Life has gone to the dogs!

Hi Everyone!

Hope your August is off to a great start. It’s hard to believe that school will be starting soon and summer will be over.

I got a quick visit from my son this week and his new puppy, Rainey. What a cutie and he is just as laid back about life as Arden is. 


This week has been all about dog training. My dog, Kato, has become a Master Trainer over the year.  He has managed to turn my fearful other dog, Odie, into an almost well adjusted dog.  Kato has taught both of my daughter’s dogs a good dose of social skills in the limited time they have visited and he taught Rainey the fine art of tug this week. Kato is also Master Tugger and never loses that game. Kato lives for the tug!


During all the dog chaos I decided we should go ahead and bring Miss L’s dog, Dinah, into the mix.  Odie does not easily make friends and has had difficulty dealing with small dogs in particular. Now why would I do this you ask?  I have learned that when Odie is overwhelmed with new people and/or dogs he just gives up his bravado and hunkers down to watch the insanity around him.  Dinah is too small to continue living outside, especially out here where she would be considered a snack for some of the wildlife. 

Like most small dogs, Dinah makes up with attitude what she lacks in size.  After three days of being inside with two big dogs she has essentially convinced them she is a force to be reckoned with. Though she is slowly warming up to them, all she has to do is show her little teeth and both dogs retreat to the safety of the sofa.  This morning though, she seems to be allowing Kato to be in her personal space more and is taking some interest in playing with him. Hopefully in about a month I can post a picture of all three dogs happily snuggled on the sofa. Of course, I will need to find a new place to sit. Now if we can get her properly house trained. Miss L is learning all about doggy parenthood and the responsibility that is involved in proper care and training of a pet. 

Other than visiting with my son, lots of home cooking while he was here, and wall to wall dogs, I managed to finish the commissioned drawing of the barn. All done and delivered to its new home!  This is one of THE MOST DETAILED drawings I have ever done. If you have seen my work in the past you know that is saying a lot. 


My clients wanted to have the details of the old construction and the old boards plus some of the surroundings. The finished size was 16″ x 20″. I’m very surprised it did not take me longer. I gave up trying to keep up with hours. 

Since I do not have much space right now to work, I think I am going to concentrate on drawings but want to add some color without dragging out lots of paint. Some experimentation is in order I believe. 

The upcoming week may very well turn into another crazy, on the road week. I am supposed to be getting some of he legal paperwork I need and there is school shopping and soccer sign ups to do.  Hopefully I will get to check in but forgive me if it doesn’t happen.

Have an awesome week! 

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My YouTube University

Hello and welcome!

It is a cold February day here in North Carolina.  For a month that is the shortest it always seems the longest of the year to me.  I endure February.

Currently I am up to my eyeballs in a project that tests and improves my skills every year.  I design the logos for the shows at our local community theatre.  The deadline is very tight for four detailed illustrations and I have to have them finished by this coming Monday! I will show you the finished products after they are announced the end of this month.

I accomplished one longtime goal this past week.  For years (literally) I have wanted to learn surface design for fabric, wallpaper, scrapbook paper, etc.  I just never have had the opportunity/time.  I discovered Spoonflower and their weekly contests a couple of years ago and this year resolved to design a pattern and enter a contest.  Here is my design and voting starts today.  Feel free to cast your vote for it (hint, hint).

Dotty Spots

So how does an old dog with no time learn new skills these days?  youtubeYouTube!  It has become my on call classroom. Here are some of the things I have learned over the past few years (in no particular order) via YouTube:

  • How to change a car battery (saved me $100).
  • How to fix a garbage disposal
  • How to can food from the garden
  • Dog training
  • Organic gardening
  • Photoshop and Illustrator software skills
  • Various and assorted home repair issues
  • Painting and drawing instruction

This week has been a series of YouTube crash courses:

  • Seamless pattern designs in Illustrator and Photoshop for my Spoonflower entry.
  • How to create a neon sign effect in Photoshop
  • More dog training instruction (Odie needs some remedial work on his anxiety problems)
  • Beekeeping 101 (my next endeavor that is coming up fast)
  • Watercolor and acrylic techniques for my logo illustrations

Whew! Yes, my brain is suffering from overload.

Just in case you are interested in any of these, here are some of the subscriptions I have on YouTube.

  • Don The Fat Bee Man (You’re not likely to forget it are you?) – beekeeping
  • Graeme Steveson (Colour in Your Life) – interviews and instructions from artists in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Kikopup – dog training
  • Teela Cunningham – graphic design
  • Spoonflower – pattern design and custom fabric
  • Kristin Crestejo – more dog training (we have issues here that need lots of work)
  • Kelly Eddington Watercolors – painting instruction
  • Katrinah – Website setup and design

There are several more dog trainers and designers, but half the fun of YouTube is discovering all the crazy stuff out there.

I have to get back to work because I have a deadline breathing down my neck and you need to go learn something new, cool and fun!

Have a wonderful week!