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Hi there, remember me?

Hi guys. If there’s anyone out there still following this blog you may be surprised to suddenly see me posting! It has been about 9 months since I last posted here.

Well to be I’ll be straight with you (and if you don’t already know me in real life I hope this doesn’t catch you too much off guard). My dad was not well for most of 2012. He had been fighting a rare cancer since 2009 and things took a very sharp downward turn in late April last year. From midsummer on we were very busy helping my mom care for my dad, attending to visiting family, and trying to work. And then in October we lost my dad. Everything after that is just sort of a blur.

So things were pretty crazy here, kind of upside down. From late summer until the beginning of this year I hardly did any gardening. That was stressful, time in the garden was my main relaxation even when working hard on it. First I was too busy with dad and family and then I felt guilty for deserting it. I’m getting back on track with it but slowly. We spent a lot of time fixing things inside the house to make it easier to take care of my dad, and now we’ve tried to put most of it back the way it was. I skipped a lot of bike rides and music too.

Even with the sad things happening in 2012 one of the best things also happened.

I used to draw. I mean I used to draw A LOT. Then not long after my dad received his diagnosis I just sort of stopped. Part of it was time – working two jobs, researching info for my dad, going to appointments, growing things (but growing things helped keep me sane). But more of it was motivation, I just didn’t feel like it. I hardly drew anything for around 2 years and I hated myself a bit for it to the point that I literally cringed when anyone used the word ‘artist’ to describe me.

But I didn’t lose interest in art. I still went to museums and exhibitions when I could, and following the work of artists I admire. Then through one of those artists I found something that sparked my will to art (yes art is a verb now, don’t fight it). It may sound very odd but what did it is a new show at Disney’s California Adventure called the Mad T Party. To sum it up it’s Alice in Wonderland characters (themed after the Tim Burton movie in heavily 80s inspired costumes) covering classic & 80s rock and contemporary pop songs. They also have DJs and a dance crew performing between bands sets. Odd yes? But a crazy good time. How did I get into it? Brianna Garcia (amazing artist I have followed for years) started posting videos from the show on her blog, and then she started drawing the characters.

And I was hooked.

I was suddenly drawing again. Characters from the show and the movie. Ridiculous things (I’m not joking half of it is just inside joke stuff). And connecting with other fans doing similar things, I was sharing art. I started sketching things around me again. I made some really good friends, and even met my art hero. I stopped getting angry when people called me an artist. When I was ready to go out again after dad was gone I started going to the show and hanging out with people again. I’m still mostly drawing things from this fandom, but I’ve also taken back up with drawing scenery around me. There’s a big portrait commission coming up, and many more things I want to do. Because of that one thing I want to do artistic things again. The biggest thing though is I met people who really helped get me through a bad time and back to my art.

Alright. So now you know where I’ve been. I’m sorry I just disappeared with no explanation. It was something I didn’t want to talk about with anyone I don’t know.

I really believe that in life you find things when you need them. I found inspiration that got me through a hard time and back to myself just when I needed it. If you’re still with me I have one favor to ask. One of the people who has helped make that show what it is, and so helped me, has a dream. He and his bandmate are working their asses off and are in the homestretch of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds they need to publish their graphic novel & album both called Mind of Mirrors. Please just check out their Kickstarter and watch their video explaining the project. It’s under 3 minutes of your time. They have just 10 days left to make their goal.

MoM flyer

If you like what you see and hear of it take a look at the backer rewards, they are offering some pretty sweet deals. But more importantly it’s funding music, art, storytelling and someone’s dream. That’s pretty a big thing. and if you want to pledge your contribution is not charged until May 4th so you don’t even have to wait for payday😀

Thank you guys for reading my rambling here. If you’re still with me after all this time it means a lot. I’m working on getting myself better organized so I can share some of the things I’ve been making the last few months, even art! Soon🙂

❤ Mary

i haven’t forgotten to blog…

… i’ve just been ridiculously side-tracked by Tumblr. It’s a crazy world in there, be warned.

just thought you should know😉

however, it has also been inspiring mad drawings. i’ll be back with a real post tomorrow.

keep making and growing!


i made… grow shelves

Over the winter I was regularly drooling over the fancy shmancy Patio Grow House (that’s a glorified mini greenhouse) from Gardener’s Supply Company. I could spend forever thumbing through their catalog really. Anyway, I cannot justify the $$$ their grow houses cost, and honestly I don’t really need a greenhouse because dude this is Southern California!

But a tad bit of extra seedling protection in the winter… and something to keep the early butterflies from unleashing caterpillar assassins on my spring greens? YES PLEASE! So back in February I began…

Two craft shelves from Michaels form the main structure. I was already using these in the garden so no extra $ spent there. The dark bands on the legs of the shelves on the right are copper tape. It had been sitting near a grass area and i was trying to prevent slugs from getting up to my plants…

Luckily when first putting the shelves together I had an idea I might want to stack them one day so one already had the connection holes at the top and the other at the bottom, and for once I stored the extra dowel pieces somewhere I could find them again! I used some wood glue for each side of the connection to be safe. Don’t think I’ll want to take this apart. Then once it was stacked the whole thing was stable, but a bit wobbly. I found a stash of old adjustable shelf standards (the metal track in some storage cabinets) that were half rusted so no one can make a fuss about my appropriation😀 Anyway, I used some teeny brass screws about 1/2″ long to attach them diagonally to the back and sides until it wasn’t so wobbly anymore.

Then I painted some wood trips to hold down the summer weight row cover that will encase the shelves.

Draped the row cover (I don’t know what it’s made of, online listing & packaging did not say. Either cotton or lightweight synthetic fabric – hoping it’s cotton) over the shelves, adjusted to wrap around 3 sides, aligned wood strips w/the pre-drilled holes in the supports, and clamped them down. Then screwed the wood strips down.

My Green Children kept pestering to explore their new home and I couldn’t resist letting them in…

And for the top it may look like I didn’t plan ahead – but I did! Glued the edge of the top fabric cover to the top of the wood strip because it’s 6 feet up and I don’t have to look at it! *Neener* I tried my own weird mix of Ja-Ary glue, but it melted away after it rained on night…. So I went back and re-did it with E6000 and that’s held.

For a few days I debated about making door for it, but decided I don’t want to keep space clear around it for doors to swing :9 I just draped another length of row cover over the front that I secure with clothespins. I almost went with sticky back Velcro, but didn’t want to buy anything and I’m not sure how long the row cover would last with the daily tugging.

Works for me! Except for one caterpillar attack after I accidentally left the front open for an entire day I have had no worm problems inside. I did get mites on my green onions and a couple aphids but a quick soap spray fixed that.

Total cost: $12 for the row cover. If you want to build one, the craft shelves only cost $5 each, and i think you could get the metal shelving standards and wood strips for around $10. If anyone builds one please show me! I’d love to see other takes on this simple project🙂

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