Frogs! They is 'avin' lots of sex at the mo'. Iain and I were walking around the beautiful gardens at Portmeirion, making good use of the few days we have left on our winter season ticket, when we heard a strange sort of purring noise.
Perhaps a distant helicopter.... no.
Maybe a woodpecker on speed.... no.
'Could be frogs' said Iain- he's a man up on amphibians... he's known a newt or two in his time.
'Poh, it's not frogs!' said I.
Then I spied, at the far-side of the pond, some kind of a turmoil going down. There were little silvery blobs bobbing about and much watery ringage. We tip-toed nearer.
'It's frogs' I hissed, 'it's them that's making that noise!'
'What?' said Iain, 'That noise you said wasn't frogs?'
'That's the one' I said, 'I'm gonna film them!'
Just in case you need a frog spawning sound track for anything... well you never know, you can download the audio file at 'SoundCloud':
It's been a long time, I know. I wanted to keep this blog writing thingy going strong. I wanted it to flow- relentless.... like a river of conciousness, or perhaps, my style- semi-conciousness. One excuse, and a very good excuse is that I've been mega busy... with illustration work, which is brilliant. But the other excuse, and this isn't a good excuse, is that I've been tweeting, yes I have- like a demented budgie. Now, there is your relentless river... Twitter! Twitter is like Tumblr but in a crowded room. I mainly tweet images... I use Twitter as if it is Tumblr... Twumblr, perhaps. Any way this is getting away from the thing... the subject of time, or rather the lack of time to keep this blog flowing. I made a scary decision today, to take a vacation from the big Tweet machine and actually get some bloomin' work done and perhaps write the odd blog post. Is this odd enough? So as of tonight, all the way over, across the vast seas of time until 20th of September, I shan't even sneak a peek at Twitter. It'll give my mouse wheeling finger a well deserved rest. I'm lovin' the Tweetage but it does become a bit of a time sucking addiction. Addiction, yes, I'm feeling the pull! Get thee behind me TweetDeck!
The randomly placed words above are my effort at writing a blog post about nothing. End of :)
I shall of course be tweeting this.
I'm a little stressed at the moment. I am wearing a very large and heavy hat... it is the hat of looming deadlines, decorated with feathers of dread expectation. This hat is rather exciting and impressive, but I'm not sure how long I can wear it before my knees buckle under the weight and I end up looking foolish.
I'm working at my usual rate... that of an arthritic sloth. I've never had so many projects on the go and in the wings. It's great really, but my fear of letting publishers down haunts me in the waking hours of the night.
At the moment I'm working on a book crammed with ink line drawings... oh, so many! Well, I've reached the halfway mark... just another 60 pages to go!
I bought a really cool PS toolset to help me through, from a clever chap called Frenden. He has made my life so much easier... lovely guy. Whilst I do make most of my PS brushes myself, I just couldn't get the ink-pen right. But Frenden did get it right and I really bless him for being such a clever chap. If you click the image you can go and get yourself a groovy PS toolset too. Or just go and check out his awesome art.
There are other projects sitting on my desk like un-walked dogs, hungrily eyeing up my grand hat. Soon, my lovelies, soon!
I did all the artwork digitally. The computer is an illustrator's true friend, I ain't lyin'... I don't ever want to go back to conventional paint and paper.
The Real Rags
Rags (c. 1916 - March 22, 1936), born in Paris, France, was a mixed breed terrier who became the U.S. 1st Infantry Division's dog-mascot in World War I.
He was adopted into the 1st Division on July 14, 1918 in the Montmartre section of Paris, France. Rags remained its mascot until his death in Washington, D.C. on March 22, 1936. He learned to run messages between the rear headquarters and the front lines, and provided early warning of incoming shells. Read more about the real Rags
I have a list in my head, a list of things that have to happen or come to an end, or start, and until all these things have occured I cannot reach a state of grace. The problem is I never seem to reach this imaginary plateau of peace, because each time an item on the list in my head has been ticked another two are added on. I'm sure I'm not alone in this... I think it's called life.
A little while ago I wrote on this blog that our car had been written off, due to a young lad unable to control his missile/vehicle. It was parked outside our house in a layby so we were not injured, thank goodness, and the 'bringer of crunch' was unhurt thanks to the wonder of airbags. But our lives were thrown all about in the 'car crash' that is- getting the insurance sorted out. I have to say our insurance company are a bunch of incompetent crazies. I shan't go into the details of the farce that ensued... I'll just say, I've learnt a lesson - if it is at all possible in the future I shall steer clear of large companies. It seems to me a large company is basically a random collection of computers that don't seem to connect to each other, being operated by uninterested phone operatives. All I will say is that we had to collect our cheque, when it finally arrived, from the holiday home, nextdoor.
Three weeks after this exciting episode, another young lad careered into our telegraph pole and lampost, taking out our internet and phone. Yippee! More excitement! It was on the Saturday before a bank holiday, of course so we had to wait a week before BT fixed up a temporary line. The new posts will go up in a couple of weeks. We live in a valley... so there's no mobile reception. Iain took to writing letters. How Austenesque it seemed... he, sat at his escritorio, wielding his quill (Oo, missus!). Sadly we didn't have any pigeons, ravens or owls, so he was reduced to using the Royal Mail.
Hey ho, another day, more things added to the list, a few more ticked off. Life goes on, and we muddle on through. :)
This is not an advert, but it sounds like one, and I apologise for that. It's just me trying to convince me that I've made the right decision. What decision? The decision to join the Adobe Creative Cloud. Access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom desktop, mobile and web, plus feature updates and upgrades as they are available, 20 GB of cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration, and a Behance ProSite. I saw the special offer- just under £8.78 per month for the first year and I thought, hmmmm. Considering it's over £300 to buy a hard copy of PS Cs6 and around £100 for Lightroom, I don't think it's a bad idea. I guess it's like having a car on a leasing agreement. I'm getting a whole year of the latest version- PS CC with Bridge plus Lightroom 5 for £105, with immediate updates and upgrades.
Package also includes, PS Cs6 with Bridge, An, Co, In, Rf, Exchange Panel Cs6, Extendscript Toolkit CC, Extension Manager CC, Gaming SDK 1.3, Scout CC and Touch App plugins. You can download them all, or just as and when you need them. It allows you to download to two main computers, so Iain can have access to it all too (Iain is smiling).
True, the price on the second year will double, but when I reckon up how much we spend in the coffee shop each month- it's really nothing to pay £18 per month for a program that is crucial for my work, that I use every single day, that both of us use for our photographic hobby (tell me how many hobbies cost so little). Hell, I can add it onto my taxable outgoings! All these years I've been struggling with PS7, well, now I have the very latest and next year it'll still be the very latest! It feels pretty good :)
Ask yourself, how much do I spend on films, on my mobile, alcohol, on fuel for trips I don't need to take...
Right, that's me convinced ;)
Our car has died :( Or to be more precise... it was killed. It was sitting, minding its own bumpers and wheel arches, outside our house, when- shooooosh BAM!!! another car smacked into it and wedged it up the wall!
No one was hurt... so it doesn't really matter.
Now we're looking out for a Daihatsu Foutrak, so we can get up those forest roads. The trouble is we've yet to haggle with the insurance guys... that'll be fun:(
I've just had a good look through all my photographs and I haven't one picture of the Passat... I guess that means I didn't really warm to it, even though it was a fantastic drive and totally reliable. I think I might feel differently about a little jaunty jeep. Plagued with rust and challenged by the motorway though it may be... it'll surely have more character and take us on wilder adventures... well... that's the plan... we'll see. Watch this space.
Iain and I were summoned to the dentist yesterday... just a check up. Luckily our dentist is very near to Llandudno and so we allowed ourselves a grand day out at the seaside. We were thoroughly entertained by the work going on on the North Shore. I filmed the dance of the dozer and digger, and the dumping of stone from several large lorries...
Iain and I took a trip to Aberdaron today. In Saint Hywyn's graveyard I found a tiny, raggedy slate headstone. In memory of I. R. Evans, aged 28, 1808. And I thought- his or her headstone may be small, but amongst all these grand and polished stones, fearful memorials, cold reminders of death, this lichen covered tooth is somehow beautiful. I wondered- was I. R. Evans poor or unloved, or perhaps both. There's no word of love on this little stone. I imagined the tangle of bones beneath me as I lay on the grass to take a photograph, and apologised to them for taking the liberty. I don't have a memory of I R Evans, but will remember the beautiful little headstone that marks his or her untimely death. RIP - I R Evans.
So here goes, my first post. I'm not actually typing this, I am using my graphic tablet to write- my 'Tablet PC input panel'. I'm not sure that this is any faster than typing. It's definitely much more stressful.
I'm back on the keyboard. Gosh, another wonderful way to waste time... 'Personal handwriting recognition'. You can train your computer to recognise your handwriting... whooo hoo! I once spent several days training my computer to recognise my voice, so I could dictate into a microphone instead of using the fast, practical, amazing invention that is a keyboard. The poor old PC never really wanted to get to know me... it might have been all the blurry thumping swearing that went on. If only I could get back all those wasted hours. I like my keyboard. It's small and neat and cordless... its keys don't rattle. It does exactly what I want it to do. Lovely Keyboard... sorry I flirted with Tablet's writing abilities... I promise I'll never forsake you. You're the only one for me!
A warm hello to whoever is reading this. Welcome to Petra's blog. I'm an illustrator of children's books. And I enjoy living in North Wales with my wonderful partner and fellow adventurer, Iain. I have kept and killed numerous blogs and websites over the years, joined several social sites and then left again, sometimes within a day. I am totally wayward in my web-ish ways. And here I am again blogging random stuff. Will I keep it going for more than a month? Do I care? No! Would anybody ultimately care? Definitely not!. But anyway here goes....
mydododied on Tumblr...