September 27, 2015

Gift of Three

gift of three
close up
This week's Creative Tuesdays' theme is 'Gifting.' This piece is based on an older drawing which I have always wanted to redo. I was going to go with a square box, a round box and a triangle box but when I went to color it, I decided to make the round one a snow globe and then I thought maybe something else besides another box and it ends up being a candy jar. Those are soft candies that is coated with sugar, I don't know the exact name but I've always like them. So there you go, a gift of three. And no, I don't know why their hair is entwined like that but I like it.

For more of this week's Creative Tuesdays' participants, go here

September 24, 2015

Mini thoughts on books read

I don't write book reviews. That is, I don't know how to write book reviews. All I can do is point out what I like and don't like about a book. So these are not reviews, these are mini thoughts.

01/ Of things gone astray by Janina Matthewson
This book is more like stories with a loose theme of people losing things. I think it's more fun this way then a regular novel would have been. I love the writing and the wacky characters. It's just the type of book I lean toward - some quirkiness, some humor, some sadness and just a bit of fantasy.
02/ Wonder at the edge of the world by Nicole Helget 
I like the book enough but I'm not sure I would read it again. I guess I was hoping for something great to happen at the end and that Wonder (that is her name) would've changed a bit, grow in some way because of the journey she went through but she didn't. Or maybe I just didn't catch it. Wonder is quite a character in her ways - caring, strong, short tempered, brass even but I like her character. My expectations may have been too high but the gorgeous cover is just so, well, gorgeous that I had expected more from the book. It's not a scary book at all but it does have certain elements that might be scary though I was a bit put off by the process of how whales were being catpured - it's the one thing some readers might not like reading about. But if you're not afraid of shrunken heads, murderous pirates, whales, sailors, immortal beings then you'll like this book.

September 19, 2015

Things I learned from doing the 'Get to know your fellow blogger' Q&A series

This project started in May 2015 which at the time I thought I would do ten interviews but nine is a pretty good number. I sort of got lazy in June/July and didn't really want to do it anymore.  In August, I got distracted by other things so there was not much done. But I guess it's good that there is completion even with just nine interviews. I got some good responds and enjoyed reading the answers and that's good enough for me. Anyway, here's nine things I learned from doing the interviews:

01/ I don't seem to know that many male bloggers. I mean, on my reading blogroll, there's a whole bunch of them but I still wonder if the blogger population is off balance but it's probably not true. I suppose it's because I keep coming across female bloggers so often that it feels that way.

02/ I actually know more about certain bloggers than I thought which is not a bad thing.

03/ Strangely, I did not ask what each blogger does for a living which I now wish I had. But when I think it over, it's probably best not to ask because that's probably the last question anyone would want to answer. And I certainly didn't like answering the question either.

04/ Most bloggers has been blogging for more than 5 or 6 years and I have that in common with them.

05/ It is very time-consuming trying to format a post especially when I keep reading and re-reading just to correct a space or a line break and also the software quits when I'm just in the process of finishing something, that and net services that seems to skip and stop working in between minutes. I guess it's a good thing I do not edit them in the blog post rather, I did my edits in a word software.

06/ The word 'stuck' is used 3 times. Perhaps I myself am familiar with the word that often associates with the things I do that resonates with me.

07/ I used the Q&A series to find new books to read. Okay, maybe it's not entirely true but why else did I ask everyone the one book they love and willing to recommend? The question just came out of my head which does not necessary means I know why I ask it.

08/ This would have been easier if I did not have individualized questions and some of the questions were a bit redundant now that I read them again but all the same, it was nice of people to answer them.

09/ I do not think I would dare to do this if I have to conduct the interviews in person plus traveling expenses would be so huge that I would have to get a second job and third job just to pay for them. But I am really glad that I did this.

I like to thank Carrie, Katrin, Emma, Michael/Mr. Toast, Geraldine, Sarah, Frances, Carver, Tammie Lee and everyone that had encouraged me to do this. Thank you everyone! And I hope never to do this again. Okay, I'm joking. Maybe not.

For the complete list of interviews, go here.

Now, it's your turn to ask me questions. Just leave them in the comments and I'll answer them in a post or not, depends on the question. Happy blogging!

September 16, 2015

Seven Things: mermaids, writings & other ordinary musings

'sleeping mermaid'
01/ I have given the above drawing the title, 'sleeping mermaid' because I always give my piece the easy title when I'm too lazy to think of a real title.  I'll probably never finish this drawing. I've tried adding things to it - seaweeds, flowers, vines, tangles of unsorted objects but I can't seem to do it. I like it the way it is now - uncolored, unshaded, surrounded by nothing but air and space. There's peace in that I think - the unfinished thought, the gap between change and not change. As much as I like drawing mermaids, I tend to lean toward keeping them in their own environment - i.e., the water. I suppose I find them to be too mystical to really exist. To see them above water is to acknowledge they might just be real.

02/ Sometimes I just wish I could stop and let the neighbor's dog bite me so I can get over the fear of getting bitten but then I thought why should I? If dog owners can't get into the habit of keeping their dog on a lease, if they can't keep their dogs from running off after people, well, I just don't know.

03/ Do you know 'shift 3' makes the hashtag (#) that is used in twitter? I saw this movie where a man was typing in a code but the guy reading the code to him said 'hashtag' and the man was almost panicking because he doesn't know what the hell that is until someone shouted "Shift 3!" It's all very amusing to me. I mean, I was that guy panicking over the keyboard because I have no clue when it comes to such things. Now, I do but still, I haven't a clue how it all works and I like to keep it that way.

04/ There's a folder on my laptop devoted to my fiction writing.  I keep drafts of everything I wrote.  There's folders within folders of writings and even as I keep sorting them out, I still end up with... more drafts. Once in a while, I go over each story, each piece and edit them, rewrite them, but I always end up with another version and that version gets added to the list. I guess I wish I am more adamant about finishing but somehow I'm not. Sometimes I think it would be best to just abandon them and just quit writing altogether. So what I have written about 300 hundred stories and half dozen half novels? I could just quit without a reason. Quitting isn't the end. Quitting is just quitting.

05/ I still have secret hopes that some of my favorite bloggers that had not been blogging will return one day. It's just ashamed how so many bloggers just disappeared on you. I mean, I know they have lives and blogging is unimportant but still, I just wish they would come back even for brief periods. I sort of miss them even though I'm not even certain who they really are. I still have them listed on my blogroll though.

06/ I seem to forget easily, the places I have been, the things I have seen and even the paths that I routinely walked on. But I notice changes to places that sat in my mind for long period of times. I see the changes that are put up like the color of a wall or subtle changes that only those who had seen the same place often enough to know there is a change and I wonder when did it happened and how come it took me so long to notice it?

07/ Sometimes I wish there is a 'creative people who are unmotivated to create but still wants to create but don't really want to do anything about it' camp. Really, just making the badge sounds like fun.

September 14, 2015

Get to know your fellow blogger: Frances

This is the last interview for the 'Get to know your fellow blogger' Q&A series. This last one is: Frances from Just Expressing Myself.

[ Part I: About blogging ]
01/ How many blogs do you have that are currently active?
Just this one, though shortly you will find a tumblr or two in the side bar. During the last several weeks I closed down all my active and inactive blogs. I have kept most of the .com names, and will be directing them all to Just Expressing Myself. It's a long list that includes Ms. Moblog, Simply Frances, Frances D, Photo Stroll, Blogdacity, and Coffeebarchick.

Just Expressing Myself was actually one of the first .coms I purchased and used. After I closed down the original site I kept the name pointing at my main blog of the moment.

02/ What would be the tag line for your blog? If no tag line, what is your blog about?
The tag line is "in as many ways as I can."  It's what my now 15 plus year blogging journey has been all about: Just Expressing Myself in as many ways as I can. I have created just about every kind of blog: personal, group, audio, photo, quote, everything but a vlog. But now that my photo appears right on my homepage video could be next. I've also used quite a few of the available blog hosts: Wordpress.com, Blogger, Typepad, Square Space, Angelfire,  Live Journal, Dead Journal, Posterous, Tumblr, Side Blog, Yahoo 360...

03/ Is your blog a reflection of you or just a place for your creative/personal outlet?
Both. When I first began blogging I was totally anonymous. I was so afraid of anyone finding out. Then I showed my blog to a trusted friend, one who I knew would tell me the truth, and they loved it. That led to me writing under my own name. It took a while, but eventually I posted random photos of myself. Funny thing; those first photos were usually reflections of myself in mirrors, or my feet.

04/ How did you come up with the name for your blog?

Blog names usually come to me between 2 to 4am.  Guess those are my magickal hours. Thank goodness I chose a company 24-7 customer service.

05/ Do you have a blogroll or a reading list of your favorite blogs? If not, then what blogs do you like reading?
I am currently working on a blogroll page for Just Expressing Myself - it's going to be long one too.

September 4, 2015

First Versions II

My process, well, not much of a process, but my process is to hand draw, scan in the drawing and color it in Photoshop. Sometimes I do use actual tools - like color pencils, watercolors but mostly it's all color in the computer. By using the computer, I somehow managed to save mulitple versions of a drawing - more than I should but I do always save the first version which is usually hand-drawn.  Here's some first versions with the final versions next to them.

Click on the image for a larger view.

'valentines wings'

Not much on this piece. I did this a while ago so I can't even remember how this came about. I sort of like the looseness of the first version but I'm always trying to straighten the lines and making the curves smooth so it's a wonder I ever finish any piece.

'subway christmas'
The version on the left was created because of a theme about holidays. I like the idea of her hair as a christmas tree and she wears red like santa, another christmas related sort of thing. The flowers in the background was added because I didn't quite like the empty space. I was going to add something besides flowers but I cannot remember what that was.

The version on the right was used as a christmas card. I definitely prefer this version. The flowers were changed to stars as that make more sense. If you click on the image for a closer look, you will see a lot of stars everywhere. I added falling snow as well because why not? It's a christmas scene and what's christmas without snow?

'remember paris/sleepless'
The first version (at left) is colored in color pencil, the second one (in the middle) is colored in Photoshop and the third one (at right) is all done in Photoshop. Actually there is a fourth version that I used for the first post of this blog but that is almost the same as the second version here.

This was orginially titled, 'remember paris' or 'remembering paris,' I forget which but it was a sort of a tribute to a fellow blogger who had recently closed their blog at the time. It was the third version that was posted.

I think now that the glass that she is leaning on should have faced the other way toward the road but I decided no, this is fine, perhaps she is between two roads, sort of in the middle and I that her pausing there makes sense - she's in the middle and she's deciding whether to go or whether to stay. I have worked on a fifth version facing the other way but it didn't work out.

I think my favorite is the middle version. It's clean, simple and it took the least time of all the three.

Well, there you go. What you think?