serves me right

Well y’all, I painted into the wee hours of the night and just about got all the 7 paintings done to complete the first 12 I promised. I went to bed and thought I would just do the outlines then do the next six. Then the next day to the last six. Then I would do the work for the college I am supposed to get done by the time I go back to work. Right? Wrong.

This is what happens when I take 4 days off and don’t work. I pay the price. I wake up at 7am with a stomach virus. Oh yes. The fun kind. The making bargins with God kind. Then the making bargins with the devil kind. Then the ‘oh please oh please just let me die’ kind. The. Real. Fun. Kind. Where hours and hours after you know you got nothing left, your stomach makes some sadistic bet with some other body part, perhaps that needless, jokester appendix, that trouble maker just trying to make everyone else miseable. It goes like this:

Appendix: Hey, stomach that was a nice performance! Really, you got that stuff outta there!!

Stomach: Gee, thanks Appendix! I do try…

Appendix: It was pretty good.

Stomach: Pretty good? Pretty good? That was some of my best work! I cleaned this girl OUT!!

Appendix: Well, I suppose…if you say so…

Stomach: What??? You don’t think I did enough? You think this girl has anything at all left in her system??? Not a chance!

Appendix: Hey look buddy, if you think that was good enough, then that’s fine. I guess I’m just a perfectionist…

Stomach: What?!?! Well I’ll show you!!

And then I proceed to throw up for another two hours despite the fact that I have absolutely nothing to actually throw up. Dry heaves are just the best, aren’t they? Damn appendix.

So, I didn’t get to paint that day. And the next day I was a bit slow to finish the outlines. I’m a tad behind today as well. But I’m not worried. I figure the devil and I have a pretty good binding contract now, everything will be just fine. I mean, if you can’t trust a stomach flu stopping devil, who can ya trust?

Before

Ok, Christmas was most excellent and I will add pictures later today. I had four glorious days of not working that involved lots of hanging with the kids, relaxing with the family and eating amazing food my mom made. I have no idea how we are related cause i have zero point none of her cooking talent. None. So I ate. A LOT. And somehow did not gain any weight in those four days. Best Boyfriend Ever and i got home yesterday about 4pm. The kids stayed up there for a few more days for extra grandma and grandpa time. We unloaded the car, picked up the mongrels, I mean dogs, and then I jumped on the treadmill because while I didn’t gain anything, I can tell that all the pie and cookies was just waiting until I least suspected it, and that any day now I would get on the scale and I would be 10 lbs heavier. Cause my body is all sneak attack like that. One day my jeans fit fine and the next day? BAM! Can’t. Breathe. So I am on my mission to lose the last 15 lbs. Then I will be happy and all my hopes and dreams will come true. What? No? Don’t skinny jeans have magical dream answering abilities? Shut up. They do too liarheads.

But it is now almost 2pm and I need to finish 7 paintings by the time I go to bed. I have 6 to do tomorrow and 6 the day after. Then all the prototype paintings will be done. I will document the wonderous painting feat here. It is almost 2pm and I slept in so I will have to be up late. I will take one break to go running and then come back to it. Tonite (tomorrow morning?) I will pst the sessions after paintings. Here is the before – tune in about oh, let’s say 3am to see the after…

the end is near….

too…tired…to….post….

Here is what I finished last night. It is two 10×10’s to hang side by side. Cute, huh?
They gave me the photo that looked pretty much just like this. I finished them at 2:30am and took this as I was leaving for work this morning. Tonite is the last late night I hope. I want to finish tonite’s painting because Best Boyfriend Ever has been on a business trip for 3 days and comes home tomorrow and we want to go to a bonfire in the square then go get a pint or four. I’ll prolly take a sip and pass out…

But as tired as I am, I can’t wait to start the painting tonite. it is of a rat terrier on a beach wearing a “Super Dog” tee shirt. Dog people are the coolest!

Celebrating "Close Enough"

So this post can go either way. I can rant on about how this December wasn’t what I wanted it to be or I can try the unthinkable and focus on the positive. Why, oh why is it SO much easier to think about how we screwed up, what we should have done, should have gotten done, all the ways we didn’t come through for ourselves, our friends, our family? I didn’t put up lights outside like I promised myself I would, I didn’t buy that wreath for the door, I didn’t buy new ornaments. I didn’t finish painting the mailbox and replace the plain old black one – this is a mailbox I have been working on for 3 years – I kid you not. (It has Rufus on one side and Lucy on the other and it is A. Dorable.) I didn’t get Christmas cards out, much less design one to send out. Hell, I don’t even know the addresses of the people I would send them to. And these are people I love and cherish. Hope the police never call up asking, “What is your older sister’s address??? Her life DEPENDS ON YOU KNOWING!” She. Would. Be. Screwed.

I did however, put up the tree with the kids the first week of December and hang stockings on the mantle. Um, they are all for the dogs and the fish. None for the people. Is that weird? Don’t answer that. I haven’t even shopped for one single Christmas present. Not one. I have yet to have that cup of eggnog in front of the fire cozied up to Best Boyfriend Ever. I have however, had multiple glasses of wine surrounded by eleventy billion bottles of paint and 12 canvases in varying degrees of painting dryness in front of me, the fireplace, and Best Boyfriend Ever while I painted into the wee hours of the night. Does that count? I have not gone to some decorated Christmas Village with my kids and boyfriend and oohed and ahhed at all the lights while we sipped hot cocoa and took a ride in a horse drawn carriage listening to Bing Crosby croon. I have however, stolen three hours this past Saturday and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas with my daughter while my son ever so grateful, got to go spend three hours at a mall arcade with his best friend and his Dad on leave from Irag. After he movie though we had chocolate milk and coffee at Waffle House. Does that count? The Waffle House had Christmas decorations up. I didn’t hang out with my kids nearly as much as I wanted this past week, and Noah told me that maybe next Christmas I should think about not taking so many commissions because I work too much, but I did take many breaks this weekend to watch him play Legend of Zelda and some Super Mario Hoozeewhatiz game. And man, if they gave scholarships for Wii, I would so not be worried about college! I haven’t hung out with my friends this month like I wanted to, but I have been trying to at least email and keep in touch. It’s better than nothing and I do love them. And I am tired of getting all those, “Hey! Are you alive???” texts and emails. I didn’t win the Biggest Loser Challenge (the final weigh in is today) but I did lose 10 lbs. And that rocks. I can wear jeans I haven’t been able to wear since June. I didn’t finish all my paintings this weekend like I wanted to, but I finished 8 and got them into the mail this morning. I only have 2 left and they are local delivery. And once I get paid on all of them I will have Christmas money for presents. And dammit, if I have to shop on Saturday and Sunday before Christmas, so be it. I only have two commissions left, but yesterday I got two emails for two more. And as much as I swore up one side and down the other that the past two weeks have almost killed me, and that I absolutely, positively would not take any last minute orders, I probably will. Because sure the last bit of extra money is nice, but more so I adore the thought of people opening up my paintings on Christmas Day. For five years now all throughout Christmas day I imagine all the reactions all day long. And the emails the weeks that follow from people saying how much they loved their pet’s portrait coming into my inbox just thrills me. I am glad I haven’t lost that feeling yet.

So even though I haven’t done about a million things on my ‘To do in December’ list, there is a lot I have done. And I should be proud of me. So even though I would find it so much easier to say what a loser I am and drink a bunch of spiked eggnog until my nose is just like Rudolph’s then get fresh with Best Boyfriend Ever, I will feel pretty good about all I got done this month and drink a bunch of spiked eggnog until my nose is like Rudolph’s and then get fresh with Best Boyfriend Ever. Cause tis the season, fa la la la la and all that. heh.

So I leave you with a few images of my Christmas corner, not the whole house. And here is to celebrating all we wanted to do, all we tried to do, and being happy with all we managed to actually get done. Cause that? That is close enough.

Confession

I have to admit something. And I have decided to come forward and speak the truth right here on the innernet y’all. Cause I’m classy like that. December has been a crazy month for me for 5 years now. This year is no exception. I work late every night to get my paintings done so that people have them for Christmas morning. Cause ya know, I took their money and promised them. I have never been late and disappointed a holiday client yet. I am getting close this year, cutting it very close. I have to have all my commissions done and ready to be mailed Monday morning. And I will. But this has caused a strain on me. I have been needing a little extra attention. I have been needing that little something special to get me through it.

Y’all I am having an affair. Yes. It’s true. Best Boyfriend Ever is amazing. Really he is. But lately… well I have been needing more. This new man in my life gets me up in the morning. He is the last man I think about when I go to bed. Before my eyes open in the morning my heart flutters just a bit at the thought of him. In the afternoons he is that second wind, that gets me through to evening, dinners, homework, my late night painting. He is strong, oh so strong. And his scent? No cologne in the world compares… Dare I say it, he gets me more excited than my crush Bon Jovi. Best Boyfriend Ever, I am sorry. For now, just through December, you are going to have to share me. My heart belongs to him:

It hurts to be an artist y’all

Last week I painted every night until midnight or later. That was cool. Friday I got to dress up, have some free wine and food at Best Boyfriend Ever’s company holiday party. That was very cool. Saturday morning I woke up with a pinched nerve in between my shoulder blades that gave me a migraine headache and left me trying to recall as i lay there not able to move exactly what I had done that had broken my neck. And when I realized I had not had enough wine to cause a black out and could not for the life of me remember doing anything acrobatic during the party or after (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) I realized it was a pinched nerve. I guess I should not be surprised between the design work and painting – so many hours of sitting in the same position for hours on end. I guess I need to start some yoga or something. And hey that could help in other areas, right? (wink, wink, nudge.. oh never mind) So basically Saturday which was supposed to be an all day painting day turned into hot showers, icy hot, heating pads and Best Boyfriend Ever being told, “Harder, harder, harder!” Yeah, as he pressed on the knots in my back – what were you thinking?? What kind of readers are you? Oh, MY kind, of course you were thinking the more fun thoughts. Carry on y’all.

So Sunday even though I still really hurt a lot, I HAD to paint. HAD to. I have deadlines and bills. So I took about fourty-hundred advil, icy hotted my little self up and got to work. I painted from 9am to 1:30am only stopping to look up at the before shot and then the after shot from the various plastic surgery shows and listening to everything in between. Oh, and the DaVinci Code? Not so great to just listen to. Lost of subtitles and quiet dark scenes where you have to look up a lot. Just so you know next time you are having a marathon doing something while you watch tv, but can’t actually watch tv.

So all in a all a painfully productive weekend. And I am back at my design job today. Cause I am a trooper y’all! I am not a quitter, or a whiner or a complainer! No! Not me! The show must go on! Well, in reality it is more like, the bills must get paid. So there ya go. I will work until 2pm, go get my kids then paint again tonite. Cause my phone already texted me that I am late with my payment. Like I need my phone reminding me I am late, right? I see a little text icon in my meeting and I get all excited that maybe my boyfriend texted me a little sweet something something and it is my damn phone saying, “Hey loser! You’re late! AGAIN.” Stupid phone.

BUT. I do have something cool to announce y’all. Last week I was contacted by a company that makes commercials. One of the people that worked there had seen my artwork at my last festival. This person asked me if they could use some of my artwork for some tv spots they were doing. He said my art was perfect for it and they would love to use it. !!!!!!!!!! So on Saturday he came by my studio and picked out 7 paintings for commercials shooting all this week. And the BEST part??? It is for the PBS Kids network SPROUT. I could not be more thrilled that my little old art is going to experience 15 seconds of fame. I will post the commercials if I am allowed once they are done. HOW COOL IS THAT?! And i would totally do the happy dance if I could turn my head or move quickly without it hurting so damn bad.

Me and Dr. Phil…perfect together.

I am such a bad blogger. Bad, bad, bad. Leaving you all hanging like that week after week, wondering about my glamorous life and such. Yeah, I know you are. Now you know why I didn’t do that Namopolblowwhatzithoozi. Cause I stink at blogging sometimes. Here is the dealio. I have painting commissions, plus I was getting paintings ready for a book proposal that would be the second in a series if they say yes, plus I am working on 24 prototype paintings for another company for a super cool project we are working on that I cannot talk about yet, plus I am now talking with another company about doing some project sheets and I am working at my design job and up-ing my hours because those crazy kids of mine want more than a pack of chewing gum and a “here’s looking at you, kid” and a pat on the back on Christmas morning. Such spoiled little things.

So I have been a tad busy. But I still loves ya innernet. Even if I am like that boyfriend back in college that only called you when he wanted you-know-what and no matter how many times your girlfriends threatened you or got mad at you, you still went over there despite the guilt you would feel the next morning and besides your girlfriends always forgave you because you always forgave her when she got back from her walk of shame. Cause that’s just the way it is. So come back and keep reading. You know you want to. Come on baby, you know want to, cause it feels soooo goood.

And here is a sneaky peek at some paintings for the second book so y’all don’t think I am a big fat liar and I am in reality hanging out in my sweats and eating cheetos and drinking a nice merlot feeling holierthanthou while I cheer Dr. Phil on as he tells yet another dumbass that he is a dumbass. And now he is a dumbass on national television in front of God and his poor mama.