Monday, July 29, 2013

Jungle Frog

click to enlarge

This is one of my favorite animal illustrations. It is cropped from a much larger tropical scene.  And it is perfect for the theme jungle. I've seen a blue jeans frog in the jungle, but never this kind. 

I was able to capture realistic detail because of patience and size.  I can almost feel his sticky little hands.  And I got to use purple.  I hardly ever use purple!

This post also gives you the opportunity to hop over to a great frog blog post at The Smitten Image  Just be sure to hop back to my blog sometime soon!

Here is a quote from The Smitten Image that left a frog in my throat and a smile on my face. 

I went into a French restaurant and asked the waiter, "Have you got frog legs?"
He said yes.
So I said, "Well, hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich."

Tommy Cooper

 I just couldn't resist re-posting it here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Random Moons


It wasn't many moons ago that I posted my super moon photo.  Here are 5 random painted moons.  It is kind of fun to see how each one turned out a little different.  The top one is cropped from my newest illustration, "The House of Franken Cat"  Coming soon!




Something flew by while I was painting this one.


Well, this one speaks for itself.  I painted it many moons ago.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Super Moon

It's that time of month again.  I've painted it over and over again.  It's my muse.  I love a good full moon.  And I didn't want to miss last month's super moon.  I actually went to bed and then leaped up and ran downstairs.  I forgot to look for the super moon. The horror!  It was just creeping up over the neighborhood homes and trees.  And it really was super duper.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Barbie Memories

I retrofitted my Barbie Memories post for random 5...

5 great things about a miniature super market.  

1)  No parking hassles.  And no need to slump over to the cart return.  The cart just spins around the store.  Over and over...

2) There is no need to walk to the complete opposite side of the store for the only thing you need.  A carton of milk.  Why?  Because the dairy is just sitting at room temperature behind the lettuce.  Look close...

3)  Your kids will think it is the best time they've ever had grocery shopping. No crying fits. Unless they are looking for the candy isle.

4)  There is no cookie isle temptation.  There are no cookies.  No wonder Barbie is so thin.

5)  The paper bags are only big enough to hold a container of tic tacs.  Shopping here means weight loss and fresh breath.  But not much exercise.

For the rest of the story stay tuned...

I dug up my old Barbie Action Super Market last week.  My studio is full of an eclectic mix of old and new objects.  This one is a gem.  Is it cool or what?  The 70's orange colors and all those cute little vegetables.  Priceless! This blast from the past evokes great memories as well.   

 We were on a family vacation in Florida when I received it.  It wasn't even on my Barbie wish list.  My parents did their usual bait and switch at the Hotel room.  Actually, we usually stayed in flea bite motels.  But this was Christmas Eve!  Hotel all the way.  My Dad would say, "Let's go down to the playground." Or what ever excuse they could dream up.  Then when we got back to the room all my Christmas gifts would be there.  We took many a family trip over Christmas.  And I tell you what.  When there is a Disney World involved.  Who needs a Christmas tree!  But this Christmas I remember we went to the weird and wonderful mermaid park,  Weeki Wachee.   If you have heard of this park please leave a comment! I had a blast watching the mermaid performers swim like dolphins.  And I also got to make one of those classic wax toys where you put money in a machine and watch it carve your object.  Cool!  But not as cool as my new Barbie Grocery Store I'm sure.

There's lettuce, canned pineapple and peas, tomatoes, peppers, lemons, oranges, and orange turnips.  Go figure.

The checkout is so cute.  Push the green button and the yellow tab goes up.

Real brown paper bags and paper coins.  I was such a good little girl that I bet I didn't lose one coin!

You put your Barbie in the shopping cart and then turn the wheel and she shops!

 The box.  Priceless.

P.S.  My husband surprised me and put some of my business cards in the shopping cart.  I left them there.  Cute.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Grand Old Osprey

I photographed this osprey at Sudgren Park in Florida last March.  But ospreys are pretty dime a dozen down there.  This particular fellow (or gal) was having a grand old time splashing and bathing in the water.  I guess the living is so easy in FLA that a bird has plenty of recreation time.  Just like the tourist folk I guess.

For more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday  And to see my latest post on the Mayan Ruins of Caracol, Belize visit my Money Ball post.  You don't need to win the jackpot to get a sneak peak!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Money Ball

click to enlarge

I knew I had to post something really special for the theme travel this week.  So I went excavating in my attic.  I found this ancient artifact that will mysteriously pair perfectly with my travel photos.  Hmmm.  Why would that be? I did this drawing back in high school.  And there is really no doubt that it was done in the 80's.  Look at those puff sleeves. They match the puffy poodle!  Well, I had a lot of fun drawing this collage way back in the olden days.  Obviously, it is all about money.  A silver spoon and 100 dollar bill.  Thanks Mom for giving me some green to copy.  I wonder if I got to keep it...  

So flash forward to 2013 when my husband and I were heading to the Mayan ruins of Caracol, Belize.  It is located in the middle of no where.  A logger stumbled across it in 1937.  But it dates back to 1200 B.C.  It held some 100,000 people back then.

The main structure of Caana is still the tallest structure in Belize.  

Money!  I told you there was a connection.  My new goal is to photograph a bill at a cool tourist spot on all our trips.  Caana has got to be the best in Belize.

This is the second structure located on top of Caana.  That's why it is so tall.  And you can't see it from the ground because it is set back.  You can see miles of jungle from the top.

This photo was taken from the top overlooking two smaller structures on each side.

Someone caught me.

The mandatory foot photo.  Or in this case feet.  This was taken from the top of the first level.

This money is from Costa Rica.  You can see both sides when you hold it up to the light.  This was my first money shot.  Now my goal is to take these photos on all our trips.  Bring them on...

P.S.  For more on Caracol visit  And if you have any friends interested in Mayan ruins pass on this post to them. We are also lucky to have an ancient Maya exhibit at our local Science Museum.  It will take a lot less money to see that!

Friday, July 12, 2013

What's in your misc. drawer?

So, what's in your miscellaneous drawer?  Mine has...

1) chop sticks

2) sad cookie cutters

3) old product warranties 

4) birthday candles

5) Lost pets.  Sigh.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pretty Grebe

I caught what I think is a young Grebe on Grass Lake last night.  I'm not sure if it young or a Grebe.  But it has some fluffy feathers.  And with my limited knowledge I think it is a grebe.  Do any of my unfeathered friends from Wild Bird Wednesday know what it is?  I'm sure you do.  The air was humid, the lighting was soft and pretty and the birds filled the lake last night.  Just the way I like it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A good day in America



and Blue

I photographed what I think is the epitome of a perfect red rose last week at the Rose Gardens by Lake Harriet.  The lighting was perfect, the air was perfumed and the night was warm.  Sigh.  A good day in America. 

The water lily unfolded its perfect white petals as we skimmed the water in a canoe.  The warm breeze drifted by, ducks faintly quacked around us and dragonflies floated on the wind.  Another magical day in America.

A bounty of blackberries was foraged on a hot summer day.  The light filtered through the thick trees, peculiar mushrooms sprouted under foot and turkeys gobbled in the distance. 

 And then there is the all American blackberry shortcake to be savoured afterwards.  It is good to be alive. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Have you eaten something Red, White and Blue today?

I'm revamping last year's July 4th post for this year's Random 5.  What's red, white and blue and has 5 ingredients?  My favorite summer breakfast.

1) Toast a slice of french bread loaf.  Wonder bread from the super market may be all american, but don't do it.

2) Spread on some whipped cream cheese.

3)  Sprinkle on some raw sugar.

4) Top with your favorite summer berries.  (black raspberries and red raspberries are shown)

5) Drop some sliced, toasted almonds on top.

Eat like a chipmunk!

click to enlarge

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mother Duck

We were walking at Lake Harriet last weekend and this mother duck crossed the road with her newest batch.  They journeyed from the swamp side across the busy road and into the lake.  Probably for the 1st time since they were born. The evening light was reflecting on the water.  So I hoped they would swim over towards sunset...

And they did.  I managed to snap a few streaky light filled silhouettes before they exited the frame. 

For more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday  

Monday, July 1, 2013

That's just dandy!

I was inspired to take a new dandelion shot (top) after visiting The Smitten Image a few weeks ago.  Hillary had a beautiful close up.  It is actually pretty amazing just how beautiful our pesty and determined lawn weeds can be.  I even caught some blooming crab apple trees in the background.  

But the bottom photo is my favorite dandelion stage.  The puffy part.  The seeds were also planted in my, "Great Expectations" illustration below.

click to enlarge

This illustration is so detailed it is hard to see it all at this size.  But the dandelion seeds are floating all around the scene.  I wonder if this marriage will be as firmly planted, steadfast and prolific as the dandelion.  The answer is in the wind...