What an exciting weekend! It's finally come to a close, and I've got stories to share.
I drove all the way to Houston this weekend because I found out (at the last minute... a usual) about a bridal show in Houston. I got to go with my sisters, Erica and Ava. We were there for hours and hours, and it was just insane. Signed up for lots of stuff, and talked to a lot of people, watched a bridal show, and had a good time. The entire show, I kept thinking to myself “Man, I love David so much, and I'm so thrilled that I'm marrying him, but I'm stoked that we decided to do a smaller wedding. I would go insane...” I had a good time though, and it was a lot of fun... and exhausting!
Spent the evening with my brothers and sisters, and sat up until 3 am chatting with my Mom and Ava. Sunday afternoon, Ava and I packed up and hit the road, so she could come and spend the week with us before she starts college. We drove through some rough traffic south of Houston, then it seemed like we'd have smooth sailing for the rest of the drive.
As we came up towards Huntsville, we started seeing storm clouds in the distance a bit, with tons of lightening. Before long, lightening was striking very close to the road, making us jump a bit. It started to sprinkle, and then out of nowhere the wind started driving into us bringing the rain town so heavy we couldn't see through it. We slowed to about 20 on the highway, and just barely saw the exit next to us. We pulled off the road at the Bucees north of Huntsville, planning to pick up some lunch and wait out the storm. Tons of people were pulling off to the rest stop, and things were just crazy. I pulled up to the front door of the store, and Ava pulled Morrigan up to the front seat so they could jump out and run into the building and try to stay as dry as possible.
They hopped out of the car. I look over my shoulder to see if I can pull back into the traffic around the building, then look back to see if they've made it in the building. I don't see them, so I pull forward... and feel a little bump. I stop and look around, and Ava stands up and looks back in the car, then turns around and walks back in the building. I'm freaking out, but she seemed fine, so I go to park and run into the side entrance of the building. My back was drenched, my front dry, and the wind was blowing so hard that there was a man holding the automatic door closed, just opening it as people ran in for cover, because the rain was coming in horizontally a good 15 feet into the door and blowing merch off of the shelves.
There were about 100 people in the store, and I couldn't find Ava. I called through the store, then finally found her in the restroom. Apparently the shock of it all made her sick to her stomach. We walked back into the store to watch out the windows. The entire front of this huge store was glass, as was the side where I came in. You could see the front of the cars parked in front of the store, and not much more. A bunch of girls near the front of the store started running and screaming, and a huge plastic gas station sign blew over and started crashing into the cars. A few seconds later, the side of the store that I came in blew in, glass flew everywhere, and I scooped my baby up and Ava and I started shielding her from the wind. I yelled for people to get to the bathrooms, and everyone started pushing in. Morrigan was shaking, crying “everyone's screaming!” All of this happened, from my walking into the store, to the rush to the bathroom, in about 5 minutes.
David called as we were running for cover to see where we were. Ava answered, and told him “The glass just exploded, we're all running to the bathroom.” and told him where we were. We were very calm, in the zone. It was all very focused, and moved in slow motion.
We got in the bathroom, and found a group of people with other little kids. We all sat and visited until the kids had calmed down. This was the point that Ava finally had a chance to tell me that, when she was getting out of my car her shoe fell off and blew under my car. She reached under to grab it before it blew away. I thought she had run in the store, and ran over her arm. At this point, she thought it was fine, it didn't hurt, no limited motion. One of the dads in the group made his way out to check on things, and came back to report that things had calmed down a bit. I walked out to see for myself, it was still raining pretty hard and the sky was a bizarre gray green color. I went back to the bathroom and sat with a woman with a little girl who was still shaking, and told Ava we were going to wait a bit longer.
We made phone calls to family, and then I went out to explore the parking lot. There were a lot of cars that were smashed up pretty bad. Luckily, mine wasn't one of them. There was a fence board full of nails and screws on my hood, but no damage done. There was busted plastic from a gas station sign across the street blowing out all over the parking lot. People were photoing the damage to their cars. Ava and Morrigan loaded up, and we started back out on the road to Dallas.
As we saw the damage down the road, things finally started to settle in for me and I started to shake. There was a huge RV turned on it's side, with tow trucks trying to pull it out of the street. Light poles had been torn out of the ground, and were tossed around here and there. We noticed that there was no south bound traffic, and as we slowly drove down the highway we saw an 18 wheeler that looked like someone had flown out the driver's seat. I honestly hope whoever was in that seat is okay. Traffic was lined up behind that, a horse trailer sitting oddly on the side of the road, while a woman lead her bloodied, limping horse around. There were houses on their sides, or twisted into odd angles. Garage doors to businesses were ripped off, billboards cracked in half or thrown in fields. Dead cows lay in fields, as others continued grazing near by. People were standing out of their cars, talking to their neighbors, waving to us as we drove by, taking video.
More crazy weather as we got close to Dallas, but nothing nearly as exciting. Made it to Denton, filled up on fajitas, and finally got home and collapsed in bed. I was so happy to be home and safe again, and more exhausted than I had been in a long time.
We went out today to have Ava's arm X-rayed. Luckily, there's no break, just bruising. She's in a little brace and will be fine.
I grew up in Houston, and am very familiar with hurricanes. I will take a hurricane over a tornado any day. Hurricanes are predictable. You know they're coming. The wind is still fast, the rain still comes, the lights go out, windows break, and things flood. However, you know they're coming and how bad they'll be before they make land, and you've got plenty of time to get out of the way if you want to, or prepare to hold down the fort if you'd rather do that. That tornado came out of no where. I have never experienced anything like it.
I'm still tired.
Monday, July 27, 2009
What an exciting weekend! It's finally come to a close, and I've got stories to share.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Well, it's not MY beady giveaway, but Silver Parrot is giving away a big box full of things from her bead stash. If I win, I'm definitely making some wedding jewelry out of the lot. Maybe some embellishments for the Steampunk costume I'm working on too. What would you make?
Here's the link to the entry where you sign up:
And if you want a peek at what you could win:
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Come and see me at Project A-Kon this weekend in Dallas! I'm cutting and cutting as much vinyl as my machine can handle getting ready for this coming weekend. I'll be selling in the artist alley as Stickerella, and will be happy to take custom orders, and fill orders for my current vinyl designs as well. Also, I'm just happy to sit and chat when things calm down a bit.
Sorry to make such a short post and run, but there's a lot to do before this weekend! Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Here's a short update before I make the 6 hour trek home. Hope you enjoy it!
"Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans." Now Spock can travel with your crew to the grocery store for beer. Well, not really, but this highly illogical decal is sure to make folks on the road laugh on the way. Just in time for the new movie :D (I'm totally geeking out about it)
Check it out in the Sci-Fi and Horror section of my Etsy shop!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sorry I haven't updated recently, I've had two shows right on top of one another, and have been in Houston visiting family in the midst of it all. If you're in the Houston area come down to Comicpalooza and say hello to me! I'll be in my Stickerella booth, selling lots of vinyl decals.
Since I have nothing new to show you guys right this moment, I thought I'd take a moment to share something I've found that I absolutely love. I was enamored with the idea of mineral makeup when I first heard about it, listening to some late night infomercial. I ordered some base powder from an organic company that I order house cleaners from, but when I got it I really didn't care for the smell, or the color. With only 4 colors to choose from, and a whopping $40 price tag, I wasn't happy at all. Luckily, I was able to return this to the company, and I was out looking once again. I decided to check out a few Etsy shops. I sampled powder from several sellers, then came across The All Natural Face There were dozens of colors to choose from, and I found the absolute perfect match for my skin tone.
I replaced 90% of my makeup (only kept my mascara, because there wasn't anything to replace it with). I got the base, the "glow" which makes a beautiful natural looking blush, the mineral veil, patina concealer, and four eyeshadows.
I get red patches on my face, especially around my nose. The patina concealer completely smooths these out, and gives me a clear canvas to apply the base to. The finished look is very natural. When I go out, I don't look like I'm painted with gobs of makeup. One of the first nights I wore it out, I had on the whole shebang except for eyeshadow. I was at the coffee shop painting, and one of my friends stopped by and commented on how beautiful my skin looked :) I was hooked right then. It feels really smooth and silky on, and my skin has really started to clear up. This is a big deal to me, because I'd break out every time I put my old makeup on.
I don't promote just anyone, and I'm getting no benefit from this review. I just wanted to share a great product with others. She offers very affordable samples as well, so you can try all of her products before you put down the big bucks.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I just got finished with Aggiecon back in College Station. Aggiecon was the convention that I was a part of during my years at Texas A&M University, and I love to go back and meet all the new kids and see how my friends are doing. This year I got a dealer's table, and my decals flew out of my hands. So, now I'm working on getting into several more shows in the near future. If you're somewhere in or around Texas, and have an idea for a Sci-Fi, Horror, or Fantasy convention you'd like me to vend at, just let me know!
So far, I'm set for sure to do A-Kon. I just got verification this morning, and I'm totally stoked to be going back. I'm planning to attend Delta H Con at the University of Houston, and Comicpalooza, but I'll be sure to post once I get verification for both of those.
I've got a lot of new decals available in my shop too! And I'll be adding more as time goes on. There are several commission pieces I need to do still, and I'll have more drawn images available in a few weeks. Suggestions? Let me know!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Life is about to get a bit crazy for me over the next few weeks, so you may see very little of me. I'm going to Galveston to plan more of my wedding, and to celebrate my munchkin's second birthday! I'm so excited :D I'll also be working on some of my wedding crafts over the week, and I'll post links to tutorials and share photos once things are finished.
The 26th-29th of this month I'll be at Aggiecon. I wont be wandering around this year, so I'll be easy to corner (sorry again for those who missed me when I was there last year!) I'll have a table in the Dealer's room selling my vinyl decals, so if you purchase a print in the art show (no originals this year, I'm traveling light) or if you already have one and you'd like me to sign it for you, bring it by my booth! Also, if you've seen one of my paintings and would like the original, send me an Email at email@example.com and we'll work out a price, and I'll bring it to the show for you.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Seriously. Sometimes it takes a little nudge to set me on track. I have a tendency to run on tangents, which leads me to new tangents, and projects that I begin with every intention to finish get left in the wake. There are a few I can think of right now that fall into this category (Awesome dragon painting I started... Dancing Gypsy that's left half finished... one day I'm going to just stop and finish everything I have that's half done.)
I got an Email today from a guy who went out of his way and did a photoshoot for me years ago (I mean, YEARS ago) for a really awesome painting idea I had. He's a super guy, the photos were great, my talent at the time was lacking to say the least, and all sketches that came of it were far from being worthy of the huge and awesome idea. The idea was to paint several of the Norse Gods in settings that were very symbolic of the stories that pertain to them. I was going to begin with Loki (the one who was always the most interesting to me), and Rob was very kind and sat through two photo shoots (which he did completely on his own, wow) to get me the perfect reference photos.
So, my sketches sucked, Rob and I stayed in touch for a little while, and as things happen we lost touch. Years passed, and we arrive to about a month ago. I have been researching more into Asatru, and found a really great podcast that's been a delight to listen to. I started at the beginning, and came before long to an episode completely about Loki (Here's the link, if you're interested) and it rekindled my thoughts on this painting. They've been wiggling around in there, along with other paintings I've been thinking about, shows I'm prepping for, wedding plans, and the constant stimulation of motherhood. Then, today I got that Email. Boot.
You know what? I think I'm ready. Thanks Rob, I needed it!
Also, in a completely unrelated note, I've significantly lowered shipping costs in my vinyl decal shop. I've changed shipping materials, which has allowed me to lower prices. Yay!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is a painting of the little sprite that fills our home with smiles and laughter. Of course, like any good fae, she is constantly leaving a mess and hiding my things... but look at that little face! Who could be upset?
The finished painting of my daughter, Morrigan. Scroll down if you missed the sketches and the work in progress. She'll be two in just two and a half weeks! It all moves so fast.
This painting is all mine, no prints will be sold (though her grandparents will be getting some :P)
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I have never taken formal art classes, so pretty much everything that I know is self taught. There are a few places I feel I'm lacking because of this, but there are a lot of places I feel I've been able to play and experiment and develop in ways that people who begin as instructed artists don't get. David has been taking a watercolor class this semester, and I've been gleaning tips and tricks off of him as he learns. This is the first time he's ever worked with watercolor, so everything he does is being pretty heavily dictated by the professor. At times it's frustrating for him, but I can see where doing structured projects is helping him develop skills he's going to need when working on completed pieces.
All of this has me thinking about where my weaknesses lie, and what I can do to work on them. I think I'm going to spend some time after completing my daughter's portrait working on my own skills. Like usual, I'll be doing research online, as well as studying other artists for clues to their process, then working on some emulated pieces of my own design. We'll see how it goes!
Monday, February 23, 2009
I've been working on a painting of my little Morrigan le Fae, and I'm really diggin on the results. The idea began as just practice in creating lineart in Photoshop, but I liked the composition so much that I hastily finished sketching it out, printed it, then transferred it to watercolor paper. This is pretty much the same way I do all of my paintings, sketch them out, then use my lightbox to transfer the finished composition onto my watercolor paper, since it prevents me from tearing up an expensive piece of watercolor paper with lots of erasing and redrawing. The only difference is I did my sketch in Photoshop.
This is the reference photo I used, from a trip to Hobby Lobby when I had to use my camera as a pacifier. Morrigan is such a camera ham. The lighting is rotten, but the photo is super cute. I used this as reference for the lineart
This is the lineart in Photoshop. As you can probably tell, I started with the face, then somewhere around the flowers I got excited and quickly finished the sketch so I could paint it.
And here's the painting so far. Her face and her hair are finished. Everything else gets a lot more work. Usually once I've finished everything else I go back to the skin tones for awhile as they tend to look very pale, but since Morrigan is very pale that may not be necessary.
I won't be making prints or anything of this painting, it's all for me! However, after my show next month I plan to start opening slots for custom portraits. If you'd like to have your little one painted as a fairy, elf, mermaid, or maybe you'd like yourself painted as your Role Playing character, or whatever your mind can imagine, let me know so I can update you on the details. Post your E-mail address here, or feel free to send it to me at battlemaidenart (at) yahoo.com. I will only E-mail you once, so no worries about spam!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Last week I made the six hour drive to Galveston with my (nearly) two year old daughter to visit my family. It was a lovely visit, spent some time with my Dad and my sister and brother in law, and some time at my Mom and Stepdad's ranch, and ended with a huge party on Valentine's day for my Stepdad's birthday.
I took all of my equipment with me, as usual, so I could keep up with orders as they came in. I sat down one day to cut vinyl decals, and was greeted with the icy stare of the dread Blue Screen of Death. After several hours on the phone with what was probably the nicest and most helpful tech support agent I've ever had the chance to speak to, we determined that my hard drive was fried. I freaked. The day was then spent running across town to Frys to pick up a case for my hard drive, then an hour out to a friend's house who luckily had the driver to my decal cutter installed on his laptop from A-Kon last year. I was incredibly relieved to find out that the only corrupt files on my computer were in my boot menu, and all of my images, files, and the like were untouched.
The next day, Dell delivered my replacement hard drive, and after many hours of moving files, reinstalling drivers and programs, and catching up with orders that were placed after the untimely demise of my computer, I'm finally back in business. I'm incredibly happy that I opted for the big full blown warantee.
So, I missed the last day of my own giveaway. How sad is that? No problem though, I'm happy to announce that the winner was Eric! Thanks to everyone who participated.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I've been getting a lot of great responses for my vinyl decal giveaway. Keep them coming! Check out that post for how to enter.
I am really amazed at how many giveaways there are going on in the Blog world. I've even won something really great - I'll post links and pictures as soon as it gets here. I'm really excited about it.
I came across this giveaway that a fellow team member was having, and thought I'd share (for a few extra chances to win it myself, of course ;)
Very Vicious Valentine Giveaway
Be sure to visit Totusmel's blog for a chance to win these two very cool prizes.
They were both created by artist Diana Crites. Quickly! Run over there and enter! Goooo!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I will be adding the last of my new vinyl decal designs to Stickerella today and tomorrow. I'm really excited about how well received this whole venture has been, and it's got my head buzzing with new ideas!
I love doing giveaways, and I can think of no better reason than a shop redesign that's got me so excited. Here's how to enter:
Comment here telling me your favorite item in my vinyl decal store. This will get you 1 entry!
Comment here with a suggestion for decals you'd like to see in my store in the future. I love to hear your suggestions! This will get you 1 entry!
Purchase from my vinyl decal store. This will get you 4 entries for every item you purchase! Individual lines in custom orders each count as a single item.
Blog about me! Mentioning (link please) my blog or Stickerella in your blog gets you 2 entries. Be sure to comment here with a link to your blog so I know to count them.
So, that's a total of 2 possible entries per person for comments to this blog, 2 possible points for blogging, and an unlimited number for purchases. Be sure I can contact you if you're the winner, or check back here to see.
What's the prize? Well, that's up to you! You can choose any item in my vinyl decal store that you'd like. If you're the winner, and would like for me to make the decal you suggested for my store, I'll happily do that as well.
I'll accept entries until Friday, Feb 13. Winner will be posted on Valentine's day <3
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Things have been really busy over here, but I've started to list new vinyl decals right on schedule. Today's are some of my favorites, I listed five different decals I designed to look like creatures found on medieval heraldry.
Another that I really like was this one based on HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu. There will be more coming tomorrow as well. I'm really enjoying expanding on this shop!
To see everything I've listed so far, check out Stickerella
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Wedding plans are finally moving in a forward motion. Yesterday, my Mom gave me the beautiful gift of a 19th century Victorian venue in Galveston for my wedding. It's the same venue my sister used for her wedding reception last year, and I fell in love with it then.
Now that I know where we're having the wedding for sure I can start working on all of my different craft projects. I'm really excited to start on it all.
In the mean time, I'm still working on lots of vinyl decal designs. Monday I'll start to make updates to my vinyl decal shop and I'll slowly start to introduce all of the different things I've come up with over the past two weeks.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I've been busy for the past week playing with my newest toy, a Wacom Bamboo Fun! It's not the big tablet that I'd like to have one day, but it's a great first step, and it's made designing new vinyl decals insanely easier. I've got a whole bunch of new, hand drawn vinyl designs ready to add to my decal store.
When I first began Stickerella it was just a side project that allowed me to have my own vinyl cutter, and let me help other Etsy sellers make custom URL decals to advertise their shops at low prices. I've helped a lot of people make custom decals, and I've really loved interacting with all of my fellow Etsiers, and to be honest, the vinyl machine has kind of grown on me (think Akira :P). One of my new year's resolutions was to completely revamp Stickerella, and bring it up from a secondary project placing it side by side with my studio shop.
David and I talked quite awhile about the direction I'd like to take the shop. In the end, I decided to make it something truly me. Decals will be Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, Gaming, Medieval, Religious, and of course, Crafting themed! I'm still very happy to work with Etsy sellers to design affordable custom decals, since I love working with other sellers.
I'm still working on art, still working on Alice, and definitely still working on my wedding, so no worries about this replacing any of those things. I plan to start posting new designs on the 26th, and will have some fun giveaways and stuff planned as well!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful holiday! I'm looking forward to this new year, and the projects that it's bringing for me. The majority this year will be geared toward wedding planning, but I've got an art project in the works as well. I've been talking for years about illustrating Alice in Wonderland, and since my work time this year will be limited, I thought it would be a great time to start and focus on one large project.
I've been working and reworking Alice, trying to find what really fits her in my head. She will shape the rest of Wonderland - though the Cheshire Cat will remain pretty well unchanged from my previous illustrations. Here's a sneak peek of what I've been working on tonight.
A few sketches in the coffee shop. I'm still working on getting just the right face, but the outfit is finalized. The notes around the sketches talk about proportion, things to remember while drawing her, and things that still need work. No idea when the finished book will be ready, I'm trying not to set a finished goal yet since I don't know how much time to work my wedding will afford me. I'll certainly keep y'all updated though! I'll probably be working on unrelated art as well over the year, but this will be my focus.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Let me know!