Tagged: books

May 24

The Eye of the Tiger

I’m in a bit of a creative funk. I’m just not feeling particularly motivated to create lately. I go through these phases every now and again, and I know that it’ll pass eventually, but in the interim it’s kind of annoying. One thing that I think might help is setting myself a goal to work on so I don’t feel quite so adrift and aimless. I thought about filling a page in my sketchbook every day. I could fill it with whatever felt right – doodles, writing, a collage of magazine clippings. This isn’t a terrible idea, but it feels a little too unfocused and easy to weasel my way out of. Wait wait WAIT….Weasel?? Now I’m on to something!

So for the month of June, I think I’m going to draw an animal every day. I love to draw animals. My plan is to create an animal a day from a reference photo. I’ve been wanting to get better at drawing from reference anyway, and it just so happens that I have a stack of gorgeous full color animal books that I can use. I might just sketch in pencil, I may paint, I may do something completely outside the box, but It’ll be an animal and it’ll be made using a reference photo.

I’m excited! I hope this will help me to break out of my rut and give me something to work on every day. To stay accountable, I’ll post the images to Twitter, and also to my Facebook page. The links for both are below so you can follow along.

Facebook: Dishkitty Studio

Twitter: @dishkittystudio

Here’s a red panda that I drew from a reference photo exactly 3 years ago today! What a coincidence!

Red Panda


Feb 21


I finished my 12th journal today! This one lasted quite a long time – I’ve had it since late September. Here’s what the cover looks like:

Book 12

I’m so happy with this cover because it reminds me of some really great times I had. I also chose my next book today – it’s a Canson Mix Media spiral bound XL journal and it’s a new size for me – 7 x 10. I’m so excited to try it out – it’s exactly what I wanted – smaller than the 8.5 x 11 I just finished, but not all the way down to A5. It has really nice, heavy paper too, with just a bit of tooth.

Anyway, #12 is officially done & dusted! Here it is on the shelf with the rest of my books. There are so many! I’m going to run out of shelf space and then what the heck will I do? 😉

All my Journals


Feb 20

Catch Me, I’m Falling

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m exhausted today. It’s been a long, stressful week and my excitement for the weekend is palpable. Here’s this week’s Friday Five – enjoy!

  • When did you last trip and fall?

The last time I remember was January 2014. I slid on a patch of ice walking into my office building. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt with the exceptions of a skinned knee and my pride. Of course, I drew a picture of it. 🙂

Digger. :(


  • What’s a fond memory you have of this past autumn?

So many to choose from! Last fall I went to Myrtle Beach, Louisville, 3 beer festivals, the Willy Wonka Party, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Huey Lewis & the News, and a killer Halloween party. My favorite fall event was my day in Traverse City, though. I spent the morning shopping and exploring all by myself and the afternoon and evening with some great friends. Read all about it here: http://www.trishsworld.com/blog/2014/10/traverse-adventure/

  • What’s a nice waterfall you’ve visited?

I haven’t been to very many, but I’m pretty sure that Niagara Falls takes the cake. It was truly incredible. I’d really like to get to Tahquamenon Falls in the UP one of these days, though.


  • What are your thoughts on Jimmy Fallon as host of The Tonight Show?

I don’t watch late night TV; I never really have. From the internet clips I’ve seen here and there, he seems very funny, though. I liked him on SNL. I’m maybe a little partial to Conan since he actually talks about me on his show. 😉

  • Who has most recently fallen out of your favor?

I can think of a couple of examples, but I wouldn’t call anyone out in a public forum like this. I’m too sweet. 🙂

A couple of other quick notes – This blog turned TWELVE YEARS OLD this week. I’m sort of in shock. It’s been quite a ride. Happy Blogiversary to ME!

I’ve been reading lately! I’m enjoying it, and it’s been fun to discover some new and interesting books.  I’ve also gotten back into knitting! My creative passions have always gone in these weird, unpredictable cycles, and beautiful, soft, colorful fibers are pushing themselves to the forefront lately. I’ve had a few crochet projects on the hooks for a while – long term afghans that I work on occasionally while I watch telly. I’ve picked up the pace on those as well, so maybe I’ll even have something finished to show off here in the near future! As usual, I feel like there isn’t enough time in the day for me to create all of the things I want to create and to act on all of the ideas that float around in my brain. I want to write, paint, draw, blog, vlog, knit, crochet, bookbind, needle felt, and a million other things. 🙂

I hope that you have an amazing and relaxing weekend. XOXO


Jan 28

A Walk in the Park

I read an article today, and it really stuck with me. So much that I wanted to share it AND write about it. The article is here: http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/the-value-of-remembering-ordinary-moments/384510/

As I’m sure everyone who reads this blog knows, I’m an avid journal keeper. I’m a visual journaler, so I add drawings and doodles to my writing, but I write every day. This article discusses how interesting it can be to remember the moments that seem mundane, and I can’t agree enough. I think sometimes we spend so much time trying to get from place to place and accomplish goals and attend events and finish tasks and so on and so on, that we forgot the simple things that bring us joy in the moment. As you work hard and endure stress to become the person you want to be, it can be so rewarding to remember how you got there when you do. In 30 years you’ll remember the pride you felt at finally finishing grad school, but will you remember that beautiful spring day that you took a walk in the park with a friend?

I was really struck by the author saying that he kept a small token to remember each day – a movie ticket or a scrap of wrapping paper from a gift. This made me chuckle a bit because I am such a hoarder of small objects like this. I’ve been journaling for several years, but I’ve been keeping small “scraps” for much longer. I have tickets from almost every single movie, concert and show my husband and I have ever seen together since the day we met, and that’s been almost 19 years now. And yes, I kept bits of wrapping paper from Christmas this year and stuck them into my journal. I keep an envelope in the back of every book and I stuff all of the little bits of things in there. The other day we finally took the caution tape off of our dining room light – it’s pretty low and the constant stream of workers who’ve been here drying and repairing our house needed to avoid hitting their heads. My husband pulled it down and came and asked me if I wanted it – he knows me all to well.

Anyway, I feel really strongly about journaling and memory keeping in general. If you’re interested and think it’s something that you want to do, I’d love to help. I’m not an expert but I can certainly help you get started and figure out what works for you. I think lots of people find it intimidating, but if I can do it, anyone can. I think there’s also an expectation that it’s very time consuming. I spend about 20 minutes per day working on my pages – sometimes more sometimes less, but 20 minutes is probably average. That includes the artwork. I show my artwork much more than I do my actual journal writing, but it’s not because it’s super private. It’s actually because I’m embarrassed by how boring it is. I don’t write anything revolutionary, trust me. But one of my favorite things to do is to go back and read through my old books. It’s so much fun to remember these seemingly insignificant moments and also to see how far I’ve come. Journal keeping has literally changed my life.

Here’s part of my wrapping paper collage from this past Christmas. 🙂

Wrapping Paper 2014


Jan 01

Shutterly Amazing

Happy New Year!! I sincerely hope it’s your best yet. I’m not huge on resolutions, but I think a new year is always a bit of a fresh start. It’s a great time for reflection and looking at where you’ve been, where you’re going and trying to figure out how to get closer to being the person that you ultimately want to be. I spent new year’s eve in front of a fire, drinking a beer and reading through all of my journals for 2013. It was pretty enlightening. Looking over the entire year, day by day, in the span of a couple of hours really made some things clear that I didn’t notice as the days went by in real time. The first thing that stood out was that I hated my job. I knew vaguely that I wasn’t happy there and that I wanted to make a change, but I also felt sort of trapped because I didn’t know how to fix it. As I read through, almost every day in the last 6 months I wrote about work negatively, and then in the same entries wrote about how I didn’t feel well or that I wasn’t sleeping or that my headaches were so bad I couldn’t do anything but lay in bed and cry. I got the offer letter from my new company on 11/18/13, and since that day, it’s like reading a different person’s journal. Happy, smiles, sleeping like a baby, fun, no headaches. It’s also amazing to read through as old relationships grow and get stronger with time, brand new ones form and gain momentum, and some slip away entirely for various reasons.

I know there are some of you who wonder why I am so meticulous about my journals and keeping track of even the most mundane of days, but this is why. I sincerely believe that every single person on this planet can learn so much about themselves by doing this. You don’t have to be an artist – that’s just my quirk. If I thought people would appreciate and utilize it, I would have given every single adult on my Christmas list a nice notebook and a nice pen. But I know that isn’t realistic because it’s just not for everyone. However, if you’re reading this and you feel like you want to know more or have questions or even think that journal keeping MIGHT be something you want to take a stab at, let me know. I’d love to help you get started. My 2013 pile of journals:

 Pile of Journals

In another note, my girlfriends Dawn, Holly & I are doing a 365 project this year! I don’t think I’ll post the pictures here every day, but I might do a weekly recap or something on this blog. I’m not sure how it’ll play out for now. We set up a Tumblr, so please feel free to bookmark it and follow us: http://shoottheshit365.tumblr.com/. I also added a link to the sidebar here just in case you lose it. We’d love to have you along for what I’m sure will be a crazy ride. 🙂

So here’s my picture for today – I got lucky this morning when 5 deer decided to have a late brekkie of the bushes in our backyard. They’re covered with snow, which I love, plus they look so cool with their thicker winter fur. Enjoy and I hope today is the start of an amazing year for you. XOXO

 365 - 1/1/14


Aug 28

Keep Cool, Bob

So in my last post, I mentioned the old yearbooks I got at an estate sale last weekend. I LOVE stuff like this. I get really excited when I find things that are handwritten by strangers. I have an old travel journal in which a girl writes about her trip to Europe in the early 2000’s. She painstakingly wrote out the addresses of all of the hotels she stayed in, as well as a couple of paragraphs every day about where she was and what she did. She lists the restaurants that she ate at and what the food was like. I also have a teenage girl’s sketchbook with doodles of Harry Potter and drawings of ideas for outfits. When I find a shopping list that someone left in a cart I always keep it. I once found a card on the ground at the zoo, and a little girl was wishing her friend happy birthday and thanking her for inviting her to her birthday party. I still have it. I’m a strange girl, folks.

Anyway, back to the yearbooks. I bought 2, and they were $1 each. The smaller (less pages, but still pretty thick) of the 2 I decided to use as an art journal. So, I’ll cover the pages with gesso, paint, and whatever else I can think of. It’s got this really cool paper that is glossy like magazine pages, but thick and with some tooth. It’s also got some incredible portraits in it that I will definitely incorporate into the art. Anyway, as I start to use this book and flip through the pages and read all of the many signatures (this girl, Tobi, seems quite popular) this particular signature is just DYING to be shared. Maybe this will give you a little bit of an idea of why I find these things so interesting. Bob is so cheesy, but also so sweet, and this is just such a colorful portrait of young love, and really youth in general. Click the pictures for the larger version if you can’t read Bob’s words.


Young Love Page 1

Young Love Page 2

 Young Love Page 3

I have no idea what happened with Tobi & Bob because for me, the story ends here. In my imaginary happy place, Tobi & Bob made it work even though he was so far away in Wisconsin. They got through that dreadful summer, and got married as soon as Tobi graduated (’72). They had a zillion kids and lived happily ever after. The end.


Apr 10

Beer & Boy Bands

Over the weekend, I finished my 6th diary-journal-storybook-thingy. I’m still not 100% sure what to call these things, honestly. I usually just refer to them as “my book”. I can’t believe I’ve burned through six whole books! Here’s the cover of this one. I just sort of added stickers to the front as I came across them. Some are from the Winter Beer Fest, of course, and then the NKOTB stickers are from our trip to Schaumburg in March. We found a little used toy shop that was selling unopened NKOTB trading card packs for 25 cents, so I indulged myself. 🙂

This book alternated between black paper and white lined paper. I was excited about the black paper at first, but I ultimately ended up being frustrated with it because the supplies I could use on it were so limited. Looking back through the pages of this book, I also see a lot of frustration and sadness. I hope that book 7 finds me in happier times and better spirits.

Journal Cover #6

Speaking of book 7, I’ve already started it. I’d love to share some of the first pages with you, but……I bought a 9×9 book because the square shape is cool and the paper is really nice. I didn’t stop to think that it won’t fit on my scanner bed. Sadly, it will make it far more difficult to share my drawings here. I don’t ultimately make these books for anyone but myself, however, I do typically scan every page just so that I can always have a digital copy – if my books were damaged, lost, burned, whatever, I would feel awful. I’m quite attached to them! So not being able to scan this book is hard for me, but I decided to press on and figure that part out later.

Here is a photo I snapped of the first page, though. I like to open a new book with a self portrait. 🙂
Self Portrait!


Dec 13

This is Your Life

I came across this video today while I was eating my lunch and surfing the net. I think it’s well worth the 2 minutes of your time to watch it. First, this old guy is super cute and sweet. More importantly, I love his message. I wholeheartedly agree with him that everyone should keep a journal of some sort. Whether you write, draw, doodle, collage, keep lists, or a combination of all of this and more, I think it’s so worthwhile.

Anyway, I don’t want to go on and on and bore you with why I think journalling is so great. Especially when this awesome video can tell you – and show you – far better than I can.


Dec 07

We Have To Stop Meeting Like This…

Mike, Clovis & I went to the Grand Rapids Toy & Comic show last weekend, and it was a good time. I love to look at the old toys, and it’s always cool to meet some comic artists as well. I met this really cool guy that does an autobiographical comic, and it was very interesting. To me especially, because it’s similar to what I do in my journals, only I don’t do it in a comic form. I think I might try to do more comic strip types of stuff, though. I was inspired! I never really put the two together, and I’m not really sure why. This guy, Ryan, was very nice and his book was super interesting. I am kicking myself for not buying a copy, honestly. Anyway, check him out if you get a chance, his website is www.elephanteater.com. There are some really cool sample pages on the comics page, so be sure to check them out.

Seriously, though, I think Darth Vader is stalking me, you guys!! He just can’t seem to take a hint. I tried to tell him at Fanfare in Detroit last month that we should just be friends, but I think he’s hoping his Jedi Mind Trick will eventually work on me or something.

 Me & My Homies

Here’s Mike with Starscream, too. This dude’s costume was so cool! I was extra-impressed.

 Mike & Starscream


Oct 30

The Darkside

This past weekend, we went to Detroit for the Detroit Fanfare Comicon. It was really fun, and full of cosplayers, which I love. Here are a couple of amazing photos:

 Me, Darth Vader & his Stormtroopers

I met THE Darth Vader. He’s a sith of few words, but he seemed nice enough. 🙂

 Mike & Slave Leia

Mike achieved a lifelong dream of meeting Slave Leia. As I was taking this photo, I couldn’t help but wonder…..Is she wearing underpants? If so, where? And how? Anyway…

We had a ball. There were tons of really cool artists there, and Mike & I got some great prints. I also got something I’ve been looking for for quite a while – a vinly decal for my car! I found this great little decal that’s a cartoony Catwoman head. It’s so great, I can;t wait to get it on my car! I also got a Wonder Woman decal that will go on my Nexus 7 as soon as I procure one.  There was a TON of Star Wars stuff, a wee bit of Harry Potter, and very little Star Trek stuff. This show really made it clear to Mike & I that we need to do a Star Trek con. We are very seriously considering the Chicago con next May.

Another really cool thing I picked up is an amazing sketchbook made from an old Disney hardcover book. There are so many things that are great about it – first, the covers are old and look well worn, which I just love. Second, the paper inside is incredible – it’s a heavyweight bristol, perfect for markers and inks. Third, it’s ring bound, which means I can move pages around, and best of all, refill it with new paper when it’s all gone. Fourth, it has a clear plastic sheet that you can place behind the page your working on so ink and markers don’t bleed onto the next page. I am just in love with this thing!! If you are interested in taking a look at these books yourself, the website is here. I met & talked to this guy myself, and he is a paper geek just like me, so I can tell you that his products are all top notch.

So that’s the story of our exciting trip to Detroit. The con was great, we had a blast! I think we will plan to go again next year for sure. 🙂