crazy stuff,  diary illos

sketchbook catchup vol. 4


I guess this shouldn’t be called a “catchup” since it’s not like I’m behind or anything but I’m keeping the title because it sounds good and I don’t have anything better. Besides this way all my diary illo posts can all be called the same thing. Maybe. Sort of. Whatever. Who cares. Obviously not me.

So I guess I should transcribe these things since my handwriting seems to be illegible. Have you ever noticed that your handwriting changes from day to day? Sometimes I have excellent writing. The guys at the bank even compliment me and tell me I should create a font and then there are other days when my writing is loopy and scrawled. It’s terrible. I really hate it when I don’t close my “o’s”. You know what that means? It means I can’t keep a secret and I hate that fact about me. So if you have a secret, don’t tell me.

Where was I? Transcribing! Right.

Lemonade stand day two was great. We made some more money and got a tiny sunburn. We STILL have some lemons leftover. That means I HAVE to make lemon cookies and lemon bars this week. Poor me. Heh. And, yes I do have bags and bags of lemon juice cubes saved in my freezer. I’ll share some if you stop by to visit me.

I drew something funny Bug did. She was blowing bubbles on the porch with this giant wand my mom gave her for Easter Spring Celebration and I overheard her saying, “Here God” as if she was blowing the bubbles up to God. I thought it was pretty funny. I wish I had her innocent faith. I’ve been trying and trying to explain who God is but my words have failed me. I just hope she doesn’t grow up to be as mixed up as I am.

And then there was weeding day. But I already blogged about that.


Finally, I have an explanation of this month’s banner with the strange space birdy. I don’t know why you guys were surprised and baffled by the strange bird in a space helmet. It’s not like I make sense on a regular basis or anything. This was just a character that came out of my sketchbook and I sort of fell in love with him. Bug and I were sitting in a Starbucks killing time and enjoying a latte spiffed to me by one of my favorite commenters (thank you Anna!) and we were playing the scribble game. It works like this: Bug draws a scribble and then I make something out of it. I love this game.

She drew this funny circle and all I could see was a bird in a space helmet. And now he’s here to stay. I sort of like him. I think he embodies my spacey cluelessness that is sort of a theme in my life right now. What should we name him? I’ll take reader suggestions. Maybe I’ll even give a prize to whoever picks the best name.


Also going on in this page are some thoughts about becoming a nanny. Yeah. I’ve decided I’m going to give up graphic design (even though it’s much more lucrative) and be a nanny. It’s the only job I can really do and take care of Bug at the same time. I’ve tried to be a mommy by day and a secret-agent-graphic-designer-illustrator by night but you know what happens in real life? I’m either super-tired, stressed-out and missing deadlines or I’m very rested, missing deadlines and losing customers. I’m choosing the one with less stress. Only for a year. Once Bug is in kindergarden I’ll go back to my freelance business. But if you still have a job for me, hit me up. Maybe I’ll have one of those freak nights where I drink too much coffee and get everything done. They happen once in a blue moon.

Did you know you have to put your weight and height down when you register on a nanny site? Isn’t that sort of weird? Do people really pick nannies based on their weight and height? All the nannies I ever meet were a bit over-weight so I guess it’s not like people are discriminating negatively. Is there a demand for rotund nannies? I have no idea. It just made me think. I haven’t gotten any leads on a family. Maybe since I come with a kid I am not that desirable. I’d like to find a family in my neighborhood if I can. I love the idea of Bug and I walking to work early in the morning… but who knows. Maybe this won’t pan out.

I’m also still on my Lisa See book-reading kick. (Which might also explain why my freelance business is suffering.) I’ve read Shanghai Girls, Snowflower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love and I’m now reading On Gold Mountain. I’m obsessed with Chinese culture and the history of women through time…It’s fascinating! If anybody wants to walk and talk with me about these books, I will buy you a coffee. I have so many thoughts.

Yes, that is Aang from The Last Airbender on the corner. I’m sort of into Avatar now too…I cook Chinese food, I watch Chinese cartoons, I would love to go to Chinatown, I miss my friend Jbomb who moved to Taiwan. Can you believe that? I have a friend who just up and moved to China? What is it with me and my friends moving away. Do I stink? Just kidding. I know I do.


Here is more of our scribbling game. See isn’t it fun? All kinds of characters can be released from a little scribble. No, the yellow legging lady is not anyone I know in particular. Those of you who know me might think it is somebody in my real life but it’s not.


And lastly some beach sketching and some waiting-for-the-lasagna-to-bake-while-drinking-shiraz-on-an-empty-stomach sketching. Buzzed sketching, that’s always fun.


  • anna b bonkers

    I am in love with your doodles, I would even eat them!!! (as long as they tasted like late;-) )
    You inspire me! I am like a broken record I know, but you really do. Now I should go back and read what you wrote,ha!

    I am glad the space helmet birdie is staying, more company for gumball!

  • Jeremy Howard

    I’m looking at space bird and the name that keeps popping into my head is Nebulonius
    (Neb-You-Lone-E-Us). :)


    Love the doodles! :)

  • bethany actually

    Uh…isn’t an inverted triangle one where the point is at the bottom?

    Sorry, I’m brain-dead. I can think of no other comments. :-)

    SAJ says: Way to be a buzz-kill. Why do you always have to be right?!! Oh well. Maybe regular triangles have fun too. Like red heads.

  • Janna

    Love the space bird. How about “Tweet”? Or “R2Tweet2”??
    Love the blowing bubbles to God. So sweet.
    Love that you have lemonade stands with your daughter and that you play the doodle game. My mom and I use to do that when I was little. She also kept a pair of sock puppets in the car for us to dance to music with. They had sunglasses and everything.

    Please keep inspiring us with your doodles. :)

  • Joy

    I live in London, so I can’t chat over coffee, but I also really enjoyed Peony in Love. It really stretched my brain, but I couldn’t put it down. How are her other books? Similar? Any one in particular you would recommend? You must try Chinese movies. I absolutely love them!

    SAJ says: I love them all! But so far Shanghai Girls is my favorite.

  • Kristen

    I was thinking the same thing as Jenn Bo. I think you already found your space bird name with Zenry! Seems perfect to me!

  • Leralei

    I am into naming things Alfonzo lately, so guess what I think the space bird should be called.

  • Madge

    I’m going to have to read these books because I think we favor the same kind of writing. Then we can GET TOGETHER and discuss. I just realized I haven’t seen you since Easter. The weather is starting to warm up so BBQ season is about to begin :)

    The birdy reminds me of that character from the Flintstones – Kazoo, but I like Chirpa. My obsession with PEEP continues. Also, I wish they made more Avatar, are you going to see the movie?

    I was going to say something else but I forgot what that was so, blah!

  • Tiffany

    Here’s my 2 cents! Any family would be lucky to have you as a nanny! And it is just as important that you find the right family to nanny, as important as them liking you! Have you ever thought of teaching art classes for kids? I don’t know about OC, but in SD there is a shortage of art classes for kids. I have been looking for a while. We did find one place but the teacher did the same things over each semester, she erased parts of my daughters drawings and drew them herself. Now I am no expert but for kids isn’t that discouraging? Any hoo I would gladly pay for a talented lady like yourself to help my kiddos tap into there inner artiste! When I went to ArtWalk there was a booth/display from a free art class that meets once a week. They have art supplies donated from a local company. You call the night before and they tell the parent where they are meeting. Sometimes it is a park or the beach. I am however wondering how consistent this would be…I would rather pay and know that we could count on the class actually happening. You could even do kids parties!? : )

  • K

    You would be great as a nanny! You are so crafty and it seems that all kids love you! Good luck.

  • a chris

    My favourite part was “I keep thinking an answer to my troubles will come in my email.” Hahahaha. Don’t we all check our email sometimes as if that were true? And other times we don’t really want to look…

    I know what you mean about being rested vs being productive. Good luck with the nanny gig. I applaud your creativity and adaptability.

  • s

    K I’m a total stranger so any comments can be thrown away, but I can’t see you as a Nanny only because it will tie you down so much – you seem to be more of a spur of the moment person!

    above in comments someone suggests teaching art classes. I also don’t know what is in your area, but in our area a small group of folks have really expanded by doing just simple art classes, art weekends, art camps and art bday parties. Totally bare bones physical location and they also go mobile as needed for parties etc.

    and maybe its just me, but you’d also be an awesome kid party planner!

    bird screams Sparky to me…

  • Jennifer

    I would totally hire you as my nanny if you lived in Missouri. :)

    And as a name for the very cute space birdy, I humbly submit the following, based on how my 2 yo says “tweet:” Qweet.


    Love the sketchbook posts! It’s tricky trying to find a way to earn money and care for your own child – I hope the nanny work comes through for you. Whatever you do, keep doing your design work as time will allow – you are so talented!!

  • OMSH

    I like the purple and red monster, BUT red and purple are soooo K-Mart. Tell Bug to make it pink next time! Or Orange… OR LIME GREEN!

    Just not purple and red.
    I know, I’m a butt.

  • BeachMama

    OK, here’s a thought… why don’t YOU hire a Nanny so you can work more and use your talent? Just wondering, that’s all.

    And you don’t stink, I know that first hand and if I could pack up my whole family and move to your Beach I would in a heart beat. I almost didn’t come home last September and begged Hubby to take a job in California, then he reminded me how attached I was to my Mom.

    I am so happy you had fun at Starbucks and enjoyed your Latte’s, a little treat since I am too far away to take you out for coffee.

  • Cathy

    (Belatedly) Be-Bop for the birdie – just sort of came to me!

    I’d love to chat about Lisa See’s books with ya, but I’m a Nor Cal gal – I completely understand how they pull you in and I hope she’s writing another soon. I think Snow Flower and Shanghai Girls are my favorites. Have you read Memoirs of a Geisha? Another good one. If you find similar, let me know!

    And for what it’s worth, you’d be a great Nanny and a great art teacher.

    Back to lurkdom :)

  • mutlu

    I’m in NYC but I recently became a nanny and had good luck with both and (No height and weight to post, either :)

  • gingermog

    I love your diary sketches they really inspire me. Luckily my present job enables me to do a lot of pencil concept art work before I ink up the final version on the computer. There is nothing better than seeing original pen and ink work on paper. So free.

    I imagine it wouldn’t hurt to slow down your freelance graphic work for this next year. I do sometimes wonder how you do it and lookk after an energetic bundle of fun during the day as well. You could have a ton of fun doing craft stuff with the kids you look after. In fact I wonder if you could set up some sort of summer craft workshop for kids? Or if a established kids club/library needed a specialist craft teacher.

  • Stacie

    I’m a nanny and have great luck with,, and All free for those searching for jobs and don’t recall having to enter in height and/or weight! Good luck with your search!

    By the way, I love your site! I’m a long-time reader and (I think) a first-time commenter!