Monday, August 31, 2009

Playing With Painter

This was fun.

I am so amazed at this software.

As I explored the digital brushes and mediums this little elephant just decided to appear so I added a rabbit and then the flowers.

I have been spending time with my small young grandson and I think I am into picture book mode again. I have so much to learn.
Young children have such joy in everything around them. I think I caught a little of his sense of wonder this past weekend.
I hope I can keep it up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Digital Learning

This week I am trying to figure out
Corel Painter 11. I must say it is cleaner than using real paint and less messy and it is also a lot of fun. I do have a lot to learn. This is a good thing.
I feel like a kid in virtual kindergarten. A little joy in having a lot of paint to play with. No teacher to tell me I am doing it all wrong. Yet.
I have been using CorelDRAW for many years. But this painting program is different in many ways. I think I love it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Touched Up Watercolour

Two days of messing up paintings.
I scanned the worst one and digitized it in photopaint. The top image is the original.
The bottom image the digital version.
Maybe I can fix the original or maybe I will start over with something completely different.
In any case, I regard it as another learning experience.

Monday, August 03, 2009

What Does One Do In A Heat wave

The past week has been a challenge. Our province is part way through a heat wave. I think the worst is over. But no one was prepared for the heat that drained energy and made it impossible for some of us to do anything more than sit sweating in front of fans.
Still, there are family members I know who had no problem with 33 degrees Celsius. It seemed to me that those who live in houses with basements fared much better than people like me.
I am on a top floor of an apartment with a flat roof above me and windows facing south and west which catch the morning and afternoon sun. Wonderful for light for an artist but impossible when the sun gets hotter and not only blasts the windows but also the roof above.

I have my own little system and routine for summers and for keeping cool but it wasn't working this time. I am careful with my dog, taking her out to shade to do her thing and then bringing her back home. No hot paws on the pavement. But she has been listless and weak and when she fell over on the grass last week, I realized she needed more help to cope with the heat. What to do?

I showered her down four and five times a day. Once showered and wet she came to life again.

But still, the heat was beating us.
I bought two large gel ice packs and cooled them. I wrapped one with a TOWEL and placed it under bed sheet of her bed. It was brilliant. She sniffed around but then settled down on top of the cool spot. When it got too cold she moved to different positions. She slept and seemed comforted by her cool bed.

I tried the same thing with my cat but she did not take to the idea. But she didn't mind me wetting her coat down with cool water.

And then there was me. What to do? Lots of showers and even better cold baths to cool down when it was too uncomfortable. But mostly I was becoming a slug. Couldn't work. Couldn't think.
I thought about lucky folks with jobs in air conditioned offices or cool places.

After three days of this I decided to buy an air conditioner.
I bought one of those portable things. The guy at London drugs carried it to the car for me. When I got home I was wishing I knew some strong fellow to help me, because it was heavy to get from the car to my apartment. But thanks to the elevator and my ability to push and slide the huge heavy box along the concrete and carpets... I got it home. I spent an hour trying to open the box. I had to pry off all the heavy duty staples one by one in order to open the box around the protective foam packaging because there was no way I could have lifted it out as directed. The temperature in my apartment was getting above thirty and I was sweating and going out of my mind with stress. My brain was not working. My body was soaking. My animals were panting. It took me three hours in all to get the thing ready to go.

Of course the hose thing didn't fit my window with the attachment provided. I think I knew that would be a problem. So...I made up a thing with a piece of foam core and lots of duct tape and I managed to get everything working.

And so the magic moment came when I turned on the heavy duty connector plug and my apartment slowly became live able again and my animals automatically settled down close to the machine of the soothing cold air.

The little machine is noisy and in the way...but it is earning it's keep when the afternoon sun hits the roof and windows.
I block the windows with fabric and old quilts around the foam core to help my little machine in the battle against the sun.
When the sun is down, I turn off the machine and open up the windows and turn the fans inward to blow in the cool evening air (on evenings when there IS cooler air) . We sleep without the machine because the apartment is not super heated as it would have been without the machine.

Today is a much more comfortable and normal morning. A cool breeze is coming in the windows without benefit of fans. The animals are sleeping soundly without stress.
No need yet to again turn on this energy burner yet. But at least now we have a back up plan to handle too hot days which may come.

I think I shall post this list of things one can do so I can come back next time in case I forget.

When it gets impossibly hot

  1. Use as many fans as you can. ( I have six small fans. Worth the investment.)
  2. Large Gel ice packs are handy to have for a fast relief as well as great to cool down a pet's bed...but must be wrapped in a TOWEL because they get too cold against the skin. And monitor the pet to make sure they don't get too much cold pack exposure. Even just cooling a pack down in the fridge rather than freezer is a little less icy cold but cool enough and safer.
  3. Close the windows and pull the drapes and close the blinds when the sun beats down against that side of the dwelling.
  4. Open the windows on the shady side, put a fan in the window and blow IN the cooler air from outside.
  5. Drink lots of water and make sure the pets have fresh water at all times.
  6. For apartment dwellers, take the dog out early morning and after the sun goes down at night and if one must go out in the day time, stay in shady areas. Sidewalks get too hot for the paws.
  7. Never leave a dog in a car parked outside in hot weather. Even with open windows temperatures can become life threatening.
  8. At night it helps to turn on bathroom fans and kitchen fans which draw off the heated air. If one can place portable house fans to draw in the outside air then even better. Noisy perhaps but it can bring the temperature down a few degrees enough to be more comfortable. Cool air is drawn in while hot air is moved up and out.
Last night I met a retired couple in my age range who told me they have three portable air conditioners. One for each bedroom and one for the living room. Now there's a good idea. Maybe the high hydro bills will not be so hard to bear if one can feel normal and be able to think.