Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Here’s Nine Green Things I Love!

What better way to appreciate a day of wearing green than to celebrate things that are green?
It was hard to narrow down the list, but here are nine green things that I find especially cool:

1) Portrait of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s Monster, by Basil Gogos.
The Monster is my favorite of the “classic” monsters. I find the original movie so heartbreaking. Basil Gogos was an American illustrator best known for his portraits of movie monsters which appeared on the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, and painted these characters in an amazing array of c Continue reading


30-Day Dinosaur Challenge: Favorite Theropod!

Oh, for heaven’s sake, could there be an easier answer for me?

I have several art challenges going at once…when I feel like doing one, I pick up that sketchbook, and I may not go back to it for a few days. I go at my own pace.


(Here is a quick lesson on theropods.)

The general public not being total dinosaur nerds like me,I suppose most of the general public learned what a carnotaurus was once the Disney movie Dinosaur came out. I am happy to say I was made aware of it much earlier, back in the early 90’s, when I was in college. I found a bookstore downtown at my school that had some discounted book out front and found this great kid’s book called A Gallery of Dinosaurs and Other Early Reptiles, by David Peters. It is still one of my favorite dino books because every dinosaur or other reptile in it is pictured in a group of its peers, to scale. And with kids included so you can see, if you’re a kid, how you compare with the giants..or the shrimps! Anyway, this was my first look at Carnotaurus.



Holy smokes, what a horror of a face.


I instantly loved it.

Once Upon a Challenge, Days 1–4

I love looking for month-long art challenges online, and filling up new sketchbooks with them. Drawing every day has immensely improved my drawing within the past year; however, with so much drawing going on I had to slim down the products I draw in.

I am a blank book and notebook hoarder. I love, love, love blank sketchbooks, notebooks and journals, and I know I am not alone as I have found dozens of websites of people with similar afflictions. I have a lot of small hardback sketchbooks which I thought were going to be perfect for my art challenges, and I may still use them, but…saving them afterward is the hard part. I also archive everything, and all those hardback sketchbooks take up a lot of real estate on the bookshelves after a while. It was a difficult switch, one I took kicking and screaming because I loooove looking at my shelves and seeing actual books I filled up, but in the end I have switched mostly to booklets. The main ones I use are Fabriano(made in Italy) notebooks. They are slim and staple-bound, with forty pages–just the right size for a month-long challenge without a lot of pages left over. The paper in them is acid-free and a nice shade of ivory, and the binding, even if stapled, seems very well put together. A very nice brand of notebook to be so inexpensive.


Our Last Visit to Disney, 2015!

This is a rehashing of a post from an old site. But it deeply involves yetis and dinosaurs so I decided to fish it out and re-post!


Steve and I got married in October 2000 and had our honeymoon at Disney, so we go back every year for our anniversary. Over the years we have traveled there solo and also with many friends along for the trip. This time we took pals  Karyn and Joanne along!Note: I have been to Disney World so many times, that I now take pictures with a bit of a theme. This trip, I was looking for everything Halloween, creatures and monsters, and I was not disappointed. Hopefully you won’t be either! Enjoy!



Stopping at the Florida border. I’ve got Clipper and Crunchy with me!


The first thing I do when we get to our hotel room(in this case our usual Ramada Gateway Inn room) is decorate for Halloween. This is quickly done with window clings on the mirror that I got on Halloween clearance the year before.



Then I put out whatever toys I’ve brought. In this case, Clipper the Spinosaurus, Crunchy the Carnotaurus, and Horward, my new My Pet Monster! ( Yes, that’s “Horward”. scroll to seven minutes in in the clip for hilarity!)

My photos jump all over the place, focusing on things strictly Halloweeny and monstrous.

And we’re aboard The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios! Looking at zombies in the Egyptian temple!

My favorite shot. They don’t seem too wiggly till you try to take their photo.



And now, suddenly, I am at Animal Kingdom, looking at Halloween merchandise. I was especially intrigued with the Hitchhiking Ghosts dish towel.


Still at Animal Kingdom, I am now in the Asia area, taking pics outside of the Expedition Everestride. While I actually love this ride, I do not ride it any more because it really affects my vertigo. So, while I wait for friends to ride, I enjoy the immense amount of scenery so painstakingly added all around this area. It totally transports you to a mystical place…



There are carved and sculpted Yetis everywhere.




As well as depictions of other creatures…possibly a yak at the top.WP_20151011_079

Not quite sure what this little hook-nosed guy is but he’s terrific!


The areas to queue up for the ride, as well as the gift shop, are supposed to look like an outpost, where you get supplies and ready yourself for your “expedition”. 😀


The Forbidden Mountain.

Even though my vertigo is too bad to ride the ride anymore, I love Expedition: Everest.
But something has always bugged me…I have read a lot of articles and watched many documentaries about Mount Everest(I still can’t really explain my fascination), and I would always look at the ride and think, “That doesn’t look a thing like Everest?”. NOW I KNOW WHY.

The ride’s mountain is a model, not of Mount Everest, but of the Forbidden Mountain, which was created specifically for the ride. Totally fictional location. It is guarded by the yeti in the story created by Walt Disney Imagineering that revolves around the attraction. Everest is actually present, however.  It is represented by the barren background peak on the far right, which is made to seem far in the distance in forced perspective. (see red circle) Now THAT looks like the north face of Everest, also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in Tibet as Chomolungma.

Tada! Mystery solved!




Some Japanese tourists copied me after I took this photo. 😀


Sooooo much great stuff in the queue for the ride. Prayer flags, offering places, and statues and statues and statues and pictures and masks, and…wow.








The interior also features a sort of Yeti museum, which gives you plenty to view while waiting in line.WP_20151011_193




There are also plaques referring to the “lost” expedition, in which the Yeti apparently mangled a few unworthy climbers..WP_20151011_197

Masks depicting animals native to  Asia are shown in these cases.


Respect the Power of the Yeti.


This is the focal point of the gift shop at the end of the ride. Amazing.




Oh, and he has a few friends, too!WP_20151011_065


Dozens of beautiful and dreadful masks gaze down at you from the ceiling.







I literally have stood in this gift shop for an hour looking at everything.

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On to another part of Asia! Now I am at the Maharajah Jungle Trek, going into the Bat House, home to many fruit bats!WP_20151011_087

First thing you see upon entering the bat House are these cool kites on the ceiling.WP_20151011_089


In the bat viewing area, the room is further decorated with carved bats,


An example of a bat house,WP_20151011_093

A poster of pollinators,WP_20151011_094

..and other informative posters about the usefulness of bats.

Sadly, there was ONE bat to view and I could not get a good photo of him. A Cast Member explained that it was the bats’ mating season, and the males(mostly) were all fighting so much that they had to pretty much take everyone off display temporarily.


Heading over to DInoland, I stopped for a pic with Lil’ Rex (who was in my purse the whole time) to send to Steve and let him know where I was. The rest of our group was still at Hollywood Studios but I had wanted to bail and spend more time at AK.


Outside Chester & Hester’s DIno-Rama I took a pic with my big beloved goofy dino friend.


He’s so old school and friendly. I just love him.WP_20151011_042

Next I trekked over to my ultimate favorite ride, Dinosaur!!!!!!! And I always dig the three posters outside by William Stout.WP_20151011_043WP_20151011_044


Then I shared a kiss with the velociraptor fountain…


Mr. Stout also did the immense painting of the carnotaurus  in the gift shop photo area, and I LOVE IT.




Stout’s Styracosaurus is beautiful too. It’s not often you see huge paintings of your two most favorite dinos right next to each other!


There is a large prehistoric turtle “skeleton” on the ceiling. A protostega.


And I purchased one of those horrid latex dinosaur toys they have hawked all though Dinoland as long as I can remember. I used to hate them, now I love them. I already had the alioramus; this trip I was ready and raring to purchase the carnotaurus. But all stores and kiosks were OUT. The cast members said they had been fresh out for weeks. Damn.So, I bought the goofy-looking tyrannosaurus, which doesn’t even appear in the ride but I guess they thought they needed to include it in merchandising.

Anyway, had to get a photo of him with the replica of Sue out front of the ride.


I named mine Dorky, and we quickly went and had lunch together since I was starving. I bought some funky little pasta bowl and sat down to people watch for a while.


Lil’ Rex came out to meet his new sibling. Fortunately they seem to have a lot in common. Stubby arms, unite!


I got my food here. Love the octopus..


I noted that my cup had some Halloween graphics…

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