Art work – Prisamacolor pencils

I was interested in trying high quality colored pencils after re-invigorating my drawing spark on deployment. I purchased a beginner set of Prismacolor brand pencils with a coupon from Michael’s and started playing around with photorealism art that I have seen gaining popularity on social media. I never tried it before so I started small and used some of my own photography that I did while on safari in Tanzania. I also started drawing as a new way to cope with coming back to my civilian job as a 911 dispatcher and the stresses that come from it, most of these pictures were drawn between 911 calls and radio traffic.


This is a young hyena eye (2016), I never noticed that our truck was reflected in her eye until I drew this. I had not discovered a blending pencil yet and still had a lot to learn. I showed my then 6 year old son, he asked “where is the rest of it??” I cant impress him.


Titus the lion from Project Survival Cat Haven in Dunlap Ca (2016), this was my first time playing around with a blender pencil, I was using cheap Crayola paper that I took from my 6 year old, a friend of mine picked at me and convinced me to get the right kind of paper.


My friend Joe (2016) , I got my hands on some high quality art paper 11×14 in a tan coloring, the front cover had a black and white portrait of a man that reminded me of a picture my sister took of our friend Joe and I was inspired to draw him. I didn’t tell him I was doing it because I didn’t want to mess it up and kill any expectation of my art that he might have built up. when I finished I was pleasantly surprised on how well it turned out and was smart enough to take pictures of it while I was drawing it.

The original photo above and the progression.


I started playing around with mirror coloring and lighting , I stop drawing this picture because I got the proportions all wrong and got annoyed.


I started this picture as a favor for a friend when she saw some of my other drawings, I enjoyed the challenges of the lighting and colors.



a close up of her eye, I loved the layers of color.





the 1st 2 dogs of a 3 dog picture for a friend of mine, this one is on a larger pad of paper. I still have not finished this one.



I also started playing around with digital drawing on my Surface Pro 4 – Photo Shop, I have no clue what I’m doing and I mess up constantly!




this one needs more work.


some other drawings I have done for friends.





First impression

My first introduction to Camp Lemonier Djibouti Africa was an assault of hot sticky air as I got off the plane. It’s a different kind of heat that I’ve never experience before. The shade is just as hot as standing out in the full sun. The humidity is a different kind of humidity than that of the Midwest and east coast US, it’s hard to explain.


The camp is small, everything is easily walkable, although at times the heat does detour me from wanting to walk some distances, hopefully that will change in time and season. The nights do cool a little, maybe 5 degrees or so.


My living conditions are interesting and small, but very well air conditioned. I do have a room mate, so far we get along great! We will be together as room mates the majority of the time. Of course the bathroom and showers are about 200 ft away, and laundry is about 800 ft away.




Some of the rooms are very well decorated outside and add some life to the landscape.




The little bit of wildlife on base are quite small, the crows are half the size of US crows and have a brown and gray neck. The pigeons are spotted, and the gecko that I did see quickly was a decent sized. Apparently there are mongoose and snakes on base also, I haven’t seen any yet.


Proof that I love my husband !

My husband is a diehard Oakland Raider fan since he was a kid. I on the other hand am not a NFL fan but if I had to chose I will chose 49rs, but is rather be playing football than watching overpaid morons play.

I love my husband so much, even enough to let him take my 4 year old , Colin, to his first game this last Friday night. Of course Colin had a blast and I was able to have another milestone with him before my deployment.

Yes I even painted Colin’s face, he wanted a T-Rex.





Yes my husband is one of those “costume wearing , face painting, Raider Black Hole season ticket members “. Yes I’ve helped him develop his costume and paint. Yes I love him very much!










Wow, it’s amazing how simple a change in hair color can make such a huge impact!

Yesterday I dyed my hair brown (closer to my roots color) and cut off 10 inches of length. Yes I’m donating my hair, this will be the 4th time I’ve donate my hair!

Now for the reasons why I cut and dyed my hair. The color is for safety, the region that I’m deploying to in Africa (Djibouti) my blond hair would stick out like a sore thumb. I also just want to do my job and get back home to my family ASAP and my hair in the past has been a distractor.

As for cutting my hair; it was getting heavy and starting to give me headaches these last 2 weeks on base. The shorter length will be easier to maintain for the next year.

When I came home the boys had mixed feelings. Colin looked at me for 2 seconds then said “wow mommy! You look different!”.
Braiden keep starring at me with a very serious face until I sat down and talked to him then he lit up! “Mommy!”







Last summer I noticed what I thought was a weird tan/sunburn on Colin’s (4 1/2 years old now) right foot about the shape of a thong-flipflop.



It disappeared during the winter and I didn’t think anything of it. Then as the weather starts to get warmer here in central California and we start using the pool Colin gets some color on his skin no mater how much sunblock I put on him and there it is again, and I looks bigger!

June 25th was national Vitiligo awareness day, I have a friend in the Navy that has it and it made me think of him. I watched a video about a CNN news anchor that still hides it from the camera. It still didn’t click in that it could be the same thing.

Then last week Colin’s foot caught my attention again and I remembered that the boys have a appointment with the pediatrician for a yearly check up. I added it to my notes to ask the doctor.

So today after a simple backlight check and some pressing on the skin and a bunch of questions we have been referred to a pediatric dermatologist to absolutely confirm it, Colin has a form of Vitiligo.

Of course when i got home I did some more research and asked the family on both sides if they knew of anyone that has/had this, so far nothing.

I learned that 1% of the population is effected by Vitiligo, there is no true cure or absolute reason for it, some say it’s an Autoimmune disease, others say it’s genetic, or environment.

Colin’s skin is so fair that if it wasn’t for the little bit of a tan that he does get I might not have ever seen it. I wonder how many other very fair complected kids and adults have this and don’t even know?

So it will be a wait and see if this will spread, or become visible in other parts of his body, or stay were it is and do nothing. Only time will tell and Colin could not be happier about all of the attention he is getting!

Here is what it looks like under blacklight





What’s in a name ?

So I’ll explain where my favorite internet handle came from. It’s actually a mix of two of my favorite literary stories from high school.

comes from my absolute love of Edgar Alan Poe! In middle school I checked out a book of scary stories from the library since the Goosebumps books were “Cool”. In the collection of scary stories was Poe’s “The black cat” I absolutely loved it!!!!! Then in school we read the “tell tale heart” “the cask of amontillado” and then “The Raven”. That same year The Simpsons did a Halloween episode of “the Raven” and I was absolutely hooked!!! I wanted to express my love of Edgar Alan Poe writing and chose to go with Raven but I wanted to make it a little bit more feminine so I changed the “e” into and “i” and started using Ravin.


Then I fell in love with Egyptian mythology! I absolutely fell in love with the disastrous love story of Isis and Osiris. So I started adding Isis to my online handle as the internet became more popular.


Now mind you this was 1995 to 1999 when I came up with them and am pleasantly surprised that I still love them.