Wednesday, December 31, 2008

new years eve ... i keep forgetting that's today.

i was trying to find a new years meme to help me sum up 2008, but they are all lame. i don't really want to pick a song that will remind me of 2008. really i would just pick the song i last heard that i kind of liked because that was the only one i could think of, and who really cares about that? not even me. so.

2008 was a good year. nothing overwhelmingly bad happened; the worst thing is brandon getting laid off, and i can deal with that. and technically, that just happened today. i went the longest i've gone in awhile with not having a day job to go to, and although it was really awesome in some ways, i also realized that i work a little better when i have more structure. i've always kind of known that, but now i am yielding to it. i've done more art this year than i ever have before, i think. i did two gallery shows completely from scratch, lots of custom work, lots of "art in the park" things, and finished illustrating my first children's book. we bought a house, moved into the house, and are renovating it. i met a whole lot of people this year, which is a new thing for me. i think moving to irvington was one of the best things we've ever done, if only for the meeting new people thing alone.

i have high hopes for 2009. we will have a new president that will hopefully continue to raise people's spirits. i will have my new library job (i start on saturday!). brandon will get a new job and hopefully be much happier and more secure. i'm going to redecorate and move into my new studio as soon as i buy a heater fan. the craft mafia my friends and i have started will take off and be a huge success, and lots of friendships will come from it. i will continue to get my hair cut regularly (heh!). i will take mona to the vet, because she really needs a check up. brandon and i are going to have one day a week that is "brandon & candice day" because we don't do that kind of stuff any more because we are lazy; we need to get over that!!

business goals are to do at least 4 mailings a year. have one gallery show in february, and i think one in april. the work for the galleries will be work i'll begin submitting as a children's book, the first i will have written and illustrated by myself. it would be nice to find someone who wants to put it out, but if i could at least get it all together and started, that will be good enough for me! find more "art in the park" shows, create more inventory, sell more cat-erpillars!!

that is the end. i think it's time to go make some new year's chili. have happy ones!!!

my headline on facebook is my favorite. Candice Hartsough McDonald is grossed out by puke and hairballs laying around!! why aren't hairballs as lucrative in real life as they were in ren and stimpy?

Monday, December 29, 2008


i made this real quick for a holiday exchange tomorrow with my illustration group.

here is a detail:

today is brandon's first day of being unemployed. it is strange that he is down in the basement right now instead of far away.

i went upstairs yesterday to put away some paper in my flat files, and now i have this itch to make the upstairs into my studio. it is freaking cold up there right now, though, and hot in the summer. i need to get a little heater fan and it will be better. it's a lot bigger up there, and has a bunch of built in storage. i was going to wait until after we make our addition to the house, but who the hell knows when that will happen, right? might as well do it now. either way i'll have a bunch of crap to move out of the way if we ever get around to building. see?




we're just using it for storage right now, but someday hope for it to be a studio and our bedroom, maybe. i want to paint it all white, and maybe put in some lights. and since the floor is unfinished, it wouldn't be the end of the world if i got it dirty. AND there's a bathroom up there that is being neglected right now, but if i worked up there i'd use it more often.

today i begin working on my show. wish me lots of luck.

Sunday, December 28, 2008



From now until January 18th, get any print of your choice for HALF OFF when you purchase one of equal or greater value. No limit ... buy two prints at regular price, get two at half off. Buy three prints at regular price, get three at half off ... and so on!

And also, I didn't specify this in my store, but if you buy ANY item, you can get a print for half off, as long as the full price item costs more than the half price item. dig? for instance ...

if you buy a $30 cat-erpillar,
cat-erpillar for beth
you can get any print for half off.

but if you buy a $5 moustache pin,
gray moustache
you cannot get a print for half off.

ok ... go!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

cat-erpillar christmas!

merry almost christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

dear friends,

last night after i complained of the cold, God decided to play a trick on me. brandon and i were sitting in the living room around 9:00, eating dinner and watching A Christmas Story. brandon had just stood up to step outside when i noticed the christmas tree lights flicker.

"um, did you see that?" i asked. brandon nodded. "I hope the power doesn't go out ..."


the power went out for us and as far south, east, west as we could see. just up the block to the north, they had lights shining away, all rubbing it in our faces. of course, since it was so cold (-12 wind chill) and windy, the degrees kept dropping and dropping. we called up some friends just in case we needed a place to stay for the night, because we were opposed to falling asleep and never waking up. but we really didn't want to leave. it would have been such a hassle. we had to leave the water running so our pipes wouldn't freeze, so i would have worried about that, plus we'd have to pack up mona and take her along. she probably would be ok in the cold, but i would have worried too much! so we just established what temperature would be our cut off for staying, climbed into bed and piled on as many blankets as we could and fell asleep. around 2:30 it came back on, and we rejoiced! after the heat had been running for a tiny bit, i decided to go see what the temp had fallen to; when i looked it was at 50, but it may have been less than that before i looked. but anyway, we survived! apparently a tree branch had fallen onto a power line, so. thanks a lot, branch!

oh and here is this:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

have i mentioned how sick of the nacho bar i've become over the past few days? well ...i'm sick of it! which is no small feat, as nachos are in the same family as chips and salsa, which is my favorite food as you remember. but, i guess it is true that from time to time i do have to take chips and salsa breaks, or at the very least buy different brands of salsa to keep things interesting (whenever i write "brand" i always accidentally type "brandon"). i had nacho bar for lunch and now i feel gross, but we're currently waiting on a slow cooker meal to finish up, which will be divine.

it is so freaking cold in our house i can barely stand it. it is 3 degrees outside right now, and there's a wind advisory so it is basically windy in our house. we turned back the thermostat to 63 last week because our electric bill was so high for last month. i need to plastic more windows. i need to plastic the entire house. i'm wearing a long sleeved shirt, a wool sweater and a fleece that i stole from brandon. my hands are that kind of cold where they are slow to move, which is not good for coloring. which is what i am doing tonight. along with watching THE END OF THE GILMORE GIRLS. i can't remember if i have mentioned here how obsessed i have become with the Gilmore Girls over the past year or so. it started out slow. Very very slow. i would get the seasons mailed one disc at a time through netflix, and would watch it when the fancy struck. but as time went by i couldn't get enough! i needed more and more ... and then i found out my friend Amanda has all the boxed sets on dvd, so i borrowed every season i still had left to watch. i just keep watching it every time i'm sitting down to do something mindless, like coloring or sewing. episode after episode after episode. and it's been great. i feel like i know the characters. i feel like they are my friends. this creepy feeling is what this show does to you ... it sucks you in, makes you feel at home. it even makes BOYS like it. Boys who historically make fun of the show, saying it's so girly, it's so annoying. but then as time goes by they are sucked in just as much as any girl. i have seen this happen to brandon (sorry i have outed you, b), and other men who belong to other women. right now i'm on the second to last episode, which i realize now i have seen before on rerun tv. i don't really remember it, other than it seems familiar, so that is good. i hope i didn't accidentally already watch the final episode on tv last year at some point when we still had cable and not know it was the final episode. i don't want it to be ruined. i'm going to be so sad when it's over. what the heck am i going to watch when i color??

i'm going to stop scaring you with my obsessions, now. i must go continue my coloring and christmas present making. goodnight!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

i made a "nacho bar" today for my friend Jenny, and it was awesome (we used to die over the qdoba nacho bar at United meetings)! i made this salsa and it was great:

* 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 1/2 teaspoon oregano
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
* 3 tablespoons red onions, finely diced
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
* 1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, diced
* 1 (4 ounce) can jalapeno peppers, diced
* 1 teaspoon vinegar
* chopped fresh serrano peppers, to taste
* 1/2 fresh lemon, juice of

Combine all ingredients and mix well. heh.

i just didn't put in any cilantro because meijer was out, which is strange. but it was so yummy! it kind of tasted like the mild salsa from chi chi's restaurant. we had that, guacamole, citrus-marinated-then-george-foreman-grilled chicken, cheese dip, sour cream, refried beans, and mexican rice. it was a feast!

the worst thing was chopping the peppers ... my nose started to run, so i went to blow it, but neglected to wipe the pepper juice completely off my fingers, apparently. the inside of one nostril was burning up! it really sucked, and nothing would help it! don't do that, if you make the salsa. trust me.


So now I am being hit on all sides. Not only are people trying to pass the Orphan Works Act, people are now trying to make the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which is supposed to take effect in february. The Orphan Works Act, if it ever passes, will make me have to register every piece of art I make (and pay money to do so), or else it could be declared an "orphan," and anyone who fancies it can use it with no penalty, even though it is MY work. This will apply to any and all artwork, including photographs, including FAMILY PHOTOS. So, beware, if this passes, you may find that awesome picture of your kid's birthday party on the cover of a magazine because it was "orphaned" and they could use it for free.

Now the CPSIA wants to make products safe for children ... makes sense, right? Except that it requires people who make products for children to pay to have their products undergo safety testing, which is way too expensive for small business owners. Which means all those small business owners will have to close up shop (this includes: toys, clothes, accessories, ANYTHING that could be sold to or used for children). This stems back to the dumb "lead in products from China crap."

Children do not only use products that are intended for children. Children are exposed to many things that are meant for adults that potentially contain harmful materials, such as computers, etc. But these items will not be included in the CPSIA. So a kid might be able to choke on my cat-erpillar if they took a bite out of it ... so I say we should ban all solid foods, coins, anything small that may be put into the mouth and swallowed unintentionally; also we should get rid of silverware as you can stab with it, pans because you can beat people over the head with them, bicycles because you could fall and hurt yourself ...

currently products for children have age restrictions. you know "not for children under 3." why can't we make packaging that says "not tested in compliance with the CPSIA." then people could take the chance if they wanted to, or pass it up if they were so inclined.

This upsets me a great deal. I just started making my cat-erpillars again, which honestly I really do consider to be for adults, but are being bought for children. This may mean I will have to stop selling them, or else I could get into trouble.

A lot of people are thinking this act won't last long ... that after February, the loss will be felt, and someone will realize how dumb of an idea it was, and everything can go back to normal.

I have so much to say about this, but I can't form the sentences right now. All I can think about are all the successful small businesses that will have to shut down, and all the cute baby items I won't get to buy if I ever have children, like chunky knit sweaters, fleece hats, those beautiful fabric slings ...

here is some more info: check it out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


first tree in the new house. we got the tree for $5 last year at the last chance clearance after christmas at target. it still looks like a cheap tree, although mega times better than our last one that brandon's mom found left behind in one of her rental houses ... this one is leaning a lot towards the right, but it hasn't tipped over yet, so i guess that's good. christmas is weird to me, because it gives me a nice mix of skepticism and nostalgia. strange traditions most people have no idea why they follow and rampant consumerism meet nice memories of glowing lights, iced cookies, and "the night before christmas."

i keep forgetting tis the season to watch A Christmas Story. I wait allll year long to watch my favorite movie of all time. It's here! perhaps i'll pop it in later.

Lisa:"so what prize did you end up getting?"
Bart:"moustache comb. what'd you get?"
Lisa:"fake moustache. wanna comb it?"

Monday, December 15, 2008

sew much sewing

two new cat-erpillars:
"'Bears' Cat-erpillar: His mother was a cat, and his father was a caterpillar (who really loved watching the Bears play football). 'Bears' Cat-erpillar loves snuggling, playing football, and convincing people that he deserves to have just one more kitty treat."

queen cat-erpillar, commission.
"Queen Cat-erpillar: Her mother was a cat, and her father was a caterpillar (she also has distant relations to a unicorn or two). She rules over the kingdom of Cat-erpillars, where she and the other cat-erpillars have gone to escape persecution over their 5th leg. She loves snuggling, canned chicken and fish dinner, and playing with fuzzy catnip filled cat toys."

"Bears" Cat-erpillar has his own detached football! The little boy it's for really likes the Bears. Queen cat-erpillar is related to unicorns because when i made her crown, i kind of did it wrong, and it looks like it's growing out of her head instead of sitting on it, lol.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ps .......

oh man, i forgot to show you the cat-erpillar i just finished the other day!

cat-erpillar for beth

say hello! she's off to her new home, and will make a little girl very happy for christmas!

the way i am ...

there are a few more things in my shop since yesterday, so go look! only a limited amount of time to buy before christmas!!

i am having A LOT of trouble staying organized lately. it seems even worse than normal. usually a "clean streak" lasts for at least a few days, maybe an entire week ... during a clean streak i will ALWAYS put clothes away instead of throwing them on the floor, and i will take every dish into the kitchen and wash it immediately, i will make the bed as soon as brandon gets out of it, i will sweep almost every day, etc. then it will slowly disintegrate into my normal slobbiness (firefox wants me to change "slobbiness" into "flabbinesses). But lately it just all turns to crap immediately, even when i just spent an entire afternoon/evening cleaning. i turn around and it's a mess again. i don't know what is happening!! i think in an attempt to show me what i make him put up with, brandon has intentionally spread out almost an entire newspaper all over the living room floor, and WILL NOT clean it up ... a taste of my own medicine? or just laziness that i'm reading too much into? hey, i don't leave stuff around that bad in the public areas of our home. just my studio:


and this is but a small sample of the mess. this is an area that makes sense to be messy, because it's the project i am currently working on (two new cat-erpillars!). the rest of the room is cluttered with completely unnecessary items perched in precarious piles that easily tip over onto drawings i put on the floor which ultimately end up getting crumpled ...

i need to show my room more respect, but how do i learn to recognize clutter when it's in front of me? i have a high tolerance for clutter, and i need to figure out how to lower it. even though i "tolerate" the clutter, deep inside it gives me an agitated feeling. i need to access that agitation more often, because it will force me to pick up.

what do you do to stay organized? is it just something you have to be born with, or can i learn the secret?

Friday, December 12, 2008

shop update!

Hello, all!!

I spent loads of time today adding new things to my store, so you should at LEAST click and see, you know, to show your love for me. Lots of neat things are up; you may have seen them before if you've run into me at a show, but if not they are all new! I'll be continuing to add more tonight and tomorrow, so check back. Everything i put up today is in stock, even if it says "made to order." jus' so you know. they can be shipped out immediately in time for christmas, you know. in case you were wondering.

boat-serpent-side 1

Thursday, December 11, 2008


owl on branch pin

i made this tonight for brandon's aunt, at her request. it matches the owl in the picture i made for the favors at our wedding. i hope she likes this pin, she seems to be very excited about it.

also i realized i never showed you my new hairs:
this is it all blow dried after getting it cut on monday. when i let it air dry it's a lot more flippy, which i like better. but there it is. hair. after seeing this picture, i realized it looks sort of like my mom's hair cut, and she confirmed it. heh. i am my mom!

in case you are in shock that i cut my hair, please do not be. after all, this girl used to exist:
candice in grave yard

it was just growing out too too much. i've been pondering it for weeks. done! i was so nervous sitting in the chair, though. i kept having to take lots of deep breaths, trying to reassure myself that it's only hair, after all.

enough about hair. now onto the food. tomorrow i'm going to santorini's with my parents, and i'm SO PSYCHED. just thinking of spanakopita makes my mouth water so much. yum!

Monday, December 8, 2008

i'm trying to teach myself to like black coffee. it works mostly if the coffee is really hot ... if it starts to get cold, i start to get grossed out. making my own coffee every morning is cheaper than going out; but if i cut out all the cream and sugar, it'd be an even better deal. also, today i was out of cream, and sometimes coffee with sugar alone is just as nasty as black. so here we are.

on friday i was brave and drove all alone up to chesterton, IN to meet up with my friend Jill who lives there. in the morning we took the (hour late) train into chicago for the day.

"i can see it! i can see it!"

it was quite quite cold when we arrived. we went into the Chicago Cultural Center for a moment, and while in there Angela called from lala gallery to negotiate a possible sale on a drawing (which totally went down later!). while on the phone, nodding and saying "mmhmm, mmhmm," i unconsciously followed jill into a little gallery area where i got rudely asked to get off the phone by a security guard ... who was way more irritating and interrupting of the peace that my "mmhmm's." i felt bad to be the cell phone-bad-guy, because i am very rarely that person.

our main intention for chicago was to go to the renegade craft fair.
it was sort of miserable for us. if we hadn't been so excited to be there, we wouldn't have stayed as long as we did. since we were thoroughly prepared for an extremely cold chicago day (layered shirts, wool sweater, long johns, coats, multiple pairs of socks, etc), we ended up getting ungodly hot in there. people were everywhere, you could barely move. i got a dirty look for being too close to someone, apparently, even though, hello, what else was i supposed to do? carrying my large and cumbersome coat was no fun, and i kept thinking i would knock over someone's display ... ick. we bought a couple things (including this awesome zombie plate!) and then got the heck out of there!

after braving more deathly/icy chicago winds, and enjoying a nice dinner at the Earwax Cafe (sounds gross, right?), we went into Quimby's for the main reason of using their old fashioned photo booth:
(we're cold)

(we're gangstas)

(we're mean to each other; but then just start laughing)

(actually, we're quite nice)

and because 8 photo booth pictures weren't enough, we continued to take more with our own camera:

a quick trip to utilize a buy-one-get-one-free-coffee-coupon at borders later, we were back on the train home. it was a whirlwind, but fun!

now it is back to my regularly scheduled life. i will be waiting near my phone in case the library tells me i got the new part-time job. then life will be weird again.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

well, there's gotta be SOMETHING good right now ...

Another lemon hit today, although you never know, it could always be a blessing in some way? Brandon's Christmas present from his company is that his last day of work is two days before christmas :\ I knew what the sentence was about when he opened his mouth on the phone today (we've been expecting this for months), and I completely figured he would say next wednesday was his last day. So, at least we have until the end of the month, I guess. Well, I HAVE always wanted him to be able to stay and hang with my family for a day or two after Christmas ... doh! He usually has to get back immediately. So there is that. And the company found no loopholes, so he'll be able to collect unemployment while he looks for a new job. And guess what? No more 2nd shift! Unless he finds a new 2nd shift job ... ideally he'll find a *regularly* houred job.

Yesterday's lemon is that Brandon's grandma is very sick and in the hospital. They just found out she has cancer. So we'll be keeping her in our thoughts, and visiting her tomorrow. I'm not sure how Brandon is taking it ... he isn't extremely close to her, but he showed almost no reaction whatsoever when I gave him the news. I hope he's not keeping lots of things inside. He likes to do that sometimes.

Yesterday also had a ... lime? I guess? Or ... a cookie? Something good. I have another interview at the library. For a slightly less appealing job (read: less pay), but the man on the phone straight up told me if I got it, I'd be more likely to get the position I want if it opens up again. We'll see what happens this time ...

Here are the animals I made for the plush show at gnosis:

frank the owl

sophisticated cat-erpillar

side one:
mean cloud

side two:
happy cloud
(click any one to see it bigger ... i would suggest doing so!)

The opening is Friday night, so check it out if you can!

ALSO most importantly, if you can't make it out to the opening, and you'd love to get your hands on one of my little guys, let me know. They can be made to order! Just in time for the holidays ... hint hint!

So, things aren't going the greatest, but again they could always be worse. My parents had this same house/job situation when they were first married, except they had the added bonus of just finding out they were going to be bringing me into the world. At least we don't have that to worry about right now ...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

candice twig head shot

One of my favorite pictures from a photo shoot my mom and I had. I needed to get a head shot for my children's book coming out soon. I was trying to make it look like I was going to attack and eat the tree, but the branch broke off in my hand. This is the tree in our back yard. Brandon and his dad really wanted to clear out the low branches so we'd have a tiny bit more yard space, but I made them keep away! Besides the fact that it kind of hides the neighbor's garage (well, until the neighbor trimmed a bit that was overhanging her driveway), it will also make an awesome tree fort for any children we may have. or at least an awesome tree fort for me to hang out in when i want to go out and play by myself.

There's a little pick-up in business lately, so I'm off to work. But I just wanted to let you know about the plush show at Gnosis Store on Friday. I'll have a few things to show, so check 'em out!