Sunday, August 31, 2008

Winter is closing in...

Today it was really cold and I couldn't help but think that winter is on it's way...

I hate winter. I really really do. I refuse to go outdoors unless I really have to.

But tonight I found this video from last winter when I was out running with my dad's dogs in the forest up north. Sometimes - but only sometimes - winter can be pretty awesome too...

Suggestions this way please!

I need to buy a new laptop.

My next laptop must have the following criteria:

maximum a 14" screen
maximum 2 kg weight
wireless built in
bluetooth/IR port
built in web cam
Cd/dvd burner

I will not buy another Acer (which my current computer is). I'm thinking of getting one of the below:

Sony Vaio (expensive, but I like...)
iBook Mac (don't like the mac as much as PCs but people tell me they're better)
Dell (noone I know dislikes a Dell)

But truth be told I haven't got a clue what to get! SO PLEASE SUGGEST A GOOD LITTLE LAPTOP TO ME! WHAT SHOULD I GET?

I'm in desperate need of help here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Totoro Project - Bidding is now ONLINE!

FYI: You can also bid on the art from the Totoro Forest Project ONLINE! Bidding has already started and will end on Midnight 9/5/08. To see the auction items click HERE

Here's direct links if you wanted to bid on any of our pieces.
Enoki Forest Song

Dirty Job


As a convenience to those who are unable to attend the auction, we do accept absentee bids. This is a silent auction item so, once the absentee bidding period (Now - Midnight, 9/5/08) is over, the winning bid for this lot will set the minimum bid for this lot on the night of the auction. Please note, on the night of the auction, up to 5 silent auction pieces may be chosen as "wild cards" for the live auction. Should this piece be chosen as a wild card, it will NO LONGER be a silent auction item, and the highest bid will become the opening bid in the live auction. If no one at the auction places a higher bid, during either the silent auction OR the live auction, the winning absentee bid becomes the purchaser.

more cat talk - beware

I know some of you are getting bored with all the cat talk here on my blog. But seeing today is my boys 3rd birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIF AND TYLOR!) I think I'm allowed to dedicate another few lines to them:

Having indoor cats are proving to be quite a lot different to having outdoor ones (which my previous babies have been).

First and foremost my previous cats haven't been interested in toys at all. If real mice, rats and birds didn't count, of course. But these two boys looooove their toys!

Kif's favourite is a plastic stick with a bunch of feathers at the top. Sometimes he picks it up and places it in my lap (now there's a hint if there ever was one) and seems to be saying "please play with me!" which I'm always happy to oblige to.

Tylor loves a little laser tourch. It turns into a little red spot on the surface shone on, and Tylor loves chasing the little red spot back and forwards, round and round. It amazes me slightly as he obviously never catches it... But each to their own, as they say.

Also these cats love company in a way my previous ones hasn't. I know part of it is because of their breed, but I also reckon it's to do with the fact that they can't go outside and play. And it is truely wonderful to be greeted by two cats as I opend the door after a long day at work. To have a cat in my lap and one on my shoulder constantly. To have company when making the bed, when doing the dishes, lying in the bath or watering the plants. Tylor sleeps in my lap as I watch TV and Kif sleeps on top of me at night. They are faithful companions.

This morning (read middle of day) Kif got annoyed with me sleeping too long. After numerous attempts of waking me up he jumped up on the window sill and pushed one of my plantpots on to the floor.

I saw him doing it. We even had eye contact as he did it. He placed one paw on the window and the other on the plant pot and pushed. Slowly and deliberately.

I have always said the cats can to anything they want in my flat as long as they leave my plants alone... But I couldn't help but laugh, turned around and fell asleep again. Kif gave up and came into bed with me.

I guess we could say we both won that battle. But quite frankly they could get away with murder. I just love them too much to get annoyed!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Eye Candy From Strangers

Here's a few more girls I did recently for Alberto Ruiz's "Eye Candy From Strangers" book!

I used a black watercolor pencil, a red/blue pencil and some burnt sienna ink w water.

Just a reminder that SUBWAY SKETCHING is back on this Sunday. Hope to see a lot of you there!



Excitement and intrigue follow you closely wherever you go!
Lucky numbers 12, 14, 17, 27, 30, 45

Really, fortune cookie? Really??

Just a little painting practice in Photoshop, with a random subject. I looked at a fortune cookie for reference, but this isn't a depiction of that exact cookie. If that makes any sense. I mean, it makes sense to me, but it might not make sense to you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

good and bad

"Always start with the bad news" my dad used to say to me. So here goes:

I got my computer back today. It's been working fine whilst in the hands of my fab friend who knows computers. But within a minute LITERALLY in my hands this evening it decided to shut down. And continued to do so 5 times within an hour.

I was ready to cry. It's like I am poisonous - I touch a computer and it breaks. I phoned my brother who very matter of factly told me to buy a new one. And I might just do that. And kill that one too, if I know myself. :-(

But luckily I had some good news this evening. I'm one step closer to moving. As a matter of fact I've already got a date for the move!!! 30th September, so we'd better get packing, my boys and I! :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Niko Bellic Artwork

Another great GTA IV fan artwork was released recently. This time it’s from a friend of Patrick Brown, whose amazing art creations we all admire so much, Bob Baxter. I’d say Bob did a very good job on his representation of Niko. The colors and shadows complement each other in every way, and a hint of humor completes this artwork perfectly. Those creative Australians just keep giving and giving. No doubt we’ll see more GTA artwork from Bob Baxter in future. Well done and hopefully we’ll see other main characters from GTA too!

Was there life before Kif and Tylor?

The meeting today went well. I am secretely (well before making it official here on my blog now) very pleased with my tactics and the fact that I managed to stay professional and sticking to them.

Yet when I got home I was drained. And as I opened the door I was greeted by the loves of my life - Tylor straight up on my shoulder and Kif around my feet.

Without even kicking my shoes of my feet or taking my bag of my shoulder I flung myself on the livingroom floor and my two lovely boys and I had a cuddle.

Cats are pure therapy. At least these two. Now we've spent two hours in a pile on the settee followed by an hours play and I am the happiest girl in the world again. How did I survive life before Kif and Tylor entered it?!

difficulties - real and imaginary

You know when you're having a bad day and nothing seems fair? Imagine if you had that feeling every single day of your life? And no matter how much people acknowledged you and praised you you'd still feel like a victim. It must be a horrible feeling!

At the moment I'm having to deal with one of those people. I ask myself how I'd feel in her situation, but at the same time I'm having a hard time symphatize. Why is she always right and everyone else wrong? Why is she feeling so damn sorry for herself? Why does she see herself like a victim in every possible situation? I don't understand it.

I'm not saying I never feel sorry for myself - I quite often do! But then I shake it off, tell myself tomorrow is another day, and if things doesn't change, well then perhaps I need to change myself or my surroundings!

Now I have reached a point where I seriously don't know how to approach this person. I find it hard to be professional around her and quite frankly I'm tired of all the whining. Today we're having a meeting and I'm worried I will lose patience...

... I try my best to be a good boss, but sometimes it's hard. Increadably hard.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

back fromToronto Fan Expo

Thank you to everyone who came by our booth and showed your support this weekend!
We had a lot of fun and we look forward to next year..

Here are some sketches that Bobby and I did from the event...
(Sorry about the bad quality, I forgot my camera and took them with my phone :p )

thank you!

TMNT Tuesdays (Part 2 of 4): Sensei

Following from last Tuesday's post, here's Shredder's long-time nemesis, and the Turtles' mentor and adopted father--Splinter:

The aim here was to make Splinter appear as serene as possible, reflecting his wise, zen-like approach to life. The tree in the background is supposed to be bonsai-like. Or maybe it is a bonsai tree, grown huge as a result of exposure to radioactive mutagen?

This series illustrating TMNT supporting cast members follows a series from last year depicting the Turtles themselves:

Monday, August 25, 2008

I wonder....?

How come I have had over 500 visitors to my blog so far, but only around 50 comments?

... Don't be shy! Say hello when you pop in!

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

Maybe, maybe, maybeeeee.... Maybe there's a flat swop in the making! Today we got one step closer to an eventual move as we filled in the forms to hand in to the landlords.

Fingers crossed everybody!!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bonus Post: Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for awesome commercials...

After seeing a few cool CGI commercials and drawing some mascots, basically I immediately forgot all about the Olympics. But before it officially ends, here's one more Olympic commercial from Stadium Astro (a Malaysian sports channel, I think?), featuring robots... transforming ones!

Of course watching one video on Youtube, always leads to another... here's a soccer-themed transformer ad from Stadium Astro, promoting the Euro 2008 tournament:

And another transformer ad from Stadium Astro (apparently someone working there likes Transformers as much as I do?):

In summary, sports would actually be cool if there were more (or any) transforming robots involved.

Post Script: Decepticons as tweenage girls? Oh Japan, you so crazy (and that's why I love ya... from

Post Post Script: I actually found so many Transformer-related videos that I had to cut half of them out of this post. Expect another video post soon!

my yearbook photos

(And a big thank you to Anna who found the web site!)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

todays numbers (so far!)

1 rhubarb and ginger pie made

1 apple and cinnamon pie made

4 times this morning I got woken up by a naughty, naughty Tylor who scratched on the front door to get attention.

1 time last night I got woken up by Kif who laid down to sleep on my mouth and nose so I couldn't breathe.

2 prescriptions picked up from the pharmacy

1 orchid plant bought

2 bottles of wine bought

1 deep hair treatment done

3 cups of tea drunk

1 CD listened to

Yep, good people, I'm off to a dinner party and promised to bring dessert! Now all I need to do is figure out a good way of transporting the pies without demolishing them...

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm back online!

One fine evening this very week I was in the midst of writing an email to my brother when my computer decided to die. My faint hope of being able to fix the computer soon turned into a hysteric tantrum and then moved on to a feeling of despair.

I have a fantastic friend who knows computers, and despite not liking to ask friends for favours I finally picked up the courage to ask him for help. And he did...

The guilt was undescribable as he phoned me a couple of days later to tell me my computer was buggered and he would have to work quite a bit more on the damn thing (my words, not his). Bloody damn pile of shit-computer!!! (Again, my words, not his). It's a necessary piece of evil which has given me hassle for nearly 5 years now. And now all I could think was that I had made MY problems to be HIS problems and that is not what you do to friends. But I had.

I started thinking if there was anything I could ever help him with. To say "well, if you ever need help with xxx, just give me a shout! I owe you a favour big time", but I couldn't think of anything that I know that he doesn't. (And don't get smutty and seedy now and start suggesting dirty stuff. I'm quite serious here!)

Well, the kindness doesn't even stop here. My brother phoned this afternoon and said "why don't you take my laptop until you get your computer back?"

So here I am, writing on a iBook Apple laptop. I'm back online! Yippie!!

(And because I know both of you wonderful people mentioned in this blog reads this - I would like to say THANK YOU! I am, when I think of it, quite good at baking cakes!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Conjoined Blog Post

I asked Jacob (color/lighting guru, and longtime crony) for some critique on one of my pieces, and he obliged, with a quick Photoshop overlay:

click above for larger view

My original is on the left--and you can see how flat it looks in comparison to Jacob's fix on the right. He didn't make any huge changes, but the results are pretty dramatic.

Anyways, Jacob and I got to talking, and we decided that we'd both try our hand at coloring the same piece of art (line art provided by me), for a little joint blog action. The subject is Bowser:

My version; click above for larger view

Jacob's version; click above to see the full-size version on his blog

I think both versions turned out well, but something about Jacob's colors really make my line art sing. Check out Jacob's blog to see more of his excellent art... DO EET!

Toronto Fan Expo this weekend and Subway Sketching Postponed.

Hi everyone,

Subway Sketching this Sunday August 24 is postponed because we'll be at the Toronto Fan Expo at the metro convention center. If you're in the Toronto area, come on by. We'll be signing prints and books all weekend at booth A10 in Artist Alley. We'll also be doing free sketches for every purchase.

There's going to be tons of great talent and entertainment there. Just to name a few Jason Seiler, Doug Sneyd, Stephen Silver, Justin Ridge, Alberto Ruiz and Matt Stewart are all going to be sitting in our row.

Here's a few girls I did recently for Alberto Ruiz's "Eye Candy From Strangers" book! Hope to see lots of you this weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bully Coming To PC

Looks like PC users will be blessed with another release from Rockstar Games. The poster with Bully Scholarship Edition logo and message in German, "Demnachst fur PC", was spotted in Rockstar Games’ booth at Leipzig Games Convention 2008. In English message says, "Coming soon for PC". It’s been confirmed by one of the Rockstar Games’ representative that the game will be on sale this October. Unfortunately that’s all the information known at this stage.
According to a poster inside Rockstar's booth on the show floor of GC 2008, Bully: Scholarship Edition will indeed be coming to the PC. We asked a company representative there to translate the text on the poster (which was in German, as GC is held in Leipzig) to confirm this was true.

A Rockstar representative went on to say the game should be expected to ship sometime in late October.


We all aware of Grand Theft Auto IV coming to PC this autumn, but will it be any different than on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3? Everyone wanted to get more information of what we can expect from this release and Leipzig Games Convention 2008 gave us this chance. Apparently PC version wouldn’t be so different after all.

Other than an overall higher resolution (supporting up to 2560x1600 pixels), the game benefits from higher-res textures, better streaming, longer draw distances, and better anti-aliasing. Rockstar Games also added a replay editor, which allows you to view 30-second instant replays and then chop and edit them, add filters, and even combine them into a montage of clips to upload to a Web site of your choice, or to Rockstar's Social Club. The multiplayer game also has some improvements, like a higher player number limit. Rockstar mentioned that GTA IV on PC will also offer improved searching and filtering to find the type of multiplayer games you're most interested in joining.

While the game is still a work in progress, Liberty City looked amazing as ever. Textures were sharp, animations looked clean, and environmental effects such as shadows, lighting, and water all looked top-notch. There were a few glitches when there was a lot of onscreen action, but by and large the engine looked pretty robust. The game was demoed on a giant plasma TV, and even at that size (60-plus inches) the game looked visually impressive. GTAIV will support Xbox 360 controllers in addition to keyboard and mouse, and the demonstration was done using a controller. Icons on the in-game menus reflected the button names and colours of a 360 controller, and if we hadn't seen a giant, glowing PC tower in the corner of the room, we might've suspected the demo was being run on an Xbox 360. We were told that at this late stage of development, Rockstar are spending the next three months tweaking and polishing the game for its PC launch.
Don’t forget that in order to actually witness all that HD beauty or even be able to play GTA IV, many of us would have to reach deep in our pockets to get those hardware upgrades we were saving up for so long. Perhaps in some cases the new PC would be in order. For now feast your eyes on the first PC screenshots of the upcoming epic game soon to take over almost every single PC.


Bonus Post: Obsessive Dork Wastes Time

I've been seeing a lot of anime/manga-esque avatars on the internets recently, and Jodi kindly informed me that they were generated at

I made an avatar that resembled me fairly well, but felt the need to waste further time by customizing it even more. A few quick google image searches, some cheap Photoshop tricks, and voila:
Still feeling that time needed to be wasted, I slapped together a quick diagram showing the base elements I used to mod my avatar, and pointing out some of the smaller cosmetic changes I made:

click above for larger view

As a bonus, here's an avatar I created a few months ago, through the Photobucket/Meez website:

This is basically exactly how I spend my weekends--chillin' out during a nuclear holocaust, with a dragon hatchling on my shoulder, a ray gun in hand, and a devil-may-care grin on my face. Basically.

What's wrong with me?

(That's a rhetorical question.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TMNT Tuesdays (Part 1 of 4): Ol' Shredd-Head

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may remember this series of posts: I decided to follow up on those with some drawings of the Turtles' supporting cast. First up is their arch-enemy Shredder, standing in front of a Foot Clan family shrine or something:

I'm in a succinct mood again. Go and be merry, dear reader, but be sure to tune in on Friday for a special guest star, and again next Tuesday for another TMNT character.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Any cat owners who recognizes this?

This is my dad and his cat Aaron in a nutshell!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

one a day

I woke up early. For some reason I got into my head yesterday that I would go shopping in a mall south of Stockholm today.

For my birthday I was given some wonderful presents. Amongst loads of fantastic gifts I recieved a teapot with matching tea cups. (Strangely enough I have been looking at those tea cups for quite some time, as they are soooo pretty!)

So anyhow, I went to the shopping mall to get a couple more of those cups today...

The beauty of living in a big city is that you can always find new places. And it's nice to venture out to places you've never been before. I love getting on the subway or bus, find a completely new place around Stockholm, and hence heading to this shopping area today.

I did good. Shopped til I dropped and even had sushi in a little sushi bar before heading home again. But once at home my energy just dissapeared: I felt exhausted! I fell asleep in my settee and woke up 4 hours later (yes, of course Kif and Tylor slept under the quilt with me! My partners in crime...).

I don't get it. It's like I only have energy to do one thing per day at the moment. Now I'm gathering strengh to make a couple of loafs of bread... I doubt it will happen until tomorrow, but who knows? If the cats start to get the flour out of the cupboard I might give them a hand...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Totoro, Pet Monster Sketch and Explosion in Toronto!

Ok... I was a bit slow on putting this up. My apologies... we've been busy. I wanted to let you all know that the tickets were up for sale for the event but they all sold out in the first few days.

Click on the image below

Here's a little sketch I did a couple of nights ago. It's an idea for the next book 'Pet Monsters'.

Also, a propane factory blew up a few days ago here in Toronto. The explosion shook my home from miles away.
I didn't film this clip but it looks like the same view I have.

Here's another that someone posted on youtube that's even closer!