Oct 21, 2015


Everyone once in awhile I realize that I'm not really trying very hard to improve my artistic abilities.  I just settle into my current jobs and don't push myself.  But then I kick myself and get all gung ho about the ways that I want to practice and improve.  And shortly after that I poop out on myself until the realization hits again.  But for RIGHT THIS SECOND, I'm working on it.

I drew this for Illustration Friday - this week's theme is "stuffed".

I forced myself to draw the whole thing on my Surface - which my mom gave me over a year ago for the specific purpose of drawing.  I've been lazy and have gotten so used to drawing with my mouse at my desktop that it felt weird drawing on a screen again.  But the goal is to get good at both.  And then I'll start drawing with my toes and see how that goes.  Because I'm all about realistic goals here.

Oct 2, 2015

The Most Beautiful Velvet Cape

When my Grandma Millie was a little girl she was kind of spoiled.  She was the surprise baby at the end and all her siblings were quite a bit older than her, kind of like our little spoiled Spike.  Except her family called her "Toots".

Because of the age gap she played on her own a lot as a young kid.  She had cool toys like a wicker doll stroller and a play washing machine.  And one Christmas, her brother gave her a beautiful "grown up girl" doll.  

My grandma lived with her parents on a sheep ranch.  They sold the wool to make long underwear for the soldiers during World War II.  The ranch was pretty far away from town, and even the "country school" was 15 miles away.  Most of the other kids in the area would live with families closer to the school, but my great grandparents didn't want to be away from their little Toots so they rented a small house near the school for her and my great grandmother to stay during the week.

One of the girls staying at the house next door had a pretty "grown up doll" too.  They would play dolls together almost every day after school.  Except the girl next door's doll had a fancy velvet cape.  And my grandma wanted her doll to have a fancy cape too.  This was during a world war, and her family lived on a modest budget, so it's not like velvet was just....around.  But she was just a little seven year old girl who really really wanted a doll cape.

And being the well-loved child that she was, she got that cape.

Somehow my great grandmother found a scrap of velvet to make a fancy doll cape just to please her Toots.  My grandma isn't sure how she managed to do it, but she was thrilled to have a doll cape just like her friend.

And to this day, whenever my grandma sees a cape, or a scrap of velvet, she remembers how the velvet doll cape her mom made her was the most beautiful thing she has ever seen.

So, the moral of this story is: You can give your age gap babies really fun nicknames and then spoil them as much as you want, and they'll turn out to be pretty amazing anyway.

This story is about my grandma Mildred (Allen) Ray.  I hope to share more family history stories on a regular basis....but since I have a hard time even posting ANYTHING regularly, don't hold your breath.