Happy Anniversary, and 30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 6-8



My blog is two years old today.

Here, have a cupcake:

Ain't she cute!?! Just the sweetest little cupcake in the whole wide world!

Ain’t she cute!?! Just the sweetest little cupcake in the whole wide world!

Now, on to the drawing challenge, and yes, I’m really behind, but I will finish this. I will!

Day 6: Favorite Drink

Honestly, I don’t have a favorite, so long as it’s cold.


Day 7: Favorite Bird

I really wish these lists included less “favorites” and more random things to draw. I don’t have a favorite _____. Most of the time, I’m lucky just to have a favorite color. I really was at a loss, so I drew the first bird that came to mind while staring mindlessly at the calendar above the kitchen table.


Day 8: Amusement Park

Well that’s vague, isn’t it? Technically any park that brings joy, amazement, and fun is an “amusement park”, but I went with the good old stand by. When in doubt, go back to where it all began…


30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 2-5

Okay, so yea… I got hit hard this month. Now, as the month is winding down, we are preparing the house and our hearts to have my husband come home sometime within the next 6 weeks, though we don’t know exactly when yet. It’s gonna be a lot of change and my blog is no doubt suffering for the changes that have happened and for those yet to come. My “29 Things to do Before 29” list seems to be a flop, but is still salvageable and I will just have to adjust some of the times on some of the items. With a little shift here and there, and having my husband home with the kids, it should be a lot easier to fit it into my schedule… I take on too much and then come down hard on myself when I can’t get everything done. This is always an issue. But I have drawing, so for the next few days I will make a mad dash to the finish (which seems to be my M.O. anyway 😛 )

So, on with the show

Day 2: Favorite Sport
To be honest, I meant to draw swimming and forgot, so I drew a football. I don’t really like football. I like to sit beside my husband and read a book while he watches football. People who know me would be shocked to learn that I really enjoy swimming. I enjoy the feel of the water gliding across my skin and I enjoy the focus. It’s one of the few times I really relax, when I’m in the water. I’m not a strong swimmer by any means. I don’t like to be splashed and I prefer to be by myself or with a small group when I swim. It takes me a long time to get used to the water temperature. I mean, like, ridiculously long. It comes to the annoyance of everyone I swim with. I know it drives my husband crazy because he likes to splash me as I’m “acclimating” to the water step by step. I cannot just jump into the pool. It is physically painful when I do this. But swimming is my favorite sport… Enjoy the football.


Day 3: First Car

1983 Datsun Nissan Pulsar NX This was my first car. Go ahead, click the link, I can wait.

Done now? That car reminds me of an uncool Delorean from the Back to the Future movies. But really, my drawing is the most accurate depiction I could come up with. Nothing like having dad try to teach you a three-point turn in a car with no brakes… I almost hit a dresser my mom was painting in the driveway… Good times.


Day 4: A Secret About Yourself

I’ll let you sort this one out on your own.


Day 5: Favorite Movie

This one was hard because I love so many movies. I chose a movie that I felt represented a multitude of great things and storylines that have lent themselves well to other stories and other mediums. Whether it’s “Oz: the Great and Powerful”, “Wicked: the Musical”, or the Gregory Maguire novels, it all started in one place, with one pair of silver slippers (yes, in canon they were silver, not ruby. Ruby filmed better, for those who don’t believe me, open a book). I think on some level, we are all captivated by the land of Oz, the magic of the “horse of a different color”, and the characters we meet along the way. From the fearfully coward to the heartless metal man to the ignorant brilliance of a man made of straw, we understand these characters and their quest. Secretly, we all wish we could go “somewhere over the rainbow”.


Slacker Blogging

I seem to have become depressed over the past week. I’ve been taking the death of the cat very hard…

As a result, my blog is suffering. Sorry guys.

I promise to get back with it this week. More Autism Awareness blogs and the 30 Day Drawing Challenge posts are coming this week. I will get caught up and finish on time. I promise.

I’ve sent my husband an email to help me stay on task and focus. I need things to keep me moving…

On a side note, I will be updating on my 29 Things list soon… I’m failing myself already, and it’s only April…

30 Day Drawing Challenge: part 2: Day 1

I don’t really have a good build up to this one… I’m seriously at a loss for words, and I think that part of this is a result of the events of yesterday and the exhaustion I am still feeling today.

Believe it or not, there are four parts of these drawing challenges, or at least I have four separate versions downloaded onto my computer right now. I was invited to participate in Part Two, and I accepted. I need something to focus my brain for a bit, and I’m totally being a slacker on my list of things to do this year…

Part Two.

Part Two.

Day One: Muppet

Well that’s pretty vague, isn’t it? Many people have chosen to focus squarely on The Muppets. The pride of joy of the Jim Henson legacy. Too many people forget that Jim Henson and his muppets had their hands in a few different cookie jars over the years. From Yoda to Ludo, Jim Henson has worked on Star Wars, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Sesame Street, The Muppets (and all it’s “spin offs”, including Muppet Babies), Fraggle Rock and much more. So instead of focusing on one specific muppet, I chose to go with a few. Jim Henson was a man with a vision, and the “muppet” in all it’s forms is something to be celebrated.

Red from Fraggle Rock, Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street and Baby Animal from Muppet Babies.

Red from Fraggle Rock, Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street and Baby Animal from Muppet Babies.

DIY Sketchbook repair and cover

To be honest, this really doesn’t seem like a “true” DIY, but it is what it is (frankly it has to be because it can’t be what it isn’t).

My son has this habit of leaving things in the floor just so he can walk on them. Unfortunately, one night I left my sketchbook under the coffee table and the next day, my darling little boy went “sliding into home” and now mommy’s sketchbook has a busted binding. This made me sad because I like all my books, sketchbooks included, to have perfect or near perfect bindings. The longer the binding can be pristine, the more times the book can be opened without fear of the cover falling off.

This is what happens when your sketchbook becomes home plate.

This is what happens when your sketchbook becomes home plate. (Side Note: I made that bracelet today. 🙂 )

So my poor sketchbook became a DIY.

For this project I used:
One busted sketchbook (Thanks Little Brother)
Fun colored Duck Tape (fun is objective, you may or may not prefer things as ‘busy’ as I do)
Permanent Marker (optional)
Clear packing tape (optional)



It really is a simple one step process. Put the “fun colored Duck Tape” all over the cover until it’s as covered as you want and the dings, bangs, and bruises are invisible. Cut the tape with the scissors to make it fit or to smooth it out. Make it fun, make it yours.

New front cover.

New front cover.

Optionally, you could take a permanent marker and draw on the solid colored parts of the tape and cover with the clear packing tape. I would say, from past experience, that you wont want to leave anything covered with or made from duck tape anywhere that gets hot (i.e. your car) because the tape starts to melt and gets all EWWW all over everything.

But seriously? How adorable is my sketchbook now? And what would be a blog about a sketchbook without a little peek inside, so here’s a brief study I did on hands and one on ears that I did a while back.



I'm all ears!

I’m all ears!

A Poem

Middle of the night crisis: Check

Discovering their was a poem bursting through the chaos: Check

Blogging it for the world: In Progress (:P)


I don’t dream about him.
Or the day that he’ll come home.
Or the way he wrapped his arms around me
When I was feeling weak.
Or the way he sighed so heavily
before he kissed my cheek.

My protection from my own despair
Has left not one memory
Of what it was to hold his hand
Or joke and laugh with glee.

I don’t remember what I said to him
The night he left my life.
I just remember the pain I felt
It cut through me like a knife.

I hid it well for days and weeks
Until care package day.
When over customs forms I cried
There was so much to say.

I love him dearly
Oh so dearly
He’ll never know the pain.
Or the thousand tears that fall each day
like slow and steady rain.

One day he will be by my side
The way it’s meant to be.
But for how long he gets to stay
Only time can see.

The Army has my soldier
But I still hold his heart.
His duty comes before our vows
Of til death do us part.

The time has come to dream again
The worst part of my day.
Cold, lonely and worrisome too
The bed too big to stay.

The time to sleep is coming.
I wake with every fear.
The knock at the door,
The never ending tear.

So rest my head
So full of dread
And cry my silent tears

For my ranks are known out far and wide
Through every step and every stride
This is the way we live our life
This is to be an Army Wife.

©Rainshadow Noba, January 8, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me (you? Mommy?)

When you plan your own birthday “party” and the only people in attendance are you, your two kids, your best friend and her infant son, singing “Happy Birthday” gets a bit dodgy in the middle. I have to admit, the whole thing made me laugh, and for that I was grateful. I really needed to laugh on my birthday of all days. Being near Christmas, my birthday has rarely been the best thing I do all year. Having my husband half a world away makes the whole month of December that much more lonely.

I admit, I did not handle December very well. But 2012 is behind us and 2013 is three days in the making. I have been 28 for a whole four days, and I’ve taken that time to write a list. A bucket list of sorts, but these are all the things I want to do in the next year. Twenty-nine things to do before I turn twenty-nine next December. But first, some birthday cake:

" “The angels have the phonebox”. That's my favorite. I've got that on a t-shirt. " -'Blink', Doctor Who, Episode 3.10

” “The angels have the phone box”. That’s my favorite. I’ve got that on a t-shirt. ” -‘Blink’, Doctor Who, Episode 3.10

Now to my list. Some of these will be silly, some of them very serious. Some will be well within my comfort zone (hence the time constraints placed on some of them), and some are so far beyond anything I’ve ever done that I’m pretty sure they wont get done until after my husband returns from Afghanistan this summer. Wow, this summer… He sounds so close and yet, he’s still so far away.

Yes, the list, sorry about that.

29 Things to do Before 29

1. Complete a book of Sudoku Puzzles in the month of February, cover to cover in order, no cheating.

2. Get shot with a paintball gun. Of course, this means I have to go paint-balling with my husband, but what better way to bond after a deployment then to fire balls of paint at each other, right?

3. Go zip-lining. This one requires me to overcome my severe aversion to heights and falling.

4. Climb a rock wall. No doubt this is a precursor to #3.

5. Read 29 books. This averages 2.5-3 books a month. I got this one.

6. Kiss my husband on the lips.

7. Do Zumba three times a week for at 3 consecutive months. I got the game disk for Xbox Kinect from the husband for my birthday, I will use it to tone the rest of the baby pudge let over from giving birth to children weighing the same as the standard bag of sugar.

8. Finish my first novel: in March and April.

9. Complete my figure drawing sketchbook.

10. Have portraits taken of myself (whether I post them here or just write about the experience I’m not sure yet). This one is an exercise in learning to appreciate my own beauty.

11. Wear three pieces of refashioned clothing in the month of June. (I should have plenty of options by then.)

12. Take one photo of myself everyday for a month (can’t be February, it’s too short)

13. Get another tattoo (I already know what and wear, just need to get on with it)

14. Complete my blog series: 30 Days with Autism that I started in 2010.

15. Blog every Friday  Thursday about something I am grateful for that has occurred in the past week. Let’s keep the gratitude fresh.

16. Write one short story a month, no minimum word count.

17. Pay off my truck.

18. Craft 31 piece of jewelry in the month of August.

19. Give up Soda (once I finish what’s left from my birthday party.)

20. Give up my hair for Lent. Headscarves all day, every day from Feb 13- March 30.

21. Learn to play guitar. Hubby plays guitar… Another one of those re-bonding activities… Maybe while I’m recovering from being shot with a paintball gun?

22. Stop biting my nails (again). To be successful, I have to have real nail growth on a continuous basis during the 12 weeks leading up to and including my next birthday.

23. Lay under the stars with my husband (possible sleep on the back deck, that counts as camping, right?)

24. Blog a video of myself reading a children’s book like I do to my kids.

25. Fire a gun. Another one of those “Let’s celebrate your homecoming” activities.

26. Buy “embarrassing” lingerie and actually wear it. Wear it again in front of the husband. (There will be no pictures on the wearing, there may be pictures of the buying. FYI, almost all lingerie is embarrassing, we really only wear it because we think our husbands will like it.)

27. Take my husband to an archery range. He has yet to see me in my element. Archery was the only sport I was good at in middle school and after the gun range, and a paintball course, archery is a nice change of pace.

28. Fully potty train my son, no more diapers. We are slowly venturing into the world of pooping in the potty. This will save me $60 a month once we get this down.

29. Solve a Rubik’s Cube. (This may take a while)

So there you have it. my list of 29 things. These are all realistic and completely doable. That’s why I chose them. I wanted a list that I could actually finish and say “I did that”. So, I’m a few days behind on some of these already, but I will be updating this list with other blog posts as I complete each number. My goal is to have the list completed by December 30, 2013.

Untitled: A melancholy short story (and just in time for Christmas)

Suffice it to say, I was not going to get out of Christmas without a major issue or two. That said, parts of this story are true, parts of it are lies, and parts of it are just my way of silencing the wicked little woman who lives behind my ear without actually acting on the things that she tells me. Though she does speak the truth, or at least, the perceived truth, most of the time.

This short story is my way of dealing with Christmas. If you don’t like it, I really don’t care. I’m having an apathetic kind of day.


Closing the computer, she looked around the room.


This was the way that she felt, so she would bring this into reality. “Reality was tangible,” she thought as she logged off her social networking page and signed off of her Skype account. Wishing she were brave enough to turn off her phone, she lowered the volume to silent, instead. With her only connection to the world outside her front door muted, her world inside the house now mimicked the disconnected feelings that tormented her. The only sound was coming from a child’s toy being quietly played with in the corner of the room.

The fact that her thoughts were irrational made no difference to her. She had been abandoned. She’d been left along for far too long for him to be coming back. A single hot tear rolled down her cheek following the salty trails left behind by the tears she’d cried before. It was true that he had left her attention for that of another woman. It was work he’d told her. Logically, rationally, she knew it to be true. He would never purposely betray her in such a way. The problem was, at times such as these, when the loneliness paved way for emptiness which in turn transformed her heart into an inescapable hollow hole, on days such as today, logical and rational had no place.

As the hollowness in her chest grew more heavy with each beat of her heart, her mind wandered to long forgotten hurts, and to pains she had fought hard to bury. “He’s having an affair,” states one voice flatly, emotionless, as if making a statement of fact. “That is not true and you know it,” says a much more childlike voice, so full of optimism and hope. “He loves you. He just forgot.” “Again,” replies the flat voice in turn. Back and forth these two voices bicker. For hours, passing arguments between them as if playing a fame of tug-o-war. Caught in the middle, between logical reason and fearing inducing doubt, her pain builds.

It is all too easy to believe the lie. Often times, the lie contains just enough truth to bring doubt. Doubt, when added to past pain and hurt,  to fear. Fear makes everything true. You fear the bumps in the night, so there must be a boogeyman. She doesn’t want to believe the irrational pain could be true. Fear and doubt cloud her judgement. She knows these things to be true:

1)His female coworker had been away from some length of time.
2)There was business to be dealt with. There was always business to be done.
3)He had left her alone to discuss things with this coworker, another woman.

Hours later, her hopes of having a good day had long since passed as visions of an affair played in her head. Knowing his love for her, knowing his job would be lost didn’t stop the illogical visions from dancing just behind her eyes. As the day progressed, the pain, the emptiness and the hollow ache grew. Suddenly, it wasn’t only an irrational fear of betrayal that blazed through her mind. The emotional pain became too much, as it often did. Her brain desperate for a logical cause of this chemical release began to ache for a rational explanation. Visions of metal, sharp and gleaming under bright lights, began to flicker through her head.

“One quick swipe,” the emotionless voice whispered in her ear. “One quick swipe and you would understand this pain. Transformed into a reality, a physical cause to be controlled.”

The little optimist, having long ago run out of new arguments to fend off the doubt, sat in silence. The one who was so innocent knew the truth in the words of her darker sister. The woman’s brain had always had trouble processing emotion. Like asking a computer to describe and experience ‘love’, the woman had a much better grasp on the physical realm. Reality could be controlled; it could be altered. Like the turning off of the phone and computer to better handle the feeling of ‘disconnect’, a small change in reality could make the feelings real.

The imaginary pain and perceived hurt could be made real. All the rest of the day, she was egged on by the wicked little voice. “You know you want to.” and “You’ll feel so much better if you do.” chorused through her head as she prepared a lonely dinner for herself and the children. She had barely spoken a word since that morning, when so suddenly, he had disappeared from her life. Her phone rang not once, her email sat empty, not a single text message arrived. The hollowness where her heart sat began to expand making her breath catch like heavy sobs though her eyes had run dry hours before.

She feared the things she thought. Both the imagined actions he took against her and the solitary way her mind sought to fix the problem. She feared he would hurt her; she feared she would hurt herself. After a long day, the house fell more silent. The children tucked into their beds snug and warm against the bitter cold of a winter’s night.

Quietly, she stepped onto the chilly tile of the bathroom floor. Mindful of the creaky door on the medicine cabinet, she pulled out her husbands used razor. Staring at her own reflection, she saw what he must see.

A young woman, aging before her time. Her blue eyes, though swollen from a long day of tears, were still hollow and sunken from many nights of little sleep. Her body, already slim, had grown to bare bones from the days of foodless stress. She sometimes thought herself beautiful, but those days were growing fewer and farther between.

She stood there. One arm held out in front of her, wrist bent outward over the vanity sink, she stood there, staring at herself. Holding the steel against her skin, she steadied her gaze, glaring at her own dead reflection and without any joy at all, declared,

“Merry Christmas”

©Rainshadow Noba, December 25, 2012

Getting Crafty

NaNoWriMo might be over, but the creativity is just beginning…

Lately, I’ve had the desire to create. I’ve always loved creating and recreating, but now I’m doing it with a focus and design model. In between drawing my novels cover art and making dolls for my kids, I’ve rediscovered my love of creating. Here are just a few things I have created in the days since my novel has been finished.

Asymmetric washer earrings with teal accent

Asymmetric washer earrings with teal accent

Black mirrored beads

Black mirrored beads

"Hearts and Spades"- made from two halves of a broken pendant, affixed with purple wire

“Hearts and Spades”- made from two halves of a broken pendant, affixed with purple wire

Washer Earrings with green wire

Washer Earrings with green wire

The doll I made for my son. My first doll stands about 6 inches high and by now all the hair has fallen out.

The doll I made for my son. My first doll stands about 6 inches high and by now all the hair has fallen out.



My second doll, for Sissy. Using this as a template for the dolls I'm making for my nieces for Christmas

My second doll, for Sissy. Using this as a template for the dolls I’m making for my nieces for Christmas













T-Shirt necklace. Used a slightly ribbed tee, so I had to braid the strands together. It's cute and warm.

T-Shirt necklace. Used a slightly ribbed tee, so I had to braid the strands together. It’s cute and warm.


I’m a bored housewife with no husband at the moment… What more can I do that get crafty? My whole life is a DIY project at this point simply because I’ve got no help anyway hehe

I’m having fun refashioning old pieces into … what was it my husband called it… “Gold”… I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on these pieces already, and I’m only just getting started.



I did it, dear readers, I actually did it.

I wrote my novel of 50,041 words… Of course, that includes a dedication page and two epilogues (I couldn’t figure out how to end the story… So I wrote two).

I love it! My story is complete and final.

Thank you, dear readers, followers, and friends for all the support and encouragement you have given me over these past 30 (-ish) days. Without the encouragement of people I care about, I would not have made it as far as I did.

I’m gonna go eat junk food a decompress for a few days.

I need to get caught up on laundry and dishes, and I trip to the commissary wouldn’t hurt either 😛

The world of self-publishing is still a confusing place for me and I’m not sure I’ll ever release my story to the public, but yay that it is written.