Whellp, I made Christmas in my apartment last weekend. AND IT LOOKS AWESOME. I love the whole Christmas season with giving presents, the shitty music (AND ALSO CAROL OF THE BELLS), the lights outside, and the general feeling of goodwill towards men.
Also this tree.
We, however, have a little baby fake tree with itty bitty ornaments and all kinds of random snowmen and Santa's and a menorah. I. Am. Ready. Bring it on holidays. Now all I need is for it to 1) get below 48°for more than a day 2) snow 3) still be able to pay off all of my student loans after buying presents and having friend shenanigans. Because, for anyone who doesn't know me: I love giving presents. Love it. I, like Santa, make a list throughout the year - but unlike Santa, it's not of who's naughty or nice, but rather what I think good gifts for people would be. Some people are better gift getters than others...
... for example my sister.
She can be damn near impossible. She is a world-saver that Christine is (and therefore a lot of the time likes for gifts to be practical), so for part of her Christmas present I'm donating/trying to get people to donate to Oxfam of America! It's a charitable organization which means that you could even claim it on your taxes after helping others. WIN WIN!! SO HELP ME HELP HER HELP THE WORLD. Any amount helps those in need... and it'll only make Santa like you more.
Feel free to let me know if you do and I'll draw you something as thanks... maybe a tiger or a unicorn. Or a mermaid. But for now you can look at pictures of my apartment looking XMAS SWAAAAAAAAANKY.
Sooooo, this is an exciting time! Today is National Cupcake Day!
This cute little blurb above from punchbowl is also exciting because its all teal... and a teal cupcake is 562% more awesome than a regular cupcake. Teal in general makes things 562% more awesome.
In an coincidental turn of events, yesterday I bought myself a little Kidrobot blind-box from the tokidokoi UnicornO series while out Christmas shopping for others... and it was a cupcake one! HUZZAH! A few of my favorite things all mashed together: unicorns, tokidoki, cake, and awesomeness.
By now it should be no mystery to anyone that children can (or think that they can) do just about anything if they put their pleasantly moldable little minds to it. Sometimes, however, they do things best when they're not trying to - and had they tried it probably would have been impossible.
Take this Rapunzel hair styling bust for example:
Her hair is long and flowing, little pieces of glitter added in, giving it a sheen as it blows in an imaginary wind... or at least that's how it looks ten minutes out of the box. The reality is a little more like this:
Give a bust of princess Rapunzel to a three year old and you end up with... a bust of princess Rapunzel with dreads. HARDCORE DREADS. Legit. I tried to comb them out, I really did, but something about that goddamn tinsel sparkly business makes it pretty much impossible without ripping all the hair from her head. Which defeats the purpose of the hair styling part. In the end, all all I could do was braid it... but instead the child decided that she wanted it up in three ponytails. Meh.
Or there is the case of the My Little Ponies:
"Oh hey there purple pony, I'm just gonna play with this other pin-"
It's almost like the child's version of 'The Godfather'. You reach into the toy bin to play with your favorite pink pony, ONLY TO DISCOVER ITS HEAD. And only its head. I have no idea where the body was. I looked. Were I to find it, I would have tried to put it back together, but instead I just stuck the head back into the toy bin for the next unsuspecting child to come along. I'm a good person like that.
THEY HAVE TO LEARN SOMEHOW. It takes effort to rip off the head of a toy. IT TAKES A MANIACAL CHOICE.
Somewhere, I know, there are teams and designers and they work hard to make toys that are pretty and fun to play with, but I can't help but think that they never really give them to real children to play with ahead of time. Otherwise they would see these things coming.
...in the Art Nouveau Tarot Deck that I mentioned before there are some really lovely illustrations full of leaves and flowers and flowing fabric. The deck itself is 90% pretty ladies but every now and again there is a dude thrown in there, and that dude is King Triton.
But pretty much.
Under da sea.
He's a hell of a lot less fatherly, but that up there is King Triton. I mean, he's got everything from the white beard and crown to the scepter and tail-like fabric. He's an angrier, more mythic King Triton which is an accomplishment since King Triton is already pretty good at both of those things.
"I am about to make your life miserable."
I have never looked at so many pictures of him in my LIFE as I just did to find that. I also never realized quite how cut he is... LOOK AT HIS SIX PACK AND MASSIVE ARMS. I hope that he never intends to take those decorative man cuffs off, because there is no way that they're getting off of his huge, meaty hands.
OH HAY LOOK. I ended up talking about mermaids again. Who'da thunk it. At least it was a man... maid this time.
This is a picture of a princess interacting with a dragon.
It is currently nothing more than that and is based on absolutely nothing in particular.
I drew it on printer paper with a No.2 pencil.
I honestly have no idea what made me draw this... maybe I had just watched "How to Train Your Dragon" which I periodically do because, in my humble opinion, IT IS MAD CUTE AND I LOVE IT. Plus I like to draw princesses. A + B = Dragon
This much I do know: I drew it at work while the children accomplished homework and it is the first effort that I ever made at any sort of a dragon. OH! I think that part of the reason that I made this was that Brooke was studying China at the time... possibly. Hmm.
I seem to like giving those squiggly claws to dragony things... I've done it in a couple of different pieces...
(As you read this you should probably listen to this song. It helps.)
So, one of the things that I do when I am mindlessly on the computer/my blog is constantly check my stats page. It gives me intense satisfaction to walk into my living room and announce to no one in particular, "Yesterday I was only SIXTEEN popular, but today I'm already thirty-six." Which is typically followed by a fist pump. Unless the number is less than the day before, in which case I am sulky.
It looks like this.
The most popular that I have ever been in one day thus far was ninety-nine... but that still made me annoyed because I hadn't made it to one hundred. Come on. Just... come on. ONE MORE VIEW AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EPIC.
OptimusPrim gets the most play of any of my posts, but I ALSO show up first when you type laura kelly mermaids into google. SUCCESSSSSSSSS. I. Am. (sort of) Internet. Popular.
SO DO ME A FAVOR AND TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THIS BLOG AND MAKE THEM LOOK AT IT SO THAT I CAN SEE MY POPULARITY. Here is a picture of some weird stripy lady that I made on construction paper with a marker as thanks.
p.s. I was 65 popular yesterday. Keep it up.
EDIT: SOMEONE LOOK AT OPTIMUSPRIM SO THAT IT REACHES 300 VIEWS. SLKDFLSDKGSLKG. It kills me when that happens... I like for things to be in groups of 5. My only weird OCD thing.
OH HAI BLOG. SORRY I LEFT YOU ALONE FOR SO LONG - I GOT A LITTLE DISTRACTED BY MY HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES. In my family, Thanksgiving is serious business and we go alllllllllll the way out. For like a full week. Even though it may seem weird to just about everyone, Thanksgiving is and always will be one of my faves, and it is super awesome. Here are pictures from part of it.
Pre-Thanksgiving pizza night.
Cousin Walk - Thanksgiving 2011 (wearing mom's attractive sneakers)
So, yes, mermaids. I also love pegasus's and unicorns. Or pegasus/unicorns. And magic, and pretty flowers, deadly things that look cute, reading, teal, getting more than I payed for, grapefruit, birdcages, CAPSLOCK, movie trailers, buying people gifts, keys, Alphonse Mucha, tea, ninjas, and Thanksgiving. I AM VERY VARIED IN MY INTERESTS. But I just keep going back to mermaids... so here is a teal one based off of a book. Combo-interest attack!
1. There was once a Little Mermaid who was the youngest and prettiest of all the mermaids. She had five sisters who were far less interesting (but I MADE them interesting looking. MADE THEM) than she was even though she was apparently 14 (which may be like 26 in people years) and had no idea what was going on in the real world let alone the ocean... but I digress. She wanted to go to the surface to look at things up there which she was allowed to do - once she turned 15.
2. She went up, fell in love with a prince, and decided that she would do just about anything to get him. Literally. More than any one person should have to do to be with someone. She saved his ass from a sinking ship and that just wasn't enough... so she just went right ahead and visited the sea witch to get a potion to turn her tail into legs. In order to get it she had to cut out her tongue as payment, and "drink the draught down. Then your tail will divide and shrink until it becomes what the people on earth call a pair of shapely legs. But it will hurt; it will feel as if a sharp sword slashed through you." BEAUTY IS SUCH A GOD DAMN PAIN. However, if she didn't get the Prince to marry her, she'd die and forever be in limbo because, apparently, mermaids don't have souls. Oh, and her feet would bleed as she walked. That too.
3. She went above and tried to charm the prince with her smokin' human bod but, although he liked doing things with her (such as climbing mountains and watching her dance her feet into a bloody mess), he thought of her as pretty much a little sister. Because she was 15. That didn't stop her from trying though... "She danced time and again, though every time she touched the floor she felt as if she were treading on sharp-edged steel. The Prince said he would keep her with him always, and that she was to have a velvet pillow to sleep on outside his door." Like a dog. Like a shapely little dog.
4. Sadly, the Prince decided to marry someone else (who wouldn't add him to any government watch lists and force him to stay 100ft from a playground) and set sail in a ship with his new bride and the Little Mermaid. She was obviously a bit distraught about this development, so on her last night she was up, staring at the Prince and his wife as they slept, and heard her sisters calling out to her from the water. The five of them had gone to the Sea Witch, cutting off all of their hair as payment, and gotten her a knife that would return her to being a mermaid if she stabbed the Prince with it and let his blood fall on to her feet - turning it back into a tail - and allowing her to live out the rest of her 300 mermaid years. She considered it... but declined. Instead, she threw herself into the sea and turned to foam (as mermaids tend to do do when they die). And they lived happily ev- oh wait, no. Not even close.
At the end there there is also a bit about her floating into the air and talking with some spirits trapped in limbo for (again) 300 years, that tell her "unseen, we fly into the homes of men, where there are children, and for every day on which we find a good child who pleases his parents and deserves their love, God shortens our days of trial. The child does not know when we float through his room, but when we smile at him in approval one year is taken from our three hundred. But if we see a naughty, mischievous child we must shed tears of sorrow, and each tear adds a day to the time of our trial."
Good luck with that, Little Mermaid.
SO YOU HEAR ME KIDS? DON'T EVER CRY OR YOU'LL KILL A MERMAID.
So... today after I picked up Brooke, the 10 yr old that I watch, she wandered into her room to accomplish (what I assumed was) her homework. I went in to ask her about dinner options a little while later she squealed and covered some colorful looking stuff on her computer, telling me, "It's not done! YOU CAN'T LOOK YET!"
I was intrigued.
What this mystery project turned out to be was, as she described it, The Hunger Games - based entirely on the images that she had seen on my blog and things that she had heard me say about it.
"You can't look at it... but you have to put it on your blog. Okay?"
So I obviously told her that I would if she could figure out how to email it to me.
Hunger is golden - the title of the email in which I received this file. I laughed. I laughed good and hard.
SO MUCH SUCCESS BROOKE, SO MUCH SUCCESS. There are so many amazing aspects of this I don't even know where to start. It's a little bit like when she saw the trailer for the last Harry Potter movie and declared, vehemently, that Hogwarts exploded. I just could not convince her otherwise until she actually finished the book.
I think that she made it with some sort of pre-set comic program.
Sooooooooooooooooo, the other day I was on this website and saw that there were apparently going to be Hunger Games themed nail polish colors. As it stands now, that isn't in fact going to happen, but for a second there it was EDIT: THESE ARE GOING TO BE REAL COLORS NOW. I guess that I need them... although they go against pretty much everything that the series is about... TOO LATE. I'MA PAINT MY NAILS AND PRETEND TO BE KATNISS. And these were are the colors that China Glaze created:
Take a gooooooooood long look at those. Someone was actually in charge of that mess.
However, if you focus on the first one up there, the color that is supposed to represent Prim (a pinky primrose type color) but what they actually have written under the color is PRIME. Prime. Like a prime number or a primary color or... Optimus Prime. The Transformer. Then my brain got away from me again:
WHAT KIND OF BADASS TRANSFORMER WOULD PRIM BE YOU GUYS?!
Personally, I thought that she'd be like this:
But I did draw this.
You know that she'd HAVE to be an ambulance because, come on, she just would, but she's still have to be girly and involved with animals somehow. Specifically Buttercup. So there you have it.
Once I started calling her 'OPTIMUSPRIM' I kept accidentally calling her 'octopus prim' (I did it at least 4 times yesterday alone), and then when I was saving her file I accidentally typed 'optimus prom'... So expect both of those sketches in the near future too.
OH, and, P.S. She can be 'new and improved' for all of you out there that are all like, "you can't be both- you can only be new OR improved!"
You can be both if you were just invented AND you have a new attachment.
STOP RAINING ON MY GODDAMN PARADE.
...If you want to see my REGULAR Prim, then you can do it here. Boom goes the dynamite...
I had an project once where all we were assigned to do was illustrate a "Mysterious Meeting". At first, I went with the people meeting in the night with trench coats under a streetlight (the classic), but THEN... I came up with the little gem. What if, in the wee hours of the morning, the monsters/creatures of our imagination met up to work out their schedules for the day? You know, so that there was no overlap between where Bigfoot was roaming and where a fairy was to popup. And obviously Death would be running things. And there would be aliens and sea monsters. And a leprechaun.
Yesterday the kids and I were talking about mimic octopuses (octopi?) and cuttlefish and the like, so today after dinner Charlie decided that he wanted to draw undersea creatures. He created the cutest crab in the world™ with absolutely no help at all. I have no idea why it has eyelashes. I drew that lame ass shark next to it... which was not even half as good BECAUSE LOOK AT HOW CUTE THAT CRAB IS. Ohmygod.
Also, his sister wrote this at some point last night:
Not quite right, but I'll take it. LAURA'S INFLUENCE FOR THE WIN.
THE NEW TRAILER IS OUT FOR THE HUNGER GAMES. I am excited. I am very excited. You should be excited with me and watch it. Right now. Now. Do it.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Well, here is a slew of tributes in honor of it. I give you Cato, Clove, Foxface, and Glimmer. Two of them were drawn with a normal pencil, and two of them were done with a drawing one. You be the judge:
I AM SO EXCITED YOU GUYS.
I'm trying really hard not to jump right into rereading them again.
If there ever was a princess whose name leant itself to describing how she looked - it's Snow White. I went ahead and took it a step further with mine, giving her straight up albino complexion. Therefore making her more... white snow colored. So here you have it:
... and end
Oil, 20"x 30"
All three of the driptastic princesses that I did ended up with exciting hair... but hers is all tucked away as she is probably peering out that window to call to some chickadees or baby deer or the like. That's what I would do. I love baby deer.
On the topic of Snow White, one of my favorite retellings of her fairy tale is the short story by Neil Gaiman, "Snow, Glass, Apples". It is told from the perspective of the 'evil' queen and lends itself to a generation of people who looooove themselves some supernatural business in their stories. I highly recommend taking the 10-15 minutes out of your day that it'll take to read it (if you haven't already). WORTH IT.
Remember when I said that I like to draw mermaids?
That is still true.
Because I watch children, there are times when they do activities and I just hang out... well, watching them. I spend most of this time reading or observing them as they do their hockey/martial arts/dance, but from time to time I also drawwww. This little lady is a sketch that I mostly did while freezing my buns off on hockey practice bleachers. Oh, and also on the bus ride home. In the dark. Successsssssssssssssssssss. Ish.
This is one of those rare mermaids that wears a built in shirt... as they are wont to do. Done with a ballpoint pen and some sort of pencil. Who even knows anymore.
Last night I made some art, by request, with a boy I babysit. Most of it was done by him (he decided what we would be drawing and the approximate places they would be), although I helped with the filling in of color and a couple of elements (like the bunny and the pyramid shape). I may be kinda biased, but I feel that they turned out AWESOMELY. Drawing on the computer is hard at the best of times, so he was a little champion doing it with a touchpad and some weird whiteboard app.
Best pyramid that you've seen today I'd wager.
I LIKE RC CARS. IIIII LLLIIIIIIIIIIIKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE RRRRRRCCCCCCCCC CCCCCCCCAAAAAAARRRRRRRRSSSSSS. -Typed by Charlie, art maker and 7 year old.
I'm sure that most people have heard a fairy tale or two by Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm via books, movies, the internet, or even now in television. Perhaps not the obscure ones, but they know the basic outline that many of the stories tell. Or so they think.
Yes, it's more than likely that you've heard that The Little Mermaid doesn't end QUITE as well in the original story as it did in the Disney film. I won't ruin it for you, but she doesn't get her happily ever after. Wait... that may have ruined it for you. Oh well. However, a lot of fairy tales are just hot, hot messes. Which were told to children. Which is why I love them.
There are the ones where horses drag girls in nail-studded barrels to their death (The Goose Girl, Grimm) or the ones that turn evil sisters into dogs which then need to be beaten every night with a stick on pain of death by a giant serpent lady (The Eldest Sister's Tale, Arabian Nights). I chose a slightly tamer one in Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Butterfly'. The gist of the story is that a butterfly has decided to take a wife, and he thinks that she should be an attractive flower. He first asks the daisy, but she rebuffs him because he calls her woman instead of a girl (YUP); he then tries some others who don't want him, until in the autumn he desperately asks the mint. She tells him that it'll never work because they're both too old - they should just be friends. He flies into a human house for the winter, gets caught and pinned, and the house plants laugh at him telling him that that's basically like marriage anyway.
So yeah, good talk kids.
Colored Pencil, 15"x 10"
Colored Pencil, 10"x 15"
These are pieces that I did for my portfolio class at SVA. 'The Butterfly and the Daisy' was chosen to be in the SVA publication Illustration Portfolio no. 32. Whenever that comes out. SVA is the worst at getting back to people or letting them know when things are happening. They apparently just recently posted the graduation pictures from May. A lot of good that does me six months later when, at the time, I wanted to send/show some closeups of me walking across the stage to my relatives that couldn't be there. Win SVA. Win.
I had decided that I wasn't going to post another set of Hunger Games sketches since I JUST graced the internet with 'Peeta on a Bagel' (you're welcome), but... I want to. So nah, nah, nah nah, nah. I promise that the next couple of posts will actually prove that I worked hard for my art degree that I now have to pay off. Ugg.
Anywho, I bestow upon thee Mrs. Everdeen and Madge, citizens of 12/Katniss support crew part 2:
Have I mentioned that I like to draw flowers? I like to draw flowers. FLOWERS FOR EVERYONE IN DISTRICT 12... or at least these two.
Part of the reason that I did the above ladies is because I feel bad that Madge isn't going to be in the movies. I liked her. She seemed cute and spunky and generally pretty sweet. SO I DREW HER INTO EXISTENCE. Also, did you know that Mrs. Everdeen doesn't have a first name? I couldn't remember what it was so I scoured my book/the internet to try and remember only to find that she actually does not have one. But she does have gauze.
Back in the real world, on my way home from work I stopped by Argo Tea to visit a friend. All of the drinks there are really yumzie, but I think that I've found my personal favorite in the iced vanilla chai. Since my friend works there, he is pro at making drinks, and he also made me a hot hibiscus steamer PLUS. I say 'plus' because he added a bunch of extra stuff that basically made it taste like some sort of fantastic fruit pie. I then proceeded outside where I sat by myself while reading my nook like a champion.
I win at life.
Even though it looked like I was spending some quality time with an imaginary friend, it was worth it. Both drinks were delish and I'd recommend then to anyone who wants to try a fancy tea at a cute little café.
p.s. It just took me like 5 minutes to figure out how to make the stupid ´ symbol.
I feel as though I should preface this post by saying that in my apartment a lot of singing and dancing occurs, but not like GOOD singing and dancing. Let's be clear - between the three of us living here there totally could be some good singing/dancing, it's just that usually there isn't. That is how we roll.
For example, there are dances done for the express purpose to creep me out and songs are based on the fact that any one of us is excited about the food we are eating/TV or movie we just watched. Childhood advertising jingles fall into play somewhere too.
That being said, I bet that just about anyone who lived through the 90's remembers this special song:
For some reason my roommate Sean was singing this song (not as strange an occurrence as you'd think) while I was reading The Hunger Games for the first time. We had already been discussing the merits of marrying someone who is an accomplished bread/cake maker (I have yet to see the downside), how the name Peeta was also bread (win), and one thing lead to another - taking this Bagel Bites song to a whole new level of AWESOME/TERRIFYING while swapping just one little word. Pizza for Peeta. Try it. Try it now.
The song stuck.
I've been singing it for months.
Which lead to:
Yup. I had to.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to draw a bagel? BECAUSE NOW I DO. Who would think that I little circle of bread would be such a pain in my ass...
I wasn't feeling my all time best yesterday, but I still managed to whip up this little gem. I sat at my computer coughing quietly to myself for about an hour for the express purpose that the rest of the world had a chance to laugh at what I laugh at on a regular basis. And to embarrass Sean. A whole lot of the reason that this exists is to embarrass Sean.
I hopefully haven't ruined books, song, pizza, TV, art, bagels, or Peeta for anyone. But if I did... whatever. I regret nothing.
So here are two pictures of my cat, Nefertiti: one when she was bitty kitty and one current one (where she is undoing all the clean that I had just done to some sheets. I bet they were warm sheets).
I wish she were here with me to snuggle and not upstate... where I can't currently snuggle her. Even though she is sometimes a monster, she is a mad good snuggler.
See? She's pro even when I look all weird and smushed.
BE GONE FOUL ILLNESS.
EDIT: I also found this picture of my cat being a snuggle-master. She somehow managed to wedge herself between the bottom pillow and the window. Different trip home, same small animal pushing me around as I try to sleep. Neffy always wins. Always.