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Staring Contest

Fred doesn’t know what to make of all the wildlife and critters in his backyard.

There are hummingbirds, hawks, coyotes, bobcats, snakes, bunnies, and … lizards.

I took this photo through my kitchen window yesterday:

Whoever blinks first loses!

Fred had a long, long, loooooooong, staring contest with a lizard.

I kept waiting for one of them to move, but neither did.

I had time to go find my camera, change lenses, adjust my camera settings, take a photo …

And still, the lizard and Fred continued their staring contest.

Wouldn’t you think Fred would try to CATCH the lizard?

Or the lizard would run away in fear of Fred The Giant Hairy Beast?

Eventually, I meandered outside.

Fred turned to look at me.

The lizard took advantage of Fred’s distraction and scampered away.

I can’t help but wonder if Fred, a gentle giant, will befriend the lizard.

Or, perhaps, the two of them will continue to have staring contests day after day?

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The Worst Week Ever?

I’m dreading this week.

Actually, I’m kind of wishing the whole month of July was over.

I’m having medical-related anxiety.

Life should be better in August.

In the meantime, I’m keeping busy in an attempt to not think about all the medical BLEH going on in my life right now.

Fred is, of course, a tremendous help in many ways.

For one thing, he’s a puppy and puppies are demanding.

Fred keeps me very, very, busy!

There are no two ways about it … puppies equal lots of time!

Second, it’s hard not to smile when you see his goofy face.

People who don’t even KNOW Fred break into ear-splitting grins when they see him.

I’m also immersing myself in all things artsy right now.

It’s soothing.

It’s also an outlet for both my creativity and some of my medical-related anxiety.

I think I’ll just play with my camera and/or paint until it’s August.

My biggest art failure to date was drawing a woman being choked by her own neck.

Choking © Suzanne Haggerty W


Help!  I’m choking on my own neck!

The more I tried to “fix” her, the worse she got.

(She’s a sketch in my Hobonichi.)

I ended up being in a fit of giggles just looking at her.

Poor woman choking on her own neck!

I did like this profile/woman I did in my art journal, though:


Hi!  I’m an Art Creation!

I watercolor painted on a piece of watercolor paper, cut out her profile from the painted paper, then used a matte medium to put her into my journal.

(I had previously used spray inks and gesso to multi-layer the page background.)

Once she was settled in and dry, I added her eye with ink

Her hair is made from a funky ribbon I found in an old stash.

She probably could have used more hair, but I only had a small amount of ribbon.

Less hair will make the book easier to close anyway.

I’m just experimenting, and playing, right now.

I do have a goal.

I know what I want to make with photos/mixed media by fall.

But, at the same time, I realize I need to learn a lot of artsy stuff before I get to that point.

So, I’m playing with ink, and paint, and textures.

The whole time I’m thinking, “Is this something I can incorporate later on when I get to point XYZ?”

I have a finished product idea in my brain, but I need to expand my knowledge/experience/abilities to make it.

I guess you could call it “productive play?”

(Drawing faces, by the way, has nothing to do with it.  That’s just something I’m attempting to learn for the hell of it.)

My “finished product” idea …?

Well, it may not even work.

But, it’s there floating in my brain.

Some ideas nag at you until you’re willing to explore them.

Of course, I’m also busy with photography.

I’ve got a couple big projects with work right now too.

I feel so fortunate to have such a high caliber of clients.

Seriously, I feel like one of the luckiest photographers EVER.

Here’s a photo I took last week, in Laguna Beach, at sunset:

Wonderful light!

The light was so magical … dancing and skipping across the water.

We’ve had some gorgeous evenings lately!

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It’s Friday And I’m Covered In Paint

Fred started asking me if it was Friday yet, when it was only Wednesday.

Puppy Fred @ 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Is it Friday yet?  Is it Friday yet?

A couple days ago, I got a manicure.

Today, my nails look like this:


I’m becoming a living, walking, art journal!

I can’t seem to get the black paint off.

It’s a spray paint I used yesterday as I fussed with my first-ever art journal pages.

I’m working on a two page spread.

It isn’t done yet.

This is what it looks like not done, wet, and in a drying state:

AJ 2 pg @ 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Don’t judge me!  It’s not done yet!

One of the primary purposes of my art journal, is for me to experiment with different types of texture mediums.

I want to get used to working with them so I can make some decisions about which of them (if any) I might incorporate into a photography mixed media project.

In the above photo, all those white spots are actually white “stuff.”

Bumps, lumps, and clumps of white texture stuff.

Aren’t I artsy?

This morning, one of Paul Newman’s PT friends is going to work on my arm.

(Paul Newman is STILL on vacation.  I’m jealous!)

I’m a little nervous because (as  you know) my body is really, exceptionally, f*cked up.

I’m sure Paul Newman briefed The Other PT on what *not* to do, but I’m worried anyway.

Yes, I’m afraid of pain.

I admit it.

Overall, I have a very high pain tolerance because I have to.

But, whenever anyone new touches me there’s the possibility it will send me into never, never land …

(The level of pain it takes weeks to come down from.)

I would play hooky from this appointment, but my body has been flipping out without my usual PT visits.

My arm has popped on and off my body several times in the last few days.

So I must go.

And be brave.

(I get tired of being brave.

I’d prefer to stamp my feet like a three year old and chant, “I want Paul Newman!”)

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Art Journal and Vlogs?

I began an art journal yesterday.

Not a sketchbook … since I really can’t draw.

(Although, I’m still attempting to “do” one small sketch each day.)

But, a real live art journal.

I don’t even know who I am anymore!

The last time I was up north visiting my friend, Thomas, we talked a lot about incorporating photography into some type of mixed media project.

I’ve begun experimenting with various art products to see if I can come up with something wonderful.

So far, I’ve learned a lot I didn’t know about art.

I haven’t created anything, yet, that I love.

I’m continuing to play with various combinations in an attempt to eventually find something.

My dining room table is covered with art “stuff.”

I may never find a traditional art/photography combination I totally love.

However, I do feel like we (Thomas and I) had a lot of good possibilities brewing around in our brains.

As a result, I’m “playing” with art supplies.

I decided it might be helpful to keep an art journal of my “experiments.”

I also think it will help me learn the positives and negatives of various media combinations.

(My efforts are really just an exploration of possibilities.)

I’m not expecting much, if any, travel for the month of July so it seemed like a good time to work on this.

Last night, I began the first page of my completely blank art journal.

And by “began,” I mean I put gesso on a double page spread in preparation for “really” beginning today.

I think I’ll start by doing several artsy pages without any photos.

Hopefully, I’ll get a feel for various paints, modeling pastes, blah, blah, blah, by doing so.

And then, not too far in the future, I’ll take what I’ve learned and add in the photography component.

At the same time, I’m wondering if there would be any interest from readers if I were to make an occasional “vlog” about this and/or other topics I usually write about?

I could, fairly easily, set up one of my cameras for short videos.

It’s an idea I’ve been considering for awhile.

Let me know if you have strong feelings either way.

If you hate the idea and would NEVER watch a video, let me know.

If you LOVE the idea and want videos, let me know that also.

I’m sure many of you would love Fred videos, but he doesn’t know how to operate a video camera … yet.

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Let’s Talk Current Events

•  According to InStyle Magazine the number one, most coveted, purse for next fall is the Chanel Mosaic Bag which costs $9,000.

Are YOU coveting it?

Because I, for one, am not.

I realize $9,000 is only equivalent to one or two professional camera lenses …

But expensive lenses last longer than a designer handbag stays in style.

(I say all of the above as as a woman who likes, and appreciates, a well made bag.)

If you’d like to save money, InStyle also mentions the upcoming Fendi Peekaboo Clutch which only runs $4,150.

By the way, I’m quite sure I’ll see several of the Chanel Mosaic Bags floating around The OC next fall.

•  Jared, from Subway, had his house raided by police.

News reports allege the raid is related to a child pornography case involving a Jared employee.

Exact details aren’t clear.

There are already all sorts of inappropriate “six inch” and “foot long” jokes being made.

Meanwhile, Subway has removed Jared from their website and they appear to have severed (??) all ties to him.

•  In a 2005 deposition, Bill Cosby admitted he purchased quaaludes with the intent to give them to women he wanted to “have sex” with.

In his mind, apparently, drugging unsuspecting women into oblivion and then “having sex” with the while they were drugged and/or unconscious is not rape?

I wonder if he’d feel the same way if a man twice his size drugged HIM and then “had sex” with him while he was unconscious?

What’s happened to so many of our celebrities?

Why do they feel they’re above the law?

Why do they lack morals?

There’s something SO WRONG with the celebrity culture in our country.

•  South Carolina seems to be moving towards completely removing the Confederate flag.

Honestly, until a few weeks ago (when the Charleston Church Shooting happened), I didn’t even know they were still flying the Confederate flag.

What century are we in?

•  Apparently, no one wants anything to do with Donald Trump anymore.

Businesses are cutting ties with him right and left.

The surprising thing here really is that anyone ever DID want anything to do with Donald Trump.

(Just my opinion, of course!  But really, with that HAIR how could anyone feel anything but repulsion?)

•  Amazon has announced “Amazon Prime Day” and I admit, I got a little excited.  

I wonder if I could get all my holiday shopping done in July?

I definitely get my money’s worth from my Amazon Prime membership.  I buy almost everything online.

Prime pays for itself tenfold.  (And no, I’m not getting anything from Amazon for writing this.)

—  These are the things in my head this week.

How about you?

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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:


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:


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.


It wears me out just thinking about it.

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

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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:



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!


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?