Monthly Archives: January 2011


I’m sick.  I’ll talk to you all soon.  In the meantime, enjoy.

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Group of 7

Where To Go From Here

Throwing all caution and words of advice about keeping things simple to the wind (nothing new there), I just had to go and tackle something not so simple.

Flowers are simple in many ways, but trying to draw them with pastels is dicey, at least for me at this point.  The thing I’m finding is that I don’t have a lot of control where the colour is going to end up.  As I’ve said, the powder gets everywhere and the shape of the pastel sticks themselves doesn’t really lend itself to detail work.  I’m sure there’s ways to control them better, but at this point I’m just happy to be getting colour on the paper.

And what colour!  It’s instant gratification with pastels if you’re looking for big bombs of bold colour.  I’m all over that part of it.  Not so sure I’m liking the expensive paper as much though; it has a grain to it I’m not thrilled with but am willing to work with for now.  The first pastel I did was on cheapo drawing paper I got at Wally World.  While that paper started to rub away a bit as I blended it gave a smoother finish, which I really liked.

So there they are…colour all blocked in.  I didn’t worry a lot about detail as I’ll add that later.  It’s been sprayed with 3 ultra-thin coats of spray-matte sealer.  Just enough that the colour isn’t moving all over the place when I touch it.  This spray quite drastically deepened the colours.  I’m going to look around and try a few other sprays to see if I can find one that doesn’t change the original colours as much.  While I’m ok with the change on this piece and the last one I did, I’m sure there will come a time when I’ll gasp in horror if there’s a major change in colour when I seal the piece.

The next step is to do the details and add something a little different for some interest.  I’ll keep you posted.   Get it?  Posted?          *donkey laugh*

Sorry…losing my mind…..*must*….*have*….*sunshine*………

Oboy…New Toys!!

I love new stuff.    I especially love new stuff if it’s pretty.  And if it’s blue….particularly Tiffany Blue.

Ok, so my new toys aren’t exactly Tiffany Blue but they’re in the ballpark.  When I went to my Weight Watcher’s meeting this week I got my tools.  I didn’t get them last week and had to track online, which was fine, but I wanted the STUFF!

I’m blogging about this today because of the overwhelming interest and support I’ve received over the last 24 hours.  You guys rock!!

When you join, you need to be able to track what you’re eating.  At my second meeting I found out that some people don’t track.  I don’t have a clue how they manage to lose anything.  I tracked every single thing I consumed last week.  I became absolutely obsessive about it.  I’m sure once I’ve been on the program a while it will take less time, but for now, I’m ok with the time it’s taking.  I put myself on Project Status.  Yes, it’s slowing down the artistic process but I’m just going to do it anyway.

With my starter pack I got this spiffy, zippered binder to keep all the other goodies in.  LOVE the colour!

And I love all the pouches too.  It’s so organized!  Which is good….I have this “mess” issue, ya know?

So there’s lots of ways to track what you’re eating.  As I didn’t have this stuff last week I tracked online.  When you track online there’s also a function that allows you to calculate the points for the foods not in the guides as well as a recipe function.  You can take any of your favorite recipes and calculate the points for them.  It rocks!  Got a favorite cheesecake recipe?  Just enter the recipe and it will tell you how many points per serving.  Too many points per serving, then adjust either the recipe or the serving size.  The little calculator gives you the ability to calculate food points on foods AS YOU SHOP.  Wow.  I have NEVER had this much information about the food I eat and it’s so exciting.  This program enables you to take the label information and figure out what it MEANS, as opposed to just being befuddled by it all.  I’m all about information being power and this program makes me feel incredibly empowered and in control.  Not that I have control issues….well….much……..nevermind.

When you’re away from the computer there’s these handy-dandy little guides that list the points in foods AND in restaurant menu items.  Want to know how many points a Timbit is? This will tell you!  Yay!!  There is never any reason to wonder again whether you’re sabotaging yourself by eating half a donut.

All of these goodies are going to follow me around in my amazing Doggie Bag that my hubby bought me for Christmas  two years ago.  I used to use it to haul illicit alcohol to parties at my friend’s restaurant, but this is a much better use for it.  It will also hold my blogging camera and whatever else I need for my day.  My crazy, hectic day.  My days are crazy now…just wait until we start going to the pool.  I have to say though, to anyone who’s struggled with losing weight and wants to try again, I have never had the tools supplied by this program.  I know it’s only the first week, but honestly, I don’t see how I can lose.  Or not lose.  You know what I mean……

Aweigh We Go

So many of you have messaged me or commented with your support over me joining Weight Watchers, I’ve decided to make Tuesday’s blogs Weight Watcher updates.  After all, WW is all about accountability and support and by blogging about my journey I feel like I’m expanding my accountability and support circle.

Those who know me know that I’ve been overweight my entire life.  I’ve never been skinny.  Ever.  At age 47 I’ve lived much of my life as an obese person, give or take a few weight-loss periods.  The thing I most want to get out to people though is that there is this myth around obese people.  There’s all kinds of shows on TV and stories about morbidly obese people.  My problem with these shows is that I believe that they misrepresent the reality of the majority of obese people.  These shows like “I Eat 30,000 Calories A Day” (yes that’s thirty THOUSAND), or pretty much anything on a lifestyle channel that is about obese people says usually 2 things:  the first is that all obese people binge eat huge quantities of food like buckets of chicken or gallons of ice-cream and the second is that the only way to lose large amounts of weight is through either mutilating surgeries or uber-strict diets with punishing exercise.  Grrrrrrrrrr……

Now I’m not about to claim I have never over-eaten to where I’m uncomfortable.  Who hasn’t?  I do not, however do it on any more of a regular basis than most anyone else.  My weight is, plain and simple, a result of 47 years of eating probably between 100 and 1000 calories a day more than have burned.  It’s a slowly-cumulative thing rather than a result of massive binges.  The other thing I believe is that even large amounts of weight can be lost through healthy eating and moderate exercise.

I did Nutri-System with my husband a couple of years ago.  The food was ok and we both lost weight but by the time I was done with it I was DONE.  Even now I can smell Nutri-system food from a mile away.  The success we had cost us $300 EACH a month PLUS having to buy fruit, veggies, and dairy.  And yes…we gained it all back…plus some.

I chose WW because my girlfriend had joined and because my sister-in-law and niece had great success with it.   With the new program, all fruit and most vegetables are ZERO points.  Yup.  Zero.  No down-side there.

So I joined.  I think I scandalized the entire room when my response to “Hi, how are you?” was “Fat.”  Things got very quiet very quickly.  I felt kind of bad but at the same time I was thinking “What??  FAT’s a dirty word HERE??  Isn’t that why we’re here, because we all think we’re fat????”  But that’s the thing, isn’t it?  It’s like we’re supposed to be embarrassed, like we don’t know we’re fat.  It’s also like it’s ok for the entire world to look down on us, make fun of us, and make assumptions about us.  Parents who would smack their kid for telling someone they’re stupid teach them it’s ok to be mean to the fat kid.  It makes me nuts.  Fat jokes, comments about my weight, nasty looks or jibes have never bugged me on a personal level.  They just haven’t.  I’m very much in the minority though and have watched friends and family be hurt by this mentality my entire life.  I’ve watched friends not go swimming or to the beach because they won’t uncover any more of their bodies than they absolutely must.

The reality is that my weight has never kept me from doing something I really wanted to do.  Perhaps if it had, I would have worked harder at losing it.  I feel the need to lose it now because I’m getting old.  My weight is starting to slow me down.  It’s starting to keep me from doing things I really want to do.  It’s time.  It’s got to go.  And it’s going, starting this week.

Tonight’s weigh-in:  down 4.2 pounds.  So the journey begins….c’mon along and watch the fat lady shrink.  And when it’s over, I’ll sing…..promise.

I’m In Love

Head-over-heels, in fact.  With pastels.

Friday was a dreary day.  Well, ok, it was more than dreary.

After a bit of warm weather this January, it was downright disheartening to open the blinds in my studio and look out at THAT.  *harumpffff*  I was determined, however, to get something, anything done in my studio.  So I turned on every light in the room, got it as bright as I possibly could and hooked up my only really essential non-art-supply.

*Must * Have * Tunes*  I’m sure I could create in silence, but where’s the fun in that?

So I settled in to make a mess.  My Art Guru, Brandy, had encouraged me to take the wrappers off my pastels.  I did it, but it hurt.  Not only did they not all look perfect anymore, by removing the wrappers I found out how many had broken.  Not many, but enough to send me into a good pout.  Then I made a great big mess.

I am NOT exaggerating about the mess.  This stuff gets everywhere.  It was all over the table, all over everything I touched and on my face.  I wish I’d taken a picture of my hands and arms because I had pastelly smears up to my elbows and all over my shirt.  I didn’t take a pic basically because I didn’t want pastel powder all over my camera.  But *O * M * G*….what fun!!!

Brandy had recommended I keep it simple when I started.  I’m all about not setting myself, or anyone else, up for failure.  We fail enough in life as it is without sabotaging ourselves, so I followed her advice.  Apparently I have a very strong affinity for Dr. Seussishness.  I could have dropped Horton into this and he’d have felt right at home.

Soft Pastel & Ink, Sealed

So there you have it.  This little guy (about 5″ x 7″) is my inaugural pastel piece.  It was SO much fun.  I’m addicted.  I’m in love.