Monday, 23 January 2017

Useless things

I'll admit, without any amount of toture: I have a love affair with pencils.

Art pencils, mind. Not just any pencils.

I love pencils. My art supplies show it. What you see above is a roll that I bought from Amazon. I'll probably get another, because I have more pencils.

Yes, even more.

So, how do you separate I Love Art from I Need Clutter, do you think? You should think, btw, since this is a small fraction of what I really have. The answer is that, as cluttered as I am, I couldn't live with my collective life taking over my whole life.

So good news for all of you, then.

Anyway, there's a new doodle on the other blog today if you're interested. For me, I stopped being interested in the blog years ago.

And you have seen already that it means half a year without a new doodle.

Ah well.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Pointless photos of the weekend:

There aren't too many today, because it was boring and foggy outside yesterday and the cats were being sedentary when I had the camera out. Ah well, here they are in their completely unedited glory:

Thanks for folding the laundry, Dee.

Somewhere down in the fog is my home town.

Circle of Bob.

Sunday, 8 January 2017


As usual, ignore the pointless photo. It was good tea, though.

Back in the days before Facebook made nearly everyone on the internet realise that it was ok to NOT be anonymous, I was deeol. Actually, I still am, but years ago that's all I was to computerland. I still have a couple of email addresses that are only deeol@... (yeah, try to get that short of a handle these days), and the two Gmail addresses that I still maintain start with deeol.

Why deeol? Simple, really. Dee from my first name (lots of people call me Dee, actually. You're welcome to as well), and Ol from my last name.

I'm nothing if not creative.

So deeol I became. Deeol when I commented, deeol when I joined forums, deeol when I became an admin for one.

Remember forums? They were great when they were still needed.

Anyway (my two fans were waiting for the anyway), I was only deeol for a long time, and that's how a few people still see me. Never mind that professionally I've been Diane Olson and, more casually, Dee Olson, for years now.

Deeol's still there, though.

Deeol still comments, even with sites that demand "real names". I'll give my full name, but still make my public comment with deeol.

Why haven't I given up on deeol? No psychoanalysis needed, really. Deeol is me, point blank. It was the mask in the days of internet anonymity, but if anyone had looked, it was a mask made of plastic wrap. I never hid behind deeol. I still don't.

It was always lower case, by the way. It wasn't Deeol, even though I typed it that way several times in this post. It was always deeol to me. And why?

Because I'm lazy. Yes, seriously.

Anyway, if you see deeol anywhere, it's still probably me. Even if I'm being Dee Olson or Diane or whoever the eff I am at the moment. I never know.

I'm still always deeol.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Me. And maybe you'll understand some things.

Yeah, I know that I don't post actual me on the blog. This post needs it, though. So here we go...

When I was five, I already didn't believe in Santa Claus. I can't remember why.

When I was seven, I tried out for the new church choir director. She later became my singing teacher and encouraged me to enter the local competition.

When I was ten, I did my last piano competition. The huge blue nervous veins on my hands gave my mother the clue.

When I was twelve, I started playing the oboe for Band. Not my choice, but whatever.

When I was thirteen, I took the only art course I was ever able to fit in to my assigned curriculum.

When I was fourteen, I was so explicitly bullied that I hated school. I'd always loved school, because I came from a family of teachers and wanted to learn.

When I was fourteen, again, the guidance councillor looked at my midterms and told me that I was going into science. I didn't argue. It seemed reasonable. I liked science.

When I was fifteen, I had about three friends because I was a nerd in a small town.

When I was seventeen, I was a nerd in a big city university. I found out that it was normal. And there was a choir I could still sing in, even with science.

When  I was twenty, I didn't know what the hell I was going to do with a shiny new degree in a tanking economy.

When I was an older twenty, I got a job at a small city nature centre. Well, I thought, at least I'll be able to use that degree a bit.

When I was twenty-three, I needed some illustrations so I admitted to my supervisor that I could draw.

When I was a bit of an older twenty-three, I decided to take some ECD courses at the local college. I dropped out at mid-term, because they were pointless. The advisor said "but you're one of our most promising students..." Yeah, that should tell you something.

When I was twenty-four I took on the task of helping my former singing teacher with her choir. I cluelessly didn't realise that she wanted me to take it over.

When I was twenty-five I entered my first singing contest in years and won my first ever solo trophy. Some voices take a while.

When I was twenty-nine I had a (small town) award winning choir, was teaching singing, and was a part time naturalist at that nature centre.

When I was twenty-nine my mom died.

When I was thirty, I was a naturalist/interpreter and drew a bit.

When I was thirty-five, I was supervising interpreters and illustrating things that needed illustrations.

When I was forty-ish, I started handling work's Twitter account unofficially, because I had the time.

When I was forty-six, I had Social Media Coordinator added to my title of School & Youth Programs.

When I was forty-seven, I figured out that this accidental life has allowed me both science and art, and that's a pretty good thing that most people don't get.

Yeah, that's it. For now.

Sing and dance and shout

As usual, the photo is pointless. I just thought that the clouds looked neat.

Anyway, the title. For years, whenever I've heard Sousa's Washington Post March my brain has sung "I'd like to sing and dance and shout now". I don't know if it started out with a children's program (more likely) or my own weird brain, but that's what the song says.

I wish it said that to everyone.

I think it would be great if we could hear a song and just sing and dance and shout if we felt like it. Without weird looks, without recriminations... just sing and dance and shout.

Wouldn't that be good? Wouldn't that make life easier?

Ok, maybe not everyone lives in my musical world. But we're all too serious these days, and that makes most of us unhappy. So sing and dance and shout when you can. It makes things better.

Even if it's just in your head.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Ok, tea

I've been holding off on buying tea, just in case my sister-in-law (there has to be a shorter way of saying that) decided to buy me tea for Christmas. She did. Here's what I've found.

Hot Chocolate: is. Yeah, it's tea, but it may as well be hot chocolate. I'm not complaining.

Apple Cider: tastes fake. A look at the ingredients shows that it IS fake. You can do better, @davidstea.

Organic The Big Chill: I've had this before, to be honest. It's pleasant.

Chocolate Chili Chai: I haven't had this from the box yet, but I've bought it. Memory says it's tasty but needed more chili to be called a chili chai.

Spiced Apple: I usually avoid teas with black pepper, since it overwhelms everything else. They've kept it low here, though. I enjoyed it.

Snow Day: another one I've had before. It's fine, and almost has something to do with its name.

Sleigh Ride: yeah, this is an old familiar. Don't add sugar to it. It's already one of the few teams in the bunch that has a sugar listing.

Alpine Punch: is good, but has nothing to do with alpine anything. Coconut?

Toasted Walnut: you do get that walnut aftertaste, for better or worse. Actually, this one's not bad.

So, overall, drinkable except for that unforgivable fake-tasting one that makes me wish that David's Tea would learn to stick to actual tea. Next up? Whatever I get to augment the current supply.

Friday, 30 December 2016


This is the time of year when, thanks to a generous gift card from my brother and sister-in-law, I generally end up with more art stuff. I say generally because last year I ended up buying beads and some other stuff and just a little bit of art stuff. Back to the art stuff again this year, though.

Are you tired of me typing "stuff" yet?

What you're seeing to the left in today's pointless photo(s) is mixed media paper, black 110 lb paper (I was going to buy an art pad of heavy-ish paper, and then it occurred to me that I could find it cheaper in the scrapbooking section. Turned out to be heavier paper, even.), a General's sketch set with charcoals, pastel pencils, and graphite (just to replace some of my stubs, really), a package of store brand coloured pencils in neons and metallics (for a change from my normal, usable colours?), and a set of Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners. That's nylon tip pens, good for writing or drawing. The picture to the right is me testing the pens to make sure none of them were dry. Oh, and I was drinking tea, obviously.

I went all art with my gift card this year partly to give myself a figurative kick in the butt. I've been lazy about art lately. It's been happening, but I slowed down a lot to give my stupid wrist a rest while it was being, well, stupid, this fall. It's an old injury that I periodically re-injure. Unfortunately, it also means that on my bad days I get a very shaky hand, because it's your wrist that controls most of your hand movements. If you're interested in anatomy, look up a picture of the human hand. There are surprisingly few muscles in the hand itself. Your wrist is the puppet master.

Anyway. Shaky wrist equalled shaky hand this fall -- still does, now and then -- so I backed off a bit to let things heal. The problem with that is that you get out of the habit. Oh, I've still been doodling (it's pretty hard to stop that) but I haven't produced much that's worth public viewing. In fact, I see that the last time I posted to my art blog it was August. I guess I should do something about that.

That's the plan. So, fineliners to convince myself that pen lines don't have to be perfect to be valid (shakes really show in fine pen, but that's okay... she tries to believe...) and pencils because I used to do a lot of pencil work and I should get back to it.

The other thing that usually helps is doing an inventory. I started one a few months ago, but got stalled. If you follow me on Instagram, then, don't be surprised if art supplies start showing up in my posts again. Photos remind me of what I have and how far I got, and if I've got the photos I may as well post them, right? That way it's not just me that knows the scale of years of buying.

Well, this turned into a post. Fancy that. Next time will probably be tea, you know. It wouldn't be the holiday season if I wasn't reviewing my tea presents.

You've been warned.
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