March 6th, 2010


Shopping day

So I was sorta naughty and spent money. It's not that I can't do that, but I'm trying not to do it too much. This is a tight time of the year, equivalent to early fall when the tax payments, hay bills, and home owners insurance all fall due. Now it's the horse vet bills (paid a year in advance to get a discount,) auto insurance, and possibly income tax (since we haven't done that yet.)

I have some art items back ordered but they should be shipped this week, including a small sketch book and some markers. I found a good idea in one of Claudia Nice's books on how to make a compact and portable carrier for sketching supplies out of an old pair of jeans, taking advantage of the hip pockets. Looks too cool to pass up, and we have lots of ragged jeans stashed away. Some of her ideas on perspective and composition involve using a small transparent plastic ruler, and I wanted one of those as well as a mechanical pencil to include in the pack. Turns out Gary wanted some office supply stuff from Sam's Club so we went to Crystal Lake where I bought lunch to celebrate yesterday being pay day, then stopped at Sam's for his things, and finally at Hobby Lobby to look at art stuff.

It turned out they had a 30% off sale on all artist pencils, markers, pens, and pastels. That made it much harder to be selective and thrifty, but I got away for $20 after a lot of browsing. Pentel 0.7mm mechanical pencil and HB leads, some blending stumps, the desired plastic rule, a Pitt medium point India ink marker so I can compare it to the Prismacolors I got last week, a spray can of Krylon fixative for pencil and charcoal, and a bonus: a set of 12 soft pastels. I used to work in pastels as well as watercolor, and had found that I no longer have any. With the sale price, it was all a good deal.

I resisted high quality handmade paper ($10 a sheet, but I touched and admired it) and a nice ready-made carrying bag with a drawing clipboard and two sketchbooks inside ($29, not on sale.) I admired lots of bright colors (always my weakness) in markers and pencils and paints, and a couple of cute fold-up watercolor paint boxes with halfpans and collapsible brushes. I may yet break down and buy one of those, but I have a couple of the old cake style sets like school kids use that are sufficient for outdoor sketching right now.

I find I'm lusting after Rapidograph pens but at $20 apiece, I told myself "not now."

Sooo... time for projects. Little ones that get finished quickly and boost my self-confidence. I could do this once, I can do it again. I have a pack of postcard size pieces of 140 lb. watercolor paper. I think perhaps some people are about to get the proverbially infamous "gift art."

In other news, it's almost spring. Temperatures above 40F two days in a row have melted a heck of a lot of snow, leaving dirty slush piles and mud. Still freezes to ice on the surface, but the liquid water keeps running underneath all night, draining away to leave floating ice plates that crunch underfoot in the morning.

RikkiToo, our ex-barn cat who has taken over the house, has been gimping around on three legs since Thursday night. We couldn't find anything wrong, and he didn't fuss about letting us handle the paw and leg in question, but it looked swollen so he went to the vet this morning with Gary while I bought groceries. Diagnosis was an infection, probably from a bite. He has scratch marks elsewhere, and has always been prone to fighting other cats and sometimes larger critters like raccoons. Prescription is a course of antibiotics, so it was less expensive than if he'd needed a bone set at least. He's very tame and easy to handle, so giving him meds isn't too bad, thank goodness. This is liquid, squirt a dropper in the mouth stuff, which he has taken before without too much complaint.

Guild newsletter needs to be edited and posted this weekend, and hasn't yet been started except for the monthly statistics sheet.