Sunday, May 29, 2011

"The Sun Comes Up Like Thunder"

..when it's going to be 90 degrees. We don't have central air and mostly we do fine--we have a small window box in one room, but more importantly we have ceiling fans, and trees. The trees do most of the work shading the house, the roof vent lets out the built-up heat, and the full basement retains a lake of cool air. The window box makes a big difference at night, and combating the heat off the computers.

Amusingly, the big issue for me is keeping the dolls cool. They are made of resin and are heat-sensitive--too much heat will make them yellow and brittle. So they get priority in being stored in the classic "cool dry place". Above is the Resinsoul/Dream of Doll combination that is one of my favorites--he came to me with the "scar" and his eyewells are poorly bevelled, not to mention he's got my less-than-expert painting job. I still like him a lot. He's my tallest guy so far at 70 cm, but the new doll I am assembling now will end up being taller, since he has hooves and antlers(!).

Friday, May 27, 2011

And now with chipmunks...

At 3:52 this morning I heard the Old Lady cat making the "I brought you breakfast!" yowl outside the hall door. (I keep it closed at night so I won't find a dead mole present on my pillow). I got up and sure enough, there was a half-rabbit on the floor (the cat looked a little apologetic that she had eaten half, but I figured it's better for her digestion than the kibble, and at 4 AM, I certainly wasn't hungry.) I cleaned it up, mopped the floor, loaded the dishwasher so to keep power for the grid during peak hours (forecast was for hot weather) and went back to bed, only to wake up in the morning to a sound like someone running around in a bucket. It was the Stripey Cat, and a chipmunk, racing around the living room. (Stripey Cat believes in catch and release). Despite clearing everything off the living room floor and opening the front door, the chipmunk evaded capture and is now in K's room, hunkered down. There is too much stuff in there to go after it. Eventually it will come out, one way or another. I went outside to do some gardening and Grey Cat was busy with another chipmunk. You'd think the chipmunks would learn to avoid the cats, but apparently not, or there are enough that we are just getting the short bus ones. The chipmunk in the picture (who is just pretending to be dead, hoping Grey Cat would get bored) later managed to climb a tree too tiny for Grey Cat, and I assume he's also still there.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Peonies and supervillains

Finally got a chance to catch up some on the garden, it still need some heavy leaf removing from last fall, and these beds need new boards cut--I don't use pressure treated wood around something I want to eat. I've got peonies! After all the rain they suddenly popped open. I found my resident Doll in Mind supervillain Minimee (who I bought second-hand, it was someone else's original character, but he needed a home and I liked his over-the-top smirk --he's got teeth!) and hauled him out to the garden to pose with the peonies. I don't think in character he'd be into flowers, but I am pretty sure any excuse for a photo is fine with him.
And another one for the white ones, that never bloomed last year:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Carpet Installation

It turns out carpet is like tile--it's not something for amateurs to put in. I'm sorry I didn't think to take pictures of the specialized tools they used--everything from a power stapler to a huge extending foot to pull out wrinkles, to the short hammer and the miniature crowbar (want). Probably if the rapture had happened these guys would have disappeared, they were awesomely good at their job (I see no seams) and one of them showed me a picture of what was on his phone, when he saw I was into cats too--it was a day-old kitten, almost lost in his big hand.
 Too bad for the cats, they are not allowed on the new carpet, since last night they ate a bunny in that room. As I told the Grey Cat, "This is why we can't have nice things." I had to clean up the marks before the carpet guys came, hoping they wouldn't think I had gotten carpet to hide my misdeeds.

Stripey Cat doesn't mind being framed:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Almost Monday

Mondays it helps to have a third eye, and maybe extra coffee. I stayed up late Sunday looking through realtor listings online. I admit I only look at a few things--the number of bathrooms, if they have a shower, what the backyard looks like, and if there is an attic or a garage or a basement. All bedrooms look alike. Kitchens can be gutted. Wallpaper is almost never a plus, nor is a pool. Painted over graffiti or dept of health tape is not good either. I'd consider police tape as long as there wasn't a fire or a meth lab. (And they had a nice fenced backyard.)
The lady above is a Dollzone Shengxi, a Christmas special head from 07, modified by "Curiouscourtships" on Den of Angels. He's a genius at modding dolls!

Myrtle Fairy

I was able to find a second-hand Soom Coquina for a reasonable price (She wasn't one of the most popular Soom monthly dolls, because she is a cutie-pie rather than a dramatic or dark sculpt) I thought she would be perfect for the role of a frog fairy
This is a little color sketch of a concept painting for Myrtle, it is a tiny painting in acrylics, about 4 inches high. I've decided this is really too small a size to work at comfortably, so in the future if I want a doll-sized painting I'll paint it bigger and then scan it and shrink it and print it out at the smaller size. The idea here is to make Myrtle her outfit, take a photo, and then do a painting 18 inches by 24 of her with her fantasy frog legs.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Smudge is an adorable dog belonging to the SF author Connie Willis, and last year I had the fun task of doing a convention gift for her. Since "To Say Nothing of the Dog" is one of my favorite books, it was natural to combine the book and the dog in one painting, since Smudge resembles Cyril, the "Dog" in the book. I really enjoy painting animals, though it is sometimes hard to get them to sit still. They tend to lick off the paint, too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jeffrey Jones, RIP

Jeffrey Jones, aka Catherine Jones, passed away this week. She was one of my favorite sf/fantasy artists, partly because of this cover for Andre Norton's Uncharted Stars. It's a simple cover, but sums up for me what SF is all about--the wonder of discovery, of exploring new worlds. And the lighting is magnificent. The older website is still up, you should go see it if you like genre art or even just beautifully done classical painting. Jones could draw like a house on fire!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The rapture better not interfere with my carpet installation...

The local carpet place has an immigration policy; it's taped up on the office wall. There is also a large sign that says "I'd rather be fishing". I don't know about you, but when I go to buy carpet, I kind of want the carpet guy to be all about the carpet, to be totally enthusiastic about carpet, to have little promos for berber and plush and Turkish carpets on the wall, and to dream about other ways to install it so the floor will look EVEN BETTER in my lovely home. As for immigration, I have a Congressweasel to think about these things. And as for the Rapture, I'm confident that both me and Carpet Guy will still be here Monday to hassle about where the seam goes in the hallway.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It is day 12 without a shower . This is a reminder to me to always have tile done by a "tile guy". Tile guys know their stuff. This bit of information cost me 1,300.00 and I probably could have looked it up somewhere. This was the old tile. The new tile actually makes little straight lines up and down and across. Now I just need the "tub fairy" to get the rust stains out of the old tub. Don't tell me I should have taken away the old tub--I know. I wanted that tub taken out and a new tub and insert put in, but the first contractor said it couldn't be done. Then I put in new tile, so there it is. You know when you move into a house and you think "Who does that?" when you look at something? There is always a story to go with it, even if you don't know it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

yo dawg,I herd you like couches... I put a couch on your couch so you can sit on the couch while you sit on the couch...

A drawer for my random photos

I've set up this blog mostly so I will stop losing stuff . I have a lot of photos, mostly of dolls, cats and plants (and a few bugs)I don't want to lose, and this looks like a good offsite storage spot.

 Anyway, the doll above shows one of my "day jobs", doing astronomical art. That painting is of a comet breaking up as it approaches the Sun; the doll pointing is a second-hand Asian ball-jointed doll made up of a Chinese body (by Resinsoul) and a Korean Head (a Lahoo by Dream of Doll)