was for my group's entry into the pumpkin-carving competition at work.

This is the other pumpkin I did this weekend. Is it appropriate that it was in the fridge for a while? Imagine how disquieting it was to see this ...

... everytime I opened the fridge door. "Eeee-ah!"

Well, things couldn't be as simple as just that.

(You should be thinking, "Uh oh"...)

Evil minds and skilled hands at work.

It can only get worse from here..

Here's one of the little buggers, in action.

Like the little knives?

Well, to see how it all came together ...

... you'll have to ...

Keep scrolling..

Oh yeah, it's worth the wait.

And, yes!, your fears were well-founded..


Be sure to click this one

And, yes, we won.

Victory is sweet.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Happy Halloween!

click me!

Oh, isn't this sweet? Yeah, just wait. There's more. It was a busy weekend, carving pumpkins.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Beach Views

If you haven’t checked the 'L.A. County Beach Views' link in my Favorite Links list yet (you’re slacking), here’s something nice that I’ve discovered. Sometimes they’ll let the cameras keep taking photos after dark. But I’d say that more often than not (or, when I remember to check), I think they try to have the last photos of the day be around sunset. So, no matter where you are, you can enjoy a great Los Angeles sunset, almost everyday (and, I guess, watch the sunrise, too). Nice, huh? These were thumbnails from today. If you go to the site, you can see the beach images at a larger size.


Las Tunas

Topanga South

Marina Del Rey

Will Rogers State Beach

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Niblets

You're in for a real treat!

A New Hope
The Empire Strikes Back

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Meeting eyes"

This is a sure sign that the meeting has gone on far too long.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New acquisitions

Oh, look!
If you know anything about me, you will know to hover closely by.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Spent some time at Starbucks Saturday, enjoying their new Pumpkin Spice Latte, comfy chairs and music.

I picked up a set of watercolor paints later in the afternoon, the kind that comes in little solid square tiles, compared to the stuff in the tube. In theory this should be a little less messy than the paints that come in tubes, maybe for travel. For travel. Righhhhht. Hasn't happened yet; don't hold your breath. Sounded good on paper.

I think since the pigment is dry, I need to add quite a bit of water for the paint to be workable, and so the paints end up being really, really transparent, very light. And I end up applying a lot more water to the pages of my sketchbook than I'd like. I do have another Moleskine sketchbook that has thicker paper, but I like the idea of using the one with the thinner paper. It makes it feel like more of a working book, to just play in. The other book, with the heavier paper, seems to be inviting more finished sketches ... a little more intimidating.

I used the square tile paints for the coffee cup, then went back to colored watercolor pencils for the second sketch. I'm thinking I'll stick with the pencils for my sketchbook, at least until I've played with the paint set for a little bit.

I want for breakfast what those guys had!

How 'bout those Cats?!
ESPN says "Northwestern? First place? Don't laugh. After the Wildcats thoroughly dominated No. 22 Michigan State 49-14, Northwestern, with only one league loss, remains in a first-place tie with three others atop the Big Ten..."

I'll enjoy it for as long as I can! :)
Go U, NU!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Quotes (well, not quite)

And of course, the quotes on the fridge. They usually offer deeper insight into what people are thinking, hoping and striving for. I have to admit that I'm working on hunting down authors for the ones that I have up. But, in the meantime, you can enjoy these movie quotes. You can find more at Endless hours of distraction.

I think it's a koala, an evil koala.
-– from Lilo and Stitch

Anna Scott: I can't believe you have that picture on your wall.
William: You like Chagall?
Anna Scott: I do. It feels like how being in love should be. Floating through a dark blue sky.
William: With a goat playing the violin…
Anna Scott: Yes - happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat.
-- from Notting Hill

You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em.
There's something irresistable-ish about 'em.
We grin :) and bear it 'cause the nights are long.
I hope that something better comes along.
-– from The Muppet Movie [did you realize that there are Muppet USPS stamps now?]

Jane Aubrey: You ever gotten your heart broken?
Billy Chapel: Yeah. When we lost the pennant in '87

Jane Aubrey: What if my face was all scraped off and I was totally disfigured and had no arms and legs and I was completely paralyzed. Would you still love me?
Billy Chapel: No. But we could still be friends.
-- from For Love of the Game

There were more gems, but I didn’t copy them all down. Besides, I don’t like the idea of your being distracted from work for so long. I’d hate to have your work IT department ban you access to my little blog... :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Something about wanting to see some patterns on an air bladder. I think I'd gotten to where I'd had and done just about enough for the day...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You've been waiting for it, admit it


Happy Birthday

(belated) to Gerald!

Evil Demons: Begone!

Three hours spent disinfecting my computer. Here’s a composite of what I wandered off to do while I had to wait. A little of this, a little of that. The quote is on the fridge. I’ll get to posting the rest of the quotes that I have up… sooner or later.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bosses’ Day

Bosses’ Day is today, October 16th, a Sunday. What folly there is in having Bosses’ Day on a weekend this year?

I ran across a poll that asked managers what they’d most like to receive from someone they managed. My first thoughts were of managers thinking “Oh, please let them stop badgering me about raises!”, and “Oh, please let them not be keeping a ‘My Crazy Boss’ blog about me... using work computers, on company time!” (Managers would say "Oh, please"?). But neither is really something that one could give or receive. There’s a snide comment in there waiting to happen about wanting to give someone a piece of my mind, but that’s not what The Fridge Door is all about. We’ll have to all go in search of the ‘MyCrazyBoss’ blog for that.

Anyway, it turns out the best, and most-repeated answer was something like: the best gift is to hear appreciation from those that you lead that you are making a difference in their lives. To my good bosses out there: Thanks. You know who you are, even without having to read it in my little blog. Your faith and trust were always clear to me, and I appreciate it still. I owe you guys some ice cream. :)

Monster Engine

I ran across a unique artist’s project last week. The premise is pretty cool. Dave DeVries is an illustrator that worked in comics and Universal Studios. He found himself intrigued by the monsters that his niece had drawn in his sketchbook, though, and... using line drawings that children did, he’d evolve them into drawings in 3D color and detail. I’m not doing a great job explaining. Here’s an example.

There are more sketches on his website. What’s great is that he doesn’t use the original sketch just for inspiration, but faithfully uses all the original lines that the kids draw. Very cool, huh? I like it! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Occasionally, my buddy Joe asks if I've been painting. I always feel sheepish saying that, No, I haven't. In truth, what I do isn't really painting. I'm too impatient to haul out tubes of paint, mix colors, stare at a canvas. When I took gouache painting (anything that involves a word that I have to check the spelling everytime I use it; too much work..), my instructor would say that you could layer the paint by diluting it with water, waiting until the last layer was dry, and then "...glaze..." on the next stroke. You could get great gradations this way, layering on paint, instead of just plain solid blocks of pigment. I'd think, "Wait until the last layer is dry? You're kidding, right?". Plus we had to mix our colors from the basic set that we had to work with. [sigh] Needless to say, the whole gouache thing didn't pan out so well (let's just say it's not something I kept up with).

Not long ago, I took a watercolor workshop. That was less painful than gouache. I like it, but it's tough to work with preparing the paper, having it be wet enough but not too wet, letting layers dry before adding more paint ... or playing with having the pigment float.. kinda cool. But then there's what's supposed to be the grace of using just individual, mindful, sweeping strokes. Mmmmm. You're not supposed to smoodge the paint back and forth with the brush (You're not?) - it eats up the fibers, breaks up the surface of the paper, so inelegant. As if an artist's inner critic isn't screaming loud enough to begin with, huh? Okay, so the graceful brush strokes? I'm not quite there yet, but it sounds like a plan. For now I'm just smoodging along.

I've always liked colored pencils, especially the water-soluble ones (watercolor pencils). I know you can buy tubes of paint in different shades too, but I like the idea that the colored pencils won't dry out. And if you take them along, you won't have to deal with loose caps on tubes coming undone and having globs of paint everywhere (really, it's not like I'm a slob. I'm just trying to deal with the reality of it, you know?). I also like that you can leave them dry, or hit them with water (and smoodge the paint around into the paper) to mix the colors, and bring out the intensity more. The faster I can get these done, the more I can do, the more I can experiment and play.
And ... the quicker I can scan them and post them, too! :)


Part of Speech: noun
Definition: a tiny piece of something, esp. food like corn kernels; morsel, shred

Wow, are these going to drive you crazy until you can scroll down (or up?) far enough that they're not displayed on your screen? >:)