I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Saturday, September 21, 2019


I keep a folder for dreams, not every day dreams, but the ones waking me up at 2:15 in the morning.  Of course they aren't always at 2:15, but a surprising amount of them are at that time.  I take notice when one of them comes because my subconscious is trying to tell something my conscious brain rejects or can't see.

I recently heard the best description I've heard yet to describe intuition.  Our conscious mind is slow compared to our subconscious brain.  Think of it like a computer.  Our conscious brain only uses the data and programs it needs to get something done.  Our subconscious is everything on our hard drive.  It's all our programming and everything we've ever experienced.

Say you meet someone new and you mistrust him immediately.  You don't consciously know why you don't like him, but you feel it in your belly he's a snake.  Your subconscious knows why you don't like him, but it's too hard to tell your waking mind all of the reasons why you should avoid this guy.  In an ideal world we'd just thank our subconscious for remembering all the warning signs and repeat the adage to always trust your intuition.

Sometimes I argue with my intuition.  Maybe everyone else likes this new guy.  Maybe I've been burned too many times?  Maybe I should listen to all those people who tell me to be more open and trusting?  Ten years later I might be kicking myself at the memory of how my intuition told me not to trust the guy.

But sometimes I get those 2:15 a.m. dreams that kick me in the head about something.  Then I'm more likely to trust my gut because whether I can explain it rationally or not, those dreams tell me something I need to know.  Of course sometimes apocalyptic dreams of tornadoes may not get me to really understand the coming storm is Tony, but the dream will definitely get my attention and make me think about things.

I'd rather have flying dreams.  They're just fun, but I'm grateful for the tornado dreams too.

Unrelated to dreams, I was frankly avoiding my dogless house one day and went to Goodwill where I bought wallpaper for my bathroom.  The walls in that room aren't the best and wallpaper covers a million sins.  The old paper was pretty tired looking and I figured I needed a project to keep my mind off things.

Stripping off the old paper went pretty well, but the new paper was miserable to put on.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Goodwill, it's a second-hand store that sells things cheap.  Sometimes you get what you pay for.  As I balanced precariously on the side of my tub and strained to reach the corners by the ceiling I decided I'm definitely getting too old for this kind of thing.  I think I'll live with this wallpaper forever.  Thankfully, I'm starting to love it.

Then, I decided to show off the new paper and decided to take a picture.  Well, but the grout looked kind of bad now that the walls looked pretty.  I spent a lot of time peroxiding the grout for your benefit.  You'll notice there's a lot of grout between all those tiles, but I figure this is the only time I'll be taking a picture of my bathroom :)

Next time I complain about plumbing you'll understand why.
This bathroom is really, really vintage.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

"Cabin 2"

Almost 20 years ago, I petted Stella, Bro2's roommate's nasty little Jack Russell Terrier.  "This dog is pregnant", I said.  "No, no", Bro replied.  Never mind he had an unfixed dog in his apartment as his humanitarian effort to help the overcrowded dog pound and Stella wasn't spayed.  Bro laughed at the thought they could even get it together since Stella was tiny and the pound dog was enormous.

Really, when are people going to start believing me when I say stuff?  About a month later, Bro confirmed Stella's pregnancy and begged me to take a coming puppy.  I had an old Dalmatian and didn't want one, but gave Bro a chance.  I typed 2 single-spaced pages of requirements and said if a puppy was born that fit all of these needs I'd take it.

I was very specific.  I'd had years of b/w spotty dogs so I wanted a brown dog with a long tail, floppy ears, black nose, female, small like Stella, but with the pound dog's nice personality.  I knew the puppies would be Pisces and demanded one with an Aries ascendant so it would be able to stand up to my grouchy, old Dalmatian.  I wanted a good bark for security reasons.  On and on and on.  I wasn't trying to be reasonable.  I didn't really want a puppy, but I got one anyway.  She was too young to leave Stella too, just 4 weeks old, but Bro was in the Navy and got shipped to Bahrain so I had to take her.

Since she was so young, I paper trained her.  That's a helpful skill for a dog to have anyway since it gives an option if I'm away from the house too long.  I've never had any trouble training puppies, but this was the stupidest puppy ever.  Little turds were dropped just off the paper.  Little puddles on my wood floor.  I'll admit, I lost my patience and screamed about this after a few months.  No puppy should take that long to train.  Then, I caught my evil Dalmatian dropping puppy-sized poops on my floor, just missing the paper.  At least then my screaming was at the right culprit.  It's my everlasting shame that I yelled at my puppy for something she didn't do.  I apologized many times about that.  The Dal quit messing the house once she was busted.

My puppy was a devoted little dog.  Once, I went swimming in Lake Erie with a couple of friends.  We left all of our dogs on the deserted beach.  The other dogs ran around the beach like dogs do, but my tiny puppy swam out to me through the pre-storm choppy waves.  I was pretty far out and didn't see her at first.  I swam as fast as I could to rescue her.  She was exhausted and lay quietly in my arms as I used my old life saving skills to get her back to the beach.  I promised I'd never leave her on the beach again.

She managed my schedule and told me when to eat, when to work, when to watch TV.  She kept the groundhogs and rabbits under control until she got too old to chase them.  She daintily walked around my art piles on the floor.  She happily went on my de-littering walks in the neighborhood and did some pretty serious hiking with me through the years.  She was always sweet.

The first thing I do every day is fill her food and water bowls.  Today, they weren't there to fill.  I didn't know how to start my day.  I forgot to eat supper last night and almost forgot to brush my teeth.  I keep expecting to see her under my feet.  I'm lost and sad because my roommate of almost 20 years is gone.  I held her as she died and she wagged her long tail.  I sang her our song, "I love my dog, I love my dog, and my dog loves me!"

Some people don't understand how tight we get with our furry friends, or see why we'd want to care for another who will always be dependent like a child.  One person told me to quit having dogs since my heart breaks when they die.  People like that can't feel the love and companionship my puppy gave me through the years.  It's worth today's loss, though I'll miss her more than I can say.  I hope she's there to meet me when it's my turn to go to the other side.

She did have floppy ears except when there were varmints in
the yard or I was taking pictures of her.
The art above is an old doodle from when she was young and perky.  It doesn't have anything to do with a cabin other than taking her camping, but then IF is still falling behind on Friday words.

Sunday, September 1, 2019


Back when I was in college, some cute boys proudly announced they'd gotten a cabin for the weekend in Southern Ohio.  They wanted my friend and I to go with them.  "You've got to be nuts.  It's winter!", I said.  The boys wheedled and cajoled.  "It'll be warm in the cabin!", they responded.  I wasn't a complete fool.  There are cabins, and then there are cabins.  Some wouldn't be much better than sleeping in a tent staked onto frozen ground.  "No, no", they said, "It has a TV and everything!"  I didn't care about watching TV in the woods, but if there was electricity it had to be reasonably civilized.  I agreed to go.

The days are short in January, and drive to Southern Ohio from Central Ohio was longer than anyone expected, so it was full dark by the time we got there.  We had to hike in the blackness up a steep hill without a flashlight since college boys apparently don't think of useful things like flashlights.  We stayed in the dark once we found the cabin because nothing happened when the light switch was flipped.  I couldn't see anything except sparks while the boys tried to start a fire in the fireplace.  I asked about restroom facilities and was told to just go off the back deck.  Oh yay.  Camping with boys in winter.  There wasn't even a moon that night.  No stars.  Just blackness.  I clutched the deck rail and hoped I didn't fall into oblivion.

There was a fire by the time I got back inside, but for some reason it didn't give off any heat.  We gathered dusty mattresses from the cots and made a barrier around ourselves to trap some warmth.  One of the boys proudly showed me the TV.  "See!  I told you it was here!!"  A tiny portable TV with the screen kicked out and no electricity, but sure, the TV existed.  Should I still call him honest if his honesty was to purposely mislead?

One boy was good with a guitar and I happily sang with everyone else while we drank heavily as college kids often do.  I slept soundly and didn't even hear it when the beer froze on the mantle and exploded in the night.

I woke up the next morning and went outside.  I got my first look at my surroundings.  The large deck had a giant hole in the center that gave an excellent view of the stream 200 feet or so straight below.  Any of us could've fallen to our deaths in our drunken bathroom visits the night before. 

When I got past the shock of that truth, I silently absorbed the beauty of the place: tall trees, a frozen waterfall, all wrapped in deep, deep virgin snow.  My silence was broken by a fellow reveler coming out and taking a leak over the deck rail, happily chattering about everything.  Soon, everyone was awake and making a racket.  There were snowball fights, treks up the frozen river, and boyish efforts to bust up the pretty, frozen waterfall.  A good time was had by all but I've maintained my suspicions about boys' promises and winter camping.  I'll give them this though, they did give me an experience to remember.

Oops!  I forgot to post this on Illustration Friday.  Since IF hasn't given a new word yet (Saturday) I'll post this on the site and see if we eventually get a new word. 

For those of  you who alread read this and came back looking for a new post, here's a pickle photo.  This is 2 pecks of cukes -- which is a lot.  It's what I did with my Saturday since I didn't have an IF word to keep me occupied :)