Vertigo, the Demise of the Daily Drawings and a New Hobby

•February 21, 2017 • 5 Comments

On January 11th I was struck with vertigo. If you have every experienced this you know how horrible it can be. I spent the first day throwing up every time that I moved. By the second day I could sit up but walking around still brought back the nausea. By the third day I could walk around and with Dramamine taken regularly I no longer felt like I needed to vomit, but did feel like I was on a shifting platform or a boat rocking on the water. At that point things stopped improving.

For over a month I felt like my world was shifting and moving around me. Some days the seas were fairly calm and I could function and work. Usually if I was sitting down it wasn’t too bad, but walking and stairs remained arduous.

I won’t bore you with all of the nitty gritty details and what all we tried to get rid of it. (I was eventually diagnosed with vestibular neuritis and told there was nothing that I could do but wait it out)….But what I would like to talk about is what it did to my mind.

I went through some serious evaluation of my life and who I am as an artist and as a person. If this was never going to go away, tattooing was not going to be able to continue to be my artistic focus (nor my source of income). On the best of weeks I was cancelling about a third of my appointments and put a hold on booking anything new once I realized it was not abating.

I could sit down to draw, create and even tattoo on the better days.

Around the time all of this started my friend Holly sent me a box containing a “starter kit” for needle felting and an adorable little Meowl that she had made (from needle felting) that was based off of one of my drawings. Being confined mostly to the couch I had a lot of time to explore this new hobby and creating kept my mind off of what my body was up to.

I am obviously just learning this new art form, but I intend to stick with it and see how far I can push it and what I can create.

During this time I decided that if I was going to be needle felting I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with my daily drawings as well. I decided for a while that I would post progress on whatever I was working with… labeling them “daily maker” or “creative commitment”. Ultimately I decided that no one but me cares how many days I have been making things for. So there will be no more posting of the count, but I will continue to commit to creating outside of work every day.

I will be selling the little felted critters. Perhaps through an Etsy account or perhaps via social media and in person. For now they are mostly little Sanity Savers for me.

I don’t know how often I will be here. Part of the evaluation of my life led me to conclude that some of my priorities need to change.

As I sit here I have been symptom free for about 18 hours. I don’t know if it is coming back, but I have been super productive within the hiatus. It definitely hits home the whole “One Day at a Time” thing. Today I am grateful for stairs that can be navigated successfully and with barely a thought at all.

Some photos of the needle felting for you (in chronological order).


This is the one that Holly made for me:

needle felted meowl by Holly Azzara


My first attempt:

needle felted rabbit head

and the following:

needle felting this little purple bird is the only thing I have made so far that I was super disappointed with. It promptly became a cat toy.img_1704 needle felted bumble bunny  needle felted bumble bunny needle felted bumblebunny img_1804 needle felting bumble bunny needle felted dragon needle felted bumble bunnies needle felting needle felting needle felting needle felting needle felting round needle felted animals round needle felting needle felted kitty needle felted bunny from kit img_1964 needle felted bunny needle felted bunny img_1988 needle felted pink elephant needle felted pink elephant needle felted kitty needle felted mice needle felted mice needle felted bat in progress needle felted bat needle felted bunny img_2135 needle felted monster needle felted monsters needle felted monsters needle felted mouse in tiny tea cup

well that’s all for today and apparently the end of my vertigo reprieve (the doctor did tell me that “visual stimulation” would aggravate it). Glad that I was able to update here and get so much done today.





Daily Drawings Days 179 – 200

•January 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Day 179 – Woodland Tea Party

woodland tea party

Day 180 – The prompt was “happy clams” but I really have no idea how you tell if a clam is happy. so I was thinking that people say someone is “all clammed up” to say that they aren’t dealing with their feelings at all…. so I surmised that perhaps clams need therapy to be happy. This then became Clam Therapy instead… I still don’t know how to draw a happy clam.
Also, as a side note. It turns out that the expression is “happy as a clam at high tide” because apparently no one hunts for clams at high tide… perhaps it is cynical of me, but I think it takes more than just not being currently hunted to make someone happy. This may explain why I had a hard time with the drawing.

clam therapy

Day 181 – Cernunnos – I would have liked to have had more time for this. I would love to see it with a background. This guy needs to be deep in the woods.


Day 182 – drawing prompt was Stag in a Woodland Glade. Again, I didn’t really have enough time to put as much glade in as I would have liked. These two drawing re-kicked off my ‘put antlers on everything’ thing.

stag in woodland glade drawing

Day 183 – a facebook friend had been talking about how there aren’t enough chubby mermaids or mermaids of color. I actually prefer a colored chubby mermaid, so here is another one. Why is is that bunnies are more adorable when they are chubby, but it is so hard for people to see one another as adorable if they don’t conform to certain set standards? I’d rather be a bunny anyhow.

chubby merbunny

Day 184 – The prompt was for four horsemen of the apocalypse… but with everything going on I would rather focus on something nice. So here are the four bunnies of niceties. Peace, Innocence, Plenty and Growth. There are more than four niceties, but I can only draw so much in a day.

four bunnies of the niceties

Day 185 – Request was for three funky blue birds on a branch. See, here is the antler thing again.

three antlered blue birds

Day 186 – I didn’t feel like drawing. So I got way outside of my comfort zone and played with clay.


Day 187 – Figure Drawing. Yay!!! These are all done in silverpoint on plike paper.

silverpoint figure drawing

Day 188 – Edison Bulb Orchid – This has potential and has spawned a whole bunch of other ideas.

edison bulb orchid

Day 189 – I had wanted to put the battery bug on yesterday’s drawing, but there wasn’t enough room on the paper. So it got it’s own day.

battery bug and edison bulb orchid

Day 190 – Bat with the same theme

bulb belly bat

Day 191 – Talkative Beaver. We all know that guy. Lots of stories. Hostage talker. Pretty entertaining, but totally oblivious when you need to be doing something else.

talkative beaver

Day 192 – Dizzy Bird. I have been having a battle with Vertigo. Mostly losing. It’s not such fun. It’s hard for me to believe that I used to take substances that made me feel like this on purpose. Dramamine is my current drug of choice.

dizzy bird

Day 193 – yeah, another antlered bird


Day 194 – Silverpoint Mermaid (on plike paper)

silverpoint mermaid

Day 195 – I was going for a nice sleepy owl who was fairly oblivious. I didn’t notice the Furby resemblance until after I had finished.

sleepy owl

Day 196 – Witchsona. Apparently (according to the internet) it’s Witchsona Week. I had never heard of it before this year… but hey, why not? So here is my Witchsona.

TeeJay's Witchsona 2017

Day 197 – Drawing Prompt “Utopia”. This one kept me stumped for a while. To me, I associate Utopia with an entire Society. This isn’t really feasible for me to illustrate for a daily drawing. So I opted for more of a personal ideal situation.


Day 198 – Drawing Prompt “a knight in shining armor riding a bunny”. Check. Of course it’s a squirrel. What else would be riding a bunny?

Squirrel Knight, Bunny Steed

Day 199 – Drawing prompt “Centaur”. Centaurs guard the Labyrinth so I had to add a Labyrinth Worm too.

Labyrinth Minotaur

Day 200- Silverpoint drawing of the prompt “Greenman”. I had received multiple offers to purchase this one before it was finished so I added it to RedBubble.

silverpoint greenman drawing

I’m deciding if I am going to continue with the daily drawings or move on to another project…. or I may just take a few day break. The vertigo is still kicking me in ways that I don’t care for and I need a lot of extra rest. Naps are the answer to a lot of life’s problems. I think between that, kitties and cheese fries (and maybe some cute otter videos) almost everything can be addressed.

Enjoy your day!





Daily Drawing days 165 – 178

•January 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Day 165 – Cosmic Cat.

Cosmic Cat drawing

Day 166 – The drawing prompt for this one was “missing mom” so I wondered what might go on while mom was out and about. I think this happened.

Carrot binge aftermath bunnies

Day 167 – “Thunder Bunny”

Thor Rabbit (Thunder Bunny)

Day 168 – Long Tail Fox

long tail fox

Day 169 – Blue Bird with coneflower

blue bird with coneflower

Day 170 – Drawing prompt “trade winds” – In my head I have always loved the drawings on the edges and borders of old maps…. but every time I go looking for them, I find that I don’t actually like them as much as I thought I did. It seems the ones in my head are more interesting. I may wind up doing a series of them at some point. Especially the water creatures (mermaids, sea serpents and the weird “dolphin like” things that show up on maps and in sculptures).

trade winds drawing

Day 171 – Drawing prompt “Lucky Strike”

Lucky Strike

Day 172 – Balloon animal friend. Some friendships don’t work out the way that we think that they are going to.

balloon animal friend

Day 173 – Puggle Magician. Not muggle, puggle.

puggle magician

Day 174 – Space Cats. On your stuff. Because that’s what cats do.

space cats

Day 175 – Drawing request was an evil fairy with her pet dragon. They didn’t wind up so evil… but probably because I have never seen dragons as evil. Fairies either I don’t believe. Maybe in some stories I guess, but I never picture them that way.

dragon and fairy having a nap

Day 176 – Drawing prompt was “mythical creatures with holly”. A tad bit past the season for holly, but it might make a nice Christmas Card (if I was the sort of person who was organized enough to send Christmas Cards).

flying mice with holly

Day 177 – Drawing prompt “Unicorn Dragon”. Guess there isn’t much else to say about that.

Unicorn Dragon drawing

Day 178 – MerMousalope (probably of the Royal House).


Daily Drawings Days 147 – 164

•December 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Day 147 – Drawing prompt “starry blue butterflies”. Went more literal than I usually do.

starry blue butterflies

Day 148 – Thunderfloofs.

thunder floofs

Day 149 – Woman with a powdered wig. There is a really long convoluted story about how this one was inspired. I would tell you to ask me about it when you see me… but the odds are super good that I won’t remember by then.

woman with powdered wig

Day 150 – Cat Wrangler.

cat wrangler

Day 151 – Greenmen Dragons

greenman dragons

Day 152 – Fairy Houses (Watercolor)

watercolor fairy houses

Day 153 – Acorn Fairy House

acorn fairy house

Day 154 – An artist bird. Falling victim to just too many damn ideas and not enough time.

dead artist bird

Day 155 – Drawing prompt “faces in the fire”. Nothing burns like love.

faces in the fire - burning love

Day 156 – drawing prompt “beauty rising from the ashes”

ash dragon

Day 157 – the drawing prompt was something I have drawn too many times at this point. So instead of a female sugar skull…. here is a sugar glider and a skull. Close.

sugar (gllider) skull

Day 158 – the drawing prompt for this was “Revenge” which might as well be poison.


day 159 – which was (according to the internet) festival for the souls of the dead whales. Really. Who comes up with these things?

flying pink whale

Day 160 – Another pink elephant (because you can never have too many).

another pink elephant

Day 161 – Under-root bunnies. Snuggled all nice and warm together.

bunnies snuggled under roots

Day 162 – Medusa


Day 163 – As happy as a bird with a french fry.

as happy as a bird with a french fry

Day 164 – just a teeny bumble bee

teeny fluffy bumble bee

Daily Drawings Day 136 through 146

•November 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Day 136 – Went for a bitty painting instead of a drawing. This is oil on canvas board.

deaths head moth painting

Day 137 – One of the Chiara Bautista fan pages asked for work inspired by her and to hashtag it #inspiredbychiara Not very many people submitted and they never followed up on it, but here was my contribution. I also went back and tagged the one that I did last year for the Drawlloween prompt “Mask”.

inspired by chiara bautista

Day 138 – Queen of Hearts. My niece was here and I asked her for a drawing suggestion for the daily drawing. She suggested President Bunny but since that was such a terribly hot topic at the moment (and still) I opted for a Queen Bunny instead.

She is on RedBubble.

queen of hearts bunny

Day 139 – another venture off to “Sketch my Face”. Not a lot of people have been adding new photos. I may have to find another place to steal face reference from.


Day 140 – Bunny (Baron) Samedi – I have this one in my idea list for quite a while and am super happy I finally had time. This one is on RedBubble.

Bunny Baron Samedi

Day 141 – Straight Jacket Rabbit – because some days it just isn’t worth gnawing through the restraints.

straight jacket rabbit

Day 142 – Happened to fall on Doctor Who day. I got a little overambitious with this one and didn’t get if finished on the day of. I posted the partial on Instagram… then finished it and the next day’s on the next day.

TARDIS in the wild

Day 143 – Cat in the Moon

cat in the moon

Day 144 – Great Tree of Peace and Clans

Great Tree of Peace

Day 145 – Three Green Mice

three green mice

Day 146 – Masonic Owl. Done as a thank you for a photographer for helping me with medical tattoo documentation.

masonic owl

That’s it for this one. I am seriously behind today and still need to draw today’s daily drawing and tomorrow’s client’s appointment.



Daily Drawings Days 123 through 135

•November 14, 2016 • 2 Comments

Day 123 – I had started this to show to a client for her tattoo. When she came in (before she had seen the drawing) she told me she wanted to go a different direction with the piece. This layout would no longer work. I opted not to show it to her , abandoned the daily drawing that I had started for this day and finished this one instead.

winged blue tiger

Day 124 – Ran out of time towards the end of the night. “Sketch My Face” is always a good resource when I don’t have a lot of time.

sketch my face

Day 125 – Poppies with a Mucha influence.

much poppies

Day 126 – Mushrooms. This is the drawing that I had started on day 123 and abandoned. So technically this one wasn’t done from start to finish in the one day. Oh well. They can’t fire me.

On a random note… I lost a bunch of Instagram followers when I posted the mushrooms. I had no idea people found mushrooms so offensive.


Day 127 – Fu Bat.

fu bat and peonies

Day 128 – Daruma Cat

Daruma Cat

Day 129 – A guy that I know (who happens to be named Guy, so that reads funny to me) had posted a snippet from an article about dropping “nuisance beavers” into certain areas via parachutes during the 1950s. He asked a few artists to please render their versions of Fifties nuisance paratrooper beavers. As far as I know, none of them did, but I couldn’t get the visual out of my head so I took a bash at it anyhow. I gave this one a reserve chute as I felt more comfortable about him being airborne with a back up plan.

I think this Beaver could take care of himself either way.

fifties nuisance paratrooper beaver

Day 130 – Sleeping Fox.

sleeping fox

Day 131 – Bunnerfly?

pastel bunnerfly

Day 132 – Young Satyr (Faun) and judgemental raccoon


Day 133 – Opossum – When I was little I had a book called “Just the Thing for Geraldine”. I had hoped that I would find what was just the thing for me. I think that I found it.

just the thing for geraldine

Day 134 – Myron. Poor Myron. He tries so hard. I hope things work out for him. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return.


Day 135

bird lotus hand

Thank you for visiting my corner of the internet! May your life be full of unexpected beauty and gifts.


Second Half of Drawlloween 2016

•November 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Drawlloween Prompt “Full Moon” and Daily Drawing Day 108

I decided to use the Drawlloween prompt “full moon” as an excuse to make another RedBubble Monster. So two pet kittens became one “monster” kitty. Personally I think two heads just makes a kitten twice as cute.

two headed kitten

The next Drawlloween Prompt was “Mad Science Monday” but I have to confess that I didn’t do a daily drawing that day. This one was made out of order on another day that I had more time. (It’s a Lab Rat.)

Mad Scientist Lab Rat

Daily Drawing day 109 and Drawlloween Prompt “Nosfera-Tuesday”. Perhaps a Nosferabbit?


Daily drawing Day 110 and Drawlloween Prompt “Witchcraft Wednesday”

Witchcraft Kitty

Daily Drawing Day 111 and Drawlloween Prompt “Horses and Headless Men”.

Halloween Horse

Daily Drawing Day 112 and Drawlloween Prompt Phantom Phriday.

Lady in White

Daily Drawing Day 113 and Drawlloween Prompt “Bat-urday”

blue bat

Daily Drawing Day 114 and Drawlloween Prompt “Superstition Sunday”.

Lucky Rabbit’s Foot. I remember how traumatized I was when I was little and I realized that a lucky rabbit’s foot was ACTUALLY a rabbit’s foot.

lucky rabbit's foot

Daily Drawing Day 115 and Drawlloween Prompt “Mechanical Monstrosity”.

Puddle Stomping Robot

Daily Drawing Day 116 and Drawlloween Prompt “Entombed”. When I did a search on this idea I found out that Dragonfly in Amber is a book by Diana Gabaldon. It’s the second in a series. I downloaded the first book to my iPad and am enjoying it so far. There is also a series on television (I think it is called Outlander) based on the books, but I want to read them before I go looking for that.

Dragonfly in Amber

Daily Drawing Day 117 and Drawlloween Prompt “They came from Outer Space”. These adorable little aliens are from Doctor Who. They are called Adipose and they are birthed from human fat (which they take a way a pound at a time). I think it sounds like a great idea.

Adipose (Doctor Who)

Daily Drawing day 118 and Drawlloween Prompt “Call of C’thursday”.


Daily Drawing Day 119 and Drawlloween Prompt “Go Go Ghosts”. I only drew one go-go ghost.

go go ghost

Daily Drawing Day 120 and Drawlloween Prompt “Black Caturday”. Was trying for a Day of the Dead sort of feel.
Everytime I draw a black cat with a pink nose I am reminded of a very weird conversation that I had with a client about black cats. If you think of it, ask me about it sometime. It is appropriate for internet sharing.

day of the dead cat

Daily Drawing Day 121 and Drawlloween Prompt “Skulls and Skeletons”. This one wasn’t a drawing and I didn’t finish it. But this is as far as I got that day.

underpainting of skull (in oils)

Daily Drawing Day 122 and Drawlloween Prompt “Trick or Treat”. I didn’t feel particularly inspired by the prompt and once again this is not a drawing. It is at least finished. This is indeed an egg (people asked) or technically an egg shell since I had the foresight to removed the liquidy bits before I painted on it with oil paint.

eye painted on egg

And so passes another Drawlloween month. I enjoyed myself and hope that I am able to do it again next year.

Thank you to all of you that read my blog and give me wonderful support and especially to those of you that have told me you find my work inspiring.