Cute Pup & Custom Pet Portraits

A while back, I was contacted by the lovely Jaclyn, who asked me if I would paint a portrait of her cute little Boston Terrier, Marty McFly (as a huge Back to the Future fan, I acknowledge that to be one of the greatest pet names of all time). I have done plenty of pet portraits as gifts, and a few as commissions, and it's definitely one of my favorite artistic things to do. So of course I was more than happy to paint the great Marty!

I'm such a cat person and I almost obsessively draw Lily, so it's good for me to get some practice painting dogs every once in a while. I'm really proud of how this little guy turned out! It didn't hurt to have so many great personality-filled photos to use for reference.

I enjoyed painting Marty so much, I decided to make a "thing" out of it; now I am offering custom pet portraits in my Shop. These would be great gifts for any pet lovers, or you can get one of your own fuzzy friend. If you're interested, be sure to check out the listing for your own Custom Pet Portrait.

Custom Pet Portrait
I also added a bunch of brand new prints, and some original paintings as well. I'm trying to branch out a bit, since I've only been selling prints and a zine, so I'd love to hear from you guys about new items you'd like to see. Totes, buttons, stickers, cards, or anything else you'd be interested in. I have been looking into making jewelry featuring my art, I just need to figure out where to find some pretty settings for brooches, necklaces, and the like.

Speaking of new things, I made a load of buttons in all shapes and sizes to use for linking to Ghosts Waltz if you are so inclined, and you can find them here. Also, look at the new and improved Bloglovin button I made on the right sidebar, sorry to be a nerd but I totally love it!

Win Books from Chronicle

It's time again for the Happy Haul-idays Giveaway from Chronicle Books! For the second year in a row, one lucky blogger will win up to $500 worth of Chronicle books. To take part, you can create and post your own list of books to win, up to $500 worth, and enter your link here. One reader who comments on the winning post will receive the entire list of books too! So even if you don't have a blog, you still have a chance to win by commenting. This year, Chronicle is being extra awesome and also giving $500 in books to a charity of the winning blogger's choice. The last day to submit entries is December 2nd, so get to it! My list is pretty similar to the one I made last year, with a few new reads.

Dress Shoppe by Brigette Barrager
Paper + Craft by Minhee and Truman Cho
Miette by Meg Ray
Handmade Hellos by Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle
Ramayana by Sanjay Patel
On Tender Hooks by Isabel Samaras
Frida Kahlo: Brush of Anguish by Martha Zamora
Decorate by Holly Becker & Joanna Copestick
Fantastic Plastic Cameras by Kevin Meredith
The Kittens of Boxville by Ryosuke Handa
Cartoon Modern by Amid Amidi
Weirdo Noir by Matt Dukes Jordan
Anna Sui by Andrew Bolton
Silhouette Art by Vana Chupp
My Milk Toof by Inhae Lee
Pirate's Log by Jory John and Avery Monsen
Vunce Upon a Time by J.otto Seibold and Siobhan Vivian
Chuck Dugan Is AWOL by Eric Chase Anderson
Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Other Observations by Jeffrey Brown
Porch Parties by Denise Gee
One Love by Cedella Marley, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

Grand total: $496.78

If I were to win this wonderful giveaway, the charity I would choose is The Pajama Program, an organization that provides new pajamas and new books to children in need. Many of the children served by the program are abandoned or abused, and are living in group homes or shelters.

For anyone who might want to create their own list, here are a few Chronicle books from my own collection that I absolutely love. They're all so pretty and full of great design!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Be sure to show me your list if you make one. Good luck to everyone!

Thank You Kitty

This year has definitely been a long one, with plenty of less than pleasant surprises along the way. Fortunately, I have this little space to help me focus on all of the good parts. The brightest spot of all is the fact that this handsome guy is still around, and is doing quite well. We've been worried about him for such a long time, and I think it's finally okay to breathe a sigh of relief.

I am so thankful for my little purring furry-faced fellow, and I am especially grateful for all of the support I found here, through your encouraging words and thoughts, as well as your contributions to Lily's hospital bill.

As a small thank you, if you plan to shop online to avoid the ridiculous crowds and find something a bit different, please use the code THANKYOUKITTY for 25% off any order from my Shop from now until the 28th. I am planning on adding some original paintings and maybe some other odds and ends starting tomorrow. To my friends in the States, I hope you have a wonderful and cozy Thanksgiving, and to everyone else, I hope you have a lovely night!

Honey & Coffee

It's been a while since The Honey Trees have played a show, so I was excited to finally get to see them again last night at Kreuzberg, Ca, a coffee shop and used bookstore in San Luis Obispo. We got there early to grab good seats, and I found a very comfy little blue chair (I want one just like it at home!) while Jose scoped out the huge selection of books.

The decor is quite a bit more "hip" than we are, haha.

I'll never tire of listening to The Honey Trees play; they're always amazing! I'm looking forward to their new album so much, I can't wait! Such beautiful music. And they're such wonderful people as well. Make sure you watch their cover of "Moon River" that's all over the internet.

No Doubt Obsessed

With Gwen Stefani having released her Harajuku Mini line for Target yesterday, I started thinking about the years of my life spent obsessing over No Doubt. I distinctly remember listening to Tragic Kingdom over and over as a preteen, while my mom and I took down the wallpaper in my room and painted the walls, laying the foundation for what would eventually become a wall-to-wall No Doubt shrine of epic proportions (there are photos somewhere but I haven't been able to find them). I collected every single clipping and piece of memorabilia related to the band, and either pasted the clippings into a notebook or taped them to the wall.

I collected full-page articles and photos of the band in a special binder. My school binders were covered with Gwen, Tony, Tom, and Adrian for many years. In fact, it was one of those binders that prompted Jose to say his first words to me in high school, "Cool binder, I love No Doubt!" I guess you could say that the band brought us together, haha.

Gwen was very influential on my style growing up. My love of having pink hair definitely comes from Gwen. I accumulated a couple of weeks' worth of No Doubt tees. I even bought a few bindis as a teen, but never actually wore them.

So far, I've seen No Doubt in concert three times; once opening for U2, once headlining, and once at an outdoor performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Though I've been less excited about the band's music since the release of Rock Steady, I would love to see them again when they tour for their upcoming album. I have never been a huge fan of Gwen's solo music; I enjoy two or three of her songs at most, but I continue to admire her style, and I do like some of the products she has released under her L.A.M.B. and Harajuku Lovers brands. For our anniversary this year, Jose bought me a pair of Harajuku Lovers headphones, which included a sweet little carrying case. For my birthday, my cousin gave me the "G of the Sea" frangrance, which smells so beautiful and comes in the most adorable mermaid Gwen container.

Most of pieces from the Harajuku Mini collection are too bright and busy for my taste, but there are a few things I thought were cute, so I went to Target yesterday out of curiosity. I can usually fit into kids' tops without much of a problem (my wedding cardigan was from Target's kid section!), but even the XL tops were very tight on me. The non-clothing items were either gone already, or weren't out yet, so I left empty-handed. Here are my favorites...

Are you or have you ever been a super-fan of any sort? Do you have any huge clipping collections? I'll have to share more of my old binders soon; it's funny looking back at all of the old interests I still hold onto today.

Cats & Cupcakes

Just a few little peeks at the past few days, including a few of my favorite things, cats and cupcakes! On Friday morning, as I was about to head out the door, I spied Lily relaxing on the window sill in the bathroom. Of course I had to take a few pictures.

Cold weather is officially here (it hailed on Friday!) so it's time to break out the space heater, since the actual heater in our place has been broken since we started living here, unfortunately. Hopefully we'll be getting that and our badly clogged sink taken care of soon. Sweeney always likes a front row seat for the heater.

Caught up with my favorite reanimated damsel. Also watched the Kenneth Branagh version of Frankenstein, for an altogether different and slightly disturbing experience. Yikes.

My mom has been out of town for the past week, and on her way back, she picked up some cupcakes to bring back and share, yay! I dropped by yesterday after she got home, and we split all six flavors.

Tart Cranberry Chardonnay

Chocolate Maple Marshmallow


Chocolate Malt French Fry

Lemon Cream Pie

Chocolate Blackberry Syrah

I think my favorite would be Tart Cranberry Chardonnay; I loved the sugared cranberry on top, and cranberry filling. The Chocolate Malt French Fry was so good too, the tiny salty french fries on top were such a nice addition. They were all so delicious though, I have yet to try an Enjoy cupcake I didn't care for.

Today was a bit of a lazy day, since my neck and shoulder pain is still sticking around, with a headache thrown in for good measure. However, I did manage to do a commissioned painting for Jose's colleague's birthday. Also, I forgot to share that I received the super-spiffy premiere issue of Rock N Roll Bride Magazine, it's so pretty!

Lily and Kat's kitty Henry look so much alike, I had to take a picture of Lily reading the magazine. I think he would like it, if he knew how to read. Speaking of Lily, Jill of The Dapper Toad has created the most adorable cat charms for her Shop. She offers pre-designed cat charms, or you can order custom charms! I want one of Lily soooo badly! I would want one of Sweeney too if he wasn't such a jerk, haha.

Jill is generously hosting a giveaway where you can win one of her kitty charms, and I am crossing my fingers, toes, and whatever else I can cross, to win a teeny tiny Lily to carry around with me like the crazy cat lady that I am. I know I'm not the only cat lady around here!