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ImageLast week we went on our first cruise ever, which I have referenced in a couple of my posts, but I enjoyed going back to our room every evening to see what the stewards had left on our bed.  Every night on the cruise the stewards had left a towel animal on our bed with a couple of chocolates.  Carnival Cruises apparently are known for these towel animals.  The stewards have to go to class to learn this technique, and they even sell DVDs with instructions on how to make your own animals.  They really were cute, but one night the animal they left still has me stumped.  If someone can tell me what it is I would greatly appreciate it.  I had no problem figuring out the elephant, pig, and dog, but what is this?  Hopefully, someone has the answer I seek… till next time…

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Earlier this month I started doing a drawing a day for thirty days, well with the cruise and everything else that was going on my plan fell apart.  I did get a few drawings done, but decided I will make sure I do something in my art journal daily, whatever it may be, so we will just go from there.  The pictures included in this post are the ones I was able to do while on the cruise.

Now when it cmeanddonkeyomes to the cruise, I thought I would give everyone a few tips that I wish I had known before the trip.  We were on the Carnival Triumph, so I can only attest to what I found out on this trip, so other cruise companies may be totally different.  Here are my tips for a wonderful cruise:

  1. Bring a pair of very comfortable shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking, and I do mean a lot, from just getting onto the ship to the day you finally debark, you are going to be walking all over the place.  I brought a comfortable pair of shoes, but then realized how bad a shape I was in, so think getting a membership at a gym and start working on endurance would be a good thing before the next cruise. They did have wheelchairs to help you with getting on and getting off the ship, but that really isn’t an option most of us would like to take.
  2. You can bring your own canned soda instead of paying $1.95 per can or paying $10 per day for a Bubble card.  The card is a good deal though if you drink a lot of soda, but if you are like me and like an occasional soda just to change things up, it is much cheaper and easier to bring a 12-pack of your favorite soda and go from there.  Some cabins have a refrigerator, but if yours does not they do keep your ice bucket full, so you can at least add some ice to your drink.
  3. Bring your own big cup with a lid for your drinks.  I wish I had brought my big thermal cup so I could go to the free drink area whergirl12e you can get ice, water, tea, and lemonade, and then fill your cup up with ice and drink then you can carry it wherever you want.  The problem with the cups at the beverage stand is they are rather small, so once you sit down and take a sip it is time to get up and get a second cup of tea.  Also, when you go to the room for the night you only have small cups there too, and I drink a lot of tea and water during the day, so I just couldn’t seem to get enough drink to make me happy.
  4. Every night the stewards leave a flyer with the schedule for the next day, which helps immensely when you try to figure out what to do during the day.  There are so many different things to choose from that it helps to plan out your day the night before to make sure you don’t miss anything you really wanted to do.
  5. Remember that you probably will not see any of the people you are traveling with again, so feel free to wear that swimsuit or funky outfit you have been wanting to wear, as no one really cares.  Believe me, there were people on the cruise that either did not look in the mirror before they left their cabin orgirl13 just didn’t care, which I figure it was the latter.  Just wear what you want and enjoy the trip.
  6. Even if you brought luggage that is considered carry on, go ahead and check the luggage to where it will be delivered to you once the ship takes off.  We tried to roll and carry all of our luggage and it was not a good idea.  The only thing I would not check is any medical equipment you might be carrying with you and any medications you take, but other than that let the crew deliver all that luggage to your room, it will save you a lot of hassle.
  7. Don’t feel like you are on a schedule and have to do everything and anything.  The joy of a cruise is you can do as little or as much as you want.  We took the “eat any time” option for dinner instead of a certain, which worked great for us.  If girl14I wanted to see the early show and then eat dinner we had that option.  The longest we had to wait was about five minutes for a table and we ended up having the same wait staff for two of the five nights.  If you just want to sit on the deck and read a book, read a book.  Do not feel like you should fill every minute with something, as no one cares what you do except for you.  I wanted to see the shows and eat good food and that is what I did.

I am sure I will be thinking of more fun things related to the cruise and making it a better experience, but this is all I can think of at this time.  I am sure there will be more blog posts about my cruise as I think of them.  If you are on the fence about taking a cruise I would suggest start with a five day cruise, close to home, and see if you like it, as that is what we did and now we are ready to go on another longer cruise next year.  Till next time…

We got back yesterday from our five-day cruise to Mexico on the Carnival Triumph.  The food was wonderful, the crew was so friendly and the shows were great. It is hard to come back home and have to cook again.  I was looking for the buffet, dining room, or room service and couldn’t find it today at my house.  I was so disappointed…LOL… Our last day sea day was really, really rough though.  They had to cancel the big production show because it was too dangerous for the dancers with the way the ship was rocking and bumping around.  People who have never been sick on a cruise, and there were people who were on their 30+ cruise, were in the bathroom sick and not leaving their rooms.  It took me a couple of days to get my sea legs, but then actually did okay.  I do plan to take another cruise.

I will be doing several blogs about my trip, as it was my first one and there are a lot of things I wish I knew before going that I know now.  Just little things you don’t think about before you go and once you are there you can’t go home and get the stuff.  What I am going to discuss today is how not to take a good vacation picture.  I have been a photographer for years and so has my hubbie, so how this picture came to be is beyond me.  The lesson to learn from this picture is look before you take the picture.  Apparently, the ship radar tower was right behind my head and between the angle and the way we took the picture I now have alien ears.  I have these red things jutting out the side of my head and they really do look like they are part of me. Of course once I started looking at the pictures the first thing I saw was the red things stuck to my head and just started laughing, as I thought this is the perfect example of a vacation picture gone wrong.  badpicmeI think you can also tell that I wasn’t really in the mood to have my picture taken…LOL…

As far as drawing my face a day, well I got behind, but did get a few pictures done and will post them starting next week again.  As far as writing my novel, well I haven’t gotten very far with that either.  I can still pull it off, but will have to start this weekend and really do a large number of words a day.  As fast as I type I should be able to do it,  but we will have to see… till next time….

ImageI have a reason for my silly drawing.  I said I was going to do a drawing a day no matter what.  Well, today I had an outpatient procedure where they burned the nerves in my low back and I have felt kind of puny the rest of the day, plus I have a heck of a headache.  I told myself that I said I was going to draw a face every day, so that is what  did.  They are pretty sad, but they are better than nothing, don’t you think?  Tomorrow I plan on doing a better job with my drawing…

Well, my NaNoWriMo is becoming more of a NoNoWriNot… I still have over 20 days to get in action, plus we will be on a cruise most of the next week, so I should be able to get back on track and get the first draft of my novel.  I am part of the Book in a Week website where you post your goals and then the first full week of the month you have seven days to make your goal.  There are people on the list who have done upwards of 300 pages in a week, which is the equivalent of 75,000 words, not sure how they do it, but it is possible.  I guess you would call it setting your priorities…. you figure out what you want to do, set a blueprint or road map of how to get there, and then follow it.  The majority of us I am sure say we have no time, but we get caught up in our TV shows, our friends, or whatever is our time killer and then we wonder where all our time went with nothing to show for it.  I know the TV is my biggest time waster.  If I start watching a show I have to know how it ends, or I will spend the rest of the day stewing over how the show could have ended… really kind of sad in a way.  What is your time killer?  What makes you turn from your goal and waste time instead?  I’m sure everyone has one, you just have to figure out what it is and figure out how to quit doing it.  They say it takes 30 days of doing something for it to become a habit, so guess it is time to start a habit of writing… Til next time…

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I have actually made it to day nine of my personal drawing challenge…Can’t say I have done that well in getting started on NaNoWriMo.  I haven’t written a word…but I still have time to get there.  Now back to my drawing today.  I think if her eye was smaller she would actually look pretty good, other than her broken nose…LOL… I never used markers before in my faces, but now I am really liking them.  I mean on my dolls I used Micron pens for the outlining, but never the bigger tip to shade in colors.  I am really liking them I must admit.  Here at some point I need to start playing with watercolor and acrylic paint and see what a difference I can make using that technique.  

Now for inquiring minds…have you ever wondered how some of our sayings came to fruition?  You know those goofy lines you say when trying to prove a point?  I decided to start looking up the meaning of some of these phrases and thought I would share with you. 

“Bite the Bullet”  History:  During war when there was no time to administer anesthesia before emergency surgeon, the surgeons would give the patients a bullet to bite on to distract them from the great pain they would be subjected to.  They literally bit down on a bullet.  Now we just use this saying when we know we are going to have to do something we don’t want to do, but we have to put on our big girl panties and do it anyway.  Till next time…

ImageI actually was able to get my drawing done today.  It is a bit weird, but that is the way the original picture was from the magazine I used, so I left her upside down.  What I find strange is my girls seem to have an ethnic look to them, even when I am trying to make Caucasian girls.  I guess because my features are more pronounced than the photos I am using as a reference I end up with a girl who looks ethnic. Maybe once I get more used to trying different techniques in drawing women faces I can get them to look more like the person I am using as a reference.  I have never been able to make something look like the pattern.  When I make dolls from the pattern they never look like the picture.  When I paint or draw I end up with my style coming out instead of the item looking like the picture.  I guess I don’t like to draw straight lines and see things out of the box, which is apparently why I am never able to follow a pattern…

This Tuesday I get to have the nerves burned in my low back.  I have degenerative disc disease in my low back, which causes me a lot of pain.  I went through the series of injections and had some relief, although only for a short period of time.  They say instead of having pain relief for a month or less, this procedure should give me relief for several months to a year or more.  They are going to put me into a “twilight sleep” for the procedure, which means I could be awake for everything, but I am one of those who usually ends up being out for the entire procedure and then do not want to wake up.  We will see if this is the case Tuesday, and I am not sure if I really want to lay there and listen to the doctors and nurses talking, as it would be terrible if I heard someone say oops and know I am lying there and cannot do a thing about it.  Till next time…

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Okay, I have to admit my picture today has issues.  I could not get the nose to look right and then her mouth is kind of funky.  I was trying to get the face of the picture, but not sure what I ended up with.  I guess I need to realize that not every attempt is going to look good or even be presentable at times, as that is the purpose of this exercise… get better at different face angles, so I need to get out of my perfectionist mode and like the finished product whether it is good or not.  I think the hard part of this exercise is not ripping out the pages in my journal when I do not like the final result…  I really just need to get over myself.

Well, as of November 1, 2013, the event that is known at nanowrimo has started.  If you are a writer or wanna be writer you should know what this is, but if not it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  This is where anyone who has an idea for a novel, wants to write a novel, or need to start a new novel have the entire month of November to write at least 50,000 words before the end of the month. You don’t win any money or such, but you get a certificate, some good discounts on writing related products, and at least you end up with a first draft of that novel you always wanted to write.  I haven’t decided whether I am going to participate in this or not.  I do want to write a novel and have several ideas, but between the cruise and all I don’t know whether to start or not.  I probably better start if I am going to as 50,000 words is a lot of words to write, or I might just get a DQ Turtle Pecan Blizzard and say the heck with it.  Till next time…

11-2-13-drawingI have made it to day six of my drawing a face a day.  I used mostly colored pencils and markers on my girl today.  I wish I could have gotten more depth in her hair, but am going to have to try different techniques to do that.  I was trying to get the multicolored effect of the picture, but didn’t get it.  I think I started too dark and then was not able to get it to lighten up.  One of those things if something is too light you can keep adding color, but if it is too dark you are just screwed…LOL…

This week I started watching the show called Extreme Cheapskates.  This people are crazy.  I understand saving money, not buying things you don’t need, using coupons and such, but these people are crazy.  Eating food left on other people’s plates after they leave, taking a shower with your clothes on so you can wash both at the same time, etc.  It isn’t that these people don’t have money, they just won’t spend it.  I normally don’t go out to eat if we don’t have a coupon, Groupon, or the place is having a special.  That means we can eat out more for the same amount of money.  It just seems like certain people just go to the extreme and then end up on TV and make the rest of us wonder why they do what they do.   I guess to each their own, but some people just need to get a life…LOL…till next time…

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