A House Without a Dog is Not a Home

When Rascal, our handsome, Australian Shepard mix of eight years died, he took part of us with him. The grief was so unbearable that I never wanted another dog to wrap my heart around only to have it ripped apart.

But hubby couldn’t stop grieving and I couldn’t stand seeing him suffer. So, for his birthday, we paid a visit to the animal shelter, and there she was, curled up in a big cage on a skimpy blanket on that cold cement floor frightened and all alone.

Hubby fell in love.

I didn’t. She wasn’t Rascal.

So we kept looking.

No Rascal anywhere.

But hubby wasn’t looking for Rascal and kept dragging me back to that pitiful, scrawny, long-legged Greyhound mix curled up in that dreary cage. I guess I’m a sucker for pitiful, so we adopted her.

That was three years ago. Yep! Three years of wanting to wring her neck for chewing up her bed, and my pillows, and my couch; things Rascal NEVER did. Three years of her hyperactive personality, her jumping and jerking around when we tried petting her. Three years of trying to stop comparing her to Rascal.

Then a year ago Pepper came into our lives. Sweet, dainty, loving little Pepper. She was more dead than alive after being abandoned along with fifteen other dogs. She was so skinny I could barely feel her when she jumped on my lap. Then she licked my face, pierced my soul with those big brown eyes, and that did it. We bundled her up and took her home, hoping and praying Bella would approve.

It was love at first sight. Kindred spirits.

Having two dogs at one time in the house is more than challenging. It’s insane! Pepper loves jumping on the table, and countertops. Heck, she just loves jumping! The higher the better. Now Bella thinks she can jump that high, too. And Pepper is a chewer. Bella stopped until Pepper came along. And she was potty trained till Pepper came along. She was getting more settled till Pepper came along. We had to potty train her all over again. And Bella poops and pees like a cow. So yeah. I was tempted to haul them both off to the animal shelter. But, you already know what a sucker I am for pitiful.

In spite of all their frustrating antics, they are beautiful, loving dogs. They love each other and can hardly stand to be apart. And they love us and children and whoever comes to visit. Most of all, they bring us joy and happiness and a ton of laughter. And when I think where they might be today had we not rescued them, I want to cry

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!