Last Tuesday at Making the Days Count, I shared a little irony about the first record I bought. No, it’s not Carole King’s Tapestry, although my hair looked like that for a while. Stop by and check out what I used to illustrate at the VA Hospital and how six degrees of separation can become one. Read more…
We all know people who are so shy, we have to pry words out of their mouths. The whole room goes quiet when they begin to speak. We call them introverts. Other people can talk to anyone in any social situation. We label them extroverts.
Introverts and extroverts are polar opposites, so how can we be one or the other? My eyes roll with every debate. Introvert or extrovert? GAH! There’s a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between them. It’s the perfect place for another personality type called, ambiverts. I would guess it comes from the Latin word ambi – both and verts – green. Both green? No. That’s probably not right.
In order to understand this new personality type, we need to review what we know about introverts and extroverts.
Introverts are reflective and happier alone with their thoughts. They energize through being by themselves. They stress out in social situations. If they do go out, they are exhausted afterward.
Last year, I noticed my thighs had shrunk and wrinkled and my upper eyelids began to droop. WTH? I suspected it was from aging. When I learned swollen knees cause muscle atrophy, I hit the gym hard. It’s been over three months since knee surgery. My quads grew and my thighs are smooth. Woohoo!
This made me think my upper lids could be a result of weak and lazy muscles. Back in school my friends teased me every time someone called my name. I would raise my eyebrows and give the person a bug-eyed look. I have big eyes to begin with. The days of overreacting to people are over. I work in my home office during the week and my face remains flaccid except when talking to my dog, Roxy, or laughing a funny blog post. Huh. I wonder if that’s why I’m exhausted after a night out. My face is out of shape!Continue reading →
I’ve sent out all of my greeting cards, so it’s time to unveil my project. I’m so nervous. I hope you like it.
Every year an idea comes to mind which becomes a sketch and then transforms into some kind of 3-D popup creation. I know what you’re thinking. Most people don’t even take the time to buy and send ready-made greeting cards. I keep telling myself, “This year I will simplify.” HA! I don’t know the meaning of the word, “simplify.” Two things about me never change: I was born sunny-side up and I love challenges. “Bring it on” should be my middle name, but it’s not. It’s Mary which is pretty dull in comparison. Don’t tell mom. Her first name is Mary.
The front is very similar to last year’s. Take your complaints to Yelp.
I’m ready for the next project on my long list. It’s my absolute favorite. Can you guess?
Nope. I’m not wrapping presents. I always leave that chore until the last minute. I’m not hanging the stockings. NOTE TO SELF: I need to buy sticky tack. I’m not writing my letter to Santa. I’m playing with my new Apple computer right now! I don’t need another thing. I’m not stringing popcorn or making ornaments or running out to the mall to finish my Christmas shopping. I’m done. I’m not running to the grocery store. Not my favorite thing at all although I will take my new fangled warmer jammer list next time.
When I decided to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, I had no idea if I could. You see, a five-year-old child inhabits my brain and can throw quite the tantrum. If I don’t want to do something, she sends waves through the entire length of my spine which becomes rigid. Then she starts chanting, “I don’t want to. I don’t want to! I DON’T WANT TO!” This screaming fit is usually accompanied by the stomping of feet and the transformation of ordinary household objects into projectile missiles. Continue reading →
Impulse and risky choices have taken me on all kinds of adventures. This story epitomizes who I am.
After graduating from college, I struggled to find illustration jobs. Every month or two, I drew promotional advertisements for an upscale women’s clothing store where I worked selling clothes. The intermittent opportunities paid a meager wage. I made more money selling clothes than drawing them.
Then, I had a brilliant idea. Madison, Wisconsin is only a few hours away from Chicago, so I took the Van Galder Bus to the Merchandise Mart. I hoped to find a few businesses willing to pay me to draw their clothing and accessories.
With an art portfolio held tight in my hand, I knocked on doors all day, but only found one interested company. I showed the owner my drawings and paintings. She picked a purse from a pile on a table and said, “Draw this one.” She handed me a #2 pencil, a piece of typing paper and escorted me to her desk. She and her staff watched as I drew. Perspiration dripped from every pore on my body. Somehow, I managed to finish. She smiled and paid me $10.00. It covered less than half of my bus fare.
I took the elevator down to the lobby and stepped into the chilly spring air. After reorienting myself, I made my way to the bus stop. I thought about my career choice and if it would be worth it to travel to Chicago again.
While I stood shivering on the curb with my back against the Lake Michigan wind, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and a thirty-something, unshaven man in a light jacket and jeans asked, “Are you waiting for the bus back to Madison?” Continue reading →
After almost sixty hours, my annual Christmas cards are done. Whew! I smiled while dropping them into the mailbox and imagined my friends and family opening up my little art project. Time is at a premium and many don’t even send store bought cards. We live in an electronic age where communication is at our fingertips. We make contact through texts, tweets and Facebook. Very few pick up the phone and actually talk to people anymore. Everyone is too busy.
I am a dinosaur in today’s world. I plodded through the week while drawing, printing, cutting, and pasting. My gift to others is not just about the card. It is about the love and time it takes to create them. Each one took over 45 minutes. Yep, That was a little overboard. Thanks to Timethief, I have a wealth of new ideas for next year and promise to start in July!
First I decide on an activity. My family is found skiing in many of my cards, but I wanted to come up with something unique for 2013. It has been an exceptional year in some ways, but I was derailed by breast cancer. When I thought of the concept, Dancing on 2013’s Grave, I laughed out loud!
Yes Wild Riders. I am ready to dance once again. Did you miss me?
First I sketch my ideas. Once I have a workable drawing, I use tracing paper and a marker for a final copy. I hope to capture the likeness of everyone. I only draw once a year, so I am always a little nervous when I start. Sometimes the illustration just works like this year when it only took two hours. Other times, I find it challenging to recreate the shape of the eyes, the nose, the mouth, and the jawline. There’s always some printing involved. Thank God for the invention of the inkjet. I used to run back and forth to a commercial printer in a neighboring town to get the pieces camera ready.
While growing up, my sister and I kept busy by creating all kinds of art projects. Accustomed to drawing, I chose an art degree and graduated with a Bachelor of Science. I worked at a hospital as a medical illustrator for a few years. When Danny and I were married in 1987, I drew our first Christmas card which started a family tradition. They never took more than a day. I dashed off to the printer and picked them up when they were done.
Last year’s card. They were a piece of cake compared to this year’s.
What started out as a simple illustration has become a complicated marathon. It all started a couple of years ago, when I paged through Robert Sabuda‘s Christmas pop-up books. I stared in wonder at the amazing crafted paper which transformed into 3-d objects before my eyes. The BRILLIANT idea of creating a moving card was born. Continue reading →
One of my annual holiday traditions is creating our family Christmas card. In the last couple of days, I have drawn and copied, cut, folded and stacked all of the parts that will be ready to glue and assemble. With around 24 hours into this art project, I would guess that I am just about half way to finishing them. I am hoping to make 90 cards. I know. I am ridiculous.
This year’s card is another pop-up, meaning there will be folded paper inside that will have some dimension after opening. Last year, I added beads and half of the envelopes were returned before Christmas with postage due. Ugh. This year, I avoided any extra dingle dangles that would mess up the otherwise timely delivery.
Last year’s card. Those beads cost me!
Another pop-up from two years before.
I thought it would be fun to run a contest for those of you interested in receiving one of my homemade cards. No matter what your faith or how you celebrate, this is a card made with lots of love for you! Continue reading →
My illustration of the virtual people who read my blog for the first time.
When I began blogging, I remember getting the jitters. I had worried about using my real name. Since I was blogging for a writer’s platform, it made sense to send it into the blogosphere along with my words.
My friends and family wondered how smart it was to expose myself to strangers. Some thought I could be conversing with thugs from prison. “Hey!” I retorted, “Everyone makes mistakes and if they enjoy my blog, well, that’s a great sign of positive reform!”
Have you met Chuck Wendig? Well this is a picture of him, but usually he is attached to a body. He looks a bit bereft which is not a good description of him. In fact over at his hilarious, irreverent and twisted blog, Terrible Minds, he has a lot to say. Continue reading →
When I read that August McLaughlin would be hosting Beauty of a Woman Blogfest on Friday, I just knew I had to join the party. Last September, I wrote a very personal account about my sick relationship with a magnifying mirror. Now this was no ordinary mirror, but one that I picked up at a garage sale because someone else was most likely trying to break their addiction. This evil 2ox magnification mirrorshould have been destroyed, but instead I bought it for $2.00…. Since my only commenter was the GoodGreatsby, I knew he would be a sport and wouldn’t mind if I posted it again.
Self-Portrait with Mirror by Susie Lindau
Last fall, when my 19-year-old daughter informed me she didn’t want to take her magnifying mirror back to college since she would stare at almost non-existent blocked pores and proceed to unblock them, it made me think. “Whoa! I don’t know if I could give up mine.” Then it hit me. “Am I addicted to the magnification like a junkie in a back ally? Would I be crying out for a fix at the end of the day?” Continue reading →