Friday, October 15, 2010

If I Were An Owl, and other random goodies

Do you ever just have one of those days where, every single time you try your best to get to the planned schedule, something comes along and derails it yet again? I'm sure you do, I think we all have those days. Today was like that for me, but in some really fun ways so I'm not really complaining.

I'd planned to sit down and blog this morning but it was just one thing after another until before I knew it, time got away from me. I have lots of random stuff to say so here we go:

• Last month I did a custom designed stationery set for a friend of mine who lives here in Canada, and she ordered it through my zazzle shop. Now I have a little pet peeve to rant about. Shipping to Canada, depending on the weather, mood or whatever off the wall criteria that makes no sense, is insane! Kev orders cds from a place in the deep south and his orders get here in 3-5 days. Other places it's a week, yet other places it's 2, 4 or 6 weeks and without any reason, it seems. Order is placed, shipped, then sits in customs at the border for... who knows how long? It's a toss up, and you never really know when your order will arrive. My friend's stationery took FOUR weeks from date of shipping till the day she received it. Four weeks, for paper. Someone needs to explain that to me, because it's just stupid.

• While on my daily walk after dinner tonight I noticed so many things. Mostly, I noticed how I noticed things that I'm sure I always notice but never really pay attention to because they're just ordinary, everyday sorts of things. Did that make any sense at all? In other words, I purposely payed attention to what I was seeing, hearing and smelling while on my walk.

I noticed how the corn that in July was a deep, shimmering green is now a dusty, crunchy brown, and ready to be harvested soon for feed corn.

I noticed how the sky was a gorgeous shade of crisp, clean blue, dotted with pure white puffy clouds that looked so perfect, they almost looked fake.

I noticed the shotgun blasts I heard off in the distance, and immediately thought "farmers, shooting at coyotes". Anyway I hope that's all it was.

I noticed how some of the trees are already completely bare of all their leaves, while others seem to be hanging on to them for dear life. I also noticed how all hints of green, red, orange and yellow are gone from those leaves, and how it'll only be a matter of days before they're off the trees as well.

I noticed the tree I always notice and think "this is a perfect tree with a perfect limb sticking straight out. If I were an owl, I'd sit right there and just be cool." The thing is though, I've seen this tree a million times (give or take) and I've never seen an owl sitting on that limb. Clearly, I don't know nearly as much about being an owl as I like to think I do.

I noticed that I haven't yet noticed the tell-tale scent of fall. That is, the unmistakable odor of woodsmoke in the air, as neighbors begin to heat their homes to keep the chill out. It really hasn't been cold enough yet to build a fire though. That's coming in the next few weeks, I'm sure.

1977• Today my sister dug out a dusty old photo album and posted lots of old family pics on FB. Many of them were of her, our brother and myself, like this one. Now, allow me to explain this picture before I explain this picture.

This was taken in our kitchen sometime in December of 1978. I would have turned 14 on December 12th, so I was either 13 or 14 when this was taken. The only reason I even remember this, is because of the bandage on my arm. Walking home with 2 friends on Friday night from the roller rink, all three of us were hit by a car. One friend escaped with just scrapes, another was in a coma for a week and later recovered fully, and I was thrown about 30 feet straight up, and landed on my back and left elbow in the road. The attending paramedic said the only reason I didn't crack both elbows is because in my other hand I was holding onto the giant, foot long candy cane I had won at the roller rink that night. Apparently I was still holding onto it when the ambulance arrived. It was a pretty traumatic experience and I'm sure my mom felt the same way when they called her from the emergency room where we were all taken, via ambulance.

In any event, for whatever silly reason my sister decided to plaster some cotton quilt batting all over her head and pretend to be Santa Claus. It had probably been many years since we all had our picture taken on Santa's lap, so Mom got out her polaroid and we all had pictures taken with "Santa". She has this one, and I have the one of her sitting on my mom's lap, lol. Yes, my family is seriously silly, and we like it that way.

What really struck me about this picture though, is my brother. Not the goofy look he has on his face, but his t-shirt. Nearly all his old t-shirts eventually became mine, and this one was one of them. I loved this shirt. No, correction, I loved this shirt. It's a little hard to make out from this 30+ year old photo, but the graphic is of a squirrel holding a nut (a hex nut, not an acorn) and the shirt itself was a pale yellow. As I said, eventually this shirt (along with many other graphic shirts that were once my brother's) became mine and I wore it until I wore it out.

I had to laugh when I saw it in this picture today, because even though I hadn't seen it for years and years, I actually did see it very recently when just this spring, I created this cutie-patootie cartoon squirrel. It never really occured to me where some of my inspirations came from to create the cartoon animals that I do, until I saw my brother wearing this shirt, from 30 years ago. It's almost the exact same squirrel, even though I hadn't seen it for so long. There are slight differences of course, but essentially, my squirrel come from the older one. Obviously the cute-factor made a lasting impression somewhere in my brain and when I sat down to create the new one, the idea of what he should look like clearly came from my fond memory of my brother's shirt from 1978.

My sister posted another picture of a favorite cartoon animal graphic (a super cute porcupine, of all things) shirt of mine from about the same year (I was wearing it, in that picture) and I immediately had to recreate it and modernize it. I had no plans to do this tonight, but once I saw an old favorite shirt of mine that has been long gone for at least a quarter of a century, I wanted it back! I know, it sounds silly, but there is just something incredibly delightful about cartoon animals. I get a lot of positive feedback from folks about the squirrel and the other animals, so at least I'm not the only one who finds them so much fun.

Well, that's all the randomness I have for now.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe