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Randomness

I have several things I hope to blog about soon …

I’m just having trouble finding time to write uninterrupted.

(I’m the type of person who needs to be alone, in a quiet spot, in order to “really” write.)

Anyway, in the meantime, here’s a dose of randomness …

•  I took this photo last weekend down in Laguna.

I think it’s pretty – and it captures so much of what I love about Laguna Beach.

Wave crashing  — Laguna Beach!

•  I really like my new camera, so far.  I can also see how it would really be the WRONG camera for most people.  It’s a camera for a small, niche, market.

•  I’m continuing to draw one picture each day.  Yes, even though I suck at drawing.

I suppose I could take a drawing class – online, or otherwise.

I don’t really have the time or desire though.

I just like the idea of trying each day.

I think I’m improving.

Yesterday, I drew this woman:

IMG_1910

Sketch of a woman.

I think she’s a lot better than the first drawing I did a few days ago?

Over the weekend, I tried to draw a man.

He was terrible and he ended up in the trash.

I don’t know why it seems so much harder to draw a man than a woman?

I’m not spending a lot of time on any one drawing.

Each day/evening I just try to quickly jot down one sketch.

The question is …

Will my drawing evolve or continue to suck?

•  Fred has become a dog celebrity.

I can’t walk with him without being approached, multiple times, by people interested in meeting Fred.

It’s really quite something.

If Fred were a person I think he’d be Brad Pitt or George Clooney?  Or maybe Adam Levine?

Maybe I should videotape what it’s like to take Fred out for a walk in a public place?

Honestly, I don’t think you’d believe it otherwise.

It’s crazy.

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The Holiday Weekend

Our nasty monsoon-related heat wave broke in time for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Instead of disgusting mugginess, we were able to enjoy beautiful days with eighty degree temps.

Overall, it was a relaxing (lazy?) weekend.

Fred enjoyed a trip to play on the beach last Friday evening.

Fred is eight months old now.

My friend, Nike, took this photo of me next to Fred.

Fred and I playing on the beach at sunset.

It serves as a size comparison for those of you who requested a photo of the two of us.

And yes, my arm looks dorky … that’s my bum arm visible.

I use my neck to lift my arm and that’s why I look kind of hunched up.

I also took this photo of Fred while we were there:

Fred (eight months old) with a mouthful of sand.

Of course, I’m very biased, but I think Fred is turning into such a handsome Newfie.

On the 4th, I played couch potato and watched the last three episodes in the final season of Sons of Anarchy.

I cried more than I would have expected.

It was an emotionally intense last season.

After that, it was off to fireworks with some friends.

I, intentionally, didn’t take my camera.

I just wanted to enjoy the fireworks without “thinking.”

(Sometimes, it’s just nice to be in the moment instead of documenting it.)

My friends and I decided, post-fireworks, to stop at a nearby bar for *one* drink.

We wanted the crowd to dissipate prior to heading home.

I’m not quite sure how it happened,

But, I ended up dancing, and singing, and probably embarrassing myself, before the night was through.

(I had a designated driver to make sure I got home safely.)

The rest of my weekend was pretty standard weekend stuff – errands, chores, etc.

How about YOU?

Did you do anything fun and/or exciting over the holiday weekend?

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My First Face

On Friday night, while watching a few episodes of Sons of Anarchy,

I attempted to draw a “real” face for the first time.

Here is the result:

IMG_1887

My first sketch!

I think it took me three TV episodes and four erasers to draw her.

It’s my first person ever who isn’t a Stick Person or cartoon.

And, of course, I didn’t color her.

That would involve shading and highlighting and blending.

Whew!

It wears me out just thinking about it.

I wonder if I could figure out how to draw a MAN?

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Doodles

I’m not sure if I’ll be posting again until after the 4th of July.

I will if I have a chance, but it’s going to be busy.

Once we get past the holiday, I’ll probably share a few of the projects I’m working on.

But, since I expect readership to be light over the next few days, I’m going to keep my posts “light” also.

Today, I thought I’d share my doodling attempts.

I’m seriously working on my doodling.

OK, so maybe I’m not *seriously* working on it.

But, I am attempting to learn a few basics of drawing.

Here’s my first attempt at drawing a pelican:

IMG_1883

Pelican

He’d look better if I colored him in, but I was just trying to get the basic shape down.

I see a lot of pelicans because I’m at the beach shooting a lot.

Next, I tried a panda.

I colored my panda with markers … but “he” smeared!

IMG_1882

Smeared Panda

I guess I should have let the ink dry before I closed my little notebook.

(Lesson learned!)

I also drew a grumpy man.

Grumpy @ 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Grumpy Man

He looks grumpy, right?

And not … perplexed?

I’m also playing with water colors.

I’m really terrible.

I need to buy a couple sheets of water color paper.

I tried painting in my Hobonichi which is filled with Tomoe River Paper.

I love Tomoe River Paper … it’s awesome to write on and fountain pen ink doesn’t bleed through.

And, you CAN paint on it, but the paper isn’t absorbent so you can’t layer the paint much, etc.

Anyway, here’s my very weak attempt at painting flowers NOT on water color paper:

WColor Flowers @ 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Water Color Flowers

They look more like blobs than flowers.

But, I’m sure it takes practice … and also, the correct paper to paint on.

I don’t have much time to practice any of this stuff.

Usually, at night, I’ll try to draw and/or paint one small thing before I go to sleep.

It’s my small, personal, “self-improvement” project.

Hopefully, a year from now I’ll have improved if I practice just a little bit each day.

It might be fun to do a post a year from now comparing my first doodles to whatever I can do in twelve months.

Now, if I can just learn to draw Fred!

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The Quiet Week …?

This week is so “slow” it almost doesn’t seem real.

The world seems to be on vacation this week and next ….

I guess everyone is trying to take advantage of the long 4th of July weekend by packing vacation days around it?

Personally, I’m trying to avoid our local beaches at peak times because they’re INSANE with visitors.

Also, we’ve been having extra-hot, super humid, weather.

It’s so BLEH!!

Fred and I have been hibernating during the hottest daytime hours, and then emerging at dusk.

Summer sunset in Laguna Beach.

Yesterday, we even had a thunder storm which is a Very Big Deal in Southern California.

Fred has never experienced thunder.

I was worried he’d be afraid.

It did startle him at first.

But then …?

He ran outside and barked at the sky.

I think he was telling the thunder to go away.

(Fred does the same thing when “our” huge Great Horned Owl comes and who-who’s at him.)

During the hot hours of the days, I’ve been doing chores, editing photos, and trying to teach myself a few basics about art.

How many of you are artists?

Or, at least, hobby artists?

I’ve been playing with water colors.

I’m, of course, not very good with them.

I’ve never used water colors before.

It’s a lot of fun.

I’m also trying to doodle better.

Yes, I’m serious!

I’m trying to make my doodles look more like *something* other than scribbles.

I’m also experimenting using photos with mixed media ….

I’m hoping to create something I love.

So far,

I’ve mainly created a few messes.

But, I figure messes are a good first step?

I have no illusions of becoming a talented (hobby) artist.

It’s just fun.

It’s also a nice creative outlet for the hot days of summer.

If I get brave enough, I might share a few of my very-beginner messes with you sometime soon.

If I do, will you try not to laugh at my beginner attempts?

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Laguna Beach Sunset

I’ve officially  abused  broken in my new camera.

I took it to Laguna Beach late yesterday.

I sat, fully dressed, in the surf and took photos of the sunset.

It was one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen in months.

Summer Sunset in Laguna Beach.

I drove home once the sky had turned completely dark.

My car is full of sand.

My shower is full of sand.

And today I’ll be spending hours cleaning multiple lenses and my no-longer-new camera.

I’ll also be going through all the photos I took.

I really put the camera through its paces.

I was constantly changing settings and experimenting with how far I can push it in various circumstances.

I have to say, based on my first glance at the photos,

The camera is capable of stunning results with an experienced user.

(For those of you photo nerds out there, I took seventy percent of last night’s photos with my Canon 11-24 lens – which is pretty damn amazing in its own right.)

I hate going to our local beaches around holidays and/or during the summer months when they’re overrun by tourists.

But, we’re having funky weather so I *must* go.

Funky weather equals stunning sunsets.

There’s no better way to get familiar with a new camera than to shoot with it.

I’m already scheming on some possible mixed media art pieces using some of last night’s photos.

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The Very Hot Weekend

I was so happy to have Paul Newman work on me last Friday.

I really needed him.

I’m seeing him again today because he’s about to take off on a way-too-long vacation.

(I need all the help I can get prior to his departure.)

Fred did well during his first “real” grooming last week.

He came home looking very fluffy.

Of course, he was fluffy even before he had a bath.

Fred has no shortage of fluff.

Look Ma!  I see a pelican!

Fred enjoyed going shooting with me on Saturday.

We went to Crystal Cove State Park.

(Oh, how I love my annual pass for all the California state parks and beaches!)

Due to the remnants of a tropical storm, Southern California was hot and muggy all weekend.

I hate muggy!

I couldn’t stay at the park long enough to shoot sunset, but I did enjoy photographing the unusual, storm related, cloud formations.

Weird clouds in Southern California!

Aren’t those the craziest clouds?

It was nice to find it slightly cooler at the beach compared to my  way-too-hot house.

Did I do a good job helping you take photos today?

The clouds did bring a little rain to a few spots in Southern California, but I only saw a couple isolated rain drops myself.

On Saturday night I attended a party.

On Sunday, I tried to recover from the party.

It was super hot outside, and I was REALLY tired ….

It was a pretty slow, lazy, Sunday.

My schedule is much more relaxed than normal this week.

(Because of the upcoming 4th of July holiday.)

I’m really looking forward to it.

I have a few photo projects I want to work on.

I’m loving my new camera so far, but I have a lot more situations I want to test it out in.

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Funky Friday

I can’t believe it’s Friday already again.

This week FLEW by!

The friend who was going to groom Fred on Wednesday ended up cancelling out on me.

(After I spent hours waiting for her!)

Sigh.

Maybe she thought twice about the beast I call Fred?

As a result, Fred is going to a grooming “salon” this morning.

The owner of the salon has a Newfoundland and is, I’m told, “THEE” Newfie groomer for South Orange County.

Let’s hope Fred doesn’t come back looking like a poodle!

While Fred is being groomed, I’ll be spending a much needed morning with Paul Newman.

In completely unrelated news, I need a bigger house for all my craft supplies.

???

Remember, awhile back, when I said I’ve always wished I had artistic talent?

And, of course, I have none.

(At least, not in the traditional sense.)

I mentioned I’ve ALWAYS wanted to learn to paint with watercolors.

I’ve known about watercolor “pencils.”

The idea of them doesn’t get me very excited.

But, I didn’t know there are also watercolor markers.

I want to try them!

I think I can learn to use them as long as I keep my expectations  very low  reasonable.

I’ve been looking for them and they seem to be out of stock everywhere.

(Are they a new invention?  Why are they so hard to find?)

Anyway, I placed an order from a company in Japan.

I suppose, sometime in the next six months?? I’ll receive some watercolor markers.

I’ll let you know what I think when I get them.

I’m not going to mention what brand they are, or any other details, until I get a chance to try them.

I don’t want anyone to buy them just because I mentioned them … because what if they’re terrible?

Once I receive them, I’ll let you know how long they took to arrive, if they’re easy to use, if an untalented person can get any real use out of them, etc.

I guess this is my summer to be artsy.

I don’t have any vacation plans this summer … which, I think, is a FIRST for my entire life.

(Can it really be summer if you go NOWHERE and do NOTHING?)

Maybe I’ll beat the summer heat by experimenting with artsy things during the hottest hours of the summer days?

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Watering The Lemon Tree

Fred likes to help me water the lemon tree in my backyard.

Sorry I didn’t have time to write a “real” post, but I thought this would make you smile.

I think it’s especially funny when he goes all crazy-eyed!

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Oh, What A Week!

I’m having quite a week.

I was so overbooked yesterday, I couldn’t BREATHE.

OK, I could breathe.

But, I couldn’t catch my breath.

Also?

I need Paul Newman.

My arm is really pissed off at me.

Today, I have one (long) appointment in the morning.

In the afternoon, a friend is coming to visit.

She also happens to be a dog groomer.

Fred is a dirty mess right now.

I have visions of an afternoon filled with soap, water, and Newfie hair clippings.

My visions also include a gigantic, wet, bear of a dog running like mad through the house getting everything wet and soapy.

I wonder if I could film what happens?

Because, I honestly have no idea what will happen.

I’ve, obviously, given Fred baths before.

And, I brush him daily.

But, how will he be for a “new” person who tosses him in the shower?

I was perusing the “Newfoundland Dog Owners Forum” on Facebook last night.

There are over 8,000 members in the forum.

I noticed a recurring theme of “the terrible teens” Newfies go through …

Beginning right around eight months of age.

Fred isn’t “terrible” by any means.

He’s really a great dog.

But?

There’s no question he’s become a bit more challenging recently.

If you happen to think of it, send good wishes my way this afternoon.

Fred and I just *might* need them.

P.S.  I’ll try to get a few photos if I can.