I am so excited that it is finally November. It’s funny because November used to be one my least favorite months. It was cold and blustery and we don’t have any fun fall color out here in California. Everything is just kinda brownish. The skies are big and blue but our leaves are kind of sad. Plus, the month seemed to drag on forever. But now? I think it might be one of my favorite months. Of course there is Thanksgiving to look forward to and the best part of all: PUMPKIN PIE!!  Pumpkin pie has snuck into my life in a funny way.

This morning I was working on this month’s banner (mobile readers click here) and Bug woke up, wandered into my office and said, “Mmmmmmm….pumpkin pie! Let’s have some for breakfast!”  I hemmed and hawed for a while and thought of all kinds of excuses but then gave in because I did happen to have some pre-made pie shells in the fridge that I needed to use up.


I guess my refrigerator is really really cold because when I unrolled the pie crusts they came out in pieces and chunks instead of a nice soft circle. So we squished the pieces into a baking dish and made a rectangle pumpkin pie! Pie bars, if you will.  Then there was too much pumpkin pie filling left over so I scanned my fridge for something else to use and I had some of those pop-out-of-the-can crescent rolls leftover from our little Halloween party (pigs in a blanket, yo.) and we squished those into a pie dish and made:


Pumpkin Glop pie!  As you probably know, crescent rolls bake a lot faster than pie filling so we rigged up a tinfoil doughnut for the edges but when that didn’t keep the crescent rolls from burning, we took the half-baked pie out of the oven, nuked it for a minute in the microwave (to kill any eggs that weren’t cooked) and ate it as is. Glop! With some whipped cream it was a totally nutritious and delicious breakfast. Maybe more delicious than nutritious but I’m counting pumpkin as a vegetable so whatever. It was breakfast with no complaints from the peanut gallery.


Speaking of peanut gallery, how do you like my new GIANT ottoman?  My downstairs neighbor moved out and gifted it to me. It’s huge. It dwarfs my apartment. I have officially left behind my status as a minimalist (who am I kidding, I left that behind years ago) and moved into cozy.  It is so very cozy. You can push it up against my small couch and make a giant bed. It makes me want to cuddle up with blankets and watch movies all day.


I haven’t decided if it’s really “my style” or not. It’s a little more refined than my usual mish-mash of thrift store antiques but it just fits our life. The kids love it.




In the meantime, I’m naming her Elly. Short for Elephant in the room.  What do you think?  Do you think she fits? I have a friend who will gladly take her off my hands if I decide my living room is just too small for such a monstrosity.  Maybe I just need to get rid of all the other clutter! Ha.  Anybody want a giant ampersand?


You know what else is exciting about November?  Secret Agent Josephine in Paris is coming out!!! As in this Friday! I’m so excited.  I’m getting ready for the launch party. I was hoping to have more to show you but I’m running a little behind. The picture above is my bar. To keep costs down I’ve been collecting a couple of bottles of wine a week and I’ve got some little tiny French flags for my cheese plate and some gold tinsel for a photo wall. I’m hoping to make some art prints to hand out to the first 25 guests that arrive.  I’ll show you those a little later this week if my week doesn’t run away from me.  If you are local, please say you are coming! It’s going to be fun!!

An Update


Hi everybody! I’m still alive. I can hardly believe it myself. Living through this hard drive crash and the partial restoration process that has followed it (that feels like putting together a 500,000 puzzle in all black pieces) has been a real eye-opener for me. I’m feeling positive but it’s really made me rethink my whole outlook on life, work and how I want to change things.

I might need some help. I think I need an agent. Does anyone know anyone? I need to make more money as an illustrator and I need to work smarter. I need to create a better portfolio and get my work out there. Of course I can’t start on that until my laptop is up and running but I thought I’d at least share that with you readers in case there’s somebody out there who knows somebody who knows somebody. You never know.

I’ve poked around on a few sites that represent illustrators and I’m getting intimidated. There are so many amazing artists out there. Will they even look at me? Does anyone have any helpful advice?

There's a couch in my living room! Thanks @carrien_laughs! and @troygronberg for moving it!!

In other news I have a new couch!

My friend Carrien is moving to Thailand for two years to help build a self-sustaining orphanage and I’m taking care of her red couch while she is gone. She saves children. I take care of her couch. It works out.

However, the couch threw my whole living room out of whack and since I was going through a mental breakdown over my broken laptop, I channeled my frustration into obsessive-compulsive furniture rearranging. Good times!

Spent all morning rearranging furniture only to end up back where I started. Lovely red couch is blocking my Bren Shui.

I tried every possible furniture arrangement. Sideways, backwards, against every wall, away from the wall, diagonal, even blocking the front door. Nothing worked. Finally I put the couch right back where it was dropped off and I think that’s where it’s going to stay.

I'm using Instagram to blog since I can't use photoshop. Please pardon my random shots. I'll be done soon.

But! We also have a flat-screen tv now. (Also a gift from a friend.) It’s so weird. I’m in the worst financial straits I’ve been in in years and I have a giant flat-screen tv and a couch. Something is wrong with this picture. How am I supposed to dig my way out of poverty by watching television all day?

I’m not going to, that’s how. We don’t have cable thankfully but we do have Apple TV and Netflix—which is a deadly combination if you ask me. But it’s here and it’s kind of nice. If you want to come over for a movie-watching party, you are most welcome. Just don’t come in the daytime when I’m supposed to be working.


The couch is really comfy. I’ve found myself moving my laptop all over the house and spending much of my time here leaning over onto my make-shift wooden crate coffee table to type. Whatever works, right?

Laptop is useless for work but the DVD player still works!

I love seeing kids squished onto it. They love it, of course.


So that’s that. I’m still in the middle of the muddle but I’m keeping my spirits up!