Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Would Tim really do that?


DC is currently in the middle of the Blackest Night event arc. And recently in this arc was a three-issue "Batman" sideline (I put Batman in quotes because, as you may know, Bruce is "dead" and Dick is currently in the Batsuit). In this sideline, Dick and Tim take time out to fight off their zombified, long-dead, black-lantern infected parents. And then we presume they go back to their regularly scheduled storylines...as noted by Tim in Red Robin #6, where during a fight with a fake-clawed Wolverine wannabe in Budapest he acknowledges "...after what I just went through in Gotham, [how this is going] is relative."

And therein is my quibble:

In Tim's current storyline as Red Robin, he is all over the place* searching for clues that tell him Bruce is alive. And in the course of this search, he's managed to get into a few scrapes--League of Assassins here, Council of Spiders there. And in the course of his travels, Lucius ("What was he thinking?") Fox sends his daughter to look for Tim, recent adoptee of Bruce's, who he thinks just ran away given the other tumultuous events going on in the wake of Bruce's demise.

Lucius' daughter, Tam, finds Tim and immediately gets caught in the middle of his scrapes. He takes her to "The Cradle," de facto headquarters of the League of Assassins, where he thinks she'll be safe until he gets out of his current situation....

And then he takes a break and goes back to Gotham to handle the re-animated dead parent thing. Leaving Tam in the middle of...Iraq? Budapest? in a cave, with known killers (and previously unknown even scarier killers). He left her behind. While he went back to Gotham. He even says that: "I left her there when I went back to Gotham to deal with the Black Lantern insanity."

Would Tim Drake really do that?

Events. Oh how they convolute the DC Universe.

*All. Over. The. Place. As in: I, the reader, have no idea where the story is taking place at any given time even though there are little bylines telling me. Tim's story jumps around so much it is beginning to make my head spin. It added interest at first, but now I am weary.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh Fer Cryin' Out Loud

So now I can occasionally upload pictures, but not scan. I am almost more lost without scanning than without the uploading. I can end-around the glitch, but I don't get the quality I want if I do. GIANT EXASPERATED SIGH.

So. To leave on a lightly sunnier note, my tiny kitty, Myrna is feeling a little better and has backed off from scratching at death's door. Yay! Plus she's perkier.

And also? 6th graders suck. (Obviously with the exception of my niece).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Computer Whoas

My computer currently refuses to upload pictures of any kind. And since Radish is uploaded from my Paint Shop album, he is currently unable to make an appearance. He apologizes for these computer woes that are not even his fault.

I have other things I would like to post about, but I am a bit overwhelmed with my new school year. My 5 6th-grade Language Arts (English) classes are packed to maximum, which is quite different than my smaller Reading classes were. It's going to be December before I can remember half of my new students' names. Fortunately I have many multiples, namewise, which ups my chances of getting it right. Who knew 'Jeremiah' was going to be so popular in 1997?

Apologies. I miss Radish, too. And Illustration Friday! And having free time that isn't sucked up by the urge to nap!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fav Things: The Cats

While I was travelling this summer, the kitties went to stay with Mom and Dad. This has actually turned out very well, as they are much better behaved there than they are at home (unless there is something my parents aren't telling me). And even though I have ended up coming and going just as often while my brother's family is here, having the cats out there has been better for them, continuity-wise. Except....
Myrna has been under the weather for some time, and last week, she took an odd turn and just about did her own liver in, so she's been travelling back and forth with me getting round-the-clock attention. Poor Spot isn't very happy with this (he tries to be mad, but the need to snuggle always wins out). I just wanted to say that the cats are among my favorite things, no matter what (and many of you know exactly how much that what entails).
Spot loves to have his picture taken, and will usually produce some adorable pose or smiley face. Myrna, being black and squirmy, is almost impossible to photograph, but once in a while she'll acquiesce. Here is a favorite picture of both Spot and Myrna.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Favorite Things, part 2

Chateau d'Amboise, France

We don't have stuff like this in the US, so getting to spend several days hanging out next to a chateau is pretty darn cool. I wonder what Chateau d'Amboise looked like before much of it was dismantled while Napoleon had it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Favorite Things, part 1

Firenze, Italia
view from Piazzale Michelangelo
This is my favorite place. Yeah, there's my yard (which, sadly, has suffered drought and scorch in the last month) and the Farm on Vashon, but this is Florence.
I wish I could explain my feelings for this place, but they are more complicated than I realized.
I've been to Firenze three times:
1. On the bike trip when I was 17--I remember the Mercato San Lorenzo and that's about it. We'd been biking through Germany and France and by Italy things were a blur...until we reached that ferry in Brindisi...but that's another story.
2. I actually majored in Italian. Really useful, I know. I spent most of my junior year of college in Florence. I was homesick. My favorite memories are of wandering everywhere around the center and on the other side of the Arno, people watching and just being an observer, eating almond cookies and the best food on earth.
3. And now 23 years later with a different perspective and my niece in tow--it felt familiar and welcoming, and I could actually speak functional Italian. And I wish I could have stayed.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Radish and Garlic are still trapped inside the lair. I guess it's taking Radish longer to dig that tunnel than he thought it would. Broccoli is probably still trapped in the cafe. There may have been a malfunction in the Broccoli fork-proof zone. As you can see, Garlic is again practicing her aim, and if you recognize this, you might guess she's feeling a little stir-crazy and has decided Radish will do for moving target practice.

I'm leaving for Europe later this morning. So Radish is on hiatus. I did mean to get a few drawn and ready to go for scheduled posting, but alas. I'll be back in a few weeks; he'll be back in August. In the meantime, check the slideshow in the sidebar to see if my niece and I have seen anything interesting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Darkness All Around...except in my yard

I think Radish has been lost in his tunnel for a while...perhaps that's where he has been? It is my goal to get a set of Radishes done and scheduled to post while I am away. But we all know how I am with goals. And here's a bit of why I have been drawing less:

This is only a sample of my cherry trees' bounty this year. Snack time! My yard has been taking up my free time. Getting all the little loose ends tied before my trip has been taking the rest of my time. So excited! Sono molto contenta!
Also--there's a link in the sidebar for my Twitter page. I'll be twittering from Europe.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


What is the intent of this spacecraft that is drifting so serenely above Planet X? Approach peacefully? Domination? Scan with curiosity? Siteseeing? Or drifting in need of fuel? Still have spaceships on the brain. Is there an antidote?

I toyed with the idea of attempting this with watercolors. Chickened out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yard Update

My honeysuckle is spectacular this year, and I'm surprised it isn't swarming with hummingbirds. One will do just fine, though.

Mock Orange!! ------------->

Spot can't help but fall asleep watching me putter in the yard.

Two weeks until I leave for Europe with my niece!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Still in my science fiction head space. And liking colored pencils even though they don't scan well. I forgot how much I used to like to use colored pencils. So here's my Illustration Friday for this week, an unfolding flower...? One of my many favorite Genesis songs is Ripples from Trick of the Tail, where the lyrics say "Bluegirls come in every size." I think of that song every spring when my bluebells bloom. This kind of combines the song and the flower. Hmm. Rambling much?

Three and a half days of school: Eternity.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Pretty Peony

This is my first peony bloom ever. It's also the only bud on the peony this year. I am very excited. Also, my mock orange is finally going to bloom this year, too. Been waiting!

And this is my new favorite afternoon hangout. I moved some of my outdoor furniture around and this is a perfect spot for my table and chairs. Wish I'd thought of this a couple of years ago!
Ideally I'd rather have hardscape under the arrangement, but that is a project for later. (That's the mock orange farthest to the left by the fence.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Easier Way...?

Is Fred really dead? Will Radish's interception of the radio call work? Good thing he was taking a break from digging the escape tunnel!

Monday, June 8, 2009


This robot craves the weightlessness and color of a butterfly. He spends hours craving the ability to flit and float happily along rather than having to clunk and thump monochromatically through life. How will he ever satisfy his craving?

Sticking with the SciFi genre again this week for my Illustration Friday entry. And I managed to finish it before Thursday this time!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stir Crazy

Hmm. Perhaps there's a less strenuous--and messy--way out?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Adapt...and Failure to Adapt

So, it's the end of the school year, and we are reading Science Fiction in my classes (so I can conveniently end the year showing vintage B SciFi flicks for the last week). Naturally, I have aliens on the mind. This alien ship is attempting to adapt to its surroundings, mutating into the semblance of the first life form it meets.

This was drawn over two days and painstakingly colored with what few unbroken colored pencils are left in my classroom. I wish my scanner did the colors justice without having to up the dpi to un-uploadable mass, because this came out totally awesome. I have several layers of rich color in the sky and ground as well as shading for the alien ship. Sigh.

I have been trying to get this on paper all week, and meant to bring it home and finish/post it last night. But the heat has eaten my working brain cells. My classroom faces south. Our building has great 8-foot tall single pane windows. And the heat on warmer sunny days is.... We have had a bit of a heatwave here, and I just spent 7 hours in an 85-degree room and 2 more hours at an 82-degree (worthless) workshop. I'm wiped out. Plus I slept fitfully, waking up everytime Mr. Feline Furry Furnace snuggled up to me. Don't cats feel heat? Doesn't all that fur make them feel hot? No?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

(Previously...) Cracked

Hmmmm. Why do you suppose this is cracked? Ponder all you want. I'm not telling.

Below is my Illustration Friday for last week (and the previous week). I just couldn't come up with anything for Parade, so that week slipped away. Then I decided that I would retroactively do Parade along with Contagious by drawing a parade of contagiously yawning cats. Alas, the week got away from me. Here is my sketch anyway. I liked this version.
I didn't even get a chance to see anyone's contagious illustrations (except Splinky the Space Cat). I think yawning might have been a popular theme. I see the illustration of the week features that highly contagious subject.
Still 2 and a half weeks of school. Sigh. Speaks for itself.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I deescovered your deelightful yard some time ago and have been eenjoying the seed that those messy sparrows fleeng to the ground. Not long ago you actually spoke to mee and seemed to toss some seed out just for mee and mee alone.

And now I have feegured out where you originate from, and I shall, from now on, be knockeeng at your weendow to ask for the seed that you so geneerously toss.

And here I am. Knockeeng. Breeng seed. Now. Leettle do you know, you are but one step in our deetermeenation to take over theeeee world.

Peegeons. Will. Rule.

(evil laughter echos through the yard)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sunny Disposition

My early tulips were sickly this year, so I was pleased to see the second wave lighting up the herb garden. They look even better lighting up my kitchen:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring Continues to Sprung

I'm still watching the Norfolk, WV eaglets. It seems like only yesterday they were tiny little fluffballs tucked in a nest bowl. And now they are almost as big as their dad (at least I think that's dad, because dad has skinnier legs). They bounce up and down and stretch their wings. Poor things, it has been raining a lot and quite heavily in WV lately, so more often than not when I check on them, they have been soggy lumps. Eaglets here in the NW are still fairly newly hatched, so the comparison is pretty interesting.

Meanwhile, in my yard, a Black-Headed Grosbeak stopped in for a snack on his way to...? Maybe he'll stick around? And bring friends?

Oh, For the Love of Broccoli!

Beloved citizen Broccoli: Still fork-free!

Conferences 'til 7 last night. Ran errands all afternoon. Fighting the urge to nap.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fork-Free Afternoon

Is anybody else wondering why there would be a shoe store in Insalataville?

...Although those bunny slippers would be pretty cute on just about any Insalataville citizen!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Yard hierarchy. I'm much happier with my Illustration Friday drawing this week than I was with last week's. This one went straight from my head onto the paper after some doodling. Best that way.

Super lazy Saturday. Didn't even make it to Free Comic Book Day. Watched Spider-Man 2 and did a crossword puzzle, then settled in for an evening of Barbarians on the History International channel and doodled until hierarchy found its way onto the page. Lots of heavy rain today: excuse for laziness.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Carrot's Impromptu Editorial

When did Radish and Garlic have time to upgrade their tv?
Citizen's? or Citizens'? I think I should have proofread that one better.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Liar, Liar P...Rind on Fire!

I enjoy figuring out what their little concoctions on the counter behind them will do next. Also I note that in Insalataville they do not make bandaids to match the many skin colors. Same old caucasian bandaid for everyone. Maybe Dr. Orange can revolutionize bandaid ethnicity once he figures out that his brother is lying to him!

Monday, April 27, 2009


OK, so this one is an odd one. First of all, marionettes give me the creeps, so I don't know why I thought of marionettes right off the bat. Second, I really wanted this to be collage--fabric and paper and string with little metal bits--but I wouldn't finish a piece like that for a year. So here's the digital concept for my slant on theater, this week's Illustration Friday theme. Hmmmmmm.

Also, as mentioned before, migraines suck.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

SWAT Trees

The Insalataville map looks suspiciously like a bowl of salad.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Villain Recap

Equal time for exposition. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Sheriff Apple steps in to provide a little exposition. Click to enlarge.

Testing continues this week at school. We have all hit the wall, and I really wish I were allowed to use tranquilizer darts. Alas....

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm sure this isn't the most original interpretation of this week's Illustration Friday theme, impossibility, but what the heck.
I included my rough draft, drawn as I draw many things--in miniature, in a margin. I often like my itsy-bitsy drawings better than my bigger ones, though nothing I draw is very big....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Free Comic Book Day!

Here is a nice little video of Hugh Jackman promoting Free Comic Book Day, Saturday May 2nd! (And also promoting his new Wolverine movie). Visit the Free Comic Book Day site for more information and to locate your nearest comic book store.

I might actually have to drag myself out of bed this year in an attempt to obtain Blackest Night #0. We'll see. Dragging myself out of bed on a Saturday morning is not an easy feat.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Argh! part deux

This is the second week in a row I won't have an Illustration Friday illustration. Bummer. Well, to be honest, last week's word just wasn't my cup of tea, but fleeting should have been a fun one. I've just been too....
This week was week one of our two-week State Testing Extravaganza. I'm wiped out. Last year I was able to storyplan Radish in between monitoring test-taking habits of my advisory group. This week I finished my 3rd quarter grades and prepared for afternoon-after-testing classes. Maybe next week I can Radish.
Sigh. Must also mow lawn (neighbors beginning to glower). Must also put away the 4 loads of laundry I did last night (putting it back on the pile neatly folded: not acceptable). Must attempt to tear myself away from the many (!) eaglecams that I can't stop watching (and the Portland Red-Tailed hawk, two of whose eggs hatched in just the last two days!). Must resign myself to the fact that (evil) FOX will probably cancel the very well-written Sarah Connor Chronicles and mourn accordingly. Must get a good night's sleep.

PS Still working away reading Bleak House before I nod off for the night. Slow progress.........

Friday, April 3, 2009


Why are vacations so short? I feel like it's only been a 3-day weekend. I need more time! Today was the first (sort of) sunny day. I haven't done any gardening! I haven't done any knitting! I've only read 100 pages of Bleak House! I haven't even checked in on the eaglets today!

Yesterday Papa Eagle brought this live eel to the nest and it slithered away. He had to go after it. There's video of it on the blog, but here's a still of Papa returning with it to the nest. Fun for eaglets.

There is a sharp-shinned hawk in my neighborhood. I saw it wheeling overhead while I was waiting for the bus. I wonder where its nest is and if it's the same one that I've seen on many other occasions.

Why are vacations so short?

Thursday, April 2, 2009


This is a kitty whose bowl is empty. This kitty is displaying a dignified, self-confident manner of waiting for the person to come and fill the bowl. This kitty is completely composed, completely self-possessed, completely confident that food will appear. Poised, as it were.

But in five minutes, if the bowl is still empty, it will be a completely different story.

Head on over to Illustration Friday and find other interpretations of poise.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We Should All Have Those

So...when we left off, like, a thousand years ago, Truffle was using her famous tracking nose to sniff out the trail of the fugitive Radish and Garlic. I'm assuming that Dr. Orange is still in the lair as well, but it's possible he has escaped. Perhaps covering his trail in that handy stream out back.

I want optical illusion shades. I don't know what I would use them for, or what the illusion would be, but the thought of them is cool.

Not my best coloring attempt. I'm practicing some stuff on paint shop that I usually ignore.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Subtract...and you have an addition. Or 3.

Rough pencil sketch this week. Been busy. Also been watching the eaglets hatch on Eaglecam (way over in WV). The third one finally hatched this morning. It's 2 days behind its siblings, so I hope it will be ok. And also I saw Mom eagle step on one of them. Kind of scary. Dad eagle must be thrilled, because he's brought enough fish to feed an army of hatchlings. Eaglecam is my zen break from pre-spring break students. And if we have time they get to look, too (otherwise they're too distracted to actually work).

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Legendary poetry
Legendary bird
For this week's Illustration Friday theme, I was going to draw legendary comic heroes Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, but I'm better at drawing animals and decided to go with the raven. I was just rereading a biography of my favorite illustrator, Arthur Rackham, which I'm sure influenced my choice.
Still fighting this cold. Doesn't help to have students coming to school sick...and that it is still snowing in the middle of March in the mild Pacific Northwest. When I see the doctor tomorrow, I'm sure she'll say I'll just have to let it run its course. Of course.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Who says extra-terrestrial spacecrafts have to be boring and practical? Perhaps this alien race is gifted in intricate spacecraft adornment. I really like how this one turned out. :)
Don't forget to check out everyone else's interpretation of this week's theme: intricate. I note that I am not the only Gillian there. I was 21 before I ever met another Gillian, so it always catches me off guard to see my name not associated with me. Fun, though.

For some reason, this post isn't loading right on the link from IF--at least not on my browser. Technology. Whatevs.

Also, please catch up with Splinky the Space Cat. Michael Smetham is quite gifted in building his ongoing storyline around the Illustration Friday word each week. I am in awe.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Closer...closer still....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Perimeter Alert!

Hmm. Truffle has led Pearil to the lair...what will they find? If you click to enarge, you may see where the security system is.
I meant to finish this this afternoon and get it posted earlier, but the eye doctor dilated my eyes. Best laid plans....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Breezy just sounds like it should be fun. What could be more fun than surfing the breeze?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mary Had a Little Lamb!!

Here's the dress. 99.75% done-enough-for-school. I forget how slow I am at hand-sewing. Must include a slam on Jo-Ann Fabrics: For as big a store as they are, their fabric selection is very poor. In order to get something a little truer to the period, I would have had to make more of an effort and drive to another city. Nevertheless, it was a fun project for a one-day event.
The post title refers to one of the guesses for my character. I only have a handful of students who know who Jane Austen is. Now when they have to read Pride and Prejudice in a few years, they'll remember that crazy get-up Miss F. wore. Here are some other guesses: Princess. Mary Poppins. Batman's girlfriend. Charlotte Doyle (yay! Someone remembered a book we read last year!).
Our Assistant Principal came as one of the Three Musketeers. I don't know which, I can only remember d'Artagnan, who isn't one of the three. Fabulous. And one of the Science teachers came as Ms. Frizzle. Very few of my students came as book characters. My favorite was Nancy Drew, complete with magnifying glass.
Red Radish by Wednesday. I promise! Can Truffle really sniff out the villains?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Odds and Ends

Red Radish will be back...soon. I've been trying to actually keep up with grading stuff.

Also tomorrow is Read Across America Day. At my school we are having an event: dress up as a book character or wear your pajamas. The temptation to wear my pjs is strong...mmmm comfy.... We are a uniform school, so I expect most of the student body will show up in pajamas or just civvies and declare to be a book character that's present-day. I will be wearing a Jane Austen-era dress. I still have to hem it and finish sewing on the edging at the neck and the waist embellishments. My principal assumes I will be showing up dressed as a superhero of some sort. She doesn't pause to think that superhero women all wear skin-tight and/or skimpy outfits. I, personally, do not want to show up in a skin-tight outfit and then have to teach middle school boys all day. No. Thanks.

Speaking of Batman, next week starts the big no-Batman Batman event. Gotham Gazette, followed by the Battle for the Cowl arc and one-shots and finally bringing us back to the return of Batman and Detective, though probably still without Batman. I think I'm going to be stuck with Kate Kane's Batwoman for a while. Not entirely thrilled about that. I already pine for Bruce. Bruce, who is...

Panel of cave-Bruce from Final Crisis#7. Thanks DC. Thanks a lot.

...at present crouched in a cave drawing the bat insignia on the wall next to (presumably) someone else's drawings of antelopes...

...altering history as we know it. Just kidding. I'm sure none of the lives he will have to live banished by the Omega Sanction will actually have an impact on the modern DC Nation, but it would certainly make an amusing story if it did.

Back to hemming.