The Old Woman in the Mirror

My mother would tell me, “Don’t get old, Sandi. It’s not any fun.” And as usual, I didn’t listen to her. So here I am. I look in the mirror and don’t know who the heck that old woman is or what she did with my red hair and freckles. She was so sneaky about it too, sprinkling a few grey hairs here, lots of wrinkles there, and a bunch of other stuff I’d rather not talk about.

But I thank God every day that He has allowed me to hang around this long, and that no matter how scary old age is, He promises to walk with me every step of the way, to calm my fears, and to love and protect me from harm. And when I take my last breath on this earth, He will take me to my eternal home in Heaven where old age is not allowed! In that, I find hope, peace and comfort.

~Sandi

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Caricatures . . . The Sunny Side of Old Age

 The Golden Years ain’t what they’re cracked up to be. Especially when you lose your job and have to make mortgage and car payments, pay medical bills and everything else in between on a skimpy Social Security check.

I get angry and depressed, but I haven’t slammed any doors, and my husband hasn’t rammed his fist through the wall, so I guess we’re good.

But it’s tough. So to keep me from screaming my head off and biting my nails to the quick, I drink coffee all day and sit at the computer creating happy stuff.

So, If you’re feeling as though life has done a number on you, I hope my people put a little smile on your face.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your likes and comments.

Caricatures . . . It’s a Hair Thing

Almost as far back as the Dark Ages, I had this thing about hair. My dolls lived in fear, wondering which one would be next to get a serious haircut. Eventually, they all got one. When I ran out of dolls, I started on my hair. I always left enough to wrap it around rollers, though . . .

Men, have you ever tried sleeping on these things? It’s like laying your head on a pillow of nails! I tried sleeping sitting up, hanging my head over the side of the bed, tossing and turning all night long trying to get comfortable. Finally, I came up with a solution . . .

a bonnet hair dryer from Mars. It was noisy and uncomfortable and totally boring waiting for my hair to dry so I could take out the curlers and finally get some sleep.

Then came the teasing and styling, and tons of hairspray to hold it all in place.

Then I went through the perms and hair coloring phase, both were costly, time-consuming, and damaging to my hair. Then . . .

Susan Powter came on the scene and I saw my chance for freedom! No more sleeping on curlers! No more hair dryers! No more frizzy perms! No more teasing, styling and spraying. I was gonna shave my head!

Then I ran into a whole new set of problems, the double takes, the glaring stares (mostly from men), the innocent and concerned questions.

One day I was coming out of the lady’s room in a restaurant and a little girl stared at me and asked, “Are you a girl?”

Another time a woman asked me if I was ill.

Then a million other questions like, why do you wear your hair so short? Does your hair ever grow? Won’t you please grow your hair out for me?

My favorite, though, is the time my husband and I were checking out of Lowe’s hardware store. I was wearing a ball cap. The moment the checker started telling me about her bout with cancer, I knew where this was going. On and on she went as the line continued to grow. Finally, handing me my bags she smiled sympathetically and said, “Keep up the good fight!”

I don’t get angry or offended when people stare me down or ask me silly, stupid questions. It makes for lots of laughs around the dinner table!

~Sandi

Caricatures . . . More Inner People

img393 A martian with green hair and antennas would have fit into society better than I did growing up. Having red hair and freckles didn’t help much either. I was targeted for torment and ridicule throughout school, even by the teachers. I didn’t understand such blatant cruelty. I just knew how ugly and stupid I felt.

Makeup covered my freckles but it couldn’t cover the ugly scars etched deeply in my heart. I was wounded for life . . . till many years later I looked deep inside and decided to love myself . . . warts and all

Art and music help me communicate my feelings that I can’t always express with words. That’s why I enjoy creating caricatures so much. I can be who I’ve always wanted to be but was too afraid.

So here’s to my “coming out” party . . .

Caricature Sandi 8AThe first time I saw this photo I wanted to burn it. But I decide to create a caricature from it instead . . .

Next Halloween I’m gonna set Maggie on a broom and turn her loose.

Caricature Sandi 7Bert is my emotional body guard. She’s rough and tough and doesn’t take hurt and abuse from anyone any more.

Ginger wanted to be a hairstylist so she went to Beauty School. However, between working a full-time job and raising a family, she decided that all she really wanted was to be a stay-at-home mom. So she quit both job and Beauty School and never looked back.

Matty is an introvert. She likes playing the piano and spending hours at the computer. Like her dad, she doesn’t care for social gatherings, hates drama, and would rather have a tooth pulled without an anesthetic than be in a crowded room.

Alexandria is an artist. She sees beauty in everything, even a frog with warts.

Karen is an idealist. She believes that everyone should work as a team, follow the rules, and never harm a living thing.

Sondra carries her heart on her sleeve. When she was a child and someone looked at her cross-eyed she’d cry, and cry, and cry . . . .

Finally, Dee-Dee, as her grandchildren call her, is the one I’ve come to love. She’s soft and gentle, fun and playful, honest and true. She’s been through Hell and back trying to figure out who the heck she is. Now that she knows she’s living the rest of her life happy and content just being herself.

Well that’s it for now. Best wishes from me and all my people.

Below are the photos that I used to create my caricatures. Thanks for stopping by. All likes and comments are appreciated.

Caricatures . . . Hubby

My husband was so kind to allow me take pictures of him being silly. He’s silly all the time, but I rarely have the camera handy. He even said I could post them as caricatures. Now, that’s true love!

I thought about using a bumble bee in this one, but he wouldn’t behave, so I used the Leopard instead. He’s much more effective than that silly old bee anyway.

My husband served four years in the Navy aboard the USS Forrestal (CV-59) from 1966-1970. He was on the ship during the Forrestal fire and still has nightmares of that awful day.

Uss Forrestal Fire – Image Results

USS Forrestal (CV-59) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

He’s a man of many interests: fishing, fishing, and more fishing. He was raised in a household of six women, he being the youngest. He wouldn’t be caught dead in a tie. He wears shorts and a tee-shirt all winter long. He loves to cook but hates cleaning up the mess he makes. He gets along with everyone, especially women. He’s just a plain and simple man with a great big heart and I don’t want to live without him.

I totally changed his look in this one. I never know where I’m going with a caricature till I start working with it. The more it develops the more my imagination soars. I think hubby made a cute little elf.

Well, that’s it for now. Hubby’s out of clean underwear, so I better do the laundry. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again real soon.

Photos and Silly Caricatures

Since we both had been married before, Buck and I decided to get married by the Justice of the Peace. When the day finally arrived, like two excited kids, we scrambled into the cherry-red 63 Ford and headed for the courthouse. On the way there however, I applied for a job. The wide-eyed personal manager handed me the application, and laughing nervously, I blurted, “He said he wouldn’t marry me unless I got a job.”

Finally, after thirty-five years of faithful service at Drexel Heritage Furniture, hubby retired; and just in the nick of time. The company folded in 2009, putting hundreds of employees out of work. Now he sleeps late, watches ball games, and takes out the trash . . . sometimes.

I’m retired too, finally. I thought I’d be cleaning toilets till I dropped dead at the ripe old age of ninety. Fourteen years were more than long enough for me, though. Most jobs are thankless today, but custodial work is ten feet below the bottom of the totem pole. There seems to be no respect for people or property any more, and even less respect for those of us who speak up. Sorry. I had to throw that in there. Anyhow, I’m happy just to clean my own toilets . . . when the mood strikes.

Caricatures are fun to create. As long as I have willing participants, I will never run out of  creative ideas. Bookmarks and cards are always fun. Most people enjoy receiving personalized cards, even of their pets.

Each day may not always be good, but you can always find something good in each day. Even when I feel like crying, I can find something to laugh about.

Well, that’s it for today. I worked on this post for several hours yesterday, and when I posted it, it disappeared into the Twilight Zone. I finally gave up looking for it, then my computer decided to act up . . . all day long. I felt like throwing it out the window! Finally, after restoring it four times and cleaning up my files, it’s behaving much better today. But I never found the disappearing post.

Thanks to all who visit and like my stuff. Hope to see you again.

From Photo to Caricature

My blogger friend, Colin, atrampinthewoods.wordpress.com, gave me permission to do caricatures of him and Fizz. Caricatures offend some people, so I always ask permission first. Caricatures are meant to be fun, not to make fun of. I would never make fun of anyone; I know how badly it hurts. So many thanks to Colin and Fizz for being such great sports!

Fizz wanted to go first, so here she is. Creating digital caricatures takes a lot of practice. If you warp the photo too much, you have a ridiculous looking mess. Fizz was difficult. She’s the first animal I did a caricature of. She was very patient though, sitting through hours of being deleted and reshaped and moved from scene to scene. Even after all that, I still was not pleased with her look. She got too fuzzy, so I added texture to compensate for that. I like crisp and clean for my caricatures. Although Fizz didn’t turn out that way I had intended, she’s still adorable. Thanks Fizz!

Companions

Companions

Sorry Fizz, but Colin was so much easier to work with. Not that I’ve given up on you, it’s just that people have less hair than dogs.

Do they have cowboys in the UK? Well they do now. I think Colin makes a great-looking cowboy. Can’t you see him in a pair of leather chaps, spurs on his boots, and racing a sleek black stallion through the Forest of Dean? Sorry, Colin. I get carried away sometimes. At least I didn’t envision you wearing a cape and mask too. Or did I?

Well that’s all I have for today. I spend way too much time at the computer. Yesterday I finally got geared up and actually washed two loads of laundry and blew off the dust piled sky high on my furniture. I even washed the dishes! I might even clean my bathroom today . . . or not.

Thanks everyone for looking at my stuff. If you like it, please let me know by clicking the little LIKE button. And leaving a word of encouragement is always appreciated. Thanks!

Caricatures From Photos

Lady in Purple

Lady in Purple

I am living proof that you’re never too old to learn. Just when I think I’ve learned everything about digital art, I learn something new. Like these caricatures. I just started playing around with the RadWarp tool one day and came up with these characters. Life is never boring for me!

Below are eight different photos that I used to create my caricatures.

For anyone interested in knowing how to create your own caricatures using PaintShop Pro X6, here’s how: (1.) Pull up your image. (2.) Crop it. (3.) Erase all the background as close and neatly to the image as possible. (4.) Go to Effects in your toolbar at the top of the page. (5.) Go down to Plugins, then over to the KPT Collection, then over to RadWarp. For more detailed effects, use the Warp Brush on the left vertical tool bar. If you’ve never used the warping tools before, it will take a truckload of practice and a ton of patience. But you can do it! It took me, off and on, several years before I finally got the hang of it. Just like working with other effects, you have to change the settings in your toolbar at the top (Opacity, Thickness, Density. Hardness) to get the desired look you want.

When creating a caricature, just have fun with it. You can make yourself and others laugh all day long at what you come up with.

Even creating caricatures of children is fun. The sky’s the limit what you can create. Caricatures make great bookmarks and cards that I’ll be posting soon.

I don’t know who I was snarling at that day, my husband probably. Anyhow, I had fun creating this Roaring 20’s gal.

I gave this one a cartoony look. I love playing up the eyes and cheekbones.

Don’t you love that nose? I mean the one on the caricature! While creating these caricatures, familiar faces started emerging. This caricature reminds me of a sweet little lady from my childhood. I told everyone that I was going to be an Old Maid just like her when I grew up. Well that silly notion flew out the window!

Okay. Now you know. I’m an alien. I landed on earth a thousand years ago. I park my spaceship in the neighbors garage. I thought of going back to Mars, but I forget how to get there. Besides, I don’t see well enough to drive at night. So I guess I’ll just hang around here another thousand years or so.

In case you’re wondering, I was giving my husband “that look.” I don’t like having my picture taken, especially when I look like somebody’s great-grandmother. But it worked out perfectly for my alien grandmother caricature, don’t you think?

Well I hope you had fun with my people. Thanks for stopping by!