Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's a Snake!

Over the years, my family had a lot of pets.  This was mostly because of my sister.  

This means that some lived well past the age that anything should be alive, and others dies really horribly.  I have a thousand stories about guinea pigs, birds, dogs, cats, fish and so on...  

This post is reserved for snakes and rats... and a gerbil. 

That poor gerbil. 

For snakes, we had Trent, Lilith and still Wally.

Wally is a Western Hog-nose and he has lived WAY LONGER than they are supposed to live. 

He looks like this: 
Trent was a Burmese Python.   He got to be about ten feet long, I think, before we realized that we couldn't really take care of him, lest he eat the other animals.  

He was named for Trent Reznor of NIN and at one point bit my mom in the face.  

Mom was fine.  

I was terrified. 

Lilith was a Ball Python and you can actually read about my special relationship with her here

Mom has always been fearless when it comes to the snakes and actually takes them in to show her students.  


One of them got stuck in a couch at one point.  It was one of those fold out bed couches.  

There was an adventure getting the snake out.  

In any case, at some point, we started breeding rats to feed the snakes.  I don't know if this was always on purpose, but either way, we wound up with too many.

This was partly caused by late bloomers.  

See, we'd separate the male from the female, but every now and then there would be a male who's balls hadn't dropped yet, and we'd think it was a lady rat:

Until he was going around screwing his mom, sister and aunts.

Even before the breeding happened, I was getting accustomed to hating snakes based on the fact that I didn't like worms and I loved rodents.  Rodents are fuzzy and cute and don't do this: 
It became a common thing when friends were over or just because my sister assumed I'd want to watch this happen.  Since I had trouble talking in a clear enough way to make a point, I'd just kinda suck it up and cry as I sat for the show.  

I remember being extra confused because my sister took great joy in feeding the snake, but claimed to love the rats too.  

She was such an animal lover that she was a member of animal rights groups and talked about throwing red paint on fur coats.  
(Which would actually be really stupid because a well kept fur coat can last for generations, whereas someone who had one already would probably just buy another one if theirs was ruined, so those animal rights activists are actually murdering more creatures every time they do that.  Just saying.) 

Eventually, one of our snakes started to tire of rats.  That was how I got my pet rat, named for the star of Willard. 

See, my family put the rat in the tank with the snake, but the snake did nothing.  

They drank the same water and just kinda hung out for a few days.  The rat would even sleep on top of the snake. 

So, the snake moved on to gerbils for a bit.  

And once, my family fed the snake two gerbils at once.  

The snake ate one while the other looked on in horror.  

 ...and then it freaked out and ate half it's own tail off. 

Well, the tactic worked, because the snake didn't want anything to do with that gerbil.  I called him Frodo from then on out.  

It gets worse.  

My family had no sense of what torture really was, so they set up this gerbil to also be a pet, having been rejected as food...  

And put the tank right next to the snake. 

Before all that, we "briefly" had a Garter snake and a Grass snake.  
...We don't talk about those much, as one was a little traumatic for my poor father.  

There was tape involved.   It was a learning experience.  


I'm not a fan of snakes. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rowyn Answers: 4: Gouache


What is gouache? 


The technical definition is apparently "A method of painting with opaque watercolors mixed with a preparation of gum."  I find this definition unhelpful and lacking, so lets add to that.  

Gouache is a word which has too many vowels. 
Gouache is like working with watercolors but being able to go back in and work with a piece hours later, like oils.  The colors are vibrant, which reminds me of acrylics.  
The paint is expensive, but a little tube can last a very long time if one is using them more like watercolors. 

So, it isn't automatically transparent and can be used without thinning it out.  An artist can choose the opaqueness of the paint pretty easily.  Sometimes the colors lighten when they dry and then can be layered or not in stages.  This can be a much thicker paint than other types of paint.  

Gouache is what artist Alex Ross often used for his famous superhero portraits. 

I'm not as good with gouache as Alex Ross.  
My dancing girls are done in gouache: 

To compare, here are a couple things done in watercolor:
 Watercolor pencils:

I have no idea if I answered your question adequately. 

Deddrie Update

Some of you may have noticed that I hadn't posted a Deddrie comic in a bazillion years. 

I go through bouts of drawing them and then chunks of time where nothing happens.  The worst is when I've drawn a bunch, and then lost the originals... then found myself having to either create them again, knowing I might find them... Or just not bothering.

Guess which I do most?

I FINALLY had a giant, three page Deddrie professionally scanned because it was too big for my scanner.  I PAID to have this done and it wound up more expensive to scan it and email it to myself than to have a print made.


And then, when I went to post it... 

No site.

Completely down.

We had moved the site over from one host to a less shitty host, and in the process, things got a little garbled. 

So right now, there is a thing saying that Deddrie isn't home right now...

BUT the Cornsbrook Killer WILL BE BACK
and there will be comics once again at!

I promise.

Stuff will happen and it'll be even nicer than before.

...Though the oldest comics will still be fairly illegible and I'm still not bothering with my font and and backgrounds... I'm still a lazy shit.

BUT there will be COMICS!  

And I'll post here when the site exists again. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Adventures in Fabric: Tops Down!

Continued from last time, I'll start off with a fun fact. 

Want to spruce up an old tank top?  Cut out the crotch of a new pair of tights or slice off each leg to make sleeves:



 You can even cut thumb holes...

Next up, a friend of mine gave me a T-shirt that is wonderful but was huge on my teeny tiny body: 

 It still needs to be hemmed and cleaned up, but this the dress I've made from it so far: 
Not bad for not knowing what the Hell I'm doing, right?  


HOKAY.  Last on this list today is the awful, too big turtle neck I never wear: 

Becoming a warm cut-out T:
This was taken before the last bit of cleaning up and sewing around the chest holes, but you get the idea. 

Sleeve detail: 


EDIT:  Why haven't I posted updated pictures of these?  ...  Still not doing so.  
Oh well. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adventures in Fabric: Bottoms Up!

Okay, so it's true that I do sew, and I like creating stuffed animals and I do occasionally attempt altering clothing.  
Soon, I'll be attempting a dress from a pattern.  

This is scary.

So, in the meantime, I'm showing you other successes and failures in my wardrobe!  Yay!

To begin with, PANTS.

First, we have a pair which I had loved to death.  GIANT holes in the knees of these ultra comfy pants upset me.  They were also covered in paint, which happens to everything I own.  

For a while, I was wearing pajama pants underneath them, but they'd bunch up and be a pain to get on and off.  

I decided to just cut the Hell out of the pajamas and sew them underneath to the pants themselves as patches from the inside: 

Then (and a little before) I used fabric paint to make a bloody horror look, like someone had sliced off my knee caps.  

Next up is a pair that fit me reasonably well, were cheap, and I was bored...

So I sliced them up on purpose, added the fabric paint from both sides as "blood" and stitched them back together with thick, black thread.  Zombie pants! 

 A better look:
 The back:

Finally (as far as "horror pants" go), there were pants on sale that were normally pretty expensive ONLY because they came with pre-made holes.  I determined that there would be no reason for such holes unless they were bullet wounds, so this occurred:

 Really finally, the Bat-Pants.  These pants were also well loved and full of holes achieved in battle, and the patches are just cut outs from really soft men's underwear.  I had bought them for a boyfriend who didn't want to entertain me by wearing them, so I repurposed them:  

I have too much time on my hands! 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lovey Dovey, Except That I'm A Loon

Now, it's true that in past "relationships" I've been known to blame things on myself that were not my fault (See: Every single post about a year ago and that whole year prior) and I often forgave people who probably should have just been cut right out of my life.  

And then I came back home. 

These days, I'm fully aware that I deserve better, and I've watched myself move past a fairly fucked up set of trauma symptoms.  

Don't get me wrong here, I still have some and I will always have some things to work through, with and around.  
That does not mean that I cannot live my life the way I want to live it.

I've also become a little paranoid, assuming that I must always be wrong about people and no longer trusting myself.  I'm working with that.  
The fact that I'm actually pretty content (besides not seeing most of my friends NEARLY enough) means that I'm somehow more afraid.  

Having stuff to lose is scary for me. 

And then there is Rob.  

My other housemate is also endlessly sweet (and single, ladies!) but for some reason his sweetness doesn't freak me out besides making me feel like I should be baking him cakes or something.  I don't know.

But Rob...  He freaks me out.  
He thinks I'm pretty in the morning: 

And he makes sure that I actually eat: 

He is TOO nice to me and kind and open and I have trouble believing that I deserve that.  

I spent so much time getting settled in the idea that I was being treated poorly for a reason, that it is now hard to feel anything else.  

When I'm crying for no reason or having a panic attack or whatever comes with being me these days, he is calm and comforting and supportive.  

Sometimes, I wonder if he really understands what is happening: 

He actually, openly wants to spend time with me.  
He doesn't want to hide me away as some embarrassment like so many other people have in my life.  
He doesn't call me crazy, and does not let me call myself crazy, even when I'm doing incredibly crazy things.  

That being said, he is also really excited to see me, all the time, beyond what might be normal.  
This works, because he and I are both pretty clingy with each other, and we both know to give each other space when needed.  

On days where, with anyone else, I would have just hidden away and hope I survived, he texts me when he can't be there...

 ...and holds my hand when he can.  

I am not yet used to that. 

I'm sure it makes everyone around us ill, but I'm too thankful to hold it back. 

It's only four months in, and we've seen each other every day.  I'm sure this will wear off eventually.   


...Or, we'll be like my parents, and that would be nice too. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wishy Washy Dishwasher

Our dishwasher was wonky and poorly placed when we moved in.  

This was our sad dishwasher:    

I had to hip check the damn thing to close it.  I had bruises.  

This was either because there was no slab of wood beneath it, and so it drooped into the empty space, OR it was too big and so they removed the slab of wood.

Either way, without that wood there, there was that GIANT, dusty, grimy, GROSS EW EW EW empty space for bugs and monsters and all sorts of things to hide:

(For the record, cleaning up, getting organized, spraying the Hell out of everything and caulking up the place relieved our squatter-roommate-cockroach problem.  They were coming up from a lower apartment and now they fear us.  :-D) 

Because it was off kilter, the dishwasher would take a while to right itself on the inside and would make horrible noises while it struggled. 

I was previously unaware of the noises, as I normally have headphones on while I play stupid games:


But this time I was headphoneless AND it happened to also vibrate the ground:

So, my totally sane response was:

I called my sponsor friend Dani to explain that I was about to fall through to the first floor and die. 

It was then that Dani and I determined that the dishwasher is, in fact, a dragon.  Dani then drew this to express what the dishwasher was trying to articulate:

Another fun fact is that when the dishwasher is running, nothing else can be.  It's not that nothing else will turn on, so much as that if you want to say… put something in the microwave…


All the lights go off.  Power goes out.  Total darkness besides, for whatever reason, the clock on the coffee maker.  

This is particularly problematic now that we've set up the office (read: has a lot of shit plugged in) in the room with one outlet that is, for WHATEVER REASON shared with the kitchen. 

Then the biggest bedroom has three outlets, one of which is almost to the ceiling. 

…We have high ceilings. 
(And wall nipples.  What are they?  Were they something before?  There are two of them in the bedroom.  …I don't?  Wat?) 

I don't even understand. 

There are bullshitilly placed outlets in the living room too:


That's above the TV, if you can tell.  ...Basically ceiling. 


Next to the radiator.  Does that seem completely unsafe to anyone else?

Anyway, my Knight got down on the floor and fixed the dishwasher issue.

He also fixed the tile:


So now that one rebellious tile actually looks nicer than any of the crap around it:


We just rent here, so screw making the entire thing all nice and shiny. 

I may still turn the dishwasher into a dragon (with completely removable parts, of course) much the same way I turned a toilet into a creature once.  

(See: Showers, Baths, and Referring to Poop Too Many Times

If I do, you internet cats will be the first to know.