Catching Up

This is evidence of a long absence: they’ve changed the look of Blogspot and I’m now trying to get used to this interface.  I should have seen it coming when the look of Gmail changed, but the past few months have been busy and any insight into such things slipped through the cracks.

So back to catching up.

In the snippets of stolen time (read: pauses in the middle of work when I need a visual change and a creative break), I’ve discovered a few new sites, shed some tears when I thought my beloved Maggie was going to be put down and then rejoiced when she fought for the chance to stay with her family in Manila for a while longer, joined yet another contest, started a novel for NaNoWriMo and then threw  my hands up and abandoned it when I knew I was nowhere near the halfway mark and the month was almost over, worked on an e-book and got it approved and published, labeled our very first shipment of throw pillow covers, and got my very first Macy’s Star Rewards Passes (if Macy’s had an arts and crafts supplies department, I’d have added bells and whistles to this post but I’m still happy about discounts).

Last night was the annual Thanksgiving party and always I find myself full of gratitude to be among family and friends who are really more family than friends.  It was my third Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and how wonderful is it that when my husband, my son, and I moved here we were always made to feel as if we’ve been here forever? I miss my family back in Manila so I’m also grateful for technology that makes it possible to keep in touch with them.

Of course after Thanksgiving comes Black Friday.  I suppose it’s inevitable that commercialism always comes at the heels of or right along with Holidays.  I’m not going to rant about that.  I remember in years past how I used to bake like a madwoman just to be able to deliver every single order of one kind of pastry or another, print out cards and stationery and package them, make ornaments to sell at bazaars, and then work late into the night to finish hand made gifts.  Each and every time, I’d wish that I had my own shop and maybe one or two people working for me so I’d have more things to sell and therefore make more money.  And if I really had that,  I may just be one of those store owners hoping to make some kind of profit on a Black Friday or the Holiday rush for Christmas.  So there.  I’m leaving that alone.  If I decided to rant about commercialism, then I’ll have to stop shopping and settle for making hand made presents for everyone which will never happen because there’s the every day to attend to still.

Meanwhile, here’s the illustration I made for the Tomie dePaola illustration contest.  I made a kind of mid-year resolution to keep joining such things if only to push myself to work on my own illustrations on a more regular basis.  Sometimes when I do art for work and I don’t work on my own, I feel as if I lose my own voice and I keep hearing the voices of other people telling me how to block my colors or render a stroke.  Not good.

And here’s the cover illustration of the ebook that’s now available on uTales.com.

I have been delinquent with my Illustration Friday commitment but hopefully I can get back to it soon.
Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday to all!