Dormouse and Alice

30 11 2016

Just discovered Mad T Party and fell in <3 with the whole concept, and OF COURSE I’m too late! Also they did it at Disneyland, not Disneyworld, so I’d probably have never gone anyway, but still. So fun! So cute! How adorable are their antics with Alice? OMG. My lil’ fanart:

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Not-So-“Supermoon” Experience

22 11 2016

So apparently, we had a supermoon recently  – the biggest in 60-some years. I tried to meet up with a photo group in Green Cove Springs to attempt some photos of the thing, but the night didn’t turn out quite as planned.

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A photog crowd gathered on the banks by the dock right at sundown. As you can see, a massive cloud cover blocked the night sky. I passed time taking some random pics:

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…a fancy boat across the river, and the gazebo in the park behind me:

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But the night drew on, and still no break in the clouds. So I just started shooting randomly from the tripod.

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And then even more randomly:

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…until we finally had to admit defeat – the moon was not gonna show itself that night. Stupid clouds!

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Right before I packed up, I got a fun shot of a bicycler:

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And that was it! No supermoon.😦 I did get to see the moon the next night (perfectly clear, of course), but it did not look super! Guess 1 day really makes a difference. Oh well, maybe 18 years from now!





Cat Café WIP

3 11 2016

Drew this during the hurricane and decided to scan/color it. Going for messy, nonsensical cat café. Not entirely sure where I’m going with this.

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Pumpkin Village

29 10 2016

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Happy Halloween! Have to admit, I know I’ve been MIA, and it’s honestly because work has kicked into extreme and is sucking the life out of me. E.g. I spent 5 days in Dallas last week for work, a mostly depressing time (really bad food poisoning), but on day 5 I had extra hours and said “Dammit, I’m going to do something fun.” So I risked getting murdered in an Uber (riding alone) and took myself to the Dallas Arboretum! And since it’s autumn, I got to witness Pumpkin Village!

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Sadly I didn’t have my real camera, but you can still see how cute this is! The whole Arboretum is gorgeous and was totally worth it, but this was something I’d really never seen before.

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If you’re in Dallas now (or next year), definitely stop by! Will try to post more Arboretum pics later; for now, gotta get ready for a Halloween party. Cheers!





Lanterns

12 09 2016

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New painting based on a photo I took in San Francisco. Not sure if it’s finished or not. I HATE the area of the bottom left of the building, but that’s more or less what the photo looks like, and I’m not good enough with architecture to make it up (hence another “no rulers or measuring” painting.) Here’s the full piece:

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Thought I’d include some process pics:

So, I below are these crappy old paintings I had sitting around (and ref photos). The blue one is an underpainting of a potato plant. Was going to be a potato forest. Will be painted over. The purple one was an assignment for a non-art class in college (a painting of a painting) and I have always hated it. I gessoed over it, and it became the lanterns!

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Here are some underpainting levels:

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Then come the lanterns!

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And so forth…I think I should do more traditional stuff.





Pika Pika

30 08 2016

Not even playing Pokémon Go, and it’s got me all nostalgic about Pokémon. It had been like 20 years since I’ve seen it, but that Pikachu is still so stinkin’ cute!! All I’m sayin’ is if they made a show with the characters aged up, I would totally watch it. Much nerd.

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Fun with Hue

17 08 2016

Playing with my Wacom tablet again – selfie with slightly larger-than-life eyes. My quick attempt at a random space background. Then in Photoshop wasting all kinds of time with effects. Effects are so fun!!

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The last one is my favorite for this pic: difference clouds!
And now to stop procrastinating and get back to a real painting…





The Tower on Iron Mountain

10 08 2016

Should have titled this “Bok Tower,” but Iron Mountain makes it sound more dramatic! Bok Tower gardens is just south of Orlando and is a beautiful way to spend a few hours on a sunny day. I first and last went in high school, so it’s been quite a while since I’d visited.

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The gardens charges reasonable admission and includes an eatery, visitor center/museum, the gardens themselves, and Bok Tower (which you can look at but can’t actually go into). The area actually *is* on Iron Mountain, which seems like a misnomer if you know anything about Florida (a perpetually flat land), but it really is the highest point in the state. They charge an additional fee if you want to tour Pinewood Estate – more on that later.

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This is the area right by the restaurant and visitor center  – pretty like everything here!

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They’re doing a bit of new construction right now to add some cool stuff: a kids’ area, outdoor kitchen, and an edible garden.

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This is going to be worth another visit when finished! It looks like it nearly is:

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…and the edible garden:

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check out this okra! Now, saying “edible garden”… I don’t think you’re supposed to just pick and eat things, but I anticipate they’ll use this stuff in their outdoor kitchen. Some yummy looking eggplant:

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And look who we found amongst the veggies!

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After that we began exploring gardens. They have some trails and some sections (e.g. wetlands). Ultimately, it’s not a huge area; you can see the tower from several points:

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It’s also not too far to walk to Pinewood Estate:

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Honestly, I didn’t know this was here. We completely missed it on my last visit. If you paid for the admission, you get a ticket and can line up for a tour, about every 15 minutes. The initial portion had a guide but after you can roam around, except you go on a directed path, and there are attendants in most rooms that will give a speech or else be available for questions. Luckily, they do allow photos inside!

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I’m excited they did, as most estate home museums in America don’t.

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I think the docent described it as “Mediterranean Revival” style, but am not sure. I was paying more attention to taking pictures.

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They had this one super narrow staircase that was pretty cool:

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You can walk around outside the house too and see its gardens.

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I read a book that featured a moon garden as a major plot point but had never seen one, so I was excited about this:

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However, they said it was never finished, so I guess I still don’t know what a moon garden really looks like.

After that, it was clouding up so we made a beeline for Bok Tower itself. On the way and leaving Pinewood, we saw some cool trees:

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Winding our way through tree-lined paths, it didn’t take long to reach the tower.

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Truly, a beautiful and unique Florida icon. Its carillon bells ring at different times of the day. Like I said, you can’t go inside but can get fairly close.

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I didn’t get a good picture of it, but the pond is filled with koi fish.

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A sundial, truly cool. The whole thing is ornate.

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My favorite part might actually be the ironwork for the gate in front of it (there are gates to a bridge that crosses the moat surrounding the tower). It’s both creepy and cute:

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And now to prove it really IS above sea level:

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The view down the mountain, behind the tower:orange groves of Lake Wales. Oh, and a little local denizen we came across:

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Bok Tower is definitely worth a visit. If you don’t live close, you can easily combine it with a visit to Orlando or the surrounding area.🙂

 





Peacocks!

19 07 2016

Been saving the best of my Charleston trip for last! I might be just a *little* obsessed with peacocks. Up until this trip in fact I thought they would make awesome pets, but I learned they can be louder than heck! So Middleton Place AND Magnolia Plantation both have peacocks. It’s amazing.🙂

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Below, the super loud peacock call you can hear from like a mile away:

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And then the adorable female peacock resting on a stagecoach:

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So far these peacocks have been from Middleton:

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These next guys are from Magnolia:

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Gotta love ’em!





Magnolia Plantation

13 07 2016

Just 4 miles down the road from Middleton Place is Magnolia Plantation. Compared to Middleton, it’s more crowded and landscaped with more flowers. They feel very different, and I think both are worth visiting.

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Admission to the house is separate, and we didn’t go for that as we only had a few hours there. Even without the house, there is plenty to see wandering around the gardens – that’s the bulk of what you go to see.

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The thing about Magnolia is that it has some of the most gorgeous bridges – some people were doing wedding shoots on them, and it’s almost impossible to get clear shots with all the people in general (not to mention hard to get a sweeping shot when you only have a 50 mm lens!)

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…and in looking for all the bridges, you might stumble upon some more beautiful things like this gazebo:

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…or this carved tomb:

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Then there’s the Peacock Café (roof painting below), an outdoor situation with sandwiches, hot dogs, and similar. And yes, peacocks really do walk around it!

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But most of the peacocks stay in the petting zoo, which was an amazing experience! You’re not supposed to pet the peacocks, but they wander around close to you, so you can get some great photos (more on that later!), plus there are deer wandering around (and yes, you can pet them!), and feed is available for purchase.

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Some other animals that are in cages, like this white squirrel (below), or a pot-bellied pig.

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There’s plenty more there, but our visit had to be brief. Definitely a place to stop by if you find yourself near Charleston.








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