I spent the weekend in New Mexico visiting a friend. That place is flat and boiling hot. I like a good, blazing sun right up until 90 degrees. That temperature is my "no one should live here ever" threshold. Walking was like be chased by the sun.
Albuquerque has a weird flatness that seems like it's just waiting for rolling dark clouds of the Apocalypse to cover the landscape. Something about the visual proportion of sky to ground is a perfect backdrop for clouds of destruction. Maybe it was the crystal clarity of the sky; the clouds are so defined they look unreal.
The flora and fauna reinforces the doom vibe. Everything I saw was spiky and twisty. I quite liked that squash plants look like they can cut you. I like my plants like I like my jewelry - pointy.
For dinner, squash and bloody hands.
Lest you think I didn't enjoy myself, all of these things count in Albuquerque's favor. I like a little edge on a place.
Been experimenting with my new colored sketching pencils from the craft swap. Turns out they don't scan as well as hoped. My current regular pencils are kind of rough when used over the light blue pencil I use for initial drawings. Might be time to buy better supplies. Ah well.
As to why this guy has puff balls floating around his head - um, I started drawing a space princess who then turned into a guy in a suit. He likes them. He has little pet names for them and they talk to him in high-pitched voices and make it hard for him to work. He will one day run a large conglomerate and no one will ever question why they are there.
Natural hair is a bitch to draw. The fullness of Black hair can be difficult to capture well in line drawings. This was my attempt to capture a specific style of big hair. I tried to represent the fullness, curl and body without drawing every single hair but couldn't manage it. Filling in all the lines made me bitter with this drawing. Maybe I'll like it next week.
(FYI: "natural hair" in this context is Black hair sans a perm, process, pressing, braiding or weave. There's a lot of variety in African-American hair in terms of texture and tightness of curl.)
Note: Today's post will be a very short, pictorial rant because I'm very tired and have eaten more cookies then food.
I have a deep love and appreciation of vintage illustration. I remember the books of my childhood as riots of colors and styles, an eclectic mix of interesting and beautiful images. Then I had a child and found out children's books had become horrible.
Hub and I have been a little bummed lately so I decided to cheer us up by making chocolate chip cookies. Three cookies in, it was a brilliant idea. Six cookies in I realized I should have eaten dinner first. Husband-cat powered through all dough related items and seemed none the worse for wear. I'll call it a win.
Along the way to this glutinous end, I got to experiment with our oversize oven. Until I met Cece (aka Lady E) I didn't know there was a whole methodology to assessing your oven. During previousadventures she informed me that our oven runs twenty degrees hotter than it says it does. This is information I need because I like my cookies toasted along the edge, soft in the middle, not raw at all. Not the easiest thing to achieve. On our oven, this takes three minutes instead of the ten called for by the recipe.
Way back when Psycho Bambi and I were room-mates, we had an oven we affectionately called our nuclear option. It mostly went unused because Bambi don't bake, but I had decided to make cookies for the second Lord of The Ring movie. Lolo and I were driving to theater two cities away so we could see it before it left theaters because we're geeky like that.
Imagine my surprise when smoke started pouring out of the oven before the recipe's ten minutes were up. I tried another batch. This time it spat out charred chunks at the five minute mark. Yanked at three minutes, I couldn't separate cookie from pan. I finally found the perfect balance at thirty seconds with the door half-open. In the end my 60-cookie recipe ended up being a sad sack of twelve cookies. TWELVE!
Nonetheless, any outing that has cookies can be considered successful. Lolo and I spent two hours after the movie talking about medieval military strategy for sieges and advancements in movie technology. Also, the base sexism and stupidity of not training and arming women and children if you know the enemy is going to slaughter them anyway. You know, the usual things us girls like to chat about.
...Well, there was one discussion of Legolas' hotness with Lolo firmly on the "hell no, blondy" side and me on the "but he moves like a cat! imagine the possibilities" side. When Hub and I started dating that conversation came back to haunt me. Lolo made sure of it, Husband-cat being the first blonde I ever dated and all. (I regret nothing.)
Only two faces this week. Up from last week's sad lone face. Current crop of illness is kicking the crap out of Husband-cat and I. Realized I shouldn't be driving because sinus pressure and pain were making me light-headed. Apparently decongestants can't solve everything. Fortunately, I have NyQuil to take me away from all this mouth breathing nonsense. (Yes, I actually have to walk around with my mouth hanging open to receive sufficient oxygen. I feel quite silly. Oxygenated, but silly.)
My good deed this weekend was participating in a craft swap. If you think that's not a good deed, remember that Husband-cat is a minimalist and I have boxes I haven't unpacked in years. I rooted around in our basement, battling spiders and hearing suspicious scratching noises from outside the house (not less creepy than inside, I assure you). I came up with two full bags, mainly beads and art supplies.
This prompted me to wonder the following: when the fuck did I get so many interesting and esoteric beads? What on earth did I plan to do with them? The volume far exceeded a casual interest so I must have had some sort of plan -- perhaps from a summer of my innocent youth. That thought made me sad to part with them. It was like giving away my faint memory of being that young and wanting to make shiny baubles to adorn myself.
Packing them up for the exchange I could almost remember who I was when I had them, how I played with them and designed things in my head. I never made anything with them. Now my creative interest lies elsewhere. Guess that's a lesson, you should always act on the plans in your head. Otherwise they'll fade away.
But you can't make new if you're bogged down with the old. I came back from the swap with a fistful of loot including a vintage card game called Snap (which I always say in my head as "Oooooh, Snap!"):
This style of vintage illustration always makes me think of wood paneled dens and tv dinners. It is kitschy awful, but I really like it..