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In The Last 24 Hours

In the last 24 hours:

•  I’ve discovered what a Newfie puppy acts like in cooler weather.  My calm, relaxed, Newfie disappeared.  He was replaced with a 150 pound puppy filled with total GLEE!  “It’s cool outside, let’s be a hyper puppy like most other puppies are all the time!!”  WHEEEEEE!!

Fred rests while he stops for a quick drink of water.

•  Did I mention how happy I am to have cooler weather?  Honestly, everywhere I go Southern Californians are rejoicing.  Yes, the very same people who normally brag about how great and warm our weather is year round.  Everyone is done with being so, so, hot!

•  As happy as I was for Fred to enjoy cool weather, the timing is a little off since I’m in the worst pain flare up I’ve had in the last year.  This would be a good time for Fred to sleep a lot.  But no, Fred wants to PLAY.  Nonstop!  And, he will not be ignored.  Go ahead, just try to ignore a smiling, gleeful, 150 pound, hyper, puppy who keeps bringing you toys, and sticks, and rocks and …!

Empty beaches – another benefit to cooler weather!

•  I’m giving myself 24 hours to “come down” from this off-the-charts-pain-flare-up on my own.  If it doesn’t happen, I will visit Dr. Painless for an injection.  Ugh!  I do not want to visit Dr. Painless!

•  On a positive note, this reminds me of what my life used to be like every single day for years and years.  I don’t know how I existed.  I feel very fortunate I only get *this* bad once in awhile now.  Thank you to Paul Newman for THAT!  I don’t know what I would do without him – I really don’t.  I think I probably would have either committed suicide or become very dependent on strong pain-med cocktails if he hadn’t come into my life.  And no, I’m not exaggerating at all.  It’s really a horrible thing to live with extreme pain 24/7 and with no end in sight.  I tell Paul Newman I love him five hundred times each week.  He thinks I’m joking, but I’m not.  He’s invaluable!

•  I made spaghetti yesterday.  Spaghetti is a cold weather food.  I make homemade spaghetti sauce.  Homemade spaghetti sauce involves using hands and arms and body parts that don’t work very well for me.  But?  I did it – so yay!

•  I’m reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It’s a book about creativity and the process of being creative.  I’m over halfway through with it.  I can’t say I subscribe to 100% of her theory on creativity, but the author does make some good points.  And, it’s an easy read.  You might enjoy it if you’re in a creative field of work, want to be, and/or you’re a creative person.  Elizabeth Gilbert is also the author of the best selling book Eat, Pray, Love.

•  The links in yesterday’s post were not, initially, working correctly.  I repaired the problem as soon as I was aware of it.  I apologize.  The links are all working now.  (In case you wanted to check out the super-nifty pencil case and/or the lip glosses I mentioned!)

•  Speaking of lip gloss …  I wear very little makeup.  (I wear mascara so my blond eyelashes are visible, and lip gloss so my lips aren’t chapped all the time.)  I don’t even know HOW to wear makeup.  For some reason, I decided to watch a YouTube video on makeup.  I admit, I only got about 30 seconds into the tutorial before I turned it off.  But?  I was AMAZED.  There was a woman with super horrible skin doing the tutorial.  In the opening, she looked stunning.  Then, a few seconds into the video, she showed “how she created her look.”  It showed what she looked like when she first started applying her makeup.  I couldn’t believe how good someone could look who really looks so BAD.  And, what did I learn from the thirty seconds I watched?  I could have looked a lot nicer my entire life if only I wore makeup!  (However, I still don’t wear it and I never will because I just don’t have the patience or desire!)

•  Supposedly, there’s going to be a pumpkin shortage this year.  (As in, canned pumpkin not the pumpkins you might buy for your porch at Halloween.)  This might be important for some of you?  At my house, it’s important and I’ve begun stocking up on canned pumpkin.  (Not the pumpkin pie filling, but just the plain, unsweetened, canned pumpkin.)  Why, you might ask?  Fred was given a small scoop of canned pumpkin after each meal by his breeder.  I’ve continued doing so since Fred came home with me last January.  I hide his vitamins/supplements in the pumpkin.  He loves pumpkin so much he gobbles it down and thinks he’s getting dessert.  After every meal, Fred comes RUNNING to get his special pumpkin treat.  (Fred also loves carrots and apples, but he doesn’t get either as often as he gets pumpkin.)

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Ahhh … coolness!

We (finally!!) got some cool weather here.

And, by cool I mean in the 70’s.  (Around 24C)

So, yay for that!

•  For some reason my arm is exceptionally messed up right now.  I’m not sure why, but it hasn’t been a pleasant couple days.  I must have done something to aggravate it, but I don’t know what.  It’s taking my breath away, and not in a good way.

•  Fred got some new toys over the weekend.  He’s super happy about THAT!  Of course, his favorite thing in the world is heading out to help me work.

Fred takes a work break to enjoy the ocean view.

I think Fred has a pretty good life?

•  I decided I should try doodling/sketching in pencil instead of always using ballpoint pen.  Being able to erase mistakes and try again is very beneficial.  Of course, I’m still doodling on graph paper and using watercolor paints.  One of these days, I’ll smarten up and use blank paper instead.  Also, I’m sure colored pencils would look nicer than watercolor paint on the paper I use.  (Much more blendable!)

Girl Doodle © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Another Girl Doodle

•  I was subjected to the presence of a man with a Man Cold over the weekend.  Is there anything worse than that?  I doubt it.

•  My favorite lipgloss has been discontinued.  Most of you know I wear very little makeup and hate most girly things.  But, I did have a favorite lipgloss I’ve worn forever.  In an effort to find a new “favorite,” I purchased three new ones to try over the weekend.  They are:  1) Make Up For Ever Plexi Gloss in Pearly Plum (405P)   2) Nars Lip Gloss – Belize, and  3) Nars Lip Gloss – Stolen Kisses.  I’ll let you know if I discover a new favorite.  Who knows, it may take years before I find another I “love.”  (If you have a lip gloss you love, let me know so I can try it!)

•  I’ve also been experimenting with all sorts of various storage concepts for my art supplies.  To be honest, nothing is really working well.  I have, however, found a new favorite pencil case.  I keep two pencils, a highlighter, several drawing pens, a white gel pen, a water brush, and assorted markers in mine.  (Along with correction tape, an extra eraser, etc., etc.  I wish the exact same case was also made super-sized-by-a-zillion for even more storage space.  However, I’m very happy with how much I’m able to cram into such a small, portable, case.  It’s a definite winner.  (It would also make a great and inexpensive gift for just about anyone on your list.)

•  I feel a strong need to get “lost” in a great book and/or a great TV series.  Do you have any suggestions?  Do you have any recent favorites?

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The Very Best Pen?

I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I don’t care about (feel a need for) expensive writing pens.

In fact, I’ve never thought about pens much at all.

If I find one I like, I use it.

End of story, right?

However, it has come to my recent attention I now own five hundred ZILLION pens.

At least!

So, why do I own five hundred zillion pens?

(None of them, by the way, are super expensive pens.)

I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of different pens for art’s sake.


I’ve been using a Hobonichi for my “Doodle A Day” project and I keep experimenting with pens/ink for THAT.

The pens I find best for my Hobo are not the same pens I find best for my mixed media art projects.

After much experimenting, I thought I’d share some of my (so-far) favorites here today.

Maybe it will make the search for a perfect pen easier for one of you?

Or, maybe you have a pen lover and/or artist in your life you’ll be needing a gift for?

•  The best white pen in the entire world:  Uniball Signo Broad 

I’ve tried a ton – this is the best WHITE to write with, I promise!

You can also use it to cover up mistakes on white paper.

(Like white-out in a convenient pen form!)

•  The best watercolor BRUSH markers:  Zig (Kuretake) Clean Color Real Brush Pens

Oh, how I LOVE these!  These pens come in so many beautiful colors, blend really well together, and are a joy to play with!

You can make all sorts of PRETTY with them.  And yes, they are BRUSH pens … with real brush tips.

If you aren’t into art, you might STILL like a couple just to play with on your calendar, etc.

I often use my Pentel water brush with them for a watercolor-painterly effect.

It’s easy to carry the Zig Clean Color Brush Pens in a pencil case and use them while sitting in waiting rooms, while traveling, etc.

They’re one of my very favorites!

•  The best/most adorable fountain pen:  Kaweco Classic Sport White Fine Point Fountain Pen

Did I mention it’s small and adorable and so fun to write with?

I like to use a (relatively cheap) fountain pen to write with.

I love my Lamy pens, too, but there’s something special about my Kaweco.

•  The best highlighters:  Zebra Mildliners

I love these highlighters because they do what they’re supposed to do without overpowering the text you’re highlighting.

(I’m a nerd and I highlight a lot when I read nonfiction books.)

I hate it when a highlighter is distracting and abrasive.

The Zebra Mildliners come in a variety of pretty colors, too.

•  The best “I can write over anything, even acrylic paint” black pen:  OHTO Fude Ballpoint Pen  

This pen is a workhorse.

When I’m painting with acrylics and I want to outline something I’ve painted, I know this pen is up for the task.

It can write on/over just about anything.

Would I write a letter with it?  No.

But, it is “THEE” pen to write on acrylic paint with.

•  The best drawing/outlining black pen/s:  Uni Pin Drawing Pens

I admit, these weren’t my first choice when I began practicing drawing.

But, over time I’ve found them to be the ones I return to time and time again.

Everyone loves a good, reliable, Sharpie … right?

But, Sharpies bleed through a lot of (most?) papers.

The Uni Pin Pens don’t bleed.

They come in a pack of five assorted tip sizes which is very convenient.

They feel good in my hand when I draw with them.

They’re also water and fade proof.

What’s not to like?

•  The best gel pens for writing and/or art:  Sakura Gelly Rolls

Remember these from your childhood?

Well, they’re still out there with all their beautiful colors.

They’re fun to write with, and they’re awesome for adding details to watercolor and/or acrylic paintings.

(I say that as if I’m an artist vs. the very-casual-art-player I actually am.)

If you have kids in your life, you’re pretty safe assuming they’ll love “helping” you make art with these, too.

Gelly Rolls are just fun, regardless of your age.

•  The best felt tip colored pens:  Stabilo Point 88 Pen Sets Rollerset of 25

These pens look like pencils.

They’re comfortable to write with, and I haven’t had one bleed through paper yet.

(I hate pens that bleed through paper!)

I also really love the roll-up case they come in.

(So handy for travel!)

I use these pens a lot without thinking about them much at all.

They’re reliable and effortless.

Do I have other pens?

I’m embarrassed to say, yes I do!

I have various paint pens – but paint pens fall into an entirely different category of their own.

I, also, enjoy using Microns, Le Pens, and/or Staedtlers.

(And, oh yes, Sharpies sometimes, too!)

All of the above pens have cult-like followings.

And, I DO like them.

But, my favorite (and most used) pens are the ones listed in the bullet points above.

If you have a favorite pen for art/journaling/every day use, feel free to tell me about it in the comments section.










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It Feels Like Tuesday

Fred and I have been doing our best to hide from the (latest) horrible heat wave.

Fred BW © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred is happy as long as I’m with him – in the air conditioned house!

I think everyone in Southern California is very tired of HEAT.

Summer sunsets in October!  Laguna Beach

Last weekend, I went to see The Martian.

I love Matt Damon. (!!!)

The movie was very good, but the book is even better.

(Isn’t that always the case?)

Today, I’m busy taking care of some family birthday stuff.

I can’t believe it’s already mid-October.

How did that happen SO fast?

Now, if summer would just go away so it would FEEL like fall!

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A Doodle A Day

I did a little art play over the weekend, but not much.

The last few weeks have been super busy.

I have a Hobonichi I use for “a doodle a day.”

(A Hobonichi is a Japanese planner, but I don’t use mine as a calendar, or for *planning* anything.)

I really like the paper (Tomoe River paper) used in the Hobonichi which is why I use it.

I’ve been pretty good about staying current with my daily doodles.

They’re part of my self improvement project … as I attempt to learn the basics of art.

Usually, I’ll just make a quick sketch at the end of the evening while I’m watching TV.

I take my Hobonichi with me on planes when I fly, and on trips with me.

(I have the small version, so it’s easy to keep with me.)

Lately, I’ve been drawing a lot of girls.

Most of them have bright, odd-colored, hair.

Here is one I sketched in my Hobo, and then painted with my Peerless Watercolor palette.

Excuse the grid lines from the Hobo  .

The lines look tacky, but they do help me with drawing proportions.

AP1 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

My green-haired girl!

As you can see, these daily doodles aren’t supposed to be realistic looking.

They’re more whimsical, I suppose.

I’ve become a bit obsessed with “my girls,” as I call them.

AP16 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

See with your heart – hearts for eyes!

Some of my girls are more cartoonish than others.

It just depends on my doodling mood each day.

AP13 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Will the bird break the girls long neck?

I like experimenting with their hair.

Who knew it could be so fun to come up with different hairdos for them?

AP10 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Many of my girls only wear one earring.  I have no idea WHY.

I like a lot of things about this next girl.

Well, except for the fact she looks like she’s done a lot of drugs?

AP15 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Blue hair and blue (drugged?) eyes.

This next one, I painted HUGE on a big piece of mixed media paper.

I had a hard time with her because I’m not used to painting something so big.

Her eyes are too big, and she has a lot of flaws.

I really struggled due to her size.

She, also, still needs a necklace (or something) added to complete her.

I haven’t decided yet.

AP2 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

This big girl is still a work in progress!

Next, I’m going to try to learn how to do different face angles.

I’ve just begun attempting sketches.

AP5 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Things get complicated and messy when I try to learn something new!

And bodies!

Most of my girls only have faces.

I need to practice drawing figures.

AP4 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Once I learn bodies, I need to learn clothes?

When I do give my girls bodies,

They’re very basic.

One step above a stick figure, really.

AP17 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Hello, my hair is as big as my body!

Sometimes, my doodle page has more than one subject on it.

Weird things go through my brain, and I’m trying to learn how to doodle my thoughts.

It does NOT come naturally to me.

I have always been terrible at drawing and art.

(Which is the whole reason I’m attempting to practice every day!)

AP8 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

My brain on paper?

There are days when I doodle for twenty minutes.

Other days, it is a much more rushed affair.

Some sketches only take seconds, like this one.

AP9 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

What do you think this girl is thinking about?

I need to practice doodling things other than girls.

Sometimes, I do a quick sketch/doodle of non-girl things.

AP6 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

I have no idea what this is??

Usually, I quickly return to making another girl.

I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with girls, but I’m sure I’ll get over it soon.

AP7 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Hey look!  It’s a snail following the directions on a sign!

I think I’m enjoying my little sketches because I don’t take them seriously.

They’re just for fun and I find them relaxing to make.

Are you a doodler?

Or maybe you’re one of those people who are actually GOOD at drawing?

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Updates: The Latest and Greatest!

I’m getting ready to do a few posts about things I’ve been liking lately.

I always have fun writing those type of posts, and readers seem to enjoy them a lot too.

In the meantime ….

•  Fred seems to be feeling SO much better now that he has me back home.  Last night, I let him watch Animal Planet for awhile.

It’s his favorite channel, of course!

Processed with VSCOcam with e5 preset

Fred watching Animal Planet

Fred and I are so inseparable, it’s ridiculous.

Here’s an iPhone photo of the two of us this week.  As usual, I was dressed in grubbies and had no make-up on ….

Fred The Newf 11mo Suz © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred and I – best friends!

Fred will grow taller for approximately nine more months.

After that, he will grow stronger (and wider) up until about four years of age.

•  I got a flu shot yesterday.  I get them every year.  I started getting them years ago on the advice of my son’s asthma specialist.  He advised our entire family to get them to help protect my asthmatic son.  I’ve continued to get them each year.  I realize they aren’t full-proof, but with all the traveling I do, I appreciate all the help I can get.  (Flying on airplanes is like spending time in a petri dish of germs!)

•  My arm popped off yesterday.  It was excruciating.  I’m spending my morning with Paul Newman.  Someone needs to clone him so he can walk by my side at all times … reattaching my arm as needed.  I know a lot of people appreciate Paul Newman, but I’m pretty sure I appreciate him MOST.

•  My broken camera lens was repaired by Canon in less than 24 hours.  It’s absolutely perfect.  I’m lucky to live in close proximity to one of Canon’s three U.S. service centers.  And, of course, I’m also glad for my CPS status and the insurance I have on all my gear.

•  I read the book The Martian awhile back.  I hope to get a chance to see the movie this coming weekend.  I love Matt Damon, and the book was fantastic.

•  Temperatures are supposed to be in the 100’s this weekend.  Have I mentioned (forty bazillion times!) I’m very tired of hot weather?

•  On the other hand, if it’s too hot to be outside except for early mornings and evenings … I just might get some time to play with art stuff!  There’s always a bright side, right?

Happy weekend to YOU!

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Since I’ve Been Home …

I’m almost caught up from being out of town for a week.

I think Fred has (maybe?) forgiven me for leaving him.

I hate it when Mom leaves!  Fred The Newf 11 months old.

His tummy isn’t 100% back to normal, but he seems to be feeling better each day.

I’ve been giving him lots of love, tummy rubs, and reassurance I’ll always come back to him.

He’s just a baby in a gigantic, furry, body.

Today, I’m spending some time at one of the few Canon service centers in the United States.

I have a *situation* with my Canon 24-70 lens.

Camera © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Shattered camera lens.

It’s the first lens I’ve ever broken … which is pretty remarkable considering the miles I’ve put on my gear.

My camera bag dropped off a wall hook and landed on cement.

Wouldn’t you think, with all the shoots I’ve done, I’d have a better story for a shattered lens than a bag falling off of a wall hook?

The lens is insured, and I’m a platinum member of Canon Professional Services.

So, fortunately, I’ll be able to have the lens repaired (or replaced) at little to no cost.

Still, it makes my heart hurt to see a nice lens shattered.

In other news …

•  My arm hurts SO much right now.  I haven’t seen Paul Newman for nearly two weeks.  I hate being dependent on a man, but I can’t function without that guy.  Sigh!

•  I haven’t had time for art these last two weeks.  I did, however, do some light doodling/sketching and watercolor painting on my flights to and from Texas.  It surprises me how much I enjoy it.  Hopefully, I’ll have a little time for art play next weekend.

There’s always too much to do, and so little time to play.

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Weather and Mood Swings

I came home to cool, fall-ish, winter-ish, weather.

I was SO excited.

Stormy day in Orange County!

I’m not exaggerating, in the least, when I say I’ve been hot for three years straight.

Blame it on  my wild hormone swings  California’s drought and our nonstop, record-breaking, heat waves!

We even got a little rain the past couple days – which is cause for celebration around here.

(Alas, it’s supposed to be back up into the 90’s (33C) by next weekend.)

It’s AMAZING how much a break in the heat can inspire a person.

I went grocery shopping (mainly so I can keep Fred on his “bland diet.”)

While I was at the store, I bought all the ingredients to make homemade chicken noodle soup.

After months of not feeling like cooking, I instantly wanted to take on the kitchen once the weather cooled.

(By the way, Fred is on a temporary diet of boiled chicken, white rice, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, and pumpkin!)

I also found myself starting “idea lists” for holiday gifts.

I didn’t mean to, but I was reading an article and it listed some interesting ideas.

I didn’t want to forget them so I started jotting down notes.

I can guarantee I wouldn’t have bothered if it was sunny and hot outside.

The cooler weather just made me feel like holidays.

Fall is my favorite time of year season-wise.

We don’t get many fall-ish days here, so I have to make the most of the ones we do get.

Fred LOVES the cooler weather, too.

After all, his breed was “made” to swim in the icy waters off Newfoundland, Canada … dragging heavy fishing nets in from the sea, day after day.

Fred, of course, was born in hot, tropical, San Diego.

But, when the weather gets cool, Fred’s nose twitches with excitement.

He romps around like an energetic puppy and chases leaves into the swimming pool.

My daughters says she thinks Fred is looking for Canada.

He’s pretty sure he’ll find it … just around the next corner.

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My Dog is Neurotic!

I got home from Texas Saturday evening.

I worked my a$$ off while I was there, but I managed to finish everything in one week.

(Fingers crossed no loose ends pop up requiring a return trip!)

It was a super tightly-scheduled week with absolutely no down time.

I was stressed, and I got very little sleep.

I barely ate because I was so rushed and stressed.

Apparently, Fred is a lot like me.

This was the longest I’ve been away from him.

He was spoiled rotten while I was gone.

He got to stay at home in the environment he’s used to.

He got lots of love, walks, visitors, and play time.

But …?

On Thursday I got a call saying Fred seemed a little “off.”

I was pretty sure it was nothing, but I made a vet appointment for the weekend.

I figured I would have the appointment available for my return “just in case” Fred got worse.

On Friday morning I got an urgent call.

Fred’s dog sitter was panicking over some of Fred’s symptoms.

I became very concerned.

His dog sitter rushed him off to the vet, and I immediately texted the breeder I got Fred from.

(Fred’s breeder continues to be my resource for all Newfie-related matters.  She is AWESOME!)

The breeder told me Fred’s tummy-related issues were caused by one of two causes.

Colitis … caused by stress.

Or a bacterial infection.

She reassured me both were easily treatable and told me Fred would be fine.

Well, I immediately scoffed at the possibility of colitis.

Fred has no stress!

Fred was having the week of his life and I’d been receiving nonstop photos to prove it!

Fred was having FUN without me.

A short while later, my vet called.

My dog sitter had dropped Fred off with a list of symptoms.

The vet called to ask me a few questions about Fred.

I informed the vet I’d be glad to help, but since I was in Texas and away from Fred, I might have to refer her to the dog sitter.

There was a pause from my vet.

“How long have you been away from Fred?” asked my vet.

And just like that, she informed me Fred was missing me.

Fred was so worried about me he had made himself sick with worry.

(Never mind he was having a GREAT time.  Where was his mommy??)

“Seriously?” I asked the vet.

“Yep,” she answered.  “Fred is very worried about your absence.”

I was reunited with Fred Saturday evening.

He’s on a bland diet for a few days to calm down his stressed-out nervous tummy.

He’s getting lots of love and cuddles, and reassurance, from me.

Fred lost seven pounds while I was gone.

I’m sure, given a week to ten days, he will be 100% back to normal.

I don’t have any other trips coming up in the near future.

But, I’m now totally panicked about my New Zealand trip.

What am I going to do about Fred?

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I told you I didn’t know what to expect from this week.

And …?

I still don’t.

I’ve been VERY busy!

On a positive note, I think I’ll be able to complete everything this week.

I’m hopeful I won’t be commuting to Texas over the next few weeks.

I think I’ll be flying home this Saturday?

I’ve had exactly ZERO free time.

(And, I *thought* I’d have time to take in a museum or two??)

It’s been exhausting and a bit stressful.

But, it is what it is.

I’ve heard Fred is doing great and getting spoiled.

I miss him so much it hurts.

I wanted to Facetime Fred, but I know he’d go crazy and then probably be a depressed dog afterward.


My arm was KILLING me after managing my luggage and gear to get here.

Yesterday, I used a Paul Newman trick and was able to pop my arm back into place.

It really hurt, and I’m very sore, but thank goodness it worked!

I was proud of myself in a weird sort of way.

OK, I’m off to take a two hour nap so I can work for the next 48 hours pretty much nonstop.

I’ll update again if I can!