High heat, slow decluttering, and a few blooms as always

It’s officially iguana weather:

93 = 33, sensor is on my back patio.

So that kinda sucks, lol…

I was upstairs doing a bit of sorting in the clutter/disaster zone of a spare room to get it into order and after a couple hours noticed that it felt crazy hot in there versus when I started. I have a clock in the master on the north end of upstairs that has a temperature readout and sure enough, it was up to 27 in the master… which doesn’t get brutalized by the southern sun all day… and which felt noticeably less awful, so the spare was probably almost as bad as outside.

Anyway, time to haul ass downstairs and wait for the sun to go down. At least I got a couple hours of sorting done.

The other day I’d gotten a steel shelving unit assembled, but had forgotten that it was to go next to the closet door, where the wall is just a wee bit taller because it goes straight up and doesn’t have a funny little angle towards the ceiling for the top foot (this house, man… it’s weird…). Whereas I had thought it was destined for the shorter wall til I realized it was too tall by 4″ and then remembered.

Meanwhile that meant a whole lot of boxes I had shoved over by the closet door needed to be shifted.

Oh well. Today I got that moving done and started populating the shelving unit with baskets containing a bunch of finished and ready to sell small mixed media canvases, other baskets containing a bunch of half-finished mixed media canvases to get finished up in the next few weeks to submit for a local art show/sale taking place in December, a small stack of monotypes from August, other small canvases with the background colors added, and some shipping and packing materials:

And I also got a bunch of other crap removed from the room, but that’s gonna be a process over a month, probably.

I probably need at least one more of those shelves (albeit just a wee bit shorter), but hey, progress is being made.

And Monday a whole carload of clutter got donated, mostly textiles. Apparently I take after my dad for accumulation but I do periodically purge shit I don’t actually use… albeit only after a period of time of stuffing it somewhere like the spare room until I can’t ignore it any longer.

I’m not sure that I’ll have a whole carload to donate this week, but I’m aiming at a whole trunkload at least. We’ll see come Wednesday morning how much there is.

In any case, it was nice to see all the half-finished canvases, I think there were 10 of them. Each with a small ink-on-paper drawing of a perfume bottle already stitched down, needing just some more embellishments like beads and ribbons stitched, then maybe some texture gel and paint pen drawings on top.

It’s the style of work I was making in 2020, but hey, half-finished work is half-finished, and I’m still figuring out exactly what kinds of work I’ll be making to sell now vis a vis Noah and Ricky and Nick, so I might as well go ahead with these little works and get them done.

I didn’t get a chance to pop back into the gallery this week to snoop and see what’s all sold from the Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show… ie, did my painting sell, lol… but also to see what else might have because I’m nosy and because that’s useful information about the local art market…

Not that it really matters because I presume I’ll mostly be selling online, and hey, I’m well past the point of trying to change my style to be more market-friendly. (If I was that kinda girl, I wouldn’t have sunk a bunch of years into making industrial noise/experimental music, lol…)

Plus, I have noticed people seem to like Ricky B. and they seem to like Noah, so realistically, what will sell will be works involving my characters, not my mixed media work. And once I finish the perfume bottle canvases, I till start making Noah and Ricky and Nick works in the same sort of mixed media style.

Well, let’s move onto the gang, huh?

I need to catch up with the Noah website still, which is way behind on posts… I’ve been trying to do the proper alt text descriptions of the comics as I go, but that takes a while to do right, so I might just make a big push and simply slap all the comics up without it and then work backwards afterwards to catch that up for proper SEO.

I think I did that in November, and there’s still a bunch of comics posted from late September through late October that only have the image while I did get from the end of November through the end of February all posted properly.

But then there’s not even comics posted from March 1 onward, never mind proper SEO. And that means there’s like 60 comics not on the website: yeah, the biggest audience is on Facebook so far, but it’s kinda shitty if someone goes to the website and it looks like I stopped doing the comic in February.

So that’s a priority this week along with the decluttering.

Speaking of websites and Facebook, I made a Facebook for Ricky B: https://www.facebook.com/rickybtherocknrollrat

So far just me and my alts/pages and a few friends following that page, but probably in a month or so I might start running ads, maybe… I should get him his own website too, but maybe next week.

In the meantime, I only got 2 cartoons of Ricky done this week since my “work on Ricky” time this week all went to setting up the FB page.

I think, too, that it would make more sense to post a weekly “best of Ricky B.” post here rather than just add it to my weekly random updates post. So… that’ll be the plan from now on, probably every Friday. And I’ll skip posting him here today.

Similarly, a separate weekly “best of Bono Mouse” as its own post will be good. However, I have a week’s worth now, so I’ll slap one in here now and then another on Monday.

Drum roll please… wait, Larry’s still recovering from surgery so he ain’t rolling no drums:

Not the best of the week, but the funniest, IMO.

What else… well, I picked up my nifty new stamp:

Pictured here is a smudgy impression in the Ricky B sketchbook, but still. It works great on the DIY business cards too.

So call that a win for productivity. And on that note, I’ll be trying a new daily schedule as of Monday, getting up early for a walk, then doing very short 20 minutes of a morning page (singular), clarinet practise, and Irish language work before setting down at 10 to work on art stuff before hitting up Noah in the afternoon and working on house and garden chores in the evening.

Beats the hell out of what I’ve been doing in leaving Noah til later in the evening when I’m tired and it drags out til 1am to get the comic finished. I mention this because I’ll probably whine about being tired in next week’s blog, lol…

Speaking of clarinets… improvements are being made, albeit it not so much to my posture yet. Which means for the bass I’ll have to practise standing for now to get the best sound, with the rubber stopper ball on the end of the pin resting of the seat of the chair I would otherwise be slouching on:

A bit awkward, but probably good for me overall.

And now onto the garden:

There had been a pile of aggregate on a tarp in a corner of my yard, left over from prior concrete projects a couple years ago. Dad and I had discussed what to do with it and I wanted to make a little pad next to my shed where it gets shady in the afternoon so I could put a couple stools and a little table (and that one loud fountain) on it, so that is now underway. The area has a gravel base and wood form outline and probably on Tuesday when it’s a bit cooler Dad will get the concrete ready.

That will leave a spot of dead grass where the tarp had been and I’ll see what I might plant there… probably the dwarf lilac I have in a tiny pot that wants out.

The eventual shade trees have all started leafing out, though only the locust is anywhere near big enough to start giving even the hint of actual shade and even that’s too small to make a dent in the heat.

I’m happy to report that the silk tree is pushing new growth, with the first couple buds now out. In theory a silk tree can put on 3′ of growth in a year, but I doubt this one will this year as it’s only its second season in its spot, plus the winter kill was bad… still, I guess it only died back 6″ in total, and hopefully these two buds produce a strong new leader:

Not the greatest pic, sorry.

Come winter (or rather, early spring, which is when the damage happened this year), I might have to consider options like tenting this tree to protect it so it can really take off next season.

It’s got a long way to go to provide any actual shade, and I bet the 3′ tall Japanese maple planted 12′ away—which is supposed to eventually be an understory tree to the silk tree, maxing out at 15′ versus the 30′ max of the silk tree—gets big enough to give some shade to the area well before that silk tree.

But hey, gardening is about patience or so I’ve been repeatedly told.

Let’s close out with some garden pics. Because the spring was so late and weird, (thanks to the stupid volcano in Tonga which is undoubtedly responsible for the screwy weather since it blew because it was as big as Krakatoa in the 1880s and Krakatoa fucked the weather for a decade, as will Tonga), I have tulips still blooming when the irises are just starting, though the heat today has sure made some of them start to wilt.

But the early summer flowers like peonies and irises and clematis are mostly a week or two away.

Anyway, makes for some odd combos, but here’s some of what I’ve got in bloom:

The biggest of my bleeding hearts (as opposed to the biggest bleeding hearts on the Island, which of course all live and work in Victoria, thankfully an hour south.)
I think the deciduous azaleas are the only things actually right on schedule this year, smelling like candy as they do.
Usually this big old pink rhodo blooms after the big old lavender one, but this year the lavender one has no flower buds.
One of the columbines now starting to bloom.
The first batch of alliums to bloom, with some late bluebells as well.
One of the stragglers on the ornamental cherry.
One of the first of the summer petunias.