Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Post 2006 and Happy New Year!

I did have a post ready. A thought-provoking, wise, canny post even. Then I coughed and promptly pulled a back muscle, which makes sitting up easier than lying down, really painful on standing, and agony getting up after lying down.

Maybe I wasn't meant to make that post eh?

So I'll just leave all of you with this, and my best wishes for a wonderful, blessed 2007 to everyone.

Thanks for reading, for being friends, for everything.

Sketchcrawl Enroute Year's End...

Finally, finally, after fighting with a lot of pride and embarrassment issues, I've gotten off my ample rump and scanned up all the sketches I did from the SketchCrawl on 9th December. Three weeks late! Yes, part of the mitigating circumstances were that the computer was down and the scanner wasn't working with the laptop, but still, I'm late and that merits a big, big apology to those who've posted and did take part (Sandra, Zeke and Hadibi namely!)

So here they are - I'm taking your advice, Marcelo! They're not that good, I admit; I've still got a long way to go. But it's a personal milestone in that a few months ago even, I'd never have been able to even attempt something like it. As puerile as they are...I'm proud of having made the attempt. The complete image is behind the thumbnail; I decided to spare everyone's eyeballs and put them behind a cut to be kind (they're largish images):

A lady with an interesting hairstyle at a caricature booth - it was at the Digi Street Party, I believe, or something so inclined. Cornrows! Haven't seen those in ages!

This little Muslim girl eyed me suspiciously the entire time around I was trying to unobtrusively sketch her. Her mother too, and I only managed her head.

The girl with the striped shirt was getting a temporary tattoo from the lady with the bag. The chap with the cap is from the International Busker's Festival in KL, I forget his name. Oops. But man, his shirt was fascinating!

The fanstastically entertaining New Zealanders, the Motley Two, from where I was sitting, watching the two Canadian performers doing their thing. Check out that SPIKY HAIR. How could I resist that?

A very attentive, fascinated little boy watching in the front row of people.

Carnie the Contortionist. A very BAD profile. Boy can he contort. And his act with the bear traps? Just makes my hair stand on end. It's fantastic, but SCARY! More of him later...

David Ladderman of the Motley Two on his trademark ladder, holding a juggling club. It was bright green. LOVELY colour.

More Ladderman, his partner Mullet Man, and juggling and ladders!

Now these are -post- SketchCrawl, done from videos Sandra shot and photographs, so they don't particularly count, but I still tried to keep to time limits anyways:

These Canadian guys were breathtaking. I kept catching my breath and hoping nothing bad would happen and everyone collapse in a heap...

The Motley Two on unicycle and ladder, juggling between each other.

One from the Sketchie, Carnie! He saw me with my honkin' huge sketchbook (how could anyone miss that) and made a pose. I was red in the face and laughing too much to actually -catch- him in it at the time, but Sandra snapped a photo and -here- is the pose!

We were collectively known as 'The Sketchies' that day, I think. Not that we minded, it just felt odd to be so...notorious? Never been quite so publicly identified as a Sketcher before, at least for myself!

This has been a really mixed-up year, like a cocktail drink - shaken, stirred, occasionally turned upside down and hammered on the counter - but I think that without it I wouldn't have grown, wouldn't have met some of the people I treasure most in my life right now.

Last post of the year tomorrow, and New Year greeting besides! Have a good one, y'all...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dead Cats and Rubbish

No, that doesn't refer to me actually having personally found any dead cats in my bed, or rubbish pouring down the pipes again (no Marcos! It has not happened thank GOD!) - it just happens to be the only things strong enough that I can smell at the moment when I walked back from lunch today.

Eating gyuniku udon (udon noodles with beef in soup) is really a lot less fun when you can't taste a ruddy thing.

As Erma Bombeck wrote once, 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I've got the flu.' Or something like that, anyway, but yes. I have the flu. No doubt brought on by sleep deprivation from making costumes like mad over the past week or two, and stress from work, but STILL. Christmas with the Flu. And the Christmas play in two days. It should be an institution.

However! I had the perfect remedy for the blues when I got home - Catalina! I've been asked for pictures of her, so as a courtesy to the Kitsune Fox whom I absolutely adore, and my brother, who thought it was really neat, here's the lady herself!

Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeek as a pirate's cutter, oh yeah, ain't she?

Before the Makeover. Those wires don't exist, nope, nope...there is no wire, there is merely the puuuuuuuuuuuter...(ok so that's my room, where I live, so everything has to fit in it. Still!)

And after the Makeover! Does something look rather familiar there...

On another (stranger) note, I think I'm beginning to be known around my area as That Girl Who Draws Everywhere. I mean, I do nowadays, I've got markers and sketchpad with me even if I'm in the bathroom most days. It's brought quite a few stares and some comments, and a lot of opinion. This was brought home to me forcibly when I went to lunch this afternoon at my favourite Japanese restaurant, and the owner-lady said, "You know, the picture you drew for us last year's been up for a while, draw something else and we'll put it up!" Short explanation: this is the same Japanese place which feeds me tons of extra food every time I go, and last year to say thank you, I did a quick kimono girl pencil drawing over lunch, folded a paper crane, and left it with the bill after I paid - after making sure no one could see me leave since I was shy and didn't know if they'd like it.

Apparently? They did! One of the waitresses even asked for a Santa drawing she could colour for her little girl - both requests which I'm going to try my best to get done along with a few other things (and the Christmas play.)

Looking at Marcos' paella must have gotten me in the mood to draw seafood because I managed some of these prawns in the freezer case:

I'm the Girl Wot Draws to all these lovely people. Wow. That's...really something.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

She's HERE!

There's a sexy, sleek new permanent resident in my room right now. All in classic black, no less, and sitting coyly on the floor.

I'm in love, oh yes I'm in love.

She's my new computer! And she's absolutely gorgeous, with the most beautiful silver trim, and she runs like a DREAM. All the software installed right. She's got XP Pro. My scanner works. I've got Photoshop again and a 17" monitor (I used to have a 15 year old 15").

I'm so, so happy, I don't even feel tired any more even though I only had 4 hours' sleep.

And because she's my very first new computer since college that I bought all on my own and didn't inherit from previous users, I had to give her a name - and that was easy.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present Catalina de Los Angeles, after El Pacifico's feisty Pirate Girl (the colour scheme on the display unit matches her outfit. I am not kidding. Blue, red, black and some white, very tastefully done.) Because my 'cyberlady' just looks that spunky and sassy, and because she's mine so she has to be.

And now for dinner because I err...kind of forgot to eat after I set her up...

Anyways in the meantime, have a picture from the archives from when I really couldn't draw architecture (and still can't but am trying to practice. That cathedral was good considering I'd never drawn a building before but looking at it now makes me just cringe in agony.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Redefining Gothic In Style

Christmas approaches. Costumes are ambushing by the minute.

So in the spirit of 'let's not get drowned by a few pieces of fabric and thread', I dug something out of the archives that has -something- to do with fashion and design.

Well, and sheer insanity too, but by now everyone reading this ought to know I'm truly loco.

Presenting the New Goth Girl.

Or rather OLD Goth Girl...never mind, I'm not about to argue semantics tonight, not when I'm still trying to remember how to spell my own name. I had to stop and think for a moment.

There's got to be a way of growing old more gracefully than trying to explain, 'It's on the tip of my tongue, what's it called' and realizing you wanted to say 'saliva'. (If only that were my line; it's Bill Condon's, punnish genius that he is.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Random Thoughts from the Glog Barrel and Draw Something Sweet Challenge

Today my sewing machine worked. And there was much rejoicing.

To know why something as simple as this causes leaping and dancing upon the high hills, you have to understand that nothing about sewing machines comes easily to me. Nothing. I'm a self-taught seamstress, and everything I know about a sewing machine and its innards come from two days of lessons from a dear, dear friend in Florida whom I've lost touch with (drat it, Joy, I miss you, wherever you are). That, and an entire week better left nameless during Easter this year, when I was holed up with the machine infernal (where it jammed, stuck, tangled, broke needles, and otherwise turned my week of costume-sewing into a nightmare which rivals Fuseli in creepy eldritch horror. Or is that Cthulhu?)

So to have it work without a hitch, even sewing a straight seam, gladdens my heart and makes me smile. Especially when I used it to hem my first ever satin fabric. Satin fabric! That slippery evil I've dreaded working with for years! And it's tamed!

Yes, happy-making here, folks.


Saturday 9th December was International Sketch Crawl day. In a fit of rash foolhardiness, yours truly took the plunge and went barrelling off into the wilds of Kuala Lumpur city to shoot a drawing. I mean, SKETCH. These sketches, properly harnessed and muzzled, will be put up sometime soon after my scanner comes back, because my digital camera ain't going to take a nice enough picture of them, that's for sure. In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful artist's posts and photos of said event, because man, she ROCKED (and sketches both fast and well, believe me. I was there...uh, if there's photographic evidence ignore! ignore!):


Some days, being professional, calm, collected and quietly cheerful at work is exhausting, and leads to an abstracted fit of the blues and almost-crying-but-not-quite. I have a legendary bad temper; the effort of smiling politely when I want to brain a nincompoop who's yelling at me over the phone takes a lot out of me and usually leaves me brain-dead.

This would be today in a nutshell.

So, a 45 minute walk home, a looooong phonecall to my mother and an equally long venting rant later, I go for dinner at the mall to try and cheer myself up. Which suffered a rather small setback when I ordered iced tea and got Pepsi instead. I did ask for a change of drink since I can't stand the latter, but I did remember to ask nicely instead of taking someone's head off (it was a temptation but I was just too tired, and I'm sure those poor waitresses were overworked anyways because it was late.)

Some people are of the opinion that iced lemon tea is for drinking. I'm sure somewhere along the line I agreed with that in a nebulous fashion once. This time, I not only didn't drink more than a quarter of it, I left the rest in the glass so I could draw the pretty, pretty light-and-dark contrasts between the ice and the tea. And since it was sweet iced tea, I figured it qualified for the EDM group's 'Draw Something Sweet' challenge, since I...haven't really done any of those in donkey's YEARS. Centuries. Yeah, it's been a while.

Hot fudge brownies are meant for eating too, but I totally ignored it in favour of getting this down. Apologies for the lousy picture, digital cameras at night don't make for the best shots:

Vaguely out of the corner of my eye I noticed one of the waiter/waitresses standing there watching me while I was sketching, but I didn't pay attention, not until I went to pay for my food and my waitress said brightly, "You're an artist? I like watching you sketch!" Turns out she was a graphic artist in college and she loves seeing people draw; when I left she and the girl who got my order wrong waved happily and called, "So nice to meet you!"

It was a sheer waste of a hot fudge brownie, which had turned to lukewarm and amazingly jaw-sticking by the time I got around to it.

But it was worth it all, just to see those two girls smile.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Casino Royale Dreams and Overworked Brains

© SYL, 2006

Been a while hasn't it --
since a gun sat in my palm
snug as a Russian nesting doll
giving up secrets, layer by layer:

a gun of spun smoke and stilted words.

I look down the barrel of my days
Beyond the known yonder
Infinity spans its necklace of hours.

I'm fixing my sights
Baby I'm aiming straight -
Shards of me, that secret hollow
tiny splinters of fractured time
and a bullet of echoes backlit
by pieces of unseasoned dreams
cordite traces of a smile
that should have been yours
but faded, like invisible ink
drifting away.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Suckerfish Training School Part-the-Something

I had whelks for lunch today.

Those of you who've read this will know exactly what that means.

Today however, things were just a touch different. Because all the whelks went on strike.

I knew I was in trouble the minute I picked up the first one, and it not only didn't come out of the shell when I slurped on it, it made me drool because it was a bit -too- large to bite on comfortably, -and- required the skills of an elite vacuum cleaner just to keep up with the sucking action.

No wonder babies go to sleep after taking their bottle of milk. Oww. My -lips- are still sore.

By the time the fourth whelk had defeated all attempts to eat it, I was pretty convinced it was One Of Those Days. The discreet slurping sounds that usually accompany this enterprise had sort of long since materialized into a swampish gurgle that often accompanies quicksand victims trying to get out and failing. Either that or a truck stuck in an oozing, squelching shlrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp of mud.

If half the restaurant was looking at me by this time I didn't notice; I was busy looking the other way and studying the wall with great interest. You can perfect the Innocent Animaniacs look doing that, I assure you. It's great practice contriving to make it seem like those ghastly sewer noises are not emanting from your place despite you going through the -motions- of making them, but are really helium balloons under your chair being deflated. Method actors have -nothing- on me at this point, behbe.

This is one time I'm very thankful I'm nowhere near a resident franchise of Sketchclub. The spectacle of a short, wild-eyed woman attempting to contort her mouth into shapes only seahorses, blowfish, guppies and chimpanzees should be allowed to practice would just have been too much to resist for any self-respecting artist.

Oh what the heck who am I fooling. If I'd been looking at ME I'd have grabbed the sketchbook and started plugging away at it.

I had to commemorate the moment, even if I only had 5-10 minutes to do it. Behold the Whelk of Doom:

I managed to get out of there with my self-respect intact. I think. Despite having to resort to stabbing at the whelks with a fork to fish it out, and in the process, cracking the shell accidentally and taking a whole lot of unexpected calcium into my diet. Crunchy calcium, no less.

Man. My mouth will never be the same again.

(Believe me, I'm glad I'm no one famous because THAT line taken out of context would, like the ever famous Lucy, require a great deal of 'splainin' to do.)