Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Big Drawing, A Liebster and a Versatile Blogger

Because these kind (and highly intelligent, certainly discerning, deeply perceptive and invariably beautiful and undeniable talented) women thought of me while casting about for nominees for the Liebster and Versatile Blogger awards, it's more than high time for me to thank them. By tardily-but-sincerely responding ... as much as I'd like to send cash.

Anyone reading this, please click over to their respective blogs because they are always excellent reading.
Sue at A Colorful Canvas  ... "Orange Crush"
Veshoevius at The Taxonomy of My Wardrobe ...  "Flamenco as Fashion Trend"

(Where, by the way, you can see them interpret a very difficult color in two entirely different but seriously successful ways via their current posts! What a great serendipitous collaboration that morphed into a tutorial!)

So, without further ado, and in chronological order ...

The Liebster 

Sue honored me with a Liebster Award back in February ... and part of that is to answer some questions. They were:

Katharine Hepburn or Audrey Hepburn?
     Impossible question! I'm physically like neither, but admire both for similar reasons. Kate had a highly individualized, often boyish style of dress, Audrey was the ultimate lady but could wear anything. Both were highly talented and prolific women. Slight advantage to Audrey because she was married to Mel Ferrer, on whom I bestowed my first childhood crush when I was about 8, just after seeing War and Peace.

Summer at the beach or winter on the slopes? 
     Neither. Grew up at the beach, so been there, done that. Don't ski well, so that's out. The ideal summer would be spent traveling in Europe with huz Dan ... that has yet to happen, but anything is possible. Yes. I believe that.

If you could be any character from a Disney movie, who would you be?
     Another deceptively difficult question, Susan. Disney has a character for every cultural archetype imaginable, in every possible variation! But I'd have to go with Tinker Bell from Peter Pan. Who wouldn't want to be a delicate fairy creature, immortal, whizzing around Never-Never Land? Truth is, though, I'm much closer to Jesse the Yodeling Cowgirl from Toy Story 2.  Ouch.  Sigh.

What is your perfect Sunday afternoon?
    Champagne-loaded brunch with my huz at somewhere wonderful, a little shopping and an art museum or two, ending with dinner with the huz at the best Japanese restaurant in the world. Not much to ask, is it?

Chocolate or Lemon?
Chocolate always, except for fish topping and in iced-tea.

Are you content to sit in traffic, or do you feel compelled to find a jam-free route?
    We don't have traffic in Arkansas. Arkansans think we do, but we don't.

Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?
     Reading, by a length.  I must read every day, and have at least one book going (it's a compulsion) but I don't get to watch as many movies as I'd like ... I'm an old movie buff, and love the new ones.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you choose?
      Almost any era could be fun, but I'd have to be rich as Croesus. It's not fun to be poor in any era.

What did you have for lunch today?
     One slice of whole-grain, flourless bread, spread with hummus spiced with red-pepper flakes and topped with red bell pepper slices. And diet ginger-ale. That's my lunch most days.

What is your idea of a perfect picnic? Food choices and location please?
     Cold lobster, prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes in cold pasta salad, real hard-crust French baguette and cold, hard butter.  Two bottles of a really good Red Zinfandel, dark, dry and peppery as sin.  At the Shakespeare Garden at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Ca.  And a chauffeur to take us back to our hotel.

If you went on a trip and had to utilize three different methods of transportation, which three would you choose?
     QE2 ( this is fantasy, isn't it?)  horseback in Provence,  ending with the Orient Express. To the end of the line, of course.


Here are the Real Rules for the Liebster.
Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
Write 11 random facts about yourself
Answer the 11 questions written by the person who nominated you*
Nominate 11 other bloggers
Write 11 questions for the other bloggers to answer

*Instead of doing that precisely, I'm going to suggest that anyone who is interested in playing along with me should just step up and have some fun. Let's put it this way ... if you're reading this, you're nominated.

(For those of you who are scoffing right now, remember that participation makes for a great Blogger's Block cure to keep in your bloggy arsenal. Just for that day when you cannot think of another thing to write about. If you do not have Blogger's Block now and again, then you are a better woman than I am, no arguments.)

My questions for you are (and I really want to know...)

1. Do you like your fashion/style media delivered via internet-to-tablet, internet to email in-box or post office-to-mail box?

2.  If health, comfort or expense were not issues ... Doc Martins or sky-high Manolo Blahnics?

3.  Who's you favorite Doctor Who?

4.  On the same theme .... favorite Captain of the starship Enterprise.

5.  Game of Thrones or Game of the Week?

6.  If you could have pick one public figure (living or non) to be a regular reader and of your blog, who would it be?

7.  Favorite guilty-pleasure band, any era.

8.  Dog, cat, or both? Or neither?

9.  If you could have any sound wake you up in the morning, what would it be?

10. What did you want to be when you grew up?

11. Considering the current economy ... what is your fantasy choice for your post-retirement, second career?

The Versatile Blogger 

The delightful Veshoevius honored me with the Versatile Blogger Award and the rules for this are somewhat less complicated:

Nominate some other new bloggers, I'll leave the number up to you. (Or, as above, if you are reading you are nominated!)

Let them know you have nominated them. 

Share 7 random facts about yourself (feel free to share more or less as you see fit.)

Thank the blogger who has nominated you.

Add the Versatile Blogger Award to your post.

 Please let me know if you decide to play, and know that I am really interested in what you have to say! Feel free to just leave a comment here, or put your answers on your blog.  But gimme a shout.  I'm nosey.

My seven Random Facts

1.  I'm a California native.  That makes me an official Daughter of the Golden West.  I've always thought that was cool.

2.  I just bought silver patent leather, pointy-toe pumps, and they are some of the most comfortable "work shoes" I have for the restaurant.  I swear to whatever Gods claim me.  

3.  My favorite object in the whole world (besides my wedding rings) is my Kindle Fire 8.9.  If I lost it I would implode.  

4.  I prefer unpolished toenails in summer.  On me.  I just do.

5.  I have an unusually small lower mandible, and unusually large teeth.  This, as you might imagine, has been problematic.

6.  My husband is the first person, always, to read my blog every time I post.

7.   I write most of my posts on my laptop, sitting on my "command central" chaise lounge, sitting cross-legged with a black toy poodle, a white chihuahua and a hair-challenged Westie.  And sometimes one of the twin herringbone tabby-cat girls.  Not sure which one until I look carefully.  

And finally, below you'll find one of my avatar drawings that was inspired by Jess at Animated Cardigan and Salazar at 14 Shades of Grey ,  the wonderful young mistresses of their Style Imitating Art project.
The inspiration source that Jess chose was a painting by Gustave Caillebotte:

And here is my response. "Janime" ( "Javitar"?) is wearing an illustration of my own dress, with a slight alteration of the actual print to better respond to the painting. Sadly for me, I was too late to get this in with the rest of the responses (the very kind Jess may well be able to patch me in later. ) But I was really inspired by this week's project, and I got carried away.
(Know it's huge, but the second largest was too small.  Sometimes, size does count.)

Finally, I'm linking up with the beautiful and ultra hospitable Patti at  Visible Monday . She is, in fact the source of all this inspiration, so join us all there to see what's going on with many more of her fans!

Please drop in for a chat ... I try hard to get to every comment.  Love to hear what you're thinking!


  1. Jan, I really enjoy your post. I love your suggestions for a picnic and I love Janima's interpretion of the picture!

    1. Thank you, Sabine! Dan and I are going for lobster tacos today because I started thinking about lobster while I was writing this blog. Rare treat for us ... we're land-locked and in a rural are, so not much chance.
      Thank you, for reading and writing!
      (Still can't get over the mixed print you wore the other day!)

  2. Awww! My Mr V. is the first person to read my blog posts after publishing too!

    What a work of art your outfit post is today - that must have taken some time! I love the floral print!

    Thought I'd answer your Liebster Q's in the comments:
    1. via internet-to-laptop - still too old school for tablet
    2. Sky-high Manolo Blahniks
    3. Tom Baker
    4. Kirk
    5. I don't watch TV but suspect I would be an addict of Game of Thrones
    6. Susy Menkes (just kidding!)
    7. Duran Duran.
    8. Dog
    9. Birds singing and Mr V offering to make me coffee
    10. A ballet dancer and a writer
    11. Flamenco teacher and writer

    1. (Shhhhh ... don't tell anyone, but I'm doing a blog about the huz and his old-guy style sense for next VM. At 65, he's still a bit of a clothes horse, in his way. Nice that he cares.)

      Makes me happy that you liked the drawing. Tt did take a lot of hours, but a lot of time was wasted with tech problems. I should probably use real photos from time to time, but I always see a drawing.

      Thanks for playing the Liebster game.
      Tom Baker ... we didn't get consistent broadcast of the series for the longest time. I still miss David Tennant.
      Yes, Duran Duran might cause a bit of guilt, but mine is too awful to mention.

      Have a wonderful week, and hope spring finds your bit the UK soon!

  3. So fun to learn more about you. Clever, exquisite writer, elegant taste, etc. You have so much to say and I want to read it!

    1. So glad you enjoy reading here, Judith. You're always so kind to me and us all. The images you showed us from your birthday really stick with me. Actually, so many of your images are acute in my memory. That must be what they mean by a striking beauty!

  4. What a beautiful painting! Fun to get to know you better. You are a good writer, I wish I was better with words.

    Blue Hue Wonderland

    1. Thank you Ann! I'm enjoying your blog as well, and you seem fine with words. I just use a lot of them!
      Images always have a great impact, and your lovely images speak volumes.
      Still haven't gotten over those blue-grey strappy sandals from this week/1

  5. I live this illustration! So faint o learn more about you too! Your dream picnic meal sounds heavenly!

    1. Thanks, Ginny. Going for lobster today ... a rare treat, but I found a place! That's what I get for dwelling on the food image.
      Glad you like the illustration ... I haven't drawn much in years, and it's fun to get back to it!

  6. Wow, so happy you dropped by our blog! you are amazingly talented! I LOVE your drawings - they are just... WOW. Yep, you are the wordsmith and painter. I'm the gawker. Seriously happy to make your acquaintance and look forward to chatting more with you!

    XO ~Kim @ popcosmo.com

    1. Hello Kim! Such kind things to say. Thank you so much. I was so glad to see your printed skinnies and sweater as transition. I wasn't sure if it worked for me or not, but more confident now.

      I'm newly obsessed with digital painting, so I'm glad you like my avatar-outfit drawings. I'm just learning how to use this medium, and the learning curve is long. Normally, I wouldn't show a lot of my work at this developmental stage, but the VisMon women are all so accepting and encouraging! The avatar evolves, and it's fun watching her.

      Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for spring!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Laurie, o woman of many layers (sorry, had to do it.)
      Glad you like reading here. Again, hope you hear from your rescue.

  8. I'm always so impressed with your illustrations! This one is great, and I want that dress!!! I haven't been back to Animated Cardigan, but I hope Jess got this in.

    1. Thank you Val ... I'm really spending some time learning how to do this. Good that it's available now, but I would have loved this when I was in school, a hundred years ago. I'd love to go back to school just for this, but there's nothing here for too many miles.
      Yes, Jess got me in the next day. Nice of her, wasn't it? Your photo was really a beautiful response. You're lovely, and it so referenced the period so well. Extra glad to see you there.

  9. It seems a little unfair that you were bestowed such talent in both writing and the visual arts. How in the dang world do you do a graded wash on your art pad thingy...Hey, I'm good with words too, eh? Very well done, and Jess best find a way to patch you in.

    I got a real joy out of reading your answers. I can tell that a lot of heart poured into this post; I'm beyond grateful, and you must be zonked now. I fully intend to recreate the picnic lunch with the exception of location. I also now have a plan for an upcoming Sunday. Brunch, shopping, a gallery visit, and Japanese food for dinner will please both my husband and I. See, there was a method to my madness! Today for lunch I had hummus on spelt with tomatoes and cucumbers, so alas, I didn't get any new ideas there, but hey, we could happily have lunch together some day.

    Three dogs, and two cats?! I Love You! On occasion I help out animals with emotional difficulties, and knowing that you have five four legged loves, warms my heart. I also find it endearing that your husband #1 Reads your posts, and #2 Reads them first.

    California, PNW, and now Arkansas. I'm sure we'd all love to hear the story behind that one day.

    Anytime you want to chat, you know where to find me.

    Hugs, Sue xo

    1. You are the kindest of women, Sue. I'm really flattered and gratified that you like my stuff. Your glowing outfit and Veshoevius' firey flamenco dress together inspired the "double" response.
      Yes, in point of fact, you do fine with words! (The thingy isn't just for art ... it's my Kindle Fire. Not really meant for what I do with it, but it's got to do quadruple duty on my budget!)

      So happy I made you hungry! Us too ... Dan's taking me for Lobster Tacos while we're shopping for the restaurant. Tomatos and cucumbers will make a great change ... gotta pick some up today!

      Oh, Sue ... not just three dogs. Those are just the little ones! Seriously, we live in a very rural area, and so many people drop of strays in our little whistle-stop town. They make a beeline for the restaurant, of course. Can't take them all, but we try to get the ones that hang out situated. Local animal control is barbarous and beyond mean. We have seven currently (we do have a place for all in our large fenced yard, and some bigger kids live mostly outdoors during the day and fine weather.) Don't get me started about the cats ... but you can imagine.

      This is, along with the restaurant staffing, why we have not been on vacation for 16 years! Might find help taking care of one, but not all!

      So happy you're out there! If we EVER get back there, I'm SO taking you kids for dinner!
      big hugs,

    2. Brightest Blessings to the two of you! Angels, you both are! xo

  10. Jan, I just love your witty writing, and your beautiful artwork! You are seriously talented!
    Congrats on your awards! Well deserved!
    Now, for my answers to your questions:
    1. Internet to email.
    2. Monolos, of course!
    3. Don't know that show....sorry!
    4. Captain Kirk! Didn't all the alien females fall in love with him? haha
    5. Game of Thrones.
    6. Grace Kelly.
    7. Whitesnake. I still remember their video with Tawny Kitaen. My hubby does, too!
    8. Dog!
    9. Crashing waves
    10. Interior designer
    11. A farmer! Gotta eat!
    That was fun!

    1. Sorry I'm slow getting back to you! Busier than usual week!

      Thank you for your always supportive and invariably kind comments. And thanks for playing the "Eleven questions game".
      Yes, I can sure see Grace Kelly as a regular reader ... in fact I think you channel her fairly often!
      Whitesnake: oh dear, that is a guilty pleasure! But I know the one you're talking about ... and how strange is that?
      Have a great week ... so happy I could give you even a little bit of fun.

  11. Congratulations Jan! I am a huge book worm - I tend to read 2/3 books at a time. My goal in 2013 is to read a little more classics. I just started with Uncle Tom's Cabin and I am so sad reading this story but it's so well written and told. I can't put it down. I haven't converted to Kindle or ipad reading yet - just love holding my books.


    1. Thank you, Alice. I always learn something when I visit you in your garden! I really identify with your sense of style.

      And I have to point out a couple of things about the Kindle (I can't really justify the extra monthly costs of internet connections that iPad needs. My Kindles are all free connectivity.)
      First: you'll miss your hardcopy books for about 1/2 second. I was a really resistant purist, until I figured out that I could have both. I have gone pretty much digital, but I know lots of folks who use both traditional and digital.
      Really. I would not kid you about this!
      Second: You have no idea how cool it is to take your entire library, every periodical, every photo, every MP3 and as many personal documents as you want ... everywhere you go. Everywhere. And it all fits on a single Kindle Fire pad, 8.9 inches or a 6" Kindle reader. Either will fit in all but the smallest evening bags. And that has got to at least appeal on a style-level!
      Third: I just looked up "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at Amazon, and there are 68 digital editions for you to choose from, many of them FREE ... as in really, truly no-cost, pay nothing. As are many of the public domain classics. Just click, wait a few seconds and BOOM ... you're reading. And it belongs to you, forever.

      Nope, I don't work for Amazon ... I'm just hooked. I just have to go on and on about them to my peeps who read a lot.
      I'm actually going to re-post this at your site so I know you had the opportunity to read it, in case you don't check back.

      Thanks again, Alice, for reading and writing.

  12. Oh, I love your drawing/painting for SIA. Fabulous. You win, hands down. I have no idea how you do whatever you're doing or what you're using, but that's okay. And congrats of receiving the award too. Love what you're eating.

    1. Awww, serious thanks to you, Pao. Means much coming from you, especially. This took longer than it might have if I was better at using my drawing program. There are kids (hipster generation, kind of...) out there making MUCH better paintings than mine on wee-tiny smartphone screens. I'm blown clean away ... the medium is really the message here ... are you old enough to remember Marshall McLuhan?
      I persevere ...
      Lunch was good today. Again.

  13. These are my favorite kind of posts, I love getting a sneak peek into blogger's lives. And I couldn't agree more with the previous commenters, you are crazy talented. You should be writing a nationally syndicated column.

    1. And you are too kind. That kind of praise is so high it actually makes me feel a little anxious!
      Sorry I'm slow getting back, here ... busier week than imagined earlier.
      I'm just thrilled that you kids are likeing my stuff.
      Big hugs, if you like them.

  14. Love your art-inspired self portrait, Jan! And it is always good to find out little snippets of information about my favourite bloggers. I like the image of you tapping away at your laptop, surrounded by animals on the chaise longue (how romantic!) and I am especially hoping to catch a glimpse of those tabby girl cats on your blog sometime. All about the felines over here!
    You write so well, I like reading your posts very much. xxxx

  15. Awww, thanks so much, Curtise. Frankly it's not a very romantic looking chaise ... it's an old pleather one, with the curves all cat-clawed and ratty looking. It won't be as attractive a spot to everyone when the weather warms. I have a cute pic of the girls that I'll post soon ... they look like every other herringbone tabbies in the world, but they're our kids.

    Speaking of kitties, our oldest cat, Dinah, died last night. She was 14 years old, a very Siamese-mongrel. Dan buried her out in the pet/horse graveyard way out in our easternmost pasture. And we are sad, accordingly, but the rest remain to cheer us.

    On a more cheerful note, I 'm so glad you like my avatar. She evolves! Not really a self-portrait ... I'd have to make her a lot older looking. Just a part of me to hang clothes on. I do kind of look like her in the most general way ... it's just hard to draw in wrinkles with this program without making myself look worse than I do. Clearly, it was sensible to opt for younger rather than older, don't you think? That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Have a wonderful week, playing with the new camera!
    And thanks for reading and writing!

  16. I love the painting! Remember, art is referential, not literal. Don't change a thing about it. I'm chomping at the bit to do one of myself - hope I recover enough to do so, soon!

    I'm so very sorry about your cat! My dogs are my kids so I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I hope your week improves.

    Spashionista (Alicia)

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