Welcome to the Republican National Convention 2016!
The craziest sh*t storm since last week’s news cycle, boy do we move on quickly. Say good bye to #BlackLivesMatter #PrayforNice and the #Brexit because it’s all about #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes now!
What’s going on this week? Donald Trump becomes the official Republican nominee for President. Yay!
All those Donald Trump cartoons I had been making are hardly funny any longer, because here it is. Dystopian world here we come. Trump is the official candidate and it’s going to be him or Hillary. Yikes.
While many want to argue that there will be no difference if either one of these candidates makes it into the office. I beg to differ. The problem I have with Trump is not only based on
his flip flopping terrifying policies on wars,
or his wall,
or his racists, sexists, and dehumanizing words towards anyone who is “other”,
or his nazi inspired policies about Muslims,
or his less than impressive business background as the basis for his campaign,
or his blatantly annoying demeanor…
No, no… None of those things are the main “problem” though I do find them all extremely problematic.
The PROBLEM is that DESPITE all this, people are supporting this man, openly, enthusiastically, without much more to say than… “He speaks his mind.”
No. What you mean is that he speaks YOUR MIND and you find nothing wrong with his rhetoric, because truly, they are your own or at least agreeable.
What does a Trump president sound like? Here ya go.
I’m not even going to take the time to go into his recent VP choice, but in the mean time, you can go ahead and phone into the campaign headquarters with your Vagina’s status.
So let’s take a glimpse at the sort of events surrounding the RNC
White Supremacist Theory on Live National News
Read the transcript
PIERCE: Tell you what, in that hall today, that hall is wired. That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people. Any sign of rebellion is going to get shouted down either kindly or roughly but that’s what’s going to happen.
KING: This whole business does get a little tired. I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization? [N.b.: The “other people” the panelists had just been talking about were black Americans and Mexicans.]
HAYES: Than white people?
KING: Than Western civilization itself. That’s rooted in western Europe, eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.
Contributions of “Western Christian Society” Let me count the ways…
“Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.” CNN
So much for “I wrote it.”
But in all seriousness… Michelle Obama is pretty amazing. I can see why Melania Trump admires her.
Unfortunately, all this noise over Melania Trump’s (I mean Michelle’s) Speech is great cover for the mood over in the RNC
The topic of choice was “Make America Safe Again” but maybe it should be “Make America Fear Again” as The Daily Show suggested
Fear seemed to be main subject aside from bashing Hillary Clinton. Trevor Noah highlights Trump’s ability to disguise the ugly with quirky media distractions.
This is Donald Trump style. What he does is ha always gives us so much fun crazy to talk about, that we miss the dangerous crazy. Trevor Noah – The Daily Show
He points out various speaker’s focus on fear: “Our enemies are plotting against us.” “Killing us and our allies!” “There is no place to escape to”. Watch the recap here.
What else is being overshadowed?
Women Being Physically Harassed and Threatened
Amy Davis describes how a man pressed his body against hers in an effort to make her uncomfortable enough to give up her turn at the mic. After a friend joined her for support, an official had to separate the man who continued to harass the women.
Kera Birkeland is another female who was followed to the bathroom where she was threatened as she stepped out. “You should die” she reports Trump supporters telling her. But considering how Trump Talks about women, I can see why his supporters would take his advice…
In a stunning show of art, photographer Spencer Tunick organized a protest outside the RNC involving 100 nude women.
The photograph involved 100 nude women holding large mirror discs, reflecting the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of “Mother Nature” into and onto the convention center, cityscape and horizon of Cleveland. The philosophy of the artwork relates to the idea of the sacred feminine. By holding mirrors, we hope to suggest that women are a reflection and embodiment of nature, the sun, the sky and the land. We want to express the belief that we will rely upon the strength, intuition and wisdom of progressive and enlightened women to find our place in nature and to regain the balance within it. The mirrors communicate that we are a reflection of ourselves, each other, and of, the world that surrounds us. The woman becomes the future and the future becomes the woman. Spectrumptunickcleaveland.com
However, you can only purchase Neuland from their website. My husband and I are avid Amazon shoppers, and ok this is kind of ridiculous, but it’s quite the disappointment when I can’t just add everything on my personal wish list to a single shopping cart…. on Amazon.
So as per usual, husband had purchased me some stuff on good old Amazon and had added some Staedtler pens to the cart for me. I was pretty excited about new pens, regardless of brand but we were surprised to see that these pens looks identical to the Neuland pens. We figured that we are likely dealing with the same makers and just 2 diff brands. The pends are pretty much identical.
8.90 euro + shipping from Neuland.de
10.57 euro + Free Shipping with Amazon Prime
Can you see why Staedler was so tempting?
For a moment there I thought I might start replacing my Neulands for Staedler since I could hardly tell the pens apart. But I guess I was mistaken!
Today I was unpleasantly surprised by not one, but 2 defective Staedler pens that almost ruined a logo I was working on.I would now argue that the Neuland pens are higher quality. As I reached for a 0.3 Fineliner Staedler Pen (the equivalent to the Sketch One Neuland series) I found the tips of the pens to be hardly a solid round tip and instead almost brush like. The ink splattered a bit as I used the pen totally screwing up as I was making a really fine line… I switched to a 0.2 from the same set thinking perhaps my daughters had gotten their hands on the pen and ruined the tip, but once again, the tip was messed up.
Both Made in Germany with Identical Packaging
Identical pen casing
Staedtler Left. Neuland Right.
Hard to tell, but the Neuland pen is perfectly round and solid. Staedtler is pointy with tiny brissels sticking out almost like a brush tip, which is not the way they are meant to be.
You can almost see how the ink flares out on the Staedtler marks where the Neuland marks are more defined.
Extremely sight difference and poorly captured on my phoneB but I can tell.
I looked through the entire set and found that the finer tips (0.3mm and below) all seemed to have the same issue for the Staedtler Fineliner pens. When I pulled out a Neuland Sketch One pens to compare, I could see that the tips are much more defined with no loose ends/hairs making for a “brush” like end.
Now, wether or not I simply got a bad batch of the Staedtler pens or they simply have lower quality tips for the pens I can’t really say as this is simply ONE experience. But I certainly noticed the issue immediately and made for a very frustrating doodling session.
Needless to say I will continue to order directly from Neuland and just make sure I pack in a few items into my orders to save a bit on shipping. 😛
Hope this was helpful to anyone doing some Fine Tip Pen shopping and were, like me, wondering if these pens were, in fact, identical or not.
If you would like to learn more about Neuland, Diane Bleck has quite a few videos about Neuland Markers and why she prefers them over other options.
And if THAT interests you, definitely check out a recent blog post about the upcoming event, Doodle Summit 2016!
To celebrate I am sharing with you a little behind the scenes look at one of the simpler processes of how I turned one of my sketches into digital art.
Once the design is digital, the skys the limit! Customize your website, make custom items for your shop, print out coloring pages, create post acres, posters, t-shirts. It’s totally infinite, use your imagination!
Hope you Enjoy.
Hilarious conversation to custom T-Shirt Line
After posting a few of my breastfeeding cartoons (here & here) a good friend and colleague, Eva from Eva Creel Photography, reached to me wondering if I would like collaborate with her on making a funny breastfeeding awareness shirt.
“So I was thinking about boobs.
I got boobies on my mind and damn right my milkshake is better than yours. So MILKSHAKES.
Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate…” – Eva
Yes… That is how it all started. I couldn’t stop laughing at the idea of mommy milkshakes.
It quickly expanded to milk boxes, cartons, and gallons. I love the idea so much I immediately started doodling some milk containers, giggling along the way. Oh how fantastic this would be.
Because let’s face it. As breastfeeding moms there’s no way of going around it. We feel like cows. Like dairy cows. Some of us even pump on a daily basis, only cementing that idea even more. We sit here, with babies and pumps at our breasts… being milked.
But you know what? It’s amazing. Human milk is totally incredible and I am thankful every day I am fortunate enough to be able to provide this gift to my children (I know many women who simply could not breastfeed despite their best intentions). The benefits, bonding, and comfort that breastfeeding brings will last a lifetime and I know that it is the right choice for my family. I am proud to be providing human milk for my human baby.
So with giggles in my chest, I drew chocolate milk, strawberry milk, and whole milk cartons and milkshakes.
After I was happy with my pencil sketches, I traced them with markers.
After that’s done, you move onto the digitalizing process. I will make life easy on ya and tell you that CamScanner is the best phone app in existence. This is the result! Pretty nifty huh?
With a little Photoshop magic, I use layers to strip off the background and add color. A little back and forth and we pick a catchy hashtag for our proposed clothe line and create our logo. Done.
The entire process I’m chatting back and forth with Eva about ideas, plans, and cracking jokes. We can’t stop from making it happen. It’s just too much fun.
After I send her the images, Eva puts together these amazing shirts. I love them. There is an element of naughtiness in the innocent illustrations. That inside joke we’ve all made… A hilarious shout out to all the nursing moms out there. It’s pure fun and with playful intentions. Designed for all the humorous badass breastfeeders we know.
Thanks, Eva, for reaching out to me for this fun project. It definitely tickled me to work on this and hope to continue collaborating with you and others bringing ideas and designs to life. What fun!
More ways to Connect with Me
Do you want to Learn to Doodle?
I am a Doodle Institute Affiliate and I can tell you that Diane’s courses cover everything from the very basics, to the digitalizing process, and, most importantly in my humble opinion, doodling for the heart, mind and spirit. Do you want to learn to draw and use those drawings in work, home and school? The go check her out!
Today I took a quick moment to make a short video review of CreateSpace.
While I was researching my options for self publishing I was really hoping to make a hard cover book with color pages so I was strongly considering IngramSpark, but the ease and affordability of CreateSpace won me over and I ended up going through them.
So, if I wanted to make a Hard Cover Children’s Book…
Why did I choose CreateSpace, which only offers Paperbacks?
This was my first attempt at creating a book. I wasn’t sure how “successful” this new venture would be. I had no idea how much interest I could generate or how many sales (if any) this book would have. So I was really looking for a way to “try it” without too much heart ache.
CreateSpace had no fees. Zero. Zip. Nada. I only payed for my proof copy and any other copies wanted to have on hand. That’s it. IngramSpark has some modest sign up fees, and you also have to pay an additional fee for uploading “fixed” documents. I ended up uploading 3 different documents to CreateSpace because of small errors and changes. That would have made for a sad paypal account over here.
The cost of production / royalties were very comparable and reasonable. I did a bunch of reading on this at the time, but that was about 3 months ago and I can hardly remember the details. I feel like IngramSpark was somehow better here, but I also had a bit of an upfront cost, and, like I said, I had no idea what kind of revenue this would generate and if I was going to make anything back.
Hardcovers, as glamorous as they are, come with a bigger price tag. Meaning the end product would be more expensive and possibly making it an even harder sale to my potential readers.
Getting that Proof Copy from CreateSpace was pretty damn wonderful. I couldn’t really find any faults, the book looked great, everything was exactly as I envisioned, I had done it all myself. It was totally perfect even if it wasn’t “perfect”.
As for the COLOR PAGES.
I found a lot of talk about people self publishing novels and what not, but very little information regarding children’s books and color pages. Which was deeply frustrating since that’s what I was making. I repeatedly read about IngramSparks having higher quality especially for color pages. But because of all the reasons stated above, I decided to give CreateSpace a try and see how I felt. If all else, I could pull the book and not hit “publish” if I decided the quality was bad.
I was pleasantly surprised. The photos in the book really look lovely. The pages are thick enough that you don’t see anything from the other side of the page. Sure, it’s a flat page, no glossy pages or anything fancy like that, but as long as my images looked good good I would be happy and they did look pretty good. My only complaint is that I find the cover to be a tad grainy, and I’m not 100% sure if it was a bad file or just less than stellar printer. But it certainly wasn’t a deal breaker!
So If you would like to see my video where I show the inside of my book and talk about some of the things I mentioned here, feel free to watch at the bottom of the post.
I hope this was helpful to someone thinking about using CreateSpace.
Step Away from the Nursing Mothers. They have fangs, razor sharp claws, they’re hormonal, they’re sleep deprived, they’re some serious momma bears… and…
Mothers DO NOT want to be groped by sick pigs who’s brains shut off at the sight of breasts. I know it’s difficult to understand that men don’t in fact have exclusive rights to women’s breasts. They are pretty damn fabulous, I personally own a pair and can see why everyone seriously needs some milk producing sexy gold mines. (I’d really appreciate it if my husband could nurse the baby every now and then… ) But sorry, no. They happen to be attached to perfectly independent human beings who own their own bodies.
So let it be clear that NO ONE has the right to harass, embarrass, or physically violate the body and personal space of any woman feeding their infant.
A Voting Nursing Mom
PS. I like make Coloring Pages… If anyone would like to mail Representative Moore, or any other ANTI-Women’s Right To Feed In Public Idiot a lovely picture, you can download a version of this cartoon HERE. Or just color to get your “Is this really 2016?!” frustration out. Enjoy.
Born in the tropics, I never realized how crucial the sun was to my existence… Until I left them…
We’ve lived in Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Florida, and now Germany. And we hadn’t realized we had been taking the gorgeous sunshine for granted. Even Oklahoma is blessed with sunny days practically year round. Germany, not so much. We’ve now been here an entire year and it seems the sun has been hiding at least two thirds of that time. For a creature like myself, cloudy days are for cuddling in bed, reading books, relaxing, ignoring chores, sometimes being a little gloomier and melancholy. We don’t go out on cloudy days, we hide, we hibernate, and we come back out when the sun returns. This is a serious problem when the sun goes away for several days, weeks, months at a time…
So here I am, multiple days have passed since the sun graced us with it’s full presence. And OMG I’m loosing my mind. What to do with little ones cooped up inside over rain and unpredictable weather?! We paint, we do puzzles, we play games, but most of all… we watch lots of TV (supper :/)… There’s really not a whole lot to do indoors people! (At least not that keeps a 3yo entertained for much longer than 15 minutes).
So what’s this? The sun?! After all the clouds and rain and cold (why is it 50some degrees outside already?! COME BACK SUMMER!) We decided to sneak out of the house for a quick walk while it all lasted…
Buggy here photo bombing my flower shot…
Away we go.
Oh hey look… I have another baby now… Just in case you missed that part…. LOL
Ready for exploring with her monocular (I’m not totally convinced that’s an actual word)
Mommy vision… Sometimes big sis wants to ride too…
The now 3 year old is into “silly faces”. Which I guess are better than her “smile” faces… You know the one… Crazy not sure that’s a smile, smile, eyes closed…
Which I guess are also better than baby “why you stop pushing my vibrating chair” faces… LOL
**Side note… Cel pics will always have a date stamped on them 😉 I want to remember when I took them, so I do that in the phone. Sorry if it’s distracting hehe**
Hi! Remember me? Camera Latte? That super fun blog with tons of cute photos of Little Lue and random ramblings about my mommy days? Yeah… Hi…
Somewhere mid pregnancy I cracked. Totally cracked.
I’m going to be honest, this move has been hard on me, us. The wonderful sunny days in Key West still call my name. Lucy still asks to “Go home” most days when we are about to get in the car, deep down I know where she means. Lately she’s been asking about the ocean and how she can’t wait to see it. I have no idea where she gets it from it’s obvious to me she misses her old home too.
On top of that the past 6 months have been riddled with uncertainty and confusion as we explored a change in our lives that never materialized. And in the mist of all that, TDYs and deployments have been scheduled, and all you Significant Others know how that goes…
So somewhere between getting ready for a new baby, still getting used to living in a new place, random life stress, and then actually giving birth, I set my camera down and stopped taking pictures.
I stopped running. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. Just stopped.
And in the chaos of meeting our new daughter, Princess P, I just felt lost. With her amazing loving gaze the only thing keeping me together.
It’s been over 2 months since she was born and the smoke is starting to clear. I’ve laced up my running shoes a few times, dusted off my camera longingly, and tried several times to write something half way coherent. But I’m still not quite there yet, I still don’t feel like myself.
I’ve been blaming hormones for my emotional roller coaster, but the truth is that this year has been packed full of stress, and it’s still just the tip of the iceberg for us.
So no, I haven’t taken very many photos. And no, I haven’t quite been my cheerful self. But I’m here, chugging along, waking up every day looking for that change in the winds.
Little Lue is amazing, she’s changing so much and so quickly. She’s 3 years old now?! Can you believe it?! And my littlest Princess P is incredible, just perfect. They both truly are my little rainbows over these past stormy months.
So… A tad melancholy today, and no photos… But that’s ok. Sometimes this is all I’ve got.