Wow, 13 days to Halloween and 13 days left in the Inktober Challenge. Today’s prompt is ponytail and I decided to have a little fun today with…..a pony!
Yeah, I could have done a girl with a ponytail but I thought it would be more fun to draw a pony. A happy little thing with a big flippy tail. Usually I am trundling along, trying to make the prompts fit my Little Witch series. I was going to do my Little Witch series but then I just started playing with different things in my sketchbooks and I moved on to other ideas. I have to say I have been having fun pulling ideas from my head but that’s part of the whole Challenge.
Being since today is the first day of the 13 days of Halloween, I am playing with working on a side project to the Inktober posts. I have a prepped sketchbook but since I only want to do 13 days plus maybe Dias de Los Muertos, I may just make one just for this quick side project. The prepped one I have has more pages than what I want for this side project. I also have to run our truck to the dealer for it’s 15,000 mile maintenance today so we’ll see how far I get with that.
Our sweet little Chloe had her oral surgery yesterday. She needed her teeth cleaned but since she’s getting older, some of her teeth needed to be pulled, too. She came through the whole procedure like a champ. The vet we are using now is very good and said that Chloe did very well. Their process is very safe and the vet explained that if there were any issues, they could pull them out of the anesthesia quickly. I feel much better that she had her teeth cleaned. We tried to do the “awake” cleaning with Chloe but she gave the techs a tough time. Maybe now that the bad teeth are out we can try it again. It takes two people to do Chloe’s nails so we’ll see. As tiny as she is, she’s tough and wears you down. She’s such a diva.
Mack did the “awake” cleaning with no problem at all. They said he was a very good boy. He also gets his nails trimmed like a good boy, too.
It’s Day 18 of the Inktober Challenge. Today’s prompt is “scrape.” Another word with a multitude of ways that it could be represented. To be honest, I was thinking about just scrapping today’s word after streaming Episode 9 of the House and Dragons last night and just shouting “DRACARYS!!! DRACARYS!!!” on paper as my reaction to that episode. We were a day behind because my husband was simultaneously watching the Eagles kick Dallas outta Philly, and the Yankees hanging on to win to stay in the playoffs, on Sunday. A lot of sports going on around here.
The one thing nice about football is that it keeps my husband busy so I can work in my studio without being interrupted. The Yankees and Phillies being in the playoffs are just icing on the cake at this point. GO PHILS!
Getting back to scrape, for some reason a scrape across the blackboard was my inspiration today. I thought of scraped knees or scraping pans, walls etc but for some reason that God awful scraping of chalk on a blackboard seemed to be a good and obnoxious way to represent “scrape.” Maybe I can “dracarys” that teacher tomorrow for screeching the chalk.
So we are obviously Team Targaryen in our house. So at this point you probably know who we wanted burned. We were Team Stark in the original Game of Thrones. We used to have a Game of Thrones Iron Throne that I made for my husband’s birthday 5 years ago but we sold the house where it was and we left it there by accident. Oh well. I can make another one. Anyway, I don’t care who’s playing this coming Sunday, we’re watching the Season Finale.
We are still pissed about the whole Jon Snow thing being left high and dry. That’s what happens when you don’t finish writing your book series and you leave it up to two TV writers to finish it for you.
It’s Inktober Day 17 and today’s prompt is salty. One word with so many ways to represent it. I opted for the good old fashioned Philly pretzel. There’s nothing like a hot Philly pretzel straight out of the oven, slathered with brown mustard, spicy or not, I don’t care. Philly pretzels are amazing. Delis and shops, food trucks and food carts all over the Philadelphia region sell Philly pretzels. The best are the salted ones but you can get them unsalted.
I know, some of you like the Auntie Anne pretzels. Yeah, those are dessert pretzels. Philly pretzels are a savory dough, they taste like a hot buttered roll, not a rolled up doughy cookie. Philly pretzels are sort of like a twisted bagel with salt. They are usually a long shape, not your traditional round pretzel. They aren’t like the Bavarian soft pretzels you get in gastropubs this time of year. Once you try a real Philly pretzel, you’ll understand the difference.
Philly pretzels straight out of the oven are hard and crispy on the outside. The inside is soft, bread like; some folks like to pull out the soft inside and eat it like an oreo, soft inside first then the harder outer crust. (Or if you are in a schoolyard, the inside dough balls are used to bean someone in the head. Only Philly kids could use soft pretzels as a weapon.)
I think some of the pretzel companies ship them around the US. I haven’t tried that yet but maybe I should. Some things like Philly pretzels, cheesesteaks, hoagies, scrapple, Irish potatoes, Taylor Pork ROLL (it’s not Taylor ham, it says ROLL on the box) and Jewish Apple cake are best when acquired in the Philly Region.
Oh, and the piece de resistance? Birthday pound cake from Stock’s Bakery on Lehigh Ave and chocolate from Lore’s Chocolate on 7th St.
And I am not a fan of Pat’s or Geno’s cheesesteaks. Those are for tourists. Some of your best cheesesteaks come from the neighborhood bar or deli. Or Jim’s on South Street. My favorite place is Somerdale Deli. In South Jersey.
The middle of the month is here, if you don’t count the fact that they are 31 days in October. It is the 15th day of the Inktober Challenge and today’s prompt is “armadillo.”
Armadillos are these odd creatures that most of the time, Floridians see them on the side of the road as roadkill. The poor dears. However, if you are lucky enough to see one live (they are nocturnal like opossums so most of the time you have to be out at night to see them), they are really cool little creatures that like to wreck lawns. They are funny looking and cool all at the same time. They are very busy rooting around for insects and such. They totally don’t seemed to be phased by humans unless they feel threatened and then they roll up in a ball like a pill bug.
They crack me up. They really do look like they are wearing armor. They are a “look don’t touch” creature because apparently they can contract leprosy, which is gross. Humans can get it from them so I am really cool with letting them root around the property as long as they do their thing without me getting involved. Whatever they catch and eat is theirs.
Wildlife in Florida is fascinating but a lot of creatures are “don’t touch.” They are either poisonous, dangerous or endangered so it’s best to take the approach of taking photos and letting creatures live without being harassed. I’m cool with that. I love observing nature and the only time we get involved is when their lives can be threatened, like gopher tortoises on busy roadways. You’d be amazed how many Floridians stop traffic to help a tortoise cross a highway. Most folks just stop and wait until the tortoise is safely deposited on the side of the road and the person is back in their car, and then everyone continues on with their day. Gotta love the wildlife.
The prompt for Day 14 is “empty.” My Chihuahuas, Chloe and Mack, are very food focused and empty plates are a cause to create a relentless nagging until they get their next meal. Because Chihuahuas can get hypoglycemic, especially as puppies, our dog children are fed small portioned meals spaced out three times a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Chloe and Mack get my hubby up early for their breakfast. My husband used to get up early to commute into NYC and he still wakes early because of it. The dynamic duo sense his sleep pattern changing and they are on him like flypaper until he gets up and feeds them breakfast. Usually some drama of coughing and sneezing like they’re on their last breath. They’re dying because they are thinning by the minute until they get breakfast. Then that wakes me and we’re all up at 6AM. They get fed, go out to go potty, and are back in a coma while we have to try to fall back asleep again.
When we cat sit our grand kitties, the two kitties used to be upset about being with us until they watched and studied this whole drama. They learned that Chloe and Mack wake up the humans for food. Which is cool because when the doggies get fed, the kitties get fed, too. The kitchen becomes chaos when the kitties are here. Then, they go home, and treat their mom, my daughter, to a whole new and unwelcome AM feeding schedule.
That tail, tale? all told, “empty” has a different meaning in our house than those without animal companions. Empty means someone’s belly requires filling. And God help us if there is a chicken or turkey in the oven! They know and they become relentless. Chloe will sit in front of that stove until the poultry comes out.
Today is Inktober Day 13 and the prompt is “kind.” I almost pulled out a KIND bar for this one. We have two different types of Kind Bars in the closet and my first thought was to sketch one of them. It would have been fun. I can still do it even though I already did this sketch first.
I thought of “kind” as people being nice to each other. I have these two little dolls in studio that I often use as inspiration and I chose them for today’s representation of “kind.” The girl doll is giving the boy doll a flower and the boy doll is giving the girl doll his heart. Usually it’s the other way around but sometimes hearts don’t work in the way they normally do. I have these drawn as cats but I am not sure if they are cats or mice or what. They could be dogs. Either way, they caught my attention this morning so they are my prompt inspiration.
I can’t believe we are nearing the end of the second week of October. Time just seems to zip on by. We didn’t buy a pumpkin yet. We found out the hard way if you put them out too early in Florida, they become mush in a week. When we used to live in the Northeast, pumpkins could last outside until Christmas if they weren’t carved and the squirrels hadn’t found them yet. Once the squirrels found them, they got “carved” pretty quickly. The squirrels were pretty devious about it, too. They would eat the side that was hidden from view. We usually discovered the “crime” when we put up the Christmas lights and the pumpkin was being removed due to the holiday swap out.
Whew! Day 12! Almost halfway through the month. Wow, October is blazing by!
Today’s prompt, “forget,” was a little tough since the concept could be a little abstract or could be an expression or even a verb action. This one almost stumped me a little. I had to give this one some thought about how I could represent this and that’s where I went back to Rodin’s “thinker.”
Usually when you forget something, you turn the house inside out to find that item you may have misplaced, because maybe you forgot where you put that something. Or, you forgot a date or appointment or even a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. You know that feeling that you get when you know you should remember something but you can’t put a finger on it? Like Neville Longbottom with the Remembrall? It could be something like that. (Or damnit, where did my cell phone get to now?)
One of the old traditional icons for remembering something was a string around the finger. Remember that? Today, we are more likely to put a reminder on our phones. I thought about showing that, but sort of felt that the phone reminder was a little “sterile” because it was technology.
Then, when I thought of the “Thinker,” I thought that maybe I could show a human lost in thought, maybe that thinking was a struggle to remember something? I know many people have their version of what the Thinker is thinking, some enlightenment or something really important, but maybe he was just trying to remember something he forgot. So I used his body language, slapped clothes on him, and he became my illustrator for today. Ironically, he has a post it on the wall that says “Don’t Forget.”
Forget could be so many things. At least I didn’t forget to do this post or my sketch, LOL.
Today’s prompt is Eagle. Our National Bird. Eagles are really cool and I have been lucky to see many eagles in the wild. One really good place for eagle spotting is Assateague Island, VA. Actually, the whole MD/VA Eastern Shore is a great spot for eagle watching. I was driving to Chincoteague down Snow Hill Road and and eagle flew right in front of my car. Talk about a close encounter and a near miss. I had to swerve not to hit it.
I have seen eagles in NJ. One eagle pair used to stalk the wild cats near my office and would pick off the kittens. Sort of ironic how birds are usually prey of cats but the roles were reversed here. Eagles are opportunists, LOL.
We used to have a place in Villas, NJ, where along the Delaware bay, eagles would hunt off the beach. We had to make sure we our chihuahuas were on leashes and supervised at all times so they wouldn’t become dinner. The eagles would sit on the sand by where the bay was when the tide was out. I was always fascinated by that because I didn’t expect them to be on the sand. I guess they felt safe out there because not too many humans would brave the mud that had to be waded through to get out there.
Here in Florida, I have seen them in Port St Lucie near the Savanna State Park. I have also seen them in the Lake Placid area of Florida. They are BIG birds. I have heard that their nests are the size of a king sized mattress, but I don’t think I ever seen an eagle’s nest. Plenty of Osprey nests, but not eagles, as I can recall. I guess I am due to see one.
Today’s prompt is crabby. I went for the crustacean although I imagine some folks may go with a cranky person. I am fond of crabs, both watching them in nature, and the consumption of the Blue Claw persuasion. We used to catch blue claws when my kids were younger. I remember measuring them to ensure they were the correct size. My kids were really good about measuring and tossing back the females and smaller crabs to ensure we had more crabs the next year. Or even just later in the season.
Land and Ghost crabs, on the other hand, are pretty awesome to just watch. I am really amazed that I have seen ghost crabs on every Eastern seaboard beach that I have been to, and that’s quite a few. I have seen ghost crabs on Fire Island, in NY, at several beaches like Cape May and Sea Isle City, and Wildwood, I have seen them on Assateague and on the Outer Banks, (where kids run around the beach at night with flash lights, playing flash light tag with the crabs.) I have also seen them here in Florida. I have seen some pretty cool land crabs along the coast in Jamaica. I don’t remember if I saw ghost crabs but Jamaica definitely had the land crabs digging holes in the grass.
Today’s crab is one I saw on the beach here in Jensen Beach. We were sitting out one evening and this little fellow was doing his thing as the sun was setting, so I snapped a few photos. I love how they dig holes in the sand and how some crabs try to steal another crab’s hole and then there is a little scuffle while that gets sorted out. It’s like, really Dude? Dig your own hole. Ghost crabs a re pretty awesome.