sketchbook catchup vol. 5



1. One-dollar movie day rocks. Even if you have to watch crappy movies that are G-rated and have trouble showing in the theater.

2. My planter box idea got nixed. My landlord came by and got on my case about some leaves that had fallen off our potted fig tree and onto her beloved cement. She sort of sucks any gardening motivation I might have right out of me. I would like to figure out how to grow bell peppers though. I think two bucks is too much to pay for them in the store.


1. I love long stroller walks with Bug. But unfortunately we don’t take enough of them. The pictures from that walk are here. But you already saw them, probably. That’s old news!

2. The cookies we made were called “Lemon Cracks.” Seriously, that’s their name. They are supposed to be balls of dough rolled in powdered sugar and then they crack when you bake them. Except the funny thing is the recipe came from Bethany and she accidentally typed the amount of flour a whole cup less than it was supposed to be. The cookies came out but they were super sticky to roll into balls and then when they baked they turned into flat crisps. BUT! Guess what? Toby loved them and has instructed me to make them wrong from now on out. So go figure. I should rename them “Lemon Splats.”

3. We really did take Grandma Pat to the koi pond at the mall. That’s how boring and uneventful our days can be sometimes. We go to the mall koi pond to watch the fish.

4. Oh yeah. My car was in the shop for a day or two getting routine maintenance and we got to drive a loaner gray Jetta around. It was so weird to drive a different car. My car handles better but the Jetta had nice big windows and an MP3 player that was pretty cool.

5. I want to go on a swing-pushing strike so Bug will learn how to pump her legs but when I do all the other moms and nannies at the park look at me like I’m Cruella.

6. I did make a binder to organize my life. But the bigger news is that Toby hired a bookkeeper!!! People who know Toby well will fall over dead when they read this news. It’s a good thing. However the new bookkeeper took my binder so she could tally up our household receipts and bills and figure out where our money is leaking to. Hopefully, I will get it back soon.


1. Happy Belated Birthday Kim (Toby’s sister). I’m sorry we have not sent you a card. We have fallen off the correspondence bandwagon or whatever it was I was trying to do.

2. The timer experiment didn’t really work.

3. My Dad was going to be on CBS. They had this great big story planned where they would put cameras in his truck and film him as he drives across the country training other truck driver students and knitting on his down time. We were all very excited about it. I made him some business cards and we set up his Etsy shop in anticipation of his 15 minutes of fame and then CBS called and said they changed their mind. We were bummed. Good thing I read Dooce’s Mother’s Day Fiasco post and forwarded it onto my Dad so we were somewhat prepared to have the wind sucked out of our sails. Of course the tragedy of the oil in the Gulf is to blame and not necessarily CBS but if you are a blogger and you get a call from CBS, don’t expect it to pan out. I’m just saying…

4. I worked on a logo job last week and while I was hunkered down over my computer designing away, I realized that this is what I really love doing. I mean I really really LOVE doing it. I might want to be a nanny because it seems like the only thing I can do while I’m a full-time, 100-percent hands-on mom but I’m never going to love it like I love designing a logo that turns out just the way I want it to. I love having that control. Even though I love kids…it’s not the same. I think I’m going to put the nannying idea on the back burner. If something comes up, that will be great. But if it doesn’t, that’s fine too.


1. Bug has the BEST new shoes ever. They are Crocs Girls’ Alice. I love them. I wish I could shrink myself down small enough to wear them. Unfortunately, they don’t make the red ones in my size but if they ever do I am buying twelve pairs. They are so cute and feminine and waterproof!

2. My sticks trip was fun. I got a lot of work done for OTHER people. I’m the family product photographer/graphic designer so there’s always somebody who needs their handmade goods shot for their etsy shop or a logo or business cards designed, etc. But of course I get tons of benefits for doing these favor jobs. My mom gave me an antique wooden doll cradle that I need to photograph and an old yellow vintage flower pot. CC let me borrow her camera for days on end and my Aunt Keren is sewing me a skirt! So I can’t complain.

3. I’m sorry, Grandma. I’m outing your salt-sneaking. Be nice, Aunties. We were just having fun and Grandma looooooves salt. She promised me she wouldn’t end up in the hospital.

4. Sigh… My Grandpa. Isn’t it funny how these sketch-diary pages bring out drama? I wanted to keep this to myself but there it is on the page. I might as well explain. I didn’t visit my Grandpa this last visit. I was going to but he was in the hospital for a sort of private matter. I didn’t think he wanted me to visit him in that state. I wouldn’t want anyone visiting me if this was going on with me.

Then he went home for a night and the next morning he was back in the hospital for more of the same. I wanted to call him but he can never hear me because of his missing hearing aids. It’s bad enough that I have a soft voice that nobody can hear but my Grandpa without hearing aids is like wind talking to a wall. I hate having to shout shout shout.

So I didn’t call him. And now he thinks I’m mad at him. He’s accused me of this before when I don’t visit him every single time I’m in town. I’m not mad at him. But I don’t like being guilted into visiting. I don’t like being manipulated. I want to visit him because I love him. I know he’s old and he just wants us around him but…I guess I am just a little bit mad at him now. I’ll write him a letter. Maybe that will help.


1. Blog Sugar tonight! Woot! I don’t know anyone who is going to be there so I’m taking my best girlfriend side-kicks CC and Madge. We all need a girls night out. It should be fun. I’m super duper excited to meet Jules from Pancakes and French Fries. I just recently discovered her blog and I love it!

2. I really wish I could buy a new outfit for every social function that shows up on my calendar but that’s not in the budget. I haven’t bought anything new since 2008. Shocking, I know. Maybe a sweater and some thrift store clothes have slipped in that I’m not remembering but I have not set foot in a department store and bought an outfit specifically for an event since Blogher 2008. I’m trying to convince myself this is something to be proud of.

3. I would love an embroidered peasant blouse. I wish I could just take a trip to TJ and buy one for five bucks. Toby won’t let me though. He says it’s too dangerous down there for naive blouse-buying gringas. He’s probably right.

4. My Lisa See obsession continues. There are only two books left that I have not read. The librarians have become fond of me. They even email me lists of other books I might like. I love librarians!

5. Ignore that website design idea in the middle. It’s the ongoing always-in-the-back-of-my-mind project. One of these years I’ll get around to it.

6. We bought a citrus juicer of our very own!!! I figured borrowing my Grandma’s three times over constitutes good enough reason to buy my own. It’s sooo nice. No more squeaking! Why I can fit a fourteen-dollar juicer into my budget but not a new blouse I do not know…

And that’s that! Welcome to the inside of my brain.

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.