Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Monday

Been pretty busy out here in Blackburnia! Hope you all had a great weekend.

I completed a pastel of a pit bull, a memorial portrait which was a gift to the late pup's owner from her friends (that's so nice!) I struggled with it a bit, because a. I'm rusty (been hard to work for awhile), and b. it was maybe the 3rd pastel I've ever done! Oh, and c. it was definitely the first pitty I've done, and man, are they different from greyhounds! (duh!)

So, just for fun, I thought I'd show you my halting and stumbling process on that one. I did a real rough sketch, just to get the hang of the paper and the pastels, and to work out the shadows and colors a bit.

Ew. Not too hopeful about it at this stage!

I transferred the drawing onto the dull pink paper, and got into the background, first (again, getting a feel for the pastels on the paper)
Ghost dog! LOL!

Next stage - pretty far along, but I'm not happy with it. It's kinda comic-bookish, in the shadow style.

I worked it some more, some more, and some more, changing shadows, adding back in some lighter areas, fiddling with the eyes ... And called it at this stage, right here.

The ladies who commissioned it were happy with it, including some sniffles and eye-dabbing, so that's always a good sign. I hope the owner likes it!

Friday, I got a call from C, the woman I met last week, inviting me to a birthday party. Her daughter, a 19 year old, works with developmentally disabled folks, and has taken a special interest in this one young lady who, as it turned out, had never had a birthday party in her 23 years. :( So, when they learned that, C and her daughter just started calling people and inviting them for a do at their place. Probably 30 or so showed up, including her dad (but not her mom, nor any of her regular caregivers or teachers, nor her siblings - including a twin sister). We all hung out in C's barn, around the wood stove, chatting, meeting each other (in my case), watching Brianna use her talking board (a device that she can choose words on to make sentences, and then hit a button to make a voice read it aloud). She lined up a fishing trip to a mountain lake on "opening day" with one family there.

C wanted to make sure I met another friend of her's, an artist who also does pet art, so she introduced us. You know me; nervous and shy, but, unless I'm putting my foot loudly in my mouth, most people don't know how awkward I'm feeling (I hope!) I stumbled gamely along, talking to this artist, her husband, and another couple that were nearby. The ended up inviting me to walk up through the woods to their house, to take a little tour, and get a brochure to their community studio tour. After my tour of their studio (he makes brooms, boats, native american-style carvings, etc., including the brooms for the Harry Potter movies), their gardens, their potential pygmy goat barn, meeting their two chickens, and viewing some of their work on their living room walls, chatting about local gardening tips, etc., they invited me to come back any time, "have a glass of wine, watch the sun set!" Very nice people. By this time, my jaw was beginning to clench and my guts were vibrating as if I was hypothermic, so I was ready to leave by the time I got back to C's. Things were breaking up, so my exit was not abrupt. I managed not to run to my car, or peel out too bad down the driveway. Whew!!

Before I left, I managed to propose a dinner at our place to C, who said she'd like that.
We had been wanting to get Bippy and Lenny over for dinner, too, and to get Stefan and them together, as well, so we just decided to go for it, and have them all over on Sunday, called them, got 3 yesses and an answering machine for C.

Saturday, it rained, but we decided to go for a walk anyway. We took the dogs up to Blaine, to walk through the park and down to the pier. Even though it was unpleasant weather, it was still good to walk.
Headed out towards the pier, Semiahmoo in the distance.

Low tide in Drayton Harbor! :P

Squab on a string! LOL

Seagulls braving the pack of hounds coming at them.

Back through the marina.

Sunday, we cleaned, shopped, cooked, showered, walked the dogs, hung a new babygate to keep the dogs out of the dinner plates, and were all set up when Lenny and Bippy, then Stefan showed up. That was about when C called to say she'd just gotten back from Seattle, but would love to come if we were still on. You bet! C'mon over! Stefan and Lenny got into music in seconds, and were deeply engrossed. Bippy, H and I chatted away while I wrapped up the last minute stuff for dinner. When C got there, we were ready to sit down, so we did.
Creamy leek tart with nut crust and mushroom topping
Sweet potatoes with coconut oil, lime juice and zest, and grated ginger
Vegan sausage gone all smokey with collard greens (which pick up the smokey flavor - yum!)

Dessert was Mango, Vanilla, and Chocolate Ice cream-like substance

Beverages included Rwandan ice tea (thanks Mom!), non-alcoholic beer, wines, coffee and water. Appetizers were marinated olives with fresh rosemary, sardines (yuck!), cheese and crackers.

We all got along well, H and S demonstrated their various sword forms of tai chi out on the deck, Lenny got into my sheet music and proposed we get together to play, and took some piano parts with him to practice (ACK! Now I have to get practiced!!)

Stories of world travels, pets, wildlife rehabilitation in a dorm room (C rescued two baby skunks, and raised them to release, while in college!), music, news, food and art (including C's duct tape masterpiece bathroom!) were all enjoyed.

I think everyone had a good time, and I don't think I was too hysterical. H says not.
;P And the house is still clean! :D Bonus!

And my regular gratuitous picture of my honeyman.


  1. Glad you did the final touches on the pit - she looks much happier now than in the first version. Great job! Weather looks yucky, but you already know that. See? you survived your b-day party, as strange as it sounded, and your dinner party all in one week! Are you recovered?
    The menu sounds... er... creative. JK - yummo! Did they bring anything? Thanks for blogging!

  2. I did some recovering today, I have to say. But, it was good, if challenging, stuff to do. Fun, even.

    What?? You don't think my food sounds fabulous?? Well! Okay, it might not have been the most harmonious meal, but it was still all tasty!
    Yes, Stefan brought non-alc beer, and Bippy and Lenny brought wine and a great big dog treat.


I can't wait to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.